FocusOnFamily: "Single Parenting"

Custody Issues

Divorce is painful — not only for husband and wife, but also for the children. It can be especially difficult to navigate custody arrangements. There is no easy way to divide time that was once shared as a family unit. Throw in the personal heartache that is weighing on each individual and custody can bring out the worst in all involved.

As you face different custody hardships, try to keep one thought at the forefront of your mind: What is best for my children? Children function best when they have a strong relationship with both parents. They have the best chance to heal when they have time with both a mother and father who love them. All the other issues (revenge, fear, control) that may tempt you to sabotage the relationship with the other parent should be set aside in the best interests of the children.

Many of you know this. As a single parent for 12 years, I knew the truth of what my daughter needed, but it was much harder to live it out. Read on. You'll find the practical tools, encouragement and help you need.


Successful Co-Parenting

Here are some tips to make co-parenting easier for you and your kids.

As you and your former spouse figure out custody arrangements, visitation schedules and attempt to co-parent, these important reminders will help you help your children:

Don't bad-mouth your ex. Children don't want to hear bad things about either of their parents, and they especially do not want to take sides. No purpose is served in criticizing the other parent to your children.

Don't use your children as spies. Children should be given the freedom to enjoy each parent without hindrance or fear of being cross-examined. Children become angry when asked to spy and can easily withdraw from both parents. If you are not sure whether you are using your children as spies, then ask them. You may be blind to what you are doing and so preoccupied with your hurt that you cannot see what is happening. They'll tell you!

Don't use your children to carry messages. There is usually a period of time following divorce when one parent is afraid to encounter the other, either for fear of letting out feelings of bitterness or for fear of what the ex-spouse will do or say. Under these conditions, a parent may become cowardly and hide behind the children. "Tell your father he hasn't sent the check yet," or "Ask your mother if you can go fishing with me next week." These messages place your child in an uncomfortable position. In Roman days, messengers who brought bad news lost their heads, just like children do (figuratively) today.

The child will usually come to resent both parents for having to carry messages. To avoid alienating your children, do your own dirty work! Be courageous and assertive. Speak directly to your former wife or husband.

Give your child permission to love the other parent. As parents, we are not always completely honest with ourselves, and we don't always know what messages we are sending our children. It is safer, therefore, to be explicit in this area. Tell your child specifically that it is OK to love his or her father or mother.

Encourage the discussion of feelings. The open expression of feelings tends to create a healthier environment. But freedom of speech does not mean freedom to insult or punish. Children are often so frustrated and angry at the world that they would readily dump their hostility on you and turn you into an emotional punching bag. This should not be tolerated. Anger should be talked about, not acted out.

But sometimes parents do not allow children to talk about their anger, and this eventually leads to a need to act out through explosive outbursts. It is far better to allow children to talk about their feelings as they occur than to have to pick up the pieces! Allowing angry feelings to accumulate, to the point that it takes a volcanic eruption to get rid of them, is never healthy.

Start to talk about feelings when your children are young and you will avoid many painful encounters with them later in life.

Be flexible. Flexibility means that you are willing to compromise some of your demands and, if necessary, negotiate for others. The most important area is that of visiting rights. Conflicts with your ex-spouse in this area will always affect your children. They will create tension and interfere with the quality of the visits.

Perhaps this is the subconscious reason why many parents avoid being flexible — to keep their children from enjoying their visits with the other parent. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself and work to avoid rigidity.

The need for flexibility should not be taken to mean that a parent should surrender all of his or her rights to the other. To do so would invite manipulation. But choose your battles carefully. There are many issues that are not important in themselves, so don't stand on principle just for principle's sake. Remember that you can communicate Christian love far better through being reasonable than by being obstinate.

Encourage the relationship with the ex-spouse. The more time they spend together, the better. It is an unfortunate fact that most absent parents gradually become less involved with their children after a divorce. The initial frequent contact slowly fades away.

Fathers are more apt to maintain contact with sons than with daughters. Since both sons and daughters need to have contact with both parents, it takes a concerned and wise parent to be creative about maintaining contact between fathers and daughters. Personal bitterness has to be set aside and activities with both mother and father encouraged.


When a Child Chooses the Other Parent

What can you do?

There are fewer things as painful as when a child wants or chooses to live with their other parent. If you have been placed in this situation, here are a few things you can do:

Recognize the pain. Give yourself the freedom to grieve the loss. It is heart-wrenching to be rejected by your child and it's OK to feel pain and sadness. Journal, open up to friends, visit a counselor. Take tender care of your heart.

Weigh your options. Depending on the age of your child, your response will differ. Here are some age-appropriate considerations to keep in mind:

Elementary school and younger: Your child may threaten to move in with your ex-spouse as a manipulative tactic. It could be he is testing his limits and this is one way to see if you are going to stand by your rules. If you cave in on a consequence as a result of his threat, he'll learn to use that to his advantage. Gauge his behavior. Is he talking about moving when he's just gotten into trouble? Then stick with your consequences. Or is this something that comes up when the waters are calm? If so, ask him why he would like to move in with the other parent. Talk through his reasons and give him room to express his desires. Try not to communicate your hurt — it is likely he is just yearning for more time with the other parent, not rejecting you. If you are having a tough time discerning his request, don't hesitate to seek professional counsel.

Teenagers: When a teenager wants to move in with the other parent, the situation can get a little more difficult. Older teens may have the ear of the court system; a judge may disregard what you feel is best. Even if the courts are not involved, teens need special consideration. Giving them the freedom to experience the other home may be just the thing to help them appreciate you. Discerning the optimal living situation can be difficult. Your particular case will be unique, so make the decisions based on as much information as possible. An informed third-party counselor could help you work through the details to come up with the best course of action.

Know when to fight. There are times to set boundaries and protect your child. If your ex-spouse is a danger to your child, no matter your child's age — through physical, emotional or sexual abuse — you must guard her from being harmed. Consult a counselor, hire a lawyer, do whatever you need to do to make sure your child is not in danger.


When Your Ex Has Different Values

What to do when your ex-spouse doesn't share your values

In split-parent family homes (homes where each parent shares custody after a separation or divorce), the former spouses may not share the same values. Instead of focusing all your energy on the other home and what your ex-spouse is doing wrong, create a Code of Values to help your children define the guidelines for appropriate behavior.

Define your values. Ask your children to list their top five values while you do the same. Some examples of values would include faith, honesty, generosity, the importance of education, respect, etc. Once complete, each person can share what is on his list.

Discuss differences. If you see a contradiction between a value and an attitude or behavior in your children's lives, be gentle as you communicate your thoughts. Share any difficulties you have had in living out a value you profess. Remind your children that it's not unusual to slip, but that living out their values is worth the effort. From here, compile the lists to create a Code of Values, standards to live by. Expand the list to include practical ways to live out each value. Print the list on nice paper and frame two copies, one for each home.

Encourage your kids to ask their other parent to help them live up to their Code of Values. Most parents are likely to support their kids when aspiring for higher standards, especially when behavior improves.

Live it. Your kids watch your behavior to formulate their own values. Don't speak one way and live another. The true mark of a person's value system, ultimately, is the person's behavior. In the New Testament Jesus says, "Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit" (Matthew 7:17-18).

Focus on your own home. The focus should not be on a former spouse. It's on your children. Avoid the temptation to fall into a self-righteous attitude. This is not about living "above" your former spouse; this is simply about helping your children live a strong set of values in a broken world.

Build solid community. As you guide your kids, remember that spending time with other Christians is crucial. Socializing with Christian families allows your kids to experience the Christian home as the common standard. Christian community reinforces Christian values.

Defining values for our children will help them live out what they believe. Once they have that definition on paper, if they see behavior (in their other home) that is not consistent, they'll be able to understand that it's wrong and hopefully make a different choice for themselves.

Sample Code of Values:

Value: Faith
Attitude: I love the Lord and look for ways to know Him more
Behavior: Attend church, read Bible and pray

Value: Generosity
Attitude: I look to help others who cannot help themselves
Behavior: Give time, money and service to others (share my snacks and play with lonely kids at recess)

Value: Kindness
Attitude: I honor others by showing love and respect
Behavior: Quarrel less and encourage (say nice things about) others more


Focus on Your Home

Don't spend all your time trying to shelter your children from the other parent.

Judy, a single mom, has a tough time sending her kids to their father's for the weekend. She is angry about the divorce and does everything she can to sabotage the visitation arrangements. She makes the kids call her every night they are with him and gets frustrated if they forget. When they return, she interrogates them about their visits. She wants to know what they ate, whom they met and details about every activity.

Her motive? She wants to build a case to stop, or at least limit, the time the kids have with their dad. Judy is driven by emotion. Though she doesn't realize the damage she is inflicting, the kids suffer. They feel uncomfortable with her questioning, don't understand her anxiety and often feel pulled in two directions.

The use of time

While it's normal to worry about what influences the children, don't spend all your time trying to shelter your children from the other parent — a person who has every right to be a part of their lives.

We're not talking about the children's safety. Protection from harm is a different matter. This is about allowing your former spouse to be a parent, even when you have different values and parenting styles.

Making it count

Be intentional in the time you spend with your children. Don't waste time and energy trying to prevent things you cannot control. If you already have a full plate with your job and basic household responsibilities, use the rest of your day wisely. Love and disciple your children. Eat a meal with them. Play games and allow yourself to laugh with abandon. Cheer your kids in their sports activities and close their day with prayer, drawing them to the One who can protect them best.

Giving up control

Letting go of what is happening in the other home is not easy. Ultimately, you have to trust that God is bigger than your former spouse's influence. Remind yourself that God watches over your children 24/7.


Long-Distance Visitation

How to make traveling smoother for you and your child

When parents live in two different locations, it makes visitation arrangements more complicated. It's never easy to put children on a plane alone. They may be nervous about flying, and you may be uncomfortable with potential dangers. There's also the time apart — both parent and child will miss each other. Here are some tips that will help you and your children through the experience:

Be prepared. Give yourself extra time beyond what you typically need for a flight. If your child is a minor, there is additional paperwork and expense involved. Make sure you investigate the airline's Web site so you know what to expect.

Escort your child. Ask the airline if you can escort your child to the gate. They will not let you board the plane and settle your child into his seat, but walking him to the gate will ease anxiety for him and for you. If you have an older child, ask if he prefers to board unattended. (as long as your child is over 14).

Create traditions. Make a family tradition out of departure week. Take your child on a date, enjoy a special meal together or purchase a book or card game for the plane ride. Consider packing a special mystery bag that he can open once he boards the plane.

Stay. Stick around after your child boards the plane. There may be a delay, and you want to be there if passengers end up being escorted off.

Communicate. Use creative ways to stay in touch with your child. Consider mailing a letter a few days before your child leaves, so it's there when she arrives at the other parent's house. In the note, encourage the relationship with the other parent, wish your child a wonderful visit and let her know you'll be praying for her. Text message or e-mail a love note after a few days, or put a couple of special songs on his iPod. Keep a balance though. You want to let your child know you care, but you also want him to fully engage with the other parent. Don't over-communicate.

Be available. If your child does need to talk, suggest she try the other parent first, but also ensure her that you are available to be a listening ear.

Arrive early. When your child returns, again give yourself extra time to get to the airport. Most airlines will give you a gate pass (even for older children) if you visit the check-in counter. Be at the gate with a welcome sign and a big smile. Your child needs to know that she was missed.

Listen. Give your child permission to share all the highlights of his visit. Make eye contact, smile, nod your head and share his joy. He needs to know that it's OK to have fun with the other parent. As you engage, you'll find your child will open up willingly about his adventures. If you express disinterest or sadness over his joy, he will learn to hide that part of his life from you.


Visitation Violations

Tips on handling visitation problems

In our years of legal work for divorced and never-married couples, we've found that miscommunication is the main reason custodial parents withhold visitation. Many times the parties disagree over when contact was to occur. You can solve these problems by simply improving the way you exchange information:

Create a calendar. Charting a contact calendar for the entire year will help keep exchanges clear. Although parents should remain flexible when their schedules or their children's needs dictate, firm contact dates will help. Even if you disagree over setting up the calendar, at least you can address issues in advance, rather than waiting for problems to arise.

Comply with the decree. Besides improving communication, noncustodial parents should make every effort to fully comply with their divorce decrees. Though some people believe that bad behavior by one parent warrants retaliation, the courts disagree. Noncompliance pushes you further away from one of your key goals: protecting the fragile co-parenting relationship.

Examine yourself. Look first to your own behavior. If you have done something that requires forgiveness, rejoice. Now you have a great entrée for a conversation with your ex. For example, you might say, "I'm sorry for being late to my last weekend pickup. That must frustrate you and make the kids feel anxious. I've talked to my boss about the problem, and I should be able to show up by 5 o'clock from now on."

Owning your mistakes will allow your ex-spouse to do the same, opening the door to better communication.

Choose not to lash out. What if you're not at fault? Perhaps you were denied contact on Father's Day because your ex took an unplanned out-of-town trip with the kids. You may think, Fine, next year she won't get Mother's Day or There goes her Fourth of July party. But this "eye for an eye" mentality will get you nowhere in negotiations with your ex-spouse or in the courtroom. Though you may feel tempted to lash out, smart single parents gently confront or turn the other cheek.

Offer options. Noncustodial parents can get more cooperation on visitation by offering their exes multiple options. You can say, "I have several ideas that might help with the Friday pickup, but I need your input on what might work best. I could send my mother to get the boys, we could move the pickup time to a later hour, or you can drop the kids off at my office. What do you think?" By giving your ex power in the decision-making process, you improve your chances for smooth transfers.

Help your child. Not all visitation problems involve the custodial parent. Sometimes a child will refuse to see the noncustodial parent, making it difficult for either parent to comply with court orders. If talking with the child doesn't improve matters, take him to a psychologist or counselor. In choosing a professional, ask how much experience she has with divorce and co-parenting cases and whether she appears on your insurance provider list. Both parents should agree on the person selected. For the names of Christian counselors in your area, call the Focus on the Family Counseling department at 719-531-3400, ext. 7700.

Three Allies and 13 Ideas

If your visitation problems persist, some outside assistance may help:

Use a mediator. Many divorce decrees now require mediation before allowing court action. And even if yours doesn't, many judges appreciate the use of this less costly and less confrontational option.

A mediator helps parties clarify issues, communicate effectively and find solutions. He does not have the authority to tell the parents what to do. Nonetheless, he can provide a safe forum for the exchange of ideas and help feuding parents deal with their most common problem: miscommunication. A typical mediation lasts only a few hours and often brings about positive results. A court case usually costs many times more than mediation.

To find a mediator, talk with friends who have used mediation or your lawyer or counselor. As with the selection of a counselor, both parents should agree on the choice of the mediator.

Pursue a parenting coordinator. Like a mediator, a parenting coordinator uses mediation skills in an attempt to clarify concerns and seek solutions. Unlike a mediator, if parents can't agree, in some states this person can make a legally binding decision that both parties must honor. Tiebreaker decisions typically deal only with fairly minor matters, such as where or when to pick up a child or what activities a child should attend. The best bet for you and your ex is to ask your attorneys to recommend some parenting coordinators in your area.

Legal recourse. If all else fails, you can ask your attorney to prepare a court action. The court will often appoint a special master or co-parenting arbitrator to make recommendations on your case subject to the court's approval. Parents with ongoing conflicts may choose to submit their differences to this person.

While a lawyer can help you get a final, enforceable decision, many single parents want more time-sensitive and cost-effective remedies. By the time a judge makes a ruling on your case, the visitation event you sued over could be long past. Moreover, the minimum retainer for an attorney can run to several thousand dollars. As a result, only engage in a courtroom battle as a last resort.

A few general rules: Regardless of what tack you take, a few general rules on visitation apply to all situations. We suggest the following ways to improve your chances for a peaceful resolution to your post-marital problems:

  • Refuse opportunities for revenge.
  • Let your dealings with everyone be nonjudgmental.
  • Maintain honesty in your communication.
  • Show sensitivity to the feelings of others, even if those feelings seem silly.
  • Set reasonable goals.
  • Determine the best way to talk with your ex, then start doing it.
  • Take another look at your positions on issues, even if you have a legal contract on your side. Nothing prevents you from being more generous and flexible than the law requires.
  • Put yourself in the other person's shoes.
  • Don't assume the worst in anyone.
  • Understand you can win the battle and lose the war.
  • Realize you pay a high price for control.
  • Approach problems positively.
  • Focus on the future, not the past.

Though noncustodial parents may never get rid of verbal shoot-outs over visitation, you can make sure the battles don't draw blood. Clear communication, shared decision making, biblical conflict resolution and support from trained professionals can keep you out of expensive — and often counterproductive — legal actions. As attorneys and former single parents who have seen both sides of the issue, take our advice: An hour spent with your ex over coffee is worth 50 in the courtroom.


Explaining Parental Disinterest

What do you do when the other parent doesn't show interest in your child?

What do you tell your child when the other parent shows no interest in him? The answer depends on the age of the child and whether the child was inquiring. If the child is young and wants to know "Why?" look for the least painful truth.

When the child asks

Here are some reasons that fathers (and occasionally mothers) don't make contact with their children. The parent may simply be selfish and irresponsible. In that case, a parent could say, "You are the best child a parent could ask for. It's not your fault! Daddy (or Mommy) isn't thinking too clearly right now. He's lost his way for a while, but later, when he finds it again, he'll want to see you more."

In some cases, parents are mentally ill. They may have broken under the pressure of the divorce. If that's the case, say, "Mommy (or Daddy) is sick in a special way that makes her unable to think right. Let's hope she gets better soon. When she does, she'll want to see you more!"

When the child doesn't ask

If a child didn't ask, but I sensed that a parent's absence was troubling him, I would ask how he's feeling about it. If he says, "I feel bad," I would say, "That's the way I feel too. I'm sorry you're hurting." Then I would hug him. After allowing him to say all he wants, I might share some of the previous statements. Then I ask him why he thinks the other parent isn't coming around more.

It is tricky, but you still want to avoid criticizing the other parent while still conveying that the child is lovable, and that the problem is not his fault. You will need to sharpen your diplomatic skills!

When the child is 12 or older

For an older kid, ask him about his feelings and then simply listen. Give him permission to feel, then suggest he write his feelings in a letter and send them to the neglectful parent. It may solicit a positive response. Or, sad as it is, you may verify that there isn't much feeling there for the child.

If there is little affection evident, then you'll have to deal with the consequential pain. Most of us spend a lifetime trying to verify, one way or the other, that our parents love us. You may have to say things like "Your father just doesn't have it in him. It's not you — it's everybody. He just doesn't know how to love."

Stay away from ugly language. But if the child uses it (except for profanity), permit it for a while. Then encourage him to forgive the neglectful parent. Just don't force the forgiveness issue on him immediately. He will have to get over his anger first, and that may take a while, as you well know. Be patient.


Exploring Possible Abuse

What if you suspect abuse?

It can be terrifying if you suspect abuse at your ex's home. Here are some steps to navigate what is a very delicate situation:

Contact a lawyer. If you have a lawyer, call him and get some legal advice. If you don't have an attorney, find a good one. Local child protection agencies may react differently to abuse accusations from one state to another. Your lawyer will know your local situation.

Be certain. Proving child abuse is no simple matter. Consider this possibility: Suppose your children do show evidence of abuse, but will not, for their own reasons, incriminate your ex. You may become suspect! If so, your children will be removed from your home until the culprit can be determined. Many times ex-spouses are accused unjustly during custody battles. Judges are at a loss to do anything unless they have hard evidence.

Be prepared to prove your suspicions. If you try and fail the first time, proof will become more and more difficult to get in the future. You cannot withhold visitation when the court has established it. So whatever you do, don't refuse to let the children visit your ex, or you may be found in contempt. These are the reasons you call your lawyer the instant you suspect abuse.

When you are certain: If you can prove abuse, move as quickly as possible to prevent it from happening again. You might even want to call your local child protection agency yourself. Do not be surprised if your claims are met with some initial skepticism. Agencies get this kind of accusation often from vindictive ex-spouses. Don't give up though — your children's best interests are at heart.

GotQuestions: "In light of Romans 13, when is it right to rebel against a dictator?"

Rebelling against a dictator?

 

In light of Romans 13, when is it right to rebel against a dictator?

10 Comments »

  1. Comment by ceseeley

    When they try to defile one’s Holy Temple!

  2. Comment by Grandpa EC

    Recognizing that many devout and highly esteemed brothers and sisters will disagree with me very strongly: —
    – I wish to go on record as stating that my studies of the life and teachings of Jesus, and of the lives and teachings of His apostles (including Romans 13)–all of whom lived and labored under corrupt regimes–offer no encouragement to Christians for becoming involved in what is going on in the streets of Cairo.

  3. Comment by Anonymous

    I agree with Grandpa EC. Jesus said to “render unto Ceasar what is his…” The rioting in Cairo has now gone the way of most political disenchantment to looting and stealing from innocent people. We might rebel against abortion or other issues that are anti-Biblical, but when it comes to the ordinary things of government like taxes, we are to comply.

    God warned mankind when it demanded a human government instead of a theocracy what would happen in 1SAM 8:11-16. The king would take your sons and daughters for his military service, his palace service; he would take their produce and money for taxes to support the government and mankind has gotten what they wanted ever since! LOL!!
    MARANATHA

  4. Comment by Debbie

    I am having issues with posting. Help me Jesus! Anyway, I agree with Grandpa EC. The rioting in Cairo has gone from a political platform to the point where people are looting and stealing from innocent folks. Jesus always advocated “rendering unto Ceasar what is his.” That seems to mean worldly things. I don’t think He meant for us to give God’s glory to man. Rebelling against abortion might be called for, but not at the expense of taking another’s life in the process. Paul declares in ROM 13:7; “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” He does not say to honor a dishonorable man or to fear a man who is ungodly and not God fearing.

    Yahweh warned manking in 1SAM 8:11-16 what would happen when they abolished theocracy in favor of human government. The king would take their sons to serve him in his military and their daughters as his servants in his household. He would take their hard earned things in order to pay for the government. Mankind has gotten what it asked for ever since. LOL!!

    The basic responsibility of human government is to enforce God’s moral code upon the sin nature of man in order to restrain the expression of violence in human society and to preserve human life during this era when Satan rules the world. We have gone way beyond that context….
    MARANATHA

  5. Comment by Michael James Stone

    Well, the “temple” of a persons body was in jeopardy with Lot and God didn’t send the Angels in to overthrow the regimes of the Kings of Sodom, but after Abraham interceded, saved Lot.
    (maybe we should intercede like Abraham)

    The Temple of God in Israel was technically the “house of God” and the zeal of the Lord was enough to drive out moneychangers, but not overthrow the ruling religious class that sanctioned it.

    The Son of God was “big enough” and important enough that Jesus himself said to Pilate you don’t have Authority EXCEPT THAT GOD GAVE IT TO YOU…., and if it was matter of power, I could be free in a heartbeat, I can just say God help me and God would send angels to wipe out….

    The First, Second, and Third Century church is describes as LAW ABIDING and NON COMBATIVE focused on an unseen kingdom.

    Only the “Militant” church, when combined with political agendas as in a large part of the Catholic structure, did “overthrowing anything come into play and that led to “Inquistions” “Crusades” Pogroms and a real distaste by some for anything Christian.

    BUT I agree with my learned Grandpa poster above:

    It is obvious what Jesus said, it is also what what people do. If you are a modern Fundy GUNDY lets run for office if Jesus Name kinda guy, or God give me the ability the KIll my Enemies for you Jesus, then Yes, as most will do, they will reject the fact that two old men can see the facts from the fallacies and sure enough as I am writing this “invent” an interpretation that fits what they want to do.

    Or DUCK the issue and make it a discussion on an off topic.

    The problem is everyone is willing to be abundantly Blessed to be a Christian, perfectly content to “Live for Jesus as they see fit and given God the Glory….,

    But how many are willing to suffer, and die, and put up with this statement:
    Matthew 5:43-48 (King James Version)

    43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

    44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

    46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

    47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

    48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    Oh yeah, that means it’s an allegory, or an idea or a “theme” except that the end of the conversation He warned about those who would and would NOT DO these sayings of His.

    Yes, there is every excuse for action and revolt, but very little room for a Christian to Trust in the Lord with all their heart, Leaning not into their own understanding, In all their ways acknowledging Him AND HE DIRECTING YOUR PATH.

    The impersonal are recognized by the personal or impersonal response.

    Just How personal is your God and what is He telling you to do. If it is to overthrow a government in “some cases” then YOUR GOD is a like all the other gods of men with the same results at their gods.

    But as for me, and My Lord, before He came I would have taken up a sword, before He spoke I would have waked a righteous cause, but since he came, and since he spoke and since he directs to me today…No I won’t be overthrowing any governments by obvious means.

    Because I care, i will take it to Prayer and leave it there.

  6. Comment by Erik N

    Yep I agree – we are to submit to authorities unless it specifically clashes with Christianity. One reason to not submit would be if they told you to deny your faith… Another might be they tell you to kill others, or steal. Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, so we are to love everyone equally – the good, the bad, the ugly… Therefor in Egypt I’d say it’s fine to disagree with a dictator but killing or destroying isn’t what Christ would do. “Those who live by the sword, die by the sword”

  7. Comment by Michael James Stone

    Why did my post get pulled?

  8. Comment by Michael James Stone

    ERRR, OOOPS

  9. Comment by alvin

    Romans 13: 3 “rulers are not a terror to good works”.
    is this a scriptural definition of a ruler? If a ruler does not fulfill this quality, have they given up their right to rule?
    (i am going to stick to questions this time.)
    v. 1 states that “the powers that exist are ordained of God”
    Daniel 5 reveals the divine handwriting of judgement to an evil king of his day, and the chapter ends, “in that night Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans was slain, and Darius the Mede took the kingdom, who was about 62 years old.”
    are we too quick to force a neccessary turn over of power?

    are we too unbelieving in the power of prayer alone?

    i was just musing a week ago on what the usa would be like today, if the north had let the south separate instead of fighting the civil war? too many variables to really know aren’t there?
    then i remembered that the south militarily attacked the north first, and almost took the nations capitol early in that war.

    in the current egypt situation, is the president of egypt the worst leader who has ever held office? are his possible replacements going to be better or worse?
    And is the egyptian decision primarily up to egypt, and not leaders of other countries? God did say in Habakkuk 1:6 “i raise up the bitter and hasty Chaldean nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land to possess dwellingplaces not their own.”( as judgment to Israel at that time)?
    what is the responsibility of powerful nations in the affairs of weaker nations? do we have a right to tell others how to run their lives?
    on the other side, do we have a moral responsibility to help any country where we have opportunity to bring change and encourage a good end result?
    i think those who teach peace are often right, but i wonder when they are, and when they are not….
    us americans, are we too proud?

  10. Comment by Richard Broch

    Shalom Brothers and Sisters,

    Grandpa EC, Excellent post, very well put.

    Peter gives us our marching orders in Acts 4:18-20,”(18)And they called them, and commanded not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.(19)But Peter and John answered and said unto them, “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than God, judge ye.(20)For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
    So, when civil authority interferes with our relationship with Almighty God, we will obey Him.

    Otherwise, Christians should be model citizens in this world according to Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2.(And sometimes that`s a real challenge).

    Grace and Peace.

My Answer: " Using Your Christian Citizenship"

Using Your Christian Citizenship

Don't you think that Christians should stay out of politics? Doesn't the Bible warn us "not to be entangled again with the yoke of bondage?"

I certainly do not think that Christians should be disinterested in the affairs of our government. Christ said: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God, the things that are God's."

   Nothing would please the racketeers, gangsters, and the underworld more than for all church people to stay away from the polls and to be uninformed about the goings on in Washington.

   I would urge every Christian to vote and to show a keen interest in the politics of his community. I would even encourage him, if he felt so called, to take an active part in politics and to crusade for clean, honest, and upright handling of community affairs through good government.

   The cliche "Politics is dirty" is plainly untrue. I know men who are in government who have high principles, fine motives, and unquestioned integrity. They have dedicated themselves to a life of public service because they sincerely want to serve their fellow men. While it is true that politics seem to attract some men of questionable principle, that fact makes it all the more imperative that good people everywhere cast their vote for the best candidates.

Should a Christian participate in defense measures of war involving the use of weapons, considering that his purpose is to kill other children of God?

First of all, the purpose of war is not to kill other children of God. If they are killed through the ravages of war, it is because they are members of a warring society and incidentally Christians. If war has any good purpose, it is to settle the differences that men think cannot be settled by peaceful means. It is certainly not the Christian way of settling either individual or global problems.

   On the other hand, we must accept our responsibility as citizens. A man may protest against war and criticize his government for becoming involved in war, but as a citizen, accepting the privileges and benefits of any government, he must also accept certain responsibilities. If we are in entire disagreement with our government, we can always elect to take our citizenship elsewhere. John the Baptist said one time when soldiers inquired of him concerning their duty: "Extort from no man by violence, neither accuse any one wrongfully; and be content with your wages." But he did not tell them that they must cease being soldiers.

   A Christian would find it hard to be a loyal citizen in a nation that promoted warfare. We can thank God that we are part of a nation that seeks to solve all problems by peaceful means.

Recently I heard a preacher, while referring to politics during a sermon, make the statement that corrupt conditions in politics is the reason he has never registered or voted. Don't you think that Christians should vote?

Personally, I don't think people who are not even interested enough in what is going on in our country to register or vote are qualified to speak authoritatively on government. I know a great number of fine, upstanding Christian statesmen. Perhaps there are some who are unethical and ulterior in their motives. That gives even more reason why every Christian should vote. The ballot is part of our great American heritage and freedom. It is our only means of keeping government clean and proper. I think that it is not only the right, but the duty of every American to use his franchise, prayerfully and thoughtfully.

   Russia is an example of a country which was indifferent to corrupt politics, and when the Communists took over, they destroyed the partisan system, and subsequently, the right of free franchise. Let us hope that the indifference of our people toward the importance of voting will not lead to a similar situation in the years to come.

In the last war my husband was killed by the Nazi troops. I have not been able to overcome my hatred for Germans since then and I resent the financial aid we give them. What is the answer to such a problem?

First you must recognize that there is a difference between troop actions in wartime and personal actions in peacetime. Back of German military operations was a machine that must be held responsible. There are some wonderful people among the Germans and we must not allow such feeling to jeopardize a possible friendship with a great nation. Second, there is the more personal problem of hatred that is directly related to a lack of spiritual adjustment. In our times we are constantly reminded of maladjusted people but we seldom hear of a maladjustment to God. This is what lies at the base of all hatred, jealousy, envy, deceit, and passion. I think you have both an intellectual and a spiritual problem. If you treat them both and settle each on its own merit, you will find that you will have a genuine respect and love for this people. They have given to the world some of its great leaders in religion, technology, and politics. Let us have a sympathetic understanding that will bring about co-operation. Let us also be certain of our proper relationship to God through an active faith in Christ.

I live in the suburb of a Northern city. A Negro family bought a house in our area. This has created a great deal of discussion, and tension. Having spent several winters on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I find there is as much racial prejudice in the North as there is in the South. What can we Christians do about it?

I think Christ was quite definite as to the position that every true Christian should take. He said: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." We must approach our racial problems with love, tolerance, and a spirit of give and take, no matter what the conditions. There is no excuse for any Christian to participate in acts of violence against a person because of race. The Scripture says in Proverbs 10:12: "Hatred stirreth up strifes, but love covereth all sins." Again the Scripture says in I John 2:9: "He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother is in darkness even until now." A true Christian will have love, tenderness, compassion, and understanding when he approaches this problem that threatens to divide the country.

Do you think the church ought to concern itself with politics, or should it confine itself entirely to a spiritual ministry?

This is one of those questions to which the answer is: It all depends on what you mean by a word. Here, of course, the critical word is the word "politics."

   If we use the word to denote what is usually called party politics, then clearly the church ought not to interfere in such matters. It is not the business of the church to judge the merits of rival systems or programs of government — unless any such system or program flagrantly disregards God's commandments. Still less is it the church's business to identify itself with any one political party, as though that were the only "Christian" party.

   But the word politics has a much wider and worthier meaning than that which we have so far attached to it. It really has reference to the community life of a town or city — and with this, needless to say, Christianity is very deeply concerned.

   Christianity is a personal and also a social religion. Part of its "spiritual ministry" is to bring men into a right relationship with one another as well as with God. And the church is not preaching the whole Gospel unless it emphasizes social righteousness in addition to proclaiming personal salvation.

   The common life of humanity is part of the church's concern because it is part of God's concern; and in these days, especially, it is important that men should be reminded that all life — political, social, economic, and industrial — must be subject to the eternal laws of God.

Don't you think the Christian church should take a more aggressive and positive stand with respect to the great problems of our day, such as the outlawing of the atomic bomb experiments?

The church has a very specific assignment, and that assignment is to teach the Gospel to every creature. I do not believe that a clear-thinking Christian is in favor of the advancement of the use of weapons that can annihilate the human race. In fact, the Christian church is committed to the propagation of peace. However, we must be careful not to impose Christian ethics and principles on people who have never yielded to the Gospel message. Although they are bound to feel the impact of the conversion of multitudes of people, yet society itself can never be renovated and renewed until every individual comes under the influence of the Gospel of Christ. You can be sure that if this took place that no use would be made of these terrible weapons of destruction. As it is, we can only hope that wicked men will refrain from the use of such weapons and give us the blessing and privilege of a world that is at peace.

   As long as there are gangsters in a community there is need for a police force. Unfortunately, there are also international gangsters.

   The peace Christ promised was actually individual peace. He indicated that "international peace" would come only when He had set up His Kingdom.

Why don't you preachers talk more about social reforms? It seems to me that you are floating around on a cloud, when you ought to get down to earth and help solve the big problems of the day.

Jesus was one of the greatest social reformers, but He accomplished it by transforming the individual. He was not a revolutionist, He was the Redeemer; but by redeeming the individual personality, He brought about many social reforms. The abolition of slavery, the dignity of womanhood, our modern system of civil justice, and many other gains in human progress can be traced to Christian influence.

   When our thinking is wrong concerning God, our thinking becomes warped about our fellow men. We believe that the best way to improve the social order is to improve the nature of man through the redemption of Christ.

   Lyman Abbott was a famous preacher and advocate of social reform at the close of the last century. In his letter of resignation as pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, Brooklyn, in 1899 he said: "I see that what I had once hoped might be done for my fellows through schemes of social reform and philanthropy can only be done by the influence of Jesus Christ. There is no dynamo in reform save the Cross of Jesus Christ."

EveryDay Answers: Stressed Out? Listen Up!

Everyday Answers

Stressed Out? Listen Up!
by Joyce Meyer
I’ve learned something in my own pursuit of a stress-free life: If I want peace rather than the pressure of stress in my life, I must choose to seek direction from God in every situation. Our God is a God of peace. He’ll always lead us toward peace and joy, not anxiety and frustration. Therefore, we have to be listening for His voice. By following His voice, we can find peace and overcome the stress that so many are dealing with today. 

To find peace in our lives, we simply need to obey the promptings God gives us each day. A prompting is a “knowing” deep down on the inside, telling us what to do. First Kings 19:11,12 refers to this knowing as a still, small voice. A prompting isn’t a whack on the head with a hammer! In 1 Kings, the Lord didn’t use the great and strong wind, the earthquake or fire to prompt Elijah. His voice came to Elijah asa sound of gentle stillness and a still, small voice. A prompting doesn’t even have to be a voice at all. In fact, God often gives direction by speaking to your heart rather than to your ears. 

Since a prompting is very gentle, some might question whether or not it’s from God. When you’re unsure about a prompting, it’s often easy to ignore it. One time after I had been shopping at the mall for three or four hours, I sensed that God was saying, “You need to go home now.” I had only purchased half of the eight items on my shopping list, so I ignored the prompting and kept on shopping. 

The remaining items on my list weren’t immediate needs. But, like many determined, goal-oriented people, I wasn’t about to leave that mall until I purchased every item on my list. I had come for eight items, and I was going to leave with eight items! I didn’t care if I had to be dragged out of that mall; I wasn’t leaving until every item was crossed off my list! And I wasn’t going to listen to any voice that said otherwise. 

I remember reaching the point of being so tired and upset that I wasn’t able to think clearly. All I wanted to do was finish shopping and get out of there. It was almost more than I could do to remain civil to the other shoppers and clerks in the store. I was stressed out! 

Looking back, I can’t remember how many times I’ve done that—stress out because I’ve pushed beyond the prompting of the Lord. I can always tell I’ve gone too far when I’m not able to practice even the most basic manners—politeness, kindness and self-control. If I simply had obeyed the prompting of the Lord when I heard that still, small voice telling me to go home, I would’ve easily relieved the stress from the situation. Instead, I pushed my way through in my own determination to achieve my goal, and I ended up bringing stress on myself and everyone around me. 

If we’ll simply learn to listen to God and do what He says, we’ll discover that things will go well for us. No matter what the situation, we need to listen to God and obey His voice. Proverbs 3:6 states: In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. You may not understand the reasons that God is asking you to do certain things, but as you listen to His voice and obey His direction, you can experience a peaceful calmness as your stress level begins to decrease. So listen up…and de-stress! 

EveryDay Answers: Stressed Out? Listen Up!

Everyday Answers

Stressed Out? Listen Up!
by Joyce Meyer
I’ve learned something in my own pursuit of a stress-free life: If I want peace rather than the pressure of stress in my life, I must choose to seek direction from God in every situation. Our God is a God of peace. He’ll always lead us toward peace and joy, not anxiety and frustration. Therefore, we have to be listening for His voice. By following His voice, we can find peace and overcome the stress that so many are dealing with today. 

To find peace in our lives, we simply need to obey the promptings God gives us each day. A prompting is a “knowing” deep down on the inside, telling us what to do. First Kings 19:11,12 refers to this knowing as a still, small voice. A prompting isn’t a whack on the head with a hammer! In 1 Kings, the Lord didn’t use the great and strong wind, the earthquake or fire to prompt Elijah. His voice came to Elijah asa sound of gentle stillness and a still, small voice. A prompting doesn’t even have to be a voice at all. In fact, God often gives direction by speaking to your heart rather than to your ears. 

Since a prompting is very gentle, some might question whether or not it’s from God. When you’re unsure about a prompting, it’s often easy to ignore it. One time after I had been shopping at the mall for three or four hours, I sensed that God was saying, “You need to go home now.” I had only purchased half of the eight items on my shopping list, so I ignored the prompting and kept on shopping. 

The remaining items on my list weren’t immediate needs. But, like many determined, goal-oriented people, I wasn’t about to leave that mall until I purchased every item on my list. I had come for eight items, and I was going to leave with eight items! I didn’t care if I had to be dragged out of that mall; I wasn’t leaving until every item was crossed off my list! And I wasn’t going to listen to any voice that said otherwise. 

I remember reaching the point of being so tired and upset that I wasn’t able to think clearly. All I wanted to do was finish shopping and get out of there. It was almost more than I could do to remain civil to the other shoppers and clerks in the store. I was stressed out! 

Looking back, I can’t remember how many times I’ve done that—stress out because I’ve pushed beyond the prompting of the Lord. I can always tell I’ve gone too far when I’m not able to practice even the most basic manners—politeness, kindness and self-control. If I simply had obeyed the prompting of the Lord when I heard that still, small voice telling me to go home, I would’ve easily relieved the stress from the situation. Instead, I pushed my way through in my own determination to achieve my goal, and I ended up bringing stress on myself and everyone around me. 

If we’ll simply learn to listen to God and do what He says, we’ll discover that things will go well for us. No matter what the situation, we need to listen to God and obey His voice. Proverbs 3:6 states: In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. You may not understand the reasons that God is asking you to do certain things, but as you listen to His voice and obey His direction, you can experience a peaceful calmness as your stress level begins to decrease. So listen up…and de-stress! 

DailyComic: The Choice Pt6

DailyComic: The Choice Pt5

DailyComic: The Choice Pt4

DailyComic: The Choice Pt3

DailyComic: The Choice Pt3

DailyComic: The Choice Pt2

DailyComic: The Choice Pt1

DailyComic: The Choice Pt1

Daily reading for Tuesday February 1, 2011: Exodus 27-28, Matthew 21:1-22(King James Version)

Daily reading for Tuesday February 1, 2011

Exodus 27-28, Matthew 21:1-22(King James Version)

Exodus 27

   1And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.

   2And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass.

   3And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass.

   4And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brasen rings in the four corners thereof.

   5And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar.

   6And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass.

   7And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it.

   8Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was shewed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.

   9And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side:

   10And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver.

   11And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings of an hundred cubits long, and his twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver.

   12And for the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits: their pillars ten, and their sockets ten.

   13And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits.

   14The hangings of one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three.

   15And on the other side shall be hangings fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three.

   16And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four.

   17All the pillars round about the court shall be filleted with silver; their hooks shall be of silver, and their sockets of brass.

   18The length of the court shall be an hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass.

   19All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass.

   20And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.

   21In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.

Exodus 28

   1And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons.

   2And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.

   3And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.

   4And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.

   5And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.

   6And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.

   7It shall have the two shoulderpieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof; and so it shall be joined together.

   8And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.

   9And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:

   10Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth.

   11With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold.

   12And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.

   13And thou shalt make ouches of gold;

   14And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches.

   15And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.

   16Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.

   17And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.

   18And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.

   19And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.

   20And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.

   21And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.

   22And thou shalt make upon the breastplate chains at the ends of wreathen work of pure gold.

   23And thou shalt make upon the breastplate two rings of gold, and shalt put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate.

   24And thou shalt put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastplate.

   25And the other two ends of the two wreathen chains thou shalt fasten in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod before it.

   26And thou shalt make two rings of gold, and thou shalt put them upon the two ends of the breastplate in the border thereof, which is in the side of the ephod inward.

   27And two other rings of gold thou shalt make, and shalt put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath, toward the forepart thereof, over against the other coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod.

   28And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod.

   29And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.

   30And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

   31And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue.

   32And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.

   33And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about:

   34A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.

   35And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not.

   36And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.

   37And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.

   38And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

   39And thou shalt embroider the coat of fine linen, and thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen, and thou shalt make the girdle of needlework.

   40And for Aaron's sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty.

   41And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office.

   42And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

   43And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.


Matthew 21

   1And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,

   2Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.

   3And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.

   4All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,

   5Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

   6And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,

   7And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.

   8And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

   9And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

   10And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

   11And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

   12And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

   13And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

   14And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

   15And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,

   16And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

   17And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

   18Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.

   19And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

   20And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

   21Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

   22And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

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