Hero Worship: AKA Obama Mania

A View from the Nest

Random Ramblings from the Resident Raptor
Insight from the Journey across the Sky
By Allen Scott

President Barack Obama’s popularity overwhelms that of Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa, according to a new poll that shows Obama as the person Americans named as their hero.

American adults (age 18 and over) spontaneously named President Obama as the person they admire enough to call their hero in a Harris Poll that did not provide a list for respondents to choose from.

The Harris Poll, released on Thursday, was conducted on 2,634 U.S. adults between Jan. 12 to 19, 2009 – just ahead of President Obama’s inauguration

 

“The fact that President Obama is mentioned more often than Jesus Christ, should not be misinterpreted,” The Harris Poll clarified in its report. “No list was used and nobody was asked to choose between them.

Following Barack Obama, the next most popular, personal heroes are Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, John McCain, John F. Kennedy, Chesley Sullenberger, and Mother Teresa, respectively, to round out the top 10 people Americans say they admire and would call their hero.

In the top 20 list, God held the No. 11 spot while evangelist Billy Graham tied with former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for the 13th slot.

Respondents gave multiple reasons for their choice of heroes, including: doing what’s right regardless of personal consequences (89 percent); not giving up until the goal is accomplished (83 percent); doing more than what other people expect of them (82 percent); overcoming adversity (81 percent); and staying level-headed in a crisis (81 percent).

Only 14 percent of Americans said they admire either their mother or father enough to call them their hero. In contrast, nearly half (49 percent) said a public figure is someone they admire and consider a personal hero

By Michelle A. Vu

 

Christian Post Reporter

And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only. Mark 9:7-8

Peter, James, and John had their own chance for hero worship. One day Jesus led them up a high mountain to a place where they would be set apart by themselves. While there on the mountaintop, Jesus was met by Elijah and Moses who talked with Jesus a while. Jesus was transfigured before their very eyes. They watched Jesus’ garments become whiter than even Clorox bleach could whiten. Peter being ever impetuous, wanted to build huts for Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. While contemplating the idea of building these huts, a cloud overshadowed them and a voice cried from heaven saying; “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.” When the cloud had lifted only Jesus remained.

 

One Solitary Life

Herein lies the basis for a Christian’s belief in God. Although taught by the prophets and lawgivers of old, it wasn’t until the arrival of Jesus on the scene, that all those ancient prophecies and stories took on fuller meaning. The only thing that sets our faith apart from the religions of the world is one solitary life, the life of Jesus Christ.

All religions have their laws and lawgivers. All religions have their prophets and holy men, but only Christianity has Jesus Christ. Some religions allude to Jesus as just another prophet. Thus this mountaintop experience set Jesus apart from both the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah) when the voice was heard from heaven saying “this is my beloved Son listen to Him”.

Peter, like many of us, wanted to honor all three men equally by building huts for them all. He wanted to show his appreciation and respect for these three men of God. He saw Jesus in the company of Moses and Elijah and viewed them equally. As a Jewish male, raised on the law and prophets, he grew to appreciate the history of Israel and to respect the great men of faith like Moses, Abraham, Aaron, and Elijah. Although Jesus continually called himself the “Son of God”, until this time, I am not sure the three men actually understood the importance of Jesus’ life and ministry. He was just considered a great man, or a prophet. Although Peter had alluded to Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” in Matthew 16:16, I still do not think the fullness of that revelation had registered with him.

Even though transfigured before their very eyes and shining with the glory of heaven, it wasn’t until after Jesus’ resurrection that Peter, James and John fully understood the whole purpose of Christ’s coming. They had heard the stories of Moses’ face shining with the Glory of God when he descended from Mount Sinai, in Exodus 34, therefore the fact that Jesus also shone with the brightness of God’s glory was not really anything new. And then having Moses and Elijah there with Jesus, made it seem like a reunion. Peter, James and John, may have thought of themselves as special in some way, to have been invited to this gathering of by-gone saints.

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Clear Skies on a Cloudy Day

 

clip_image002A View from the Nest

 

Random Ramblings from the Resident Raptor

Insight from the Journey across the Sky

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

God made the {constellations} Pleiades and Orion. He turns deep darkness into dawn. He turns day into night. He calls for water from the sea to pour it over the face of the earth. His name is the Lord. Amos 5:8

He made {the constellations} Ursa Major, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the clusters of stars in the south. Job 9:9

The Big Dipper
Image via Wikipedia

It was a beautiful evening for a walk. The sky was crystal clear. There was a winter nip in the air that brushed my cheeks as I walked bare-faced in the cold night air. With very few lights to distract from the evening sky, I could clearly see the astronomical constellations on display over my head. I paused for a few moments awestruck by the vastness of the evening sky. I searched the sky for the familiar images of the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor which respectively contain the familiar Big and Little Dipper star clusters.

 

Although not as big as it’s nearby cousin, the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper contains Polaris, the North Star, the brightest in the formation. Residing roughly over the North Pole, Polaris became a reliable navigational tool for slaves, fleeing the south for freedom in Canada. Although uneducated, from the time they were very little, slave children learned how to navigate north by the stars. The Big Dipper, being a circumpolar constellation, remains above the horizon and visible all night long as it rotates around Polaris. In fact it is possible to tell the approximate time of night by observing the position of the Big Dipper. Therefore, Polaris served as a good navigational tool and it could be used to tell time as well.

Not being an astronomer, this about covers my knowledge of the constellations. I too, like the young slave children, grew up familiar with the Big and Little Dippers. The Dippers became constant companions in this journey called life, and I could always depend on their presence in the evening sky.

Things change, times change, our situations change, we grow older, but it is comforting to know that some things never change. Those two constellations stand as a constant reminder to me of the steadfastness of God’s creation. No matter how cloudy a day seems, no matter how confusing a situation may appear, no matter how lost I may find myself, Polaris will still be north, and the Big and Little Dippers will still be flying in the night sky whether visible or not.

Granted there are times when the evening sky will not be clear like it was this evening, but those stars are still there. I may not be able to see them, yet I know, from experience, their presence is a constant in the evening sky. Although I may not be able to see God either, I still know, as well from experience, His constant abiding presence.

1The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

 

2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.

4 Their measuring line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. Psalms 19:1-4

Navigators

know the importance of the stars in guiding ships through darkened seas. Slaves yearning for freedom relied upon the evening sky to point them North. Philosophers and poets, historians and sages, have written about the stars. Folklore and mythology have told stories using the stars. The stars themselves can be used as guides to yet other stars. For me, they just remind me of the constant companionship of Christ and His Holy Spirit. For me the constant of the North Star points me to the center of my life, Jesus Christ. They remind me that no matter how many times the earth may spin on it’s axis, no matter how grey and stormy the skies, these guides remain unchanged and undaunted by the events on earth.

 

Job knew it, Amos knew it, and I know it, the creator of the heavens is in complete control and His love for me is as steadfast as Polaris. God’s love for me is as unmoving and unchanging as the starry sky. His love for me never ceases. Even if the stars fall from the sky, and time is no more, God will still remain faithful, His love will never fade away.

Take time some evening to look up towards the heavens and when you see Polaris shining brightly in the evening sky, thank God for His faithfulness. Let the stars be your guide.

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey

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A Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky: The Story of the Stars, Planets, and Constellations–and How You Can Find Them in the Sky

 

The Stars

Isaac Asimov’s Library of the Universe and Planetarium Platinum

Bushnell Voyager Sky Tour 70mm Reflector Telescope

Prophecies Encoded in the Heavens

Constellation Myths

Journeys to the Edge of Creation Set

Whispers of Angels – A Story of the Underground Railroad

Follow The Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad

Race to Freedom: The Story of the Underground Railroad

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Capitalism: A Bull Market Concept

1Co 9 (GW) Moses’ Teachings say, “Never muzzle an ox when it is threshing grain.” God’s concern isn’t for oxen. 10 Isn’t he speaking entirely for our benefit? This was written for our benefit so that the person who plows or threshes should expect to receive a share of the crop. 1 Corinthians 9:9-10


This is the main force behind capitalism and the free market system of the United States. A man works expecting to get a return on that work. Companies produce products they hope to sell for a profit. Companies, nor individuals would long endure lengthy periods of non-reward. If a company continues to loose revenue in the course of doing business it would cease doing business. If an individual would be forced to continually work for less or nothing at all, it would not take long before that individual gives up and quits working.

Our economy works the same way. It will cease to operate if all profit is removed from the system through heavy taxation or over regulation. If the cost of doing business exceeds the reward of the same, then business will cease, production will dry up and there will be nothing more to tax or regulate. Therefore allow a workman to make a decent wage, allow companies to operate at a profit, do not MUZZLE the ox that is actually producing. After all if you stop production there will be nothing to take and give to anyone. If however you allow producers to produce there will be enough to not only feed the ox that is doing the work but others as well. Keep the ox happy and you live long and prosper. Bull markets are more favorable then bear markets wouldn’t you think?

Think about it next time you pull the lever for more government taxation, oversight, regulation and intervention.

Pay a man what he is worth and stop muzzling the ox that stamps out the grain. Heavy taxation only stifles the workman because he looses hope in a harvest and gives up. Redistribution of wealth robs a man of his willingness to produce. Taking his hard earned fields in order to give it to someone who has not labored is demoralizing. Heavy taxation upon what a man produces will only cause him to find ways to avoid the heavy taxation or completely give up the process altogether.

Government bailouts are not only non-constitutional I feel they are not even biblical. What say you?

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Master Craftsmanship

A View from the Nest

Random Ramblings from the Resident Raptor
Insight from the Journey across the Sky

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)


A US Airways jet departing from La Guardia Airport on January 15 became a flight in distress just moments after takeoff when it struck a flock of geese causing both engines to fail. After the bird strike, the pilot of stricken Flight 1549, initially thought to attempt landing the disabled plane at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, but quickly realized he did not have sufficient height or momentum to make it. Instead, he decided to put the airliner down in the Hudson River.
After what witnesses describe as a “perfect” emergency landing on the water, the jet remained afloat as ferryboats and other watercraft in the vicinity converged on the plane, eventually pulling all 150 passengers and the five crew members to safety. While there were some minor injuries to those on board, some suffering from hypothermia, no one was seriously hurt.
“The raw piloting is commendable, but what’s truly extraordinary is the rapid and professional way the crew went about making these decisions. You’ve only got seconds in order to sort these things out — it’s not like you have time to go through denial,” said William Voss, the president of the Flight Safety Foundation and a former Federal Aviation Administration official. The total flight lasted less than 4 minutes from take off to splash landing.
The next day, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg honored not only the flight crew, but also the many rescuers on the water and in the city who responded to the emergency. “This is a story of heroes, something straight out of a movie script,” Bloomberg said. “But if it had been a movie, people probably wouldn’t have believed it. It was too good to be true.”
The emergency landing, with professional pilot Chester B. “Sully” Sullenberger III at the controls, has been dubbed the “miracle on the Hudson” by news sources. Fifty seven year old pilot Sullenberger spent his professional life becoming an expert in safety. He is a glider pilot, a military pilot, and an airline pilot and has been hailed a hero. It looks like there could hardly have been a better person at the controls.
In the actions of the pilot we see what is possible when a person is trained and disciplined in advance to face the unexpected hour. Lives were saved because a person was prepared.

When King Solomon was having Israel’s first temple built, he employed a craftsman named Hiram to create (or oversee the creation of) many of the beautiful objects and structures in the temple. He was gifted by God with skill, intelligence, and knowledge in working with bronze. Hiram’s ability to create such wonderful objects was only possible because of God-given talent and intelligence, coupled with the knowledge and skill Hiram had gained by practicing his craft. Solomon entrusted this very important work of building the temple into the capable hands of Hiram, who had proven himself to be an expert in his field.
13 King Solomon brought Hiram from Tyre. 14 He was the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze. He was full of wisdom, understanding, and skill to do any kind of work in bronze. So he came to King Solomon and did all his [bronze] work. 1 Kings 7:13-14 (AMP)
The talent and intelligence of the pilot of Flight 1549 was also God-given, while his skill and knowledge of what to do in an emergency were the result of practice and training. Because of his expert training and experience 155 souls were saved.
Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. Proverbs 22:29 (AMP)

Pilot Chester B. Sullenberger III has been flying planes for US AIR since 1980 but on January 15th he became a national legend. Not because of all the flights he had successfully completed but because of the one that crashed landed on the Hudson. It was only after all those years of training were put to the test the we now remember Chester as a hero.
9 For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God’s building. 10 According to the grace (the special endowment for my task) of God bestowed on me, like a skillful architect and master builder I laid [the] foundation, and now another [man] is building upon it. But let each [man] be careful how he builds upon it, 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is [already] laid, which is Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 12 But if anyone builds upon the Foundation, whether it be with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 The work of each [one] will become [plainly, openly] known (shown for what it is); for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done. 1 Corinthians 3:9-13 (AMP)

We are called to labor together with God building up His kingdom here on earth. Are we doing the best we can for the MASTER? Are we striving to hone our skills to master craftsman level? Are we studying and striving to be the best we can be? Are we laboring towards excellence for God? Are we bringing the best we have to the Lord? Are we going to crash and burn on the rocky shoreline or soar to the heights on eagle wings? When trials come are we going to be able to land safely? When tested will others see the calm assurance of a life spent in preparation before God?
We have been gifted with many talents and abilities but it is up to us whether we hone those talents into expert skill.
Do your best to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker who isn’t ashamed to teach the word of truth correctly.2 Timothy 2:15 (GW)
All those on board Flight 1549 have to be thankful that Chester Sullenburger III had taken time to learn his craft well. I pray that we too will be remembered for the labor we have done for the Kingdom of God. I pray that if and when we are tested we too will be heralded as heroes of the faith. Only when tested will our true worth be determined. Only when tried will our true abilities be revealed. I pray that the Lord will say of me one day well done thou good and faithful servant enter into the joy of the Lord.

“The key to life is to become skillful enough
to be able to do rewarding things.” — Jim Rohn

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

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Moderates: Unable to Stand for Anything

Insight for your “Journey across the Sky”
A View from the Nest www.eagleviews.org
Random Ramblings from the Resident Raptor

“`I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. Rev 3:15-16 (RSV)

And Eli’jah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Ba’al, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 1 Kings 18:21 (RSV)

Hot and Cold
Image by Alex Barth via Flickr

A lukewarm individual is always torn between two opinions and unable to come to a conclusive decision on anything. They have to wait until the consensus comes in. Poll takers form their decisions and opinions for them based upon the popular opinions and beliefs of the day. They are ever changing, never able to come to a solid conviction. They do not stand for anything and are easily led astray. A lukewarm individual will usually follow after the path of least resistance which eventually leads to their downfall and destruction.

For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides]. James 1:6-8 (AMP)

When confronted to take a stand for what they believe the lukewarm quickly acquiesce and change their minds and positions so as not to appear inflexible. In doing so they loose themselves in the process, no longer an individual with individual thought, they become assimilated to the crowd. Like the name suggests lukewarm water is a mixture of hot and cold and once mixed you can no longer differentiate between the two sources.

 

Jesus does not want us to be lukewarm individuals for his desire for us is to follow in paths of His righteousness. We are not merely mindless sheep just going in whatever direction we are pushed. That was our state before we had an encounter with Jesus the Great Shepherd.

Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind. James 4:8 (RSV)

He now dwells with us and has given to us His Spirit wherewith we are able to stand against great opposition. When we take a stand for the Lord He takes a stand for us. We can not afford to be lukewarm in our walk with the Lord. He prefers we were either on fire for Him or totally cold toward Him, the Lord takes no delight in those who can not seem to make up their minds one way or the other.

And if you be unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Josh 24:15 (RSV)

Hot or cold it’s your choice! Take a stand! Choose a side! Make a decision!

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

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Tell A Vision

 

Then the Lord answered me, “Write the vision. Make it clear on tablets so that anyone can read it quickly. Hab 2:2 (GW)

Most homes have at least one of these boxes setting in their living rooms as well as bedrooms, kitchens, dens, bathrooms and basements. First they were black and white with only 3 or 4 stations of programming signing off at midnight. Later there was color, and UHF bandwidth added more channels. Then came late night TV and eventually 24 hour a day formats. Today we have HDTV with over 16 million colors and hundreds of programming choices.

 

Television has impacted the American home like no other appliance. Where once we would listen to a radio story teller engage our imaginations with stories like ‘The Shadow’, ‘The Avenger’, ‘Blondie’, ‘Captain Midnight’, ‘Father Knows Best’, ‘Flash Gordon’, ‘Gunsmoke’, and ‘Hopalong Cassidy’, with the advent of motion pictures many of these radio classics came alive at the cinema. Today the cinema has come to the home.

With the advent of television, story telling was taken to a whole new dimension, no longer must you engage your imagination to envision the story because the story teller has already taken the time to paint the picture for you. Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Michelangelo and others were admired for their visual representations on canvas. Now Oscar and Emmy awards are given to those who paint visual pictures, and tell visual stories on an electronic canvas.

We can no longer dismiss the impact that these moving pictures have had on our society. “As Seen on TV” has turned into a brand-name marketing concept. Toys and merchandise populate store shelves during a major motion picture release. Licensed merchandise, resembling movie story characters, are all the rage at fast food establishments across the country. All this merchandising proves the powerful effect the moving picture has had upon the culture.

With all these stories being told to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it is no wonder our culture is being desensitized towards the things of God. For the most part, these moving picture producers are telling a story far different than the age old gospel story. They display a worldview devoid of Jesus and tell the story of a world where there is not one God but many gods and goddesses.

Telling the age old story of salvation was given to the church, the gospel of the Kingdom of God was given as the means by which the works of darkness were to be dispelled. We have been given a commission to take this gospel into all the world, preaching, teaching, and making disciples. We, as a church, are charged to tell the story, in all ways, to all people, for all time.

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Boxing up Christmas

 

Insight for your “Journey across the Sky”

A View from the Nest www.eagleviews.org

Random Ramblings from the Resident Raptor

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The celebrations have ended, the decorations have all come down, the gifts have all been exchanged, and the memories have all been made. Now it is time to box up Christmas for another year as business returns to normal. Check-out lanes at the local merchants are getting thinner, the return lanes are closing down, and Christmas music has been replaced with pre-Christmas Muzak programming.


The debate over Christmas displays have ended, and all things return to normal. Yet the fact that a child had been born of a virgin in Bethlehem should never be lost even though the nativity sets have been packaged away for yet another year.


What really is the meaning of Christmas? Why is there such a celebration? Would it matter a whit if Christmas was boxed away forever?


It would seem arguments against Christmas, which usually sprang from the secular left, have sprung up from the religious right as well. Prominent pastors warned of Santa replacing Jesus as the focus of the holiday and a fringe Baptist church in Kansas wanted a sign placed in the Washington State Capital warning “Santa Claus will take you to Hell.” How far we have come from the days of “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” to today where even prominent church leaders are calling for the demise of Christmas.


In, what many call the best loved Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, George Bailey, played by James Stewart, becomes disillusioned with despair, from a downturn in his business and wishes he were dead. Guardian Angel Clarence, played by Henry Travers, intervenes and shows George what his little town would have been like had he never been born.


Can you imagine a world in which light never shines, darkness is never vanquished and Jesus was never born? Can you picture a place where evil reigns unchecked and mankind is left to his own devises in dealing with a depraved soul? Can you imagine a world where God never intervened in human affairs but rather just sat back and let us kill and destroy each other?

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