Month: November 2014

2014-11-22 PAG Student comment

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

November 22, 2014

This is a letter to our friends –

Comment

Principles of American Government (PAG)

Our fall PAG online course is drawing to a close. Those who take ACH Study Groups courses are invited to write “Student Comments” to be added to the tab in our web site.

The next 3-month course begins on Monday, January 5th. Using Skype as a virtual interactive classroom, we meet at 9AM (Pacific time), M &W for 75 minutes. Please see the detailed syllabus on our web site www.ACHStudyGroups.com

Miss Mattanah D. just posted a comment that speaks of the course:

Subject: ACHStudyGroups.com Student Comment Submission

First Name: Mattanah

Home State: Tennessee

Your Role: Student

Your Comments: I’m incredibly thankful that God opened the door for me to participate in the PAG course taught by Mr. Gilmore. This program has helped me grow in many ways, but I’ll try to condense them into 3 things.

1. The PAG course has given me a more solid foundation for my faith – which is most important. Understanding the faith of those who have gone before me and learning how they put action to their faith motivates me to do the same.

2. The PAG course has given me a greater ability to think critically and deeply about a variety of topics. I have gained excellent study habits and debate skills. Participating in this class has helped me to excel in my other classes as well, because the skills taught are applicable to every area of life.

3. The PAG course has prepared me for my future career. I have an interest in inter-cultural studies and political science. My goal is to work in the political arena. I can see now that before I began working toward this goal, it was essential that I have a firm foundation on which to base my ideas and decisions. This course is so important for people entering the political field because they will not only learn principles that apply to past circumstances, but principles that will apply to all future circumstances.

If you are reading this and considering participation in the PAG class, I HIGHLY recommend that you do. Even if your career goals aren’t necessarily political, this class will equip you for whatever field you enter.

Thank you, Mr. Gilmore, for your investment in my walk with The Lord and my education. I know that He has used you to speak into my life, and I pray that He blesses you and your family beyond measure for it!

An ACH alum sent me a soda straw I have taped atop my monitor. Have you ever enjoyed a milk shake and commented, “That was a great straw!” Comments like Mattanah’s (above) remind me of the blessings of being a “straw”.

2014-11-21 But what can I do?

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

November 21, 2014

This is a mail-merge letter to PAG Participants –

But what can I do?

“For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, ‘Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body’; is it therefore not of the body? … But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. … [N]ow are they many members, yet but one body.”

[1st Corinthians 12]

As Fran and I began the day, reading Scripture then praying – these thoughts came to mind:

All across America are dedicated Christians who understand the problems facing our society. We feel helpless to do anything to solve the problems. We recognize that we have a hand in selecting our civil leaders, but we wonder about vote fraud. Every issue is used by others as a fund raiser and we wonder about which to support. We are overwhelmed!

That is where the enemy wants us. It is NOT where God wants us!

STOP! “Be still; and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10]

Christian friend of mine, you are an heir of God. You are “family”. You are part of His plan. You have a role to play! Begin by knowing and believing that.

If you feel inadequate – good! We are all inadequate! Nothing we do for God is of any value – BUT – What God does through us is everlasting!

Each of us can pray. Each of us can submit our will to His. Each of us can choose to obey the thoughts He places in our minds. [please see Proverbs 16:3] Then – each of us becomes a part of a living, functioning “body”.

It does not require a majority – One man and God is a super majority! Are you called to lead? Then lead! Are you called to follow? Then follow. Are you called to teach, write, sing, dance, motivate, pray, …what ever? Then have faith that it is your part in His plan and just do it! The rest of us need you. God needs you!

Christ will return unexpectedly. How will He find you? Will you be hunkered down in the fort with the draw bridge raised – Thinking everything is going to get worse and worse — Waiting defensively for Him to return and make everything right? Or – Will He find you aggressively doing what He is leading you to do, in behalf of His grand plan?

2014-11-20 Momentum

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

November 19, 2014

This is a mail-merge letter to PAG Participants –

Momentum

The whole life of the Christian, from the beginning to the end, is a conflict with the world and the powers of darkness, a conflict within and without.” [August Neander 1789 – 1850]

Conflict within – None of us have achieved “perfection”! Each of us have good days and bad days. Have you noticed that there is a tendency to build up momentum when we slip backwards? Violating our conscience gets easier.

On the other hand, the same is true when we repent and turn around! We control the direction with our choices and God’s help.

Conflict without – The world around us is always in conflict. That too seems to build momentum one way or the other. I believe that is the reason God is so interested in our learning history (His-story). “Today” can seem like the worst day ever, unless we see it in the context of far worse days in the past.

On the other hand, history proves that God is truly in control. Darkness does give way to light. It isn’t over until God says it is over!

All of my life, I have watched frantic efforts to deceive the righteous that they are weak, that they are fighting a losing battle, that there is no hope. The ungodly are frantic because they know that light drives out darkness. They must keep us from even the slightest victory, lest we begin to build momentum.

We are far more powerful than the world leads us to believe. Eventually someone turns on a light! Suddenly, our opponent becomes a paper tiger! The recent election shines light on the fact that most Americans oppose darkness, contrary to what the world has been telling us.

The world is bombarding us with explosive bad news. It is an effort to push us back into darkness and prevent our gaining momentum toward righteousness. This is a time for cool heads. If they cannot hold us back, the enemy will try to push us out the other side into violence.

On the other hand, if each of us does what is right, because it is right, we offer God the opportunity to lead us into the light. Let us pray that He will lead and inspire our godly leaders and deal with the others.

America has been, and is now, a light for the world. That is NOT because of our rightness. It is because of what God has done through us! Our best days are ahead of us. Join me in believing that. [2nd Chronicles 7:14]

2014-11-16 Shut it down!

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

November 16, 2014

This is a letter to our friends –

Shut it down!

The U.S. Constitution – Article I, Section 7 – – “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

It is important that we understand the rules by which “We the People” have chosen to be governed. The House of Representatives (nick named “The people’s house”) is the only place in the national government where spending laws can begin. The Senate can only propose amendments. The President and Supreme Court have no authority to originate a law.

Without congressional approval the U.S. Treasury has no authority to write a single government check! Each body (House & Senate) must eventually agree on amendments before a Bill is sent to the President for signature. Thus – “The people’s house” holds the purse strings.

The President’s job, as defined by the Constitution, is to execute the laws passed to him by Congress. If he chooses to go rogue, and operate on his own, “The people’s house” can refuse to fund his rogue projects. They have the authority to shut down the government. It has been done many times in the past.

The only job the federal government has been hired by “We the people” to do, is to protect our individual lives, liberties and property. Unlike citizens of other nations, we are at liberty under God. We joined together to create a government to protect that liberty from ungodly forces.

The senate is led by evil men (Senator Harry Reed & Senator Mitch McConnel). They have consistently put power and privilege ahead of the best interest of “We the people”. We should encourage our Representatives in the House not to bow to “politically correct” politics and to stand on principle. Shut down the government if need be, rather than allow rogue power to govern.

Patrick Henry asked in 1775, “But when will we be stronger? Will it be next week or next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?

Patrick Henry concluded his electrifying declaration with these memorable words, “What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

2014-11-11 Homosexual practice & society

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

November 11, 2014

This is a letter to our friends –

Homosexual practice & society

I posted “Homosex & peace” on June 3rd, 2014. (Please see “Ben’s blog” archives tab in our web site.) Three weeks ago I believe the Lord told me to write on the subject again. That created a dilemma – “Delayed obedience (3 weeks!) is disobedience!” vs. the fire the first post drew from sources I respect. I have hesitated. Have I a “blind spot” Lord?

I was 35 before I surrendered my will to Jesus. Suddenly everything changed! The Bible had been boring – Now it was alive (I couldn’t get enough)! I polished my “new Christian” armor, picked up my “sword”, went outside astride my giant, white, war-horse and galloped across the field of battle slashing this way and that. Turning proudly to survey the results, I discovered bleeding saints with the enemy on the sidelines, cheering me on!!! I had not developed a loving heart.

I believe the Lord wants me to encourage the saints – not beat them over the head with their own Bibles! A critic of the June 3rd post wrote, “I have given a lot of thought to this whole issue, and have come to the conclusion that my best witness to them is love. The love that Jesus gave to the tax collectors, the sinners, and the woman caught in adultery. It was the pharisees, quoting scripture and slinging stones that incurred his harshest criticism.”

My critic continued, “The Christian right has lost its voice and its influence in our society,

causing the very problems you discuss. The louder we shout about the problem, the less we are heard. Nobody cares. Because they do not experience our love. We are a resounding gong and a clanging cymbal – so annoying and irrelevant, that people just want us to shut up.”

Jolt!!!

On the other hand, Christ and His followers also quoted scripture. He did indeed love me while I was choosing to sin. He loved “the tax collectors, the sinners, and the woman caught in adultery.

The key word here appears to me to be, “love”. “…the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” [Mark 1:15] Christ loved enough to warn those He loved. Today, we would call that “tough love”. It is a lot easier on both the sinner and the saint to stroke them and tell them, “God loves you, and so do I!” but leave out the part about, “repent”.

Today, we have rejected any standard of “right & wrong”. Without a standard there is no stability. If our society, you and I, tell someone the homosexual lifestyle is all right, it is even “legal”. And they are deceived into believing it. Have we been “loving”?

If we fail to offer a standard and let society drift aimlessly toward chaos, are we loving as Jesus loved? Granted: The world sees us as, “… a resounding gong and a clanging cymbal – so annoying and irrelevant, that people just want us to shut up.” Christ foretold that the world would hate what we say.

But, I challenge whether, “The Christian right has lost its voice and its influence in our society,…” Rather, isn’t it a lowering of our standards that is causing the problems?

Is it true? “The louder we shout about the problem, the less we are heard. Nobody cares.” The growing Christian influence appears to have been manifested in our recent election. There appears to be a significant movement toward raising our standards. People do indeed care. Christ’s life and teaching is the solution. We have solutions that work.

Lastly – If it is true that we are to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength – and our neighbor as our self – What does it say about our priorities if we have greater love for a neighbor, whose lifestyle is breaking the heart of the One we love the most?

P.S. My friend Dwight Young, recommended an outstanding analysis by Chip Ingram. I encourage you to hear him.

http://livingontheedge.org/broadcast/homosexuality-what-do-you-say-to-a-gay-friend-part-1/daily-radio

http://livingontheedge.org/broadcast/human-sexuality-the-search-for-truth-about-sex-part-2/daily-radio

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