It was heartbreaking to learn that U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, a Tea Party favorite, was in a courtroom last Wednesday answering to a misdemeanor charge for cocaine possession. Radel had been arrested as a part of a sting rooted in a broad FBI/DEA investigation of drug trafficking in the nation's capital.
Many young people simply experiment with alcohol and after finding their curiosity satisfied will later abstain. But today most do not, they continue drinking. In fact, alcohol has become such an accepted part of our culture that a Columbia University study noted that underage drinkers account for 11.4% of all the alcohol consumed in the U.S.  The average age of a teen boy who tries alcohol for the first time is 11, and for a girl it's 13.
Last year, my father, who was a veteran, passed away. As mourners stood along with my family at his grave side, a soldier blew the strains of "Taps." That eloquent and haunting melody drifted over his resting place as an official tribute to a fallen serviceman – a man who was a devout follower of Jesus Christ; a man who felt his family was his greatest achievement; a man who deeply loved his country. Today his tombstone proudly acknowledges his service in the United States Coast Guard.
If you are like me, sometimes it may come as a surprise to find that hiding in your own heart there is resentment and bitterness. After thinking much on the subject, I've realized forgiving someone can be one of the hardest things in life to do. The natural reaction is retaliation. We want the other person to hurt in some way just as we've been injured. We may even feel in a self-righteous way that our feelings of anger and desire to get back at someone are justified.
The site was first discovered by settlers who came to Chatham County before the 1800s. They gave the place its name, a name which remains to this day, "The Devil's Tramping Ground."
Some will say, "Well, I don't see what the big deal is as long as you gamble in moderation – as long as you don't waste your living its harmless entertainment. Besides you can't demonstrate one passage in the entire Bible that says, "Thou shalt not play at the roulette table." And you know what? They are absolutely correct. But neither can you demonstrate a single passage in Scripture that says, "Thou shalt not look at pornography." Nevertheless, the Bible often discusses the sin of lust and admonishes people not to do anything that would facilitate that pernicious desire.
God's rules are commonly referred to as the Ten Commandments or the Moral Law. One may look to the left, as well as to the right, scheming to break these, but no one can break God's rules without being broken by them.
North Carolina has an interesting history with alcohol. Most folks who know anything about the Tar Heel state have at least heard of Josephus Daniels, the newspaper magnate who started a number of publications, among them the Raleigh News and Observer.
Last month, U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the U.S. Postal Service should be allowed to start delivering, beer, wine and spirits. He contended the service was needed to help raise revenue for the financially ailing agency – an agency that lost $16 billion last year.
Our nation's forefathers strongly believed they were called into a new Promised Land for the purpose of establishing a New Israel, a model of the Kingdom of God – living proof that in God's economy people from every station of life could live in peace and prosperity together. They believed God's promises to Israel, barring those that were most specific to the Jews, were also pledged to any nation that would enter into a covenant relationship with Him. Basing our nation's principles of law and government on the Judeo-Christian ethic, they sought to initiate and admonished succeeding generations to maintain a covenant relationship with the Lord like the one made with the Israelites in Deuteronomy chapter 28.
Few matters have initiated more litigation in the courts than the presence of Ten Commandments monuments and other displays of the Decalogue across the country located on public property. The presence of most of these is the result of a joint campaign by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, working with Hollywood Royalty and movie-magnate, the late great Cecil B. DeMille. Today the radical left has erroneously argued these displays are an unconstitutional violation of the "separation of church and state" and disparage them as nothing more than a publicity stunt by DeMille to hype his movie at the time, The Ten Commandments, staring Charlton Heston. But if DeMille's motives were purely carnal, then his history with the film certainly didn't show him acting like it.
Before he ever became a National Football League broadcast analyst, Glenn Parker, who at the time played for the Buffalo Bills, once speculated as to why NFL lineman are generally cheerful individuals. Parkers said, "There are not a lot of well-paying jobs for 300-pounders. We found one, and we're happy about it." Today, if you currently have a job, you've got a good reason to be cheerful too.
This week, North Carolina's Governor Pat McCrory, flanked by four security guards, walked through the gates of the executive mansion and over to a group of protesters who had been waving their signs and relentlessly yelling "shame" and "liar" toward his state residence for a couple of days. They were upset over the abortion bill that passed the General Assembly last week and his decision to sign it. To both the surprise and chagrin of the protesters, however, the Governor offered the ladies baked chocolate chip cookies, saying, "These are for you. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you."
No moment was more strenuous to the ears of pro-lifers than when Rep. Alma Adams (D-Greensboro) insisted that if the bill closed abortion clinics across the state, it would force women back to the time of back alley abortions and pregnancies ended with coat hangers.
When most people think of government, they think of civil government with its various laws and controls. But in the most basic of terms, there are essentially two kinds of government – internal and external. Internal government, or self-government, is the most important and always shapes the nature of external government.
It is considered a landmark announcement, proof that the cultural winds are shifting in favor of the acceptance of homosexuality by the evangelical community. Exodus International, a ministry devoted to helping people overcome same-sex attractions is shutting down. Alan Chambers, the ministry's president, is apologizing for much of the hurt he believes the ministry has caused the LGBT community.
According to Recent Natural Disasters, a web site that reports on ecological cataclysms around the world every day, approximately 75 natural disasters have occurred in America just in the last 5 months.  Those disasters happening in various degrees of destruction include earthquakes, floods, landslides, hail storms, sinkholes, wildfires, avalanches, and deadly tornadoes. This nation in recent years has seen a rush of such disasters as wind, fire, rain and drought conditions. And these catastrophes are not in America alone, but happening around the globe.
This is what we like to think makes for true freedom in life. We went the distance alone. We faced the hardships independently and overcame. We made our own decisions and were subject to no one. The Bible, however, describes the concept of liberty quite differently. It describes an independence predicated on dependence.
Whether there is life after death is a question that humans have pondered for centuries. Today there is a great deal of interest in the subject with people curious about near-death experiences, supposed encounters with ghosts, and the claims of psychic mediums. Some scoff at the entire concept of an afterlife, while others are comforted by it.
It's been said that Martin Luther while at Wartburg was translating the Bible, the Devil came to visit him. Satan, who was vehemently opposed to the divine mission of the great reformer, sought to tempt him and thwart the work. In response, Luther grabbed the inkwell from which he was writing and threw it at the Evil One's head. For many years, tourists who visited the study of Martin Luther at Wartburg Castle were shown the ink stain on the wall that supposedly occurred when Luther threw the ink pot.
These events of late prove, without question, that the normalization of homosexual behavior in the culture and the legalization of same-sex marriage will inevitably usher in a flood of religious persecutions for Christians who dare say homosexuality is a sin. Touting as they have that gay rights are about civil rights, the LGBT community deceives the public into believing every born-again, God fearing, Bible-believing, follower of Jesus Christ is worse than a prejudiced Archie Bunker type idiot.
When it comes to the matter of politics, much of the church today, sadly, is divided into two separate camps. One group seeks to bring a Christian worldview to bear on the political process. The other group says the church needs to stay out of politics and just be concerned about winning others to faith in Christ.
Last week, this author wrote an article titled Drinking and Jesus Turning Water to Wine. As expected, the piece stirred considerable opposition on the part of many professing Christians against the view that the wine Jesus miraculously provided at the wedding in Cana was not fermented. Nevertheless, it remains that the counter arguments made in favor of an alcoholic-wine are largely references to old talking points that become like rubble in light of all the evidence.
I've heard a lot of erroneous arguments myself made from the Bible in favor of drinking. But none more egregious than the one that advocates Jesus endorsed imbibing when he made water into wine at the wedding in Cana.
Last week lawmakers in the North Carolina Senate took steps to restore the death penalty in our state. North Carolina hasn't conducted an execution since 2006 due to legal challenges meant to create a de-facto moratorium.