Friday, July 3, 2020

ONLY IN AMERICA

Happy Independence Day!
Today, while in the car, I was listening to NPR. (When I'm not in the car, I listen to WIAMRADIO.COM. If you haven't listened to this internet station, you're missing a delightful experience.) Sorry for the detour! They interviewed two people who were advocating rewriting US History for the emerging generation, stating that 1776 means nothing to them other than "white supremacy" and "capitalism."
My heart is heavy and deeply troubled to think that a constitution built upon the cornerstone "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness," would be labeled "white supremacy" and "capitalism."
How many times have you said, how many times have I said, "Only in America." And it is true. No nation on earth gives people the opportunities to fulfill one's dream like the good old USA. Only in America can you be born in poverty and become President. Our history isn't perfect because people aren't perfect, but what we have as Americans most people can only wish for.
We are NOT English Americans, Latino Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Italian Americans, Irish Americans, German Americans, Indian Americans ... and the list goes on. WE ARE AMERICANS period. "We are One Nation Under God," not a Divided Nation Under God.
In Jesus,
j. b. sofia 
The LORD is good and His mercy endures forever. 1 Chron 16:34

Friday, May 15, 2020

A TASTE OF COMMUNISM 2020

Let's start with the reality of where we are as a church and country. Whoever dreamed that church doors in America would be shut? Yet, this is reality. Ponder this! For many Christians throughout the world, this is how they live every day. Scary, isn't it? If not scary, at least concerning. 

What I'm about to say next is not a Democrat or Republican issue, although it is a political issue. I wish that it were not, but the truth is NO ONE can separate religion and politics, it is impossible. Faith shapes our politics, and politics reflect the religious tone of its government

In a small way, we have had a taste of communism. We are told where we can go and where we can't go. What we must wear and not wear. What doctors we can see and not see. What stores we can visit and not visit. What places can be open, and what places can't be open. What halls we can assemble in and in what halls we cannot assemble. Who can cut our hair and who cannot cut our hair. When and how we can go to Church—if ever? And, the list goes on. Do we really want to live our lives confined, controlled, unemployed, restricted, and government controlled? Not me!  

In other words, the government has taken many of our freedoms from us. Whether it was for our good or not is not the point of this email; the point is we have had a taste of communism

Let’s fast forward. It is my thinking that this is what the "mark of the beast" is going to look like. Those who don't have "the mark" will be refused liberties—many of which have been mentioned in the paragraphs above, especially religious (Revelation 13:16-18).

Maybe COVID-19 is a good thing—a wake-up call to Christians and Americans to cherish and fight for our freedoms in the political arena and, most importantly, on our knees (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Joseph Bruce Sofia
The LORD is good, and His mercy endures forever. 1Chron16:34

Friday, May 10, 2019

LOVE LIFE - MAKE A DIFFERENCE


I love life!  And, to be honest, I think God wants us to love life.  Now, does it get crazy at times?  Absolutely.  Are there things that come into our lives that we don’t like and have no control over?  Absolutely. 

Welcome to life!  Smile!  My years have taught me – we don’t always know the WHY to all of life’s circumstances (and may never get them as in the case of Job), but HOW we respond to the unplanned and often unwanted circumstances in life, keeps life joyful.

I believe that is why God commands us, without exception, to “give thanks in and for all circumstances,” and to “rejoice in the LORD always.”  ( Eph5:20 & Phil4:4)  We are in the midst of closing on two houses and buying a house all at the same time.  Therefore, we are intentionally practicing “giving thanks in and for all circumstances.”  Smile! 

Hey, if you’re bummed out, obey the command of our God and watch how EVERYTHING changes.  Seriously!  Oh, your circumstance may not change, but your attitude will—and that will be the DIFFERENCE MAKER. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

DEPRESSION

Depression is REAL! And, yes, some people have a proclivity to get depressed and constantly fight depression more than others. Science and the medical field tell us this is in the DNA, which could very well be true. With that said, having prayed for and counseled scores of people who battle depression regularly, here is my observation. 
Depression is almost, if not always, triggered by what we can and cannot control. (I could write pages of examples from children, to parents, to bills, to job circumstances, to romance and the list goes on.) In essence, what this means is that we haven’t haven't truly or fully given the situation/circumstance to God. It means we really do not trust Him (to do it our way). It also means we're not rejoicing in the Lord always and giving thanks in and for all things. (Moses and Elijah both wanted to die because they could not control what was happening around them. So, if you’ve ever been there, you’re in good company.) It means we’re living in disobedience. Ouch! Because…be patient with me…if we lived in obedience by “rejoicing in the LORD at all times” and “giving thanks in and for all things,” depression must flee. Depression can’t exist in a state of thanks and rejoicing. 
When (I know these are strong words) we tell the LORD we want out of here and we have nothing to live for, are we not indirectly slapping Him in the face? When we tell Him those words are we not in reality telling Him He is not worth living for? Should we not enter every day living for Him? Is He not worth EVERYTHING? 
Are we not commanded to “rejoice in the LORD always” and “give thanks in and for all things?” Why? Because God is worthy of our praise, worthy of our service—wherever and whatever that may look like. Can He not be trusted in ALL things? Will He not “work all things out for the good of those who love Him?” So, here’s my gentle counsel: Let go of what you can’t control—it will only get you down; give it to God and rejoice in this truth—He’s not only got it, He’s working miracles in YOUR behalf. Trust! In the end you’ll be glad you did.  #depression #suicide #cutting #addiction

Saturday, June 16, 2018

POLITICAL SHENANIGANS

Finally, I’ve found two words which, in my opinion, aptly describe modern day politics—actually it may have always been this way...POLITICAL SHENANIGANS.

I have two friends, one an attorney and the other a mortgage broker, who are constantly sparring when it comes to politics.  One is a Democrat the other a Republican.  Of course, I’ll let a half a dozen or more emails go by and add my three cents—the instigator that I am.  LOL!  The Fed says the economy is very healthy and will raise interest rates by one full point by the end of 2018.)  So ‘two cents’ is now three cents.  LOL!

After following politics rather closely for the past 32 years, I’ve come to this conclusion—here’s my email to the sparring duo. 

Hey Guys,

IMO here is the reality: When it comes to politics just like when it comes to attorneys and the law (I'd like to believe, Mr A, you are the exception, and I would like to believe there are exceptions in every profession) however, with that said the reality is we are now seeing that the Clintons were utterly corrupt, the Obamas administration was corrupt on nearly every front, the FBI was corrupt, and I suspect that at the top and almost all government positions from the President to the local police and government there is corruption because it is the nature of man.  The Bible says, "The heart of man is the deceitfully wicked above all else who can know it."  It’s also true of business, the church, family; there are no exceptions—believe me I see it when I officiate funerals—greed and the love of money corrupts a person’s righteousness.

That's why I have made a decision to not vote “the man” because I don't know his/her heart.  Look at the disappointments we have found in Bill Cosby and for those who were Weinstein friends, him too.  Then there's Nixon, JFK ... and ... .  Hey!  Here’s the reality: I look at my own heart and at times it's scary and disappointing—so I'm not judging anybody.  Just making a point.

Therefore, I must vote policy; the policies, which best align with what I believe the word of God holds up, and trust the man/woman to God.  Nobody gets over on God.  So, if the man is crooked God will take care of the man.  Look, even God’s “model of perfection,” Lucifer, when pride was found in his heart corrupted his wisdom and became utterly evil.

Only one man lived a perfect life that could be trusted on every front and that was Jesus.  He doesn't walk the face of this earth today, but He does live in the hearts of believers and we do see Him at work for those who are willing to surrender and submit to His voice.  Yet, if we’re transparently honest, even with His help, what we do will be done with many imperfections. 

That's my three cents.

PB

Monday, May 28, 2018

THE NFL & THE NATIONAL ANTHEM - THE CONTROVERSY CONTINUES


What I'm about to say I speak from my heart, from deep within my gut as a father, husband, pastor and hard working citizen of the greatest country on earth, the USA.

My father's parents migrated to America from Sicily.  My father and his siblings were not allowed to speak Italian in the home because they were "Americans."  (Not saying that was right or wise, just want you to see the picture.)  Pop was a veteran serving in the US Army.  My mother’s parents were English and Pennsylvania Dutch.  I received Christ as a child with my mother while living in Glassboro.  My parents moved to Cross Keys when I was seven; I am the 2nd graduating class from Washington Township High School.  Every student, there were no exceptions, stood and saluted the flag pledging our alliance to "ONE nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.” 

Therefore, when the Pittsburgh Steelers coach, and other NFL coaches and owners wrongfully sided with players staying in the locker room or refusing to put their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem, I was deeply dismayed.  To me, it showed utter contempt and disrespect for our 'men in blue' and all military branches.  To me they insulted the intelligence of every American who understands that NFL owners, players and coaches make millions BECAUSE the police and military have secured their liberty to not only play a sport they love, but make millions while doing it.  

Why would an American not stand for the National Anthem, with hand over heart, in acknowledgment of those who have paid for their freedom, many with their lives?  I know this sounds acerbic, but if they don't like it let them play ball in North Korea, Russia or Cuba.

This is not about black, white, brown, red or yellow; it's about respect for the Country and its flag, which symbolizes we are “’one’ nation under God.”  The National Anthem speaks of oneness and not division; it speaks of hope and unity, of poverty to wealth, from the ghetto to the Presidency.  To protest during its salute is to corrupt the very thing it stands for.  Some argue it’s the only way African-Americans can be heard.  I disagree.  There is a right way and there are proper channels to voice our grievances.  Take the case of Richard and Mildred Loving; it was a long battle making its way to the SCOTUS.  But, justice was done using the proper channels (movie release 2016).

As believers there's a right and wrong way to do things. e.g.: How do we right the wrong of illegitimate children, which become the property of the state and every citizen's tax burden?  We foster and adopt.  We don't protest on football field ... or wherever.  I'm sure you've seen the movie Mutiny on the Bounty with Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins. Brilliant movie by the way!  Well, if this hatred, spurred on by the media and press, doesn't stop we're going to have Mutiny in America.  

It's frightening what America is becoming.  We are divided on nearly every front—economically, religiously, racially, morally, and the list goes on.  I know you, Joe, and I believe you and I want the same thing; we love the same God, and we want, truly, to be "One Nation Under God."  However, the Biblical principle of sowing and reaping is in effect here.  Sow discord and we’ll reap discord.  Oppression is a horrible thing, and needs to be taken on head-on, but take it to the town hall or courts or social media … but, in my opinion, using the National Anthem during a football game draws a line in the wrong sand.

Let's pray we’ll see the day, and live in the beauty of being “One Nation Under God.”

J. Bruce Sofia


Thursday, May 3, 2018

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER - BRIEF HISTORY

HISTORY OF NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER


The National Day of Prayer first commenced in 1775 when our forefathers called the then unborn nation to pray for its formation. In 1952 NDOP was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.  NDOPputs an emphasis on repentance and prayer on a personal level, while, at the same time, placing national focus on those in governmental power. These areas are called the seven centers of power.  They are leaders in: government, military, media, business, education, church, andfamily

NDOP may sound political, but the NDOP Task Force is designed to mobilize all people to prayer regardless of political party or stance. 

This year, 2018, our theme is UNITY.  In my humble opinion certainly fitting for a nation divided on so many fronts: economic, religious, political, moral and racial just to name a few.  

Thank you for joining us on this momentous occasion when thousands of churches and organizations, concerned about America’s future, have gathered today/tonight to pray for our healing.

Please remain standing, as the Mayor of Washington Township, Joann Gattinelli, will lead us in the flag salute.

NDOP/WELCOME&PURPOSE/2018