To My Faithful Readers:
Well, it is finally here! My book "STRENGTH FOR TODAY" has now been published and is available in both hard copies ($44.99) and e-book download for Kindle ($9.99). Can be ordered either through the publisher Xulon Press Online Bookstore, or Amazon. Sorry it is so expensive, but that is because it is the size of a J.C. Penney catalogue. Here is another "sample", the devotional message for November 19th from the book.
Dare to Be a Daniel
“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor of the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Dan. 1:8)
Daniel was just a youth (teenager) when he was taken prisoner of war to Babylon, along with his three friends (Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah). Immediately they were enrolled in a school for the purpose of re-educating them in the ways and customs of pagan Babylon. This retraining program was done to make them become loyal subjects of the kingdom. It was what we call brainwashing. According to Daniel, chapter 1, there were at least 3 aspects to this retraining or brainwashing:
First, his name was changed.
A key factor in the entire brainwashing process was a name change. This was so that an enrollee’s very identity would now be associated with pagan gods instead of the Lord God of Israel. His religious “roots”, his former traditional beliefs, had to be forgotten. Daniel’s name was changed from Daniel, which means “God is my Judge”, to Belteshazzar, which means “Bel protect the king.” The god of Babylon was Bel, sometimes called Marduk. The Babylon school for retraining Jewish captives had one goal: to get the Jewish young men to forget their past and learn a whole new way of life.
Second, he was promised a good political position.
Daniel was being trained to serve in the king’s court as a devoted political appointee. The lure of fame and fortune was the “bait” Babylon used to convert a young man from a poor prisoner to a promising political advisor.
Third, he was treated to a luxurious lifestyle.
While in training, Daniel was offered all the delicacies and delights of the king’s table. He was wined and dined. The ulterior motive, of course, was to spoil him with luxurious living so that he would set aside all his previous religious inhibitions. He was expected to eat the king’s meat, and drink the king’s wine. So, what exactly was wrong with that?
It is vital to understand why Daniel “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” The pagan food and drink was devoted to idols. He was being forced to raise his glass of wine and praise the gods of Babylon, and the king. This he could not do. The meat and the wine were not, in and of themselves, wrong. What made them wrong was that they were dedicated to, and associated with, pagan worship. And note the way Daniel handled this. He wasn’t obnoxious, belligerent, or “holier than thou.” The Bible says he “requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” Herein is a good lesson for Christians today. When faced with the pressure to conform to non-Christian practices and lifestyles, make your appeal to those in authority in the form of a request. Ask to be exempted for your conscience’s sake.
Oh how we need more Christians today who stay true to their convictions, their religious roots, their Biblical values! May we, like Daniel, “purpose in our hearts not to defile ourselves.”
Think About This
How do our secular colleges and universities seek to “retrain” Christian young people to think according to their left-wing liberal, secular-humanistic philosophies? Why is it such a temptation for your children (and all Christian kids who go to these universities) to reject all that you have taught them--you know, those "old fashioned traditional views"? What can we do to make sure they hold fast to their spiritual "roots", and stay true to your Christian values and convictions?