What TV shows are far better than American ones? (Part 2)

While The Ten Commandments in the first table (refer to Part 1 of this blog) exposes the differences between American and Asian entertainment, the second table reveals the effects of the glaring differences. Take a look! Once again, the flashing neon-like table needs no further amplification.

American Asian TV Ten Commandments 2

To the seasoned Western viewer, the tables may be intellectually satisfying and spiritually appealing, but may seem emotionally a bit wimpy, begging the question, “Exactly, what is the source of dramatic power in the Asian productions?” For there to be a struggle between good and evil, there has to be some form of evil.

In Asian TV dramas, the villain is not necessarily a murderous, unlawful villain; more often the “villain” is an unscrupulous emotional or spiritual villain resorting to various forms of skullduggery to break up love triangles. The most popular Asian TV dramas contain several overlapping love stories, because, “love covers a multitude of sins.” [1 Peter 4:8 NASB] For the sources of dramatic power in Asian TV dramas, here is the list:

  • The storylines are amazingly creative unlike anything American have been able to produce. American cultural decay has produced one-dimensional movie/TV characters with a keen intellect and a severely limited range of emotions. Asian TV still produces three-dimensional characters using the full range of God-given intellectual, emotional, and spiritual faculties.
  • Characters are fascinating, played by outstanding actors with endearing personal characteristics
  • Selected characters have a vibrant sense of humor, backed by a soundtrack that demonstrates musical humor
  • Drama aroused by conflicts and misunderstandings regarding ordinary and major life obstacles (romance, competition, illness, injury, separation, death)
  • Rich interpersonal relationships among the characters fully engage the viewer
  • Dramatic satisfaction is rooted in compelling illustrations of applying Biblical principles, producing the best possible results
  • In a love triangle, the leading man invariable ends up with the girl who routinely meets the needs of others.
  • Many scenes varying from heart-warming or heart-wrenching to heart-breaking, but nearly always reflecting positive character goals
  • Dialogue exhibits amazing wisdom in ordinary and challenging situations—characters seem to say precisely the right thing at exactly the right time. The expressions of rightness paint spectacularly beautiful word pictures
  • Most characters, other than villains, are positive role models. Even the villains repent by the end of the series.

American movies/TV routinely and aggressively break all ten of the commandments and then celebrates the outcomes. Asian TV celebrates godly virtues and character building.

So why not follow the Apostle Paul’s admonition, “…whatsoever things are true…honest…just…pure, whatsoever things are lovely…good report…think on these things.” Why not entertain ourselves with the good and the beautiful, rather than the sleazy, ugly, and evil. We cannot continue injecting ourselves with a dose of evil every time we turn on the TV or go to a movie.

If you have never seen any of the Asian dramas, you must try at least one. If you are curious, try “Autumn’s Concerto” (Taiwanese), “Descendants of the Sun” (South Korean), or “Tomorrow’s Cantabile” (South Korean). They are available on Netflix and other common outlets.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

 

What TV shows are far better than American ones? (Part 1)

American Asian TV Ten Commandments 1“…whatsoever things are true…honest…just…pure, whatsoever things are lovely…good report…think on these things.” [Philippians 4:8 KJV]

Entertainment is powerful—so powerful that it can be profoundly life influencing, if not completely life changing. Modern technology provides endless entertainment options and unlimited personal content choices. With such awesome power at our fingertips it makes compelling and inescapably good sense to entertain ourselves with the good and the beautiful, rather than sleaze and evil. Yes, there is an easy way!

Tragically, the American motion picture and television entertainment industries have declined to sewer levels. Although the decline is recently accelerating, decades of incremental decline have dragged many Judeo-Christian believers down along with the rest of the American culture. As Lot did long ago, we have in past decades pitched our tents towards Sodom and have long since moved in.

Many, especially younger believers, remain unaware of anything more than a modest cultural and entertainment decline. They persistently perceive themselves unaffected by it. Pride on steroids? You bet! Believers continue watching dramatizations of nudity, gratuitous violence, saturation profanity, rampant uncivil sarcasm, and people of low character portrayed as heroes. Once planted, the evil seeds grow in the intellect, emotions, and spirit. There is little or no understanding of the relentless and severe weakening effect on the viewers and virtually guaranteed future pain and suffering produced by weak character.

Although specifically Christian entertainment has improved greatly in recent years, much of it remains dramatically weak and—long term—there is not nearly enough of it.

However, there is a fascinating alternative, Asian television dramas made primarily in South Korea and Taiwan (available on Netflix and numerous other venues). The Asian dramas are wildly entertaining, sans the pervasive sleaze in American entertainment, and typically feature one or more strong moral themes.

The Asian dramas typically project a vibrant sense of humor and have captivating musical sound tracks using every imaginable musical genre. Most appealing are the endless dramatizations of beautifully applied Biblical principles. Examples are routine dramatizations of absolutely unconditional love surviving all manner of heavy duty obstacles and long periods of separation, forgiveness in particularly painful circumstances, and “love your enemies”—clearly one of the believer’s most difficult challenges. The overall message of the Asian TV dramas is that there is no conflict or misunderstanding that cannot be overcome in a loving, godly, manner.

Yes, you will likely have to read the English subtitles, but doing so does not weaken the drama at all. The viewer still enjoys and experiences all the emotions, laughter, and tears produced by the characters in the program. The actors speak just enough English for a Westerner to feel comfortable.

God’s very best floodlight for exposing the differences between American motion pictures/television and Asian television is The Ten Commandments. Consider the first table, comparing the attributes of American and Asian entertainment side-by-side with the Commandments. The contrast is so stark, it will seem like flashing neon to the reader. Since no mere mortal can one-up The Ten Commandments, no further commentary on the table is necessary.

While The Ten Commandments in the first table exposes the differences between American and Asian entertainment, the second table reveals the effects of the glaring differences. Take a look! Once again, the flashing neon-like table needs no further amplification.

To the seasoned Western viewer, the tables may be intellectually satisfying and spiritually appealing, but may seem emotionally a bit wimpy, begging the question, “Exactly, what is the source of dramatic power in the Asian productions?” For there to be a struggle between good and evil, there has to be some form of evil. Find out more in Part 2

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

We must NOT lose Christian history!

banknote in one American dollar closeup

Liberals and Islamists destroy historical artifacts, effectively rewriting history. All cultures need to be sustained by their heroes. Cultural memory is an anchor. If Christians don’t hold up Christian history for others to see, on one else will. If we lose Christian history, our culture will lose Christianity and God’s blessings that we have enjoyed for hundreds of years.

I Must Decrease So That You Can Increase!

man looking at his big boss

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” [John 3:30 KJV] John the Baptist’s humble statement about his relationship with his cousin Jesus the Christ resounds loudly down through the ages. It applies to each of us today, regarding our relationship with the Lord and also our relationship with others.

Each of us must decrease so the love of God and the light of God can shine through each of our lives, becoming abundantly and conspicuously visible to others. Each of us must decrease so that others might increase. I (Lloyd Stebbins) must decrease so that YOU might increase. Humility demands it! God commands it!

Today, our schedules are voluntarily overcrowded with self; we have deliberately allowed little or no time to serve the needs of others. But wait! Serving others is an overarching Biblical imperative. Jesus, our perfect role model said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” [Mark 10:45 NIV]

We cannot draw attention to self and others at the same time. We cannot serve self and others at the same time.

Some say we must sacrifice self for the benefit of others. But scripture guarantees that the benefits returned outweigh perceived sacrifice. He said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you…” [Luke 6:38 KJV] The Apostle Paul, quoted Jesus saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive. [Acts 20:35 KJV] What do we have to give? Time, talent, and treasure!

It is a blessing to serve others. God blesses both the giver and the receiver, the benefactor and the one who benefits. If doubts linger, note that serving is not optional.  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” [Matthew 22:37040 NIV] Service is an expression of love; service is love in action; serving others is love made visible.

The world says, “Have it your way” (old Burger King commercial and Frank Sinatra’s popular song, “I did it my way.”). It is YOUR choice, your way or God’s way.

As for me and my house, we will acknowledge that Jesus is THE WAY–“I am the way, the truth and the life…” [John 14:6 KJV]—and whole heartedly strive to live accordingly.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

What’s So Great About “Generation Z?”

There’s a fresh demographic breeze blowing. It’s coming from the young and seems to be gaining speed!

Teenager denkt

“Generation Z” is the generation following the notoriously liberal Millennials. Generation Z seems to be emerging as the most conservative generation in living memory. They are generally the ones born after about 1995; those on the leading edge are now about 22 years old.

Generation Z is more politically conservative than Millennials, Generation X and the Baby Boomers. In addition, one study respectively reports young adulthood church attendance—41% Generation Z, 18% Millennials, 21% Generation X, and 26% Baby Boomers (figures for each generation, when they were at the age of today’s Generation Z). [Hope, J (2016). “Get your campus ready for Generation Z”. Dean & Provost. 17 (8): 1–7]

They have come of age since 9/11. Although modern consumer technology is part of who they are, culturally they have only known chaos, a declining America, erratic, confusing morality, and increasing reports of terrorism and domestic crime—hardly a recipe for building confidence and optimism.

Eric Metaxas reports, “Eight out of ten of these kids identify themselves as “fiscally conservative,” and they prefer saving to spending — at rates not seen since the Silent Generation.” Further,

…almost sixty percent of Gen Z respondents in the U.K. described their views on “same-sex marriage, transgender rights and marijuana legalization” as “conservative” or “moderate,” compared with a whopping 83% of Millennials who called themselves “quite” or “very liberal” on these issues. The Gen Z participants were even ten times more likely than Millennials to dislike tattoos and body piercings!

Why the apparently stark change despite overwhelming liberal/progressive cultural pressures from the public school system, media, entertainment industry, and wayward sports heroes? Could it be that Generation Z,

  • Is fed up with the sick American culture and want to be part of the healing
  • Disgusted with the worm-eaten baton that is being passed to them by recent previous generations
  • Dissatisfied with a bloated inefficient, unresponsive government
  • Yearn for something much better?

Could it be that God has a hand in the change?

Generation Z is clearly aware of our cultural problems, but may remain a bit foggy about the remedies.

Wow! What a great time to share the good news of the saving Biblical message about Jesus. How refreshing would it be for them to learn that the root cause of virtually every one of America’s problems is a decades-old progressive abandonment of God. Many problems; just one very simple remedy.

The 1960s hippie-driven chaos that separated centuries of Judeo-Christian love and stability in favor of the tragedy of massive moral decay camouflaged and promoted as “sexual freedom,” was often described as a “counter cultural revolution.” It accelerated a liberal/progressive movement that has relentlessly worked to destroy the traditional family, the free enterprise system, the U.S. Constitution, and replace democracy with socialism.

The movement has failed by every measure, a failure that has become increasingly obvious to Generation Z. They could become the driver of a new counter cultural revolution that moves in a direction exactly opposite the earlier one.

Generation Z could be the hinge generation to recover cultural sanity, Biblical standards, and American exceptionalism.

Finally, Metaxes proclaims, “A tendency toward traditional values, by itself, means nothing unless those who believe in revealed Truth, the Gospel, the natural family, and political and religious liberty step forward and train the next generation to articulate and live out these truths.”

The first counter-cultural revolution championed the slogan, “Never trust anyone over 30.” Perhaps Generation Z could adopt the same slogan, for reasons exactly opposite those used the first time around. What do YOU think?

For further details follow the link to the Metaxas article:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/generation-z-most-conservative-since-wwii-177793/

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

 

Was General Douglas MacArthur Being Prophetic?

Douglas MacArthur

“History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.” [emphasis added]

General Douglas MacArthur, December 12, 1951

Devotions—Rich, Disciplined, Half-hearted, Flat or Non-existent?

Woman reading inside a huge book

Is your time with God—often called “devotions”—rich, forced self-discipline, half-hearted, flat, or non-existent? As a believer for decades, my own devotions have at varying times fallen into each category. However, for the last couple of years, my devotional time with God has become spectacularly rich. Each morning, I am virtually launched from the bed eagerly anticipating time with the Lord. Why? What changed? In part, it is because C.S. Lewis observed that:

It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read and old one in between. God in the Dock (1970)

Lewis’ likely concern was that a believer may pick up an armload of new books at the local Christian bookstore, all of which are well-written, by nationally known mature Christian authors. The books are great recommended reading.

However, despite the authors’ very best efforts, they are all influenced—to some extent—by their contemporary culture. American authors are subject to the influences of the seriously deteriorating American culture. Similarly, historical authors are subject to the cultural influences of their day. Reading books spanning the panorama of time helps to offset the cultural influences of any one particular time period.

Considering C.S. Lewis’ observation, if your devotional time lacks urgency and excitement, consider these suggestions, following a Bible reading with several other daily readings:

  1. Bible—Any reliable translation (Avoid paraphrases except perhaps for clarifying difficult passages in a translation.)
  2. Federer, William J. (2012). American Minute: Notable Events of American Significance Remembered on the Date They Occurred, Amerisearch, Inc. (St. Louis, MO). The pages, dated for each day of the year, include powerful quotations from famous figures. The daily reinforcement drives the inescapable conclusion that America was born in faith, grew to become the most desirable place on earth by faith, and only faced the most serious culture crumbling issues in recent decades.
  3. Pederson, Randall J. ed. (2012). The Puritans Daily Readings, Christian Heritage Imprint by Christian Focus Publications (Geanies House, Fearn, Tain, Ross-shire). The daily readings were written by Puritan Leaders. Unknown to most people, the Puritans became a very large movement, spanning Western Europe and early America. The movement was prominent for over two centuries. The writings of some of the best British Puritans are in this volume. The depth of each daily page is truly impressive.
  4. Pederson, Randall J. ed. (2010). George Whitefield Daily Readings, Christian Heritage Imprint by Christian Focus Publications (Geanies House, Fearn, Tain, Ross-shire). The Great Awakening was a powerful spiritual awakening that swept America during the years leading up to the War of Independence, later known as the Revolutionary War. The Great Awakening inspired the yearning for freedom and the zeal to embark on a very high risk war. George Whitefield was one of the best known preachers of the era. His messages published as daily readings are both compelling and powerful.
  5. â Kempis, Thomas. (2004). The Imitation of Christ, Hendrickson Christian Classics (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA). Originally written circa. 1300 A.D. Thomas â Kempis was part of the Reformation. His book is written as a series of short undated meditations that are excellent for daily reading. It shines a very bright light on the gap between the way many believers live today and the life Christ intended them to live.
  6. Bennett, Arthur, ed. (2013). The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, The Banner of Truth Trust, (Versa Press, Inc. East Peoria, IL) The daily readings are prayers written by Puritans. Some are so rich they will bring tears to your eyes. Surprisingly, the American Puritans were nothing like the stereotype. They were actually colorful dressers, enjoyed a vibrant sense of humor, and knew how to throw a good party (Source: Their own diaries). Their defining feature was that they made no distinction between the sacred and the secular. To the Puritans, all of life was sacred.

Personally, I choose to read a chapter a day from the Bible, and a page a day from each of the other books. The collection inspires devotional times that are awesome, exciting, compelling, and growth producing.

Many popular modern devotionals potentially do more harm than good. They typically sandwich a feel good story between a couple of lines of Scripture at the top and a two-line prayer at the bottom. They lack substance, challenge, and fall woefully short of provoking a soul-deep relationship with God.

The late Dr. Howard Hendrix, professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and Dallas Cowboys Chaplain, was fond of saying. “One of Satan’s most powerful weapons is to vaccinate people with a small dose of Christianity.”

Many believers read a chapter in the Bible, a page in a modern devotional, and mentally pat themselves on the back, convinced that they have satisfied their “obligation” for a daily devotional time. They are anxious to get on with “real life.” If we are truly devoted to the Lord, our devotion is continuous—all day every day, around-the-clock. The planned morning devotions are merely the kick start for the rest of the day.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

“The Greatest Destroyer of Peace Today is Abortion…”

mother_teresa“The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself, and if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. … Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. … But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers.

Jesus said, ‘Anyone who receives a child in my name, receives me’ … By aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus. Please don’t kill the child. … Give me the child. I am willing … to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child.

From our children’s home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3,000 children from abortion. … America can become a sign of peace. …

From here, a sign of care for the weakest of the weak – the unborn child – must go out to the world … then really you will be true to what the founders of this country stood for.”

Mother Teresa, National Prayer Breakfast, Washington, DC, February 3, 1994

Declaration of Independence Signer Cites the True Foundation of Education

benjaminrush

Dr. Benjamin Rush signed the Declaration of Independence and later founded a Society for the Abolition of slavery. His views on education are as important today as when he first shared them.

“I proceed…to inquire what mode of education we shall adopt so as to secure to the state all of the advantages that are to be derived from the proper instruction of the you; and her I beg leave to remark that:

  • The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid on the foundation of religion.
  • Without this there can be no virtue, and
  • Without virtue there can be no liberty, and
  • Liberty is the object and life of all republican governments

But the religion I mean to recommend in this place is that of the New Testament…Its doctrines and precepts are calculated to promote the happiness of society and the safety and well-being of civil government.” Dr. Benjamin Rush

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

The Birth of the Light of the World

The Nativity scene.

The Christmas season reminds us of some curious lyrics about love and light, in the most enduring Christmas carols. A closer look reveals that the curious lyrics are rooted in Scripture. Consider two examples:

  • Silent Night, Holy Night-3rd verse

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

  • Hark the Herald Angels Sing-3rd verse

Light and life to all He brings…”

There is a linkage between love and light and something very special about the linkage. Light has fascinated mankind since Creation; artists and scientists have had a complementary interest in studying light. But the highest source of information is Scripture. A look at what Scripture reveals about love and light may save artists and scientists considerable time and effort. We can do that right now:

  • “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” [1 John 1:5 NIV]—All electromagnetic energy that we perceive as light comes from the Sun. Since the light that illuminates the eyes was created by God, He is the physical light. God is also the spiritual light that illumines the soul.

 

  • “…God is love…” [1 John 4:16 KJV] and “…love comes from God.” [1 John 4:7 KJV]—Love is spiritual energy that comes from God, illuminates the soul, and fuels all interpersonal relationships. All love comes from God, whether the one loving gives God credit or not. Our greatest responsibility is to pass it on.

The visible earthly expression of God’s love is in and through the Son (Jesus, Y’shua). He provided “…a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” [Luke 2:32 NIV] “In him was life, and that life was the light of men…The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” [John 1:4 & 9 NIV]

After forgiving the adulteress, Jesus (Y’shua) confirmed “…’I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness. But will have the light of life.” [John 8:12 NIV]

Albert Einstein was famous for thought experiments. As a young man, he imagined riding a beam of light. Of course, Jesus could not ride a beam of light; he is the light. Instead, he chose to arrive in a stable through the humble darkness of a virgin’s womb. He was laid in an animal’s feeding trough called a manger. For 33 years, the “King of the Jews” lived a humble life serving others, ultimately exiting this life in the humblest way possible, dying virtually naked on the excruciatingly painful Roman cross.

King Jesus (Y’shua) came as a humble servant to model the life God intended for us to live and to pay the penalty for Adam’s first sin and all the sins in your life and mine. One day, the King will return as the conquering Messiah.

Don’t be afraid of any form of darkness; God is the light! Don’t fear any form of threat; God is love!

As for me, “The Lord is my light and my salvation…” [Psalm 27:1 NIV]

Won’t you join me?

Do You Think Joy and Happiness Are the Same? Wrong!

joy-of-the-lord

For unbelievers, there may be a certain interchangeableness of joy and happiness. Indeed, there are even some passages in the Bible that use the words for joy and happiness somewhat interchangeably. The overarching point here is that the pure joy that continuously comes from the Lord is vastly different than the occasional happiness that comes from man.

For believers, joy in the Lord is the persistent, upbeat, sense of peace and delight that arises, because the Lord first loves us and we in turn love Him as best we can. Joy arises from the continuous operation of God’s love, grace, forgiveness, mercy, and longsuffering in our lives. The joy of the Lord is permanent, dependable, reliable, and therefore an anchor of the believer’s life.

Some—especially prosperity TV preachers—claim that God wants everyone to be happy all the time. Really? Then why does God say that suffering is the most powerful tool for building strong godly character? Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” [James 1:2 ESV]

Clearly, God wants us to experience the inner joy that comes only from Him. That joy persists despite suffering and attracts others to a saving faith in Jesus. Suffering itself is not fun; it is often painful physically, emotionally, spiritually or all three. Suffering and happiness cannot coexist; for believers, suffering and the joy of the Lord MUST exist simultaneously. It is the most powerful route to building strong character and becoming an effective witness for God.

Happiness is a temporary response to the words and actions of others who will always let us down. In short, all-embracing joy comes from God, but fleeting happiness depends upon others. Consider the comparison of joy and happiness in the table.

joy-v-happiness

Happiness cycles frequently according to the ebb and flow, of outward circumstances. Happiness depends on others who are fickle and will always let us down.

The joy of the Lord should be rock solid. “…the joy of the LORD is your strength.” [Nehemiah 8:10 NIV] Nevertheless, since all people are flawed and sinful, there may be an occasional lapse of joy, but in a believer, it should be very rare.

Most believers are familiar with at least one stage 4 cancer victim who seemed to radiate the love of the Lord in the days just before death. Stage 4 cancer is no fun and can at times be very painful. Happiness becomes very scarce. When pain arrives, happiness often leaves. But true inner joy—the kind that only comes from God—can shine through despite the pain. It is the joy that shines through the pain that often draws people to Jesus.

The pervasive, immediate and eternal benefits of seeking God’s incomparable joy so far surpass man’s fickle, short-term happiness, that the choice of which to pursue is inescapably clear. Yet, we seem to devote most of our waking hours chasing man’s flawed and undependable happiness, often missing God’s sustained, perfect joy simply due to lack of time.

The joy of the Lord should and must be a permanent characteristic of every believer. It is simply a matter of getting pride out of the way and allowing God’s light and love to shine through. God’s light and love will attract others to Jesus, even, or perhaps especially, when outward happiness is at a record low.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Thanksgiving Miracle of Five Kernels of Corn

thanksgiving-2

Most of us learned about Thanksgiving in school. You know the drill. In 1620, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean blue and experienced a devastatingly harsh winter along the Massachusetts coast. About half of them perished. Spring finally arrived and a friendly Indian named Squanto helped the Pilgrims learn how to obtain food by stomping eels out of the mud and fertilizing corn with dead fish. The following fall, they celebrated an abundant harvest with a feast that became known as the first Thanksgiving. But there is more, much more. The string of miracles is nearly endless:

  • Many years before, the Separatists, later known as the Pilgrims, reached the breaking point of frustration and disappointment after enduring severe persecution by the Church of England. They “removed” to Leyden, Holland. After nearly a dozen years of severe adversity and personal toughening, it was time to leave. They came to believe the America was their “promised land.” They found their way back to England on the ship, Speedwell, prepared to join the Mayflower for the long difficult voyage to America. At Southhampton, their sponsors forcibly required them to accommodate 80 “strangers” who would later strain the best of interpersonal relationships. The Pilgrims numbers were reduced due to limited capacity on the ships. In July, 1620, they sailed west. In barely three days they had to return to England, because of structural problems with the masts on the Speedwell. Again, their numbers were reduced to stay within the carrying capacity of the Mayflower. God had sifted their numbers repeatedly. Only the hardiest of the hardy remained on the Mayflower for the epic journey.
  • Crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Pilgrims endured “seven weeks of the hell of an ill-lighted, rolling, pitching, stinking inferno” as well as tormenting by the crew. All manner of sins were brought to the surface, confessed, and forgiven. By the time they reached land, they were a spiritually cleansed and extremely close-knit group. Adversity does that.
  • Mid-way across the Atlantic, they experienced a life-threatening emergency. The immense cross-beam supporting the main mast was failing. They would likely be lost at sea. After intense prayer, William Brewster had a eureka moment. He recommended using the giant iron printing press screw to support the breaking beam. It worked! Even the skeptical sailors praised God along with the Pilgrims.
  • Just before landing at Plymouth in Massachusetts, they realized they were under no legal jurisdiction. To maintain order, they wrote and everyone signed the Mayflower Compact. The miracle and genius of the document is that it included many of the same principles later embodied in our founding documents.
  • Their landing site was protected by Cape Cod. The site was flat, cleared, and had four freshwater streams and even a cache of corn. How could that happen? The area was previously cleared and inhabited by the Patuxet Indians, one of the few tribes known to be extremely hostile. Years before the Pilgrims’ arrival, the tribe was wiped out by a plague. Other tribes avoided the area, fearing presence of evil spirits. It was a miracle site for the Pilgrims.
  • They finally set foot on land in mid-November, 1620.The first winter was extremely harsh and food was scarce. In January, the thatched roof of the Common House caught fire, a life-threatening emergency, due to their utter dependence on that building. Adversity inspired even more prayer and bound them together even tighter. By Spring, they had lost about half their number. Still the mortality rate was not nearly as high as in Jamestown, Virginia. The miracle was that half did survive.
  • In their most desperate hour into their camp walked a Christian, English-speaking Indian, a Patuxet no less. Yes, you read it right. He was the Squanto of our school days lessons. He was the only survivor of the plague that killed the rest of his tribe, because he was not there. In 1605, Squanto was one of four Indians taken captive and shipped to England, where they were taught English so they could be questioned. Squanto spent nine years in England. In 1614, he was returned to America by Captain John Smith (Yes, it is the same one you remember from the Pocohontas story hundreds of miles to the South.). But Squanto was quickly captured again, taken to Spain and sold as a slave. He was bought and feed by local friars who taught him the Christian faith. Upon his second return to America, Squanto was devastated to find that his entire tribe had succumbed to a plague. Alone and wandering through the woods, Squanto was discovered by Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags. The wise chief recognized that the Pilgrims had a desperate need and the Squanto desperately needed to be needed. Massasoit sent Squanto, the Christian, English-speaking Indian to the Pilgrims. William Brewster would later call Squanto, “a special instrument sent of God for their good, beyond their expectation.” Squanto effectively became an earthly savior. He taught the Pilgrims how to survive in a harsh, rugged, untamed wilderness.
  • Following a bountiful harvest, they and about ninety Indians celebrated the feast that became known as the First Thanksgiving. The three-day celebration and the new arrivals from England consumed much of the provisions for the second winter.
  • By Spring, the food ration for each individual was down to an unimaginable five kernels of corn per day. Nevertheless, they survived again and enjoyed a bountiful harvest after the second summer.
  • When everyone approached the table for the Second Thanksgiving feast, they found a plate with just five kernels of corn as a reminder of God’s limitless grace even under the harshest of conditions.

Here is a challenge for you. Set this year’s Thanksgiving table with just five kernels of corn on each plate. Before enjoying the rest of the feast, share this story with your family and guests. God’s grace is truly wonderful! Tell everyone, about it, beginning with your family.

Much of this story was abstracted from The Light and the Glory, by Peter Marshall and David Manuel (1977), Fleming H. Revell Company; Old Tappan, New Jersey.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

What Does Trump’s Victory Mean for Believers?

trump-time-mag

God has given believers a reprieve! We have four years to stand up, stand out, and speak out as fearless ambassadors of Christ.

Donald Trump has won the Presidency of the United States with a landslide electoral majority (Trump 290 v Clinton 232, Michigan count incomplete, but leaning Trump—16 electoral votes). It is a victory of:

  • nationalism over globalism,
  • democracy over socialism, and
  • faith in God over Humanism.

We have escaped the shackles of political correctness and the captivity of the liberal/progressive/socialist/Humanist/Marxist/globalist movement.

Collectively, the American people have said, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Network [movie, 1976] When Trump makes decisions or takes actions aligned with Scripture, we will stand up and cheer. When he makes decisions or takes actions inconsistent with God’s Word, we may stand up and boo—in love of course.

At times, the Israelites of old, “did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.” At other times, they did that which was right in their own eyes. Later on, the Israelite kings did the same. When those in Judah persistently, “did what was right in their own eyes,” they were carried into captivity in Babylon. When those in Israel did the same, they were carried into captivity in Assyria.

For nearly, 200 years, Americans tried hard to “do what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” For the last 40 years, the Baby Boomers have wandered in a spiritual wilderness, “doing what was right in their own eyes.” The consequences have been tragic and catastrophic. We have increasingly, been carried into the runaway government captivity aggressively created by the elites of the liberal/progressive/socialist/Humanist/Marxist/globalist movement.

God has given believers a reprieve! We have four years to stand up, stand out, and speak out as fearless ambassadors of Christ.

What America looks like in four years will depend far more on the collective actions of believers than on the actions of President-elect Trump. It may be our last chance to restore America, our families, and stabilize the American culture for our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond.
Trump’s victory has given the body of Judeo-Christian believers a four-year reprieve and an opportunity to once again, “do what is right in the eyes of the Lord,” to restore America. The alternative is unthinkable.

The Unthinkable

A Hillary Clinton victory would have carried us further into the ever tightening captivity of a malignant government that would continue to destroy the Constitution, the family, the free enterprise system, and catalyze a rapidly growing cultural exposure to  incursions of Sharia law.

A Clinton victory would have confirmed that a majority of Americans no longer understand the difference between right and wrong and no longer sense a conviction about the difference between good and evil. Why? Because one of the main tenets of the Humanist movement Hillary leads is that there is no such thing as objective truth and therefore no universal set of values, applicable at all times.

The Humanist movement, all of its aligned political groups, and Hillary are relentlessly, and vigorously running away from God as fast as possible. Since Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life…,” [John 14:6 NIV] they can only run from God by running from truth.

The ramifications of running from truth are incalculably immense. If there is no objective truth, there cannot be a lie because, by definition a lie is a deviation from truth. If there is no truth, there can be no values such as honesty and integrity, because those values must be built on a virtuous foundation of truth.

Without truth, there is no contrast between good and evil, because everything is seen as good (ultimate tolerance) and evil does not exist. The existence of evil is simply denied.

Humanism and its progeny lead to destruction of the family and destruction of the American culture. The Humanist movement encourages the resulting chaos, because chaos becomes the excuse for government to demand ever more socialistic power, growing continuously until the government self-destructs under its own weight. The pattern has been repeated endlessly throughout history.

The Unprecedented Opportunity

Instead, the election of Donald Trump to President of the United States stops or at least temporarily interrupts the downward spiral pursued by the liberal/progressive/socialist/Humanist/Marxist/globalist movement. The resulting opportunity for believers is a gift. It is unprecedented in our lifetime.

God has given believers a reprieve! We have four years to stand up, stand out, and speak out as fearless ambassadors of Christ.

NOW is the time for Judeo-Christian believers to wake-up, coalesce, and take action. Jesus declared, “You are the salt of the earth…” [Matthew 5:13 NIV] Think about it! No one else anywhere in the world can be the salt of the earth. Only believers are qualified and empowered for that role. If we fail, there is no one else. If we fail, we will have failed our families, our countrymen and the Lord.

Jesus immediately raised the stakes in the next verse, declaring, “You are the light of the world…” [Matthew 5:14 NIV] Once again, no one else anywhere on earth can be the light of the world. Only believers are qualified and empowered for that role. If we fail, there is no one else. If we fail, we will have failed our families, our countrymen and the Lord. We absolutely must not allow our light to dim and must not hide it under a basket, i.e. in our homes and places of worship.

If believers reading this are not yet feeling the heat, the Apostle Paul forcefully trumpets, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” [2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV] Does any of us have the brass to be a barrier to God’s appeal through us?

As believers, we ARE ambassadors for Christ 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We cannot choose not to be an ambassador. The only choice available to us is whether to be a positive ambassador, drawing others toward us and toward Jesus, or a negative ambassador, driving others away from us and away from Jesus.

As soon as people discover that you and I are believers, we live in a spiritually glass house. There is no shortage of people ready to proclaim us to be hypocrites or narrow minded, judgmental dupes or worse. We must not give them the excuse to do so.

Each of us is an ambassador, with every breath we take and every moment we live. Whenever we utter an unkind word, exhibit a facial expression that is less than loving, or do something that is even questionable, we are being a negative ambassador, driving people away from us and away from the Lord. Sharing our faith becomes virtually impossible.

Instead, if we set aside our pride, allow God’s love to shine through us and allow His unhindered appeal to reach all those around us, they will be drawn toward us and toward the Lord. As the visible vehicle of God’s love, our conversation will be uplifting, our facial expression will be warmly inviting, and our behavior will be beyond reproach. We will be viewed as a positive ambassador as the Lord and Paul intended. Sharing our faith becomes natural and comfortable.
We can pray, “Come quickly Lord Jesus.” [Rev. 22:20]. But in the meantime, we must accept the responsibilities He has imposed on us. For a moment, consider the testimony of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

“Now, Dr. Lowry said something about my having certain convictions as to a God in Heaven and an Almighty power. Well, I don’t think anyone needs a great deal of credit for believing in what seems to me to be obvious…This relationship between a spiritual faith…and our form of government is…so obvious that we should really not need to identify a man as unusual because he recognizes it. Our whole theory of government finally expressed in our Declaration…said…Man is endowed by his Creator…When you come back to it, there is just one thing…man is worthwhile because he was born in the image of his God…Democracy is nothing in the world but a spiritual conviction…that each of us is enormously valuable, because of a certain standing before our own God. Any group that…awakens all of     us to these simple things…is, in my mind, a dedicated, patriotic group that can well take the Bible in one hand and the flag in the other, and march ahead.” [Emphasis added.]

President Dwight D. Eisenhower,

November 9, 1954

We must be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and strong positive ambassadors for Christ. We have no other choice. This may be our last chance before America drops into an abyss of her own making.

God has given believers a reprieve! Let’s not blow it. America and future generations of our families are depending on YOU and me.

Congratulations President-elect Trump! For you and the nation, we will:

Pray! Pray! Pray!

and

Act! Act! Act!

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Sing a Little Louder (2)

This blog was first posted about a year ago. The astonishing, shocking, short 14-minute Christian blockbuster movie can be viewed here: https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=robo&p=Sing+a+Little+Louder+movie+trailer#id=4&vid=32a843fdd85f277309e5e1b2aebf5849&action=view or

at Kingdom Works here” https://kingdomworks.com/sing-a-little-louder/

Kingdom Works allows the movie to be shown in your church or synagogue for free.

For convenience, the original blog is provided as follows:

An old man tells a profound story about a childhood experience. As a young boy during World War II, he lived in Nazi-controlled Germany. His family regularly attended a church located along side railroad tracks. Trains regularly passed the church during the church services.

They were long strings of cattle cars painfully overloaded with terrified Jews destined for work camps, concentration camps, and usually death. There was no food, no provisions for personal hygiene, and no considerations for people with special needs. In the heat of summer, the extremely cramped cattle cars became ovens. The stench from accumulating body waste was suffocating.

On at least one occasion, a train stopped outside the church. In the absence of air conditioning, the windows were frequently open. The congregation could hear anguished cries of pain and desperate pleas for help.

The pastor raised his voice so he could be heard above the din. When it was time for the choir to sing, the pastor instructed them to, “Sing a little louder,” to cover the disturbing sounds from outside. The compelling experience seared into the boys mind and changed his life forever. The story has become a book and recently a movie.

          What about today? Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”

  • 55,000,000 unborn babies have been murdered using increasingly gruesome processes euphemistically called “abortion.” When we hear their cries, are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • America’s Judeo-Christian culture is being destroyed by massive government-encouraged immigration that includes the immigration of large numbers of criminals, terrorists, and people adhering to religious beliefs that are hostile to Jews and Christians as well as millions of immigrants too poor and uneducated to support themselves. (Refer to Ann Coulter’s new book, “Adios America.”) Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • Our culture, including a large portion of the body of Judeo-Christian believers is rapidly sinking into a moral abyss. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The witness of believers is being crushed by the relentless pressures of political correctness. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The public school system has become intellectually inept as well as emotionally and spiritually toxic. (Refer to “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children,” by Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman.) Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The politicians of both political parties are spending America into irretrievable bankruptcy. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The United States Supreme Court appears poised to declare the sin of oxymoronic “same-sex marriage” to be a Constitutional right. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The military valiantly protects our freedom from without. But our individual freedom is being lost from within by the feeding frenzy of a rabid, out-of-control government. Freedom is a gift from God, not a grant from government. Are we moving to protect that divine gift or are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • Large numbers of believers around the world, especially in the Middle East are being tortured, shot, hanged, burned alive, or beheaded, because they refuse to renounce their Messiah. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”

Who among the clergy or laity has the courage to stand up and demand that we sing a new song? No—not the one we will sing in glory, but the new song for today that actively confronts the exponentially increasing evils of 21st Century America.

What would the Apostles Paul, Peter, and John say if they were with us today?

The movie, Sing a Little Louder, is now available for viewing in places of worship. Find it at http://singloudermovie.com/

What will YOU do?

Do Not Fail to Cast a Solemn Vote—2016

Vote 2012

“I therefore urge upon all the voters of our country, without reference to party, that they assemble…at their respective voting places in the exercise of the high office of American citizenship, that they approach the ballot box in the spirit that they would approach a sacrament, and there, disregarding ll appeals to passion and prejudice dedicate themselves truly and wholly to the welfare of their country. When an election is so held, it…sustains the belief that the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

President Calvin Coolidge

“If a political character attacks a (religious) sect, this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect from supporting him; but if he attacks all the sects together, every one abandons him and he remains alone…Moreover, all the sects of the Unites States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists…The hate our freedoms-our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote.”

President George W. Bush

Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote at every opportunity including seemingly minor local offices. Vote thoughtfully after careful consideration of the record of each candidate and his/her specifically clarified views. Do not fail to vote; do not vote frivolously.

What does it take to wake up the body of believer?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Is Progress Desirable or Despicable? How Do YOU Know?

Progress of lighting with candle, tungsten, fluorescent and LED

Desirable progress—People tend to think of progress as an improved standard of living (economic progress) or technological improvements in health care that can extend life span or improve the enjoyment of the existing life span (technological progress.

The creativity that produces desirable progress is unleashed by a virtuous culture and a competitive private sector with minimal government interference. A virtuous culture is one that fears God and is embedded with biblical virtues such as honesty, integrity, loyalty, trustworthiness, and faithfulness. These virtues and others incite attitudes and actions of humility, forgiveness, mercifulness, longsuffering, and a servant’s spirit. Every society without a strong and sound virtuous foundation collapses into chaos.

“Have you ever found in history, one single example of a Nation thoroughly corrupted that was afterwards restored to virtue?…And without virtue, there can be no political liberty. Will you tell me how to prevent luxury from producing effeminacy, intoxication, extravagance vice and folly?…I believe no effort in favour of virtue is lost.”

Founder/President John Adams

“A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a paradox as an honest Man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men? Can he be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is undermining the very bonds of Society?….The Scriptures tell us “righteousness exalteth a Nation.”

Abigail Adams

Despicable progress—To the liberal/progressive (Humanist/Marxist/Globalist) movement, progress means moving away from God and the Bible as well as biblical virtues, exchanging them for relentlessly increasing government control, Freedom is continuously sacrificed for all manner of security—cradle to grave security, including uniformly level economic (material) security, in general barely above subsistence level.

Essentially, the God of the Bible is exchanged for the god of government. It is the natural extension of the Humanist ideal the man becomes his own god. In short, the liberal/progressive elite compete to accumulate the greatest power and become the head god of government, all at the expense of you and me.

Despicable progress is fueled by any and all forms of real or perceived crises. Liberal/progressives use each naturally occurring or manufactured crisis as an opportunity to champion the “need” for expanded government control (read: bigger government). The lust for government control metastasizes and grows until it collapses under its own weight. Game over! United States and American culture gone…forever!

“They that would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Founder/Benjamin Franklin

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

John Adams

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

 

Vote for God!

Open Bible on American Flag

Is it really possible to vote for God? Absolutely! Here’s why. Here’s how.

The American people have enjoyed the greatest freedom for living and self-determination since the Garden of Eden. The only other culture coming close was the ancient Israelites, during the time of the judges (before the kings), a period of about 400 years.

Movie director Cecile B. DeMille personally introduced his epic, The Ten Commandments, the story of the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Hebrew slaves (later known as Israelites) from Egypt. DeMille billed the story as “the birth of freedom.” Thousands of years later, the Founders of the newly born United States of America tasked a small committee, including John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson with designing the Great Seal of the United States.

The Founders used the model of the ancient Israelites for many of the features of the new American government. The Great Seal committee was so inspired by the ancients that an early draft of the Great Seal proposed an embossed sketch of the Hebrews leaving Egypt. The draft was later set aside as excessively complex. However, its existence as part of the preplan underscores the affection the Founders had for the ancient culture and the inspiration they derived from it.

The Founders recognized that freedom and certain rights are gifts from God, not grants from government. Representative freedoms and rights were enshrined in the American Declaration of Independence and codified in the United States Constitution.

The role of future politicians was to protect those freedoms and rights from encroachment by the newly formed Federal government. The Constitution provided powerful protection by confining the Federal government within a very tight box. The Constitution itself could be amended only by a brilliantly well-chosen and deliberately burdensome amendment process.

The writers of the Constitution bound the federal government with very tight restrictions, because they understood that man’s sin nature produced a relentless concentration of power in virtually every culture throughout all time periods of recorded history. Secular philosophers call the same phenomenon “egoism.”

The Constitution was designed to be an anchor for the American government and the American culture. Nearly a century later, the emerging liberal/progressive Humanist movement proclaimed that the Constitution must be a “living” document that can change with the times. From that time on, the liberal big government view challenged the long-standing conservative small government view. The need to restrict the passions of men using a Constitutional lock box is the basis for today’s conservative view supporting small government.

Since the original Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were based, insofar as possible, on Biblical standards and a Biblical worldview, changes to the Constitution inexorably move the American culture away from the original Biblical worldview.

Voting for God is simply voting for candidates up and down the ballot who will do the most to protect those freedoms and rights that are gifts from God, not grants from government. For believers, sitting at home, on election day, is NOT an option; it is a failure to do what is necessary to protect God’s gifts. Voting for a third party candidate is NOT an option; it is a wasted vote and a failure to do what is necessary to protect God’s gifts.

After election day, November 8, 2016, the President of the United States will be either Donald Trump (nationalist) or Hillary Clinton (globalist). As voters, it is important to ignore the trash in the media to focus on the beliefs and actions the candidates are likely to pursue if elected.

As a nationalist, most of Donald Trump’s beliefs are aligned with the Biblical worldview. He is flawed like all candidates, but his actions as president will clearly do the most to protect God’s wonderful, incomparable gifts. Trump will do the most to protect the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage, and the cohesiveness of the family.

As a globalist, Hillary Clinton’s liberal/progressive views and actions as president would be diametrically opposed to Trump’s. Hillary is determined to achieve unlimited abortion at taxpayer expense, greatly expand Planned Parenthood funding, destroy marriage as an important cultural concept, and virtually eliminate American sovereignty by eliminating borders and giving away sovereignty by camouflaging the giveaways in so called free trade agreements.

Finally, the judges appointed by the next president will serve lifetime appointments long after the president leaves office. Trump is committed to appointing conservative Constitutionalist judges, some from a list he has already publicized. Hillary is committed to appointing judges who will arbitrarily exceed Constitutional authority by “legislating from the bench.”

Will America survive or die? It is up to YOU! Vote for God! But first, pray and consider several quotes from those who loved America from the depths of their souls.

 

Religion in America…must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it

Alexis de Tocqueville

“You…are placed by Providence in the post of honor, because it is the post of danger…The eyes not only of North America and the whole British Empire, but of all Europe, are upon you. Let us be, therefore altogether solicitous that no disorderly behavior, nothing unbecoming our character as American, as citizens and Christians, be justly chargeable to us.

Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual…Continue steadfast, and with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”

Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, 1774

Boston Patriot Josiah Quincy proclaimed, “Under God, we are determined that wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we will die free men.”

Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote at every opportunity including seemingly minor local offices. Vote thoughtfully after careful consideration of the record of each candidate and his/her specifically clarified views. Do not fail to vote; do not vote frivolously.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Awesome Puritans Get a Bum Rap!

An engraved illustration of the Pilgrim Fathers leaving England, from a Victorian book dated 1886 that is no longer in copyrigh

In modern times, the earliest American settlers have been wrongly whitewashed as a dour, always somber-faced people who led unpleasant legalistic lives constrained by an overly oppressive and complex matrix of strict rules they believed had Biblical origin. Ugh! Who would want to live that way?

However, to understand a historical people, it is always far better to read what they said and wrote themselves, rather than rely on third party historians who are often biased. The process is called using primary source material.

The Puritans left or handed down an abundance of personal diaries attesting to their colorful clothing (They may have worn black and whites on Sunday morning.), vibrant sense of humor, and enthusiasm for throwing a good party. Their personal testimonies are at stark odds with the modern stereotype.

Nevertheless, there is an overarching principle that drove the everyday lives of the Puritans, a principle that we desperately need to learn today. They made no distinction between the sacred and the secular. To the Puritans, all of life is sacred. Their view is refreshing, incredibly simple, elegant, and powerful.

But how did they derive such a view? The Puritans regarded every moment and every breath we take as a gift from our awesome, loving, God. What we do with every moment and every breath we take is our gift back to God. It our expression of gratitude, guided by His love for us.

The holistic Puritan view and example does not mean that we should live each day with a persimmon-mouth appearance, driven by an overly churchy attitude, while living the monastic life of a medieval monk.

It does mean that an overarching purpose of our life is to love and meet the needs of others. It also means that, whether we are with our family, at work, or enjoying recreational pursuits, we are continually sensitive to God’s desire for our life and well-being. After all, since He created us, He knows what is best for us and that deviations from God’s best always carry a price, sometimes a painfully heavy price. What is best for us? His Word, the Bible says it best!

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?