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.

Motherhood!

“That special power of loving that belongs to a woman is seen most clearly when she becomes a mother. Motherhood is the gift of God to women. How grateful we must be to God for this wonderful gift that brings such joy to the whole world, women and men alike! Yet we can destroy this gift of motherhood, especially by the evil of abortion, but also by thinking that other things like jobs or positions are more important than loving, than giving oneself to others. No job, no plans, no possessions, no idea of “freedom” can take the place of love. So anything that destroys God’s gift of motherhood destroys His most precious gift to women—the ability to love as a woman.” Mother Teresa

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?

 

What’s All the Hullabaloo about St. Patrick?

St Patrick's Day Puppy

Today is the day many people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, marked by the conspicuous wearing of green and for some an overindulgence of green beer. But what started it all?

For six years, beginning as a teenager in the sixth century A.D., Patrick served as a slave to Irish Druids. These fine folks practiced human sacrifice. Patrick eventually escaped. In a dream, 20 years later, Patrick reported, “I thought I heard the voice…call out: ‘Please, holy boy, come and walk among us again.’”

The cry was so compelling that Patrick returned to Ireland, using the three-leaf clover to explain the Trinity to the Druids and Chieftains. He devoted the rest of his life to baptizing 120,000 and founding 300 churches. He wrote:

“Patrick the sinner, an unlearned man to be sure. None should ever say that it was my ignorance that accomplished any small thing, it was the gift of God.”

From American Minute, William J. Federer

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

 

God’s Genius—Magnificent Difference Between a Man and a Woman!

running down beach.

A recent blog entitled, “Diversity Madness and Matrimony,” observed that the diversity craze has infected nearly every area of life except one. For several decades, the monumentally absurd—but politically correct—notion that there is no difference between a man and a woman, except for a few anatomical externals that can be surgically rearranged upon request, has been loudly proclaimed by liberal/progressive politicians, the media, academia, and eagerly portrayed by the entertainment industry. The alleged sameness of men and women conspicuously contrasted with the diversity epidemic.

However, the relentless proclamation of sameness betrayed the obvious. Plan B, for the liberal/progressive movement was to smear the differences between a man and a woman into a messy, unintelligible spectrum of nothingness, using the LGBTQ movement as the cause célèbre to promote Plan B.

The ultimate low is the toxic morality soup known as gender-fluid, which allows gender to be anything along the messy spectrum, subject to change at any moment. A person merely “identifies” with any of an infinite number of genders. As the consummate form of “tolerance,” gender-fluid is the obliteration of all remnants of morality and may be the final nail in the coffin of the traditional family.

It is difficult to imagine a harsher way for America to shake its collective fist in the face of God!

The magnificent difference between a man and a woman is among the greatest examples of the infinite genius of God. A married man and woman represent a breathtaking integration of mutual submission within a framework of interdependence (not codependence). “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” [Ephesians 5:21 KJV] They are the nascent nucleus of a new family that grows with each gift from God, the miracle of conception and the later birth of a child.

The family as created and structured by God is sovereign unto itself and is the only means of transmitting the biblical worldview and God’s biblical character values to future generations. Collectively, godly families are the bulwark of civilization and the only sustainable path to an enduring culture.

“God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” [Genesis 1:28 NAS] The many differences between a man and a woman represent a complex and thrilling distinction that cannot be explained by evolution.

Differences! Differences! Differences!

God Created Men and Women to Be Complementary

Perhaps the most tangible and visible manifestation of God’s creative genius is that He designed men and women to complement each other in virtually endless ways. Men and women exhibit complementary differences physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

Married Couples Fit Together Like Pieces of a Complex Jigsaw Puzzle

Married couples complement and merge each other’s inherent strengths and weaknesses. In addition to their complementary strengths and weaknesses, each may have to occasionally become uncharacteristically strong, in a normally weak area to overcome the other’s temporary lapse or uncharacteristic weakness in another area. Habits also complement and change with time.

Scripturally, the order of the universe is that the Lord is the bridegroom and the body of believers is the bride. Of course, in any earthly marriage the man is the bridegroom and the bride is the beautiful woman spectacularly dressed in a white wedding gown walking down the aisle to meet her man.

But in a larger sense, the bride is not just the woman at the ceremony, the bride is the woman and by extension the children she later produces, often referred to as the fruit of her womb. The husband is required to love the wholeness of his bride, i.e. the wholeness of his family, even as the Messiah also loved the church, to the point of the husband’s own death if necessary.

Fallows magnificently explains, “The husband is the ‘house band,’ the earthly giver of life, uniting the divine with the human in the supreme function of fatherhood.” The wife is ‘the weaver,’ shaping and coloring in the prenatal and postnatal influences of sacred motherhood the destinies of her offspring.” “As the “earthly giver of life, uniting the divine with the human,” the husband/father becomes the role model for “the first and greatest commandment” to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

As the “weaver,” the wife/mother is the connection between the past and future generations of her family, but also the past and future generations of the culture. She is the role model for the second summary commandment to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Shannon clarifies,

“Mothers constitute the only universal agent of civilization. Nature has placed in her hands both infancy and youth. The vital interests of America hang largely upon the influence of mothers.” The queen that sits upon the throne of home, crowned and sceptered as none other ever can be, is—mother. Her enthronement is complete, her reign unrivaled, and the moral issues of her empire are eternal. “Her children rise up, and call her blessed.” Rebellious at times, as the subjects of her government may be, she rules them with marvelous patience, winning tenderness and undying love. She so presents and exemplifies divine truth, that it reproduces itself, in the happiest development of childhood—character and life…An ounce of mother is worth more than a pound of clergy.”

Together, fueled by God’s infinite supply of love, Dad and Mom become virtual superheroes, an incredibly awesome team stabilizing God’s brilliantly designed family and the national culture as a whole. A child forms a vertical relationship with God, primarily, though not exclusively, through the role model of the father; a child forms horizontal relationships with others within and beyond the family primarily, though not exclusively, through the role model of the mother.

The complementary combination produces godly character in the child. The actions of role modeling build character in the parents. The character of every family member extends outward to the community and the nation.

That is God’s grand design for Dad and Mom. What incredible superheroes!

Judeo-Christian Worldview

Here is how: Consider a month-long series of marriage/family oriented sermon messages along with similarly themed Bible classes—Encourage people to look as masculine or feminine as possible during that month. “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.” [Deuteronomy 22:5 NASB]  Different clothes reflect the inward heart.

A married man and woman fit together like a pair of hands. Left and right hands can clap to honor God or others. One hand cannot clap.

Homemaker

Today, “homemaker” has become one of the most misunderstood and abused concepts in the American culture. For thousands of years, people in most cultures understood the near miraculous role of the homemaker. Homemaker makes the home the greatest place in the universe for her family. She meets the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual needs of the family. There is no higher calling than pursuing the cohesiveness of the family and raising children to become adults of strong character.

Sure the homemaker can go out and get a job. But she already has the most important job in the universe. Why accept a demotion?

“You drive the women of my people from their pleasant homes. You take away my blessing from their children forever. Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy. [Micah 2:9-10 NIV]

Careers

All jobs and careers have interesting/exciting components and also disagreeable components. Mother/homemaker is one of the few God-created careers and by far the most important of all careers.

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

Today—The Best Devotions of My Lifetime!

Although personal devotions—time spent with the Lord—may vary day-to-day, month-to-month or even year-to-year, today was one of the very best devotional times of my life! The time was beyond rich. It was pervasive, exhilarating, and intensely joyful, producing waves of tears.

Afterword, I ran six miles to calm down. Following a shower, I’m still riding a spiritual high. Can’t help but share it. Here’s a summary.

The Bible

Like most believers, I begin by reading a chapter in the Bible—typically a chapter a day from Genesis to Revelation and then repeating the cycle. Rather than reading a weak modern devotional, there follows a series of devotional readings by great saints from the past. “It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” C.S. Lewis

American Minute

Today’s passage from American Minute was about the Alamo. It took 13 days for 3,000 of Santa Ana’s men to annihilate 189 Texans and Tejanos in the Alamo. Only a mother, her baby, and a servant survived. The deceased heroes included William Travis, Davy Crockett, and Jim Bowie.

During the 13-day siege and massacre, 66 others signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. It proclaimed, “General Antonio Lopez Santa Anna…having overturned the constitution of his country, now offers, as the cruel alternative, either abandon our homes…or submit to the most intolerable of all tyrannyHe denies us the right of worshipping the Almighty according to the dictates of our own conscience.” The deceased heroes were pioneers, but they were pioneers willing to give all for freedom, especially the freedom to worship according to their own conscience.

The Texas Declaration was reminiscent of the American Declaration of Independence, opening with the proclamation, “that all men…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and ending with the absolute and uncompromising commitment, “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, or fortunes and our sacred honor.”

Many of the American Declaration signers lost one or all three. The commitments to freedom and to God by the fighters at the Alamo and the signers of the American Declaration of Independence were total. Retreat—physical, emotional, or spiritual—was not an option.

The Puritans: Daily Readings

Each month there is a series of readings by a selected author. The February readings are by John Bunyan (known for The Pilgrim’s Progress; 1,300 editions/200 languages). These devotional readings are from Bunyan’s A Treatise of the Fear of God. The first few entries distinguish between ungodly fear and godly fear. Whoever preaches about the fear of God anymore?

Ungodly fear views God as a sort of celestial terrorist, causing people to flee from God. Godly fear, however, is an overwhelming awe, respect, and reverence for the power of God. It is a soul-deep awareness of the enormity of the sinful gap between God and man, leading to a profound desire to obey. Godly fear draws people toward Him.

There flows from godly fear a number of positive—even exciting—things, expressed in this devotional a day at a time. Today’s devotional focuses on Delight in God’s Commands. Rather than summarize, this one is so powerful and exhilarating it is reproduced here in totality:

Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear they name. [Psalm 86.11]

There flows from this godly fear a great delight in the holy commands of god; that is, a delight to be conformable unto them. “Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments” (Ps. 112:1) This confirms that which was said before, namely, that this fear provokes to a holy and reverent use of the means; for that cannot be, when there is not a holy, yea, a great delight in the commandments.

Wherefore this fear makes the sinner to abhor that which is sin, because that is contrary to the object of his delight. A man cannot delight himself at the same time in things directly opposite one to another, as sin and the holy commandments are; therefore Christ says of the servant, he “cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24);

if he cleaves to the one, he must hate and despise the other: there cannot, at the same time, be service to both, because that they are at enmity one with the other: so are sin and the commandments; therefore, if a man delights himself in the commandments, he hates that which is opposite, which is sin; how much more when he greatly delights in the commandments!

Now, this holy fear of God takes the heart and affections from sin, and sets them upon the holy commandments: therefore such a man is rightly esteemed blessed. For no profession makes a man blessed, but that which is accompanied with an alienation of the heart from sin; nor does any thing do that when this holy fear is wanting.

It is from this fear, then, that love to and delight in the holy commandments flow; and so by that the sinner is kept from those falls and dangers of miscarrying that other professors are so subject to; he greatly delights in the commandments. [emphases added]

There seems to be little fear of God in today’s preaching. But John Bunyan and numerous others graphically illustrate how the fear of God is a powerful influence on the believer and the believer’s journey to maturity.

George Whitefield: Daily Readings

George Whitefield was one of the best known preachers of The Great Awakening, a spiritual awakening so dramatic, pervasive, and powerful that it provided the spiritual driving force for the American Revolutionary War. This devotional was selected to discover more about the Awakening, its influence on George Whitefield, and the widespread transformation of the pre-revolutionary American people.

In a summary of today’s reading, Whitefield proclaims:

Christians are “the temple of the living God,” of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They who once held a consultation to create, are all equally concerned in making preparations for, and effectually bringing about the redemption of man. The Father creates, the Son redeems, and the Holy Ghost sanctifies all the elect people of God.

Being loved from eternity, they are effectually called in time, they are chosen out of the world…by a free, voluntary, unconstrained oblation, they devote themselves, spirit, soul, and body, to the entire service of him who has loved and given himself for them…It implies no less than a total renunciation of the world; in short, it turns the Christian’s whole life into one continued sacrifice of love to God, so that, “whether he eats or drinks, he does all to his glory.”

The reading emphasizes the uncompromising totality the commitment that God expects from the believer.

The Imitation of Christ, Thomas â Kempis

Today, this great reformation saint also reinforced the totality of the believer’s commitment:

It is the mark of a perfect man, Lord, never to let his mind relax in attention to heavenly things, and to pass through many cares as though he had none…Let not the world and its brief glory deceive me, nor the devil trip me by his craftiness. Give me,

  • Courage to resist,
  • Patience to endure, and
  • Constancy to persevere.

Give me the soothing unction of Your spirit rather than all the consolations of the world, and in place of carnal love, infuse into me the love of Your name.

Day by Day with Jonathan Edwards

Today, Jonathan Edwards glorifies life in heaven. It is a place of perfect rest, but not a place of inactivity. Here’s a summary:

…But yet the rest of heaven does not consist in idleness, and a cessation of all action, but only a cessation from all the trouble and toil and tediousness of action…Perfection of happiness does not consist in idleness, but on the contrary, if very much consists in action…The angels are blessed spirits, and yet they are exceedingly active in serving God…God himself enjoys infinite happiness and perfect bliss, and yet he is not inactive, but is himself in his own nature a perfect act, and is continually at work in bringing to pass his own purposes and ends…So that they (saints in heaven) enjoy perfect rest yet they are a great deal more active than they were when in this world.

The Valley of Vision

The Valley of Vision is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions. Read one each day they preface my personal prayer time. Today’s Puritan prayer reading focused on the gospel. Here’s the summary:

O Thou Most High,

Creator of the ends of the earth,

Governor of the universe,

Judge of all men,

Head of the church,

Saviour of sinners;

Thy greatness is unsearchable,

Thy goodness is infinite,

Thy compassion is unfailing,

Thy mercies ever new.

We bless thee for the words of salvation.

We are lost: but in it thou has presented to us

A full, free and eternal salvation;

Weak: but here we learn that help is found in One that is mighty,

Poor: but in him we discover unsearchable riches,

Blind: but we find he has treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

We thank thee for thy unspeakable gift.

Thy Son is our only refuge, foundation, hope, confidence…

Let us as Christians fill our various situations in life…

And may every place and company we are in be benefited by us.

After these readings and contemplations, my prayer time was unusually rich. As the Psalmist said, “my cup runneth over.”

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

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?

Calling All Skeptics: The Virgin Birth Was Real!

Nativity scene.

During the holiday season, there is no shortage of skeptics enthusiastically challenging, ridiculing, or casting doubt on the Biblical narrative about the virgin birth of Jesus.

  • True skeptics are not likely to change; wild emotional claims suit their purpose just fine.
  • Believers who have a soul-deep conviction regarding the Biblical record of the virgin birth are not likely to be dissuaded.
  • In between, lie significant numbers of believers harboring views ranging from mild discomfort to serious questions about the virgin birth of Jesus.

The in-betweeners arise, in part, because the body of believers is sailing down the river rapids of cultural Humanism, while the believers are trying to paddle upstream, following the Biblical worldview.

The in-betweeners are not likely to raise questions within their place of worship for fear of embarrassment in front of fellow believers. They are unlikely to raise questions outside their place of worship, because the information is often not trustworthy.

The short answer to the dilemma perceived by some is that God created the “heaven and the earth.” [Genesis 1:1 KJV]. For the Creator of the universe, a virgin birth is no problem at all.

Nevertheless, for the finite human brain it is often helpful to cite illustrations that are a bit closer to human reality than the whole of Creation. For example, the Biblical record includes numerous births that are even more miraculous than the virgin birth of Jesus.

For example, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist were all born to conspicuously barren women in an ancient culture that regarded barrenness a curse or a punishment from God. Although the mothers of these great Biblical figures may have lived prior to the writing of the Book of Proverbs, they clearly understood the principles of the thirtieth chapter:

“There are three things that are never satisfied,     four that never say, ‘Enough!’: 16 the grave, the barren womb,     land, which is never satisfied with water,     and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’ [Proverbs 30:15-16 NIV Emphasis added]

supernatural-births

Barrenness was a very serious condition. At that time, only a very rare woman would be childless by choice, a married woman—never. As indicated in the table, Scripture clearly confirms that the mothers of these men were barren (Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Manoah’s wife, Hannah, and Elisabeth, respectively). Although all the mothers were mature, Sarah and Elisabeth were particularly old, as if the Lord was underscoring their extreme inability to bear a child, without Divine assistance.

Compare those births with the birth of Jesus who was born to a healthy, fertile, young woman, albeit a virgin. The miracle of the virgin birth required only a momentary overshadowing by the Holy Spirit. [Luke 1:35 KJV] There followed a pregnancy that was normal in every respect, except that Mary was hosting in her womb, the Savior forecast hundreds of years earlier. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” [Isaiah 7:14 KJV]

The birth of Isaac was announced by God; the births of Samson, John the Baptist, and Jesus were announced by angels. The births of Jacob, Joseph, and Samuel were late in life and were answers to particular prayers. In all cases, Scripture emphasizes the barrenness of the mothers.

Sarah and Elisabeth were particularly old, far beyond childbearing years. Their husbands, Abraham and Zachariah, respectively, were also very old. All the supernatural births before the birth of Jesus, required a continuous series of daily miracles from conception until the baby was weaned from its mother’s breast.

At least for Abraham and Zachariah, the Lord had to completely restore their reproductive systems to enable them to participate in their role in conception. However, the string of miracles for the mothers was far greater, at least from a human viewpoint, especially for Sarah and Elisabeth.

Their reproductive systems had to be completely restored and rejuvenated. The Lord had to give them the ability to produce an egg, for them a long lost ability.

The mother’s uterus was completely restored with the with the ability to initially embed the baby in the wall of the uterus, allowing the formation of the umbilical cord through which life sustaining oxygen and nourishment would flow for nine months. The uterine muscles were given the strength to hold a baby for nine months, without rupturing or any form of physical damage.

For these women to bear a child, the entire endocrine system was restored to produce the great array of hormones necessary to sustain pregnancy, throughout the nine month period. Each mother’s uterus was altered to withstand the rigors of pregnancy and daily biochemical changes as well as the later movement of the child.

As childbirth approached, another burst of hormones prepared the way, softening the birth canal and initiating the childbirth sequence. About that time, a hormonal flush prepared the mother’s breasts for feeding the baby. Since baby formulas did not exist in ancient times, feeding a baby with the mother’s milk was essential. All the supernatural births in the above table could not have happened without the mothers’ physical support and nourishment before birth and the mothers’ personal breast milk nourishment for a long period after birth.

All of these complex birth patterns, completely unnatural in barren and old women, required many miracles greater than the virgin birth. For these mothers, pregnancy and nursing (breast feeding), became a series of daily miracles lasting years (nine months + nursing period)

Indeed, when the angel Gabriel was sharing, with Mary, God’s plan for her to give birth to the Savior, Gabriel further explained to Mary that her cousin Elisabeth had “…also conceived a son in her old age…(one) who was called barren.” Just to make sure the message is not in any way misunderstood, Gabriel immediately added, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” [Luke 1:36, 37 KJV] The angel’s abundantly clear message was that if Elisabeth could give birth in her old age, Mary should not be surprised any longer or doubt God’s ability to enable her virgin birth.

John the Baptist is well known for preparing the way for the coming Messiah Jesus. Less often considered is that John’s preparation responsibilities began at his own conception. His presence in the previously barren womb of the old woman Elisabeth, prepared Mary for her virgin birth.

As one final nail in the skeptic’s intellectual coffin, consider God’s proclamation in the Book of Psalms:

13 For you created my inmost being;     you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;     your works are wonderful,     I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you     when I was made in the secret place,     when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.        16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;     all the days ordained for me were written in your book     before one of them came to be. [Psalm 139:13-16 NIV]

Since God created every individual who has ever lived from the Garden of Eden through today, how could a simple virgin birth possible be a problem for Him?

OK, skeptics! It’s your turn. For Bible-believing Christ-followers, the virgin birth is exciting, but not a problem.

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

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?