Vote! Vote! Vote! You MUST vote!

Vote Button 2

President Calvin Coolidge

Radio address, November 3, 1924

“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 all 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.”

Senator Daniel Webster

“Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own.”

Samuel Adams-Founder

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”

Matthias Burnett-Judge, U.S. District Ct., District of N.Y.,(1806-1819)

(appointed by President Thomas Jefferson)

“Consider well the important trust . . . which God . . . [has] put into your hands. . . . (right to vote) To God and posterity you are accountable for [your rights and your rulers]. . . . Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you. . . .”

The American culture and The Great American Experiment in self-government has never been in greater peril. You ABSOLUTELY MUST VOTE on Tuesday November 7, 2018.

The choice is simple in nearly every race. Vote for GOD-GIVEN FREEDOM or vote for power hungry man-created SOCIALISM, a vote guaranteed to take freedom away. Freedom is a gift from God, not a grant from government. God’s great gift of freedom was proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.”

God’s great gift of freedom has been repeatedly reaffirmed by nearly all U.S. presidents and many other prominent leaders from our country’s founding up until the present. President Ronald Reagan cautioned that we are never more than one generation away from losing our precious freedom.

We must disregard past conditions or future uncertainties. We must choose and vote for candidates on November 7, 2018 based on today’s conditions.

With abundant clarity, the vote cast on Tuesday, MOST LIKELY TO PRESERVE OUR GOD-GIVEN FREEDOMS, will be cast—in nearly every race—for the conservative (Republican) candidate.

“I am the way…”

My every breath, thought, attitude, choice, and action is by the grace of God. Yet, He gives me the freedom to align myself with Him as an expression of continuing and eternal gratitude or to rebel and do things my own sinful way. By the power of the Holy Spirit choosing God’s way is easy, but Satan constantly fans the rebellious flames of pride. The tension can only be resolved by spending time with God, God’s people, and habitually, deliberately choosing God’s way. “I am the way…” [John 14:6]

Rocket Launch Devotionals!

“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, God in the Dock (1970)

At a time when a movement is determined to forcibly revise history, our spiritual heritage is especially vital. Secular history chronicles man’s successes and failures. Real history chronicles the waxing and waning of man’s relationship with God. Real history is, after all, His story.

The root of C.S. Lewis’s observation is that, no matter how revered current authors may be, they are all subject to the influences and biases of modern culture. Similarly, historical authors were subject to the biases of their cultures. Reading books across a broad time span allows cultural biases to be offset.

C.S. Lewis’ quote drove this writer to search older books, leading to a rocket launch devotional plan. Consider these original source materials (origination time in red).

  1. AncientBible—Choose a reliable translation. Others have masterfully written comparisons of scripture versions. Generally, avoid paraphrases except for occasionally clarifying difficult passages in a translation. Commonly, believers read a chapter each day.
  2. Modern-Federer, William J. (2012). American Minute: Notable Events of American Significance Remembered on the Date They Occurred, Amerisearch, Inc. (St. Louis, MO). Each daily reading spotlights famous figures and events from the earliest American colonies to the present day. The massive collection of original quotations repeatedly reinforces the principle that the United States form of government is not sustainable in the absence of a virtuous people. The Great American Experiment intends for the people to be self-governing. If the Christian faith and the government are separated, the government will fail. Conversely, the government will succeed only to the extent that people of Judeo-Christian faith are or become engaged.
  3. 1600s-Pederson, Randall J. ed. (2012). The Puritans Daily Readings, Christian Heritage Imprint by Christian Focus Publications (Geanies House, Fearn, Tain, Ross-shire). The Puritan movement crossed denominational lines and was perhaps larger in Europe than in America. The daily readings feature a different author each month. Although some of the names may be unfamiliar to the modern reader, the readings are all spectacularly powerful. A few of the most familiar names include Richard Baxter, John Bunyan (author of Pilgrim’s Progress), Jonathan Edwards, Samuel Rutherford, and Thomas Watson. The vivid daily readings will excite any reader.
  4. 1700s-Pederson, Randall J. ed. (2010) George Whitefield, Christian Heritage Imprint by Christian Focus Publications (Geanies House, Fearn, Tain, Ross-shire). George Whitefield was one of the two best known preachers of The Great Awakening, which was the driving force for the War of Independence (later called the Revolutionary War). Without the Great Awakening, there likely would not have been an American revolution. Whitefield’s preaching, profiled in daily readings, is jaw-dropping.
  5. 1400s-â Kempis, Thomas. (2004). The Imitation of Christ, Hendrickson Christian Classics (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA). Originally written circa. 1421 A.D. Thomas â Kempis was one of the leaders of a reformation movement separate from and predating the Reformation launched when Martin Luther nailed his 99 theses to the Wittenburg church door. Luther’s Reformation exploded in part due to the contemporary invention of the printing press. Nevertheless, â Kempis’ Imitation of Christ remains one of the greatest Christian classics of all time. Each daily reading is dynamite.
  6. 1700s-Pederson, Randall J. ed. (2005) Day by Day with Jonathan Edwards, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., Peabody MA. Jonathan Edwards was the other of the two best known preachers of The Great Awakening. Although, his best known message, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” may conjure a mental image of hellfire and brimstone, his extremely extensive writings and these daily readings brim with God’s infinite beautiful love.
  7. 18-1900sSpurgeon, Charles (1991) Morning & Evening: A devotional classic for daily encouragement, Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC, Peabody MA. The “Prince of Preachers” wrote these daily morning and evening devotionals himself. His imagery is colorful, inescapably captivating, and inspiring beyond any ability to express in a brief summary.
  8. 1600s-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) Although some believers may not be used to reading the prayers of others, this collection is so vibrant it will bring tears to the eyes of many readers. The prayers in this volume have been written by saints such as Thomas Watson, Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, David Brainerd, William Jay, and Charles Spurgeon.

Personally, as time passed, a pattern emerged to my devotional time:

  • At first these devotional materials were simply read.
  • A bit later, I found myself highlighting occasional thoughts; eventually highlighting virtually everything with color coded highlighters.
  • Notes were occasionally jotted in the margins of the daily readings.
  • Today, virtually every page is filled with handwritten notes; some seem to be special thoughts from the Lord; others are 1-3 sentence summaries of the reading.
  • Finally, good writers seldom write in the first person (I, me, my, etc.). However, since the devotions are personal, intended primarily for my own use, the message skyrockets off the page when it is personalized. Example: “Christ, is a Mediator of the new covenant, a mediator between God and me. Jesus is a friend to both. He is a reconciler and a servant to both. He suffered for both. Jesus suffered for God’s justice and He suffered for my rejections.” And another example: “I MUST NOT handle God’s magnificent Word or the moments of my life carelessly. Instead, I MUST take great care to honor God’s Word and the moments of my life as special gifts from Him.”

Two other observations burn brightly from this collection of historic readings:

  1. All of these great spiritual leaders fully integrate the Old and New Testaments in their teaching/preaching. The Bible and the biblical worldview is a whole, from creation to the return of Jesus. Such a holistic view seems to be often diluted or piecemealed in present day materials and messages.
  2. The same early spiritual leaders lift up all three members of the Trinity equally and treat the wholeness of the Trinity equally with the roles of each member. Today, many denominations seem to focus on one member of the Trinity more than the other two. Similarly, in a zeal for analyzing Scripture, the wholeness of God too often seems to be overlooked as people zoom in on one member of the Trinity or another.

It is my hope and prayer that YOU will benefit from these suggestions.

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Ultimate Perfect Love!

Jesus Christ cross. Easter, resurrection concept. Christian cross on a background with dramatic lighting, colorful mountain sunset, dark clouds and sky and sunbeams

Christ’s death on the Cross is the ultimate expression of God’s love. ALL real love (agape; unconditional; others before self) comes from God. He allows and enables us to express His unconditional love to others only to the extent that we cast aside pride. Even that ability to cast aside pride comes from God.

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil?

This short 6-minute video answers the question through the life of Joni Eareckson Tada.

You may already be familiar with her. Nevertheless, this may be the most important six minutes of your life!

Check out “CAN GOD BRING GOOD FROM SUFFERING?” from The John 10:10 Project on Vimeo at:

https://thejohn1010project.com/can-god-bring-good-from-suffering.html

If you like this video, make sure you share it, too!

Vimeo is filled with lots of amazing videos. See more at https://vimeo.com.

The films that comprise THE JOHN 10:10 PROJECT were produced to help nurture a deeper understanding of God.  Each 4-10 minute video explores a facet of the Lord’s character, promises and power.  Think of them as small stepping stones on your pathway to a more abundant Christian life.  Each film in this collection is structured for use in personal devotions, Bible studies, outreach and corporate worship.  We hope you will find them helpful on your journey. Find them at: https://vimeo.com.

Monumental Tragedy Southern Baptist Convention Publishes Politically Correct, Gender-Neutral Bible

In a monumental departure from millennia of Biblical tradition, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)—largest Protestant denomination in the United States—recently published a politically correct, gender-neutral version of the Bible.

Read about it here: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/southern-baptists-embrace-gender-inclusive-language-in-the-bible/529935/

Then weep profusely.

Then pray diligently and fervently!

A few years ago, the publishers of the beloved New International Version of the Bible, published their latest edition as a gender-neutral edition. They and others with similar goals were rightfully and soundly criticized by SBC. In an about face, the SBC has done the very thing they so harshly criticized in the past.

The potential effect is devastating. The perpetrators (read translators) claimed they were working to “clarify the meaning” of Scripture. Any preacher can clarify the meaning of Scripture in a well prepared worship service message. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord for good preachers.

However, the translators are producing a work product that is presented to the public as the inspired inerrant Word of God. Because of the intended use of their work product, the translators are putting themselves in the position of judging God and His Word, effectively placing themselves above God—a fearful place to be. Lucifer only wanted to be “like” (equal to) God and it clearly did not work out well for him.

Nowhere in the universe is pride manifestly exhibited with more inescapable clarity than among people who call themselves “scholars” Nowhere is more dangerous than among so called Biblical scholars.

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” [Matthew 5:18 KJV] SBC has arrogantly done far more than just mess with a “jot or one tittle.” They have adulterated Scripture and flagrantly distorted the Biblical worldview.

In the entire history of the world, Jesus Christ was the first and only great equalizer. He declared men and women to be equal, but “equal” does not mean the same, identical, or indistinguishable. Jesus also declared that men and women have different roles and responsibilities.

Those extraordinary and breathtakingly beautiful and complementary differences between men and women:

  • Are fundamental to the abundant life He promised [John 10:10] and
  • The only way the earthly marriage and family can be the visible manifestation of the heavenly marriage between the Bridegroom (Jesus) and the bride (the Church).

Those roles must not be fogged or camouflaged—especially in Scripture—by language merely intended to reflect “tolerance” and “inclusivity.” Political correctness is the incredibly powerful tool used by the liberal/progressive/Humanist/socialist/Marxist/globalist crowd to achieve the satanic objectives of destroying the,

1) God-created family,

2) United States Constitution,

3) American form of government,

4) free-enterprise system, and the

5) freedoms given by God (not granted by government).

The people who purport to make men and women equal by making them the “same, identical, or indistinguishable” seek to aggressively destroy the beauty of God’s greatest creation.

Are YOU listening?

In a recent Barna Group survey of conservative ministers, 95% of the participants agreed that the resolution of 95% of today’s cultural controversies can be found in the Bible. But only 5% of the ministers said they would be willing to preach on those controversies.

From a lay viewpoint, there are many of us begging for strong—even in your face—Biblical messages from the pulpit. It is mindboggling that while SBC is adulterating Scripture, they are at the same time commissioning a study on why there has been a huge loss of membership in recent decades. Part of the reason is Pablum from the pulpit!

Strongly preached messages will attract new members; the messages will not chase them away. If a few leave, they were the tares among the wheat anyway. The Bible says “Fear not” 365 times; that include YOU preacher!

Is there a preacher reading this who has the honesty, integrity, courage, and the spiritual gonads to preach it like it is? Preaching the entirety of Scripture—the good, the bad, and the ugly, especially as it applies to the most controversial issues of our modern culture.

As this is being written, a Republican Congressman—the House Majority Whip—and several others have been shot at an early morning Congressional baseball practice and an 8-year old “drag queen” is being praised by the LBTQ…. Community.

Believers are the only ones in possession of the solutions to all the most raging modern controversies. As believers, we need spiritual leaders in the pulpit who are willing to lead, rather than merely manage Christian clubs. How about YOU!

What does it take to wake up the people?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Pursue a godly life with zeal!

Ten Commandments

Pursue a godly life with zeal!

Draw others to God with zeal!

Zeal for God exceeds that for anything else.

I am wasting God’s time and mine when I don’t live exclusively for Him and proclaim Him to others.

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.

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?

“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?

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?

Diversity Madness and Matrimony

Marriage License Closeup

Diversity! Diversity! Diversity! It’s everywhere; it’s proclaimed incessantly by the media; it’s embedded in many textbooks and taught as axiomatic throughout the educational system; it’s treated with Humanistic reverence by politicians. Diversity is the buzzword and allegedly one of the most important cultural goals of our time.

In truth, it is a powerful liberal/progressive/Humanistic weapon designed to convert America’s beautiful Judeo-Christian culture into a chaotic scrambled eggs-like mass of languages and customs that can be easily controlled by the globalist elite. Break the American culture by breaking the whole into an infinite number of parts that are easily scrambled and easily subdued.

Celebrate the differences, they said. Yet, there is one glaring exception to the insane diversity craze.

For decades, the same groups championing diversity without substance have loudly proclaimed that there is no difference between a man and woman except for a few pieces of external plumbing. Men and woman were regarded as interchangeable. A single parent was all that was necessary for a “family.” The God of the Bible was replaced by the god of government.

The attacks on the traditional American family have been brutal and relentless. The attacks are an essential part of the liberal/progressive/Humanist strategy of breaking the culture to facilitate a fundamental transformation from a democracy to a socialist state. The results have been so disastrous that they have become conspicuously clear to most people.

Celebrate the sameness, they said. But, the simple and relentless proclamation of no difference between a man and a woman is no longer sufficient. The differences are far too obvious. Then came Plan B. Instead of simply proclaiming sameness, they sought to smear the obvious differences.

The liberal/progressive/Humanist movement has increasingly smeared the two sexes into an imagined spectrum of maleness, femaleness, and gender identity. The movement has latched onto LGBTQ causes as the Plan B weapon. Regardless of obvious physical, emotional, and spiritual attributes, a man may self “identify” as a woman or a woman may self “identify” as a man.

God, it seems, can be overruled by a single selfish, self-serving statement of feelings. Humanist surgeons are all too happy to rearrange the external plumbing to accommodate perceived sexual “feelings.”

Further confusion is facilitated by emerging concepts such as gender and species-fluidity. Someone may identify as a man today, a woman tomorrow, a four-year old child the third day, and cocker spaniel on the fourth day. Watch out for the self-identified rabbits! That should slow down the body-mutilating surgeons a bit. Consider just two absurd examples.

Canadian Lauren Southern is clearly all woman. As an underground reporter, she exposes how easy it is to convince a doctor to certify that she’s a man. Using the doctor’s letter, she visits a government agency and obtains a government ID card legally declaring that she’s a man. Finally, Lauren exposes the disastrous cultural repercussions of such idiocy. Refer to “Lauren Southern Becomes a Man”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGpZSefYvwM Know in advance that there is a little bit of course language in the opening seconds of the video.

Lauren quickly observes that this diversity madness forces society to give up its sense of honesty, objectivity, and respect for facts. Reality is replaced by a “toxic hedonism” that celebrates feelings over objective honesty.

The second illustration is provide by the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) who visited Seattle University. In a series of interviews, the university students were genuinely unable to explain one of the most obvious facts of human existence, the difference between male and female. Statistically, at least a few of them must have been Judeo-Christian believers. Refer to “College Kids Say the Darndest Things on Gender,” https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=robo&p=YouTube+University+of+Seattle+male+v+female+interviews#id=1&vid=0b8857b4d833e74925f211394d5fed8a&action=click

Tragically, many Judeo-Christian believers have bought in to this insanity.

Folks, we’re in deep tapioca!

The problems incited by all the cultural lunacy are numerous, huge, and devastating. For now, consider just one. Each of us carries between 50 trillion and 100 trillion cells in our body. Each cell contains a nucleus, within which resides a strand of DNA that loudly and unambiguously proclaims the YOU are either a man or a woman. Nearly 100 trillion witnesses “take the stand” certifying that you are either a man or a woman. That binary distinction is clear, unarguable, and permanent. Feelings or identity does not change this simple conspicuously obvious biological fact.

It is astonishing how easily the public, including, believers, accepts the sheer idiocy of no difference or alternatively an unbroken spectrum of sexual “identities.”

The distinction between a man and a woman, is a creation of God and emerges from His limitless wisdom. In His infinite genius, God, “…created them male and female and blessed them.” [Genesis 5:2 NIV] “Jesus answered, Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’” [Matthew 19:4 NAS] “However, from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’” [Mark 10:6 NAS]

Celebrate the differences, God said.

If God made YOU a man that is awesome; if He made YOU a woman that is incredible. Be excited, thankful, and humbled by the God that created YOU as one sex or the other. Either way, you have an important and powerful role in the family of God and in your own home family. Celebrate the differences between a man and a woman, as God created them.

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

The next blog will explore the magnificent differences between a man and a woman.

Wedding Vows? Anchor or Valentine?

At a time when our national culture is rapidly declining and serial-marriage seems to be becoming a tragic new norm or marriage is avoided altogether, this may be one of the most urgent and important messages I’ve written. The vital question is simple. Are the traditional wedding vows the immutable anchor expressing the Biblical worldview or have they devolved into the equivalent of a valentine?

No civilization has ever survived the breakdown of the family. Cohesive families are the bedrock foundation of all sustainable cultures. Sustainable families cannot exist unless anchored by a strong marriage that begins with a powerful, binding, and highly respected wedding. “Let marriage be held in honor among all…” [Hebrews 13:4 ESV]

A Godly wedding is an extraordinarily beautiful picture of the ultimate wedding between the perfect bridegroom, Jesus, with His bride, the body of believers. [Revelation 19:7-10; Ephesians 5:22,23; 2 Corinthians 11:2 KJV] The genius of God’s heavenly reunion is pictured by the earthly union. A marriage between a man and a woman honors God, when they enthusiastically live according to the sacred vows and tenaciously adhere to the exclusive and binding relationship to which they voluntarily committed. The preliminary process is familiar.

Following an initial meeting, a man and a woman form a physical/intellectual bond (mutual respect and appreciation, building to admiration), an emotional bond (What a hunk or chick! That hug feels rrrreally good!), and ultimately a spiritual bond (sense of peace knowing that the other is a mature and actively growing believer). At a later time, when they have grown sufficiently together, he proposes and she agrees to marry.

CAUTION: After months of preparation, many couples are so anxious and exhausted on their all-important wedding day that the vows seem to go by in a blur of sensory experiences. The vitality of the moment is often lost. Later, the married couple may attend other weddings as a guest, but may pay to little heed to the vows. After all, they’ve “been there; done that” and they are looking forward to the reception. Occasional mentions of wedding vow fragments on television shows or in the movies cannot possibly fill the gap of insufficient understanding.

In contrast, consider the genius, incomparable elegance, conspicuous power, and profound security of the traditional wedding ceremony illustrated in the graphic.

wedding-vows-3

It begins with a solemn promise that is total, sacred, and voluntary. As a commitment “before God,” confirmed by “these witnesses,” the promise declares that the entire ceremony is an act of worship.

The vows themselves are comprehensive. Each requires valuing the other before self:

  • Love—unconditional, holding spouse in higher esteem than self
  • Comfort—console and reassure at all times
  • Cherish—guard with care and affection; hold dear
  • Honor—show high regard, appreciation and respect
  • Keep—remain absolutely faithful, no exceptions

The scope is unlimited; it has no boundaries and the relationship is absolutely exclusive. They mutually pledge that nothing will ever inhibit or damage their marriage, regardless of life conditions (better/worse; richer/poorer; sickness/health).

The marriage is rock solid regardless of standard-of-living (aggregate value of accumulated stuff) or quality-of-life (personal health and richness of network of interpersonal relationships, beginning with the family and working outward. No outsider will ever be permitted to breach its bulwark.

The commitment is ultimate and ironclad, “…as long as you both shall live!

The wholeness of bond is characterized by firmly binding together, “…my life, my heart, and all my worldly goods.” They have unalterably bound themselves together, physically/intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

Finally, the seal becomes irrevocable, when they call for their marriage to be sealed by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The earthly representation of that seal is the married couple’s first encounter with God’s incredible gift of physical intimacy, often referred to as consummating the marriage. Physical intimacy is the capstone of God’s process of bringing two people together in the unique, exclusive relationship called marriage.

Tragically, in modern America, far too many couples succumb to temptation, experiencing physical intimacy before marriage. When they do so, the experience is so powerful and binding that it effectively “scrambles the brain,” interfering with the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual bonding process, which is a vitally important prelude to the marriage decision. It becomes exceedingly difficult to determine whether or not a sex partner is the best candidate for a lifelong, exclusive marriage.

Now—What do YOU think? Are the wedding vows an immutable anchor or merely a valentine?

God’s way is always the best way. Your happiness depends on it; your future depends on it; your spouse depends on it. Your family depends on it. America depends on it.

There is nothing in any other social relations in any way parallel to the mutual attraction of the sexes. By missing this simple point, the modern world has fallen into a hundred follies…There is no dispute about the purpose of Nature in creating such an attraction. It would be more intelligent to call it the purpose of God; for Nature can have no purpose unless God is behind it.

G. K. Chesterton

The happy State of Matrimony is, undoubtedly, the surest and most lasting Foundation of Comfort and Love; the Source of all that endearing Tenderness and Affection which arises from Relation and Affinity; the grand Point of Property; the Cause of all good Order in the World, and what alone preserves it from the utmost Confusion; and, to sum up all, the Appointment of infinite Wisdom for these great and good Purposes [sic].

Benjamin Franklin

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

What does it take to wake-up the clergy?

 

The Family is God’s First and Most Important Support Group!

Families

It’s been trendy, among churches, in the last two or three decades to create all manner of support groups. There are support groups for people dealing with alcohol addiction; drug addiction; divorce; mentally or physically disabled children; and older people, with various forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease or other chronic illnesses (caregiver support groups).

However, God created the first and by far the most important support group. It’s called the family. Tragically, as Judeo-Christian believers, we have become professionals as slicing and dicing the family in every imaginable way. Walk into virtually any church and find the family shot gunned into widely dispersed groups based on gender, age, marital status or educational level. Each group is tightly proscribed, narrowly limited, and quickly becomes isolated, especially from the family.

The same situation exists whether the church is traditional (Sunday School) or contemporary (home-base groups). The contemporary church simply scatters the traditional Sunday School around the neighborhood, scattering the family as in the traditional church. The increasingly popular home based groups in some cases exert even more pressure on the family, because they are scheduled at different times and places, during the week.

The result is that the family is forcefully splintered at the very place where they should be reinforced as well as worshiping and learning together. Family members lose a sense of the panorama of time and how they fit into that panorama.

Of course, God views the entire panorama of time from the Garden of Eden to the return of the Messiah. Even with our human limitations, it is extremely important that we understand our debt to the 3-4 generations of ancestors who preceded us and our duty to the 3-4 generations of descendants who follow us.

The usual rationale for slicing and dicing the family at church is that each family member is at a different place in life and has different needs. Balderdash! Every family member has exactly the same need to learn that “God is love” and that His love is manifested through us as humility, forgiveness, mercifulness, longsuffering, and a servant’s spirit. Collectively, they represent the character of God and the lifelong journey to grow in them. Those are lessons the entire family can learn together. Each family member helps the others learn those lessons daily.

 

In modern America, the family is being blown apart. The modern church is structured in a way that facilitates the breakdown of the family. No statistics are necessary. It is self-evident that the family is breaking down among the bodies of believers nearly as fast as it is breaking down in the background secular culture.

The church, whether traditional or contemporary must be restructured to strongly reinforce and build up the family, rather than tearing it apart. Families must meet together, worship together, and learn together as they have for millennia. The devastating slicing and dicing of the family has only been part of the church structure for the last 100 to 150 years.

The family is God’s only support group. It is far more powerful than any other. There are major limitations created by the collapsing American culture. Generations are often separated by long distances. People find themselves single following a divorce that was not of their own choosing. There is also enormous cultural pressure to satisfy self, rather than serve others.

Here is a Biblical remedy. Consider forming numerous family support groups, where groups of families can reinforce each others experiences and learn about high risk activities and how to help family members who fall prey to those risks before the crisis occurs. Thus armed, a family, demonstrating a servant’s spirit, may want to consider informally “adopting” someone in crisis as a means of helping that person. Similarly, when generations are separated by long distances, a family may choose to adopt an older or younger generation family locally.

There is still a place for some of those support groups mentioned in the opening paragraph, but only for those people who don’t have the support of an immediate family.

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

The Gender Unicorn Is Coming To A Middle School Near YOU!

The relentless liberal/progressive effort to blur gender distinctions, invent new “genders,” and create new forms of “gender expression,” is currently invading an ever broadening list of public middle schools. The latest and most insidious wave is the Gender Unicorn:

gender-unicorn

Notice the similarity between the Gender Unicorn and Barney, the purple anthropomorphic tyrannosaurus rex, with whom many children are already familiar. Having already embraced a warm and fuzzy Barney, it becomes a very short step to embracing the Gender Unicorn.

The Gender Unicorn is clearly one of the most powerful and dramatic assaults on God, the Bible, and Judeo-Christian values of our time, just behind the U.S. Supreme Court ruling establishing the Constitutional validity of same-sex marriage

Believers are called upon by God to love everyone, regardless of lifestyle. But sin is still sin; it has never changed. The intimate actions of same sex unions are still an abomination to God. Adoptions be same-sex couples are still sinful. Any blurring of the God-given distinctions between men and women and their God-given roles is inviting the wrath of their Creator!

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?