Roman Empire Overrun by Illegal Immigrants

Roman Empire 2

When many of us were in school, we were taught that the Roman Empire fell, because it was overrun by barbarians from the north. Partly right, but only partly. Consider the constellation of conditions that existed at the time. Compare them with America today. The resemblance is inescapable and alarming:

  • Rome was overrun by illegal immigrants, initially assimilating, but later failing to learn the Roman language (Latin). Sound familiar today?
  • Roman military was widely dispersed throughout the known world and greatly strained. America today?
  • Rome had a trade deficit rooted in outsourcing grain production to North Africa. Rome was unable to protect the area from capture. Contrary to today’s media reports, corporate outsourcing is more a result of government actions than so called corporate “greed.”
  • Attila the Hun committed terrorist attacks. Today’s Global Terrorism Database provides information on 150,000 terrorist attacks
  • Roman welfare gave free bread to citizens. Juvenal (circa A.D. 100) said the Roman politicians pacified the citizens and bought their vote with “bread and circuses.” A contemporary quote proclaimed, “Those who live at the expense of the public funds are more numerous than those who provide them.” Today, people working for the government outnumber those in manufacturing by nearly 2:1. Nearly 100,000,000 people are out of work. Only those still collecting unemployment compensation show up in the unemployment statistics.
  • Citizens feared Roman tax collectors who were, “more terrible than the enemy.” Sound like the IRS?
  • Huge government bureaucracies created monstrous debt. Self-evident today.
  • Court favoritism was common. Self-evident today.
  • Infidelity and sexual immorality became normal. Political correctness says every behavior should be “tolerated.”
  • Perverted bathhouses Transgender restrooms and locker rooms anyone?
  • Gratuitous violence, as in gladiator fights, became common. The Roman violence was real. Today, the violence in video games, television, and the movies is so lifelike, they trigger brain responses very similar to real violence, thus numbing the public to violence that should be repulsive.

Do we ever learn from history? Should we learn from history? What are the risks of not learning from history?

The conditions listed above contributed greatly to the breakdown of the family. No civilization has ever survived the breakdown of the family.

Living for self (Humanism, liberalism, progressivism, Marxism, etc.) always leads to the decline of civilizations and ultimate ruin. Living for others (Judeo-Christian tradition, religious and political conservatism) creates a stable culture that can be passed on to subsequent generations. What are YOU willing to do to save America?

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

What does it take to wake-up the clergy?

“Twas the Night Before the Election

“Twas the Night Before the Election”:

‘Twas the night before the election
And all through the town
Tempers were flaring
Emotions all up and down!

I, in my bathrobe
With a dog in my lap
Had cut off the TV
Tired of political crap.

When all of a sudden
There arose such a noise
I peaked out of my window
Saw the Democrats and their boys

They had come for my wallet
They wanted my pay
To give to the others
Who had not worked a day

They snatched up my money
And quick as a wink
Jumped back on their bandwagon
As I gagged from the political stink

They then rallied their henchmen
Who were pulling their cart
I could tell they were out
To tear my country apart

‘On Pelosi, on Shumer!
On Feinstein and ‘Pocahontas’!
On Soros, On Sanders!
They screamed for more progressives!

They took off for their swamp
And as they flew out of sight
Laughing at the conservative voters
Who wouldn’t stand up and fight

So I leave you to ponder
On this one final note –
If you don’t want socialism,
GET OUT AND VOTE!!

https://www.wnd.com/2018/11/who-americas-founders-would-vote-for/#Gi7bMApjRbUap7xt.99

 

“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]

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?

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.

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?

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?

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?

 

“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?

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?

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?

Vote for God!

Open Bible on American Flag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Alexis de Tocqueville

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

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

Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, 1774

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

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

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Awesome Puritans Get a Bum Rap!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?