Sunday, September 30, 2018

America - The Proverbial Crossroads

The following statement came from Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council . . .

America remains at a proverbial crossroads where as a nation, with each election, we are faced with the choice of who we will be and what our children will become. The polls, as well as our own encounters, reveal that we are a divided nation. Divided not as much by ethnic, economic or educational factors as by worldview; the lenses through which we see and understand the world around us.

There are two competing worldviews locked in an epic struggle. There is a biblical worldview, those who are followers of Jesus Christ and believe and live according to the truth of God's word. Then there are a host of worldviews that find their commonality in the power and authority of human beings, what is described as a humanist worldview.

Possibly, not since the first century of the church, we see the reality of Jesus' words in Luke 12:49-53 that His message is one of division. To be sure, those who accept and yield to His message can and should be unified as He prayed in John 17:20-21, but there can be no true peace and unity between followers of Jesus Christ and the world (2 Cor 6:14).

Given this understanding of the world in which we live, what should be our course of action?

For the sake of America and the rest of the world that is impacted by the choices of this nation at this point in the history of the world, we must pray! But prayer is the beginning, not the end. We must vote. Fully informed and engaged in determining who will lead our nation and the policies that they will pursue. And we must stand. We must stand for the truth of God's word in every realm of society, "in season and out of season."

Please join hundreds of thousands of other Believers in taking The Pledge: the pledge to 1) Pray 2) Vote and 3) Stand.

Beginning Sunday, September 23, to Saturday, November 10 there will be seven weeks of focused prayer for the Family, Church, Business, Education, Entertainment, Media, and Government. Each week a prayer guide with scriptural reference will be provided for all who take The Pledge (Eph. 6:13)

Standing (Eph. 6:13),

Tony Perkins


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Quote of the Day

"There are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, but just the daily round, the common task. Routine is God’s way of saving us between our times of inspiration. Do not expect God always to give you His thrilling minutes, but learn to live in the domain of drudgery by the power of God."

- Oswald Chambers

Friday, September 21, 2018

Mary Poppins Returns!

Looking forward to this one. Tracey and I love Mary Poppins! 
Good to see another musical coming out.
And I hope this one is as wholesome as the original.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

What Should Be Done About the Kavanaugh Nomination?

Excellent perspective from the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer . . .

"An accuser has crawled out of the shadows to charge Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with sexual assault. The accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, contends that 36 years ago Kavanaugh, in a drunken stupor, shut her in a room at a party and clumsily attempted to undress her. 

She contends that another male, apparently one Mark Judge, was also present and was also a participant. Kavanaugh and Judge have both categorically denied the event ever happened. Said Kavanaugh, 'I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.' 

Judge was equally emphatic. 'It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way.' ”

In this piece, Andrew McCarthy of The National Review shares historically the massive double standard Democrats have used in the nomination process of Supreme Court nominees . . . .

"President Trump says a lot of things that are not true and says a lot of other things that are foolish and unsavory. But his supporters are drawn to him, in large part, because he is willing to get into the muck with Democrats, fight them on their own demagogic terms — especially on things he cares about, like his nominees. They are tired of Republicans’ being caught flat-footed, continually underestimating how low Democrats are willing to go, how much they are willing to destroy reputations, institutions, and traditions in order to win."

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Quote of the Day

"The greatest of all the secrets to personal resilience is learning to strengthen ourselves in the Lord. That means reminding ourselves of God's promises, rekindling a sense of His presence, and preaching to ourselves His stalwart truths in troubled times. Sometimes we can't afford to listen to ourselves; we have to preach to ourselves. We have to tell ourselves the truth and remind ourselves of God's Word." 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Charges Against Judge Kavanaugh Should Be Ignored

"It is almost impossible to overstate the damage done to America’s moral compass by taking the charges leveled against Judge Brett Kavanaugh seriously.

It undermines foundational moral principles of any decent society.

Those who claim the charges against Judge Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford are important and worth investigating, and that they ultimately, if believed, invalidate his candidacy for the U.S. Supreme Court are stating that:

a) What a middle-aged adult did in high school is all we need to know to evaluate an individual’s character — even when his entire adult life has been impeccable."

Read the entire excellent commentary here by Dennis Prager. 

Also, read Cal Thomas' commentary this week on the Kavanaugh hearing, Desperation Tactics.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Praying for Victims of Natural Disasters

I wrote this article in September of 2017 following the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

News spread last week of Hurricane Harvey leaving devastation across Houston.  Watching news reports and video clips on social media leaves me feeling dazed and small.

I know I should pray.  I’ve been a Christian for decades and a pastor for twenty years.  I could share an impromptu sermon without any preparation on the why’s and how to’s of praying for people.

But when faced with mammoth disasters, I feel almost too small to pray.  The devastation looms like a Goliath taunting my puny prayers.  I hear the giant screaming, “Look at all of this trouble!  What good do you think your prayers will do?  Do you really think God will use your prayers to change any of this?”

Last week as I tried to pray concerning Hurricane Harvey and the struggling souls in Texas, an idea came to me. 

Praying with Specificity

For years, I’ve encouraged people to not pray general prayers but specific ones.  Don’t just pray “around the world” prayers like the following:
  •         God, bless the missionaries.
  •         God, be with us (He has already promised to be with His people, right?).
  •         Lord, lead, guide, and direct them (aren't those three synonyms?).

Instead, I’ve encouraged praying people to be specific in their prayers:
  •         Lord, give Susan wisdom as she considers what job to take.
  •         Father, provide for Dan as he needs a car.
  •         God, comfort Lucy as she struggles with the loss of her grandmother.
  •         Lord, help our missionary friends the Campbells feel sense presence and feel cared    for as they may struggle with isolation and loneliness overseas.

One prayer offered with specificity may do more good than a dozen generalized ones that use religious language but don’t center on anything concrete.

A Pair of Shoelaces

The Bible teaches and illustrates God’s specificity in dealing with His children. Christianity boasts of a deity who contains awesome power (transcendence) yet personal closeness to people (immanence).

One Old Testament passage states, “the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him (2 Chronicles 16:9).  The Creator and Sustainer of the universe is able to zero in on one individual person of His creation and make himself know to that one.

V. Raymond Edman, President Emeritus of Wheaton University, illustrated this reality in his book Out of My Life: Lessons Learned from the Scriptures on the Presence of God with His Own.  He shares the story of evangelist Dr. Joe Evans in the early 1900’s. As a young man in Boston learning to trust God for his needs, he found himself without money and with a broken pair of shoelaces on his only pair of shoes.

Joe wondered, “Should one pray for a matter as small as shoelaces?  I think so, for the principle of faith is not concerned with quantity, but rather with quality.  The Lord Jesus taught that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, then great things can happen.”

The young man asked God for more laces and then “went about the Lord’s work with the shoes and laces as they were and with a heart that was content to make known his requests to the Most High, with confidence that there is an Ear that hears, an Eye that sees, a Heart that is touched with our necessity, and a Hand that can be stretched forth in our behalf.”

One week later a letter arrived from a friend in California.  The writer wrote under a strong sense of compulsion, “Somehow or other, I cannot get away from the impression that I should include these shoelaces in my letter; and yet what a ridiculous thing for me to do!”

Joe Evans learned in that encounter with the Almighty that He sees, hears, and knows.  The Sovereign One saw His struggling servant in Boston and then touched one person in California, long before the days of instant communication, to nudge them to meet Joe’s need.

God uses the prayers of one individual to touch the life of another individual.

Burden in the Woods

Later in life, Joe took a day of prayer in the woods to commune with his Lord.  A great, and somewhat strange, burden came upon his heart to pray for the spiritual conversion of His Majesty, King Edward VII.  Dr. Edman wrote, “The burden of prayer increased throughout the day rather than diminishing or disappearing. . . .  With great agony of soul, he prayed earnestly for the salvation of the king until there came the release of full assurance that prayer had been answered.”

The following day word came across the ocean, “King Edward is dead.”  Joe Evans had not known of the king’s illness, nor had he ever met the king.

Years passed, and one day Joe ate dinner with Dr. J. Gregory Mantle of England, who told Joe the story of King Edward’s conversion.  Mantle asked, “Joe, did you know that Edward VII was saved on his deathbed?”

The king took ill and called a lord-in-waiting, ordering him to go to Paternoster Row and find a gospel tract titled The Sinner’s Friend given to him years earlier by his mother, Queen Victoria.  The servant, after much searching, found the booklet, “brought it to His Majesty, and upon reading it, King Edward VII made earnest repentance and received the Lord Jesus as his Savior.”

As God’s faithful servant Joe turned aside to meet with His Lord in the woods, the King of England lay on his deathbed.  The Great Intercessor moved upon Joe in the woods to intercede earnestly for the work of God in the life of the king, several thousand miles away.
God uses the prayers of one individual to touch the life of another individual.

One Family

As I struggled last week to know how to pray for the victims of the hurricane, it struck me, God can use my prayers to make a difference in the life of one person or one family. 

As my perspective changed, so did my praying.  I imagined one father, one couple, one family struggling with that storm.  I began asking, Father, meet the needs of one husband and father.  Help him to help his family.  Give them wisdom and help.  Get them to safety.  Provide for their needs.  Care for and comfort his wife and children.

As I prayed with that spirit the next several days, I pondered, “What if 1,000,000 praying believers asked God to use their prayers to touch one person or one family?  Might God use the prayers of each intercessor to reach across hundreds of miles and intervene specifically in 1,000,000 situations?”

Let’s do it, for God uses the prayers of one individual to touch the life of another individual.