Remember When?

I believe God gave us a memory for many reasons.

Me and Aaron20003

Everyone’s life is a story that could, and maybe should be told. However, not everyone takes the time to review and learn from their life. Many believe life is like an uncontrolled roller coaster; you just take it as it comes with no concern as to where it has been. In reality, God has a purpose, planned out for us from before time. When we find that purpose, and pursue it, is when we will be most satisfied.

God has a purpose, planned out for us from before time.

“Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we, who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us, may be greatly encouraged.” [Hebrews 6:17-18 NIV]

I believe God gave us a memory for many reasons. Perhaps the most important, to a follower of the Master, is to recall each and every time He intervened in our lives in an ‘other than every day’ happening. We see this in the way He taught the ancient Jews to remember those special events. He did so in two ways.

One way was to have them build an altar at a geographical location where He had intervened to rescue them, or show them something new in their lives. A second way was that God set aside ‘Holy Days,’ annual celebrations designed to remember Him and something specific He did for them, e.g. Passover, Firstfruits, etc.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” [Proverbs 16:9 NIV]

My wife and I can look back through the years and remember where God acted through certain extraordinary times or events, to take us into a deeper relationship with Him. We like to say we have built an altar there, at each of those points. One reason for that, we believe, is so that when we encounter something new that bodes of danger, uncertainty or fear, we can look to those altars, recall those previous times and events, and remember how God intervened in our life. Thus we will be reassured of His Trustworthiness to ‘”never leave us or forsake us.”

We know, we have complete assurance, that He will either

  1. walk with us through the new challenge,
  2. lift us out of the challenge, or
  3. take us home to be with Him.

Now that’s a win/win/win.

Prayers for the First 100 Days of the Trump Presidency

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As of 12:01 PM, EST, January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. Regardless of your religious, political or social leanings, he will be the President. It is incumbent upon us all, just as most Christians did on January 20, 2009, that we acknowledge his position and pray for him. The future of our nation, and of our children and grandchildren, depends on this country re-asserting its leadership position in the world.

Christians who read their Bible know that God establishes leaders in their positions.

President Trump and his transition team have set forward an aggressive plan to turn our nation around from the insanity of the previous eight years. The first 100 days of this Administration are extremely crucial in establishing his agenda.

President Trump and his administration need God’s Wisdom and blessings.

In other words – they need to hear from God!

In other words – we need to pray!

The following information is reprinted from the Harvest Prayer Ministries website: http://harvestprayer.com/resources/pray-for-america

Pray 100 Prayer Effort

A major effort to rally pray for our new president is underway, sponsored by dozens of prayer ministries. There are currently three place you can go to sign up for different aspects of this prayer initiative.

For a prayer to help you focus each day, go to a Facebook page: facebook.com/prayfirst100. Please click like or follow at this site to have the prayer posted to you. We recommend liking or sharing the prayers when the first ones come so Facebook will know that you are serious about wanting to see these posts.

facebook.com/prayfirst100

Most of the prayers here will be posted by Dr. David Butts, the chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee and the author of With One Cry: A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America.

If you would like a devotional each day to help you better focus, go to http://pray100.org. If you sign up, these devotionals, each written by a different leader, will be emailed to you each day.

Pray100

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It is not an option to sit in the grandstand. There are no spectators. God has heard our cries for our nation and granted His Mercy!! But He requires us to take up the standard in obedience to Him.

The Church must lead out in humbling ourselves before a Holy God, confessing our sins in abject humility, and asking Him to heal our land!

If that scares you, sounds too ‘religious’ for you, then you should know for sure God is convicting you; and you can know for sure the Devil, the arch enemy of the Church, is deceiving you!

Please make every effort to pray for the Church, for our country, for this new Administration, and especially for President Donald Trump.

A FEW WORDS, NOW THAT THE AMERICAN ELECTION IS OVER

Thanksgiving Week, 2016

Before this extraordinary Presidential election – what did you think was going to happen on Election Day? Seriously!! Did anyone think we would see Donald Trump leap out of the starting gate, never looking back? Ahead throughout the evening? Accomplishing an historic victory for a non-politician? Even if you hoped for a victory could you have envisioned such a sweeping victory?

So, what’s this all about?

It is a right and privilege to vote in the USA. It is the Christian’s duty to vote! In so doing we are participants in God’s Omnipotent work of placing leaders over nations.

The pundits, pollsters, talking heads, politicians, etc. and etc. have been going 24 hours a day since the close of the polls. None of them, save the few in Christian media, have acknowledged our Sovereign God’s Hand in placing Donald Trump into this position.

Similarly, few have acknowledged that it was an act of MERCY by Almighty God to stop (slow down) our nations slide into an abject godless state.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” [Romans 13:1-4 NIV]

We know, by the things uncovered during the election, that President-Elect Trump is flawed, at best. It is unlikely (I do not profess to know) that he is a born again Christian. However, I believe he has a desire to do what is right, that he recognizes the importance of turning around the wholesale slaughter of preborn babies, and that he recognizes the Christian heritage on which our nation is founded. And I believe he has accepted that the government has no right under our Constitution to inhibit religious freedom, that the work of the Church is within any and every facet of our culture – public and private. Similarly, He seems to understand that we must maintain a strong relationship with our only ally in the Middle East – Israel.

But I do not have direct access to Mr. Trump, nor to any of his advisors. I have very limited voice with our elected legislators. What then should I do as a result of this very clear act of Mercy by my God?

“A king’s heart is like streams of water in the LORD’s hand: He directs it wherever He chooses.” [Proverbs 21:1 HCSB]

On Memorial Day, November 11, we remember and honor all the men and women who have served this nation through the military. And that is as it should be, “Lest we forget.” But the best way to honor them is by holding and keeping the nation God gave us, the nation they have served – not the one we are rapidly moving toward!

I deeply feared where this nation was headed if we had 4 to 8 more years of anti-God, anti-Christian, socialist leadership at the highest office. I grieved over what kind of culture I was leaving for my children and grandchildren. My wife and I prayed with fervor for God’s Mercy! And, obviously many of you, many throughout this nation, and probably the world, prayed the same.

And guess what? Our God, who hears all true prayers, granted us His Mercy. It is a limited deal though. He does not go back to sleep now, letting us just go about our business with no responsibility to change. This is not recess time, so that we can continue pursuing worldly gain and pleasure. He never sleeps, never slumbers. God has hit the pause button on our fall into the abyss. We are recipients of a renewed opportunity to actually BE the salt and light within our culture.

“”You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 5:13-16 NIV]

The responsibility for my actions, and your actions, in every facet of our daily life, is ours individually. I am accountable to God for the way I represent His Son in this world. Whether the government assists me, leaves me alone, or outright persecutes me, I am responsible to God for every moment of my life.

I can promise you that God does have a plan for each of us individually. But, it is not the way of our Loving God to force His Will on us. That is part of being made in the image of God. We have a will. If we allow ourselves to be subjects (slaves) of God, His Holy Spirit will speak to our spirit, and we will subject our will to that of our Father. Any pause after hearing a directive from God is an act of defiance of our will – and it is a sin before our God.

God has inclined His ear toward us and has granted Mercy on our nation. But we must act without delay. Get on your knees, thanking God for His Mercy.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” [Matthew 6:33 NIV]

The enemy has grown more arrogant as the Church has weakened in its resolve. Satan’s deception has moved with powerful force into the Church. Pulpits have gone silent to the truth of the Word of God. The institutional churches in America have sold out to the world. More Christians are listening to the culture and to the ‘siren call’ of human desires rather than to the ‘still, small voice of God,’ believing that God’s Word evolves to coincide with the culture.

God reveals Himself through the revelation of His Word and of His Son, Jesus. These are the same yesterday, today and forever!

God loves His Church. It is becoming the Bride He has appointed for His only Son. He will honor our efforts as we seek to do His Will. The prize of eternal life with Jesus is worth whatever the price!

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:38-39 NKJV]

“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” [2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV]

As we observe this time of giving thanks to our Creator and Provider, Almighty God, we should thank Him for granting us an opportunity to turn back to the foundation of our nation, which is Christian at the core.

Then, Christians, we must commit ourselves, wholeheartedly and with diligence, to prayer, first and foremost; prayers of thanksgiving and to seeking God’s will; and then committing ourselves, selflessly and with NO procrastination, to actively doing the will of our Heavenly Father!

Bless God, America!

And may God continue to bless America!

Disciples and Sheep

Many years ago I read the book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, by Phillip Keller.

The book is an eye-opening look at the characteristics of sheep and their relationship to their shepherd, revealing why God chose this as the example of the disciple and our relationship to Jesus. This is written by a man who learned from a life as a shepherd and sheep rancher. I highly recommend it.

The following is a brief excerpt from his book:

Do I really belong to Him?

Do I really recognize His right to me?

Do I respond to His authority and acknowledge His ownership?

Do I find freedom and complete fulfillment in this arrangement?

Do I sense a purpose and deep contentment because I am under His direction?

Do I know rest and repose, besides a definite sense of exciting adventure, in belonging to Him?

If so, then with genuine gratitude and exaltation I can exclaim proudly, just as David did, “The Lord is my Shepherd!” and I’m thrilled to belong to Him, for it is thus that I shall flourish and thrive no matter what life may bring me.