Thursday, July 2, 2015

Independence Day - A Religious Holiday?

I had to share this article by David Barton, because it pertains to our nations history more than 239 years ago and no matter how much secular scholars are attempting to erase American History from our schools and textbooks, we need to understand that despite what others tell us, our great nation WAS founded upon Christian principles and a strong faith and belief in God. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Please feel free to share this article and let us remember as we celebrate this weekend, let's not forget God!

Independence Day - A Religious Holiday?  By David Barton

"On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain. Two days afterwards – July 4th – the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed, albeit by only two individuals at that time: John Hancock, President of Congress, and Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress. Four days later, on July 8, members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell was rung. The inscription around the top of that bell, Leviticus 25:10, was most appropriate for the occasion: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”

To see the turmoil in other nations, their struggles and multiple revolutions, and yet to see the stability and blessings that we have here in America, we may ask how has this been achieved? What was the basis of American Independence? John Adams said “The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” Perhaps the clearest identification of the spirit of the American Revolution was given by John Adams in a letter to Abigail the day after Congress approved the Declaration. He wrote her two letters on that day; the first was short and concise, jubilant that the Declaration had been approved. The second was much longer and more pensive, giving serious consideration to what had been done that day. Adams cautiously noted: “This day will be the most memorable epic in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”

It is amazing that on the very day they approved the Declaration, Adams was already foreseeing that their actions would be celebrated by future generations. Adams contemplated whether it would be proper to hold such celebrations, but then concluded that the day should be commemorated – but in a particular manner and with a specific spirit. As he told Abigail: “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

John Adams believed that the Fourth of July should become a religious holiday – a day when we remembered God’s hand in deliverance and a day of religious activities when we committed ourselves to Him in “solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” Such was the spirit of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of those who led it, evidenced even further in the words of John Quincy Adams, one who was deeply involved in the activities of the Revolution.
According to John Quincy Adams, Christmas and the Fourth of July were intrinsically connected. On the Fourth of July, the Founders simply took the precepts of Christ, who came into the world through His birth (Christmas) and incorporated those principles into civil government.

Have you ever considered what it meant for those 56 men – an eclectic group of ministers, businessmen, teachers, university professors, sailors, captains, farmers – to sign the Declaration of Independence? This was a contract that began with the reasons for the separation from Great Britain and closed in the final paragraph stating “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” These men took this pledge seriously and it cost them greatly. When Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said, “We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”

The spiritual emphasis manifested so often by the Americans during the Revolution caused one Crown-appointed British governor to write to Great Britain complaining that: “If you ask an American who is his master, he’ll tell you he has none. And he has no governor but Jesus Christ.” This was boldly declared with not one but sixteen Congressional proclamations for national days of prayer and fasting throughout the Revolution.

Preserving American liberty depends first upon our understanding the foundations on which this great country was built and then preserving the principles on which it was founded. Let’s not let the purpose for which we were established be forgotten. The Founding Fathers have passed us a torch; let’s not let it go out."

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Upholding "Emphatic Notions" of Right and Wrong

Interesting how on June 29th, this was my morning devotional and found it came at just the perfect opportunity I had to share it. I hope it speaks to the heart of the issue we are having to face in light of the Supreme Court's decision not only on same sex marriage but recent rulings from them in the past.

"Through the law we become conscious of sin." ~ Romans 3:20.

"In Georgia a controversy raged over whether the August National Golf Club should be forced to accept women members; editorials denounced the club's insistence on the right of free association.

In Colorado the wife of a shop owner handed a brochure to an employee describing religious programs that help homosexuals leave the gay lifestyle. For this expression of her religious beliefs, the woman was forced, under local gay-rights laws, to undergo "counseling."

It seems that when it comes to sexual privacy, no one is allowed to pass judgment on others. It's a different story when it comes to other kinds of privacy rights - like the right of freedom of association or religious expression.

Moral philosopher Hadley Arkes says this state of affairs came about through the loss of understanding of natural law and thus, of natural rights.

In Natural Rights and the Right to Choose, Arkes notes that natural rights are the rights that are the same in all places and at all times. America's founders referred to natural rights as "self-evident truths." They knew that laws that ignored natural rights were unjust.

Today, secular scholars are hostile toward any notion of moral truths that are binding on all people. Instead, they suggest that we have nothing more than opinions about right and wrong. Humans have no fixed nature, they claim, and thus settled rights cannot arise from that nature.

The founders argued that the purpose of government is to secure the rights we already possess by nature and that God has give to us. Today, writes Arkes, secular scholars insist that we would be better off if politicians abandoned "fables about our natures, and such emphatic notions of right and wrong."

But if the Constitution really is based on truth, then we can't some how "advance" beyond it. Attempts to do so will inevitably lead to tyranny. For example, in 1973, the Supreme Court discovered a Constitutional "right to privacy." This "right" has enabled judges to overturn laws in the name of a whole new array of rights - including the right to partial-birth abortion.

But without a transcendent standard, there is no consistency. Private corporations and clubs are attacked for daring to define their own character. But in the name of an alleged right to sexual privacy, the law is used as a sledghammer to punish people who criticize the sexual behavior of others.

Christians must understand how the denial of logic of natural rights threatens not only our rights to free speech and religious practice but the right to life itself.

We must ask ourselves, as well, if we are ever tempted to ignore God's law when we disagree with it - as many judges do - or worse, privately exchange God's commands for our own." (Charles Colson, pg 360, One Year Devotional).

Lord, open my eyes to the arguments of many - including some who write or interpret our laws - that have already begun to lead us down the path to tyranny. Put in my heart a love of your laws and a fervent willingness to obey every one of them. ~ In Jesus Name, AMEN!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Soul Suvivors!

I remember the day that the television show Survivor first aired! I so loved the concept from trying to survive on what you had with a bunch of other people, tossed over the side of a boat with only what you brought with you, not knowing what you will be faced with. For the longest time, as the series continued I wanted and wished more than ever to be a part of that series, to see if I had what it took, not just to survive from a survival perspective but as a social one as well. It takes a lot to make some quick decisions with people you don't know and often times, think way differently about things than you do. So how do you find a way to make it work under the guise of team work?

In fact, in my days as a corporate trainer for a large wireless communications company for customer service representatives, one of my first themes was the Survivor idea. To outwit, to outplay and outlast, was key to making it through the brutal 6 week training class. But it was a great idea to keep the competitive spirit alive and something fun to work on harnessing the team building aspect that has to come when you are willing to step outside of yourself and think about others as part of success. This goes against everything ingrained in us from birth, that it isn't about self survival but as a team, a family, a neighborhood, a community, and a nation.

Right now, in light of the judicial blunder that has taken place on Friday, it has caused a great division among the people in the US. Rightly so. There are those that are celebrating the Supreme Courts decision to go against everything our judicial system represents, against the Constitution of the United States of America in an effort to basically tell God, that for 5000 years, He has had it all wrong from the beginning.

This is the most catastrophic self-inflicted wound to America. The Supreme Court has violated the Constituion and the judicial system. They have by passed Congress and the President and between 5 justices, made a decision that will now have long reaching consequences. What they did by bypassing all the processes put in place to prevent such a breach of judicial powers in the branches of government is untie the definition of marriage to include equality for all. Did you get that?

Equality for all when it comes to marriage.

I'm sure the same sex marriage community will be rejoicing for days because to them, it was a win, but it really wasn't. They cheated, the Supreme Court, to make this ruling without going through the proper channels, but does that matter? Most would say Heck No!

But it does. You see I believe we have watched America as a nation, slide further into the state of culture collapse than ever before. You don't have to be a history major to understand the implications on a culture, when lawlessness happens. And three of the chief justices on the Supreme Court have said just that. But is anyone listening? Does anyone care?

Chief Justice John Roberts said, "Constitution had “nothing to do with” the majority’s vindication of marriage equality."

Chief Justice Thomas said, "Had the majority allowed the definition of marriage to be left to the political process—as the Constitution requires—the People could have considered the religious liberty implications of deviating from the traditional definition as part of their deliberative process. Instead, the majority’s decision short-circuits that process, with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty."

Chief Justice Alito said, "I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools… By imposing its own views on the entire country, the majority facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas. Recalling the harsh treatment of gays and lesbians in the past, some may think that turnabout is fair play. But if that sentiment prevails, the Nation will experience bitter and lasting wounds."

Chief Justice Scalia said, "“A system of government that makes the people subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.”

Interesting how they have voiced their concerns by voting against this decision, because they violated all those people who have placed them in their position as Chief Justices to begin with. 5 justices on the Supreme Court, took it upon themselves on Friday, to make a universal decision for 320 million American's that basically said to the world, "this is what we think and believe is wrong."

This wasn't a win!

I guess people are simply too busy celebrating what it means to them, and even some well meaning Christians have joined in as well, but do you really see what has happened in the midst of your celebrations? That marriage is now undefined as deemed by the courts that everyone is allowed to marry those that they love, with no limits on that degree.

Do you understand what that means? I'm sure most could care a less as long as they get what they want and it doesn't impact them. Oh how far the world has fallen if they truly believe that lie.

Now it means that anyone can marry. There are no limits on the number of people who can marry, no age limits, no mental capacity can be challenged, nothing! It's equality for all!!! Let's celebrate that right?

Oh how my heart breaks for those who remain in complete ignorance if that is what they truly believe. The Supreme Court has now made it clear to the American citizens that the Constitution is invalid or open for reinterpretation as they see fit. The branches of government has been tossed out the window because the balances of power has been throw out. Now all kinds of laws no longer require the process that has been in place since the creation of the nation. Now it seems the line has been drawn in the sand and the persecutions will begin for everyone.

It will begin first with those who hold true to the traditions and foundations of the Bible. We will be now labeled as bigots, ignorant, intolerant, haters and even worse. Really where is all that so called "Love" you speak of now. So when anyone disagrees with you, we can be labeled, mocked, hated, by those that claim they are so full of love now?

Matthew 5:3-12 ~ " Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (NIV).

I mean I get it, I've seen the signs for some time, I mean seriously who hasn't. The church has been sleeping for far too long and now I believe it is the time to decide where you will take your stand! As a Christian, a believer of Jesus Christ, whatever your denomination, you can NO longer be a spectator in the world. We will have to make a choice as some are already doing.

But we should not be disappointed in what has happened to our nation because we had faith in a man made system. We wanted them to think like God does. But the God we serve and love, is constant, He never wavers, His promises are as true today as they were thousands of years ago in the Bible. The Bible isn't a bag of trail mix, where you get to pick and choose what you like, and leave the rest.

It is the infallible Word of God, absolute truth, non contradicting,in every way to those who read it and understand what it says. We have a choice to make today, who will you serve, man or God?

Acts 5:29 ~ " Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!" (NIV).

The results are clear, if you love Jesus, you will be hated by the world. Right now the Holy Spirit is calling you out! You have to decide for yourself, to stand with God or to stand with the world. Don't compromise, no matter how you feel!

Matthew 13, we are the seed, about to be tested to see where our roots truly lie, but take joy, there is still hope to be found in the Bible.

We need right now to take up a different kind of Survivor motto: One of the Christian perspective, where by choosing to follow Jesus, you will be guaranteed free airfare and 7 star accommodations for eternity. Cause in the end, it will all be about who you know and only those who call upon the name of the LORD will be saved. Only in Jesus Christ.

We now as believers in Jesus Christ, as soul survivors be the ones to OUT LOVE, OUT PRAY and OUT SERVE the evil that permeates the world right now, usher in a new age that will test the Christian and refine those who last into a pure believer ready to stand for Christ.

Who will you serve today?

Joshua 24:15 "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord!" (NIV).

If you want to make a change in your life today and choose Jesus over the world, pray this simple prayer from your heart:

Father, I come to You, confessing my sin and asking for Your forgiveness. I thank you, Lord, for You have promised that if I will confess my sins, You will be faithful to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I want to turn from my sins and live in Your will. I ask that You give me the power through Your Holy Spirit to live the right way.

I thank You that Jesus Christ died on the cross, paying the price for my sins, and then rose from the dead. I accept Him now as my Savior, my Lord, and my Friend. Thank You for giving me new life in Christ. I surrender myself to You; make me what You want me to be. In Jesus' name. Amen!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Point of No Return

This is a personal post on my feelings and what I believe and in no way shape of form is my forcing or requiring any one to accept my beliefs or opinions. Those choices are for an individual to make but I hope I make some consider what has happened, and what I believe will happen in the days ahead.

After the ruling from the Supreme Court was handed down on Friday, it didn't come as a surprise to me. After so many states had already caved in on their positions to recognize same sex marriages in their states, and the recent programming changes like The New Normal and other television shows and networks, and a more aggressive campaign to accept a same sex lifestyle into our society like a slow bleed, I was not caught off guard. For quite some time, we have watched as our rights and freedoms have been changed, called into question, but those of a more liberal persuasion, calling those who have a different opinion over theirs, arrogant, bigots, intolerant and haters.

That hurts because it is not true. I don't hate anyone, and I am educated enough to know right from wrong despite what the mainstream seems to be doing. But that is changing in the world. Right is now seen as wrong and wrong is now being embraced as right. It doesn't make it right but the Bible has predicted this so that is why it comes as no shock.

Friday, was a day that I felt two things, first an overwhelming sadness that persisted well into even today, but it is getting better as God speaks to my heart. I felt on Friday that sadness was the result of the Holy Spirit inside the lives and hearts of believers as it broke for this once blessed nation. It broke as the world even more turned its back on the foundations this country was created on. It has utterly turned away from God and now has turned to beyond shaking a fist at God, but laughing, mocking Him, and turning everything we as believers in God respect, into fire and ash.

The second thing I felt was anger, not at homosexuals but at the Supreme Court, that took it upon itself to interrupt the law of God and twist it, without a law being introduced from Congress for them to vote on and act upon. They simply bypassed the judicial system of how laws are created in this nation and went against everything. It my eyes, they cheated. It doesn't make it right that people felt the decision was justified in some eyes, they cheated. Plain and simple.

It changed the America we knew to the America we now have. There is no going back.

One thing is certain, we have moved the hands of God's coming judgment on the world, just that much closer to coming. When that will happen no one knows, but it will come.

As believers in Jesus, I believe that we have seen and heard God's final warning before the collapse of our culture and our nation. Don't know what comes next, read Deuteronomy 28, it's quite clear and it will happen.

Just because unrighteous laws have been passed does not mean we have to obey them. We are seeing states and churches halting not just same sex marriages, but all marriages for now. In this case, no discrimination cases can come upon them for not performing a marriage. Now we await some defining and clarification to what does the Constitution hold for religious freedoms for churches and pastors. Since the Supreme Court now feels in control, it wouldn't surprise me to see them reinterpret that Constitutional right.

So what can we do as Christians, or as I like to refer to myself as a believer in Jesus Christ?

1. Pray. Now is the time to get serious about our prayer life. We have taken it for granted that prayer can't change anything but it can. It has worked in the past when God's people have repented, turned away from their sinful life, and seek His forgiveness. God is a God of forgiveness, grace and mercy but He will not allow us to continue to claim we belong to Him and continue to live in a defiant attitude of sin. As if we are begging God to do something about it. Make no mistake, God's justice will come, but He is restraining this judgment wishing that NO ONE will perish but all will come to repentance and turn to Him.

I am asking ALL believers in Christ to join with me in 31 non stop days of prayer, beginning July 1st for the entire month based on Ephesians 3:20 ~"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us."

Please make a solid commitment to set your alarms to pray for our nation, our leaders, the world and for a great revival and an awakening to occur at 3:20 every day. It's a simple request and one that I believe will begin to move in such a way, the world can't miss. We failed before in this great nation by believing this would never happen, but let us be faithful in this. Wherever we are at 3:20 am or pm or even both, stop and pray. Will you commit?

2. Don't panic, God is still on the throne! History has shown us that the church often thrives when it is in sharp contract to the culture. Consider the implications and struggles of the first century churches. They stayed with God despite what they faced. We, believers in Jesus Christ, can outlive, outlove and out pray this world only with the help of Jesus Christ. We can survive what has happened and come out of this stronger than ever before if we learn from our mistakes.

3. We need to Keep Calm and Carry On! Did you realize that this slogan came from WWII at a time when Britain was under attack and it was issued by Sir Winston Churchill? That is precisely what we need to do when the world is hoping we all cower and go back into our holes quietly or as some have suggested leave, go someplace else where you will be accepted.

4. We need to show this changing culture what true traditional marriage really looks like! What a biblical marriage looks like, not perfect but perfectly forgiven! We all make mistakes, and it will be those in this culture that will seek to magnify those mistakes, but our mistakes don't define us, as long as we repent and move forward in the forgiveness that can only come from God. Our marriages should be a testimony to non-believers and we need to live it the way God intended. We need to remember that all marriages have irreconcilable differences but that is not a reason for divorce. Those differences are what make our marriages strong and what initially attracted us to our husbands and wives in the first place.

5. We need to show the love of Christ to everyone!!! People are struggling with those same sex attractions and feelings, but they don't need to act on them. Just like all of us have struggles with some area of sin in our life, we need to understand separating our feelings from our actions. Just because it feels right, doesn't mean it is right. Everything needs to be held up to the biblical standard of what is absolute right from what is absolute wrong. Without it, we would have no law and everyone would see fit to do what feels right or wrong to them. But it doesn't make it right.

The one thing I have found tossed in my face has been the scripture, "Judge not, lest you be judged.: by most non believers and even some well meaning Christians. So how do you deal with that? Easy if you look at it in context that is conveniently removed.

Matthew 7: 1-2, "Judge not, that you not be judged. For with judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." (NKJV). 

Matthew 7:1-2 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (NIV).

Matthew: 7:1-2 "Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging, is the standard by which you will be judged." (NLT).

It simply states that we can judge if the standards we are using are biblical because those same standards are the ones God will use when judging us all. We are however, not to confuse judging others with condemnation. That is often where the line is crossed. But most times, people toss that convenient scripture at Christians but not applied to themselves either. Aren't those who are content with this recent ruling, judging those who stand on biblical standards to speak the truth whether they want to hear it or not. Most thing it means to be accepting of everyone and everything, but it doesn't.

So what does love really look like?

It doesn't mean accepting all things, but we must care about others, often times enough to be honest with them. Just as a parent disciplines a child when they do things that are wrong, in love to correct them and keep them from making those same mistakes, we don't simply accept everything our child does in hopes that they will one day realize that truth but in the meantime, will love us more in spite of our willingness to let them do whatever they want. That is NOT love.

Proverbs 27:5-6 ~ " Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." (NIV). 

6. Lastly let us engage people with the Gospel. Everyone is searching for God and no one is beyond the reach of God, look at Saul of Tarsus who would later become Paul, one of the greatest disciples of Jesus. Anyone on the side of Jesus will face severe opposition. But we need to learn how to defend ourselves, to become either a victor or a victim. The devil will intensify his attacks on someone who is making a difference for Christ. Look at Job's example!

Remember as followers of Jesus Christ, we can't be snatched out of His hand, but for non believers, you are a sitting duck for Satan. He can blind their eyes so they don't believe and see the truth. So we must arm ourselves not just daily, but put on God's armor once and for all! We can't lower our guard for one minute because when we do, that's when we get hit! We have to stand against the wiles of the devil. He comes at us when we least expect it. It can come at the most inappropriate times like in the middle of church. Remember it is not a sin to be tempted, reject it immediately, we don't need to act on it, entertain it or give in to it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 ~ "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (NIV).

There is always a way out when you are tempted. Sometimes the solution is the easiest like using the door. The spiritual battle doesn't let up until we get to heaven. Remember what Satan doesn't want you to know, that he was defeated at the cross.

1 John 3:8 ~ "He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work." (NIV).

God's powers are unlimited, Satan's are limited.

Colossians 2:13-16 ~ "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of the, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you but what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day." (NIV). 

We are not fighting for victory, but from victory. We are now under the power of Jesus Christ. It's time to Stand Our Ground!! I believe what we will see now, is a thinning of churches, those who were not true Christians, will walk away and those false prophets in the church will now be revealed and what is left will be the One True Church of Jesus Christ, a pure and unblemished Bride awaiting her Groom! When things look like they're coming apart, they are actually coming together!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Don't Give Them What They Want!

Oh how my heart grieves for what this nation has become and the celebration all over the nation over the Supreme Court's ruling on same sex marriage. It does immediately cause a righteous anger and a visceral response within believers in Jesus, and that is expected and is human nature. Just like the response the world was watching in anticipation for when a white teen opened fire in the AME church in North Carolina killing 9 people in an attempt to incite a racial war. Did it happen? Was the reaction of the church and community what the world expected?

Absolutely NOT!!! I'm sure people were expecting, all out rioting in streets and communities all over the United States, but that is not what they saw. They saw what believers in Jesus Christ have known all along, that our God is not dead, but alive! We don't serve some man made idol that was created from some fantasy. We serve the God, the Alpha and Omega, the Great I Am, and the Creator of all the Heavens and the Earth, The One True Supreme Court Judge.

Do you think this decision caught God unaware today? Absolutely NOT!

And while people are celebrating that they think they caught God off guard and that Christians have long been wrong in their attempts at righteousness and truth, God will not be mocked. There will be consequences to this decision, just as much as when we do something wrong, retribution doesn't always immediately come, but it will come. That is why I am go grateful I serve a righteous God of Justice in whom nothing will be perverted or twisted. God is still in control!

But unfortunately for now, this world and it's title deed has been given back to the ruler of this world, which is Satan. God still maintains sovereignty but he is allowing Satan to have free reign for now. Satan will always attempt to mimic what God has created, because Satan can't create anything. He only steals, manipulates and lies about what God has created and ordained. Satan provides an alternative truth in anything God has created.

That is why today, was such a victory for Satan, not for God. Not for believers of Jesus Christ. He has taken what God has created, that perfection of marriage, a marriage that will always be one man, one woman, and twisted it, perverted it, and caused people to want what they have never been able to have. It's just another victory temporarily for Satan, but not in God's eyes.

In order for Jesus to return, things have to get worse and in the last year, the twisted perversity's in the world are rapidly and exponentially sliding that way. It seems like there is no way to stop it. So what can we as believers in Jesus do?

Stand on that same faith we always have. The absolute truth that has been in the Word since God breathed it into life. We may not know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future. The response therefore in this case is to not give them what they expect. It doesn't mean we roll over in defeat, in fact it means we need to get busy with God's business even more, because the clock just moved us ever closer to the coming of Jesus for His church. Imagine a world without the believers of Jesus in it? Scary place to be for certain.

We need to keep hoping, keep praying, and avoid hating in all of this. We don't have to accept it, because in God's eyes, we haven't been defeated. Consequences are coming for those who continue to defy the God of the Bible, to mock His Holy Name and to continue to push the evil into the world as a way of saying, "We don't need you God!"

Let us pray today, and ask God more than ever to show the world, believers in Jesus are NOT going to give you what you expect today. There will be no rioting from churches, there will be no looting or violence from believers in Jesus, instead more than ever, we will be determined to show the love of the God will serve, and remind people that just because sin in the regards to same sex marriage was approved today, it's not a license to sin in God's eyes.

We now need more than ever to pray for our leaders in government who remain blind to the truth as was evident today that Justice was blind and respond to help protect our religious liberties that will now undergo attack by those who will seek to strip it away as they have attempted to do today, but we serve a higher authority than man, and in our eyes, marriage is still between one man and one woman. It does not nor will it be redefined in the laws of God as anything different. Let us remain unified in our belief, strengthen our faith and continue to support our Godly men and women in positions of leadership within the church as the wheat now begins to separate from the chaff , the sheep from the goats and we will see which church leaders will stand with Jesus and which others will stand with the gods of this world.

Jude 3-25 "Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. 

Though you already know this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home - these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgement on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. 

In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals - these are the very things that destroy them. 

Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion. 

These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm - shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted - twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for who blackest darkness has been reserved forever. 

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. 

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, foretold. They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 

Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy mixed with fear - hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

To him who is able to keep you from falling to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! AMEN"

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Are You Immune From Catching Spiritual Viruses?

Face it, we all do what we can to stay healthy. I mean who loves being sick. Sure people love to call in "sick" to get the day off, but not when we really are sick. It makes us miserable, grouchy, and often times impacts plans we have to forgo because we can't physically participate in them. Who loves being sick while you're on vacation. I would wager almost everyone would say NO ONE!

So why then, are we willing to put ourselves spiritually at risk to all the viruses in the the world today. I guess some would call them temptations. Just because you are a believer doesn't mean you are spiritually immune, in fact, you are the biggest challenge and target in the unseen realm. One day we will realize exactly what we are up against and it won't be pretty. Some have been privy to what is really going on when we least expect it and others dabble in things they have no idea what they are truly doing.

As believers it is our daily responsibility to ensure we have our antibiotics, our antibacterial wash, and plenty of supplies to ward off any attacks. But even with the best intentions, we fail. Sometimes, miserably and wonder how we managed to get sick.

It will always come subtlety just like it did for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Imagine, they were perfect creatures, not like us, living in a perfect place, again not us. Yet Satan tempted them with twisting of God's Words.

When God told them they could do every single thing in Eden except for one, ANYTHING, why was the one thing they couldn't have enough to tempt them. Initially it wasn't. It wasn't until the serpent caught Eve off guard and twisted God's words in Genesis 3"1-5 in the NIV, 

"Did God really say, " you couldn't eat from any tree in the garden?"  The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die." "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Isn't it interesting that Eve, wasn't concerned that the serpent was talking to her? It didn't freak her out, instead she was focusing on the thoughts going on in her mind, questioning whether she may have heard God correctly. Isn't that like the temptations we face?

It begins in our thought life, and then moves to our words or action. We don't just blindly say or do things, our thoughts give birth to sin! That is why it is so important to guard our thoughts. Our thoughts are influenced by what we see, and what we hear so it is imperative that we remain on guard and make sure the things we think about through what we see and hear are godly. We need to stop trying to justify our actions and believe they won't have an impact in our life. It may not happen right away, but overtime, those things build up and the things we look at and hear become more and more twisted in our thoughts and before we know it, we slip and fall.

The enemy loves to work in the lives of believers of Jesus because people in the world who don't know better are already doing the work of the enemy anyway. They are feeding on the lusts of the eyes and ears, fulfilling the selfish desires of their heart, living it up as they say, for tomorrow we might die right?

Yikes, what a twisted world we truly live in! There is more to life than what we really see and hear, but we must have spiritual eyes and ears to know the truth. We must not fall into the trap or the lies of the world that would try to justify there isn't anything we can do to change things, because we can. But it must begin with us first. We are the biggest threat to the world, believers of Jesus! We need to ensure that we don't fall victim to the viruses of corruption, deceit, lies and temptations of the world, because we don't live here. Our home is in heaven.

We need to do a few things to ensure we don't fall into the traps of getting sick. So what can we do to beef up our immune systems spiritually?

1. Read the Bible every day! Even if it's just 5 minutes, crack it open and ask God to show you what you need today! The more you study the Word of God, the more you will be prepared to know the lies when the world tries to twist it.

2. Pray! It's the most powerful weapon we possess and the one we fail to use the most. If the enemy can get us to stop praying it takes the focus off of God, and puts it on us and what is happening in our life. Prayer puts us in immediate communication of God and we are spiritually transported into the very presence and throne room of God. Picture that, the next time you are praying!

3. Sing praise and worship songs to God every single day. In fact, I challenge you to spend the next 30 days incorporating at least 15 minutes or more of praise and worship music in your day. Try listening to some just before you head off to sleep. Power comes in our worship and it's the one thing angels can't do. I can imagine how they flock to churches just to watch what happens when we spend time singing them to our heavenly Father. Embark on the journey because it truly is life changing. The more you worship, the less struggle you will have in your spiritual walk. When we fall down, it will make us get back up a whole lot quicker!

4. Spend time in church! It's our spiritual booster shot! It helps get us through the time we have to spend in the world, and unites us with other believers. For those that find reasons to avoid church, get over it. It's not about YOU, it's about HIM! It's about us, standing together united in prayer, in song, and in the Word of God. It's about the sick and wounded coming to know more about our God, and trust me, there are people in church that are coming there for whatever reason, and they will be making judgments about the God we serve, based on what they see in us. What will they see in You? It's it about YOU or about Him?

We need to remember, that every single day we walk onto the battlefield not a play ground. We need to ensure we have all that we need to wage that daily war, just like a soldier or warrior would never step into a situation without his weapons, we need to ensure we have ours.

Ephesians 6:10-18 ~ "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm, then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (NIV). 

What does all the armor mean?

Belt of Truth: A dishonest Christian can't hope to understand the father of lies himself. Means integrity, a life of practical truthfulness and honesty!

Breastplate of Righteousness: practical righteous character and deeds of a believer.

Feet fitted with a readiness that comes from the gospel of peace: the gospel is the firm foundation on which believers stand and we need to defend and spread it to the world.

Shield of Faith: used to protect us from the assaults of Satan to penetrate the believer who places his trust in God.

Sword of the Spirit: Our only weapon and it is an offensive weapon, a specific word that needs to be spoken in a specific situation, therefore you must know the Bible intimately!

Pray in the Spirit: Without prayer, all the armor would be of no use. Perseverance and patience in prayer are essential. NEVER GIVE UP even if your answer doesn't come right away.

In fact in Revelation 5:8b  ~ :The twenty four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." (NIV).

Our prayers are in heaven and God has kept every single one of them. If they weren't important, why does God keep them in golden bowls? Because they are precious to Him, like incense, something the high priests were required to offer up daily to God. We are meant to pray daily! It causes a reaction in heaven and God is never too busy to hear them.

So today, have you prepared yourself spiritually to avoid catching any spiritual virus? Time to suit up and prepare for battle. Oh and by the way, we win in the end, no matter what the enemy tries to tell you! Remind him of his future next time he reminds you of your failure!

Isaiah 54:17 ~ "No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me. ~ declares the LORD." (NIV).

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Stirring Our Spiritual Waters in a Time of Drought!

I am in my season of being watered, splashed, bathed, and refreshed with the joy of God's water spilling forth in my spiritual life and allowing me to drink deeply from that well. The water that will keep you thirsting for more. It truly satisfies like nothing else.

I truly believe that in all our walks we find time where we can invite God in. Not just in our fleeting, hurried prayers but when we sense ourselves just beginning to stir as we sense the morning light beneath our curtains. God whispers our name. He offers us a Good Morning. Can you hear it?

As I stretch beneath my still warm covers, I offer my morning wishes to God. I wish Him a Good Morning even though He doesn't require rest. He's been working all night once more. Keeping my thoughts from spilling over into worry or anxiety for things I don't have answers to. I can sense Him smiling, because He knows me. He knows me better than I know myself. I can almost seeing Him nodding at me too.

I begin my silent prayers this morning and thank Him for the promise of His will in my life. I surrender my thoughts to Him and ask that they bless those whose words and actions will follow me throughout my morning. I ask for His eyes to see the needs of those around me. To hear the smallest voices asking for help in my day. To sense whatever purposes I am called to do today, that I will do it willingly with a thankful heart and shower people around me with His love today.

I pray this before I even hit the floor because I know at some point I will become weak today. Frustration or lack of patience in something may try to ruin my day that I had planned out. Yes, God smiles because He knows my shortcomings in my day even before I arise from my bed. He smiles because He knows that no matter what happens, I will maintain my faith. I will push forward in my pursuit and even though I fail I will not let it keep me down.

I will look up into His strong face and I will reach out my hand to Him and ask for help. I will ask for resistance to avoid falling again. This time, I will walk with Him and not be in such a hurry to run ahead. I like walking with Him, talking about our day, and having Him show me just how much He loves me in how He lets my day unfold before me.

I will thank Him for the opportunity to use me in whatever capacity He needs me to today to accomplish His plans. Today I will reach out and take that step of faith. I will meditate on His word today and I will seek Him with my whole heart. Do you hear Him calling you? What is He saying to you?

What would you accomplish if you knew that you could not fail? Please share those thoughts with me today and thank you for stopping by and feeling refreshed by His waters today!

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better!" ~ Ephesians 1:17