Friday, December 30, 2011

My Favorite Things . . .

As I look back upon 2011, here are a few of my favorite things!

Favorite (Serious) Books I Read

1. A Nation Like No Other by Newt Gingrich

2. Second Guessing God: Hanging on When You Can't See His Plan by Brian Jones

3. One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer

4. Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Dutch Sheets

5. The Church Awakening by Charles Swindoll

7. Courage and Consequence by Karl Rove

8. Original Intent: The Courts, The Constitution, and The Law by David Barton

9. Seeking Daily the Heart of God by Boyd Bailey

Favorite (Just for Fun) Books

The Summons by John Grisham

The Broker by Grisham

The Last Juror by Grisham

The Appeal by Grisham

Favorite New Movies of 2011

Cars 2

The Muppets

Favorite Family Entertainment at Home

Anne of Green Gables

The Road to Avonlea

Favorite Thing to Follow in the News

Newt Gingrich's campaign

Favorite Family Fun

1. Playing at home in our yard and with our yard toys (treehouse, swings, playhouse, barn, and trampoline).

2. Dollywood

3. Playing at the beach.

Favorite Purchases of 2011

1. Treehouse and swings for the kids
2. Deck for Tracey

Favorite Moments with Church

1. Praying with friends while planning and preparing for the new church.
2. Wednesday morning breakfasts with friends.
3. Our covenant-signing service in September.

Favorite Music I Enjoyed this Year

Wintley Phipps

Hillsong Live

The St. Olaf Choir

Dolly Parton


Randy Travis

Larnelle Harris

Sandi Patty

Favorite Things that Fill Me When I am not Working!

1. Spending time with my family.
2. Writing and working on a book proposal.
3. Reading about law, politics, and the judiciary.
4. Following the political road to 2012.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Poem for Christmas

I came across this magnificent poem by Rod Jellema today . . .

Take a Chance

If you cancel the trip to Innesfree
because it's raining, you may miss the quick
red rage of a torn leaf
before it gentles itself onto the quiet pool.

The tests warned him that his exceptional mind
was weakest for doing math, so math
is what he took up with holy awe,
forcing his dazzled way to insight.

If you always leave a nightlight burning
because as a child you got fearfully lost,
turn it off. The lights far out in the dark
are sending lifelines you never imagined.

The New Age seers, tracking the fates, may tell you
no - but take a chance. Just maybe that old
unbelievalble Yahweh really did imprint you
with enough God Image to make you free to leap.

- in his book A Slender Grace

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Black Robe Regiment

Did you know that the British saw the clergy in the USA as being largely responsible for the ideas behind American independence and that the clergy for two decades had preached the main ideas that led to the Declaration of Independence? So much so that the British gave the American clergy a backhanded name - The Black Robe Regiment.

Ministers were at the forefront of social and political issues of the day. David Barton says, "If it was in the news it was covered in the pulpit. They gave a biblical viewpoint of every issue of the day."

How different today when so many people want to keep the clergy and the church from speaking to social-political issues. I wonder today how many in the clergy would deserve the title The Black Robe Regiment?

Barton writes, "In short, history demonstrates that America's elective governments, her educational system, and many other positive aspects of American life and culture were the product of Biblical-thinking Christian clergy and leaders. Today, however, as the influence of the clergy has waned, many of these institutions have come under unprecedented attack and many of our traditional freedoms have been significantly eroded. It is time for America's clergy to understand and reclaim the important position of influence they have been given. As the Rev. Charles Finney - a leader of the Second Great Awakening - reminded ministers in his day:

Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation. [100]

America once again needs the type of courageous ministers described by Bishop Galloway:

Mighty men they were, of iron nerve and strong hand and unblanched cheek and heart of flame. God needed not reeds shaken by the wind, not men clothed in soft raiment [Matthew 11:7-8], but heroes of hardihood and lofty courage. . . .And such were the sons of the mighty who responded to the Divine call. [101]

It is time to reinvigorate the Black Robed Regiment!"

You can read the entire article here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Where's the Spirit and Guts?

It is in the Newt Gingrich campaign. Read these comebacks he has given in his debates, and make sure and watch the last video clip when he puts it right back to Scott Pelley. One thing I admire of Newt in the debates is that he is not intimidated. He speaks with the great calm confidence of a seasoned statesman.

No Attacks, Please!

I signed the petition. We need a positive Republican campaign, not one filled with negative attacks. View it here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Characters of Christmas

The Characters of Christmas
Luke 2:21-40

Joseph and Mary (21-24,39)
• They knew and obeyed the revealed, written law of the Lord.
• They desired their child to be consecrated.
• Their worship cost them something.

Simeon (25-35)

The adoration and prophecy of Simeon is rich in spiritual suggestion. This spectator kept the lamp of prophecy burning when religion was at a low ebb in Israel. Simeon means “one who hears and obeys” and this saintly Simeon knew the voice speaking in the prophets of old and obeyed the light he saw.
- All the Men of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer

Verse 25 shows us four qualities of Simeon’s life:

1. He was a righteous man.
2. He was a devout man.
3. He expected the Lord; He was waiting on the Lord.
4. He was a man of the Holy Spirit.

A person of the Holy Spirit will be marked by the following:

- The Spirit will be on/in him (Ro. 8:9-11; 1 Cor. 12:13);.
- He will walk in the spirit of revelation (Ep. 3:5; Da. 2:28-30; Mt. 11:25; 1 Cor, 2:7-10; Ac. 13:2).
- He will be moved by the Spirit (Ac. 6:3; 11:24; 16:6; 2 Pe. 1:21; Gal. 5:16- 18; Ro. 7:6; 8:14).

5. Simeon experiences the Providence of God (27).
6. Simeon experiences the Keeper of promises (29).
7. Simeon moves in the spirit of prophecy (29-32).

The spiritual gift of prophecy is the divine ability to read, hear, and understand what God says and communicate that truth in a clear, compelling, and convicting way under God’s anointing. They speak for a particular time, situation, or circumstance for they know they have a timely message from God. The prophet stays on his knees before God, God burdens them, and, sometimes spontaneously, they speak according to what God gives them by His Spirit and according to His Word.

A prophet is one who knows his time and what God is trying to say to the people of his time. Today we need prophetic preachers; not preachers of prophecy merely, but preachers with a gift of prophecy. The word of wisdom is missing. We need the gift of discernment again in our pulpits. It is not ability to predict that we need, but the anointed eye, the power of spiritual penetration and interpretation, the ability to appraise the religious scene as viewed from God's position, and to tell us what is actually going on. Where is the man who can see through the ticker tape and confetti to discover which way the parade is headed, why it started in the first place and, particularly, who is riding up front in the seat of honor? If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation it must be by other means than any now being used. If the church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher. The proper, ruler-of-the-synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions, nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting.

Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many) he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. We need to have the gifts of the Spirit restored again to the church, and it is my belief that the one gift we need most now is the gift of prophecy.
– A. W. Tozer in The Gift of Prophetic Insight

How we need in this day of shaky values and shady ethics those who will bring a genuine message from God that will call for turning from sin and finding purpose for living according to the will and Word of the Lord.
- Charles Swindoll

3 common manifestations of the gift of prophecy:
1. Preaching and teaching
2. Speaking (warnings, exhortations, instructions, consolations)
3. In and through the ministry of intercession

Anna (36-38)
• Anna’s life is marked by hardship (36).
• Anna’s life is marked by worship (37).
• Anna’s life is marked by intercession (37).

Lessons Learned from the Characters of Christmas

1. We must be obedient to the Word of God.

2. We must develop faithfulness in the mundane.

3. We must walk in the reality of the Holy Spirit.

4. We must wait for the Lord to fulfill His purposes and His promises.

Though Dead, He Still Speaks

A. W. Tozer . . .

The Gift of Prophetic Insight

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Very Good Article

Why is the Tea Party lining up with Newt Gingrich?

Laurens County Tea Party

I was very glad this week to hear that the Laurens County Tea Party (I live in Laurens County) has now endorsed Newt Gingrich. Actually, this week both the LCTP and the Myrtle Beach Tea Parties made national news with their endorsements. Our friend Dianne Belsom, the leader of the LCTP, received calls from reporters all over the country.

Read their endorsement here.

White Paper on Restoring the Judicial Branch to its Rightful Role

See Fox debate clip when Newt slams activist judges.

Read Newt's white paper on "Bringing the Courts Back Under the Constitution."

Not a Judicial Dictatorship!

Newt on Hannity after the Iowa debate. Go Newt!

Newt on Constitutional History

The place of the judiciary in American history.