Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Explaining the Left, Part VI: Do Leftists Believe What They Say?



"Truth is not a left-wing value.

I first discovered this as a graduate student studying the Soviet Union and left-wing ideologies at the Russian Institute of Columbia University School of International Affairs. Everything I have learned since has confirmed this view.

Individuals on both the left and right lie. Individuals on both the left and right tell the truth. And liberalism, unlike leftism, does value truth. But the further left one goes, the more one enters the world of the lie."


Embracing God's Thoughts



Gideon may have thought the angel crazy when he called him a mighty hero. But he was about to learn that when God’s Presence is involved, everything can change.

The presence of God is the one reality that marks the people of God as belonging to Him. Many religions, civic groups, and schools have moral codes. But only God’s people have his presence. And as he leads us with his presence, sometimes he takes us into confusing circumstances.

Occasionally what we see with our eyes is the opposite of what we hear from the Lord. Three times the Scripture says Gideon’s circumstances didn’t confirm what God was saying. They actually reflected the opposite of the Lord’s perspective. And every time the Lord answered by simply promising His presence.

First, circumstances find Gideon threshing wheat in the winepress, hiding and alone. Yet the angel says, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” (6:12).

Then, Gideon asks the “why” question: “Sir, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?” (13). The Lord answers his question by saying, “ ‘Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” (14).

Third, Gideon asks the “how” question: “ ‘how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest . . . and I am the least in my entire family!” (6:15). The angel’s response is, “I will be with you” (16).

Do you see the progression? Negative circumstances show one set of figures. And God keeps promising His presence.


Why and How

Like Gideon, we like to question “why” and “how.” We look to the past and see failures, regrets, or disappointments and wonder why. Or, we look at our present resources and opportunities and look toward the future, wondering how. How could I ever get a good job when I lost one? How can I ever recover from losing a child or going through a divorce? How can I ever afford to educate my children?

I was invited to preach at my home church, Edwards Road Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina, my senior year of college. Speaking to a church of about 700 people was no small task for twenty-one year old. Charles Stanley says your home church is the worst place to ever preach, because people remember when you were a boy and they think, “Oh, isn’t that cute!”

Even though twenty-four years have passed since then, I still remember sitting on the platform listening to Dr. Earl Crumpler introduce me. As I sat, fear overcame me and I thought, “There is no possible way I can do this.” Instantly, I remembered the story of Gideon. Specifically, I remembered the exchange in verses 11-16. It was as if the Holy Spirit said to me, “If you will get up and start speaking, I will be with you and help you.” As an act of faith, I chose to stand up and begin preaching. A lady in the audience later told me, “I could tell when you started speaking and the Holy Spirit took over.” Since then I have 
preached, taught, and spoken to groups hundreds of times. But I don’t think I ever get up to speak that mentally I don’t quickly rehearse Gideon and the angel’s exchange. I quietly affirm in my spirit, “I can’t, Lord, but you can!”

Your battle may not be preaching a sermon. It may be dealing with a bad-attitude teenager. Or facing a pile of debt. Or confronting a problem in your office or church. Or helping an aging loved one. Whatever it is, the challenge seems daunting, leaving you feeling small. God’s promise to you is the same as to Gideon. He does not explain all of the why’s of yesterday. Nor does he tell you all the details of “how” for the future. But he does promise, “I will be with you.”

So take the next step and count on His presence.


God’s Perspective  
         
One of the hardest disciplines of the Christian life - and of Christian leadership - is leading yourself and others to think God's thoughts and not just human ones. If we only follow our limited thinking, reasoning, and experience, we may completely miss what God is doing. Think of these examples:

Isaiah wrote, “ ‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts’ ” (55:8-9 NLT)

Jesus set up a situation to prove His greatness. He planned to feed 5000 men from only a boy’s small lunch. Like a master teacher, he asked Philip where they would find bread to feed the crowd. John almost comically tells us, “He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do” (John 6:6). Matthew’s account tells us the disciples then told Jesus, “Send the crowds away” (14:15). 

In other words, the disciples had a meeting without Jesus, and their best long-range, strategic planning said to send the crowds home. Their human wisdom drawn from years of experience told them it just would not work. The numbers did not add up. Maybe they patted each other on the back for their frugal common-sense. However, their long-range planning did not include Jesus. 

And his thoughts vastly differed from theirs.

The Israelites faced a critical decision at Kadesh Barnea. God brought His people to the edge of the Land of Promise about 18 months after leaving Egypt. Sadly, fear and human wisdom prevailed. Out of several million people, only three men had God’s perspective – Moses, Joshua, and Caleb. The people took a public opinion survey and voted instead of seeking the Lord together. They embraced human wisdom but lacked divine guidance. That moment of choice cost the Israelites another 38 ½ years in the desert.

Writing about the Israelites’ moment at Kadesh Barnea, Richard Blackaby shares in his book Living Out of the Overflow, “Wise leaders understand that the fiercest opposition is mobilized at the point of God’s greatest advance. . . .The Israelites should have been exuberant at finally approaching Kadesh . . . . But they were disoriented to God. As a result, God’s will confused them. They expected one thing, and God gave them another. They complained when they should have rejoiced. . . . Such is the sad irony when God’s people do not know His heart and His ways. People may be at the threshold of receiving God’s spectacular promises yet miserably lament their evil circumstances.”

When Jesus told the disciples he had to die, his buddy Peter rebuked him. Imagine rebuking Jesus! He said that he would NEVER let Jesus die. Notice the Lord’s response. It is one of the most chilling ones in Scripture: “Jesus turned to Peter and said, ‘Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s’ ” (Matt. 16:23, NLT). 

Yikes! Holy I-missed-the-moment, Batman! 

These and other Scriptural examples show me that even the people closest to Jesus can completely miss what He is about to do. Left to our own thinking and planning, we may become a “dangerous trap” to Jesus.



His Transforming Presence

Boyd Bailey writes in his excellent devotional Seeking Daily the Heart of God, "God's will does not always make sense. It may not make sense because we factor in our own understanding. . . . When you think like Jesus you do not have to be in control. You trust Him to handle people and circumstance in his timing."

In Gideon’s account, he could have stayed stuck bemoaning his circumstances and missing the activity of God. But the Lord took his servant from threshing wheat in a winepress to defeating the armies of Midian.

Gary Inrig shares that the Angel of the Lord was saying, “ 'Gideon, I know what you are. I can see your circumstances. But I am much more concerned with what you are going to become that with what you are. Gideon, I don’t see you for what you are now, but for what you are going to be, because I am with you.'

Other people look at us and see our flaws and failings. God looks at us and sees our possibilities, through His transforming presence. It is enormously important that we begin to realize the possibilities of our lives because of what God can do in us.”





[i] Wayne Stiles, Waiting on God: What to Do When God Does Nothing (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2015),87-88.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Democrats' Scorched Birth Campaign



It was four days before a vote that will be talked about for years. Of course, that irony was probably lost on Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) -- but it wasn't lost on us. The same woman leading the fight for legal infanticide chose last Thursday to tour Seattle Children's Hospital, walking the long hallways where she would argue only wanted kids deserve care.

"It was wonderful to visit the @seattlechildren's Hospital-North Clinic in Everett, WA this week," the senator tweeted. "I had a great time meeting the dedicated staff and seeing firsthand how they use their resources to serve children and families throughout Northwest WA." But by early this evening, Patty Murray will have taken the unbelievable position that some children don't deserve those resources -- not even when they're lying alone in a hospital just like that one, fighting to survive.

There will be people like Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) who try to hide what they've just done. They'll cloak their votes in comfortable words and euphemisms. "This bill," he said earlier, "would establish new requirements for health care practitioners in the case of a fetus who survives an abortion." There's no such thing as a "fetus" who survives an abortion. There are only newborns. Infants. Children.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

E-Newsletter, Week of February 17


Click here to view my e-newsletter, Faith, Family, and Freedom, for this week.

See my article "Training Wheels and Trusting God."

Dennis Prager shares fourteen negative implications in society if there is no God.

And read about what King Asa teaches us about trusting God for new challenges in life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Training Wheels and Walking on Water



For weeks my daughter tried unsuccessfully to ride her bicycle without training wheels. Fearing falling, she would not peddle forward and stay on the bike.

We lived in the country and a large rolling green hill faced the front of the house. Anna-Frances and I sat down in the white rocking chairs on the porch, facing the hill.

Rocking next to my six-year old, I asked,” Do you remember the Bible story about Peter walking on the water?  In a great storm, the disciples experienced fear.  When Jesus came walking on the water, they were afraid.  They had never seen anyone do that before.  What did Peter do that no one else did?”

“He got out of the boat and walked on water.”

“That’s right, honey,” I replied.  “He tried something new and trusted God to care for him even though it was scary.”

She quietly and thoughtfully listened.  “Anna, what do you think God wants you to do with this bike?”

“Trust God and try to ride.”

We arose and walked the bicycle to the very top of the large green hill.  She mounted, and I held on from behind.  As she began peddling, I ran behind her.  Knowing she had her balance, I let go of the bike and yelled, “Go, Anna!  You’ve got it, babe!”

Watching her peddle that bike all the way to the bottom of the hill remains one of my favorite memories from that season of our lives. She got out of the boat and rode without training wheels.

In our lives, we face challenges, fears, and unknowns that threaten our confidence. We like Peter can choose to either focus on the obstacles and potential loss - or on the One who is able to keep us from falling or help us up when we do.

David told his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; God – my God – will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (1 Chronicles 28:20).

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

If There Is No God



"While it is not possible to prove (or disprove) God’s existence, what is provable is what happens when people stop believing in God.


1. Without God there is no good and evil; there are only subjective opinions that we then label 'good' and 'evil.' This does not mean that an atheist cannot be a good person. Nor does it mean that all those who believe in God are good; there are good atheists and there are bad believers in God. It simply means that unless there is a moral authority that transcends humans from which emanates an objective right and wrong, 'right' and 'wrong' no more objectively exist than do 'beautiful' and 'ugly.'

2. Without God, there is no objective meaning to life. We are all merely random creations of natural selection whose existence has no more intrinsic purpose or meaning than that of a pebble equally randomly produced."


If You Want a Conservative Child



"In a nutshell, American parents who hold traditional American values — such as belief in small government as the basis of liberty, in a God-based moral code, that American military strength is the greatest contributor to world peace and stability, or in American exceptionalism, not to mention in the man-woman definition of marriage or in the worth of a human fetus — are at war with almost every influence on their children’s lives. This includes, most importantly, the media and the schools.

Here, then are some suggestions for raising a child with American, i.e., conservative, values.

First, parents who are not left-wing need to understand that if they do not articulate their values on a regular basis, there is a good chance that after one year, let alone four, at college, their child will adopt left-wing views and values. Do not think for a moment that values are automatically transmitted. One hundred years ago they may have been — because the outside world overwhelmingly reaffirmed parents’ traditional values — but no longer."


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Importance of Handwritten Notes



Last weekend, I cleaned out our filing cabinets. For the first time in eighteen years of marriage, I thoroughly purged our many files. I spent about four hours going through loads of paper and ended up with more than a laundry basket full of paper to throw away. I found receipts from every pregnancy, doctor visits for babies, paperwork for every vehicle purchased, and invitations to our wedding. It’s fun to see it all, and it is fun to throw most of it away.

But it was also a great reminder of a tradition we need to preserve for our children.

You see, tucked in between the items to discard were treasures. No, they can’t be sold and won’t bring any money, but their worth is priceless. I found letter after letter written by family members, loved ones, and friends. Some of those people are no longer on this earth.

Those treasures include the following:

  • Birthday and anniversary cards from our grandparents, all of whom are now in heaven. My wife and I remarked in recent years how the mailed birthday cards decreased. My grandmother always sent us a $50 Red Lobster gift card on special occasions, along with a hand-written note.
  • Long, hand-written letters of encouragement, thanks, and sometimes exhortation from my mother.
  • Letters to our children from my great-aunt, who never had children of her own but took great interest in ours.
  • Notes from church members, who occasionally took time to express their love, assure us of their prayers, or send a gift.
  • The only letter I ever received from my father. I was struggling over a life-decision in college, and he mailed me a very short note that read, “I am praying for you. Love, Dad.”
  • Love-letters between my wife and I from our days of courtship, which is now two decades ago.
  • Simple notes and pictures that our children have written us during the years for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and Father and Mother’s Days. Though often misspelled, they are treasures, like the one I have taped on my wall that says, “DIER DADDEY; I HOP YUW HAVE A GUD HAPPPEYE BERTH DAYA.  I LUV YUW DADDEY.”



Because of our digital age, we live in a day when we are losing the craft of writing letters. People text and email habitually. And there is nothing wrong with those inventions. They make life simpler in some ways, and they are convenient when I need to send a quick word.

However, texting and emailing does not adequately replace the personal note or letter—and they don’t leave treasures behind for us or our children.


BIOGRAPHIES AND LETTERS

I enjoy reading biographies. One of the main ways we learn about historical figures is from their correspondence: the letters they sent and received. We read the letters and journals of great political statesmen like George Washington, Samuel Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, of seasoned missionaries and pastors like Hudson Taylor, Mary Slessor, and George Mueller, and of outstanding thinkers and achievers like C. S. Lewis, Benjamin Franklin, and Elisabeth Elliot.  If Martin Luther King, Jr., had lived in our day, I guess his famous book would be titled Texts and Emails from Birmingham Jail. 

Donald Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says that most of his students say that, other than for special occasions, they have never in their life received a personal hand-written letter. Whitney says that a hand-written letter is “the height of personal touch today. It has a personal touch to it that an email doesn’t.”

An email from your mother and your bank, printed out on your printer, look the same. There is nothing personal about the white paper and black ink.

However, a card that was picked out to send just to you, or a piece of someone’s personal stationary with a note that is hand-written or typed and then signed by the sender carries personality. It’s a touch of care, concern, and love from the sender, in a way that can never be accomplished electronically.

If you don't have good handwriting, then do what I do. Type a letter and then sign it with a short handwritten note.

CREATING TREASURES

Let’s get back to writing letters and notes on cards. And let’s keep the ones we receive so our children will someday have memories they will treasure. Let’s teach our children the value of hand-writing a birthday greeting, thank-you note, or a congratulatory expression, so that they can bless the lives of others.

I still have some letters and envelopes sent to me by loved ones years ago.  When I pick them up, I remember that their hands touched that paper, wrote on it, and signed it with their pen. For the ones now in heaven, I can’t see them.  But I still feel loved by their handwritten notes sent years ago.

Today would be a good day for you to write a handwritten letter to your child. He or she will treasure it one day.


Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

How the Deep State Has Evolved



"Over the next 30 years the fight for cultural renewal in America will be won by bringing exclusively Biblical values to the public square. For that to happen, a drastic revision of the mindset and philosophy of the role of the church in America will need to happen. The Church must move from the meetinghouse to the marketplace, to what is called the Ekklesia.3 The shift of Christians from ‘church house’ to public square for civil engagement will cause a profound realignment.


Rejuvenation of the culture will require a different model than any now being used. The Church must begin again to influence the categorical imperatives of the culture. There must appear a new type of leader, different from those often presently operating, perpetually preoccupied with social justice, the distribution of wealth, budgets, buildings, additional privileges and rights. Focusing in these areas has been tried and found ephemeral. The WORD must be the centerpiece, both in the Church and in the culture.

This new type of leader will not be in the same mold as we conventionally envision a leader: a single person in front of a crowd of followers. For the leaders of the new paradigm, think of Gideons and Rahabs. Each individual can and must be a leader so that we have a nation full of them. Each will have experienced intimacy with God; holiness will be their sole desire. Through knowledge of His Word, they will be able to stand against the deluge of Secularism, which has ravaged American culture. These saints, called to walk point, may appear 'a little bit angry with the world'4, and with what Secularism has done to the country. In all likelihood, however, they will have learned to think spiritually, and speak in the secular. In their education, they will have acquired the knowledge to make the most effective use of political currency, which will include the mustering and marshaling of Christians to the public square."


Monday, February 11, 2019

The Democratic Party of Yesteryear is Gone Forever



"The Democratic Party of yesteryear, made of patriotic Americans who just had policy differences with the Republican Party, is gone forever. The Democrats have spent the past four decades or so evolving into a party that now works against almost everything our country was built upon. The Bible. The Constitution. The family. The free-enterprise system. I could give countless examples of this hostility but I don't have enough space here. 

This is not to say the Republican Party has always defended these institutions. But generally speaking, it has. That is why the vast majority of Christians vote Republican. Before 1980, Christians voted for both Democrats and Republicans.

President Trump, while running in the GOP primary, reached out to the Christian community to try and better understand who we were and what we wanted to see in a presidential candidate. I know that for a fact. Initially I was skeptical of his sincerity. Some would say it was a political move, since he knew he could not win the GOP nomination if he did not have a significant percentage of the evangelical vote."

Read the entire commentary by Tim Wildmon here.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay

Sunday, February 10, 2019

WALSH: The 5 Most Hilarious And Insane Things In Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 'Green New Deal' Proposal



Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has finally released her much-hyped "Green New Deal" proposal. The plan — if you can call it that — is to totally upend and reshape our economy while eliminating all carbon emissions. And she does mean all carbon emissions.


I cannot offer an in-depth analysis of this proposal. The proposal itself is so vague in parts, delusional in other parts, and unbelievably childish through every part, that serious engagement with its ideas is impossible. It reads like something a four-year-old in Soviet Russia may have dreamt up. All I can do, all I need to do, is tell you exactly what it says. You will soon realize why a thorough rebuttal is not necessary.
Here are five highlights:

1. "Upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency."

Yes, every building. There are over 5 million commercial buildings in the U.S. Add that to the approximately 127 million households, which is to say nothing of all the schools and churches and hospitals, and you have a project that would cost trillions of dollars and take decades, at a minimum, to complete. And we're only getting started.


Friday, February 8, 2019

Christianity, Capitalism and the Constitution.



"My fellow Americans.


Given that the Democratic Party chose to select a recently defeated political candidate to give a response to the president’s State of the Union address because she is black and a woman, I feel I should also step up and give my response.

Although I have not recently lost a governor’s contest, I am black and I am a woman."

Read the entire editorial at The Greenville News here.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Monday, February 4, 2019

A Speaking God


I wrote this article in 2014 and am re-posting it here.

Richard Blackaby gives a great blog post on his site about a controversial subject: Why is it so difficult to believe God speaks?

It was not until I went to seminary that I began to discover how much people in the Body of Christ criticize each other.  I don't mean unlearned, carnal, biblically-illiterate people.  I mean pastors, professors, and leaders criticizing and picking apart what other believers believe and practice - all in the name of being "doctrinally sound."  (I remember being dumbfounded once during seminary listening to some fellow students bash Billy Graham and James Dobson for all of their, in their opinions, for their "unbiblical and unwise" approaches to ministry.  They told me that Billy Graham had done more harm to evangelism than anyone in the 20th century, and that if James Dobson wanted to serve the Lord, he should have been a pastor.  Wow!)  Looking back, I was na├»ve and was just learning how much the Body of Christ criticizes each other's theology and practice.

Followers of Jesus have often forgotten His statement that "whoever is not against us is for us" (Mark 9:40 HCSB). Or, well-meaning theologues mistakenly think that if someone in Christ's Body does not agree with the theological brand with which they agree, then those with whom they disagree are "against Christ."


One of those areas that has come into a lot of criticism is the debate of "does God speak today?"  Through the years I have learned from, appreciated, and agreed with the simple reality that the God who spoke through His Spirit and indwells believers today is still speaking and guiding.  (If by "speaking" we do not mean still writing Scripture but instead still shepherding, leading, and communicating with His people as He indwells them. His Holy Spirit guides us, and we are wise to learn to discern the inner witness of the Spirit.  I have enjoyed the teaching and writing of many guides on this subject such as Charles Stanley, Peter Lord, Henry Blackaby, Jack Hayford, Dallas Willard, Gordon Smith, V. Raymond Edman, Priscilla Shirer, Joy Dawson, Loren Cunningham, Kay Arthur, Wayne Grudem, and many others from the evangelical community. 

Primed to Learn to Listen

One of the first books I remember reading for my own spiritual growth in college was How to Listen to God by Charles Stanley.  I cut my freshman-year college spiritual teeth on it and gleaned much that year from Stanley's preaching and testimonies about both  meditating on the Word of God and learning to listen to the Holy Spirit.  The last 20+ years, I have read a number of books on the subject.  For years I was helped by a number of the "Christian living" books on the subject such as Blackaby's Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God and by the testimonies and biographies of Christian speakers, authors, missionaries, and leaders.


In recent years, I have benefited from reading books on the subject written on a higher intellectual-theological level than the previously mentioned ones.  Dallas Willard's Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God and Gordon Smith's The Voice of Jesus: Discernment, Prayer, and the Witness of the Spirit are excellent approaches to the subject.  Another one is Wayne Grudem's The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today - a very intellectual, systematic approach from one of evangelical's most respected theologians.  He helped fill in some blanks for me theologically, intellectually, and application-wise that some of the "practical Christian living" books do not. 

It shocked me a number of years ago when I began to realize that a number of people who take the Bible seriously take great issue with those ideas.  I have appreciated Jack Hayford's thoughts and teachings on the subject through the years, as well as his frustration with the "growing body of verbiage today debunks the idea that God speaks personally to people any more. Although there is value in warning against kooks, I'm disturbed."  You can read more of his article "God Speaks Today" here.

Part of my own frustration with the debate is the fact that I know He has spoken to me at various times through His Holy Spirit - apart from the Bible.  (And I am a person who takes the Bible seriously - I have not missed one day in 23 years meditating at least twice daily in the pages of the Word of God.  I have practiced the old Billy Graham team practice of "no bread, no bread" - if you do not meditate in the Word of God then you do not eat physical food.) 


What It Does Not Mean

In saying that, to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit speaks to you - or guides you - does NOT mean the following:  a) it does not mean that you always hear correctly, b) it does not mean that you always understand correctly, c) it does not mean that do not add some of your own thoughts and perceptions to the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, d) it does not mean that we always see and hear clearly (now we see but a poor reflection through a mirror), e) it does not mean that His ways, instructions, and revelations will always make sense to our logic and reason,  f) it CERTAINLY does not mean that we do not take the Bible seriously, and g) it CERTAINLY does not mean someone thinks that God's present guidance should be written down, put into the back of the Bible, and treated as Scripture. I have never once heard any serious, conservative, evangelical, biblically-minded Christian who, believing the Holy Spirit speaks to Christians today, also thinks those promptings should be written down and treated like the canon of Scripture.  Grudem's book The Gift of Prophecy helps much in explaining these areas.

As the old hymn testified, "He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own."  The intimacy shared between the Lord and His Bride has at times been compared to the intimacy between a married couple.  I remember Charles Stanley exhorting in his sermon "Favorites vs. Intimates" that sometimes we are too busy to get on our face and make love to God. 

Though no illustration is perfect, I have thought numerous times through the years that to me, someone saying that the Holy Spirit does not speak to people today is kind of like a virgin telling a married man that there is no such thing as sex! 

Well, this is one of those debates - like Calvinism / non-Calvinism, the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit, the practice of water baptism, and the role of women in ministry - that will go on until Jesus comes! May we show grace and love to people with whom we disagree.

Blackaby's Thoughts

Richard Blackaby has some good things to say about this debate.  I resonate with his thoughts deeply!

"The Blackabys are not unfamiliar with criticism; of that you can be sure. We have had well meaning critics challenge everything from our choice of Bible translation to our use of sermon illustrations. But undoubtedly the subject for which we receive the most invective is our assertion that God speaks to people.

Invariably if we suggest in preaching or writing that God communicates with people directly, we are quickly reminded by self-appointed orthodoxy police, that we are sadly misguided. If we ask why they are so concerned about our teaching, our critics will hasten to inform us of someone they knew once, who claimed to have received a “word” from God that it was OK to commit adultery with their secretary and therefore it is far too dangerous to encourage people to assume they can receive a direct word from God themselves. . . One hates to think that because one misguided believer lied about hearing from God, now no one is allowed to receive a divine word.

If we suggest that the Bible is our instruction manual for the Christian life and that it provides numerous examples in both the Old and New Testaments of God speaking to people, our watchdogs will immediately assure us that God no longer needs to speak to people directly because we now have the Bible. Therefore, every word of instruction we require can be found in its written pages."

Read the entire article by Richard here.


Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.

Friday, February 1, 2019

PROMISES MADE, PROMISES KEPT: Here’s the Tally of Trump’s ‘289 Accomplishments’ in Only 20 Months


This article ran in November 2018.


Less than one day before American voters head to the polls to decide the direction of the United States, the Washington Examiner posted a stunning list of the President’s ‘289 accomplishments’ and promises kept to the country.

The tally includes 289 accomplishments and 173 “major wins” such as four million new jobs, record low unemployment, tax cuts, the military gains against ISIS, immigration reform, reducing Americans on food stamps and more.

“Trump’s successes in reducing the cost of taxes and regulations, rebuilding our military, avoiding wars of choice and changing the courts rival those of all previous Republican presidents,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Read the entire article here edited by Sean Hannity's staff.


And check out Stephen Strang's article Why This Month's Disappointing Election Can't Stop Aftershocks of Trump's Agenda.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.