A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth


Showing posts with label America's Destiny. Show all posts
Showing posts with label America's Destiny. Show all posts

July 22, 2024

Can America Turn Back From Its Sins and Return to the Ways of God?

©DailyVerses.net

I don't think anyone can deny that, in so many aspects, we are a divided country. It took only a couple of days before the vitriol began [again] after the near-assassination of a former President. The horror of that moment [and its implications for the nation] were lost in a rapid response of conspiracy theories, hate-filled speech, and the effort to cover up vital facts of exactly how this could happen.

The truth is that, no matter which side of the aisle you find yourself on, we as a people, increasingly don't trust those who govern us... or each other. I believe what has contributed to this division is that we have traded worship of our Holy God for the worship of a false god of politics. Too many, on either side, have put their trust and hope in people who pursue perversion, personal gain, and war. That being said, there is a spark of divine hope that is beginning to ignite a flame of Liberty, and bring us together [once again] as unified citizens, and I pray we fan that flame so that our nation can be redeemed for the Lord. 

But as we have seen throughout the history of mankind, we have a spiritual Enemy that promotes his agenda, tempting those who seek to separate themselves from their Creator, and resulting in God turning the rebellious over to reprobate minds. But first, let us properly understand what Romans 1:28 tells us: And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient [what ought not to be done]. That word, reprobate, comes from the Greek word Adôkimôs, which means "unapproved; rejected; worthless". Other meanings that have been attributed to it in our modern English are "morally depraved; unprincipled; bad". Ultimately, a reprobate mind is one that is given over to irrational thoughts and actions that are destructive not only to themselves, but to people around them. 

Additionally, it is important to note that it is God who gives them over to what they desire! This is a dangerous position to be in, yet time and again, the history of man has shown us that people have rejected their knowledge of God [who is Truth] in favor of succumbing to the tempting lies of Satan [for their own benefit]. They know the truth, but they willingly reject it. And God, in His sovereignty, casts them away, allowing them to reap the consequences of their choice to sin. We see it in the opening chapters of Genesis, and throughout the Bible, even to the closing chapters in Revelation -- from Abel, to the wicked kings of Israel, to those who, at the return of Christ, will still choose to side with Evil. It is important to recognize that although God gives these people over to their reprobate minds, He is not choosing to send them to hell -- they are sending themselves.

That's why it's important to recognize what is at the root of our national division. And let me be clear, I do not wish to condemn my fellow citizens with whom I disagree. On the contrary, it is my prayer that they recognize the lies they are believing and end their separation and isolation from God and His Truth. Let the scales fall from their eyes, and their hearts be transformed from stone to flesh! And remember, the consequences of the lies and idols they've chosen to put their faith in are not a foregone conclusion! The Good News of Jesus Christ is their hope to escape the repercussions of their false ideology.  We must continue to pray for our country!

Right now, I can see evidence of outbreaks of Revival in the souls of Christians across the land; just as I see strongholds of Rebellion rising up in response. We are definitely in a battle for the Spirit of this nation! So many are still blinded to their stubborness and pride. They certainly don't have a lack of information nor do they lack evidence that God is real, yet they will still choose to rebel and reject Him. And that inevitably results in God turning them over to their godless desires, and they will be declared unapproved, rejected, and worthless in the Kingdom of God.

So, how do we change the hearts and minds of our determinedly rebellious fellow citizens? Why are we Christians not able to turn the spiritual environment of our country around? In September, 2020, Evangelical Pastor Franklin Graham and Messianic Pastor Jonathan Cahn held an event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., called "The Return". Tens of thousands attended and prayed for the spiritual and moral state of our country. Hopeful Christians declared that the fire of Revival would soon sweep our land. Millions of Americans were aware of 2 Chronicles 7:14, commanding us to humble ourselves, pray and seek the Lord's face, and turn from our wicked ways, which I have no doubt that millions were doing. Yet, here we are four years later, and we are stunned by the complicit actions of evil people to topple our nation.

What is the answer? I deeply believe that God hears our prayers. I know there are God-centered Churches, yet I am also well aware that far too many churches are filled with golden calves, and God and the Holy Spirit have left those buildings. What are we doing wrong? Are we truly walking in His ways, or has the institution we call "the Church" bowed down to the culture and been led into deep-seated idolatry by following man's selfish heart? It's hard to ignore the warning God gives to the prophet Ezekiel regarding the nation of Israel, His chosen nation .... Israel rebelled against Him; they did not walk in His statutes, nor were they careful to observe His ordinances, which, if a man keeps, he will live; they profaned His Sabbaths and set their eyes on the man-made idols of their fathers (Ezekiel 20:21-24). Even though God withdrew His hand from executing His wrath against them, they continued to rebel. 

He has done the same for us; He established this nation, delivering us into the freedom and liberty of self-determination, blessing this nation for its faithfulness, and showing the pagan nations how He rewards a country that is willing to follow His statutes and ordinances. But we have responded the same way ancient Israel did; profaning His Sabbaths by subscribing to the unholy ordinances of the culture. And what exactly does God command from us? It is really very simple. He tells us in Matthew 28 ... Go and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you. 

But in order to teach and share what we've learned about Him and how to observe everything that He commands of us, we have to study His Word, first and foremost. Everything we need to know to receive God's blessings begins with His Word. But how many people have truly studied the Word? Instead, how many rely on their religious leaders [or better yet, those who proclaim themselves to be mouthpieces for God] to receive their knowledge of the Lord? I am not denying that there are Godly men and women that fulfill the requirement of accurately teaching God's laws and ordinances. But we have become a society fueled by self-promotion and vanity. Jesus never called for the proliferation of self-contained buildings of worshippers, or non-profit organizations to represent Him. He and the Father have always wanted personal relationships. Yes, we can gather together to worship Him, but it should always be with the intent of nurturing and maturing followers in their faith so that they might help others to learn of Him, believe in Him, and obey His words.

So, in conclusion, we stand at a crossroads. I'm celebrating the new winds of patriotism, restoration, and seeking God's will for this nation. And at the same time, I am actively involved in the spiritual war to return this nation to God's agenda and His biblical statutes. If we are truly going to humble ourselves and seek His face, we need to pray and turn from our unbiblical acceptance of abortion, homosexuality, moral and spiritual debasement, pagan holidays and beliefs, and entrenched man-made doctrines that keep us separated from the true, personal intimacy that God desires with us. I know that sounds harsh, and again, I am not speaking out of condemnation, but out of love -- for I know the heart of God for all His creation. He doesn't want to lose anyone, and as an ambassador for His Kingdom, neither do I! We must not rely on [or trust in] the stature of our religious institutions while not demanding true justice for the poor, nor caring for those members of our society that are hungry, homeless, and deprived. 

For far too long, we have hidden behind a corrupted image as a God-fearing nation. That very Mall in our national capitol is supposed to showcase our monuments that bear the Name of God. Yet the Supreme Court [whose carvings of the Ten Commandments adorn its structure] sanctions abortion, the corruption of our children's sexual identity, and banning God and the Bible in our classrooms. As citizens of Heaven on earth, and representatives of God's Kingdom to our fellow men, we are all accountable to Almighty God for walking truthfully in His ways. Do you know the message of what Jesus has commissioned us to share? Are you willing to search the Scriptures to fulfill your purpose here on earth? 

While the upcoming election is an important event for our nation -- and it appears to be free-falling on the Democratic side -- we must not lose sight of the fact that the Enemy will be working his power agenda to control the hearts of men. Do you know where your power comes from? Do you know the authority you possess from your Savior? There's no doubt these election results will have momentous consequences over the future of our nation. Yes, we hope our nation turns its attention and focus back to pleasing God instead of our own pride, power and greed. But I hope you hear this last admonition ... it's time for every person in America to write God's laws on their heart, break the bonds of our false idol worship, learn to love and support our neighbor, and repent for the ways we have sinned against Him. It's time we raise new generations who will walk in His Light and Glory. Contemplate the following verses and pray that we can accomplish what God asks of us!

Jeremiah 7:5-7.     For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

July 8, 2024

"Those in World History Who Have Known Freedom and Then Lost It Have Never Known It Again"


It is hard to believe that it has been 57 years since Ronald Reagan spoke these consequential words during his Inaugural Address as Governor of California. It was 1967, and nearly 2 generations ago. The country was mired in the VietNam War, race riots, and social upheaval. The children of the Greatest Generation of WWII were at philosophical, societal, and spiritual odds with their fathers.

And today, following our celebration of 248 years as a nation, and the very real facts of the dispiriting and declining condition of our nation, I think it is essential that we revisit the entirety of his warning ... "Perhaps you and I have lived too long with this miracle [of the orderly transfer of administrative authority by direction of the people] to properly be appreciative. Freedom is a fragile thing and it's never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again". 

Reagan warned that blessed people should not take their good fortune for granted. I will never doubt or question that our favored status as a nation came from God. When we followed His statutes and His Law of moral standards, we continued to be a nation of privilege and well-being. And when I look at the nations throughout history [and the Bible], it's not hard to see that, whether it be systems of governments or systems within the Church, movements come and go. 

Consider Israel: freed from enslavement and the Egyptian pantheon of gods, and led into the Promised Land with a new system of worshipping YHWH as their One True God. But within one or two generations they abandoned God's warnings and returned to following false gods. Their rebellion cost them the favor of YHWH and they found themselves sent into captivity for their disobedience. They would find themselves bound in cycles of prosperity and enslavement, with repeating patterns of rebellion, revival, and recovery; each generation either seeking restoration from God or deliberately rejecting His relationship. 

Our own nation was founded on the Judeo-Christian values of justice, individual worth, personal responsibility and the rule of law [founded on the guiding principles of the Ten Commandments]. Each citizen was expected to engage with their conscience, temperance, frugality, and industry; to walk in justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow man; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God. The original thirteen colonies existed in tolerance towards each other; each having its own constitution which gave the citizens rights such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. They would join together in unity to battle for independence from Great Britain and its taxation without representation. After winning that war and freeing themselves from British rule, the colonies would form a central government designed to establish the functions of the national government of the United States.

The goal was to create a government with enough power to act on a national level [and as a sovereign nation], but without so much power that fundamental rights would be at risk. But within 84 years, the unity fell apart over issues of economic policies and practices, cultural values, the extent and reach of the Federal government, and most decidedly, the role of slavery within American society. 

Throughout world history we see the repetitious cycle of freedom and slavery -- movements sometimes lasting for a century or two; others barely one generation. Such is the self-obsession and self-serving nature of humanity. Why didn't the Israelites cling to the blessings of YHWH? They knew His promises of a coming Messiah when they walked in obedience. And they knew the sorrow and wretchedness of their disobedience when they abandoned His ways. Yet when He answered their prayers for deliverance and restored them, why would they so easily listen to the lies of men that would lead them back into adversity?

And even after Jesus came and showed them He was the long-awaited Messiah, they refused to receive Him. Their promises were then offered to the Gentiles and there appeared a revolution of Faith when the Church was born. But even that institution was not immune to the fickleness of men's hearts. The first generation witnessed the miracles of Jesus, or at least heard first-hand accounts. But the second and third generations soon returned to the traditions of their fathers. Paul warns us that there would come a time when men and women would not listen to sound doctrine, but seek to suit their own desires and motives, gathering teachers that would give them what their itching ears wanted to hear. The result? They would turn away from the Truth. 

And it happened as early as 85 AD, only two generations after Jesus's crucifixion! The apostle John actually gives us testimony of how quickly the preeminence of Christ was replaced by the self-promotion of Church leaders. In 3 John:9, he writes: I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to put himself first, does not accept what we say and refuses to recognize my authority. How quickly this Church leader dismissed the superiority of Jesus Christ in favor of his own rebellious nature of pride and ambition! And then less than 10 years later, John writes the Book of Revelation in which Jesus gives His urgent warnings to the "churches". Jesus already had concerns over their idolatry, immorality, and loss of love for Him, each other, and lost sinners. Imagine what He would have to say over the Church in 2024!!  

I write all this to show you the truth that history has proven that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. I have seen how quickly it has disappeared in the generations of my lifetime; each succeeding generation losing more of our precious liberties and rights that come from God. I have seen the rise of [and return to the worship of] ancient pagan gods and the whispered lies of hate for Jesus. How did we get here so quickly? By abandoning the Word of God and His place in our government, our society, our homes, and our individual lives. So, how do we restore our freedom? It's really simple -- and I believe God will honor us if we get back to the Word and totally reject anything that the Bible does not provide evidence for or prove the truth of. 

It's a matter of returning to our first love. For the nation, it's the love of our individual freedom, individual responsibilities, and limited government to allow us to become all that God created us to be. And, most importantly, it's about returning to Jesus and the Word of God as our First Love; the Creator and Protector of our true Freedom. For too long, we have abdicated our authority [given to us by Christ] that we might influence the world for the Kingdom of God, and allowed greedy, power-hungry, prideful and arrogant men [like Diotrephes] to build their own kingdoms and subjugate us for their own well-being. 

We must recognize that Jesus's warnings to the churches in Revelation still stand the test of time. They are still in effect because the Word never changes. And they apply to all men, not just the institution of Church. We've allowed the traditions and self-centered desires of men to outweigh God's will and His desire for us. But it's never too late to stop the disintegration of our national foundation! The Way is right there in the Word. It's time that a spiritual revolution take place in our hearts and we raise up generations to return our land to its original purpose and let freedom ring! Let's not let one more generation remain ignorant of the soul and spirit of America. Pray, repent, and seek the face of God! He will not abandon us, and the Enemy that is trying to steal our inheritance can and will be defeated!      

Proverbs 19:21    Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.


March 29, 2023

American Values: Gone Forever or Just Forgotten?

 

"These are the times that try men's souls". That is the opening sentence of "The American Crisis", a series of pamphlets written by Thomas Paine, a political activist, theorist, and philosopher, long credited with inspiring the Founding Fathers to strive for independence from Great Britain. Later in this post, I will be referring to this amazing piece of historical and inspirational writing as it pertains to our American values, which is the point of this timely article. 

[NOTE: I know there will be some who disavow Paine's writings because history has painted him as an unbelieving atheist. But, it is my opinion that a more careful examination of his ideology proves that Paine was a Deist -- he believed in God, but had no tolerance for organized religion. And that is a discussion for a different day. For the purpose of this article, I am revealing his ideas on American values]. 

Now to the purpose of this post, to consider the recent Wall Street Journal poll that bodes poorly for the future of our national identity and well-being. The numbers are startling! Since the 1998 poll was taken it seems that the core values of American citizens have plummeted in the last quarter century. In just 25 years there has been a dramatic shift in what is important to the average American. There were 1,019 people who took part in the poll [mostly online] and let's take a look at what the numbers portend ...

• The importance of patriotism dropped from 70% in 1998 to 38% in 2023.

• The importance of religion dropped from 62% in 1998 to 39% now.

• Only 58% thought tolerance for others was important, compared to 80% in 1998.

• Those who thought raising children was important fell from 60% in 1998 to only 30% today.

But guess the only thing that was rated more important today than it was 25 years ago? If you guessed MONEY, you are correct. Apparently 43% rate the almighty dollar the most important value, in contrast to 31% in 1998. 

First of all, I'd like to address a couple of these statistics; namely, the tolerance issue and the matter of the importance of family and raising children. To me, both of these issues point to the injurious aftermath of Roe v Wade fifty years prior to this March 2023 poll. There is an excellent article on the Students For Life of America website which actually offers hope for the future of our nation. In an article on studentsforlife.org, SFLA President Kristan Hawkins is quoted as calling the 1973 ruling a “cancer growing in our Constitution resulting in more than 63 million deaths,”; but we know that it was a cancer for the American mind, as well. 

The article goes on to say that in the wake of the 2022 Dobbs v Jackson ruling [in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that the Constitution of the United States does not confer a right to abortion] we, as a nation have to overcome the established pro-abortion mindset that views children as "burdensome", an impediment to women's success, and devalues the concept of family -- all of which leads to intolerance towards those who cherish the role of motherhood, family, and children. All of these pro-abortion attitudes are anti-Biblical and the consequence of removing God as the center of our American values. The questions before us are these: Is it too late to restore the values that were conceived at the inception of our nation? Do we even remember the spirit of America that God put into the hearts of those men and women 247 years ago?

To answer these questions, maybe it's time to put on the brakes of running headlong towards these social reforms and take a look backwards at the mindset of those who petitioned for the new idea of a nation devoted to pursuing individual freedoms and rights conferred by God. In particular, I found myself considering the aforementioned brilliant writings of Thomas Paine. Please take the time to read the entirety of The American Crisis, presented by thefederalistpapers.org. I have read all thirteen of Paine's pamphlets because I wanted to know the mindset of those who were responsible for the birth of this extraordinary nation. But for now, in his own words, I want to share the distinctive mindset of the incomparable Thomas Paine, as he speaks across the centuries to our current decline in American values...

In regards to Patriotism:  "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: It is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated". 

"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscious approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death".

In regards to morality: "I conceive likewise a horrid idea in receiving mercy from a being, who at the last day shall be shrieking to the rocks and mountains to cover him, and fleeing with terror from the orphan, the widow, and the slain of America". 

In regards to valuing God and faith: Paine once declared to a man who was loyal to Great Britain that it was his opinion that God was on the side of the American colonists. The Loyalist replied, "We care nothing for that ... you may have Him, and welcome; if we have but enough of the devil on our side, we shall do". Paine responded, "However carelessly this might be spoken, matters not; 'tis still the insensible principle that directs all your conduct and will at last most assuredly deceive and ruin you".

In regards to Peace, Liberty and Safety of our nation: "These are serious things, and whatever a foolish tyrant, a debauched court, a trafficking legislature, or a blinded people may think, the national account with heaven must some day or other be settled; all countries sooner or later [have] been called to their reckoning; the proudest empires have sunk when the balance was struck;".

In regards to tolerance: "We profess liberality of sentiment to all men; with this distinction only, that those who do not deserve it would become wise and seek to deserve it. We hold the pure doctrines of universal liberty of conscience, and conceive it our duty to endeavor to secure that sacred right to others, as well as to defend it for ourselves: for we undertake not to judge of the religious rectitude of tenets, but leave the whole matter to Him who made us".

In regards to Money: "The thing which first presents itself in inspecting the state of the currency, is, that we have too much of it, and that there is a necessity of reducing the quantity, in order to increase the value. Men are daily growing poor by the very means that they take to get rich; for in the same proportion that the prices of all goods on hand are raised, the value of all money laid by is reduced". [Paine understood the source of Inflation in 1777. Why haven't we learned that lesson yet?]

Yes, we live in a very different nation than was founded in 1776. The solid values that formed the framework of America remained pretty steady and constant for a couple hundred years. But the rapid rate at which it has declined in my lifetime should be concerning to everyone who identifies as an American. Patriotism, Faith/Religion, Family and Children have been the bedrock of our society, and for good reason -- they provide a supportive framework for a moral, ethical, and principled citizenry. When, as a nation, we don't believe in God, the goodness of our country, or the sanctity of life, and our biggest focus is on the making of money, then we have lost our moral code and compass, and we are a nation who has sacrificed its values for self-aggrandizement. 

I will leave you with the prophetic words of Thomas Paine; words written in the waning years of the 1780's and could have been written for our generation: "Now our time and turn is come, and perhaps the finishing stroke is reserved for us. When we look back on the dangers we have been saved from, and reflect on the success we have been blessed with, it would be sinful either to be idle or to despair". 

Lord Jesus, do not let us forfeit the purpose for which You sent us in this season of our nation's history. Increase our faith and strength to accomplish the preservation of the values You sowed into our spirits and which birthed the great nation of the United States of America. Let us be worthy of what we've inherited. Amen!

#americanvalues #patriotism #faithinamerica #theamericancrisis #thomaspaine

Psalm 33:12   Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen as His own inheritance.

 

 

 

 



March 2, 2023

REVIVAL: Understanding It in Scripture and Our Culture (Part 2)


In light of the fact that we are continuing to see God's Presence moving among our college campuses and across our land, I want to take a look at Revival from a more personal perspective in people's lives and our culture. In Part 1 of this topic, I took a basic approach towards Revival from a Scriptural viewpoint in the Old and New Testaments, as well as how theologians describe it, and even the cynicism of modern Believers and non-Believers alike. As I stated in the previous post, I don't really care if people call what we are seeing a "Revival" or an "Awakening" or even a "Movement of God" -- it is my prayer that it persists and is sustained as God proceeds in doing whatever it is that He has planned for it. Let His Spirit work in the hearts of men as the message of His love and power to change lives -- and the world! -- permeates this land.

There is no question in my mind that I am witnessing a movement of God in our culture. And I use that terminology in a deliberate way. By now, I am sure most of you have heard of the movie Jesus Revolution, whose popularity is widely touted by the Christian community. I was introduced to a video by John Ruttkay [a participant in the Jesus Movement in the 70's]. He was a witness to the Jesus Movement, the Shepherding Movement, and the Vineyard Movement, all which lasted well into the 90s. None of these movements resembled the traditional, orthodox Church of that time period. And I invite you to click on the links and do your own research on what these revivals looked like. But the point I want to make is this: Mr. Ruttkay made a statement that I think is central to how we must view Asbury and all the other colleges and places where revival has broken out. He said, "If something is called a movement, it's because God is moving in that time and space". A very simple statement, but perhaps it can keep us from getting hung up on whether any of these spiritual activities "qualify" to be called a revival. 

Yes, we have the Biblical concepts of Revival as 1) bringing back to life what [of God] was dead and lost, as well as 2) being awakened to whatever has been appointed by God for men to understand, and then being stirred into action through obedience to reveal it to others. And I recognize those definitions as being true. But I think we can sometimes become too rigid ... and I'll say it, "religious" ... about setting standards for what qualifies as a revival. There are multiple websites on the internet that proclaim the 8 or 10 or 12 "certifications" for genuine revival. But I think Revival looks like whatever God wants it to look like in the circumstances in order to give birth to, or arouse the spirits of men and women to testify to His Glory.

Now, that can be in a corporate model, as we see at Asbury University and Cedarville Unviersity, as well as college campuses in Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Texas. Even a Tennessee Middle School is experiencing the movement of God. But Revival can be individual and personal, too. Bottom line, it doesn't need to fit a cookie cutter mold. As a dear Sister in Christ commented on Part 1, "When I experienced revival, I knew I was changed. When I began to share my testimony, the naysayers were the first to tell me that my transformation was not real. The naysayers did not know my whole life story, so how could they make an assumption that nothing really happened to me? By my outward appearance, they were right, but if I had listened to their words, I would have been discouraged and been as dry as the naysayers have become. I am thankful for that moment in time in my life that I experienced, so that I can rejoice with those who have also experienced Jesus. Their transformation may not happen in an instant. Mine didn't either. It took time, so I am anticipating those who rise above the naysayers and thankful that Christians are truly experiencing Jesus, to repent, to be set free". I know her well and can attest to the evidence that she experienced true revival in her life.

Then there is another woman, who has become a new friend, who shared with me her experience of being part of the Jesus Movement in Texas. She has seen the movie, The Jesus Revolution, and says it is pretty accurate to what that movement was like. She said the hippies from California [which is where the movement began] showed up at their South Texas Church and showed the congregation that they could have a personal relationship with Jesus, which was a new paradigm for them. The people inside that Church were spiritually transformed, and then came to understand that they had made their building the Church, but it couldn't contain the whole picture of God. He was much bigger than that confined space, and His message needed to go out into the streets and spread across the land.

But she also testified that if the Holy Spirit was not properly stewarded, and the power and authority did not go out, it became confined in the building and Satan would begin causing disruptions. People with no discernment would "get out of hand" [her words] and stand up and witness, oftentimes out of their own soul. The power of the Holy Spirit was so great, that the building could not contain it. Church leadership struggled with thoughts of "what do we do with this movement of the Spirit"? But she testified that the revival lasted for 5-7 years, with many of the young people involved in street ministry that bore much fruit. And she affirmed that the seeds of that revival are still alive these 50 years later. Many of her good friends from that period of her life are still doing ministry and evangelizing.

Finally, I want to share the testimony of a young man who my husband and I ministered Inner Healing to. His story, and that of his family, is nothing short of miraculous. There has been a revival in his life that encompasses both of the definitions of Revival from Scripture. He came from an abusive childhood, drug addiction, sexual issues, and satanic influence into a life seeking Jesus, having visions of Jesus washing his feet, but he still experienced a constant battle with Satan to keep that relationship with His Savior. Just a few short months ago, we met with him, partnered with Jesus so that he experienced an encounter with the One who died for him, and he was changed forever. He went home to his wife and stepson, and together the family has battled to keep the freedom that would lead them all into God's miraculous favor. The love he had for Jesus was always overshadowed by the power of the Enemy to lie and convince him he could never be free. But when we ministered to him, and he saw Jesus hand him a key to walk out of that prison cell, he left that dead life behind once and for all, and there began a personal revival in his life that stirred up his spirit to lead his family into a Divine freedom. He recently was given a job that he could only have dreamed about five months ago; his wife is free of all her depression and anger from life's struggles; and his stepson has excelled in school beyond kids that are two grades ahead of him. And the most beautiful thing is that he said he felt the spirit of the revival at Asbury University [which is not far from where he lives] infusing his own spirit and igniting his own walk with the Lord.

So, as you can see, Spiritual Revival and Awakening can take many forms. The most obvious is when movements like the Azusa Street Revival, which began at the turn of the century in 1906; the Jesus Movement of the 70s; and today's Asbury Revival give witness to large numbers of people who experience the Presence of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. But personal revival bears great fruit, too; changing the destiny and purpose of families for generations to come. As I said earlier, God will do what He wants to when the people are willing and ready. Our nation has an amazing history of Revivals and Great Awakenings, and I believe we are ripe for another one. Does it mean it will last and bring in the Return of Christ? Only God, the Father knows. 

But we cannot make or fabricate Revival ourselves. It is the Sovereignty and Grace that God extends to us in response to our repentance and prayers that lights the spark. And historically, revivals in America have rarely lasted longer than 10 years. But I know you join me in praying that this spirit of Revival continues and grows until God is once again welcomed back into our society and culture. Let Revival spill forth from our Church buildings and our Home Churches into our individual lives, our homes, our schools, the halls of our government, and across the entire globe. Let us learn the lessons from past revivals and not define nor limit God as to who He can use to change our nation. God, we pray that You use each one of us to bring revival in our spheres of influence and we invite You to reign over our land once again. Amen!

#revival #revivalinamerica #Godsrevival #asburyrevival #whatisrevival

Psalm 69:32   The humble have seen it and are glad; You who seek God [requiring Him as your greatest need], let your heart revive and live.

 

May 25, 2022

Can We Keep The Republic?

 

As an American who understands the founding covenant we made with God over this land, I have always been proud of our history of liberty and freedom. From the first blog post I wrote in December of 2011, to this very day, I have always applauded what this country stood for. I recognize our faults and sins, and I sincerely grieve over our history where we have strayed from the righteous path. But I know there is a spirit that exists in this nation that believes in the fundamental rights of men and women to forge their own destiny. That spirit of Liberty and Freedom comes from God, Himself, and no matter how hard the forces of darkness try to extinguish the flame of independence that ignites this country, it must never be stamped out. 

But it is that very flame of Freedom that the anti-Christ spirit is attempting to smother. I am sure you are well aware that there are those who have been placed in power that believe that the Constitution and the goals of the Founding Fathers for this nation are no longer relevant. They will say that things have changed since white slave-holders determined the form of government we would have. The Constitution should change or be declared invalid. And then there's the comment by Benjamin Franklin, the Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention ... as he was leaving Independence Hall, where a crowd had gathered to hear what kind of government the newly formed United States of America would have, a woman approached Franklin and asked, "Well, Doctor, what do we have, a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin replied, "A republic, if you can keep it."

Even Franklin recognized that a form of government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" was a radical idea that had never before succeeded in history. He knew, as did all the Founding Fathers [who had classical educations] that the lessons learned from the Greek and Roman empires proved that a republic is a fragile form of government, easily capable of lapsing into tyranny. So they wrote a Constitution that was described by John Adams as "made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other". Do we still fit that description? There are days I have my doubts, and therefore, it is truly a fragile document upon which our Freedom rests.

As author Eric Metaxas so eloquently writes in his book, If You Can Keep It, “So by itself the Constitution could do very little. What it promised would require the efforts of all those who thenceforth called themselves Americans. It was they who must keep it, the republic and the grand and noble promise of that republic. That is the wonderful, spectacular genius of it all, and the terrible, sobering danger of it all, too. The document and the men who created it put these unimaginably great and fragile things in the hands of the people. So these things—still unimaginably great and fragile—are in our hands now, this minute. We are ourselves, this moment, the keepers of the flame of liberty and the ones charged by Franklin and the other founders and by history past, present, and future with the keeping of this grand promise to the world.”

So, how are we doing at keeping this promise of Liberty and Freedom alive? Here is a quote from then Congressman Ron Paul that I included in a 2012 blog post: "Everyone claims support for Freedom. But too often it’s for one’s own freedom and not for others.  Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties.  Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited.  These are the politicians whose goal in life is power." Congressman Paul also said this, "Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed.  The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people.  The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified." Here we are ten years later, and I fear that his concerns have borne fruit and are flourishing. Are we doomed to experience what John Adams wrote to his wife in 1775? ... "A Constitution of government once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever".

Then there is the matter of our Economic Freedom. Let's consider the three principles that the Declaration of Independence states are "endowed by our Creator: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." Life is certainly under assault as the issue of abortion divides our land. Liberty, as the right of citizens to be free [within society] from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views is also being threatened. But what was meant by "Pursuit of happiness?" To early Americans this phrase was known to represent the individual right of every free citizen to own property and pursue a living.  That was "Happiness", and Americans knew it was ours, by the grace of God.

But perhaps more than any other principle, it was the Rule of Law that the Colonists cherished the most.  And the Cato Institute's 2014 Annual Report on The Index of Economic Freedoms sheds an unflattering light on just how much we have neglected that standard.  Per the report, "Protection of persons and their rightfully acquired property is a central element of economic freedom and a civil society. Indeed, it is the most important function of government. The key ingredients of a legal system consistent with economic freedom are rule of law, security of property rights, an independent and unbiased judiciary, and impartial and effective enforcement of the law." That report was issued 8 years ago! Can we truly say that any of these key points are being effectively administered? Our ability to procure happiness among a civilized populace depends on the rule of law to protect us in all avenues of life, including our ability to pursue economic freedom. But the forces of economic chaos [inflation, food supply shortage, higher gas prices, etc.] are threatening the security of all Americans.

It is plain to see that in the nearly two-and-a-half centuries this country has existed, malevolent forces have battered our walls of freedom.  The Republic has so far managed to survive threats from Communism, Socialism and Progressivism; although all have managed to erode the original vision of Ben Franklin and his contemporaries. And it is not hard to see that the wall of freedom is disintegrating as we stand and watch. If you can keep it .... Did they know we would let it slip away?  But could they also conceive that there would be those of us who would recognize that what they accomplished was worth standing for; and that their vision would still burn in the hearts of patriotic souls?  I think Franklin's reply was a subtle warning ... our freedom was not, and is not, guaranteed.  

The Founders knew that men and governments would endeavor to increase their power and control at the expense of our individual freedom because freedom is not the natural state of the world.... But, if, as I suspect, the "Spirit of '76" still exists in our DNA, then I set my sights on the day that we can once again proclaim, as did Oliver Wolcott, a signer of the Declaration of Independence 246 years ago, "It is most evident that this land is under the protection of the Almighty, and that we shall be saved not by our wisdom nor by our might, but by the Lord of Hosts Who is wonderful in counsel and Almighty in all His operations."

 Our Republic has never been more fragile. I pray that God will raise up leaders that return to His will for this country, and that He has not given up on us. I encourage my fellow citizens not to lose faith that He will answer our prayers as we storm Heaven to help us keep the Republic. I still believe this land is under the protection of the Almighty and we definitely won't be saved by our wisdom, but by God Himself! And, by God, we have not lost the republic yet!

1 Peter 2:16     "[Live] as free people, [yet] without employing your freedom as a pretext for wickedness; but [live at all times] as servants of God."

Having lived near Uvalde, TX for 7 years, and having many dear friends who live there, my heart is grieving for the latest tragedy in which so many children, along with their teachers died. I am gathering my thoughts and want to be intentional [not rushing] on my comments before I post. Stay tuned... 

 

May 22, 2022

A Letter To The Next Generation

 

My husband and I had a conversation this morning about what the future looks like and how concerned we are for the next generation -- on so many levels. We feel blessed to have lived in this country and to have experienced the height of prosperity and innovation that few citizens of the world have known. We are old enough that we have heard what "hard living" looks like from our grandparents who experienced the Great Depression and an attack on our homeland. We can at least understand that the "American Dream" [that everyone has the opportunity to achieve their version of success by working hard] is under threat, and that we can no longer take for granted that it will exist for the coming generations. We are also well aware that the Founder's idea of the "American Experiment" is on the verge of collapse; an experiment that believed a nation of people could govern themselves without need of a ruling or privileged class; that we are born with unalienable rights that are not granted by a government, but inherently endowed within each being by a divine Creator.

Are these ideas that the Millennial Generation and Generation Z comprehend? Do they understand how important it is that they know these historical concepts and why they are significant in defining their freedoms and future? Sadly, I would suggest that being the recipients of modern technology, many have been seduced into measuring the boundaries of opportunity and success by whatever the social media giants have told them is acceptable. Their ignorance of world history is setting them up to become slaves to a system that will crush any idea of innovation, individuality, originality, or "blazing your own path" -- all characterizations of the American spirit. Generation Alpha (born in the early to mid-2010s) will be our last chance to retain this distinct persona. But being the tech-savvy children born to Millennials, they have been subject to our corrupt educational system who has done everything in its power to destroy the unprecedented American identity. And it is to these latter generations that I wish to address a letter of counsel and admonition...

To The Next Generation(s):

I hope you are able to consider my words as more than the ramblings of what you most likely consider "an old woman". I understand that tendency; I, too, used to think that those of previous generations were outdated, irrelevant, and unsophisticated in the ways of "the modern world". But I have had the opportunity, as I have advanced in years, to understand that what they imparted to me was worth more than I ever imagined it could be. Because they taught me values and skills that we are in desperate need of in this "modern" world -- values such as personal responsibility, moral obligation, character, and faith. And I learned skills that I thought were "old-fashioned", but I now perceive will be virtually life-saving as we enter an alarming phase of our national and world experience -- skills such as knowing how to grow food, how to preserve food, how to light a fire, basic first aid, how to sew and repair clothes, how to repair machinery, how to read a map or compass. 

You may think that none of this applies to you... you don't need to know how to do any of these outdated practices, because all you have to do is pick up your cell phone and there's a YouTube video that will instruct you how to do it; and that's only if you are unable to hire someone to do it for you. But, sadly, you need to know that you are only one EMP, solar flare, or grid-down scenario away from being stripped of the advantages of that mini-computer in your hand. All the benefits of modern technology will be gone in an instant. Imagine how you would fare if you were suddenly living in the 19th Century, because that's what it will be like.

And have you considered how foreign oppression might affect your life? If you haven't, you should. All the efforts of the global elite to put the governing powers of individual nations into the hands of international organizations has resulted in the loss of national sovereignty. There is a growing trend towards globalization as a means to dismantle and control independent self-government. That's a wordy way of saying that the freedoms you have enjoyed and taken for granted are slowly dwindling away. And while you, the younger generation, boast of being more accepting of diversity, globalization actually threatens cultural diversity by drowning out some cultures, local economies, and discouraging development of culture-specific ideas. Globalization affects trade throughout the world, and in seeking lower production costs in order to be competitive in the global market-place, companies are reducing labor staff or replacing them altogether with robots, so that job insecurity is a real worry among your generation. And then there is the very real issue of cyber security. The internet has been a wonderful invention for all kinds of reasons, but it has also increased the threat of identity theft. Our lives are subject to interference and intrusion by uncontrolled entities. 

I know that you may be thinking that I don't know what I'm talking about, but there is one axiom that I hope you hear, if you don't consider anything else I've said, and it is this: "Those who don't learn from history, are doomed to repeat it". As hard as it may be for you to comprehend, you are no smarter or more creative or better capable of leading than any generation since the creation of the world. Why? Because human nature is what it is. From the Garden forward, generations of human beings have chosen [out of their own free will] to abandon the knowledge of God and gratitude for what He has done for us, His creation. When that happens, we look only to ourselves for our preservation and prosperity. Each generation is willing to criticize the one before it for its failings, but they don't learn from those mistakes. Instead, every generation, out of pride and self-importance seeks to increase their power, status, and wealth over the previous one, without the benefit of counsel and guidance from God.  When that is the path generations take, the history of the world has shown us that humans will devour each other in endless patterns of prosperity and war. 

So, I hope you will take a good hard look at the state of this nation and the world at this date in time; in your generation. Take the time to study history and note the differences between times of peace and prosperity, and times of war and destruction. Learn from the mistakes of my generation and all the ones that have come before. What does your generation plan to do to change the directory of the patterns of history? It is clear to me that the world is approaching a climactic event that can either redeem it or destroy it. Are you ready? Do you know the One who can determine that outcome? That is the most important and consequential decision you can make for your future. You must decide where your hope lies, because your future, and the existence of future generations depends on it.

Deuteronomy 32:7  Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.


 

December 5, 2021

America's Greatness As Defined By Her History - Part One

Today, I find myself immersed in one of my great loves ... the study of early American history. When I was a child, as soon as I could read books with any depth, I devoured everything I could lay my hands on regarding the founding of our nation and the American Revolution. In fact, I was so inspired by the bravery and fearlessness of the early colonists and patriots, that I often wished I had lived during that promising period of our history. The challenges they faced in determining our national identity, form of government, and fabric of society were monumental by history's standards. Yet, what we ended up with has been a beacon of hope and potential for the entire world.

And so, in a desire to revisit the founding character of America, I am taking a free online course from Hillsdale College, called "The Great American Story: A Land of Hope". For those unfamiliar with Hillsdale, it is a private conservative liberal arts college in Hillsdale, Michigan. Founded in 1844 by abolitionists known as Free Will Baptists, it has a liberal arts curriculum that is based on the Western heritage as a product of both the Greco-Roman culture and the Judeo-Christian tradition. It operates independently of government funding and prides itself on instilling the timeless truths of Learning, Character, Faith and Freedom in its students.

The Great American Story: A Land of Hope is taught by Professor William M. McClay, and I yearn for this course to rekindle my soul with the spark of pride and enthusiasm for my country; to once again discern God's divine intervention that my childish mind and heart were convinced were present at the founding. Dr. McClay is the Victor Davis Hanson Chair in Classical History and Western Civilization at Hillsdale College. He received his Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University, and is therefore quite qualified to teach on this subject. I am only two lessons into the 25-lesson course and am already reinvigorated with how the distinguished American DNA was created, and I will be writing on the rediscovered principles of how unique the American experience has been. I see God's hand on our history and pray that He has not yet removed it!

As excited as I am about recognizing the providence of our existence, I am also greatly saddened at seeing how it has deteriorated. But first, I want you to clearly discern the meaning of that word providence. It was a word that George Washington often ascribed to the good fortunes of the new nation: "Glorious indeed has been our Contest: glorious, if we consider the Prize for which we have contended, and glorious in its Issue; but in the midst of our Joys, I hope we shall not forget that, to divine Providence is to be ascribed the Glory and the Praise." The word providence means the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power; it is God's will, His divine intervention, and His predetermination. As I hope to share in coming blog posts, we have received incredible favor from the God of the Universe in our short history. We are unique, and even through our mistakes and errors, we have, for the most part, remained great. 

Just consider the ways in which America defied the conventional methods by which countries and nations had come into existence. American history is significant and consequential. If, as many history and Biblical scholars contend, the Roman Empire was the human political entity that God used to prepare the world for the birth of the Messiah and for the spread of the Salvation gospel, then the founding of America may be just as equally significant. The founding of America was intended to be something new and an improvement on older nation empires because it began with an amazing mixture of radical ideas that encompassed things humans had hoped for for centuries; and there was the incredible opportunity to make it happen.

Among that mixture of ideologies was a faith in a Biblical God (for most of them); a knowledge of the Classics; and an acquaintance with the different forms of government that were available. Or, as Dr. McClay says, "They brought the whole meaning of a civilization with them to a new place and then they started over. They brought everything but the aristocracy". And that made a fundamental difference in the structure of America. The underlying theme of America is that it is an innovative idea; a land of hope; a land of refuge; a land of opportunity for everyone; it represents a second chance. And above all else, the hope of America is a spiritual concept.

I plan on sharing other concepts of what America means to the existence of the world in future posts as I progress through the course and as the Lord leads during our current experience. But for now, I want to take a hard look at a quote credited to French political philosopher and historian Alexis de Tocqueville after a visit to pre-Civil War America. [NOTE: Presidents of the U.S. down through the years have used this quote and attributed it to de Tocqueville, although there is no evidence he is the legitimate author]. Nevertheless, the following quote has often been used to describe the uplifting and poetic hope of America: I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and boundless forests, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her public school system and her institutions of learning, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution, and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good America will cease to be great.

I totally believe in the premise of that last line -- America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great! For me, it is impossible to consider this quote without taking a look at how well we are preserving those lofty attributes. Is the greatness and genius of America still evident in the fertileness of our fields and in our rich mines? Or have we handed over the production of our resources to demagogues? [By the way, the definition of a demagogue is "a political leader in a democracy who gains popularity by arousing the common people against elites, especially through oratory that whips up the passions of crowds, appealing to emotion by scapegoating out-groups, exaggerating dangers to stoke fears, lying for emotional effect, or other rhetoric that tends to drown out reasoned deliberation and encourage fanatical popularity]. 

And what can we say about our world commerce/trade? Are we still great and exemplifying genius, or have we outsourced all that to foreign nations? What about our public school system or higher institutions of learning? Seems to me that ever since we removed God and His providence/protection from our education system, we are less great and certainly don't look like geniuses. And can we honestly say we still honor the democratic process of government or the supremacy of the Constitution in carrying out our rule of law? The last few years have seen a rapid decline in the original intent of both. Finally, do our pulpits flame with righteousness, or have we substituted preaching the justice, mercy, and love of a righteous God for compromising with the world and our 50l(c)3 overlords? We need to return to the thoughts of those who saw the original vision for this country -- they met situations as dire and serious as our own [including threats from foreign powers, plagues, and domestic division] to make their hopes prevail. We need to know how they did it! There is value in preserving and studying our history. And revising history for the sake of cerebral conflicts with changing modern standards not only modifies truth, but threatens our greatness.

So, as I draw to a close in this beginning dialogue about the greatness of America, I want to leave you with two quotes. The first is by Dr. McClay, himself: In times of change and danger when there is a quicksand of fear under men's reasoning, a sense of continuity with generations gone before can stretch like a lifeline across the scary present and get us past that idiot delusion of the exceptional NOW that blocks good thinking. The second quote is by John Dos Passos, an American writer, and one of the major novelists of the post-World War I “lost generation,” who gained a reputation as a social historian and as a radical critic of the quality of American life: That is why, in times like ours, when old institutions are caving in and being replaced by new institutions not necessarily in accord with most men's preconceived hopes, political thought has to look backwards as well as forwards.

Can America retain her Goodness, and therefore her Greatness? It is evident that forces, both spiritual and in the physical world, are desirous of ending her prominence on the world stage. Can we re-ignite that flame of individualism and God-given rights and purpose that were the origin of our founding? Can we look back and embrace what was good about the original vision of America; that we honor the God whose protection allowed for the creation of a nation that believed in the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Can we learn from the eradication of evils we allowed to stain our history; how to conquer slavery of men and establish self-rule and independence, while remaining in union with each other? And can we agree that Governments exist solely for the purpose of protecting our God-given rights; that they derive their powers from the consent of the governed, not from the self-declared rights of self-appointed Kings? 

We are at a crossroads in our national history. We can still see and remember the origins of our founding. But the forces that would erase those memories are actively engaged in changing our history and instituting new principles. I am so happy to have this course as a reminder of who we used to be, and who I believe we can still be. Join me in praying for God's continued protection of this great nation that was clearly founded on His principles and with His approval. Ask Him to forgive us our trespasses and restore our righteousness, as we walk in our purpose for this nation and the world!

Jeremiah 29:11    For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.