Categories
Twitter
Saturday
Sep112010

We Will Never Forget

"We Will Never Forget" was a motto that was seen continually after the horrific 9/11/01 attack on the Twin Towers in NYC and the downing of flight 93. I saw the pictures of the first plane flying into the North Tower on television as I was getting ready to go to work less than a half a mile away.  I remember thinking at the time that it was not an accident, but tried to put those words out of my mind. That thought was too frightening.

We finished getting dressed for work, Chuck and I worked at the same ministry then, and headed up the hill. We said our usual good-by on a day that would turn out to be a day as Franklin Roosevelt called "a day in infamy". 

As I settled in at work the news came of the second plane hitting the South Tower. It is hard to discribe the feeling that came with that announcement, but everyone knew the world in America that we had known had now changed. That feeling She had carried of being the strongest Nation in the World and untouchable went down with those towers. Everyone felt the protecting hand of God move away from her.

Chuck and I were to leave that week to be on the conference travel team for the first time.  However, that trip to Detroit was cancelled.  There were too many safety issues that were still uncertian.  We would however make the next scheduled trip which was, I believe, Chicago and then on to New York City a couple of weeks later.

A New York Policewoman struck up a friendship with a couple on the team and she offered to get us down to ground zero after the conference was over.  A group of us got on the subway and headed to downtown New York.  She and her police buddy picked us up and escorted us into the area.  I was not prepared for what I saw.

Water was continually flowing onto the smoking remains of the tower. Debris and mud were everywhere and the smell of death was in the air. Basically where the two tall towers had stood now looked like a huge smoldering hole in the ground filled with steel. There were memorial tents set up along the walkway as we walked to the area from where we had to park and we stopped to read the notes and look at the pictures of those now gone. The weight of the grief was unbelievably heavy.

Probably the most engraved in my memory from that night was the eyes of the firemen on duty. We walked to an open tent where they would sit and rest and get refreshments while on their shift.  We tried to talk but their eyes spoke more than their mouths.  These men's eyes looked like soldiers who had been in a horrific battle and had seen all their minds could handle. That look in their eyes is a vivid memory that I think will be forever in my mind.

For a season Americans were searching their souls and returning to God and church. That season did not last long. The wake up call that came on 9/11/01 that brought us to our knees is no longer heard by many. America has now found herself weak on many fronts, full of corruption and deceit, and no longer the strongest nation in the world. Who would have ever thought we would have a president who would proclaim to the world that we were not a Christian nation. On 9/11/10 I proclaim once again WAKE UP AMERICA!!

Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.

 

Wednesday
Aug042010

Two Words Spoken

Ps 18:34 He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. 36 You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip. 37 I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. 38 I have wounded them, So that they could not rise; They have fallen under my feet. 39 For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. 40 You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me. 41 They cried out, but there was none to save; Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.

A little over a month ago, as I was sitting on the side of my bed in SC, I heard the words "stand down".  It was so strong and clear that it startled me. Stand down?, I thought.  What does that mean?

I knew it was a military term, but was not totally sure of all the ramifications of the meaning. Since it came with such force, I felt I must pay attention.

Webster's dictionary defines the term as:

  • standdown: a suspension and relaxation from an alert state or a state of readiness
  • standdown: (military) a temporary stop of offensive military action, to wait;
  • to stop pursuing or fighting; To withdraw or retire from a position, or from a team. Transitive and/or intransitive
  • To go off duty, or as an organization not be available for duty.
  • period of rest and refitting in which all operational activity, except for security, is stopped

I have been praying about what the Lord is telling me with these two words and have had friends praying with me. I know it is important and I want revelation.

Have you felt that you have been in a long battle.  I personally have felt like I have been in a several decades long WW(world war) and it has taken a toll on me physically, mentally and spiritually.  Like most WW's there is not just one battle.  There are simultaneous battles in different places. 

When you are a part of a WW, you are on duty 24/7 and you have to stay alert at all times. You must sleep in the trenches with one eye open watching for the enemy. The load you carry into battle is heavy and the comforts of home are very far away. You are not only fighting to save your life, but all those with you in battle and all those you love back home. You also are battling for a cause bigger than yourself and you are putting your life on hold or maybe on the line for this greater cause.

Sometimes the commander shouts charge and sometimes he orders you to stay in the trenches. He even at times tells you to retreat. Many times in the Bible when the kings sought the Lord's orders in battle He warned them not to enter into that battle because it would end in defeat. So you have to choose your battles.  There were battles that He went through with them to win and there were battles He won before they even did the first thing.

Sometimes we get caught in battles that should not be battles. They are simply differences of opinion. At times we see a danger and the others are blinded or deceived so they can't see it.  So in order to maintain a relationship you have to stand down and pray. We can speak truth in love without making it a battle. I have a lot to learn in this area.  Now I grant you there are times you must keep pressing in because the one you love is in or heading into an area that could effect them eternally. I am not talking about that kind of battle.

If a soldier gets too battle weary he/she can lose it mentally or end up making decisions that could lose the battle or their life. There are times that R & R are necessary to renew their strength for battle. In Ps. 23 the Lord describes times in which he requires us to rest in the green pastures and be refreshed by the still waters while He prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. Stand down in this case would not mean the battle is over but that you need to take time to be renewed for battle.

There are also times of changing the guards. The battle continues but the position of battle is taken up by someone else. If you are use to being the one to have to battle and you have been fighting the war for a long time then it is not easy to just put your weapon down and turn your position over to someone else.  That requires a lot of trust, especially when the stakes are high.

Perhaps you have been praying for someone specific to step up to the plate and take responsibility and when they did you found it hard to turn over your assigned position in battle.  I know that is what "stand down" means for me. It does not mean that I am not to continue in the war, it does mean that my station in the battle has changed. I must move on to another position and trust that the one put in charge of my old station is going to fight a good fight of faith.

When you change positions you receive new orders and a lot of times there is a break given before shipping out for battle again. Returning to your old position is not an option. You must set your sights on that which is ahead.

The WW, the war between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness, continues. The King of Glory is the commander and He is mighty in battle. He gives orders that must be heeded in order to win the war.  To me he has spoken "stand down". 

Proverbs 21:30 here is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD. 31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.

Isaiah 54:17 But no weapon will be able to hurt you; you will have an answer for all who accuse you. I will defend my servants and give them victory." The Lord has spoken.

 

Wednesday
Jul142010

"Come Out Of The Cave" by Bill Yount

Last night I opened the book I Heard Heaven Proclaim by Bill Yount that I won on Twitter. As I picked it up the thought came to my mind to look in the index to see if there was anything on caves. Well, wouldn't you know there on page 120 was a chapter titled "Come Out Of The Cave"  This word from the Lord seemed to me to be so important that I contacted Mr. Yount and requested permission to share it with you and he graciously gave me permission. Below are the lessons learned in Israel at the Cave of En Gedi.


While in Israel, I hiked to the cliffs of En Gedi. The mountain cliffs of En Gedi were where David hid in the caves from King Saul.  David was anointed to be the next king over Israel, but he went into hiding because of his pursuing enemy. You can have a great call of God and destiny on your life but still be in hiding.

The Lord spoke to me up near those caves where David hid. God said, "Tell My people to come out of their caves. Their Sauls have been slain. Your enemies have been slain. Come out of your caves of fear, caves of doubt, caves of unbelief. Come out - I want to use you! This day the spirit of Saul that has hounded you and has driven you into caves, intimidating you, is being destroyed."

There is a cave in En Gedi that can hold three thousand soldiers. Whole churches can be in a cave, intimidated by the enemy.

In the Spirit, I saw some caves that you may have difficulty coming out of to go forward into God's purposes for your life.  The biggest cave I saw in the Spirit was called "The Fear of the Lack of Finances" to accomplish what God is calling you to do.

A revelation jumped into my spirit of what is written on our money: on our currency and on every coin. It says: "In God We Trust." God spoke to me: "Tell My people, 'Don't count your money-read it! Don't count how much you have or don't have, count Me....Count Me into your God-given destiny."

We are not to be led by money, but we are to be led by His Spirit. We must find out what God wants us to do and then trust Him and step out of that cave.

Another cave I saw was "The Fear of the Unknown." What's out there? I don't know, let's go find out! Many want to wait and know all the details before stepping out of the cave. But God doesn't tell us everything at once. Revelation follows obedience. God speaks as He confirms what He wants us to do. Then obedience must follow. Then He explains...maybe. Abraham went out not knowing where he was going, and he ended up with a city whose builder and maker was God.

Another cave was "A More Convenient Time," but there will never be a convenient time for our flesh to feel like stepping out for God. "Now Faith is" (Hebrews 11:1)...Faith is for now.

Another cave was called "My Plans." Someone once said, "If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans, and if you want to laugh, wait till you hear His!" We must leave our plans in the cave as we step into His purposes.

There was a cave called "The Fear of Failing." What if we fail as we step out? Listen...what if we don't? It's in the fall that we learn to fly. God is stirring our nest of comfort like a mother eagle to get us out on the edge of the nest so He can give us a love push over the edge, for we were not born to stay in the nest but to learn like the eaglet that it is through falling that we learn to flap our wings and fly with the wind that's beneath us.

One of the largest caves I saw was "The Cave of Past Failure." This cave held us back from the present and the future. When I was on the Sea of Galilee about halfway across, I said to the Lord, "Lord, this is the sea where you called Peter out of the boat and Peter walked on the water before he fell in." I said, "Lord are we near the place where Peter got out of the boat and walked on water before he fell?"

The Lord answered me, "What do you mean Peter fell? This is the sea where Peter walked!" as though He didn't understand my question. Listen...he doesn't see your failure either. If you have confessed your sins and failures to Him, they are gone, gone, gone. They are not even on the bottom of the sea of forgetfulness. The fish ate them! God did not see the last time you fell. He only saw the last time you got back up! Come out of "The Cave of Past Failure." God has need of you.

By faith, I am going to blow the shofar into your caves and you are going to come out...ready or not. The breath of God is going to blow you out of every cave of hiding, and His breath will blow every cave in, so you will not be able to go back into them. Even the dust from those caves falling in will praise Him.

The Lord says to you, "Come out with your hands up. Leave everything in the cave. You won't need it" He has new things to give you to fulfill His purposes.  Right now His breath is blowing. Step out now. God has need of you. This is your last "cave day." Receive His breath and be blown into your destiny.

Bill Yount  

The Prophetic Weekly Post 

Blowing the Shofar Ministries                                                                                                                                                

Sunday
Jul112010

Your Cave of Adullam

Night before last I had a dream about living in a cave.  Chuck and I were temporarily living in this cave with other people.  I only had realization of knowing two others, our friends Lydia and Karen.  The cave was very clean and empty, uncluttered.  Areas had been carved into the wall of the cave to sit or lay down and rest.  The walls and the floor were a dark burnt orange/red color such as in Sedona, AZ.  Someone served us a full plate of food on plates that looked to be man made and were rectangular and had individual compartments in it so the food did not touch each other.

When I awoke I pondered about this cave. It appeared that this cave had been prepared for us and that all the provisions we needed for nourishment and rest had been made.  Two essential necessities, but no luxuries.  We had not brought anything with us from home to clutter up the cave. We apparently left everything behind and were totally dependent on someone else to provide our needs.

My direction of thought immediately went to David and his experience of dwelling in the cave of Adullam. David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam (1 Sam 22:1) David was called out when he was young by the prophet Samuel and anointed as King of Israel.  However, for years the kingship was not even in sight, matter of fact he had to have begun to wonder if Samuel was just making that up on a day he was mad at Saul or something.  Saul not only remained King, but he was determined to kill David.  I can hear David saying "Who do I think I am that I could think I could be a king of Israel?  Why didn't I just stay with the sheep where I belong?".

David went from the field of sheep to being anointed as king in a private moment. From there he killed the giant and had everyone celebrating him and giving him glory. He ended up in the palace with the king's daughter and a covenant friend named Johnathan.  It must have appeared God was opening the door to his becoming the anointed King. Well, God was preparing David for kingship but there were a number of unpleasant steps to walk first that were far from the palace.  If you study David's life you will see a picture of a king that does not have your typical king's life of pomp and circumstance.  Most of his life as king was spent on the run, living in caves with his subjects being made up of rejects.  Wouldn't you have begun to wonder if this king thing was just a bad prophetic word?

David is a good example to many of us when it comes to our call or destiny in Christ.  Many times we too are given a prophetic word or hear a still small voice that calls us into our destiny.  We get all excited and we just know that the Lord is going to do great and mighty things through us.  We look at others in ministry and picture ourselves doing what they are doing.  The Lord usually allows a few things to happen that encourage us that this truly is our call and He allows us our moment in the palace.  Then suddenly there is a betrayal or some circumstance that causes us to have to leave the palace and run for our lives into the place of hiddenness.

What we fail to recognize is that this place of hiddeness is a place prepared by God to meet our needs while he prepares us for our destiny.  It is also a place where connections are made with the people who will help thrust you into your call.  It is a place of barrenness and at times loneliness. A place that looks like the end and not the beginning. A place of walking by faith and holding onto the word you were given. A place of receiving a greater anointing and authority.

John Bunyan was "chief among sinners" according to him when he was saved. As a new Christian he was mentored by some poor women in a church who took him under their wing and he also had a mentoring pastor. He lost his wife and pastor at the same time and his grief launched him into preaching.  He was eventually arrested for preaching outside of the declared state church of England and went to prison(his place of hiddenness) for 12 years.  It was while in prison that the one thing John Bunyan would be known for throughout history was created. That was a book called Pilgrims Progress.

Joseph, was given a couple of dreams as a young man telling of his destiny. From the position of the favored child he was thrown into a pit, sold as a slave, taken into the palace, and thrown into prison. In his hidden place he was far from home and far from that original vision. But all this served as a place of preparation to his final arrival into his destiny that would save his people.

Moses was rescued from death and raised in the palace but then ran for his life into the distant mountains. There he was hidden away for 40 years in a strange land caring for his father-in-law's flock.  He did not even have the confidence that he could speak and be understood when his launch into his destiny came.

I have found that while in your cave experience you have to fight to keep your vision. With years of delay you get to the point of what the bible refers to as "hope deferred".  Proverbs 12:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.  We begin to think it was something we imagined and made up by our prideful mind, which then causes hopelessness to creep in.

In an article by Os Hillman, he explains about our cave experience, "However, the way of the cross requires a death process to outcomes, our perceived futures and injustices. It is when we release and die to our own will that we see our destinies resurrected.

Do you find yourself in an isolation chamber? Perhaps you are a change agent in the making. Perhaps there is a deposit God is seeking to make into your life that will be used for many others. If so, let God do the deeper work through this isolation period. Let him temper those things in you that have needed to be tempered. Learn to listen during this time and let God develop intimacy with you by spending focused time of praise, study, prayer and quiet listening."

It is in the Cave of Adullam that songs, books, poems and prophetic words come forth, humility is accomplished, a knowledge of God's goodness and faithfulness is revealed, anointing and authority is increased and divine appointments come seeking you out.  It looks like you have been stripped of your vision and cast aside, but the truth is you have been chosen for a high calling for the kingdom.  It may be uncomely or it may be in a palace.  Either way if you do not give up you will do exploits for the Kingdom of God.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jul072010

Rebuke in Miami

Matthew 20:1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.' So they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, 'Why have you been standing here idle all day?' 7 They said to him, 'Because no one hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.' 8 So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, 'Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.' 9 And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12 saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.' 13 But he answered one of them and said, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?' 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen."

This was the scripture chosen by the teenagers who wrote a skit for camp at His House orphanage while our church team was down in Miami ministering.  The camp was every day from 8-4 and was high energy. This trip I had the privilege of being the Nanny to our young pastors' two sons.  Two mornings we joined the team for the early devotion and worship time.  One and a half year old Micah, who has the heart of David to worship, and I were clapping and dancing to the music. There were about 4 children standing by us that were about 5-6 years old. They were not participating and their big brown eyes were watching me like I was a real sight to behold.  I danced by them and said "if an old lady like me can dance, you sure can".  One of the little girls said "are you old?". I replied, "yes, I think so".  She then informed me "well, my granddad was old and he died".  Alrighty then, I thought.  Then I replied to her that I was not going to die that I still had too much to do for the Lord.

That scene stuck with me during the week.  The team would come home tired and full of good reports and I began to wonder if all I was good for anymore for the kingdom was to cook, clean and baby sit.  Don't misunderstand me please.  I have no objection at all in doing those things and love helping and serving people. Chuck and I get much pleasure in helping people fulfill their call.  But I knew that was not my call. It is a ministry of which I love being a part, but it is not my main call. The fulfilment of the call I received many years ago seemed as far away now as it did in the beginning.  Was that call just my imagination, was I just fooling myself? Had I allowed the busyness of life to keep me from being apart of God's plans? Had I been called and not chosen?

One afternoon I was sitting on the couch cuddling with Micah. In my mind I was asking the Lord about all this. Wondering if or when I would be allowed to fulfill my call. I love hearing the reports of others doing great things for the Lord or experiencing the goodness of God. But I too want to do the same.

The Lord suddenly gave me understanding that He had given me a podium the last couple of years, but that I had neglected it. The neglect was because of good works and busyness. Mostly good things, but not what He wanted me to do at the expense of His plans for my life.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with good works.  Matter of fact there is everything right with them.  Acts 9: 36 At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. 37 But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38 And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. 39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41 Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive.

Good works has blessings for the giver as well as the receiver and I have no intention of neglecting them either. But we have to be faithful to our own call. For me it may be an uncomely ministry, one without glamour and prestige.  But it is one for which I must take responsibility and make it a priority. We get in our mind what the package "our ministry" comes wrapped in is going to look like. Many times it looks so different that we fail to recognize it. Also, that package changes from time to time and we fail to change with it. We need not put God in a box, it simply does not work. When He calls He provides all we need, but we are responsible to put our hand to the plow and not allow other things, good or bad, to interfere.



Friday
Jun182010

If Israel goes down, we all go down 

The following was sent to me by One Jerusalem:

In a powerful article in today's Times of London, Jose Maria Aznar, the President of Spain from 1996-2004) provides a rousing and eloquent defense of the State of Israel.  Aznar also uses this opportunity to announce the launch of his new organization "Friends of Israel" composed primarily on non-Jewish Europeans and Americans.  President Aznar is to be applauded for standing up for Israel, standing up for what is right.

The article is below:

If Israel goes down, we all go down

Anger over Gaza is a distraction. We cannot forget that Israel is the West's best ally in a turbulent region

By José María Aznar

For far too long now it has been unfashionable in Europe to speak up for Israel. In the wake of the recent incident on board a ship full of anti-Israeli activists in the Mediterranean, it is hard to think of a more unpopular cause to champion.

In an ideal world, the assault by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara would not have ended up with nine dead and a score wounded. In an ideal world, the soldiers would have been peacefully welcomed on to the ship. In an ideal world, no state, let alone a recent ally of Israel such as Turkey, would have sponsored and organized a flotilla whose sole purpose was to create an impossible situation for Israel: making it choose between giving up its security policy and the naval blockade, or risking the wrath of the world.

In our dealings with Israel, we must blow away the red mists of anger that too often cloud our judgment. A reasonable and balanced approach should encapsulate the following realities: first, the state of Israel was created by a decision of the UN. Its legitimacy, therefore, should not be in question. Israel is a nation with deeply rooted democratic institutions. It is a dynamic and open society that has repeatedly excelled in culture, science and technology.

Second, owing to its roots, history, and values, Israel is a fully fledged Western nation. Indeed, it is a normal Western nation, but one confronted by abnormal circumstances.

Uniquely in the West, it is the only democracy whose very existence has been questioned since its inception. In the first instance, it was attacked by its neighbors using the conventional weapons of war. Then it faced terrorism culminating in wave after wave of suicide attacks. Now, at the behest of radical Islamists and their sympathizers, it faces a campaign of delegitimisation through international law and diplomacy.

Sixty-two years after its creation, Israel is still fighting for its very survival. Punished with missiles raining from north and south, threatened with destruction by an Iran aiming to acquire nuclear weapons and pressed upon by friend and foe, Israel, it seems, is never to have a moment's peace.

For years, the focus of Western attention has understandably been on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. But if Israel is in danger today and the whole region is slipping towards a worryingly problematic future, it is not due to the lack of understanding between the parties on how to solve this conflict. The parameters of any prospective peace agreement are clear, however difficult it may seem for the two sides to make the final push for a settlement.

The real threats to regional stability, however, are to be found in the rise of a radical Islamism which sees Israel's destruction as the fulfillment of its religious destiny and, simultaneously in the case of Iran, as an expression of its ambitions for regional hegemony. Both phenomena are threats that affect not only Israel, but also the wider West and the world at large.

The core of the problem lies in the ambiguous and often erroneous manner in which too many Western countries are now reacting to this situation. It is easy to blame Israel for all the evils in the Middle East. Some even act and talk as if a new understanding with the Muslim world could be achieved if only we were prepared to sacrifice the Jewish state on the altar. This would be folly.

Israel is our first line of defense in a turbulent region that is constantly at risk of descending into chaos; a region vital to our energy security owing to our overdependence on Middle Eastern oil; a region that forms the front line in the fight against extremism. If Israel goes down, we all go down. To defend Israel's right to exist in peace, within secure borders, requires a degree of moral and strategic clarity that too often seems to have disappeared in Europe. The United States shows worrying signs of heading in the same direction.

The West is going through a period of confusion over the shape of the world's future. To a great extent, this confusion is caused by a kind of masochistic self-doubt over our own identity; by the rule of political correctness; by a multiculturalism that forces us to our knees before others; and by a secularism which, irony of ironies, blinds us even when we are confronted by jihadis promoting the most fanatical incarnation of their faith. To abandon Israel to its fate, at this moment of all moments, would merely serve to illustrate how far we have sunk and how inexorable our decline now appears.

This cannot be allowed to happen. Motivated by the need to rebuild our own Western values, expressing deep concern about the wave of aggression against Israel, and mindful that Israel's strength is our strength and Israel's weakness is our weakness, I have decided to promote a new Friends of Israel initiative with the help of some prominent people, including David Trimble, Andrew Roberts, John Bolton, Alejandro Toledo (the former President of Peru), Marcello Pera (philosopher and former President of the Italian Senate), Fiamma Nirenstein (the Italian author and politician), the financier Robert Agostinelli and the Catholic intellectual George Weigel.

It is not our intention to defend any specific policy or any particular Israeli government. The sponsors of this initiative are certain to disagree at times with decisions taken by Jerusalem. We are democrats, and we believe in diversity.

What binds us, however, is our unyielding support for Israel's right to exist and to defend itself. For Western countries to side with those who question Israel's legitimacy, for them to play games in international bodies with Israel's vital security issues, for them to appease those who oppose Western values rather than robustly to stand up in defense of those values, is not only a grave moral mistake, but a strategic error of the first magnitude.

Israel is a fundamental part of the West. The West is what it is thanks to its Judeo-Christian roots. If the Jewish element of those roots is upturned and Israel is lost, then we are lost too. Whether we like it or not, our fate is inextricably intertwined.


José María Aznar was prime minister of Spain between 1996 and 2004.

 

Monday
Jun072010

America: Graduating from God? – WND – June 7

WND.COMMENTARY

America: Graduating from God?
Exclusive: Chuck Norris declares, 'Spiritual regression has become epidemic'


Posted: June 07, 2010
1:00 am Eastern

By Chuck Norris


 

(Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series on spiritual regression in America.)

Last week I read a blog post that noted how prayer was banned at a high-school graduation in Indiana but not in Alabama. Then I read another news report about how another California high school changed its graduation "opening prayer" to "a moment of silence." No big shocker there.

Tragically, these types of devaluing religious news stories are a dime a dozen today. Spiritual regression is not only a trend but an epidemic.

The Fuller Youth Institute just reported that less than half (40 percent) of even church-going high-school seniors "significantly struggle with their faith and with finding a church after graduation." And other statistics show that, by the time they end their college education, 90 percent will have dropped out of church.

The Barna Group reports that only 29 percent of teenagers say they "will definitely" be attending church after graduation. That's about one in three if you're an optimist – about one in four if you're a pessimist. And about one in five if you believe these polled teenagers are either overly optimistic or over-exaggerators. Any way you look at it, the "Leave It to Beaver" family seems so passé and archaic in our times.

Long ago the Creator was replaced by natural causes in public classrooms. Prayer was ousted by human potential. Humans have become the kings of their castles and captains of their souls. Preaching has been overturned by political correctness. Church has been replaced by the NFL and Sunday commerce. And the government is now God, granting to all who has need. And we're shocked that more and more of our children and grandchildren want nothing to do with church?

Attrition in church attendance and faith in God is definitely on the rise. And so is animosity toward America's Judeo-Christian heritage.

Two Connecticut public schools were denied their graduation ceremonies from being held in a local church by U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall. Hall ruled in favor of the ACLU on behalf of two local high-school seniors and their parents, who said the students were agnostic and would find it "difficult if not impossible" to attend the graduation if it were held in a church. Hall concluded that using a church for graduation would be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Leave it up to the ACLU and a federal judge to tell a local community where they could and could not hold their graduations, even though the majority favored it in the large church which was perfect for the big graduation crowds.

Not so lucky was atheist Michael Newdow, who failed to prove in a federal appeals court in early May that he was personally harmed by the religious reference "So Help Me God" in the presidential oath of office. Still, the three-member appellate panel ruled that Newdow and his atheist groupies "weren't in a position to legally challenge the oaths." Newdow, a California attorney, is noted for his failed attempts also to remove "In God We Trust" from U.S. currency and "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Removing God from the public square is not new, but its pace is progressively increasing at alarming rates. Omitting any reference to God is not only pervasive in textbooks but now at historic sites, too, including in Washington, D.C. In 2006, the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia, to which tens of thousands of school kids come in by the bus loads each year to learn about the first English colony in America (13 years before the Pilgrims at Plymouth), omitted from its tours the first purpose mentioned in the 1606 charter: to spread the Christian religion. In 2007, the U.S. mint "accidentally" omitted the words "In God We Trust" on the first 50K or so run of new George Washington presidential dollars. The same year, the National Park Service covered up and omitted the words "Praise be to God" on the capstone replica display in the Washington Monument. Then in 2008, the new 15,000 square feet Capitol Visitors' Center suffered a series of religious oversights and corruptions in various historical displays of our Capitol and country's heritage. Is it any coincidence that the most recently erected memorials in D.C. contain no references to God, too? And of course, the Texas textbook wars include battles over omissions and revisions of America's godly heritage in public-school curricula.

Speak of our culture's devaluing of religion, only weeks after television's Comedy Central's executives nixed a program due to its controversial depiction of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, the network announced a sacrilegious and shameful new series titled "JC," a comedy about God and Jesus Christ, who (in the programs) will be "JC" – a regular guy who moves to modern New York to "escape his father's enormous shadow." And God is portrayed as a lethargic man and deadbeat father. Isn't this political incorrectness and hate language at its core? Does America really need to stoop to such deplorable depths and dung for a laugh?

Is it just me or do others not see the major movement to whitewash God from our culture? Do our governing officials really think eliminating the Almighty is any answer to our problems? Don't they see omissions of God are also avoidances of the very being who can help us out of or through our troubles? Or do we believe that our country can experience true recovery or success without God's intervention or blessing? Does America believe it can graduate without or from God?

George Washington gave a very wise and timely word in his "Farewell Address" to all prospective Americans (including all government officials) who even entertain the thought that they can graduate from God. It also serves as a great "commencement address" to all graduates this spring:

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

Our founders' America is on life support and breathing its last. And the only ones who can save it are the God who assisted our founders in its creation and the patriots who today bear His and our founders' baton. Our focus is no longer the total war, but one battle at a time – one rally at a time, one election at a time and one piece of legislation at a time.

Right now, one man needing our patriot assistance is Rep. Randy Forbes, whose congressional address on America's Judeo-Christian heritage has received 3 million views on YouTube. Forbes, along with the members of the bipartisan Congressional Prayer Caucus, has reintroduced H.R.397, "America's Spiritual Heritage Resolution." The resolution recognizes our nation's spiritual heritage milestones, rejects current attempts to erase all religious history from public buildings and educational resources and establishes a week for Americans to remember and reflect on spiritual principles upon which our nation was founded. The resolution has gained bipartisan support with 79 co-sponsors. Have your representatives sponsored or supported the resolution? If not, please contact them today to ask they do so.

America, don't ever forget: Your founders expected you to graduate with God, not from him.




Thursday
May132010

Promises Of God Come Alive

This is a picture that was taken in Palestine in the early 1900's. Totally not the Israel we visited 110 years later. Below is the account of Mark Twain after visiting Palestine in 1867.

"Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies. Where Sodom and Gomorrah reared their domes and towers, that solemn sea now floods the plain, in whose bitter waters no living thing exists -- over whose waveless surface the blistering air hangs motionless and dead -- about whose borders nothing grows but weeds, and scattering tufts of cane, and that treacherous fruit that promises refreshment to parching lips, but turns to ashes at the touch. Nazareth is forlorn; about that ford of Jordan where the hosts of Israel entered the Promised Land with songs of rejoicing, one finds only a squalid camp of fantastic Bedouins of the desert; Jericho the accursed, lies a moldering ruin, to-day, even as Joshua's miracle left it more than three thousand years ago; Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and their humiliation, have nothing about them now to remind one that they once knew the high honor of the leader's presence; the hallowed spot where the shepherds watched their flocks by night, and where the angels sang Peace on earth, good will to men, is untenanted by any living creature, and unblessed by any feature that is pleasant to the eye. Renowned Jerusalem itself, the stateliest name in history, has lost all its ancient grandeur, and is become a pauper village; the riches of Solomon are no longer there to compel the admiration of visiting Oriental queens; the wonderful temple which was the pride and the glory of Israel, is gone, and the Ottoman crescent is lifted above the spot where, on that most memorable day in the annals of the world, they reared the holy cross. The noted Sea of Galilee, where Roman fleets once rode at anchor and the disciples of the leader sailed in their ships, was long ago deserted by the devotees of war and commerce, and its borders are a silent wilderness; Capernaum is a shapeless ruin; Magdala is the home of beggared Arabs; Bethsaida and Chorazin have vanished from the earth, and the "desert places" round about them where thousands of men once listened to the leader's voice and ate the miraculous bread, sleep in the hush of a solitude that is inhabited only by birds of prey and skulking foxes. Palestine is desolate and unlovely. And why should it be otherwise? Can the curse of the Deity beautify a land? "

"Can the curse of the Diety beautify a land?"  Indeed He can reverse the curse and bring blessings. That started happening 62 years ago when in 1948 Israel was once again as was promised by their/our God. Isaiah 41:19  I will plant in the wilderness the cedar,the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:   Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth ; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

If we get discouraged we have only to look at Israel and know that what the Lord promises, He will do. He is not a man that He should lie and His arm is not short.  If He said it, then it is done in Heaven.

Trees have returned.

This is the Galilee Mark Twain described as a wilderness.

This is the area around the dead sea that Mark Twain said "nothing grows but weeds".

Jerusalem is moving toward being the City of Our King. The Lord God Almighty wrote His name there and it is in His hands.

Isaiah 35:5 As birds flying , so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.

 

 


Wednesday
May122010

Book Review

 

My first introduction to Sarah Young was when my very good friend gave me her book Jesus Calling last October during a girlfriend retreat. I was so blessed by that book that when Thomas Nelson offered her newest book Jesus Lives I ordered it immediately.

Like Jesus Calling, Jesus Lives is written in the first person as if Jesus is talking to you directly, which He is.  The format is however, different.  Whereas Jesus Calling is in a daily devotional format, Jesus Lives is separated by subject matter.

There are 46 different topics addressed in this book, but in the 359 pages these topics come up numerous times throughout the book.  Some of them are Abiding in Him, Trials, Emptiness, His Presence, His Sufficiency as well as many many more topics that are pertinent to our walk daily with the Lord.

This book is great to be used as a daily devotion or as an encouragement and learning tool when you need a specific word to help in your life.  The author includes the scriptures that confirm what is said and they are written out for you in case you are somewhere that your Bible is not handy.

This book is a real blessing and is a tool to give you understanding of the Lords love and care for you in all that comes your way.

Tuesday
May112010

Grace Visited

Unredeemed Lyrics

The cruelest world
The coldest heart
The deepest wound
The endless dark
The lonely ache
The burning tears
The bitter nights
The wasted years

Life breaks and falls apart
But we know these are
Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But when anything that's shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

For every choice that led to shame
And all the love that never came
For every vow that someone broke
And every lie that gave up hope
We live in the shadow of the fall
But the cross says these are all
Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But when anything that's shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But you never know the miracle the Father has in store
Just watch and see
It will not be
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

This song recorded by Selah has been a constant companion to me over the last month.  There have been times in this month that I have been overwhelmed by the thoughts of the mistakes I have made, past hurts, rejections, insecurities, and all kinds of negative feelings.  The enemy of my soul and destiny has pulled out the big guns.

I have spent a life time being "outside the camp", always the square peg trying to fit in a round world.  It is a very lonely place at times.  Many want what you can give them as long as you keep silent. So over and over I have determined that I will just become silent and invisible but then that does not work either.  Fire hits my bones.

I am not sure why the attack has been so strong lately but I have to agree with him, I fall very short. I am a real nobody, but my hope is in Grace. 1 Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised , hath God chosen , yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are : 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence . 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written , He that glorieth , let him glory in the Lord.

Mother's Day a young woman named Grace came to our house and for some reason I knew it was significant that this sweet visiting stranger's name was Grace. Today, as I listened to the Selah song Unredeemed, I realized once again that despite it all, those unfulfilled, unrestored things in my life will not be unredeemed.





Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 57 Next 10 Entries »