Tag Archives: America

We the People

Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don’t ever become slaves of the Law again.

Galatians 5:1 (CEV)

The July 4th weekend is longer this year since it falls on a Tuesday. Talk show hosts and even our sermon have shared tidbits and snippets of history from that long ago weekend of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

John Adams wrote a letter to his wife on July 3rd and penned many thoughts on the process of developing this historic document. The last couple of paragraphs reminded of the significance of this date:

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

The sacrifice and dedication of the signers is summed up in his cautionary tone – You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States.

I am tired of division, hypocrisy, finger-pointing, and failure to get anything done by the Washington elected officials — both parties. This country has been blessed by God with so much wealth and happiness but we seem to be throwing it all away in an effort to be right. Our forefathers spilled blood and treasure to ensure our freedom. What will our grandchildren’s children say of our generation?

We live in a different world than the signers, yet, we must celebrate this historic day. Why? Because freedom is God’s gift to us — one not to be taken lightly. We must continue with that sacred trust to preserve and protect this land.

So, pull out that red, white, and blue shirt to wear tomorrow. Enjoy a meal with family and friends. Watch the fireworks light up the sky and know that we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

God Bless America.

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Never Forget

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If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turnfrom their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

 

 

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Courage

 

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)

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Ebola. Israel. Hamas. Iraq. Ukraine. Crashes. Elections. Obama. Entitlement. Securities. Border.

These are not four letter words but they may cause sleepless nights and fear of the future. Our world is changing and not for the better.

Our pastor prays each Sunday for the elected leaders of our country and state, as commanded — regardless of party or persuasion. But we are headed to a new emphasis on warfare prayer in the sermon series because he is convinced that we need a Third Great Awakening as the only hope for America.

We never know what our day will bring as I found myself sitting several hours in a hospital waiting room with a friend yesterday. Her husband had emergency gall bladder removal surgery.  It was a strange feeling to be in the same hospital where I have sat for so many hours at the side of my husband, but this time with someone else. As the doctor explained the results of the surgery to her, he shook my hand, too, and called me “Moral Support.” Isn’t that what we all need these days?

Nothing brings that more clearly to my mind as when I think about my grandgirlies. What kind of a world are they headed into? I pray that they will be strong like Queen Esther for “such a time as this.”

Mark asked me the other day what we could do for the Christians being persecuted in Mosul. Pray. Every day. Fervently. Without ceasing. We need to give moral support to those we encounter every day. Speak up and stand up for what is right.

In so many ways, everything looks hopeless. The one thing I know is that a political solution is not the answer. God works through leaders but it is all His plan and His timetable. He is in control. Be courageous. We know the end of the story, WE WIN.

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HOPE – giver

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. Ephesians 1:18 NIV

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Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotional resonated with me this morning. HOPE has been my word for the past year and a half and his words clarified why this has been so important to me.

One of my favorite verses is from Proverbs 29:18, it says,“Where there is no vision … the people perish” (AMP). If we can’t see clearly, it means we have lost our vision and therefore, our hope.

We hear stories of people hanging on in indescribably difficult circumstances. I read the book by Louis Zamperini, Unbroken, and was amazed at his determination and stamina, lost for weeks, floating in the ocean, with seemingly no hope of ever being found. But God.

I know my life has messy and dark moments. I can’t see the path ahead. The pain and disappointment threaten to overwhelm me and I want to give up.

Rick says:

When you can’t see your way clearly, it means you’ve lost your vision, which means you’re going to lose your hope.

The key to making it through the struggle in your life, no matter how long it lasts, is hope. And you don’t just pull it out of the sky; you get it from God’s vision.

When you think about it, hope is the only answer. It is God’s vision for my life, my marriage, my family, my ministry, my writing, my speaking that is going to get me through and make any difference. This nation is sadly lacking hope because we think we know better than God how to run our lives, only to hit a roadblock, stumble and come up with no answers. Confusion, frustration, anger, and bitterness take over our soul.

But God. He is the vision-clearer, the hope-giver, and the joy-maker.

I pray that hope will settle in your heart and clear your vision to what God is doing in your life. He has untold riches for us as we trust Him.

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Wake Up!

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“Awake, O sleeper,
    rise up from the dead,
    and Christ will give you light.”

 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.

Ephesians 5:14-15 (NLT)

A sense of urgency fills my heart today. As I was clicking though my emails this morning, again and again, the subject was the need to pray — now.

Anne Graham Lotz has issued an urgent call to prayer this week on behalf of our nation.

Our church participated in the “Call2Fall” on Sunday. It’s pretty amazing to glance around the Worship Center and see old and young, men and women, pastor and parishioner all kneeling before our God.

The Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling yesterday is a win for the good guys. But, as my many years in politics proved to me, tomorrow is another day and it can easily go the opposite way. The most frustrating part of my political involvement was that you work and work, take a few steps forward, only to be back at square one at the whim of the voters. We cannot depend on politicians to change the direction of this nation — only God.

Christians have been looking up since the resurrection for the return of Christ. The Bible compares the end time to childbirth. We may be at in the beginning birth pains. If so, we must take every opportunity to share Jesus. He tarries so that all may come to know Him.

I challenge you to listen to Awaken Us. Let’s get on our knees.

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The Fallen

 

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Flags are flying; red/white/blue scarves and ties are in abundance at church today. The patriotic music brings a tear. We remember. It’s Memorial Day Weekend.

Yet, even while we celebrate, families are mourning for lost children, not killed on the battlefield of Afghanistan, but on the streets of Santa Barbara. Once more, a deranged young man has wreaked havoc on a community and young girls are shot, killed, and wounded. Why? What is going on with the American youth? Why do we have Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson, and now Santa Barbara? There are many more but these particular tragedies were committed by young men with mental illness, acting out a vendetta.

It is particularly poignant for me because these were college students at UCSB. I love that area and attended Westmont College, also located near Santa Barbara. I have five granddaughters that will one day be in college. Is there no safe place in America? What has changed so dramatically from when I was a girl or the freedom and activities my children enjoyed?

The culture has radically changed and I remember a bumpersticker, Question authority, that was the rage in the sixties. Wikipedia states, “Question authority” is a popular slogan often used on bumperstickers, t-shirts and as graffiti. Originally quoted by ancient Greece philosopher Socrates, the slogan was popularized by controversial psychologist Timothy Leary. One of the most influential icons in the counterculture movement which formed in the late 1960s out of opposition to the Vietnam War’s escalation, Leary gained influence among much of the Western youth by advocating the use of Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) – which was criminalized in the United States in 1966 – as a way to escape from the burdens of society. Following the Watergate Scandal, which resulted in the resignation of US President Richard Nixon and the conviction of several officials in the Nixon administration, the slogan became arguably the most accepted form of ideology among baby boomers. It is intended to encourage people to avoid fallacious appeals to authority. The term has always symbolized the necessity of paying attention to the rules and regulations promulgated by a government unto its citizenry. However, psychologists have also criticized Leary’s method of questioning authority and have argued that it resulted in widespread dysfunctionality.”

I agree that our nation is one big, giant dysfunctional family. Our parents and grandparents would never even consider the options of this kind of disobedience or disrespect. We would have gotten a quick thump to the head (a la Gibbs to DiNozzo). We knew better than to even try.

Computers, video games, movies, music, welfare, fatherless homes, educational standards, divorce, social media, disgusting lyrics and explicit dancing, extended families miles apart, prayer forbidden in schools—let alone Bible reading. Yes, there is much to appreciate about the technological advances we enjoy today, but are they doing more harm than good? There is something to say about the ease, safety, and family times of the “good ol’ days.”

Life is not fair and never has been. But without competition, whether in the classroom, on the sports field, or in the board room, what is the incentive to achieve, to win, to be the best? Instead, we have the notion that we should all make the same amount of money, have a nice house, and no one wins or loses. That is a recipe for disaster and we are reaping the consequences.

As we remember those who have fallen so that we may enjoy “the good life” in the United States of America, the future for our loved ones is uncertain. Terrell Brown of CBS Evening News reported, “A recent study by the Urban Institute shows the net worth of today’s 30-somethings — adjusted for inflation — is down 21 percent from what 30-somethings enjoyed in 1983.” Money isn’t everything but it is an indicator.

As are all of these shootings.

Which brings me back to my original questioning? What is going on? What can we do?

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.

Micah 6:8 (The Message)

I believe in God’s sovereignty, knowing that He will win in the end. My responsibility today is to do what is right, to love mercy, and walk humbly with my God – three rules for right living.

As we honor and show respect for the fallen this weekend, let’s remember the admonition from 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV):

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

God Bless America!

 

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Speak Up

Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you. Deuteronomy 3:22 (NIV)

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In an election season, the subject of politics comes up in situations that most consider impolite in other circumstances. But why? Because people have different opinions? Why can we differ on who is going to win the World Series and promote our team but can’t talk about the election and our guy?

Our pastor has made a commitment to speak from the pulpit about biblical principles pertinent to this election, just as he prays weekly for the President and leaders. I appreciate his example and willingness to ask people if they are going to vote just as easily as he asks a person whether he or she has accepted Jesus.

The point is, we must not be intimidated to speak up for our beliefs. We are called to be salt and light. Ask questions of your friends and neighbors—many people are just beginning to be aware of the approaching election and are unaware of the importance of our vote for our families.

We could choose to fret and worry as to the outcome but there is no fear. Ultimately, God is in control of this election. Trust Him.

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The Red, White, and Blue

Each family celebrates different holidays during the course of the year but in our house, the 4th rates right up there with Christmas. I love the festivities – from hometown parades with flags waving by young and old to yummy backyard barbeques with family and friends. Of course, the day must end with the oohs and ahs of fireworks. Freedom is something we must cherish, not take for granted, and pass on to our grandchildren. Today, we see all over the world the efforts to attain freedom and independence just as our country fought for so many years ago. In our nation, a debate rages about war, freedom and democracy but let’s put all that aside today and thank God for our many blessings and celebrate the joy of independence and the freedom given to each citizen in the United States of America. Happy 4th of July!

 

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