Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pulpit Freedom Sunday

Fear Not--- Sunday, October 7th is Pulpit Freedom Sunday.  Pastors are encouraged to "preach like the wind" and not be intimidated by the IRS or varying political opinions of the congregation. I hope this will encourage you.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Elijah was a man.....

Effective, Fervent, Prayer ---  What a heartbreaking week it has been for American.  We have seen an Embassy & Consulate attacked an ambassador and his staff murdered, and violence against U.S. interests spreading.  The President seems to take little interest and continues to devote his time to his campaign.  The most egregious thing the U.S. media can report on is Mitt Romney shining a light on the President's policies regarding these attacks.  The Federal Reserve made an open-ended commitment to spend 40 BILLION dollars a month buying mortgage-backed securities as an answer to our economic problems.  All of this and the country are more divided than ever.  I spoke to a woman last night where is terrified that the Republicans may win the White House.  She believes it will be all over for America, and particularly women, should that happen.  I read a post this morning that said, "These are Biblical Times...."  Moreover, they are, and that means they require a Biblical response.  I continue to go to James 5 regarding prayer.....if any of you are in trouble---PRAY, if any among you is sick----PRAY, confess your sins and pray because the fervent prayer of a righteous man is effective.  And then verses 17 & 18 give us the evidence----Jas 5:17-18  Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.  (18)  Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops."   Yes, these are Biblical times, and Biblical times require a Biblical response.  We must pray, pray continuously and pray fervently.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hope VS Hopelessness

 Four years ago, "hope" was the cliché of the day.  The Presidential election hinged on delivering it. (the new Webster's?)  defines hope this way: “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best”.  The Bible uses the word as a source of expectation.  With the economy spiraling down and the country becoming increasingly divided, what was it the people wanted?  What did they expect?  We were told to expect change, change that would improve the economy and heal the divisiveness.  Now, 4 years later the rhetoric of hope and change are absent from the political conversation.  The economy is still struggling and the country is more divided than I have seen it in my lifetime.  What happened to all the hope and what happens to us individually, and as a nation, when what we hoped for does not come to pass?  When our expectations are not met? Are we met with only hopelessness? Proverbs 13:12 tells us that "...hope deferred makes the heart sick...".  Is it that what we hoped for did not come to pass or is that our hope is misplaced?  For centuries, America placed its hope in God.  God as our source, God as our inspiration who would deliver us from the snares and consequences of the enemy.  Gradually we have replaced our hope in God to hope in man and finally hope in government.  We have become "enlightened", turning to education, science and democracy for our hope and deliverance.   These gods of humanism have yet to give us any real cause for hope.  Solomon expressed this same feeling of hopelessness when he wrote "Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless..."  The only cure for a nation with a sick heart is repentance, a turning back to the things of God.  We must find out what Solomon found out.... Ecc 12:13  "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind."