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America, Look Up

The importance of America returning to Christian principles and Traditional Family Values

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Where’s My America?


RonaldReagan

My favorite President, hands-down, is Ronald Reagan.  I remember 52 American hostages marching from a compound, released from an Iranian prison minutes after President Reagan was sworn into office.  I swelled with pride.

I remember Ronald Reagan standing at the base of the Brandenburg Gate, near the Berlin Wall delivering a hopeful speech to the people of West Berlin:

“In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: ‘We will bury you.’ But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind–too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And then the line known to the entire civilized world:

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

Two years later, the people of a freed East Berlin tore down that wall.

 

Reagan’s determination and drive to see Communism topple, reminded all of the President’s desire for America to be a “shining city on a hill.”  I swelled with pride.

For two terms, the “Gipper’s” speeches never failed to invoke America’s greatness.  Due to the lackluster and feckless Presidency of Jimmy Carter, Reagan ushered in a new era of hope and Patriotism.

Yes, I miss the Reagan years.

Fast forward to 2001.

Though many bash George W. Bush, I appreciated his leadership in the first few hours and days after 9/11.  (I shudder to think the outcome had America been under the leadership of Al Gore.)  The President visited Ground Zero to thank the emergency personnel working to find people buried in the rubble of the Twin Towers.  At one point, he climbed atop the remains of a crumpled fire truck and spoke to the firefighters.  Someone shouted, “I can’t hear you.”  The President grabbed a bullhorn and said,

“I hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked down these buildings are going to hear from all of us soon.”

My heart broke the day jihadists turned planes into torpedoes, but something about a Texan living in the White House brought hope that America wouldn’t cower to evil, but would take the fight to our enemies’ homeland.  And that’s what happened.  I swelled with pride.

Since 2008, I can’t think of many reasons to be proud of our Country’s leadership.  Sure, Americans elected the first African American to the highest office in the Land…but that “accomplishment” rested solely in the hands of the voters.  From personal conversations, I have discovered many voted for Barack Obama, not because of his political experience, but because of his skin tone.  Some who had never voted for a Democrat previously, jumped on the “Let’s make American History” bandwagon.  But since his election and re-election, has the President accomplished anything of merit?

In 2009, the President boasted that his Stimulus bill would create “shovel ready” jobs.  What happened?  Nothing.  While meeting with the Jobs and Competiveness Council in Durham, NC, the President chuckled as he announced,

“Shovel-ready was not as shovel ready as we expected.”

In fact, not only has job creation been stagnant, but  millions have been added to the rolls of government assistance.  This certainly doesn’t instill pride.

Our status in the eyes of the world has diminished as well.  Israel wonders if we are truly an ally.  We allow Russia to run roughshod over the Ukraine.  ISIS rampages across the Middle East, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction and bloodshed.  Our deal with the Iranians prompted celebrations in Iran.  (If Iran thinks they received a good deal, doesn’t that insure America didn’t?)

And on the American home front?  This Administration has cranked up race relations rhetoric, throwing fuel on the smoldering cities of Ferguson and Baltimore.  Now, Black Lives Matter and Louis Farakhan have challenged African Americans to wage a war on white people and our law enforcement officers.  What does our President do?  Snaps selfies by a glacier to propagate his climate change agenda.  Not much to be proud of there either.

And then there’s our President’s misguided view of heroes.  In my eyes, military personnel deserve our respect and gratitude.  Also, those who put on a uniform to keep us safe on our city streets.  Mr. Obama seldom honors men and women willing to lay down their lives for the American people, but rushes to congratulate a homosexual who decides to openly play on a professional sports team.  It’s hard to show pride in that.

Lastly, a freedom I never dreamed vulnerable is currently battling a national agenda to normalize the Gay/Lesbian/Transgender Lifestyle.  Pilgrims risked life and limb to come to shores of America to insure their freedom to worship how they pleased, when they pleased.  Today, their sacrifice seems almost futile as the Leftist agenda strives to relegate religious practice to the Church building.  However, nowhere does the Constitution demand we compromise our religious convictions once we leave the shadow of the Church steeple.  It’s impossible to take pride in diminished religious liberty.

I still love America, but maybe my adoration stems from memories past instead of a hopeful present and an anticipated bright future.  I pray our generation rises to claim this Country for God and that He rescues her from teetering on the precipice of destruction.  If we fail to turn, I tremble at the thought of America’s demise.  I hope our kids aren’t the first generation to dwell in the largest third world country in the world.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

 

If God’s a God of Love then….Part Two


Recently I was posed the following question:

Why did God order a whole generation including CHILDREN to be slaughtered in the Old Testament and why does He seem to change from a God of vengeance and judgment in the Old to a God of mercy and grace in the New Testament?

In Part One, I shared instances of God extending grace and opportunities to repent to those nations sitting in the bull’s-eye of God’s judgment.  Other examples can be found in Jonah’s reluctant ministry to the people of Nineveh and the sound of Noah’s mallet hammering out a message about an imminent global flood.

But what about God’s call to annihilate entire people groups, including babies and children?

First, let’s examine something God told Abraham.  Genesis 15: 13-16 shares:

13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

Notice God stays His righteous hand of judgment on the Canaanites for 400 years!  God extends a 400 year grace period!  This once again attests to the longsuffering and patience of a God who wants

“none to perish but all to come to repentance.”

Note the phrase:

“Has not reached its full measure.”

By the time the Canaanite’s sin had reached its full measure, they practiced ritual prostitution and child sacrifice.  But still some wonder,

“Why destroy them all?”

Deuteronomy 20:17-18 answers that question.

17“But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the LORD your God has commanded you, 18so that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods, so that you would sin against the LORD your God.

Think of it this way.  God allowed those peoples to transgress His laws and His call to holiness for hundreds of years, until their unrighteous acts were no longer tolerable.  He used the armies of Israel to carry out His righteous judgment.

But what about the children?

God commanded the complete destruction of entire pagan people groups to prevent them from being future antagonists of Israel and leading future Jewish generations to chase after false gods.  God also warns of potential future ungodly unions.  Deuteronomy 7:3-4 shares,

“You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods.”

Obviously God is serious about Holiness and His people being set apart.

Question:  Does God know the future?

Yes!

God foresaw the future of the Canaanites and because of their hard hearted nature and their love of sin, He knew the Canaanites would not be repenting and following after Him.  In ordering the deaths of children and babies, He was actually extending grace and mercy.  These young innocent children who were destined for hell because their future generations would not repent nor acknowledge the God of Israel, found an eternal home in Heaven.   God’s judgment resulted in their salvation.

Scholar William Lane Craig writes,

‘Nothing could so illustrate to the Israelis the seriousness of their calling as a people set apart for God alone.  Yahweh is not to be trifled with.  He means business, and if Israel apostasizes the same could happen to her.  As C.S. Lewis puts it “Aslan is not a tame lion.”‘

He may not be tame, but He is righteous and holy.

God knows best.

 

 

 

Biblical History: The Reason for Middle East Aggressions


In case some missed the Sunday School lesson discussing the origins of the friction between the Jewish people and the Arab nations, let me take a moment to share a little refresher. A few days ago, aides from the Obama Administration appeared dumbfounded on the morning news shows when asked about the hatred between Muslims and Jews. It’s quite simple, really. One needs only turn in the Bible to Genesis chapter 16.

But first some background.

Have you ever become impatient with God?

Abraham did.

God promised Abraham that he and his wife Sarah would be blessed with a child…a son. Many years passed and Sarah failed to conceive. Instead of waiting faithfully for God to provide the promised heir, Abraham weighed his options.  Abraham considered the situation and decided God needed help. So, he married his wife’s maidservant, Hagar, and she conceived.

But this wasn’t God’s plan.  Abraham failed this test of patience miserably. The child growing in the womb of Hagar was not the chosen son.  Abraham sinned by choosing to take matters into his own hands. Bitterness, strife, and envy raged between Sarah and her maidservant Hagar. Abraham instructed his wife to do with Hagar as she wished. Chapter 16 verse 6 says,

“And when Sarai dealt severely with her, humbling and afflicting her, she (Hagar) fled from her.”

An Angel of the Lord found Hagar near a small brook. Hagar poured out her heart to God’s messenger, but the Angel of the Lord commanded her to return to her mistress. She also was given the following promise concerning the child she would bear:

“I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be numbered for multitude.”

But then the Angel of the Lord shared the following about the baby she would deliver:

“You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery. 12 He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”

God promised that Ishmael’s descendants would be numerous, but also warned that Ishmael and his future line would be violent, living in hostility toward everyone. Ishmael’s line fathered the Arab nation that exists today.

Abraham and Sarah did eventually conceive a son and gave him the name Isaac.  Isaac’s birth fulfilled God’s promise and insured the Jewish line would never cease to exist.  Of course tensions existed between Ishmael and Isaac, and that animosity continues to this day.

If the Obama Administration would just brush up on biblical history, there’d be less head scratching by Obama Aides on future morning news shows.

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