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Archive for September, 2013

When I was a boy I was told that three most important things to remember in life are:

#1 People are more important than things

#2 People are more important than things

#3 People are more important than things

Do you agree? I think you probably do. Then why do we go after the “things” so much? Why do we work so hard for stuff…material possessions? Why is it that the desire to be comfortable in this life drives us to be uncomfortable because of all the hours we work and time we miss with our families? What’s really important in life? People or things?

I think we’d all say: PEOPLE.

I try to practice what I preach, albeit not too well at times. One of the things I had promised Andrew that we would do is join a group called “Contenders.” It’s a group of dads and sons that seek to follow the Biblical admonition to be “contenders of the faith.” Clara and Pam are going to a group for moms and daughters called “Keepers of the Home.” It’s important to spend time with our kids. We all know that. And I thoroughly enjoy my time with my children.

Contenders meet twice per month on Monday nights. Here was our project for the first night:

Andrew building

See all of those tools lying there. That’s the project. Learn the tools by name and what they do and then use them. Here’s some other dads and sons…

contenders 2

Yep…people are more important than things.

Here’s another proof of that.

Recently our “Mentoring Sunday School Class” had an outing called, “Survivor” at the home of Mark and Kathy Eller (a wonderfully hospitable couple in our church). What is a mentoring class? Well, we take the concept from our Rite of Passage philosophy. What’s that? (We’re getting deeper and deeper aren’t we? :))

I wrote this book 2 1/2 years ago…

In the book I chronicle the fact that the church can come alongside families and encourage the family to teach and train their children in their homes in an intentional purposeful way. Jesus at the age of 12 said, “Didn’t you know I had to be about my Father’s business?” Thus, at age 12, Jesus was seeking the things of God. He set the example for all of our children. We push that at the church. We push that to the Dads. We push that to the moms. We don’t have a youth group or children’s church, or even a nursery. Everything we do is via the conduit of the family. We believe that’s Biblical.

One of the ways we seek to raise the bar for our young adults is to encourage them to take ownership of their faith. From the age of 12 and up, you can go to any Sunday School/Bible Study class in the church you desire. You can go with your parents to their class, or you can go to our “mentoring class.” The mentoring class is something we’ve taken from Titus 2, where Paul admonishes Titus to encourage the older to teach the younger. We have parents and other adults in the class along with our young adults. We don’t just have a room full of teenagers with one teacher trying to maintain order and keep everyone off their cell phones. No sir. We don’t have that problem. We’ve mixed adults with young adults. Isn’t that the way life is going to be. Since when do you work with peers who are all your same age or within 2-3 years of your same age? That’s not “REAL WORLD.”

So, we don’t spoon-feed our young adults. In fact we don’t even use the term “youth.” It has a negative connotation in many respects. So, “Young Adults” it is. Because that’s how we want them to see themselves. YOUNG ADULTS. So…get this…in the mentoring class they actually often teach the class. Yes, they are expected to learn the Scriptures well enough to teach them. Think about it. If they can do Algebra, Biology and Chemistry, they can certainly learn to teach from the Word of God.

So, back to “Survivor.” Annually, the mentoring class goes to this wonderful couple’s home on W. Kerr Scott Lake in Wilkesboro and the young adults have a blast competing against each other in bicycle races, swimming, canoeing and the like. But, here’s my favorite part…

Wayne Shepherd

See the man in the orange T-shirt? That’s Wayne Shepherd. He’s the teacher of the Mentoring class and he’s also the Principal of West Wilkes High School, where the majority of our young adults end up in high school. (We do have some at Wilkes Central High School and a few at North Wilkes High School and a bunch of homeschoolers.) Wayne has been leading the class in teaching from the books of Job, Ecclesiastes and even some of my Wednesday evening teaching on 1 Timothy. If they get the question right, they get a piece of candy and their team gets a point in the “Survivor” contest. Man are those young adults getting it and they are having fun in the meantime!

Survivor 2

Yes, learning the Bible is fun and you learn it best when you have to study, prepare and then teach it! You know that if you’ve ever taught a Sunday School lesson or a Bible Study.

Did you see those smiles? Yep…people are more important than things.

All the family comes…not just “youth.”

Photo

More great pictures:

See the man in the green hat? That’s Mark Eller. He is our host.

The ladies were on the “red team.”

Guys are on the “blue team.”

The ladies won the doughnut passing contest…

The two-legged, one-blind-folded race was super!

Race those canoes!!!

First team with all team members to the dock win!!!

Okay…here’s another example of the joy of people versus things. It comes by way of some scenes from our annual Deacon/Staff dinner at our home this past Saturday. We had such a blast. I am so blessed to serve with such wonderful people.

Deacon dinner

Deacon dinner 2

This is one of my favorite pictures. That’s Ken Bryan. He gave me permission to show you this picture.

Ken Bryan

He’s on a diet. Can you tell. His wife, Renee said, “Are you kidding me?” 🙂 He told Renee and me that there was fruit on his plate. I counted two strawberries and one cherry. 🙂 Did I tell you about my plate? I didn’t, did I? I don’t plan on it. 🙂

Guilty as charged!

We had close to 50 people at our house! So, we had some tables set up in our garage.

Survivor 3

Yes…I’ll say it again… People are more important than things.

I wrote a “Daily Devotion” this morning about this couple…

Kevin and Pam back in the day

Don’t recognize them?

Kevin and Pam at Atlantic Beach

Maybe you recognize this good looking couple? 🙂 So let’s review. The three things about life that you must remember:

#1 People are more important than things

#2 People are more important than things

#3 People are more important than things

By the way…just so you’ll know. I’m going hurricane dodging. It’s that time of year. It’s time to head to the coast with the most. We’re off to the beach this Saturday. So, I’ll be signing off for about a week. I’ll miss you. I hope you miss me and mine. 🙂

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How to Die-Equals-How to Live

Warning, by the time you are done reading this, you WILL need a tissue to wipe your eyes.

If you know me at all, you know how much I love this couple:

2012-02-19 001

That’s David and Becky Lynn Black and my family from a couple of years ago when the Blacks and Nigusse, our dear Ethiopian Brother who is studying at Southeastern Seminary and living with the Blacks.

I’ve told you about Becky Lynn on several occasions. Truth is: She is dying. She has uterine cancer and it won’t be long. Typing those words absolutely kills me. I love her dearly! She’s our Mama B as we call her! We are co-laborers in Christ together.

I want to share something with you that Dave has shared via his blog the last few days. I would entitle it “How to Die.” Morbid. It shouldn’t be. If the Lord Jesus doesn’t come back in the next 100 years, we are all going to die. So, I believe it’s good to see an example of the grace and dignity with which that is done.

Becky Lynn Black is showing that.

Let me show you via Dave’s blog posts over the past few days. Just follow along…

Got that tissue? Just a reminder.

It started a week ago today…

Thursday, September 5

5:42 PM Special prayer request, folks. Tomorrow evening at this time I hope to be having dinner with my bride of 37 years at Carrington’s Restaurant in the beautiful Berry Hill Plantation House (about 25 minutes from us). And yes, they are equipped to handle wheel chairs. Will Becky be strong enough for this, perhaps our final anniversary celebration on earth? Here’s where you come in. We are requesting an outpouring of prayer to our dear Father that Becky will be strong enough for an evening on the town. Just be forewarned that I am pulling out all the stops for this one. I can’t help remembering the anniversaries we celebrated in this very same restaurant, enjoying the best filet mignon this side of heaven (and yes, there will be filet mignon in heaven, guaranteed). Becky may be skin and bones and may not be able to get out of bed much these days, but I can already see in my mind’s eye a starry-eyed and gray-haired couple enjoying a scrumptious dinner in an antebellum home tomorrow night.

The reservations have been made, and the oxygen bottles are filled to the max.

We’re ready.

Please pray.

Friday, September 6

2:28 PM Becky, in the meantime, has taken her shower, her pain pill, and has picked out her dress for tonight’s extravaganza (it’s a navy blue one). Her mom and Karen are her co-conspirators. Hope she’s found her dancing shoes, cause tonight we’re gonna party!

Slow down, David, it’s not 4:30 yet.

Keep praying, folks!

7:25 PM Because of the mercy and grace of God …

… and your prayers. Glory to God! Doesn’t she look beautiful?

7:58 PM It’s so easy to forget to say thank you. So, before I turn in for the night, “Thank You.” Your prayers have challenged me to walk by faith and not by sight. Your emails have motivated me to dream big and act bigger. As I was bush hogging today, I was praying. Praying for the church in China, in India, in Iraq, in Iran, in Egypt. I was praying for my students past, present, and future, for my recently-graduated doctoral students who are teaching their first classes this month, for my incoming Ph.D. students who are about to embark on the experience of a lifetime. I was praying for family members, from children to grandchildren to in-laws to my precious wife. As I pleaded with God to allow Becky and me to go out tonight, something in me broke. There, as I sat on the tractor…

I prayed one of the strongest prayers I’ve ever prayed, and then I drove on, full of confidence that God would allow us this privilege, one last time. I rejoiced in this: that the God who knows where we were born is the exact same God who decides when and how we die. As Becky and I die — yes, we are both dying, I no less than she — as her ship sails to the far shore and leaves me behind on the near one, I am at peace. God has written the book of her life, not she. It was He who penned each and every page even before she was born to her missionary parents. And it is He who brought us together in a cafeteria line so very long ago and who was there in the car with us as we drove to the restaurant tonight. God is always the THERE ONE if we will only stop and look and listen and see Him.

Tonight was so incredibly awesome. Tonight God, in a form that looked strangely like my wife’s, took my hand and said, “I love you.”

Wednesday, September 11

9:36 AM We’ve already had our anniversary dinner at Berry Hill. So what to do today? Right now Matthea is getting Becky dressed for our hot date at 10:00 — a meeting with a Jacuzzi rep who will be giving us prices for a hot tub for our bathroom! The thinner Bec gets and the more pain she experiences will require “heat therapy.” Also, get this: We’re getting a new hospital bed with an air mattress cushion. So how’s that for not one but two anniversary presents in one day! Later today I’ll go to the funeral home to get pictures of B’s simple wooden casket. She wanted to see it before she went Home. Nigu and Karen have something up their sleeve but they are very hush-hush about it.

Wonderful day so far!

12:37 PM Here it is. How do you like it?

You say, “That sure looks simple!” That’s the point. This is referred to in the business as a “Jewish casket.” No metal, no nails, all dowels and unstained wood. Do we have the money for a fancy casket? Yes, Sirree, but not the interest. What possible kingdom purpose can be served by having frills around your dead body?

Thursday, September 12

8:22 AM Today marks the day after. The day after the most remarkable anniversary celebration I think we’ve ever had. It’s killing me that I wasn’t able to tell you about it last night, but Becky and I were exhausted after the evening’s festivities. Never was a couple treated more royally. As you know, Becky and I had been excommunicated from the south side of the house while the conspirators carried out their carefully planned plot. This included seeing that the delicious Waldorf Astoria cake (our favorite!) was ready to go.

Eventually the dinner bell was rung and out came the honeymooners. We were both in a goofy mood, so we began singing the “Wedding March” when all of a sudden our piano picked up the tune.

Does Karen play the piano? I asked myself. No, they had connived our church pianist into providing live piano music during our meal! Leanna played all of our favorite hymns and worship songs.

She was also very kind to accede to a request: “Above All” by Michael W. Smith. Thank you, Leanna, for providing just the perfect ambiance for our evening. Your music definitely needs to be recorded. Here you see our first course.

Karen and mom had thought of everything. Recalling our days living in Switzerland, they started us off with delicious fondue and fresh, crispy vegetables with a side of humus. Splendid! The only thing lacking in the fondue was the wine but, hey, we’re Baptists. The main course consisted of roasted veal and artichokes tenderly wrapped in bacon, and the dessert, as I said, was our most favoritist cake in the whole universe.

Becky and I just talked and reminisced and read the cards that had been laid on the table. We have shared life and soon we shall share death. I have never been more at peace, and I’ve never been more scared. But hey, how can you complain when Jesus is staring at you though the eyes of loved ones like these? There’s something so wonderful about our family. It defies my best efforts to describe them. And just when you think they’ve thought of everything, they bring out one more treat. Can you guess what it was? Chocolate-covered macadamia nuts from Hawaii, of course.

Becky and I immediately went into reenacting mode:

I offered her a nut (just as I did 40 years ago in the cafeteria line at Biola), and she accepted it (saying, “You don’t know this, but you’ve just met your future wife”). Then it happened. I could smell it all over it again. Because it smelled like youth, and it smelled like innocence.

My favorite movement of the evening was inviting Becky to take a drive with me. She had just enough energy left to make it down the front steps, so Nigusse pulled up the limo and off we went. Into the sunset, as they say.

You see, everything is okay. How can it be okay? The world we live in is so broken and so hurt and so full of pain. That’s true of your life, and it’s true of mine. But when you are served your favorite meal and your bestest dessert, when you are pampered and loved on, when you are surrounded by oozing affection, how can life not be okay?

Yes, it’s okay. Because there is life after death. There is hope and joy and love in the midst of the pain. No, not for everyone. But for those who have been touched by the Master’s hand, that’s all that matters.

Anywhere I am, whether in a hospital room with Becky or in a golf cart with my best girl, He is there too.

And so, my eyes are welled up with tears and there is a lump in my throat. But, I’ve got to tell you…thanks to Dave and Becky…I believe we’ve not only learned how to die…but we’re learning how to TRULY LIVE!

Thank you Dave and Mama B!

 

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Tonight is a big night… In just a little while, President Obama will address the nation about going to war with Syria. We need to continue to lift up our President and our nation.

In the light, I saw this past Saturday and heard rumors the President my “go to the people” to see if he could plead his case and win approval in Congress to strike Syria. So, I went to my computer at 3:15 pm this past Saturday afternoon and I pulled off the headlines at exactly the same time for CNN and Fox News. They are probably the top two news websites on the net.

CNN is typically left or leans to the liberal side of things, while Fox News is typically very conservative or leaning to the right. See if you can tell this by the headlines. Here’s CNN…

CNN 3:15 pm Saturday, Sept 7, 2013

THE SHOCKING VIDEOS LAWMAKERS SAW

Watch this video

A glimpse into evidence for intervention

Men sprawled on a tile floor, shirtless and convulsing. Children, too, seemingly unable to control their flailing. These are the images Obama has shown some senators in closed-door briefings. FULL STORY

Here’s the Fox News headlines…

White House Plans Full-Court Press To Sell Syria to War-Weary Public

See the difference?

CNN… “The Shocking Videos…” and “…Evidence for Intervention.”

Fox News… “Full-Court Press to Sell Syria to War-Weary Public.”

Can you see the “lean?” Can your children see the lean? I grow weary of the fact that some many Americans can no longer think for themselves. They believe what they are told or what they hear or what they read on the internet. Yet, I believe the Lord gave us a brain to think, not just to be entertained. Do you see the agendas that are before you? I do. Can you find the truth?

I continue to try to teach my children to look at the headlines and think for themselves. Hey mom and dad, do your children know what’s going on in Syria? Do they know what’s going on with our economy? I really believe we must make a concerted effort to teach and train our children to look, listen and learn when it comes to what’s happening in the world. So, I make my kids watch the news. Yes, you heard that right. I make them watch the news. They watch the NBC Nightly News (very liberal) and they watch Bill O’Reilly (moderate to conservative). Do we do this every night? Are you kidding? Who’s got the time? But, I do try to get them in front of the news at least a couple of times per week. I want them to know more about what’s going on than just what’s happening in Hollywood or pop culture.  I want them to be well-informed.

As I’ve mentioned before, we have a subscription to World Magazine. It’s excellent and it’s been very beneficial. I highly recommend it. It’s the news from a Christian angle. But, please understand me. I WANT my kids to hear the news from the liberals as well. Why? Because they will take what they are hearing and being taught from the Word of God and be able to juxtapose it with what they are hearing from this outlandish “news” outlets. In fact, I would tell you that most newspapers and new outlets DO NOT report the news anymore. They are nothing more than souped-up TMZ shows with all the news about Miley Cyrus and her latest antics. Since when is that newsworthy? Since when does Hollywood have a role to play in the news? Well, I guess “since when” we as a nation became so entertainment saturated. We have an insatiable appetite to be entertained. I think it helps us to bury our heads in the sand and escape for a while. So sad.

Speaking of watching stuff. The gadgets are everywhere. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. But, it’s how we use them (or how they are using us that concerns me :)). I’m honestly concerned about how much time our kids spend on those things. We’ve got to stay diligent about making sure that productive things are happening in our kids lives versus just “watching or playing” with screens. I think a good tradeoff is for every 30 minutes of screen time, there should be 30 minutes of reading. I promise you that reading will do our kids better than playing Angry Birds. 🙂

By the way, regarding “screen time,” do you want to know what I heard on Focus on the Family a couple of weeks ago on August 27 and 28 (listen to broadcasts here…)? The two-day series was called: “The Demise of Guys.” During the broadcasts, Jim Daly said one of the top problems in young marriages now is how much the young men are addicted to video games. In fact, Daly’s guests, counselors Arch Hart and Sylvia Hart Frejd talked about the impact technology is having on everyday family life. They said that in South Korea and Singapore there are now “Gaming Recovery Centers.” Can you believe that? Amazing!

What’s happening is that our sons are playing so many video games as teens that they carry this as an addiction into their 20’s and by their late 20’s and early 30’s (when the get married) into their married lives. Do you know what happens? They go to work, come home, eat and then get online with a “game-buddy.” It’s rampant.

The counselors shared how addictive gaming is and often our young men are addicted to pornography at a similar rate. They get to the point that they can’t function without their games and digital gadgets. It was intriguing to learn about how there is a hormone in our body called oxytocin. Gaming, gambling and porn release it at high levels. Here’s the problem. These young men then have no desire for their bride. They can’t experience pleasure in marriage. In other words, the “need for intimacy” is just not there. They work, eat and “game.” These teens and 20-somethings also find it difficult to relate to God and have spiritual intimacy with Christ. They often say that they don’t “feel connected” to God and there is a lack of joy in their lives. They bounce up and down emotionally like a yo-yo. 1 in 4 teens who “game” frequently say they are depressed.

The counselors also shared how cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone” is released in the body in abnormally high levels because of all this gaming. Normally, cortisol is present in the body at higher levels in the morning, and at its lowest at night.  Although stress isn’t the only reason that cortisol is secreted into the bloodstream, it has been termed the “stress hormone” because it’s also secreted in higher levels during the body’s “fight or flight” response to stress, and is responsible for many stress-related changes in the body. Bottom line. These young men are having a hard time relaxing. You remember that verse in Psalm 46 that says, “Be still and know that I am God…” Well, they can’t… “be still,” that is.
So, what’s the cure? Well, it’s the thing that they struggle with the most. They’ve got to train their bodies and minds to be still again. And get this. One of the ways to help in this process is singing. Yes, singing! Singing helps to calm the body and the mind. Singing boosts tranquility. And that makes total sense to me. If we will sit before the Lord and sing His praises, He will inhabit the praises of His people.
Can I admit how hard it is for me to be still? When I’m having my “quiet time” in the mornings, my mind is not very “quiet.” My mind begins racing as soon as I roll out of the bed and it doesn’t stop until I hit the sack. I have to force myself to be still. I have to make myself slow down and sit before the Lord. Why? Because I’ve got so much to do and so do you! We don’t have time to pray do we? We don’t have time to waste, right? Well, that’s the whispers of Satan and he sometimes gets me thinking his thoughts and not God’s. Does that ever happen to you? I bet it does. So, once again, it takes discipline to train our minds and our hearts and our spirits to SLOW DOWN. 🙂
Katy has written another great blog post. It’s titled: “When I Was Weak.” I know she’s my girl…but, she’s a good writer. See what you think. Here’s an excerpt:
“Nothing except for the pure nature surrounding me and God could see the innermost toil of my heart. The heart of a young wife, a big sister, an oldest daughter. A girl of a mere 19-years-old striving to remember that this is not her home – the earth isn’t even her home. Twisting my wedding band on my finger, I lifted my face to the blue sky and remembered that though I was only a speck on the foothills of the rolling mountains – only a single person in a world of billions; I was a precious gem in the hands of the King. I was bought at a great price. He gently promised never to let me go. His words were as soft at the wind through the tall oaks, yet, as solid as steel.
‘I am strong, dear child. You know I am.'”
It’s riveting… To read the rest, click here…

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Blessings…

Can I show you one of my blessings…

House

That’s my house. I showed a picture of our house the other day on one of my Daily Devotions and some emailed and said, “Hey, that’s cool…I wondered what your house looked like.” So, I thought, I’ll throw up the same pic on my blog. So, I’m blessed. Are you? Do you have a roof over your head? Clothes on your back and a closet full at home? Do you have food to eat? Do you have transportation? I bet you, like me, answer “Yes” to all of those questions. And you know what? That means were blessed.

I like the old song “Count Your Many Blessings.” You know it? Count your blessings. Count them one by one. Count your many blessings…see what God has done. Count your many blessings…name them one by one. I know it’s not Thanksgiving (but it will be here before you know it), but I’m thankful today.

I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful for the church I attend and all my brothers and sisters in Christ (our eternal family). I’m thankful for health. I’m thankful for the fact that Jesus loves me and I’m a joint-heir with Him. I’m thankful that my home is in heaven. I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit who bears witness with my spirit at this very moment. I’m blessed! I bet you are too!

Can I show you another blessing?

Bible

That’s my Bible.

Are you thankful for your Bible? The Bible? Boy, I am! Thank you Lord for a road map for our lives. We are not left as orphans or without directions. Here’s another picture…

1613 KJV

That’s a picture of a 1613 King James Bible. Did you know the English language was much different back then (almost 400 years ago)? Take a look at this description I saw in a museum in Jamestown.

English Language

The reason I share this with you is because of how the English looked in the original 1611 King James bible.

1611 Bible

Notice how it says at the bottom of the picture: “Imprinted At London…1611.” This Bible is commonly called the “Authorized Version.” Here’s a closer picture so you can see the words more clearly.

1611 Bible larger print

Try to read that. Go ahead. Try. First sentence:

Perchance he will not mind me. Get that? Watch out for those extra “e’s.” Second sentence.

“Here’s neither bush nor shrub to bear off…”

We’ll stop there. Why? Because it’s almost impossible to read. What kind of spelling variations can you expect to find between your present edition of the KJV and the 1611 printing? Well, you’ll find those additional “e’s,” which were often found at the end of the words such as feare, darke, and beare. Also, double vowels were much more common than they are today. You would find mee, bee, and mooued instead of me, be and moved. Double consonants were also much more common. What would ranne, euill,and ftarres be according to present-day spelling? See if you can figure them out. The present-day spellings would be: ran, evil and stars.

So if someone tells you that they read nothing but the King James 1611, they are not telling you the truth. They are reading a more modern-day translation. In fact, the most used edition of the King James Bible, (which is often identified as plainly the King James Version here in the United States), closely follows the standard text of 1769, edited by Benjamin Blayney at Oxford.

Again…you wouldn’t want to sit down and read this would you?

File:Kjv-hebrews.png

Makes me “bugged-eyed.” So, I’m thankful for my Bible. I’m thankful that we have translators who used the Dead Sea Scrolls and over 5,300 manuscript copies of the New Testament to bring us bibles that we can understand and read today. Aren’t you? We’re blessed!!

Well, we’ve got some tough decisions to make as a country don’t we? Go to war with Syria or not? What should we do? Boy, I’ve been wrestling with this in my mind. Have you? Should we go to war with Syria because they are gassing their people with chemicals? There are so many thoughts on this. In fact, there are great arguments on both sides. It’s controversial to say the least.

I did have this thought. I heard one commentator on the news say, “We don’t have a choice. They’re killing children and we’ve got to stop it.” I thought to myself, “Wow, if that’s the case, some other country needs to start bombing us.” Why? We kill children every day. Almost 4,000 daily through abortion. I think about 400 children have died in Syria. We’ve got 10 times that who will die today in America. Just something to think about as you ponder and pray. Pray for our Senate and Congress and for President Obama.

Barack Obama

As you know, I’m not a fan of Obama. I don’t like the fact that he does things like this in the Oval Office…

article image

Yes, I’m old fashioned and my momma told me not to put my feet on the furniture. I certainly think that would hold true in the Oval Office. It’s reported that Ronald Reagan never even took his coat off in the Oval Office.

Picture of Ronald Reagan sitting at his desk in the Oval Office.

But, nonetheless, I don’t envy President Obama’s tenuous position. He’s between a rock and a hard place. He didn’t ask for this. It goes with the territory of every president. So, we should pray for him. And may I hasten to say…knowing that a president will likely face these kinds of decisions (whether or not to put our men and women in harm’s way), we better make sure we elect the person with the most integrity, wisdom, knowledge and savvy as possible. I believe the role of “Commander-in-Chief” is perhaps the greatest role and responsibility of an American president.

We’re blessed dear reader! We are blessed to live as free people in this nation. But, we are NOT God’s chosen people (as a nation). God has no obligation to protect America…just because we are Americans. I don’t believe in American elitism or exceptionalism. God loves us all… He sent Jesus to die for the world. He loves Americans, yes…but, he’s not obligated to save America. So, we’re blessed to live in America. We are blessed to be free. But, I’m convinced we have been blessed as a nation because we have sought the Lord and we, as a people, believe in “one nation under God…” If we continue to turn our back on God, then all bets are off. We are fair game for any nation to come against us. If God allowed His chosen to be taken into captivity by Assyria and Babylon to teach them a lesson, then we are certainly fair game for that same lesson.

So, I’m blessed. You’re blessed. We’re blessed. Let’s praise the Lord! If you don’t know Him, seek Him. He will be found. Pray for our nation. Pray for our leaders. Pray for our president.  And while you are doing so…be thankful. 🙂

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