Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

An Open Letter to Iowa Republicans

Two of the greatest evils in the history of this country, perpetrated in this nation and by this nation, are slavery and abortion.  It took a Republican president named Abraham Lincoln to end slavery and I believe it will take a Republican president to end abortion.
Lincoln ended slavery through a war and a proclamation.  The man or woman who ends abortion in this nation will not do it that manner and I don’t want them to.  In fact, the president who ends abortion in this nation may not be president when that great day comes.
If we’ve learned anything over the last decade we’ve learned that the most powerful branch of government is not the legislative or the executive… it is the judicial.  We need Anti-Abortion justices in the Supreme Court.  President George W. Bush gave us Chief Justice Roberts.  Our next president will likely give us three more justices.
Pro-Abortionist judge Ruth Bader-Ginsberg will be 87 years-old when the next president’s first term ends. Justice Antonin Scalia will be almost 85 at that time.  Anthony Kennedy will be 84 years-old and he says he believes precedence should keep Roe v. Wade from ever being overturned. Stephen Breyer will be will be 82 and he not only supports abortion, but supported the unbelievably brutal practice of partial-birth abortion.
The next president should be one who is strongly anti-abortion.  One who will appoint a justice that will follow common sense morality and rule in favor of life if and when another case against on-demand abortion is brought before our highest court. 
From what the candidates have said most are anti-abortion.  But the front-runner Donald Trump has been pro-abortion until recently when he began courting our vote.  I for one am sick of being used.  I’m sick of candidates saying they’re against the horrors of abortion and not doing a thing about it.  I don’t want to be used again.
So, consider caucus night (Monday, Feb 1) what man or woman you want appointing Supreme Court justices.

This is not a one issue election, but imagine what history would say if this one issue was corrected.  Can anyone else tell me the other issues of the election of 1860?

* I normally don't do political posts, but I felt the need to because I am an Iowan and we play such an important role in our political process.
* I say a Republican is the answer for two reasons. 1) this is an open letter to Republicans and 2) the Democratic party as part of its party platform is pro-choice 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Prayer for Someone

There are times when we just don't know how to pray for someone.  We feel that we need to pray for them, but we have no idea what to pray.

The other day I was reading a psalm that is a perfect to pray when for someone when you don't know what to pray.

"May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May He send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
May He remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
May He give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.

Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed;
He answers him from His holy heaven
with the saving power of His right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm."
Psalm 20:1-8

From this psalm here are a few things you could pray for someone when you don't know what to pray.  This list is by no means exhaustive.

1) "May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you."

2) "May He send you help."

3) "May He remember all your sacrifices."

4) "May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed."

5) May you "trust in the name of the LORD our God."

6) May you "rise up and stand firm."

These six items from this psalm are fantastic things to pray for someone in your life.  Who doesn't need help from God?  Who hasn't made sacrifices and wondered if God would honor them?  Who doesn't have a strong desire in their heart?  Who doesn't want their plans to be successful?  Who doesn't have days where they struggle to trust God?  Who doesn't need help standing firm in their faith?

So, join with me in praying this psalm for someone.  Pick anyone you want and pray this for them.  Pray this for them and then let them know that you prayed Psalm 20 for them and I will bet that they are encouraged to know that you prayed such a powerful prayer for them today.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Let Them Hate a Piece


He was sure the doctor kept talking after that word, but that's the last word that mattered to him.


The doctor's lips continued to move, but he was sure that all Mr. M.D. was saying was "So, you're going to die and you better get ready for that."  Again, he didn't listen to what the doctor was saying after the big "C-bomb" was dropped earlier.

As he drove home he reviewed everything in his life he was sure to lose.  Family, friends, his life's work... everything.

The house was empty when he arrived home.  So, he grabbed his old King James Version of the Bible and randomly flipped it open.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purposes." Romans 8:28

"Ha!  Funny God... NOT!"

How was this working for his good?  How was cancer something good from a loving God?  This couldn't be.

His family was coming home in a few hours and he couldn't think of anything to do but go outside and scream, but for some reason he kept sitting and thinking about that verse.  The verse continued to roll around and around for hours until he heard the garage door open.

"Dad, how'd your appointment go?  Did they figure out why your headaches are so bad?"

"Guys sit down.  I have some big news."

"You're not pregnant, are you?"  His oldest quipped.

"No, I'm serious, we've got to talk.  The doctor said it's cancer."

Tears immediately began running down the faces of his kids and his wife just looked stunned, empty.

"I'm not going to lie, I'm scared.  I'm angry at God and I'm scared I'm going to lose you and I'm terrified of the treatments and I just don't know what to do."

Then he read, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purposes."

"Guys, I don't know why God is doing this to me, but I have to believe that because I'm His child all things work together for good.  See, I hate this piece, I hate it to its core right now, but I trust that the puzzle will be perfect.  I wish this piece wasn't part of the puzzle, but the only thing I have left is to trust the puzzle-maker.  I have to hold on to faith that all things aren't good but that all things work together to create an end product that is."

Tears continued to stream down the kids faces and now he and his wife were a mess as well.

"Please guys, let me hate this piece but help me love and trust the puzzle-maker because I can't do it alone."

This short story isn't based on a personal situation or one that I know exactly.  But we've all seen or been involved in similar stories.  We sometimes hate the individual pieces of the puzzle.  We hate the war, famine, disease, discord.  We can't understand why God allows such bad things to happen to those He's called His children; but we have to in faith be able to hate the situation and still trust that God is sovereign and working all things together for our good and His glory.

Let yourself and others feel free to hate the piece but still trust that the puzzle or tapestry will be beautiful, today.

Friday, January 1, 2016

God's Resolutions

Did you make a New Year's Resolution?  I usually don't but I think they're very good.  People make resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, spend more time with family, read the Bible more, cuss less, etc and all of this is good.  New Year's Resolutions are normally good things.

Did you know that only 8% of New Year's Resolutions are successfully achieved?

That's not good news but I have good news.  God has made resolutions and He keeps every one of them.

God resolves to do many things for you and He will accomplish it.  In fact, one of the names we use for God highlights this.  Yahweh is the most precious name for God that the Jews have and outside of Jesus it is the most sacred name of God that Christians have, too.  Yahweh means "I Am".  This is the name that our God used when He made covenants (otherwise known as resolutions) with us.  Yahweh is the God of the covenant.  Now, God is called many other things, El Shaddai (God Almighty), El Olam (God Everlasting), El Roi (the God Who Sees), Adonai (Lord), but it's Yahweh that is most precious because of the promises associated with that name.  In fact, when you read our English Bible and see LORD in all caps that is Yahweh the God who has made a covenant with us.

God is called Yahweh because He made a covenant with us.  God resolved to do something for us, but how can we be sure that He will keep His resolution when we only keep ours 8% of the time?

"Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath.  God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."  Hebrews 6:17-19a

It is impossible for God to lie so we know 100% of the time that He keeps His resolutions!

This is part of what makes Christianity so amazing.  There are scores of religions in which people resolve to do something for a god.  Christianity says that God has resolved to do something for us.  If our hope was contingent upon us keeping a promise to God then we have a huge problem, just look at the 8% stat at the top of this page.  Since our hope rests upon God keeping His promises to us we have every reason to own a sure hope.  This sets Christianity apart from every religion.

Today make a resolution and try your best to keep it.  Go to the gym more, eat more carrots, read more books.  Above all remember that if you are a Christian, one who has "fled to take hold of the hope offered us", God has made resolutions that He will keep, guaranteed.  Hold on to that hope firm and secure today.