Archive for November, 2016

thanksgiving-image“[It is] announced in Holy Scripture and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord… It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.” Abraham Lincoln

It was President Abraham Lincoln who signed an act in 1863 passed by Congress for Thanksgiving Day to be recognized on the last Thursday of November. We’ve come so far and yet there is so much we continue to take for granted.

Battling the elements and the challenges of living in a new land, the Pilgrims made many more graves than huts, and yet these brave pioneers thanked Almighty God by setting aside a day of Thanksgiving! This is the American spirit; the same spirit that led brave men and women to leave England in pursuit of a land where they could worship the Lord Jesus Christ without restriction.

It is in this spirit of faith that the first Governor of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford wrote:

“Being thus arrived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, againe to set their feete on the firme and stable earth … Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honor of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony.”

The Bible teaches us to give thanks in every circumstance and when times are tough, we know the testing of our faith produces endurance. Most of us can’t fathom what the early pioneers had to go through to gain the independence we take for granted today. Thanksgiving was originally a celebration of the harvest among the British colonists who came to America.

Then on January 1, 1795, President George Washington signed a “National Thanksgiving Proclamation,” stating:

“Our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced.”

Sixty years later, in addition to the desire to see all Americans acknowledge God and give thanks, Abraham Lincoln also recognized what he believed was God’s hand of judgment on America “for our national perverseness and disobedience.” People were falling away from God, the Civil War was taking American lives and dividing the people, and Lincoln declared the first national day of fasting and repentance. In the April, 1863 proclamation, he stated:

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and pros­perity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. …We have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeem­ing and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

Great men seek the help of a much greater God in times of need. I wonder what Lincoln would say today.

In 2016, Americans seem angrier and less loving, more demanding and less patient, more entitled and less willing to work, more greedy and less grateful, more selfish and less Christian.

But God never changes and He is not surprised that we’ve fallen away from Him by choosing culture over Christ, and the creature over the Creator (Romans 1:25). We love this life a bit too much and have conformed to the world instead of being changed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). We have become so busy, distracted, and stressed about things having little lasting value that we have lost our eternal perspective.

What’s the best way to regain a healthy perspective, a calm sense of hope, and a fresh thought process? Get in God’s Word.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7

We have steadily abandoned the morals and principles that once made us great. Those who oppose God have assaulted the American family, threatened religious freedom, attacked Christians, rewritten our history, and have eroded the foundations of our liberty. Because of our own silence and apathy combined with these anti-Christian agendas, we are reaping the consequences as a church and nation.

What’s it going to take for America to be humbled and repent? Christians must be brought to our knees.

How do we cultivate hearts of gratitude toward God and understand how good He has been to us? Remember the Gospel. In His goodness, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to sacrifice Himself so that whoever believes Him and receives this precious gift can be forgiven of their sins. These sins once separated us from a holy, loving God, but now we’ve been brought near to Him by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13)!

We have so much to be thankful for in America. Look around the world and it won’t take long to recognize despite our flaws and apathy, we do live in an exceptional country thanks to the faith of our founders and their vision for this nation.

America has done more for the world’s stability and for people in need than any nation on earth. Overall, we are a generous, compassionate people. Through the years, American churches and charities have provided practical help to countless souls world-wide and in our short history, the gospel of Jesus Christ has reached millions. The spiritual needs of humanity is far greater than any other.

So, knowing he has you and I here for His purposes at this very time in history, let’s remember the God we have taken for granted.

Thanksgiving isn’t a time to be busy and overly distracted with planning, eating, shopping, or feeling obligated; it’s a time to lift our hands in humility to the One who holds our every breath and heartbeat. God is faithful and He promises to provide all our needs (Phil. 4:13).

It is also a time to analyze and evaluate our priorities and get right with God if we have personally strayed from Him. It is a time to encourage others to cry out to the Lord for mercy and to save America from self-destruction.

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Let’s get back to the basics of faith, family, and freedom; back to loving King [Jesus] and Country. Ours is a beautiful land and we have much to be thankful for including those who have sacrificed for the freedoms we now enjoy.

“O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife. Who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life! America! America! God shed his grace on Thee …”

May His amazing grace lead us to repentance. If Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, then our perspective can be one of gratitude no matter what is happening around us. Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever; …But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Psalm 106:1, 1 Cor. 15:57

Click here to read the Cost of Our Silence or see the 5-star reviews on Amazon!

 

Advertisements

trump-with-reporters-wndAmericans are fed up and tired of being insulted by condescending elites on the Left. It is no surprise trust in the mainstream media is at all-time lows with less than 30 percent of people buying what reporters are selling as “news.”

We’re on to them; the numbers do not lie, and the recent presidential election results should reinforce how the liberal media’s (indirect campaign) bias against Donald Trump and support for Hillary Clinton backfired.

A new Media Research Center (MRC) poll shows a high number of voters rejected Democratic media bias and that by a 3-to-1 margin, the public saw media bias favoring Clinton.

Here are a few of the findings:

  •   7 in 10 (69%) voters do not believe the news media are honest and truthful.
  •   8 in 10 (78%) of voters believe the news coverage of the presidential campaign was biased, with nearly a 3-to-1 majority believing the media were for Clinton (59%) vs. for Trump (21%).
  •   Even 1/3 (32%) of Clinton voters believe the media were “pro-Clinton.”

Media Research Center (MRC)’s Brent Bozell said:

In 30 years, I’ve never seen anything like this. The media are in full panic mode because the American people rejected their leftist agenda — and them… There is an institutional bias at major media networks that must be repaired and I am highly skeptical that news executives are interested or capable of undertaking this responsibility.

When major news outlets appear to be admitting the obvious, you know it has to be bad! This from the failing New York Times:

After such an erratic and unpredictable election, there are inevitable questions about Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality and did that lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?

Just days after the election, Joe Concha at The Hill reviewed the NYT’s website to see if there was any evidence that they learned a lesson and wrote:

“… When it’s impossible to find one headline out of 19 on the [New York Times‘] homepage that can be deemed positive [about Trump], that shows without ambiguity the Times has no plans to be remotely balanced any time soon.”

We shouldn’t expect the media to get back to the basics and do what America’s founders created it to do because the general public knows it is too far gone at this point. They have given in to ideology over truth. Most of us already know the answers to the following questions, but they still must be asked:

Do the elite media monitor the power of the United States government regardless of whether there is a Republican or Democrat in the White House?

Do they report on subjects such as abortion, sanctuary cities, same-sex marriage, Muslim immigration, the national debt, Planned Parenthood funding, or welfare with no bias?

When it comes to corruption and investigations, do they treat conservatives differently than they do liberals?

Do you think some in the major media simply omit stories if the facts don’t support their narrative?

And finally, how do the media handle political campaigns and elections? Reporting hasn’t been the same since media liberals ganged up with Hollywood and the Left to obliterate Sarah Palin and exalt Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign.

FLASHBACK: Eight years ago, I wrote extensively on the presidential campaign cycle and tried raising more awareness so people would do their own research in the future and see the glaring hypocrisy and double-standards of the Left:

People tend to believe half-truths or lies, if they are repeated often enough. What happened in 2008 should be taught in journalism classes and should go down as the final nail in the coffin of media objectiv­ity. The character assassination, personal attacks, and brutal political assault on former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin should never have been allowed to happen. I’ve never seen so much hatred toward one person trumpeted by the media.

It should be something fair-minded Ameri­cans won’t soon forget.

Here’s some quick history we have forgotten -Post-election polls from 2008:

  •  Rasmussen: By 10-to-1 Margin, Public Says Reporters ‘Tried to Hurt Palin’
  •  By Nearly 8-to-1, Voters Say Journalists Wanted Obama to Win
  •  By 5-to-1 Public Thinks Most Journalists Tried to Elect Obama

As if we needed more evidence, journalists overwhelmingly donate money to Democrats over Republicans and in terms of dollars given, it was a 15-to1 ratio. What about employees of big media companies?  Their campaign donation ratio is 100-to-1 favoring Democrats. Surprised?

As Christians and true conservatives, though we know the Bible is the ultimate truth, we should be no less concerned about truth in our country, culture, and media. Sadly, the media doesn’t even try hiding their bias anymore. The fact that the Christian worldview is not popular in today’s society shouldn’t be surprising to us, but we are American citizens and we deserve to know the facts and the truth about government and issues that affect us.

In order to determine if there’s much hope for a turnaround, let’s first look at a few basic Principles of Journalism:

  1. Journalism’s first obligation is to tell the truth
  2. Its first loyalty is to citizens
  3. Its essence is a discipline of verification
  4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover
  5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power

Richard Sambrook, a Journalism Professor at Cardiff University wrote about this and analyzed why the media got the election so wrong:

The lure of celebrity status has taken too many journalists into the arms of those they should be challenging. True independence – political, corporate, cultural – is rare and hard to achieve. It is to be prized for that reason.

Big media is now part of the political/celebrity bubble and tends to forget that journalism as originally defined is meant to be an “outsider” activity. As Shambrook put it – “outside the halls of power, but not outside the communities it serves.”

Another glaring issue is the fact many sycophants in major news organizations hang out with those they should be holding accountable. We’ve seen this occur in the cozy relationship elite liberal reporters have enjoyed with the Obama administration.

Then there’s the issue of tense corporate competition which often leads media to rush to be the first to break a story rather than getting all the facts right.

The current unbalanced news environment has caused a massive increase of activity on social media in part because people tend to trust friends and family over today’s clearly biased media.

One of the glaring double standards was exposed by TMZ which reported that sources say many NBC executives have open disdain for Trump.

The network planned to roll out the [Trump sex comments] tape 48 hours before the debate with Hillary Clinton so the outrage would dominate the news cycle. NBC’s “sex talk tape” generated nearly two hours of news coverage about Trump.

(In contrast, the MRC reported the fact that when Paula Jones held a press conference about Bill Clinton sexually harassing her, that he dropped his pants in front of her and told her to ____ – ___, the liberal media gave the story exactly 16 seconds.)

After the media’s burying reports on Benghazi, classified emails, and Clinton Foundation scandals, the media tried keeping a lid on the Wikileaks revelations but it may have been too much. Plus, many people still don’t know that DNC Chairman and CNN contributor Donna Brazile gave presidential debate questions to the Clinton campaign. Also, according to MRC’s The Watchdog:

New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich allowed Clinton Communications Director Jen Palmieri to pick and choose which quotes she would like him to use in a July article, and which to bury. Palmieri emailed Leibovich, “Let me know if that is not clear. Working from an iPhone on the plane so am not able to access the transcript to cut and paste.”

A senior Clinton campaign official editing NYT  “news” stories about the campaign?

Wow.

The insurmountable problems with this level of bias however, go even beyond basic elitism and disdain for those who hold opposing views. They stem from an intolerant, anti-Christian worldview cultivated through years of godless indoctrination in an education system and culture that has become hostile toward conservatives and people of faith.

The solution is a spiritual one because the underlying problem affecting us all is sin. The heart of man is prideful, selfish, and wicked and only God can change hearts and worldviews. Jesus is the Truth, and truth is definitely needed in our nation more than ever.

Romans 6:23 states:

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The mainstream media’s agenda was again exposed, and so was the media’s disconnect from the American public. As a result, more and more of us who are “connected” on social media are choosing to research and get most of our news elsewhere.

To see original post and ten related links and articles, click here.

*Photo credits: the New York Observer and WND News

 

god-sovereign-trump-election

I believe it’s safe to say God intervened in this presidential election. How else can you explain what happened? We cannot however, claim to understand what God has in mind.

The bitter, divisive election is over and the American media put up a good fight over the last several months. In fact, 91 percent of the media coverage on Donald Trump was negative. Fortunately, the people decided the outcome and chose not to believe the liberal media which intentionally gave the impression Trump was down for the count and Clinton would coast through election night to her acceptance speech while the crowds cheered.

Not exactly how it played out. It would seem insane to nominate two of the worst potential candidates with the highest negatives in election history to run for president, but we did just that!

The 2016 election cycle was bizarre, historic, and often hard to watch, but Washington outsider, Donald Trump was chosen by the American people to be the 45th president of the United States.

That number 45 is interesting. According to Bible prophecy in Isaiah 45, God anointed and raised up a pagan king, Cyrus, to stand for Israel and work on behalf of His people. I am not necessarily saying Trump is a modern day Cyrus, but God will use whomever He will to accomplish His purposes.

In the book of Daniel, the Scripture reads:

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals hidden things…” Daniel 2:20-22

If we really do believe God and know He is sovereign over all events and circumstances, we should ask for wisdom for the days ahead. And please don’t relax and think the work is done and we’ll be fine for four years. My main concern after this election is that Christians and conservatives will get comfortable or complacent.

The truth is God has given us a bit more time to repent, revive, and return to being about the Lord’s business.

Even though the election is over, there are many uncertainties still ahead for America, the Christian church, and our freedoms. We know however, that we can trust a known and faithful God with an unknown future.

We also know enemies of God will not relent on their evil agendas and true Christians must not rest. The Left has made tremendous progress in the last eight years under the leadership of President Obama, and much damage has been done to the character, moral fiber, and foundation of America.

The nation has been fundamentally transformed into a nation tolerant of sin and accepting of radical changes including the advancement of the LGBT agenda, the weakening of the American family, economy, and military.

The Obama administration has not been a strong supporter of Israel and even tried impacting their election last year. The media there did not give Netanyahu a chance to win reelection and had him down six points in the polls, but we all know how that turned out. Scripture teaches that God will either bless or judge nations for their treatment of His people.

The concerns Mr. Trump and his administration will be facing are daunting and numerous:

The national debt which Obama has more than doubled since taking office, the threat of ISIS and Islamic terrorism, the lack of respect world leaders now have for America including Russia and China, and the awful Iran nuclear deal practically insuring an attack on Israel.

A record number of Americans are on welfare and an unprecedented 94 million are not even in the workforce. The current president has done his best to divide the country along racial, religious, and political lines, healthcare costs have skyrocketed, and religious freedoms have been under attack as never before.

God will either have mercy on us by delaying His judgment or He will allow us to continue following the path of the lukewarm Laodicean Church of Revelation 3. For now, let’s not take for granted the short time and freedom we have in Christ and country. This is not a reprieve we’ve been given by this election; we need to wake up and speak up, taking a stand for godliness and righteousness.

Though we can’t be certain if God has been working in Donald Trump’s heart, we do know Vice President Elect, Mike Pence is a godly man. There are pastors and other people of faith in his circle of influence so we’ll see what happens. Let’s pray and expect the best.

Will Trump make good on his promises? Will the Republican majority do what the people elected them to do? No one knows for sure.

But no matter what happened on election night or no matter what will happen in the weeks and months ahead, we know God either causes or allows leaders to be put in place.

At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin wrote to George Washington:

I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it…”

Donald Trump had to plenty to overcome such as his own flaws and habits, years of baggage, strong, viable candidates such as Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Walker, Paul, Bush, Fiorina, Santorum, and others. He bested the Clinton machine and a complicit media that campaigned against him, George Soros’ money, manufactured protests, and skewed polls, the “Never Trump” camp, as well as biased and dishonest debate moderators. The odds seemed insurmountable.

It had to be God.

Elections however, do not change our calling and purpose in Christ. So, since these are the last days, it’s up to us to have a renewed sense of urgency and watch, work, hope and pray as never before.