Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

This Thanksgiving season, there’s good news and there’s bad news and it may depend on your perspective. As you know, most of our founders came to this bountiful land to live in freedom from religious persecution, and their standards were based on the principles in the Holy Bible. And yet, here we are in 2018 – hanging on by a thread to the religious freedoms this nation has enjoyed – and has taken for granted. 

Though we’re seeing a toxic increase of hatred, we can be still thankful for our history – and especially for hope.

The very first Thanksgiving took place almost 400 years ago—long before the nation was even born. But prior to arriving on these shores, William Bradford, the founder of Plymouth colony settlement wrote:

“…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.”

God is a big part of our history and always has been. The United States Congress once issued an official Proclamation of Thanksgiving and Prayer on October 18, 1780, calling on Americans “to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread all over the Earth.”

Sadly, true American history has been edited or even deleted from public school text books. We have forgotten that the good news of Jesus Christ was once foundational to our liberties as well as our lives and as a result of our forgetting, the nation has gone from spiritual to secular. Proverbs 14:34 states:

“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 forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success, 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!

Lincoln was right. He implored the people to confess their sins, and to pray for forgiveness and God’s mercy on America.

Today, we are plagued by political correctness and moral relativism, lawlessness, people calling good evil and evil good, a loss of values, and the breakdown of social order. Moreover, Hollywood and the culture have a far greater influence on the church than the church has in and on our culture.

Signs of the times indicate this nation is in rapid decline, but how long do we really have? This is up for debate and speculation. But let’s consider some of the cultural, social, and spiritual symptoms common to nations that have fallen or have been destroyed:

  • Increasing rebellion against God
  • A loss of economic discipline
  • Greed; increased materialism
  • Rising government bureaucracy and taxes
  • Declining education in quality, morality, and in measurable results
  • Lack of respect for authority
  • Policies based on feelings over facts
  • The acceptance of foreign gods and empty religious practices
  • The promotion of sin and perversion
  • A decline in value of human life leading to abortion and euthanasia

Perhaps instead of asking God to bless America we should be asking Him to save us! Repentance must come first, and Christians must lead by example. If your heart is heavy reading some of this, know there is a God who loves you and wants you to turn back to Him.

If you tend to be on social media or look at the news a little too much, at government, public schools, the corporate world, the entertainment industry or culture in general, it can be quite discouraging. But if we look at all the things we each have personally and at this country in which we’re blessed to live, we can be thankful and we can take heart.

First, there’s always hope in the promises of God which the Bible describes as an anchor to our souls during storms in life. Second, if Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of your faith, your foundation won’t be shaken as it is built upon the Rock and you know all this is temporary.

Third, as imperfect as it is, we still live in one of the most amazing countries on earth. We have countless blessings, conveniences, and advantages as citizens of this beacon of freedom. Why do you think millions of less fortunate people dream about living in America? Many still risk their lives to come here.

And fourth, if you woke up today, opened your eyes and got out of bed; if you generally have your health, family in Christ, food on the table or in a refrigerator; if you have clean, running water, electricity, a house to live in, a car to drive, a job to go to and even some bills that are paid, you are abundantly blessed more than 75% of people in countries around the world.

I am particularly grateful for each day because by the grace of God, I had a successful heart operation in April of this year.

Every day we have so much to be thankful for, so let’s –

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever.Psalm 136:1

O God, restore us and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved. Psalm 80:3

America is in critical condition. Even casual observers can see a pattern of increasing hateful rhetoric toward conservatives, Republicans, and Christians in America. The media, outspoken Hollywood liberals, and leading Democrats have been stoking the flames of vulgarity for years now, and those who are not inciting the words and actions of the left sure aren’t speaking out against them.

News broke of an attack Wednesday against Republicans as a man who had volunteered for Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign shot and wounded Rep. Steve Scalise and four others in Alexandria, VA. Most-likely feeding off the poison in public rhetoric, Democrat James Hodgkinson, an anti-Trump activist was shot dead by Capitol Hill police as GOP members were practicing for an annual charity baseball game.

One congressman stated, “By the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back.” With many of the men trapped in a dugout, they would have been sitting ducks had the gunman made his way around from where he initially opened fire. Credit the heroic officers who exchanged fire with the gunman and were themselves injured.

This just a week after struggling comedienne, Kathy Griffin held up a severed head of President Donald Trump, days after a New York City Public Theater production of Shakespeare in the Park stabs a ‘Trump’ lookalike (Caesar) to death in a performance of ‘Julius Caesar,’ and days after Senator Bernie Sanders, in anger, suggested Christians that believe the Bible should not work for public office.

This just months after Madonna shouted to Women’s March feminists that since Trump was elected, “I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House…” There are actors speaking out, vile comedy ignored, and increased hateful rhetoric from the left on social media. College campuses are proven hotbeds of one-way progressive thought, intolerance, and discrimination against conservatives and others who disagree with them. The media campaign has been constant against Trump and Republicans.

Newt Gingrich responded to the shooting by calling it a tragedy attributed to “an increasing intensity of hostility on the left.” He said he talks to college students regularly who insist if they speak up for Trump, they get threatened, some even receive death threats. This is the America the divisive Obama administration cultivated on purpose.

“It’s part of a pattern,” Gingrich stated, “The intensity on the left is very real…” He mentioned the ‘Trump assassination play’ funded by Time Warner taxpayers, and that leading Democrats have resorted to vulgarity because they are so angry. I agree with him that the intensity has been building since election night.

It didn’t take long for haters to fill social media with typical reactions about how Scalise and Republicans deserve it, cheering the violence just like they did with Black Lives Matter. Iowa Rep. Steve King said, “many of us have been subjected to threats of violence” because people “can’t accept the results of the election.”

One Republican office received a threatening email with the subject line, “One down, 216 to go” indicating support for violence against the rest of the Republican representatives.

The message in the email was Republican’s “souls and morality have been lost” because the GOP opposes Obamacare, as do millions of Americans due to the cost and the healthcare mess it has caused insurance providers, hospitals, and doctors. The person said ‘good riddance’ and asked, “Did you NOT expect this?”

The Daily Caller reported a Tennessee woman attempted to run Rep. David Kustoff off the road after a town hall meeting, a pro-Trump college student assaulted and injured, and reminded people about the bombing of the GOP office in North Carolina.

To his credit, Bernie Sanders denounced the shooting by his supporter calling it a “despicable act.” The truth is progressives can denounce these acts all they want, but until their own actions and words against President Trump and Republicans change, along with their allies in the media, don’t expect this atmosphere to improve.

There have always been turbulent times politically, but it wasn’t this bad even during the anti-Bush years. But the left took it to a new level in the vicious attacks on vice presidential candidateSarah Palin in 2008.

Breitbart documented 15 examples of celebrities, actors, directors, and music stars, who have used violent rhetoric to attack and insult Trump, Republicans, and conservatives:

  • Robert De Nero said he wants to punch Trump in the face, called him a punk, a con, and a pig.
  • Snoop Dogg shoots Trump character in the head in a music video.
  • Stephen Colbert uses graphic and sexual language referring to the president, and in a skit, also put Trump aide, Stephen Miller’s head on a spike.
  • Avengersdirector, Joss Wheldon, wished an untimely end on House Speaker, Paul Ryan and on Twitter, said “I want a Rhino to f__k Ryan to death.”
  • Mickey Rourke threatened to beat Trump with a baseball bat.
  • Actress and lesbian, Lea DeLaria lashed out at “straight white America” and the 2016 election results calling to “take out every f__king Republican… I see.”
  • Former late-night host and Daily Show contributor, Larry Wilmore joked about suffocating Trump: “Somebody get me the pillow they used to kill Scalia, and I’ll do it!”
  • Leftist, Sarah Silverman suggested Trump be overthrown via military coup.

There are obviously hundreds more examples, especially quotes on social media that would be too tedious to gather here. When will reasonable people say, ‘enough?’ Can you imagine if similar actions and rhetoric were directed at President Obama or a leading Democrat?

The media would be all over it, calling for unity and demanding every Republican denounce every action and insult. The average citizen has grown weary of the fight, but we must not ignore it.

Can we have a civilized debate over politics, including gun laws, without the media and other radicals stoking the fire? I miss the old days when disagreement and political opposition did not mean you hated the other person or party. This is now a time of sustained hostility most of us believe will not get much better in a nation that has embraced moral relativism and abandoned God.

The only thing that will alter the course we’re on is if people turn back to God because only He can change the hate-filled, hardened hearts of sinners. This is why sharing the gospel is so important. All around us, people are without hope and hurting, and incident’s like today’s is a glaring reminder of how bad it has gotten.

Abraham Lincoln was right when he called for national fasting, prayer, and repentance because the people had forgotten God. That was 1863. Healing won’t come from Washington or Hollywood; it has to start with us.

As we approach the Fourth of July and celebrate our national independence, remember our blessings and freedoms, yes, but let’s acknowledge the fact America desperately needs revival. In all the chaos and noise, people are more in need of peace through the healing touch and salvation of Jesus Christ than ever before in our history.

God forgive us. God have mercy. God save America.

 

*Daily Mail photo