Supreme Court Protects and Dishonors Cross

on 4/28/2010

Today, April 28, 2010, the United States Supreme Court ruled on a case concerning a large cross that sits on federal land. The Veterans of Foreign Wars first erected the cross in 1934 to memorialize the fallen soldiers of World War I. I will not bore you with a lengthy legal analysis. They did not rule that it can stay forever. In a 19 page opinion Justice Kennedy basically said it can stay for now, pending potential further review of other laws by a lower court.

You would probably need legal training to completely understand the rationale in Justice Kennedy’s opinion. But you would only need an ounce of common sense to quickly see the whole situation is ridiculous and pathetic and (I believe) deplorable before God. Do not be fooled. If the ACLU has their way they will go one by one through every piece of public land and tear out anything that even remotely appears religious. Today they lost, but not big.

I find the opinion by Justice Kennedy, which allows the cross to remain, most disheartening. I would prefer him to say, “Christianity is the only true religion and we hope our fallen go to Heaven and because of that hope we place a cross in their honor. Now shut up and go find a real job.” But of course he won’t say that. How about, “That monument has stood for over 75 years, it reflects the religious views of millions of Americans, and the government can put a cross on public land if it wants to.” He won’t say that either.

Justice Kennedy needs 19 pages because he must work within the horrible legal framework concerning such issues. He has to meander through standing, other acts of congress, and hypothetical reasonable observers. He ends by essentially deciding the case on procedural issues alone. In short, because Congress passed a law trading for value the land to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and therefore getting the monument off of federal land, that law must be completely reviewed by the lower court. Until that review takes place, and the law determined to violate the Constitution, the cross can stay.

Now let’s discuss the most terrible part. Justice Kennedy, in defending the cross, says:

“[A] Latin cross is not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs. It is a symbol often used to honor and respect those whose heroic acts, noble contributions, and patient striving help secure an honored place in history for this Nation and its people. Here, one Latin cross in the desert evokes far more than religion. It evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles, battles whose tragedies are compounded if the fallen are forgotten.”

Well thank you for protecting our cross Justice Kennedy. To keep the cross in place Justice Kennedy works to completely remove its true meaning and religious significance. I’m not saying he wants to do that (I have no idea about his religious beliefs). But he has to because he wants to protect it.

In this country, to display or protect anything on public land we have to strip it (as much as possible) of its religious significance. The less religion the better, and the safer.

Don’t you see? The ACLU and other anti-religion forces have already won this war. The establishment of this analytical framework was the victory. Every single religious symbol on public land must be shown to have other predominate significance, and to have been erected for a secular purpose. Even the judges who want the crosses to stay argue along those lines.

Justice Kennedy, today’s champion of the cross, had to emphasize its secular meanings. Now the cross is a memorial for thousands of other graves and countless heroic acts. I thought it was a memorial for one heroic act and one other grave. I thought we put the cross on graves because of the One Who conquered death, hell and the grave. I thought we put the cross on graves to symbolize that because Jesus died we can live. I guess not.

It’s terrible, terrible, terrible. President Obama talked about fundamentally changing this Nation, and I think that’s exactly what we need to do. I’m not sure I’m in for all of his ideas about change, but I have a few of my own. We need to completely redefine our sacred separation of church and state. We need to change it and get rid of it. If you really believe in Christianity then you should really want your government to support it. Don’t worry about the potential negatives, focus on the unimaginable positives. When our Nation starts honoring the One True God then God will honor our Nation. If our Nation continues despising Christianity then our Nation will become contemptible to God (1 Samuel 2:30).

Frankly, I can’t stand it when Christians support the separation of church and state when promoting the removal of Christianity from the public sphere. Can you tell me right now God approves of that or God wants that? That is insanity! God wants His Word and His Name glorified in all the world, and definitely the USA.

Proverbs 23 says, “Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless: For their Redeemer is mighty; He shall plead their cause with thee.”

To those who seek the complete removal of Christianity from everything public - Our Nation has, on public land, many landmarks of religious significance containing religious symbols. You might remove them, but God will fight with you because of them. They have a Redeemer, One Who loves them and honors them. When you dishonor our Nation’s Christian heritage, and the related monuments, you dishonor God. Be careful you do not fight against God.

It’s time we honor God and what God honors. It’s time we promote Christianity in all facets of life. God will plead our cause with us. It’s time we pray for God to be glorified in this Nation. It’s time we establish a new legal framework and set up new monuments, for our children and theirs. It’s time the USA officially honors God and His religion.

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Born To Do

on 4/23/2010

Today is my birthday. I am 29 years old and I'm fine with that. I recently lost my job, and I'm fine with that too. I have been studying God's plan for my life, and I’m more excited about the future than ever before. I am so excited about God's Word and its promise that God has a plan for me. I know many of us have difficult situations now, but read this and begin studying God's Word for yourself. I know you'll develop a fearlessness and confidence in God that will help you boldly move into your next season.

Now we all know people who talk all day long about God's wonderful plan for your life. People especially discuss this when trying to win the lost. But where does it say that God has a wonderful plan for my life? Is that in the Bible, or do people just want to believe it? I would hear people say that and want to believe them, but I never saw it for myself until I really began looking. I'll tell you right now, and you can take it to the bank, God has a wonderful plan for your life. God has plans to fulfill every part of your being, plans to promote and increase you, and plans for you to live out all your Godly dreams, even ones you don't have yet.

In Jeremiah 29:11 God says, “I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” Praise God. Right there we see that God has plans for us. God’s plans for us don’t involve sickness or pain or suffering. God’s plans for us contain welfare and peace. You know the devil has plans for you to, plans for death and destruction. And despite whether you want to believe it, you’re either on one plan or the other. You are either in God’s plan for your life or the devil’s, for the first part of the devil’s plan is keeping you out of God’s plan. For the devil’s plan you can do anything you want, as long as it’s not God’s plan.

Now let’s get specific. I believe God has a good plan for me, but what does that entail? Well check out Ephesians 2:10, which says that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. Do you see that? Do you grasp what it plainly says? Don’t get deep with it. God says that He created us in Christ Jesus for specific good works, works which He prepared beforehand for us.

God Himself has planned specific good works for me to do. God’s plan for my life involves me accomplishing one good work and moving onto the next. I’m not sure where they will take me or who they involve, but God knows all the details. I am God’s workmanship and so are you! God has crafted and formed us, right down to our physical bodies, and He formed us for specific good works which He had in mind before we were ever born. Isn’t that awesome and amazing?

I believe God has numerous and various good works for us. I believe some are long term (a few years at a certain church) and some are short term (blessing an impoverished person with groceries today). I believe that God’s plan for our lives ensures excitement, fulfillment and fun each and every day. I promise you that once you do one good work on God’s list, when you realize it was by Him and for Him and in Him, you will experience a new feeling. When you know that the Creator of the universe has worked with you to accomplish something, even something small, your heart experiences a joy it knew not before. You will hunger for that feeling and long to find every good work He planned for you.

I could leave it right there and call this complete, but I just want to share a few more wonderful truths on this subject. 2 Timothy 1:9 – “Be thou partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel according to the power of God; Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”

God called me with a holy calling, not according to my works, but according to HIS purpose and grace. God didn’t look at my bad acts and give me some measly calling. God didn’t look at my sins and assign me to the doldrums of Christian service. God called me according to His purpose, and His grace. God created and fashioned me for specific good works, according to His purpose and His grace. I was created and assigned good works before I ever committed a sin. Yes I faltered, but now I can get right on the path God has for me. The verse literally says that God gave me His purpose and His grace before the world began.

God was thinking of me even before the world began. I didn’t say it, the Bible does. I tell you what, that makes me feel a way I can’t put into words. I love God and He loves me, and despite my past God still wants me in His service to do His works. God gave me grace before the world began, and praise God I’ve still got it now. Another verse on this subject is Romans 11:29, which says that God doesn’t repent for or take back the gifts and calling that He once gave us. We might not fulfill them or walk in them, but God doesn’t revoke them.

I want to share one final passage – “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strives with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to Him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?” Sometimes we are tempted to strive with our Maker. God might want us to do something that we, in our flesh, don’t want to do. But we must realize that God made us. God fashioned us for specific works. So whatever God wants me to do, He made me for it and empowers me to do it. I was born to do all the works God wants me to do.

Sometimes God’s assigned works for us don’t make sense to our minds. Right now I’m looking for a new job. Whatever job God has for me, and I know He has a specific one, I am ready for it. If God wants me to bake pizzas all day, God created me for it and I was born to do it. If God wants me to fly airplanes, God created me for it and I was born to do it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Whatever God tells you to do, trust that you were formed and born to do it, and God will empower you to accomplish His purpose in your life.

God has a good plan for your life which includes welfare, peace, and no evil. Draw closer to God today, listen to the Holy Spirit, Who reveals everything God has planned for us (1 Corinthians 2:9,10). Once you submit to your Maker, and work together with the Creator of all, you will experience a joy and fulfillment you never knew. God bless you, and go do the exploits God made you to do!

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Love a Child

on 4/11/2010

When that terrible earthquake hit Haiti my wife and I knew we needed to make a donation to help the hurting people. Remember that the Bible says we are to visit widows and orphans in their affliction. Feeling inundated with charity solicitations, we finally settled on Love a Child, for we saw it recommended by Joyce Meyer Ministries. We made a modest donation and were placed on their mailing list. Recently I read one of their letters.  I want to do more and I ask you to do the same. 

The earthquake in Haiti came and went for us. We saw the news, felt terrible, prayed, and gave a little money. Then it left the news and our minds. But the people in Haiti soldier on, especially Bobby and Sherry Burnette from Love a Child.  The Missionaries Burnette have been in Haiti since 1991. They have an orphanage, schools and land there which they use to bless the people and minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But nothing could have prepared them for the earthquake. I encourage you to get their ministry letter dated March 29, 2010, it will reduce even hardened men to tears.

By the grace of God their orphanage and staff were saved, but they now have more work than ever. They have generously opened their land to thousands of hungry and broken souls, providing food, shelter, and the Gospel to these desperate people. Other ministries are using their land to stage relief efforts. Those others will come and go, but the Burnettes will continue.

Mrs. Burnette tells of unimaginable horrors, devastation and loss suffered by the Haitians. She closes the letter by pleading for funds. They can get the food donated, but they need funds to pay for its transportation to Haiti. Please consider giving again to the Haiti relief effort. We must keep a place in our hearts for these people, even if they aren't before our eyes.

This effort will take years. Haiti will never be the same. But I tell you this, whoever has the biggest wallet for Haiti will determine its future. If muslims came in with billions for them which direction would Haiti go? Obviously many would become muslims. If Christians come in with billions, and openly preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then Haiti can come out of its darkness and into the Marvelous Light of Jesus Christ. Haiti could be saved, and that nation could become a beacon of Christian hope and change to the world. You can help shape the destiny of an entire nation by equipping Christians in Haiti to bless the people.

As for me, I'm donating to Love a Child. This isn't some short-term mission trip. These people are completely committed to the Gospel and to Haiti. We must support them. We must extend our hearts and our hands to them. Help them, and help enLighten Haiti forever. Go to the Love a Child website and click their Haiti Earthquake Relief link to see how you can help. God bless you.

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Name It and Claim It

on 4/04/2010

Let me start by saying this post is long, but I’m not sorry. If you mix your faith with the Biblical truth herein, your life will forever improve and you can live in full inheritance of all God’s promises.

Today I would like to discuss the controversial “Name it and Claim it” doctrine, including the controversy, the practice’s appropriate application, and why I’m more committed than ever to its truth. In short, the common description of the “Name it and Claim it” practice is that a person can pick a verse in the Bible, confess and claim it for their lives, and be assured of actually receiving its manifestation. For example, a person with a financial problem might name and claim, based on Genesis 8:18, that God gives them the power to get wealth. As you might imagine numerous arguments exist against this doctrine. I, however, am fully persuaded of its correctness. I assure you, the appropriate application of “Name it and Claim it” will change your life.

Let us first discuss certain reasons why people denounce this doctrine. People can easily look at the Bible, especially the apparent sufferings of Jesus and certain apostles, and believe that God has for all His people to suffer. When they say “suffer,” they don’t further qualify or describe what types of suffering a Christian might be called to endure (at least I have never heard such further description), rather they regard any suffering as appropriate to the Christian life. Those who attempt a “Name it and Claim it” action are usually trying to prevent some evil in their life, such as physical sickness or financial problems. People who believe we are called to endure any type of suffering would therefore have a problem with us trying to relieve a suffering in this manner. (Never mind the necessary logical conclusion based on that belief that if you are sick even going to a doctor would be sin, for you are therefore trying to alleviate a sickness that God desires for you. That sounds ridiculous to me, and I hope it does to you too. And I’m sure those who believe in suffering wouldn’t take it that far, although their logic requires it.) So to these detractors, because we are called to suffer, any use of God’s Word to overcome suffering is ungodly.

The other major reason for people’s disbelieving “Name it and Claim it” is its failure in the life of others. I read a major Christian author denounce it because she saw certain Christians “claim and reclaim” a resurrection verse for a beloved Christian to no avail. Their logical fallacy is therefore that if some spiritual principal doesn’t work for one, then obviously it wouldn’t and shouldn’t work for anyone. This is also illogical, but less apparently so. When something goes awry for a Christian, we never seem to believe it’s their fault. I can appreciate that. We don’t want to think it might be their fault, but I believe it usually, if not always, is. For example, if you claim that wealth promise and your financial situation doesn’t improve, such a person would say “Name it and Claim it” doesn’t work. They never take the time to investigate your own lack of faith, your gambling problem, your poor management or work ethic, or any other factor that might inhibit God’s Word from manifesting in your life.

I now would like to discuss what I believe is the appropriate application of “Name it and Claim it.” First, you must have solid faith in God’s Word if you are to receive anything from it, through “Name it and Claim it” or otherwise. The Word of God will not profit you anywise without your having faith therein (Hebrews 4:2). Without doubtless faith it is impossible to receive anything from God (James 1:6-7). When you request something from God you must, to assure its receipt, have no doubt of its receipt (Mark 11:23-24). Now “faith” is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Before we address that somewhat perplexing definition, let’s define faith as “absolute belief in the reality of God’s Word.” I take this definition from Romans 4’s remarks on Abraham, who was fully persuaded in God’s Word.

So for God’s Word to do anything for you, or to have any impact in your life, you must have faith therein, or absolute belief in its reality. Now how do we obtain such belief? You can say to yourself, when having a physical problem and after reading Isaiah 53, for example, “By Jesus’ stripes I was healed.” You would be right to say this. Isaiah 53 says that Jesus bore our griefs (Greek – pains) and carried our sorrows (Greek – sicknesses), and that by Jesus stripes we are healed. So you have your physical problem but you read this verse. Now you say that you believe God’s Word, and in some areas you undoubtedly do. But do you really believe you are healed? Only you can answer that, and only you and God know. But when you believe God’s Word that you are healed, even while the pain is still screaming in your face, you will know it.

To develop that kind of faith, where you believe in the reality of God’s Word despite contradictory physical circumstances, is not something easily accomplished. You must increase your faith. Jesus told us we can increase our faith by planting it as a seed in Luke 17, but more appropriately for “Name it and Claim it,” Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

So this is the first application of “Name it and Claim it.” You find your verse, as we found our healing verse in Isaiah 53. Now we begin to speak it. “Father God, I thank you that by Jesus’ stripes I was healed. I thank you that your Word is true and you never lie. I thank you that by Jesus’ stripes I was healed.” You confess God’s Word and your faith in it over and over and over. You don’t just do it once, you stay committed. Now here is the wonderful part, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” As you hear the Word of God, believing what it says and trusting God, your faith will grow. As your faith grows, doubts are removed. It sounds simple, but it’s spiritual and requires dedication. Say it, speak it, shout it, scream it. If you remain resolved and grow your faith in this manner you will become fully persuaded in God’s Word. As you confess God’s Word your faith builds, and soon it won’t matter what you feel like, you will know that you are healed because God says you are, and it doesn’t matter what your body or anyone else says.

Now we can return to Hebrews 11’s definition of faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” As you build your faith, you are having faith in God’s Word that has a promise of something hoped for but not seen. You hope for (confidently expect) your healing, but you don’t see it yet. But you have faith, and your absolute belief in the reality of God’s Word literally becomes the substance and evidence of your healing. You might still have pain, but you already have your healing, because your rock solid faith is the substance and evidence of your healing. You have your healing because God’s Word says you do. Your faith becomes the substance and evidence of what you’re believing for.

So now you say, “Great. I have my faith in the right place, but I still don’t have the manifestation, and I want the manifestation.” Well of course you do. So let us look at two other verses that provide the keys to our manifestation. Hebrews 3:1 says we are to “consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” This word “profession” in the Greek is “homologia” – a combination of the prefix “homo” (meaning same) and the word “logos” (meaning word). The word “profession” therefore literally means “our act of saying the same thing [that God says]. When we have a Biblical profession, or say the same thing that God says, like when we say out loud that “By Jesus’ stripes I was healed,” Jesus is the Apostle and High Priest of that action. That means when you say what God says, or speak out loud the Biblical promises, Jesus is both the mediator concerning that declaration and the party responsible for assuring it comes to pass.

So when you “Name it and Claim it,” and you are doing so in solid faith based on God’s Biblical promises, Jesus assures the manifestation of that promise. Moreover Hebrews 6:12 says that we should “be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” So the keys to inheriting the promises of God are faith, which we have discussed, and patience, which essentially means remaining the same (staying in faith) while you wait on the manifestation.

Glory to God. If you can develop your faith to a level of full persuasion you can literally have whatever God’s Word promises you. You first have it in the faith realm, where you are fully persuaded and have its substance before you see it in the physical realm. Then, because Jesus assures its manifestation, and because of your faith and patience, you will literally inherit the promise physically in your life.

Let us now briefly deal with the two major arguments against “Name it and Claim it.” Remember some people believe that we are called to suffer and God’s Word doesn’t promise us that we won’t. Well, first we need to address the particular situation to see if God’s Word promises something other than what you are experiencing. Do you have a physical problem? God’s Word assures you that by Jesus’ stripes you are healed. A financial problem, God’s Word says that you will always have all sufficiency (self-satisfaction) in all things so that you can abound (1 Corinthians 9:8). A problem with your children, God’s Word promises that God will teach them and great will be the peace of your children (Isaiah 54:13). The key question is, “What does God’s Word promise you?” Are you claiming something unbiblical, like winning the lottery? For this to work, you must be naming and claiming a specific Word of God.

Now some people say it doesn’t work like that, and just because God promises something doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get it. Well those thoughts are garbage. God doesn’t lie, in fact God magnifies His Word above His own Name (Numbers 23:19, Psalm 138:2). What God says He does, what God speaks comes to pass (Numbers 23:19). God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). The manifestation of all God’s promises is available to everyone. People who don’t believe God’s Word do just that, they don’t believe God’s Word. Don’t listen to them. Don’t pay any attention to them. Pray for them. There is no reason not to believe that you, as a Christian, can literally and fully receive all of God’s promises, for all of God’s promises are yes and amen in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).

“Well what about my friends who tried this and it didn’t work?” I say, “Let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). Who are you going to believe, God who never lies and personally promises you His Word is true, or some person you only think you know who says God’s Word isn’t true? You, as a Christian, can never compare yourself or your life to anyone else’s, for good or for ill. Did they really build their faith up? Do they have some sin you don’t know about? Do they consistently strive to walk in love and forgiveness? Those people could have countless issues that you don’t know about. As for me, God’s Word works, and if it didn’t work for you that was your fault, not God’s.

Here is the truth – God’s Word is full of promises that will improve your life now and in the world to come. God doesn’t lie; you can take His Word to the bank. God’s Word is the rock you can build your life on. When you find one of God’s promises in His Word you can name it and claim it for your own. But you must do so in faith and patience. Build your faith up so that you believe God’s Word more than any contradictory evidence. Be fully persuaded in the receipt of that promise. Based on God’s Word and your faith, boldly declare that you have the promise’s manifestation even before you see it physically (calling that thing that be not as though it is, Romans 4:17). Do not doubt in your heart, but remain faithful and patient. God promises, and Jesus assures, that God’s Word will manifest in your life. Praise the Lord.

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