[ON MISSION] ~ The Pulse

[ON MISSION] is a quarterly publication of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), representing the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the International Mission Board (IMB).  The following data comes from both the spring and summer editions of this seasonal publication:

The Pulse

3 million adolescents in the U.S. ages 12 to 17 are reported to have had a major depressive episode in the past year.

19.5% females experience depression, compared to 5.8% of males.

6.3 million youth ages 13 to 18 have an anxiety disorder, representing 25% of the adolescent population in 2015.

30.1% females have an anxiety disorder, while at 20.3%, males are more likely to deal with anxiety over depression.

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After-school Satan club

A school district in Portland, Oregon, approved an after-school “Satan Club” at a local elementary school this past September.  The Satanic Temple advocated for this club in response to a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Child Evangelism Fellowship could have access to school facilities to host their “Good News Club.”  -Source:  The Washington Post, An open letter from the Satanic Temple Los Angeles, August 1, 2016.

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From global to local

In 2015 the United States was home to 46.6 million people who were born in other countries.  More than 2 million of those immigrants were from China, and almost another 2 million from India – the two countries with the most unreached people groups.

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Baptist students provide aid

About 450 students from collegiate ministries spent their 2016 Labor Day weekend serving those affected by the Louisiana flooding.  Students pried up waterlogged wood flooring, tore out drywall and helped salvage homeowner’s precious mementos from the mold.

Source:  Baptist Press, September 6, 2016

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Supernatural healing

A recent Barna poll showed that the majority of American adults (66%) believe people can be physically healed by God, supernaturally.  The study also showed millennials are the more skeptical of this belief than elders, and evangelicals are the most likely to believe in supernatural healing.

Source:  Barna, September 29, 2016

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Dirty Mouths

Work place etiquette has undeniably taken an informal turn since millennials have entered the workforce.  A new survey reported that two-thirds of millennials swear at work and 40% even prefer working in an environment where there is cussing.  Furthermore, a third of those surveyed said the use of profanity strengthens the team.

Source:  The Week, October 21, 2016

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The Latino impact

The United States is now home to 55 million Hispanics – 17% of the nation’s population.  Hispanics are projected to account for 52% of new homeowners by 2030.  They have also contributed to 47% growth in small businesses between 2007 to 2012 – a rate 60 times higher than that of non-Latinos.

Source: TIME, September 26, 2016

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Moving home

According to the Census Bureau, Americans are on the move.  About one in eight Americans move each year, and many end up living close to mom.  The New York Times reported that 50% live within 18 miles of their mom.  Only 5% live over 1,400 miles away.

Source: Facts & Trends, Summer 2016

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Reasons they will come

In a survey by LifeWay Research of 2,000 Americans who do not attend church, several events were identified that may draw non-church attendees to participate in church-sponsored activities.

62%  Meeting about neighborhood safety

51%  Community service event

46%  Sports or exercise program

45%  Neighborhood get-together

35%  Worship service

25%  Recovery group

24%  Seminar on a spiritual topic

Source:  Christianity Today, September 2016

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Getting Social

For over a decade, social media has played a vital role in North American culture.  On average, U.S. adults spend about 10 hours and 39 minutes a day consuming social media.  Percentage of U.S. Internet users who access social networks weekly.

70% Facebook  (36% between the ages of 18-34)

32% Instagram  (46% between the ages of 18-34)

30% Twitter  (40% between the ages of 18-34)

25% Snapchat  (53% between the ages of 18-34)

25% Pinterest  (38% between the ages of 18-34)

Source: TIME, March 13, 2017, AdWeek.com, June 27, 2016

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America’s aging pastors

In partnership with Pepperdine University, Barna recently released a new study on the ages of American pastors.  The study found that the median age of pastors today is 54, while in 1992, the median age was only 44.  The study also found the percentage of pastors who are 65 and older has tripled since 1992, while only one in seven pastors today is under 40.

Source:  Barna.com, March 1, 2017

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Independent living?

Around 40% of recent college grads are receiving help from their parents to pay for rent.  On average, 22- to 24-year-olds receive about $3,000 a year from their parents to make ends meet.

Source:  The New York Times, February 9, 2017

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Losing the war on drugs

For the first time ever, 50,000 people died from overdose in one year in the U.S.  Seventy-three percent of overdose deaths in 2015 were from prescription opioids and heroin, up from 57% in 2010.

Source: The Week, March 10, 2017 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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A new normal

Cohabitation before marriage is now what the majority agrees is the best indicator for whether a couple is ready to get married.  Sixty-five percent agreed that cohabitation is a good idea, according to a recent survey by Barna.  Seventy-two percent of millennials agreed with the statement, compared to only 36% of elders.

Source: Barna.com, June 24, 2016

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What millennials want in a church

The Fuller Youth Institute has spent the last four years studying over 250 congregations of diverse sizes, ethnicities, denominations and geographic regions and found that one of the most compelling characteristics of a church for millennials is a church’s vision to be the best neighbors to their community.

Source: RelevantMagazine.com, November 16, 2016

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Women in power

Although most American adults would say they are comfortable with a female CEO, evangelicals show the lowest level of acceptance.  A recent Barna study showed the following results when they asked the question:  Are you comfortable with a female CEO?

94%  All adults

90%  Men

97%  Women

77%  Evangelicals

Source:  Barna.com, March 8, 2017

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The cost of parenting

On average, it will cost $233,610 for a middle-income family to raise a child born in 2015 through age 17.  According to a new government report, at 29%, housing is the biggest cost for parents.  Another major expense is childcare, which costs an average of $37,378 per child.

Source:  The Week, January 2017

 

 

 

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Are Dinosaurs Extinct?

All right.  You are from Missouri and say “show me.”  Watch the following “hot off the press You Tube” from Kim Joiner in Florida.

Published on Jan 16, 2017

Who says Dinosaurs are extinct?”
Giant gator caught strolling through Polk nature center
A giant alligator was caught on camera during a morning stroll at a nature center in Polk County.
The Lakeland Police Department shared the video, taken by Kim Joiner, on their Facebook page saying, “Who says Dinosaurs are extinct?”
The big daddy gator was strolling through the Circle B Bar Reserve, an area of of protected lands in Polk County.
In the video you can see four other people recording the surprise encounter, and not from a far distance – Ekkk!
Thanks for watching.
Please like, comment and subscribe for new videos!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo5FmTLvz2g

What these folks do not know, is that a giant alligator IS a dinosaur.  Dinosaur means “terrible lizard.”  I would suggest the aforementioned “You Tube” qualifies.  And so does the following, featuring the Komodo Dragons, the largest lizards on earth.  The folks in Indonesia who live near these reptiles, leave their lights on at night because there is no end to what they will try to eat – including the poor soul whose turn it is to take out the trash.

Dinosaurs coexisted with man.  Science, history, paleontology, archaeology, and anthropology all prove this to be true.  The best proof to the born again Christian is found in the book of Job.  Read Job 40:15-24 and all of chapter 41.  In these pages you will find a reference to a giant land dinosaur, a plesiosaur, and a fire breathing dragon.  Every continent and every major ancient culture refers to dinosaurs.  A dragon is featured on the national flag of Wales, one was carved on the ancient Ishtar Gates of Babylon, they are carved on the Ica stones in Peru, and they were observed by Marco Polo during his explorations throughout the Far East.  They are represented in the parades in China when they celebrate the new year.  They are replete throughout history.

 

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The Lottie Moon You Didn’t Know

Lottie Moon was a Southern Baptist  missionary to China.  She was single, well under five feet tall, and probably about ninety pounds soak and wet.  She broke all of man’s rules for women missionaries, yet obeyed the Lord’s plan for all of her life.  She personified the Great Commission.  She is the namesake and poster girl for the annual Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB) Christmas Offering.  She never took a furlough while serving in China.  Barely over one hundred years ago, and prior to finally going back to Virginia, she gave all of her sustenance to the needy Chinese people, and died of malnutrition on a ship on the way home on Christmas Eve.  She is truly a heroine of mine.

Blessings, Pastor Steve

 

Lottie Moon: The Rebel I Want to Be

Lottie Moon. I want to be like her, but I didn’t realize how much until I dove into her life story.

You could draw a line in the sand, mention the name Lottie Moon, and people who revere her will move to one side of the line while people whispering, “Who’s that?” will migrate to the other. I had one foot in each camp.

My current church is in the “who’s that?” category. Most people at my church, planted fifteen years ago, did not grow up thoroughbred Southern Baptists. While they participate in and give to global missions, they’re not familiar with Lottie. But I grew up in a church that revered her, and I raised money for missions in my rice-bowl-shaped piggy bank to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Her photos in a Victorian-laced collar might give the impression she was a stuffy school marm who adhered to strict rules. Yet, she was playfully defiant, poking fun at the church until she chose to follow Christ at age eighteen. And she was ambitiously smart and became one of the first women in the South to earn a master’s degree.

Whether you’re already familiar with her story or this is your first introduction, you’ll find that her somewhat terse language flows from a contagious, tenacious heart for God’s mission.

WHY I WANT TO BE LIKE LOTTIE

1. She confidently believed that salvation was personal and so was the Great Commission.

The gospel came through Christ to us to save us, but not to stop with us. We are saved for God’s glory and then appointed to declare his glory. “Should we not press it home upon our consciences that the sole object of our conversion was not the salvation of our own souls, but that we might become coworkers with our Lord and Master in the conversion of the world?” Lottie asked.

2. She daringly called for an insurrection in status quo mission thinking.

If the Great Commission is for all believers, then we must personally answer the question, “Am I going or sending?”

  • She challenged young men: “Ask not if it is his duty to go to the heathen, but if he may dare stay at home. The command is so plain: ‘Go.’”
  • She challenged pastors: “Knowing the loud call for laborers in the foreign field, will you settle down with your home pastorates? So many could be found to fill your places . . . so few volunteer for foreign work.”
  • She challenged women: “Thousands of women will never hear the gospel until women bear it to them.”

3. She unapologetically asked believers to give.

Although salvation is free, sending people where the gospel has not been shared has a cost. Giving to God’s mission is an investment. Lottie’s questions create a jolt meant to stir hearts to an urgent need. Why this strange indifferences to missions?” she wrote. “Why these scant contributions? Why does money fail to be forthcoming when approved men and women are asking to be sent to proclaim the ‘unsearchable riches of Christ’ to the heathen?”

4. She unwaveringly obeyed God and abandoned comfort to live in a hard place.

The eternal reality that people were dying without hearing of Jesus trumped the reality of living in a place devoid of convenience and comfort. Living in China during political upheaval and among people who “had an aversion to foreigners”were mere splinters of the difficulties she faced. Yet she wrote from a village, “The circumstance would suggest an utter absence of comfort, yet we find ourselves more than contented.”

5. She didn’t shy away from pleading for a legion of workers to be sent.

Lottie didn’t merely play at missions but confidently persuaded others to consider the reality of people going to an eternal hell. “We implore you to send us help. Let not these heathen sink down into eternal death without one opportunity to hear that blessed gospel, which is to you the source of all joy and comfort,” she wrote.

Lottie defied the limits of generational, cultural, and missional norms for the sake of the gospel. I want to be so bold. With nearly three billion people who have never heard of Jesus, we should dare be the same kind of rebel, disrupting casual mission thinking and ambitiously resolved to get the gospel to all nations at all costs.

I’ll unapologetically ask the same words as Lottie: “Is not the festive season when families and friends exchange gifts in memory of the Gift laid on the altar of the world for the redemption of the human race, the most appropriate time to consecrate a portion from abounding riches and scant poverty to send forth the good tidings of great joy into all the earth?”

Let us go. But if we stay, let us give, so that others may be sent.

*All quotes are from Lottie’s letters written while she lived in China.  


Lori McDaniel is church initiatives leader at IMB. She served with her family for several years in Africa before returning to plant a church in the United States. You can find her on Twitter @lorimmcdaniel.

To be a part of the ongoing missions efforts that are Lottie Moon’s namesake, visit here nd explore the opportunities.

 

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America’s New Civil War ~ Red States/Blue States

We observe this phenomena becoming more plainer with each new presidential election.  Our nation is polarized right down the middle.  We can even see the regional dichotomy between the Red States and Blue States.  The Red States are the interior and heartland of our country.  The Blue States consist of the large populated cities and coastal states.  These areas present two different, divergent and opposing world views.  Let us examine each.  The following observations are by no means conclusive, and a mere thumb nail sketch by the blog author.  I am sure you could add more examples to this article:  

Blue States:  The recent mantra at their demonstrations is “Black lives matter.”  A heavy handed,  government is desired, with high taxation for the middle class in order to underwrite expenses.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the concept of “Global Warming” are promoted, and the ramifications of them produce an endless sea of ridiculous taxes, red tape and bureaucracy.  Sanctuary cities are desired in order to protect the “rights” of illegals and criminals.  Abortion is not a problem, and a viable option for anyone who desires one.  Our nations’ borders should be wide open and allow anyone to enter at will.  This mindset also reveals a receptivity to the New World Order (NWO).  Illegals are welcome, and should be supported through our tax dollars.  American distinctives and the Judeo Christian ethic upon which our nation was built, are not held in high regard in the least.  Our countries’ Constitution is a fluid document and can be ignored and/or modified.  Patriotism offends many, especially minorities, and the American flag can be burned and trampled upon.  The American flag is not displayed at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) until someone complains.  At the DNC, they even vote on whether or not to pray!   Instead of our immigrants learning our culture, language and way of life, we are suppose to cater to their every whim and desire.  Anyone who fears the heavy infiltration of Muslims and their Sharia Law, is labeled Islamophobic.  If you believe that homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle and repudiated in the Bible, then you are homophobic.  Guns are evil and no one should be permitted to own one.  Our public restrooms should be open to transvestites, and every other form of sexual perversion.  Gays and lesbians should be permitted to marry.  Moral values, and determining right from wrong may differ from person to person.  There are no moral absolutes.  President Obama is attempting to employ lesbian farmers throughout our nation.  He is doing this in order to break up rural conservatives.  Note how these values go against our nation’s foundation beliefs that espouse God and Country.  There is no desire to seek harmony in our country following the elections.  There is an anger expressed towards those who disagree with them, going so far as attempting to overturn the election results.  The Left broke windows, led in riots, overturns cars, etc., after losing the election.  Celebrities threatened to leave the country if their candidate lost the election (they all cried wolf and stayed).  Also noteworthy was the post election “sore loser” infantile behavior of the left wing weenie brigade, featuring cuddling with puppies, drinking hot cocoa, lying on the pavement in the fetal position, group screams at Yale University, as well as a wide variety of other reprehensible deeds whose actions were reminiscent of those we use to call brats.  In the You Tube below, you can see their leader setting the tone for immature meltdowns:

HILLARY CRYING UNCONTROLLABLY ALL NIGHT PROTESTS AND WHAT DEMOCRAT STANDS FOR

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Red States:  It is realized within this group that “All lives matter.”  There is a desire to keep taxes down as much as possible, and keep governing to a minimum, thus allowing our citizenry to make their decisions on the local level.  The failed Obamacare is rightly interpreted as unconstitutional.  The evangelicals are still found in the heartland and have great influence in the red states.  82% of evangelicals voted Republican.  There is a desire to curb the immigration of illegals and those who would seek the harm of our nation.  Abortion is rightly interpreted as pure unadulterated murder.  The Judeo Christian ethic upon which our country was founded, is greatly esteemed and respected.  Sanctuary cities are seen in a very negative light, and as a method to harbor criminals.  Patriotism is a positive trait, and the flag is raised as we love God and Country.  The flag is esteemed and adored, not burned and trampled upon.  There is no hatred for the LGBT Community; yet they are seen as living a perverted lifestyle, totally contrary to the will of God.  Public restrooms should remain the way they have always been – for men and for women period.  Marriage is ONLY between one man and one woman.  Muslims are welcome to America insofar that they submit to our Constitution and do not attempt to implement Sharia Law.  Since this scenario is very unlikely, the immigration of Muslims to the United States of America will always be a difficult issue.  Second amendment rights are endorsed, and afford protection for our citizenry.  It is a well established fact that where people are allowed to carry arms, there is less crime.  The United States Constitution is fully endorsed, and is seen as representing the very law upon which our nation and government were built.  The Brexit decision in Great Britain is greatly appreciated, as Britain decided they do not desire allegiance and unity with the European Union.  The New World Order (NWO) is interpreted as the enemy of the sovereignty of the United States of America.  Many nations in the United Nations are Islamic, and a danger to our beliefs as Americans.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is observed as a political football that carries a huge bureaucratic agenda with it.  (i.e. Taxing farmers hundreds and even thousands of dollars for each cow they own, and heavily taxing the land that animals graze on, etc., etc., etc.)  The citizens of the red states are saddened when their candidates lose the election, yet do not enter the riot or self pity mode, or threaten to somehow usurp the election results.

Yes, there is a deep chasm running through our nation, and two totally opposing world views.  Will they eventually threaten the unity of our United States?

Pastor Steve

Pray For Revival In America! 

True Science Is In Perfect Harmony With The Bible / Apologetics

Below are a few of the countless proofs of the inspiration of the Bible.  The Lord knows all about His creation, so the very limited scientific understanding of man was already known by God in eternity past:

FASCINATING BIBLE FACTS!
The Bible is filled with scientific facts, written thousands of years before man discovered them. 
Did you know…
At a time when it was believed that the earth sat on a large animal or a giant (1500 B.C.), the Bible spoke of the earth’s free float in space. Job 26: 7 reads… “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” Science didn’t discover that the earth hangs upon nothing until 1650.
Did you know…
The Scriptures tell us that the earth is round. Isaiah 40:22 reads… “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,…” The word translated “circle” here is the Hebrew wordchuwg, which is also translated “circuit” or “compass” (depending on the context). That is, it indicates something spherical, rounded, or arched – not something that is flat or square. The book of Isaiah was written sometime between 740 and 680 B.C. This is at least 300 years before Aristotle suggested, in his book “On the Heavens,” that the earth might be a sphere. It was another 2,000 years later (at a time when science believed that the earth was flat) that the Scriptures inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world. 
Did you know…
Science can only speculate why dinosaurs disappeared. However, the answer may be in Job 40: 15-24. In this passage, God Himself speaks of a great creature called “behemoth.” Some Bible commentators think this is a reference to the hippopotamus. However, one of the characteristics of this massive animal is that it had a tail the size of a large tree. The Hippo’s tail isn’t like a tree; it’s more like a small twig.
Here are all the given characteristics of this huge animal: It was the largest of all the creatures God made; was plant-eating (herbivorous); had its strength in its hips, and a tail like a large tree. It had very strong bones, lived among the trees, drank massive amounts of water, and was not disturbed by a raging river. He appears impervious to attack because his nose could pierce through snares, but Scripture says in verse 19, “He that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.” In other words, God caused this, the largest of all the creatures He had made, to become extinct. 
Did you know…
Modern deep-sea-diving cameras have discovered amazing hot-water vents on the floor of the oceans – “the springs of the sea.” Job 38:16 reads… “Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea?” These thermal vents release huge amounts of mineral-rich, super-heated water – springs in the darkness.
For thousands of years, all the answers to puzzling questions can be found within the precious pages of the Bible. A wise man knows where to go to find the answers!

It Happened On July 11, 1804

 

This Week In History…
Aaron Burr & Alexander Hamilton Duel

An artist’s rendition of the duel between Aaron Burr & Alexander Hamilton

On July 11, 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr challenged Alexander Hamilton (who served as the first secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President George Washington) to a duel.

The pair had long been political rivals – in fact, when Hamilton launched an attack against Burr during his successful 1803 campaign for vice president alongside presidential candidate Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton went so far as to say “I feel it is a religious duty to oppose his career.”

You may recognize Alexander Hamilton from
the popular $10 Federal Reserve Note

Hamilton campaigned ferociously against Burr during his 1804 bid for governor of New York, and Burr ultimately lost the race. In an attempt to repair his reputation, Burr challenged Hamilton to an “affair of honor” – aka, a duel.

The two Wogdon pistols used in the duel reside at JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York City

The pair met in the early morning near Weehawken, New Jersey. Although reports varied as to whether or not Hamilton missed on purpose, one thing was certain – Burr did not. His bullet hit Hamilton in the stomach, and he died from his injury the following day.

Both Thomas Jefferson and
George Washington had strong ties to Alexander Hamilton

Although dueling was commonplace at the time, Vice President Burr was charged with murder. He returned to Washington, D.C. (where he was immune from prosecution), and finished his term. However, the charges damaged Burr’s political career and it never recovered. He was arrested for treason in 1807 following an attempt to seize land in the Louisiana Territory. Even though he was acquitted, Burr never again held public office.

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More Proof That The Biblical Giants Mentioned In Genesis 6 Once Walked On Our Planet

There are a plethora of historical and archaeological articles on this blog site, as well actual proof that Biblical Giants once walked the earth, under the category “Old Testament Giants.”  The following article is written from a secular standpoint, but much to the chagrin of worldly thinkers, it places an awful wrinkle in their evolutionary scheme.    Pastor Steve

Key the following link:

10 Alleged Discoveries That Suggest Giants Existed

 

Hard To Harmonize

The following statistics are certainly eye opening, and reveal volumes about the spiritual status of our nation:

1)88% of Americans own at least one Bible.

2)More Americans believe in aliens and extra terrestrials than believe in God!

Blending these facts together, I believe they reveal that our nation is totally brainwashed by evolution.  If one does not believe in God, then by default they believe there is no such thing as a creation. and they must search in the past for changes in life forms, usually believing they exist elsewhere in a more advanced state.  Evidently, their “god” is random chance plus time.  In other words, time plus nothing made everything.  Life originally was the result of mere chance, and everything in the universe is the result of a great cosmic crap shoot!  You know, when I was an unbeliever and lost, I still realized that there was a God who made everything.  The Bible tells us that all men are given proof of the reality of the Godhead through our conscience within and the creation around us.  (Romans 1:19-21)  The beautiful, intricate and orderly design of the universe shouts out for a perfect, all seeing, all powerful and all knowing Creator!  The proof is in the pudding.  You think about that.  Pastor Steve

***   For further information, please refer to the Creation/Evolution category in this blog site.  Scroll back through older posts until you get to the original articles that explain God’s marvelous creation and refute evolution in great detail.   ***

Fascinating Facts

I just heard today on a Christian radio station that a pastor in North Carolina has memorized thirty five books in the Bible.  This story went viral as one would expect.  I got to thinking however……….  As great a feat as this was, it was God who gave him the ability to do this.  What would impress the Lord more?  Memorizing many books of the Bible or sharing John 3:16 with the people who God sends our way?  Sword drills are great for youngsters to learn the Word of God, but I believe it is even better to continually share Christ with the world, regardless of how much knowledge we have.

Fascinating Facts

This data is not something I enjoy sharing but it is true and can aid Americans in placing things into perspective.  We often view the Nazi political party as wicked and evil, and rightly so.  Like many of you men, I devour the plethora of specials on the history channel which describe the rise and fall of the Third Reich from the early 1920’s to 1945.  The Nazis are credited with the killing of about 6,000,000 Jews.  I visited the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, and the PA system announces the names of the victims 24/7/365.  Since the infamous Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade, we have aborted about 60,000,000 babies.  Yes, that is ten times the aforementioned amount of deaths in the Holocaust.  That is simple mathematics.  Let us consider God’s mathematics and the spiritual law of reaping what we sow.  Galatians 6:7  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  Numbers 32:23b  “….and be sure your sin will find you out.”  Now do the spiritual mathematics from God’s perspective.  It may help one to understand why He is allowing our current administration to encourage and even bus in thousands of “illegal” immigrants, including masses of children.  Make no mistake–  this president is extremely clever.  To say no to the arriving immigrants would play on the heart strings of the rightfulness of humanitarian assistance.  Once they are here, what do we do?  Turn them away?  Many are only children.  The Central American countries are even encouraged by our government to drop off their children at our borders.  We find ourselves in a no win situation, between a rock and a hard place.

Let me close with a very appropriate quotation from colonial times on the threshold of Independence Day by Alexis de Tocqueville:

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerc – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it vas not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”  [Note: Recent scholarship reveals that this quotation may have erroneously been credited to de Tocqueville.  It matters little to me who said it.  The main point is that it is a profound and accurate observation, and it is true].

Proverbs 14:34  “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

Have a blessed Fourth of July and pray for our country…..

Pastor Steve