Last Saturday night I was driving my daughter home from work. As a father trying to stay in touch with my last teenager living at home, I asked a series of questions. After a few minutes of surface level conversation, I uncovered a hot topic. Apparently, several of her co-workers were ecstatic by the announcement of Joe Biden as the 46th president. Curious, I asked why. Lydia responded, “they all hate Trump.”
If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen, 1 John 4:20.
According to a recent report, 93% of the news coverage over the past 4 years about Donald Trump was negative. Meanwhile, only 7% of the coverage regarding Joe Biden during the 2020 Election was negative. Thus, if you received the majority of information from the mainstream media in regards to who to vote for, you likely chose the former vice-president. Instead of loving your candidate, hating Trump appears to have been more of a persuasive factor than loving Biden.
And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also, 1 John 4:21.
When you open the Bible, authors of this timeless book draw a clear distinction between love and hate. The apostle Paul refers to God as love in a letter to the Corinthian Church. Meanwhile, one of Jesus’ disciples refers to love as a verb, actively extending arms, hands and words of encouragement. When a society allows hatred to conquer and triumph over love, it’s a sign of the end of civility. Whatever happens in the next month and 4 years, I pray hatred will be cooled by hearts filled with love.
Prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, several members of the media labeled president Donald Trump a science denier. The context of this accusation dates back to Trump’s skepticism of global warming. Whenever a researcher, study or well known scientist develops a theory that supports global warming, this becomes national news. However, the president states that you can’t cherry pick the data that supports your beliefs while rejecting evidence that doesn’t.
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses], Hebrews 11:1.
While spending a decade as a high school, each class consisted of at least one individual who questioned what I was teaching. Some would challenge my sources, others doubted what I was saying and a few refused to believe parts of my lesson. In this age of instant information, students daily use their phones to double check the content they are being taught. If there is a discrepancy, the vocal will raise their concerns, causing others to doubt. Unless you become a personal of evidence, your message will fall upon deaf ears.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come, John 16:13.
While conversing with his disciples, Jesus unveils a secret weapon for Christians. Although invisible, the Holy Ghost serves as a guide to reveal spiritual truth on earth. If you want to become a man or woman of evidence, it’s essential that you learn to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25. The apostle Paul uses the expression “walking in line,” a necessary practice to become a living vessel of God. If you want to become a spiritual person of evidence, the Spirit is a guiding light in an ever increasing dark world.
Flight 93 will forever be known for the heroes on September 11th, 2001 who prevented 4 al-Qaeda terrorists from crashing their hijacked plane into the Capital Building and or the White House. Instead passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 rushed the cockpit, causing their Boeing 757 to crash in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. A monument and visitor center has since been built, situated on a hill overlooking the crash site. In 2006, director Paul Greengrass oversaw the production of Flight 93 to honor the memory of these brave Americans.
Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads,’ Deuteronomy 1:13.
Fifteen years later, an anonymous article was written just prior to the 2016 Presidential Election. This piece was entitled the Flight 93 Election. This essay was designed to persuade “Never Trumpers” to reconsider sitting out the 2016 Election. Penned under the alias Publius Decius Mus, it was later discovered that the author of this piece was Michael Anton. This article begins with a call to action, “rush the cockpit or die.” Anton uses a metaphor to ask readers do you want to play Russian Roulette with Hillary Clinton as president or take your chances with Trump?
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan, Proverbs 29:2.
As the 2020 Presidential race now takes center stage, more articles will be written to favor one candidate over another. Yet, I want to go back to the Flight 93 Election. Anton weighs the pro and cons of both candidates. Without saying it, there is no perfect politician. You will never agree with every decision, policy position or vision. However, at some point voters have to decide, what person will be better for your state or country? Casting a vote is never easy. However, make sure you read the entire Flight 93 Election to guide your thoughts before November’s election.
After experiencing another disappointing month, I find myself in the middle of a moral dilemma. Since the fall began, I have told family and friends of my aspirations to get back into shape, start eating healthier and lose weight. The climax of this preparation was a 5K that I ran last weekend. Well, after spewing endless words of my desire to change and improve my life, the only thing I accomplished was completing this race without walking.
A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth, Ecclesiastes 7:1.
While driving home from work yesterday, I received a rhema from God in the form of a question. Are the words that you speak making you more or less credible? The Old Testament doesn’t use modern terms such as character, integrity or reputation. Rather, authors use the expression earning “a good name” instead. King Solomon compares a good name with a precious ointment. After accumulating wealth as Israel’s leader, Solomon claims that when you receive favor from your peers due to a good man, it’s more valuable than silver or gold.
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold, Proverbs 22:1.
If you want to develop and keep a good name, the words you say play a big role. For example, many Americans don’t like president Trump’s blunt nature, boldly speaking and tweeting brash comments daily. Yet, anyone who examines the promises Donald Trump made during the 2016 presidential campaign, his actions have fulfilled what he said and vowed to do. Unfortunately, I find myself telling my wife and kids that I am going to do this and that without following through. Just as faith without deeds is dead, James 2:26, words without action are meaningless. May God use my own conviction to inspire you to ensure that the words you speak coincide with your actions.
While they were on their way, some of the [Roman] guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 And when the chief priests had gathered with the elders and had consulted together [to develop a plan of deception], they gave a sufficient sum of money [as a bribe] to the soldiers, 13 and said, “You say this, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him while we were sleeping.’ 14 And if the governor (Pilate) hears about it, we will calm him down and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money [they were paid for lying] and did as they were instructed; and this [fabricated] story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to the present day, Matthew 28:11-15.
Since being elected president in 2016, Donald Trump has eluded to a deep state. Initially, this accusation was nothing more than a conspiracy theory. Yet, as details has been uncovered, this group is a body of people, typically influential members of government agencies believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy. Whether more information comes out or not, a similar organization existed during the first century. Roman soldiers conspired with the acting governor to come up with a fabricated story claiming Jesus’ disciples stole and hid his dead body.
Saying, “What are we to do with these men? For the fact that an extraordinary miracle has taken place through them is public knowledge and clearly evident to all the residents of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it, Acts 4:16.
According to Matthew, this plot was successful as the lie was told over and over again, a growing number of people believed Jesus’ resurrection has a great hoax. As eye witnesses of the resurrected Jesus passed away, history was altered. Despite these rumors, the day of Pentecost enabled disciples to perform miracles just like Jesus. When the validity of these healings were examined by priests, members of the Sanhedrin could not deny the fact that extraordinary miracles had taken place. Fearful that first century apostles might expose their bribe, this religious deep state attempted to silence Peter and John.
Then he said to the Council, “Men of Israel, be careful in regard to what you propose to do to these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody [of importance], and a group of about four hundred men allied themselves with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were scattered and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas the Galilean rose up, [and led an uprising] during the time of the census, and drew people after him; he was also killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men [merely human in origin], it will fail and be destroyed; 39 but if it is of God [and it appears that it is], you will not be able to stop them; or else you may even be found fighting against God!” – Acts 5:35-39
During the next session of the Sanhedrin, a godly man named Gamaliel addressed this council. Gamaliel refers to a previous uprising led by a man named Theudas. When this man was killed, his movement slowly died out. Now that Jesus is no longer with us, only time will tell what will happened. If this movement is of God, there is nothing that you can do to stop it. Nearly two thousand years later, no one can deny that Jesus is indeed the promised Messiah. Although churches may come and go, the Holy Spirit is alive and well living inside the temple, bodies, of those who now believe.
If you listen, follow or watch cable news on a regular basis, you might begin to believe that the world is falling apart. A majority of these networks blame Donald Trump for the world’s demise. Yet, when you spend time outside in the real world, current accusations don’t appear to be as bad as initially reported. If the media outlet you depend upon isn’t telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, who and what should you believe?
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” – Mark 9:24
In the passage above, a man approaches Jesus like a disgruntled shopper, complaining about the service he received from a couple of the disciples. Evidently, the disciples were unable to heal this man’s son possessed by an evil spirit. This boy was often thrown into epileptic seizures, foaming at the mouth and unable to control his own body. Jesus attributes this failed miracle to a lack of faith. Desperate to see his son freed from this helpless state, the man pleads with Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief.
But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe,” Mark 5:36.
In the 1992 film A Few Good Men, Jack Nicholson plays Colonel Nathan Jessup who is called to testify in court about one of the marines under his command who was killed. During a cross examination by Tom Cruise who plays Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee a Navy defense lawyer, a heated argument ensues. Known as”You Can’t Handle the Truth,” this scene depicts the effort and struggle to unravel truth from fiction. When forming a belief system, this process is just as difficult, sorting through what your church, education and parents have taught you. Meanwhile, friends, mentors and professors may be pressuring your to confirm to post-modernism or secularism humanism beliefs.
Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so, Acts 17:11.
When you come to a spiritual crossroads, the best advice is to follow in the footsteps of Berea. This first century church urged their members to test everything they heard before reaching a conclusion. Fact checking practices entailed combing through the Bible to determine if ideas, new teaching or theories were consistent with what the apostles taught. Sometimes information is easy to decipher while other pieces take weeks. months or possibly years to grasp. During a letter to Thessalonica, Paul reminds the people he visited to abstain from evil, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22. Although you will never know all the answers to life’s questions, at some point you have to start believing.
Since the election of Donald Trump in November of 2016, a resistance movement conceived within the United States. Those who have joined this political wave are refusing to accept the outcome of this election. Instead activists are urging supporters to battle, defy, fight and oppose the policies of president Trump. After nearly two years, members of the House, Senate and mainstream media are putting on a full court press to override the will of the people. Despite numerous failures to achieve their goal to impeach Donald Trump, the leaders of this movement continue to try and try again.
“And I will put enmity (open hostility) Between you and the woman, And between your seed (offspring) and her Seed; He shall [fatally] bruise your head, And you shall [only] bruise His heel,” Genesis 3:15.
There is another adversary who has a long history of perseverance. When the archangel Lucifer exercised free will to seek praise for his own beauty as the angel of song, Ezekiel 28:12-15, he was kicked out of heaven. Apparently, one third of all angels from heaven backed Lucifer, expelled from heaven along with their leader. Hungry for power, Lucifer successfully deceived the first human family on earth as Adam and Eve’s blunder netted Satan authority over plant earth. Although limited based upon encounters with God in Job 1-2, Satan continues his reign today as ruler of the air, Ephesians 2:2. In an eternal game of chess, God quickly regained control by sending a second Adam to restore that which was lost, Luke 19:10. When news of this plan reached Satan, demons were assigned to cut off this seed. Planting evil thoughts within the mind of King Herod, Matthew 2:13-23, all male infants two years and younger were slaughtered to abort God’s plan for redemption. Yet, an angel of the Lord awoke Joseph just in time, escaping to Egypt for a few years until King Herod’s death. According to the book of Revelation, all of Satan’s efforts are all for not for in the end God is victorious.
Yet death ruled [over mankind] from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over those who had not sinned as Adam did. Adam is a type of Him (Christ) who was to come [but in reverse—Adam brought destruction, Christ brought salvation], Romans 5:14.
If your life is like mine, every day can be a grind; leaving me exhausted. Having the desire and energy to try, try again doesn’t come naturally for me. Thus, in my weakness, I am compelled to cry out to Jesus like 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, praying that the power of the Holy Spirit will make me strong. One of the hardest aspects of life is dealing with failure, especially for perfectionists. Coping with and getting over the thought of embarrassment and losing is a tough pill to swallow. For some, they have a hard time forgiving themselves, especially if you blow it big time. Thus, most people need a friend, mentor or motivation to live and learn from past mistakes. Recently, I came across the song Overcomer by Mandisa. The point of the chorus within the lyrics is to get back on your feet after falling. If you ask God to give you the resolve and will to press on, then you too can try, try again until success is achieved.
Prior to the events in New York City and Washington D.C. on September 11th 2001, the relationship between sporting events and the playing of National Anthems had become a mundane ritual. If you take away the Olympics, playoffs and the Super Bowl, anthems were rarely ever televised. Some professional sports even played anthems while players were still in the locker room. However, post 9/11 the singing of Francis Scott Key’s song united this nation for a minute or so daily. I was in Philadelphia for the first National Football League Monday Night Football game following this terrorist attack. When a flag the shape of the United States was displayed across the entire field, the crowd went crazy, setting the stage for an emotional national anthem. Those professional athletes who have chosen to kneel or sit have forgotten what the national anthem represents. As more begin similar displays as a protest, the future of America’s national anthem is in jeopardy.
Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! – Psalm 105:2
As a former teacher, I understand pressure to remove the national anthem at professional sporting events isn’t the end but the beginning of an attempt to erase any trace of God from American history. During homeroom or over a loud speaker, public schools read a daily passage or verse from the Bible up to the early 1960’s. The reading communicated a morale, trait or value teachers hoped to instill within their students. When a few atheists were offended, a law suit followed that removed the Bible permanently from public education. When schools obliged others were upset about students and teachers praying for each other. This too was banned, stripping God’s influence from the classroom. Looking back at history, schools have never been the same as God has removed his own blessing from those who have not made room for Him. Then, there was the 10 commandments, “surely we can’t allow human beings to read and see these rigid rules.” Today, religious leaders are arrested if 10 commandment statues aren’t removed from all court buildings. Finally, there is the pledge of allegiance which has been made optional for children or simply discarded all together. If the national anthem is silenced, there’s always something else atheists, leftists and progressives will deem offensive.
Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted, Isaiah 49:13.
I hope the owners of professional sports teams don’t cave to public pressure like weak minded republicans more interested in gaining approval from the press rather than upholding American values. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump vowed to drain the swamp. When this promise was made, I don’t think Trump realized how deep and dangerous this resistance would be. While the media continues to label the Trump presidency as the worst ever, the horizon appears to be void of any leaders willing to stand up for the national anthem. Sure, there may be some closet defenders, afraid to vocalize their opinions. Yet, America appears to be on the verge of a social war between the past and the present. As someone who grew up in a military family, respect was impressed upon me. Unfortunately, some where along the way respect for God and country has slowly faded away. In view of this decay, may God raise someone up to carry the torch for the National Anthem so that this treasured tradition does not disappear like those now forgotten. Stand up and sing, thanking God for all the Lord has done for this land called America.
In view of the increasing violence across the country and throughout the world, this old punch line by Donald Trump at the end of each Apprentice episode is no longer something to laugh at. While hard working men and women have likely experienced the pain of losing a job, life is too fragile to be ended by a bullet, Yet, as music videos, television dramas and violent video games desensitize life through countless depictions of murder, the value of human life is eroding.
But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up,” Daniel 3:12.
One of the byproducts of today’s warped mentality on life involves a lack of conviction and principles to life by. While most civilizations experience cycles where morals rise and fall, few people demonstrate the commitment to put their faith on the line. During the Jewish captivity by the Babylonians in the Old Testament, three men refused to worship a foreign god. Drawing a line in the sand, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were willing to die rather than break one of the ten commandments. The penalty for such an offense was fire.
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up,” Daniel 3:17-18.
These three men weren’t fired by the king. They were all on fire for God, willing to put their faith on the line, risking death over compromise. Not many people would do the same today. Recently, armed men with machine guns stormed a church in a country where Christianity is illegal. Raising his voice, the leader demanded all the true believers to walk up to the altar. Only a few rose to their feet, “Is that it, anyone else?” No one else stood. “Okay everyone else can leave,” as the timid ran out of this place of worship. Moments later instead of gun shots, the leader proclaimed, “now that all the true believers are here, let’s worship the Lord!” May this experience inspire others to become fired up for Jesus.
Every year terms are added to the dictionary to keep up with an ever changing vocabulary. Meanwhile, other words are modified as cultural slang redefines ordinary phrases. One such word is sorry which ironically means deplorable, an insult to Trump supporters.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:9.
Growing up, sorry was something that the Fonz couldn’t say, often stuttering before completing a sentence. Sure, its been decades since Happy Days was a prime time hit series, but watching television tends to distinguish one generation from the next. Subsequently, sorry has lost its original intent.
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin, Psalm 32:5.
To confess any wrong doing tends to diffuse a tense situation. Yet, this generation allows pride to get in the way, afraid of the consequences of coming clean. Thus, instead of saying, “I’m sorry,” the blame game Adam began in the Garden of Eden continues. Like a never ending game of Jumanji, true remorse has been abandoned. May this blog inspire individuals to embrace a spirit of reconciliation and practice saying, “I’m sorry.”