Tag Archive | United States of America

Why I Stand

Flag 2

With all of the controversy surrounding the NFL, the National Anthem, and Old Glory, I just wanted to share a few thoughts why I, personally, choose to stand.

I stand…

… because our flag, Old Glory, is the symbol of the United States of America, the land I love and the nation of which I am proud to be a citizen. To do otherwise, for me, would be to not only disrespect our nation, but to dishonor God by showing a lack of appreciation for His good and perfect gifts that He has afforded me because I am an American.

I stand… when The Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem, plays because that is a show of respect for the flag that it so eloquently describes, and a show of unity with my fellow citizens. Even when we may disagree about sports, politics, religion, etc., when the words “O say can you see…” are heard, we become silent and unified in our mutual respect for the flag, the anthem, and all that it symbolizes.

I stand… because of fifty-six men from all walks of life who, in putting their signatures on a parchment known as The Declaration of Independence, knew they were putting their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line in the name of freedom. These men were as flawed and imperfect as the rest of us, but found the courage to stand for an ideal greater than themselves.

I stand… because I want to be an example to future generations that we are more than a collection of individuals, each going their own direction.

Flag FoldedI stand… because from the streets of Lexington and Concord to the mountains of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq, for over 240 years, brave men and women have given their last full measure of devotion to secure the freedom the rest of us enjoy on a daily basis. I stand, saluting an unfurled flag because of all of the wives, mothers, fathers, husbands, and family members who have been handed a folded one.

I stand… because standing is a universal sign of honor and respect.

I stand… because I believe that our battle is not against flesh and blood, and that we can accomplish more through the power of prayer than through hollow protests.

I stand… because we are better when we operate in unity, as “one nation under God, indivisible…” As a Christian, I believe the truth expressed by the psalmist who said,

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity! ~ Psalm 133:1

I stand… because our flag and national anthem symbolize what is right with our country, not what is wrong with it.

I stand… because there are other countries where people are poor and oppressed beyond measure, and are looking to America to be an example — The shining city on a hill.

I stand… because I am the recipient of a grace that has been granted to me in the form of a life in a free country called America.

I stand… not because we are perfect and have it all together, but as a sign that I am willing to take my place — standing beside you — working together to make America a better place.

I stand… to show that I am up on my feet and ready to go; to be a part of the solution, not a symptom of the problem.

I stand… because I am grateful.

Flag 3O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

                                                      ~ Katharine Lee Bates

Election 2016: You Can’t Have It Both Ways

KS77849With the close of the final Presidential debate of 2016, our nation now enters the homestretch of the most unusual and heated political campaign in our history. With so much information, misinformation, and misleading journalism out there, I think it is appropriate and timely to step back for a moment, take a deep breath, look at what it is that makes us great as a nation, and what is and is not important when it comes to policy and personality.

Our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and a Constitution to which every president swears allegiance. One has but to look at the writings of people like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, and countless others of our founding fathers to find this to be true. Still, we have those in the seats of power who would twist our heritage, rewrite our history, and try to push an agenda that is contrary our historically Biblical values, our Constitution, and to sanity itself.

How can a person claim to be supportive of our founding documents (of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”), as well as the rights of children, and yet support the heinous and barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion?

You can’t have it both ways.

How can a government expect to have any moral authority when it excuses the crimes of the rich and powerful? How can our leaders effectively lead when the halls of our state-houses are flooded with corruption?

You can’t have it both ways.

How can a journalist feign indignation and “shocked” outrage at offensive words and “locker-room banter”, yet smile and laugh through a reprehensible, profanity-laced interview where the interviewer refers to her as a “piece of a**”, discuss having a “threesome” with he and his wife, and discuss and disparage others who struggle with weight issues (among many other things unfit to publish here)?

You can’t have it both ways.

The Presidential oath of office reads as follows…

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

How can the person who utters these words, yet repeatedly tramples on the very Constitution they are sworn to uphold not be guilty of dereliction of duty in the breaking of that oath?

You can’t have it both ways.

How can a person talk about supporting national security, yet support open borders, increased refugee acceptance from Islamic countries, and policies that put that very national security at risk?

You can’t have it both ways.

How can a “news” media that financially supports any political candidate expect the American public to believe they are unbiased?

You can’t have it both ways.

I could go on for hours with regard to the hypocrisy that has permeated our culture. But  I will instead leave you with a couple of quotes by the late Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world
that it leaves to its children.”

What kind of society will we leave our children? Will it be a society of hypocrisy, corruption, and misguided political correctness, or will it be a society endeavoring for truth, justice, and righteousness? It is in our hand to decide.

Bonhoeffer also stated…

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running
along the corridor in the other direction.”

AppealSlowly and steadily, our society has changed trains, while Christians, Conservatives, and Constitutionalists have done little to stop the it. Those in power want to fix what ails our society by doubling down on the bad decisions that have put us in the position we are in. As Christians, we have — not just a moral obligation — but a Scriptural mandate to support, not the perfect candidate, but the candidate who is going to do the most in guiding our nation back to a place of safety, sanity, and sanctity. We must put the rhetoric, tabloid journalism, and social media debate aside, put on the whole armor of God, and vote with the mind of Christ. It is time to get off of the vehicle of self-serving destruction, and get on a path of repentance and restoration.

We are now less than three weeks from Election Day. I encourage you…

Pray to God.

Seek His face.

Follow His leading.

Vote.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. ~ II Chronicles 7:14

A Tired Mind Revisited

It was almost three years ago when I penned this blog, which was based on a sermon I had preached a few years before. During this election year, we have much to consider when picking our candidates, and I thought this blog post was a good reminder — and a warning — of where we have come from, where we are, and what it will take to return to the path of righteousness.

With that, I give you Confessions of a Tired Mind…

Next week, we will celebrate our nation’s 237th birthday. I find it ironic that, just yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that chips away yet another stone in the foundation of Godliness that this country was built upon. As I witness the erosion of the greatness of America – a land that I love and still believe to be great – I must admit to you…

I’m tired.

IMG_1905I’m tired of the LGBT agenda that is being forced upon the American people. Understand me when I say that I don’t believe that anyone should be threatened, abused, or discriminated against because of their lifestyle. However, I do not believe that churches should have to hire someone that promotes a lifestyle contrary to our biblical world view, or be forced to affirm perversion as a “civil right”. While members of the LGBT community should not be oppressed or mistreated, neither should those of us who believe that their lifestyle is a sin be forced to agree with their choices. If you can’t “legislate morality from the (court) bench”, you shouldn’t be able to legislate immorality either.

I’m tired of abortion being called a choice when it means the death of an unborn child. Where was the child’s choice in the matter?

Pine Ridge1I’m tired of we, the American taxpayers, being robbed to support leftist causes and wasteful governmental agencies. It infuriates me to see our tax dollars go to failed and failing “green” companies (remember Solyndra) and other “pet
projects and programs”, as well as paying for silly videos, lavish parties, and non-sensical conferences for corrupt government agencies. Contrast this waste with the poverty in places like the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and it is even more maddening.

I’m tired of government leaders apologizing for America to third-rate terrorist countries and dictators. I still believe in the greatness of our nation, and don’t believe that is something we need to apologize for.

I’m tired of the assault on our Judeo-Christian heritage, history revisionism, and the mocking of every accomplished conservative by a leftist media that holds up semi-literate celebrities as icons of virtue and wisdom. While the truth of God’s Word may not be popular to some, it is still truth… and that is something I will not apologize for.

I’m tired of “reverends” who value political correctness over biblical authority.

I’m tired of the abuse of our welfare system. I believe that the aged, infirmed, and disabled need our help. Their needs are legitimate. However, the abuses of the entitlement system have to end. As the late Adrian Rogers once said…

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.”

In addition, I’m tired of a government that will not take care of the brave men and women of our military who have kept us safe for decades on end. I’m tired of people who are here illegally, as well as countries that hate us, being shown more respect — and being better taken care of financially — than our veterans.

Coptic ChristiansI’m tired of Islamic terrorists being called moderates. When I was young and growing up in the South, there was a religious organization that committed acts of terror in the name of God. They were called the Ku Klux Klan. Yet, the church rose up against them and said, “You’re not Christian… You’re wrong.” It’s time for any moderate Muslims to rise up, call these terrorists for what they are, and affirm the right for Israel to exist in peace.

But you know what? While I may be tired, I still have hope.

IMG_5209I am still proud when I hear the sound of our National Anthem being sung at a sporting event.

I am still humbled when I see a brave soldier in uniform in the airport, coming from or going to the far reaches of the world to defend freedom.

I am still moved at the sight of our flag, “Old Glory”, waving in a warm summer breeze.

I still believe that our nation is not beyond hope when I hear the words…

If my people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. ~ II Chronicles 7:14

I believe in the greatness of America. I believe that if we turn our faces in repentance toward God, He will heal our land, and give us “a new birth of freedom”.

Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.

God bless America!

(Adapted from the message, “Freedom’s Holy Light – Part 1”)

Freedom’s Holy Light

Lady LibertyA sailor was on his way out of Algeria aboard a ship that contained a sick missionary. Right before the missionary died, he pointed his hand toward the distant horizon and spoke prophetically: “There lies a land there where the seas wash. There is a native people there that have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

When the sailor finally arrived home, he told his son – and later his grandson – what the missionary had told him. When the grandson grew older, he also became a sailor. He remembered the old missionary’s words, and wrote many letters and diary entries expressing his desire to see the inhabitants of that land convert to Christianity.

The land the missionary spoke of was America.

The sailor’s grandson was Cristoforo Colombo, or as we know him, Christopher Columbus.

KS77810From the very beginning, our nation had, at it’s very core, a foundation centered on faith in God. While liberals and history revisionists would like to erase every mention of God from the history books, there is no denying the reliance our Founding Fathers placed on The Almighty. Don’t believe me? Listen to them, in their own words…

“The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite, and these Principles only could be intended by them in their address, or by me in my answer. And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United…”
~ John Adams, 2nd U.S. President

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever…” ~ Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. President

“Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgments for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good.”~ James Monroe, 5th U.S. President

“The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth.” ~ John Quincy Adams, 6th U.S. President

I could go on and on… and on.

The 4th verse of the song My Country, ‘Tis of Thee sums up the prayers and petitions of these great men appropriately…

KS77849

Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.

Freedom’s Holy Light still burns brightly in America…

That Holy Light which was ignited in the hearts of her Founders, kindled by the dreams of her citizens, fueled by the blood of her soldiers, and sustained in the hearts of her children. It was the Holy Flame that burned brightly during two Great Awakenings, at the Cane Ridge Revival, the Finney Awakening, in the streetlamps of Azusa Street, and in the eyes of Billy Sunday and Billy Graham. It is that Guiding Light of God’s love that guided the Pilgrims to the shores of New England, kept freedom’s dream alive in the cold of Valley Forge, illuminated the heart of Abraham Lincoln during the dark nights of the Civil War, was the fire of freedom in the face of imperialism following December 7, 1941, and was the light of hope in the darkness of September 11, 2001.

It was the fire that blazed in the forge from whence came
the timeless inscription on the Liberty Bell:

“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”
~ Leviticus 25:10

So… let freedom ring.

Let the sound of freedom be heard in the cries of repentance of the people of God. Let the church rise and once again be the vessel that unashamedly bears the message of forgiveness and hope that the world needs to hear.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where
the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” ~ II Corinthians 3:17

No amount of legislation or Supreme Court rulings will change America… only the cross of Jesus can bring real change.

No amount of political correctness will change a single heart… only the love of Jesus can turn a heart of stone to a heart of flesh.

No amount of wealth-redistribution can force an ounce of compassion… only identifying with the tears of Jesus can break our hearts for a dying world.

It’s time for we as American Christians to wake up, get up, and go. It’s time for us to get on our knees and pray for a breakthrough… in the White House, the Statehouse, the schoolhouse, and the churchhouse. It’s time for us to be salt and light, look the world squarely in the face and say, “This is going to sting, but THIS is the truth, and the truth will set you free.” It’s time for us to BE the revival we have been praying for, and put our lives out there for that which He gave up His life. It’s time for us to stop asking for God to bless America, but for we as Americans to start blessing Him – through obedience, sacrifice, and holiness.

On this July 4th, I leave you with the words of President George Washington, from his Inaugural Address of 1789:

“In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States.” KS77759

May America bless God once again.

“I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” ~ Psalm 34:1

Enough

FlagAmerica is at war… a war without national boundaries. I wrote several years ago (and was severely criticized) that America has a bloody enemy.

Does anyone honestly doubt that now?

While I could go on and on about attacks on our nation and it’s citizens, at home and around the world, here are a few of note…

In October, 1983, the attack on the Marine barracks in Beruit, Lebanon claimed 299 lives.

In October, 2000, the USS Cole was attacked while sitting at anchor at the Port of Aden in Yemen. Seventeen American sailors were killed.

On September 11, 2001, we watched helplessly as our fellow citizens were murdered in the Twin Towers and at the Pentagon, attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives (almost all civilian). For most of us, the images of our fellow citizens jumping from the upper floors of the World Trade Center are indelibly etched into our minds.

Four Americans (including Ambassador Chris Stevens) were murdered in Benghazi in 2012 when the U.S. Consulate was attacked.

Since 2001, thousands of our brave servicemen and women have died on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And now… Boston.

While we do not yet know who is responsible for yesterday’s attack, we do know who the father of terror is. It is high-time for the terrorists of the world to be held accountable. It is time to end political correctness. It is time to serve notice on these brokers of violence and fear, as well as countries that send or harbor them, and let them know that we have had enough.

No more monetary aid for countries that foster ill-will and hatred toward America.

No more weapons for countries and administrations that are known purveyors of intolerance, injustice, and violence toward the United States, Israel, or any of our allies.

No more rewarding countries with aid who persecute their own people simply because they follow Jesus.

And no more oil dependence. Let’s end our dependence on Middle Eastern oil and open the unlimited resources of America. We need to build the pipelines and refineries right here at home, and cut off the finances of tyrannical and jihadist regimes.

It is time to know who our friends are and who our enemies are. It is time to silence these tyrants hiding behind their abused populace, empty rhetoric, and misguided religion.

For now, let us pray for our fellow Americans in Boston.

And let us join together with one voice and declare…Enough is Enough