What’s A Little Lie Among Friends?

Summer is a big time for churches all across America to host vacation bible school. One church in Carthage, MO did just that. In fact, they called their bible school program God’s Rescue Squad. Each day of the week the church invited different rescue squads to come visit the church and show the kids what recue squads do. The paramedics came on Monday, the fire department on Tuesday, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department brought their K-9 unit out on Wednesday. On Thursday the church wanted to honor the National Guard. Guess who refused to come? You guessed it…the National Guard.

The church was told it was against military policy for the National Guard to participate in any church vacation bible school program. Here’s how the National Guard policy reads:

Army participation must not selectively benefit (or appear to benefit) any person, group, or corporation (whether profit or nonprofit); religion, sect, religious or sectarian group, or quasi-religious or ideological movement.

Here are two quotes from the members of the National Guard who were not permitted to attend the vacation bible school:

I can tell you I’m ashamed and embarrassed right now. This isn’t the military I signed up for.

How about this comment from another National Guard member:

We had a lot of disappointed kiddos because of the National Guard being unwilling to allow a Humvee and a few soldiers to spend an hour at a Baptist church. It makes me wonder what I’m actually fighting for.

But wait…let’s back up the bus a minute. Look at the policy we just noted. Army participation must not selectively benefit…any person, group, etc.

In June of 2014 our military color guard marched in the 39th Annual Capital Pride parade…which specifically celebrates the gay agenda. The Washington D.C. Color Guard began the parade immediately following a motorcycle group called Dykes on Bikes. This is the same color guard that presents official colors for the president, members of Congress and countless official state functions.

This very military policy, so concerned with showing favoritism to a specific group and prevented our soldiers from showing Humvees to six year olds at a church vacation bible school does not prevent our soldiers from marching in a gay pride parade. I always thought policies applied to everyone. Apparently in the military they do not.

If the military (or anyone else) is going to give certain groups preferential treatment I wish they would just tell us. How about some honesty? I sure get tired of the political spin. If you don’t want to support the Christian faith and would rather support the gay agenda, just tell the truth. We wouldn’t agree with your decision but at least we would respect some honesty.

The Star Spangled Banner Actually Says That?

I often have people tell me that those involved in the early history of our country were not followers of the Christian faith. If I had more time I would go through a list of early leaders and presidents of our country and show you how fervently many of them believed in the God of the bible. But with little time, I want to focus today on just one of the folks who had such an impact on our country…Francis Scott Key. Francis Scott Key was an attorney and a poet who wrote the lyrics to what would become The Star Spangled Banner.

During the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key was asked to help negotiate the release of his friend, Dr. William Beanes, who had been captured by the British. That negotiation process had led Francis Scott Key to Baltimore and put him in a position to watch the British bombard Fort McHenry. After continual bombing, the British were not able to destroy the fort. However, at the conclusion of the attack on the fort, Francis Scott Key observed a large American flag being flown over the fort. He quickly penned the words for a poem called The Defense of Ft. McHenry that was widely published. Years later John Stafford Smith put this poem to music and it became what we now know as The Star Spangled Banner.

Most of us are familiar with the first verse of our national anthem…at least I hope so:

Oh Say can you see? By the dawn’s early light.

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?

You know the rest of the verse.

We always hear the first verse but seldom hear the other three verses. I bet you didn’t even know The Star Spangled Banner has four verses. Here is a portion of verse four:

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”

History has recorded the faith in God that many of our country’s founders and leaders have possessed. History has also recorded their prayers to God for our country.

Don’t be fooled when people tell you our country has no history and foundation in faith in God. I am thankful for people like Francis Scott Key who understood that we must put our trust in God…not in man.

Do your own research and you will be amazed at the wonderful Godly tradition of the United States of America.

 

Can Being A Worrier Add Years To Your Life?

This week I was sitting in the Denver airport waiting for my flight. All of a sudden a very large storm blew across the airport. Paper and cardboard were being blown all over the runways. Huge dark clouds covered the airport and all flights were immediately held for a weather delay. If you have flown before, you know that when you have weather like this you usually have a pretty rough ride after take off.

When we finally boarded the plane and were ready to taxi down the runway, the pilot’s voice came on the intercom and told us to expect a rough flight as we went through the storm. The lady across the aisle from me suddenly looked sick. In fact, she stopped the flight attendant and asked if there was a place for her to lie down. I watched the flight attendants clear three seats so she could rest. Now prior to the pilot’s announcement she looked just fine to me.

Well…the pilot was right. It was a pretty rough flight heading through the storm but after about thirty minutes of getting roughed up a bit, something really miraculous happened. Suddenly we were in beautiful sunlight watching the dark clouds disappear below us. The flight smoothed out, sunshine was flowing in through the windows and there were only blue skies. We left the terrible storm far below us.

Now as I think of the storm and of the woman on the plane I described earlier, I can’t help but think about our daily lives. We have life storms that blow into our lives very quickly. Health storms, financial storms, family storms, and the list is endless. All of a sudden, like the woman on the plane, we aren’t feeling very well. We begin to worry and we’re looking around for a place to lie down and fret. We spend our time worrying about things that will never happen. Imagine if you could total all the time in your life you spent worrying about things that never happened. What a waste of our time. As my son often says around our house, don’t borrow trouble from tomorrow. Let’s change our perspective on life and stop worrying about things that probably will never happen. Scripture makes it very clear. In Matthew Chapter 6 we read this:

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

Let me answer that for you. No they can’t. So…put your worries behind you, put on your seat belt, put on the armor of God, and watch the storm clouds disappear as you fly into the sunlight of God’s plan for your life.

 

 

Don’t Waste Your Money Supporting These Ideas

Several weeks ago I discussed a new television channel being proposed called AtheistTV. That blog generated quite a bit of email from our atheist friends. Some of the notes were kind and most of them were, well, less than kind. Let me quickly add that I am thankful for the notes and subsequent discussions from those folks who clearly want a respectful, healthy discussion.

One of the notes I received led me to a college that markets as a seminary. However, one thing you will find different when you visit the promotional materials for this seminary is this. They advertise as Everything You Dreamed of…pagan online education. Now that got me interested so I dug a little deeper. This particular seminary is offering a course this summer titled, Beginners Guide to Shapeshifting. Here is a portion of the course description:

For many people around the world and throughout history, the ability to change one’s form at will is a reality. …Students build an understanding of the processes and reasons for different kinds of shapeshifting (its pleasures, perils, and functions), and greater familiarity with how shapeshifting can become a powerful spiritual and personal practice.

Really? For many people around the world and throughout history, the ability to change one’s form at will is a reality? Come on…I don’t know of one person let alone many people that change their form at will. Let’s use some common sense here. Don’t you think that if this were possible someone with a smartphone would have taken a video? You don’t think the media would be interested in this?

I am amazed at what people believe today. I am always disappointed at what is being sold as education. Now remember, if you take the shapeshifting course from this college, it’s not free. They advertise a tuition rate of $145 a credit hour. So this course would cost you $435. You’re in luck though. They do advertise no books are required for the course. I believe I would withhold payment until after the course and then shapeshift something into currency to make the tuition payment.

Am I poking fun? I sure am. We need to regain our common sense and not support institutions and people that make wild claims with no substantiation. People can say anything they want until they are confronted with the light of truth. So…go out and illuminate some dark corners of the world with the light of truth.

Here’s A Show You Want To Miss

It’s coming to a TV near you. A new TV channel dedicated to atheists, humanists, and others dedicated to godlessness. It called AtheistTV and is launching this summer.

A spokesman for AtheistTV, Dave Muscato, said this: There’s a glut of religious TV programming out there, from televangelists to Christmas specials but there’s no atheist channel. We wanted to fill that void.

Now as a business guy, I wouldn’t rush out to invest funds in AtheistTV to fill this void. I suspect there is a void because there is no demand. Imagine how many different television programs exist. It would take a very long time to count all the shows we could watch. However, all of us have quite a bit of experience watching TV. Can you name one television show specifically dedicated to the atheist worldview? I sure can’t.

AtheistTV wants to launch their new show on ROKU. ROKU carries 300 faith-based channels that include programming of Christian music, sermons, and worship services. How many atheist stations are on ROKU? You guessed it…not one.

So what are the chances of success for AtheistTV? It doesn’t sound good to me. After all, what are they going to talk about? A god they don’t believe in. Why worry about something you don’t believe in anyway?

I find it interesting how the press is constantly bombarding us with the atheist worldview. Atheists are suing to bring down religious symbols, threatening to sue schools that allow Christmas music to be sung, suing schools that participate in Christmas toy drives, and the list goes on. Yet, there are 300 Christian channels on ROKU and not one atheist channel. Clearly in terms of supply and demand, viewers are far more interested in the Christian worldview.

So, let’s stop being bullied by some of these folks. Don’t be afraid to pushback. Are atheists entitled to their opinion? Of course. But that doesn’t mean we need to agree with that opinion. Don’t fall into the trap that tolerance of any worldview means agreement. I will allow folks to give their opinion because they have that constitutional right. However, that doesn’t mean I agree and I will speak up and say so. I hope you will too.

So, if AtheistTV makes it to ROKU this summer, go ahead and pick one of the other 300 Christian-based stations to watch. AtheistTV has a right to be on television but I have a right to exercise my remote control and turn them off.

Here’s What One Man Did With God’s Answer

One of my favorite musicians is a man by the name of Andrae Crouch. If you are familiar with Christian music, you will know many of the songs he has written. Several of his songs you can find in church hymnals today. Andrae Crouch wrote songs such as:

  • The Blood Will Never Lose It’s Power
  • My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)
  • Bless His Holy Name
  • Jesus Is The Answer

Andrae has had a remarkable career writing gospel music and performing all over the world. He appeared in numerous television shows and performed at the Hollywood bowl and Carnegie Hall. He has received nine Grammy Awards and four Dove Awards. Many folks today believe that Andrae Crouch and the Disciples (his back up group) helped launch the Christian contemporary music styles of many music artists today.

When Andrae Crouch was fifteen years old, he asked God to give him his first song. About one hour later, Andrae finished writing a song but threw it into the trash. He just didn’t think it was any good. Andrae’s sister, Sandra, found the song in the trash. She went to Andrae and told him she thought the song was really good and asked him not to throw it away. I’m glad Andrae listened to her. The song he put in the trash was, The Blood Will Never Lose It’s Power. That song went on to touch the lives of many folks around the world and has been published in thirteen different church music hymnals.

 

So why is all this so important? Here’s why. Andrae asked God to give him a song to touch the lives of others. Within one hour, God answered Andrae’s prayer. But what did Andrae do with that answer? He threw it away.

How many times have you asked God to supply you with an answer? How many times has God given you an answer but you didn’t think it was the right one and you simply threw it away? When you pray and ask God to meet a need, are you really seeking God’s answer or are you really just hoping that God confirms what you believe the correct answer should be?

As you ask God to meet your needs, remember that He is the one with the answers, not us. God’s answers and directions may not be what you were expecting. Like Andrae, you might not like God’s answer. But don’t throw God’s answer in the trash. Andrae Crouch impacted the world because he realized the mistake he made by not recognizing an answered prayer. Andrae’s ultimate obedience launched a career that impacted the world for Christ. Don’t miss what God has for you because you threw God’s answer into the trash.

 

Look What’s On My Napkin

https://vimeo.com/85873810

This week I read a story about a dad whose name is Garth.  Garth was diagnosed with cancer now for the third time.  He was told by his medical team that he has an eight percent chance of living five more years.  This news just confirms that there is a really good chance that Garth is soon going to die.  Imagine getting that type of news.  Imagine looking across the desk at the doctor who tells you that your life is coming to an end.  You’re a mom or dad with a young daughter just getting ready to enter high school.  What would you do?

Garth decided he was going to do something special.  He is writing 826 napkin notes with inspiring words for his daughter whose name is Emma.  He will have one note for his daughter’s lunch for every day she is in high school.  Let me give you an idea of what his notes say.

One note says this, Dear Emma, sometimes when I need a miracle I look into your eyes and realize I already created one.  Love, Dad

So often we wait for tragedy to hit before we let people know how much we care about and love them.  It’s easy to get caught up in our own life pressures and forget what the Bible has told us.  Take a look at James chapter 4 that says this, How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.  The older I get the more I understand the truth in this verse.  Life passes so quickly and there is no promise of tomorrow.

Let’s not wait until it is too late to tell others how special they really are.  Spend plenty of time with your family.  Our children grow all to quickly.  Our spouses are growing older each day.  At some point, if we live healthy lives, our daily work jobs will be finished and I suspect most of us will wish we had spent more time on some of the things in our life with eternal significance.  Go home tonight, hug your family and tell them how special they really are. Your family needs to hear it from you.