Archive for the ‘world news’ Category

Dear Mr. Trump:

Two things: You have my vote and I’m not happy about it.

That last comment deserves an explanation.  I’m not going to sit here and jot down all your character flaws. You know who and what you are, and I suspect that your defense might be that what some see as failings are the very things that have gotten you as far as you have, and they have in fact brought you to this national platform where you could become the next president of the United States.

I would say that you shouldn’t discount God in this equation.

The Bible says that God causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). It’s the Lord who gives and takes away (Job 1:21), and He does so for all people. God blesses those who believe in Him and those who don’t, but what many people do not know is that those blessings cease for the non-believer as soon as their last breath is expelled.

What does this have to do with Donald Trump?

Honestly, Mr. Trump, I’m concerned for your salvation. If I may paraphrase a few of your remarks on Christianity, Jesus, and salvation, you said: “I have no need to ask for forgiveness; I’m a good person; I try to do good things.”

Excuse my directness, but those statements are false and they show a lack of understanding of the Christian faith. I am telling you these things in love. If your claim of not needing forgiveness is true and that a person can earn a ticket to Heaven through their own good efforts, then God had His son Jesus brutally murdered on the cross for nothing.

If your claim of not needing forgiveness is true and that a person can earn a ticket to Heaven through their own good efforts, then God had His son Jesus brutally murdered on the cross for nothing.

Here’s the issue in a nutshell, Mr. Trump: without a heartfelt understanding of your sinful nature (common to ALL men, Romans 3:23), and your need for a remedy that is found in Christ Jesus alone, you are a nominal believer; that is to say that you are a Christian in name only. The Good News is that this condition is easily corrected. The question that remains is, “Are you willing?

You might be interested to know that Jesus did not tell His followers to go out and share the Gospel message to make converts to Christianity, but rather to make disciples (students) of Christ. It’s through discipleship that we come to know Jesus in a fuller way, whereby He will change us for the better, thus making us better equipped to serve Him. Not only will He replace our character faults, He will replace them with better things; things He can use to accomplish His good will and purposes.

Mr. Trump, I am going to vote for you because I see through all the negative issues and see a bunch of positive attributes that will help to get our nation back on its feet, but at the same time I know that Jesus Christ must be part of this equation, otherwise we are merely building a nice house upon a foundation of sand – it might look good for a while, but in time it will crumble. That’s not my opinion, that’s God’s word.

Because of your occasional foul tenor and errant theology, some of my Christian friends have abandoned you, Mr. Trump, while some higher-ranking, Christian folks have opted to bash you rather than help you. That is to their shame.  What I see in you is someone who has identified themselves with Christ Jesus and is in need of some wise, Biblical counsel. I am no theologian, Mr. Trump, nor am I a pastor. I am just a follower of Jesus trying to be obedient to His commands the best I am able and of course, with His minute-by-minute help.

Mr. Trump, if nobody else in the global, Christian church will step up to get you on the proper and narrow path, then I hereby volunteer. I will meet you anywhere, at any time, and on my dime to have just a few moments of your time.  I’m not bragging, but God has blessed me more than I deserve and I will gladly spend whatever it takes to have this most important conversation with you. I am genuinely concerned for you and for our nation and believe we need to have this critical dialog.


David Wells
Oakhurst, NJ

A note to my readers:

Yes, I do understand that the likelihood of Donald Trump ever seeing this blog is incredibly slim. For that reason, I am in prayer. I am confident that God is going to do something, I just don’t know what it is. My only recourse is to jot down a few words and pray for God’s will to be done. If you’re on the same page as me (and have read this far), please share the blog and pray for Mr. Trump, the POTUS, and the leadership of this country.

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Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it. Deuteronomy 10:14

Our Nation’s Pledge of Allegiance; The Pledge of Allegiance, includes the words, ‘One nation under God,’ except (apparently) when it is included as a part of NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Open Golf Championship. Shame on the National Broadcasting Company and those responsible for the omission; who do they think they are?

Do they not believe in God?

I don’t care what they believe nor does it matter; it’s every person’s choice to recite or not recite the Pledge as they see fit. However, NBC acting as a proxy for the United States Government (when they chose to use the Pledge in their promotion) had absolutely no right; legal or otherwise, to alter its composition. In so doing they essentially denied every God-fearing, American their right to freely choose. If this isn’t somehow a violation of the law of the land, it should be. Again, shame on NBC.

What does God think?

The incident begs the question, “Is our nation ‘One nation under God’ or isn’t it?” According to the Bible, not only are we one nation under God, but we’re one planet under God. Since our little nation is a part of the earth, we are therefore under God; we and the planet we’re riding on belongs to the Creator. Don’t believe it? It doesn’t matter—what we believe to be true cannot change the truth. God, among others things, is absolute truth; period.

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters. Psalm 24:1-2

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“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” Romans 4:7-8

Salvation as we know, is about the forgiveness of sins. Around 1739 the Moravians were in Alaska sharing the Gospel when they stumbled upon a problem—in the native Alaskan language there was no word for forgiveness, which made it kind of hard to talk about the subject matter. Not a problem. After pondering the issue for a little while, they made up a word.


That word ‘issu-magijou-jung-nainer-mik’ is currently the longest word in the native Alaskan language and it literally means, “Not being able to think about it any more.” Isn’t that beautiful? It almost perfectly describes how God the Father views the sin of His children—He isn’t able to think about it anymore. Why? Because we’re justified by Christ’s blood and God sees us as if we have never sinned.

In other words, the Father does not look at us; see our sin and say, “Lucky for you My Son died for those sins.” No! He sees us robed in His Son’s righteous and sinless! That’s like going to court with a speeding ticket and the judge saying, “Sir, the charge you are talking about does not exist.”

God isn’t winking at our sin…it’s completely gone! Incredible, isn’t it? The only work the believer must do (which really isn’t any effort) is to accept delivery of the free gift.

Have you received God’s free gift?

Are you going to Heaven?

“I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” Jeremiah 31:34

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Psalm 37:3-7

A Common Question

The matter is raised by both new and mature believers alike; “I’m walking with the Lord, but I don’t know what He wants me to do with my life…what should I do?”

God knew we would ask that question, so through His servant David, He provided an answer:

“Become dependant upon Me,” God the Father says to us, “and do good; live where I have placed you and feed on My reliability.”

St Augustine put it this way, “Love God and do as you please.”

Sounds Dangerous

It does sound a little risky, because in the Book of Jeremiah we are warned that, The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it.” However the good news comes in the accompanying verse:

I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:10

God agrees: our hearts are evil. But if we (like the Psalmist tells us), delight ourselves in Him, commit our lives to Him, trust in Him, wait on Him, and rest in Him, a wonderful thing occurs—He will transform us. As we give our unconditional love to Him and trust Him, He searches our hearts and minds and essentially repairs the damage! Again, God said it this way:

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts… Jeremiah 31:33a

We Need Not Worry

St Augustine might have over stated it a wee bit, but Christians who are sold-out for the Lord can do whatever they want, because they have the confidence that God has put His will upon their hearts—God’s will drives our desires.

What if I Make a Mistake

Chances are we will err from time to time. Again, the good news is that God will use those situations to refine us further! God is not going to rebuke His child (when with a right heart) he makes a mistake. Does a parent scold a child when she falls down while learning how to walk? Of course not. Nor does our Father scold His children when they endeavor to do good.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. Psalm 37:23-24

So what should you do? If you’re delighting yourself in Him today, do whatever you feel led to do and let me know how you make out.

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8

If we could sum up the meaning of philosophy in just four words it would literally be, ‘the love of wisdom.’ From a Christian perspective, my first thought is that ‘the love of wisdom’ is not a good thing, and considering the post-modernistic, worldview society we now live, I would be right. Then I considered Webster’s 1828 definition of the word. Check out this snippet:

The objects of philosophy are to ascertain facts or truth, and the causes of things or their phenomena; to enlarge our views of God and his works…True religion and true philosophy must ultimately arrive at the same principle.

That right there is a definition I can live with! If the true goal of a philosopher is to boil everything down to what truth is in every situation, then ultimately he will arrive at the foot of the cross. The question then arises, “Why does this seldom happen?” I submit to you that the Apostle Paul ‘nailed-it’ when he penned:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Romans 1:20-23

The problem with philosophers is that they’re sinners like you and me. Our God is telling us, “Look around—it’s obvious—I made this!” Those who deny God do so because to recognize a righteous God is to also recognize that they are sin-filled. Therefore those who deny God must establish a reasonable explanation for their version of what truth is. In so doing; in their pronouncement of wisdom, they become fools.

Colossians 2:8 is a warning to the church. “Beware,” we are told, there are philosophers and deceivers pushing the traditions of men and the principles of the world. Why are we warned? Because these liars are very good at what they do—they’re good because they worked very hard to convince themselves before they turned their nonsense on you and I. My friends, Oprah is just the tip of the iceberg.

What should we do? We must heed the warning and know that our enemy is constantly on the prowl seeking to devour us. We must stay amidst the flock; in the very center if possible, because those on the fringes are easy pickings for the wolves. And we must be in the word of God so that we can compare the lies against that which is right. It is true, a born-again believer has the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of Truth with them, and He will guide us, but if we try to constantly go it alone, or without the Sword of truth by our side, we risk being deceived by our adversaries.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15


These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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And so it was, when Solomon had finished praying all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, that he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. Then he stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying: “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. 1 Kings 8:54-56

Thank you Father, you’re timing is perfectly magnificent. These past few weeks You have been doing a wonderful thing in me. One particular joy [to me] is that as I’m growing spiritually, I am not feeling the pangs I normally encounter. All that is to say that my personal Bible study is marvelously in line with how You have been moving me and I do not for one moment believe it is coincidence. In light of that, today’s focus revolves around the subject of blessings; not receiving them, but bestowing them on others.

Bestowing the Blessing

Sharing a blessing is simply conferring happiness and prosperity upon another. While there is a prescribed order and method that I want to examine, the Christian should rest comfortably that he or she has the God-given authority to pronounce blessings. How do we know this? We know this because Holy Scripture reminds us:

(We are) a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5b

Having been given the right to bless one another, we should come to recognize the privilege and responsibility associated with it. As we read the 1 Kings passage we note that Solomon had prepared himself through sacrificial prayer. Why is that important? Prayer prepares us to bless; in continual prayer we come to discern God’s will so our blessings will not be arbitrary or spiritually illogical. Furthermore, God, through prayer, provides power. In other words, prayer puts us in a position to be empowered by God. We see the ‘formula’ repeated time and time again in the Bible; we must go in before we can go out.

And Moses said to Aaron, “Go to the altar, offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people. Offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them, as the Lord commanded.” …Then Aaron lifted his hand toward the people, blessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and peace offerings. Leviticus 9:7 + 22

The altar always speaks of sacrifice and believers acknowledge that there is an expenditure one makes when we come before the Lord in prayer. Have you ever noticed that practically every single person you bless, regardless if they are saved or not, always say, “Thank you?” The reason is, whether they’re conscious of it or not, that they perceive there was a cost involved, a cost that included more than just your time. Sadly for some, it is that cost-factor that keeps them from praying and pronouncing blessing. Prayer time can be draining, challenging, and strenuous, but for the prayer-warrior and the blessing-giver these are seen as privileged opportunities to serve God and viewed as a very reasonable sacrifice.

What’s Our Motivation?

What motivated Solomon’s blessing? 1 Kings 8:60 tells us, ‘That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God (and that) there is no other.’ The blessing wasn’t selfish, nor was it selfless; in the long run it was purposed to bring recognition, glory and honor to the only One who could deliver on his words. Did it work; was anyone of the earth drawn by the Holy Spirit to know the Lord? The Queen of Sheba was! In 1 Kings 10:1 we read how this African queen heard of Solomon’s reputation (particularly as it related to the Lord) and how she came to investigate. In her own words Sheba concludes:

Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.” 1 Kings 10:8-9

I don’t know about you, but I have never seen more clearly how blessing others is evangelical. I am purposed in my heart to do it more and do it more effectively, with Solomon (and many others) as my example. How about you? Go pronounce a blessing upon someone today, in the name of the Lord and with an expectation that the blessing will come to pass!

It’s my blessing to you that your day is Jesus-filled to the point He overflows upon everyone you encounter.

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Then the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the people of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; and they forsook the Lord and did not serve Him. Judges 10:6

Quotes For Today

“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words…When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint”

“What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?”

These would be such precise assessments of today’s youth, had they not been penned well over a thousand years ago. The first quote is attributed to the 8th century Greek poet Hesiod and the second to the 5th century Greek philosopher Plato. Apparently there is nothing new under God’s sun. Things have not changed one crumb, except to say that there are now billions of people in the world making the perversity appear a billion times worse. We should not be surprised. In the Book of Judges the Lord raises up deliverer after deliverer and each time, the children of Israel repeatedly do evil in the sight of the Lord. If we weren’t so culpable ourselves, we might be shocked.

Why Does This Happen?

Well the short answer is that we’re all sinners, however for the born-again believer, that excuse no longer floats. A true follower of Christ Jesus; one who is enveloped in the components of the faith, should know better. So what happened with Israel? In their case they were recurrently guilty of what we’re so often guilty of: complacency. God would save them, there would be peace in the land for forty years or so (the length of a generation), and then the next generation would fall away into idolatry. Why? Because the previous generation kept their faith to themselves; they were self-satisfied and made little or no effort to carry on the oral traditions of their faith. God warned them (and He warns us today) that this would happen…

When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest–when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage… Deuteronomy 8:10-14

We Have an Advantage

Today, we have Israel’s example recorded for us in God’s word. Back in the day, Israel relied on their own oral tradition. Not an excuse mind you, but nevertheless, they did not have the Bible to refer to. I only mention that fact as a reminder—the Christian has God’s Word and His Holy Spirit living inside of us. It does make you wonder why we make the same brainless errors though.

And the children of Israel said to the Lord, “We have sinned! Do to us whatever seems best to You; only deliver us this day, we pray.” So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord. Judges 10:15-16

The Good News

Like I said earlier, nothing much has changed through the years—God’s formula is still the same: confess, submit, and repent. Confess our sin, submit to the consequences (and there are always consequences), turn away from sin and turn towards Jesus Christ with an obedient heart. Ladies and gentlemen, we serve the God of second, and third, and fourth, and…chances. A horrible experience is the best teacher, but it does not have to be your experience.


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Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

An Email, an Open Door and Disobedience

Less than forty eight hours after the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti, I received an email from my daughter’s principal at Calvary Christian School—he and others from the church were going to Haiti. They were looking for donations, not volunteers, but I figured it never hurts to ask—so feeling led by the Holy Spirit, I did.

He responded promptly and advised me that the decision was not his, but one of the elders from the church. He gave me the number and I quickly called. I was told I could go if I could get an airline ticket—he added that there was little chance of that happening because of the crisis—the airlines to the Dominican Republic (the only way into Haiti) were sold out. I hung up the phone and immediately began searching for a flight. Almost instantly I found a flight and saved it while I called him back.

“I have a flight!” I told him.

My First Mistake

As I told him my good news, I sensed in the tone of his voice that he rather I did not go. He didn’t say I couldn’t go, it was just the impression I received. Led by my emotions (and not the Spirit), I asked him what were his thoughts on my going. He convinced me to wait for one week when another team would be going. It pained me, but it seemed to make sense—I had essentially talked my way out of going.

After the longest week I ever endured, the news came that I could not be a part of the next team—it was going to be all medical and pastorial. It was then I was nearly certain I should not have bailed on the previous opportunity—God opened a door and I slammed it shut. I was then told I would be on the following week’s team. The only problem was that team-two came back with a negative report–apparently there were giants in the land.

I questioned their faith, but the Lord quickly convicted my heart, “Where is your faith David?” He asked.

Spiritually I struggled. Was God telling me to step-out in faith like the priests who placed the soles of their feet in the raging Jordan River before God heaped up its waters or was I to patiently wait on the Lord as the psalmist proclaimed. I discerned from the Lord I was to go to Haiti by faith, but alas, my counselors were advising me otherwise. Honestly, it was agonizing.

Another Door

From the very beginning of these events, a friend of mine gave me a name, an email, and phone number for a young, Christian, Haitian man living in Port Au Prince. It sat on my desk for 3 weeks before I called him. At first he too was hesitant, but I convinced him that I was responding to what the Lord had placed into my heart–all I asked of him was a safe place to lay my head at night. He indicated he was willing to provide this, so I ordered my non-refundable airline tickets.

A Hiccup

Twenty four hours before I was to leave for Haiti, I emailed, I telephoned, and I Facebooked my new Haitian friend with my flight and bus information. No response.

“Now what?” I asked of the Lord

And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:29-32

I sensed the Lord was telling me now what He was telling me all along—to just go to Haiti as a willing vessel and He would provide all that I needed. This time I was determined to obey and in so doing would confirm one of two things: I was hearing the Lord speaking clearly to my heart ~or~ I was totally misinterpretating what I was hearing.

God Reveals Himself

“Lord, once in Haiti I will be completely powerless; I present myself to You to be used as You see fit,” was the prayer I repeated over and over on the plane to the DR. I continually looked over the comforting Bible verse my friend Ruth gave me an hour before I left for the airport:

Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the Western Sea, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you Deuteronomy 11:24-25

I exited the plane in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic and went to retrieve the 130 pounds of supplies I had brought along—friends had donated over $2,000 with which I was able to purchase twenty tents. These were stuffed into three duffle bags along with medical supplies and tooth brushes that were also donated. It was midnight in the DR and my plan was to sit in the airport till daylight and take a taxi to the bus for the ten hour trip to Port Au Prince. There was still no response from my Haitian-host-to-be.

The first thing the Lord provided was a free luggage cart. I loaded it up and went to find a seat. Outside of the luggage carousel area I sat in the fast-food dining area. I cradled my head in hands and was prepared to wait the six of seven hours until sun up. As I offered some praises to the Lord for bringing me safely this far, I was approached by a young lady.

“Do you need a ride?” the she asked.

It’s not what you think; this young lady was holding a YWAM sign and had been searching arrivals for the folks who had signed on to serve with that ministry. In reality, she initially thought I was one of those people. I explained to her that I wasn’t and was waiting for morning to take the bus. She said they had a bus packed and ready to go to Port Au Prince now—and I could go if I wanted to. Is our God amazing or what!

I loaded my gear onto the bus and we headed back to the YWAM base camp in Santo Domingo. As it turned out, the bus in question would not be going to Port Au Prince after all, but to St. Mark for a medical mission. Not to worry I was told, there were two men at the base camp who were going to Port Au Prince.

Sugi and Somi

The YWAM leader introduced me to my ride, “This is Sugi and Somi, and they’re going to Port Au Prince. They can take you where you are going.”

Both Sugi and Somi were Indonesian pastors living in California and Texas (respectively) and they were serving with a ministry called World Harvest. I told them about my situation and it was agreed that if I could not make contact with my host in Haiti, I could join forces with them to minister to the needs of the Haitian people.

The Lord was proving Himself over and over.

I tossed my supplies into their rented van and we set out for the ten hour journey to Port Au Prince. Sugi and Somi had made arrangements to stay with another ministry and we followed behind their bus. When we finally crossed the border, I discovered that my phone which was supposed to work in Haiti didn’t. I was now unable to make contact with my host. Sugi and Somi were stuck with me, but I see now this was the Lord’s plan all along—to just step out in faith and He would provide all my needs.

The Lord blessed me beyond what I or anyone deserves and in turn we were able to be blessing vessels for Him to the Haitian people. I had traveled to Haiti before and I confess on that trip I was scared, but this trip was different. I felt safe and secure in the loving arms of my gracious and merciful Father. Even when swarmed by masses of people trying to possess the water or food we were distributing, I always felt His protection around me.

Continually through this journey, the Lord demonstrated His faithfulness and I can tell you that I came away from Haiti feeling more blessed than the people we came to be a blessing too–I am always amazed by the Lord’s multi-tasking abilities. Everyone I met on this trip was of the same mind and opinion; Americans and Haitians alike. God is better than anyone deserves and we need to share that truth with everyone we know or meet.

Post Script

As a body of believers, we (I) need to be more sensitive to what the Lord through His Holy Spirit is trying to accomplish through our brothers and sisters in Christ. While it is true that common (worldly) sense dictates going to Haiti without much of a game plan is foolishness, it is only irrational if the Lord hasn’t directed you to do so. Sadly, in light of the Lord’s obvious and enduring hand upon the entire journey, I suspect there will likely be Christians who will still assert I should not have gone.

I cannot help but be reminded of the twelve spies Moses sent to spy out the Promised Land. Ten of them recorded a fearful report of giants in the land, but two of them, Joshua and Caleb, proclaimed these words…

Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Numbers 14:9

Every giant that the world lays before us has the potential to be spiritual nourishment to our bodies—these giants; any giants are akin to Wonder Bread for the Christian who is led by the Holy Spirit–they are our bread. Let me not be the one to quench the Holy Ghost in my spiritual walk or the walk of anyone else ever again, Amen.

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The First Prayer of Congress: 1774

“Lord our Heavenly Father, High and Mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech thee, on these our American States, who have fled to thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent on Thee, to Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give; take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle! Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst Thy people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. all this we ask In the Name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.  Amen.”

September 7th, 1774 by Jacob Duche in Carpenters Hall, Philadelphia

Quickly, We Lost Our Way

1787, eleven years after the Declaration of Independence, the representatives were struggling to put in writing the Constitution of the United States making little or no progress.  This congress was beginning to consider that their attempt to form a lasting union had failed.  Prior to adjourning one day, eighty-one-year-old Benjamin Franklin stood up and addressed the confused, distressed and contradictory conference.  He said…

“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection.  Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered.  All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor….And have we now forgotten this powerful Friend?  Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?”

“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: ‘that God governs in the affairs of man.’   And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?  We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.  I firmly believe this.”

 “I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little partial local interest; our projects will be confounded; and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages.  And what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war or conquest. I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business.”

Benjamin Franklin then proposed that Congress suspend proceedings for two days in order to seek God’s will.   When they returned two days later, they commenced in opening each congressional session with prayer. Franklin’s speech marked a turning point in the writing of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the decision to put God first in all things concerning this country.

A Call to Knees

As a country we may have (once again) gone spiritually astray. Perhaps there is little we can do for those of this nation who are determined to ignore Jesus Christ, the blessings He provides and continues to provide, and the work He has finished on the cross, but as individual Christians and corporately as His church we are still called to prayer.  Quite honestly, ol Ben Franklin, I believe influenced by the Holy Spirit, nailed it and we would be wise to heed his prudent counsel.

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So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. “I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you. I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beast of the field become too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land. Exodus 23:25-30

“When is my life going to get better?” a new-believer asked me recently.“What if it doesn’t…Is Heaven enough?” was my reply.

There is an expectation on the part of God for us to ask questions of this type. This is reckonable because, as we read our Bibles, we see that He has blessed us with the answers to our questions before we have asked them. The key to spiritual comprehension; i.e. receiving the correct answer to our specific inquiry, is to examine what the Lord has to say on the matter as a whole—contextually, otherwise there will likely be misunderstandings.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

The truth of the matter is that God will bless us when we commit ourselves to serving Him and for some, those blessings may only be made manifest once they cross over form this life to the next. God is very clear that although our sins have been washed cleaned by the blood of Christ, there are still earthly consequences for iniquity. This must be so because our God is a God of order. Could you imagine if the two billion people who call themselves Christian were suddenly released from their punitive responsibilities? There would be worldwide anarchy contrary to what God has established

“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:6-7

There is a godly process to restoration. The doctrine being established in Exodus 34 maintains that our behavior (good or bad) will have an affect on generations to come. If a father is an alcoholic (for example) and repents towards Jesus after his children have grown, there is still going to be an inevitable residue left upon his family. God is not saying those kids are cursed, but affected—there is a difference. The ‘reaping and sowing doctrine’ does not disappear merely because we have given our hearts to Jesus. In actuality it is the ‘reaping and sowing doctrine’ that declares (by God’s grace) we can sow anew and reap afresh.

Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land. Exodus 23:30

An Explanation

God does not always offer explanations for His actions, so when He does we need to pay very close attention. Exodus 23:30 outlines a process by which we might grow spiritually and faithfully; a process that requires His perfect timing. Any attempt to circumvent His timing can only result in a deficiency in the blessing or perhaps even demolish the opportunity all together. The bottom line is that God is not making us to wait as retribution for behavior past, but so we ‘increase’ as a result of His perfect work in us. If God’s provision in this regard were instantaneous, the transformation in us would likely never come to pass. And do not be fooled into thinking this is just about patience…

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

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