Freedom and Faith Must Not Be Cast Aside to Fight a Viral Foe [Video]

CCP CoronavirusThere is an old curse attributed to the Chinese that states, ‘May you live in interesting times.’ It is somewhat ironic that the entire globe is going through some very dangerous ‘interesting times’ because of the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP Coronavirus.

The obvious danger is the danger of death from the disease. The less obvious danger is what is happening within the government, particularly in America, at various levels in the name of combatting this virus.

The economic dangers were referred to in the previous piece. However, there is a far more insidious process in operation by the Leftist powers-that-be in America that holds devastating consequences for both faith and freedom worldwide should it succeed.

The Threat to Religious Faith

CCP CoronavirusThe threat to the basic 1st Amendment freedom of religion has so far been confined to various individual states that have issued “stay at home” orders to the citizenry. The order has included any gatherings of more than 10 or 5 people, and some orders are aimed at eliminating any assembly of people at all.

This means that gatherings for church services in a single building are basically forbidden by government authorities. This has come to a head especially in a couple of spots within America in the last few days.

The most publicized of these threats has come from the mayor of the most affected city in America, New York City. Mayor Bill DeBlasio directly threatened to close down places of worship, i.e. church buildings and synagogues, if they violated his orders.

…de Blasio singled out synagogues and churches saying he would shut them down if they continued to meet during the coronavirus outbreak. “[Law enforcement] will inform them they need to stop the services and disperse,” de Blasio, a Democrat, said at his March 27 press briefing. “If that does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently.”

It is the final word in the mayor’s statement that is tantamount to a direct violation of at least two parts of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the freedom to worship as one sees fit, and the right to peaceably assemble. Temporary closure for a determined amount of time is acceptable, but a permanent closure is not acceptable and no one has the authority to circumvent the Constitution least of all a local mayor.

Lest you believe that this is an empty threat, take note of the arrest of one pastor who was determined to hold services despite orders such as these in other places. Moreover, this happened while such orders allow other businesses to remain open, as was seen last week in Florida.

Florida megachurch pastor Rodney Howard-Browne is defending himself after he was arrested for holding services Sunday in defiance of government orders aimed at curbing coronavirus. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister charged him with “unlawful assembly” and “violation of public health emergency order,” but Howard-Browne’s conservative legal team, Liberty Counsel, …argued in a press release that Hillsborough County’s orders issued March 20 and 27 included exemptions and exceptions used by businesses that also should apply to the church. Staver said Howard-Browne and his Tampa church took “extra precautions” and went “above and beyond” to be in “full compliance with the administrative order which allows any business to operate under the 6-foot restriction,” [Liberty Counsel Presiedent] Staver argues. …In addition to following the 6-foot rule, the church staff wore gloves, gave every person hand sanitizer as they entered, and spent $100,000 on a hospital-grade system that provides “continuous infectious microbial reduction (CIMR) that is rated to kill microbes, including those in the coronavirus family.”

I would contend that this particular church assembly far exceeded the health requirements of Hillsborough County’s order and further I doubt any of the other businesses exempt from it could match those same precautions provided by the church. In reality, the church was in full compliance with the law except where the law forbade the assembly altogether.

Moreover, the church was also in compliance with biblical requirements. They were in submission to man’s law [Romans 13] except where that law violated the Word of God for His church.

Heb 10:23  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. [ESV]

Threats to Second Amendment Rights

CCP CoronavirusIn various locales, the Leftist opponents of the right to keep and bear arms are using the CCP Coronavirus to justify incursions upon the Second Amendment. The two most populous states in America are in the midst of lawsuits for their attempts to close down all gun stores in California and New York.

The Trump administration recently designated gun stores as ‘essential businesses’ that should be allowed to remain open during our ‘National Emergency’ because of the CCP Coronavirus. However, both the governors of California and New York are ignoring this designation using their authority to continue to keep gun stores shuttered.

Other states such as Maine, New Jersey, and Connecticut initially tried to close gun stores, however, they realized this was unwise and have backed off of those demands. The governors in those states either have received much better legal advice than the Chief Executives of California and New York or Govs Newsom and Cuomo believe their assessments and proclamations should overrule the U.S. Constitution.

There is a natural question that surfaces from those not familiar with the importance of gun stores to 2nd Amendment rights. Gun stores are not the same as any other retail business.

A firearms purchase of almost any kind must be accompanied by a background check of the individual making the purchase. Assuming there are no problems with the check, the purchaser must go to a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer, i.e. a gun store, to pick up his merchandise.

As writer Cam Edwards explains,

Once gun stores in a state are shut down, residents of those states lose the ability to acquire arms, and in some states, they may not have the ability to purchase ammunition either. You can’t ship a gun to your home, and you can’t download a gun to your e-reader. In states that require background checks on all firearms transfers, there’s simply no legal way to acquire a firearm without going to a gun store.

During these trying times, some places are letting some criminals out of prison and allowing even some violent crimes to be committed. It is reprehensible and dangerous to use this crisis for removing an individual’s right to defend himself and his family especially with the elevated risks of the situation today.

The Threat of Government Tracking

Perhaps the most insidious threat to liberty has come in the form of a portion of a strategy proposed to combat the CCP Coronavirus in America. The following video contains a lot that has already been covered in this article.

However, the potential for widespread government surveillance as a “phase” of the battle against CCP Coronavirus, and even worse, is revealed toward the conclusion of the video.

The danger of this effort to track citizens’ movements by whatever means should be apparent. The Orwellian implications of such measures pose a grave threat to both life and liberty in the not-so-distant future.

Understand that this tracking is to be accomplished without the permission of the individuals being tracked. As Laura alluded to in the video, this smacks of ‘big brother teaming up with big business,’ and poses some frightening scenarios if we continue in the current direction.

Moreover, if the state can monitor all your movements, they can also control your movements to a level and with a preciseness that would rival the current situation in China itself, via the efforts of the CCP.

CCP CoronavirusThis cannot abide. It will indeed turn us into a “nation of snitches” as the power of the state is employed to coerce people to turn others into the government. How long before that progresses and friends turn in other friends, and perhaps family members turn against each other?

It is one thing to speak of battling against this microscopic enemy with all our resources and determination, however, any liberty-denying measures must be used only with a guarantee that they are limited and very temporary.

The trials faced by the entire globe because of the CCP Coronavirus are monumental. America must not allow her heritage of liberty to be forfeited in the war against this pandemic, or the hopes for liberty everywhere will be dashed as well.

We must instead unite as one nation under God and call upon His grace and wisdom in this hour of need. Faith and hope in Him will bring us through stronger than ever before.

Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.      Romans 5:2-5 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Brian Westcott’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Charles Fettinger’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Anthony Crider’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Charles Hutchins’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

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Waiting on His Return

We are familiar with the details of Christ’s fanfare when He returns amidst trumpets sounding across the land. The clouds will break open, and God’s light will shine as He returns. We can visualize the dead rising first as He calls us home. But, what if…

What if you sat on your porch and a man with a long, white robe and long, flowing hair approached you? Would you know instantly everything you learned and read was correct about Jesus? What if He came to your steps and said, “Are you ready?”

Would you think… is my bed made? Am I dressed appropriately? Is my home in order and bills paid? Is the laundry piled high by the bathroom sink? Is your house tidy or in complete disarray, just like your life? Would you tell Jesus, “let me get my wallet and cellphone?”

I wonder how many people will have the strength to follow Him? I’m sure some who claim to be of great faith, will fall flat on their face, kneel in forgiveness, and try to repent of their sins. But, it will be too late for those actions are to happen in this life. When Christ arrives for you, there will not be another chance or a rain check. Some will answer the calling, and some will miss the opportunity.

It will be a sad situation, especially when it involves those closest to us. For example, good Christians raise their children in the House of the Lord. But, as those generations turn into adults, they seek other means of comfort. Such vices include the drug scene, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, atheism, and crime. If God were to return today, we would never see our children again. It is taught that if we do everything possible to train our kids to have a strong spiritual nature, they will eventually return to their roots. Children are a gift from God, and He demands parents to raise them according to His laws. Teach them well so they, too, will walk from the porch with the Lord.

Our Father has given us everything in life, yet asked nothing in return except to honor Him. So, I wonder about the smug hypocrites who use the church to hide from their sin and faults. Will their unconscionable mind realize the wrongness of their logic? God is just and kind, but the Bible reveals hypocrites will also be severely judged at the end of time:

The condition of your home, or how well you are dressed will be gone forever when the Lord arrives at the sound of a trumpet. His appearance will be shocking and scary for those less prepared to face Him. I contemplate the unfolding events of our stand before His throne. If we bow and offer excuses for our sin, will God raise His right hand and say, “NO MORE! Begone!” Or will He whip out His “Book of Life” and start reciting all of our mistakes? The Bible reveals the answer:

I don’t have a clue if Christ will come through the clouds or arrive on your doorstep, but I can only emphasize this – don’t wait to prepare for His second coming! Start today by asking forgiveness of your sins, and never return to those wicked ways. Serve your fellowman in His holy name. Turn away from evil, and praise His name. Guide yourself and family to the heavens above so you all may be richly rewarded at the end of time. Every day you wait, is one less day you have to get things right before God.

As for me… I’m prepared and waiting on His return, covered in the blood of Christ.



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God’s Intervention

Before July 2009, my life was trials of tribulations that polluted my inner soul. But today, I’m making wonderful memories under the watchful eyes of the Lord Jesus. How did a miracle save my life? How do miraculous incidents occur, and are they real?

As I go into uncharted territory, let’s look at those involved in near-fatal accidents. Perhaps a soft voice told the victim to hold on, or an unknown soothing touch of a hand cradled their head while assuring help is on its way. This happened to my wife in her car accident. Some people proclaim they met a man in the light of a tunnel. Others are pronounced dead when someone told them to go back because it wasn’t their time. Was this a man, or an angel, or the same person in all the above cases? Was it God’s intervention in these lives?

I often hear deists, and even some Christians say, “There is no such thing as miracles. Is it just something written in the Bible, or only performed when Jesus was alive?” How many unexplained events happen in the world today? Who made them happen? Was it just a fluke, or do you think you have a better scientific explanation?

Miracles didn’t stop after the Bible was written! They happen every day, and we read about them in the newspapers and social media. God can only perform these supernatural acts, not humans.

The New Testament translates miracles as signs that God uses to point to Himself. Some examples in the Bible include:

The blind were made to see (John 9:1-7), and the lame to walk (Acts 3:1-10). They became followers of Jesus.

The resurrection of Christ became the basis of Christianity.

Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11).

Jesus’ light blinded Saul of Tarsus and became God’s Apostle.

Jesus calmed a ferocious storm on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:23-27).

The miracles of Christ were never denied during early Christianity. Even ancient enemies admitted that Jesus did certain extraordinary deeds as an intervention. John said Jesus did so many “works” that the world could not contain the number of books should all of them be recorded (John 21:25).

Image copyright by Luno Project (Big Book Media)/ FreeBibleImages.org

Miracles are God’s way of communicating with mankind, and they remain so in today’s times. He puts in place a miraculous act to draw you closer to Him. I know it’s hard to conceive, but the Lord can rescue the insignificant, such as myself, and make him His servant. Many people share their personal experiences of being anointed to do God’s holy work, especially after He worked a miracle in their life. Yes, miracles still happen!

We are nearing Easter, the holiest event in Christianity. Jesus hung on the cross, accepting our sin, but he rose from the dead three days later. This was the greatest miracle because, against all the odds, He rose from the dead. His disciples and others encountered Him during His ascension of forty days. His resurrection gives all people hope their suffering will lead to joy.

Are you so focused on the problems of this world, or your life, that you are missing out on the greatest joy you will ever receive – one of His miracles? Maybe the Lord sees you floundering and knows you need a sign. Do not close your eyes, for He is always watching and there to protect you.

A Special Prayer:

Today, as a nation, we pray to you, Father, for an intervention. We’ve come to pass where an Ebenezer is our hope, and only Your grace can save us, Lord. Though the storm clouds deter the heavens, we know in our heart You hear us calling for help. We need a miracle, Lord Jesus! Give us a miracle and protect us from the pandemic spreading across the world. Amen.

God’s intervention is our hope today.


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House of Prayer

The bobbing little heads are so thankful to see me this morning. They’re grateful for the seed I throw their way. It is amazing they know it’s safe to fly out of the trees and eat, so long as I am there. Perhaps I am… a house of prayer for all my feathered fowl.

In my house of prayer, my humbled heart guides my conscience. I cannot list the blessed gifts God sent my wife and me in our short few years of marriage. But many people are not so fortunate…

Some families lost their finances, especially over the past few weeks. Others gambled their money, and even life savings, instead of reading the laws of God. In a Christian’s house of prayer, the Bible dictates this distinction:

Many abodes are filled with “prized possessions” from floor to ceiling. We can witness this sad condition on TV, such as “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and even “American Pickers.” Or, shoppers fill their carts with unnecessary items after each paycheck to fill a void in their heart. I must ask, “How can you love two Gods if you are a true Christian?” This ill-fated, psychological condition promotes money and the love of physical items. In this house of prayer, the Bible states:

We can easily find the standard salary of clergymen on the internet. It is far below the national average income. But some televangelists, who I call “false prophets,” steal from the poor to live in their dynasty. They build multi-million dollar lifestyles, believing they can buy into heaven’s gates. In their masonry house of prayer, the frigid winds blow through the cracks and crevices.

So, what kind of house of prayer is your residence? Is your home blessed, or does Satan appear to send signals of acceptable sin? If Jesus walked in your house today, would He feel the warmth of love and graciousness? Could He easily place His hands on your Bible?

Just like the little feeding birds, they eat only enough to fill their bodies. They, too, come to me for comfort. We should turn to God for life’s blessings. Share your bread, for it is His will you are supplied with His love, including the little birds that feed in your backyard.

I pray your life and home is a sanctuary, filled with God’s blessings and love. Be content with your basic needs being met and avoid materialism. It is only the flesh that yearns for the security of money. Our wealth belongs to God – and it’s a gift. Make Him first in your life. Only faith, prayer, and your walk in the light of God will bring you to His house of prayer.



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Faith Amidst a Viral Fever

Faith, corona virusNow that most of the world appears to be in lockdown mode over fears of spreading the CCP virus, aka the Coronavirus, COVID-19, or Wuhan Flu, etc., it seems prudent to use this global “time-out” and assess, or re-assess as the case may be, our standing with God. For one of the things which scream out at humanity at this moment is that we have taken ourselves far too seriously and taken God far too lightly for far too long.

For the curious, I am adopting the name ‘CCP virus’ after the manner I recently saw used by the excellent newspaper, The Epoch Times. They explain the reason for this designation,

…because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

I agree completely with that sentiment and so I am calling it the CCP virus as well. Though it is not a strict medical designation, it is more accurate than simply the “coronavirus,” and historically indicts the people most responsible for the pandemic.

However, it is the reaction of the populace to the CCP virus that is perhaps more critical to successfully combatting this pestilence than the physical precautions. Hyper-inflating public fear for political points, as the Leftmedia is doing, only serves to promote needless panic that is foolish and potentially more dangerous than the disease itself.

Faith Cures the Fever of Fear

Inset.1.3.19.2020One of the symptoms of the CCP virus infection is a fever of varying severity in the infected person. Fear about the pandemic is capable of producing a fever effect within the human psyche as well.

Faith is the cure for the ‘fear fever.’ One reason for this is that we all operate in life through faith, in fact, no one can live any other way.

All people, regardless of viewpoint or belief or lack of such in God live by faith in someone or something. That is, all of us must trust in something or someone, and usually both, just to live our everyday lives.

For example, very few of us outside of trained technicians and the like understand how electric power works in our homes, we simply trust that the flip of a switch or press of a button will produce waves of photons dispersed as white light! The technological advances of modern times are literally impossible without the magic of electric power in all its multitude of forms today and without an almost fundamental trust in this, modern society could not function.

There is, of course, a definitive difference between faith in what man has provided and faith in God. Faith in man’s provision is always faith in a limited provision, while faith in God is faith in an unlimited provision for every situation.

Faith in God is faith that can cure fear at the heart and soul level because faith is believing at the soul level. It is the certainty of the heart that God is real and His love and power are available for all and fear has no chance against that.

Faith Is God’s Perscription for the Fever of Fear

16361200694_f51ebc396e_wThe definitive biblical passage concerning faith is found in the 11th chapter of the New Testament book of Hebrews. It begins,

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Hebrews 11:1-3 [ESV]

Paul goes on to give numerous examples of faith demonstrated throughout history from the Old Testament all the way back to Cain and Abel. In the middle of that, as if interrupting himself, Paul writes in verse six,

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. [ESV]

The most often used phrase in the Bible is “Fear not.” When this phrase is used it is invariably connected with some statement of assurance that God is present to handle whatever is causing such fear.

Perhaps the most iconic words exhibiting this are found in the 23rd Psalm when David writes in verse 4 that,

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. [ESV]

David is stating that it doesn’t matter even if death seems to threaten all around him, he knows that he knows the LORD is with him. His faith is not shaken because he trusts not only in the existence of God but in God’s provision of comfort, encouragement, strength, and love to see him through the darkest of times.

The brilliant Christian writer C.S. Lewis once wrote that,

Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

Much the same can be said about fear especially when it concerns something that is out of human control like the current struggle with the CCP virus. Fear, like pain, can function to draw us near to God, or we can choose to give in to the ‘fear fever’ and move in panic away from God.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Fear

49203379398_b3a2ba72ca_wThere are two different types of fear, one type that is unhealthy and another type that is healthy. The type of fear being expressed in hoarding and panic buying is the unhealthy type that I have been addressing until now.

There is also a healthy type of fear that cautions most people against attempting truly dangerous activities. However, there are those few that do, and indeed feel they must act contrary to such caution and risk even their very lives for a moral and righteous end.

This is seen most often on the battlefield and in places where law enforcement and first responders rush into danger to protect and defend others. In those instances, it could be contended that is is the ‘righteous’ fear for others that overcomes the fear of harm to self.

We have a name for that phenomenon called courage. You see, courage is not the absence of fear, it is rather acting ‘righteously’ in spite of the presence of fear for a good and noble result.

Nowhere is that better exemplified than in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross to pay for humanity’s sin. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, knew that He would suffer and die before He left heaven but also knew that humanity had no chance against the greatest of all maladies, sin, without His sacrifice.

Jesus demonstrated an act of almost unfathomable courage in the face of incredibly fearful circumstances bourne of His unlimited love for humanity. The greatest infection of all is the sinfulness in the human heart.

Sin has a 100% infection rate and left untreated will result in a fate worse than death with 100% certainty. The sole remedy for this is faith in Jesus and His complete atonement for sin.

Jesus put it this way,

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 [ESV]

During this period when things are in discord I would urge people to do two things. One, follow the precautions recommended such as ‘social distancing’ and others even if you are in a low-risk group for contracting or dying from CCP virus for the sake of others who might be at risk.

Secondly, and most important is this advice. Take this time of relative isolation to contemplate your life and relationship with the One who gave His life for you.

Take this time to choose to live with faith instead of living in the grip of fear and panic. If you know the LORD Jesus as Savior, choose to live for Him and show others His love. If you don’t know Him, come near in faith for He is waiting with open arms for you.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Jerry Worster’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Hernan Pinera’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Kevin Shorter’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Lluis Ribes Mateu’s Flicker page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

If We Only Understood

I rarely dream, but when I do, it is about something in my conscious thoughts. The aspiration I will share with you comes with a great message.

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”  Acts 20:28

I dreamed, recently, my wife and I was driving through a neighborhood on a brief sight-seeing tour of a town. She stopped the car as we noticed a church called Humbled Ministries. The billboard outside the church flashed a recognizable pastor’s name – it was someone I longed to meet. It piqued my curiosity, even though I detest ministers who advertise religion as if they are running for a political office.

Like so many other famous clergymen, he is so unobtainable when the public reaches out to him. But I thought, wow! I can finally write this off my bucket list. I climbed about six or seven steps and cracked open one of the heavy double doors. For such a large church, it had a small vestibule! Another set of double doors led into a tiny sanctuary. I didn’t understand the complexity of having such scaled-down amenities in an enormous complex.

I stood in the doorway and could literally count the number of parishioner’s heads. It confused me! Why would this church, in the middle of nowhere, and partially filled with poor, working-class people have a prominent named evangelist on their marquee? I stood quietly in the doorway, waiting for his grand entrance to the pulpit. A pastor, instead, was reading scriptures from the Book of Luke.

So, where was this all-powerful minister I was dying to meet? Suddenly a telecaster flashed the famous face in living color. My inner thoughts were best not spoken in church. I found myself in another dead-end altercation, much like meeting the wizard who lived in the land of Oz.

As I woke from the dream, my thoughts gathered a list of renowned clergymen, only seen on TV or the internet who oddly title themselves “men of Christ.” You know who I mean, don’t you? They wear their $600 suits on camera and speak the Lord’s messages. Regular outsiders can never reach them because customer service staff filters the calls and emails. They are much too busy to talk to those who need guidance. Doesn’t this tell you a lot about who they truly are and what is more important to them? Money!

“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;  they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.” Matthew 23: 5-8

When Jesus walked upon the earth, His integrity and personal touch WAS His message to the world. He blessed the poor, healed the sick, and scorned the rich who believed in their idolatry of money. He made little of His contacts in religious settings. Jesus asked most of the questions in conversations because it was His way of connecting with people’s thoughts and feelings.

Today, we can turn on the television and see the fancy attire of ministers parading behind a pulpit. They make millions from their shows and books, yet they are unreachable because they are categorized a “personality.” Is this really how Jesus views them? It’s no wonder many Christians walk away from sanctuaries!

If we only understood, it would sadden Jesus, today, by the clergymen who claim themselves a “personality.” Ordained ministers bear the privilege and responsibility of being servants and leaders in the ministry of the Church. The keyword here is servants. Yes, these famous pastors I speak of today are spiritual leaders, but are they servants? Are they sustaining the community of the faithful? No, they do not, unless it’s accompanied by a hefty paycheck. It’s an incredible disgrace to the Church!

I find it strange we lost the very essence of God’s intentions. I can only pray for those who’ve lost their way and are searching for the only gift they cannot find – a good steward to give them advice and peace. The gift from God is the joining of hands in prayer and leading the believer to worship through personal contact. Communication will set the integrity in relationships between the clergy and members in society – not a television screen. Oh, if we only understood… the mockery!


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Sixth Sense

My Cockatoo parrot lays his head on my shoulders and even gives me the best little kisses. He severely injured his foot a year ago during our move. Covered in blood and crying from the pain, he allowed me to cut the string off that severed into his bone and tendons. Since the incident, I have become his best friend, his “mate,” if you will. I pondered our body’s faculties – the sense of touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. They send information to the brain to help us understand and perceive the world. But I know God gave us a sixth sense, which began at the beginning of time.

If we go to the Book of Genesis, God created Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden. But soon after that, He recognized man was incomplete and needed a mate. Eve solved the problem. Do you know what God realized was missing for Adam? It’s a sixth sense….

I believe every living creature on earth has not only five senses, but a sixth sense called LOVE. Love floods the brain with chemicals and hormones, producing pleasure, obsession, and attachment. However, the emotion of love sets in after we sense the endorphins. God knew Adam needed to love, just as He loves us. Jesus walked the earth to explain the innate love born into each person. Men couldn’t characterize it at the start of time, but love always existed, just as it does now.

Love is a sense of the inner spirit and a force of nature. It is unpredictable, irrefutable, and radiates independently of our fears and desires. So, if God formed all His creations with love as a sixth sense, how then could it not apply to animals too?

As we see on social media, mammals can show humans, love. Millions of caretakers of dogs and cats I’m sure will agree with me. They slurp kisses on our face and sleep in bed with us. But particular creatures, like fowl, are instinctively non-receptive to people. Their nature is to fly from danger… or is it?

I am happy to report that birds, too, are born with a sense of love. How did I reach this epiphany? By a bird – yes, by my parrots! We can’t teach our feathered friends to hug or give us a kiss. Instead, they sense (the sixth sense) when they are loved and protected. They reciprocate in a language only they can understand.

Image by Bicks Books LLC

Now to test my experiment on the outdoor birds. Each morning, I throw tiny seed on the ground, and then take a seat on the deck. Almost immediately, the small birds gather in the nearby trees. I call them, and they flock down to the grass to feed and greet me. Some even venture onto the deck and handrails and chirp. They feel protected and sense love.

 I even took my “love” hypothesis to Wal-Mart. As I walked down an aisle, I encountered many service dogs. We made eye contact, and they too broke and ran to me for a pat on the head. You see, God communicates with animals. He led the animals to Noah’s ark.  Scripture tells us that the breath of life resides within them; therefore, they have a sense of love too.

“Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark.”  Genesis 7:15

Love is the sixth sense inside all creations that share God’s spirit. It is the connection between all the universal languages. Humanity and animals do not have to be created alike to have the same compassion and love derived from God. He so loved the world first so that all His creations have the ability and instinct to love others.

“For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.”  Psalm 50:10-11


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“40” Days

God opened a door this morning and sent me this simple message: “40 days.”  So, I explored the Bible for hardships endured based on the number forty. It astonished me to discover that in biblical history, forty is found 159 times across both the Old and New Testaments. It appears to be a set time for testing and trials in times of vulnerability and trouble.

Here are just a few of the examples where the number “40” played out in the Bible:

The ultimate test of faith occurred with Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. They fasted for forty days and gained new insight into God’s plans. Moses received the Ten Commandments, Elijah was told how to lead the people of Israel, and Jesus denied Satan’s temptations in the desert.

Three Hebrew kings – Saul, David, and Solomon each ruled for forty years, of which twenty of those years were prosperous. The other twenty years their lives were in ruin because the kings took more from their people than they ever returned – a test of dedication and prosperity.

Remember the story of David and Goliath? Goliath and the Philistines humiliated and fought the Israelites for forty days. Then God sent the shepherd, David, to defeat them and solidify Israel. This was a test of the Philistine’s humility.

Noah built an ark under God’s instruction. Because man’s sins were too great, He flooded the earth for forty days and nights, destroying every living thing on earth. It was a test of Noah’s faithfulness.

Image attributed to John Paul Stanley/YoPlace.com. Courtesy of FreeBibleImages.org

Days before they crucified Jesus, He prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem. Forty years later, the Roman Empire burned the city to the ground.

Jesus spent forty days on earth after His resurrection

Today, as you are reading this message, we are in Lent, the “40 days” before Easter. The Lenten season is a time to reflect on Jesus Christ and the meaning of His life – the most significant sacrificial event in the world for Christians. It also includes self-examination and fasting.

Though the Bible does not mention the custom of Lent, the practice of repentance and mourning in ashes is found in a few scriptures:

“So I turned to the LORD God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.”  Daniel 9:3

“Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornate robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.”  2 Samuel 13:19

The Lord does not call us to search for secret meanings in the Bible, but interestingly, this figure plays a huge part in scriptures. Pagans trust numerology, but I have great faith that God used “40” for specific reasons. One such cause is that the word month was unknown, so “40 days” was just a general time period of about a month in biblical times.

So, I ponder this question: Are our prayers answered in about 40 days of a trial and testing? It’s a refreshing thought the Holy Spirit could replenish our spirits and faith every forty days. What an inspiring idea of hope! Our God is awesome!

To those who believe He does not answer prayers, begin practicing your faith on a deeper level. It just might take you “40 days,” but rest assured – God is waiting!


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Isn’t It Time for Some Good News?

I open Google and social media each day, and the negative news floods the pages. People are murdering the innocent with fortitude, a grim reminder Satan still walks the earth. Those with the gold try to pass absurd laws for citizens to follow while they release the guilty to commit more crimes. Lines are drawn in the dirt as men of power speak lies. We, the meek, are artists left to draw our own conclusions. Today, I sit outside in the rain to witness God’s tears of sadness as I pray for those who desperately need His help. But every now and again, we might glimpse His holy goodness.

So, isn’t it time for some good news? God is coming soon to save the faithful and who believe He is the great healer of all our pain. Prophecy promises He will honor those who uphold His holy name.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4 NIV

Let’s make hope the new headlines! The brown lawns will soon resonate to a gorgeous green, and budding plants will regain their strength. Even in times of disaster, we can witness God showing His power, and mankind, together, fights off evil as one. Many non-believers, especially overseas, have found the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Isn’t this a joy to share with others? Let us join hands in solidarity and honor God, for He will be the successor! Spread the hope of salvation to everyone!

Today, I challenge every man, woman, and child to become a leader for God. Sweep away the dead foliage of yesterday, and salt the icy bricks so we can climb the steps to heaven’s gates. Let your Christian faith shine through in every aspect of your life! Make positive changes that reflect God’s love and spread His good news.

“A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 NIV

Memorize scriptures with a strong heart and an encouraging message. It will improve your relationships, health, and happiness. Learn new ways to replace the old negative ones. Pray for the Lord to show you the way for He is in total control of your life.

Yes! YOU will be the good news this world is so desperate to find! Faith unto us has great continuity.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2  NIV

God bless you, my friends!


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Fallen From Grace

God placed before me an obstacle course of challenges to navigate last week. Two individuals felt it imperative to attack my Christian beliefs. As we observe in the world today, many people have fallen from grace while they adhere to the trending fads of social justice. Though I could have tweeted and emailed rhetorical answers, I go forth in the light of God, and write this message. I welcome a good challenge, though, for they are not aware of my history with the Lord.

I investigated a word that rattled in my brain, for there must be some form of justice in my chain of events. It occurred to me God is not just a god of love, but He is “just” – morally right and fair.

Two kinds of justice should be the most concerning for Christians: social and biblical. Much of present-day humanity confuse biblical justice when applying it to our current laws – social justice. So, let me give you some prominent examples.

BIBLICAL JUSTICE

God created all humans equal in His image and the blessing to be treated with fairness and justice. But, from the beginning of the Bible, mankind rejected God’s principles. Paul, the Apostle, warned of this blight. Biblical justice is only what is right in the sight of the Lord – not man’s laws.

“God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.” Ecclesiastes 3:17

Biblical justice occurs when we see people as God sees them. This spiritual freedom causes us to fully embrace the cause of Christ by joining the community and reconciling others to the Lord. We should not to participate in something for just our own benefit, but for the glory of God.

He calls us to confront evil and to care for the vulnerable, however many people back away from this for fear of losing their life. So, thirty-five million people live in slavery, of some form around the world, because there is no one to save them from the horror. Injustice is rampant, and very few take action to protect the innocent. The news recently broadcast the story of a seventy-seven-year-old man beaten and robbed for a couple of hundred dollars. Did any Christian come forward to help him? Christ’s followers are to “do justice” because Christ came proclaiming justice. It is He giving a voice to the voiceless!

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” Psalm 82:3

SOCIAL JUSTICE

In matters of social justice, we become entrenched in who wronged whom, and who wronged whom first, in an undertone of anger. It spreads division and destruction, as is evident within our current U.S. government. Social division becomes based on the judgment of everyone who does not see things “our way.” The distinction Jesus taught was never about skin color, religious, ethnic, or cultural affiliations or political positions. Condemnation of people blind us to the forgiveness Christ offers us as sinners.

Also, consider this… how many social media lovers refuse to discuss religion with others? Why? Is it the fear of social injustice invoking us to hide underneath the covers? Let’s drop our apprehensions and model Christ’s truth and grace.

Social justice will never represent the law of God passed down by Moses. It is unrighteous and dehumanizing, and the moment we accept it as a way of life, we have fallen from grace.

CAN A CHRISTIAN DO GOOD IN A SOCIAL JUSTICE SYSTEM?

My answer is, “absolutely!” Upholding our dignity and biblical justice laws, we can become activists for the unborn, the elderly, marriage and family, and religious freedom. It’s not a glamorous feat, but it will quiet and humble the expression of biblical Christian justice.

May we all go out into the world with the spirit of our Lord! Be an inspiration for those who have fallen from grace. Your endeavors will be greatly rewarded!


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