How to thank God for today

How marvelous it is O Lord!
That you have offered me another day! Teach me how to thank you.
Before I get out of bed,
Let me thank you fo blessing me with another day;
More blessings, surely,
You have in your abundant store house.
How many of such blessings will I have today?
If I start to count them one by one,
I will never finish;
Who will help me do the counting?
You have kept me alive;
You have given me good health;
Protected me from danger;
Prepared food for me today;
Provided a roof over my head;
You have kept me water to drink;
You have breakfast waiting for me;
You have given me a family;
You have given me neighbours;
Given me a community;
Given me a head;
Given me hands;
You have given me a bed to lie on:
You have equipped me with a thinking cap. How do I thank you?
You didn’t call me to yourself
This night as you have done many.
Have I asked why you left me here?
I can’t take it for granted;
You didn’t do it for nothing;
You kept me for a purpose;
You found me good
To accomplish that purpose for you;
I must thank you, O Lord;
For choosing unworthy me.
Here I am, down on my knees;
My eyes lifted up to you;
My hands raised;
Give me a voice to shout it out to you;
To praise you, O Lord!
To glorify you, Lord of Lords;
King of kings;
King of the universe;
Almighty God,
Creator of heaven and earth;
You are almighty;
You have all the power;
You can do anything
And all things; and everything;
You can do whatever you want;
I come to you on bended knees, mighty living God;
To thank you for your great glory;
Your are love and kindness;
You who are so merciful;
You, whose ways are not our ways;
I thank you!
And pray you!
Make me strong in my faith
In you this day;
Grant me
And my loved ones,
My friends,
My neighbours,
My colleagues,
And my entire community,
My Parish,
My Diocese,
The grace
To love you as we should;
To be faithful to you;
And put you before everything;
May all who do not know you be converted this day;
And may they be strong in their faith in you;
Bless all those in leadership;
Both in the Church and in politics,
Enlighten them to lead as Jesus Christ led,
Not attached to earthly power and glory,
But to do your will;
Make peace reign in the world;
That peace may replace
The violence and wars tearing us apart;
Make us united;
Help us to love one another,
In accordance with our Master’s command;
Be our guide;
Our provider and protector
This day;
May all that we do
Be good in your eyes,
And bring great glory to your holy name;
This, we pray, through Christ our Lord, Amen!

Advertisements

It Isn’t ‘Selfish’ to Advocate Against the Lockdowns [Video]

It Isn’t ‘Selfish’ to Advocate Against the Lockdowns [Video]There has been a rash of protests erupting against continuing the foolishness of “lockdown” in various states across America. In turn, there has also been a different bunch of people attempting to fearmonger and shame those who are engaged in such protests.

The battle has been waged across social media between the ‘pro-lockdown’ and ‘end the lockdown’ camps, and within the Leftmedia the universal opinion is that these draconian tyrannical ‘lockdowns’ must continue until “we” who know better, aka the Leftist elites, say they can end. In the turbulent sea of this battle, one phone call in particular to the Mark Levin radio show on May 22, 2020, sparked this author’s response/article.

The woman on the call was upset because she was being forced to remain unemployed as the authorities in California wouldn’t let her employer open. She decided this wasn’t right (after being locked down for a month) and became active in a movement to open up the state.

She was soon set upon by the pro-‘lockdown’ crowd especially via social media who accused her of being “selfish” because she wanted to go back to work and reclaim the liberty to which we as Americans are entitled by God, and that are secured by the Constitution. Not only is the claim she is “selfish” incorrect, the precise opposite is actually true.

It Is More than Selfish to Demand that Lockdowns Continue

Lock downs, coronavirus responseThe pro-lockdown Left doesn’t always use the word “selfish” to characterize those who wish to end living in our pandemic-panic-penitentiary. Sometimes one might read that we “don’t care” about anyone else, or more commonly that “you just want people to die!” in various social media and Leftmedia rants.

Either way, the Leftist claim is an impure and ‘selfish’ motive on the part of those who oppose the ‘lockdowns.’ So, let’s begin by examining the definition of the word itself. Dictionary.com gives what is a commonly accepted definition of the word ‘selfish.’

devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

The claim from the pro-lockdown folks is that wanting the lockdown to end and wanting to go back to making a living is really “caring only for oneself.” That sentiment is ignorant of the fact that these ‘lockdowns’ have demonstrably failed and done far more harm than good in every area.

Moreover, a few days ago over 600 physicians sent a letter to President Trump pleading that he take steps to end the ‘lockdowns’ now. They presented solid evidence that the negative health effects of the ‘lockdowns’ far outweigh those created by the Chinese Communist facilitated coronavirus.

“Millions of Americans are already [in critical condition],” the letter argued. “These include 150,000 Americans per month who would have had a new cancer detected through routine screening that hasn’t happened, millions who have missed routine dental care to fix problems strongly linked to heart disease/death, and preventable cases of stroke, heart attack, and child abuse. Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%. “We are alarmed at what appears to be the lack of consideration for the future health of our patients,” the doctors added, noting real-life examples they have witnessed in their practices. “The downstream health effects … are being massively under-estimated and under-reported. This is an order of magnitude error.”

These facts make it clear that the ‘pro-lockdown’ Left isn’t concerned about over 100,000 small businesses that have gone under permanently, as well as the other millions of people who have lost their jobs. They are the ones who don’t care about the enormous health risks pointed out by the physicians in the letter above and exhibit a complete “lack of consideration for the future health” of millions of Americans.

However, the push to keep extending the ‘lockdowns’ is much more than simply selfish. It is also a political tactic designed to virtually ruin America economically and help to stop the re-election of President Trump.

This is apparent by the absolute terror high-level Democratic operatives are showing at the prospect of a rapid economic recovery should the nation be freed from the Leftist’s pandemic prison. An analysis and prediction by a former Obama economic advisor, Jason Furman, triggered the fears of Democrats that America’s rebound could boost the President to a runaway win in November.

Furman’s prediction highlights the possibility that the economic recovery could resemble a “V” shaped upward direction which would produce astonishingly good results for America. However, the Left is afraid of this possibility because of the political implications.

Furman’s counterintuitive pitch has caused some Democrats, especially Obama alumni, around Washington to panic. “This is my big worry,” said a former Obama White House official who is still close to the former president. Asked about the level of concern among top party officials, he said, “It’s high — high, high, high, high.”

It Is More than Selfish to Demand that People Wear Masks Everywhere

pandemic panic, masksThe case for wearing masks is not that they protect the wearer, rather they are supposed to protect others in case you have the virus. Demanding that everyone wear masks everywhere means that you are asking everyone else to do something that you want to save you from a disease with a 99.8% survivability rate!

Moreover, wearing masks is of extremely limited benefit. They are far less effective than most people give them credit for.

An excellent piece in The Federalist points this out, as well as adding an ominous tidbit.

Last week, a doctor in the Wall Street Journal pointed out that cloth masks—the type worn by the overwhelming majority of the population—are not very effective, echoing Fauci’s earlier admission. The WSJ author noted that even the N95 masks fall short: “They’re considered effective at blocking coronavirus particles only when they’re form fitted and tested to make sure there isn’t any leakage.” In short, cloth masks are largely symbolic. The science hasn’t changed, but the agenda has.

The author of this piece, Molly McCann, begins by discussing the new Mandatory Masking edict being put into place in Virginia on May 29th. Under that “order,” no one will be allowed outside of their home without wearing a mask.

Given the fact that we know masks are marginally effective at best, why would anyone in authority give this kind of order? McCann correctly identifies the motive behind it.

 To take our freedom from us, people with anti-American agendas have to mobilize some initial quorum of consent from the population. …Mandatory masking seeks to build that consent. In addition to extending the fiction that we are in an emergency sufficient to trigger the extra-constitutional authority of local and state executives, mandatory masking acts as a peer pressure-fueled signal that encourages conformity to our coming “new normal.”

This motive is what makes the requirement of mask-wearing much more than selfish. It is a Leftist attempt to gain control and make others conform to a culture that is alien to liberty.

Moreover, Virginia is not the only state with such executive mandates, in fact, they are late on the scene. As far back as April 8, 2020, New Jersey had a stringent policy in place requiring mask-wearing in public and authorizing denial of entry to any ‘essential’ business without wearing a face mask.

By April 20th, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Hawaii, Maryland, and Pennsylvania all had some form of mandatory mask-wearing order in operation. This indeed signals an effort to reshape American culture and render the populace easier to mold for Socialism to be accepted.

Incidentally, this strategy is putting pressure on many in the general public. This is confirmed by the various “mask-shaming” incidents recorded on video, including one where Leftist network MSNBC was caught in blatant hypocrisy on Memorial Day weekend.

Deana921@Deana921

@edhenry Full video my husband, Andy, took of @CalNBC at Lake Geneva on Memorial Day! Hypocrites on full display! @MSNBC Cameraman and other crew NOT wearing masks while shaming others exercising their freedom not to! @IngrahamAngle @DonaldJTrumpJr @scrowder @greggutfeld

Embedded video

It Is More than Selfish to Demand that Churches Remain Closed

The egregious demands of the government ‘lockdowns’ have included orders for the closing of religious gatherings in many places around America. This is a blatant denial of 1st Amendment rights as the vast majority of faiths in the nation require such gatherings on a regular basis, as well as during special celebrations each year.

churches reopening, coronavirus, lock downsRisking life and limb to secure religious freedom was what brought settlers such as the Pilgrims to America at the beginning. It was what drove those ministers who became known as the “black-robed regiment” to join in the battle against British tyranny during the Revolutionary War.

The sacrifices of people such as these were finally validated by victory in the war, and later by the adoption of the Bill of Rights as the first 10 amendments to the Constitution in 1787. As a result, American citizens have enjoyed the greatest period of freedom and prosperity in human history.

It is therefore rather remarkable that one of the prime targets for closure during these ‘lockdowns’ has been religious gatherings for worship. It is astounding that such gatherings in places of worship were determined to be “non-essential” activities in many states in over-reaction to the threat of the Chinese Communist Party facilitated pandemic.

That over-reactionary bent has been supported by over-zealous enforcement in more than one case when churches have defied the state overlords. One of the most recent examples is also one of the most extreme and comes courtesy of Chicago’s Mayor, Lori Lightfoot.

The following is from an official “Letter of Grievance” concerning an incident epitomizing the tyrannical mindset of the Left in this era of pandemic panic.

Dear US Attorney John Lausch,
Mayor Lightfoot today sent armed police officers to our small church (45 attendees today) to shut our services down today. They came with 3 squad cars two unmarked Durango’s and a Mayor representative’s car. Like the Soviet styled KGB they knocked on our locked doors; the only thing she hasn’t done “yet” is beat the doors down and arrest our members.
Thankfully our doors were locked as a normal safety precaution we take each service to protect our members from the escalating gun violence in Chicago. Mayor Lightfoot is defiant of the US Constitution and our freedom to worship. …She is one of few former US Prosecutors in the US to be censured by the 7th Circuit Judge Rovner and the entire 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for defying their order.
Our church has gone out of its way to follow CDC Guidelines and we have cooperated fully having online services, outdoor services, and practicing all social distancing requirements. We are even taking members temperatures on the way in our church doors.
We are not allowing our elderly to attend services.
We are trying to follow the laws of man as much as reasonably possible but when the laws of man conflict with the laws of God I as a Pastor have a duty to follow the laws of God. We will not be intimidated by this overhanded government bully but we are requesting the assistance of our President and our justice department in correcting the grave miscarriage of the law. If it were not for a Chicago church practicing and reaching others I personally would be one of the people perpetuating the violence on the streets of Chicago as I grew up on the streets of Chicago until I was reached for Christ through a church meeting together not an online service.
Please contact me as soon as you can at 219-871-9255. Please help!
Sincerely,
Courtney Lewis
Pastor

President Trump understands that these are clear violations of freedom of religion, as well as harmful for America as a society, and has acted by putting the states on notice concerning the status of religious activities.

Trump on Friday (May 22) stressed the importance of churches in many communities and took issue with some of the businesses that had been allowed to reopen. “Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential” but not churches, he said. “It’s not right. So I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential.” “These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united. The people are demanding to go to church and synagogue, go to their mosque,” he said.

The President also declared that if the states refuse his request he will “override them.” Some might question whether or not he could do this, however, several avenues exist to possibly accomplish that result, including the Federal Courts.

The American people have graciously accepted the ‘lockdowns’ until now in a very selfless manner. The public must be allowed to work and live and play and worship again before there is no nation or liberty left to reclaim and it is terribly selfish to demand that we all stay caged in our homes to satiate the fears and feed the ambition of the Left.

It is past time to end these tyrannical practices and embrace these words from God’s Word that we may do what is right in His sight.

You recently repented and did what was right in my eyes by proclaiming liberty, each to his neighbor, and you made a covenant before me in the house that is called by my name  Jeremiah 34:15 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

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

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Sam Stockton’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Chris Richmond’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of the_alien_experience’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Hank James’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

Are You a Church?

On this damp early morning, I go to my Father in prayer and ask what can I do to make the world a better place. The answer is always the same… “write My words.” Today, God speaks to me about Christians versus a church and its disciples. We have the purpose of serving the Lord, but in what capacity? As the church and a disciple, or just a Christian?

A great misconception is one may not be a good practicing Christian if they do not attend church. I’m sure glad Jesus never taught this theory in His ministry, or God would condemn many believers for life! In this blog, I do not want to discuss the downfalls of present-day churches, but how the house of prayer should appear to all Christians.

According to Britannica, “a church is the Christian religious community as a whole, or a body or organization of Christian believers.” My interpretation is it’s not just about going to church, but being a church. Why? Because if we are disciples, we ARE the church! Must we worship the Lord in the presence of others, and only within the four walls of a commercial structure, to be a Christian? Jesus taught that prayer and personal reflections were to be done in solitude. He rarely preached behind any four walls of a temple, but instead He witnessed to others.

Image copyright by LUMO Project (Big Book Media). Distributed by FreeBibleImages.org

So, what are the responsibilities of Christians and/or the church? I found some Bible verses that discuss the obligations:

1) Defend others in need.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:8-9

2) In God’s grace, do what is good.

“Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarrelling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But when God our Saviour revealed His kindness and love, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy…” Titus 3:1-7

3) Help other believers get back on the right path.

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” Galatians 6:1-3

4) Love God before self and others.

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second commandment is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40

5) Preach the gospel to everyone.

“And then [Jesus] told [His disciples](NOT CHRISTIANS), “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” Mark 16:15

None of these responsibilities allude to the confines of a building. I find number (5), above, though to be the most important principle. It emphatically states we are to do God’s work, not just in a church building on Sundays, but every day. Many attend services and bible study classes and believe they’ve fulfilled their obligation as a Christian. This is a misconception! So, are you a church and discipling others? There are many good Christians who attend church, but fail to be disciples. Remember, a Christian is to preach the gospel to everyone.

Our occupations and other life activities are God’s blessings. Why not use it to preach the gospel to others? Spreading the Good News could encompass talking to the fallen regularly, or sharing godly social media posts and interacting with those who respond. How about blogging about your religion, visiting the ill and praying for them, or moreover becoming involved with a community’s less fortunate citizens?

Despite cultural challenges, I believe this era is the greatest opportunity for believers to witness since the time of Jesus and the apostles. All Christians, whether active or inactive in worship, represent a church as a whole. It isn’t about your sect of religion or that you attend church services. It’s about evangelizing the love of God as a church in the form of a disciple. Our highest and holy calling is to BE the church, not go to church.


BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!! Blogging 2 Believers returns June 25th on YouTube with a new look and a new format!

The Bible is the most interesting book ever written, but many people struggle to understand it, and with good reason. Let us take a step back in time together!

Hosted by the multi award-winning author and blogger, Dana Bicks, he will tell you the stories and characters of the Bible in easy, living detail.

Guest appearances by his wife, Anne Bicks, and other people whose lives changed at the hands of God!

PLEASE JOIN US!

A Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer. The United States Congress asks people “to turn to God in prayer and meditation.” Though praying should be an everyday occurrence in our homes, on this day, many faiths will take part in the annual event. Rev. Billy Graham initiated this day in 1952, so please join me in prayer.

Dear Lord,

Our Father in Heaven, we come together in humility, asking you to bring salvation to all those who are in prayer today.

Please guide our clergy, missionaries, and others blessed to spread Your Word. Comfort the souls with broken spirits and cast out the germs that try to infiltrate their hearts. Many walk our land with little or no faith, and they desperately need led to Your spiritual being before leaving this life.

Lord, lead us to the still waters and green ferns during this tumultuous time of upheavals around the world. We pray for the safety, and immeasurable responsibilities of our leader, President Donald Trump. Father, please endow him with Your wisdom and comforting arms. Speak to all the members of our congress and other political positions. Guide them to make better decisions based on the country’s needs and not their own. Help America to once again come together in unity.

Many families have suffered job losses and deaths because of COVID-19. Lord bless them with Your peace and reassure their souls. Keep us healthy and shield us from harm, Lord.

We pray, Father, for the churches in America to unify under Jesus Christ’s name. Help us see all religions in the cross’s light. We pray to be more humble, gentle, and patient with one another. Bless us, Lord, with the unity of the Holy Spirit through the bond of peace.

Lord, please be our shepherd! Jesus Christ is the Only Savior, and our only hope in this world.

Amen

Was It a Good Friday?

A quote was written about 539 B.C.,  just before King Solomon’s death and after God brought the Jews back from exile. Life was not always fair… it wasn’t then, and it isn’t now:

“I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11

As far back as time prevails, religious and political persecution were prevalent. But today, we mark the holiest of days in biblical history. Jesus died for us on a Friday, and He forgave our sins so we may live as pure as possible.

In the present day’s turmoil of political unrest, the Book of Ecclesiastes remains a mirror image. Jesus’ message was to proclaim the kingdom of God, a political offense in biblical days. He spoke of what it will be like when God is the ruler of the world, and this created a conflict with Roman authorities. Does this sound familiar? Much of social media has limited or shutdown religious postings. Our missionaries and religious leaders are murdered around the world for proclaiming the kingdom of God.

But Jesus’ issue with the Roman Empire was the sacrilegious offenses occurring within the temple of Jerusalem. It had become the NY Stock Exchange of its day, and worse yet, the high priests were getting a cut of all the money. These priests became wealthy from international trade. Jesus was appalled because the temple was to be a house of prayer – not corruption. To avoid a massive upheaval, the people arrested Him at night. And yes, it was the Jewish citizen’s decision to murder Jesus, not the government. If they killed Him and His true identity truly was the Messiah, the government would reap serious consequences. It was better to let the people decide our Lord’s fate.

Copyright by LUMO Project (Big Book Media)/ FreeBibleImages.org

As the crowds in Jerusalem shuffled to and fro, Jesus quietly displayed his condemnation against the ungodly government power and corrupt system. He rode a donkey into their town. Believers who knew of Him waved palms at His entrance. Others gasped in disbelief at “the king of Jew’s” entrance. He was sadly aware of His fate.

Jesus’ crucifixion was not just hanging on a cross, it was torture – a violent death. They whipped Him beyond sight with an iron ring that had six or seven leather straps. It had bone or metal attached to the ends to rip the flesh away, and then He was made to carry His own heavy cross.

Copyright by LUMO Project (Big Book Media)/ FreeBibleImages.org

Under normal circumstances, hanging upside-down was a quick death, but that was too easy for the punishment of Jesus. The thick nails piercing the palms of His hands and feet were excruciating and led to the dropping of His body pressure. Yet, He stayed alive for six hours on the cross, suffering for you and me. Jesus Christ died for our sins so we could live as pure a life as possible on earth.

Oh, the political Jews and pagans thought they won the war!

On Sunday morning, let us sing His praises and commemorate the reign of this holy man who sacrificed His life for us. With corruption running rampant in biblical days, there was only one way God could prove his identity – allow His Son to mingle with disbelievers three days later. They would surely understand our Father, God, not mankind, rules this world! So, for the next forty days after Jesus’ resurrection, He preached the mighty awesome power of His Father in heaven.

Image attribution Brooklyn Museum/FreeBibleImages.org

I would like you to test your faith by looking in the mirror on this day. Was it a Good Friday? What have you learned? Would you surrender your life, as Jesus did for you, by hanging on a cross? Are you able to discuss with others what Christianity means to you? Can you evangelize, or do you fear for your life? Do you study the Bible regularly? If you responded “yes” to all of these questions, your deep faith will be honored on earth and in heaven. As for those wavering on a “yes” answer, it is time to analyze your faith and love for Jesus Christ. He will wait for you….

Want all my messages and the monthly Newsletter in your email? Click HERE to subscribe today with no obligation!


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

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!


Don’t miss any of the messages! Sign up today to receive them in your email and with no obligation! Click HERE.

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!


Never miss a blog! Receive them in your email and with no obligation! Click HERE to sign up.

Source of power

Many people clamour for power, but are completely ignorant of how to get it. And sadly, instead of learning how to do it, they go about it the wrong way; and the price we pay is exorbitant.

Power is available to all of us. But to get it, we must know how to get it.

What is the source of power?

The source of power is the word of God. I mean the good source of power or the source of real power. There is real power and fake power or negative power. Here, we are talking of positive power.

The word of God has tremendous power. It gives tremendous power. If you want to be powerful, go to the word of God. It will give you power.

It can give riches in abundance. It can give you all the riches you can ever aspire to have. If you desire to rise in position, the word of God can enable you to rise to any height you desire. This is a fact. The word of God can make you successful in business. The word of God has the secret to a happy marriage. The Word of God is the Master Key to every blessing in the universe. Whatever you want, go to the Word of God and it will tell you how to get it; and when you do what you are told, you will get it.

The word of God can change your life. It is a life changing instrument. It can lift you from oblivion to prominence. It can take you from the bottom to the top. It can transform a poor person into a super rich person. It can take you from the gutter to an ivory tower. It can lift you from mud to the throne.

We humans have only one wall blocking us from the attainment of what we want from this world. It is our ignorance of the power of the word of God, and failure to use it as stipulated.

If the world is beset by problems, it is because we are not giving the Word of God the opportunity to give us an excellent world. We are not using the word of God to solve the problems of poverty, war, violence, exploitation of man by man, injustice, etc, whereas the Word of God is the instrument that God has put at our disposal to use to find solutions to these problems.

The word of God is found in the Bible, which is the greatest book that has ever, and will ever be written. More bibles have been printed, sold, circulated, read and studied than any other book in the world.

It is an amazing book. God is it’s real author. But since man is the hand of God on earth, he dictated it to the various writers through divine inspiration.

The Bible expresses the mind of God. It gives God’s plan for humanity and the universe.

All that is in the Bible is true. All the information given is accurate. It tells us about God, who God is, what God likes and does not like, what God wants us to do and should not do, and how we must relate to him, live with him, and relate with one another.

The truth about life is if we followed the instructions given to us in the Bible, the world would be an excellent place for everyone to enjoy.

The way to get anything we want from life is to do what the bible or word of God says we should do to get it. If you want anything in this world, go to the Bible and find out what God says you should do to get it. If you do it as instructed, God will give it to you. Obedience to God is the only way to get God to do what you want. It is a pre-requisite for God to answer your prayer.

It is rather unfortunate that we do not do what God has instructed us in his word to do. For example, he has asked us to love one another, but do we ? If we obeyed this command, the world would be perfect. Imagine that everybody loved the other, there would be no hatred, no quarreling, no fighting, no wars, no poor and no rich.

God has instructed us to love him with all our heart. Do we? He has asked us to put our whole trust in him. Do we? We don’t and the result is there to see – a torn world; a world of poverty, disease, suffering, wars and loss of human life and property.

Jesus Christ had a vision of an excellent world for all, and set up his church to pursue it.

The Church is on that vision. It is a long and difficult task. It will not be realized in our life time. But there is something we can do in our lifetime. We can each transform our life. We can become the person God created us to become.

For this to happen, we must play our role. In the job of shaping our destiny, we are fellow workers with God. God could do it alone, but he has decreed that it will be a joint endeavour. We are fellow workers with him in this. He has already accomplished his own part of the task which is making the tools we need available to us through his word. All that is required of us is to dig into that tool bag (the Bible) get the tools we need and use them to get what we want.

Are you ready. If you say yes and mean it, your life can never be the same again. You will attain the great heights that it is God’s plan for you.

If you look at the history of the world, you will find that the greatest men and women who have ever lived got their greatness through their effort to obey the word of God. They did not only struggle hard to obey the word of God but inspired, encouraged and helped others to do same. For their effort, God rewarded them abundantly.

Do your own best in that direction; and seeing your effort, God will surely, reward you.

I have discovered where you can get your miracle

If you are looking for a miracle, you can find it. I have discovered where you can go and get your miracle. Miracles happen all the time. Do not continue to suffer when one miracle can transform your life; lift you from darkness to light; from oblivion to stardom.

Read this story titled “Ndenge, the Catholic young man”.

Ndenge was a Catholic young man, who worked as a salesman in a Catholic shop. His salary was too small and did not enable him to take care of his family and the other things that he had always dreamed to do.

He prayed everyday for God to touch his employer’s heart to augment his salary. Unfortunately, though he attended Mass daily and prayed for many years, his prayer bore no fruit. It seemed to be falling straight on deaf ears.

Ndenge felt discouraged and sad. One day, his hope was raised by some fellows belonging to a new church called “Abundance Church “, who stopped by and told him that if he came to their church they would pray for one night only and a miracle would happen and he would be happy; if his employer did not raise his salary, he would get a new and better job.

It sounded very tempting, but Ndenge was not someone to give in so easily. He turned down their invitation and said he was not going to jump church to get a miracle.

The fellows did not stop wooing him to join them. They visited him often, gave him money from time to time and were ever ready to come to his aid in times of need.

Ndenge was impressed by such loving care and began to take an interest in such loving people. Soon, he decided that after all, they were so caring and he had no reason not to go with them.

When he told them of his plan to join them, they were overjoyed and showered him with more money and gifts.

He planned to go to the new church the next day after work. That meant he would turn his back once and for all on the Catholic Church.

The next day, he got up feeling ill, but knowing if he did not go to work he would not be paid, he made an effort to go.

Shocked he was that day, that as he was about to close for the day, he got a letter from his employer terminating him.

He had never felt so desperate before. What consoled him was his new and kind friends. He was now more anxious than he had ever been to join their Church.

As he was driving home after work, he got a flat tyre.

“What a day!” He screamed. Everything seemed against him. He went to the boot of the car to get out the spare tyre and found it flat as well.

Surely, he had never had such a terrible day in his life. He looked up to heaven in prayer and asked Mother Mary to intercede for him.

He had not finished when a Mercedes car pulled up with a gentleman on the steering. This man offered him a ride. As they drove along, they chatted. The man offered Ndenge a new job with a salary twice that of the job he had just lost. His employer was a rich and kind Catholic.

Ndenge loved his new job and enjoyed it with all his heart. He felt he couldn’t get anything better. In fact, it was a dream come true as his employer also became his best friend.

That afternoon, his new friends waited for him in vain. He was not going to come again and would never do. He had already got his miracle.

“You don’t need to leave the Catholic Church to get your miracle,” he later told his fellow Catholics. “I found mine in the Catholic Church. So too can you.”

Dear Proud Catholics, let no one deceive you that their church is better than yours. Let no one deceive you that their church is a factory for miracles.

Let no one deceive you with a sweet tongue, gifts and money to leave your church and join their church in order to have miracles.

Let no one deceive you by always being by you and showing you love and care and promising you miracles.

Their church has been created by someone like you. Your Church, the Catholic Church has a divine founder. It is the only Church with a divine founder. That Divine founder is Jesus Christ. Your Church is the Mother Church.

Miracles occur in the Catholic church everyday. Miracles happen to Catholics everyday. The greatest miracle happens during Holy Mass when bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus Christ. You don’t need to leave the Catholic Church to go looking for your miracle.