America Is At A Crossroads!

The article below by Dennis Prager is both very timely, and very critical for gaining a better understanding of the values America was founded on and where America is heading if God-fearing Americans don’t continue to speak up and push back against those who want a different set of values for America, Godless values!


The American Civil War Is Over Judeo-Christian Values

A man reads scripture from the Bible as members of the public wait in line to view the casket of Christian evangelist and Southern Baptist minister Billy Graham as he lies in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda February 28, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Conservatives often speak of Judeo-Christian values and how the current civil war in the United States and the rest of the West is essentially a battle between those values and the Left, which rejects Judeo-Christian values.

They are right.

But they rarely explain what Judeo-Christian values are. Yet, without an explanation, mentioning Judeo-Christian values is useless.

So, let me do that now.

First, a word about the term. Some Jews and Christians find the term confusing, if not objectionable, since Judaism and Christianity have different theologies. But no one speaks of Judeo-Christian theology, only of Judeo-Christian values.

Judeo-Christian values are essentially another term for biblical values. Judaism and Christianity are both based on the Old Testament — its God, its Ten Commandments, its admonition to love one’s neighbor as oneself, to love God, to lead a holy life, etc. Christians also believe in the New Testament, but only an opponent of Christianity would argue that the New Testament negates the values of the Old.

Here they are:

1. Objective moral standards come from God. As I have written and spoken about in a PragerU video and elsewhere, if there is no God who declares murder wrong, murder can be subjectively wrong, but not objectively wrong. So, while there can certainly be nonbelievers who hold murder, stealing, and other actions wrong, without God, those are opinions, not moral facts. Without the God of the Bible, there are no moral facts.

2. God judges our behavior, and we are therefore accountable to God for our behavior. Outside of a religious worldview, there is no higher being to whom we are morally accountable.

3. Just as morality derives from God, so do rights. All men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” declares the Declaration of Independence.

4. The human being is uniquely precious. While the Bible repeatedly forbids cruel behavior to animals (cutting or tearing off the limb of a living animal to eat it as a means of preserving the rest of the animal, not allowing an animal a day of rest, not allowing an animal to eat while working in the field), only human beings are created in God’s image.

5. The world is based on a divine order, meaning divinely ordained distinctions. Among these divine distinctions are: God and man, man and woman, human and animal, good and evil, and nature and God.

6. Human beings are not basically good. Therefore, the most important moral endeavor is making good people. Religious Jews and Christians understand that the greatest battle in life is with one’s nature. For the opponents of Judeo-Christian values, the greatest moral battle is not with one’s nature; it is with society (specifically, American society).

7. Precisely because we are not basically good, we must not trust our hearts to lead us to proper behavior. The road to hell is paved with good hearts. Feelings make us human, but they cannot direct our lives. This alone divides the Bible-based from those on the Left.

8. All human beings are created in God’s image. Therefore, race is of no significance. We all emanate from Adam and Eve, whose race is never mentioned. That many religious people held racist views only testifies to the almost infinite ability of people to distort what is good.

9. Fear God, not man. Fear of God is a foundation of morality. In the Book of Exodus, Egyptian midwives were ordered by the Pharaoh to kill all newborn Hebrew boys. They disobeyed the divine king of Egypt. Why? Because “the midwives feared God.” In America today, more people fear the print, electronic, and social media than fear God.

10. Human beings have free will. In the secular world, there is no free will because all human behavior is attributed to genes and environment. Only a religious worldview, which posits the existence of a divine soul — something independent of genes and environment — allows for free will.

11. Liberty. America was founded on the belief that God wants us to be free. On the Liberty Bell is inscribed just one thing (aside from the name of the company that manufactured the bell). It is a verse from the Bible: “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof.” The current assaults on personal liberty — unprecedented in American history — emanate from those who reject the Bible as their moral guide (including more than a few Jews and Christians who have joined the assault, having been indoctrinated with anti-religious views in high school and college).

When Judeo-Christian principles are abandoned, evil eventually ensues. One doesn’t have to be a believer to acknowledge this. Many secular conservatives recognize that the end of religion in the West leads to moral chaos — which is exactly what we are witnessing today and exactly what we witnessed in Europe last century. When Christianity died in Europe, we got communism, fascism, and Nazism.

What will we get in America if Christianity and Judeo-Christian values die?


I believe any common sense-thinker already knows the answer to Prager’s last question!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Where Will You Land?

Happy Easter To All

For Christians, Easter is a time of joyful celebration. However many folks, especially unbelievers, can’t understand how anyone would joyfully celebrate the death of someone they say they love. We believe, therefore we celebrate!

As committed followers of Jesus Christ we believe with all our heart, mind, soul and strength:

  • We believe in one God (the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), the Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures . . . without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (of sins – Hebrews 9:22). On the third day, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into Heaven where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Mediator.
  • We believe the Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior, indwelling our hearts. He gives us new life, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of redemption.
  • We believe from birth we were estranged from God and condemned by our inherited sinfulness from Adam and Eve and our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8 – NLT). God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight. Only such as are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
  • We believe Jesus Christ will come again to the earth personally, visibly, and bodily—to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
  • We believe the Holy Bible is the infallible (cannot err) Word of God.

We believe, therefore we celebrate!

If Jesus had not shed His blood and died, our sins would not have been forgiven in God’s eyes. More importantly, if God the Father had not raised Jesus from the dead then His death, and the forgiveness of our sins, would have been a meaningless sacrifice!

The resurrection power of Jesus defeating death itself insured that all who believe in Him, His death, burial, and resurrection, would also be resurrected to eternal life in a perfectly new heaven and new earth. This is VERY GOOD NEWS to all who believe in Him!

I found a great illustration that I hope will give readers a perfect picture of what life can and will be like with, and without, a relationship with Jesus Christ.

A thrill-seeker named Luke Aikins accomplished something most folks wouldn’t even dream of doing. Luke made a 25,000 foot jump from an airplane. A lot of folks might do that but very few would do it with NO parachute!

Check out his amazing free-fall video HERE!

So, how does Luke’s free-fall into the safety net relate to a relationship with Jesus? I’m glad you asked!

Because of our inherited sinfulness from Adam and Eve, we are all born sinners and separated from a relationship with the God who created us. From birth we are all literally free-falling through life and heading straight to the pits of Hell once we take our last breath. We don’t have a safety net to break that fall, to save us. That is the power of sin, and that makes Satan very happy!

However, for those who repent (have a change of heart and mind away from a sinful past) and believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, Jesus instantly becomes our safety net. He is the only One, the only safety net, who can save us from eternal destruction, living a life in the pits of Hell forever! Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is  ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under Heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12 – NIV)

My hope and prayer for all who do not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the only safety net that can save sinners from eternal damnation, is that you will take time right now and ask Jesus to come into your life and acknowledge Him as your personal Lord and Savior.

As believers all around the world celebrate Easter giving thanks for the life, death, burial, and resurrection of the only One who can save us, may you too join us as we celebrate our new life with Jesus. For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

I’ll close by introducing you to my favorite Christian praise band, We The Kingdom, who sing an AWESOME and very appropriate song that fits perfectly with all I’ve shared with you. GOD SO LOVED.

If you liked what you just heard from WTK, you’ll love the first song they released, HOLY WATER.

HE IS RISEN! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

“Cancel Culture” Done The Right Way!

You Now Have The Power To Skip The Unacceptable In Movies And TV!

By now most everyone has heard of “Cancel Culture”, and sadly, some have personally experienced the reality of being cancelled simply for speaking or posting an opposing point of view.

From the censorship of books online and in bookstores, to Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, and others closing accounts on individuals whose content they don’t agree with, to the main stream media doing the same and worse by either ignoring news-worthy stories, or flat out not telling the truth!

It’s not only a distortion of our constitutional rights but it’s flat out criminal to deny any American their right to freedom of speech! When the so-called “Fact Checkers” decide to play God, a BIG red line has been crossed.

My daughter and her husband introduced my wife and I to a new outlet for viewing quality TV and movies on our terms without trampling on the freedom of speech of others.

Below is the story of some brothers from Idaho who are doing “Cancel Culture” the right way, without attempting to deny others their right to the freedom of speech or harming those they disagree with.

Here is their story in a message to their followers:


Friends of VidAngel,

Shortly after the founding of America, John Quincy Adams truthfully quipped, “Whoever tells the best story wins.”

In the early 1900s, a small group of filmmakers, frustrated at the oppressive restrictions imposed by the then movie cartel, fled West and started making movies in Hollywood, California. They were sued and pushed out of the mainstream movie business.

The creators voted with their feet and left New Jersey for California.

They then made a hundred years of movies that helped the world navigate the great depression, two world wars, the civil rights movement, and more. Hollywood not only captured our hearts and imaginations, it shaped how we saw ourselves and what we consider right and wrong. It has become the #1 export of the world’s largest economy. We are grateful for much of what those pioneers created.

Most people don’t even know the movie business ever resided in New Jersey because Hollywood won in telling the best story. They locked down production, distribution, and copyright so you had to come through their door to reach the audience. But the best story to the Hollywood elite and best story to normal people, in their homes, slowly drifted apart.

One hundred years later, a family of Idaho farm boys protested what Hollywood has become by making a video about the decline of values in content published by Hollywood and launching a new service, VidAngel.

Those like us thought to solve the problem with a bandaid: skipping the offensive Hollywood bits in our homes. As a community, we used CleanFlicks and a dozen other companies who were sued out of existence.

We brothers started VidAngel to solve the problem for streaming, believing we could attract an audience who wanted better stories for their homes. We tried every way we could conceive to pay Hollywood: Chromecast, YouTube, Google Play, DVDs, Streaming, and DVR.

We were shut down, pulled, rejected, sued, treated like pirates, and even opposed in bankruptcy. What was our crime in trying to figure out how to pay Hollywood while giving the individual homes the ability to skip stuff they found offensive?

When we lost the lawsuit in Los Angeles, we even tried to pay off the entire judgment with interest. “Not so fast,” said the studios. They didn’t want to be paid. They wanted control.

The studios know, like Adams, that: “Whoever tells the best story wins.” And they want complete control of how their story is told.

Faced with continuing the legal battle to the supreme court or settling with the studios, we recently held a vote with the 8,000 homes who invested in VidAngel, and in a landslide we investors decided it’s time to tell a better story.

We are done trying to make money for studios who abhor that we’re doing it. Those who mock us for doing it. Those who sue us for doing it. Talk about a lose-lose proposition.

Instead, we, meaning you and I, are going to tell the best story. And as we do, we win.

Case in point, since the launch of The Chosen last November, season 1 has over 8 million app downloads in more than 180 countries and 50 languages. With 55 million views and counting, it’s a phenomenal success and by season seven, we believe we’ll reach over a billion people with its message.

For its audience (19,000 of whom funded season one), The Chosen is the best story. There are many more best stories to be told for countless communities who are underserved by the Hollywood elite.

We believe these principles, which we’ve followed to make The Chosen, will continue to produce the best stories for their audiences over time:

  1. Audiences choose the best story. The crowd will pick winners more often than the elites in Hollywood. The audience is far more important than the executive producer. If the crowd funds the story, it should be made.
  2. You should interact with the creators. When the creators have a direct connection with the audience, they will tell the best stories for their audience.
  3. Feedback loops > Rules based systems. MPAA ratings and Disney mandated standards are yesterday’s system of accountability. Data from skips (applied by individual homes) give the creators the information they need to make the best stories.

We know, like Adams, that “Whoever tells the best story wins.”

A little imagination went a long way for Roy and Walt’s little company, Disney Brothers (later Disney). How far can it go for over 8,000 homes backing a few farm boys from Idaho and the creators of the future?

Be part of a story that matters:

  1. Back stories you want made by investing.
  2. Support creators you want to see more from by paying it forward.

And may the best stories win!

Sincerely,

Neal and Jeffrey Harmon, VidAngel Co-founders


Just a side note: If you are looking for a life-changing movie you can watch with your children and/or grandchildren without the fear of hearing inappropriate language, or viewing inappropriate scenes, I highly recommend The Chosen.

The best filming and acting I’ve witnessed in a long, long time, and in my humble opinion, still the greatest story ever told!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

The “REAL” Reason For The Season!

I’m sending this post a little early for two reasons:

  1. From my family to yours, we’d like to wish everyone a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and a very healthy and prosperous New Year.
  2. Most importantly, I’d like to encourage all of us to take a deep breath, put all of our fears and stressful circumstances on the shelf for a few days, seriously count our blessings, and reverently celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the One God sent to give the world hope for a new life and a new relationship with the Creator of the universe.

I know I’m going to be “preaching to the choir” for some reading this. However, for those who either don’t know the “real” Christmas story or who just don’t believe it, I thought it was the perfect time to share the “real” story once again hoping the power of God’s Living Word, the Holy Bible, might move some to a new relationship with Him.

Much of what I’ll share below is taken from a book I’m currently reading, Turning Everyday Conversations Into Gospel Conversations, written by Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright.


Who Is This Jesus?

Jesus is God’s one and only Son. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a woman, a virgin, as described in the Bible, the REAL Christmas story:

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the Child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a Son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through His prophet (Isaiah 7:14): “Look! The virgin will conceive a Child! She will give birth to a Son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her Son was born. And Joseph named Him Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25 – NLT)

Jesus is God. This is difficult for us to comprehend. He is both God and God’s Son. He is co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He has no beginning and no end. He has always been.

Jesus is fully God. He is all knowing, all powerful, and in all places at all times. He is coequal with God the Father and God the Spirit. There is no hierarchy in the Trinity. There is order and submission, but there is equality.

Jesus is also fully man, God with us. He took on human flesh and lived life just like us. He got tired, hungry, thirsty, sad, and happy. He was, and is, a real person just like us.

There is one major distinction between Jesus and other humans: Jesus never sinned, not one time! He knows what it’s like to be tempted to sin. He was tempted in every way we are, but He never sinned. This is how He is able to help us in our time of need. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16 – NLT) It’s also what qualifies Him to do the work God the Father sent Him to do.

Jesus Died For Our Sins

Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us. For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21 – NLT) When Jesus died on the cross, God the Father took all of our sin, shame, and guilt and put it on Jesus. Then He took all of Jesus’ righteousness and put it on all those who repent and believe. Jesus died the death of a sinner so believers can live as righteous people. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 – NIV)

God’s Word reminds us that, In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (of sins). (Hebrews 9:22 – NLT)

God’s holiness requires the blood of a lamb without blemish, in other words, a perfect lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish. . .(Exodus 12:5 – ESV) This is why it’s important to understand the essence of Jesus. He is a sinless man, and it’s only His blood that could cover and cleanse us of our sin once and for all.  And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10 – NIV) Jesus shed His blood and died for our sins so we can receive this free gift of life forever in God’s perfect presence.

He Was Buried

When one of the Roman soldiers pierced His side as Jesus hung on the cross, one eyewitness testified that water and blood flowed out. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. (John 19:34,35)

Then His body was taken down from the cross and laid in a borrowed tomb. He took the death penalty we deserve. It’s not a hoax or a trick, and what happened next is the lynch pin of the hope we have in Him.

God Raised Him From The Dead

This is the best part. It’s proof that Jesus is who He claimed to be and will deliver on His promise of eternal life. There were plenty of eye witnesses to this event. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, He was seen by more than 500 of His followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then He was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw Him. (1 Corinthians 3-8 – NLT)

Jesus isn’t dead. He is alive. This makes Him unique among all other well known religious figures.

Buddha lived an exemplary life and then he died, and he stayed dead. Muhammad lived a very religious life but when he was sixty-three years old he died, and he stayed dead. Swami Prabhupada started a form of Hinduism called the Hare Krishnas. Prabhupada was still striving to attain a higher state of mind in 1977 when he died, and he stayed dead.

Jesus also died but He did not stay dead. Jesus is alive, seated in the heavenly realms with His Father. He will return one day to judge the living and the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the One whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. (Acts 10:42 – NIV)

He will judge based on the answer to this question alone: “Who do you say I am?”

God says, Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves His Child as well. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:1,12,13 – NIV)

“Having” Jesus means believing He was born “God With Us”, He died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised from the dead.

This in a nutshell folks is the gospel (the good news) of Jesus Christ: Jesus died for our sins, He was buried, and God raised Him from the dead. It’s His finished work that makes us right with God. Jesus did something for us we could never do for ourselves.


What you choose to do with this “good news” is solely between you and God.

One option is to dismiss all this “good news” as just a bunch of childish myths, and go on with your life as usual.

The other option is to believe all this “good news” is absolute life-changing truth. Confess before God that you are a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. Ask the Spirit of God to come into your life to change your heart and mind and help you turn from your brokenness, your old ways of thinking and living (to repent).

The Bible says, If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 – NLT)

This may be the best news your friends and family members will ever hear. It certainly has eternal implications.

Don’t miss an opportunity to share this “good news”!


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

Timely Message From A Real Change Agent!

Things Aren’t Always What They First Appear To Be!

If you haven’t already heard of Joel Patrick, known as “The Legendary Black Redneck”, I’d like to introduce him to you via the ACCESSWIRE article below.

This young man is a true patriot, and a true change agent for racial reconciliation.

I’ve kept this post short on purpose hoping you’ll take the time and listen to his message at the end of this post.


NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / June 26, 2020 / There are numerous ways a 12-year-old can contribute to society. Raising $15,000 for a charity (a local crisis pregnancy resource center – my insert) is definitely uncommon for someone at such a young age, but that was precisely what Joel Patrick did.

A native of Beavercreek, Ohio, Patrick was exposed and involved with issues in his community early on in his life. He was the third youngest of seven children.

Patrick made his way into the social media scene in the fall of 2017 when Joshua Feuerstein, an American internet personality, shared one of his videos. Since then, Patrick has amassed over 500 million views on different social media platforms and has been a tireless advocate for several issues in America, contributing to the recent discussion on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a movement that aims to uphold fundamental human rights and condemn systemic racism and violence towards black people. This international movement originated from the African-American community. (P.S. It is not my personal view of what the BLM movement “aims to uphold”. I totally disagree that the BLM movement “aims to uphold fundamental human rights and condemn systemic racism and violence towards black people.” If that were true, where is BLM’s outrage and protests in Chicago where the black-on-black murder rate is skyrocketing, and where black children are being murdered at alarming rates? – my insert)

Patrick is quick to point out this movement’s dangerous potential to create unnecessary division amongst people. (I stand in agreement with Joel Patrick – my insert) He expressed in Twitter:

“We can seek justice for #GeorgeFloyd and for #AhmaudAubrey without making it about race…don’t believe me?…look at the color of the investigators that charged both the Officers and the McMichaels.

We must fight injustice together and not needlessly divide.

#lovethyneighbor”

Additionally, he advocates against the term “racist” being an adjective to describe only white people-slamming black supremacy and emphasizing that anyone who believes a particular race is superior to another can, in fact, be considered racist.

Dubbed as “The Legendary Black Redneck,” Patrick exudes courage and commitment towards the betterment of his homeland. He continues to use his platforms to voice out injustices in his community. An up and coming artist himself, Patrick uses his music as an instrument of his beliefs.

Fed up with the constant oppression by the Left towards causes and people he holds dear, Patrick is inspired to use his talents to influence and educate his fellowmen. The young activist hopes to educate anyone, whatever their political stand. He continues to travel across the country to participate as a public speaker in schools and various events. Among the topics he has a passion for are the rights of unborn babies, the suppression of conservatives and Christians in the mainstream media, and the 2nd Amendment.

Liberty Hangout, The White House Brief on The BlazeTV, ABC Nightline, The Epoch Times, Fox News Special Report, The Hodgetwins, Brietbart, and Glen Beck Radio Show are some of the TV shows he has appeared in.

Like many activists, Patrick hopes for America to be great again. He calls out to his fellow Americans to join hands and work towards that. He says on his official website, “I believe that the silent majority will win. I believe that hard work, loving God, and your fellow man and woman is the way to a better, and more fulfilling life. The truth may set you free, but may ruffle some feathers along the way. I won’t apologize for my beliefs, but I will try and speak the truth in love.”


I say “AMEN” to that Joel!

This young man, Joel Patrick, has an urgent message we all need to hear and take to heart in a very serious way! And, please take some time to listen to the song (“That’s Me”) he wrote  and sings at the end of his message.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

God vs. Satan – Continued

I came across a Facebook post from a friend of mine that sited some very appropriate and timely information I hope will highlight the battles we are all facing in the spiritual realm, whether we believe it or not.

To quickly recap, my post last Sunday talked about a research study that revealed more Americans believe in Satan than in God. If you missed it, please check it out.

With that fact in mind and the information below, I hope you’ll begin to see more clearly why America, and the entire world for that matter, is in such a chaotic mess dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, as well as every other painful and fearful circumstance we may face in life.

I believe Satan is real and he can only do what God allows him to do. When Satan and his angels were cast out of Heaven, God allowed him to become ruler of the earth for a time.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him . . .Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Revelation 12:7-9,12 – NKJV)

The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he (Job) has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger’. . .The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, he (Job) is in your hands; but you must spare his life.’” (Job 1:12, 2:6 – NIV)

“The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out.” (John 12:31 – NLT)

NOTE: The Scripture verses sited are my contributions and not part of the Facebook post I am referencing.


God’s Voice              Ψ Satan’s Voice

Stills You                                        Ψ Rushes You

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 – NIV)

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19 – NIV)

Leads You                                       Ψ Pushes You

“He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them His way.” (Psalm 25:9 – NLT)

“…He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3 – NKJV)

Reassures You                                Ψ Frightens You

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 – NIV)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2Timothy 1:7 – NLT)

Enlightens You                                Ψ Confuses You

“There was the true Light (Jesus Christ) which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” (John 1:9 – NASB)

“Consider and hear me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death.” (Psalm 13:3 – NKJV)

Encourages You                               Ψ Discourages You

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” (2Thessalonians 2:16,17 – NIV)

Comforts You                                   Ψ Worries You

“But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name (Jesus Christ), He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.” (John 14:26-WBT)

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6: 31-34 – NIV)

Calms You                                         Ψ Stresses You

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7 – NIV)

Convicts You                                    Ψ Condemns You

“…The Lord is coming with countless thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 1:14,15 – NLT)

“And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’” (John 8:11 – NKJV)


I hope and pray the Scripture verses above will bring comfort to your soul as we continue to battle the invisible forces of the coronavirus, and more importantly, the invisible powers and principalities of the air know as Satan and his demonic forces.

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15 – NIV)

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

Shocking Statistics: God vs. Satan!

Due to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), it seems more American political leaders, healthcare professionals, first responders, TV news commentators, and more of us common folk are talking more about the need for prayer to end this pandemic and heal our land.

In my opinion, more people praying is a very good thing. However, after reading the article below, I’m beginning to ask myself a couple of very serious and relevant questions:

  1. Do people really understand who they are praying to?
  2. Do people really understand the eternal significance of believing more in Satan and less in the God who created, and is in complete control of all things, including Satan and his fallen angels!

More Americans Now Believe In Satan Than In God!

By Jessica Mouser, April 21, 2020

The third and latest report in Dr. George Barna’s American Worldview Inventory 2020 evaluated the perceptions of God that people have in the U.S. Among the survey’s most surprising findings are that more Americans believe in Satan than believe in God and that more people believe that Jesus was divine and a sinner than believe he is divine and sinless.

“All of the spiritual noise in our culture over the last few decades has obviously confused and misled hundreds of millions of people in our nation,” said Barna. “The message to churches, Christian leaders, and Christian educators is clear: we can no longer assume that people have a solid grasp of even the most basic biblical principles, such as those concerning the existence and nature of God.”

Barna: Church Leaders Cannot Make Assumptions

The American Worldview Inventory 2020 is a series of 12 bi-weekly reports Barna is releasing through the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University. Barna is the Director of Research for the CRC, which studies the relationship between faith and culture in the U.S. The latest report, “AWVI 2020 Results – Release #3: Perceptions of God,” explores whether or not Americans’ views of God are orthodox.

The study found that 51 percent of Americans believe God is an “all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect and just creator of the universe who still rules the world today.” This is a significant decline from 30 years ago when the number was 73 percent.

When asked about the existence of Satan, 56 percent said, “Satan is not merely a symbol of evil but is a real spiritual being and influences human lives.” Forty-nine percent, on the other hand, said they are not entirely sure that God exists. The authors conclude, “Americans are now more confident about the existence of Satan than they are of God!” There has also been a striking rise in the level of skepticism about God’s existence. Thirty years ago, only one percent of Americans said “a higher power may exist, but nobody really knows for certain,” but now 20 percent agree with that view.

Confusion also exists as to the nature of members of the Trinity. Forty-four percent of Americans said that, during his time on earth, Jesus was fully God and fully man and that he sinned. That is compared to 41 percent who said he was fully God and fully man and that he did not sin during his time on earth. Furthermore, fifty-two percent of those who answered did not view the Holy Spirit as a personal being, but rather as a manifestation of God’s power.

The report outlined which U.S. demographics are most and least likely to hold a biblical view of God defined as “one who created and controls the universe; is omnipotent, omniscient, and without fault; and is just in His decisions.” The group with the highest percentage of this belief in God (97 percent) is, unsurprisingly, people who hold a biblical worldview. The South is the only region of the U.S. where over half of the residents have this view of God. The group that is least likely to have this understanding of God is adults ages 18 to 29.

Another notable finding of the study has to do with which denominations saw the greatest decline in a biblical view of God.

The data show, “The largest declines in possession of an orthodox, biblical perspective on the nature of God since 1991 were among individuals who attend Pentecostal or charismatic Protestant churches (down by 27 percentage points).” Adults ages 18 to 29 came second at 26 percentage points, followed by adults born before 1946 (25 points) and women (25 points). Only one group saw an increase (two points) in orthodox belief in God, and that was adults whose income level is at least 20 percent above the national average.

Majorities of Americans believe God loves them unconditionally (71 percent) and has a purpose for everything that happens to them (66 percent). However, the study also found that “a mere one out of three (34 percent) who have a biblical view of God also believe that He is involved in their life.”

What Does This Mean for Church Leaders?

Pastors and church leaders cannot assume that people in their congregations believe even the most basic tenets of the Christian faith. Dr. Tracy Munsil, the Executive Director of the Cultural Research Center, concludes:

“Biblical beliefs that used to be thought of as ‘no brainers’ can no longer be classified as such. The fact that four out of ten adults believe that Jesus Christ—who came to earth to save us from our sins—was Himself a sinner and therefore in need of salvation is mind-boggling. Add to that the fact that more people believe in the existence of Satan than the God of Abraham, and you cannot miss the breadth of the spiritual crisis in America today.”


There’s no doubt in my mind that if one believes in the theory of evolution versus the biblical account of how the world was formed and how civilization began, then it’s no wonder that fewer people believe in God today than ever before.

This is what has happened to America since the long standing tradition of prayer and Bible reading in our public schools was considered “unconstitutional” by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1980’s. As a nation, we are reaping what we have sown!

I’ll close with these two questions for you to ponder:

  1. Will the COVID-19 pandemic wreak enough havoc, and cause enough pain, suffering, and death to not only wake up America but the entire world as well?
  2. If not, what will it take to turn people’s hearts and minds from a greater belief in Satan (the father of lies, the great deceiver), to begin believing more in the God of creation and His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the only One who can offer eternal life, versus eternal damnation with Satan and his followers?

“Jesus said to His disciples, ‘I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 – NIV)

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Thoughts From The Front Lines!

Our oldest daughter has been a Type 1 diabetic since the age of eleven and is a nurse.

During her twenty four years, and counting, on the front lines of healthcare, she has worked in a nursing home, for hospice, and in one hospital for the majority of those years. Needless to say, she is no stranger to pain, suffering, heartache, and death.

She gave me permission to share a couple of posts she made to her Facebook page, about a month apart from each other. The posts offer some insight into her thoughts and experiences.


Looking At Life Through The Eyes Of A Nurse

March 30, 2020 – Weekend update: Thanks to all who texted, messaged and video-chatted to check on me. I went on Sunday (assigned to the COVID-19 floor), and had a surprisingly positive first-time experience. With so much uncertainty and negativity circulating, it’s important to try to find the good. Soooo:
1. When I headed into work yesterday I knew that I was covered in prayers, as were all of my coworkers. Thank you. It makes a difference.
2. I was paired with a “veteran” covid nurse who was amazing to work with! Because of her, I just may volunteer to go back. Seriously.
3. I know that I protected myself as best I could with the resources that were provided to me. It wasn’t perfect and I know every situation is different. And we still have so many needs, but it was doable.
4. I know that there was great wisdom in staffing two nurses per group of patients, which encourages the wearing of the N95 mask for only about two hours at a time. So smart, because wearing it is a lot different than just being fit tested for it.
5. But more importantly than all of this, I know my God. He says in His Word, He is my refuge and my fortress (Psalm 91:2). He says He will go before me, and He will never leave me (Deut 31:8). He says He is an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). He says I will be victorious in 1 Corinthians 15:57: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And one more of my favorites from the mouth of Jesus is John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Even COVID-19!

April 24, 2020 – Introducing our masked daughter, the nurse, and our two masked granddaughters. And, no, they aren’t going out to rob a bank, they are just following COVID-19 guidelines like most everyone else in the world should be following right now!

Hinson Girls Masked Up

In our daughter’s words: Being out and about yesterday (with almost everyone else in town) brought to mind some words I’m just over:

“Essential” – This term was seemingly reserved for certain occupations and businesses in the beginning, but the longer we “stay-at-home” the huge truth is that every person and their jobs are essential. You’re essential, and you’re essential! Everyone is essential!!!

“Virtual” – From e-learning to participating in extracurriculars to taking trips, it is not the same. I also realize, though, that it’s an attempt to make the best out of the current situation, especially for children. Speaking of trips, I so need the beach right now, but I’d settle for a dine-in lunch at San Jose’s with my mom. 

“New normal” – The way we have been instructed to live is not normal, and it doesn’t have to be forever. While I respect the rules, it just feels really weird to have to stand behind a barrier at Publix, inside a tape-drawn box on the floor, and wait to scan my app until the bagger is finished (the nice cashier actually gives those specific instructions).

One of the things that has kept me sane through all this is that I get to interact with and touch and talk with the patients I care for each weekend. These people have no family or friends with them. They are experiencing the epitome of quarantine, if you will. Granted they’ve been admitted to the hospital for various reasons, but not one patient has told me to stay six feet back. Everyone of us needs the touch and fellowship of others on a regular basis. We will hug again, people, and not just those in our own homes!

Words I’m not over and which speak life to the weariest of souls:

“Grace” – So thankful for grace! Whatever it means to reopen is going to be and feel different for each state, each family, each person. Whether you think the reopening is too soon or too late, my hope is that we can give and receive grace accordingly.

“Hope” – Whatever the economic and emotional fallout for our nation, or individually,
“In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song, This cornerstone, this solid ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm…” (from “In Christ Alone” by Adrienne Camp).


Well, those are some of the transparent behind-the-scenes thoughts from a nurse on the front lines.

Our daughter, whom we love so much, pray for so fervently, and whom we are so proud of for courageously and unselfishly sharing her God-given gifts and talents with those who need it most.

To God be the glory.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

The Greatest Day On Earth!

Happy Easter to all!

Even though the coronavirus (COVID-19) has crippled and stifled normal activities everywhere, Christians around the entire world will still take time today to enthusiastically celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from His grave. He is King and Creator of the Universe, Lord and Savior of all who believe and trust in Him alone for salvation to eternal life. “On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16 – NIV)

Easter Sunday truly is “The Greatest Day On Earth” for those who believe Jesus Christ is who He claims He is. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'” (John 14:6 – NIV)

Through the blood Jesus shed on the cross our sins are forgiven once and for all. And, because Jesus defeated death when He arose from the grave, He also promised that all of His followers, past, present, and future, would also be raised from the grave to eternal life with Him and God the Father. “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2)

Sadly, many today still believe He was a liar and/or a lunatic when He walked the earth more than 2000 years ago. Along with the biblical proof there is additional historical proof that He is who He says He is. You can read Josephus-Complete Works to learn more about his accounts of the historical Jesus.

Josephus was born in 37 A.D., about three or four years after Jesus was crucified. I think it’s safe to say that by the time Josephus was a young teenager he certainly would have heard about Jesus’ grotesque death and miraculous resurrection from many people still living in Jerusalem. Josephus visited many of the same cities and towns that Jesus spent time in, and he spent a great deal of time in Jerusalem.

It is said that historical scholars down through the centuries continue to look up to his writings as the only contemporary reference in history containing valid references to Christ, with a description of Him in minute detail.

In the third paragraph of the eighth book of Antiquity of the Jews, Josephus writes, “Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ (Messiah, God’s Anointed One – my words, not Josephus’ – nevertheless accurate); and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

Yes, by the grace and power of God, that “tribe of Christians” is still not extinct, and has been growing by the millions ever since Christ left this earth to prepare a place for us. In fact, some of the largest numbers of conversions to Christianity today can be found in places where the persecution and death of Christians is running rampant. Especially in Muslim and atheist countries on the continents of Africa and Asia.

Why would anyone be willing to suffer, and even die, for expressing an unrelenting faith in a liar or lunatic?

Whether or not the coronavirus is the beginning of the end for this fallen world we live in, Christians and non-Christians alike should do their part to help defeat this invisible enemy we are fighting against.

However, Christians know that humankind can only do so much. Although we are all rooting for doctors and scientists to come up with a cure for this virus, Christians also know that the final outcome of all things and all events are ultimately in God’s hands.

We may not understand it or like it but we place our faith in the One who created the entire universe and all that is in it and on it. And, we trust God for the outcome because His way, His will, and His timing is always perfect. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:40 – NIV)

This is what Christian faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and our risen Savior, Jesus Christ, looks like.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:1,2,13-16 – NIV)


He Is Risen! THANK YOU JESUS!!!

During this Easter celebration, may the Grace, Mercy, and Peace of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit be with you and your families now and forever.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

How To Teach Your Children To Drop Out Of Church

There usually is a silver lining in every bad news scenario if we look hard enough.  With the coronavirus still threatening the entire world, it seems the silver lining in this one may be more people drawing closer to God through prayer and online church services.

However, if you are concerned about the spiritual direction our youth and young adults are heading in these days, the comments and charts below, by Jared Wilson, are worth reading and taking to heart.


Jared C. Wilson  |  March 10, 2020

A recent LifeWay study confirms the church dropout rate for young adults continues to hover around 70 percent. “The good news for Christian leaders is that churches don’t seem to be losing more students than they were 10 years ago. While the dropout rate stays roughly the same (actually down 4 percent), the outlook on dropouts returning is actually looking worse.

Dropouts_1

However, the difference in the dropout rate now and then is not large enough statistically to say it has actually improved,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.

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There are definitely some things we can do to work against this distressing trend.

The epicenter of influence on kids to or away from church is in the Christian home. So, working backward, what are some ways religious families may be reinforcing the dropout trend, despite their own hopes? Here are six:

  1. Attend church sporadically.

If you treat church like an option, your children will too. If going to church is contingent only on nothing else going on, if sports or hobbies or vacations frequently take priority over gathering with God’s people, how could this not over time imprint itself upon your kids?

  1. Complain about your church.

We were extremely careful not to complain about problems at church, or even discuss disappointments or circumstantial discouragements, in front of our kids. We didn’t want them to come to see church as a place that discourages mom and dad. We didn’t want them to nurse any grievances against even the idea of church because of our thoughtless exposure, of our hurts about it to them.

If your kids are constant witness, even at a young age, to your complaints, disappointments, disgruntlements, conflicts, or even gossip related to the church, you nurse their gradual disillusionment.

  1. Insulate them from the rest of the body.

I’m convinced this is one of the biggest reasons kids raised in church drop out of church. Their experience of the church is limited wholly or mostly to youth group culture. Everything revolves around their interests or even entertainment. They are not integrated into the body. They do not engage with the inter-generational beauty of the whole church.

  1. Ignore their crucial questions.

Parents and leaders who do not equip students with apologetics or direct answers to cultural questions teens are asking about gender, sexuality, race, and the like. All of these common phenomena implicitly tell students that church is not a place where they can get answers for real life.

If we are not helping students shore up their faith with answers to questions they will eventually face at college or beyond, we should not be surprised when they decide church has no vital place in their lives. We should not be surprised in fact when they decide Christianity doesn’t have the intellectual or cultural gravitas they need in the real world.

  1. Church hop.

There are obviously good reasons to leave a church. But families that hop from church to church as kids grow, or tastes change, or disappointments accumulate, train their kids to treat church not like a family one commits to through thick and thin but like a consumeristic product one can always throw away for a perceived upgrade. And this is just one step away from deciding church in general isn’t useful.

  1. Marginalize or muzzle the gospel.

In 2010, the True Love Waits campaign analyzed the results of years of their campaign to encourage sexual purity among Christian teenagers. They were shocked. The campaign that largely focused on the risks of pregnancy and disease, and the biblical prohibitions of sex outside of marriage, had virtually no effect on even churchgoing kids who had explicitly pledged to remain virgins until marriage.

Co-founder Richard Ross reflected in a Christianity Today article about the findings: “The promise is kept most tenaciously by teenagers who have moved beyond moralistic therapeutic deism and who adore the King of Kings with awe and intimacy.”

“For teenagers who know Christ,” Ross continued, “that is a far stronger motivator than a desire to avoid disease and pregnancy. Risk avoidance is a weak motivator during adolescence. . . . Teenagers need to know about the risks of promiscuity, as well as about the benefits that total life purity brings. But the most powerful way to impact prom-night decisions is for parents, leaders, and peers to more fully awaken teenagers to God’s Son.”

The law is good and must be preached. But the law cannot do what only the gospel can.

The church is the family made by Christ’s gospel. He has broken down the division between us with His blood and united us to each other by uniting us to Himself by our faith (in Him alone). When you push the gospel to the periphery of your own religious interests and your own consideration of the church, it has the effect of disconnecting students from the only power we have to win them to Christ’s body.

If, for instance, church is a regular Sunday for you but not a gospel-driven priority of your daily life—in prayer, in fellowship, in service—you show your kids that church is simply a place to go, not a people with whom you belong. And if you raise them under the shadow of the law rather than the light of Christ, you make engagement in church look like a means of earning credit with God or meriting his favor or looking religious or “spiritual,” all of which is a recipe for burnout and maybe even spiritual depression. Center on the gospel in your daily life and pray your kids flourish under grace.

If you’re interested in ensuring your kids become part of the dropout stats, any or all of these six practices are a great means of “discipleship.”


I hope you’ll agree, this is not the kind of “discipleship” our youth and young adults need!

Praying you and your family are staying healthy and growing closer to God through a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!