Battlefields

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Turn on any news channel today and you will see scenes from battlefields. You will see innocent people caught in the sway of an evil influence that is bringing war and destruction to their homes and their land.

War has been a part of the human condition for centuries because there will always be those who hunger for the power to rule over others.

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In the 21st century we have watched the rise of religious zealots willing, not only to take the lives of others for their “cause,” but to give up their own lives. These enemies of Christianity and Israel are the most dangerous of all because they feel justified to massacre innocents in the name of their god. They feel justified in their cause to bring about the rule of the Mahdi or 12 th  Iman. Which would put all the world under Muslim control.

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I was listening to Shawn Hannity the other day and he was speaking to a woman from the Middle East who understood the language of the terrorists. He played a clip of a song, that terrorist were singing, and then of the words they said after for her to interpret. Because I was driving in my car I didn’t get everything she said but this phrase stuck out in my mind.  She repeated the words the terrorists were shouting translated into English and in it they referred, probably to the  American military, as “Armies of the Cross.” They went on to say that they were in a battle with the “Armies of the Cross” and intended to win.

The phrase “Armies of the Cross” really resonated with me.

When you look at the map of the Middle East today with ISIS on the march one can’t help but think of the tail of that old serpent Satan slashing across the land bringing death and destruction. Many of those affected by this brutal enemy are Christians.

We see this in the conflict between Hamas and Israel. Hamas has little regard for the lives of their own people and are willing to sacrifice women and children upon the altar of their hatred for Israel.

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In America we are not experiencing this horror yet but that is not to say that that old serpent Satan doesn’t have his claws into us.

With America, so far, his tactics are much more subtle. America’s wealth and decadence are doing a good job without his help. Our nation slips further and further into moral decay. Our Christians institutions are maligned by the rising Pop Culture in our country that are echoing the 60’s phrase–“Anything goes.”

Believers are lulled to sleep by a spiritual complacency. Busy on the “playground” of this world they have no time to be “serious” about their faith. We are not under an immediate attack so it is easy to go through our days busy with our occupations and problems hoping that things will magically get better. Or that we’ll be raptured out before the “really bad stuff” happens.

 

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Here are a few statements I read in the Baptist Bread. “Lost humanity is blind to the truth that—if they give the devil a ride he will soon be driving.” And in our country-“Sin has become a “culture” while “human rights'” strangle the process of justice and punishment for America’s heinous crimes.” Randy Pike

 

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Our nation is on a downward spiral into moral insanity. The next generation arriving into adulthood have no moral compass to guide them. As they flounder around trying to live their lives with out any Christian influence the mistakes they make only cause them pain. What they think will bring them pleasure only brings them despair.

Lest I get any further off topic here I want to include a hymn today that has challenged my heart and I hope will challenge yours. The battle is not lost yet. We can still be “soldiers of the Cross” by daily dying to self and seeking to serve Him. Because we know the only thing that can turn our nation is personal salvation.

 

 

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In the 1700’s anyone who became a follower of John or Charles Wesley and became a Methodist was taunted and persecuted.  Methodists were stoned, mauled, set upon by bulldogs, homes looted, business ruined. In 1749 Charles Wesley wrote this song to encouraged these embattled believers.

Soldiers of Christ, arise,

And put your armor on,

Strong in the strength which God supplies

Through His eternal Son;

Strong in the Lord of Hosts,

And in His mighty power,

Who in the strength of Jesus trusts

Is more than conqueror.

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Stand, then, in His great might,

With all His strength endued;

But take to arm you for the flight,

The panoply  (tools and weapons,suit of armor) of God:

That, having all things done,

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Till Christ the Lord descends from high,

And takes the conquerors home.

                           Charles Wesley  1707-1788

 Ephesians 6:13 

America–Something to Sing About:)

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“MY COUNTRY , TIS OF THEE,

SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY,

OF THEE I SING:

LAND WHERE MY FATHERS DIED,

LAND OF THE PILGRIM’S PRIDE,

FROM EVERY MOUNTAINSIDE

LET FREEDOM RING!

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MY NATIVE COUNTRY THEE,

LAND OF THE NOBLE FREE,

THY NAME I LOVE:

I LOVE THY ROCKS AND RILLS,

THY WOODS AND TEMPLED HILLS;

MY HEART WITH RAPTURE THRILLS

LIKE THAT ABOVE.

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LET MUSIC SWELL THE BREEZE,

AND RING FROM ALL THE TREES SWEET FREEDOM’S SONG:

LET MORTAL TONGUES AWAKE, LET ALL THAT BREATH PARTAKES;

LET ROCKS THEIR SILENCE BREAK, THE SOUND PROLONG.

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OUR FATHER’S GOD , TO THEE,

AUTHOR OF LIBERTY,

TO THEE WE SING:

LONG MAY OUR LAND BE BRIGHT WITH FREEDOM’S HOLY LIGHT;

PROTECT US BY THY MIGHT,

GREAT GOD AND KING!

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AMEN AND AMEN

Written by Samuel Francis Smith———Music from Thesaurus Musicus

UNITY BETWEEN THE POLITICAL AND SPIRITUAL

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America today has reached a crisis point. Our nation is awash in uncontrolled spending and drowning in unpaid debt. Our military might is crumbling under poor leadership.

Most disturbing is the decline in personal and political morality.
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You need only turn on nightly programing on you local television stations to understand the crisis in personal morality. Even if you are watching a “good’ program you will be assaulted with unseemly commercials that no one would have dared to air twenty years ago. words like erectile dysfunction and sexual intercourse have become common place along with sexually suggestive advertising. All of this, by the way, because a company wants to sell more of its product, in other words bottom line make more money, at the expense of young ears and eyes that might be watching and listening.

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The national crisis in morality is evident in the government’s legalization of the murder of thousands and thousands of unborn BABIES. I Wanted to emphasize BABY because there is all this confusion about the that word since the proponents of abortion (murder of innocents) want to throw around the word FETUS(Greek for Infant) in order to justify their support for this heinous crime against the most helpless among us. They want to have people believe that this is only about a woman’s choice with her body and that abortion clinics are safe ways to obtain this help. When the fact is—-many woman suffer emotional scars the rest of their life for this decision, and many abortion clinics are unsafe places to have a medical procedure of any kind. In my own city this was true–the abortion clinic did not have qualified staff and the place was filthy. A veterinarian clinic is more sanitary.

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Why do politicians push agendas that fly in the face of a holy God? Why do they make decisions that seems so selfish? It’s all about pride and greed and getting re-elected to office. This goes for both parties. Too many of our “leaders in Congress and The House cave when it comes to morality versus the vote.

Now we have Monica Lewinsky in the news–again—-bringing up all this smut from the nineties. Isn’t it enough that her wicked relations with a wicked man have affected thousands of young people in their idea of what “sex” is and therefore by deceptive definition of that word have indulged in demeaning behaviors some as young as middle school age? Behavior that is demeaning to girls and will have an effect on their self esteem more than any episode of “bullying” that a child might encounter.

I could go on but you get my drift. I usually would post something like this on my America Unhinged blog but the hymn I found and want to share with you speaks so plainly of the need of nation to be right with God.
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Our country is the great country that it is–the shining light to the world–is because of our forefathers dependence upon a Judeo Christian God. Because our basic laws The Constitution and The Bill of Rights were founded on Christian principles. So many Muslim nations want what we have but, even when we set up new governments, achieving the type of freedoms we enjoy is impossible because of their Sharia laws which, unlike Christianity, do not teach tolerance of other religious beliefs besides their own.
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My Baby boomer generation has benefited greatly in the freedoms that other generation before us have sacrificed and died for. We are reaping the harvest of peace and “prosperity” that they could only dream of. Unfortunately we haven’t been such good stewards of our inheritance as evident by the leaders today which are of my generation.

I fear our legacy to the next generation may be tainted by liberal unbelief, greed, self satisfaction and moral decay. We stand on the precipice of a looming disaster orchestrated by unsound and immoral decisions that will throw our nation into a tornado of chaos.

The further our nation strays from it’s spiritual foundations the closer it moves toward total collapse. The longer it indulges itself in foolish pride and rejects humility; the closer we come to being driven to our knees in humiliation.

G.K. Chesterton was a journalist known for blending “earth and altar.” He wrote on a huge variety of themes. He had a great sense of humor as evident in his personal testimony. “The Elephantine Adventure in the Pursuit of the Obvious.”

In this hymn titled “O God of Earth and Altar” he calls for unity between the political and spiritual realm. A great reminder that political freedom can only be found when God is its source. “Only as the hearts of political leaders, religious leaders, and citizens are turned to Him can a nation become “aflame with faith and free.”
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“O GOD OF EARTH AND ALTAR,
Bow down and hear our cry,
OUR EARTHLY RULERS FALTER,
OUR PEOPLE DRIFT AND DIE.

The walls of gold entomb us,
The swords of scorn divide,
Take not Thy thunder from us,
BUT TAKE AWAY OUR PRIDE. Thank-you-god-quotes-wallpaper-photo-galleries-and-wallpapers

From all that terror teaches,
From lies of tongue and pen,
From all the easy speeches
That comfort cruel men.

From sale and profanation
Of honor, and the sword,
From sleep and from damnation,
Deliver us, good Lord!

TIE IN A LIVING TETHER
THE PRINCE, AND PRIEST, AND THRALL
Bind all our lives together,
Smite us, and save us all:

In ire and exultation
Aflame with faith, and free,
Lift up a living nation,
A single sword to Thee.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton 1874-1936

DO NOT WAIT FOR SOME DEED OF GREATNESS–

BABIES-KIDSMany of us yearn for God to use us. Our hearts desire is to have a place of service for Him. We have a yearning to give back for all He has done for us.

We look forward to that great “calling” that He surely must have for us. We hear the preaching on ‘laying our all on the altar for Christ” and our willing hearts become impatient while we wait on God to reveal His plan for our lives.

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The Body of Christ is made up, like the human body, of a variety of members to which God has given certain skills and abilities. As much as we yearn to be the hands we might find that we are the feet. There are those called to visible ministries. They preach or teach. They work in the Christian School or the Sunday School. Perhaps they have a music ministry. All these people are a needed part of the body of Christ; but so are the not so visible ones. Where would the body be without feet? I know the body would still find a way to get around but it would be somewhat ‘crippled” and hindered in it’s movements.

The fact is that God will, and can use, each and every one of us in special and unique ways that we often miss as we strive for some ‘greater ministry.”

Over the years in my life I have served God in many ‘open’ and visible ministries but not so much any more. God has called me now to a quieter and more “obscure” life when it comes to being recognized as “serving” the Lord.

What I am learning is that God can use me where ever I am. Even in the humble tasks of shopping and everyday chores He finds a way to integrate in opportunities to serve Him. Oh–they are not ways that anyone would notice.

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Sometimes it is simply leaving a gospel tract or handing one to someone. Sometimes a conversation breaks out and I have a chance to share a “word” about God’s love and grace.

When I ask God to make me a blessing to someone he invariably sends a “someone’ my way.

I think of the young girl at the checkout that was humming a Christian tune, and when I commented on it, she said she was waiting on God for an answer to prayer. When I went to put my groceries in the trunk of my car and my eyes fell on an extra book I had purchased at the Bible book store I was impressed to return and give it to her.

Another lady approached me in the store once and just started talking about church and her need to attend one. Wonderful open door.

One time a woman came to my door to ask about a vacant house in our neighborhood and I was able to share the gospel and a Bible tract with her.

Yes I write–but it is a silent, unheard, unseen, occupation. I don’t often know if anything I’ve written has made a difference in anyone’s life.

The majority of believers are going to live a humble life. Witnessing to others on their jobs or in their cars. Does it make them–you and me–any less important in the body of Christ? I’ll let you answer that for yourself–because by now I think you get what I’m saying.

Charles Gabriel wrote this hymn I want to share with you today. In the early 1900’s he was the “king of gospel music.” He wrote many popular songs for the evangelists of his day such as Billy Sunday.

Hymns in the 1800’s were written with a more serious and reverent tone.

However with the revivals of Moody and Sunday; Christians began to want to sing peppier songs. These songs would focus on a simple emotions and celebrate it.

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So is this song “Brighten the Corner Where You Are.”

“Do not wait until some deed of greatness you might do,

Do not wait to shed your light afar,

To the many duties near you now be true.

Brighten the corner where you are.
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Just above are clouded skies that you might help to clear,

Let not narrow self your way debar,

Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,

Brighten the corner where you are.

Here for all your talent you will surely find a need,

Here reflect the Bright and Morning Star,

Even from your humble hand the bread of life may feed,

Brighten the corner where you are.

Chorus:

Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar,
Brighten the corner where you are.

A Psalm Of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (A Wonderful Inspirational Poem)

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I read this and thought I’d share it:) I hope you enjoy it–

Originally posted on StevenDavisUK:

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
Our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, however pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God overhead!

Lives of great men all remind…

View original 64 more words

THE SABBATH OF DISCOURAGEMENT

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They took Jesus down from the cross and buried him in the tomb. The Sabbath began and I wonder—what was the Sabbath like for the disciples, and those that had followed Jesus?

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The disciples had expected Jesus to set up His kingdom on earth, not die on the cross. Even though Jesus had tried patiently to explain to them what was going to take place; He failed to get through. How do we know? Because in John 20:9,10 after Peter and John see the empty tomb on the first day of the week they went away still not aware of Jesus promise to rise again from the dead.

This Sabbath must have been the most mournful and disconsolate Sabbath that the followers of Jesus had ever experienced. I can only imagine the tears and the heartbreak. The numbness of loss they must have experienced. The confusion in their hearts and minds as they tried to fathom how it could have gone so wrong. Only a week before all of Jerusalem was welcoming Jesus as the Messiah and now—it seemed all hope was gone–all dreams dashed—

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Have you ever been in such a place in your life? Have you had a Sabbath of despair? Did you feel like all hope was gone. Perhaps you are there now wondering why God does not send the help that you anticipated. You wonder if the situation that you are in will ever get better. It may be for you your darkest hour just like it was for Jesus follower’s all those centuries ago on their Sabbath of discouragement.

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But then the day passed, the darkness deepened. Night enveloped everything for a few hours and then—-the sun began to rise–and the ladies went to the tomb and discovered something very mysterious. Jesus body was gone from the tomb. Can you imagine the rush of excitement and questions that followed their announcement. Perhaps some caught a whiff of the Spirit of Hope moving across the landscape. As that day dawned, Jesus purpose would be revealed. All doubts and questions would be answered, as He appeared to them. He had not died like any other man. He had not left them alone forever. He had not deserted them. He had a plan. But the plan took time to fulfill. It was not the plan that they had thought He had come to fulfill it was a much greater and more far reaching plan that would include the salvation of all people. Now on the third day the glorious plan is revealed. He has fought death and won. He has risen from the grave and given the power of eternal to those who believe on Him.

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And so in the times of darkness in our lives when we feel like the answer to our prayers will never arrive. When we feel as if God has deserted us. When our feeble hope is fading –God has a plan—we may not see it yet—but He has a plan for you and me and the Bible promises that His plans for us are good.  His answer to our prayers may not look like the answer we anticipated. His answer might even be a bit confusing at first but then as time passes it will become clear that He did answer our prayers–He did move on our behalf-=-He cares—He has not deserted us—And we find ourselves rejoicing just as they did on that first “Easter” morning.–Resurrection Day—when all the prayers of mankind before and after were answered in those words spoken by the angel–“He is not here but is risen” Luke24:6.

                                                                       

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                                                                               CHRIST AROSE

 

 

Low in the grave He lay——-Jesus my Savior!

Waiting the coming day——–Jesus my Lord!

Vainly they watch His bed———Jesus my Savior!

Vainly they seal the dead–Jesus my Lord!

Death cannot keep his prey—–Jesus my Savior!

He tore the bars away–Jesus my Lord!

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Up from the grave He arose,

With a mighty triumpth oe’r His foes;

He arose the Victor from the dark domain,

And He lives forever with His saints to reign.

He arose!     He arose!  Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Robert Lowry