Category: Blog Page 1 of 139

Regarded As Fools

John 15:17-21 “These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”

Romans 1:21-22 “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”

Matthew 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

I Peter 2:9-10 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

I Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”

Shocking many in 1996, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia boldly stated the following: “Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in modern society.” His prescient words may have not resonated with the Christian community back then, but they powerfully hit home today. It was a counter-cultural message that wisely foresaw the counter-cultural nature of Christianity in today’s American society. In a single generation, so many things have changed.

While today’s situation wouldn’t likely shock Scalia, it certainly wouldn’t surprise our Saviour. In every society, He forecast our distinction and forewarned our distress.

The world hated Christ before it hated you and me. It persecuted Him, and it is poised to persecute us. It is blinded by darkness and is consumed by its own foolishness. It doesn’t know Him, and is overwhelmed by its own vain imaginations. It fosters wretchedness and pursues misery with evangelistic fervor. What are we to do in this world that regards us as fools?

We are to praise Him. We are to maintain our salty savour. We are to reflect His glorious illumination and lift high the candlestick of His darkness-piercing light. We are to embrace our counter-cultural peculiarity and liberally share the reason of the hope that is in us. And, we are to love one another as fellow citizens in a world that rejects us because it rejects our God.


Evidencing Our Appreciation

Psalm 16:5-6 “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.”

Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”

Pastor Otto Seymour wrote the following during World War II, and his thoughts still powerfully apply today (from “Strength for Service”):

“When it comes to riches and marvels of native land, when it comes to benefits and blessings, when it comes to rights and privileges, and when it comes to opportunities and possibilities, we, the people of these United States, have a goodly heritage – something we are in danger of forgetting, unless we remind ourselves of it from time to time, especially in view of the fact that there are some among us who are always finding fault with our country. We would be wiser and better citizens if we would spend more time in evidencing our appreciation of what we have, and less time in complaining about what we do not have.

We have a goodly heritage geographically, vast oceans removing us from the rest of the world; a goodly heritage industrially, possessing abundant natural resources and productive factories; a goodly heritage racially, being a combination of many races and nationalities; a goodly heritage politically, being a democratic people with a democratic form of government; a goodly heritage culturally, knowing the value of good books, the fine arts, and good manners; and a goodly heritage spiritually, consisting of courage and faith and fortitude.”

Pastor Seymour went on to remind his readers that “our goodly heritage deserves the best defense we can accord it:” politically, industrially, morally, and spiritually.

None of his words imply that we are perfect and not in need of improvement in a multitude of ways. But, they are a reminder of the necessity of an overarching spirit of gratitude and an appreciation for the many blessings in our lives, in our communities, and in our great nation.  And, they provide a powerful charge for all of us to stand strong for the good that we have and to engage passionately for the areas that we know need improvement. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO PROVIDE THE BEST DEFENSE OF OUR GOODLY HERITAGE. May we all spend more time in evidencing our appreciation of what we have, and less time in complaining about what we do not have.

The Risks and the Costs

Matthew 10:38-39 “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

Matthew 16:24-26 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Matthew 10:32-33 “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

As outlined in previous posts, God is looking for those that He can use to repair the breech, build up the old waste places, raise up stable foundations, and restore the paths of protection and provision. Such things, however, won’t happen by themselves. They require God’s power and our faithfulness. And in God’s economy, the currency is different than that we have grown accustomed to in our society today.

The following thoughts have been on my mind with respect to deterrence theory in a world where malign actors have been bolder and more brazen in their activities, whether in Eastern Europe or in the Western Pacific. The way we are to best deter malicious activity is to demonstrate our capability and our will to counter that activity, and in doing so, decrease the perceived benefits and amplify the perceived costs and risks in the minds of an opponent. That allows us to control them by molding their decision-making processes and dissuading them from the activity we hope to stop before it happens.

The world uses this same strategy against Christians in trying to shape how we live our lives and how we proclaim our commitment to the Lord. They seek to amplify the perceived costs and risks of a faithful and bold testimony, while marginalizing the perceived benefits of doing so. They hope to control us by molding our decision- making processes and dissuading us from the activity that they hope to stop before it happens.

Yet, in God’s economy, it isn’t about power, or prestige, or profitability. It also isn’t about the safety of blending into our surroundings, indistinguishable from the rest of society. It is about yielding to Him while fully realizing the costs and the risks in doing so. In fact, we embrace the risks and the costs in service to the Lord. As we lose our lives, figuratively or literally for Him, we actually find real life. And it is glorious!

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO LIVE FAITHFULLY, REGARDLESS OF A HUMAN CALCULATION OF BENEFITS, COSTS, AND RISKS. The Lord is looking for us to fully, expectantly, faithfully and boldly follow Him, regardless of the risks and the costs; or maybe, because of the risks of the costs. And certainly, because of the grand benefits of doing so.

Squarely Before Us

I Corinthians 16:8-9 “But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentacost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.”

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

In 1942, Pastor William Dunkle wrote the following about I Corinthians 16:8-9 in a devotion to military members spread around the world during World War II (from “Strength for Service”):

“Open doors and adversaries in the same sentence? An open door ought to symbolize entrance into opportunity without barriers. But St. Paul takes for granted that opportunities and adversaries are usually found in conjunction. It is a surprising truth that the things that oppose us in life actually offer us our finest opportunities for growth and service … Facing now a world gone suddenly mad and the armies of sin and shame mustered against it, our Christianity is shocked to attention. The door becomes ‘great’ when we realize the extent of the opposition. At once we are aroused into a now-or-never desperation of heart! However terrifying the odds against us, the door through which we must enter to relieve the need of the world is squarely before us.”

Opportunity and adversity are not mutually exclusive. In fact, just the opposite; often they are a natural fit. The world needs tough and resilient Christians to seek the opportunities that are conjoined with adversity. Yet, we are not to use the toughness of fake bravado and false bravery that is traditionally employed by the world.

Runner, athletic coach, and business coach Steve Magness writes about his extensive research on toughness in “Do Hard Things.” He says that “real toughness is experiencing discomfort or distress, leaning in, paying attention, and creating space to take thoughtful action. It’s maintaining a clear head to be able to make the appropriate decision. Toughness is navigating discomfort to make the best decision you can. And research shows that this model of toughness is more effective at getting results than the old one.” He goes on to say that “research consistently shows that tougher individuals are able to perceive stressful situations as challenges instead of threats.”

God has called Christians to be tough. He has also called us to seize opportunities for Him in spite of our circumstances. We will face adversity, but need to lean in, pay attention, and create space to take thoughtful action in order to make the best decision for impact. The stressful contexts we face should mainly be seen as opportunity-filled situations instead of threatening dangers. And finally, our gaze should not neglect the challenge but should primarily recognize our need for the Saviour. Trusting in Him will allow us to best navigate any discomfort.

PLEASE PRAY THAT AMERICAN CHRISTIANS WOULD EMBRACE THE CHALLENGE-DISGUISED OPPORTUNITIES ALL AROUND US. Impactful situations are squarely before us as we seek to repair the breech, build up the old waste places, raise up stable foundations, and restore the paths of protection and provision. The adversity we face in doing so may actually be an open door.

An Audience Of One

I Corinthians 2:9-10 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Philippians 3:20-21 “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.”

Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”

This past weekend was the seventh anniversary of Supreme Prayer, which started on February 13, 2016 on the day that Justice Antonin Scalia died. On that Saturday seven years ago, it was a bitterly cold evening that revealed the potential fragility of our balanced system of government. Those prayer warriors huddled around one another, and lifted up our nation’s well-being to the Lord. Then, they came back the next weekend, and the next weekend, and the next. Not knowing who would show up and what God would do, they kept coming back and lifting up their petitions unto the Lord with faith and importunity.

In the intervening years, God has done more than eye could see or ear could hear. He shaped and molded our nation’s structure to protect us and to preserve our future.

Last Saturday was a wonderful celebration of God’s faithfulness through this ministry. Those who were there seven years ago gave testimony and offered praise. And, the evening provided a stark contrast with the ways of the world.

It was a noisy night, with protestors for freedom in Iran holding a rally on First Street NE between the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court. Their chanting and singing was designed to bring attention to their cause. They wanted the public and the U.S. Congress to hear their cries.

Nearby, our group of forty or so met. Our activities were designed to bring attention to our cause, but the audience was far different from the protestors. We wanted the Lord alone to hear our cries.

For the last seven years, He has! This Saturday, we will meet again, and will patiently and faithfully cry out to the Lord.


Pic by Johanna Wells and

Page 1 of 139

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén