01 May 2023

America's Christian Heritage

An important word from Dutch Sheets' "Give Him 15" prayer page:

It seems appropriate to quote from some of America’s history. Sometimes we “move on” too quickly. The following prayers and quotes are from some of America’s Founders and Presidents.

The following prayer was “adapted from Washington’s Circular Letter to the States, which he wrote on June 8, 1783, as the commander in chief, at his headquarters in Newburgh, New York. This circular was directed to the governors and states of the new nation. His reference to them has been replaced by the words ‘the United States.’ Otherwise, the words and the spellings are those of General George Washington of the Continental Army.”

“I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have the United States in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristics of the Devine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation. Amen.”(1)

On June 28, 1787, when our framers were struggling to agree on a suitable Constitution, Benjamin Franklin - considered one of the least spiritual of the Founders - made the following statement. His appeal began the practice of opening sessions of Congress with prayer: 

“The small progress we have made after four or five weeks of close attendance & continual reasonings with each other -- our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those Republics, which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed the Modern States all around Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

“In this situation of this Assembly groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for Divine Protection. -- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence, we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance?

“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without [H]is notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without [H]is aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that "except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without [H]is concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.

“I, therefore, beg leave to move -- that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service.” (2)

Abraham Lincoln wrote the following proclamation to Americans on March 30, 1863: 

“Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation:

“And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord:

“And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

“Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

“All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

“In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.” (3)

In 1911, the year before he was elected president, Woodrow Wilson assured the listeners that he was right with the Lord, and said:

"America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness, which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I have a very simple thing to ask of you. I ask of every man and woman in this audience that from this night on they will realize that part of the destiny of America lies in their daily perusal of this great book of revelations -- that if they would see America free and pure they will make their own spirits free and pure by this baptism of the Holy Scripture." (4)

On one of his famous radio addresses, FDR said the following:

"No greater thing could come to our land today than a revival of the spirit of religion -- a revival that would sweep through the homes of the nation and stir the hearts of men and women of all faiths to a reassertion of their belief in God and their dedication to His will for themselves and for their world. I doubt if there is any problem -- social, political, or economic -- that would not melt away before the fire of such a spiritual awakening." (5)

And finally, President Harry Truman, in a 1950 speech before a conference on law enforcement, said:

"THE FUNDAMENTAL basis of this nation's law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, Isaiah, and St. Paul. I don't think we emphasize that enough these days.

"If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state." (6) Selah - pause and think about that one!

So much for the revisionist attempts to steal our Christian heritage. It is there, and it will remain. Put yourself in the storyline, agree with these leaders - help create the synergy of the ages, and appeal to heaven. It still works.

Pray with me:

Father, this week during which America will honor a National Day of Prayer, we look back at our beginning and thank You. Thank You for righteous women and men who believed Your Word, honored the gospel of Christ, and realized that unless You built America, they - and we - labored in vain. Though their words have been dishonestly and shamefully hidden, they are on record and alive in Heaven. We honor these words, agree with them, and declare them over America today.

You told Jeremiah his words, given to him by You, would “pluck up…break down…destroy…overthrow…build and plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). Surely our Spirit-led words, authorized by Jesus, can do the same. You said Your Words are Spirit and life (John 6:63), a spiritual sword (Ephesians 6:17), and seeds that birth and bear fruit (Mark 4:14; 1 Peter 1:23). Therefore…

Our decree:

We boldly decree today: America was birthed by God for His purposes, those purposes are alive and well, and America shall be saved!

  1. 1/https://www.mountvernon.org/the-estate-gardens/the-tombs/george-washingtons-prayer-for-his-country/

  2. 2. ranklin, Benjamin. “Constitutional Convention Address on Prayer.” June 28, 1787. Philadelphia, PA.

  3. 3. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=lincoln;rgn=div1;view=text;idno=lincoln6;node=lincoln6:336

  4. 4. https://www.pureflix.com/insider/5-founding-fathers-and-presidents-powerful-quotes-about-god-prayer?hs_amp=true

  5. 5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1986/09/21/fdr-invoked-god-too/741f9d68-057c-4bf3-b0be-6faca4c8e2ef/

  6. 6. https://www.pureflix.com/insider/5-founding-fathers-and-presidents-powerful-quotes-about-god-prayer?hs_amp=true

12 September 2022

That's All He Wrote

14 1/2 years. 3.7 million pageviews (insofar as Google stats can be believed). 8,165 posts. 36,600+ comments. It's been a nice road, and all y'all have been fun to trade comments with. I've learned quite a bit by reading your remarks, and your blogs, as applicable.

But everything changes, and so must I. I still read around the blogs, and may comment from time to time.

So with this final note, I say fare thee well, go with God, and be blessed, my friends. 

The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

08 September 2022

Iditarod legend Lance Mackey dies at 52

 ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Iditarod legend Lance Mackey has died, according to an online post from his father and confirmed by a friend of the family, who announced his death on their Facebook page late Wednesday night. Mackey was 52.

Bill Borden, a friend of the family and former Iditarod musher himself, confirmed to Alaska’s News Source Thursday morning that Mackey has passed on.

The four-time Iditarod champion was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001 but overcame the illness after undergoing both surgery and radiation therapy. He then announced his second bout with cancer in August 2021.

After his first diagnosis, Mackey went on to accomplish a string of achievements in the sport of mushing. He won four consecutive Yukon Quest races from 2005 to 2008, and four consecutive Iditarod races from 2007 to 2010.

Copyright 2022 KTUU. All rights reserved.

06 September 2022

Biden’s Speech Had It All Backward

Biden’s Democrats seek a one-party state. Trump’s followers want freedom from government power.

By Lance Morrow
Sept. 4, 2022 9:08 am ET

The Democrats have the “fascist” business wrong.

Donald Trump isn’t a fascist, or even a semi-fascist, in President Biden’s term. Mr. Trump is an opportunist. His ideology is coextensive with his temperament: In both, he is an anarcho-narcissist. He is Elmer Gantry, or the Music Man, if Harold Hill had been trained in the black arts by Roy Cohn. He is what you might get by crossing the Wizard of Oz with Willie Sutton, who explained that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”

As for Mr. Trump’s followers, they belong to the Church of American Nostalgia. They are Norman Rockwellians, or Eisenhowerites. They regard themselves, not without reason, as the last sane Americans. You might think of them as American masculinity in exile; like James Fenimore Cooper’s Natty Bumppo, living in the forest has made their manners rough.

If there are fascists in America these days, they are apt to be found among the tribes of the left. They are Mr. Biden and his people (including the lion’s share of the media), whose opinions have, since Jan. 6, 2021, hardened into absolute faith that any party or political belief system except their own is illegitimate—impermissible, inhuman, monstrous and (a nice touch) a threat to democracy. The evolution of their overprivileged emotions—their sentimentality gone fanatic—has led them, in 2022, to embrace Mussolini’s formula: “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Or against the party. (People forget, if they ever knew it, that both Hitler and Mussolini began as socialists). The state and the Democratic Party must speak and act as one, suppressing all dissent. America must conform to the orthodoxy—to the Chinese finger-traps of diversity-or-else and open borders—and rejoice in mandatory drag shows and all such theater of “gender.” Meantime, their man in the White House invokes emergency powers to forgive student debt and their thinkers wonder whether the Constitution and the separation of powers are all they’re cracked up to be.

Mr. Trump and his followers, believe it or not, are essentially antifascists: They want the state to stand aside, to impose the least possible interference and allow market forces and entrepreneurial energies to work. Freedom isn’t fascism. Mr. Biden and his vast tribe are essentially enemies of freedom, although most of them haven’t thought the matter through. Freedom, the essential American value, isn’t on their minds. They desire maximum—that is, total—state or party control of all aspects of American life, including what people say and think. Seventy-four years after George Orwell wrote “1984,” such control (by way of surveillance cameras, social-media companies and the Internal Revenue Service, now to be shockingly augmented by 87,000 new employees) is entirely feasible. The left yearns for power and authoritarian order. It is Faust’s bargain; freedom is forfeit.

Mr. Trump, the canniest showman in the White House since Franklin D. Roosevelt, introduced into 21st-century politics what seemed to be new idioms of hatred, a freestyle candor of the id. Doing so, he provoked his enemies—and finally Mr. Biden—to respond in kind: a big mistake. In the early 1950s, when Sen. Joseph McCarthy was loose in the land, and roughly half the country supported his anticommunist inquisition, President Eisenhower wisely decided, “I will not get into the gutter with this guy.” It took a while for McCarthy to implode.

When Mr. Biden spoke in Philadelphia the other night, he might have been thinking of FDR’s speech at Madison Square Garden on the night of Oct. 31, 1936, at the end of his presidential campaign against Alf Landon—and, by the way, three months before he tried to pack the Supreme Court. That night, Roosevelt boasted that his enemies (Republicans, plutocrats, et al.) “are unanimous in their hate for me.” With a flourish, he added, “I welcome their hatred!”

Americans, lamenting the divisions of 2022 and, some of them, entertaining fantasies of a new civil war, should refresh their historical memories. The country has been bitterly divided against itself any number of times. The hatreds and convulsions of the 1930s (the era of Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin and the Silver Shirts, of homegrown tribes of Trotskyists and Stalinists) culminated in the ferocious battle between isolationists and internationalists that lasted until the Sunday morning of Pearl Harbor.

The motif of political hatred returned to America almost as soon as World War II ended. The Alger Hiss case of 1948 warmed up the enmities, and McCarthy blew on the coals and turned half of the country against the other half. Such hatred seems cyclical. The 1960s (assassinations, civil rights battles, urban riots, the Vietnam War) had Americans at one another’s throats again. Those eruptions of political rage occurred in the years when the baby boomers and Joe Biden (who was a few years older) came of age and acquired their idea of what America is all about.

That night in 1936, Roosevelt, warming to the language of hatred, suggested that his enemies should get out of the country: “Let them emigrate and try their lot under some foreign flag.” Mr. Biden—who, as he spoke in Philadelphia, was bathed in a lurid red light that seemed, as it were, ineptly theological—was content to cast his foes into outer darkness.

Mr. Morrow is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His latest book is “The Noise of Typewriters: Remembering Journalism,” forthcoming in January.

02 September 2022

Be A Hebrew

 From Dutch Sheets:

There is no greater example than Abraham of shifting into new seasons with God. In his first major shift, he had to change everything. God told him to leave the land of his father and relocate to the place He would show him. Abraham obeyed this monumental challenge. God was so impressed that He gave Abraham a new title: “the Hebrew” (Genesis 14:13). The root word is abar and it means “to cross over, out of or into; pass through; penetrate.” Abraham was called “the Hebrew” because he had crossed out of his homeland and into a new region, when instructed by the Lord to do so.

Holy Spirit reminded me of this word, abar, and the insights associated with it, last weekend as I ministered in Tennessee. I feel strongly He wants me to emphasize its importance in this season.

Although abar is often used in the generic sense of transitioning from one place to another, it is also used at times to denote very significant “crossings” that became landmark events in people’s lives, as was referenced in Abraham. Here are 4 examples:

  • The word was involved in cutting covenant. The Lord “passed between” (abar) the pieces of the covenantal sacrifice Abram offered to God (Genesis 15:17). It is as though God was saying, “You have, in obedience, crossed over to Me, Abram; now I’m crossing over to you in covenantal alignment.”

  • When God “crosses over” or comes to us, facets of His nature and character are revealed: God “passed by” (abar) Moses in Exodus 33:19-22, showing him His goodness and glory.

  • Each generation must have its own “crossing over.” The Israelites were not true Hebrews just because their forefathers were - and neither are we: A new generation “crossed” (abar) into their inheritance in Joshua chapters 1-4. In Joshua 3:4, the Lord instructed Israel to watch or follow the ark of the covenant “for you have not passed [abar] this way before.”

  • Crossing over or “passing through” pictures the release of God’s breath: The air passing through the jubilee trumpet was described as abar.

Let’s apply these 4 meanings to America. God needs for us as a nation to “cross” back into a meaningful and covenantal relationship with Him. When we do, we receive the benefit of Him honoring covenant with us. Like Israel, we cannot rely only on what our forefathers have done to dedicate this nation to God; we must have our own crossing over in our day. As we do, Christ will breathe on us again, bringing true freedom and restoration.

Finally, there is one other usage of abar that is significant and needs highlighting. Ezekiel chapter 47 describes a vision of the increasing levels of God’s river of life flowing out of the temple. The passage is filled with symbolism - the river flows into desert regions and brings life; everything it touches is healed; it generates many fish (souls).

But another interesting point of the vision is that, the prophet had to pass through/cross over (abar) each new level of the river. Many have speculated as to why this was required. One interesting explanation relates to the fact that between each level there were 1000 cubits, then came the next level and another crossing. The number 1000, being a multiple of ten, is the biblical number of divine order and government. This would suggest that for every new level of God’s river of life, healing, and restoration to occur, there must be an acceptance of God’s order and government. In other words, His plan and rule must be followed.

In America, this has not yet occurred. We have not yet been able to experience spiritual recovery and restoration back into the fullness of God’s blessing, though many have asked Him for it. This is because we must do more than ask; there is an order and pattern that must be followed. As this occurs, humbling ourselves, praying, seeking His face, repenting ( 2 Chronicles 7:14), we are then positioned (katartizo) for more of God’s healing river to flow.

It is clear that God is realigning and repositioning America so we can “cross over” into a new era of revival and blessing. He is adjusting us, bringing healing to our broken places and dislocations. America is about to “cross over” into another great awakening, which will result in many salvations and the turning of a nation back to its God and its destiny. Curses will be broken, blessings released, and our God-given voice restored.

What a privilege to partner with Him.

Be a Hebrew! God is calling us, just as He did Abraham, to partner with Him for the salvation of the world. Obviously, our role is different from his - the flesh and blood Messiah will not come through our lineage; that appearance has already occurred. But He WILL come to earth spiritually through us. We are commissioned to carry Christ to the ends of the earth, planting His spiritual seed - the gospel - in people all over the world. Become His shofar! Allow His breath to pass through you (abar) and fill the earth with His presence. You’re a carrier of His Spirit, now release His Spirit.

Be a Hebrew! Adapt! Change! Cross over!

Be a Hebrew! Shift into the new season - it’s time!

Pray with us:

Father, we are spiritual descendants of Abraham. We have inherited his faith and his Hebrew nature: We are those who cross over. We are those who go out and come in. Like him, we are blessed in both directions - going out and coming in.

When You say, “shift,” we do so. When You say, “it is a new season,” we move into it. When You say, “change,” we change. You have told us there is a significant merging of angelic and Ekklesia activity, energized with Your glory. You have said, we are shifting into a season of fulfilled promises and prophecies. You have said, “it is time,” and we are listening.

As we now become Your shofars, releasing Your covenant breath into the earth, we ask You to fill it with unprecedented power and resurrection life. As we trumpet Your gospel, we are releasing Your jubilee life. We are announcing the good news that people can go free, have all of their debts forgiven, and receive back their lost inheritance. Fill us once more with Your river and send us into the earth to release abundant life! In the name of Yeshua, we ask this. Amen.

Our decree:

We declare that we are Hebrews, crossing over, going in, partnering with Yahweh in His great cause of redeeming the human race.