I should say at the forefront that this post forces me into certain transparency that I normally do not present. Yet I find it necessary to encourage many that find themselves fighting discouragement and dismay during this upcoming holiday season and other times throughout the year. There are many heavy hearts out there and many that are not certain if they should stay in the fight. I argue that those who are heavy hearted need not only stay in the fight but also fight a bit harder.
Sometimes I reflect to November of 1981. I was a young Marine and not long graduated from Admin School. I was assigned to 3rd Recon in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. My plans for Thanksgiving were to go to church but my supervisors thought otherwise. Being of low rank and the newest member of the unit I was assigned the “duty” for the weekend. It was the first time that I was to celebrate with an M16 strapped across my shoulders while I donned my freshly pressed camouflage uniform. It was all I could do to keep back the tears welling up. I had to stand post and nothing was to change that. So, I kept post. It was just me and an occasional Marine passing by. The hurt and pain seemed insurmountable but I was not allowed to give up. I was not allowed to give in. I had a job to do so I remained and did what was required of me.
The interesting thing is that there came a time when that duty was over. I was no longer to stand that post. Yes, I have had other duties since but never again did I have duty on Thanksgiving Day. The occasion of loneliness also subsided for a time. The sorrow did not last. With this I can say boldly that those of you that may be feeling loneliness and despair that this too will pass. Do not let the occasion of temporary setbacks set the stage for the rest of your life. Jesus has promised that He will be with us that serve Him and that promise has continued from the time He spoke it until now. So, be of good courage! God has not forgotten you and will reward you for your faithfulness.
Regrettably that was not the last time I would be overtaken with loneliness, hurt and pain. You see, I married the wife of my youth and had every intention of being married to her until the end of my life. Unfortunately the woman I adored did not feel the same way. Many things transpired that I still do not understand. Even worse my thirteen year marriage was deemed over after a twenty minute hearing by a judge in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The divorce was unwanted and undeserved yet I was caught in the middle of troubles, hurt and pain that I did not seek. In fact I fought with everything I had to dispel the overtures of our enemy. Alas, my fight was not enough. Even so, God has been good to me in that I have grown in ways that I cannot articulate in this missive.
My point is that I know that many are going through trouble not of their making. Many of you look around your homes and see no one there. The phone does not ring and no one knocks on the door unless you are needed for something. I also know what is like not to watch certain movies because they cause tears to stream down because of the desire to have someone but there is no one. There is no one to talk with and to play with. There is no point in buying a lot of food; it will only go to waste. Going to the movie theatre is just another reminder that you are alone and it is the same reason that restaurants are avoided; it is just too painful to be surrounded by people who are loved by someone and you sit alone.
Be of good cheer my brother. Be of good cheer my sister. God has not forgotten you and he sees you crying in the midnight hour. He knows that you have need of someone in your life and has someone out there just for you. However that person is still being prepared for you and you are being prepared for that person. Meanwhile, keep doing a good work. Hold on to the faith that has brought you to this point. Trust God with your whole heart and lean not to your own understanding.
When the fullness of time has come God will bless you in such a way that you will know that it was no one but God. People will call you blessed because you will be blessed. No, don’t you dare bring harm to yourself. Trust God and hold on to His promise to never leave you nor forsake you. You are not forgotten and you are very much loved. Just stay the course and be of good courage.
Verse of the Day
Exodus 9:16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
I believe that Obama was raised up by God as judgment on America, just as God raised up Pharaoh for judgment on Egypt. He is a tremendous agent of destruction.
What appears to be happening is that as Obama promotes his godless agenda, God is now openly and clearly destroying Obama’s presidency. Five years ago he was hailed almost as a messiah figure, while now he is openly mocked at both home and abroad. I see no way out of this for him. He is locked into destruction because he is an ideologue of rebellion against God. He is a proven liar with no credibility.
Obama mocked God and His word and now he is mocked.
Please link Obama being the world’s evangelist for homosexuality and trying to divide Israel with the destruction of his presidency. This linkage is now so clear.
The problem is, as God is judging Obama, it is going to spill over into America. It will affect the economy and may lead into social unrest. He is so weak that it could induce China, North Korea, Russia or Iran to move against us. His weakness could start a world war.
We are heading into a tremendous volatile time with no turning back. Obama is locked into early next year, trying to divide Israel and Jerusalem. It really does appear that early next year America is going to be divided at the very time Pharaoh Obama touches Israel.
May the Holy God of Israel bless and protect you.
Israel and the Middle East War
‘Israel will attack Iran if you sign the deal 11/10/13 Israel is going to attack no matter what happens. Is this why France backed out of the deal with Iran?
Obama Turns on Israel 11/12/13 Obama’s foreign policy is in shambles. America’s enemies do not fear us and our longtime allies do not trust us! What a mess as the curse on Obama is really starting to manifest.
No Illusions Concerning the Obama Administration 11/10/13 Israel now clearly sees the monster it faces with Obama. He never intended to defend Israel against Iran. The way he would do it is it was a cover to protect Saudi Arabia.
Israeli-US rifts ‘should not be aired publicly,’ Liberman says 11/12/13 Unless Obama needs Israel in a war, I do not see this getting better. The real Obama is now showing his colors and he has no interest in Israel.
PA: Arafat was poisoned by Jews like Islam’s Prophet Muhammad 11/12/13 This could become a rallying cry in the coming war against Israel.
Mufti: Jerusalem is ‘Islamic’ 11/12/13 This is ground zero for Bible prophecy. The Muslims cannot allow the Jews to control Jerusalem. It means that allah is weak and cannot defeat the Zionists!
Jordan vetoes Israeli request to allow Jewish prayer on Temple Mount11/12/13 Once again, this is ground zero for Bible prophecy.
‘Complete Anarchy’: Famed Pastor Issues Major Wake-Up Call for Christians About the Dire State of American Culture
TheBlaze’s Carly Hoilman contributed to this report.
The centerpiece of Driscoll’s new book titled, ”A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?,” is that we’re living in a “post-Christian culture — a culture fundamentally at odds with faith in Jesus.”
Culture Is Quickly Shifting
The pastor recently told TheBlaze that he believes cultural norms are rapidly shifting in American society and that these changes come at the same time that Christianity is losing its place of prominence.
“A commitment to secularism to pluralism has really come very, very rapidly, and certain issues like gay marriage have accelerated and highlighted that,” Driscoll said. “More biblical, conservative traditions…values have gone from being respected to really despised in very short order.”
Driscoll explained that 40 years ago, homosexuality was still listed in psychological manuals and textbooks as a mental disorder, and now it is considered a civil right. He added, “That’s a quick flip.”
“We are living in a post-Christian culture — a culture fundamentally at odds with faith in Jesus.”
He believes that there’s been a paradigm shift in society from “morality to personality.”
Rather than moral absolutes governing what’s right or wrong, Driscoll said that there’s a general view that people should be true to themselves — that they should essentially stand by their feelings and desires.
“We’ve shifted from a worldview where there is a God who makes laws, and they apply to you, to whether or not there is a God it does not matter — ‘I don’t recognize any laws external to me. The only thing that guides me is my own internal convictions,’” he said. “Authority has shifted from external to internal, from God to me. And what you end up with is not a discussion of morality but a defense of personality. And that’s the world we live in.”
Driscoll believes that there is “a culture of complete anarchy in the name of tolerance and diversity.”
“One in four women sexual assaulted, one in six men, people that are sexually addicted, sexually assaulted, sexually abused, rampant debt, broken families, suicidal,” he told TheBlaze. “The number one category of prescription medication is antidepressants. Somebody’s gotta stand up and say, ‘This ain’t working — we gotta try something else.’”
One of the Big Questions Facing Christians
One of the big questions facing Christians, the pastor said, is how to peacefully exist in this context of change without compromising values and theology.
“Christians need to understand that Christians and non-Christians just disagree about a lot of things,” he said. “We disagree about where we come from, we disagree about why we’re here, we disagree about what we’re supposed to do, we disagree with what we’re supposed to do with our pots and our pans and our genitals and our wallets — we just disagree on all kinds of things.”
Driscoll went on to say that one of the biggest threats to Christians is the assumption that compromising on what they believe will help them or serve a positive purpose for the non-believers they interact with. Doing this, he said, simply doesn’t work for anyone
With the changing cultural dynamics, Driscoll warned that Christians need to start getting better at understanding suffering and dealing with pushback, as they’re poised to receive more of it.
“In the West we’re not really familiar with suffering [and] Christendom and Christians have tended to be in a position of power, a respected position, and so all the issues surrounding suffering and criticism and such — we’re not very good at that,” he said. “And it’s something we’d better get better at pretty quickly because it’s just going to get harder to stay true to what we believe.”
Driscoll said that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to be Bible-believing — and practicing — Christians and that there are “no social perks to being a Christian” in today’s society.
Issues Facing Churches
The decreasing role and reverence for churches is also noticeable, Driscoll said. While houses or worship were once much-respected, today he believes that this dynamic has profoundly changed.
“The churches, for the most part, held a very respected place in society — and if you’re going to be a good business leader, a good citizen, a moral person, well obviously you believe in God and you’re involved in some religious community,” he said. “So what that led to was really a lot of people who weren’t committed to their religious beliefs — they didn’t really live them out — but they would sort of wave the flag because of the social benefits that came with it.”
Driscoll believes the social benefits and connotations the church once offered are decreasing. Being ostracized or marginalized for being in the pews makes it somewhat less appealing to participate in church. While he doesn’t necessarily believe that there are fewer Christians, he said “the teams have gotten very clear.”
“Somebody’s gotta stand up and say, ‘This ain’t working — we gotta try something else.’”
Fewer of those who went or go to church mainly to bask in these benefits are now doing so and for obvious reasons; the purported benefits are diminishing.
With the changing dynamics, Christians have to find a balance, Driscoll argued. What battles will they choose to fight? Which will they choose to ignore? Of these concerns, Driscoll said, ”You can’t fight over everything, and you’re not very courageous if you won’t fight for anything.”
The pastor said it’s important to decide what’s worth fighting for and then to be prepared to deal with the consequences of speaking out.
Driscoll expounds upon these themes in “A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?”
Arab textbooks are not the only ones erasing Israel from their maps. Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, has also eliminated the Jewish state in a book.
“Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt,” part of the popular Geronimo Stilton children’s series translated from Italian and published by Scholastic in 2012, tells the story of a group of investigative journalists involved in a treasure hunt in Egypt.
The story commences with a map of modern Egypt and its neighboring countries. While Sudan, Libya and Saudi Arabia appear clearly on the map, the territory of Israel is completely covered by Jordan, painted red. A line indicating the Israeli border with the Sinai Peninsula does appear in the book.
Adina Golombek, a Jerusalem resident who emigrated to Israel from Canada last year, said she was shocked to discover Israel’s absence while reading the book with her 7-year-old son. Read the rest
Struggles, sickness and the sorrows in this life, can suck the fight out of even the most resolute. So many around me are facing battles far bigger than seem possible for them to endure. If the fight were their own, that would surely be true; however, they are not in the battle alone. Each has a Defender, Physician, Comforter, and Friend who is able to see them through. Regardless of the outcome, in Him, our hope is secure. Despite what we see, Love is more. “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – (I Corinthians 13:7) I want to love like that – always.
If we hope to love as we are loved, we must be invested in Him who is love. When we know Christ, we more clearly reflect His love and light into the world. I don’t have the answers as to why some people suffer with sickness, while others remain the picture of health their whole lives, but I do know that He who created us all, does. God uses every trial for the good of those who love Him, when we place our trust in Him. Again and again I find myself in awe of just how quickly this comes to pass, after weathering one of life’s storms. Though I have my moments of questions and doubts, I know where I can turn, and on Whom I can depend, to be my Safe Harbor through every storm.
as life’s storms come our way;
may we trust our Safe Harbor,
our Strong Tower, Safety’s Stay.
In struggle or in illness,
or in sorrows of this life;
may we know Who is fighting,
and trust You to end all strife.
For You alone are always,
before, now and forever;
steadfast, faithful and loving,
promise to leave us NEVER.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, our hope is secure, regardless of what is going on around us. Thank You that we don’t have to understand the “why” or “how” things happen as they do, we need only know the “Who” that we can always run unto. Thank You that You use our past experiences of pain to come along side another to bring comfort and offer hope. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when we are in the throes of the storm, and help us to hold fast to You, our Anchor and Safe Harbor, regardless of the storm’s intensity. Father, please give comfort to all those who are in the throes of the fight, and may we be people to come beside them to be You hands and heart made tangible, and help them to know that it is You in us that brings comfort and peace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as a result of our obedience. Be exalted in all that we say and do. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
Strong Tower by Kutless is the song on my heart this morning. Click the colorful title to have a listen. 🙂