A Memorial Prayer

This week has seen a fair number of articles regarding Memorial Day and they have caused me to stop and ponder what Memorial Day really means. Like so many of America’s “Holidays,” most people don’t really know the history and meaning behind the observance. While a number of places claim to be “the home” of Memorial Day, the basic story behind the observance goes like this:

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30.

It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Mississippi, April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh.

Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well. By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

As I reflected on my own life in the Army, I tried to recall the names of all the servicemen and women I knew personally who had died in the line of duty. The result was sobering and emotional. Even more sobering was the thought that there were another 1.3 Million (plus) in the history of the United States whom I didn’t know personally. Memorial Day is a tribute to each and every one of these men and women who fought and died for our country. These Servicemen and Women placed honor, freedom, and love of country above their own personal desires and comforts. They served selflessly regarding their country, and their countrymen, as more important than their own lives.

In John 15, Jesus is addressing His disciples and says, “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

Not all of us are asked to make the sacrifice of physically laying down our lives for our friends, but we are all commanded to love each other to the extent that we would. One of the greatest acts of love we can show others is to save their lives by sharing with them The Way, The Truth, and The Life which is found ONLY in the work and Person of Jesus Christ.

This Memorial Day, let us honor our fallen in a special way – by doing what they did: selflessly giving their all to help save others. Our actions can save countless lives for eternity. Go out and show how much you love your neighbor.

-Pastor Dave

What is your GREATEST desire?

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day. My own dear mother went home to be with The Lord ten years ago and I still miss her. She was the best Christian role model I have ever known and one of the most gentle souls God ever created. I adored my mom, I loved my mom, I would do anything for my  mom…well, almost anything. You see, one of the things she taught me was the second commandment which told me NOT to WORSHIP my mom (or anything else but God). No matter how much we may cherish, respect, adore, or honor someone or something, NOTHING should be higher in our adoration than God.

Most Christians say they don’t worship anything but God, but their actions often bely their words. It is a simple test to determine where your highest allegiances lie: With whom or what do you spend most of your time, energy, and money.  For instance, take a look at your checkbook and determine how much money you spent last year on recreation versus funding Christian ministries. How many hours did you spend hunting, fishing, watching TV or surfing the internet versus time spent in church, Bible study, or engaged in active ministry? Wherever your time and money are found will tell you where you priorities are. Which brings us back to our question, What is your greatest desire?  Whatever is most important to you is where you will spend your time and money.

No, you don’t need to give up all your hobbies and recreation or liquidate all your assets and give the money to the poor (unless you happen to be the rich young ruler), you simply need to focus your life on Him Who provided it to you. Galatians 2:20 says I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 

Who or what are you living for? Is it someone or something which could be gone tomorrow or is it The Eternal Living Lord who is earnestly seeking your eternal well-being? Food for thought.

-Pastor Dave

National Day of Prayer

By Proclamation of the President of the United States, May 3d is declared a National Day of Prayer. I find it fascinating that in this era of Christian persecution in America (e.g., Ten Commandments statues and crosses being removed from public lands, prayer being banned and even punished in schools, Christian businesses being sued for refusing to participate in sinful events, etc.), The PRESIDENT of The United States is issuing a proclamation encouraging all Americans to pray! His proclamation (see below) is full of truthful facts about the history of prayer in our country and what an important role it has played in the successes and in the trials of our country. I am certainly grateful that President Trump issued this proclamation and I would call on all Christians to read it.  And, after you read it, contemplate how contradictory the proclamation is from the government rules and  judicial rulings which are preventing Americans from actually honoring the proclamation and, more importantly, honoring the God to whom we pray. We NEED to pray that our country will remember and return to The God Who has led us through the good times and the bad. Pray for Revival in our land with full assurance that God will answer the prayer if we do what He asks (2 Chronicles 7:14).

-Pastor Dave

 

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 2018

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

On this National Day of Prayer, we join together to offer gratitude for our many blessings and to acknowledge our need for divine wisdom, guidance, and protection.  Prayer, by which we affirm our dependence on God, has long been fundamental to our pursuit of freedom, peace, unity, and prosperity.  Prayer sustains us and brings us comfort, hope, peace, and strength.  Therefore, we must cherish our spiritual foundation and uphold our legacy of faith.

Prayer has been a source of guidance, strength, and wisdom since the founding of our Republic.  When the Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia to contemplate freedom from Great Britain, the delegates prayed daily for guidance.  Their efforts produced the Declaration of Independence and its enumeration of the self-evident truths that we all cherish today.  We believe that all men and women are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Prayer sustained us and gave us the strength to endure the sacrifices and suffering of the American Revolution and to temper the triumph of victory with humility and gratitude.  Notably, as one of its first acts, our newly formed Congress appointed chaplains of the House of Representatives and Senate so that all proceedings would begin with prayer.

As a Nation, we have continued to seek God in prayer, including in times of conflict and darkness.  At the height of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for prayer “for the vision to see our way clearly ‑‑ to see the way that leads to a better life for ourselves and for all our fellow men ‑‑ and to the achievement of His will to peace on earth.”  Decades later, following one of the darkest days in our Nation’s history, President George W. Bush offered this prayer for our heartbroken country, mourning the precious souls who perished in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001:  “We ask Almighty God to watch over our Nation, and grant us patience and resolve in all that is to come.  We pray that He will comfort and console those who now walk in sorrow.  We thank Him for each life we now must mourn, and the promise of a life to come.”

America has known peace, prosperity, war, and depression ‑‑ and prayer has sustained us through it all.  May our Nation and our people never forget the love, grace, and goodness of our Maker, and may our praise and gratitude never cease.  On this National Day of Prayer, let us come together, all according to their faiths, to thank God for His many blessings and ask for His continued guidance and strength.

In 1988, the Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer, “on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3 as a National Day of Prayer.  I encourage all Americans to observe this day, reflecting on the blessings our Nation has received and the importance of prayer, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities in their houses of worship, communities, and places of work, schools, and homes.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

DONALD J. TRUMP

A simple way to stay on the right side of the law

There was a 95 year-old lady who was passionate about prison ministry. Every week she visited the prison witnessing to and encouraging the inmates. The inmates came to respect and adore the grandmotherly figure. One day, one of the inmates, who had taken the time of his incarceration to study law, said to her, “Did you know that there are over ten thousand laws which, if broken, could send you to jail?” Without a moment’s hesitation the wise old lady answered, “Did you know that there are ten which can keep you out?”

The wisdom of the ages! This dear little old lady, who had very little formal education, knew the simple way to stay on the right side of the law. Ten simple rules to live by which will keep you out of trouble – Christians know them as THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. For over two thousand years these “laws” which God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai for the Nation of Israel have been used as a basis for civil law in almost all civilizations. “Natural” or “moral” laws have been universally accepted as “binding rules of moral behavior from God’s creation of reality and mankind.” In simpler terms, they are the basic, immutable rules by which all mankind operates. For thousands of years these laws have governed civilizations and, when followed, maintained a peaceful and just society.

The historical significance and effectiveness of these laws is difficult to overstate, so why is it that they are now being banned from public display? What suddenly happened in the last half-century which caused these treasured and respected principles to become a target of ridicule instead of a guiding light? That is a long story describing America’s degeneration into immorality. While there are several political factors involved in the attempt to dethrone God’s laws, the primary reason they have fallen from prestige is that Christians allowed it to happen. I don’t mean to assert that Christians actively attacked the public display of the Ten Commandments, but rather that we passively allowed it to happen. By most statistical accounts, the majority of Americans still identify themselves as “Christian” by faith. Since we live in a democratic republic and elect representatives who make the laws, shouldn’t government policies be those which are favored by the majority?

The truth is that Christians have segregated their “faith” from their “politics” and tried not to be involved in civil government concerns. The result of this withdrawal from civic duty is the escalating immorality in our country – much of which has now been “legalized,” and sanctioned by the state. Things like abortion and same-sex marriage are now “protected rights” under the law of the land rather than “sins” as determined by God. There are many things Christians must do to turn this country around and get it back to being the “one nation UNDER GOD” which (for the time being) is still our money’s motto! Let’s start with something simple. I challenge you to memorize the Ten Commandments. You don’t need to get them word for word or from any particular translation – just get the meaning of each and memorize it. As you do this exercise, say them to yourself several times a day and see how your own personal behavior changes. Remember, God’s Word does not return void!

-Pastor Dave

Proposition 1 Defeat: Saying “Yes” to Immorality

In Anchorage’s election this week the citizens were allowed to make a choice between following God’s laws and design for morality (by supporting Proposition 1) or following man’s desires to accommodate and perhaps mandate immorality in the public sector. Commonly referred to as “the bathroom bill,” Proposition 1 sought to overturn a 2016 municipal ordinance which provided “anti-discrimination protection” for “trans-gender” persons which would allow them to utilize public bathrooms and changing facilities based on how they “gender-identified” rather than their biological sex at birth. To boil all this down into simpler terms, the defeat of Proposition 1 means that a person born a biological male, but who now “self-identifies” as a woman cannot be denied access to women’s public restrooms, changing facilities, and other “women’s-only” private spaces.

There are more than a few problems with this issue. First, the rules for defining what gender a person is if we do not use biological sex at birth (which has ALWAYS been used in ALL civilizations) as the standard, how does one determine when a person has “changed genders.” The process by which people approach a true “sex-change” is lengthy and many people who label themselves as “trans-gender” never complete that process. So how do we discern between “true” trans-gender persons and sexual predators looking for access to easy prey? Second, a related point, as has been reported in the local news lately a man claiming to identify as a woman demanded access to a women’s only shelter for women who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse. The man denied entrance is now filing a lawsuit against the faith-based shelter for gender discrimination based on the 2016 municipal ordinance.

Third, and most importantly, what comes next in our slide into total depravity? In 1973 the Supreme Court “legalized” abortion in the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, which, in essence, legalized what God sees as murder. Since then, the moral decay of America has been at full throttle. We have accepted and in many cases, endorsed homosexual lifestyles including their “right” to be in recognized marriages. Now, with the “trans-gender” issue we are endorsing the right of a human being to determine his or her own gender. This action is a direct affront to God who created humans “male and female” (Gen. 1:27). God did NOT leave the gender issue open for debate! So, if all of these “rights” (abortion, homosexuality, and determining one’s own gender) are now part of our American culture, what is next? How far is too far? How long can we insult the God Who created and sustains us?

Before you throw up your hands in surrender and helplessness, let me offer you a couple thoughts.  First, if you are a believer, you need to VOTE in ALL elections within your area. Every single vote matters! While the election results are not yet fully counted, Proposition 1 lost by only a couple thousand votes. What would the result have been if EVERY believer of voting age had voted their morals and said “Yes” to Proposition 1? Given the number of church-goers in Anchorage, the result very likely would have been different. As a believer you need to be aware of and become active in civil government matters. The immoral legislation passed in our country is because Christians don’t participate in civic government. Make your voice known and influence the law of the land – it is your right and your duty.

Second, we need to pray! God’s Word (1 Tim. 2:1-2) tells us to pray for our leaders – that means ALL our leaders, not just the ones we like! Prayer will open the communication link between you and God which will result in your desire to follow Him and all His ways. To find out more about prayer, join us this Sunday (April 8) at our 11 a.m. service. I will be praying for you to seek and obey God’s will.  Don’t give up hope – remember God’s promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14: “if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

– Pastor Dave

Fear not for “I AM” with you

Fear and disbelief gripped the disciples. Their Messiah had been arrested and they ran away in fear (Luke 14: 50-52). Their fear was understandable…for three years they had followed Jesus awaiting the day that He would overthrow the Roman occupiers and set the nation of Israel free.

The prophesied Messiah was expected to deliver Israel from the oppression of her enemies. The people ASSUMED that meant the foreign powers which had oppressed them for so long. However, as usual, people think “too small” for God!

His plan was to deliver them from a much greater adversary – their own sinful nature.  Israel, like America today, was short-sighted and focused on purely physical and material well-being. They were so self-absorbed in their current circumstances that they couldn’t see the forest for the trees. They were interested only in the here and now. They wanted Jesus to be their earthly king and rescue them from the occupying forces of Rome. They could see NO WAY Jesus dying on the cross would achieve this goal of freedom. Furthermore, many of the people were concerned for their own lives since the government, including the ruling Jewish Council, may now come after them because they had been supportive of Jesus. It was indeed a time of great bewilderment and fear. The people ASSUMED that all their hopes for a Messiah delivering them died with Jesus. For three long days it appeared that their fears were founded. Then on the morning following the Sabbath, the world changed forever. Jesus rose from the dead!

You see, the people were afraid because they had put their faith in the power of what they saw as an “earthly king,” a human being. The people were guilty of thinking “too small” for God. God’s plan all along was to deliver Israel from oppression – the oppression of sin.  God had no intention of merely making their earthly life more comfortable – His goal was MUCH larger in scope. God’s plan was to deliver Israel and the rest of the world, from the oppression of sin and death once and for all. God’s offer of redemption and salvation has been extended to EVERY human being since Jesus rose from the dead declaring victory over sin and death. All you need do to gain your redemption and salvation is to trust fully in Jesus as your personal Savior, Lord and Master.

We live in a scary and uncertain world, but Christ-followers have no need to fear. Why? God said so!  God’s promise, “Fear not for I AM with you,” appears in some form or another 365 times in the Bible – once for every day of the year. Coincidence? I don’t think so! Jesus commanded His followers to “pick up your cross DAILY and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) Jesus knows we are naturally afraid of the uncertainties of this world so He reminded us to defeat fear with Faith. This is God’s word – it is what He said. The solution to overcoming your fears is for you to determine, “Do I believe God, or not?”

He is Risen. He is Risen, INDEED!

-Pastor Dave

Praises and Prayers

Below is a list of our prayer requests for this week. I just learned that the teachers association has sent out a notice to the ASD teachers urging them to vote NO on Proposition 1 to “protect our children  from discrimination.”  Voting NO on this proposition will allow public restrooms and changing facilities to become essentially gender-neutral.  This in NO WAY protects our children.  I urge you, particularly if you have a child in school, to talk to their teacher, the school staff, other parents and anyone else you can think of to advocate for a YES vote on Proposition 1.

Remember – voting YES on this Proposition keeps locker rooms and restrooms restricted to biological gender – GOD’S PERFECT DESIGN!

There is  a lot of misinformation out  there about this proposition being “discriminatory” which, I fear, will cause uninformed voters to vote against it.  We MUST rally behind this proposition and actively engage others to join us to maintain common decency and morality in our community and in our schools!

-Pastor Dave

Your Christian Duty

As I have been reminded recently by the American Heritage video series we study on Wednesday evenings, Americans have largely forgotten one of the basic character principles considered to be crucial by our country’s founding fathers – Duty.  Duty, as defined by Noah Webster, who has been called “a founding father who helped define American Culture”1, in his American Dictionary of 1828,  is a concept foreign to most Americans today.

Duty:

1.     That which a person owes to another; that which a person is bound, by any natural, moral or legal obligation, to pay, do or perform. Obedience to princes, magistrates and the laws is the duty of every citizen and subject; obedience, respect and kindness to parents are duties of children; fidelity to friends is a duty; reverence, obedience and prayer to God are indispensable duties; the government and religious instruction of children are duties of parents which they cannot neglect without guilt.

2.     Forbearance (avoidance) of that which is forbid by morality, law, justice or propriety. It is our duty to refrain from lewdness, intemperance, profaneness and injustice.

3.     Obedience; submission.

4.     Act of reverence or respect.

Note that duty is something required (owes to, bound by) and expected of every citizen. Duty is not optional nor is it self-serving; it is doing what is right out of obedience, submission, reverence and respect. Our founding fathers served out of a sense of duty and considered it to be of paramount importance for the maintenance of a free Republic. Americans today like to tout our “rights” of free speech, pursuit of happiness, religious freedoms, and many other liberties granted us by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. However, those “rights” all come with “responsibilities” (duties) as designed by the founding fathers. Today, we seem to want to exert our rights without performing our duties. We complain about the way we are governed yet we do not exercise our right (and duty) to vote and otherwise legally influence the legislative process. When we fail to exercise our civic rights and duties to participate in the legislative process, we also, logically, should abdicate our right to complain about the results.

Noah Webster and the other founding fathers spoke and wrote voluminously about the importance of the duty of every citizen (We The People…) to participate in the governance of our country and built a democratic republic to facilitate this process.  This is nothing new, it is Civics 101. But what, you may ask, has that to do with my Christian Duty? As we will explore in a new sermon series starting this week, Christian duties are quite similar to Civic duties in our country because the founding fathers designed our government on CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES! As we ponder how our country has fallen into a morass of immorality, political bickering, and ineffectual governance, we should recall the words of George Washington in his farewell address of 1796, “Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.” We The People have all but banished God, The Bible, and the morality taught therein from civil government. As can be seen by the statements of Webster, Washington, and many other founding fathers, this is far afield from the American government which they envisioned and designed.

It is time to change. We MUST get back to basics and exercise our civic and Christian duties in order to heal our land and realize the promise God so graciously extended His people in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” God CAN heal our land and we need to do our part by turning from our wicked ways and seeking Him.  I urge you to start today:

All registered voters in Anchorage should receive a ballot in the mail this week. The first proposition on the ballot (Proposition 1) regards requiring public restrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities to be separated by biological gender at birth. I IMPLORE you to vote YES on this proposition to keep these facilities separated by gender as God intended. There is a growing segment of Anchorage who are either ambivalent, misinformed, or deluded who will vote against this proposition and we must get out the vote to protect common decency and Christian morality.

The Alaska Family Action organization, a group dedicated to promoting the biblical precepts of the family, prepared an information paper on the subject of Proposition 1. I will have printed copies available for you Sunday. You can also view it on our FB page and here: [Proposition 1 Information].  Please get the word out to your friends, co-workers, and neighbors so we can vote to effect decency, morality, and biblical principles in our community.

-Pastor Dave

 

1 The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster’s obsession and the Creation of an American Culture, Joshua Kendall, Penguin Books, New York, 2010.

Living in Fear

In the past days since the Parkland, Florida High School tragedy a noticeable undercurrent of fear has swept through America. While I am not in any way attempting to downplay the tragic loss of each individual life on that sad day, I am curious how this one event involving less than fifty total casualties has caused a national uproar over gun control. Whether or not you support stronger gun control laws is not the issue here; the point is whether or not gun control measures are addressing the cause of violent crimes or merely a symptom. Those who demand stricter gun control measures point to the number of school shootings in recent history to support their position that tighter gun control measures would have saved lives and avoided these tragedies. They also maintain that tighter gun control laws would reduce violent crimes in general since it would make it more difficult for criminals to obtain weapons. On the other side of the argument are those who staunchly defend our 2d Amendment right to bear arms and defend ourselves.  FBI statistics show that the cities in America with the toughest gun control laws (Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans) also have some of the highest rates of violent crimes resulting in gun-involved deaths so the argument that general disarmament will reduce gun-involved violence does not appear to be supported by the facts.

There is no doubt that BOTH sides of the gun control debate manipulate numbers to support their own side of the argument. Again, the point here is NOT about stricter gun control laws – any way you stack the numbers, the number of gun-involved deaths each year pale in comparison to other causes of death. One of the  mantras of the 2d Amendment supporters is that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  Regardless of your position on this issue, it’s hard to argue with that statement…guns require a shooter.  America’s fear should not be of guns, but of those who will use them for nefarious purpose. What we as a nation need to address is not the tools of violence but rather the disease of those who want to kill.  Mental Health professionals tell us that most people who commit (or attempt to commit) mass murder are mentally unstable. There is certainly evidential data to back up their assertion.  So, why are we not calling for a national overhaul of our Mental Health system? Other psychologists say that mass shooters are often inspired by violent video games and movies which glorify violence and  minimize the value of life. So, why are we not seeking to ban the production of those media? The truth is we will never stop senseless killings until we restore the morality which God intended for us to have. Our “One Nation Under God” has banned God from our schools, our government, and, in many cases, even our workplaces. When we quit teaching and obeying God’s standards for morality we become like the nation of Israel in the time of the Judges where “Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” (Judg. 21:25). If we truly want peace to reign in our country and to stop living in fear, we must turn back to God acknowledging His Lordship in our lives and in our country. Revival starts with you – open your Bibles, I’ll see you Sunday morning.

-Pastor Dave

Divide and Conquer

The special investigation into Russian meddling in the last presidential election has absolutely consumed the news media for over a year now with liberal and conservatives alike casting dispersions upon one another.  Mud-slinging of epoch proportions. This past week Special Counsel Robert Mueller released the names of thirteen Russian individual agents and agencies who have been indicted by the Grand Jury for attempting to disrupt the election process through the spread of misinformation and the staging of purposely divisive events such as public rallies.  Mueller’s report also indicated that no U.S. persons were knowingly involved in the attacks.  The report also indicated that these attacks started before all the presidential candidates had even been named.

An analysis of the attacks shows that their purpose was to sow seeds of discord and divisiveness in America as evidenced by the fact that the attacks targeted candidates in BOTH political parties and occurred both before and after the election.  Why would Russian agents try to breed and encourage divisiveness in America? Quite simply, it is to weaken our nation’s power and capabilities.  Any nation which turns against itself will eventually fall prey to the divisiveness and become ineffective since it cannot develop and sustain public policy.  When our leaders are spending all their time pointing fingers at each other and our citizenry is becoming increasingly polarized on multiple issues (e.g., immigration reform, gun control, racism, sexism, etc.), our country cannot effectively run a government.

If the allegations against the Russian agents hold true, it is certainly a contemptable and illegal attack upon the United States by a foreign power. However, even if the allegations are proven true and we were to find a way to prevent such meddling in the future, that would only address a small part of the problem.  These attacks were primarily implemented via social media and irresponsible management of news media. Sadly, the United States has become a country who seems anxious for any kind of scandalous or fantastic story.  “News” has become “entertainment” and a platform through which we can promote our own cause or just jump on a bandwagon of someone else’s cause.  This fact makes our country highly vulnerable to the winds of change as we drift perilously in the water allowing ourselves to be blown in any direction.

The writer of Hebrews warned us against such careless behavior:

For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard [The Gospel of Jesus Christ], so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard [Eye witnesses], 4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.  (Heb. 2:1-4)

Scripture admonishes us to pray for our civic leaders and to pray for unity in the church. The flag of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is inscribed with the motto “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.” This motto is actually centuries old and can be found verbatim in a work from Aesop.  However, the veracity and importance of the motto as it applies to our country and the church have never been greater.  As a church and as a nation we must return to our core values and quit focusing on “symptoms” (murders, drug abuse, racism, sexism, immorality and lawlessness of any ilk) while ignoring the cause of these societal woes – SIN! The answer to our problems is NOT gun control, immigration reform, better social programs or new laws – it is open heart surgery: we must open our hearts and allow The Holy Spirit to operate.

Satan is the father of lies and the great deceiver. He wants to breed discontent, discord, and selfishness into our lives. Divisiveness among a group of people extinguishes unity and weakens their positions. America needs to quit falling for Satan’s ploys and go back to the absolute truth and morality of Scripture. We must put God first in every aspect of our lives and turn our country back to the morality and Christian principles upon which she was founded.  Then, and only then, can we reasonably pray “God Bless America.”

-Pastor Dave