August 30, 2014 - How Do We Solve The Problem?
My personal commentary on ISIS (ISIL), Hamas, Al Qaeda and the turmoil going on around the world.
I am constantly seeing news anchors and political commentators questioning our response to the terrorism going on around the world. Basically, everyone is asking the same question - "How do we deal with this?"
The President of our country recently stated that there was no strategy in place for ISIS. Whether he misspoke, was purposefully misleading or is a buffoon... is for others to debate.
I saw a ridiculous interview between Sean Hannity and Imam Anjem Choudary the other day that was nothing more than a shouting match. It was a complete waste of time and effort.
Great Britain raised its terror level this week to "Severe". Seemingly an attack is imminent. Should the U.S. raise its terror level?
Again, everyone is wanting to know how do we deal with this.
Now here is where I will NOT be politically correct. But I know what the problem is and what strategy we should take.
First, the problem.
Anyone who does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is on the side of the enemy, whether directly or indirectly. There is no such thing as "good people". The Bible says that our righteousness - our attempts to be good, are nothing but filthy rags - USELESS and of NO VALUE.
The politically correct want us to be respectful and tolerant of different beliefs - Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, Liberal, Conservative, Democrat, Republican... you can fill in the name...
AND WE SHOULD BE RESPECTFUL...
It doesn't change the truth. Even if someone doesn't acknowledge it as truth, IT DOESN'T CHANGE WHETHER IT IS TRUTH.
The problem is we are trying to negotiate with the enemy of God.
Satan is the enemy. Ephesians 6:12 plainly explains who the "enemy" is. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
This is not an American problem. This is not a problem for "reasonable thinking" people. This is plain and simply a battle against the enemy of God.
Secondly, how do we solve this problem?
Well... here's how we DON'T solve it.
1) By acknowledging the wrong enemy. Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, etc.... are not the enemy. ISIS, ISIL, Hamas, Al Qaeda and terrorists are NOT the enemy. THEY MAY BE ON HIS SIDE, THEY MAY EVEN BE FIGHTING FOR HIM, but we must acknowledge who the true enemy is.
2) By thinking we can make peace with the enemy. Satan is NEVER going to stop trying to destroy God's creation - His people - disciples of Jesus Christ.
3) By burying our heads in the proverbial sand and hoping it goes away. IT WILL NEVER GO AWAY...regardless of peace treaties, bombs, threats, security, who is in office politically, how strong our military is, etc.
SO HOW DO WE SOLVE THIS? WHAT SHOULD BE OUR STRATEGY?
Matthew 5:43-48 says this.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Show love to people who are on the side of the enemy of God.
2) Arm Yourselves...
Ephesians 6:10-18 says...
10 Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace, 16 and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints.
This is a spiritual battle. FIGHT IT LIKE ONE!
Jesus says in Matthew 28:19-20 very plainly...
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
GO and take the Good News with you. Get your priorities in order.
This has always been a serious problem.
This IS a serious problem.
This will always be a serious problem.
Pray for our leaders. Pray that they see all of this for what it truly is.
BE BOLD for Jesus!
He gave His life for you.
For some, this may seem like an overly simplistic approach to a complex problem.
But Brian... you didn't tell us whether we should continue airstrikes in Syria, should we put "boots on the ground", should we raise the threat level?
I ask you this... What would happen if our country's leaders all went to the microphone and said publicly... Let's love our enemies, arm ourselves spiritually and go take the Good News to everyone...?
August 15, 2013 - Another Mountain To Climb
As some of you know already, I have been facing another mountain in my life... fluid on my spine. This has caused me to have side effects that has limited my vocal range among other things. Tomorrow at 7:00 A.M. in Columbia, Missouri at University Hospital, I will be having surgery to place a shunt in my neck. Doctors believe this will reverse the side effects fairly quickly. I know that God is able to cause ALL things to work together for good. Please join me in prayer for complete success and speedy recovery. Also, pray that God opens the windows of heaven to help financially since I do not have health insurance. The mountain seems tall at times but I know God has a FULL perspective of the whole mountain. Just like when Abraham was climbing that mountain with Isaac, God could see what they couldn't... the ram coming up the other side. God is my Provision!
May 22, 2013 - In The Valley He Restoreth My Soul
Nobody enjoys going through the valleys in life. Usually they can be lonely and a sign that change is in the air. Most of us I think are pretty set in our routines and change is not something we welcome, especially if it involves us being made to feel uncomfortable.
As many of you know, recently I have been facing some physical health issues. Back in early March, I developed a numbness in the back of my head that comes around the left side of my neck and face. It has affected my balance, vision, energy level, my throat (swallowing) and my singing voice. Needless to say but... NOT ANOTHER VALLEY!!
Obviously, after losing my left leg at the age of six and paralyzing my left arm at the age of 26, dealing with another problem on my LEFT side at the age of 46 is not real appealing, especially one that affects my ability to sing. I find myself once again engaged in a battle just to survive. At times I feel strong and ready to fight, while other times I feel weak and want to hide.
The things I remind myself of are...
1) Stay close to God. This is not a time to take matters into your own hands.
2) Be still and know that He is God. Don't busy yourself too much with trying to find all of the answers right away.
3) Listen. Don't do all of the talking. Hear what God has to say.
4) This is a good time for self examination. Are there sins in your life that need to be dealt with?
5) TRUST God. Regardless of the depth of the valley or how you ended up there, trust God to lead you out.
My friend Jonathan Martin once said this. The good thing about a valley is that it takes two mountains to make a valley. That means a mountaintop experience is ahead of you BUT ONLY if you keep your hand firmly in the Master's hand and continue putting one foot in front of the other and KEEP WALKING!
Romans 8:28 promises us that God will cause ALL THINGS to work together for good... Not that all things ARE good but that they will work together FOR good. Psalm 23 says that God will restore our souls. I believe that restoration often times begins in the valleys of life. Dottie Rambo put it very eloquently when she wrote the song, "In The Valley He Restoreth My Soul".
When it's dark as a dungeon, and the sun seldom shines,
I question, 'Lord, why must this be?'
But He tells me there's strength in my sorrow,
And there's victory in trials for me.
He leads me beside still waters,
Somewhere in the valley below.
He draws me aside, to be tested and tried,
But in the valley He restoreth my soul.
November 15, 2012 - Could My Mouth Be The Problem?
It is amazing what a person can find when studying the scripture! Today I'm reminded how so many of my problems are perpetuated forward by my own doing. So many of my battles are lost when I allow the thoughts in my mind to come out of my mouth uncensored. 2 Cor. 10:5 says to "...take captive every thought..." There is a valid reason for doing just that... our mouths get us in trouble and KEEP us in trouble when we don't think through our words BEFORE we speak them.
Let's take a look at a few scriptures concerning our mouths.
1) "You are snared by the words of your mouth..." (Prov. 6:2) - Our mouths get us into trouble!
2) "A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth..." (Prov. 12:14) - What comes out of your mouth has a lot to do with being satisfied with your life.
3) "He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction." (Prov. 13:3) - Watching what we say can help preserve our lives and keep us from the destruction of the enemy.
4) "A man has joy by the answer of his mouth." (Prov. 15:23) - A secret to having more joy in your life is watching what you say.
5) "The heart of the righteous studies how to answer." (Prov. 15:28) - We must learn to analyze our thoughts and calculate what we say.
6) "The heart of the wise teaches his mouth..." (Prov. 16:23) - I'm seeing a common theme here...
7) "He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles." (Prov. 21:23) - This is a defensive measure that requires being alert.
8) "Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." (Prov. 18:21) - We choose the atmosphere of our lives by what we choose to say.
We have all heard the saying, "Think before you speak". Obviously this is a Biblical principle. There is a lot riding on what comes out of our mouths. Join me today in re-committing our words to the Lord.
November 8, 2012 - Thought for the day.
I believe God has tried (and is still trying) to get America's attention. Storm after storm and disaster after disaster, He has looked for Americans to raise their hands to Him, yet time after time, we see people raising their hands to the government for help. What a slap in the face to Him that must be. Then to add insult to injury, Americans accept the killing of our unborn, legalize gay marriage and marijuana use, all the while trying to rewrite our history to exclude what He's done for America.
Let us get on our knees, not our high horses, and repent. Let's wage war in the heavenlies, not with our fellow man. Put on the full armor of God today and be the Light in the darkness!
November 7, 2012 - Do you have your helmet on?
The Helmet was used by the Roman Legionary as a protection of their head. In spiritual terms, the helmet refers to the protection of the mind. 1 Thess. 5:8 says "...and for a helmet, the hope of salvation."
The protection for the mind is hope. Heb. 11:1 says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for." Hope is a quiet, steady expectation of good based on the promises of God's Word...not a politician or political party.
Rom. 8:28 - God promises us that He will cause ALL THINGS to work together for GOOD. That is a HOPE you can take to the bank! Heb. 10:23 - "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess." Many today are discouraged by what is going on in America. They feel let down, forgotten and are tempted to throw up their hands. Here's God's advice through the words of Paul... Ephesians 6:17 "Put on the helmet of Salvation."
Do NOT give up hope... regardless of circumstances or ELECTIONS... Do NOT give up hope! Be an optimist!
November 3, 2012 - Who are you fighting?
Have you ever really considered what and whom you are really fighting against? If you're like me, it appears we're struggling against a bad economy, flawed leaders and politicians... Maybe it seems like your job is at a dead end or you've got a boss that treats you unfairly and passes you over for that much needed job promotion. For some it may be a sickness or disability, depression or stress that seemingly overwhelms you. Maybe you struggle in your marriage, fighting over not enough money or rebellious children, lack of intimacy or rejection. The list of things can far surpass what I've already listed here...
What I'd like for you to consider for a few moments is Ephesians 6:12 and John 10:10. First, let's look at Ephesians 6:12. It says, "For we do NOT wrestle against flesh and blood..." This is very valuable information and I think we often overlook this statement. Flesh and blood represent the natural world... people, spouses, etc. Paul is explaining that our true fight is not in the natural. He goes on to say, "...but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the HEAVENLY PLACES." Our true fight is in the supernatural. This is a powerful lesson that we all need to learn.
I think we spend way too much time fighting the wrong enemy. It's easier to pick a fight with someone we can see and touch. Jesus said in John 10:10 that "the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy..." The correct fight is in the supernatural, not with the person on your job, your spouse, the politicians, etc. The next time you feel yourself starting to get out of control and looking for someone to lash out against because of the injustices in your life... my advice is to get down on your knees and fight like a man. Fight the right enemy... put on the full armor of God and wage war!