18 Murders in Iowa on One Day

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On April 5, 2011 18 murders were committed in Iowa.  All took place at 2751 Tech Dr., Bettendorf, IA 52722.  The murders were done systematically, one at a time.  Records were kept of who did it, but none of the individuals involved have been charged.  All the victims were children, which makes these murders in Iowa even more egregious.

Who were the perpetrators of these ghastly events?  The Planned Parenthood doctors and staff performed the actual killings.

But wait. . .to tell it like it is, you and I were responsible, at least in part.  We have not sufficiently mourned over the killing of infants this close to our homes.

There’s a parallel recorded in the ninth chapter of Ezekiel in in the Bible.  The LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city. . . and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” (Ezekiel 9:4)  It turns out  those who grieved over the terrible acts of that day were marked with the sign of a tau, a Hebrew letter written like a cross at that time.  Those who got the mark were spared from death; the others not.

Killing of innocent children is our present day abomination.

We, “good people” all, were accessories to these murders because we have not mourned sufficiently.  We have also voted for such men as Dave Loebsack, Bruce Braley, and US Senator Tom Harkin.  Loebsack represents Iowa’s Second District and Bruce Braley, Iowa’s First District. These elected officials repeatedly use their legislative powers to promote the culture of death in our state and in our nation.  They justify murder by hiding behind the “reproductive ‘rights’ of women.”  We, the “good citizens” of America, have also elected a president who is so callous that he voted to withhold life-saving nutrition from children who survived botched abortions.

A Spirit-filled person stands for life!  The Bible says, “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” (Acts 1:8)  The power of God’s love is growing in the nation.  Seventy-one percent (71%) of Americans now oppose tax-funded abortion.  We are winning, but the battle rages.  The Spirit-filled life evinces grief over sin and love toward the enemies of life.  The Spirit energizes those He fills to stand for life, lobby for life, and produce life in our own marriages and families.

There’s blood on our doorstep. But thank God, the Spirit is moving in our land.  How long the blood stains remain depends in part on you and me.

Thinking About the Unthinkable

 

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 Can any hope emerge from the November 30, 2012 Sandy Hook massacre?

I’ve waited over a month before writing about the tragedy for several reasons. It’s too painful to think about. It’s like rock shattering a pane glass window: The damage is sudden, dramatic and irreparable. Further, so many others have written either adequately or eloquently about the event.  What more can be said?

Yet I have something to say about the Sandy Hook shooting, something no one else has said, at least as far as I know. And another reason I am motivated to comment: I have recently been diagnosed with cancer. For others, death may seem distant or abstract. For me, death is personal. It came knocking at my door. Fortunately, I did not let it in.

My grief goes out to the dads and mothers, the brothers and sisters of the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. My grief extends particularly to Adam Lanza’s family. Life will never be the same for them or any of the other families who met death that day. With all America and much of the world, I’m sad.

Is there hope anywhere? What can God or anyone do to repair the shattered glass of our American dream?

I hope no one of the victim’s families reads this article. This is neither about them nor for them. This is about us, the 330 million Americans who did not lose anyone that tragic day.

An Even Greater Tragedy

Many individuals and businesses and government entities have flown flags at half mast to show sympathy and solidarity with the families of the lost children and adults. This is commendable. Still, there is a greater tragedy. On the day that 26 lives were eliminated at the school, approximately 3,425 other children were snuffed out, never to see the light of day. The 3,425 were massacred in abortion clinics all across America. Should we fly flags at half mast for them?

To show the magnitude of the disaster, note one “i” for each of the 20 children plus 6 adults: iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. I’m reluctant to do this, but we need the perspective.  What do 3,425 “i’s” look like?

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And if I counted correctly, here is another 100:

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And now for a total of 300:

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One more hundred makes 400:

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Now picture the 3000:

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When we add 25 more—iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii—almost the same number killed at Sandy Hook– we have the average number of children eliminated from life in the United States each day through the atrocity of abortion. The main difference between the school shooting and the abortion killing is the age of the children. Other differences are the complicity of the mother and the profit motive of the abortionist. But the result is the same: An innocent child’s life is forever and violently snuffed out against his or her own choice.

There is hope. According to a Gallup poll released May15, 2012, “The 41% of Americans who now identify themselves as “pro-choice” is down from 47% last July and is one percentage point below the previous record low in Gallup trends, recorded in May 2009. Fifty percent now call themselves “pro-life,” one point shy of the record high, also from May 2009.”

Can the unthinkable event of Sandy Hook on one day cause us to realize an even greater unthinkable event repeats itself every day in our country?

Postscript. When I speak about the tragedy of abortion, I find the need to include another word—forgiveness. Abortion kills infants and hurts women and fathers. For every act of abortion, there is an act of forgiveness. Jesus Christ died to bring forgiveness to every person who has chosen or allowed abortion. “Come to Me, all you who are . . . heavy laden. I will give you rest.”

He is the Great Hope-Bringer.

GOD IS (NOT) MY BUDDY

Alaska is big. It is really, really big.  I mean no offence to my friends in Texas but y’all need to come up with a new slogan. Our God is like this. God is so big that we have to use caricatures to simplify Him, so that we can explain and understand Him. The scale of God is indescribable.
–JD Blom

Read this post: GOD IS (NOT) MY BUDDY

Hooray for President Obama

“Libya may not be in America’s vital interest, but it is in America’s values.”  Well spoken, Mr President.  All Americans should unite behind our president when he does what is right.

The president led us into Libya to prevent a bloodbath.  He claimed perhaps tens of thousands of innocent lives have been saved from cruel atrocities under his leadership.  (At this point I  am not addressing the president’s motives or the constitutional questions; only that he took decisive action.)

Now, Mr. President, do the same in America.  Tens of thousands of innocent civilians are being subjected to cruel atrocity and death by abortion every month.  You claimed it took only 31 days to bring together the coalition to bomb Libya.  In that same 31 days 93,000 babies were murdered in the US using medical procedures.

Your leadership proved instrumental in stopping a bloodbath in Africa.  Now lead the way to stop our bloodbath at home.

How Can We Know if We Love God?

Praying in tongues generally results in greater love for God.  If you doubt it, ask a tongues-speaker!

So how does anyone know if he loves God or not?   I used to question myself about this a lot.  Surprisingly, there is a non-subjective test to help us find out if we love God.   Jesus said in John 14:21, “If you love Me, you will keep My word.” That’s plain enough.  Yet to emphasize the matter, Jesus followed up, “He who does not love Me does not keep my words.” (John 14:24)

The matter seems important to Jesus.  He keeps on topic. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)

Since Jesus used the term “keep” in all 3 sentences, it’s worthwhile to check out the meaning.  The Greek word is tnreo in verb form.  It means to attend to carefully, to take care of; to guard, to observe, to watch over; to preserve.  It suggests a present possession or ownership of something. In other words, to keep God’s word means we are really doing what the Bible says, not just reading it.

This  raises the question, “Are we having a regular (daily) time with Jesus in God’s Word (the Bible)?  To keep his word means to guard our attitude toward the word and attend to it.  It means to store up the word and value or treasure it.  In earlier times, homes and shops had a “keep” or lock-box for valuables.  Are we “keeping” God’s word in our hearts, minds and mouths?

Speaking in tongues keeps us filled with the Holy Spirit.  Tongues release an inner warmth, an intimacy with God that feels good.   On the other hand, obedience to God’s instruction is outward and objective.  Both the Word and the Spirit help us to love God .  Knowing we love Him gives confidence.

OK, God lovers–Sound off!  How do you know that you love Him?

Nine Things the Bible Says about the Environment

The Bible speaks hundreds of times about the earth.  Those who understand the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the world’s greatest environmentalists.  Care for the environment is a Christian issue

1)      God created the earth and the heavens.  (Genesis 1:1)  The earth is His “baby” so to speak, and exists only because of His will and pleasure. (Revelation 4:11 KJV)

2)      The earth belongs to God.  The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.  ( Psalm 24:1)  All the rights of ownership belong to Him.

3)      God commands humans to take care of His earth.  (Genesis 1:28)  Dominion means “to take charge of, to rule over.”  Here He delegates His ownership to humans and makes us responsible to protect and care for the earth.  By this He mandates some of us to become chemists, biologists, geologists, agronomists, farmers, etc.

4)      God made a covenant with the animals.  (Genesis 9:8-17)  Among other things, the rainbow is a sign of God’s commitment to care for animals of the earth.

5)      The earth is vitally important to God and His purposes.  (Romans 1:19-20)  God values creation.  Visible creation reveals the invisible God.  Everyone who claims, “I see God in nature,” knows this.  But God’s purpose in nature is greater than a good feeling or general revelation.  His attributes, namely His “eternal power and divine nature” are “clearly seen” and “understood” through the created world.  As a result, nature has an evangelistic purpose: to reveal God Himself.  This environmental witness in nature is so strong that those who deny God’s self-revelation come under divine judgment:  “So they are without excuse.”

6)      God will destroy those who destroy the earth.  (Revelation 11:18)  No clearer statement of God’s care for the environment can be made.

7)      The Bible guards against environmental extremes.  Animal sacrifices and the eating of meat were enjoined.  The tabernacle was covered with animal skins.  Gold and precious stones will be part of the New Jerusalem.  Natural things are to be used, not avoided.  The myth of overpopulation is commonly based on “saving the environment.  But the God of the Bible commands, “Be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”  (Genesis 9:7)

8)      The earth will be destroyed.  This present earth is not eternal.  (2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 16:3)

9)      The earth will be redeemed.  God’s plan includes restoration of planet earth and all the heavens.  (Revelation 21:1 and 5; Romans 8:21)

What does the Bible tell us about environmentalism?  In short, color your Bible cover green–God is the Chief Environmentalist of the Universe.

Nine Things the Bible Says about the Environment

The Bible speaks hundreds of times about the earth and environmental issues.  This is a Christian issue and the church should own it.  Those who understand and obey the Old and New Testaments are the world’s greatest environmentalists.

1)      God created the earth and the heavens.  (Genesis 1:1)  The earth is His “baby” so to speak, and exists only because of His will and pleasure. (Revelation 4:11 KJV)

2)      The earth belongs to God.  The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.  ( Psalm 24:1)  All the rights of ownership belong to Him.

3)      God commands humans to take care of His earth.  (Genesis 1:28)  Dominion means “to take charge of, to rule over.”  Here He delegates His ownership to humans and makes us responsible to protect and care for the earth.  He mandates some of us to become chemists, biologists, geologists, agronomists, farmers, etc.

4)      God made a covenant with the animals.  (Genesis 9:8-17)  Among other things, the rainbow is a sign of God’s commitment to care for animals of the earth.

5)      The earth is vitally important to God and His purposes.  (Romans 1:19-20)  God values creation.  .  Everyone who claims, “I see God in nature,” knows visible creation reveals the invisible God.  But God’s purpose in nature is greater than a good feeling or general revelation.  His attributes, namely His “eternal power and divine nature” are “clearly seen” and “understood” through the created world.  As a result, nature has an evangelistic purpose: to reveal God Himself.  This environmental witness in nature is so strong that those who deny God’s self-revelation come under divine judgment:  “So they are without excuse.”

6)      God will destroy those who destroy the earth.  (Revelation 11:18)  No clearer statement of God’s care for the environment can be made.

7)      The Bible guards against environmental extremes.  Animal sacrifices and the eating of meat were enjoined.  The tabernacle was covered with animal skins.  Gold and precious stones will be part of the New Jerusalem.  Natural things are to be used, not avoided.

8)      The earth will be destroyed.  This present earth is not eternal.  (2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 16:3)

9)      The earth will be redeemed.  God’s plan includes restoration of planet earth and all the heavens.  (Revelation 21:1 and 5; Romans 8:21)

What does the Bible tell us about environmentalism?  In short, color your Bible cover green–God is the Chief Environmentalist of the Universe.

Glossolalia: Sue Cox’s Report of Praying in Tongues

Sue Cox’s Story in her own words (Used with permission)

Note: Sue Cox relates her experience with glossolalia (praying in tongues) and tells of the benefits in her life. She was born in Singapore and immigrated to the United States. Sue is a businesswoman in Muscatine, Iowa and serves as president of the local Aglow chapter. This report of glossolalia is in Sue’s own words with only minor editing.

I have been a Christian since 2005, my first encounter with “tongue” speaking was in February, 2007 at the Church of the Living Water. It was a very strange experience, it was like my mouth was no longer belongs to me but something so very powerful took control of it. The language that came out of my mouth was so foreign to me (yet I speak three different languages and several Asian dialects) I do not understand a word that came out of my mouth. It was totally supernatural!

Ever since that day, I have been growing tremendously in spirit and I have been praying in tongues all these years. I loved it!!

My experience with praying in tongue (glossolalia) has brought me to several supernatural encounters with the Lord Jesus. One particular experience I so remember was, I was in such a painful situation and that I needed strength, hope and help. The pain was so powerful that fear took over my spirit, I was struggling to stay calm and trying to pray in senses and I remember the story of Jesus calm the storm. But the fear was over powering me and I literally felt like a lump of marshmallow, my mouth was dry and I was trembling with fear. I couldn’t even speak a word not to mention praying in words.

I remember once my church brother told me “if you don’t know how to pray, just pray in tongues”. I began to pray in tongue and on and on I was praying in tongue and in spirit. Next thing I know, I was in the Garden of Gethsemane (in spirit). I saw Lord Jesus in His agony and pain. He was asking God to let the cup pass if possible. I felt His heart beat, I felt His pain, His fear, His agony. For a moment I was in Him and I felt it all. During this experience, I realized that I was communicating with God in tongue, a heavenly language. It was an actual communication except it was in tongue and I don’t understand a word that I said, I saw myself spoke through Lord Jesus and pleading for God’s mercy and grace. Then I heard the Lord said “Father, Thy will be done and not mine!” I said the same but this time in English, and then, in that very second, all my fear, pain, suffering and agony just lifted up and disappeared. Glossolalia set me free by the power of God!

I continue to pray in tongues today. I also came to recognize that there are many different ways of praying in tongues such as pleading, communicating, praising, warfare and I have also heard some people “chanting” in tongues.

But as for me, praying in tongue is a way I communicate with God the Father in Heavenly Language.
Nothing brought me closer to God then spends time with Him and communicate with Him in His Language.

I encourage all believers to do the same. It is simply Amazing!

TOP of Glossolalia Page

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Tongues –Jesus’ Blood Paid the Price

Jesus gave a free gift— tongues. How much did it cost Him? The answer may surprise you.

Would you think about this with me? Tongues are a free gift (charisma) for us, yet what price did Jesus have to pay to send this gift? Far more than most of us have ever imagined. “But this He spoke about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37) Jesus had to be glorified before He could send the Spirit. Glory comes through suffering, as you probably know. Suffering produces glory (Romans 8:17).

It was with every blow of the whip master’s lash that Jesus paid for our gift. Each spit, each mock, each ridicule preceded the gift. Every criticism, every humiliation, every prick from the crown of thorns paved the way for our gift of the “unknown language”. The nails, the thirst, the scorn, the hate, the rejection were all a part of the pre-determined plan of the Father for the death, resurrection, glorification of Christ and His subsequent release of the Spirit on Pentecost.

Without the crucifixion, there would be no Pentecost. Jesus had to be glorified through suffering and death before the Father could release the long-awaited promise of the Spirit at Pentecost. What was the first recorded act of the glorified Christ in heaven? “Therefore having been exalted (glorified) to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear (i.e., glossolalia).” (Acts 2:33)

In John 19:34 we read “there came out blood and water.” The blood was actual blood with X and Y-chromosomes. The water was literal water from the blood breaking down at death. The blood and the water also carry spiritual significance. The blood is the cutting of the blood covenant by which we overcome Satan. The water speaks of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37). Jesus paid the blood price for the outpouring of the Spirit and the gift of a prayer language.

May no one ever despise the price Jesus paid so He could pour out His chosen gift of tongues! May no one ever despise the cost to the Christ so we could enjoy His presence in this precious charisma!

Tongues –Jesus Paid the Price
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Insomnia? Try Praying in Tongues

Insomnia?  Will praying in tongues help?

Among the common reasons for sleeplessness are worry, lack of exercise, diet (think caffeine), sickness, overwork and troubled relationships.  There’s no one cure for all.

Recently I woke up in the night and couldn’t go back to sleep.  After awhile that Scripture about “tongues brings rest” crossed my mind.  “Why not try it?” I mused.  “Maybe praying in tongues will help me fall asleep.”  I started praying silently in my God-given tongue.  It took awhile, but pretty soon I woke up. . . it was morning!  It worked.

Isaiah the prophet wrote,”Indeed, He will speak to this people through stammering lips and a foreign tongue, He who said to them, ‘Here is rest, give rest to the weary,’ and ‘Here is repose'” ( Isaiah 28:11-12).  Then Isaiah added this kicker, “. . .but they would not listen.”

St Paul applied Isaiah’s words to speaking in tongues when he wrote his letter to the Corinthian church  (I Corinthians 14:21).

It’s all about relationship–relationship with the Lord of life, Jesus Christ.  Tongues connects the speaker with the Soother, the Calmer, the Giver of rest and repose.  There’s no magic in the tongue; rather, the soothing comes from the Giver of all good and perfect gifts in whom there is no shadow or inconsistency due to change.

Suppose you need to get groceries and you live a mile from the store.  You could get to the market by any number of ways.  You could walk, drive, take a bus, taxi or bicycle.  Some ways would be better than other ways depending on weather and circumstances.  The same with relief from insomnia.  Reading a book, ordinary prayer, drinking milk, changing socks might all help insomnia.  Praying in tongues, a form of Biblical meditation, is just one way.

Warning:  Don’t apply ideas about speaking in tongues mechanically.  We can’t always expect a simple cause and effect relationship as in the case of “tongues leads to sleep” or “tongues always bring rest.”  No, the Spirit can’t be reduced to mechanical predictability.  Sometimes tongues bring peace, sometimes energy.  Sometimes rest, sometimes an emotional stirring.

Most accurately we can say using the gift of tongues stirs the Spirit of God, and God gives us what we need.  If we need rest, God gives rest; if we need inspiration, inspiration is what we get.