If

IF I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14  and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15  Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-15 NASB)

IF you feel the tension that is rising in the throat of international relations…

IF you sense that the United States of America has entered a moral, economic and political free fall…

IF you care that a free market and free speech are a gift for free people…

IF you believe the heart of the problem is the human heart…

IF you see a convergence of storms coming upon this land…

IF you agree that our only true hope rests in the hands of a merciful God…

Then…this is your day!

Then…there has never been a more opportune time for us to humble our selves and pray.

He will have mercy.

His face we will see.

Our prayers will be heard.

Our sin will be forgiven.

Our land can be healed!

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Home, Sweet Homelessness

I’ve had the opportunity work in team to benefit homeless men in our region providing temporary housing, food and counsel. I am familiar with the frustration and hopelessness they face.  I have also been able to spend brief times in the mission field. One time not too long ago I was in a foreign land and gone from home for three weeks. During those three weeks my passions and enthusiasm were on a curve. Early on the excitement was about the mission and the needs of the locals. Later into the three weeks I found myself bent in another direction-toward home. I recall the last couple days feeling an overwhelming urge and expectancy for going home.

There’s no place like home. Like Dorothy’s stay in Oz, home has a will always call our name. After being gone from home for varying lengths of time the cathartic effect of new faces and new places begins to wear thin and we begin to pine for home.

Where does that longing for home come from? Do we all long for home or is it just the few? I think most of humanity carries an amount of yearning, longing, craving to return to the familiar boundaries of home. There arises this deep sense of homelessness. From timid college freshmen to battle hardened soldiers. From runaways to the rich and famous on the walk-ways each has a void that refuses to be filled called Home.

It seems quite reasonable to conclude that this craving and longing for home has been passed down through our physical and spiritual DNA. It came from the very beginning of creation and the time of Adam and Eve in the garden. As migratory birds cross land and sea for thousands of miles in answer to the instinctive calling deep inside, I believe our Creator has given us a similar passion to arrive at Home.

Think of it like this. Our first parents were at home in The Garden of Eden. Lush, green, well watered, comfortable, environmentally controlled with sufficiency of all things including no sense of any fear nor need of any kind. Their luxurious accommodations included regular walks and conversation with the owner, developer of the estate—God himself.

Then, the day came when Adam and Eve lost it all. (Genesis 3:23,24) Because of disobedience, Creator God separated them from Himself and from the Garden. They were removed from the Garden on the spot. Their circumstance were immediately altered. Instantly, they were homeless.

Since then, in the processes of life generations have been born who have lived with a sense that Home is out there somewhere. The writer of Ecclesiastes said, He has put eternity in their hearts. Family and friends do us fine for awhile. Yet, deeply within there is a need for home; a need that cannot be satisfied with the natural or the ordinary. Throughout all humanity there has been an ongoing search for home.

There has been no satisfying remedy until Jesus Christ came to establish the dwelling place of God.  Now through Jesus Christ the longing for Home, the filling of the eternal can be satisfied.

Naturally we think that home is a place that I move into. However, this unanswerable and eternal empty place, this spiritual place is called Home wherever Christ moves in. Here in the human heart eternity meets the Eternal.

In this way we all have been homeless. Thank God for my homelessness! My need with its passion and pursuit brought Jesus home to me! Oh, Sweet Homelessness is now Sweet Home!

Do you want to live like that?

“Gene Hackman narrates half-hour documentary “Island of Hope–Island of Tears.” From 1892-1954, Ellis Island.

The American way of life became a message to the world that there was liberty, promise and hope in America. Many came at great cost to themselves and extreme sacrifice all for the opportunity of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Let’s remember what we have, where it came from and how we may retain our position of Hope in this world.

Enjoy. Happy Independence Day! To view this video click on the link below:

“Gene Hackman narrates half-hour documentary “Island of Hope–Island of Tears.” From 1892-1954, Ellis Island was the port of entry for millions of European immigrants” by Glen Loyd Videos — GazetteXtra.

Happy Independence Day! Value this Birthright

Why not show your gratefulness for the birthright of freedom we have received. We have freedom not because we’ve earned it. Someone else did that for us. Vigilance is the price of freedom. Today I am thankful for the vigilance of our military and to those valiant warriors of faith who fight daily for personal freedoms in the media, courtrooms and taking a personal stand for righteousness and justice. We will keep these rights only if we retain a passion for liberty’s cause with a humble heart.

Here is a prayer from the floor of Congress in 1776 that would work well for us today! Let’s pray it with fervor and courage today and everyday!

“Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves
and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn;
Grant, we beseech Thee, that we and all the peoples of this land
may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.”

Prayed on the floor of the First Continental Congress, July 4, 1776.

Love will Test

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.  [I Corinthians 13:1-7 (The Message Bible)]

The test continues to repeat until I get it! I stopped counting, but I want to keep loving! 

Yes, I want to live like that…