Monday, September 24, 2012

Have you prayed for a missionary today?

Hello online friends!  I want to take a minute to ask you to lift up some folks in prayer.  In recent days, I have heard from many friends throughout the world, who are serving as missionaries with the International Mission Board.  I have heard stories of great spiritual victories, about new discipleship groups forming in tough places, and new Christians growing in the faith.  These are very exciting times, as we see the Gospel being heard by so many unreached people groups!

However, if you have been around Christian ministry for long, you know that with great progress, you can also expect greater attacks by the evil one.  Along with these stories of great triumph, I also hear stories that remind us of the unrighteous and dark world that we live in.  Our missionaries face some pretty incredible situations in the field.  Dealing with foreign governments, religious (non-Christian) opposition, language & culture barriers, as well as the challenge of running a ministry can be overwhelming.  Couple these with taking your family to a distant land, often as the only Americans in the area, and you can see why we need to pray for them!

I thank God that He calls men, women, and children to take His light to the nations!  How can we be a part of their ministry?  Well, in a few ways.  First, please pray for these missionaries.  Second, give to our missions offerings, such as the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.  This goes directly to our missionaries on the field!  Third, get in contact with one of our missionaries.  There is no better way to find out about their needs, and how to pray for them, than by talking to them directly!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Are You Proud To Be An American?

I don't know about you, but this election year has been particularly frustrating for me.  No, this is not a rant about who you should vote for, but a by-product of all of the stuff coming across through all forms of media.

Americans are being told that we should be ashamed of who we are...where we came from...and the values that established our country.  We are told that we are power-mongers, oil-mongers, and war-mongers...that we should be apologetic for the success of American business, and taking a stand for nations like Israel.

Somehow in all of this "politically correct" nonsense, we have lost the sense of pride that we once had as Americans.  I heard it during the Olympics...that maybe we should continue to cut out certain sports from the Olympics because we are simply too dominant.  Case in point, softball was cut from the Olympics, some say for this very reason.  I heard American newspeople suggesting that maybe we needed to do this to make it fair for other nations.  Seriously?  Why should we Americans shrink back from the rest of the world, just so they feel okay about themselves?  That's just nonsense...

We have made ourselves hostages of our own odd need to be viewed as politially correct, and non-offensive.  Our leaders continually apologize to other nations...which does what?  If we truly had wronged a nation or people, that would be different.  However, just because we are a nation founded on Biblical principles, by Godly men...why should we apologize for that?  Like it, or not...that's who we are.  We take God out of our history books, out of our schools, and out of our government, and expect to stay blessed by Him?  Make no mistake, we are the greatest nation in the world BECAUSE of the blessings of God, not because we are better people than everyone else in the world. 

For the first time in my life...I hear young men and women talking about the dark days ahead in our country.  I see people disallusioned by the political mess on the federal, state, and city levels.  Corruption, dishonesty, and manipulation seem to be the standards that our leaders portray.  Where did the pride for our country go?

Tonight, I was at a football game here in Austin, TX.  One of our youth sang the national anthem with her school choir.  As I stood facing the flag, listening to that anthem I was reminded once again that we live in the greatest nation on this planet.  Our flag should remind us of all of those who have fought and died so that we could have the freedoms we have right now!

I would love for our young people to understand that sense of pride that our veterans have when they talk about our country.  That twinkle that comes in their eye when you talk to them about how much they love the United States.  These men and women take our freedom why don't we?

No matter what your political views are, all it takes is a trip out of our country to understand just how great it is here in America.  Sure, there are great places to visit in our world, but none of them compare to living in the United States!  I sure am proud to be an American!  We make one does everything perfectly.  However, I hope that you will all vote this November...take your freedom to elect our government seriously!   Praise God for the United States!