Friday, November 11, 2016

So ... Trump is Going to be Our Leader. What Do We Do Now?

Who says we have to submit to Donald Trump?

(The answer might surprise you.)


This morning, I had a conversation with a woman whom I deeply respect, and who, like myself, had many of the same personal struggles throughout the presidential campaign and election process:
Given circumstances and accusations surrounding both Trump and Clinton, how, in good conscience, could I vote for either?
How can I NOT vote, though?
Would it be useless to vote third party?
What happens if a candidate I DON'T want gets elected? 

The struggles along the way were many, and very real. Discussions and alliances caused conflict. We got sucked into playing the "who's the worse candidate" game. We saw division grow among friends and even tear apart families. It's been a long and ugly process but today, America has a new leader. 

With so much discontent and revolution, and anarchists (that’s what the police and media have been calling them, not me) wreaking havoc in our land since the moment election results were in, my eyes have not always been on what should be my focus: God’s Will and furthering His Will – not my own will … not the people’s will.

As I started praying that again today – for God’s Will to be done – immediately what came to my mind were the many news reports and videos that showed the people of Israel on their knees before our election, and especially the day of, praying that “God's appointed leader be put in office as president of the United States.” They stood in solidarity with those words, with that single-minded prayer. And we all saw what happened on election day. There was a turn in the tide and there was a surprising result. After multitudes of God's chosen people praying for God's appointed leader, and millions of Christians praying for God’s appointed leader, how can the results not be His Will? Everyone, even the media, has said it was a miracle that Trump won.
This morning, on November 7th, in Jerusalem, Israel, thousands of believers from all over the world gathered for the Jerusalem Global Gathering (www.watchmen.org). The powerful first session of this global gathering culminated with all of the Americans that were present being asked to gather on the stage in order for all the nations represented to intercede for the US and her national elections.This was not just a polite prayer of blessings but rather the nations began to cry out, pray in the Spirit and declare freedom over our nation. The Americans on stage dropped to their knees, many weeping ... Source 
I can’t help but think of this verse: “Look among the nations and watch  be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.”   Habakkuk 1:5


DID YOU KNOW? Throughout history, God used several unlikely, even ungodly leaders to accomplish His purposes. He used King Cyrus for the good of the Jewish people, even though Cyrus was a "pagan" king  a non-Israelite king who didn’t even know God, who worshipped idols. But God called Cyrus “His Anointed.” In fulfillment of prophecy, the Scriptures record how Cyrus was anointed by God to restore the Jewish people from captivity and to rebuild Jerusalem.

King Nebuchadnezzar was called in Scripture “the servant of God,” and even though he, too, was a pagan king, he was a tool in the hand of God. God raised him up to judge God’s people who had departed from the Lord and had abandoned His word. God also foretold that the king would be lifted up with pride and then would be taken down for seven years to show that God was the one who has all power. After seven years of insanity, Nebuchadnezzar was restored and he testifies of God’s power in Daniel 4:34-35: “And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth."



Therefore, we know God can use Trump for the good of America.
We must pray for God’s Will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Pray for Him to have mercy on America!
We must be ONE NATION – not a divided nation  UNDER GOD.
Let God be God, and only time will tell.



The Scriptures tell us that God’s Word is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So, what is God’s Word for us today, as Americans, during this tumultuous time?


Be obedient to your authority, don’t rebel against it. “What?” you say? “You mean I have to subject myself to the authority of Trump?” Yep. Why? Because the Bible says so:


“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”  Romans 13:1-2

“Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves… For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good.”  Romans 13:2-5


“Jesus answered [speaking to Pilate], ‘You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.’”  John 19:11

“By me kings reign …”    Proverbs 8:15

“… he removes kings, and sets up kings …”  Daniel 2:21

“Then God removed Saul and made David their king …”  Acts 13:22

“No one … can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.”  Psalms 75:6-7

“…the Most High has power over human kingdoms. He gives them to whomever he wishes.”  Daniel 4:17

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority …”  1 Peter 2:13


"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."  Psalm 46:10


SEEK THE TRUTH. Be wise and seek His wisdom. Don’t be swayed by emotion and falsehoods. Ask God to open your eyes to the truth. Examine the Scriptures and align your personal belief system with the Will of God for His people, as gleaned from the Word of God, not from the world. And don’t let your minds and hearts be hardened to the TRUTH. "But the people's minds were hardened ... a veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth." – 2 Corinthians 3:14


Take these action steps: Be humble. Pray and seek God’s direction for your life and our nation’s. Ask God for forgiveness. And try to be Christlike in our thoughts, words, and deeds.



So I shared my thoughts about the prayers from Jerusalem over our election with my friend and, in her wisdom, this is how she responded:
“People are saying ‘what happened?’ God is what happened! The whole election has been an indication of that. Trump’s momentum from day one, and the inability to stop him, no matter how hard people tried (and they sure tried) was crazy. He dismantled the Republican party in less than a year. He won despite layers and layers of corruption, filled with people who would stop at nothing to kill his campaign, credibility, and character. He beat the power-ridden Clinton Machine. It was an historic win that has just stunned so many. I think Trump is going to surprise people. God heard the prayers of His people, not just us in the U.S., but the prayers from the apple of His eye -- Israel. He has given us another chance at redemption as a nation. Sorry, but "the church" has failed miserably in so many major areas. God has shown mercy and forgiveness.
We prayed for God’s Will ... now those prayers cannot cease.
The current administration has done nothing but widen the division. I think it was intentional. Trump’s opponent would have only continued on the same path. I think Trump, once he takes office, will start bridging it. I don't have anything real solid to base that on  no links, no videos  just a sense that comes from faith that this has God's fingerprints all over it. Is he going to work wonders and make everyone happy? No way, but he will do what is best overall. He will be a friend to Israel, and that is very connected to the kind of blessings our nation will see.”
Thank you, my friend, for those words of wisdom.

I've seen so many people who are unhappy with the election results say that are frightened, scared, even terrified. Surrender it to the Lord and you won't be. I promise. I could have been scared for the past eight years but I wasn't. Dismayed, shocked, sorrowful, but never scared. I sincerely hope these verses will bring you comfort:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”  Isaiah 41:13
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33  
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.  1 Corinthians 14:33
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.  2 Timothy 1:7 

God’s promise to us


“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.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” 
 Romans 8:28




So ... Trump's Gonna be Our Leader. What Do We Do Now?

Who says I have to submit to Donald Trump?



This morning, I had a private-message conversation with a woman whom I deeply respect, and who, like myself, had many of the same personal struggles throughout the presidential campaigns and election process:
Given circumstances and accusations surrounding both Trump and Clinton, how, in good conscience, could I vote for either?
How can I NOT vote, though?
Would it be useless to vote third party? 

The struggles along the way were many, and very real. It caused conflict between myself and friends. I saw division grow among friends and even tear apart families. It's been a long process but today, America has a new leader. 

With so much discontent and revolution, and anarchists (that’s what the media has been calling them, not me) wreaking havoc in our land since the moment election results were in, my eyes have not always been on what should be my focus: God’s Will and furthering His Will – not my own will … not the people’s will.

As I started praying that again today – for God’s Will to be done – immediately what came to my mind were the many news reports and videos that showed the people of Israel on their knees before our election, and especially the day of, praying that “God's appointed leader be put in office as president of the United States”. They stood in solidarity with those words, with that single-minded prayer. And we all saw what happened on election day. There was a turn in the tide and there was a surprising result. After multitudes of God's chosen people praying for God's appointed leader, and millions of Christians praying for God’s appointed leader, how can the results not be His Will? Everyone, even the media, has said it was a miracle that Trump won.
This morning, on November 7th, in Jerusalem, Israel, thousands of believers from all over the world gathered for the Jerusalem Global Gathering (www.watchmen.org). The powerful first session of this global gathering culminated with all of the Americans that were present being asked to gather on the stage in order for all the nations represented to intercede for the US and her national elections.
This was not just a polite prayer of blessings but rather the nations began to cry out, pray in the Spirit and declare freedom over our nation. The Americans on stage dropped to their knees, many weeping, as the Chinese rushed to the stage front to push in prayer. One of our Israeli hosts, Asher Intrater (a Messianic Jewish leader), began to pray out prayers that broke through the spirit realm with power and authority. Source 
I can’t help but think of this verse: Habakkuk 1:5, “Look among the nations and watch — Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.”

So I shared these thoughts with my friend and, in her wisdom, this is how she responded:

“People are saying ‘what happened?’ God is what happened! The whole election has been an indication of that. Trump’s momentum from day one, and the inability to stop him, no matter how hard people tried (and they sure tried) was crazy. He dismantled the Republican party in less than a year. He won despite layers and layers of corruption, filled with people who would stop at nothing to kill his campaign, credibility, and character. He beat the power-ridden Clinton Machine. It was an historic win that has just stunned so many. I think Trump is going to surprise people. God heard the prayers of His people, not just us in the U.S., but the prayers from the apple of His eye -- Israel. He has given us another chance at redemption as a nation. Sorry, but "the church" has failed miserably in so many major areas. God has shown mercy and forgiveness.
We prayed for God’s Will ... now those prayers cannot cease.
The current administration has done nothing but widen the division. I think it was intentional. Trump’s opponent would have only continued on the same path. I think Trump, once he takes office, will start bridging it. I don't have anything real solid to base that on -- no links, no videos -- just a sense that comes from faith that this has God's fingerprints all over it. Is he going to work wonders and make everyone happy? No way, but he will do what is best overall. He will be a friend to Israel, and that is very connected to the kind of blessings our nation will see.”
Thank you, my friend, for all those words of wisdom.

Throughout history, God used several unlikely, even ungodly leaders to accomplish His purposes. He used King Cyrus for the good of the Jewish people, even though Cyrus was a "pagan" king -- a non-Israelite king who didn’t even know God, who worshipped idols. But God called Cyrus “His Anointed.” In fulfillment of prophecy, the Scriptures record how Cyrus was anointed by God to restore the Jewish people from captivity and to rebuild Jerusalem.

King Nebuchadnezzar was called in Scripture “the servant of God,” and even though he, too, was a pagan king, he was a tool in the hand of God. God raised him up to judge God’s people who had departed from the Lord and had abandoned His word. God also foretold that the king would be lifted up with pride and then would be taken down for seven years to show that God was the one who has all power. After seven years of insanity, Nebuchadnezzar was restored and he testifies of God’s power in Daniel 4:34-35: “And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth."



Therefore, we know God can use Trump for the good of America.
We must pray for God’s Will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Pray for Him to have mercy on America!
We must be ONE NATION – not a divided nation -- UNDER GOD.
Let God be God, and only time will tell.



The Scriptures tell us that God’s Word is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So, what is God’s Word for us today, as Americans, during this tumultuous time?

First, SEEK THE TRUTH. Be wise and seek His wisdom. Don’t be swayed by emotion and falsehoods. Ask God to open your eyes to the truth. Examine the Scriptures and align your personal belief system with the Will of God for His people, as gleaned from the Word of God, not from the world. And don’t let your minds and hearts be hardened to the TRUTH. "But the people's minds were hardened ... the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth." 2 Corinthians 3:14


Secondly be obedient to your authority, don’t rebel against it. “What?” you say? “You mean I have to subject myself to the authority of Trump?” Yep. Why? Because the Bible says so:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” — Romans 13:1-2

“Jesus answered [speaking to Pilate], ‘You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.’” — John 19:11

“By me kings reign …” — Proverbs 8:15

“… he removes kings, and sets up kings …” — Daniel 2:21

“Then God removed Saul and made David their king …” — Acts 13:22

“No one … can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.” — Psalms 75:6-7

“…the Most High has power over human kingdoms. He gives them to whomever he wishes.” — Daniel 4:17

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority …” — 1 Peter 2:13


"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." — Psalm 46:10

“Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves… For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good.” — Romans 13:2-5


And, thirdly, take these action steps: Be humble. Pray and seek God’s direction for your life and our nation’s. Repent and turn from wickedness.


God’s promise to us?


“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.” — 2 Chronicles 7:14

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Childhood Memories of Summer Nights at the Drive-In

Last night I dreamed that my family went to the Twin-City Drive-In Theater. It was more a collection of memories than a dream, I suppose. Those Saturday night adventures were the best of summer family times. 

I felt the excitement of "getting ready to go to the drive-in". Ok, just shoot us -- we were too cheap to buy from the concession stand; Dad owned Morton's Grocery Store (112 Pennsylvania Ave., across the street from Kay's Ice Cream and Oakley-Cook Funeral Home near downtown; anyone from "home" remember it?), so he always
gauged the price of food in wholesale dollars and thought it was highway robbery what they charged for snacks. Mom boiled Valleydale weenies and steamed Kern's buns (both were local businesses) in that old stove-top bread steamer with a brass lid. I'd help her top each with ketchup and wrap them in aluminum foil, then put them all in a large paper bag with lots of napkins. Dad popped the popcorn -- kernels in hot oil, on the stove, not in the microwave (nope, no microwave ovens back then, but there WAS Jiffy Pop, which I'd sometimes be treated to at Mamaw's house). He'd constantly keep that large pan rapidly moving back and forth over the hot eye and knew it was ready when the lid slowly rose above the now-white, fluffy morsels. He'd pour melted butter on top and salt it, and put it in 4 individual grocery store paper bags - one for each of us. (Sarah was just a baby and usually she would stay with one of our grandmothers on drive-in nights but I remember sometimes they brought a small portable playpen for her and Mom would sit outside the car next to it in a folding aluminum chair with colorful webbing.) Anyway, the movie food-prep sometimes included John filling up the cooler with ice and putting in individual glass bottles of soda (2-liter bottles and cans hadn't been introduced yet), and slip a small bottle opener in his pocket. (He was the official bottle-popper ... a very important job!) We usually took our own Kool-Aid or lemonade or sweet tea in a large Tupperware pitcher with Tupperware tumblers, but Dad (getting the drinks wholesale) would sometimes splurge on bottled soda.


John and I would grab our pillows and Mom would gather some blankets. Ok, ready to go! We'd travel the few miles down Volunteer Parkway to the drive-in. We'd always get there an hour early, and Dad made sure to find the BEST spot -- right in the middle, and not too close and not too far back -- and park and re-park the car so all of us had the best angle on the sloped hill, no matter which seat we were in. 


John and I would race (literally) down to the little playground at the very front of the theater, just under the huge white screen. We would laugh and play, usually with other Avoca Elementary School friends who were there with their families, and enjoyed the swings and a slide, a "go-'round" carousel, a couple of see-saws and painted animals on huge spring coils.






As dusk settled around us, the cartoons began! We'd race back to the car and crawl in the back door -- the one without the speaker. (Yes, for you youngins' who have never been to a drive-in, you would take the speaker off the stand, roll down one window half-way and hang the speaker on it.) 


We'd enjoy our hot dogs and popcorn while watching the black and white cartoons and corny commercials. There was always a double feature, and the first movie would be family-oriented, "G-rated" (did they even have ratings back then?). We'd all watch it together, laughing and enjoying our time in those close quarters.




During the break between movies, we were taken to the bathroom in the concession stand building, and if we had behaved very well, we'd sometimes be treated to a candy bar from the concession stand. Then we'd all pile back in the station wagon. John and I were expected to snuggle with our pillows and blankets and sleep in the back while Mom and Dad watched "the adult movie". Probably a "PG-13" type, but I do remember one time when we were a little older (turns out it was 1974; I just Googled it) they showed a more "risqué" movie -- "Blazing Saddles" and Mom and Dad kept us awake with their laughter and John and I peeked above the back seat and secretly watched the entire thing. I smile as I still hear their laughter during this irreverent satirical Western comedy. My brother and I couldn't hold back our own laughter during the farting scene and were busted! John and I felt so sneaky (and proud) that we got to watch that movie.

We'd get home very late and Mom and Dad would wake up two sleepy children, but sometimes I would feign slumber just so Dad would carry me in. :)

Those hot summer nights in Tennessee were among the best growing up, and they also included catching lightnin' bugs, flying June bugs on strings, cranking homemade ice cream, swimming at my Aunt Ruby's house, camping at the lake in our pop-up camper, annual vacations at the beach, eating vegetables from Dad's little garden (and from Ree-Ree's BIG garden) and picking strawberries, grapes and cherries at Mamaw's, ice-cold watermelon, church camp in Unicoi, and running through the sprinkler in the backyard. Thanks to my wonderful parents for the memories. Good times. I miss them. And Dad and John ... I miss you, too.