-Happy Independence Day 2021

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Happy Independence Day 2021

The following is our traditional message for the 4th of July:

Flags are flying, parades are moving, drinks are flowing, and politicians are speaking today in America.

244 years ago a message was confirmed by representatives of 13 colonies proclaiming their freedom, a freedom that was considered to be derived from God:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Much has been made of the variety of beliefs held by the founders of this country but their words and convictions remain not only on paper but also in the hearts of the people.

Declaration of Independence: The Emphasis Upon God

When it comes to the Declaration of Independence, the words- “by their Creator” were a major part of the message, the subject, and the emphasis.

Many secularists and atheists today want to de-emphasize the role of faith in the founding of this country to the point that many are attempting to actually rewrite history itself. For them, God could have easily been left out of the document with little or no effect.

But in the context of 1776, those words were the whole linchpin of the document and appealed to as the ultimate authority and source for the rights of the Americans to rebel against the King of England.

In the context of the 18th century the Europeans believed that their Kings reigned and ruled ‘by Divine right’ under the authority of God and were His direct representatives. In fact, the King of England was also the head of the church and was supposed to defend the Christian faith against heresy and all enemies. In that cultural context, to rebel against the King was tantamount to rebelling against God the Creator himself.

In the Declaration the founders made it clear that they were not rebelling against God but that the Creator was actually the ultimate authority they were appealing to saying that their ‘rights’ were derived directly from the Creator and not given to them by the King of England or some parchment or Parliament.

It was a radical document at the time and changed the whole course of human history and ‘the Creator’ was part and parcel of the Declaration of Independence and the ultimate authority appealed to in the whole process.            *Top

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-National Day of Prayer (USA)- 2021

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Today is the National Day of Prayer:

Link to Official Website

2021 NATIONAL PRAYER FOR AMERICA

Lord, we look up and see the billions of stars

You created, and we praise You. We look

around and see the billions of people You

created in Your image; uniquely, fearfully,

wonderfully, and we thank You. Wrap us in Your

Spirit and unite us in Your family, Lord.

Thank You for loving us first. In Your love for the

whole world, You sent Your Son to save us.

Jesus, in You alone we have abundant and

everlasting life. Thank you for teaching and

leading us to love and live, fruitful, and faithful.

In Your life, death, resurrection, and ascension

You are our Lord, our love, our life, and our

liberty. You came to “bind up the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to captives and

freedom to prisoners.” You have freed us from

the penalty and shame of our sin; free to live

life as You designed and Your destiny

for our Nation.

Spirit search us, convict us, as we repent for

our sin and the sins of America. Please cleanse,

fill, and send us. We rejoice, knowing that Your

forgiveness makes us acceptable and effective

vessels for Your love, life and liberty in our

family, church, education, workplace, military,

government, art, entertainment, and media.

We pray that America will be united in love to

serve You with all our hearts, all our ways, and

all of our days. Unite us to pray, love; to live and

walk by the Spirit. Conform and transform us

as we pray and proclaim, “Now the Lord is the

Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is,

there is liberty.”

We pray this is the name of Jesus, Amen.

Kathy Branzell

President, National Day of Prayer Task Force

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-Happy Resurrection Day 2021

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He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

May You and your family have a wonderful Easter. The Resurrection of Jesus should give us all hope in the midst of this pandemic. God is still in control and the Coronavirus will be conquered and the Devil will lose again.

Happy Resurrection Day!

When the women went to the tomb on Easter morning the rock was rolled away and the tomb was empty. Not only that but an angel met them there and said:

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come see the place where he lay.”

…And behold Jesus met them and said, “Greetings! Do not be afraid…” –Matt.28:5-10

Another good scripture to remember–this is what Jesus told Martha before he raised her brother Lazarus from the grave:

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?  –John 11:25-26

The good question for each one of us today—Do you believe this?

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-I Know That My Redeemer Lives

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Once I was asked on my Bible Q & A Website: “Why do you Christians keep celebrating Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus- something that happened 2,000 years ago and seems rather impossible?”

My Answer: Because Jesus Christ is still alive today and still appearing to folks and changing lives.

In fact, there has never been a generation in 2,000 years when Jesus hasn’t appeared to somebody.  Church history records a number of those appearances.

Lately, I have read the testimonies of a number of Muslims who converted to Christianity after Jesus showed up in their bedrooms. I also personally know a number of folks, even in my own family, who have seen the Lord and I have heard of many others.

Finally, I myself must testify that I have seen my Lord and talked to Him. Therefore for me this goes beyond faith or even strong conviction-

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

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-St. Patrick’s Day 2021

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Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Usually this is a day of parades, green beer, and rowdy drunken debauchery all done in the name of a historical character that was God’s apostle to Ireland—forget ‘Saint’ this guy functioned as an apostle and a power evangelist with signs and wonders.

However, some of the usual celebrations on this occasion continue to be curtailed because of COVID 19.

The Real Story of St. Patrick

There is all sorts of stories about Patrick that today they call ‘myths’. I believe that a lot of the myths were probably based upon true events that seem far too supernatural for secular folks to accept today.

But who was this St. Patrick anyway? A man born into a Roman Christian family in Wales around 385 AD with the given name of Macwyn Succat. At age 16 he was taken from his home and enslaved by Irish Celtic raiders. He tended sheep for his new masters for 6 years and became closer to God in the process. The ‘voice of God’ directed his escape and later commissioned him to return to Ireland as a missionary. He went to seminary and became a Priest in preparation and later a Bishop.

He is recognized by all major Christian churches–Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican since he ministered before the church was divided into all the different denominations we have today. So Protestants have just as great a claim on him as Catholics. And those of us who have Welsh blood running through our veins have as much right to claim St. Patrick as any Irishman.

It is said in documents from that period that he “baptized thousands of people,” and ordained hundreds of priests to lead new Christian communities and villages. He also converted the sons of Kings and chieftains leading to the conversion of an entire pagan nation to Christ.

It is said that he was also a healer and that he prayed for hedges of spiritual protection surrounding Christian homes, churches, and whole villages. Legend has it that snakes were banished from the island in the process, though scientists today doubt there was ever any on the island. Nevertheless, Druid priests were forced leave and demons and evil principalities were cast out and challenged by St. Patrick.

Here’s an example of the spiritual condition of  church that St. Patrick left behind—part of a prayer attributed to him but probably recorded a couple of generations later:

From “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate”:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye which sees me, Christ in every ear which hears me.

We could use this kind of spiritual maturity. What a great declaration to live by–a good example for those seeking a Kingdom culture and economy.               *Top

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