Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Flying Down the Waterslide

            When I was a kid we would typically travel down to Florida from Ohio once a summer to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins.  One of these trips when I was probably around the age of 10 we visited the water park Buccaneer Bay in Tampa.  They had advertised for the newest, tallest, and fastest waterslide.  I have always been a bit of a ‘dare devil’. Call me fearless. I thrive on these kinds of things and was very excited when my uncle volunteered to take my cousin and me to go on the slide.  I don’t remember what the slide is called but I do remember it was tall, and was a close to vertical drop straight down. 
            I remember waiting in line for what seemed to be forever, so when we finally arrived on the top of the platform we were all ready to jump in the slide.  When the lifeguard told me that it was my turn I jumped into the slide with gusto took my turn.  I didn’t realize I needed to stop and listen for instructions.  I just went.  It was fun.  It never occurred to me that I was probably in danger, and the laws of physics were violated in my descent. 
            I was later told that my uncle and the lifeguard just about had a heart attack as I flew down the slide.  I was supposed to have lain down and crossed my arms.  In my excitement I went down the slide sitting up on my behind.  There is no reason according the laws of gravity that I didn’t fall face first and seriously injury myself.  Whoops.  Grin.  In fact when I went to go on the slide again the life guard flipped out a bit on me and made sure I was lying down before I could go.  It wasn’t nearly as fun the second time.  LOL!
            Life can be a lot like this.  There are two sides to this:  Sometimes people jump at things too quick without listening to instructions, and sometimes people sit at the top of the adventures in life and wait too long thinking about them.  There has to be a balance.
            I love the verse of Isaiah 30:21 “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’, Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.”  People often can hear God’s direction and then not wait for the timing.  Ecc 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”  Matt 16 Jesus instructs us to discern the times and seasons.  Meaning, you do have to do what God is calling you to….but use wisdom to do it when He calls you to do it.  In my case regarding the water slide perhaps waiting long enough to get instructions before sliding down would have been the wise thing.  God will always give us instructions and vision when He speaks to us.  He doesn’t just tell people to do things and think we’ll understand.  Eventually the fullness of what He says will make sense, but sometimes we have to wait to get the bigger picture.  Sometimes we have to sit in what feels like the top of the water slide and wait for the rest of His instructions.
            Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

*Please continue to keep us in prayer.  We have a couple of big days ahead of us, and we are believing for divine interventions.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Panic and Oops at the Canadian/American Border

            This weekend was the first time we were able to travel up to Canada to visit my in-laws since moving.  We were only gone for a day and a half but we were so glad to be able to visit.  It’s a nice change to be a short three hour drive from them.   Over the years that I’ve traveled back and forth over the Canadian American border, we’ve collected our share of funny stories.  But the one last night may be up there with my top few.  The funny thing is that I was thinking right before we crossed back into the US that we hadn’t had any major hiccup this time, I thought too soon.
            It was raining hard yesterday in Windsor and I thought that it would be a better idea to take the tunnel back to the US.  This border gives two options either a tunnel or a bridge and somehow hanging high suspended in the air as I could see lightening in the distance didn’t seem like a good idea. 
            We waited our turn and found our way to the immigration officers booth.  All was going great until the officer asked us for the registration of the vehicle.  We were driving my dad’s car.  If you remember last year this happened while we were driving one of my parents' cars and we never did find the registration though it had been in the vehicle the whole time. That officer had been sympathetic.  This one wasn’t.  Dan and I began to frantically search.  We couldn’t find it.  Rain was coming into the car and we both were panicking.  My oldest daughter and I saw the officer put our passports on a side shelf.
            “Can I make a quick phone call sir?”  I asked the border guard. 
            “Sure make it quick” He gave me a reluctant answer.  I called my parents, and quickly the registration was found.  I handed him the registration, he asked us a few more questions and he handed it back to us and told us we could go.  We were happy to be through the border, but now we were semi lost in downtown Detroit (Not a place you want to be lost in) trying to find our way to the highway.  We finally found it.  We drove for about 10 minutes.
            “So did you put the passports back in my purse?”  I asked Dan as I drove trying to see through the rain.
            “What passports?”  I could hear Dan’s fear in his voice.
            “The passports, where are they?”
            “You never gave them to me.”
            “I don’t have them.”  I pulled on the side of the highway, while we searched through everything.  We never were given them back at the border.  We were so excited he let us go, that we’d forgotten the passports! 
            The exit we were stopped at would have brought us back into Detroit.  We didn’t know where we were going, and by this point the GPS was confused.  I just starting driving toward what I could tell was downtown.  I was too focused to be that scared but the neighborhoods we were in were scary.  I was driving through trash; we stopped to ask a stranger for directions that he reluctantly gave.  We were lost. I am so glad it was daylight.
            When we finally found the exit of the border tunnel, there is no way you can drive up to it because the traffic goes in the opposite direction.  I pulled off to the side of the road letting Dan out to see if he could walk up to the border office.  Honestly I didn’t know what they would do to Dan for walking on foot towards the office.  How would we ever even find the right officer?  How would we get to where our passports were?  The kids and I started to pray.
            It’s amazing how God still takes care of His people even when they make mistakes.  When Dan walked up to the border there was an officer who just so happened to be outside of the office looking at another car.  This is several feet away from the booths to where the cars drive up.  He started to ask him about the passports.  The officer that was  searching cars outside away from the booths,  just so happened to be the same one that had interviewed us.  He knew right away why Dan was there, and right away took him in the office and got us our passports.  No one ever stopped me while I was parked on some sort of ramp waiting for us.  All in all, our detour probably only took 40 extra minutes tops.  It all worked out and we made our way back to Ohio.  All in all it was miraculous if you think about what goes on at the border and all the people that are involved.  Dan asked the man what they would have done if we wouldn’t have gotten them back.  The man told him that they would mail them to the address on file.  The problem with that is that those passports would have gone my last house in FL, to get forwarded to our rental we had in FL, to get forwarded to OH.  We would have either never seen those again, or it would have been a very long time had we not have gotten them back if we did.
            My family and I are realizing more and more, that we make some silly mistakes when we are a bit frazzled and panicked.  We don’t blame the border guard for this mistake.  It was a mixture of all of us.  He forgot to give them back and we forgot to ask.  Philippians 4:6 talks about not being anxious for anything.  I have often discussed this scripture about anxiety about the future, but the more I see this pattern the more I realize it can also be about day to day stuff.  We all have to teach ourselves how to be at peace in every situation.  Because when one is anxious and not in peace is when one makes less than good choices. 
            Now my family has a new funny border crossing story to add.  I’m grateful at how God got us out of our own mistake, and I’m learning to be at peace in stressful situations.  I think we all have had those moments.  I work on making mine less and less.  Grin.  God is so good. 
            God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Thoughts on the Immigration Invasion

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that most of the time you’ll receive teaching blogs as encouragement and sometimes humor.  But once in a while I tend to jump into the puddles of current events and issues in America.  I feel that people need to be outspoken in their faith and beliefs as to how they relate to this nation.  Unfortunately is the failure to speak up is what has wounded the foundation of what I believe has made this country great.  So in saying all of that I am going to dance in the rain of a current hot topic for today’s blog.  While I respect both sides of this issue, I do have a strong opinion regarding it.
Growing up in a small Mid-West American town, I had no idea what it took to come to this country as an immigrant.  I had no idea of the hurdles people had to jump through in order to become a citizen.  That was until I met and married my husband.  My husband’s family emigrated from Italy to Canada in the 50’s.  Dan was born in Canada, and came to America on a school visa.  Then about 18 months later he met me.  Most people in America have a misguided notion because of films like “Green Card” that just because you marry an American you become a citizen.  Right after during WW2 that was the case, but today that’s an antiquated notion.  We had hoops we had to jump through.  He had to essentially ‘start over’ in the process when he married me.  It’s a long story but we had to bump up our wedding 3 months because we wanted to have a large Italian reception in Canada for his side and we couldn’t get married in the US and leave the country until some paperwork was filed.  So I had one wedding with a small reception, and a larger reception three months later in Canada.  Three days after my wedding I was sitting in an office having paperwork filed out.  When we moved across the country we had to refile paperwork again.  We used to joke that it was kind of like parole.  I once sat in an immigration office 4 months pregnant for a whole day with one working bathroom, waiting in line to ask a question only to be mocked by an immigration officer for not marrying an American.  For several years when the immigration office called we jumped, filed and paid money for new paperwork, got sets of fingerprints, went to interviews, studied and took a test, and waited in more lines.  After September 11, it did become a tad easier because at least then we could call on the phone, wait about an hour on hold and talk to a person to ask a question.  While I never wanted to push Dan to get his citizenship he gladly did.  He became a citizen in June of 2006.  It was a long ordeal, and we’re both very glad that all is now well. 
Since my own personal experience, I did think often in the process that gratefully Dan and I were educated people, who were able to jump through government hoops.   We had access to computers and phones to make appointments, and often miraculously the money appeared from some source or another when we needed it to file more forms.  I understand we had a lot of favor in this area where I’ve heard various horror stories.
What is happening at the border right now is not immigration.  It’s an invasion of the nation.  I 100% support immigration in our country.  I get there are hoops that one needs to jump through.  But in my mind don’t we want people who come to our nation be respectful of our laws?  Don’t we want to open our borders to people who understand they need to obey the laws of the land? Do we want to give free passes to people who can’t obey our laws?  Jesus instructed people to obey the laws of the land (Romans 13:1-7)  Just giving people a free pass just encourages people they never have to obey our laws.  I believe it’ll create a legacy of people who think living off the government and handouts is the answer in life.  It creates dependent people, and most likely generations of people who believe that the government is their sugar daddy.
So the argument here is the issue about the children.  It is horrible that these kids are coming alone and unattended.  There are no easy answers here.  I can understand parents wanting to send these children for a better life but what is the solution?  Matt 7:12 is the Golden rule.  Where we are told to ‘Do unto others as we would have done to us’.  I believe in giving these kids humanitarian aid.  We can sit troops on the border and offer a hot meal, offer a blanket and a change of clothing, but just giving them some obscure court date so they come in illegally in the country and melt into society isn’t the answer.  We can’t open our borders up to illegal activity. These children are being exploited, and it’s a travesty that many are most likely becoming part of the sex trafficking industry.  Many of these kids aren’t sweet and innocent, but part of violent gangs.  While I want to reach the child and give them the love of Jesus, we don’t need to invite more violence and crimes on our streets to do so.  There has to be a better answer.  I don’t believe spending billions of dollars in housing is the answer.  It’s no secret I’m not a fan of the current administration, but no matter how you slice this issue it is a sticky difficult one. 
While I may not have all the answers I bring all this up to encourage you all to pray for these kids, pray for America, and pray for the leaders of this country.  I may not always like/agree/want to be civil towards certain leaders but I do believe anyone in authority needs wisdom from God.  We do need to pray for them. (1 Tim 2:2)  We do need to cry out that God would heal America, and get us back to where the forefathers intended.  Don’t just see tragedy on the news and do nothing.  There is a world around us who need a touch from Jesus.  Let us open our eyes to see it.
Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Laughing In The Rain

Anytime you move it requires a list of new hurdles you have to jump through.  We are still adjusting to our new surroundings.  Because we will probably be purchasing two new-to-us cars within the next year, and we just renewed our FL tags on our SUV, I had no intention of changing our plates to OH plates until we traded it in. On Friday I received a letter in the mail stating that if we didn’t get FL car insurance or return our license plates in 10 days Dan would lose his drivers license and get a $150 fine.  I guess the BMV doesn’t like it if your insurance is in one state and your tags are in another.  This lesson has been learned in this family. 
On Saturday morning Dan and I headed for the OH BMV to get all of this straightened out.  It was a pretty smooth process, but that isn’t always the case.  When we finally got the plates we realized that we need to put one on in the front in OH.  Dan, who was overly tired from the work week before, was getting a little stressed as he was trying to shove the screws into the front bumper.  The back of the screwdriver wasn’t meant to perform this task. Once he got them in the premade holes he realized the holes didn’t line up with the plate. It started to rain.  While I knew he had every right to be frustrated and get annoyed at everyone and everything, we both started to laugh.  It was another speed bump in the road, but he handled it like a champ.  Eventually both OH plates were on the SUV and our FL plates were headed by mail back to FL. 
We hadn’t planned on doing all of this now, but sometimes life throws a curve ball.  You have to learn to roll with what happens and not sweat the small stuff.  Sure the moment the rain started we both could have sat there and started to lose our cool, but instead we choose to laugh.  Shake off the dust from your world and learn that no matter what comes at you not to let it get you down.  Just keep going.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
          Whatever comes at you, don’t let it steal your joy.  The Joy of the Lord is your strength (Neh 8:10) Sometimes you have to learn to just laugh in the rain.

         Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Words I Would Say

Five years ago, when I first heard the song “The Words I Would Say” by the Sidewalk Prophets it was about the time my dear late Pastor (Pastor Arthur) moved in with Jesus. Here’s the link if you’ve never heard the song
 Every time I hear it, I hear it as if he was giving me the same advice as in the song. 
I was thinking about this lately, and thinking about some of the large decisions that Dan and I have made both now and in our past.  I gave my life to the Lord when I was in the 3rd grade.  That was 27 years ago.  God called me in ministry when I was in the 7th grade which was 23 years ago.  I think that warrants me to have been around the things of God for a bit, and having said that learned some lessons along the way.  I haven’t arrived, but learned a bit.  I wanted to add some of my own points.
1)      When God tells you to do something, just do it.  Don’t overanalyze it.  When I think I’m getting something from the Lord I always respond to him, “If I know that I know that this is you God, then I’ll do it.  But I need to know for sure.”  Always have I gotten to this point God has found some way to confirm what I knew He was saying.  The problem with this is the second part of this….it’s the THEN, I’ll do it.  People get lost in this transition.  They over think it, it freaks them out, and they procrastinate on the doing it part.  Then they are frustrated at God because they aren’t seeing all the things God promised them.  Well, it goes both ways.  You need to do what God tells you to do.  Faith without words is absolutely dead! (James 2:26)
2)      When you are stepping into God’s path for your life, there will always be opposition.  Many get shocked by this, but really it should come as no surprise.  The devil NEVER plays fair.  Opposition often comes in various forms.  It can be circumstances.  It can be situations that will make you cry.  It can be in the negativity of people you dearly love. Don’t let it get in your head. You have to set your face like flint.  (Isaiah 50:7)  Once you know that you know what God has said, you can’t let these things shake you.  I have seen similar situations time and time again.  The proof is in the pudding.  You keep doing what God has said, and eventually circumstances settle. 
3)      When God tells you to do something, You have to step out in FAITH! If some of the steps you make in life don’t scare you because you know it’s bigger than you then I you’ve ever walked in faith.  God often calls people to do something bigger than them.  That way you know it’s him.  That way the world knows it was God through you that accomplished the work.  Dan and I have seen this happen time and time again.  We’ve seen where things looked impossible in the physical, but knew what God had said.  Often it wasn’t until we stepped out that we saw anything begin to manifest.  Are those steps scary to your flesh?  Absolutely!  But it’s in those times that we have grown the most.  So many people want these amazing miracle stories, but they aren’t willing to step out in the small steps.  You have to learn to walk before you learn to run!
4)      Don’t take everything so seriously.  God has an awesome sense of humor (Psalms 28:7), and as Pastor Arthur used to say, “He doesn’t want you going around like you’ve been weaned on a dill pickle.”  Remember to enjoy live.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Life is a gift. 
5)      God is more concerned about your end result than your immediate comfort.  Which means you’ll go through some uncomfortable seasons.  God sees the bigger picture and you have to trust that.  I’m not saying God brings on sickness, poverty and lack.  I can scripturally prove that train of thought, but what I am saying is that maturity in the Kingdom of God doesn’t mean you’ll always skip in a garden with theme music playing in the background.  I believe that many have missed their destinies on the earth because they didn’t expect the process to be so hard.  They didn’t realize ministry is often spelled W-O-R-K!  The Bible is clear that if you don’t work you don’t eat (2 Thess 3:10)  God isn’t your sugar daddy.  You have to be willing to do your part.
6)      Really, it’s not all about you! We often in world get so caught up in what God is saying or doing in our lives that we forget there is a lost and dying world out there.  My desire to get a book deal with movie rights (grin) can’t just be for my own gain, but the fact that God wants to use me to minister too many.  God needs the gospel to reach every corner of the world.  I have a job to do and everyone has to do their part.  One person cannot reach the same people another was uniquely fashioned to reach.  You have to do your job and stop thinking the world revolves around you.
7)      You have to learn to Trust God!  You must train your mind to keep it focused on the Word and what God has said.  Renew your mind.  (Romans 12:2)  I have often said that your mind is like training a wild animal.  Lasso that bucking horse with a rope and keep pulling it back when it wants to go into the depression self-pity trap.  You cannot let it go to the places of “What if?”  It’ll drive you bonkers.  Find what the word of God says about your situation and fix your eyes on God! 
I am sure that these seven points are not an exhaustive list, but it’s what God has given me for this moment.  I hope they are a blessing to you.  Trust that God has a bigger picture for your life.  We love you all.

God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

Monday, July 14, 2014

You Mean It's Not All About Me?

            When I was a little girl I was notorious for thinking the world stopped on my birthday.  Really, in my mind, it should be a national holiday.  Perhaps one day it will be in the future (Grin).  I used to think that it should be one big day of party for me and my special day. I thought everyone I knew and love should stop what they were doing and throw a parade for me equipped with parades of helium balloons and giant cakes with people popping out of them. I remember however the day that all changed.  It was the year that my oldest daughter was born.  Her birthday is just a few days before mine.  I didn’t get a birthday cake and a serenade until much later that year.  I think Dan and I had gotten into a small argument, and most of our energy was spent on trying to be young parents.  It’s amazing how having children humbled me quickly. 
            In many ways over the years I think I’ve learned the following scripture the hard way…

Philippians 2:3 (ESV)

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
            I certainly haven’t arrived yet, nor am I perfect at it, but for me the pathway of maturity had to ring loudly in my ears.  I had to learn that life isn’t all about me.  While it’s fine to celebrate my birthday, I can’t expect the world to stop for me.  Life moves too quickly to focus on what other people are doing.  I know God rejoices the day I was born, so that’s all that really matters.  I’ve learned to appreciate the smaller things even if it’s just a hug and a well-wisher.
            I think we can easily get caught up in a rut thinking life is all about us.  It can be easy for all of us to get frustrated and annoyed when people don’t respond to us the way we want them to.    That annoyance just steals our joy, and robs us of the celebration in our own lives.  I’ve long since come to the conclusion that life isn’t all about me.  I’m so glad Jesus knew that His life wasn’t all about Him.  May we all learn from that.
            Tomorrow is my birthday.  I like what my father says, “I’m really not such and such years old but simply celebrating the anniversary of my 30th birthday a few years ago”.  Perhaps it’s not a national holiday yet, Grin.  But I feel so blessed.  This year I’m with my extended family.  This year we have embarked on a very new chapter in our lives, and I believe that this year stands out a significant year.  The word I keep hearing stirring in my spirit is ‘Momentum’.  I believe this isn’t just a word for me but for many of you as well.  I really feel some of you will read that and something inside of you will jump.  God is birthing Momentum to many of His people this day.
As I celebrate the anniversary of my 30th birthday, may you all remember that God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

You've Been Prepared For This!

            Recently I was approached to do a small project.  At first the whole thing seemed a tad intimidating to me.  Self-doubt seemed to be raging in my mind, and I was struggling to remind myself that ‘that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.’ (Philippians 4:13)  However the more I thought about the project the more I began to realize that I’ve done very similar things before now.  Even though this particular project seemed like such a big ordeal, really I had been prepared.   I can go through several instances in my life that trained me for this project.  Once I started working on the project, it went smoother than I thought it might.  I realized it really was true that God had made me ready for this.
            I think our minds over exaggerate circumstances.  We hear a list of worries and self-doubts and rarely take a moment to relax and trust that God is in charge.  Often we find ourselves fighting with those very things that prepare us later in life.  This is why it’s so important to just go with God when He is leading us to do things that make no sense in our minds.  We might just find that later in life we learned lessons that we needed to learn. 
            Think about Esther for a moment.

Esther 4:14 (NIV)

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
            She had been put into place and prepared for her moment.  She had to go through beauty rituals and other ordeals to become queen, but later it all made sense and prepared her for what God had for her.  Preparation time is NEVER wasted time!  It always has a purpose! 
            Just like me in this situation, I believe there are situations in your life that you’re facing that God has prepared for you.  Don’t shrink or be intimidated.  Be bold and confident!  You have been prepared for such a time as this!  Let God work in you and through you!

God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Changing Directions, Getting To Your Destination

            As most of you reading this probably know, my family just relocated across the country.  While I did grow up in some of the areas I have been in, many places are new.  When one goes through a major change like this, it can and does take time to get used to the new way of doing things, traveling roads, etc. etc.
            Last week I had to be at an appointment an hour from where we are currently staying.  I gave myself an extra 25 minutes just in case. I ran into traffic and confess I started to panic just a tad.  I do not do late.  In my mind late is only 5 minutes early.  I knew that I could bypass most of the traffic by turning down a road that I know I could go down but I wasn’t overly sure how I could get to where I was going from there.  I started to really question changing my course.   I wasn’t sure I could get to where I needed to go by making the left turn, but I couldn’t stay in traffic and be at my appointment on time.  I knew I had to turn.  This is where I have to say praise God for GPS, because I did eventually get to where I needed to go.  I ended up having about 4 minutes to spare.  While my left hand turn was risky to me, that choice and a GPS is what got me to my appointment on time.
            Things in life happen that can change the course we have planned out in our mind.  Often we think that we know how to get to where we want to go.   Life happens and we have to pray, ask the Holy Spirit, and navigate the changes in how we thought we’d get to where we need to go.  I love the picture above because it’s so true.  Now God DOES NOT bring sickness, calamity, or destruction so please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. John 10:10 Jesus came so that His children may have life and life abundantly.  What I’m saying is sometimes there are detours and hurdles we face whether it’s our own doing or other forces and we have to be sensitive enough to the Holy Spirit to make the turns we need to make even if it doesn’t look like what you had mapped out.
            Many people go through life never asking the Holy Spirit how to navigate certain roads and then they find themselves at dead ends or places that God never designed them to go down.

            John 10:27 (KJV)

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me
            Hear His voice for your life today.  Trust in those moments when He is leading you to make a few turns even if you aren’t sure how you’re going to get to where you think you need to go.  Trust Him, because the Holy Spirit always works things out.  You’ll find His ways are always better than what you could ever think of or imagine.
            Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!
*Keep us in prayer.  We are believing for exceedingly abundant favor coming our way.  Thank you.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy Birthday America

            As many of you know I am a self-proclaimed history dork/junkie.  (Grin)  In light of the fact America is getting ready to celebrate another birthday; I thought I’d step up on my soap box for a moment. 
            On July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed establishing America would be separated from England.  The pilgrims came to America to get away from religious persecution going on in England.  I realize that many history books that are being printed today have tried to take this fact out of the books, but truthfully America was in fact founded on the Bible.  People try to toot the notion of ‘separation of church and state’.  But the concept wasn’t formed to kick any form of God out of the government, but to limit the governments control on what religious practices a person would adhere.  Meaning, a person had the freedom to have their own beliefs, not to be forced to believe what the government wanted them to believe.  I believe we dance over this on a consistent basis today when people are forced to go through government mandated ‘sensitivity training’ (smh) I highly recommend a film that Kirk Cameron was a part of called “Monumental”.  It highlights the motivations of the founding fathers beautifully. 
            Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg address emphasizes that America was “founded for the people and by the people”.  The idea was that the government would reflect the people morals and values.  The idea was that the government would remember that it was employed for the people and not the other way around. 
            I was raised to love my country, and as I have written in blogs before I have found myself at an impasse.   I have struggled to come to the conclusion that no longer can the terms Christian and American be said in the same breath.  It seems that gradually at an alarming rate my religious freedoms are being trampled upon.   Our morality in this nation has strayed further and further from its Biblical roots, and it seems to me that the government has forgotten that it’s supposed to work for the people.  Time and time again the people are voting one way and the court systems are overriding the people that they are supposed to represent.  It’s seems unfathomable that certain Administrations keep trying to overrule what the people want. 
            I believe for many years because America was founded upon the Bible and upheld that for the most part we have experienced favor and protection as a nation.  However, it seems to me as of recently more and more America seems to be kicking God out of our policies and practices.  I am not going to prophesy doom and gloom on the nation, but we cannot continue to violate the Bible and think the same favor and protection will last.  I believe that God will take care of and protect His people even if the nation has strayed. 
            Thomas Jefferson wrote, “"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."  Ronald Regan once said that, “If we forget we are a nation under God we will be a gone under.”  Abraham Lincoln once said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
            While I am very upset and concerned with where it seems our country seems to be headed, I am encouraged that this week the Supreme Court did over turn certain policies that was violating to religious freedom.  It was a victory.
            I understand that there are people trying to destroy America.  I understand that there is evil in the world and not everything America has done has been godly.  However I write this blog today pleading with the Christian American’s to wake up from their slumber.  I write this blog today to tell you all to remember why this nation was founded.  I write this blog today not to encourage riots, hate crimes, or stupidity.  I want to encourage a proactive approach to our nation.  We need righteous people running for office who will represent the people of this nation.  We need to stop thinking that speaking about politics in church is somehow wrong.  It’s not.  Someone needs to take a stand to the evil that’s trying to overwhelm this country.  We need to stop squabbling over unimportant issues and focus on unity.  There is power in unity.  We’ve become so afraid to offend people that we aren’t standing up for righteousness anymore.  As Billy Graham has so eloquently and truthfully said, “Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone-except God.”  We need to realize that it will be God that we will have to answer to one day and not our society.  We need to stop giving mere lip service to saying we’re praying for the nation, and actually get on our knees and cry out for this land. 
            2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
If 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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
            I believe in the America that God saw when the Pilgrims risked life and limb to build a better land for their legacy.  I believe in the America that the Founding Fathers saw when they signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.  I believe in the America that upholds the Constitution and doesn’t try to keep changing it.  I believe that we are at a crossroads in this nation.  We all have choices to make.  My voice is only one. People rise up and begin to pray, call your senators, congressmen, VOTE, and refuse not to be heard. Let us shake off the bonds of tyranny and begin to use all of the voices we’ve been given.  Together we can raise a shout that will be heard around the world.  Together we can boldly declare “We are One Nation under God!”  Happy Birthday America, I still believe in the Jesus in you.

            Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.