VIDEO Franklin Graham banned in Britain! – Raising Awareness For Religious Freedom Of Christians

‘Repulsive’ LGBT views in conflict with ‘the values we hold dear’

Franklin Graham (Wikimedia Commons)

All seven of the venues in the United Kingdom scheduled to host Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham, have been canceled because of the evangelist’s biblically based views on human sexuality and marriage.

“Pastor Graham peddles controversial, repulsive views about LGBT people which are in direct conflict with the values we hold dear in Newcastle,” Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes told the local Chronicle Live after the city’s Utilita Arena became the latest venue to cancel.

Previously, Graham events were canceled in Birmingham, Newport, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Liverpool, according to a Pink News report cited by Breitbart News.

Graham said he still intends to tour the U.K.

“I’m looking forward to preaching the Gospel across the UK in late May & June. Hundreds of churches are praying & planning to be a part of these evangelistic outreaches,” he wrote on Twitter. “People everywhere are searching for something to fill the void in their lives. Jesus Christ is the answer.”

‘Together, we can stop him’

Breitbart reported nearly 9,000 people signed a petition by the activist group All Out to bar Graham from appearing in London at the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena.

The petition states:

Anti LGBT+ preacher, Franklin Graham, wants to spread hatred and division at the massive O2 stadium in London. Together, we can stop him!

US preacher Franklin Graham travels around the world telling tens of thousands of people that Satan runs the LGBT+ movement.

He persuades audiences that LGBT+ people don’t deserve to have families.

He stands on stages in huge arenas warning people of the consequences of being gay, threatening impressionable young people with the “flames of hell”.

In short, he spends a lot of time and money telling the world that our love is a sin and encouraging those who want to hurt us.

AND NOW HE IS COMING TO THE UK.

Graham responded to the resistance by recalling the opposition to his father’s historic meetings in the London borough of Harringay in 1954.

He noted there was a petition at the time circulated by many churches demanding that his father not be allowed in the country.

“Throughout history, the Gospel has consistently faced opposition,” Franklin Graham said.

Legal action

CBN News reported the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, for which Franklin Graham serves as president and CEO, plans to take legal action.

“Since the original venues have broken our legal contract with them, we are pursuing appropriate actions based on grounds of religious discrimination and freedom of speech,” the organization said in a statement.

A BGEA spokesman told CBN  the “planned Graham Tour is going ahead and is certainly not canceled in any of the cities as some press reports have indicated.”

“The momentum for the Tour is growing throughout the UK by the day. We are continuing to finalize sites for the Tour to determine where the events will take place. In the meantime, all of the preparation events and training programs are continuing as planned,” the spokesman said.

‘We are all sinners’

Graham issued an open letter to Britain’s LGBTQ community on his Facebook page, denying accusations of hate speech:

It is said by some that I am coming to the UK to bring hateful speech to your community. This is just not true. I am coming to share the Gospel, which is the Good News that God loves the people of the UK, and that Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us from our sins.

The rub, I think, comes in whether God defines homosexuality as sin. The answer is yes. But God goes even further than that, to say that we are all sinners—myself included. The Bible says that every human being is guilty of sin and in need of forgiveness and cleansing. The penalty of sin is spiritual death—separation from God for eternity.

I invite everyone in the LGBTQ community to come and hear for yourselves the Gospel messages that I will be bringing from God’s Word, the Bible. You are absolutely welcome.

 

Original here


Raising Awareness For The Religious Freedom Of Christians

OAN Newsroom — Saturday, February 8, 2020

According to the 2020 World Watch Report published by Open Doors USA, 260 million Christians worldwide are experiencing religious persecution. One America’s Jenn Pellegrino was at the Museum of the Bible in Washington this week, where she spoke with some officials who are fighting on their behalf.

Original here


VIDEO Three Ways to Move from Fearful to Faithful

 

Kelly Balarie

Do you remember those old briefcases? I always liked them. There was a number combination on them. Flip the numbers just right and the case would open. Turn them endlessly, with the wrong sequence, and pull open, no luck.

Many of us are turning numbers endlessly in life: trying to be liked, worrying about finances, fretting about our future, running from the past, hurrying to avoid our present, anticipating terrorism, harboring bitterness, wallowing in rejection and writhing in jealousy.

We try to unlock God’s treasure but the combination of worldly pursuits blocks us. We can’t get in. Frustrated, we seek more numbers: Maybe we try to be number one. Maybe we try to push ahead at work with selfish ambition or a prideful attitude. Maybe look to a number of numbing pleasures – wine, perfectionism or denial – to protect ourselves. Whatever it is, a number of fear-laden issues hold us back from opening the fullness God has in store.

What is holding you back? What is the number that keeps you stuck?

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people… Eph. 1:8

Many Christians, sadly, walk through life, unable to open the treasure of God’s goodness. It eludes them. They never discover hope for today. The eyes of the world blind the eyes of their heart. Rather than feeling called, they feel condemned and rather than riches, they walk around in the spiritual poverty of doubt.

I should know, I did this for the large majority of life. What I failed to realize is God had already given me the number to his treasure. He’d given me his promises. I didn’t know how to leverage them, though. I looked at them like, “It’s nice to meet you” rather than “It’s nice to know and love you.”

The gap between these two approaches is miles. Miles upon miles upon miles upon miles….

How do you live? Do you live unlocking the power of God’s promises or do you living doubting the probability He’s got good for you?

Friends, there is not an iota of condemnation in your answer. Can I first lay that out on the table? Getting past that issue, is often the first step towards opening new courage that brings you to new faith.

The truth of the matter is there is always – hope for your future. Let that sink in. See a lost child? Hope. Have no money left? Hope. Struggling in your marriage? Hope. Wishing that family member would come to Christ? Hope. Feeling lost to sadness and despair? Hope.

Hope. Hope. Hope.

All you have to do is walk forward and just grab hands with them – with faith and hope; they walk together. They always want to walk with you.

3 Ways to Move from Fearful to Faithful:

  1. Ask God for faith.
    “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (Jo. 14:3)
    ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’ (Mk. 9:24)
  2. Draw Near to God. In the presence of God, there is no room for fear.
    You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Ps. 16:11
    But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. (1 Jo. 4:18)
  3. Dwell on God’s Promises. What God has given you, is enough to empower you.
    Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Pet. 1:4)

If you can’t see your way of escape, it’s right before you. It doesn’t look like you, endlessly trying, striving or punching in perfect numbers. Hardly!

Stop going after that. It’s not worth it.  For, what you pursue determines your breakthrough.

Instead, it looks like you walking up to what’s locked and believing God, in full. It looks like you standing on God’s Word. It looks like you holding on to the truths he declares about you. It looks like you finding out what was impossible to open, flies wide-open, in his perfect timing, by faith. Boom!

And maybe it looks different than you expect. But, in the end, it always looks better.

Believe and open the fullness of God’s spiritual riches. They are waiting for you.

About the book, Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears:

Author and Speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day. www.fearfightingbook.com.

Kelly Balarie shares an important message for those struggling with fear:

https://www1.cbn.com/health/three-ways-move-fearful-faithful

“My COUNTRY ’tis of Thee, Sweet LAND of LIBERTY”

by  Bill Federer

Patriotism unifies a country, which is the opposite of Marxist tactics to overthrow a country.

Baptist minister Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated at the Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963:

“I have a dream … where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers …

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning,

‘MY COUNTRY ’tis of thee,

Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died,

Land of the Pilgrims’ pride,

From every mountainside,

Let freedom ring.'”

The song Martin Luther King, Jr., recited, “MY COUNTRY ’tis of thee,” was written by Samuel Francis Smith, who died NOVEMBER 16, 1895.

Samuel Francis Smith was a classmate at Harvard with poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, who wrote the famous poem “Old Ironsides.”

Smith went to Andover Theological Seminary and became a Baptist minister.

While a student in 1832, Samuel Francis Smith admired a tune while translating a German Hymnal.

The same tune was used for the national anthems of Britain, Canada, Russia, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.

Smith stated:

“I instantly felt the impulse to write a patriotic hymn of my own, adapted to the tune.

Picking up a scrap of waste paper which lay near me, I wrote at once.”

Proclaiming “Let Freedom Ring Day,” July 3, 1986, President Ronald Reagan recalled the 4th stanza of “MY COUNTRY ’tis of thee”:

“As the golden glow of the Statue of Liberty’s rekindled torch calls forth … throughout our land, let every American take it as a summons to re-dedication, recalling those words we sang as children:

‘Our father’s God, to Thee,

Author of Liberty,

To Thee we sing,

Long may our land be bright

With Freedom’s Holy Light.

Protect us by Thy might,

Great God, Our King.'”

Patriotism unifies a country, which is the opposite of Marxist tactics to overthrow a country.

Patriotism is people, though different, identifying as citizens.

Marxism gets people to identify with subgroups (racial, economic, class, religious, etc.,) which are pitted against each other to create division.

The chaos and violence that follows causes people to feel insecure.

In a panic, they surrender their freedoms to someone promising to restore order, and in the confusion, a socialist dictator seizes power.

Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a patriotic address to the White House Correspondents’ Association, February 12, 1943:

“In every battalion, and in every ship’s crew, you will find every kind of American citizen representing every occupation, every section, every origin, every religion, and every political viewpoint.

Ask them what they are fighting for, and every one of them will say, ‘I am fighting for MY COUNTRY.'”

The theme of “MY COUNTRY” has run through America’s history, such as the statement by 21-year-old Yale graduate Nathan Hale who declared before being hanged by the British, September 22, 1776:

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for MY COUNTRY.”

America’s founding was unique in that instead of people having allegiance to a king, the people are the king!

In contemplating war with the King of Great Britain, John Adams declared:

“If it be the pleasure of Heaven that MY COUNTRY shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice …

But while I do live, let me have a COUNTRY, and that a free COUNTRY!”

In 1775, when British General Gage attempted to intimidate Samuel Adams, he replied:

“I trust I have long since made my peace with the King of Kings. No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of MY COUNTRY.

Tell Governor Gage it is the advise of Samuel Adams to him no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people.”

During the Revolution, General Nathaniel Greene wrote to Samuel Ward of Rhode Island, January 4, 1776:

“Permit me, then, to recommend from the sincerity of my heart, ready at all times to bleed in MY COUNTRY’s cause, a declaration of independence;

and call upon the world, and the great God who governs it, to witness the necessity, propriety and rectitude thereof …

Let us, therefore, act like men inspired with a resolution that nothing but the frowns of Heaven shall conquer us.”

(Get the book, Miracles in American History: 32 Amazing Stories of Answered Prayers)

Signer of the Constitution Gouverneur Morris wrote April 17, 1778:

“While MY COUNTRY calls for the exertion of that little share of abilities, which it has pleased God to bestow on me, I hold it my indispensable duty to give myself to her.”

Benjamin Franklin wrote from Philadelphia to David Hartley, December 4, 1789:

“God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: This is MY COUNTRY.”

Attributed to Thomas Paine, “The American Patriot’s Prayer,” written in 1776, reflected the sentiment of the colonies:

“But chief to hear MY COUNTRY’s voice,

may all my thoughts incline,

‘Tis reason’s law, ’tis virtue’s choice,

‘Tis nature’s call and thine.”

General George Washington wrote October 18, 1777, upon hearing of the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga:

“I most devoutly congratulate MY COUNTRY, and every well-wisher to the cause, on this signal stroke of Providence.”

General Washington wrote from Mount Vernon to Benjamin Lincoln, August 28, 1788:

“I trust in that Providence, which has saved us in six troubles yea seven, to rescue us again from any imminent, though unseen, dangers …

Heaven is my witness, that an inextinguishable desire (for) the felicity of MY COUNTRY may be promoted is my only motive in making these observations.”

Following the ringing of church bells, explosion of artillery and deafening applause, President George Washington proceeded to Federal Hall, at Wall and Nassau Streets.

There, he delivered his Inaugural Address to both Houses of Congress:

“The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world.

I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for MY COUNTRY can inspire, since there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness …

The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

In January of 1790, President George Washington wrote to the Hebrew Congregations of Philadelphia, Newport, Charlestown and Richmond:

The power and goodness of the Almighty were strongly manifested in the events of our late glorious revolution … My agency … has been guided by … a sense of the duty which I owe MY COUNTRY.”

In his Eighth Annual Address, December 7, 1796, George Washington stated:

“The situation in which I now stand, for the last time … I cannot omit the occasion, to congratulate you and MY COUNTRY, on the success of the experiment; nor to repeat my fervent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and Sovereign Arbiter of Nations, that his Providential care may still be extended to the United States.”

On May 20, 1792, from Mount Vernon, Washington wrote to James Madison:

“I take my leave of them as a public man; and in bidding them adieu (retaining no other concern than such as will arise from fervent wishes for the prosperity of MY COUNTRY)

I take the liberty at my departure from civil, as I formerly did at my military exit, to invoke a continuation of the Blessings of Providence upon it.”

Upon the death of James Madison, his wife, Dolley Madison, sent his papers to Congress, stating August 20, 1836, stating:

“The best return I can make for the sympathy of MY COUNTRY is to fulfill the sacred trust his confidence reposed in me, that of placing before it and the world what his pen prepared for their use — a legacy of the importance of which is deeply impressed on my mind.”

Samuel Adams stated:

“I thank God that I have lived to see MY COUNTRY independent and free. She may long enjoy her independence and freedom if she will. It depends upon her virtue.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Notes of the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781:

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis,

a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?

Indeed, I tremble for MY COUNTRY when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

President Ronald Reagan stated June 16, 1983:

“We’re a nation under God, a living and loving God.

But Thomas Jefferson warned us, ‘I tremble for MY COUNTRY when I reflect that God is just.’

We cannot expect Him to protect us in crisis if we turn away from Him in our everyday living.

But you know, He told us what to do in II Chronicles … He said,

‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.'”

Chief Justice John Jay wrote in his Last Will and Testament:

“His protection has accompanied me through many eventful years, faithfully employed in the service of MY COUNTRY; and His Providence has not only conducted me to this tranquil situation, but also given me abundant reason to be contented and thankful.

Blessed be His Holy Name.

While my children lament my departure, let them recollect that in doing them good, I was only the agent of their Heavenly Father, and that He never withdraws His care and consolations from those who diligently seek Him.”

John Quincy Adams stated in his Inaugural Address, March 4, 1825:

“I shall look for whatever success may attend my public service; and knowing that ‘Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain,’

with fervent supplications for His favor, to His overruling providence I commit with humble but fearless confidence my own fate and the future destinies of MY COUNTRY.”

John Quincy Adams wrote in his diary:

“I implore the Spirit from whom every good and perfect gift descends to enable me to render essential service to MY COUNTRY, and that I may never be governed in my public conduct by any consideration other than that of duty.”

John Quincy Adams composed the poem:

“MY COUNTRY’s weal (well-being)-that be my polar star-

Justice, thou Rock of Ages, is thy law-

And when thy summons calls me to thy bar,

Be this my plea, thy gracious smile to draw-

That all my ways to justice were inclin’d-

And all my aims-the blessings of mankind.”

President Andrew Jackson stated in a Protest message to the Senate, April 15, 1834:

“The only ambition I can feel is to acquit myself to Him to whom I must soon render an account of my stewardship …

If the Almighty Being who has hitherto sustained and protected me will but vouchsafe to make my feeble powers instrumental to such a result,

I shall anticipate with pleasure the place to be assigned me in the history of MY COUNTRY,

and die contented with the belief that I have contributed in some small degree to increase the value and prolong the duration of American liberty.”

Andrew Jackson stated in his Farewell Address, March 4, 1837:

“My own race is nearly run; advanced age and failing health warns me that before long I must pass beyond the reach of human events and cease to feel the vicissitudes of human affairs.

I thank God that my life has been spent in a land of liberty and that He has given me a heart to love MY COUNTRY with the affection of a son.”

President Franklin Pierce stated March 4, 1853:

“With all the cherished memories of the past gathering around me like so many eloquent voices of exhortation from Heaven, I can express no better hope for MY COUNTRY than that the kind Providence which smiled upon our fathers may enable their children to preserve the blessings they have inherited.”

Kit Carson stated:

“No, this is a service for MY COUNTRY, and it doesn’t matter whether I do it as an officer or as a plainsman. The big thing is to do it.”

Clara Barton stated of the wounded Civil War soldiers:

“What could I do but go with them, or work for them and MY COUNTRY? The patriot blood of my father was warm in my veins.”

President Herbert Clark Hoover stated in his Inaugural Address, March 4, 1929:

“If we hold the faith of the men in our mighty past who created these ideals, we shall leave them heightened and strengthened for our children …

I ask the help of Almighty God in this service to MY COUNTRY to which you have called me.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt stated in his Radio Campaign Address from Hyde Park, New York, November 4, 1940:

“When you and I step into the voting booth, we can proudly say:

‘I am an American, and this vote I am casting is the exercise of my highest privilege and my most solemn duty to MY COUNTRY.’

Dictators have forgotten – or perhaps they never knew – the basis upon which democratic Government is founded: that the opinion of all the people, freely formed and freely expressed, without fear or coercion, is wiser than the opinion of any one man or any small group of men …

Democracy is the birthright of every citizen, the white and the colored; the Protestant, the Catholic, the Jew; the sons and daughters of every country in the world, who make up the people of this land.”

President Dwight Eisenhower approved the Code of Conduct for Military, August 17, 1955:

“I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made MY COUNTRY free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.”

President Dwight Eisenhower stated in his Farewell Address, January 17, 1961:

“This evening I come to you with a … farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, MY COUNTRY …

We face a hostile ideology – global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method …

As we peer into society’s future, we … must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow.

We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage.”

Daniel Webster stated at the Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, 1843:

“I mean to stand upon the Constitution. I need no other platform. I shall know but one country.

The ends I aim at shall be MY COUNTRY’s, my God’s, and Truth’s. I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American.”

(Get the book, Miracles in American History: 32 Amazing Stories of Answered Prayer)

https://newsmaven.io/americanminute/american-history/my-country-tis-of-thee-sweet-land-of-liberty-Lc1EK7-Y-02E6CV-2Ea0lQ/

William Wilberforce Antislavery politician

William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce was an English politician who became the voice of the abolition movement in Parliament. He was a slightly built man, about five foot three in height, and suffered from bouts of bad health.

He was born in Hull, into a rich merchant family. As a child, whilst living with his uncle in London, he was taken to hear John Newton preach. It made a great impression on him but he returned home and soon became part of fashionable society, attending the theatre and races, where he watched his own horse run.

He enrolled at Cambridge University and became friends with William Pitt. At the age of 21, Wilberforce was elected to Parliament.  He was well suited to politics, as he was an extremely eloquent speaker and very witty. In 1783, he met James Ramsay and, for the first time, discussed slavery. Around 1784-86, he underwent a gradual but ‘intense religious conversion’ whilst travelling with a friend. He considered leaving Parliament but his friend and mentor, John Newton, advised him againt this; so, instead, he decided to serve God in public life.

After his conversion to evangelical Christianity, he gave up his racehorse, gambling and attendance at clubs. Although a serious young man, he was still fun to be with and, despite some of his friends thinking his new found belief was a madness, a childhood friend remarked, “If this be madness, I hope that it will bite us all!”

His new beliefs affected his public life. Before, he had usually voted with Pitt but now he was guided by his conscience. He and his evangelical friends were nicknamed “the Saints” by upper class circles but he won widespread respect. He championed many causes but it was the fight against the Slave Trade and slavery that he worked most tirelessly for. His interest was rekindled by a letter from Sir Charles Middleton, suggesting he should represent the cause in Parliament. William Pitt also encouraged him to take up the cause.

In early 1787, Thomas Clarkson called upon Wilberforce with a copy of his Essay on Slavery. This was the first time the two men had met, and a collaboration was formed which lasted over fifty years. The skills of the two men complemented each other. Wilberforce was able to turn the vague sentiment amongst the more privileged in society, into real opposition and rise above party politics to obtain support from many in Parliament.

From 1789, Wilberforce regularly introduced bills in Parliament to ban the Slave Trade. He was fiercely opposed by those making fortunes from the trade, who used all kinds of delaying tactics. The first time a bill was introduced, Wilberforce lost the debate by 163 votes to 88 but he never gave up. A bill to cease the trade was passed by the House of Commons in 1792 – but with the amendment that the ban should be ‘gradual’, which those with an interest in the trade interpreted as ‘never’.

In his late 30’s, Wilberforce married Barbara Spooner (also an evangelical Christian). He remained devoted to her throughout his life.  Finally on 25th March, 1807, the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act abolished the Slave Trade in the British colonies. It was carried by 267 votes. The house rose to its feet and cheered wildly. (see Letter from Clarkson) 

However, this was not a vote to abolish slavery as a whole throughout the Empire, just the trade in enslaved people. William Wilberforce continued to work for the abolition of all slavery within the British Colonies. He joined the ‘Society for Gradual Abolition’ and, when the campaign intensified again in the 1820’s and 30′, he did as much as his failing health would allow. In 1821 he requested that Thomas Fowell Buxton take over the leadership of the campaign in the Commons and resigned his parliamentary seat in 1824, after a serious illness. By May, 1830, when two thousand people met in London at Freemasons’ Hall, Wilberforce was stooped with age and wearing a metal girdle to prevent him slumping.

Despite the groundswell of public opinion, Parliament still refused to ban slavery, until parliamentary reform removed many of its supporters. Despite this, it was still not clear that Parliament would act. Wilberforce wrote a last petition. The Parliamentary debate lasted three months. On the 26th July, 1833, the Abolition of Slavery bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons. A messenger rushed to Wilberforce’s house. They told him that slavery in British colonies would finally be abolished. Just three days later, on 29th July, William Wilberforce died.

Hear extract  1 from Wilberforce 1789 speech to the house
Hear extract  2 from Wilberforce 1789 speech to the house
Hear extract  3 from Wilberforce 1789 speech to the house

Defeating the Devil

man-knife-evil

J. Stephen Lang

Can people in our day and age really believe in Satan, an actual devil? Why not? With so many people believing in reincarnation, astral projection, and other New Age beliefs, why not a devil? Unlike those other beliefs, belief in Satan is clearly taught in the Bible, in addition to being an article of faith for Christians for two thousand years.

Maybe we’ve outgrown the old pictures of the devil, with horns, a pitchfork, and a pointy tail. Fine. The Bible shows no concern about the devil’s looks. The Bible is concerned with a spiritual being that acts in direct opposition to a loving, merciful God who wants people to lead full, rewarding lives.

“If I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.” Matthew 12:28

When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

“Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan falling from heaven as a flash of lightning! And I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice just because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered as citizens of heaven.” Luke 10:17-20

“You know what happened all through Judea, beginning in Galilee after John the Baptist began preaching. And no doubt you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the Devil, for God was with him.” Acts 10:37-38

When Jesus appeared to Paul on the Damascus road, he specifically mentioned tearing down the works of the devil:

“I am going to send you to the Gentiles, to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.” Acts 26:18

The apostle Paul, like Jesus, understood the incredible power of Satan. He understood even better that God was much stronger, and would ultimately triumph.

The Bible’s classic passage about our safety from Satan is Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. It reminds us that, frail though we are, we have a divine “armor” to protect against the powers of darkness.

Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Ephesians 6:11-17

Humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. James 4:7-8

Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that Christians all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. 1 Peter 5:8-9

When people keep on sinning, it shows they belong to the Devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy these works of the Devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not sin, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they have been born of God. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the Devil. Anyone who does not obey God’s commands and does not love other Christians does not belong to God. 1 John 3:8-10

The Book of God’s Promises — Copyright, 1999 by J. Stephen Lang. All rights reserved, used with permission.

Can God change your life?

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VIDEO The Rest of the Story: The Life of Louis Zamperini After ‘Unbroken’

The story of Louis Zamperini captured the attention of Americans in the 1940’s and again in recent years thanks to the biography by Laura Hillenbrand Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption and the hit movie Unbroken.

Those familiar with either the movie or the book will recall that after his days as a troubled youth Louis took up running and became a star athlete. Louis went on to compete in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. After WW2 broke out, he became a bombardier on a B-24 bomber.

Louis and his fellow crewmen cheated death multiple times, but none more harrowing than after his plane went down in the Pacific Ocean. While most died in the crash, Zamperini and another airman survived a total of 47 days adrift in the ocean on a life raft (a third survived the crash but died at sea).

Mutsuhiro_Watanabe

Sergeant Mutsuhiro Watanabe abused prisoners at POW camps in Omori, Naoetsu and Mitsushima.

After being rescued from the water by enemy forces, both men became prisoners of war and were eventually sent to Japanese POW camps.

Louis endured constant brutality at the hands of a man the prisoners referred to as The Bird. His real name was Mutsuhiro Watanabe, and he was by all accounts a sadistically cruel and abusive Japanese soldier who terrorized the prisoners. He especially had it out for the Olympic athlete, whom he had regarded as his ‘number one prisoner.’ As such, Louis experienced even worse treatment than the other prisoners.

Watanabe was so notorious in his abusiveness, he was listed as number 23 on General MacArthur’s list of the 40 most wanted war criminals in Japan after the war. However, after years of hiding from the authorities (and being thought to have killed himself) he would never face trial for his actions. He died in 2003.

The movie Unbroken does an excellent job chronicling the trials that Zamperini experienced as a downed airman adrift at sea. It vividly depicts his time in a hellish POW camp. It is an inspiring tale of how with courage and determination he persevered through it all.

But the story doesn’t end there.

A Life Unraveling

Unlike the book, the film does not depict the great struggle that followed Zamperini’s return to the United States after the war ended and his prison camp was liberated.

Louis was now married and was rather famous–he was after all, a renowned athlete who came back to life after being declared dead by the War Department. In his words, “after being declared dead and finding that we’d crashed and survived the 47 day drift and nearly 2,000 miles, you get quite a bit of publicity.” 1

He went on speaking tours and was treated as a war hero. But despite outward appearances, Zamperini’s life was falling apart.

Louis was struggling to cope with his horrific experiences during his two years as a POW. Watanabe was a constant figure in his nightmares. Zamperini found that he was in many ways still under the control and power of The Bird.

Filled with anger, anxiety, and hatred, Zamperini found solace in alcohol and in concocting plans to return to Japan to murder The Bird. This was the only way Louis felt he could finally be free of him.

As he continued to withdraw into depression and alcoholism, he would also lash out unpredictably. Louis was on the verge of losing his family. “I got married, I had a little girl and I continued to drink and continued to party, and my wife refused to go with me,” Louis said. “Pretty soon I found myself fading away, to the point where I realized that I was in serious need of help.” 2

From Brokenness to Redemption

In 1949 Louis Zamperini grudgingly attended a Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles at the urging of his wife. It was the first extended Crusade event that Graham ever held, and it was the one which propelled him to become a nationally-known figure.

After the first night he went, Louis was upset and did not want to attend any similar events in the future. He recalled in an interview:

I got under conviction and got mad because of the Scriptures he read, grabbed my wife and said, “Let’s get out of here. Don’t ever bring me back to a place like this again.” But the next day she persuaded me in going back. I said, “Okay, I’ll go under one condition. When this fellow says, ‘Every head bowed and every eye closed,’ I’m getting out.” She said, “Fine.” 3

Louis Zamperini and Billy Graham at the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade where Zamperini made a life-changing decision for Christ

Louis Zamperini and Billy Graham at the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade where Zamperini made a life-changing decision for Christ

However, he was talked into going to hear Graham preach the next night also.

After again hearing of the forgiveness and salvation of Jesus Christ, Louis Zamperini gave his life to the Lord and was saved. This time, salvation was not from shark-infested waters or from the horrors of a POW camp.

In Christ, Zamperini found eternal, life-changing salvation that would save his soul and rescue him from his downward spiral.

The nightmares–which had been so frequent and so intense that Louis came to fear going to bed–stopped.

He poured all his alcohol down the drain the night he was saved.

Louis Zamperini was a new creation in Christ Jesus.

Listen to the message that Billy Graham preached to Louis and thousands of others in Los Angeles:

Newspapers across the country were reporting on the Crusade, and many ran articles on Zamperini’s conversion. When he returned a week later to speak to the crowd, he was quoted as declaring “I have accepted Christ and from now on I am going to be an honest-to-God Christian.” 4

Just as he had promised when he was desperate and adrift at sea, Zamperini dedicated his life to God. “Now, as God leads, I am leaving my business work and planning to work with young people…I’d rather build character–and win boys for Christ–than build a fortune,” Louis said.

He eventually started a camp for troubled youth–the Victory Boys Camp. Here he poured his life into serving God by helping boys and young men who were not unlike himself in his younger years.

Forgiving the Unforgivable

Sugamo Prison

Louis Zamperini at Sugamo Prison in Japan

Amazingly, after his conversion Zamperini’s desire for vengeance left him completely.

Louis forgave his former captors and later met with many of them. He greeted them warmly and shared the Gospel with them and many accepted Christ.

During a speaking tour in Tokyo in 1952, Louis had the opportunity to meet with prisoners at Sugamo prison, which was filled with 850 Japanese war criminals.

After speaking to the prisoners,  Louis had requested to meet with his former guards personally.

“I looked out and saw them coming down the aisle and, of course, I recognized each one of them  vividly. I didn’t even think of my reaction—I jumped off the stage, ran down and threw my arm around them, and they withdrew from me. They couldn’t understand the forgiveness. We went in the room and there, of course, I continued to press the issue of Christianity, you see. And all but one made a decision for Christ.”

One former Japanese soldier wondered how he could forgive these men who treated him so badly. Louis responded,

I said, “Well, Mr. Sasaki, the greatest story of forgiveness the world’s ever known was the Cross. When Christ was crucified He said, ‘Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.’ And I said, ‘It is only through the Cross that I can come back here and say this, but I do forgive you.” Then he responded to the invitation to become a Christian. 5

This is a tremendously powerful image of loving your enemies and forgiving others as we have been forgiven in Christ.

Louis even attempted to meet with Watanabe when he returned to Japan as part of the Olympic ceremonies in 1998. His former tormentor refused. Instead, Louis sent him a letter which expressed his forgiveness.

Here are the words that he wrote to The Bird, the man that tortured and dehumanized him as a POW for so many months:

To Mutsuhiro Watanabe,

As a result of my prisoner war experience under your unwarranted and unreasonable punishment, my post-war life became a nightmare. It was not so much due to the pain and suffering as it was the tension of stress and humiliation that caused me to hate with a vengeance.

Under your discipline, my rights, not only as a prisoner of war but also as a human being, were stripped from me. It was a struggle to maintain enough dignity and hope to live until the war’s end.

The post-war nightmares caused my life to crumble, but thanks to a confrontation with God through the evangelist Billy Graham, I committed my life to Christ. Love has replaced the hate I had for you. Christ said, “Forgive your enemies and pray for them.”

As you probably know, I returned to Japan in 1952 and was graciously allowed to address all the Japanese war criminals at Sugamo Prison… I asked then about you, and was told that you probably had committed Hara Kiri, which I was sad to hear. At that moment, like the others, I also forgave you and now would hope that you would also become a Christian. 6

Such radical forgiveness is made possibly by an overwhelming sense of Christ’s love and forgiveness for us.

More than just a tale of courage and resilience, Louis Zamperini’s life is a powerful look at the transforming grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17


1 Taken from an interview conducted in June 1988 titled An Olympian’s Oral History, page 82.

2 An Olympian’s Oral History, page 83.
3 Interview with Louis Zamperini by Dr. Lois Ferm on May 16, 1976. Audio and transcript available here.
4 This quote and a story about Louis’ conversion can be viewed in this newspaper clipping from November 1, 1949.
5 An Olympian’s Oral History, page 89.
6 Watch Louis read his letter to Watanabe in this video.

Learn More:

This short documentary put together by the Billy Graham foundation recounts some of Louis’ incredible story in his own words and sheds light on the part of Zamperini’s life not covered in the film: Louis Zamperini – Captured by Grace.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Biography)

Devil at My Heels: A Heroic Olympian’s Astonishing Story of Survival as a Japanese POW in World War II (Autobiography written by Louis Zamperini)

Archive Video of Louis Zamperini Testimony at 1958 San Francisco Billy Graham Crusade (YouTube)

Interview with Louis Zamperini by Dr. Lois Ferm on May 16, 1976 (Audio)

“Unbroken’s” Louis Zamperini: The Rest of the Story (YouTube)

https://reasonabletheology.org/the-rest-of-the-story-louis-zamperini-after-unbroken/


Unbroken | A True World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption


Dealing With Bitter-Root Judgements

by Kenyette Mills

What Is A Bitter-Root Judgment? 

“Bitter-root judgments are judgments that we make concerning hurts that we have experienced that we have not surrendered to the Cross.”

Hebrews 12:15:

“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled . . .

root of bitterness comes from unforgiveness and can lead to resentment that corrupts our relationships and our ability to love like Yeshua loves. Bitter-roots grow when we fail to secure God’s grace to forgive. Bitterness and unforgiveness are the driving forces behind re-occurring problems, patterns, and destruction in our lives.

We must forgive. As soon as we experience a hurt we must immediately turn that hurt over to the Lord so that we do not take on a wound. Two of the most important people whom we must forgive is our mother and father (Exodus 20:12).

Bitter-root judgments can be judgments that we made towards our parents because of hurts that we incurred during our upbringing. From the womb certain patterns are formed that opened the door for us to form unhealthy judgments and strong opinions of ourselves and others. Whenever we make a judgement as a result of the hurts that we incurred that we do not bring to the Yeshua we set into motion forces that will cause us to reap in kind the very same judgement that we project upon others. (Galatians 6:7-9).

“Through heartache, I have learned that my strong opinions and my two-cents are best left on the threshing floor. Whenever I am presented with a situation in which I could pass judgement on someone, I choose to withhold my opinion and pray for the person instead. In life we can either take on the role as an enforcer or an intercessor, I choose the latter.”

Not all of us, have had the best parental experience. Some of us have experienced abuse. Some of us have experienced abandonment and neglect. However, to honor our parents is to forgive them and to accept their humanity.

We all have our stories… Hurt is real. Pain is real. Yeshua does not dismiss the wrong done to us. However, we miss God when we demand vengeance…. “Well, you say someone has to pay”… Yeshua already paid. Yeshua covers the offense, the offender, and the offended with His precious BLOOD – and if we stay in His presence He will bring us to a place of lasting peace.

Romans 2:1-3:

“Therefore you are without excuse, O man—every one of you who is judging. For by whatever you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things. We know that God’s judgment on those who practice such things is based on truth. But you, O man—judging those practicing such things yet doing the same—do you suppose that you will escape the judgment of God?”

Identifying Bitter Roots:

Bitter-roots can affect your relationships and destroy your future. Often our wounds go down deep. Often it takes the Lord to reveal, heal, and uproot bitter-roots. Pray and ask God to reveal the judgments that you have made against your parents and against others. It may take some time. God will reveal what you need to know when you need to know it.

Look for patterns of fear, doubt, rejection, heartache, jealousy, or anger. These patterns may be from judgments that you have made against others. Notice situations where you repeat the same behavior over and over.

Some examples of bitter-roots that can indicate judgment toward your parents include: perfectionism, addictions, critical spirit, emotionally unavailable, hostility, manipulation, working continually, rejection, uncontrolled anger or rage, bitterness, rejection, and performance orientation.

I have been a believer for 30-years. I had a very abusive childhood. Over the years, God has taken me through layers of forgiveness. God has walked the winding path of wholeness with me. Every time I recall a painful memory, I release the hurt to God. It has been two years since my mother died. Although, my mother is not here to physically reconcile, I speak out forgiveness in my prayers. “I forgive you. I love you. I release you in love and redemption.” I have reconciled every hurt, pain, disappointment, fear, rejection, to the Cross.

“Bitter roots bring about bitter fruit. When we condemn others. We condemn ourselves. We Must Forgive!”

Luke 6:37:

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Pardon, and you will be pardoned.”

How To Cancel Bitter-Root Judgments?

There is an old saying: “what goes around comes around” but God calls it “the law of sowing and reaping” (Galatians 6:7-9). We must REPENT, FORGIVE, & RELEASE! We are not to let the sun go down on our wrath. When we harbor resentment, we open the door to the enemy to reap a bitter reward. Yeshua has come to free us from bitterness and re-set our default.  Below are so helpful steps to help us deal with bitter-roots.

Confess your bitter-root judgment. Name whom you judged and what you judged them for. Pray for forgiveness, and repent and renounce your sin.

If others have judged your harshly, forgive them and release your pain to God.

Ask God to meet the needs that were not met in you as a child. Some of the basic needs for adults and children are unconditional love, acceptance, worth and value, security, recognition, nurture, emotional nourishment, and comfort.

Ask God to show you how this bitter root has affected your relationships with others. Pray for God to heal those relationships. Thank God for your answered prayers.

Prayer:

Father, I repent for not speaking life over myself and loved ones. Lord, please forgive me for misunderstanding the high calling and privilege of intercession and to speak words of righteousness – not doubt and fear. Father, please remove all bitter-root judgments that entered my life as a result of harshly judging others. 

Father, I ask that You uproot any bitter-roots in my life that entered through wounds of rejection. Please heal me of all the rejection, pain, trauma, shock, fear, terror and shame. Father, You have not given me a spirits of rejection, bitterness, or shame; but of love, power and soundness of mind. 

Father, please allow me to feel the depths of Your love. Please come and establish Your dominion of peace in my life and manifest Yourself in such a way that I will know that You are with me. 

Father, from this day forward, I shall walk in the light of Your love. You have filled every empty place within me. Your love permeates every area of my life. Father, I trust in Your MAGNANIMOUS power to rescue me, heal me, bless me, provide for me, protect me, sustain me, establish me, advance me, aide me, guide me, promote me, deliver me, and give me a delightful inheritance. In Yeshua’s name – Amen.  

Additional Prayer Resources:

Let’s go deeper in prayer. These powerful prayers and resources will equip us to ENTER and POSSESS the Land – and conquer the strongholds keeping us from FREEDOM and FULLNESS in Messiah Yeshua. Please CLICK HERE for powerful prayers and resources.

Additional Audio Resources:

CLICK HERE to listen to this life changing message on Dealing With Bitter-Root Judgments from Win Worely.

For inspirational resources, please visit: TheGodBlog.Org.

https://godinterest.com/2019/12/02/dealing-with-bitter-root-judgements/

 

 

Fossil Ape Skull Is a Game Ender

 

BY BRIAN THOMAS, PH.D. * | SEPTEMBER 17, 2019

A recent poll of college-age Americans showed that the single most convincing science-based argument for evolution is the lineup of supposed ape-like evolutionary ancestors of mankind.1 But epidemic disagreement among researchers over the relevance and position of every thus-far-proposed human ancestor undermines confidence in this fluctuating and fragmented fossil lineup. Creation researcher Marvin Lubenow called it “the fake parade” in his book Bones of Contention.2 A new ape-fossil study adds even more reason to decry this fossil parade as a fake.

Publishing in the journal Nature, a team of experts described a fossil skull that puts both a new face and a contradictory age onto an extinct ape variety previously known only from teeth and bone fragments.The team discovered the fossil in 2016 in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Early on, they recognized it as an australopithecine ape, but after analysis, they assigned it to the species anamensis.

Australopithecus anamensis supposedly evolved into Australopithecus afarensis—the most famous example of which is nicknamed Lucy—which some have asserted became humans. But many evolutionists see no anatomical link between this extinct ape kind and mankind. One zoologist admitted, “They are just apes.”4

Bible-respecting scientists see both Australopith varieties as members of the same created ape kind—now extinct. From this perspective, they would have lived at the same time but perhaps in different places, much like the two chimp varieties on Earth today. The common chimp Pan troglodytes has a wide habitat range, whereas the more rare pygmy chimp (bonobo) Pan paniscus appears to only live south of the Congo river in the Congo basin.

The story of supposedly ancestral A. anamensis evolving into A. Australopithecus was easier to tell back when A. anamensis fossils occurred in rock layers below, and thus before, those of A. australopithecus. But this newly described A. anamensis skull received an evolutionary age that overlaps its supposed descendant by 100,000 years. Lead author of the Nature paper Haile-Selassie told the Max Planck Institute, “This is a game changer in our understanding of human evolution during the Pliocene.”5

Talk about an overstatement. Rather, this is a game-ender for merely the Australopith backstory of one of the many human evolution narratives. The long overlap in evolutionary time erases notions of an ancestor-descendant relationship between these extinct ape varieties, but leaves intact the Genesis-friendly model of variations within kinds.

References
1. Biddle, D. A., and J. Bergman. 2017. Strategically dismantling the evolutionary idea strongholdsJournal of Creation. 31(1): 116-119.
2. Lubenow, M. 2004. Bones of Contention. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 167.
3. Haile-Selassie, Y. et al. 2019. A 3.8-million-year-old hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia. Nature. Posted on Nature.com before print, August 28, 2019, accessed September 2, 2019.
4. Lewin, R. 1987. Bones of Contention: Controversies in the Search for Human Origins. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 164.
5. A face for Lucy’s ancestor. Max Planck Institute. Posted on mpg.de August 28, 2019, accessed September 2, 2019.

Stage image: cranium of Australopithecus anamensis
Stage image credit: Copyright © Dale Omori, Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Adapted for use in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holders.

Dr. Thomas is a Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in paleobiochemistry from the University of Liverpool.

https://www.icr.org/article/fossil-ape-skull-game-ender/

Simple things you Should do for your Marriage to Work

Tips That Make A Marriage Last A Lifetime

We all know that after the honeymoon, reality begins to sink in and things can easily take a wrong turn if not well handled. Marriage does require hard work and patience. It requires team work and intention to get things moving towards the right direction. The intentions to make the marriage work for the rest of your lives should be unanimous. Let’s take a look at some of the simple things you should do for your marriage to work:

Don’t Try to Change your Partner:

Most couples get smitten by what they see at the beginning of a relationship that they miss out on the important things that can actually ruin their relationship later on. They get caught up on the positive things about their partner and totally ignore the negative side. The truth is, when those negative traits begin to emerge more often, it becomes unbearable. You might think that you will change your partner and get rid of the things you dislike about them. That’s where problems begin because you cannot change the other person. You can encourage them into changing, but the decision to actually change lies entirely in an individual.

I’ve heard women complaining about their husbands habits, I’m sure they had noticed those habits when they dated. Sadly, they choose to ignore them and hoped for some changes once they live together and start a family.  They come and remain as is, unless they decide to change. Those imperfections become part of your life forever once you get married, Don’t start nagging your partner because of imperfections you clearly noticed before you got married. Besides, we all have imperfections, your partner may not tell you but nobody is perfect. If you want to see your partner changed, get down on your knees and pray.

Photo by Sarandy Westfall on unsplash

Know your Spouse:

Once you get married and start living under the same roof with a new housemate. You start to realize that your time and self no longer belongs to you alone which is challenging.  Some people think that going out on a date is not a priority anymore because you see each other everyday. But for a person whose love language is spending quality time together, not being in able to do that outside of the home will make them feel unloved.

People show and feel loved through words of affirmation, giving and receiving gifts, acts of service, physical touch and spending quality time together. You should be familiar with your spouse’s love language. I have a friend who complained about his wife. He said that he took her on a vacation for her birthday, but all she did for his birthday was cook a special dinner. Well, she’s my friend too and had bragged about making him some exotic dishes. She gave her all because that’s her love language, but her husband missed the whole point.

Learn how to Stop an Argument:

I always say that two people living together as one must agree to disagree. Arguments will start and that’s normal, but never go to bed mad at your spouse. At the very beginning of our marriage, my husband and l would  get into heated argument, he likes to hold his peace and doesn’t say much when this happens. He would rather take all the blame just to end the fight. I was never very good at staying calm. Although I’m petite, my adrenaline levels are exaggerated. I guess I’m such a woman {smile}.

I used to go on and on about it until l get a hug, “it took a long time for that to happen”. Not until my husband noticed that when he hugs me everything evaporates. He mastered how to turn off my flares and end an argument. To balance things up, I’ve also learned that he dislikes being nagged so l stay off this female specialty. It is advisable to calmly discuss and solve the issue that started your argument. Don’t just swipe it under the rug because it will resurface. Issues don’t go away by ignoring them, it builds up and becomes significant over time. you can’t make something better unless you get clarification and find resolution.

Work on your Communication Skills:

Compliment your partner as much as you can, communication is not only for sharing problems and negative feelings. Avoiding sharing your issues with others , this includes family members. Sharing your issues might cause more harm than good in your marriage. Don’t vent on social media, the goal is to communicate with your spouse and not build a block. When you start sharing your marital issues with the world, some will laugh behind your back and others will throw you into a deeper hole with their advice.

Make God the Centre of your Marriage:

There’s nothing as peaceful as letting God take full control of your marriage.  Make a point of praying together and for one another. I noticed the tremendous changes that took place in my own marriage, when l quit trying to control things and put everything into the hands of God. If God is in your life, both of you will become better. The fruit of the Holy Spirit, Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control will reflect in your lives. All the best in your marriage.

 

Original here

Humbly Coming Before Our Father

The Privilege of Christian Prayer

by Burk Parsons
Pastor, Sanford, Florida

As a local church pastor, I spend a lot of time in the community of central Florida, a diverse community that is composed of people from numerous backgrounds, cultures, nations, and religions. As I engage with them, I find that no matter what religion they claim or whatever religions they oppose, they all agree on one thing, namely, that everyone is a child of God.

When I hear people claim the universal fatherhood of God, I immediately want to respond by saying, “Well, yes and no.” Everyone is indeed a child of God in the sense that we are all creatures made in the image of God — we are “God’s offspring,” as Paul declared on Mars Hill (Acts 17:29). However, not everyone is a child of God spiritually, being born again by the Holy Spirit and adopted by God as Father through the imputed righteousness of his Son.

“We can always, at any time, day or night, cry out to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.”

Although most people, even many professing Christians, believe that everyone is a child of God in a spiritual way, the word of God is undeniably clear that only those who are united to the Son by faith are the adopted children of God. These, and these alone, are those with whom Paul includes himself when he says, “Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Galatians 4:6; see John 1:12Romans 8:14–219:8Galatians 3:26).

Adopted into a Family

When Jesus taught us to pray with the words “our Father” (Matthew 6:9), he was not employing universal language to be inclusive of all human beings. He was teaching us something profound about God and our relationship to him — namely, that God is not merely a Father or the Father; he is our Father. When God adopts, he adopts us into a family. When we pray “our Father,” we are reminded that we’re not alone and that we’re part of a family.

God created us as human beings for community, and by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, he created us anew for the community of his family. For that reason, God calls us as his people to gather together, face-to-face, to worship him. When we come together in gathered worship every Lord’s Day, we are reminded that we are not alone, that we are a vital part of a living body, a covenant community of believers and our children.

That the only begotten Son of God would tell us to call his Father “our Father” is humbling. But for many Jews in the first century, it seemed arrogant. For them, it was extraordinary that Jesus called God his Father, as it implied that he is the Son of the Father (John 1:148:1914:7). Some scholars have argued that for Jesus to teach his followers to call God “our” Father would have been regarded by Jewish rabbis of the day as presumptuously conceited at best and blasphemous at worst.

Consequently, when Jesus rebuked certain Jews who rejected him, he made it abundantly clear not only that God was not their Father but that they were of their father the devil (John 8:39–47). They did not understand how God was not their Father because they did not believe that Jesus came from the Father. In their natural state before God, they could not believe because the Spirit had not given them ears to hear, eyes to see, or hearts to perceive that Jesus is the long-awaited seed of the woman, the long-expected Son of God (Genesis 3:15Isaiah 9:6). Moreover, in our natural state before God, we were enemies until God conquered us and made us his friends and adopted us as sons in Christ.

Welcomed and Blessed

God is our Father only by virtue of our being united to Jesus Christ, the Son, by faith. Through his resurrection, our brother Jesus demonstrated that he is the firstfruits of our resurrection, that he is the firstborn among many brethren, and that, united to him, we are heirs with him. It is fitting, then, that our Father has given to us all things pertaining to life and godliness through Jesus Christ our Lord (2 Peter 1:3–4).

“God is not merely a Father or the Father; he is our Father.”

Our Father is a gracious and generous Father who cares for us in ways that our fathers on earth cannot, and who thus disciplines us in ways our earthly fathers cannot, because he loves us in a way they cannot (Hebrews 12:9–10Romans 5:8). Knowing the innermost desires and sins of our hearts, he is able to conform us to the image of Christ in the precise ways that we uniquely need to be conformed.

Too often, we presume what our Father will not do for us or what our Father will not give us, and thus we never ask. We treat ourselves like orphans although God has made us sons. For when God adopts us into his family, he doesn’t merely call us “adopted”; he calls us sons. Mephibosheth was crippled and at enmity with his king; we were not only crippled but dead in sin and at enmity with our King and his kingdom. However, as David welcomed and blessed Mephibosheth, God has welcomed us and blessed us; he has brought us in and has made us able to recline and rest at his table to be washed by him, to dine with him, and to dwell with him forever (2 Samuel 9; John 13:1–20).

Hallowed in Heaven

Jesus also taught us that God is our Father who is in heaven, reminding us that our Father is perfect in his glory, that he is transcendent, and that because he is in the spiritual realm of heaven he is not far away but is near to us, ever present, and always ready to listen to us and commune with us (Psalm 145:18Jeremiah 23:23Acts 17:28James 4:8). Therefore, we are not to regard him as some sort of distant authority figure who doesn’t listen to us, who is never around, who is too busy for us. Rather, we can always, at any time, day or night, cry out to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, the sovereign, triune, and almighty God, humbly and confidently praying, “Our Father.”

When Jesus taught us to call on God as our Father, he also taught us to call on our Father whose name is hallowed. The self-disclosed covenantal name of God is Yahweh (Exodus 3:14). Recognizing that the name of God is hallowed, or praying to him as one whose name is hallowed, does not make his name hallowed. On the contrary, his name is, in itself, apart from us, by his own declaration, hallowed.

His name is set apart and sanctified by no greater authority or power than God himself (Hebrews 6:13). His name is holy because he is holy. His name is not like our names, his name is not simply what we call him, and his name doesn’t just describe him. His name is who he is: Yahweh. Thus, when we confess that his name is hallowed, we are not asking him to become something he isn’t; we are acknowledging who he is, we are affirming our reverence of his holy name, and we are praying that God would make his name known and revered as hallowed to others throughout the world.

So, whenever we pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name,” we can rest assured that he is our Father and that once he has adopted us, he will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6Hebrews 13:5).