Decision America Tour

Screenshot 2016-02-13 at 7.54.17 AMFranklin Graham is traveling to all 50 states and holding prayer rallies at each state capital. Graham is well known for his work with Samaritan’s Purse; he joined the organization in 1974 and became president in 1979. He is now also the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

The Decision America Tour 2016 is not a campaign for any political party or candidate. Graham is quite clear that has zero hope in the Republicans, Democrats, Tea Party members or anyone else to change the direction of our country. He urges all Christians to consider each candidate carefully and vote according to conscience. When possible, vote for candidates that support Christian morality. At each rally he encourages those present to carefully and prayerfully consider running for office at local levels of government, such as mayor, city council, county commission and school board. Many times voters would support a Christian candidate if there was one.

Click here to visit decisionamericatour.com for more information including upcoming locations. The current wallpaper is an image captured on Wednesday in front of the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta. I was in that crowd, the size of which varies depending on who you believe. Numbers ranging from 3,400 to 6,800 have been offered. We heard two songs from Atlanta resident Tasha Cobbs (Break Every Chain) and Graham spoke for about 35 or 40 minutes. During that time we joined hands and prayed aloud.

Screenshot 2016-02-13 at 7.05.03 AM

Some have given up hope in the political process. Even Graham admits that in November we may have to vote for the lesser of two heathens. But that’s why a commitment to local governments and to the communities our churches are part of is more important than ever. In his words, this tour is nothing other than a campaign for God. Politics aside, let us pray together for this nation and its people.

Jesus Wept

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. –Matthew 9:36 

Jesus had a soft spot for people with a sad story. Even when he and the disciples were trying to get away from it all, he would sometimes stay behind and send the disciples ahead. Like Jeremiah, he wept over the city of Jerusalem: “And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.'” Luke 19:41-42 

And the shortest verse of the Bible? John 11:35: “Jesus wept.” His friend Lazarus was dead, and Mary and Martha whom he also loved were grieving. He was about to bring Lazarus back. Did he mourn for Lazarus, or weep out of empathy for the other family members?

A man moved to tears by his compassion and concern for others.

Perhaps not manly, but very godly.

Book Review: Nearing Home

Click image for more via Amazon.com

Click image for more via Amazon.com

Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well by Billy Graham 

When I write a book review, it’s usually because someone sent me a review copy and they are looking for bloggers to get their title out there in front of a larger audience. Neither Billy Graham nor Thomas Nelson Publishers need me to review this book; it is already a New York Times Best Seller. But I was given a copy by a friend in real life as a Christmas gift and since I enjoyed it will offer a review because you, my reader, may find you enjoy it as well. Continue reading

SCOTUS, Where the Rubber Meets the… Playground

 

Screenshot 2016-01-29 at 9.33.33 AM

Baptist Press reports that the Supreme Court will hear an argument in March or April that may set precedents for future church/state decisions. From the article:

Missouri nonprofits can apply to the state for scrap tires to use for rubber playground surfaces. Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo., which has a daycare called the Learning Center, applied to receive the ground-up tires for its playground. The state ranked the church’s application highly, but refused the grant based on a state constitutional provision that forbids state money going to support churches. About 35 states have similar provisions in their state constitutions.

The implications of the high court’s decision will go far beyond playground equipment. Continue reading Church-state case goes to Supreme Court via bpnews.net.

Did Judas Preach the Gospel?

Judas returns 30 pieces of silverThe spiritual condition of Judas is an age-old debate and not the one I mean to engage in today. I want to add a new wrinkle to the discussion; did Judas preach the Gospel? When the Apostles were sent out with the power to heal the sick and cast out demons (Matthew 10, Luke 9) did Judas do those things as well?

 

Everything that has Breath…

Screenshot 2016-01-12 at 7.27.59 PMThe 150th Psalm lists several musical instruments then declares “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” But are drums welcome in your sanctuary, or what about that kid that thinks he can play the tambourine? People are still entitled to their opinion, and Thom Rainer has poked the hornet’s nest. His post Five Favorite and Five Least Favorite Musical Instruments Used in Worship Services is exactly what it sounds like. Continue reading