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.

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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.

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?

 

Prophetic Words

Screenshot 2016-01-11 at 5.49.38 AMI saw a quote the other day, see if this sounds about right.

“It is now common practice in most evangelical churches to offer the people, especially the young people, a maximum of entertainment and a minimum of serious instruction. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that God’s professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to meeting with a stick of striped candy in the form of religious movies, games and refreshments.”

Continue reading

From the Archives: Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving

Originally published November 24, 2010

Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’s birth, but there is no biblical command to observe it. There are however feasts, songs and prayers of thanksgiving are all over the Bible. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Christmas; during his lifetime Jesus was an observant Jew, and every indication is that he observed all the Jewish festivals, including the historical ones not just the religious festivals commanded in scripture. The arrival of “God with us” is a major turning point in all of history. But we are commanded to praise God and give thanks. Moses sang songs of thanksgiving, David wrote his own. James reminds us that “every good gift and perfect gift is from above.” The United States was the first country to observe a national holiday for giving thanks. Continue reading

Hindsight is Still 20/20

Screenshot 2015-11-18 at 2.54.57 PMHave you ever thought of a witty comeback long after it’s too late? We’ve all missed our chance at a laugh out loud one liner or zinger that could have an ended an argument at one time or another. Preachers also have to deal with continuing to critique a sermon long after it’s been preached.

A couple of weeks ago I preached this sermon at Unity Baptist. In summary, Jesus was the light of the world in John 1 but in Matthew 5 said to his followers “You are the light of the world.” The sermon was about being salt and light and how Jesus empowers us to be those things in his absence. There’s nothing wrong with the sermon the way it is. But then just a couple of days ago I came across this verse:

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. John 9:5 

John 1 describes Jesus as the light of the world. Jesus says himself a few chapters later that as long as he is in the world he is the light of the world. Then he tells his followers, that will be conformed to his image and become his hands and feet, they are the light of the world. It would have been perfect. What makes matters worse is that we have been studying John’s Gospel on Sunday nights and read this passage only a few weeks ago.

Hey, you live and learn. By posting this I am sure to remember next time.

The Rest of the Story

Screenshot 2015-11-13 at 2.15.36 PMThe Internet Monk has a post up today about jumping to conclusions based on an Internet meme or a quote on Facebook without having all the facts. Shortly after reading Chaplain Mike’s post I heard a story on the radio that very much relates, which I will try to paraphrase.

“I grew up in a small town that never had any big Christmas events but there was this one guy that put up all the lights. Every year he kept adding more and more and eventually traffic backed up as people drove from all around just to see this one guy’s house. One year we could see him up ahead holding a bucket and my friend’s dad just went off. ‘He’s taking up donations. I can’t believe after all this time he’s out here trying to make a profit.’ He just went on and on about money and commercialism and how this guy was destroying Christmas. When we finally got up to where they guy was with the bucket it was full of candy canes. He wasn’t collecting anything, he was giving stuff away! We were laughing our heads off in the back seat but all the way home my friend’s dad didn’t say another word. He wouldn’t talk.”

The point of this story was about we can never admit being wrong. If we admit to being wrong, even in an apology, it’s an acknowledgement of imperfection. But the Pastor Saeed post on iMonk was fresh in my mind and the story above certainly applies to rushing to judgement without having all the pertinent details.