Fully Preventable

According to government statistics, 110 Americans die each day in car accidents. The three leading causes of traffic deaths are:

  • Distractions, like cell phones
  • Speeding
  • Substance intoxication

Each of these causes of death is completely preventable. The use of a phone is fully banned for drivers in 15 states, and 47 states ban texting while driving. Driving above the speed limit is illegal in all 50 states. Substance intoxication is against the law in all 50 states.

An eternity in Hell is also fully preventable.

The Bible says that Jesus surrendered His life on a cross, dying in the place of sinners. By trusting in Jesus alone to take your sins upon Himself, you can receive eternal life.

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

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The Freedom of Speech

… speaking the truth in love that they may grow up in all things … (Ephesians 4:15).

The United States Constitution is a remarkable document. It defines the role and function of government and lists the protections citizens have from their own government.

Our Declaration of Independence acknowledges that the rights of Americans are not concocted through a vote or dictated by any man or body, but come from our Creator.

Our courts have long held that every person – citizen and visitor, child and adult – has the exact same constitutional rights of protection under our laws.

Among the first of these rights is that the Congress cannot abridge “the freedom of speech, or of the press.” This means that no law can be made to limit, restrict, or take away the right of any person to speak his mind freely without fear of government punishment … even if that speech hurts someone’s feelings.

In America, anyone can publicly and privately speak and write favorably or against the government, a government leader, a political party, or any policy or law. You can be a Muslim arriving from Syria, step into the airport and curse the President, call the Congress vile names, and chant “death to America.” Those around you will not like what you’re saying, but the government is legally required to protect your right to freely speak and print such things. The Freedom of Speech makes America unique in the world.

In Ephesians 4:14, Paul describes the spiritually immature as unstable, fickle, and easily fooled. Spiritual immaturity severely limits the useful ministry of a childish Christian. Paul’s remedy for Christian babies is Bible teaching followed by more Bible teaching, with an added dose of Bible teaching.

Spiritual leaders are given to the Church for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11). This is accomplished through speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Freely preach the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth without compromise; remembering that freely speaking the truth of God’s Word must be accompanied by love for those to whom you speak.

The Creator or the Culture?

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).

This morning the clerk at the local grocery store wanted to talk. She closed her register and said that after almost 30 years at the same job, she’s not sure how to handle it any longer.

A few hours earlier, a man dressed like a woman came to Lois’ register. The man went on and on about how proud he was of his little boy who he’s raising as a girl. He’s 8 years old now and has never had his hair cut. This was something to brag about.

Lois asked me, As a Christian, how am I supposed to address a man who thinks he’s a woman? What am I supposed to say when he brags about raising his son as a girl?”

About a year ago Lois received a warning from her employer after a complaint was made against her. The customer was offended when Lois said, Good morning Ma’am. The customer is a lesbian who believes she is a male.

As Christians, we believe the Bible when it says God created male and female. God has never confused the two genders, building their separateness into our very DNA. The blatant blurring of that line of separation denies God’s authority as Creator, makes the Bible a lie, obscures God’s design for marriage and family, and perverts His plan for humanity.

Culture that conflicts with Scripture is sin, and every deviation from Scripture that we tolerate makes us responsible for the results.

In America, Christians are being increasingly challenged to either bow to God or kneel before our sinful culture, to stand for God’s Word or queue in the unemployment line, to pay homage to the Lord or remit a court fine and lose your business.

Your Name Here

Do not be called “Rabbi”; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in Heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Matthew 23:8-12).

I abhor titles in the church, though I understand they are helpful at times to distinguish roles. Too often among Christians, titles are used to make mediocre and little people appear significant and powerful. Apostle, prophet, bishop, reverend, and even the title of pastor often burnish the sin of pride and transform leaders into objects of idolatrous adoration and authority.

The Jewish religious leaders of Jesus’ day were big on parading their titles, but had no fear of responsibility in the titles. Jesus warned His followers not to fall into the same trap, but to remember that we are family and fellow-servants unto Him.

Few are far-between are humble leaders of God’s people content with the title of brother or servant on their Facebook page, church sign, or business card.

Hating our Children

The water from the fountain sprayed on us as Kim and I sat enjoying the hot summer day. On the other side of the fountain was a family of four.

The boy of 5 or 6 grabbed his mother’s cell phone, ran, and waved it over the water in the concrete pond.

Don’t you dare drop that in there,” yelled the mother. The boy just smiled.

After several more warnings, the mother gave up. “If you drop it I’ll just buy another one,” she said with a shrug. Her son tossed the phone into the fountain and ran away.

Kids feel entitled to things because of their skin color, social standing, or personal desires. Children are giving birth to babies. Thuggery, violence, drug use, and sexuality are perceived as the building blocks of success by whole communities (here). Parents refuse to act like parents, preferring to be best friends to their children. These are the mounting results of a godless society (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

God established parents as the foundation of the home, and godly parenting produces a civil society. Loving your children requires disciplining them.

He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly (Proverbs 13:24).

The Answer to Hate and Racism

Looting. Murder. Rioting. Stealing. Theft. Destruction. Anger. Burning. Violence. Fear-mongering. Hatred. Racism. Disregard for the rule of law. Race-war. Rage. Tearing down statues. Injustice. Inflammatory name-calling. Lawlessness.

These are all summed up in one foul word: S I N.

Whatever else you may want to call it – these are all acts and attitudes of evil men whose hearts are filled with the darkness of sin. Sin perpetuating more sin and then used as an excuse for even greater sin.

Don’t be mistaken. Don’t be detoured from what the Bible says. The answer is not found in tearing down monuments to the past, making laws restricting free speech or free assembly, violent attacks, or in shaming certain beliefs and political movements. Don’t look to laws or protests or penalties for answers to hate and racism. These same tools can be used to silence your beliefs … even your Christian beliefs.

As Christians, we are convinced that the answer to the evil in the heart is in the transformation of the human heart through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Light has coming into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light, lest His deeds should be exposed (John 3:19-20).

Righteous Lot

righteous-lotYou recall the story from Genesis 19 of a man named Lot. He’d moved to the city of Sodom on the southern shore of the Dead Sea. There were five great cities there, forming a metropolitan area of both considerable wealth and prominence. In Sodom, Lot increased his wealth and political power.

God was aware of the gross sexual perversions of the 5 cities. God said that the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great … their sin is very grievous (Genesis 18:20). Their sin were so awful that their sins cried out to Him for judgment. From then until recent times, the sin of homosexuality has been known by the word sodomy. 

The Lord sent two angels to remove Lot and his family before His wrath fell on the cities. When the angels arrived in Sodom, they were attacked by a gang demanding to rape them.

The next morning, Lot hesitated to leave everything behind. His daughters and their families were there. All of his investments and property were there. It was his life and livelihood. Lot, his wife, and two unmarried daughters had to be dragged from the city by the angels. Once outside Sodom, Mrs Lot disobeyed God and looked back at all she’d left behind. As she looked, God turned her into a pillar of salt.

Peter wrote that God Delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed with the filthy conduct of the wicked, for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds (2 Peter 2:7-8).

Ask yourself these 3 questions:

First, Lot’s soul was vexed by the horrible sin of his city. Is your soul tormented by the sin around you or have you grown to accept it as just an alternative lifestyle?

Second, despite being tormented by the sin around him, Lot remained in Sodom. Would you have stayed there?

Third, if you knew that God’s wrath was about to fall on your city because of the sin, would you have fled in advance? waited to be dragged out like Lot? or even looked back like Mrs Lot?

Kenyatta, Odinga, and the Will of God

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God (Romans 13:1).

Kenya is a young nation, having gained its independence from the British on December 12, 1963. The nation has struggled to set aside tribal animosity and bind itself together as one people. Politics has been the flash point. A decade ago, over 1,000 people were murdered in election violence.

Voting for a candidate, or against a candidate, based on his tribal ethnicity instead of his beliefs – will destroy Kenya and any other nation. Tribalism divides rather than heals.

In a few days, on August 8th, Kenyans will go to the polls to elect their president. The great question every Kenyan should be asking is not which candidate will win the election, Kenyatta or Odinga, but how the hearts of sinful men will respond to the will of God.

Therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves (Romans 13:2).

** Please keep us in prayer while we minister in Kenya. Thanks!

God is My Strength

humilityGod is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on my high places. He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze (2 Samuel 22:33-35).

God was David’s strength and power. He accounted every victory in his life to the Lord who even taught his hands to make war. Yes, David used weapons and strategies and soldiers against the enemies of his people, but these were not the source of a single victory. A nation can have every weapon known to man and still lose a war! That was the experience of the United States in Vietnam and the Soviets in Afghanistan. David’s victories were only because God brought defeat to Israel’s enemies.

All too often we fail to give God the credit for what He does in and through us. We are living wells of ever-bubbling pride, but it’s toward the humble that God condescends and gives strength in the midst of every trial.

David never forgot from where his every blessing flowed. He was aware of the One who stooped to fit and enable him for every service.

It is the Power of God

We’ve decided that a political victory, a judge’s ruling, or a bureaucratic tribunal is the answer.

Politicians can create laws to make life appear equitable. Judges can resolve disputes and settle long-standing injustices. Panel discussions can air grievances. Governments can take something from one person and give it to another. Shouting, protests, sit-ins, marches. Not one of these creates a lasting solution. None of these resolves the issue at the heart of mankind’s problem.

The cause behind every social ill, injustice, and ache in the life of humanity is one of the heart. The problem is sin.

Man’s political solutions are a denial of the cross. The preaching of the cross is the ONLY solution for what ails a person, a family, and a nation because only Christ Jesus changes the heart of the sinner. Only a new birth makes a sinner into a saint.

Change the heart, change the person. Change the person, change a nation.

Pastors: ever and only preach the cross and Christ crucified. It is the power of God.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).