Monthly Archives: October 2008
Below is a response I received from a good friend of mine Paul Perry regarding my latest post “There’s an Upside to Economic Disaster.” Paul is a missionary to Brazil.
A business man here just got an sms on his cell phone while I was standing
there.. It read “what is a safe place to invest my money” “I just lost
XX%…” a pastor standing on the other side replied “The only safe money you
have is what you have already given away….” the business man was a
financial advisor and immediately typed the exact words as his response to
the client. We discussed it for a moment as it was quite clear the only true
safe investment is in Gods kingdom!
Could you imagine you financial advisor telling you this? Lord increase our faith!
There’s an effort to elect an unknown random person as President…
and it’s someone we know!
Jot back a note to let me know what you think!
The first line in Charles Dickens classic novel A Tale of Two Cities seems appropriate for what’s likely to come in the days ahead. “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” Unless you’ve been living in a cave (sorry Geico man) you’ve probably been affected by the current fiasco on Wall Street and Capitol Hill. Within the past week 401K’s have evaporated into thin air, life savings have slipped through the cracks of who knows where, and now that it’s clear that even a $700 billion dollar bailout from Uncle Sam can’t save the stock market, some financial gurus in the media are now using the dreaded “D” word signifying in no uncertain terms that the next president is going to inherit a financial depression. The prognosis is in. These are scary times indeed.
In times like these it’s very easy to become fixated on venting our frustrations against—take your pick—the Republican party, the Democratic party, Wall Street fat cats, predatory lenders, gullible first time home buyers, low income minorities that took advantage of sub-prime lending rates. There’s plenty of blame to pass around. We all know we’re in a mess. The question is what do we do now?
As for what Moses recommended in terms of an economic bailout—debt cancellation and land redistribution—I’ll let the economists and the theologians duke it out over whether that applies today. The Bible may not be an economic textbook—as much as Secretary Paulson could use one right about now—but it is a message from God to humanity and when you read it from cover to cover there’s an underlying message that speaks loud and clear. God is the defender of the poor.
So what’s the upside to an economic disaster? The upside to economic disasters is that economic disasters spur moral reflection. They serve as a wake-up call to remind us that the economic decisions we make every day really do affect other people. They serve to remind us that a day of judgment is coming and that God takes very seriously how our lives affect the poor. And I’m not just talking about how much we give in the offering plate on Sunday mornings or how much we give to our favorite charitable organizations. Sure it’s nice that we tip God with our tithes (or spare change depending on our level of piety), but how many of us think about how we earn our money and whether our jobs and our investments coincide with the values of Jesus?
I’ve heard a lot of Christian leaders use the bully pulpit to decry private morality issues like homosexuality and abortion, but few and far between are the voices that call us to repent from social morality issues. As a life-long member of the Pentecostal/charismatic tradition, most of the teaching I’ve received about money is “God wants you to have a lot of it, as long as you’re generous and use it for charity or to advance the gospel.” Big houses, nice cars, bank account surpluses are all signs of God’s approval in this vein of thinking. With the exception of pimping and drug-dealing, the question of how to attain this money, and the morality associated with it has been left to a fairly generous interpretation. Questions like “Should I really be investing in weapons manufacturers when I don’t know who those weapons are being sold to?” or “Is the oil company in my 401K propping up the military dictatorship in Burma?” rarely make it to the surface.
I invite you to join me in a moment of reflection over the words penned by James the brother of the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury, you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you” (James 5:1-6).
In an age where CEO’s make 400 times the wage of what the average worker makes in a day, I wonder if James might be talking about some of the companies I’ve invested in the past. Even worse. I wonder if he could be talking about me?
I can remember when I was a student in Bible school, the leaders of the institute asked the students to skip at least one meal and fast and pray for 40 days that God would have his way during the 2000 election. Between George W. Bush and Al Gore, everyone knew exactly what that meant. My friend and I got together every day after work and prayed that God would elect Bush to the White House.
Now that I’m eight years older, and hopefully wiser, I no longer presume that I know who “God’s man” is for the country. Who knows? God may want to judge our nation and give us a not so good leader. For some, that would be Barack Obama, being that he’s the antichrist and all. For others, God’s judgment is the last eight years under the Bush administration.
Do I still pray for the elections? Absolutely! God commands us in His word to pray for political leaders (I Timothy 2:4), He just doesn’t tell us exactly what to pray.
I’ve decided to let my readers in on how I’ve been talking to God lately about this upcoming election. I know it’s a private conversation, but I don’t think God minds too much letting others in on our conversation.
So here goes.
Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ. I want to thank you for the leaders of our nation. I pray that you will give them wisdom to make good decisions for this country. I pray that you pour out your Holy Spirit on our nation’s capital and draw men and women in Washington D.C. to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I pray that in this upcoming election, you will grant us leaders who will “Do good, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God.” I pray that you will grant us leaders who will respect human life and execute justice for the poor. I pray that you grant us leaders that will serve the interests of the people and not merely use people for personal gain. I pray that you will give us leaders that will do what is right both for America and for the world. I come against any attack of the enemy that would seek to thwart your plans and your purposes during this election. I declare the plans of the enemy null and void in the name of Jesus Christ. Most importantly Father, I pray that your kingdom come and your will be done.
No, this isn’t an eloquent prayer. I know it’ll never make the Paul Harvey show. But I believe it’s Biblical and I mean every word of it. For those of you at a loss for how to pray during this upcoming election, I sincerely hope this helps.
Come Lord Jesus!
I don’t normally put forwarded e-mails on my blog, but on this one I couldn’t resist. Whether this really happened or not, I don’t know. www.truthorfiction.com will have the answer on that. Regardless of whether this happened or not, I want my readers to notice a few assumptions the pastor that forwarded this e-mail is making. The first assumption is that God has indeed “annointed” Palin as a modern day Esther, but here’s a question I’d ask the pastor in return. How do you know that Palin is God’s choice for V.P? Did God speak to you personally and tell you? The second assumption is actually quite hilarious if you think about it. Here’s a man speaking to candidates at a political rally designed to rally their base, and somehow he thinks that just because a candidate sheds a few tears and says thank you for praying for me that means they’re actually taking the man to heart personally. I can understand the Palins getting a little teary-eyed at a “prophetic” word given their Pentecostal background, but John McCain? Puhleeasse!! Is there anything in McCain’s behavior in the story that isn’t exactly what any political candidate would do out of sheer politeness to a potential voter? You be the judge.
This past Tuesday, the McCain / Palin Bus came thr ough a little town called, Lebanon, Ohio. The LORD allowed me to go to the Rally giving them a message that He wanted me to personally deliver.
Sunday Night – a burden hit me that would only shake me to my knees – I prayed and wept for our Nation. Never has my heart been so broken before God. I literally interceded for these wonderful people who do not deserve all the hate against them. The GOD-Haters are going to try everything to stop them, but they will not succeed!
God is not pleased with the “bashing” in the News of this “Anointed” person. He has called her for this time! I promised God that I would pray and hold them up in prayer. I would “listen” out and be mindful of where they were. The following day is important in this time-line…because I didn’t even know until God spoke to me…
Monday and into Monday Night – the burden of prayer was so heavy that I was literally shaking and could not stop weeping. I didn’t know that they were coming to Ohio. I prayed and walked and wept and walked. I prayed and prayed and wept and prayed…
Tuesday at 2:00 A.M. – God spoke these words to me – “…Go turn the Radio on!” Immediately the the Reporter’s Words were – “McCain & Palin Bus to be in Lebanon later this morning for a 10:00 A.M. Rally!”
Immediately on hearing that news, I heard God again…
God said, “You are to go. You will meet them and give them a message for Me!”
I prayed as an intercessor and went to a place in prayer that I don’t think I’ve ever been…because the LORD had just visited me…and I knew I was on a “Mission.” I had now been up since Sunday NIght…and now it’s Tuesday and I’ve got to go on the “WORD of the& nbsp;LORD.” He sure became My Strength as this unfolds…
I didn’t stop praying until I drove over to the town and parked the car The News would later report they were expecting 5,000 people and the actual head-count of those who had been scanned was more than 10,000 people.
I simply obeyed…and God actually told me where to stand, who to talk to…and when to be on the move. I had sure learned on the Mission Field, when God wants to open a door, He will do it at the appropriate time. He always has someone to assist…and even those standing beside you may just be an Angel.
I struck up a conversation with an agent on the ground – he simply said, “I can’t allow you to stand here!”
Here is where the bus was going to actual pull up to. They had to make a much larger perimeter so the entire area was now being moved back several blocks. The o nly other thing he told me to do was to go through the metal detector zone and just watch from the back. So, that’s what I did.
Due to sensitivity of the internet..I can’t share much of the story as to what happened next was a definite GOD THING ALL THE WAY. Looking over the shoulders and backs and heads of all those people…I knew it would take a miracle for what GOD told me to do.
As I was standing there, two Boy Scouts came running up my back…literally, they almost knocked me to the ground because they were running so fast behind me…up my back and over to the right. These Boy Scouts were about Junior High Age. Their Scout Leader and several others were behind them…but as the two out front was trying to push through the crowd, saying they were late..the smaller scouts were left in the dust. The Scout Leader who was with a McCain Rep from the State grabbed me and told me bring the other Scouts up front as they try to keep up with the first two that just came through.
I just became the leader of the rest of the Scouts to l ead them right up front and center. As the Rep was shouting back at me…to bring the Scouts forward…the people parted just like God parted the Red Sea.
I marched them boys right up front and to the right of the stage as one was looking from the back. When I got there I was fifteen feet from the podium. GOD said, “Stand here, and don’t move from this spot.”
Within five minutes…the bus pulled up and around the other side McCain, Sarah Palin and her husband Todd stepped up and the speeches took off. I was where God placed me…and even Sarah Palin and Todd were
standing on my side of the stage. I made eye contact, I gave them thumbs up gestures…and I knew the y were just happy to see me standing there. Ha Ha
When they came around the podium and started on the other side, I knew they were coming right toward me, a little lady who stood by me, reached up and told the Rep that they had promised a Picture with her because she was the one who had lost a son in Iraq, recently. The Rep confirmed she would get a pic with them and they would talk to her. When McCain came to hug her… he immdiately shook my hand and following his moment with her, I shook his hand as he grabbed my hand, now for the second time, and I said, “God wants you to know that I’m praying for you, Sir!” He thanked me and kept smiling. I repeated that phrase to him five times. He grabbed my hands and looked right into my eyes and said, “I won’t make it without prayer. Sir, Thank You for praying for me, and don’t let one day go by that you don’t pray for me. I need all the prayers that I can get. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!”
As he moved to my right, Sarah Palin, came over to my left side…standing over the crowd and then looking at the little lady who had lost the son. It took a moment for her to shake some hands and people were pushing in all around. Sarah came and got on her hands and knees on that side of the stage and hugged that little Mom, telling her, “…it was not in vain.” She promised her support.
It was at this moment Sarah Palin, reached out for me to help her up and as I was assisting her to stand I was now face to face with her and GOD said, “Open up your Mouth and I will fill it.”
Here is what came out…
“God wants you to know that you are a present day Esther!”
[She immdiately began to cry]!
“God wants to tell you that you are Chosen for such a time as this!”
“You are c alled, and chosen to be a leader.”
“Don’t lose heart and don’t fear man.”
“The news and nay-sayers and criticizers are going to be very hateful
and in the days ahead they are going to turn up the heat…but do not
“You are a present day Esther.” You are an Esther. You are an
“Keep your eyes on GOD and know that He has chosen you to Reign!”
“Stay strong…be strong…don’t tire. Don’t be weary in well-doing.
Her husband Todd came over and I told him what I told her. He began to cry. I emphasized the fact that he was to guard her at this time…and know that
“…she is GOD-CALLED and GOD-ANOINTED.” “…this is a GOD-THING and your wife is a Present day Esther… she is for God to use at this time…She is an Esther…she is an Esther…she is an Esther.”
“You will be hated…but stand strong…GOD has called both of you to stand!”
“We are praying and I am praying for you…!”
At this moment, McCain came right to where I was finishing talking to Todd and I told Mr. McCain exactly what I told to Sarah and Todd Palin.
“Mr. McCain, …they are called of God and she is an Esther.”
“Don’t lose hope and don’t lose heart.”
“We are praying for all of you!”
He shook my hand and with a deep look of understanding what I had just said, he said, “Thank you for your prayers and support…I really do mean that!” And he turned and shook more hands…and I watched them as they went through the crowd.
When I got to my car I sat there for quite a long time…knowing the GOD of the Universe had just used me to deliver a message confirming to Sarah and Todd to realize they are truly chosen vessels of God. I wept. I have not stopped praying and crying. My heart is full knowing they had to have all the staging and all the hype and all the crowd…but the GOD of Heaven and Earth…wanted to give the m a Divine-God-Appointment!
To God be all the GLORY and HONOR.
If anyone wants to know if I believe God can speak Yes…Absolutely, is my Answer!
Be praying for me…and let me know what you think about all of this.
Burdened for all of our Leaders!
Can somebody say idolatry?