A tough time to live out our faith

As if my health challenges weren’t enough of a challenge to the veracity of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we Americans enter into the most tumultuous year in recent US history. A false impeachment proceeding of the President of the United States gave way to a pandemic, dramatic changes at every level of society, and social unrest. One could argue that the voices of darkness came out of the woodwork and into the light of day. Just when we thought we might start looking forward to the turn of the calendar into 2021, a tumultuous election process began the further destruction of our institutions. Words don’t even mean the same thing anymore so how may I describe it to those of you who don’t live here, to those who have chosen not to pay close attention? Let’s just say we have entered an exceedingly tough time in which to live.

The story of what is actually going on now depends upon whom you ask. The mainstream media claims that our President has incited a coup and the conservative media claims the opposite. While the majority of the citizenry acknowledge the multiple methods of election fraud that has dominated the courts and legislature since November 3rd, neither of the latter has been willing to hear the evidence in any meaningful way. Thousands of ordinary people giving sworn affidavits under penalty of perjury, expert witnesses, videotaped evidence, the breaking of state constitutional and election laws, manipulation of voting machines, and more suggest that some really bad things happened. But it wasn’t enough to change the outcome? Legislators who claim to support the President, the Republican party, and various causes of their constituents have turned their back on all three of them. This is true even when the President helped them get elected! So on January 6th when these “results” of sorts were set to be certified, a peaceful demonstration escalated into a riot and storming of our nation’s Capitol . . . while the Senate and Congress were in session! They all fled to the basement, the Capitol police eventually did their jobs clearing out the building, and who knows if the National Guard (which our nation was told would be at the ready) ever really showed up? Who were these rioters or who started it anyways? Why did the Capitol police let some of them in? The identities and details vary based upon which news report you view.

We could make the argument that a nation divided cannot stand and we have been divided as a nation for longer than the year 2020. News that lacks truth or even consistency on how basic language is used keeps all of us from communicating with one another and from knowing the truth. Some of our leaders are treating people like cattle to be controlled (or to be tossed little stimulus checks while other nations and special interests are fed gaga-millions), letting you know that we are already sliding from a republic FOR THE PEOPLE to one FOR THE ELITE IN CHARGE. I believe the latter is called socialism and it is now here. Personal freedoms and rights are eroding with each passing day and will accelerate if the democratic candidate actually finds his way into office on January 20th. That’s just 10 days from now. We see even more darkness coming in the policies of the “President-elect,” Republican rhinos, and the entire democratic party who now dominate the Congress, the Senate; the Supreme Court is no where to be found. The gains and goodness of the last 4 years will soon be gone. But wait, there’s more!

Unless a miracle happens, it appears that Republicans who supported President Trump especially conservatives will be punished, persecuted, and stripped of their Constitutional freedoms. This is already happening with restriction of the 1) operations of churches during the pandemic and 2) free speech once expressed on the largest social media platforms in our nation and world. Censorship worsened early in 2020 and it appears is here to stay; the Congress just voted to remove all gender-based language! Just like in the story of the King wearing no clothes, have we forgotten that “President-elect” Joe Biden has dementia? The main stream media that represents our nation to the world does not communicate facts just skewed narratives, blatant lies. And just when conservatives started to develop and pursue alternate platforms for communication, the big media companies started wielding their power to prevent posting information on their platforms; this weekend big tech companies such as Amazon and Google are clamping down further to prevent the download or meaningful use of social media alternatives such as Parler, Rumble, MeWe, and others. Twitter closed the account of and banned a sitting President! Holy cow! Some think that the internet itself will soon be shut down. How are we to communicate with one another much less function as a society? If we were playing a game of chess, we would hear the shriek of, “CHECK!!!” But let’s check our facts Gentle Reader. Is it CHECKMATE just yet? I don’t think so.

Fencing being constructed in front of the White House, Google Earth, 1.10.2021

As I am writing this, there are reports that the President has prepared the US military for special operations in our nation’s capital and beyond. Insiders claim that our military is on the move and there are battleships off the shores of our coasts, military sorties being flown over our skies. Alternative media sources report that President Trump has evidence of illegal if not treasonous activities of government and corporate leaders that go beyond the election fraud or crimes of the Biden family. The insurrection at the Capitol building on Wednesday may have been incited by the same dark, leftist, paramilitary organizations who have destroyed numerous sections of democrat-run cities throughout our nation. However it also appears that individuals somewhere on the political right, maybe even infiltrated by our own special operations military may have been a part of the attempted invasion. All of them appeared to have broken many laws. Five people were killed in the process, personal artifacts may have been confiscated, and much damage was done to the Capitol building. There is evidence that some of the parties involved had a plan of attack that day, that it was not simple mob violence, as evidenced by the tools and riot gear utilized by some of these instigators. I could go on. There are no easy ways to explain what happened this week, this month, this year, or this 4-year term of the Office of the Presidency. We could even ask if all of this evil mayhem is part of a existential “reset” of the USA into a larger plan or world order? Orchestrated and funded by wordily oligarchs? What does it sound like to you?

Those of us in Jesus Christ know who the ruler of this world is and that is Satan. The Bible tells us in the book of Job that he goes about the earth, to and fro wreaking havoc on the lives of the living. His goal is to distract non-believers from coming to know the true and living God then discourage those who do come to faith through the Lord, Jesus Christ. He wants all of us to turn our backs on the truth and our Redeemer, the hope we can find that transcends the evil of our days. We shall see God and spend eternity with Him in glory! He forgets that we see in the Book of Revelation that Satan does not win; Jesus sends him off to be bound then forever tormented in the lake of fire! Forever!

What is going on in the United States of America is frightening. We are at the precipice of losing all we hold dear in our way of life. We may well deserve correction if not punishment in straying from God as a nation. However if we look to President Trump to be our savior from the wrongs in western society then we will be misled and disappointed. President Trump still has a job to do for 10 more days and I believe he will fulfill his leadership duties as best as he can. Maybe his term of office will somehow be extended and a new administration will form? But regardless let’s recognize that Donald J Trump is only a man with flaws just like you and me. He is not God. He will fall short of the lofty expectations we Christians have a tendency to place upon him. He is a sinner like you and me. And we sinners find true rest in the person of Jesus Christ alone. Let’s remember that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the One with the power to win the battle against good and evil. Vengeance belongs to Him alone; we are to overcome by our belief, our pursuit of what is good and right as best we can and do so as we pray for the wayward, trust in the Lord. He sees and grieves our pain. He will supernaturally calm our fears.

Let’s continue to pray for our leaders, our President, and the resolve of fellow believers in the sovereignty and power of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Let’s pray that others who are scared, looking for direction will find it in Him through the testimony of our lives surrendered to the Lord. We all deserve judgement for our failings but we know where we can receive mercy, grace, salvation, hope. Let’s live like we believe it. This is a really tough time to live out our faith here in the United States of America. Persecuted Christians around the world have endured far worse and found peace in the God of the Bible. Their endurance through trials inspire us that, in His strength and through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can live the way in which we are now called. Our God reigns! Let us pray without ceasing as we go for His glory! JJ

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11)

We are the People

In the book of Esther in the Bible, we learn of the near-miss annihilation of the Jewish nation because of the lies and deceit of one influential man, Haman. He first convinced King Ahasueras that Queen Esther’s Uncle should be targeted for generational feuds between their ancestors; not only Modecai but his entire people-group must be destroyed. Haman’s pride swelled as he bragged about his accomplishments to everyone, knowing his sinister plan about to unfold. But one sleepless night, God revealed to King Ahasueras through the reading of the King’s annals that Mordecai actually needed to be heralded as a hero for saving the King’s life years ago. Queen Esther and her people fasted then orchestrated events in which she could reveal the truth to her King. Haman and then his ten sons ultimately were hung on the very guillotine he had constructed for Mordecai! But what about the Hebrew nation? The edict by King Ahasueras to allow the people of Persia to destroy the Jews, including Mordecai and Queen Esther, would need to be addressed. The King turned to some very astute scribes to make the situation right, knowing that an edict by the King could not be reversed or rescinded. The Persians so feared the Hebrew nation (blessed by God) that many became Jews themselves. On the day which later became known as Purim, the Jews avenged their attackers, annihilating 75,000 Persians in their midst. The celebration of their victory continues to be celebrated to this day as the Feast of Purim.

I submit to you that metaphorically speaking, conservatives in America who believe in God are like the avengers of the Jewish nation of Persia. The parallels between this story in the Old Testament and the Presidential election in our nation are remarkable to me (with some important exceptions of course). Surrender to evil and its political ideology that is now out in the open in America, acting in unison like a Hamanian plot to destroy the once United States of America, is now set in motion unless we fast and pray like the beautiful Queen Esther. Then we must act accordingly. If we do not, I sense that we too will perish. The nation we love and our freedoms will be gone forever. Perhaps our President will seek the Lord’s wisdom some sleepless night, his modern-day legal scribes will figure out how to save our Republic, and Patriots will stand up for the freedoms that we hold dear. Will we “avenge” our attackers with truth and strength as unto the Lord such that observers will come to faith in the God through whom our nation was founded? You see I am going beyond an election here, don’t you? Of course I am. We are in a battle between good and evil, Gentle Reader. As the superpower of the world, I submit to you that the hearts of mankind are at stake right now, manifest in the events unfolding right now. The world is witnessing our nation falling apart and are all affected by it at some level.

Time is moving quickly. What will each of us be celebrating this Christmas? A feast like that of Purim or a pre-packaged COVID snack after the funeral of the once beautiful United States of America? We have survived a pandemic, riots in our streets, loss of small businesses that employ most of America, political upheaval unprecedented in our history, and paradoxical surges in our economy and military strength. We have brought peace to the world while the foundation of our own nation is crumbling. Now we the people have voted and it doesn’t even count. What a horrible way to end the year 2020! But it’s not over yet. There is something we CAN DO for the fate of the beloved nation where we shall live out our days. The Jewish nation stood up for what was right and all of the people of Persia lived in peace and prosperity for ten years until King Ahasuerus was murdered. (Yes, even after deliverance from evil, someone eventually succeeded in stealing the leader’s throne.) Our story is just as messy. People will die no matter who our President is and what political party is in power. The situation is just that volatile. The ultimate question for me is will we the people be avengers for the Lord, Jesus Christ as we fight for the nation He has given to us?

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima, commemorating the final stages of the Pacific War theater of WWII.