Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You

Thank you, Veterans, for your sacrifice, your willingness to defend, protect, and preserve. We honor you this day.
Thank you to my dad who served for 25 years as a U.S. Navy chaplain. Thank you for bringing comfort to those wounded in body, mind and spirit.
Thank you to the families of service men and women. We know the sacrifices you make every day.
Photo from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Friday, November 7, 2008

Nobody Like That

On the way to the dentist yesterday, I listened to a local talk radio show that I rarely hear. One of the callers described how shocked he was at the results of the election. He said he didn't know anyone who voted for Obama — no one from his church, his neighborhood, his work place or anywhere. He went on and on and on . . . And, he was really proud of himself for being in that position.

Nowhere in the Scripture do I find us being called to completely isolate ourselves. We are not called to merely surround ourselves with people who are just like us. Not only does that sound incredibly boring to me, it smacks of the the pride that leads us to pray like the Pharisee Jesus described:
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' Luke 18:9-12

We are called to be holy, set apart. We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. We also are called to engage the world:
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Matthew 5:46-47

One of the lessons of this election is that we must engage in the dialogue of the culture. Only then do we have an opportunity to shape the dialogue for Him.

I do know folks who voted for Obama. And I also know of at least two who voted for McCain after hearing my positions and, I believe, as a result of the Lord hearing my prayer that their hearts would be turned. I don't agree with the folks who voted for Obama, but I still love them and still pray that their hearts will be turned. I believe they have been blinded to the Truth, so I pray that the eyes of their hearts will be opened.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Things Left Undone

After the election results became clear, I waited to post, making sure I was writing from my spirit and not my soul or flesh. I trust that what I'm writing is from the Spirit . . .

As I prayed about what to say, how to react, words from the Prayer of Confession came to mind. The whole prayer is listed below to give context for those who may be unfamiliar with it.

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name.

The phrase I heard, "by what we have left undone," echoed in my mind. So I asked the Lord what I had left undone. His answer surprised me.

In the final weeks of the election, many of us issued a call to prayer. We repented before the Lord for our complacency (things we have done) and our complicity in the culture of death (things we have left undone). Our repentance was pleasing to the Lord.

He now wants us to walk out that repentance. He wants us to be even bolder in our stance for Him. We cannot be silent. We must speak for life. We must actively participate in the pro-life movement in our communities. We must support adoption (a key element to pro-life that is often overlooked). We must be aware of pending legislation and speak up. We must pray.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Your Great Mercy

The next president of the United States may have the opportunity to appoint at least two justices to the Supreme Court. Those appointments will influence our nation for the next generation, well beyond the president's term of office. We already have seen how a single decision can destroy the lives of 40 million babies.

The prophet Daniel understood the long-term effects of Israel's decisions when they ignored God's covenant and commands. Daniel realized that the desolation of Jerusalem would last for seventy years. I can't help but think of where we are as a nation. How long will the desolation of the United States last?

We must confess, as Daniel did, that "we have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws." We have "transgressed your laws and turned away, refusing to obey you."

As others have done, I urge you to fast and pray on Monday, November 3. Because I believe the Word is life, I urge you to pray Daniel's prayer as recorded in Daniel 9:4-19. Confess the sins of our nation. Confess your part in those sins. Plead for the mercy of God on us and the generations to come.

We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of YOUR GREAT MERCY. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, heart and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay.