When You Have To Make A Choice

It-is-not-hard-to-make-decisions-once-you-know-what-your-values-are.Over more than 40 years of counseling and personal ministry, I have noticed that sometimes there are no easy answers to the thorny problems of life. We can do our best, try our hardest, and give it all we have, but in the end we may still come up with the “short end of the stick”. There just may not be enough time, wisdome, knowledge, finances or personal skills. Like it or not, when that happens, we are put in a position where a decision must be made. That hard choice is always based upon the reality of what is, even if we don’t like where “it” is going.

This is especially true when that place of hard, naked reality is caused by someone you know, love and trust. If that happens, it can feel like such a punch in the gut that we can become stuck in the quicksand of life. Unfortunately, every action we take from that point forward, seems to make it harder to think clearly. It becomes more difficult to have good judgement so we can move forward in the right direction. When life, or someone in it, gives us a raw deal, it can hold us captive and produce what I have come to call “SP”, or  “Situational Paralysis”.

The inability to make a decision, or move in a defined direction in traumatic situations, causes “SP” to set in. This can be a painful and frustrating thing for everyone involved. It makes some feel trapped in an invisible prison, where there is no key to unlock the door. For others, it becomes a reality where life is frozen in place, and emotions are locked to an event that is re-experianced almost daily. The twilight-zone of existance this creates is nearly impossible to break out of, and many have succumbed to it, literally putting the rest of  their productive lives on hold.

I have seen the hardiest of souls crumble, and watched them flounder in life like a wounded bird, wasting precious time by wondering what to do next. It could have happened because of personal ignorance, lack of information or unmet expectations. It may have been the result of thoughtlessness, the uncaring actions of someone who is focused elsewhere, or through perceived or genuine trauma. However it happens, it is a painful reality, and until it is dismanteled and overcome, those suffering under it are virtually held captive for life.

The key that unlocks this demonic trap is quite simple, once you know it. I have discsovered that what sets people free to begin making good decisions again, is knowing what their values are, and holding to the convictions that are anchored to them. Values and convictions don’t just define who  we  are as people, they actually define the life we live. These are the foundation stones of everyone’s character, and the reality is, character is what makes us who we are. More than that, it is what makes our life what it is.

We all have character within us, in one form or another. It is there from the earliest stages of our life. Every mother will tell you, even in the womb, their children all behaved differently. Every mother also knows their newborn children were all distinctly different at birth. The Bibile says that difference is the inborn character God gave them.  Psalms 149:13 says, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb” The Hebrew words, “formed” and “inward” mean, to gather and bring together the mind, heart and feelings of an umborn child. It is a very intimate, first-hand knowledge of that child’s nature and personality.

In case you missed it, this is the bedrock of who we are, and how we make decisions, and it is fused into the reality of how God made us. What people don’t realize is when we ignore our Creator, we also defy the design for wholeness and unity He placed within us. This produces a break from reality, and it disconnects us from the truth of who we are in any crisis. When crisis happens, especially in important relationships, it strikes at the root of our innermost need for unity and security, and this is the reason why we become paralized in such situations.

When people begin to refine their character, values and convictions according to God’s design, and His eternal word, nothing shakes them. The faithful, unchanging love, and absolute truth of God, becomes an anchor for the soul, and the calm in every storm. The mighty wind that destroy others, is simply a powerful force that is harnessed to propel us forward into our destiny. For those who are securely embraced by the truth of who God made them to be, it is impossible to stop them from moving forward. It is impossible to take away their vision, or hold them captive by anything in this world. Why? Because they may be in this broken, beautiful world, but they are not of it. That, my friends, brings the untimate freedom, and it releases everyone from every captivity.

Are you suffering under the bondage to “SP”? Are you paralized by some past situation, feeling emotionally stuck to it, and lacking clear vision for the future? Prehaps it is time to go back to the roots of who you are, what your real values are, and who God made you to be. Psalm 139:14 says; “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well”.  It’s time to hand your life back over to the One who made it. He is the only One who can lift you up, pull you out of the mirey clay and set your feet upon a rock. He has already broken the power of everything that wants to hold you back.

How do you do this? Just invite Jesus into your life. Surrender every situation, every hurt, every place you are stuck, to Him. Give Him your weakness and failures, and he will give you His love and strength. In that wonderful exchange, you can start to move forward through His never-ending strength, and begin to step into all that God has prepared for you, from the foundation of the world. He has been waiting a long time to pour His love out on you. Go ahead and receve that love and forgiveness right now……

If you invited Jesus to take over your life, shoot me an email with your address. My email is wemmons@gmail.com.  I have some great, free materials to send you that will help you as you walk forward with God in this new life.

 

 

Walking In Your Wilderness

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Deuteronomy 32:10 says “He found him in a desert, and in a howling waste of a wilderness, He encircled him, He cared for him as the apple of His eye”. What a powerful picture is painted here of God’s concern and care for those who a wandering in a wilderness of life. It matters not if they chose it for themselves, it happened unexpectedly or God Himself actually took them there. The point is, they were in it alone, and in His own time God came to them and cared for them, whether they deserved it or not.

I say the above because there is a time in everyone’s life when they find ourselves totally alone. This is not so much a physical thing, but it’s more of an emotional and spiritual season of isolation. When it finds us, we cannot avoid the impact it has on everything we hold dear. This wandering might last a few weeks, a few months or even longer, but once it arrives, it does not depart until it’s work is done. This isolated plateau of the soul is identified in the Bible as a place called “the wilderness”. We arrive in this place by ourselves, distracted and in an unrefined condition, but rest assured, we will not leave it the same way.

In this empty season no one is there to carry us, guide us or give us the companionship we think we need. Not one person is there at our side, providing step by step instructions to bring us into the new place we need to be. The fact is, every man or woman of God who is destined to fulfill their life calling, has to make this journey. Even those who do not know God, but are hungry to do better, will be taken to this place. The truth is, I believe this trip into the wasteland of our soul, is a necessary part of healthy personal and spiritual growth. As a result, it is my conviction that these times of barrenness should not be avoided, but they should be looked at with clarity, embraced with sincerity and fully walked out.

It is only during our wilderness experience that we are fundamentally changed. Our metal is tested, our character is developed and our flaws are painfully exposed. It can be a powerful time of personal evaluation and transformation. The excess baggage and wrong thinking we have picked up in life are finally thrown off. What is really important and genuinely necessary comes into clear focus, perhaps for the first time. For some, this brings a shocking revelation of how shallow and self-absorbed they really are. For others, it is a grand adventure as they rediscover who they are, and begin to build upon that good foundation to become even better. These are powerful times we enter into alone and unsettled, but emerge focused and quite comfortable in our own skin.

I was just in such a season not long ago. I got back from a powerful ministry trip to the Philippines. Myself and an Apostle did two conferences and ministered at numerous church meetings. When I returned home, my wife then flew off to California to be with our daughter, who was having our 10th grandchild. I was alone in our house, after all that personal attention and activity, surrounded by the “stuff” of our lives. I was totally alone for two weeks, and the impact this had on me was quite deep. It became a time of introspection, where I was able to seek God, ponder my life and consider how I got “here”. I reflected on the family I grew up in, the wilderness seasons I had been through, and the lessons I learned that made me the man I am.

I pondered how my father was a strong presence of security in our home. He made us feel wanted, valued and safe. He was an intelligent, slender, quiet, thoughtful man who spoke very few words, but meant every word he said. He was kind and gentle, filled with internal strength yet tender. He had a will of iron and a backbone that could support it. He was an outdoors-men to the bone and loved the woods, but could still carry his own with any city dweller. His word was his bond. He had a peaceful stability about him that filled our lives, and had the power to make everything alright, even when it wasn’t. On his death bed, his bright blue eyes looked at me with a calm resolve and they were able to reassured me that even this would be fine.

His example, both the good and the bad, served to shape me in ways I am just now discovering. Among other things, he taught me the wholesome value of a strong cup of hot, black tea and a slow cooked venison stew. He taught me the blessing of honest work and the need for personal sacrifice when it came to family. He showed me that failing to plan for retirement meant you could never retire. He showed me how to love the wife God gave me, and how to care for my family, no matter what the personal cost might be. He demonstrated the value of living debt free, and within our financial means. He also showed me why it was important to pay cash for the things we needed or wanted. The truth is, my father taught me how to be a real man.

Because of that, I became the kind of man my children could look up to. I showed them it’s OK to not always be right, but it is good to always be willing to make things right. They learned how to be a leader in their own homes, and the voice of reason to their children, when it is needed. They were shown how to love their wives and children in ways that are meaningful to them, and to do what must be done to provide for their families. Most of all, I taught them not to see the government as their source of income. Welfare is NOT a lifestyle, it is an emergency crutch until someone who needs it can get back on your feet. They were taught to seek God, plan with care and work hard. They learned from me that these things are more than enough to bring them all the provision they will ever need.

How did I learn these things, you might ask? These truth’s became life lessons during my wilderness wanderings. They became real when there was no one to prop me up or carry me, but Jesus. It was the time I found myself needing a teaching job. I prayed and sought God, and the perfect job opened up where there had been none the week before. It was the time I quit my teaching job, at age 35, and my a wife and three boys followed me back to college. We needed a place to live in Plattsburgh NY, and out of nowhere an apartment opened up near the college that we could afford. It was the time our cupboards were totally empty and I gave my sons the last of the powdered milk and instant mashed potatoes for breakfast. I went to class hungry that morning, but when I returned home that evening, food filled our shelves, our hallway and every counter top in our kitchen. I told no one but God about our need, and He showed me His faithfulness.

Without those wilderness journey’s my knowledge of God, and experiences with Him, would be sorely lacking. Unless I had been willing to walk through those barren wastelands, I would have never seen God’s ability to bring such abundant provision in my desperate lack. My faith was built up, my trust was properly anchored and my life story was enriched, all because of a desert trip. How grateful I am that many times God has led me into a waste-howling wilderness, to be tempted, tried and tested. At times I failed, but even in my failure I still learned valuable lessons that changed my life forever. The truth is, I would not trade those experiences for any amount of money or fame, because they made me, and my family, what we are today.

Right now, are you looking at a dry, sandy landscape, where there is no water and everything looks dead? Are you feeling alone in a barren landscape, with no clear answers, and you wonder where God is in all of it? If so, let me suggest to you that your current condition is actually designed by God to change you in ways you don’t yet understand. He is simply doing with you the very same thing He did with Jesus. What a privilege that is!

You need to walk it out, one step at a time, and pray with an honest and pure heart. You need to get real about your weaknesses until you find the place of rest in God. Once you are open to change and ready embrace your own weakness, you can then exchange your whole, weak mess for the strength God offers. Until then, you will find yourself a desert dweller. Perhaps this is your time to finally change and fully embrace the truth about who you really are. Once that’s been done, you can move on. Never forget that today’s wilderness is the perfect foundation for the God-ordained life you will walk in tomorrow !

Unicorn Religion

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Since the late 1800’s, the scientific community has been aware of the mysterious “Siberian unicorn” (Elasmotherium sibiricum) pictured above. This enormous beast freely roamed Eurasia, and new fossil evidence reveals that it was apparently alive when early Europeans roamed those same fertile hills many thousands of years ago. Andrei Shpansky and others from Russia’s Tomsk State University just published these results in the American Journal of Applied Sciences after studying a newly unearthed “Siberian unicorn” skull found in Kazakhstan.

What the skull did not reveal is the question that has long been on researchers’ minds: Just how big was the horn in the middle of it’s forehead? Given the creature’s huge size, at 15 feet long, six and a half feet tall at the shoulder, 4.5 tons of strong musculature, and the fact that the base of it’s horn had a circumference of three feet, researchers are confident that the horn was highly visible form of protection and quite enormous. Fortunately for those early people, it’s teeth indicate that the animal was one of many large herbivores that did not eat meat.

After many years, researchers finally came to the conclusion that the animal co-existed with humans. Scientific studies and numerous ancient documents all seem to allude to the idea that the creature lived alongside the human population. In fact, scientists now feel very strongly that there is a good case to be made for something that has eluded people since the dawn of verbal and written records. They now believe the “Siberian unicorn” is actually the true source that is behind the mythical unicorn that is written about to this very day. Imagine that! This is very likely the historical animal behind the myth that has been spoken of by humans in Europe for thousands and thousands of years.

This idea is astounding when you think about it. The stuff of myths can actually be traced back to an actual truth. The truth may be long gone while it’s reality is still remembered and passed long in a different form over two or three hundred generations. The fact is still there but it is quite hidden and all but lost over time, through the impact of human imagination and lack of actual first-hand experience. The reality of a massive, truck-sized, shaggy beast with a huge single horn rumbling over the meadows and terrifying local inhabitants is eventually replaced by a slender white horse with a slender horn that lightly gallops into the mist. In other words, what people talk about but don’t experience for themselves is going to change into something it never was.

As I considered this amazing discovery, how truth not experienced is converted into myth, I also realized that this is exactly why so many people today are confused when it comes to religion. Ask a dozen people on the street what they believe about God, and specifically Jesus Christ, and they will give you a dozen different answers. Their ignorance and imagination is absolutely astounding. What you will find is that they simply make things up as they go along and soon a “unicorn” religion emerges out of the spiritual fog. What they believe is not based on facts, reality or spiritual truth. They use half-truths and misinformation they’ve been told to create a religion and belief system all their own. What they don’t realize is how deadly and dangerous this is for their spiritual and emotional life.

As the high priest of their own religion, their beliefs or lack thereof, become the center piece of an empty life. They do not know truth, they have no knowledge of life after death and no real meaning for living  in the here and now. All of this self-made religion is based on a shadow of some distant truth they may have heard about or talked about with friends. However, like the unicorn, their beliefs are now more the stuff of myth and mystery than absolute, stabilizing faith. Like those who speak about unicorns, the self-made religious crowd does not realize that the truth is hidden from them by their lack of first-hand experience. Only an encounter, an experience with the truth, the true and living God, can change self-made religious myth into a life-changing reality.

Perhaps you, like so many others, are the creator of your own mystery, “unicorn” religion. My guess is that you also have never given any thought to why or how it happened. Why is God such a mystery to you? Why does He seem so distant and shrouded in impenetrable fog? The answer is quite simple. You have never experienced the love of God or the evidence He left behind. However, once you encounter Him, His love for you and His handiwork, all that will change. Myth will become mercy, fairy tales will become faith and religion will become relationship with the One who loves you more than you can possibly imagine. Everything moves from death to life, from what you made up about God, to what He made for you and freely gives to you.

If you are tired of being the high priest of your own dead religion, then it is time to give life and  truth a chance. Simply put, Jesus is the truth and life you are looking for. He died for you so that you can live with Him. When you recognize your need for a savior He will be there to pick you up and give you the vision and meaning you were intended to have. It’s an amazing exchange. You repent and give Him your sins and He gives you God’s righteousness and transforming love. Your “Unicorn” religion is laid aside and real relationship with God beings. Millions do it daily and you can join them in the ultimate victory where “death is swallowed up in life…”. Why not ask Him to come into your life today? Got questions about all this? Send me an email and we can set things straight:  wemmons@gmail.com.

The Cost Of True Leadership

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Of all the leaders in world history, Winston Churchill has been identified as the best of the best. His unwavering decisions during the difficult years of World War II changed the course of the war and the course of human history. One such decision he had to make was very painful, but absolutely necessary. In making it his leadership, motives and sterling character all came into question by those who knew him best. However, by making it he qualified himself as a leader among world leaders and secured his place in world history.

The British secret service had broken the Nazi’s secret transmission code and informed Churchill that the Germans were going to bomb Coventry. The Prime Minister knew he had only two alternatives. He could evacuate the citizens and save hundreds of British lives. This however, would be at the expense of letting the Germans know that their secret code had been broken. Secondly, he could take no action at all and that would mean hundreds were going to die. This course of action would also keep the German’s secret information flowing to the allied forces. It was no easy decision but he alone was the one who had to make it…. and he did!

Churchill chose the latter and by making that difficult decision many of those in his own administration bitterly criticized him. He was painted as a heartless warmonger who did not care for his own countrymen. They whispered behind his back and some of his own staff showed clear anger for what appeared to be a thoughtless and callous decision. It is reported that many nights Churchill could be heard weeping and crying out to God in his private chamber as he agonized over that decision, and all the lives that had been lost because of it.

He stubbornly refused to change his mind and the outcome indeed did prove to be fatal.  Hundreds died in Coventry when the Nazi bombs began to fall. Yet, because the knowledge of the broken code was never revealed it turned the tide of the war. In the end it allowed many battles to be won and it let the Allied forces feed false information to the German army on a regular basis, thus confusing their efforts to outmaneuver the advancing armies. It is estimated that this one decision, which was so bitterly opposed, saved tens of thousands of lives and actually helped to end the war much sooner. Because of this decision, Churchill went down in history as one of the most loved and faithfully followed leaders the world has ever known.

When it comes to leadership, there is no substitute for doing what must be done in a difficult season. It’s true that not all decisions look like they are right in the short term. However, a real leader has insight and can look beyond the moment of emotional crisis to see what the final outcome needs to be. It is clear vision for the future, rather than yielding to the tyranny of an immediate problem, that causes genuine leaders to stand their ground and rise above the rest.

True leaders learn how to graciously take the angry criticism of a few cynics in order to do what ultimately is best for all. They are not swayed by popular opinion and don’t second-guess themselves because others don’t agree. Yes, they do tap into the wisdom of those they trust, before a decision is made. However, in the end, they must be willing to stand, even if it means they are standing alone, in order to achieve the vision that has been cast.

What about you? Do you believe you have leadership material within you that is trying to get out? If so, let me suggest a few things you can do to move in the right direction. If you will apply these things you will be amazed at how quickly your position will change. Leadership begins with the simple things and it also ends there as well.

First of all connect to and support the vision of your current leaders. No doubt they have made some difficult decisions and they need to know you are one of the few who will faithfully stand with them. Secondly, get the wisdom of those around you before you make any decision. People need to know you are a team player if they are going to follow where you are going. Last but not least, honestly communicate with and encourage everyone you meet. If people know you have their best interest at heart they will trust that you are going to value their ideas and honor their input.

When it comes to leadership, there are not substitutes. Honor, integrity, communication and trust will unlock your full potential, and the full potential of those who follow you. If you lack any of the above, it will hang you on the gallows of self-interest. Manipulation of others for the purpose of self-advancement may be practiced in some circles, but nothing of lasting value is ever built when we stand on the backs and dreams of others in order to reach our own goals. The point being, true vision is always focused through the lens of humility and honor. If these have been missing in your life it has impacted you more than you realize.

If your leadership has been held up, gone unrecognized or simply been ignored, it could be related to those key issues just mentioned. You may have to go back and apologize to those you stepped on, or wounded. You may have to rebuild a few burned bridges so that important roads of destiny are reconnected. If you are serious about fulfilling your call to leadership than let nothing stand in your way. I believe this could be a turning point for many. All it takes is a decision to begin moving in the right direction and the rest will follow.

Now lead on…. and have a truly great day!

Ripple Effect

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The U.S. standard railroad gauge, which is the distance between the rails, is four foot eight-and-one-half inches. Why such an odd number? Because that’s the way they built them in England, and engineers who had been educated under that English system built American railroads. So why did the English use that measurement? Because the people who built the pre-railroad tramways, all used that specific gauge.

They used the four foot eight-and-one-half inch distance between their wheels because the people who built the tramways used the same standards, pattern forms and tools they had used for building wagons. And yes, the wagon axels, and wheels in Europe, were all set on a standard gauge of four foot eight-and-one-half inches. They had been that way for as long as anyone could remember, and that exact gauge had been taught and passed down from one generation to the next for centuries.

The obvious question now is, “Why were wagons built to that specific scale?”, and the answer is amazingly simple. Europeans knew that any other size would not match the old wheel ruts in the roads they traveled on. That in turn would cause damage, a rough ride and very slow, very uncomfortable travel from one place to another. The growth and development of Europe would have slowed down considerably had they used any other wheelbase. The results of changing this standard gauge would have literally changed the entire history of modern civilization.

So who built these old rutted roads that were made of stone blocks, and have stood the test of time? The Rome Empire built the first long-distance highways in Europe. They were engineered for the benefit of their legions as they conquered the known world. The ruts were made by a thousand years of Roman war chariots rumbling over them. Four feet, eight-and-one-half inches was the exact width a chariot needed to be in order to accommodate two horses running side-by-side.

Think of it, a measurement made by some unknown chariot maker, 2500 years ago, accommodated two Roman warhorses and changed the course of the world. Because of this simple act, every living person on the face of the earth, and every nation on the planet, is still under the influence of the Roman Empire. Even though it vanished off the face of the earth more than 1500 years ago, we still feel the effect. I wonder if it ever crossed the mind of that chariot maker that one decision he made would somehow ripple across time and literally change the entire world?

Like it or not, we are all interconnected in more ways than we can imagine. Time and distance really do not separate us all that much. As we go our way each day, the decisions we make which seem harmless enough, can have far-reaching implications. A self-serving unkind word, a text while driving, an impatient attitude with a store clerk can be devastating at many levels. An outburst that needlessly criticizes another, drinking and driving, or a moment of arrogant disrespect can be multiplied down through time and literally change our world and everyone in it.

We do these things on a daily basis and think nothing of how they might be magnified. The ripple of anger you start may become a tsunami of rage that devastates the shore of many lives. That in turn changes them and impacts everyone they meet, which then rolls on through countless others. Consider this; in 1905 a young boy in Europe named Adolf is slapped across the face and continually humiliated and abused by his drunken father. He grows up, joins the army with this hatred seething in his heart and then Adolf Hitler finds  his place in world history. He becomes a world changer all because of the actions of another!

Perhaps it’s time for us to stop and think about how our actions do make a huge difference. It’s easy to be kind, when we could have been angry, or to show mercy, when judgment was in our heart. It’s better to speak the truth than lie and not take responsibility. When you take the time to measure things out correctly, and do what is right, it’s a world-changer. Until we get hold of this reality, we will continue acting as if we can do what we want and it makes no difference.

We are all like that unknown chariot maker. A simple, insignificant act today will have a ripple effect tomorrow, far beyond anything we can imagine. Like it or not, we are all interconnected in this magnificent dance of life. How we dance today will determine who is dancing, and what the music will be tomorrow. If you want the future to turn out for the best then dance well today, and tomorrow is sure to take care of itself!

American Foundations The Bible?

I begin this blog today with a direct quote from one of the most loved and famous Americans in all of American history.  As you read this quote I want you to consider the thoughts and emotions that begin to rise up and roll around inside you. Then, ask yourself why?  The answer may shock you, but read on please …..

“Let my soul watch for the coming of the Lord Jesus; let my bed put me in mind of my grave, and my rising from there of my last resurrection. O heavenly Father, so frame this heart of mine, that I may ever delight to live according to Thy will and command, in holiness and righteousness before Thee all the days of my life. Let me remember, O Lord, the time will come when the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise and stand before the judgment seat, and give an account of whatever they have done in the body, and let me so prepare my soul, that I may do it with joy and not with grief…. I beseech thee for the sake of my dear Redeemer in whose most holy words, I farther pray….”

Do you find these words disturbing? Do they make you feel somewhat uncomfortable or uneasy because they are so passionately religious? Do you have a feeling in the pit of your stomach that somehow these words have no place in American government, or on the lips of anyone genuinely considering a career in public office? If so, then you have bought a bold-faced lie, and been sold a false bill of goods by those who have rewritten American history and redirected the very essence of what America was designed to be…. One Nation Under God!

Who wrote these soul-searching, humble words? Was it a fire and brimstone preacher of the 1700’s who was trying to snatch souls from the poisonous touch of the devil? Perhaps it was a monk who was hidden away in a monastery seeking to live a penitent, simple life away from the corruption of a sinful world. No… it was a twenty year old soldier who in 1752, was wanting to live his life in perfect alignment and harmony with the God of his Salvation. That twenty year old was none other than the one who would one day become the father of our nation, and our first president. It was George Washington! Does  that shock you??

These words were penned by Washington’s own hand in a prayer journal that he kept. That journal was sold at auction several years ago and has been authenticated as having come directly from Washington himself. Imagine if you will, any of our current politicians writing or speaking such a thing. Imagine this being included in every history book in America since it is a true reflection of the heart of our founding fathers, and the core beliefs that established our form of government. Does that seem impossible, unthinkable and illegal to you???

If you answered yes to the above then you now know just how far we as a nation have fallen. This divine experiment we call “American Democracy”, was all designed by Christians. In fact, our own history records that it was Benjamin Franklin who convinced that first assembly of patriots to stop and pray, and ask for God’s help when they were deadlocked in drawing up our founding documents. Our foundation was anchored upon the truths of Scripture, and our founding Fathers knew that America could not work and would not last outside of the moral, ethical and spiritual structure provided only by biblical truth.

I am convinced that we are running out of time. The godless leaders we have elected to public office, have in turn enacted godless laws that are fundamentally changing the core, the vision, the hope and the future of our nation. If you doubt this then consider what John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson on June 28th 1813. “The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the only principles in which that beautiful assembly of young men could unite…And what were these general principles? I answer, the general principles of Christianity”.

The upcoming elections this November, and the presidential election that follows in 2016, will determine a great deal. I dare say, they will determine more than most of us could ever imagine. The outcome of these will define whether we even exist as a Christian nation, or remain a stronghold of freedom and a beacon of hope in an increasingly dangerous world. As we have become systematically secularized, and believed the lie that Christianity has no place in government, even the most uneducated can see that we have also declined morally, socially and economically. Pick up any newspaper on any given day, and you will see the truth of this splashed across the headlines.

The question I am forced to ask, and the one we all must ask ourselves before the next elections come, is quite simple. How far down into this mud-hole of godless self-destruction can we go before the blessing and guidance of God is lifted off our nation? History has numerous examples of societies who chose to forget God and reject His design for their existence. The end results have never been good. When a nation fails to fulfill it’s God-given purpose, then it has no purpose, no vision and no reason to exist. Without a vision, or reason to exist, a nation begins to devour itself and soon becomes another footnote in the history books of other nations. Is this what we want for America? How much you pray and how well you vote will determine the answer!

The above quotes came from “George Washington:The Christian”, by William J. Johnson, Christian Liberty Press, publisher, & “In God We Still Trust:, by Dr. Richard G. Lee, Countryman Publishing, Page 185

Principles Of Truth

Like it or not, we all live out our lives rooted and grounded in the core realities we have embraced.  Every action, and every word that flows from our life, comes from this frame of reference called “principles”. These truths direct how we live, what we believe and why we do the things we do. They are powerful concept-builders that are at work in every life, every moment of every day. The stark reality is simple; no one can avoid the influence or the consequences of the principles upon which they have built their life.

Evidence of this is seen whenever we turn on the news, pick up a newspaper or read the latest of what those in Hollywood or in Washington have been doing. The illegal activity, blatant greed, multiple marriages, lies and broken lives of those in the headlines clearly identifies the principles upon which they are living their lives. These people do what they do because of what is directing them from the inside, and it’s virtually impossible for them to do otherwise. The truth is simple and it is unavoidable. The principles in us direct what we believe, and what we really believe directs what we do.  

The ancient Greeks had a word for these foundational principles that we establish our lives on. It is the word “aletheia”.  Alethia is the truth you have embraced in your core. It is the bedrock within you that forms the lens through which you see everything. This is your reality and it absolutely establishes who you are, what you believe about yourself and what you believe you can do. Once “aletheia” is cemented within you, it forms the framework upon which your entire existence hangs. However, there is a catch. Aletheia can be true in reality, or it can be the reality that is true for you. Most people don’t realize there is a huge difference.

If your principles are grounded in the truth, that which is real, accurate and correct, you will have a great foundation upon which to build your life and touch others. It will keep you balanced, focused, honest, genuine and transparent. Those who develop trust in someone who lives this way will not be disappointed, because this is a life that deserves, and will be given great honor. On the other hand, I have had the misfortune of knowing those who had principles built upon a reality that was true for them. They believed everyone and everything in life was there to serve them, and their actions clearly demonstrated that reality when they wounded and betrayed everyone around them.

What is the “aletheia” in you? Are you honest, truthful, genuine, transparent and honorable? Do you really care about the family, friendships and well-being of those around you? If the answer is yes, then you have life principles built upon the truth. On the other hand, do you build trust with others simply because you want something from them? Has there been a pattern where you continually betray and disappoint family and friends?  If you said yes to this then you are one who has life principles based upon a reality that is true for you, but it is not the truth. Until you face this fact, nothing in your life will ever get better.  

Before it’s too late, you might want to ask yourself a very important question. When it’s my time to die, will I be satisfied, at peace and surrounded by those who love me because my influence touched them deeply in a good way? If the answer is no, then today is the day to take an honest look within. Examine the principles and truths you have built your life upon. Embrace your need for a genuine relationship with God and reject those things that are self-serving and self-promoting. Remember, the key to a life of profound good is established upon principles grounded in truth. When loving God and serving others becomes your reality, you will have life principles that really make a difference. In the final analysis, there is no better way to live and no greater way die! It’s your decision… now what are you going to do about it?