What's Ahead for America?

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to people.

Proverbs 14:34 forecasts our nation's downfall as we turn further and further away from God and right living.

Sins that were only whispered about twenty years ago are now flaunted proudly everywhere you look. And we call that progress. Tolerance.

God doesn't.

The United States has enjoyed a long history of freedom and blessing that most of the world only dreams about. We've taken God's mercy for granted. Forgotten Who brought us this far and has given us so much.

Unfortunately, payday is here. We've had many warnings that our riotous living and glutenous excess is an offense to the rest of the world and a stench in God's nostrils, but we don't care. As long as we have what we want at the moment, we don't want to think about changing anything.

"Anything goes," "live and let live," "to each his own." Catch phrases that sound so kind. So patient and tolerant.

But God is not tolerant of sin and for us to do less is the height of arrogance. Is our standard of holiness more appropriate than God's?

America, America, God shed His grace on Thee... But how much longer will He tolerate our willfully disobedience? How much longer can he stand the stench of the sins we so proudly tolerate?

If righteousness exalts a nation, then what happens to that nation who has rejected righteousness?

I fear we are about to find out.

Can I give up now?

Giving up...

When is it OK to give up? Something or someone gripped you with such passion, such purpose and you gave it everything you had. And the result was not what you wanted. In fact, it was a disaster. Is it OK to give up?

Yes...if it was your idea, your passion, your purpose. We all know those things come and go with our emotions. Your all-consuming fire one day may be nothing but a spark the next. That's fine. You're human.

But where did the idea come from? If your drive and goal came from somewhere other than your own fantasy, then you don't have the option of giving up. It's not your decision.

As a Christian, striving to listen to God's voice, I have to know where the passion originated. Was this God's doing? Is this God's assignment for me right now?

If the answer is yes, then I don't have the option of giving up. It's His party. Discouragement can come in waves, despair can flood my soul until I can do nothing but tread water and pray for help. But I can't give up.

When you give up, you lose. As long as you hold on, keep going, keep believing, keep trying, you're in the game. You have a chance to be used by God, part of his unfolding plan. God can only steer a moving ship. When you give up, you're already dead in the water, good for nothing but sinking.

Tighten your grip, take a deep breath, squeeze your eyes shut if you can't stand to watch, but don't let go. Don't give up.

Fall is here

Fall is almost here. Some people are "fall people" and some aren't. I'm not. My dad used to love this time of year, when the air turns crisp and the foliage turns brown and orange and yellow. I see that it has its own kind of beauty, but fall makes me sad.

I'm a spring person. It's hard to be depressed in the spring. Even the air seems charged with life and energy. Plants turn a vicious shade of green, birds are everywhere, giving free concerts, and the air smells warm and inviting. In spring, everything looks possible.

Fall reminds me that everything dies. Those excited plants are weary and drooping. The birds say, "Forget it. I'm tired of singing." The whole world seems to be winding down, aching, exhausted from the busyness of a summer that is ending.

But fall also reminds me that nothing in this life is permanent. No matter how fun, or beautiful, or exciting something may be for a season, it will not last. It makes me yearn for a place and a time where happiness, beauty, relationships go on and on forever. Fall brings restless dissatisfaction with this world and its offerings.

And that's a good thing. If it was spring all the time, who would need Heaven?
-

Remember...

Let's remember the families and friends of all those killed in the terrorist attacks on that day in 2001 that will forever be remembered as 9/11.

The war rages on, with so many more Americans being killed or maimed, trying to prevent another tragedy like that one. Is it possible to win a War on Terror?

Of course not. Any one of us can be a terrorist at any moment if we choose to. It's impossible to find and root out every individual who may in the future murder someone else. But what about whole nations who raise their babies on the idea that murder is somehow noble? Can we stop them? Change their ideology with a war?

No. But at least we are making them take notice. It's a warning to those nations who blatantly mock and hate the United States and any western peace-loving country. As soon as we turn a blind eye, pretend we can all be friends, seek peace at any cost---we've opened the door to more devastation. We won't last long.

Pray for our troops today:
"If my people, which are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways....THEN will I hear from Heaven, and I will forgive their sins and will heal their lands."