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Politics and Society today

Election Fever Pt 3 Judeo-Christian values

I’ve heard one national candidate in the general election say he stands for Judeo-Christian values. Bravo! So do I.

Shall we vote?

I have at least one brother in the LORD who is so fed up with politics that he says he won’t vote. I’ve disagreed with him and explained the value of our democratic vote, that we’re meant to pray for our leaders and rulers. But he and I don’t agree on this matter, though we agree on many other matters. He is faithful to Jesus regardless of his politics. Praise the LORD!

I think we should vote if we can, because society depends upon those who believe GOD, whether they agree to this reality or not. 

The Word says we are to pray for our rulers that we may have a peaceful life. 

The Word encourages us to engage in society, to lead people to the Truth.

The conclusion I draw from this is that, when we live in a democracy, it is our duty, calling, responsibility, to be involved, even if it is only to the degree of putting an X in a box.

The LORD brings the leaders we deserve and if we can pray and take His lead, He will hear us and may give us leaders who may bring about good laws and conduct. 

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)  

How shall we vote?

Whether it is according to our conscience, or according to a prompting directly from the LORD, we will know how to vote if we study the candidates.

Studying to show ourselves approved

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

We need to become familiar with what the candidates stand for…

We need to put all cynicism aside. Each candidate needs to be scrutinised by us, if we are to vote according to the LORD’s leading.

That’s what I think.

For some, this will be analysing the manifestos, watching videos and tv debates, and/or going to hustings.

For others, it will mean looking at the flyers that come through our doors, praying over each one to ask the LORD for guidance. 

For some, it will draw us to go against the grain, as the LORD leads us in a direction we don’t understand or don’t like. For others, it will be confirmation of our initial discernment.

For many the process may not be an easy one. But it’s important.

This is a battle for our nation

At the present time, our society is in chaos: economic, moral, spiritual. 

If I may, I encourage you to find the party or the candidate, or the leader whom you believe will best represent Christian values, so that our society can find its Judeo-Christian roots once again. If time is short, and I personally think it may not be long before GOD intervenes in our society on the grandest of scales, we need revival in this land. We need Jesus back in our schools and at the centre of our holidays. We need the values GOD has offered people through His Word to be returned to the United Kingdom.

I’m going to vote as one step toward this goal.

In Jesus’ name.

Categories
Politics and Society today

The Bumble Bee

The bumble bee is proof of GOD’s creation. It is proof that by GOD’s design, He created the living creatures we enjoy even today…

“The scientists have ample proof —

Proof no one can deny,

That by accepted theories — well

The bumble bee can’t fly.

With fat and rounded fuselage,

With such small, fragile wings, 

He cannot even leave the ground.

Bees are but crawling things!

Yet though these facts may all be true,

And proved by people wise,

The bumble bee not knowing this,

Just goes ahead and flies!”

(c) Dr Ian Tait

This little ditty came courtesy a friend of mine who’s father wrote it.

I enjoy it and share the idea that something as simple as the bumble bee reveals GOD’s creativity and creation itself.

Every blessing as you use this information, or even this poem, to spark conversation with others about Creation v Evolution.

Every blessing….

Categories
Politics and Society today

Election Fever part 2: Detachment

Detach from the Frey

Have you been watching the news? Are you reading the news about the upcoming general election (UK readers)? That’s important, isn’t it? We — I believe very strongly — need to exercise our responsibility to vote. And an informed decision with prayer, is the best possible decision we can make.

Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”

Since we are subject to the rules and regulations, I believe we need to do our best to ensure those who will seek righteousness are elected.

But…This post isn’t about how to make a decision whether to or how to vote. Rather, this is about maintaining GOD’s peace within us. So, whilst I do believe we need to investigate, be aware of what’s going on, we also need to be aware of the motives of those feeding us the information we are searching for. Therefore, I have a proposal.

Let’s everyone take a step back… Do you know the media’s main aim is to keep us engaged and their main strategy is to keep us excited?

Media 

The main stream media, and even the You Tubers and Podcast providers, design their information to keep us engaged. How do they do that? Mostly, I observe and experience that their main strategy is to implant fear and to cause panic, excitement, high-intensity emotion such as anger, hostility, vulnerability… Not life-giving emotion but death-triggering emotion.

Detachment

So, I believe — and certainly I’m speaking to myself here — we need to disengage. We need to step back and observe, analyse, pray. We need to keep the information at arms length, so as not to get ourselves caught up, losing our peace, and our perspective as people of the sovereign and most high GOD.

How to detach?

We recognise the facts, and also that much of what is presented onto the airwaves and into print is hype, speculation and suggestion, perhaps mixed with fact but manoeuvred to engage us by inthralling us, frightening us, and getting us to look at to the journalists for truth and even (sometimes) for solutions.

Instead, we need to keep our heads on our shoulders, keep our feet on the ground and above all, keep our eyes on Jesus remembering the LORD is sovereign.

Mayhem

2024 is an election year for over 20 nations. South Africa has just had the result of theirs yesterday (at the time of writing this post). The UK will have theirs on 4th of July and the US on 4th of November. 

Several nations appear to be imploding upon themselves. In SA the ruling party for the last 30 years has not won the majority this time… making for a huge change! And in the US the ruling party in opposition to the most popular candidate for the presidency has just criminalised him. In Spain, the current government says, ‘We support a Palestinian State’; meanwhile, the opposition says to Israel, ‘don’t worry as soon as we’re in government, we’ll cancel that decision.’

There is much strife.

Fever reduction

And so, let us be the witness for calm. Let us be the ones to avoid gossip and speculation. Let we who know Jesus as our King and Prince of Peace be calm in the storm. Then, others may calm down too. This is certainly what we hope and pray.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Categories
Politics and Society today Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Election Fever

An election has been called in the UK. This is a time of uncertainty, unpredictability, and we who know Jesus must take this time to our hearts and minds: Let’s pray for the nation and hold on….

Election Fever has struck

On Wednesday 22nd May, unexpectedly by all but only a handful of people, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of United Kingdom called a general election. As with all nations that use the parliamentary system, there is not a set election date as in the USA but the structure calls for an election every 5 years (if not before). Since the last election was in 2019, it was a known fact that the election would be held before the end of December 2024. 

This call was sudden and generally unexpected. 

The immediate results are:

  1. A scramble by the press to get the stories
  2. A scramble by MPs to get their campaigns up and running
  3. A scramble by political parties to fill their constituencies with viable candidates
  4. Just generally, a lot of scrambling.

So let’s pray for calm.

What else can we do

I believe the most important thing we can do as Believers in Jesus is to become informed and then vote.

Since we live in a democracy, however sincere or controlled that democracy may be, we need to exercise our vote as citizens of the nation. But to vote, we need to be informed and pray.

Speculation verses opinion verses fact: We need to discern. What is news hype? What is true? What are the issues we are most concerned about? Who addresses those issues best or most in the way we do? ‘Whom does GOD say I should vote for’ (If he says anything directly to us about it)?

Turbulence (flight London to Singapore was prophetic)

Our society is under great strain at the moment. 

I think even the heavens creating turbulence is a part of that. Recently, there have been 2 incidents reported about flight turbulence causing injury and 1 death. I think the flight from London to Singapore was a prophetic warning, highlighting the turbulence in our times.

Research and Vote

I believe the establishment is corrupted. But not all politicians are corrupted. And just as the established church has strengths and weaknesses — some believing we need to steer it from within and others thinking we need to avoid it — we need to take our opportunity to vote and take it seriously. Even the “Monster Raving Loony Party” is valuable in that it gives those who are very cross an opportunity to vote.

So, I encourage us all to pray, to be as positive aka as hopeful as we can be, research and vote.

Let’s not get swept up in excitement or panic, nor get so angry we choose to throw in the towel. But let us dig in for the next 6 weeks and pray. 

Let’s pray for the nation to be a sheep nation and not a goat nation. Let’s pray for the earnest politicians to win. Let’s pray for the victors to care, truly about this nation, and to make good laws, not self-serving, and let’s pray this nation is a nation turned to GOD. 

We who are in Christ, let’s love one another, discuss and discern together.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Joel 2 and why it matters right now

The Day of the Lord

Chapter 2:

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand:

A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.
A people come, great and strong,
The like of whom has never been;
Nor will there ever be any such after them,
Even for many successive generations.

A fire devours before them,
And behind them a flame burns;
The land is like the Garden of Eden before them,
And behind them a desolate wilderness;
Surely nothing shall escape them.

Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like swift steeds, so they run.

With a noise like chariots
Over mountaintops they leap,
Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble,
Like a strong people set in battle array.

Before them the people writhe in pain;
All faces are drained of color.

They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like men of war;
Every one marches in formation,
And they do not break ranks.

They do not push one another;
Every one marches in his own column.
Though they lunge between the weapons,
They are not cut down.

They run to and fro in the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter at the windows like a thief.

10 

The earth quakes before them,
The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dark,
And the stars diminish their brightness.

11 

The Lord gives voice before His army,
For His camp is very great;
For strong is the One who executes His word.
For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible;
Who can endure it?

12 

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”

13 

So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.

14 

Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?

15 

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;

16 

Gather the people,
Sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and nursing babes;
Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber,
And the bride from her dressing room.

17 

Let the priests, who minister to the Lord,
Weep between the porch and the altar;
Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord,
And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
That the nations should [g]rule over them.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’ ”

18 

Then the Lord will be zealous for His land,
And pity His people.

19 

The Lord will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied by them;
I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

20 

“But I will remove far from you the northern army,
And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land,
With his face toward the eastern sea
And his back toward the western sea;
His stench will come up,
And his foul odour will rise,
Because he has done monstrous things.”

21 

Fear not, O land;
Be glad and rejoice,
For the Lord has done marvelous things!

22 

Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field;
For the open pastures are springing up,
And the tree bears its fruit;
The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.

23 

Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.

24 

The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

25 

“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

26 

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.

27 

Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

28 

“And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.

29 

And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

30 

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.

31 

The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

32 

And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls

My brief comment

In a recent prayer meeting, my pastor read this Joel 2 in entirety. His message was simple: we can dwell on the pouring out of Holy Spirit referred to in verses 28-29 but in context the picture is far more complete.

We need to prepare!

We need to recognise the signs: the consequences of sin, fast and pray, repent, blow the shofar, and call upon the name of the LORD.

Then He will come with His mercy, truth, forgiveness and grace.

Come Lord Jesus

Prepare us and be with us, guide us and lead this nation back to you.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Prophetic Signs

Chris Wickland for 24.04.24

On 24th of April, 3 remarkable things happened in the UK.

Horses bolted

Five military horses, well-trained, well-disciplined: 4 black, 1 white, bolted in terror caused by noise from a nearby construction sight in Central London (was it in Horseguards Parade?). Some ran 6 km through the streets. At least one was injured, blood covering the white horse’s chest and front legs. A prophetic sign.

Revelations 6 talks about the 4 horses of the Apocalypse. The first is white, and Jesus rides the horse. Well, a white horse bearing a blood-stained chest is surely a prophetic sign, a warning that the wrath is to come, or Jesus in His glory is to come, or we are simply being warned we need to remember the sacrifice of the Messiah during this Passover.

Will you listen to a prophecy from Chris Wickland which resonates with me above.

Big Ben Stopped and then…

On the same morning these horses bolted, Big Ben, not far from Horseguards Parade, stopped. The clock in the Elizabeth Tower which has had millions poured into its refurbishment just suddenly stopped at 9am! About an hour later, around 10am it was re-started. However, when it chimed, it rang 11 bells at the 10th hour. My first thought when I learned this: I thought of the day GOD stopped the sun for 24 hours while Joshua did battle.

Do you know the chime of Big Ben is based upon part of Handel’s Messiah and there are long-established lyrics to the chime? The lyrics are,

“All through this hour, LORD be my guide.

That by Thy power, no foot shall slide.”

Wow! 

Dates

These events in London, England occurred on 24.04.24.

Saint Georges Day for England and the Passover for Isreal were the day before.

Do I need to expand upon the possible reasons Big Ben stopped and the horses bolted? I shall add my thoughts of the possible prophetic significance of this…

A hearing against 2 committed Christians was heard

And on this same day, 24th April 2024, when chaos was arising in London, even moreso there was chaos in Northern Ireland because a high profile Christian couple were facing very serious charges. Scapegoats I should think.

These days of violence, aggression, suffering where time stopped!

While in London UK pro-Palestinian protests become more intense and anti-Jewish sentiment is multiplying exponentially, highly trained horses bolt, and the clock of all clocks stops short; while people attack and hurl insults at a pre-trial hearing where innocent until proven guilty seems to be a tradition of the past; while fear seems to have gripped the politicians and the people flounder leaderless: the decline of the UK  seems to run unabated and in fact accelerates.

These are the signs of the times

Read Daniel and Revelation. Yes all of it!

Be still before the LORD. Yes, still.

Trust in the GOD of GOD’. Yes, trust.

And ask: LORD, What shall I do?

Be still and know that I am GOD (Psalm 46:10)

We need to be still: We need to wait upon the LORD to renew our strength. (Isaiah 40:31)

We need to trust the LORD. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

We need to prepare, to be ready as the wise virgins were. (Matthew 25)

And we need to ask, “LORD, what shall I do?”

Shalom and the the shalom of GOD rest upon you.

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Politics and Society today

Why the West is in Decline

Demise of Britain, fall of America. As they turn their backs on GOD, why is the West in decline?

The decline in Britain: Crime and raw sewage on the rise are marks of the fall of a once-great nation. The British flag for this summer’s Olympic gear has been changed so dramatically — warped for dramatic effect I’d say — that it is unrecognisable. Is this distortion of the flag symbolic the decline in Britain?

A broken bridge in Baltimore, America — the day after it turns its back on Israel — doesn’t seem like a coincidence to me. Drug addiction destroys the youth in inner cities. Gun crime is rife (no pun intended). Illegal immigration is running in the millions. What can salvage the American dream now?

The conditions and situations in the nations of UK and USA are only examples of what is effecting the Western nations across Europe and around the world. 

Why is the West in decline?

There are no coincidences 

As the leading nations in the West have turned their backs on GOD, they have made bad decision after bad decision, which in turn has removed GOD’s blessing over them. I believe there is a direct correlation between relationship and blessing, as the LORD seeks to cover and support us as individuals and nations, but He has given us the freedom to choose whether we walk with Him or not. When we choose not, we suffer some horrendous consequences.

As though ignoring GOD isn’t enough, most recently, a vote taken in the UN revealed nation after nation turning its back on Israel: GOD’s beloved and our older brother. The Western nations turning their backs on the Israeli government, which is fighting against Hamas for the nation’s survival — and that of the West I’d say — will bring decay to those nations who turn against Israel.

Of course it is important to distinguish between GOD’s identity and Israel’s. Israel is not the same as the LORD GOD. But in rejecting GOD, we lose His protection. And in rejecting Israel, we reap GOD’s curse.

I will bless those who bless you…

GOD promised Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you… Unequivocally it is the nation of Israel who are Abraham’s descendants and “the Apple of GOD’s eye”. (Zechariah 2:8)

“And I will curse him who curses you.” (Genesis 12:3)

Hamas has cursed Israel, seeking to destroy the people and the nation. And although the life of Gazans was difficult until October 7th 2023, afterward it became far worse.

Israel will survive

The Psalms say over and over again how GOD has protected and defended Israel, even though at times He has chastened the nation (Psalm 118). And although He has sometimes used nations to punish Israel, those same nations were then punished themselves, if they revelled in their crushing of Israel (Zechariah 1:15).

Believers called to bless Israel

We must learn from the mistakes of others if we are to thrive as the Church. Befriending our Jewish neighbours is a start. Blessing Israel, encouraging the people and the nation to know their Messiah has come and His name is Yeshua, is another way to interact. A third is to defend Israel’s political right to exist, just as GOD has done throughout the centuries.

Those of Jewish heritage who know Yeshua are to be embraced by the Church, and vice versa. This is conveyed in Ephesians 2: “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace” (v 11-14)

We must pray for all of our nations and especially for Israel

Psalm 122:6 calls us to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”.

We must all grow in our relationship with the LORD. We must all grow toward ‘our older brother’ Israel. We are called to accept Israel as GOD’s first love and likewise recognise GOD loves for us as His children, and therefore as Israel’s brothers and sisters.

Father bring revival to the West, I pray in Jesus’ name. 

Categories
Politics and Society today

Western World is Unstable

Jesus is alive. And we need to proclaim it. Why now especially?

Because the Western world is unstable.

Western worldwide instability

Last week in Milton Keynes UK a mob of 300 high school pupils “ran amok” in a shopping centre, frightening shopkeepers and shoppers alike. The police remedy: lock up the shops. 

Today on Social Media there is a short video of a church in New York City being interrupted by a group of climate protesters, standing on the stage and interrupting the service. Security guards pushed them out amidst the congregants.

This is just a small sample of what’s been happening and what continues to happen with pro-Palestinian marches and climate protesters abusing the privilege of freedom of speech to disrupt “normal life”.

Wars and rumours of wars continue: political wars, military wars, social wars of all kinds. (Matthew 24)

Social Media largely responsible

From Arab Spring beginning in Tunisia in 2010 and expanding across the Arab world to Pro-Palestinian Protests which started in October 2023 throughout the West: Europe, North America, Australia and beyond, we are inundated with protest and assault on our western history and democracy. I won’t expand on this to demonstrate (pun intended:) but will allow you to contemplate the political and social situation in your own country.

Until recently, what has been the basic rule of thumb in the West has been freedom of speech, freedom to vote and freedom to buy-sell-trade. Now all of this is in disrepute as Colonialism undergoes vicious attack in the name of anti-racism; and freedom of thought is under vicious scrutiny in the name of minority rights.

Everyone seems to have a right except the people who are accustomed to their freedom.

What this means for Western Society

We cannot take our freedom for granted. And for those of us who love Jesus, we cannot take our right to freedom of religion for granted either. Under attack are Judeo-Christian values upon which Western Society was built, because those who oppose it are those whose rights are dominating the political scene now: transgender and LGBTQ+ rights for example, abortion rights as well. It isn’t enough for us to live and let live, to disagree politely and even silently with their lifestyle. Laws are being passed to make our faith illegal, and that is a dangerous thing.

So now perhaps more than ever before in history, and certainly now more than any time in our lifetime, we must give glory to GOD, shout “Hallelujah Yeshua/Jesus is alive”, and “Holy Spirit you are welcome here!” Why? Because we still can. And because time is short. 

Those who focus on church building, you do so at your peril. The church is Jesus’ church. It is a global church, not a 4-walled confine. Although we are not to be of the world, we certainly are to be in the world.

Jesus is alive. And we need to proclaim it… out there. Why now especially?

Because the Western world is unstable.

And so on with proclaiming: “GOD’s-Word-as-Jesus” we must… while we still can.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Has all News become Gossip?

Recently, I had an “Ah ha!” moment while I was watching a news commentary programme on TV.

I’m discovering that almost all political news is gossip. Perhaps it’s borne out of 24/7 news broadcasting with the need to discuss a news story before the topic has had time to be exposed naturally, that “news” has become speculation, opinion and gossip more than hard core, evidence-based information.

News as Gossip

Sensationalism and speculation keep the viewer or reader engaged, but it is at an unnatural, heightened level.

I’m not sure innuendo and speculation are very good for the conscience. Certainly they can spike our interest and get the prayer engines running; but perhaps this is somewhat unnecessarily, as the “news” isn’t based on fact but suggestion, speculation, and a drawing of possible outcomes based on possibilities rather than a series of facts.

Keeping people watching or reading is the goal of the producers and editors, rather than sharing information to enable the audience to draw their own conclusions.

Ignoring the headlines

It may be cynical of me, but I’m not going to get caught up any more in headlines. Without a reporting of factual details, I’m learning to be wary of the snippets that suggest disaster is looming. Instead, I look at the detail. If there isn’t any, then there’s no news. Politics as gossip isn’t politics at all, but merely a temptation to get excited over what could possibly be. 

Prayer amongst the Chatter

Instead of frantic worry or speculative thoughts about what might evolve, I’ll look at the gossip for what it is, and pray for the parties being talked about.

I’d like to pray that communication might occur and truth might be exposed. Then there will be something substantive to talk about.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Praying for government

We must pray for our leaders

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.” (Romans 13:1-3)

I believe 100% that praying for government is a responsibility and a duty all Believers share.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Governments are not always what we want

Although politics is often not an easy discussion point and friends have become enemies (hopefully only temporarily) over such discussions, as followers of Jesus we are given some guidelines:

“Render unto Caesar what is due to Caesar…” Yes we must pay our taxes:)

“Be subject to the governing authorities” Yes, we must obey the law of the land.

We are also called to pray for our leaders:

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour,” (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

There is a reward

As we pray for the leaders of the land, we are promised a quiet and peaceable life.

There are governments we might prefer and others we might despise, but we must pray… and intercede… for all in authority over us. 

We cannot afford to ignore politics in these darkening times. Satan loves to stir dissent and so we must do battle against the whiles of the enemy. 

Covering ourselves

We can pray without ceasing.

We can use Ephesians 6:10-18 and stand for our nations.

We can ask others — our pastoral leaders, other prayer warriors —  to cover us as we battle for the lost and for the nations.

But I believe firmly, we must pray. It’s nearly election time… No more important time to pray! GOD’s will be done. Hallelujah and Amen.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Tucker Carlson interviews President Putin

This was written even before Alexei Navalny’s death.

Tucker Carlson interviews President Putin. Here’s the recording:

https://twitter.com/search?q=tucker%20carlson%20putin%20interview&src=typeahead_click&f=top

The interview between Tucker Carlson and President Putin of Russia is over 2 hours’ long but it’s the last 20 minutes that is riveting. Previous to this it is a lot of meandering and posturing from Putin and Carlson just lets him talk. 

But TC becomes invested in the last 20 minutes, asking about the release of the young American journalist Evan Gershkovich in prison in Russia for espionage. He also asks Putin, ‘What do you really think about the fate of the world in combat?’

Putin doesn’t change a beat throughout the interview, doing a decent job at feigning sincerity but too static to actually be believable. Carlson, however does change his mood. As I see it, it’s because he cares.

He took a huge gamble interviewing the Russian president. And although he was fodder for criticism before and after, to my mind, he made a valliant effort to allow the West to see who Putin is. The sheer fact that Putin didn’t allow us to see into his humanity demonstrates to me, that he is a monster: a hit man, a mafia leader, a cold-hearted and calculating monster. No one needs to fear the interview. — anyone with heart can see how cold the Russian president is. Congratulations Tucker Carlson. By being neutral and by caring passionately for the fate of a 32 year old journalist, you exposed the heartless man in Putin.

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Politics and Society today

England is in decline

I rarely have a word such as what I’ll say now but here it is: 

I claim to have a Word from GOD today, which of course needs to be tested:

Prophetic word

“England is in decline.” 

That may seem obvious, not particularly insightful or discerning as we look at the social and political landscape, but what I am suggesting is that this decline is not temporary nor based upon current circumstances, but rather there is a downward path which is set and irreconcilable until Jesus returns…. or unless something incredibly dramatic takes place — perhaps such as revival — to provoke a major transformation before He comes.

Although we pray consistently that Britain will be a sheep nation by Jesus’ gracious judgement and not a goat nation at the End of the Age (Matthew 25:32), nevertheless as I write now, Britain is in decline; I don’t think it’s going to bounce back. In particular, England is drifting downward into decay.

I heard GOD say specifically England

Historically, it was England that socially, morally, politically, geographically and economically dominated the world, arguably from the reign of Elizabeth I through Queen Victoria and beyond.  Although it sowed cultural disregard for other of those nations over which it ruled, dominating them with their superiority complex, it was a British Empire who’s power brought to the world an increase in prosperity, advancement in culture, education, health care; and of course it took the Gospel of Jesus to many nations — from the British Isles particularly to significant parts of the continent of Africa and into the Far East. It did so not without error unfortunately, attaching cultural bias to the Gospel and therefore misguiding and misrepresenting the Gospel in some situations. However, it’s my view that the good outweighed the bad. Great Britain did a lot of good in the world in a different era. However it has been a long time since it made positive contributions to the betterment of the world. It’s been living on borrowed time and the time is up.

What sort of decline?

What sort of decline is this nation experiencing? Is it purely a spiritual decline as Christianity is declining in popularity, or is this largely a political or economic decline?

I believe the moral decline in the West, including by association Britain, has had the direct consequence of destroying the fabric of society. Judeo-Christian values have been replaced with “anything-but” in the West. This has triggered instability worldwide. Social and spiritual decline has led to a decline in political and economic influence and power across the Globe, destabilising the balance of power. Britain is no longer fulfilling its mandate to influence the world in a life-giving way.

A USA and UK connected

The reason the UK and USA have often been in sync is because they are both leadership nations, capitalist and with the same bedrock of Judeo-Christian values. They’ve worked together based upon an interlinked history and world view. In recent years, the emphasis of both administrations have become increasingly secular and Globalist (with some exception as represented by a Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump’s presidency in the US), with the significant consequence being a decline in their international influence.

And so, as their influence and power wain, the world is looking at other influences. I believe GOD has allowed this because these nations have largely turned from Him.

Decline…

The decline is perhaps inevitable. Nations rise and fall. But if these nations turned back to GOD, perhaps the decline could be reversed. Certainly, without a turning, the end of the West as we know it, lead by these two nations, is finished.

What shall we do now

We who know GOD pray. Pray for stability. Pray for revival. Pray for GOD to reign in the hearts and minds of people, including government leaders and ministers. We pray and when asked, we may have to act: join support networks, even engaging in politics… That may seem to get our hands dirty, but if we are concerned, pray even, but never engage with our Members of Parliament or our Local Council, how can they know we object to ungodly decisions and biases. Unless we speak, they will not hear our voices.

Every blessing.

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Politics and Society today

An Immediate Call for Prayer: Gaza, Hostages, Israel

Psalm 122 asks for the peace of Jerusalem.

Psalm 123 cries to GOD for mercy.

Psalm 140 prays for deliverance.

The hostages have been held in the tunnels in Gaza for nearly 40 days. I write today because today the IDF is getting closer to rescuing them.

Praise the LORD for His peace, His mercy, His deliverance.

But only GOD

Only GOD can rescue. Only GOD can bring peace. Only GOD can show powerful mercy. Only GOD offers deliverance.

Gazans

Those in Gaza who are truly innocent, truly loving toward their enemies, be they Israel or Hamas… only those who love are innocent. I pray for their deliverance.

Father GOD

I pray for those who are cursed by Your Covenant with Abraham, cursed because they despise Your people, will recognise their curse and be changed. (See Genesis 12; Exodus 3:6)

I pray that soldiers in the IDF will love their enemies, will rescue the hostages successfully, and none will turn to hatred or revenge.

I pray that Hamas members will experience Your transforming love and power. For those who are demonised, I pray for their deliverance. I pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and for peace in the region.

I pray for these miracles, in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

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Politics and Society today

Earth is Groaning

The turmoil around the world today gives me the sense that the earth is groaning.

There is war and there are rumours of wars. Holy war seems to be burning within some Muslims bringing fear across the globe. 

Nature has been groaning for years — evidenced by an increase in earthquakes, flooding, and other natural disasters.

As climate protest accelerates, it has recently  been reported that a part of the South Pole ice shelf is now damaged beyond any hope of restoration.

I could go on. But the message is clear: the earth and the people in it are being pushed beyond the limit of peace. 

How close is the End?

In Matthew 24:6-8 Jesus says,

“And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

So is this just the beginning?; is it the beginning of the End?! When Yeshua does come again, this will spark a shift in the earth like no other.

We must not fear

The enemy of love is fear. We must not fear, not give in to fear, not worry, not be anxious. We must overcome any temptation to collapse emotionally or spiritually in these times of “groaning”. We must endure until the end. (Revelation 2 and 3)

How do we do this? Only through the power of Holy Spirit. If the earth groans, so too can we groan,

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26)

Endurance

The word endurance can be read two ways: 

  1. to keep going until the end of the race and 
  2. to tolerate, put up with pain and suffering.

We may need to endure in both ways as turbulence rises in the earth. But this promise is sure,

“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” (Revelation 21:7)

Hallelujah! We always have the opportunity to pray… and perhaps more than ever, we need to do just that.

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Politics and Society today

Is War ever Justified?

With Western democracy at war, raging now in Ukraine/Russia and Israel/Gaza, the question must arise, “Is war ever justified?”

For the better part of two years a war has been going on in Ukraine against Russia because of the Russian invasion into the sovereign land of Ukraine. It is not suggested in the West that there be a cease-fire because Ukraine is defending itself against invasion. BUT if they began to win, would the rhetoric change? 

This is what has happened in the Middle East. Israel was invaded and it was horrendous, barbaric by any standards, and the West was sympathetic: Israel must have the right to defend itself. UNTIL they, the stronger force, needed to go into the enemy state to root out the evil that attacked them to ensure they don’t kill and kidnap again, and further to rid the West of those who hate all of us: Hamas. Hamas’ charter states the elimination of Israel and the Jews. And their overarching ideology states the Muslims must kill all infidels — that’s anyone who is not or does not convert to Muslim.

Cry for Cease-fire

What has happened now is a cry for cease-fire on the basis that the civilians in Gaza must escape. Israel is at fault for not complying, according to many journalists and politicians.

Israel has one choice: to fight or to die. If they stop fighting, they will die and the invasion of their land on 7 October demonstrates that.

There is no complication. There is no confusion in the mind of the Jew. The proof is plain as the nose on any face. But in the West, fewer and fewer seem able to see it.

Protestors march in the streets of London, Paris and around the world: “Free Palestine” but free Palestine from what? From themselves.

History lesson

Once upon a time centuries ago, back in Biblical times, there was a nation called Israel. It lay within and beyond the borders of what is now the nation of Israel and including the areas where Palestinians live, namely the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

That history is not why the Muslims and Jews are fighting now, but it is a piece of the puzzle as to why there is a war now…

  1. There has never been a state of Palestine except in the imagination of some.
  2. When Britain oversaw the area called “Palestine” in what was politically called The British Mandate, Jews and Arabs lived in relative harmony but there was no state per se. Before WW1 the land had been ruled by the Ottoman Empire, which fell during the war. The Brits ruled instead until after WW2, the purpose to gradually release the land to its inhabitants. Although the land was promised to the Jews (Balfour Declaration 1917) it was gradually decided by politicians to split the land between Jews and Arabs.
  3. After the Holocaust, after WW2, the United Nations decided it was essential to give land to Jews and to call it Israel. This was done formally but the Arabs were angry. Each had been given land but the Arabs wanted the Jews to have none. They went to war, the Arabs lost and Israel won all the land. They gave some back but this did not satisfy the Arabs.
  4. Although there have been intervening wars and attempts at peace talks for a 2-state solution, certain of the Arabs don’t want the Jews to have any of the land. 4 near-solutions have been offered, the Jews accepting each time and the Arabs declining. 
  5. There are Arabs in Israel, equal citizens to the Jews, who have been there for the generations since 1948 when Israel had all the land. All Arabs were invited to co-exist. But those called Palestinians refused and have put themselves in the terrible enclaves they are in now. 
  6. To prevent destruction by the Muslims who call themselves Palestinians, the Jews have high security against those in the enclaves. That is why there was a fence between Israel and Gaza. Nevertheless, some Palestinians carefully vetted, have been allowed to work in Israel and to travel back and forth. 
  7. Why is it that Israel spends huge amounts of effort and money on self defence? Because they have to or else they would be annihilated by those among the Palestinians who hate them.
  8. The leadership of Gaza and the West Bank sow much of their money into military structures and armaments to attack Israel. Even now, amidst a siege by Israel, the Hamas are taking oil supply from hospitals to sustain their rocket fire against Israel. 
  9. The leadership of Gaza and the West Bank educate the children to hate Jews and to look forward to the opportunity to be suicide bombers who can wear a vest and blow up in order to kill Jews. Mothers support this. Children’s textbooks are readily available for all to see what is being taught in the schools in what is so called Palestine.
  10. Is that enough information to enable you to understand why Israel is fighting?

Is there ever justification for war?

Yes. When a nation state’s existence is at threat and the only way for survival is to fight, then the nation must fight.

This is not a holy war or a war of religion between Jew and Muslim. This is a war waged against a free nation, Israel, against a group of terrorists, Hamas, which if lost, will mean the end of Israel.

What about the Arabs

The Arabs have always been welcome in Israel, if they will agree to co-exist. Those who have, have been healthy, happy, successful civilians within the State of Israel. Today some Arabs are in the IDF fighting for the nation of Israel, their homeland. Those who have not, have been rejected by surrounding Arab nations (Egyptians and Jordanians even today have said they won’t accept refugees) and have entrenched themselves in pieces of land they won’t develop and demand the land which the Jews have developed.

Free Palestine

By their actions and by their words, the Palestinians don’t want to be free. They want all the land of Israel for themselves — which is what “from the river to the sea” means, and to send the Jews into the sea to drown. That is the intent behind the historic chant that the West does not recognise.

Pie in the Sky

The notion that some Western protestors with non-Arab backgrounds imagine a 1-state solution where there is harmony, or others that a 2-state solution will bring peace, is a dream. 75 years of existence in the Middle East has shown that there is no desire amongst the ruling folk in Gaza or the West Bank to share, to co-exist or to live in harmony.

The Jews must fight for survival. It may sound dramatic, and war is dramatic. But after 1400 unarmed Jews were slaughtered — some burnt alive and babies beheaded — and another 240 kidnapped including young children and babies — what choice does Israel have?

If there is international support or even if everyone else crumbles and no one will help them, in the end, they need to fight or else they will no longer exist. That isn’t my opinion.

Spiritual battle

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

This war is necessary to save a people group and a nation state from extinction. But although Hamas is the target, and although it is human beings who are in battle, the war against the Jew is not in the main physical. It keeps coming back because it is spiritual. 

There are human enemies of the Jewish state and its people, but that is because there is a far greater enemy behind all of this, which is Satan. The Jewish people are “after GOD’s own heart” and Satan knows this. That is why he is so determined to destroy them. That is why his demons are active in Hamas. That is why his demons inhabited the Nazis in Germany. That is why there have been pograms and inquisitions and racial hatred of the Jews since as far back as Haman as revealed in the Book of Esther and echoed in the secular history books about Ancient Times. 

Prayer

We must pray against WW3. We must pray against barbarism and war. We must pray that the Jewish hostages will be rescued or released. We must pray that the anti-Hamas Gazans can escape. 

But we must also pray for the survival of Israel as GOD’s first born. And unfortunately, in human terms, the only way for that to happen is for Israel to fight for itself.

Pray for the Miraculous

I have been praying for all of the above. But above all, I have been praying for salvation for Hamas, for Jews, for Muslims: To see Jesus and to discover and receive His saving grace. 

The only real solution in Israel and the surrounding area is Jesus.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Israel

Opinion piece or balanced commentary? I hope I’ve struck a balance but warning: This might challenge some who are unfamiliar with GOD’s perspective of Israel…

GOD’s opinion of Isreal

The people of this land are the apple of our Father’s eye (Deuteronomy 32:10).

We are mandated to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122).

Whatever our politics, we must read the Bible to educate ourselves on GOD’s relationship with Israel.

Jewish people

The unfolding situation: the war in and against Israel has reunited that nation for its own protection.

The undisputed murders of innocents by the terror group Hamas, including babies, has been well-documented and is neither fabricated nor exaggerated. 

Pray for this land, its people, its history, its right to exist.

GOD adores Israel, and we are held accountable to pray for the land and the people.

Motives

I’m going to address the issue of motive: GOD looks at our hearts rather than our behaviour when He looks at us and deals with our humanity. I aim to do likewise when it comes to this war… I feel compelled to do so.

Hamas has stated it wants to eliminate the Jewish nation. On 7th October it began to act out its fantasy. Its motive is total annihilation of the Jewish people.

Israel wants to survive. It has responded to the Hamas attack in order to protect itself from extermination. Its motive is to endure and to survive.

One group’s motive is to destroy the other. The other group’s motive is to survive destruction and their only means to do so is to destroy the attacker. This contrast must be held in mind whenever we contemplate the situation in Israel.

It has been said by western governments around the world that Israel has the right to defend itself. But will these governments continue to do so when Hamas is attacked and Gaza’s people suffer the fallout? Will Israel have to defend its right to defend itself?

Is Israel perfect?

No nation is perfect, just as no person except Jesus is perfect. But the nation of Israel has its right to exist. I believe it shouldn’t have to continue to justify its self defence just as it shouldn’t need continually to self defend against terrorist attack. That’s my key point.

Why the Conflict?

One accusation and explanation for the conflict, from the Arab point of view, is that Israel has left those in Gaza and the West Bank in prison-like conditions. But this does not take into account various aspects:

Gaza was handed over to its Arab citizens in 2005, unconditionally. It then voted in a government that denies them prosperity and shot rockets into Israel.

The Arab citizens who live and work in Israel (one innocent Arab Israeli died today as I write, a construction worker hit by a Hamas attack).

Many people from Gaza and the West Bank work in Israel and co-exist comfortably.

The reason those in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza live under poor conditions is because the leaders keep them in poverty. Israel would far rather live in harmony. Its the terrorists and their supporters who will not share with their own people.

Israel has always responded to attack and for one reason only: to preserve its existence. That has always been its motive, just at the violence from the other side has always been to illuminate Israel. (Tragically, there are those who do want a 2-state solution but they do not hold the political power.) 

Yes, Israel is the greater force. But that has always been out of necessity — to protect itself from the attacks from the Palestinian terrorists in the areas of the Palestinian Authority. Had Israel not developed a cracking defence force, they’d be long gone as a nation state.

Remedy

We need Jesus to return. Just as He has promised (Matthew 24) je will return, but only when the Father sends Him. In the meantime, we must prepare, share, pray and wait for His coming. And bless Israel, pray for peace and comfort for the people.

And we pray for the people in Gaza and the West Bank as well. All need rescue; all need Jesus.

Of Israel, Exodus 12 says

I will make you a great nation;

I will bless you

And make your name great;

And you shall be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,

And I will curse him who curses you;

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Exodus 12:2-3) 

Part of our preparation for Jesus is to support Israel, the “older brother”, the one who has strayed and for whom the gentiles were saved in order to make the other jealous.

Pray

Let us pray for Israel: the land and the people. Let us be held accountable for our attitude and our ministry to them. Let us show our support and love at this time. They have been the most persecuted people group in history and throughout history. Nazi Germany was not the first time antisemitism reared its ugly head, nor was it the last as we have seen so clearly this October.

Pray — Love — Learn

This situation in the Middle East is a clarion call to pray for Isreal, to love Israel and the people, to learn how GOD values the land and its people. Pray, love and learn, so that we can give as the LORD would have us give support….. that the world will know us by our love.

Prayer for the land

Isaiah 60:18 says,

“Violence shall no longer be heard in your land,
Neither wasting nor destruction within your borders;
But you shall call your walls Salvation,
And your gates Praise.”

Father, please rescue, please deliver, please bring peace to the hearts, minds and bodies of those in Israel and Gaza, Lebanon and Syria,

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Politics and Society today

You call me a Nazi?

I’ve just visited Auschwitz and Burkenau

Auschwitz in Poland represents the largest network of concentration camps used by the Nazi’s during WWII to incarcerate and incinerate Jews and others whom they did not accept as fellow human beings.

Has it struck anyone else how the term Nazi is being thrown about rather casually and frequently today as an attack phrase by some leftist politicians and Social Marxists toward anyone who objects to their socially liberal view? “Anyone” includes socially conservative types like me, who believe that we are meant to be free to think for ourselves, that common sense should reign over what is trendy, and that allowing freedom of speech is fundamental to our existence in the West as part of humanity.

You who disagree with me, do you call me a Nazi?

If anyone wants to call me a Nazi to my face, because I believe in Jesus Christ, or I believe in the family unit as prescribed by GOD, or objective biology over subjective transgender feeling, then they haven’t visited Auschwitz… or if they have they explode my mind as to how they could call anyone a Nazi lightly.

Evidence of the evil that was done in the name of the Third Reich in Germany in the 1920’s to 1945, the murderous genocide (note: genocide, tragically, has also occurred in other nations and people groups in other periods of history) which sought to exterminate 11 million European Jews from the planet (and managed to achieve the destruction of some 6 million) is vivid when you visit. Thousands of shoes, plaits of hair, prayer shawls, lists of names, are just some of the evidence of death and the degree of mass extermination. But to bandy about this term Nazi today is to make frivolous the death camps under Hitler’s rule and labels people who disagree with Woke ideology and Cultural Marxism with the most heinous name imaginable.

Learn your history, Mr Trudeau. Learn your facts, university professors and indoctrinated students. Recognise what you are saying and reconsider. Otherwise, you sound as blind and stupefied by propaganda as the people of Germany in the 1920’s. Destroy history at your peril. Indoctrinate to your own destruction. Sadly, history has a way of repeating itself. 

The truth about the Christian voice

Learn instead to love your neighbour as yourself, even when you disagree with his politics. Whether it’s LGBTQ or Covid lockdowns, Global warming issues or anything else, everyone has the right to his or her opinion, however annoying or stupid it might seem to you. 

Those who seek freedom by stifling someone else’s, are sure to destroy the very fabric of the society which has enabled them to insult and verbally abuse others, and insist on their own rights, while attempting to destroy that of others.

To the Accusers

Discover the background to the vocabulary you use, you who label others, or you are very likely to look into the mirror one day and see the evil you accuse others of staring right back at you.

Rather, ponder these words from the Bible:

“In all ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Solomon

“I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.” Jesus

“Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but you do not consider the log in your own eye?” Jesus

The Power of Words

To consider the long term outcome of our words is crucially important to the health and well-being of society. 

James wrote that it is hardest to bridle our tongues (James 3). Words do hurt, regardless of the adage, “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Words do harm: they condemn, the cut, they have the power to destroy.

Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” 

To everyone

Let us acknowledge the power of our words and speak wisely and kindly. The alternative is to speak like the ultimate accuser, Satan, who prowls around “seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We don’t want to be the bringer of accusation and become the very thing we accuse others of: full of spite, hate, bigotry and venom.

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Politics and Society today

A Message to the World regarding Climate Change

Where is our focus as regards Climate Change? 

No solution is possible unless we focus in the right place.

Today, I offer a message to the world regarding climate change.

By focusing on ourselves rather than on GOD….

It is as if we are responsible for Climate Change and we can and must fix it. 

However, the reality is that Climate Change, while in part is due to carbon fuels in the air, it is also part of a cycle of nature; for example in England during the Tudor times, climate was unusually warm like it has been recently. 

By focusing on GOD….

GOD is the ultimate authority over the planet, the nations, and Climate Change. I believe if we want change against the climate trajectory, we need to implore Him to alter the direction we think He is going. 

I believe it is not going to be possible to correct climate according to our version of what should be. We cannot manage it technologically nor economically in the time frame we think is necessary. Rather, we need to be good stewards and we need to pray, acknowledging the reality of GOD and of His authority and creativity.

“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves…” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

The LORD will make His adjustments either to help us or we will suffer the consequences of our greed, sin and selfishness. We cannot defy His plans through combat or denial of His power and authority over that which He created and rules.

May I encourage Believers to pray so that society will recognise its true responsibility to acknowledge GOD? Renewal and revival will draw us back to GOD and the rest will follow.

In Jesus’ name, I pray for change: a change of heart, a change of focus. Then, if climate needs to change, the actions of mankind will be aimed in the correct direction and GOD’s ultimate will for mankind will be achieved. He does not desire that mankind should perish, and yet we suffer the consequences of our poor choices. What will be our end depends upon our relationship — as society as well as individuals — with GOD the Creator of the universe.

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Politics and Society today

The Effects of Social Media on my Attention

This is an opinion piece about the affects of social media on my attention. Borne out of my experience, it is an expression of my opinion and concern, rather than being based on statistical facts, but based upon what I’ve observed in myself. I wonder if it might be relevant to others who have got distracted, as I have, by social media. If it is, I think it is important to talk about it.

What is Social Media? 

Social Media is a collection of the various internet platforms that seek to offer advice, opinion, news and views. It is designed to grab and keep our attention. It is a proven effective, powerful tool for communication, but separately, it is also powerful in and of itself, regardless of what the subject matter might be.

My experience has been that it distracts me. Although it educates and informs me, it somehow pushes past my thinking to engage my audio visual senses… to the exclusion of the Spiritual. And so… it distances me from my relationship with GOD. 

The Soc Med Experience

I might start off watching in bits and bites, thinking I’ll only look up something specific. Then I might stick with it, thinking I’ll find information that is useful for prayer. It’s good to know what’s going on in the world right? … But it can drag me into the world, not by content necessarily but by its own pull power to keep me engaged… and thus I drift away from prayer. An hour or more later, I’ve not opened my Bible yet nor turned to prayer.

That’s what has happened to me on several occasions. 

Have you ever looked up something on YouTube and got stuck into Shorts from some of your favourite channels? I have. Has it moved us toward or away from GOD?

GOD’s Way

GOD says, “Be still.” 

But YouTube videos, news channel broadcasts, and video clips make if very difficult to stay still in my mind. I pray in tongues sometimes for 20 minutes, just to get back to stillness. That’s okay, but what have I missed in the Spirit for those minutes I’ve been exploring — or being led by —  social media, and in those minutes it has taken to back to the Spirit?

If time is short, in these Last Days — and personally, I think it is — isn’t it important to use our time wisely. He redeems the time! (Ephesians 5:15-16)

1 Corinthians 2:

Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 2, when Paul wrote to the Greeks, to see how Paul related to the “media” in his time… The battle of the spirit over the mind is not a new one. Paul was speaking at the Philosophical epicentre and yet he didn’t want to compete.

Please note: The capitalised words in brackets are my notes, attempting to draw attention to what Paul wasn’t saying and yet was comparing.

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. (UNLIKE GREEK PHILOSOPHERS) For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (SIMPLICITY) I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (SPIRIT Vs INTELLECT) that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (POWER SOURCE IS GOD NOT THE HUMAN MIND)….

Then continuing from verse 10, 

10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? (YOUR OWN CONSCIENCE WILL SPEAK TO YOU ABOUT IF/HOW THIS APPLIES TO YOU) Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” (Q: GET OUR INFO FROM GOD? A: HE IS THE PRIMARY SOURCE)

13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; (LETS NOT THROW AWAY WHAT GOD HAS PROVIDED) nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (OUR INSTRUCTION COMES FROM GOD, WHEN WE ALLOW IT.)

What do I conclude from this?

That I/we do not have to be drawn into matters of news, views, politics etc in order to engage on a spiritual level. GOD will reveal what we need to know in our spirit in order to pray. 

We can view, engage on social media. But let me not kid myself it is for the Kingdom for prayer. Rather, it is because I’m interested, attracted to, motivated by my own interest. That in itself isn’t wrong. However, I admit to myself — and perhaps this applies to someone else also — I need to gauge when my social media searches are to feed my earthly curiosity aka flesh and when it is for the Kingdom.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Reparations: Jewish history and unrealistic expectations today

Recently in the UK, the Archbishop of the Church of England, Right Honourable Justin Welby, declared a commitment to give £100 million pounds of Church of England money in an attempt to repair the damage to those who suffered as a result of the slave trade some 200+ years ago. This piece is not to discuss the matter specifically; there are plenty of commentaries both written and in video, if you search for them. However, this does raise the subject in general of reparations – a financial return for historic wrong-doing as perceived by some.

George Osborne, a former UK Chancellor and now a British Museum official, has offered a long-term loan of marbles that were once in the Parthenon in Greece but historically purchased by British Lord Elgin, to the Greeks once again.

This piece is about pondering: how far back does one go for reparations and is forgiveness enough?

Rather than post an opinion piece, I will draw attention to two scriptures which will raise the issue, if one is inclined to think about it.

In Genesis 47, the Egyptians during the great seven year famine, sold their land to the Pharaoh (v20) in order to receive food which he had stored. Thanks to the Hebrew Joseph, who understood Pharaoh’s dream warning of the famine, this right hand man to the Pharaoh saved and stored grain during the previous seven years of plenty so that it would be available in the famine. Fast forward to Exodus 1, and we see the descendants of Joseph, becoming enslaved by the then current Pharaoh (v13-14).

The pyramids were built by slave labour. Should reparations be made by the Egyptians now to the Jews?

Why do people seek reparation? And why do leaders or nations offer it? How much does revenge, greed or guilt play a part in these situations? We cannot undo history. How is the best way to move forward?

What is the better way? “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on…” (Philippians 3:12)

Taking responsibility for our wrongs is the right thing to do. Forgiveness is equally crucial to relationship and peace. Opening up history to change what cannot be changed is a human choice but is it fruitful? It seems rather to divide. Vicars and parishioners are cross with the archbishop as so many parishes have dilapidated churches and shrinking congregants, desperate for an injection of finance. The British public are divided over the issue of the Elgin marbles. It seems ‘cans of worms’ have been opened without the the authority figures recognising the consequences of their choices. Those being offered the reparations may or may not appreciate the gesture, rather instead becoming embittered all-the-more.

Whether descendants of slaves are offered reparations, or works of art are restored to their origins, such is the nature of man to try to “do the right thing” yet open historical wounds and debates which divide rather than repair relationship. We need to tread carefully when dealing with history, and consider our motive.

Motive is at the heart of every deed, be it right or wrong. Apology and forgiveness are the wisdom of GOD. I pray for more of that in society today.

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Politics and Society today

Winding down 2022

As this year draws to a close, what do I think of the worldwide events over the past twelves months and where we seem to be going next? I don’t really know. I’m winding down 2022. How about you?

I was hoping Jesus would have returned. 

Someone asked me today, “Do you think there is going to be World War III?” Now, soon, ever?

I replied, “I don’t know — but it looks like we will burn up ourselves, somehow, sometime.”


I forgot to ask the other person’s thoughts. Why? I suppose because it really doesn’t matter what we think. I long ago learned: to offer an opinion is fruitless and even pointless. I attempt to put that into practice as a lifestyle (albeit with some lapses). What is better than opinion? The Truth that sets us free: Jesus!

As we close the curtains on 2022, we are on the brink of nuclear war and worldwide famine. Violence is on the streets across this nation and most others it seems, people are poorer than a year ago or ten, and disease (real or manufactured) is a constant threat. How can we live “as normal”?

I focus on Jesus, not the storm

There are facts and there are conspiracy theories. I recall hearing a flip comment about psychosis many years ago that went something like this: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you!”

Conspiracy theories do seem to surround us. But just because there is a claim of conspiracy doesn’t mean there isn’t an actual threat, does it? I ask because there are two sides to every story, and this seems to include whether or not to lock down, whether or not to wear a mask, and whether to or not to take the vaccine. 

Whether the topic is the pandemic, global warming, war, or cancel culture, the war in the West is not so much between the Ukraine and Russia as it is between conservative values and wokism. Our culture, values, freedom of speech seems to be debated or simply cancelled based largely (in the UK at least) on the basis of a document called The Equalities Act, 2010 which deliberately or inadvertently has fostered a despising of anything white, male and/or middle class: past, present and future. Everyone is equal except those who are in the majority.

When will Jesus return?

Romans chapter 1 focuses upon the erosion of society when GOD is forgotten. Certainly in the West, we are now reaping what we have been sowing for a long time: A world without GOD.

Jesus says in Matthew 24 that he will return before total calamity, which is also destined to take place.  Our children are being targeted in various ways, to be brainwashed into thinking against Judea-Christian values through indoctrination of extremes of one kind or another; our humanity is being tempted toward a uniting with Artificial Intelligence… I for one hope things don’t deteriorate much more. 

But eventually, things will deteriorate even more. The Restrainer: the Holy Spirit, will be lifted, will be removed from the earth one day. And at that time, I hope I am no longer here. Jesus left after his resurrection to allow the Comforter — Holy Spirit — to come (John 14). So, I seems as the Holy Spirit leaves, Jesus will return. In between, we hope — we even expect that Jesus will come for His bride and we will be extracted to Heaven. Meanwhile, as we experience our society implode through its own self-centred expression, as people’s thinking becomes confused and nonsensical, I pray for revelation and release from the Enemy — now.

In Jesus’ name, 

Amen.

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Politics and Society today

To Ponder the Atheist Mindset

What is the atheist mindset?

I’d like to try to ponder the mindset of the atheist — how do they think what they think? Of course I’m generalising for the sake of the simplicity of a short post. But my interest is sparked by some You Tube videos I have watched and posts I have read recently, which made me keen to discover what is at the heart of his or her motivation. What makes an atheist “tick”? I don’t have a definitive answer (I’m sure there is a unique answer for each atheist) but here is what I’ve considered so far…

Why does an atheist deny GOD? 

Is it hatred, anger, disappointment, or disbelief? I wonder, how can one say, “I don’t believe in GOD and I’m angry with Him”?

Denying the existence of GOD is a bit like unforgiveness. With unforgiveness, the injured party believes that by refusing to forgive he protects himself and rejects the one who hurt him; but in actual fact, the one holding onto his pain is living in the past and is therefore causing himself far more suffering than any degree of pain that his resentment or rejection of the other could cause the other party.

Of the atheist I wonder, has he/she attempted to communicate with GOD or not? Is the experience of loss blamed on GOD when in actual fact, he/she didn’t pray or seek GOD’s help on the matter? Is it not GOD but rather the enemy Satan who has caused the loss?

The unforgiving person is forever trapped in the past, holding onto resentment, fury or pain. The target may suffer from a lack of relationship… or he may simply move on. But certainty it is the one holding the unforgiveness who is stuck. And if angry at GOD and refusing His existence, the atheist is blocking comfort, consolation and hope, punishing himself as he punishes GOD.

Being stuck in a mindset blocks blessing

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29) Whether we follow GOD or not, the LORD gifts each of us in unique ways. Denying him puts limits on our access to the gifts He’s given to us. If we do not embrace the LORD, but rather ignore Him in our lives, it stands to reason that we therefore cannot hear from Him nor receive fully the benefits that He offers.

Those of us who follow GOD not only have eternal life after the life on this earth is finished; we also have access to total freedom in this present life. Those who deny GOD miss these blessings both today and at the end of life on earth.

Freedom modelled by Jesus

The mindset of the atheist can be much better explained by the likes of Jordan Peterson than by me, not because he is an atheist (in fact he personally testifies he is no longer an atheist) but because he is an excellent speaker and clinical psychologist, who has analysed the mindset of — well, just about every group! I invite you to contemplate, research the atheist.

What I wish to convey is that the atheist is stuck in a perspective that does not allow personal growth. Ironically, even some religious people are similar to the atheist: trapped, stuck in a box. Above both religion and atheism, is the path which follows Jesus, who sets believers free from assumptions and conditions that restrict and limit our own thinking and experience, both of our lives and of GOD.

To the inexperienced or unread atheist

Some atheists may not have deliberately rejected GOD but have neither learned, experienced, nor heard the message of Jesus. Well, the Bible says in Romans chapter 1 that we are all born knowing GOD. So, to those who have never contemplated GOD I suggest: choose now to have a look at the Bible personally (beginning with Matthew or John) to begin to discover Jesus — Yeshua (his Hebrew name, for Jesus the man, was Jewish). Even the staunchest rejector of Christianity who has done some historical research will agree that Jesus was a wonderful man and one to be emulated….

There is a moral code of conduct that Jesus endorses. But this is not a moral of rules but rather of love. This love, His love, is self-sacrificing rather than self-seeking or self-indulgent. And the moral code sows peace into the follower first, and then into the relationships the follower develops through the mindset of Christ.

When we model ourselves upon Jesus’ teaching, we are better human beings (if you believe qualities such as love, joy, peace goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, faith and self control are good character qualities). The more we walk in the grace of GOD, the more love and personal peace we experience and can transfer to others. Goodness produces a freedom that neither the religious nor the atheist can recreate. This is the core of true social justice, with the powerful backing of the Spirit of the man who died and rose again for the sake of others’ freedom and everlasting life.

Why not just copy Jesus’ mindset then?

We can’t truly copy Jesus’ behaviour and expect “results” without actually accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and becoming born again. The difference between the atheist and the follower of Jesus Christ is the indwelling of his Holy Spirit — the power and presence of Jesus within the believer. When we accept Jesus, His Spirit awakens our Spirit and we are revived! Whereas the believer has the company of the Holy Sprit to encourage, comfort, convict, teach and help from within, the atheist is on his own, his mindset fixed against the existence of GOD.

Inconclusive

I haven’t consolidated a true understanding of the mindset of the atheist. But I do pray for him/her. The human mind — which humanity tends to relish and revere — is limited. The atheist reveres the mind but can go no further. The person who looks beyond himself, to the One who created the mind, discovers that his own mind can be realised fully only when he recognises the Creator who designed it.

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Politics and Society today

Destabilised Nation

I have this overwhelming sense that things are only going to get worse, not better. 

How then can I keep going forward in what seems like a destabilised nation? Here is the solution: a call to prayer!

Politics today in the UK

A nation destabilised is not a healthy nation at all… Unity is needed to bring stability to the UK. Back-biting, infighting, squabbling, self righteous indignation: these are the stumbling blocks of the only party with the experience and expertise to navigate this time in the nation when we are being overrun with lies, disputes, and hatred. The enemy looks to be winning. What shall we the people do?

Intercession

We pray. We humble ourselves. We seek GOD’s face, because man is failing, failing badly. What have we done but bring this upon ourselves by ignoring the ways of our heritage, the truth in all its light and love: the Gospel of Jesus. We need You Lord, oh how we need You!

Barbarism: Around the world, led by California, New Zealand and soon Canada, babies can be aborted up to the day of their birth.

Hedonism: Self has become GOD as what we feel trumps reason, biology and moral decency.

Gluttony: We waste more in unfinished take aways than some nations have to eat.

Fear: Rules our decisions, opinions and choices, led by the politicians and — especially — the media.

Despair, Decay, Decadence….. Dig in!

Yes the world around us seems to be imploding upon itself. But we have a choice: we can give in the the hopelessness, or we can dig in and pray.

While “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12)

we also know that “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

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Politics and Society today Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Youth today without a shepherd

Jesus, the Good Shepherd

I was in church not too long ago and the pastor was looking at John 10, all about Jesus the good shepherd.  There re so many youth today without a shepherd. Then a thought struck me…

“Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” (John 10:7-18)

No shepherd!

I suddenly had an insight — a key to the struggles of our youth today: youth today without a shepherd when they leave home. They become lost: following some phoney uni professor, some on-line celebrity or guru, or losing themselves with no one at all except their peers who are equally confused or utterly lost.

What is to be done to protect our youth?

A key to helping them before they leave home: ensure they have the Shepherd — their own relationship with Jesus.


This is not an easy thing to do. I don’t have all the answers, in fact perhaps I have none. I am a parent and I am downloading all I can into my child before he goes off on his own, so that he can make informed choices. And yet, ultimately, I have to let him go…

But I have given him keys

I have not taken for granted that he is saved, though I do think he is; he’s certainly prayed the prayer. I have not forced him to make godly choices but have taught him how to read scripture, and have told him from a young age that we are a product of our choices… He’s had a lot of exposure to Proverbs! I have loved him… this is the most important thing… unconditionally and have told him GOD does too. And I have helped him to understand the Bible — not only Bible stories from childhood, but actual theology, what is actually in the book so he can refute attack. I have helped him to know the Father GOD, creator of the universe. I have introduced him to Jesus GOD’s son. And I have explained how the Holy Spirit operates as GOD too.

And perhaps the most important key of all is that I have tried to leave him alone to relate to GOD his own way. This is the hardest piece as a parent, but absolutely essential, I think, as a shepherd. Jesus came to folk and he allowed them to come to him. But he didn’t always ask them literally to follow… sometimes they had to go to their village, or to their leaders instead. Sometimes he trusted them to “go and sin no more”.

Hireling v Shepherd

Our young people are innocent, but they don’t know it. They are fodder for fools and we the shepherds must enable them to be in the world but not of the fodder. And most of all, we must pray that they will develop their own relationship so that they will be carried by Him when they need him most.

Prayer

Oh Father, help us to entrust our children to You and to Jesus the good shepherd, and to develop an ear for your Holy Spirit voice: the comforter and the convictor, when they venture out into the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Character Development Politics and Society today Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ Reflections and Poetry

Equality Issue between men and women in the Church

“Neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female.”

Why then is the equality issue between men and women still an issue in the church, even today?

Historically and Scripturally

Eve was deceived by Adam and so women are more easily deceived than are men. Therefore, women should not teach in the church in case they are deceived and lead others astray.  So goes one argument for holding women from leading or preaching.

Although I don’t fully acknowledge the logic, it’s the most valid I think and warrants that women have a covering and particularly when they are leaders; but so must men be accountable, for all are vulnerable to stumbling.

When Corinthians were being instructed by Paul in 1 Corinthians, a significant part of the church was being “told off” for carnal behaviour. This included the telling-off of the women for blabbing too much in services. ‘Talk to your husbands at home’ he said, for it is ‘shameful for women to speak in church.’ So goes the second argument… women must not teach or preach.

Ever since, we’ve had women suppressed in some congregations.

But Paul also wrote, there is no distinction in the Spirit between men and women. (Galatians 3:28) So logically, the two references cancel one another out. That would be logical wouldn’t it?

Women’s chatter

In matters of behaviour, women need to exercise self control. But in matters of the Spirit, we are equal to men and ought to be heard. The Holy Spirit is our teacher, comforter, protector, convict-or. Do we not all have access to the Holy Spirit in equal measure?

That’s my stand. In a nutshell, that’s my position. One of my callings is to convey this message, in grace, humility, boldness and steadfast faith.

Stocks of grain, a matt, and the Sabbath

When Jesus allowed his disciples to pick grain on the Sabbath (Matthew 12), the leaders asked him why? And when the man whom Jesus healed was carrying his matt on the Sabbath (John 5), the leaders were very cross. Was Jesus tempting others to break the Sabbath? According to Jesus, he was not. He said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the law of the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17)

Men and Women are not the same… but they are equal

There are two keys to my believing what the Father wants me to do: to warn as a watchman and to stand in faith for righteousness, sometimes with words. It is not that I seek it nor do I “want” to do it. Sometimes it terrifies me; sometimes it is combative. If I get it wrong, I could cause someone to stumble and that would be on my watch. This is not my will, but to speak what I discern is my character and is my calling — or rather to say it is His calling for me. 

Reason 1: My entire personality and experience confirms I am a watchman and as such, according to Ezekiel 3 and 33, if I do not warn as I’m called to do, if a person stumbles, their “blood” is on my head.

And Reason 2: The Holy Spirit is not confined to our understanding of law. By holding the view that women must not lead based upon Paul’s reference for women to keep silent in church (1 Corinthians 14:34), Jesus’ wander in the wheat fields on the Sabbath and allowing his disciples to eat grain, or his encouraging the cripple to collect up his matt on the Sabbath, Deborah the Judge and Priscilla at teacher to Apollos (Acts 18:26) and other examples are each a contradiction to this RULE.

Did GOD make a mistake?

I am not perfect. But GOD is perfecting me as He perfects each of us who seek to surrender to His will. “Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect” said Jesus. 

Whilst I do not wish to cause anyone else to stumble, I don’t wish to remain silent on this issue. And for even raising it, I am blocked from ministry by those who disagree. This is sad.

Did I make a mistake?

And yet, those who fear GOD, respect and keep His word. Those who turn a deaf ear to the equality of women at least in their conscious mind, do so out of reverence for GOD. Although I may see they are wrong, they are doing it for the right reasons.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

And so, I know that I am correct in believing GOD gave me a calling I did not ask for, and for which He created me just as He willed. He placed me in contact with those who would disagree and would block my message. He did not make a mistake. So long as I am doing what I know to be right in His eyes, in love for my bothers and sisters, the rest is His responsibility and not mine.

Side-bar

For two reasons at least, there is an undeniable imbalance of men in ministry over women, both in the Bible and in our world today. Why is this? For one reason, women have children and bear the greatest portion of raising them. That is both cultural and (I believe) biological. Therefore, they’ve less time and perhaps their anointing/ministry is first and foremost for their children. Another reason why there are fewer women leaders, including in the Bible, is cultural. The rule is that men lead, but Biblically and historically, there are exceptions. 

I don’t mind being an exception. I do mind, however, being blocked and ignored on the basis there are no exceptions.

Peace and Joy

But never mind. GOD is sovereign and in His sovereignty, I have gifts which some will not accept. But I accept the gifts, and I accept those who don’t accept me.

Hallelujah and Amen. The truth does set us free! How we respond to the truth brings a consequence that can only draw us closer to our Father, Jehovah GOD, if we choose to allow it to do so. I leave others’ journey with the LORD. 

Shalom and GOD bless.