Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Book and a Psalm

This past weekend I completed reading the newest book by Todd Starnes titled, "God Less America."  Todd is the host of "Fox News & Commentary" heard daily on the Fox News Radio network.  He writes for and  His passion is helping Christians in the United States understand how their freedoms are being eroded. 

The book, "God Less America," is a collection of some of the columns Todd has written the past six years or so.  If you have read this blog over the years you know that I have often made reference to the writings of Todd Starnes and have come to rely upon him to help me to understand exactly what is happening in our country - events that the mainstream media will never report and often Christian media is afraid to report.  As I read the book, even though I knew many of the stories being reported therein, I became very angry in my spirit and heart.  Friends, America today is certainly not the America that I remember as a child growing up in Iowa - America's Heartland.  I remember beginning every school day with the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and our teacher leading us either in a moment of silent prayer or, even at times, audible prayer.  Every month the entire elementary school met in the gym for a time known as "Character Education" when one of the pastors of the community came and shared with us principles for life.  It seemed the goal of education then was to create within students an awareness of life and how it should be lived based upon values communicated through the Bible.  We could truly say, "God Bless America!" 

And, in those days, when a person turned on television, there were programs that strengthened the foundation of family, of right versus wrong, of consequences for wrong choices but of the freedom that came from confession of wrong.  Fathers were respected.  Mothers were honored.  Children were valued.  Right was right, wrong was wrong; there was no gray area.  We laughed at ourselves through the eyes of a Barney Fife.  We cried with the Waltons.  We were amazed at the creations of Walt Disney.  There were those foundational moral underpinnings that kept our nation together through difficult times.

But, then something happened.  Along the way the Supreme Court decided that prayer and the Bible no longer had a place within the public schools.  No longer would those foundational moral values be taught to our boys and girls.  Instead, they would have to discover truth for themselves and the relativists soon championed that all truth was relative; there was no such thing as absolute foundational truth.  So now American society became driven by personal opinions.  Soon those who were once considered as being a minority began to assert their call - at first for an equal status, then, not being satisfied with equality, demanding that their rights superseded those of the majority.  Along the way, Todd Starnes has clearly described those scenes that have resulted:  schools without even the mention of God - winter, yes; Christmas, no.  We have a military that is becoming godless - chaplains being told what they can say and how they can pray.  We have businesses that are told how and with whom they need to conduct business.  "God Less America" is not an easy book to read, but it is one that I believe every believer needs to read.  How we need to have our eyes opened to what is really happening around us.  For every story of Chick-fil-A, or of the Robertsons and Duck Dynasty, or of a Hobby Lobby, there are hundreds of others that are just as poignant but never reported. 

I was reading recently from the Psalms.  David writes these words in Psalm 11: "In the LORD I take refuge.  How then can you say to me: 'Flee like a bird to your mountain.  For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.  When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:1-3).  What can we do when the moral and biblical foundations of America are being destroyed?  What can we do when godlessness and amorality are being flaunted in the public arena seemingly without much outcry?  What can we do when we are told to stop making others feel offended instead of being accepted?  I believe David gives us the answer in the following verses: "The LORD is in his holy temple: the LORD is on his heavenly throne.  He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them.  The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.  On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur: a scorching wind will be their lot.  For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice: upright men will see his face." (Psalm 11:4-7).  The answer is found in taking refuge in the Lord; in acknowledging that He is still on the throne controlling the affairs of His world; and in recognizing that there is coming a day when true justice was be meted out and that we will see His face, as David proclaims. And what a day that will be!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

More Stories That Almost Defy Our Understanding

On Monday I read an article written by Bob Unruh, a long time reporter for the Associated Press who is now writing for WND.  The article was titled, "Bill of Rights 'Don't Exist on School's Campus.'"  You can find the article at  I found the article shocking to the degree that people no longer have an understanding of our Constitution or the Bill of Rights.  Let me quote from the article:

"A dispute over a student's attempt to express his opinion about religion on campus is now in court after a university executive insisted the school's rules are above the Bill of Rights.  The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, over its discipline of student Daniel Harper in February for distributing religious fliers.  Harper says he was told by Thomas R. Russell, the equal opportunity officer at Cameron, that the university policies are above 'those amendments to the Constitution' and that he had to abide by university policy regardless of the First Amendment.  Russell allegedly told Harper: 'I like those amendments to the Constitution.  They are foundations to democracy.  But that's all they are - foundations. ... You can't live on them.  You'll freeze to death in the winter and burn up in the summer.'"

Friends, the Constitution of the United States and the Amendments to that Constitution, including those first ten known as the Bill of Rights, are the foundation of the American way of life.  It is that Constitution and those Amendments that have shaped us as a nation, that have identified us as being different from other nations in the world.  I remember reading a fascinating book, written by Joseph Ellis and titled, The American Creation, which tells the story of the writing of the Constitution.  Can any other set of laws in our country supersede the Constitution?  Can the rules of a university, for example?  Of course not!  The rules governing other entities in our country are not only grounded upon the Constitution but molded by it as well.  To say that the policies of a university are above the Amendments to the Constitution shows an entire lack of understanding about the meaning of the Constitution.  Personally, if I had been an administrator at Cameron University, I would require Mr. Russell to sign on to the Hillsdale College's online class on the Constitution.  Perhaps then his eyes would be open to see its significance.

Another article from the almost endless list of "Here-we go again."  This article was written by Molly Beck for the Wisconsin State Journal and is titled, "Janesville superintendent issues apology for 'Kids React to Gay Marriage' video."  You can find the article at -issues-apology.  "The Janesville School District superintendent issues a public apology Tuesday (May 13) for the showing of a video that she describes as pro-gay marriage and in violation of district policies requiring the presentation of all sides of 'controversial' or 'political' topics.  In April, Craig High School's Gay-Straight Alliance showed 'Kids React to Gay Marriage,' a 16-minute video of children reacting to marriage proposals between same-sex couples and sharing their thoughts on issues like gay marriage bans or whether they would stay friends with someone who told them they were gay.  Bits of text flashed during the video offering viewers information about the history and status of gay marriage in the United States or about discrimination and hate crimes, among other things. ... Schulte said the video was 'very biased' and violated the school district's policies on controversial and political issues because it did not offer a similar look at views in support of keeping marriage between men and women.  The policy requires classroom discussions to include all sides of a political matter."

Here is the problem with what happened in Janesville.  The school board had an established policy on how to handle potentially controversial issues and the superintendent was aware of that policy.  The principal of the high school saw no issues with the film, thus its being shown.  Problem: a lack of communication and a lack of clarity on board policy.  I served on a school board for several years and one of the chief functions of the superintendent was to communicate clearly to all the staff those policies that were determined by the board.  But there is a second problem that is almost becoming epidemic: it is better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission - at least that is how I have heard it expressed.  The problem with that philosophy is that it is difficult to retract something that has already been said, or, as my grandfather used to say, "It is useless to close the barn doors after the horses have all gone."  How we need to guard with care what we say.  Let's think first, then speak or act.  Might save ourselves a bundle of heartaches and headaches that way.

Finally, I was intrigued by the title of the article written by Michael Snyder.  It was titled, "Transhumanists: Superhuman Powers and Life Extension Technologies Will Allow Us to Become Like God."  You can find the entire article at  The article begins with the following question: "If you could merge your current mind and body with technology that would give you superhuman powers and would allow you to live forever, would you do it?"  The article then continues, "Transhumanists envision a day when technology will allow humanity to become so advanced that sickness, disease, poverty and war will essentially be eradicated.  They believe that merging with machines will permit us to become trillions of times more intelligent that we are today, and they also believe that radical life extension technologies will make it possible for humanity to actually achieve immortality.  The article quotes from Mark Pesce: "Men die, planets die, even stars die.  We know all this.  Because we know it, we seek something more - a transcendence of transience, translation to incorruptible form.  An escape if you will, a stop to the wheel.  We seek, therefore, to bless ourselves with perfect knowledge and perfect will; To become as gods, take the universe in hand, and transform it in our image - for our own delight.  As it is on Earth, so it shall be in the heavens.  The inevitable result of incredible improbability, the arrow of evolution is lipping us into the transhuman - an apotheosis to reason, salvation - attained by good works."

As I read this article my heart was drawn to those discussions I envision the people of Babel having as they were constructing their tower.  "We are so bright.  We have this all figured out.  We don't need a god.  We are gods."  That is the thinking of these transhumanists.  What did God do with such thinking at Babel?  Well, as you read the story in Genesis 11, He brought mass confusion into their ranks by an instantaneous linguistic change.  Suddenly their brilliance became chaos.  Their lofty ideals and plans became a meaningless waste of time and effort.  "Becoming as god" is a lie that is as old as the Garden of Eden and comes right from the pit of hell itself. 

So the world continues its march toward the sounding of the trumpet and the ascent of our Savior-King upon His royal throne there in Jerusalem.  I am so grateful that God is in total control, aren't you?  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

More Stories That Should Awaken Us from Our Slumber

Last week I shared with you several stories of how far down the slippery slope our nation has gone.  I would like to add to those stories this week with more examples of how Christians are beginning to feel the pangs of persecution for standing for biblical truth.

Story #1 - reported at and titled, "City suspends Christian employee (a pastor), begins reviewing his sermons."  The article was posted on May 12.  "According to the Los Angeles Times, Pasadena city officials placed Public Health Director Eric Walsh on temporary paid administrative leave last week after they learned he preached biblical truth about homosexuality and evolution.  After the city was contacted by homosexual activists, city leaders removed him from office, and are now monitoring and analyzing Pastor Walsh's online sermons as part of their witch hunt.  Not only is this a case of religious discrimination, it has become a catalyst for systematically intimidating any public official who would speak about their Christian faith as a private citizen.  Walsh, an associate pastor at Altadena Seventh-day Adventist Church, was hired as the director of Pasadena's Public Health Department in 2010.  He also served as the city's public health officer and oversaw the creation of a dental clinic that served low-income patients, as well as those with HIV/AIDS who could not get care elsewhere.  It gets worse...Pastor Walsh was scheduled as the commencement speaker for the city's college, Pasadena City College.  Instead, the city's action has caused the college to scratch those plans and invited  Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black instead.  Recently the college found stolen photographs of Black and an ex-boyfriend engaged in sexual acts on Internet gossip sites, but that didn't seem to matter."  Freedom of speech in America today is rapidly becoming one of those freedoms that we are losing. 

Story #2 - reported by Todd Starnes and found at  The article begins, "The Home & Garden Television (aka HGTV) network announced Wednesday it has decided to pull the plug on an upcoming real estate reality show amid a firestorm of controversy from gay rights activists who accused the evangelical Christian hosts of being anti-gay and pro-life.  Twins David and Jason Benham had been in production for "Flip it Forward," a show that was expected to debut in October on the nation's seventh most-watched cable channel.  According to Entertainment Weekly, the North Carolina brothers 'would have followed families creating their dream homes from fixer-uppers.'  After the network announced the show was on the fall lineup, the militant lobbying group Right Wing Watch labeled David Benham, son of well-known evangelical pastor Flip Benham, an 'anti-gay extremist' and reported on comments he made about homosexuality, abortion and divorce.  So, now, these militant groups are going to start judging us based on the past behavior of our parents?"  The article continues with Starnes "reaching out to the Benham brothers Wednesday.  'If our faith costs us a television show then so be it,' they wrote in a statement to me.  The brothers said, 'With all of the grotesque things that can be seen and heard on television, you would think there would be room for two twin brothers who are faithful to our families, committed to biblical principles, and dedicated professionals.'"  Friends, this is an article that needs to be read.  I will simply close with the statements, first of Janet Mefferd, a host on the Salem Radio Network: "This is an effort by LGBT movement to silence the voices of people who do not agree with them on this issue and to send a message to the American public that anybody who does not get on board with their point of view does not deserve a place in the public square."  Tom Tradup, Salem's vice president of news and talk programming said, "In the 1950's Sen. Joseph McCarthy terrorized Americans whose views differed from his - resulting in the infamous Hollywood blacklists and people losing their jobs in the radio and television industry.  Sadly, thanks to 2014-style McCarthyism, history appears to be repeating itself."

Story #3 - written by David Kupelian and titled, "Meet the New Fascists - And Their Victims."  The article can be found at  This is a long article that highlights and documents what has happened within the past several years regarding persecution of Christians and their biblical beliefs by the militant LGBT community.  Several pages are given to such testimonials.  The author, David Kupelian is an award-winning journalist, and managing editor of WND, and author of the best-selling book "The Marketing of Evil."  Friends, I highly recommend this article to you.  I downloaded the article and made copies for some of the men in my church.  I wanted them to know that this is the world their children and grandchildren are growing up in.  It is so important that we take a strong stand upon the Word of God and its truths.  We cannot ever waver from them.  We might lose a television show or our business, but we do have this promise from God:  "Since God is for us, who can be against us?"  The answer - "no one!"  I think I am beginning to experience a little of what those martyrs of old felt as they were tied to the stack or thrown into the Coliseum.  Friends, simply changing the name does not mean that a sinful practice is okay.  Approving legislation that affirms a sinful practice does not make it right.   We either affirm the Word of God in its totality - I am not saying that we necessarily like what it says, but we know it is what God says - or we deny the Word of God in its totality.  I don't think we can "pick and choose" those things we like or dislike.  God has not given us that option. 

So, what is your choice?  What do you resolve in your heart to do?  Better make that decision now, because we all will soon be faced with having to make a choice on our stand for Christ and truth.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Trend That Is Shocking

I find it fascinating that Hollywood released a movie about the days of Noah.  Now I have not seen the movie "Noah" and probably will not.  But it is interesting that the Bible describes the times in which Noah lived this way: "The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5).  In other words, the evil in the world was so great that God despaired that He had made man and decided to remove the evil from the world He had created. 

Yesterday, as I was reading several articles that came across my computer screen, those images of the days of Noah flooded my heart.  I began to ask myself if our times were not comparable to those of Noah's.  Have we reached that point in evil where God despairs once again and will pour forth His righteous anger upon the world even as He did with the flood?  Allow me to share some news with you.  I will give you advanced warning that these stories should turn not only your stomach, but also your heart.

Story #1: Reported by Todd Starnes who writes for  You can find the story at:  "A Florida school teacher humiliated a 12-year old boy in front of an entire class after she caught him reading the Bible during free reading time."  Now, I remember when I was in school - realizing that it was ages ago - that during free-reading time, I was allowed to read whatever I wanted to read.  Either it was a book that I brought to class with me, or I was permitted to check out a book from the school library.  It was just that - free reading time.  So, here is a 12 year old boy who, because he loves reading his Bible, is told that he cannot read it during free-reading time.  The article continues, 'The teacher, at Park Lakes Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale, ordered Giovanni Rubeo to pick up the telephone on her desk and call his parents.  As the other students watched, the teacher left a terse message on the family's answering machine.  'I noticed that he has a book - a religious book - in the classroom,' she said on the recording.  'He's not permitted to read those books in my classroom.'"  Liberty Institute, which represents individuals in matters regarding religious liberty issues, received a response from Orinthia Dias, the principal of the school: "Your child is permitted to read the Bible before school, after school and during lunch, in accordance to the law."  So, now our children are being told what they can read or not read during free-reading time in the classroom.  I wonder if the teacher would have been as upset if Giovanni had been reading a Playboy magazine instead. 

Story #2: Reported by Bob Unruh, who writes for WorldNetDaily.  You can find the story at:  "An Indiana-based company has decided not to hire any homeschool graduates, withdrawing a job offer from one candidate after discovering he was home educated, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association.  That's despite the fact that assessments and evaluations for homeschool students routinely run higher than for public-school students.  HSLDSA spokeman Michael Donnelly said NiSource, an energy-distribution company, informed HSLDA it would not hire homeschool graduates.  The decision was based on the company's interpretation of state law."  The article continues, "'This problem may indicate more than just discrimination against homeschoolers,' he said.  'This situation reflects the precise concern that motivates HSLDA's opposition to the Common Core and its "college- and career-ready" standards - that qualified homeschool graduates who don't have a state-issued credential will be discriminated against in employment decisions.'" 

Story #3: Reported by Todd Starnes, who writes for  The story can be found at:  (A warning: some of the content at this site is graphic - I cannot relate the content of this particular passage in this blog, it is that offensive).  Ninth grade students at Gilford High School were required to read the novel by Jodi Picoult titled, "Nineteen Minutes."  Parents were not notified that the students were required to read this book and no opportunity was given for a parent to take his or her child from that reading assignment.  William Baer, whose daughter had been assigned the book, was furious when he learned about the book.  He himself being an attorney said of the book, "I was shocked when I read the passage, and not much shocks me anymore."  He further related that if someone had been handing those passages to students off campus, they might have been arrested.  Speaking of being arrested, William Baer attended the school board meeting and was arrested for getting into an argument with a parent who supported the book.  He was charged with disorderly conduct.  Now, friends, here is what I found so sad: "More than 80 percent of the parents consented with their students continuing with the book."  Ten percent said no, while ten percent were still undecided on whether or not they wanted their youngsters to continue reading.  According to the policies of Gilford High School and the school district in matters related to novels containing controversial materials: "the district will take immediate action to revise these policies to include notification that requires parents to accept controversial materials rather than to opt out.  Furthermore, the notification will detail more specifically the controversial material."  So, now parents are encouraged to accept novels that are immoral and racy in their content rather than to have their children be excused from reading them. 

Story #4: Reported by Karl de Vries, who writes for  The story can be found at:  I watched about half of this video last night.  It literally turned my stomach and I could not watch the rest of it.  It is only about 4 minutes long to begin with.  The video is of Emily Letts, who is 25, who decided to have an abortion after she became pregnant after not using birth control.  She wanted to share her experience of having an abortion with others, thus she had it videoed.  Letts told "My video of my abortion is there only to tell women that they are not alone.  Speak up.  Tell your stories.  Do it through words, through video, through pictures, through songs, whatever.  You do not deserve to be alone."  The video shows her smiling through the procedure.  As for her abortion, she has no regrets.  "I don't think guilt is a productive feeling.  I don't think guilt does much for us.  I forgave myself for not using birth control, I corrected it, and I moved forward."  Friends, if our ninth grade students read books like "Nineteen Minutes" we can expect more of them to be like Emily Letts and view sexual activity as just that - an activity.  And the consequences - well, an abortion is really not that bad.  In fact, we can smile through the killing of that child. 

Story #5:  Reported by Todd Starnes.  The story can be found at:  This article is really a review of Mr. Starnes newest book, titled, "God Less America."  This book is a compilation of stories of religious hostility within the United States.  In the article, Starnes quotes from a letter written by Billy Graham: "The farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.  Just a few weeks ago in a prominent city in the South, Christian chaplains who serve the police department were ordered to no longer mention the Name of Jesus in prayer."  Instead they were only allowed to pray to "the being in the room."  Starnes writes, "We ask God to bless America, but we elected a president whose pastor asked God to damn America.  We ask God to bless America, but we slaughter millions of unborn babies.  We ask God to bless America, but we silence His children.  God bless America?  We should be on our knees asking for His mercy instead.  The time has come for people of faith to rise up and claim their Ebenezer.  We need patriots who will take back this land.  We need patriots who will say we are still one nation under God.  The storm clouds are gathering.  The winds of revolution are blowing, friends.  Religious liberty is under attack."  "The most pressing problem facing America can't be solved in Washington, D.C.  True hope and change can't be found at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  It can only be found at the foot of the cross on Calvary.  Our government may spy on our phone lines.  It may throw us in jail.  It may take away our photography shops and bakeries.  It may demand to know the content of our prayers.  But we will not be bullied.  We will not be intimidated.  We will not be silence.  It's time for a new generation of believers to rise up and restore the dream of our Founding Fathers - the dream of a nation where all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.  The dream of a people who declare we are still one nation under God."

Friends, as I read these articles yesterday my heart grew heavy.  We are in a spiritual warfare.  The lives of our children and grandchildren are at stake.  Yes, I can pray for them - and I do.  And, yes the Bible promises that the "effectual prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much."  But I believe that God wants us to get off our chairs and to get engaged.  I may need to be more proactive in what is happening in my child's school.  I do need to get more engaged with what they are being taught.  And I need to help parents to create a home where sons and daughters are given the opportunity to develop a strong biblical and spiritual foundation.  Yes, Faith@Home does matter.