Pledged to Pray Daily for America

... and to honor God at home, in public, and with my vote, as so challenged by Franklin Graham at the Decision America Tour

I attended the event when Decision America came to my capital city, Columbia, SC, 02/09/16. And as I pledged, so I challenge you, reader of this post, to join me in praying for our nation. Please, go social media with this post, so indicating that you, too, have accepted the challenge to pray for our nation.

If Decision America has not yet come to your capital city, I urge you, if at all possible, to attend the event when the Tour does arrive in your state. (Check the dates, and more, at Decision America Tour.)

The mission of the Decision America Tour“Because Jesus Christ is the only hope for America (1 Corinthians 3:11), we call our nation to God and pray for His forgiveness and blessing (2 Chronicles 7:14) and for the liberty and freedom to continue to proclaim His Name until He returns (2 Corinthians 4:5). Will you stand with us in fervent prayer for our nation?”—Franklin Graham

Managing My Desires

“Now that certainly does indeed look good enough to eat,” said the woman observing the fruit sprouted by that tree in the Garden. Being so pleasing to her eyes, and desirable to make her wise she plucked one such fruit from that tree and bit into it. “Umm, it is good at that, and juicy,” she beamed. She than gave it to her husband who was with her, he ate it too.

Where once there was no shame, now they were both very ashamed. Where once their design was a beautiful thing, as their Maker had remarked upon finishing His masterpiece, “Behold, it is all very good,” now it had become a thing of ugliness.

All creation had come to ruin, all because of the two in the Garden. Together they partook of their desires, despite their Maker’s warning that they should not do so. They disobeyed their Maker, who had marvelous plans for them They desired to have something they were told it was wrong for them to have—they took it anyway.

Just as a child hides from his/her parents when s/he is bad, so that man and woman in the Garden had hidden from their Maker because of their shame. They yielded to their desires being so deceived by the snares of the evil one who was there also in the Garden.

Their Maker found them out anyway; nothing can be hidden from Him. He knew when they did wrong, and it grieved Him so. And yet He had to punish them. As parents may take from their child in punishment a favorite toy, so God took away that which He gave that couple in the Garden to enjoy. Just as a parent disciplines his/her child; however, so God’s discipline, too, comes not out of hate, but in love,

God so demonstrated His love for that first couple way back then, so long, long ago by providing a covering for their nakedness—so much better than what they could ever provide for themselves (see Genesis 3:7, 21). How great is His love—so amazing! Yet, since then, we today now know of good and evil. The whole world now suffers for what they had done then in yielding to their desires.

Should I desire for anything less than God’s love, His care for me? He is eternal; He promises to supply all my needs, much more better than what I can do for myself. Why then should I desire the things of this world—the merely temporal? Why then should I desire to “have it my way” rather than God’s?

“Do not love this world,” God says, or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, [God’s] love is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of the eyes and his pride in possessions—comes not from [God] but from the world” (see 1 John 2:15-17.)

And so, as the psalmist has written, “As I delight myself in You LORD, You will give me the desires of my heart” (Psalm 37:4). Hence, may my delight be first in the LORD, that all my desires may be held captive to His will.

Reconsidering Our Earthly Journey

A cold day it was that Tuesday morning, 02/09/2016, but an exciting time nevertheless in my attending the Decision America Tour. It was a great gathering, people coming from all over the state. A great presentation, a great time in prayer, a great challenge from Franklin Graham to the Church in America to be in constant prayer for our nation (as we so need it) for the restoration of America to her biblical roots, and for greater participation of God’s people in the governing affairs of our country. 

America is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” Abraham Lincoln closing his Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863. Hence, we “the people” are our nation’s governing officials; those holding the particular office are our representatives. And so, pray for our country.

Considering these times then (or re-considering, re-evaluating), and my continued physical journeying here on earth (God is not finish with me yet), I desire still further employment, for my betterment, yes, yet more so for the benefit of Christ’s global cause.

Through these days now I desire an employment yet in the area of my interest and abilities. That being writing, and I becoming more familiar with proofreading and copyediting, I still need, as in any skill, to be continuing learning of that craft, and thus employment in that field as well. In that, I see freelancing as probably the way for me to go; that is what I desire, to become proficient at it, trusting God to provide the work. And from God’s provision by way of my employment to benefit Christ’s global cause. During my search for that job in the meantime, my own writing can aid in my proofreading/copyediting practice.

For the Christ follower, then, whatever the job, profession, career, consider it as a “tent-making” occupation, as with the apostle Paul, and Aquila and Priscilla as well (see Acts 18:2-4). Consider it as support as we labor on Earth in our real job—that of sharing Jesus, the eternal Hope for America and the world.

Journeying on in Christ’s global cause then, the task also involves our getting out, and being ready to vocally share Jesus with people with whom the Lord would have us do. Now for me such is somewhat difficult, I never having been much of an oral communicator. But it’s an obligation I must tend to being so commanded by God to “Go,” (see Exodus 4:10-12 and 2 Corinthians 12:9). I try to do that virtually (online) via social media, so inspired to do in the viewing of a recent Urbana video—encouraging a more excellent purpose for the use of social media. Nevertheless, I should attempt the doing of it more personally as well; attentive to the Holy Spirit’s leading in the going.

Therefore then, for Jesus and His global cause, two worlds having crossed my path, and thus having reconsidered my earthly journey I have realized my real reason for living in this time.

Purposed Living Defined

As Jesus prayed to the Father: “… I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.  I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me... (John 17:20-21, NLTSee also John 17:13-19.)

God's Word is precious, as nuggets of pure gold (See Proverbs 2:1-5). Through the Word of God, we can understand where we have come from, why we are here, and where we are going. Through God's Word also we can understand God's will for our lives in this time, and for all the peoples of planet Earth.

God made humans, sculpturing them, male and female, from the dust of the ground, and breathed into them the breath of life; man became a living soul created in God's own image—clothed in a physical body.

God entrusted His humans—the man and the woman—with the responsibility of caring for His creation, placing them in the Garden of Eden to work it and to take care of it (See Genesis 2:15). God also commanded them to "be fruitful and increase in number." (See Genesis 1:28.) 

But the serpent was also in the Garden, filled with all the evil intents of that one who was cast out of Heaven because of arrogance and pride, desirous to exalt himself even above its Creator (See Isaiah 14:12-14).

Being deceived by that serpent, the humans betrayed God and shunned their responsibility (See Genesis 3), plunging all humanity into rebellion against God. As a result, a great gulf was fixed—incapable of being bridged by any human effort—separating God and mankind to this day.

God still loved His human creatures, however (See Genesis 3:21), and began His work to woo them back to Himself. Eventually, God gave them a second chance with the coming of the second Adam, Jesus—the Christ (Messiah)—the only "bridge" capable of spanning that "great divide." (See Romans 5:10-21; 1 Corinthians 15:12-34.)

This second Adam—Jesus— commissioned His followers, “… Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you (John 20:21.) And Jesus also said, “… Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life …” (John 6:27, NIV.)

As Jesus prayed: “…And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth…” (John 17:3, NLT.)

Personally Purposed for These Times

Sharing the matchless name of Jesus is of utmost importance (Acts 4:11-13), whatever one’s temporal vocation/career. At such, age is no barrier—simply, one’s task as long as God keeps him/her here in this temporal time.

Although one may not call him/herself an “evangelist”, all Christ followers are called to be a witness for Jesus nevertheless. For me, the writer of this piece, as God spoke to Moses at the burning bush, I consider that as well God speaking to me, as He had impressed me with at my reading Exodus 4:10-12. That passage reminds me of myself, as I being as Moses not so eloquent with words, not so spontaneous in speech. Exodus 4:12 being the clincher that perhaps can be as God’s great commission call for me, and then, 2 Corinthians 12:9 my strength, my enablement to witness in my so going.    

Thus is my need/call—my personal purpose for my living in these times—to share Jesus, most important in this time, and to be an encouragement to others to do the same. For me, such to be done in my going: (1) visible (through my life); (2) virtually (via the Internet/social media); and (3) vocally (as I’m attentive to the Holy Spirit’s leading). And my following His call I’m sure He will make known to me in His time in my journeying with Him along this temporal earthly way.

Drawing by Miriam Parrish
In such, God assures me particularly via Matthew 6:25-34 that He is my sustainer and supplier in working for His Kingdom on earth while watching for the King’s return.  Hence, to me, the sharing Jesus in these times is the greater importance.

"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Matthew 6:26