I have been granted some revelation of the struggle we are in. I wish I could tell you that we are about to see the final victory, but that is not the case. A pastor at our church got a prophetic word last week, and you can read that here.
But I am coming to realize that our struggle is generational. We must be prepared to protect our children and their children from the evils of this world. We can only do this through putting a love of God in their hearts while they are children and praying for them at all times and all occasions. A good protection prayer is to read Ephesians 6:10-18, the armor of God over them.
Today, I want to offer up a very specific prayer of supplication for our country over the next month. Please read this and agree with me in prayer for this.
Heavenly Father, You are a holy, just and loving God. It is through You that we get all of our provision, the bible says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” So I am asking you to supply all of our needs, and bathe us in your rich glory as we worship and honor you. I also want to ask for your help to move this nation toward you and to become more holy and honor you the way our national motto says, “In God We Trust.” The bible says, “And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” We need you to show yourself, let this land and the whole world see that you are truly the Lord.
Father, we also need truth and integrity in our election and governmental process. Your word says, “These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;” Please help us speak truth, help us render honest judgements that are true and make for peace. Your word also says, “ The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” I don’t wish for anyone to be destroyed, but I would rather see all people achieve a level of integrity in thought and deed that would honor You. We also need integrity in the voting booth, we need the machines and those who administer them to record actual intended votes. Your word says, “The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.” May all of the voting be done under your favor, and where fraud or deceit occurs, it is brought to light quickly enough to resolve it.
Finally, Father, you said, “that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” So I pray for our leaders, may they make wise, godly decisions to lead this nation and community in Your path. May we live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. For ourselves, may we follow your path. Your word says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.” Lord, come and prosper us. Find us and make us yours. For what we really want is what is found in your word, in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “ 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.” Lord, heal our land. Bring us back to you. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.
The Tail of the Dragon refers to a road that borders the Great Smoky Mountains between Tennessee and North Carolina. Over an 11 mile stretch the road has 318 curves. It’s a popular motorcycle ride. But the reason I want to bring it up is because of the way it represents life. Life throws you curves, sometimes a lot of curves. You wake up one day finding yourself 50 years in and aren’t quite sure where you are.
When I was 18 years old I wanted to be a computer programmer. I had the skills and was taking college level courses to attain this. I entered Arizona State University in the Engineering College for computer engineering. The first curve to be thrown was my own failure at college. I spent too little time on studies, and too much time making money and exploring my new adult freedoms. The next curve came when I found a young woman and married her. She came with a son, and the next curve involved me adopting him.
As curves go, the next one was a nasty hairpin. My father passed away at age 49 from a sudden heart attack. The call came in the middle of the day, at work and I was numb for a week. It took a while for color to come back to my world. The curves got better, my employment improved, income increased, but the next curve wasn’t so much fun. I got myself in some financial trouble and had to work myself out of it. Several quick twisty turns that weren’t fun, and weren’t predictable. Home ownership was soon a nice wide gentle curve that I could smile through. The next one was the birth of twins, a boy and girl, what a wonderful blessing. But the dark forest wasn’t through with me yet, more hairy curves, with unseen ends were awaiting. Separation, divorce, child support and alimony all came calling rather quickly.
The next few years were a twist with a new relationship. A gentle curve with a new marriage. Another gentle curve with another child. Then hospital, and new drama from the ex wife and other children. It felt like I was doing downhill skiing and moguls. But then a straightaway came up at just the right time, and I started to think and reason and wonder, what was the world all about.
A hard bitter curve came next with the suicide of my brother in law. This was horrific. Then my decision to break off unification with my three kids from my first wife. There wasn’t much gas in the tank so I pulled into a sheltered location and found Christ. He didn’t change my circumstances, but he changed my outlook. He changed my perception, and my goals. More nasty curves with back issues, surgeries with my wife, losing a house and moving across country. But the forest didn’t seem so dark. There were flowers on the side of the road. Then came a dirt road stretch where a layoff, unemployment, and a failed business lived. But those weren’t as bad as other curves. They seemed gentle in comparison.
My father would have been 75 today. It has been just a little more than 25 years since he left us and I miss him. I don’t know where his heart was in regard to Christ, I can only hope that I see him again on the other side. But I remember that he helped me tune the bike that went through so many curves. What he started, Christ has helped me to finish.
Now I see a bigger road in my future. That includes maybe a coast to coast ride. Maybe not so many curves, maybe some complete surprises. All I know is that I’ve got the best co-pilot I could have. I have a wonderful family, and a wonderful circle of friends and acquaintances. I now know the joy that the bible speaks of, and it doesn’t come from things, but from the relationships that I have now and will cherish forever.
My wife and I now own a farm in Tennessee. We are learning more about working the land. We will be planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. In this world, and the world beyond.
In October 2014, I published my first novel, American Anthem which took a look at the 2016 Presidential race. I had the climax occur during the final debate, which in real life happens tonight. Here is an excerpt from the book during that debate
“Madame Secretary, the next question is for you...” The Moderator looked over to the next person with a question. This was a professional woman in a blouse and skirt, “Madame Secretary, what one thing, that the Government can do, will make us more secure, and our children and next generations more secure?”
The Secretary looked at the Moderator, “I think the audience asks better questions than you do.” She looked up to address the lady who was asking the question.
“The one thing we can do is to consider the less fortunate than us throughout the world. We have been given a great country with vast resources and a wonderful industrial base. We could feed the world if we were so inclined. But instead, we worry about profits and borders and problems that in the grand scheme of things don’t really matter. Yes, there are things that really don’t matter.”
“For example, if we were to redirect some of our technology around water purification, energy generation, and food production for the third world, we can ensure healthier families and healthier children throughout that very same third world. I recently talked with a family from Guatemala, who had been granted Asylum by the State Department. They had walked more than two thousand miles from Guatemala to the United States. They were skinny, dehydrated, hungry, and had issues ranging from vitamin deficiency to intestinal parasites. These people did not have to live like this. We can help them and the people left in Guatemala, Central America, South America, Africa and Asia. Where ever there is need, we can provide that help.”
“This country just got done fighting two unjust and unnecessary wars. They did not help us in the international or domestic stage at all. We spent trillions of dollars, most of which were wasted, and we also spent the lives of many fine young Americans. If we had spent that money on ensuring the world had access to clean water, abundant food, and energy, the frustration, hate and derision heaped upon this country would greatly diminish.”
“Senator, 90 second response.”
“Thank you for the question. I have a very different answer than the Secretary. I think there are three things we as a nation need to do in order to assure our security, not only in this world, but the next. We need to humble ourselves before God, pray to him, and repent for the sins we have committed. The equation is simple, prayer, humility and repentance. With those three we can re-establish our national relationship with our Creator.”
“I cannot stress enough that this country was for a very long time something special. We were a ragtag bunch of colonies who took on the mightiest power in the world and won. We won our independence, then had to form a government based upon the principles of Liberty and Freedom. That alone, took us two tries, but the second one, which resulted in our Constitution has held and has served us well. We conquered a continent and took our place as a rightful power among the nations of the world. If you look at that history, it is remarkable. We are living in a country that has been smiled upon by God himself.”
“But what changed? We decided that the laws of man were more important than the principles of God. We chased prayer out of the classroom, we took the Ten Commandments down from our courtrooms, we made it legal for women to slay their children in the name of ‘choice.’ We departed from the path that had us walking side by side with God.”
“Now, the very first right that was documented in the Bill of Rights has been perverted. It originally read; ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Now people read that to be freedom FROM religion. When you take a moment to see that the founders of this country put the country together with principles that embraced God, why would we ever want to turn away from him?”
“This is not a church and I’m not going to preach a sermon, but we will all be judged on what we have done for each other and for the Kingdom of God. I for one will be a steadfast advocate for Christ, and will work to bring this country back to our roots.”
“Madame Secretary, 30 second rebuttal.”
“With as many problems as there are in the world, my opponent wants you to get on your knees and pray about them. Only the weak minded or the insane would see that as an acceptable course of action.”
American Anthem by Jim Kape, available at Amazon.com in both printed and Kindle editions
Integrity is doing the right thing even when nobody would find out. When you miss the trash can with a tissue, you pick it up, when you are the only one in the room. When you spill a glass of water, you clean it up. When you make a mistake, you own up to it and make it right. Sadly this attribute is missing in our leaders, and we as voters are doing a horrible job demanding integrity.
There are dozens of things I can point out from our current administration and the two candidates running for president. But what I want to point out is the current justice being handed out by Wikileaks. The things being brought into the light of day show a lack of integrity and a certain level of evil in Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The campaign manager, John Podesta talks to somebody about “wet work” a few days before Antonin Scalia dies. He talks about the Vice Presidential hopefuls and would even “accept” an Asian, but it’s not what he really likes. He is involved with many sordid and evil plots and schemes to manipulate and attain the presidency for his client.
If there was any integrity in the Hillary Clinton campaign, John Podesta would be fired, and his emails turned over to the FBI for an investigation into wrongdoing.
But that won’t happen, because there IS no integrity in the Clinton campaign.
Hillary Clinton wants to reshape the country, not to make it better for the middle class, but to make it better for her benefactors, the fat cats on Wall Street, and in London, Dharan, and Qatar. She wants to remove borders from the North and South American continents. She wants to recast the Constitution in the image of a progressive, socialist, communist, Stalinist, Leninist utopia. She doesn’t want any civil rights for people, she just wants us to shut up and do what we are told.
Are you ready for 21st century tyranny? Behold, the woman with millions of dollars and dozens of dead bodies behind her. Something wicked this way comes, and it says we would be “stronger together.” Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs of the media, to do her bidding, not their jobs. This is not the end of the beginning, but the beginning of the end of these United States.
Heavenly Father, let the truth come out. May the entire world know the content of character of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. May we find a candidate that will have the integrity and strength to lead in the White House, in a compassionate, reasoned, intelligent manner. May they have the integrity of George Washington and the patience of Job. May they have the leadership of a Churchill, and the strength of a Lincoln. Lord, help this country back away from the abyss of our own making. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.
Dear Heavenly Father, today I ask for truth. We as a nation have drifted in our understanding of truth. Today it is bought and sold like a cheap commodity, but it is not Your Truth. Your Truth tells us that we are all sinners, we are all unworthy, but through Your Son we can be saved and brought to all righteousness. Your Truth tells us that You are in control, that You made us, You knew us before we were knit together in the womb, You know when a sparrow falls, and You know our hearts. Lord that are many who would seek to barter Truth for political expediency. They live lives in the shadows, not wanting to be in full light, but not wanting to claim to be servants of the dark. Please let Your Truth come out. Let the lies be exposed. This IS a Christian nation, one that you helped bring into existence, one that you can rescue at anytime. Please come and rescue us with Your Truth, Your Grace and Your Glory. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.
Dear Lord, You stood with the Pilgrims and helped them write the Mayflower Compact. You stood with Washington, Franklin, Hancock, Jefferson and many others to bring this country into existence. You directed the hand and tongues of the men at the Constitutional Convention. You grew this country from thirteen fledgling colonies into 50 wonderful and varied states. You helped shape the morals of the land, and you stood with us during the horrible conflicts of the civil war, and the two world wars. Lord, I ask you stand with us again. Help us govern ourselves, and deny the idol that has become our government. Help us to see truth, and to seek it. Help us to be good people, honorable people, godly people. Bring this country back to you. In Jesus name, Amen.
Dear Lord, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for my country and my society in the way we have turned from you. We were once a shining light on the hill, a beacon of freedom. But now we turn on each other. We have two candidates running for president that are both unqualified, and unfit for the office. We have a news media that doesn’t report news, but spins reports toward a political goal. We sacrifice our own children on the altar of convenience. We seek to redefine marriage as you designed it. Lord, we are a sinful, prideful, arrogant people, and I’m sorry for what we have done. I want my country to turn to You, to seek You, to find comfort in you. Not in a popular song or TV program. Lord, don’t turn away from this country, but help us find ourselves once again. May we become your shining city on the hill, shining the light of freedom and liberty to the whole world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? – Luke 12:54-56
What season are we in? I guess that really is the question we need to ask to understand the times. Is the world at a point where people are happy? Is there a sense of well being? Is the confidence in the marketplace almost viral? Do our leaders make us feel safe and secure in our future? For the vast majority of us, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding No! The breakup of the Soviet Union, the expansion of NATO, the establishment of the European Union, the removal of trade barriers should have all led us to a point when it is good to be alive. But it hasn’t.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. – 2 Timothy 3:1-5
The apostle Paul wrote to his companion and friend Timothy and described a season in the last days. That description is more faithful to our current society than at any other time in our national history.
It is obvious that we are at a cusp in history. We have a historic election that features two regrettable candidates. We have a nation that has shrugged off it’s past and works to embrace politically correct and politically expedient rather than what is right and what is just. Os Guinnes wrote that, “In our day, it is considered worse to judge evil than to do evil.” To put that in different terms, it is more likely that the pauper who remarks about the lack of clothing of the emperor is more likely to be punished than he to led the emperor to proceed with a lack of clothes.
We are at a cusp of history. Our children and grandchildren will one day judge how we approached this cusp and if we responded with faith or fear, arrogance or humility, courage or correctness.
Let’s address the election. We have real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump taking on former First Lady, former Senator, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump had to go through 16 challengers, and amassed the largest number of primary votes of any Republican candidate. Hillary had to go through a handful of contenders, and barely put away an aging socialist from New Hampshire. These are two very flawed individuals. Neither is especially likable, and both have histories that would keep the National Enquirer in business for another 10 years. But one of these two is going to be President in another four months. What should we do?
The first thing to do, and I thank God for Franklin Graham to point this out, is to get registered to vote. If we, as the church, give up our right to vote we give up our voice. The second thing is to make sure we have good local candidates, and I’m proud to say that I know some of the local candidates and am friends with them. They will lead our community with a sense of duty, a sense of service, and will ask God for guidance while doing so. The third thing to do is to vote. So who gets the vote for President?
When the first primary debate was held, I decided I was going to back Dr. Carson. He seemed the most level headed and honest of the bunch. I resolved to not vote for Donald Trump. I recognized his antics from an Elementary School playground. But here we are, it’s either vote for him, vote for Hillary or throw my vote away on a 3rd party candidate. Let me talk about the 3rd party candidates for a moment. You see, I voted for a 3rd party candidate once before, Ross Perot. Because of that, the country got Bill Clinton. Which in my mind started our financial downfall. So no 3rd party candidate will get my vote.
That leaves Hillary and Donald. I don’t personally care for either of them. So I could vote for Hillary and condone her lying, stealing, and history of taking care of herself before taking care of the needs of the country. She carelessly set up her own email server, and after (AFTER!) being subpoenaed she deleted emails. She wasn’t put in jail over this. That alone tells you about the fraud and collusion she benefits from. Then we get the wikileaks information that shows she has inside information coming from the Justice Department, she gets unheard of special treatment from the news media, and has a different policy platform depending on the size of the check she is looking for. I do not trust her. I do not believe her. Her policy positions are anathema to me. And as I write this, I see a buzzard flying outsize my window. I find that fitting, for she would strip the flesh from this nation that I love so much in order to appease her donors, line the pockets of her foundation, and to turn this beacon of freedom into a tool for the globalists. Donald Trump called her the devil, and I can see her demonic minions in the media, and the government trying to move heaven and earth trying to get her elected.
That leaves Donald Trump. I’m not convinced he is the best choice, but I believe that as a Christian, he is the only choice. Is he the perfect Christian? No. Is he a perfect man? No. But God used other prideful men to see his purposes work in this world. He has humbled other great men for his light to shine. With the need for religious liberty, and truly constitutional Supreme Court Justices, we must elect Donald Trump.
Consider it a leap of faith.
As a man, and a woodworker, farmer, tinkerer, I know a few things about projects. There is always something that needs to be done at the homestead. The gutters need to be cleaned out, the deck needs to be swept. I need to find a solution to clean up the front pasture. The truck needs a new power steering hose. The list is almost endless.
I was reminded last week that I am a project as well. I’m a project of Jesus Christ, who, according to the apostle Paul is the author and perfector of our faith. You see, I’ve been in a season of not knowing that else I needed to do. I was serving multiple places at church, I was praying, I had daily talks with God and I heard him talking with me. The thing is, I’ve felt at the same place for some time. I’ve been working on book projects, but as soon as I feel inspired, I get to putting words together that the wind goes out of my sails and the project stalls. But God was working on me, and the easy things to fix and work on are done and what is left is the stuff buried deep. It’s not fun and it’s not easy.
This past week I came to a realization that I could no longer support capital punishment. It seemed to happen suddenly. I was driving my truck from work back home and it occurred to me, if our society takes the life of a prisoner, are we giving Christ time to work within that man or woman? If we truly believe in the redemptive work of Christ, how can we end a life? How can we have the arrogance to cut short a project that the almighty Father himself is working on? I just can’t rationalize it any more.
What caused this change of heart? Our church (World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, TN) has been talking about prayer, and in a few lessons with our 4th 5th and 6th graders, we have been going through Ephesians chapter 6. In there is one phrase that has been talking to me loudly: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” I can pray in the spirit, and have been able to since my junior year in high school. I just haven’t practiced it. I’ve had doubts. But I made a commitment to pray in the spirit on my commute to and from work, while driving on a particular road. It’s only for 5 to 7 minutes each way, so it isn’t much. But I feel more complete and rounded when I’m done. I'm convinced this extra step of faith that I've taken has helped God reach deeper into me.
I feel like the master carpenter has finished the cutting and gluing of my life and he is now sanding and shaping me to be the man he wants me to be. This is the least glamorous portion of a project, but it’s the difference between junk and an heirloom. My Father in heaven doesn’t create junk. Not in me, and not in you.