Grace For A Nation

gw-praying2As the Vice President elect, Mike Pence, began his acceptance speech he said, “I want to thank God for his amazing grace.” Indeed, God has shown His grace to our land for over 200 years. But in recent years there have been voices who have called for the silencing of the message of hope and grace, and the use of the name of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Those voices appear to have received a setback. It is, however, not time to assume there is no more effort needed on our part. Now the work of prayer is just beginning.

Many of the news anchors mentioned the “historic” nature of this just completed election. President-elect Donald Trump said, in his acceptance speech, “To be really historic we must do a great job.” And if God’s people are to see a truly historic turnaround in our government then God’s people must become dedicated to hourly prayer for our nation. Satan will not assume he is defeated. God’s people must not assume they have won. Our military needs their Chaplains free to pray in Jesus’ name, our children need to be safe on the streets of our nation and in the public bathrooms, our unborn babies need to be safe from so-called family planning groups who are simply greedy for the wealth of our nation, and our pastor’s need to be free to preach that sin is sin, but that a loving Savior has paid the penalty for all sin, if each person will accept His death/resurrection gift of salvation.

If the newly elected individuals are to have the success in office our nation needs God’s people to be dedicated to prayer for wisdom in their decision making, to prayer for their dependency on Godly guidance, and for prayer that our nation will return to their roots of Biblical truth. Fervent prayer by dedicated people of God will ensure that God will provide His Grace  for an “historic” return to “one Nation under God.”

Death Symbols

ghostface_by_red_x2005Leviticus 18:21  “And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.”

Psalms 106:37  They even sacrificed their sons And their daughters to demons.

During 1975-1996, from 4 p.m. through 10 p.m. on October 31, among children aged 5-14 years, an average of four deaths occurred on Halloween during these hours each year, compared with an average of one death during these hours on every other day of the year.

When the Irish immigrated to America they could not find many turnips to carve into Jack O’Lanterns but they did find an abundance of pumpkins. Pumpkins seemed to be a suitable substitute for the turnips, and pumpkins have been an essential part of Halloween celebrations ever since. Pumpkins were cut with faces representing demons and was originally intended to frighten away evil spirits. It was said that if a demon or such were to encounter something as fiendish looking as themselves, they’d run away in terror, sparing the houses dwellers from the ravages of dark entities. These craved and lighted pumpkins would have been carried around the village boundaries or left outside the home to burn through the night.

Bats, owls and other nocturnal animals, also popular symbols of Halloween, were originally feared because people believed that these creatures could communicate with the spirits of the dead.

Black cats have quasireligious origins as well. Black cats were considered to be reincarnated beings with the ability to divine the future. During the Middle Ages it was believed that witches could turn themselves into black cats. Thus when such a cat was seen, it was considered to be a witch in disguise. (For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. 1 Sam. 15:23)

Isn’t it time to remove these symbols from our walk with Christ? “For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?” 2 Corinthians 6:14-15

God Still Loves

Jesus-ever-intercedingEzekiel 36:26-27   “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and …  I will put My Spirit within you ….”

As we remember the events fifteen years ago, it’s hard for some to believe there is a God of love.  “Why does God allow evil if He is a God of love?”  That is the question many ask. And it is a question many must have an answer to, or they will not accept the reality of God.

God did not create evil.  He created a place, that when He was finished with it all, He called “very good”. There was no pain, no sickness, no death, and only ONE rule. That rule was, “Don’t eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”. One rule!! Not bad at all. That tree gave man the opportunity to choose God’s way, or to choose to disobey. It was an opportunity to have a relationship with the Creator by choice, not one forced on us. And it wasn’t a tough choice. God had provided plenty to choose from that was in obedience to His one rule – fruit of every kind, vegetables that make ours today look sick, and other delights we know nothing about. There was only one item that was on the “Don’t Eat” list. Only one, yet man chose that one item, and ate it. Before that moment, everything upon earth was very good. Man chose to disobey, and evil came into existence, and spread to all creation. Our choice brought evil upon us.

But  his creation. And He had a way to restore the “very good” within creation.  His only begotten Son. Yes, Jesus. When man disobeys God and brings evil upon himself and the world around him, death is the result of that disobedience. But God didn’t want man to have to die, so he sent Jesus to die in man’s place. Now, if each man, woman, and child would simply accept the death of Jesus (and His resurrection that defeated death) in place of their own death, then evil would be beat back, and the “very good” could be seen again. But we men, women, and children still like choosing other than the good, the good God has made possible. Thus evil remains. But God still loves. It really is up to us  — choose the love, God offers, or continue to choose evil.  God has made a way for evil to disappear. Will man choose His way? Will we choose the “new heart” Jesus can place within our souls?

Youthfully Strong With Wisdom

Caleb-15  1 Timothy 4:12  “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 

Youth have the capacity for adventure, and God often uses this capacity to accomplish that which older servants of the Lord are unable to do. While the adventurous spirit often leads the youthful to accomplish great things there will always be the need for the wisdom of older servants, who themselves were adventurous in their youth.  

Caleb, who was a young man during Moses’ early leadership, survived the forty years of wandering that Israel had to do in the wilderness. Because he was faithful to believe the Lord’s word that they were able to go in and take the promise land, he was ready and able to follow Joshua into Canaan at the age of eighty-five. “And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the LORD spoke this word to Moses….  As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in” (Joshua 14:10-11). Caleb retained his youth because he was maintaining his readiness to accomplish the great things God had directed them toward forty-five years earlier. He did not let his spirit-of-youth evaporate, because he desired to finish what God had appointed him to do. All others but Joshua, who were his age, had succumbed to old age and died.

Caleb now had an advantage. Not only was he youthfully strong and capable for the vigorous challenge, he had gained wisdom through those forty-five years. He was a wiser leader and able to out-maneuver the enemy because of the instruction-in-wisdom the years had provided. Those who were young would not have the benefit of the understanding he would have in the heat of battle. He had not let the passing years hurt him, he had used those years to gain insight. And he parleyed that wisdom and youthful strength into victory for his family.

It is easy with each passing year to submit to the idea that with age comes weakness. But for the servant of the Lord that is not necessarily true. When God has provided us a vision for victory in some area of life, and that opportunity for victory has not yet been presented, then we do not have to sit down, surrender our youth, and die. Instead, we can work to be ready for the opportunity that God has promised.

Reflecting His Image

RefinersFire Malachi 3:3 “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”

This century provides little understanding about the daily life of those from Bible times.  We travel around in vehicles worth thousands of dollars, while they walked everywhere wearing handmade sandals.  If we could understand the life of those to whom the Scriptures where first written, then perhaps we could better understand the life-changing words written for our benefit.  The following story illustrates the point.

“Malachi 3:3 puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.  One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and to get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

“That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.  As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

“The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says:  ‘He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.’  She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

“The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

“The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, ‘How do you know when the silver is fully refined?’   He smiled at her and answered,  ‘Oh, that’s easy — when I see my image in it.’”

In other words, He wants us to be a perfect reflection of His Son.  Colossians 1:28 confirms this when Paul states: “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”

So, we can see why the fire seems a little hot sometimes. Our loving Father is just refining the image of His Son in us.  May the Lord do so and more, Amen.

The Greatest of These

kidsbible “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:13

A review of our world in the year and a half just passed reveals nations in turmoil without and within.  Often leadership is more concerned in maintaining their position and condition than in the needs of their country. They work to provide themselves a “golden parachute” rather than building a sound foundation for those they are suppose to serve.

As we try to view this present world through the eyes of Jesus Christ, we may conclude the world is lost without hope. But that view, though we are trying to have His perspective, is likely generated through earthbound eyes, rather than His all-seeing eyes.

When Jesus first came to this earth He preached hope and faith, yet the world was in as evil a state (maybe worse) as it is today. Despite all He saw and knew to be true, He nevertheless taught faith, hope, and love to twelve disciples and they changed their world.

Today there are approximately 1 ½ billion plus Christians around the world. You would think that these believers in Christ Jesus, believers who have supposedly learned faith, hope, and love, could effectively reach the remaining 5 billion people. But we are not!! Why? Perhaps it’s because we don’t believe that simple message of Christ: faith, hope, and love. In the past ten years I have been in over seven countries taking this message. Around the world this message attracts many to faith in Jesus Christ. Their response is sometimes overwhelming, as it was in the Republic of Georgia in September a few years ago. In a public park area in the center of the city, our team (which included my nephew) sought to hand out Bibles in their language. Once the word spread around that region of the city to what was happening, we gave out thousands of Bibles within thirty minutes. People were still coming begging for a Bible, after we had given out all we had. Is the message still vital today? Yes, as demonstrated by those who received a Bible and sat down at the nearest location to read it – an hour later still seated reading the message. So, the real question for each of us regarding the message of faith, hope and love, is this: “Do I believe this message?”

There’s A Final Word?

quill-parchment4-cam-twit-a My father carried around a collapsible medium format camera (similar to one above) during WWII and brought home amazing photographs that were taken in difficult circumstances. Despite the amazing advances we have made in cameras since that time, these photographs remain competitive against the newer finished products.

A close companion to the photograph is the written word. Obviously, the written word is still important or you wouldn’t be reading this reflection of mine. In addition to the internet and newspapers, millions of books are available today, and many of them claim to be the final word on the particular subject. And often that final word negates any need of an absolute truth. In fact, their “final word” often states there is no “final word.” However, there is an earlier publication that declares absolute truth, and that this truth has lasting, eternal value. It has not lost the craftsmanship of truth. And it never becomes outdated. Many have tried to find flaws in it but in the final analysis it has remained the “final Word.” It is a rare find, that will not disappoint. I mean, of course, the Holy Scriptures, God’s Holy Bible, His Living Word.

Today, much of the population of our great country has abandoned the principles set forth in this uncompromising written Word. And most see no relationship between this abandonment and the growing difficulties in our nation. Rape, child abuse, child kidnapping, and everything we never imagined is reported in every newspaper or broadcast. And it seems most people do not associate these troubles with the abandonment of God’s principles for life. Yet 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 states, “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 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.” I fear that the phrase “will humble themselves” is one part of the abandoned principles from which our nation has walked away. Some go even further and state that only man can save himself from this condition. But when we look into an old “photograph” of truth, we see a totally different picture. Man is responsible before God for abandoning His truth, His final word. It is time to humble ourselves before the Judge of the earth.

Politically Correct Scoffing

171-add2 Chron. 36:16  “But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy.”

   Scoffing has an “in-your-face” end.  Pro. 21:24 states, “A proud and haughty man ‘Scoffer’ is his name; He acts with arrogant pride.”  And God hates pride and will punish the scoffer.  Note the clear statement of Prov.19:29: “Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And beatings for the backs of fools.”  Our first passage at the top of this article clearly states that “the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy”; and this is for His people, those who had become scoffers.

Scoffing is the dismissing of truth, the laughing at that truth, and its messenger, because the heart is so absolutely absorbed in self and selfish ways. A scoffer will point out the believed error of the messenger in order to shove aside the truth of God being spoken. But God’s truth cannot be shoved aside. If the scoffer continues unrestrained, the “wrath of the LORD” will have “no remedy” except in the “judgments prepared for scoffers.” And scoffers will not be able to “scoff” their way out of the wrath and judgment of God. “God can’t do nothin’ to me” will be seen by the scoffer for the lie that it is, but it will be too late.

Our nation seems to be led by scoffers – those who are “scoffers” of TRUTH. To buy into their scoffing suggestions is ultimately fatal, as Adam and Eve discovered. It brought major grief to their hearts because their belief in [s]atan’s lie soon led to one son killing the other son.  Their self-interest brought about self-misery.  We, God’s people today, must never join with the scoffing directed at God’s truth.  May our motto be this: God said it. I will live by it.

Victory Over Cancer – Kathy and the USA!

The link at the bottom of this new blog is to a high-quality video posted at Google-Plus. Many of you who are faithful readers have prayerfully followed the life of my beloved wife as she fought for the victory over Cancer. We – for she has approved this posting – present this video of her journey to victory as it relates to the writing of “Whatever Happened to – America?”, for she was much of the inspiration behind the completion of this work. In this video you will see pictures you likely have not seen before and her own words she spoke at different points. It is a reminder that in all things, God Gives The Victory.

I invite you to watch the video and then share it with your social network. We also ask for you to go to Amazon/author/JamesDuncan and buy a copy of “Whatever Happened To – America?” America needs help. By reading this work you may learn more of the need, and see why my lovely wife, during her struggles with cancer, pressed me to complete the book. Thanks to all our prayer warriors, and may God also give the victory to the people of this great land.

Video link:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/photo/105672572485040249925/6284099691671455506

To Read or Not To Read

In keeping with the principles of marketing (tools for reminding people of the things they wanted to remember but forgot what it was 😊 ), I have created a new video, taking a fresh look at freedoms guaranteed in our founding documents. Many of these freedoms are being targeted for removal by those individuals who wish to have control over the masses (their term for you and me). I encourage everyone to get a copy of this book, Whatever Happened To – America? and then read it. I have heard this comment, recently: “Oh, I don’t read!” And that is what the Destroyers-of-our-Freedom want. “Don’t read, don’t listen to the news, don’t vote, so that we can take over.” So read this book, and others, such as those from WallBuilders, and then be sure and Vote For God this election. To know what God put in the documents of our country and to know what the enemies of freedom are trying to remove, and then going to prayer for wisdom, will enable the act of Voting For God when we go to the polls.
Thank you for reading. Now go to the link below:

AbrahamLincoln-Constitution3sz  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb9DJ2oPeec