Nov 2019

Sharing Thanksgiving Day 2019

Thanksgiving is a day we usually think of as a day of gathering together as families and friends. We plan large, traditional meals with turkey, stuffing, and sides created from recipes passed down through the generations. We are mindful of the Lord, the Giver of all things. We celebrate this day in America specifically to remember the Pilgrims that thanked Him after their first very hard year here.  We all know the story. As children, we learned of this in school and did lots of Thanksgiving arts and crafts, commemorating the Pilgrims’ celebration in October 1621 with the Native Americans that helped them.

That first Thanksgiving was a community event. No one was left out. Rather than gathering as families, they gathered as a community. So, let’s think beyond our home’s safe walls today. We often think of the homeless. Do you know any singles living on their own? Maybe there are young adults or students in your church who can’t go home this holiday season. How about single moms and dads raising their children alone? Are there any elderly in your neighborhood without family close by? Those new to America from foreign lands may not yet know of this truly American holiday and may enjoy the spiritual heritage lesson. I’ve met many over the years that have never eaten a turkey or cranberry sauce. 

It’s not too late to find someone that may relish your company today, a little history lesson, and maybe someone to share a football game with. You will have the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with them in the most natural way possible. It is American history and culture to set aside this day to thank our Lord for His bountiful blessings!  

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples.” (Psalm 105:1; NASB)

“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 John 3:17-18; NLT)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Thank the Lord for all of His provision to you this past year.
  • Thank Him for the relationships you have. People are greater treasures than all the money in the world.
  • Pray for the lonely and isolated in your church and neighborhood.
  • Are you able to include anyone in your Thanksgiving celebration today? If so, call them up or knock on their door and make that spontaneous invitation.
  • If you know someone who can’t come to your home due to their health or other limitation, take them a plate and spend some time with them instead. Share God’s love in a practical way with them.

A prayer you can pray:

Father, we are so thankful for this day set aside by government decree specifically to thank You for all of Your goodness. We commemorate the Pilgrims, who had much to be thankful for, as You helped them settle into what would become the United States of America. They couldn’t have done it without the Native Americans who welcomed them to these shores and helped them. Just like those Pilgrims, we set aside this day to celebrate the abundance You provide and to worship You with our families and friends. Let us not forget the lonely and the isolated. Let us consider those that may be alone today, may not have enough to celebrate lavishly, or may be unable to celebrate with others at all. Let our hearts make room for them. Let us do what we can to include individuals and families who are on their own with family far away or non-existent, even if we have to go to them. Let us not forget the foreigners near us who may not know what this day is about. Let us tell them the story of Jesus, as we tell them about Your dream for this nation. Thank You for everything you have given us. Thank You for everything You do for us. Thank You for everyone You have connected us with. Thank You, thank You, Jesus! Amen.

Today’s decree:

We will make our thankfulness to the Lord known everywhere we go!

Nov 2019

Thankful for Family

I have said this a number of times recently, but I need to say it again today. God had a dream on the day of creation. He was speaking forth His dream and creating the environment for it. He wasn’t creating planets. He had lots of planets. God’s dream wasn’t oceans and mountains. It wasn’t waterfalls and gardens. It wasn’t unique animals to fill the land, sea creatures to fill the oceans, and birds of fantastic plumage to fill the skies. All of that was because of His dream. His dream was people. It was family. He didn’t create the earth and then wonder what He could do with this fantastic thing; this masterpiece. He knew what to do with it. He was creating a home for this family He was about to put in it. We are His family. All those that receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord are His family. He would have liked for every single one of humankind to end up in that family, but because of the fall, it wasn’t going to be that way. 

Many of us are going to have our families in our homes over the next few days to celebrate and give thanks to God for all He has given and all He has done and will do for us. Let’s prioritize family for a while. Some may know Him. Some may not. Some members of our family are kind, gracious, warm, friendly, thoughtful, and helpful. Some are not. Some like to stir up trouble. Some don’t want to get along with other family members. Some are argumentative or lazy or rude. However, they are the family God gave you. They are the family He put you into. Some of His kids are the same. Some love Him, relate well to Him, like to hang out with Him, and serve Him. Others ignore Him, act like He doesn’t exist, and even profane Him. He keeps loving them. He continues to woo them. He doesn’t treat them the way He is treated by them. So, let’s take a lesson from Him.

Enjoy your family and the family of God. Act as much like Jesus as you have the grace to do so. Ceci and I wish you and your families the most wonderful Thanksgiving season. We are thankful for the family God has given us, and we are thankful for you, our eternal family, as well. 

“Love does not give up. Love is kind. Love is not jealous. Love does not put itself up as being important. Love has no pride. Love does not do the wrong thing. Love never thinks of itself. Love does not get angry. Love does not remember the suffering that comes from being hurt by someone. Love is not happy with sin. Love is happy with the truth. Love takes everything that comes without giving up. Love believes all things. Love hopes for all things. Love keeps on in all things. Love never comes to an end.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a; NLV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Think about everything God went through to provide a place for His family. Imagine the love in His heart.
  • Think about the family you will be gathering with this Thanksgiving Day. It may not be your natural family.
  • Pray for each one who will be there. Bless them. Intercede for their needs. Thank the Lord for them. Pray for their salvation, if they don’t yet know Jesus.

A prayer you can pray:

Father, You are such a good and loving Father. From the day of creation, You have had a dream in Your heart for family. You created a world for us to explore and enjoy. You made a place with everything we would need in it. You imagined that we would always choose You, but that hasn’t been the case. Thank You for extending us mercy through it all. Thank You for saving us and making a way for us to have the relationship with You that You have always dreamed of. We are imperfect, but You are patient and loving with us, always wooing us. 

If You can be so loving toward me, then help me to be patient, kind, and loving toward each one that I will spend Thanksgiving Day with. My family, nuclear, extended, or borrowed for the day, will be those You have decided I would spend the day with. Let me show them the love of Jesus. Grace me to extend love and mercy to each and every one. You never know—someone may need to be saved. I may need to be an example of the Believers to them. [Pray for each one you know will be there.] Thank You, Jesus, for family. Amen.

Today’s decree:

We are thankful to God for “family”!

Nov 2019

Thankful for Pastors and Our Churches

Pastors are the life-blood of our churches. Churches are the life-blood of many of our communities. We must surely be thankful for them in this Thanksgiving week! Pastors, take heart, you are not forgotten. We see how you tirelessly serve us. We know that pastoring is not just a 9 to 5 job that you can turn off when you go home to your families at the end of the day. Oh no! It is a 24/7, taking care of the flock the Lord has given you. 

Statistics show that pastors don’t pray as much as we think they should. You know what I think? I think that pure pastorally gifted people have a hard time sustaining a prayer life, not just because they are busy, but because their hearts break over the needs of the people. It is hard for them to keep bringing all the needs before the Lord. Apostles and prophets, teachers and evangelists can intercede without connecting in the soul realm. Pastors can’t. They are designed to care for the sheep. They know each one. They care about each member.  They have a hard time when someone is diagnosed with a debilitating disease, loses a spouse or a child, faces the loss of a home or a job. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute. Even one of those things in your life can bury you emotionally. Imagine what your pastor is going through. 

Pastors love the sheep. They care about the people. Most of them would lay down their lives for even the most ungrateful in their congregations. If all of us would support our pastors and be dedicated to our churches as the Bible tells us to be, what might our communities look like? We could change them. Let’s do more than pray for our pastors and churches today. Let’s ask God to provide strategies for our churches to reach those communities with all hands on deck. Let’s change our communities and change our nation, as we show others the love of Jesus.

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35; NLT)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Intercede for pastors in general. Thank God for this precious gift to the Body of Christ.
  • Pray for your pastor.
  • Ask God what you can do to support and undergird your pastor.
  • Think about your church congregation. What are its corporate strengths and weaknesses? What has God called your church to do in your community? What can it do well? What can you do to help your church make a difference in its area?
  • Thank the Lord for churches all over America. Bless the churches. When you drive by or walk by one today, bless that church, even if it’s not your own church. It is a critical part of the community. 
  • Pray that the churches work together to reach the lost and that those without Christ see the love that the Church has for one another. 

A prayer you can pray:

Father, we bless the pastors of America today. What a national treasure they are. We take our pastors for granted too often. You have uniquely designed them to care for their congregations and communities and we take advantage of that. We forget that they are compassionate and care deeply about us and about what is going on in the lives of their flocks. Meet the deepest needs of their lives. If we’ll pay attention, we will see Your heart in them. The part of Christ that selflessly went to the cross is in many pastors. We shouldn’t take advantage of that, but come alongside them, pray for them and encourage them. Help us to see the reason you put our pastor and our church in the place it is. Is there a need there you would like us to meet? How can we show the love of Christ to those who live and work in that area? What unique thing are we called to do as a body of believers? We bless the churches of America. We thank You for them, Lord. Strengthen them. Give them the resources they need to function well where You have planted them. Let the love we have for one another be seen by those who are around us. Let us make an impact and be the shelter from life’s storms for many, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today’s decree:

Pastors and Churches are a blessing we can’t do without in America!

Nov 2019

Thankful for Religious Freedom in America

“People are being persecuted for their faith [in this country and around the world]. It’s generally a minority faith. Over 80 percent of the world’s population doesn’t have freedom of religion, and it’s time somebody did something about it.

“So the President took this up today. The Secretary of State announced this at the ministerial we did earlier this year, Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. He announced the creation of an International Religious Freedom Alliance, and this is us inviting other nations to join us in a concerted effort to push against religious persecution all around the world.

“So I’ve been out approaching countries. The Secretary put forward a clear call here. The President did, as well. And we will ask other nations to join this alliance. The alliance will be an effort of like-minded nations to push forward the issues of religious freedom, to push against religious persecution, but to do more than that: to push governments to change their policies so that there isn’t persecution, that there is freedom. 

“The Secretary pointed out this will be the most significant new human rights organization in a generation. Human rights have been deteriorating around the world, and we hope to really see the effort on religious freedom push forward and expand human rights. This is one of those foundational rights that, if you get it right, other rights tend to grow from it; if you get it wrong, other rights tend to diminish with it.” (Amb. Sam Brownback)

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13; ESV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Our Constitution guarantees us freedom of religion. Only where there is freedom of religion can we be free to choose Christ and be able to worship as we desire. Thank the Lord for our constitutional right.
  • Pray that that right is never removed from us.
  • Being able to choose to worship Jesus in America, also means we must allow others to choose idolatry. We don’t like that, but God gave us freedom to choose or not choose Him from the beginning. Intercede for the multitudes that have not chosen Jesus.
  • Pray for Ambassador Brownback as he is the U.S. emissary to go and promote religious freedom to governments around the world. Bless him for undertaking this challenging task. He loves the Lord and knows this pleases God and opens the way for others to know Christ worldwide.
  • Thank the Lord that our country, the United States of America, our president, our State Department, is the one He chose to spearhead this humanitarian effort. Praise Him!

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, You are God and we know there is no other. Knowing that, we also know there was a reason You led the framers of the Constitution to secure our right to religious freedom. We can choose to worship You or not worship You. We can share the gospel freely here and others can freely choose Jesus. If we did not have that freedom, our ability to share the Gospel might be severely limited, as it is in other nations. We are so thankful to be free. Let us not ignore this freedom, but understand how important it is. We pray that others would come to know the One that gives them freedom to choose or not choose Him. 

Thank you for Ambassador Brownback, a man who loves Jesus and understands how critical this freedom is. He has such compassion for those who are persecuted for their faith around the world. He and our Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, have helped our president understand this, as well. Thank You that President Trump has understood and agreed that religious freedom is something the United States will fight for internationally. This humanitarian effort will also open the way for many to hear about and receive Jesus in a great end time harvest of souls worldwide. Thank You, Jesus! Amen.

Today’s decree:

The United States will lead the way to freedom of religion in the world today!

Learn more about Ambassador Brownback here and the International Religious Freedom Alliance here.

Nov 2019

Thankful for a Prosperous Nation

Prosperity is measured in various different ways by economists, social scientists, financiers, and governments. It can be measured in GDP (gross domestic Product), in overall value of resources, in numbers of wealthy individuals, in amounts of money spent, in the value of intrinsic attributes, such as happiness, etc. Regardless, anyone living in the United States of America knows it is a prosperous nation. That doesn’t mean every person is prosperous. We definitely have the poor among us, and some people face challenges attaining the “American Dream”. Overall, however, this is a land of opportunity. Many from around the world dream of coming here and work hard to do so. Since the 2008 housing and market crashes, we have had an unprecedented increase in our economy. It is providing more jobs today than at any other time in our history. Wealth is being created here.

Many of us have more than enough to meet our needs and share with others. We give to support missionaries to go tell people about Jesus, plant churches, and minister to the felt needs of many worldwide. We give massive amounts to charities that spread the Gospel, feed the world’s hungry, provide medical assistance, education, clean water, entrepreneurship, and many other things. We are a giving nation.

Let’s look at how the Bible defines prosperity. In Deut. 8:18, the Word tells us to remember the Lord, because He is the One that gives us power to create wealth. In many places it tells us that God supplies our needs and provides for us. The Bible tells us that doing what the Bible says will show us how to become prosperous. (Do you know that there is more written about money than salvation in the Bible?) It tells us to work hard and honor the Lord in all of our labor. We are also to honor Him with the results, acknowledging that He gave it and giving a portion back to Him in tithes and offerings. We are not to be greedy, selfish, or complaining. We are to be thankful, trusting completely in Him. Individually, we can become prosperous in Him and together, we become a prosperous nation.   

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2; ESV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Let’s “remember the Lord today”. Thank Him for His goodness to you and your family. Spend some time and thank Him thoroughly for all He has given you – family, property, jobs, health or means to become healthy, church, friendships and other relationships, etc.
  • Remove complaining from your heart and thank Him for your job or your family’s source of provision. Bless bosses, employees, corporate leadership, donors, customers, clients, the government or any others that source your living.
  • Thank the Lord for our prosperous nation. 
  • Bless the wealthy and pray that they will come to know Jesus as their Savior and Provider. The Bible tells us this is rare and hard for them, as they have trouble seeing His importance in their lives. The wealthy, powerful, and influential often miss honoring Him because they feel self-made. They must learn to honor Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. They need our prayers.
  • Intercede for the poor and those who have trouble finding their place in our economic structure. Pray they will come to know the love of God and that His love will provide for every place of lack.

A prayer you can pray:

God, You are good. You are so good to me. You are God Most High. You are the Maker of the heavens and the earth. You have created all things and by You they were created. It is not possible for me to lack any good thing, because I know You and You care for me. If You clothe the lilies of the field and feed the birds of the air, surely You can provide for me and my family. Why do I ever worry. Any financial troubles I may face are surely temporary, because You can give me what I need, direct me to know how to find provision or even create provision. You can put me in the exact right place at the exact right time to find what I need. I am so thankful today for so many things. I am living in a wealthy place. I am living in a prosperous nation. I am grateful for (name things off to the Lord that are specific to you). 

Forgive my complaining about any resource You have given me. I am thankful for my job and those that provide my sustenance from it. You give to me and I can give to others. Throughout this nation, many are working and then giving to support others here and around the world. It’s not just for me that You prosper me. I pray that the wealthy realize this. Don’t let them hoard what they have been blessed with. Give them a heart to share what they have learned and multiply themselves. Show them how You have helped them. Reveal Jesus to the lost, both rich and poor, but especially to the rich who don’t often see a need for You. Let them honor You with their wealth, even as the poor give out of their need. Meet every need of those who cannot fully provide for themselves, Jesus. Save them and let them know the great compassion You have for them. Amen. 

Today’s decree:

We are thankful to God that He has made us a prosperous nation. It is one that can provide for our citizens and share His love with others around the world.

Nov 2019

Thankful for Our Military

The United States military is made up of five branches—Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Most of us are aware of our military, but we don’t know much about why they each exist and how they function. We are thankful that some serve to protect us, but we don’t know exactly how they do that. So, today, I thought I’d give you a short lesson on 4 of the 5 U.S. military branches of service. You can read more about all of them by clicking here.

The U. S. Army is our military’s land warfare branch. They were established on June 14, 1775 as the Continental Army. That was the army that fought the Revolutionary War. The army is the largest branch of the military, by far, with over 1 million in our fighting force. The mission of the U. S. Army is “to fight and win our Nation’s wars, by providing prompt, sustained, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders.” They are primarily a defensive force.

The U. S. Marine Corps came into existence on November 10, 1775 and their distinction was to be equipped to fight on land or on sea. It is the smallest branch of the service with just over 200,000 troops. Their responsibilities include “seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and other land operations to support naval campaigns. Additionally, they provide development of tactics, technique, and equipment used by amphibious landing forces in coordination with the Army and Air Force.” They are considered an elite fighting force and are the expeditionary arm of the military.

The U. S. Navy was born October 13, 1775. They are the naval warfare branch of the military and the largest and best equipped navy in the world. It has almost a half a million individuals in service. The U. S. Navy exists “to win conflicts and wars while maintaining security and deterrence through sustained forward presence.The U.S. Navy’s functions comprise sea control, power projection and nuclear deterrence.” Deterrence or preventing war and preventing the escalation of war is a primary duty of our Navy.

The U. S. Air Force came into being on September 18, 1947, as a separate fighting force. Prior to that, the USAF was a part of the U. S. Army. As with our Navy, it is the most advanced air force in the world today. It is comprised of apx. 321,000 in active duty. Their purpose is “to preserve the peace and security, and provide for the defense, of the United States, the Territories, Commonwealths, and possessions, and any areas occupied by the United States; and to overcome any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United States.” It is our offensive force and is often sent in to show the power of the U. S. Armed Services against an aggression. 

“Give praise to the Lord, my Rock. He trains my hands for war. He trains my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and is like a fort to me. He is my place of safety and the God who saves me. He is like a shield that keeps me safe. He brings nations under my control. (Psalm 144:1-2; NIRV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Thank the Lord for the U. S. Armed Forces, which protect our citizens from aggression from other nations.
  • Thank Him for the more than 2 million individuals on active duty across all branches of service.
  • Thank Him for the family members who serve right alongside their spouses and parents, sacrificing stable lifestyles for constant upheaval for the sake of that defense.
  • Pray for each branch of service as outlined above, thanking God for the strength of each branch and their ability to function optimally for the defense of our freedom.

A prayer you can pray:

God, You are a mighty man of war, according to the Word. You train us to war in intercession. We choose to use those weapons of warfare to intercede today in thanksgiving for members of our U. S. military. We live safe and free, because of all of those who serve in the armed forces of America. It is a sacrifice we do not take lightly. Each of their lives and the lives of their spouses and children matter to You. They each sacrifice much for the rest of us. We are thankful for their work to defend, protect, search out, and attack any threat to our national security. We pray for the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force. Keep each one strong, well-funded, and able to do what they do in unity and with cutting edge technology. Keep giving their leadership wisdom. Provide scientists, contractors, and others supporting them, witty inventions and ideas that will keep our nation’s military the very best in the world. Thank you that we help keep other nations free, as well. Thank you for our Armed Forces, Jesus. Amen.

Today’s decree:

We are thankful for the U.S. Armed Forces, who work hard to search out, prevent, defend against, and attack the aggression of any nations seeking to harm our citizens.

Nov 2019

Thankful for Liberty

Our founding fathers were all about liberty. It wasn’t that they woke up one day and were suddenly patriotic and nationally-focused. They were largely Christians. They understood from their Bible readings and common study of the Word that liberty was very important to God. Liberty and freedom are used almost interchangeably in the Bible. The meaning in the Greek is to be free of anything that would enslave us, or to remove anything that blinds us to the majesty of Christ.

The founders saw liberty as a key freedom; as a right given to them by God, their Maker. For whom the Son sets free is free indeed! And, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty! In their world, the Spirit of the Lord was involved in every aspect of their daily lives. They looked to God for everything and acknowledged Him in leading them daily. Our government was even formed as they sought Him for Divine guidance. 

From the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

From the preamble to the U.S. Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1; KJV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Thank the Lord that you get to live in a nation where liberty is protected by its constitution.
  • Consider the meanings of liberty in the New testament as expressed above. 
  • Read aloud the first few lines from the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution, which are written above. Ponder their meaning.
  • Declare that liberty is a basic human right given by God, our Creator! 
  • Say, “May nothing stand in the way of God’s people seeing Him in the fullness of His Majesty.”
  • Intercede for any group of people that you may know of who are still not yet experiencing full liberty in America.
  • Pray for the lost to come to Jesus and find true freedom and liberty in the One who sets us free from sin and death and hell.

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, may we never take our liberty for granted in America. Because we live free in this nation, this is not something that often crosses our minds. However, there are many in the U.S. that have suffered without liberty for long periods of time throughout our history. Blacks under slavery did. Other minorities have, as well, such as the Japanese after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Our Native American populations have been restricted in their freedom in many ways. Women have had their freedom limited in the past, as well. God, we are thankful that our nation’s founders considered liberty to be a basic human right, even if they didn’t perfectly provide it at the first. Over time, we have gotten closer to the goal of all men and women living free in this nation. In Christ, we know we are always free. We want nothing to ever stand in the way of observing Christ’s majesty! That is the epitome of liberty! If we can see You and worship You, Jesus, we will live free, regardless of any limitations we may face in civil society. Thank you for liberty! Amen. 

Today’s decree:

We are thankful for the liberty guaranteed to us in America!

Nov 2019

An Historic Day of Thanksgiving

On December 16, 1773, an act that would lead to the U. S. Revolutionary War ensued. It would come to be called “The Boston Tea Party”. That season of America’s history should be studied well by every pastor. Pastors need to be convinced that this nation had solid Christian roots. We all need to see the role that pastors played in keeping their congregants informed of the issues of the day, as well as leading them in prayer and action regarding those matters. Today, I have an excerpt from a sermon for you on a national day of thanksgiving called by the “provincial government” of the Massachusetts colony. There was no standard Thanksgiving Day holiday at that time, but days of Thanksgiving were regularly called by government authorities. This one was to be observed “In thanksgiving to God for the Blessings enjoyed; and humiliation on account of public Calamities.” “Public calamities” is referring to the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party. I encourage you to go here and read it in its entirety and see who Rev. John Lathrop was. His Thanksgiving sermon is a part of the recorded Christian history of this nation.

Sermon by JOHN LATHROP, A. M.

Pastor of the Second Church in Boston
December 15, 1774

“AUTHORIZED by a divine precept, [Exodus 34:22] and excited by the feelings of gratitude, the inhabitants of these northern provinces, have made it their constant practice, to meet in their religious assemblies, at the close of the year, and devoutly offer unto the Lord, their sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

“When the fruits of the earth are gathered in, and we are furnished with provisions for an expensive winter season, nothing can be more proper, than for a people professing godliness, to unite in paying their thankful acknowledgments to the father of the universe, for the expressions of his goodness.—And we rejoice, that the representatives of this Province, who, in the present distracted state of our public affairs, have been consulting the most proper ways to recover and secure our invaded liberties, were not unmindful of the blessings we receive from God almighty; but have invited us to observe this day of general thanksgiving.

“But although we have much reason to bless the Lord, for the many expressions of his goodness, through the course of the last year, it is proper, even on this day of festivity, ‘to humble ourselves before God, on account of those sins, for which he hath suffered our present calamities to come upon us, and implore the divine blessing, that by the assistances of his grace, we may be enabled to reform whatever is amiss, that so God may be pleased to continue to us the blessings we enjoy, and remove the tokens of his displeasure.’” 

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:1, 3, 7-8a, & 10; NIV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Thank the Lord for a nation that honored the Lord at its point of establishment.
  • Thank God for our Christian heritage, which is well-recorded for all to see.
  • Thank Him for the examples we have in history of pastors, such as Rev. Lathrop, who engaged the culture and taught their congregants how to properly reside in a fallen world.
  • Ask the Lord to stir our pastors today to be bold in their pulpits. We need to know more than how to live a Christian life. We need to know how to expand God’s Kingdom in the world around us and keep the darkness out.
  • Thank the Lord for the United States of America. We may not be a perfect nation, but we are a nation He established and we are largely a nation that worships Him.

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, we come to you and thank You for the United States of America. We thank You for our Christian heritage. We thank You that we can look back on our history and see how You led Your people here to come and form a nation that would honor You in everything they did. They were careful to seek You for every decision they made. The pastors kept the people informed from their pulpits of what was going on in the country, and why. They were not shy about this. They were bold, There was no concept of keeping the Church separate from matters of the State. They looked to the Word of God to help them know if the government was operating properly. Then, they told the people if it was or was not! They never let the government decide how Believers would serve You. They led the people to seek You on behalf of the government officials acting out of alignment with the Word. What a concept! Christians holding their governing officials to account. Where are those leaders today? We call them forth, Lord! Raise them up. Fill them with boldness and fill their mouths with Truth from Your Word. Teach us, lead us, guide us and sustain us, Holy One. We love You and we love America. We pray all this with thanksgiving in the Name of Jesus, amen.

Today’s decree:

We thank God for America’s Christian heritage!

Nov 2019

The Powers of the President

“While there may have been some differences among the Framers as to the precise scope of Executive power in particular areas, there was general agreement about its nature.  Just as the great separation-of-powers theorists – Polybius, Montesquieu, Locke – had, the Framers thought of Executive power as a distinct specie of power. To be sure, Executive power includes the responsibility for carrying into effect the laws passed by the Legislature – that is, applying the general rules to a particular situation. But the Framers understood that Executive power meant more than this.

“It also entailed the power to handle essential sovereign functions – such as the conduct of foreign relations and the prosecution of war – which by their very nature cannot be directed by a pre-existing legal regime but rather demand speed, secrecy, unity of purpose, and prudent judgment to meet contingent circumstances.  They agreed that – due to the very nature of the activities involved, and the kind of decision-making they require – the Constitution generally vested authority over these spheres in the Executive. For example, Jefferson, our first Secretary of State, described the conduct of foreign relations as “Executive altogether,” subject only to the explicit exceptions defined in the Constitution, such as the Senate’s power to ratify Treaties.

“A related, and third aspect of Executive power is the power to address exigent circumstances that demand quick action to protect the well-being of the Nation but on which the law is either silent or inadequate – such as dealing with a plague or natural disaster. This residual power to meet contingency is essentially the federative power discussed by Locke in his Second Treatise.

“And, finally, there are the Executive’s powers of internal management.  These are the powers necessary for the President to superintend and control the Executive function, including the powers necessary to protect the independence of the Executive branch and the confidentiality of its internal deliberations. Some of these powers are express in the Constitution, such as the Appointment power, and others are implicit, such as the Removal power.” (Attorney General Bill Barr)

“Every person must submit to and support the [governing] authorities over him. For there can be no authority in the universe except by God’s appointment, which means that every authority that exists has been instituted by God. So to resist authority is to resist the divine order of God, which results in severe consequences. For civil authorities don’t intimidate those who are doing good, but those who are doing evil. So do what is right and you’ll never need to fear those in authority. They will commend you for your good citizenship.” (Romans 13:1-3; TPT)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Call the three branches of the U. S. government into constitutional order!
  • Read the following excerpts from Attorney General Bill Barr’s statement above as a decree. These are the duties and rights of a U. S. president as granted by the U. S. Constitution:
    • “Executive power includes the responsibility for carrying into effect the laws passed by the Legislature.”
    • “The President has the power to handle essential sovereign functions – such as the conduct of foreign relations and the prosecution of war, which demand speed, secrecy, unity of purpose, and prudent judgment to meet contingent circumstances.”
    • “The President has the power to address circumstances that demand quick action to protect the well-being of the Nation but on which the law is either silent or inadequate – such as dealing with a plague or natural disaster.”
    • “The President is the one to superintend and control the Executive function, including the powers necessary to protect the independence of the Executive branch and the confidentiality of its internal deliberations.”
  • Declare, “Any attempt by legislators who want President Trump removed from office for any reason that is within his right as the President and chief officer of the Executive branch will unravel through the impeachment hearings.”
  • Again today, ask the Lord to use this impeachment process to educate the U. S. citizenry on government, the roles of each branch of government, and the separation of the powers of each branch.

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, we call the three branches of the U. S. government into right order. We say that the powers given each one by the U. S. Constitution are the parameters they must operate within. The legislative branch can hold the president to account, if they operate outside of their constitutional role. So, we remind ourselves of the powers given to the President in the Constitution, as outlined by U. S. Attorney General Bill Barr: “Executive power includes the responsibility for carrying into effect the laws passed by the Legislature. The President has the power to handle essential sovereign functions – such as the conduct of foreign relations and the prosecution of war, which demand speed, secrecy, unity of purpose, and prudent judgment to meet contingent circumstances. The President has the power to address circumstances that demand quick action to protect the well-being of the Nation but on which the law is either silent or inadequate – such as dealing with a plague or natural disaster. The President is the one to superintend and control the Executive function, including the powers necessary to protect the independence of the Executive branch and the confidentiality of its internal deliberations.” Any attempt by legislators who want President Trump removed from office for any reason that is within his right as the President and chief officer of the Executive branch will unravel through the impeachment hearings. Lord, please let these hearings cause the American people to want to learn how our government functions. Highlight the Constitution. Grant us knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Amen.  

Today’s decree:

Let it be known that the Executive power of the President is given for the well-being of the nation!

Learn more here about Attorney General Bill Barr and his speech at the Federalist Society’s 2019 National Lawyers Convention.

Nov 2019

The Foundations of Presidential Power

“The grammar school civics class version of our Revolution is that it was a rebellion against monarchical tyranny, and that, in framing our Constitution, one of the main preoccupations of the Founders was to keep the Executive weak. This is misguided. By the time of the Glorious Revolution of 1689, monarchical power was effectively neutered and had begun its steady decline. Parliamentary power was well on its way to supremacy and was effectively in the driver’s seat. By the time of the American Revolution, the patriots well understood that their prime antagonist was an overweening Parliament. Indeed, British thinkers came to conceive of Parliament, rather than the people, as the seat of Sovereignty. 

“During the Revolutionary era, American thinkers who considered inaugurating a republican form of government tended to think of the Executive component as essentially an errand boy of a Supreme legislative branch. Often the Executive (sometimes constituted as a multi-member council) was conceived as a creature of the Legislature, dependent on and subservient to that body, whose sole function was carrying out the Legislative will. Under the Articles of Confederation, for example, there was no Executive separate from Congress. 

“Things changed by the Constitutional Convention of 1787. To my mind, the real ‘miracle’ in Philadelphia that summer was the creation of a strong Executive, independent of, and coequal with, the other two branches of government.

“The consensus for a strong, independent Executive arose from the Framers’ experience in the Revolution and under the Articles of Confederation. They had seen that the War had almost been lost and was a bumbling enterprise because of the lack of strong Executive leadership. Under the Articles of Confederation, they had been mortified at the inability of the United States to protect itself against foreign impositions or to be taken seriously on the international stage. They had also seen that, after the Revolution, too many States had adopted constitutions with weak Executives overly subordinate to the Legislatures. Where this had been the case, state governments had proven incompetent and indeed tyrannical.

“From these practical experiences, the Framers had come to appreciate that, to be successful, Republican government required the capacity to act with energy, consistency and decisiveness. They had come to agree that those attributes could best be provided by making the Executive power independent of the divided counsels of the Legislative branch and vesting the Executive power in the hands of a solitary individual, regularly elected for a limited term by the Nation as a whole. As Jefferson put it, ‘[F]or the prompt, clear, and consistent action so necessary in an Executive, unity of person is necessary….’” (Attorney General Bill Barr)

“For the Lord shall be our judge, the Lord shall be our lawgiver, the Lord shall be our king; he himself will save us.” (Isaiah 33:22; JUB)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Our three-branch republican form of government is based loosely on the three roles the Lord holds, as noted in Isaiah 33:22. Thank the Lord for the wisdom He gave our governmental framers as they sought Him.
  • Read carefully the civics lesson above. 
  • Pray that our U.S. citizens would be more interested in understanding our form of government and the role each of the three branches play—Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.
  • Intercede for the upholding of the U.S. Constitution’s powers given to the Executive branch and the Executive-in-Chief—the U.S. President.
  • Declare that Civics classes will return as a required class to U.S. schools. Who will take up the cause to write the courses?

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, You modeled within your own self the form of government that would become the form the United States follows today. We have a Republic, a three-branch system of checks and balances, Executive, Legislative, and Judicial, with both elected and appointed leaders. The Executive and Legislative are political (chosen by the people) and the Judicial is free from politics (appointed by the current sitting president). What a miracle it is. It has served us well for 243 years. So many Americans do not understand that we are a Republic, because civics is no longer taught in most schools. If they don’t understand our form of government, then they won’t understand things like the powers given to each branch. They also won’t understand the checks and balances the Constitution grants to each branch. In other words, what politicians say in the media is what people are going to believe. How can they know if the president is overstepping his boundaries? How can they know what the Congress can appropriately hold the president accountable for? Lord, bring us back to honoring the U. S. Constitution and the wisdom in its words! Bring back civics courses nationally, so our next generation of students will understand our replublican form of government. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

Today’s decree:

The full powers of the U. S. Presidency will be not be diminished or overridden by a renegade Congress!

Learn more here about Attorney General Bill Barr and his speech at the Federalist Society’s 2019 National Lawyers Convention.

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