All posts by John

Christian saved by grace through faith.

Fargo fights the floods….in church

After days and days of flooding and sandbagging essentially the entire city, Fargo residents were in church on Sunday, giving thanks for the receding waters of the Red River.  The river crested on Saturday and continued to retreat below record lows on Sunday.  Though not out of the woods yet, residents took time out to join together in their respective churches.  As Reverend Bob Ona, pastor of Fargo’s First Assembly of God, said during Sunday’s service, “At a time like this, we need to call on God’s providential assistance.  All of you have been heroic in your efforts. All of you have been pushed past the wall of weariness, exhaustion and numerous frustrations in order to do the right thing – help people in the name of the Lord.”  The city was not without it’s casualties though as Oak Grove Lutheran school campus was heavily damaged by flood waters when, despite efforts from flood fighters, a floodwall buckled unleashing waters into the buildings. 

The Red River actually flows geographically north towards Canada and has very little elevation drop over that distance.  That means that due to the flat topography, the high waters could be around for quite sometime.  As the residents continue watch over their floodwalls and patchwork emergency levees, it’s their faith they’re now turning to, instead of the man-made structures.

As Christians, it’s times like these where we need our faith more than ever.  Instead of relying on our selves during difficult times, we need to seek our refuge in the Lord.  Remember the God-fearing folks of Fargo in your prayers.

Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.

AP Story Link

Saul Revisited

Two months ago I published a post entitled, Are We Re-living the Time of Samuel.  My intention with this post was to point out some of the parallels that “could” happen to our country with the election of a new president.  I say “could” happen, because I included the caveat, “Unless the people can return to their roots and mission, they will crumble from within.”  I received some positive and some negative feedback on this post, because some were able to see the connection while others tried to compare every single detail of the transition of Samuel to Saul to the transition form President Bush to President Obama and that just simply wasn’t the comparison I was making.  No, Samuel is not the former president and Saul is probably not the new one, though time will tell.  It’s more about ideals and where we are as a country.  If you’d like, take a couple of minutes and read/re-read the original post and I’ll wait right here…..:-)

Back?  Good.  What we have to understand about Israel during their transition of power was that until this point, they had no king, no ruler, only judges and then priest(s) who served in capacity as prophet, priest, and “king”.  Samuel was an understudy to the priest Eli and took over for him after his death.  Eli had judged Israel for 40 years. I Samuel 4:18 Samuel had charged the house of Israel to abandon their idols and give their hearts back to God.  Samuel actually traveled via circuit year by year to different regions during his time over Israel, but as he aged, the people became disgruntled and increasingly dissatisfied.  Now is where we’ll start to see the parallels to today’s society. 

Let’s pause briefly to address the foundation of the United States.  We learn very early on in our education that the Pilgrims and Puritans came to the new world to seek religious freedom.  As such they escaped religious tyranny and began years of migration from England to what would be America to allow the practice of their religion based on the Bible.  This isn’t a history lesson, but merely to provide background for the foundation of this country on Biblical principles.  Some debated with my last post that we are such a “melting pot” that many different religions and ideas have factored into the development of the U.S., but this simply isn’t true.  It’s only been within the last century+ that this has been the case.  As I’ve mentioned, our laws, values, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, judicial system were ALL based sound Biblical principles and the authority of God.  As one of our founding fathers John Adams said, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  Interesting.  As a nation, we are daily abandoning these foundational truths.  Churches are being divided via the gay agenda, atheism is on the rise, apostasy is upon us, our country has become one of many worldly religions and to speak out against any of these issues via Christian principles will soon be deemed hate speech.  We are turning our back on God and rejecting him as our King and sole provider.

So back to the Israelites, Samuel was able to bring them back to God and as a result their adversary the Philistines no longer had dominion over them and the cities that were taken from them were restored. I Samuel 7:13-14 But as Samuel began to age, the people began to be restless with him and demanded a king; they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” I Samuel 8:6 KJV In response to these demands, this is what the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their King.”  The Israelites forsaked God, but He told Samuel to grant their request for a king, but offer a stern warning to them.  Below is his warning:

I Samuel 8:11-18 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

Keep in mind, this warning was given because the people had turned their back on God.  God had Samuel anoint Saul as king knowing full well what would happen. 

I understand that many people view the Bible with their own interpretations and above correlation is just an example of my viewpoint.  I even debated going through the passage above and relating each specific warning to what is and will take place in this country, but elected not to, because the focus should be on returning to our roots and foundation in God.  Read the passage for yourself and let God speak to you and what it means to you.  Because agree or disagree with the analysis, there’s no debate that we are a nation falling away from God.  Will we follow the same path as the Israelites?  Have we been given our warning?  Is it too late to heed the warning?  I pray that we’re not already on the path of the warning consequences, “When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religious, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”– Patrick Henry 1776

“The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.”  The US Congress 1782

“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under.” – Ronald Reagan

Criticism over President’s invitation to Notre Dame

I saw this story yesterday and thought it was very interesting.  It hasn’t been getting a lot of attention yet, but I think it needs to.  The story centers on an invitation given to President Obama to speak at their upcoming commencement ceremony.  It’s been a tradition going back to Jimmy Carter.  However, as a result of the President’s strong stance on pro-abortion and his new legislation to allow federal funding for embryonic cell research, there has been an increasing swell of support to retract the invitation because of the conflict of moral beliefs.  In reality, the university will probably not rescind the invitation, for fear of alienating the new administration, but this no doubt will be a hot topic as the date for the commencement approaches.  The link to the full story is below.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090327/D976AMMG0.html