The Bible and This Immigration Controversy

Immigration and border security seem destined to be the “hot buttons” of this year’s mid-term elections.

Not only has Congress failed to solve the “Dreamers” issues, for illegal immigrants brought to this country by their parents when they were children, but it has not debated or moved on any comprehensive immigration legislation.

“Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

Republicans are scrambling to do something positive before the November elections on this subject, while they still are the majority in the two houses of Congress. Democrats seem determined to obstruct any plan and proposal of President Donald J. Trump or his legislative cohorts.

While the president’s Departments of Justice and Homeland Security are trying to more strictly enforce existing immigration laws, they are facing mounting opposition from both inside and outside the Republican Party. Attorney General Sessions’ “zero tolerance” policies are especially explosive as they relate to separating illegal immigrant children from their parents when they are caught and await deportation or asylum hearings.

This core problem is viewed differently by “we’re a nation of laws” conservatives, and the “don’t be hateful and heartless” progressives. The former want secure border control before talking about back taxes, avenues of assimilation, or any kind of “pathway” toward a legal residence or even citizenship.

The latter want amnesty for those “undocumented” aliens already here, along with a “welcome wagon” full of entitlements waiting in “sanctuary cities” for illegals who manage to get across our porous borders or flagrantly overstay their visas or work permits. Those who don’t agree with this liberal viewpoint are often shouted down and labeled racists, Nazis—or worse.

Without question, there needs to be an honest and thoughtful debate on who should be permanently allowed to immigrate into our country and under what conditions. Unfortunately, both Democrats and Republicans tend Continue reading

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Prayer Alert Update:

More Murderous Mayhem Planned for Israel

Drones, operated by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), have managed to bring down more than 400 flaming kites launched from Gaza, while firefighters are working to gain control of nearly 200 blazes burning some 2,500 acres near various kibbutzim (collective farms) and towns, which border along the central and northern sectors of the Gaza Strip.

Some “killer-kites” carried slow burning incendiaries, like burning charcoal.  Similarly, Helium-filled balloons are believed to be used to drip fire accelerator in the flammable areas.

As of earlier this week, these arsonist tactics by Hamas terrorists have started devastating fires in southern Israel’s wheat fields, towns, and now in the Carmina nature preserve. Authorities estimate the wild-fires have destroyed some 2,000 to 3,000 dunams (500 to 740 acres) of fields and forested areas, or about one-third of the Carmina reserve.

Some of the trees “were planted as long as 50 years ago as part of making the desert bloom have been wiped out by these fires.” This has caused massive damage to both the flora and the fauna in the popular park.

These arsonist tactics frighten vulnerable families and the decimating fires have caused tens of millions of shekels of damage. Affected  Israeli farmers are being told they will immediately be compensated for only half of this terrorist-caused devastation.

Meanwhile, Islamic imams in mosques throughout the Gaza Strip and The Islamic Republic of Iran continue each week to instill hatred and incite violence. Therefore, it is not surprising when their followers start transforming weekly chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” into hideous actions of hatred.

Additionally, pre-planned protests and riots are expected on this Friday, the fourth Friday of Ramadan, throughout Gaza, Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria in the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. It seems they want violence for violence sake, with as many casualties as possible for the Western media to obsess over.

This, is the “Religion of Peace”?

In the face of this latest expression of evil and the planned violence for this Friday, let us pray now for human wisdom and angelic protection throughout Israel–for its citizens and soldiers, alike!

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Arsonists Attack Israel from the Air

Israel has been under unique assault from Hamas, the ruling terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, for more than two months. The current turmoil is part of the pre-planned and carefully orchestrated “Great Return March” protests at the Gaza-Israeli border.

In addition to the mass protests by men, women, and children, bussed to over a dozen Palestinian protest points along the border, many set tires on fire and rolled them toward the security fencing at the physical border. Hamas reportedly would pay if a protester was injured and would pay the family even more if that member was killed, for the sake of Islamic jihad.

Under the cover of the thick, black smoke generated from the burning tires, there have been repeated efforts to cut the wire of the security fencing and broach the border into Israel. Once there, the terrorists would hope to kill or kidnap as many Israelis as possible.

In addition to the rocks and bottles thrown or shot by large slingshots or crude catapult-like constructions, many of the protestors learned to fly large kites, with incendiary devices attached, over the border into Israel, hoping to burn crops or damage the homes and schools of the peaceful residents of the nearby Israeli communities.

Some “killer-kites” carried slow burning incendiaries, like burning charcoal.  Similarly, Helium-filled balloons are believed to be used to drip fire accelerator in the flammable areas.

As of last weekend, these arsonist tactics by Hamas terrorists have started devastating fires in southern Israel’s wheat fields and in the Carmia nature preserve. Authorities estimate the wild-fires there destroyed some 2,000 to 3,000 dunams (500 to 740 acres) of fields, or about one-third of the Carmia reserve, causing massive damage to both the flora and the fauna in the reserve.

Although drones operated by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) had managed to bring down more than 500 kites, firefighters were also working to gain control of blazes near various kibbutzim (collective farms) and the town of Sderot, which borders the central and northern Gaza Strip. The fires have caused tens of millions of shekels of damage and Israeli farmers are fearful they won’t be compensated for the terrorist-caused devastation.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the Mediterranean seacoast around Gaza has seen arson used in conflicts between the two main people groups living there.

Around 1,200 B.C., Continue reading

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Remembering Freedom Isn’t Free

Memorial Day is an American holiday, which is observed on the last Monday of May as a day for remembering and honoring the courageous men and women who have died for the cause of freedom while serving in our military. Other countries have similar, solemn occasions, generally dating to the end of World War I and known as Remembrance Day.

Originally observed in our land following the Civil War, it was known as Decoration Day, as mourners decorated with flowers the graves of both the Union and Confederate soldiers. In the last 100 years alone, more than 600,000 American men and women have given their lives so that we all may live in freedom.

This year, it is more than appropriate that we pause and consciously remember and honor those who have served in our nation’s defense and those who have made the ultimate, personal sacrifice for our freedoms. Take time to moments to reflect upon the lives of those who have gone before us to their eternal reward. Give thanks to God for what religious freedoms we still enjoy.

As we do, also remember the One Who gave His life for our ultimate and eternal freedom (Galatians 2:20), as expressed in these lyrics by Kurt Kaiser.

O How He Loves You and Me

Jesus to Calvary did go
His love for sinners to show.
What He did there brought hope from despair.
O how He loves you;
O how He loves me;
O how He loves you and me!

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Pentecostal Worship for Today 

Pentecost Sunday

Today is Pentecost Sunday, according to a liturgical church-calendar. It reflects on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, which occurred 50 days after the Passover-related events of our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection.

But, it is more than acknowledging an ancient Jewish celebration. It is the “birthday of the Church,” and with it the expansion of biblically-focused, Spirit-filled, Pentecostal worship.

On this day, our risen Lord’s disciples were gathered in an acoustically rich “upper room” and the promised gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:3-5) was poured out upon them. This surrender to the fullness of the Holy Spirit equipped them to “worship the Father in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24) and empowered them (and now us!) to fulfill their spiritual destinies and purposes in spiritual service.

In his book, The Church on the Way, Pastor Jack Hayford emphasized that biblically-based, Pentecostal worship “is neither a cerebral pursuit…nor an emotional binge.”

Further, he outlines biblical guidelines for worship and welcoming God’s presence into their midst. He says, “Let us then worship…

1…with our regenerated spirit (Romans 1:9)

2….with our renewed mind (Phil. 2:3-5)

3….with our revived emotions (Col. 3:23; Rom. 12:11-15)

4.…with our rededicated body (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

Old Testament worship was primarily priestly-led occasions of joyful music and inspired lyrics, which focused on God’s virtues and character. Many of King David’s psalms invited the people to come together and praise the name of the Lord with music and song!

O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms! Psalm 95:1-2 Modern English Version (MEV)

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Psalm 100:1-2 Modern English Version (MEV)

The New Testament worship moves us from Temple-centered, priestly-led worship to private and personal worship, where our individual bodies are called temples of the living Lord (2 Cor. 6:16). In this spiritual model, the Spirit-empowered praise and worship in song engage our inner person, the very elements of our soul and spirit.

The Apostle Paul taught the Colossians and Ephesians a practical pathway of Pentecostal praise and worship for today:  Continue reading

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Israel’s Story @ 70

The Land of Israel, “Eretz Israel,“ as it is known in Hebrew, has always been a land bridge connecting the early civilizations living between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers to the northeast and those in the Nile River valley of Egypt, to the southwest.

This “fertile crescent”, between Europe, Asia, and Africa hosted the primeval history of the human race (creation, the fall, the great flood, the rise and spread of nations) and the patriarchal history of the Hebrew race (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph).

Left to itself, it will revert to a desperate and deserted desert-land. Mark Twain visited the land in the late nineteenth century and described the area, in his book Innocents Abroad, as “desolate and devoid of inhabitants.”

Yet, on the beautiful and fertile plain of Jezreel-Esdraelon, great armies of aggressive foreign empires and even theocracies have often wrestled for control, over the last three millennia. There an indigenous Hebrew people developed a thriving civilization and culture in their ancient homeland.

While some of the people remained in their cities and rural communities, most of them scattered across the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. Although they flourished at times, for nearly two thousand years they lived as an oppressed minority, suffering expulsions, massacres, and ultimately genocide.

They barely survived but they never lost hope. They overcame!

They started a restoration movement, called Zionism, and many began to return to their ancestral homeland.  There they joined those who were already in The Land and built one of the most vibrant and diverse nations the world has ever seen.

That nation is Israel. And, this year it is celebrating 70 years of existence!

In spite of entrenched resistance by many of its Arab neighbors, the modern nation of Israel is a reality and a “miracle”—70 years in the making and deserving of international recognition and celebration!

Recently, U.S. President Trump Continue reading

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The Lord Has Done Great Things!

The nation was deeply moved when the three Korean Americans who had been detained in North Korea walked off the U.S. military plane early Thursday morning at Joint Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington D.C.

Kim Hak Soon and Kim Sang Duk were teachers who had been held in North Korea for a year and Kim Dong Chul had been sentenced to “hard labor” and held for nearly three years. Flashing smiles and V for “Victory” hand signs, they were greeted at their 3 a.m. arrival on American soil by President and Mrs. Trump, along with Vice President and Mrs. Pence.

One of the three former detainees reportedly handed Vice President Pence a note on a 3”x5” card, with a selection from Psalm 126 hand printed on the back.

The verses of scripture read:  Continue reading

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