Monday, April 24, 2017

Pray4America (part 20) - Australia still has our back!

kangaroo/wikipedia.com

Anne Graham Lotz, the chairperson of the National Day of Prayer, invites us to pray for the healing of America on May 4th, 2017.



And one of the themes  comes from from Daniel 9:19

Lord, listen! 
Lord, forgive!
Lord, hear and act! 
For Your sake, my God, do not delay,
 because Your city and 
Your people bear your Name.

And down under, in Australia, Warwick March announced their National Day of Prayer and Fasting team has set aside  this April 30 - May 4. 2017, to intercede for America.



And they continue with the theme, II 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.

For we have this promise...

Therefore confess your sins to each other 
and pray for each other 
so that you may be healed. 

The prayer of a righteous person 
is powerful and effective.

James 5:16 (NIV)

God bless Australia!
And God bless America!

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Photo: kangaroo/wikipedia.com

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Nostalgia (part 8) - April Showers

April Showers/everystockphoto.com

April showers
Bring May flowers


Learned that as a child.

Still true.

And one of my nostalgic memories is when my dad took me to Disney movies in the drive-in as a kid. One of those movies was Bambi (1942). And he laughed at Thumper and Bambi more than I did.

But one of the scenes was Bambi experiencing his first spring - April showers.




As I look out my window, 
I see the April showers
come and go. 
Sometimes,
snow. 

But the wet weather doesn't last. The sun comes out.

The grass is greening up. The buds bursting on trees. Birds are nesting. And yes, the deer and the bunnies are frolicking in the meadows. Like Bambi and Thumper.

Bambi was awed by nature. Like the young ones born in spring find all things new and wonderful.

And Disney tapped into our inner child. So as we get older, we may still wonder, too.

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Photo from: April Showers/everystockphoto.com



Monday, March 20, 2017

Biblia Files (part 7) - Follow Me

The Good Shepherd/everystockphoto.com

As I write, we are half-way through Lent.

And below is a video of what it may have been like if Jesus walked the earth during the days some social media. Especially twitter. And hash tags. Such as #jesustweeters.



(reference: https://youtu.be/S-hW680pCLs )  


Follow Him? Where will He take us?

The Good Shepherd only knows. But we have His promise:


When Jesus spoke again to the people,
  
He said,
 
 “I am the Light of the world.
Whoever follows Me
will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.” 
 John 8:12(NIV)


Blessings to all who follow Him
and spread His Word in every wa
y,
including on social media.


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Biblia Files (part 6) - Crowns and Frowns (2015)

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photo: The Good Shepherd/everystockphoto.com


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Timeless Truths (part 7) - Fighting for that Inch

NFL gameball/wikipedia.com

I have a confession....

I'm not a sports fan. Especially of football.

In high school, yes. I played in pep band. Attended most of the games. Rooted for the home team. I knew all the players, the cheerleaders, the mascot, the pep club, and my fellow pep band members.

After high school, life got in the way. And I didn't pay much attention to sports.

But while on vacation, going south to the warmer climes, we rendezvoused with friend, who was a sports fan.  In the lounge of the motel room we hunkered down to watch the game:

Super Bowl LI

Patriots vs. Falcons

I enjoy the Super Bowl ads. Usually watch them over and over again on YouTube.  I wondered what Lady Gaga would do for half-time. And she did not disappoint her audience.

First half of the game, the Patriots were getting slaughtered. It looked like it was over.

During half-time, I wondered what was being said the locker room.  All the Falcons had to do was to run out the clock.The Patriots? I thought of Al Pacino's inspirational speech in  Any Given Sunday (1999).

Fighting for that inch.

(caution: language)


Maybe the Patriots heard a speech like that. 

In the last half of game, a miracle happened. The biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. The game went into over-time. Never happened before.
 
The instant playbacks showed the players catching the ball within a inch of the ground, staying in-bounds by that inch, making the goal by an inch.

  
It was the inches that won the game. A real-time drama that was stranger than fiction. 

Other words....
  
The Best Game Ever!
  
 An inspiration to never give up. And fight for those inches. Even if it's never been done before.

That game was a great life lesson. Even made a football fan out of me. And that was a miracle.

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Timeless Truths (part 6) - Magna Carta - 800 years and still going strong (2015)


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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

America's Story (part 21) - Is America Great?

Reagan 80/Wikipedia.com
Make America Great Again

That slogan can be read that America is no longer great. But we want to be. Again.

And that was Donald Trump's slogan in the 2016 presidential campaign. And it was used before. In 1980. By Ronald Reagan. As shown on the button above.

Both campaigns were decades apart. But in some ways very similar. Both were successful. Both candidates won the White House.

The zeitgeist (spirit of the times), was pessimistic. Angry. Dispirited. As many Americans perceived their country was in a downward spin into the dustbin of history.

In 1980:  We suffered a malaise from stagflation to the Iran Hostage Crisis.

In 2016:  A majority (up 70% to 80%, at times) believed the country was going in the wrong direction.Direction of Country polling ]

And during this zeitgeist, I remember getting email from a friend in 2012.  It contained video link, described as  The Most Honest Three and Half Minutes of Television

It still has been making the rounds in social media. And it comes to this conclusion...

America is not the greatest country in the world anymore

Oh, no. Not this again.

That case was made on the TV series, The Newsroom (2012-2014).

It begins, first of all, with the reporter, Jeff Daniel's character Will McAvoy establishing himself as a non-partisan journalist. Objective. Unbiased. A man we can trust. At least in this fictional world.

When asked why America is the greatest country in the world (after hearing the cliche answers of his colleagues), he hesitates.  Reluctant to answer. But he has a cheerleader in the crowd encouraging him with flash cards.

And the drama builds. The answer is finally dragged out of him. Like pulling teeth. It's torture. He finally admits it:

America is not the greatest country in the world. 

Then he peppers the audience with a bucket load of statistics to support this claim. Looking sad and even mourning his dismal conclusion. Yet offering a pearl of wisdom that recognizing the problem is the first step to solving it.

Here is the clip that had many of us (myself included) wringing our hands. Warning, some profanity:


Yep. Four years ago, I bought into this brutal honesty. Hook. Line. And sinker. I even blogged about it: AI (part 1) - American Ingenuity 

Here are some points I made in that 2012 post:

The anchor seems to mourn for what we Americans used to be. And here are a few nibbles -

We stood up for what was right ... we reached for the stars ... acted like men ... we aspired to intelligence ... we didn't scare so easy ...

He ends his rant ...

First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore. ... Enough?

Then I heard a rebuttal to that scripted rant worth considering.

It's described as: A thorough slap down and rebuttal to Jeff Daniels' viral anti-America Newsroom scene, in which he claims that America is not the greatest country in the world.


Hmmm. Some fact checking here.

Other countries with freedom? Saying other countries have freedom, does not make it so. Not when speech, religion, self-defense, moving between the classes, access to education, opportunity is curtailed or defined by the state.

Statistics? Easy to lie with statistics. Mislead. Compare apples to oranges.

But with freedom comes responsibility. In absence of an overbearing "Nanny State" comes the freedom to make wrong choices. And that has consequences, which are not good. And are reflected in some statistics that point that we can do better.

It comes down to: Freedom vs. Tyranny. And I blogged about that in 2014: Too Weak to Live With Freedom?

Freedom wins. Because it's right.

And...

Is America is great?

You bet. As long as we are free.

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Other posts in this series:



America's Story (part 19) - Trinity and "The Long Peace"  (2015)

America's Story (part 20) - Patton's Weather Prayer (2015)

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