AFTER THE ELECTION:WHAT SHOULD CHRISTIANS DO?

THANK YOU, LORD, FOR THE USA

AFTER THE ELECTION: WHAT SHOULD CHRISTIANS DO? https://beckielindsey16.com/2016/11/29/after-the-electionwhat-should-christians-do/

The day after the elections, my husband and I had the privilege of visiting our nation’s capital—the infamous Pennsylvania Avenue to be exact. I stood on my tiptoes, bobbing my head around the crowds of people, to catch a glimpse of the President-elect, Donald Trump as his motorcade made its way around the corner. An angry mob of college students holding signs chanted, “Love TRUMPS hate!” Another group hollered, “You build a wall. We tear it down!”

A barricade, several police officers and Secret Service holding automatic rifles blocked the public from crossing the street in either direction. The throng of people pressed in tighter, lifting their phones overhead to snap pictures while the black SUV slowly made its turn. Even through the tinted bulletproof glass, Trump’s golden hair was visible. And then, he was gone.

People dispersed in different directions like carpenter ants. Many were tourists, like us, who headed toward the White House. The protesters continued circling the block, their angry chants heard from afar. Golden and burnt orange leaves crunched underfoot as we made our way down the crowded sidewalk, stopping to snap a few pictures of the Washington Monument in the distance.

We were supposed to go inside and tour the White House. But sadly, we were denied. I wasn’t certain that anyone would be touring given the aura of angst and dissension that rumbled throughout the city. But one thing was certain: our nation was divided.

A recent poll by CNN states more than 8-in-10 Americans say the country is more deeply divided on major issues.This is of great concern for me. In the words of Jesus Christ, ““A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse.” (Mark3:25)

In Washington D.C. (District of Columbia), Hillary Clinton took in 90% of the votes. Reports show that Clinton won the national popular vote by more than 1.5 million votes (and still counting). But this doesn’t change a thing as far as the Electoral College goes. Trump holds an insurmountable lead in swing states, which turned his popular defeat into a sizable electoral victory. Donald Trump, popular or not, is set to be our next president.

Despite these dismal reports, I believe our nation’s division gives Christians a unique opportunity and better yet, responsibility. The people of the United States are looking for hope. And hope will not be found in Trump or Clinton or any human being. Hope is found in Christ alone.

NOW THAT THE ELECTION IS OVER, WHAT SHOULD CHRISTIANS DO?

PRAY

Whether or not the candidate you voted for won, we have a responsibility to pray for our elected officials.

Franklin Graham posted the following on his Facebook page: “I pray that President-elect Trump will surround himself with godly men and women to help advise and counsel him as he leads the nation.”

Have you prayed for president-elect Trump? What about your governor or school board leaders?

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.  This is good and pleases God our Savior,  who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:1-4

LOOK WITHIN

It’s easy to focus on the flaws and sins of those in the public eye like politicians. But God’s word instructs us to look within at our own sins.

“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?”
Matthew 7:3

Walking through our nation’s capitol and viewing the awe-inspiring monuments, struck a chord with me. God was everywhere. Almost every monument mentioned His name—several times even. Our founding fathers held fast to a biblical worldview, and yet here in the heart of the nation, despite the inscriptions of the monuments, where was God? It made me question if God shows through the way I live my own life. The Holy Spirit has prompted me to: Look within. Repent. Start being about the Father’s business.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Psalm 139:23-24

As Christians, if we find ourselves disturbed at the moral decline in our nation, we must look no further than the mirror.

The moral decline did not happen overnight. It happened right under the nose of the church in a million small ways. And it will take lots of hard work and sacrifice to turn things right. But it’s not too late for the church to claim back this nation for God!

What does it look like to turn the hearts of the citizens of the United States toward God?

 L          O           V       E

What drew you to God?

L          O           V       E

TAKE A STAND

I know it’s not easy to stand for what you believe when it’s not viewed as politically correct. Many Christians are afraid of being labeled “intolerant.” Dear brothers and sisters, we have been quiet and complacent long enough. It is a sin to know what’s right and yet stay silent. Biblically speaking, there are sins of omission just as there are sins of commission. What we don’t do is equally important to what we do in fact do.

Take a look at this quote from Franklin Graham:

“We as Christians, we have been told we’ve got to be quiet,” Franklin said at the North Carolina State Capitol in October. “We don’t want to upset people. We don’t want to turn anybody off. We want to be loving. We want to be caring. And of course we want to be loving, and of course, we want to be caring. But they accuse us of being intolerant if we speak up.

“Well, we don’t want to be accused of being intolerant. So, we want to be nice. Christlike. But I remember Christ one time taking a whip and chasing those money-changers out of the temple (John 2:15). I remember Jesus one time telling those Pharisees, ‘You’re a bunch a whitewashed tombs’ (Matthew 23:27).

“There are times that we need to stand up and speak out.”

Jesus spoke the truth in love and so must we. Notice I said must, not should. We will be courageous like Christ when we speak up for Christ and His word. We can still love someone even if we don’t agree with how they are living their lives. In fact, it’s more loving to point someone who is walking in the darkness of sin to the light of love and forgiveness that only comes through Jesus. Turning a blind eye not only shows a lack of faith and courage but is an accessory to the sin.

So as we look ahead to January when Donald Trump takes the most power position in the world, I urge you, dear friends: Pray. Look within. And take a stand.

Are you with me?


This post is linked to #LMMLinkup: http://maryanderingcreatively.com/lmmlinkup-motivation-and-inspiration/

And The Loft: https://jerralea.blogspot.com/2016/11/wrapping-up-month-of-thankfulness-at.html

Created with Joy: http://www.create-with-joy.com/2016/12/friendship-friday-blog-party-social-media-boost-253.html

3 WAYS TO THANK GOD NOW

3 WAYS TO THANK GOD NOW https://beckielindsey16.com/2016/11/21/3-ways-to-thank-god-now/

The young doctor approached my father and me, removing a mask that exposed a grin. “Good news! The surgery went well. I believe we removed all of the tumor,” he said. “You can go see her in recovery shortly, although she may not be fully conscience.”

Dad and I hugged the doctor, hugged each other, and then sighed with relief. Mom had made it through. After nine long hours of brain surgery, this was cause to praise and thank God if ever there was one!

On my drive home from the hospital, I felt as though I couldn’t possibly thank God enough for what He’d done in my life. It was then that I realized many times my thankfulness usually generated typical responses. “Thank you, God,” I would say aloud. Or perhaps I’d sing a song to show my thankfulness. And of course the tithe from each paycheck should count for thankfulness too, shouldn’t it?

Even though I knew these were acceptable ways to thank the Lord, I sensed Him calling me to broaden my understanding of the subject. I searched the scriptures to open my mind and heart to other ways of showing thanksgiving to God.

I’ve discovered that we don’t need to wait for a reason or a particular answer to prayer to thank Him. We can thank God right now in our day-to-day lives.

Three Ways to Thank God Now

  1. Follow His Commands

One of the best ways to show our thankfulness to the Lord is to do what He says. When we obey God, we are speaking His love language. Obeying God’s commands is a way we can thank God now and every single day.

“If you love me, obey my commands.” John 14:5 NLT

 “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.”
1
John 5:3 NLT

  1. Love Him by Loving Others

Human beings are the only creatures on earth that bear God’s image (Genesis 1:27) He formed us with His hands and breathed His breath into our lungs (Genesis 2:7). God loves all people (1John 4:10). God, Himself is love (1John 4:8).

When we love to other people, we are showing our love and thankfulness to God. There are those who would have never darken the doorway of a church building if it were not for someone “showing” them the love of God. As Christians, we are in fact, the church. When we represent the love of Christ to others, we are showing God our thankfulness for what He has done in our lives, as well as the potential for what He can do in the lives of others.

“Jesus replied, ‘you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 NLT

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

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7 NLT

  1. Grow in Relationship to Him

For any relationship to grow, it must be nurtured. It is the same with our relationship to God. A relationship can be looked at like a garden that must be tended to regularly or it will die. We show God our thankfulness by intentionally working on our relationship each day.

“‘I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

‘Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.’”

John 15:1-5 NLT

As God’s children, we don’t need an excuse to show our thankfulness to God. Our obedience, love, and growing relationship with Him should naturally pour out of our lives. Thanksgiving need not come only once a year. Every day is Thanksgiving for the followers of Christ.

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

Let’s share three things we are thankful for in the comments below. I’ll start.

One: I’m thankful for how personal God is to me. Two:I’m thankful for my husband, Scott and our three great kids and my daughter-in-law. Three: I’m also thankful to live in the United States of America.

YOUR TURN TO SHARE!

Stacking Stones

 

Stacking Stones https://beckielindsey16.com/2016/11/14/stacking-stones/
Dear readers, Today I’m posting an article by my friend and very talented devotional writer, Patricia Schell. Thanks for reading. I know you’ll enjoy!

Stacking Stones
by Patricia Schell

When I was a kid, our family moved into a new neighborhood that was built in an area that was very rocky.  Everyone’s lot was full of rocks, making it hard to grow things.  They had to be removed from the yard to make way for a lawn and shrubs.  It was backbreaking work to make anything flourish in the hard environment. But Mom made the most of the stones by mounding them up to create a rock garden and planted it with cactus and flowers. As the years went by, grass and plants took hold and flourished. The pile of stones, covered in blooms, was the only reminder of where the yard began.

Many times, we see some of the Bible Greats stacking stones. They did not do it to build a garden but something beautiful resulted all the same. For some, it was a place of sacrifice. For others—a simple memorial. But what they had in common was they were located in a place where they had encountered God in a significant way.

Take Joshua for example. As he was about to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, God gave him a list of instructions. Get ready. Be brave. Take courage. And by the way, pick up a few rocks on your way. Huh?

I picture the leaders of these people scratching their heads, but they did just as they were instructed. Of what use some stones could be was perhaps a mystery to them. God would reveal all, just as soon as they arrived in the Promised Land.

So off they marched down to the banks of the Jordan River. As the priests put their feet in the water, the ground became dry and they crossed with ease. Rocks, now exposed at the center of the stream, were hefted to the shoulders of the leaders and carried to the other side. One by one, the stones were stacked to form a memorial that would serve to remind the generations to come that God had made a way where there had been none.

But this stack of rocks would be more than just a reminder. I took a bit of time to look at the word stone in its original language. Eben, a noun, comes from the root word banah, a verb, which means to build, rebuild, establish or make permanent. When God commissioned this memorial to be built, He intended it to be the opening line of His story. He says, in the passage found in the book of Joshua, “In the future when children ask their fathers, ‘what is the meaning of these stones?’” they can finish the story by telling of God’s strength and faithfulness. The inanimate stones were meant to spur them into action. Their express purpose was to build up the faith of future generations through the telling of God’s story.

This account is not just for the Israelites. It is for us, as well. We all have witnessed times in our lives when God has ‘parted the waters’ and made a way. These stories are important when those around us face events in life that seem impossible. The rocky times should remind us of when God worked out the details in our own lives. When others ask, “How on earth did we get through it?” the story of God’s greatness should be on our lips in hope that their faith will be strengthened through our experiences.

I mentioned the rock garden at my mom’s house to one of my daughters recently. I thought she was much too young to have remembered it, but she did. She recalled being a little afraid of the cactus that grew on it. Other than that, she did not know why the pile of rocks was in the yard. I told her the story of how Grandma created beauty out of a very rocky place.

God works the same way. His story is meant to be shared. Through recounting the tales of His activity in our lives, hope blooms. Don’t miss an opportunity to speak to others about your experiences. You may need to follow the same instructions God gave the Israelites. Get ready. Be brave. Take courage. And don’t forget, He’s already started the story for you.

 What we have heard and learned—that which our ancestors have told us—we will not hide from their descendants. We will tell the next generation about the LORD’s praiseworthy acts, about His strength and the amazing things He has done. Psalm 78:3-4


Meet Patty Schell:
Patricia Schell is a woman who has quite a ‘hat’ collection. Her jobs include keeper of the home, creator of beautiful things, and cooker of much yumminess. But, the role she enjoys the most is student of the Bible.  Patricia currently serves at her local church as an encourager of women, challenging them to embrace this journey called Life and live it God’s way. She has just co-authored a Bible study called Legacy: Living NOW for Future Generations.  Patricia is a wife to her husband of 40+ years and they live in the desert foothills of Southern California. On weekends, they become builders of loft houses for the needy in Mexico. She is also a mother to three grown daughters (plus their husbands) and grandmother to ten grandchildren. Yes, Patricia does wear a lot of hats, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Following God takes you on the best adventures. More from Patty:

girlonadventure.com
thepartysinthekitchen.me
Facebook- Patty Schell is Girl on Adventure
Twitter- Patricia Schell @patty_schell
Instagram- girlonadventure

Share your “God story” and encourage us below!


This post is shared at:
#LMMLinkup  at http://maryanderingcreatively.com/lmmlinkup-creating-radical-kids-christ/