Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our 12th Book

It seems that Christians often create more atheists than they create converts. This book examines this trend and offers solutions.

The thesis of the book is that the (mis)behavior of many who wear the Christian Label is the motivation for many who have abandoned their faith. It causes those who have never held faith to reject the very premise. It has caused others to position themselves as enemies of the gospel. It is a malady in the body requires personal medicine to affect a needful cure. Charlie Peacock wrote a song called Personal Revolution in which he lyrically explores the need for all of us to get past the trappings of our religious traditions and have an internal revival, sloughing off the negativity of our past and to manifest the new life that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Often, easier said than done.

Now on sale at The Powerhouse Ministry Store.  

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Good and Right Prayers

Dr. David Jeremiah told an interesting story about prayer in his book Prayer: The Great Adventure. In that book, he recounted the following:
While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, I traveled every two weeks by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This required camping overnight halfway. On one of these trips, I saw two men fighting in the city. One was seriously hurt so I treated him and witnessed to him about the Lord Jesus Christ. I then returned home without incident. Upon arriving in the city several weeks later, I was approached by the man I had treated earlier. He told me he had known that I carried money and medicine. He said, “Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We waited for you to go to sleep and planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. Just as we were about to move into your campsite, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards. I laughed at this and said, “I was certainly all alone out in the jungle campsite.” The young man pressed the point, “No sir, I was not the only one to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.” At this point of my church presentation in Michigan, one of the men in the church stood up and interrupted me. He asked, “Can you tell me the exact date when this happened?” I thought for a while and recalled the date. The man in the congregation then gave his side of the story. He stated, “On that night in Africa it was day here. I was preparing to play golf. As I put my bags in the car, I felt the Lord leading me to pray for you. In fact, the urging was so great that I called the men of this church together to pray for you. Will all those men who met to pray please stand?” The men who had met that day to pray together stood... there were 26 of them!
It is no secret that prayer has power.  When you pray effectual and earnest prayers, things change.  What things in your life would you like to see changed?  You can -- if you pray the right way... and, with the right heart.  If Dr. Jeremiah’s life can be affected across the continent... then how much more can our prayers take affect on things affecting our lives right here at home?

This is particularly true in terms of the current political and economic situation.
The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
James 5:16b [AMP]
That being the case... shouldn’t we as Christians spend time praying for our political leaders... and not speaking negatively about them?

Yes, there are things that our current president has said that a lot of people disagree with. But then again... every president in history has had detractors over one thing or another. But what is our responsibility as Christians?
FIRST OF all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way. For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior, Who wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly] to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine] Truth.
1st Timothy 2:1-4 [AMP]
This evening I heard a Christian making condemning statements towards the President. On the news, I heard about a pastor who has been preaching that he wants the President to die and go to hell.

That is not what the Bible teaches. In 1st Timothy, we are told to pray for those in positions of authority so that we may live quiet and undisturbed lives. That type of prayer... positive prayers for all men to be saved and to know the Truth, is what Paul calls in this passage good and right.

When those scriptures were written, Caesar Nero was having Christians crucified, burned alive, and wrapped in skins to be mauled to death by wild animals.  And yet, the admonition was not to pray that Nero die and go to hell... but rather that he and others in authority be saved and come to know the divine Truth.

Let’s focus on praying good and right prayers.

These Things Ought Not to Be So

“...These things ought not to be so.”
James 3:10 [NKJV]
The Bible says: “With [our tongue] we bless our God... and with it we curse men... these things are not to be so” (James 3:8-10 NKJV).

It displeases God when we praise Him in church on Sunday then tear someone down at work on Monday. “But what I’m saying is true,” you say. “All a mans ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord” (Proverbs 16:2 NIV).

Slander begins with pride; it says, “When I’m right and you’re wrong, I have the right to say so.” No, people flock to church altars for healing from wounds inflicted by Christians. Gossip broke their spirits.
One lady writes: “I went through a period of trying to overcome gossip but I’d still tell it to my husband.

Although I knew he wouldn’t repeat it, I realized that by exposing him to it I was poisoning his spirit. That’s when I decided to change what was coming out of my mouth.”

What you say about someone colors how others see them. One pastor tells all his new members, “If you hear another member slandering somebody, stop them right away and say, ‘Excuse me, who hurt you, ignored or slighted you? We’ll pray together about it so that God can restore peace to this body, but we won’t let you talk about people who aren’t around to defend themselves.’” Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the issue dies right there; or the offender leaves.

“Be... gentle, and patient, accepting each other in love...” (Ephesians 4:2-3 NCV). Since none of us are infallible and all of us need to be treated gently, patiently and with love, let’s make it a habit of treating each other that way.

Pastor Ng Francis

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Overcoming Life’s Obstacles

During a small group fellowship, my brothers in Christ and I discussed those issues in our lives that had been holding us back.  We all wanted to be the men that God has called us to be...  yet we have all experienced things that seemed to be roadblocks in life that needed to be overcome. 

Some in the group reported dysfunctional relationships with parents or other family members.  Others mentioned dysfunctional relationships within the church, or with other believers.  Some of us had issues in the workplace that required prayer. 

And, of course, we all had issues with relationships. 

The common denominator that all of this boiled down to was the need for each of us to overcome strongholds in each of our lives.  But, fortunately, the word of God provides the answer.  If we are born again children of the Most High God, then we are world overcomers.
For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith.  Who is it that is victorious over [that conquers] the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact]?
1st John 5:4-5 [AMP]
I was blessed to come home and read some powerful meditations on overcoming from our dear sister Judypie.  These answered those issues in my life -- and I am positive that, as you read and meditate on them, they will help you with whatever you are dealing with and going through in your life.

Overcoming Fear of my Enemies

Let it be done to me according to Your Word.  My head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me: therefore will I offer sacrifices of joy in Your tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises unto the Lord.  Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.  When You said, “Seek my face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” You have been my help; do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.  Even if my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.  In the name of Jesus, You are a Father who will never leave me or forsake me; I will never be abandoned or left without support.  Amen.
And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me; in His tent I will offer sacrifices and shouting of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.  Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; have mercy and be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, Seek My face [inquire for and require My presence as your vital need].  My heart says to You, Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word].  Hide not Your face from me; turn not Your servant away in anger, You Who have been my help! Cast me not off, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation! Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].
Psalm 27:6-10 [AMP]
Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support.  [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]
Hebrews 13:5 [AMP]
Guide me in Your truth and faithfulness and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You do I wait all the day long.  Laus Deo! Psalm 25:5

Overcoming Denial

Father, I thank You for delivering me out of the dominion of darkness and translating me into the kingdom of Your dear Son.  You are at work in me, helping me work out my own salvation.  I yield to the ministry of transformation as You energize and create in me the desire and will to face the problematic issues in my life.  In the name of Jesus, I crush, smash and dissolve the stronghold of denial.  Then I shall know the truth and the truth will set me free.  Amen.
[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love
Colossians 1:13 [AMP]
Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.  I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead
Philippians 3:12-13 [AMP]
And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.
John 8:32 [AMP]
I will love You, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.  Psalm 18:1-3

Overcoming Fear with Faith

Lord, teach us Your way, and lead us in a smooth path, because of our enemies.  Do not deliver us to the will of our adversaries for false witnesses have risen against us, and such as breathe out violence.  We would have lost heart, unless we had believed that we would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  We wait on You LORD; we are of good courage and You shall strengthen our hearts.  We are waiting on the LORD! We pray in the name of Jesus.  Amen.
Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain and even path because of my enemies [those who lie in wait for me].  Give me not up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen up against me; they breathe out cruelty and violence.  [What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
Psalm 27:11-13 [AMP]
“Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11

Overcoming Doubt and Unbelief

Father, I believe Your Word, and ask You to remove any unbelief or doubt concerning the integrity of Your promises.  In the name of Jesus, I renounce the world’s allurements that attempt to pull me into sin—they are ineffective in my life.  Your Word is my standard and because I am a doer of Your Word, I will not be deceived.  The fresh Manna of Your Word keeps me on target with Your plans, Lord.  My steadfast confidence is in You, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.
12[Therefore beware] brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to cleave to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to turn away and desert or stand aloof from the living God.

13But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].

14For we have become fellows with Christ (the Messiah) and share in all He has for us, if only we hold our first newborn confidence and original assured expectation [in virtue of which we are believers] firm and unshaken to the end.

15Then while it is [still] called Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion [in the desert, when the people provoked and irritated and embittered God against them].

16For who were they who heard and yet were rebellious and provoked [Him]? Was it not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?

17And with whom was He irritated and provoked and grieved for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose dismembered bodies were strewn and left in the desert?

18And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who disobeyed [who had not listened to His word and who refused to be compliant or be persuaded]?

19So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest], because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust in and rely on God [unbelief had shut them out].
Hebrews 3:12-19 [AMP]
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! Joshua 24:15

Praise Him!

O my Lord and God, today is the day that You have made; I will rejoice and be glad in it! Hallelujah! I praise You, my God, in Your holy house of worship, I praise You under the open skies; I praise You for Your acts of power, and for Your magnificent greatness.  Let all those with the trumpet, castanets, banjo, flute, cymbals, the big bass drum, fiddles and mandolins praise You.  Let all those who dance praise You in their dance.  Let every living, breathing creature praise You because You are God! Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worship,
praise him under the open skies;

Praise him for his acts of power,
praise him for his magnificent greatness;

Praise with a blast on the trumpet,
praise by strumming soft strings;

Praise him with castanets and dance,
praise him with banjo and flute;

Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum,
praise him with fiddles and mandolin.

Let every living, breathing creature praise God!
Psalm 150:1-6 [MSG]

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Say a Prayer... Go to Jail

Interesting item on CNN about a Florida legislation making it illegal to pray in school. Say a prayer... you go to jail.


They will probably have to arrest every schoolkid who is in class where the teacher announces a pop quiz...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Good Word from Judypie

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked come against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes they will stumble and fall. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. Amen.

Psalm 27:1-3
2nd Timothy 1:7

..the Lord is all I need. He takes care of me. My share in life has been pleasant; my part has been beautiful. Psalm 16:5&6

Sunday, September 13, 2009

You Don’t Know

In our Psalms from the Pen of the Ready Writer, we took a lyrical look at the type of person who goes their own way rather than seeking God’s way.  No, we are not talking about an atheist or agnostic.  This is a person who feels that they are the height of spiritual perfection.  The truth, however, would suggest otherwise.

I was listening to a few ex-Christians pontificating about how ridiculous and worthless they felt religion was.  In a sense, they were correct.  However, it is always a bad idea to throw the proverbial baby out with the proverbial bathwater.  While certain ceremonial practices may be archaic and even unscriptural, it is dangerous to assume that because men are flawed that the entire concept of serving God is flawed.

However, this message is not about those ex-Christians but, rather, the religious person whose lifestyle and behavior may have driven the ex-Christian to a lifestyle that is lived without the daily experience of the love of God.  So what kind of religion should we be practicing.  Well, according to the scriptures:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
James 1:27
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Micah 6:8
Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? and in Thy Name have cast out devils? and in Thy Name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.
Matthew 7:22-23
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2nd Timothy 3:5
The following lyric may help drive home the point that we are trying to make:
Three-piece suit and pure silk a tie
Such a pious Christian guy
Raise your hands and sing those songs
Just like nothing could be wrong

But you don’t know what “Christian” means
You don’t know... You don’t know...
Oh, you might think you’re born again
You might think it’s so, but...

Have you opened your heart to the lost?
Have you ever counted the cost?
Do you give freely
supporting His work
Is your body
His temple, His church?

No, you don’t know...

Call His Name like a magic charm
Your religion on your arm
Hang His “picture” up on your wall
Thinking you could never fall

But you don’t know who Jesus is
You don’t know... You don’t know...
Oh, you might think you’re serving Him
You might think it’s so, but...

Do you love Him with all of your heart?
From His presence, never depart?
Is He your Savior
and also your Lord
Within your heart,
are you hiding His word?

No, you don’t know...

Sing those songs and say those prayers
Sitting in your holy chair
Praised by the congregation each week
Affirmation (is) all you seek

Oh, you don’t know what religion is
You don’t know...
You don’t know...
You go to church and think you’re in
My friend, you should know, that...

If you fail to submit to the Lord
If your ears are closed to His word
If you think God is impressed with your work
or the building is really the church

Then, you don’t know...

Will you remain an ignorant fool?
Will you be used as the enemy’s tool?
Open your ears and listen to this
Ignorance just isn’t bliss

You need to know what Jesus says
You should know...
You should know...
You need to give your life to Him
Then you’ll truly know that...

You can live life in true victory
You can have joy, eternally!
Make Him your Saviour
Make Him your Lord
Open your heart, and give to the poor.

Then you will know...
You know, God has an awesome way of getting his word to us. I recently checked my overflowing inbox and found the following gem from Pastor Francis in Singapore that drives home the point much better than I might attempt to:

“He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.”
Psalm 106:15 [NKJV]
When you insist on wanting something that God in His wisdom is withholding, sometimes He steps back and says, “Okay, have it your way.” After God brought His people through the Red Sea and delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh, we read, “They believed His words; they sang His praise” (Psalm 106:12 NKJV).

That sounds good. But notice what happened next, for it happens to us: “They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness and tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul” (vs.13-15).

Wanting our own way can lead to Spiritual emptiness.

When God called Moses to deliver His people from Egypt, Moses decided to do it his own way. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave, but instead of consulting God he took matters into his own hands. The Bible says, “He looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand” (Exodus 2:12 NKJV).

Obviously, Moses was more concerned with the opinions of people than how God felt about it. So God had to teach Moses that his orders came from Him. After Moses dug a hole and tried to hide the work of his flesh, God allowed it to be exposed.

He showed Moses that by doing things his own way he couldn’t keep a single soldier buried in the sand. Whereas, by doing things God’s way, a whole army could be buried in the depths of the Red Sea.
So today, make up your mind to do it God’s way.

Have a superb week!

Pastor Ng Francis

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wisdom from Judypie

The Abundant Life

Heavenly Father, I pray that the joy of Jesus may be made full and complete and perfect in me, and that I may experience His delight and gladness fulfilled in me; His enjoyment perfected in my own soul. Jesus, You are my source of eternal salvation. Thank You for coming that I might have life, and have it more abundantly – have it to the full until it overflows. I receive the power of God that works through me. I rid myself of negative thoughts, and in simple humility, let my Gardener landscape me with the Word, making a salvation-garden of my life. I am united with You, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant to the glory of the Father. Amen

And, [His completed experience] making Him perfectly [equipped], He became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him

Hebrews 5:9 [AMP]

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 10:10 [KJV]

Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.

James 1:19-21 [Message]

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

John 15:5-8 [Message]

Lord Jesus, You are the resurrection and the life. Your resurrection power is in me, and I am appointed and anointed by You to abound in eternal work for Your Kingdom. My victory is assured as I walk uprightly before You. No good thing will You withhold from me! I am accomplishing great exploits for Your kingdom, and the best is yet to come, in Jesus’ name! Amen.

Jesus said to her, I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live;

John 11:25 [AMP]

For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Psalm 84:11 [AMP]

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

1st Corinthians 15:58 [NLT]

Prayer of Affirmation

Father, I thank You for helping me as I enlarge the place of my tent and strengthen my stakes. In You there is hope for despair. In You there is stability for turmoil. In You there is prosperity for poverty. In You there is health and healing for sickness. In You there is peace for conflict, whether it is in a relationship, in my home, or in my land. In You, Lord Jesus, is well-being for every area of life! Hallelujah! Thank You Holy Spirit for divinely orchestrating every aspect of my life! Jesus is Lord over my spirit, soul and body, and over my relationships. Amen

Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; spare not; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes, For you will spread abroad to the right hand and to the left; and your offspring will possess the nations and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

Isaiah 54:2-3 [AMP]

"This is the day the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Healing for the Nations

In the midst of a stressful week, we received comfort and blessing from a word of wisdom delivered by our dear sister in Christ, Judypie. Her words give us assurance of God’s purpose to not only heal our lives... but also to heal the nations. What was so significant that she had to say?

Take a look at this:

Father, we are your children... heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ who share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. We ask You, Father, to make the nations our inheritance, the ends of the earth our possession for Your glory and Your purposes. In the name of Jesus, we pray for the healing of the nations. Praise God! It is our Lord Jesus who will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world. Amen

And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.

Romans 8:17 [AMP]

I will declare the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, You are My Son; this day [I declare] I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations as Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as Your possession.

Psalm 2:7-8 [AMP]

His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!

Isaiah 9:7 [NLT]

THEN HE showed me the river whose waters give life, sparkling like crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the broadway of the city; also, on either side of the river was the tree of life with its twelve varieties of fruit, yielding each month its fresh crop; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing and the restoration of the nations.

Revelation 22:1-2 [AMP]

..the Lord is all I need. He takes care of me. My share in life has been pleasant; my part has been beautiful (Psalm 16:5&6).

This is a wonderful meditation... given the bad news that seems to face us every day. There are problems here at home... and problems overseas. Still, as we put our faith and trust in the Lord, we have peace and comfort regardless of what the world throws at us.

But what about the bad news that comes as relentlessly as the tides that roll up on the beaches and crash against the breakers? For example, Joel Rosenberg recently hosted a dinner with Dr. Dore Gold (advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) and a number of other dignitaries. Some of what Dr. Gold shared with Joel and his dinner guests probably affected their appetites. Here is a brief quote from Joel’s recent flash traffic:

Gold told the group -- which included former Senator Rick Santorum, former. Rep. Steve Largent, radio host Janet Parshall, and journalists from CBN, National Review and World magazine -- that he is deeply skeptical of the West’s efforts to engage Iran diplomatically, arguing that the evidence clearly indicates Tehran has used previous negotiations to buy time to aggressively advance the country’s nuclear program.

He noted that Hassan Rowhani, who served as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005, once bragged to hardliners in a closed-door speech in Tehran: “When we were negotiating with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the facility in Isfahan.” It is the opening anecdote Gold uses in his fascinating new book as he documents how Iranian leaders are engaged in a systematic campaign of “strategic deception” with the West to hide the enormity of its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.

You can read the full story in Joel’s blog.

So how should you react to threats of nuclear disaster... terrorism... economic downturns... cash for clunkers... and etcetera?

Our advice would be to follow Judypie’s advice and pray for the healing of the nations. It is not impossible for God to move a mighty revival through Iran. In fact, we have heard other reports of the Spirit of God moving in that part of the world, but there is persecutiion of Christians in Iran.

Dedicate some time this week to pray for the healing of the nations. As Judypie advised us a couple months ago, God is the Great Reconciler.

Father, in Jesus’ name, You are the Great Reconciler! Of marriages! Of children! Of families! Of brothers and sisters in You! Of all relationships! It is in Your strength, and by Your grace that I will go to the person with whom I have had conflict. You have planted the Seed of Love in my heart, and I will humble myself by asking forgiveness regardless of who was at fault. I pray that the relationship will be healed and the breach mended. I purpose to do this in obedience to Your Word and for Your glory, Lord Jesus. The Repairer of Breaches in relationships is working on my behalf! Amen.

For if we are beside ourselves [mad, as some say], it is for God and concerns Him; if we are in our right mind, it is for your benefit, For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us, because we are of the opinion and conviction that [if] One died for all, then all died; And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake. Consequently, from now on we estimate and regard no one from a [purely] human point of view [in terms of natural standards of value]. [No] even though we once did estimate Christ from a human viewpoint and as a man, yet now [we have such knowledge of Him that] we know Him no longer [in terms of the flesh]. Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him]. It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor). So we are Christ's ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ's personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

2nd Corinthians 5:13-21 [AMP]

And [He designed] to reconcile to God both [Jew and Gentile, united] in a single body by means of His cross, thereby killing the mutual enmity and bringing the feud to an end.

Ephesians. 2:16 [AMP]

And God purposed that through (by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross.

Colossians 1:20 [AMP]

One final note...

While we look at the turmoil overseas... things aren’t exactly holding hands and singing love songs here. Yes, we have political differences. Some people love our current President... others may feel otherwise. Still, God tells us scripturally what we should do... regarless of who is in the Oval Office:

FIRST OF all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.

1st Timothy 2: 1-2 [AMP]

You want to live the good life? Then follow what the Lord commands of you.