Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Of late, I have seen many billboards, yard signs, youTube spots, emails and heard conversations and sermons – all on 2 Chronicles 7:14 – begging Americans to pray for this country…

Having seen and read a lot on this - it strikes me that a key component of this request is missing... This is a PROMISE. God's promises are conditional.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (New International Version)

"…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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

IF "...WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES" - am I humble in the eyes of God?

"and pray" - that is fairly easy.

"and seek my face" - what am I doing to 'seek' the face of GOD - to be closer to Him - to have a better relationship with Him?

"AND turn from their wicked ways" - what sin in my life is not given to God - what idolatry (money or job) or wickedness (porno, boozing, drugs - immoral behavior) am I not willing to give up?

"THEN will I hear from heaven and FORGIVE THEIR sin (not the Government's) AND will heal their land."

In other words - we need to make sure our relationship with God is right - before we expect Him to keep His Promise...

Imagine - THIS: 25 to 5th power is 9,765,625 - WHAT would happen if 10,000,000 Americans were on FIRE for God...

It starts with ONE.

Americans need to make a stand BEFORE praying 2 Chronicles 7:14

Joshua 24:15 (New International Version)

"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

That is my prayer - "That I can be as brave as Joshua - and I will turn from my wickedness - then show me how to reach others, and please Lord heal this land..."

Friday, March 27, 2009


Monday, March 09, 2009

Of Christian Duty!

Do not always agree with the Catholic Church. However, there are some things that come about that can be fully supported.

First, there is this: The Connecticut State Legislature has introduced a bill that would restructure the Catholic Church in that state. Yes you read correctly, the state is deciding to change the way the Catholic Church is organized.

While this is a clear infringement of the ‘Establishment Clauses’ of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, they are still doing it.

How they are doing it is rather simple. Each Catholic Church Parish is incorporated. That is not something new. What the state is doing is changing the law that governs the Church’s incorporation.

Check here for a complete rundown and the text of the bill. Updates as well as possible ways to become involved are there.

Now, this is important. There are even some atheists that understand the consequences of destroying the 1st and 14th Amendments.

What does that mean to Christians as a whole? Consider what that would mean to your own congregation.

Some would argue that Christians should not be involved in politics. That is not true, here is an eloquent argument.

It is long, but it is a worthwhile read. In this case, the term Catholic should be taken in its truest form: that is ‘Universal’. Wherever the word Catholic appears, one should read ‘a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal savior’.

Archbishop Charles Chaput the Denver Prelate on the Catholic Political Vocation

"Tolerance Is Not a Christian Virtue"

TORONTO, FEBRUARY. 24, 2009. Here is the text of an address delivered by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, Colorado, at the University of Toronto.

* * *

I want to do three things with my time tonight. First, Father Rosica asked me to talk about some of the themes from my book, "Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life." I’m happy to do that. Second, I want to talk about some of the lessons we can draw from the recent U.S. election. And third, I want to talk about the meaning of hope.

As I begin, I need to mention a couple of caveats. Here’s the first caveat.

Canada and the United States have a long and close friendship as neighbors. It’s so long and so close that Americans often forget that our histories, our political structures and the ways we look at the world are, in some respects, very different. Obviously I’ll be speaking tonight as an American, a Catholic and a bishop -- though not necessarily in that order. Some of what I say may not be useful to a Canadian audience, especially those who aren't Catholic. But I do believe that the heart of the Catholic political vocation remains the same for every believer in every country. The details of our political life change from nation to nation. But the mission of public Christian discipleship remains

the same, because we all share the same baptism.

Here's the second caveat. Not much of what I say tonight will be new. In fact, I've been saying pretty much the same thing about faith and politics again and again, every year, for the past 12 years. So if you've heard it all before, please feel free to snooze. I've learned from experience, though, that Henry Ford was right when he said that "Two percent of the people think; three percent think they think, and 95 percent would rather die than think."

Ford had a pretty dark view of humanity, which I don't share. Most of the people I meet as a pastor have the brains and the talent to live very fulfilling lives. But Ford was right in one unintended way: American consumer culture is a very powerful narcotic. Moral reasoning can be hard, and TV is a great painkiller. This has political implications. Real freedom demands an ability to think, and a great deal of modern life -- not just in the United States, but all over the developed world -- seems deliberately designed to discourage that. So talking about God and Caesar, even if it wakes up just one Christian mind in an audience, is always worth the effort.

The most important fact to remember about our discussion tonight is this: As adults, each of us needs to form a strong and genuinely Catholic conscience. Then we need to follow that conscience when we vote. And then we need to take responsibility for the consequences of our vote. Nobody can do that for us. That's why really knowing, living and submitting ourselves to our Catholic faith are so important. It's the only reliable guide we have for acting in the public square as disciples of Jesus Christ.

So let's talk for a few minutes about "Render Unto Caesar." When people ask me about the book, the questions usually fall into three categories. Why did I write it? What does the book say? And what does the book mean for each of us as individual Catholics? This last question will be a good doorway into talking about the U.S. election last year, but let's start at the beginning first. Why did I write this book, now?

One answer is simple. A friend asked me to do it. Back in 2004, a young attorney I know ran for public office in Colorado as a pro-life Democrat. He nearly won in a heavily Republican district. But he also discovered how hard it can be to raise money, run a campaign and stay true to your Catholic convictions, all at the same time. After the election he asked me to put my thoughts about faith and politics into a form that other young Catholics could use who were thinking about a political vocation -- and it really is a "vocation."

That's where the idea started. But I also had another reason for doing the book. Frankly, I just got tired of hearing outsiders and insiders tell Catholics to keep quiet about our religious and moral views in the big public debates that involve all of us as a society. That's a kind of bullying. I don't think Catholics should accept it.

Another reason for writing the book is that when I looked around for a single source that explains the Catholic political vocation in a simple way, it just didn't exist. I found that very strange. Public life is a demanding vocation, but it's not voodoo or advanced physics. As citizens, we can never afford to abdicate our shared civic life to a political or economic elite. A nation's political life, like Christianity itself, is meant for everyone, and everyone has a duty to contribute to it. A democracy depends on the active involvement of all its citizens, not just lobbyists, experts, think tanks and the mass media. For Catholics, politics -- the pursuit of justice and the common good in the public square -- is part of the history of salvation. No one is a minor actor in that drama. Each person is important.

So what does the book say? I think the message of "Render Unto Caesar" can be condensed into a few basic points.

Here's the first point. For many years, studies have shown that Americans have a very poor sense of history. That's very dangerous, because as Thucydides and Machiavelli and Thomas Jefferson have all said, history matters. It matters because the past shapes the present, and the present shapes the future. If Catholics don't know history and especially their own history as Catholics, then somebody else -- and usually somebody not very friendly -- will create their history for them.

Let me put it another way. A man with amnesia has no future and no present because he can't remember his past. The past is a man's anchor in experience and reality. Without it, he may as well be floating in space. In like manner, if we Catholics don't remember and defend our religious history as a believing people, nobody else will, and then we won't have a future because we won't have a past. If we don't know how the Church worked with or struggled against political rulers in the past, then we can't think clearly about the relations between Church and state today.

Here's the second point, and it's a place where the Canadian and American experiences may diverge. America is not a secular state. As historian Paul Johnson once said, America was "born Protestant." It has uniquely and deeply religious roots. Obviously it has no established Church, and it has non-sectarian public institutions. It also has plenty of room for both believers and non-believers. But the United States was never intended to be a "secular" country in the radical modern sense. Nearly all the Founders were either Christian or at least religion-friendly. And all of our public institutions and all of our ideas about the human person are based in a religiously shaped vocabulary. So if we cut God out of our public life, we also cut the foundation out from under our national ideals.

Here's the third point. We need to be very forceful in clarifying what the words in our political vocabulary really mean. Words are important because they shape our thinking, and our thinking drives our actions. When we subvert the meaning of words like "the common good" or "conscience" or "community" or "family," we undermine the language that sustains our thinking about the law. Dishonest language leads to dishonest debate and bad laws.

Here's an example. We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty -- these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it's never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil. Likewise, democratic pluralism does not mean that Catholics should be quiet in public about serious moral issues because of some misguided sense of good manners. A healthy democracy requires vigorous moral debate to survive. Real pluralism demands that people of strong beliefs will advance their convictions in the public square -- peacefully, legally and respectfully, but energetically and without embarrassment. Anything less is bad citizenship and a form of theft from the public conversation.

Here's the fourth point. When Jesus tells the Pharisees and Herodians in the Gospel of Matthew (22:21) to "render unto the Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's," he sets the framework for how we should think about religion and the state even today. Caesar does have rights. We owe civil authority our respect and appropriate obedience. But that obedience is limited by what belongs to God. Caesar is not God. Only God is God, and the state is subordinate and accountable to God for its treatment of human persons, all of whom were created by God. Our job as believers is to figure out what things belong to Caesar, and what things belong to God – and then put those things in right order in our own lives, and in our relations with others.

So having said all this, what does a book like "Render Unto Caesar" mean, in practice, for each of us as individual Catholics? It means that we each have a duty to study and grow in our faith, guided by the teaching of the Church. It also means that we have a duty to be politically engaged. Why? Because politics is the exercise of power, and the use of power always has moral content and human consequences.

As Christians, we can't claim to love God and then ignore the needs of our neighbors. Loving God is like loving a spouse. A husband may tell his wife that he loves her, and of course that's very beautiful. But she'll still want to see the proof in his actions. Likewise if we claim to be "Catholic," we need to prove it by our behavior. And serving other people by working for justice, charity and truth in our nation's political life is one of the very important ways we do that.

The "separation of Church and state" does not mean -- and it can never mean -- separating our Catholic faith from our public witness, our political choices and our political actions. That kind of separation would require Christians to deny who we are; to repudiate Jesus when he commands us to be "leaven in the world" and to "make disciples of all nations." That kind of radical separation steals the moral content of a society. It's the equivalent of telling a married man that he can't act married in public. Of course, he can certainly do that, but he won't stay married for long.

Partly because I'm a bishop and partly because I'm older and a little bit wiser, I don't belong to any political party. As a young priest I worked on Bobby Kennedy's campaign. Later I volunteered with the 1976 and 1980 campaigns for Jimmy Carter. So if I have any partisan roots, they're in the Democratic Party. But as I say in the book, one of the lessons we need to learn from the last 50 years is that a "preferred" Catholic political party usually doesn't exist. The sooner Catholics feel at home in any political party, the sooner that party takes them for granted and then ignores their concerns. Party loyalty for the sake of habit, or family tradition, or ethnic or class interest is a form of tribalism. It's a lethal kind of moral laziness. Issues matter. Character matters. Acting on principle matters. But party loyalty for the sake of party loyalty is a dead end.

I wrote "Render Unto Caesar" with no interest in supporting or attacking any candidate or any political party. The goal of "Render Unto Caesar" was simply to describe what an authentic Catholic approach to political life looks like, and then to encourage American Catholics to live it. And that brings us to the 2008 election and its aftermath.

Three weeks before last November's election, I wrote the following words:

"I believe that Senator Obama, whatever his other talents, is the most committed 'abortion-rights' presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973. [T]he party platform Senator Obama runs on this year is not only aggressively 'pro-choice;' it has also removed any suggestion that killing an unborn child might be a regrettable thing. On the question of homicide against the unborn child -- and let's remember that the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer explicitly called abortion 'murder' -- the Democratic platform that emerged from Denver in August 2008 is clearly anti-life."

I added that, "To suggest -- as some Catholics do -- that Senator Obama is this year's 'real' pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse. To portray the 2008 Democratic Party presidential ticket as the preferred 'pro-life' option is to subvert what the word 'pro-life' means."

I like clarity, and there's a reason why. I think modern life, including life in the Church, suffers from a phony unwillingness to offend that poses as prudence and good manners, but too often turns out to be cowardice. Human beings owe each other respect and appropriate courtesy. But we also owe each other the truth -- which means candor.

President Obama is a man of intelligence and some remarkable gifts. He has a great ability to inspire, as we saw from his very popular visit to Canada just this past week. But whatever his strengths, there's no way to reinvent his record on abortion and related issues with rosy marketing about unity, hope and change. Of course, that can change. Some things really do change when a person reaches the White House. Power ennobles some men. It diminishes others. Bad policy ideas can be improved. Good policy ideas can find a way to flourish. But as Catholics, we at least need to be honest with ourselves and each other about the political facts we start with.

Unfortunately when it comes to the current administration that will be very hard for Catholics in the United States, and here's why. A spirit of adulation bordering on servility already exists among some of the same Democratic-friendly Catholic writers, scholars, editors and activists who once accused pro-lifers of being too cozy with Republicans. It turns out that Caesar is an equal opportunity employer.

I think Catholics -- and I mean here mainly American Catholics -- need to remember four simple things in the months ahead.

First, all political leaders draw their authority from God. We owe no leader any submission or cooperation in the pursuit of grave evil. In fact, we have the duty to change bad laws and resist grave evil in our public life, both by our words and our non-violent actions. The truest respect we can show to civil authority is the witness of our Catholic faith and our moral convictions, without excuses or apologies.

Second, in democracies, we elect public servants, not messiahs. It's worth recalling that despite two ugly wars, an unpopular Republican president, a fractured Republican party, the support of most of the American news media and massively out-spending his opponent, our new president actually trailed in the election polls the week before the economic meltdown. This subtracts nothing from the legitimacy of his office. It also takes nothing away from our obligation to respect the president's leadership.

But it does place some of today's talk about a "new American mandate" in perspective. Americans, including many Catholics, elected a gifted man to fix an economic crisis. That's the mandate. They gave nobody a mandate to retool American culture on the issues of marriage and the family, sexuality, bioethics, religion in public life and abortion. That retooling could easily happen, and it clearly will happen -- but only if Catholics and other religious believers allow it. It's instructive to note that the one lesson many activists on the American cultural left learned from their loss in the 2004 election -- and then applied in 2008 -- was how to use a religious vocabulary while ignoring some of the key beliefs and values that religious people actually hold dear.

Here's the third thing to remember. It doesn't matter what we claim to believe if we're unwilling to act on our beliefs. What we say about our Catholic faith is the easy part. What we do with it shapes who we really are. Many good Catholics voted for President Obama. Many voted for Senator McCain. Both parties have plenty of decent people in their ranks.

But when we hear that 54 percent of American Catholics voted for President Obama last November, and that this somehow shows a sea change in their social thinking, we can reasonably ask: How many of them practice their faith on a regular basis? And when we do that, we learn that most practicing Catholics actually voted for Senator McCain. Of course, that doesn't really tell us whether anyone voted for either candidate for the right reasons. Nobody can do a survey of the secret places of the human heart. But it does tell us that numbers can be used to prove just about anything. We won't be judged on our knowledge of poll data. We'll be judged on whether we proved it by our actions when we said "I am a Catholic, and Jesus Christ is Lord."

Here's the fourth and final thing to remember, and there's no easy way to say it. The Church in the United States has done a poor job of forming the faith and conscience of Catholics for more than 40 years. And now we're harvesting the results -- in the public square, in our families and in the confusion of our personal lives. I could name many good people and programs that seem to disprove what I just said. But I could name many more that do prove it, and some of them work in Washington.

The problem with mistakes in our past is that they compound themselves geometrically into the future unless we face them and fix them. The truth is, the American electorate is changing, both ethnically and in age. And unless Catholics have a conversion of heart that helps us see what we've become -- that we haven't just "assimilated" to American culture, but that we've also been absorbed and bleached and digested by it -- then we'll fail in our duties to a new generation and a new electorate. And a real Catholic presence in American life will continue to weaken and disappear.

Every new election cycle I hear from unhappy, self-described Catholics who complain that abortion is too much of a litmus test. But isn't that exactly what it should be? One of the defining things that set early Christians apart from the pagan culture around them was their respect for human life; and specifically their rejection of abortion and infanticide. We can't be Catholic and be evasive or indulgent about the killing of unborn life. We can't claim to be "Catholic" and "pro-choice" at the same time without owning the responsibility for where the choice leads -- to a dead unborn child. We can't talk piously about programs to reduce the abortion body count without also working vigorously to change the laws that make the killing possible. If we're Catholic, then we believe in the sanctity of developing human life. And if we don't really believe in the humanity of the unborn child from the moment life begins, then we should stop lying to ourselves and others, and even to God, by claiming we're something we're not.

Catholic social teaching goes well beyond abortion. In America we have many urgent issues that beg for our attention, from immigration reform to health care to poverty to homelessness. The Church in Denver and throughout the United States is committed to all these issues. We need to do a much better job of helping women who face problem pregnancies, and American bishops have been pressing our public leaders for that for more than 30 years. But we don't "help" anyone by allowing or funding an intimate, lethal act of violence. We can't build a just society with the blood of unborn children. The right to life is the foundation of every other human right -- and if we ignore it, sooner or later every other right becomes politically contingent.

One of the words we heard endlessly in the last U.S. election was "hope." I think "hope" is the only word in the English language more badly misused than "love." It's our go-to anxiety word -- as in, "I sure hope I don't say anything stupid tonight." But for

Christians, hope is a virtue, not an emotional crutch or a political slogan. Virtus, the Latin root of virtue, means strength or courage. Real hope is unsentimental. It has nothing to do with the cheesy optimism of election campaigns. Hope assumes and demands a spine in believers. And that's why – at least for a Christian - hope sustains us when the real answer to the problems or hard choices in life is "no, we can't," instead of "yes, we can."

Seventy years ago the great French writer Georges Bernanos published a little essay called "Sermon of an Agnostic on the Feast of St. Théresè." Bernanos had a deep distrust for politics and an equally deep love for the Catholic Church. He could be brutally candid. He disliked both the right and the left. He also had a piercing sense of irony about the comfortable, the self-satisfied and the lukewarm who postured themselves as Catholic – whether they were laypeople or clergy.

In his essay he imagined "what any decent agnostic of average intelligence might say, if by some impossible chance the [pastor] were to let him stand awhile in the pulpit [on] the day consecrated to St. Théresè of Lisieux."

"Dear brothers," says the agnostic from the pulpit, "many unbelievers are not as hardened as you imagine. … [But when] we seek [Christ] now, in this world, it is you we find, and only you. … It is you Christians who participate in divinity, as your liturgy proclaims; it is you ‘divine men' who ever since [Christ's] ascension have been his representatives on earth. … You are the salt of the earth. [So if] the world loses its flavor, who is it I should blame? … The New Testament is eternally young. It is you who are so old. … Because you do not live your faith, your faith has ceased to be a living thing." Bernanos had little use for the learned, the proud or the superficially religious. He believed instead in the little flowers -- the Thérèse of Lisieuxs -- that sustain the Church and convert the world by the purity, simplicity, innocence and zeal of their faith. That kind of faith is a gift. But it's a gift each of us can ask for, and each of us will receive, if we just have the courage to choose it and then act on it. The only people who ever really change the world are saints. Each of us can be one of them. But we need to want it, and then follow the path that comes with it.

Bernanos once wrote that the optimism of the modern world, including its "politics of hope," is like whistling past a graveyard. It's a cheap substitute for real hope and "a sly form of selfishness, a method of isolating [ourselves] from the unhappiness of others" by thinking progressive thoughts. Real hope "must be won. [We] can only attain hope through truth, at the cost of great effort and long patience. … Hope is a virtue, virtus, strength; an heroic determination of the soul. [And] the highest form of hope is despair overcome."

Anyone who hasn't noticed the despair in the world should probably go back to sleep. The word "hope" on a campaign poster may give us a little thrill of righteousness, but the world will still be a wreck when the drug wears off. We can only attain hope through truth. And what that means is this: From the moment Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life," the most important political statement anyone can make is "Jesus Christ is


We serve Caesar best by serving God first. We honor our nation best by living our Catholic faith honestly and vigorously, and bringing it without apology into the public square and its debates. We're citizens of heaven first. But just as God so loved the world that he sent his only son, so the glory and irony of the Christian life is this: The more faithfully we love God, the more truly we serve the world.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Palin vs. The Bible

Alternatively, should I vote for a woman?

A brother-in-law recently stated, “I see three jurisdictions that God has ordained in this world: the family, the church, and civil government. All three must act in obedience to God's law to function correctly within themselves and in relationship to one another.” [1]

Unfortunately we live in a fallen world (corrupted by sin) ruled by imperfect leaders (corrupted by sin). Fortunately, we have a Sovereign God whose plans come to fruition as He dictates regardless, in spite of, or because of the actions of fallen men. Romans 13:1-5 tells us this if fact. “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.”

In conservative Christian circles, there are (at least) two schools of thought.

One believes that it is the ordinance of God is that a woman’s place is in the home. She has no business out in the world, working. This is especially true concerning work in a position where she has authority over men. Feminists will rail at this thought, calling it ‘religious misogyny’. [2] Far from misogynistic, these individuals believe it is demeaning to women for them to be other than what God intended. They generally care very much about the personhood of the women in their households and related to them.

Additionally, they believe that the Bible clearly states the requirements that an elected official must have. Deuteronomy 1:13 Moses said, “Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.” Additional examples, Deut 16:18-20; 17:14-20; 2 Sam 23:3; 2 Chron 19:6-7; Neh 7:2; Prov. 29:2

This school of thought is quick to point out that ALL of these passages refer specifically to men.

The other school of thought (sometimes called complimentarians) [3] believe it is acceptable for a woman to work outside the home. Additionally, to various degrees they can have authority over men. They point to Lydia, a business woman in Acts 16, ‘The Virtuous Wife’ of Proverbs 31: 10-31, and the Biblical example of Queen Esther.

There is a prelude to Sarah Palin’s arrival on the national scene. There have been (not a few - many) concerned, godly people praying constantly for this country and her leaders. They pray diligently, churches hold ‘Days of Prayer’, and we have students in the news gather around the flagpole to pray for this country and its leaders. This has been ongoing for many years.

When Sarah Palin arrived on the scene, complete with video of her addressing a church as Governor of Alaska, a cry of praise went up. There was also a groan.

For many, the thought that God had a raised an Esther for the United States was a welcome relief. Here is an apparently human but godly woman, thrust from nowhere into the national spotlight. Here she was a potential future leader of this country. Praise God.

There was also a groan from another camp of godly people. Oh, how this country has fallen. First, Sarah Palin is no Esther. Esther was the WIFE of the king. There is no evidence she had any authority over anything but the women’s house. Her use by God was restricted to her influencing the decisions of the King. If America is looking for an Esther, they should be looking to Michelle Obama or Cindy McCain. Additionally, they look to Isaiah 3 to further emphasize that it is a sign that a country has abandoned God when a woman rules.

Indeed, what seemed like a Godsend has become a controversy even within the church.

Personally, reading Isaiah 3, it sounds a lot like the USA today. Perhaps a woman should be in charge. However, Esther was not the Biblical example that came to mind.

Consider this:

“When Ehud was dead, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth Hagoyim. And the children of Israel cried out to the LORD; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and for twenty years he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel.” [4]

Consider this description. Has America, as a nation done evil in the sight of the Lord? Is there an ongoing sale of conservative America to liberal anti-Christians? Are both internal and external forces harshly oppressing America? Consider that the ‘War on Terror’ is against representatives of the largest religion on earth. Russia’s tense reemergence on the world scene is no little thing. Are there not COUNTRIES vowing the destruction of the USA?

God did something for Israel.

The Israelites doing evil in the sight of the Lord was nothing new.

God’s solution was new. It was unheard of. It was a precedent in the Bible, never repeated.

“Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.” [5]

This is very interesting. It does not say, “Deborah was judging Israel at this time.”

Remember the beginning of the article, there are three jurisdictions in this world: the family, the church, and civil government.

The significance of the sentence provides that Deborah was a Wife (family), Prophetess (church) and Judge (civil law). God provided a woman to act in obedience to God’s law to function in the highest position in the land of Israel.

There is no doubt she was unique in every aspect.

Sarah Palin certainly has a unique background. Her meteoric rise to the national spotlight eclipses even Barack Obama’s rise. Is Sarah Palin a new Deborah for a country in dire circumstances? Only God knows the answer to that.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

A thing known is that if Sarah Palin ascends to the second highest position in the land, knowledge of Deborah certainly encourages.

One is certainly encouraged to vote responsibly. Using the criteria from the Bible [Deut 1:13; Deut 16:18-20; 17:14-20; 2 Sam 23:3; 2 Chron 19:6-7; Neh 7:2; Prov. 29:2]

Some have said they cannot cast a vote because, of the candidates, none meets the Biblical criteria. That is for you to consider prayerfully.

[1] Certainly, this is the ideal, but it will not happen until Christ is on His Throne in Jerusalem ruling over all the earth.

[2] Misogyny is the hatred of women.

[3] Complimentarians are a tough crowd. There are varying degrees of complimentarians, and bitter discourse between them. The major discord is between a woman’s place in secular society and a woman’s place in the church. One group claims that a woman may have authority over men outside the home and outside the church. One group claims that a woman may have authority over men outside the home (hence the ordination of women as Pastors). A third group claims that a woman may have authority over a man - in any situation. There are bitter rivalries here and church denominations have split over these arguments.

[4] Judges 4:1-3

[5] Judges 4:4

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Big Things, Small Packages

The Bible is replete with epic stories that show the power, purpose, and majesty of God. Stories like ‘Jonah and the Whale’, ‘Noah’s Ark’, ‘The Ten Commandments’, and ‘Sampson and Delilah’. Sometimes these stories take whole chapters or even whole books of the Bible, like the story of Job.

Additionally, though, there are places where true treasures are obvious (and not so obvious) in one or two verses.

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”


Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Then there are some not so obvious treasures. Consider Acts 17:10-12. These three verses show us a great treasure. Verse 10 simply tells us where Paul and Silas where, a town called Berea (it is the only place in the Bible it is mentioned - Acts 20 mentions by name a missionary from Berea). Verse 11 says, “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

First, who is ‘they’? They were the Jewish religious (and some Greeks). We know from verse 12 that study of the Scriptures led many to become Christians, “Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.”

Acts 17:11 is memorized and posted on the sidebar of this blog.

What a shock it was to realize one simple thing. The New Testament did not exist yet. Jewish religious leaders would not read it, even if it had. They certainly would not have been searching the New Testament to determine whether Jesus of Nazareth was THEIR Messiah! They went to ‘their’ Bible - the Old Testament.

Having read the account of the meeting on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32, Mark 16:12 & 13). The subject has always been “Christ appeared to them in the Flesh”. Repeatedly have missed verse 27, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Again, the Scriptures here relates to the Old Testament.

That one not so obvious treasure is simply that the primary purpose of the Old Testament is not to provide us with a history lesson of the Jews. The primary purpose is to ‘prove’ that Jesus of Nazareth was who He said He was the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, the means of Salvation. There are 109 specific Messianic prophecies in The Old Testament, a document that spans 5000+ years of history and whose manuscripts predate Christ by hundreds of years. There are prophecies as specific as the place and manner of His birth to manner of His death. The odds of all those prophecies fulfilled in one person are astronomical. (The estimate is that the number is somewhere approximately 10 to 157th power. To get an idea of how big that number is; 10 to the 100th power is the largest number we have a name for - a googol.)

How fitting it is that this is the Easter Season. How fitting it is that one of the first, best introductions of harmonizing the Old Testament and the New Testament into a cohesive whole is “The Sufferings and the Glory”. This is an account of the betrayal, arrest and crucifixion of Christ as recorded in the New Testament and prophesied in the Old, as well as the intimate thoughts of Christ as recorded in the Old Testament hundreds of years before He became flesh and died for our sins.

Jesus was made flesh, lived and died and was resurrected for one purpose. The Bible has one primary purpose. John 20:31, “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

I encourage you to read the “Sufferings and the Glory”, whether you are Christian or not, it is one of the best ‘books’ I’ve ever read and always wrenches my heart.

An odd note I knew but it never sank in before today: Loren Bishop at Pulpit of the Last Days compiled the accounts in “The Sufferings and the Glory”. He sometimes uses the blogger name ‘Cleopas’. Of the two men on the road to Emmaus to whom Christ revealed Himself in The Old Testament, one’s name was Cleopas.

Monday, November 26, 2007


(Guaranteed to come true!)

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.

God whispers in your soul and speaks to your mind. Sometimes when you don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at you. It's your choice: Listen to the whisper, or wait for the brick.

(Personally, quite often it is the brick)

*Received this as an email, author unknown - but still poignant and eloquent.

Monday, August 13, 2007

How Simple Is That?

[This is an edit of an article originally Posted Monday 26 September 2005, titled: “What Was His Name? or How Simple Is That?]

‘Learned’ people, in religious circles, like to throw around 'big' words. Words like justification, sanctification, imputed, imparted, dogma, doctrine, and propitiation are just a few… That is fine, but these words often confuse. Sometimes when these types of conversations start, one feels like “a hog looking at a wrist watch”.

It gets murky quickly. The ‘gospel made simple’ becomes a confusingly litany of do and do not. [†] After re-reading this quote, “Any clear presentation of the gospel of grace would include the following in some measure:” followed by a list of twelve ‘necessary’ requirements. The ‘response’ to the gospel is a list of nine evidentiary requirements. In other words, to ‘present the gospel’ requires twelve elements - someone responding to the gospel would require nine elements of ‘evidence’. I decided to ‘re-post’ this (edited) article.

I am a K.I.S.S. person. K.I.S.S. is the acronym Keep It Simple I am Stupid. So let us K.I.S.S. this whole salvation ‘thing’, (with its 12 & 9 requirements) with a little Bible history lesson.

What was the name of the first person to die a ‘believer’? Who was it that first died believing that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and only through His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection, one could receive salvation instead of being condemned and sent to hell?

Many people will say, “That is easy, it was Steven in Acts 7:60-8:2.” Um, wrong, Steven was the first recorded martyr, that is the first person executed for believing it, and teaching it. However, he was not the first one to die believing.

No, the first ‘believer’ to die was a thief. We do not even know his name. The Bible does not record his name… Just that he was the first.

Who was he and why is he important to us?

When Jesus was crucified (hung on a cross), He was crucified with two other men. The Bible tells us that they were thieves (convicted criminals). We read ‘their story’ in Luke 23:39-43.

One of the thieves reviled and mocked Jesus.

The other did not, in Luke 23:40-41, he defends Jesus, “But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”

He goes on in verse 42, “Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

This in the simplest terms is the ‘gospel of salvation’!

Was this some kind of ‘special’ salvation (as some religions claim)? Alternatively, was this the entire ‘gospel’ message in the K.I.S.S. format?

This is the K.I.S.S. ‘gospel’.

Let us look the ‘elements’ of the thief’s declaration.
The thief admitted that he deserved to be condemned, that he deserved to die for his own crimes (vs. 40 & 41).
The thief recognized Jesus’ was blameless (vs. 41).
The thief recognized that Jesus was ‘his’ master by using the title ‘Lord’ (vs. 42).
The thief recognized Jesus was more than just a man and in fact ‘The King’ (which meant The Messiah) (vs. 42).
The thief asked to be ‘remembered’ (vs. 42).

The thief admitted that he was getting ‘what he deserved’. The thief ‘knew’ because of his own actions, there was nothing but a guilty verdict and death. The thief ‘knew’ that the only way ‘out’ of his condemnation was Jesus Christ. That is, nothing the thief could do was worth anything, only Jesus’ actions could save him.

How did Jesus Christ answer this thief?

“And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”” Luke 23:43.

Jesus Christ saved the thief. This unnamed thief was the first person to die ‘believing’ the ‘whole’ “gospel of Jesus Christ the power of God for salvation”. He was the first ‘Christian’ to die. Ephesians 2:8-9, tells us it is not of ourselves, it is a gift. Jesus Christ did not ‘owe’ the thief anything; He gave the thief a place in ‘Paradise’.

That is the Promise of the gospel of Jesus Christ - believe and you will be saved!

This unnamed thief is important to us because his ‘profession and belief’ is the definition of salvation made simple.

It really is that simple…

[†] 2 Corinthians 11:3 reminds us that the gospel is simple. Here is simple - the entire “gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation” in one verse: Romans 6:23. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” WE deserve death, God is willing to gift us eternal life, the way is through Christ.

Again, it really is that simple…

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Commitment to Conviction Part 2

Part one of this article discussed the torture and murder of three men, Tilman Ekkehart Geske, Pastor Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel. They were tortured and murdered because they were Christians who were not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The “Comments” section attempted to clear up what we know about these men.

These were men of God. They were doing God’s work. They KNEW that they were targets of persecution. [Muslim leaders in Turkey and elsewhere have accused Christians of “stealing the souls of our babies”.]

They were still emboldened by the Holy Spirit not to be ashamed to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Their faith sustained them to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even though they KNEW that it could cost them their lives.

They are shining examples of what it means to proclaim, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” [Romans 1:16]

Part 2 was supposed to be a look at this heinous act from another point of view.

Five young men (19 and 20 year olds) carried out the premeditated torture and murder of these three men. They did it in the name of ‘Allah’. However, their commitment to their conviction failed them. Their plan was supposed to be - torture and murder these three Christian men - then die ‘in a blaze of glory’ martyrs - in a ‘suicide by cop’ pact. Their faith failed. Three surrendered, one was hiding, and the fifth (the ringleader) injured himself falling off a drainpipe as he tried to get away.

The real question we should ask is, “Are we like the three missionaries or are we like their attackers?”

Pointedly - How committed to our conviction that Jesus Christ DIED on the cross for our sins, rose from the dead and gave us the ORDER to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ are we?

Every day in this world, Christians die for simply being Christians. Every day in this world, Christians die for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We hear their stories and we cry, we feel sad, maybe we even send an ‘extra’ monetary gift to a mission project.

As Elisabeth Eliot quotes L.E. Maxwell, “O Lord, deliver us from our sad, sweet, stinking selves!” [1]

We do not have to die to prove we are committed to our conviction. We do not have to be, as Loren Bishop said, “…part of the 'martyr' crowd who could hardly wait to show their zeal. We were often 'persecuted for righteousness' sake'…” [2] Seeking persecution for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What we do need to do is evidence our commitment to our conviction by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as it is our command to do. [3]

Are we taking every opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Are we making opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Are we following the example of these men who were tortured and killed because of their commitment? Alternatively, are we following the example of the murders, when it comes to sharing the Gospel - do we balk sometimes?

Are we following the example of Mr. Genor, a man who for 40 years on the streets of Sydney, Australia, handed out gospel tracts with the question, “If you die tonight will you go to heaven?” [4] Are we following the example of Fred Server - of whom it was said, “Every one who has met Fred has heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ!” [5]

If we are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, are we ashamed that OUR conduct is not always evidence of that commitment to a conviction. Once while driving with Fred (who was a safe, considerate, defensive driver), he noticed an ‘Icthus’ (Fish emblem) on the back of a car. Fred remarked he would never put one on his own car - because he did not want people to equate his driving with his Christianity…

Are there people that we are ASHAMED to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with because they have seen our conduct? How often is that the case? We do not want to share the Gospel, not because of the Gospel but because of our own example. It is not a matter of persecution; instead, it becomes a matter of embarrassment. Do we say to ourselves, “If my life is ‘The only Bible some people will ever read’, then there are some people I do not want to read it?”

We need to remember - The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for sinners. It saves sinners from the penalty of sin - it does not make them (us) perfect. As it says in “One Liners” - God does not call the qualified He qualifies the called. If He only called the qualified - Jesus would be the only person in Heaven. The bottom line is that none of us is perfect. While the God calls us to godliness - He commands us to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the lessons learned from Fred and others is that the more energy spent on sharing the Gospel, the less energy one has to pursue sin. [6]

[1] Elisabeth Elliot, Through Gates Of Splendor, Epilogue 2, pages 270-271

[2] see the ‘Comments’ from “Commitment to Conviction Part 1” Loren does point out that sometimes what we call ‘persecution’ is instead others unwillingness to tolerate our attitude.

[3] Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8

[4] Thanks to Brian Hedrick for sharing Mr. Genor’s testimony - it is in a video [here] posted on Brian’s Blog, “Only Look to Christ”. One amazing thing about Mr. Genor is that he faithfully ministered on the streets of Sydney for some 40 years - and it was only a few weeks before he died that he EVER heard that someone became a Christian because he shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. A commitment to a conviction evidenced by conduct - to share the Gospel for 40 years without knowing that anyone responded!

[5] One of the celebrants at Fred’s memorial service made the comment and it was affirmed by many others - Fred lived a life dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

[6] I can confidently say with Paul, 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

One Liners

[At a future date (soon), we will post the article “Commitment to Conviction Part 2”]

Meanwhile here are some pithy, not so pithy, funny and not so funny ‘one liners’ collected over the years - original authors unknown.

Do not let your worries get the best of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case.


Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited until you try to sit in their pews.


Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.


It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.


The good Lord did not create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.


When you get to your wit's end, you will find God lives there.


People are funny; they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.


Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.


Quit griping about your church, if it was perfect, you could not belong.


If the church wants a better pastor, it only needs to pray for the one it has.


God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?


Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.


Why do some people change churches; what difference does it make which one you stay home from?


Many church members who are singing "Standing on the Promises" are just sitting on the premises.


Our call is to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.


Be ye fishers of men. You catch them - He will clean them.


Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.


Do not put a question mark where God put a period.


Do not wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.


Forbidden fruits create many jams.


God does not call the qualified He qualifies the called.


God grades on the cross, not the curve.


God loves everyone, but probably prefers "fruits of the spirit" over "religious nuts!"


God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.


The person that angers you controls you!


If God is your Co-pilot - swap seats!


Prayer: Do not give God instructions -- just report for duty!


The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.


The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.

*+*+*+ *+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

We do not change the message the message changes us.


You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.


The best mathematical equation ever seen:

1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Commitment to Conviction Part 1

Previously, we defined faith as a commitment to a conviction evidenced by conduct [1].

Let us turn our attention to the 18th of April and three men.

Tilman Ekkehart Geske
Pastor Necati Aydin
Ugur Yuksel

These three men may not be familiar to you. News of their deaths was not “Front Page News”. One may have heard about them vaguely. They were three Christian men (missionaries and pastors) murdered in Turkey.

The Associated Press records their murders as “with their hands and legs bound and their throats slit”. [I have] read other reports of their gruesome three hour torture that would make the most horrific horror movie seem tame by comparison.

We do not know if there was an attempt to make these men recant their faith [2].

We do know that these men were tortured and executed for one reason. They were tortured and murdered because they were Christians who were not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ [3]. They daily shared the gospel in a predominately Muslim country with a history of violence towards Christians.

Simply put, these men were martyrs for their faith in Christ.

Think about that for a minute. These men died. They were tortured. Even without their throats slit, they would have died from the wounds they received. All their suffering and ultimately their deaths happened simply for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We do know they were men of God, by the example of their families afterward. “Susanne Geske (Tilman Geske’s widow) in a television interview [in Turkey] expressed her forgiveness. She did not want revenge, she told reporters. “Oh God, forgive them for they know not what they do,” she said, wholeheartedly agreeing with the words of Christ on Calvary (Luke 23:34)” [4].

This was a terrible thing. It should sadden us.

Now, consider the challenge. How often do we hesitate to share the gospel because of what others might think? We rationalize, justify, and hesitate because we might lose face. Maybe we are afraid we might lose our jobs, or we may lose ‘friends’ because we are telling them the ‘Good News’. The next time the opportunity presents itself and one finds one’s self hesitating - think. Think about Geske, Aydin, and Yuksel. Then think about the ETERNAL consequences of NOT sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the listener [5].

[1] Conversations with Fred part 4 [March 12, 2007]

[2] We have heard reports the torture was recorded on cell phones (and possibly video) but those have not been released (Thankfully).

[3] Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

[4] Excerpted from “A letter to the Global Church from The Protestant Church of Smyrna” Reported by Darlene N. Bocek -contact information:
* There is a graphic report of the torture of these men in this letter. If the above link fails the letter can be found by a “Google” search.

[5] 1 John 2:15-17 [The Message]

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Final Word From Fred Server

Fred’s memorial service was quite an event. Held in his church home, people gathered. His siblings, children, step-children and children’s children -four generations account for only forty of the hundreds gathered. Many countries and four continents had representatives there.

It is not a huge church, but modern with two large audio-visual screens used to project hymns instead of using traditional hymnals.

The pastor led the invocation, followed by the choir and audience singing uplifting songs. Fred was reintroduced to those present with a slide show, “This is your life” created for his birthday last year - showing Fred through the years of his life.

The slide show was significant events in his life - his birth, graduation, jobs, children, etc. What it shows is that Fred was a sportsman and family man. It was for Fred a keepsake and for others a kind of ordinary obituary. It did not tell one much about the ‘heart’ of the man.

A few more songs sung. Then nothing - the screens went black, the lights dimmed. Then with a startled gasp from the audience, Fred appeared on the video screen and this is what he had to say:


I suppose I’m the last person you
expected to hear from today. I just
had to thank you for praying for me.
Almost 5 years ago, you learned I
had cancer. You prayed for my
healing. You watched me lose 5
inches in height; my bones grow too
weak to hold my body up straight-
and you prayed for my healing. You
watched my muscles dissolve and
my flesh disappear. Actually, you
watched the outer man perish and
you prayed for my healing. Thank
you! Thank you. Your prayers have
been answered. I AM HEALED! I
HALLELUJIAH! The pain is gone.
Thank you for praying.

The best part about being here in
heaven is Jesus. Remember He
promised, “I go to prepare a place for
you and if I go I will come again and
receive you unto myself.” He did!
He did! He did! I’ve just seen Jesus
and I tell you He is alive!

I had this hope of coming to heaven
to be with Jesus while I was with
you. I’ll tell you how I KNEW. The
Bible says we can Know, not think
or hope but KNOW. I had just
returned from the navy and was in
my first year of college when I
noticed several students my age that
really impressed me. They all went
to the same church youth group so I
decided to visit. It was there I
learned that God loved me. Me,
Fred Server. I also learned the things
had done wrong separated me from

God. I was fearful of dying and
spending an eternity separated from
God in a place called hell. Do you
know how long eternity is? Forever!
God said my sin demanded a
payment-death. Here is the good
news; God loved me so much He
was willing to do something about
my sin and separation. He sent His
own Son to die in my place. Jesus
Christ died for my sins so He could
bring me to God. No more
separation. I believed this. I asked
Jesus to forgive my sin, come into
my heart, and be the Lord of my life.
He came! I began to read my Bible.
I believed every promise He made.

I know some people think they can
work themselves into heaven. Think
about it. If you could work your way
into heaven then God had His Son
die a horrible death on the cross for

Everyone has to decide whether to
believe Jesus or not. There is no
reason for anyone to walk out of this
room and not know that your sins are
forgiven and that you are going to
spend all eternity in heaven. You
can pray this prayer right where you
are sitting. Bow your head and pray,
“Lord, Jesus, please forgive my sin
and come into my heart and be the
Lord of my life. I believe you.
Thank you for coming. Thank you
for giving me eternal life.” If you
prayed that prayer tell our Pastor or
someone about the decision you have
made. Many will rejoice with you
and you can share it with me when
you arrive here in heaven. I’ll be
waiting for you.

Friends please don’t talk about my
spirit being with you. My spirit is
with Jesus. Why would you want
my spirit with you when you have
the Spirit of the Living God living in
you? He will never leave you. The
Holy Spirit will lead you along the
best pathway for your life, to
comfort, encourage, protect, pray for,
teach, enable, and pour out his loving
favor and mercy. You don’t want
my spirit when you can have all that
just by asking Christ into your heart.

My challenge to all of you, family
and friends is to get involved in
telling others about Jesus. Help them
grow. Make an eternal difference in
the lives of other people. Everyone
is going to spend an eternity in
heaven or hell. God will use you to
be a part in their choice. So go tell
the good news.

Bye for now. Jesus is waiting to
welcome each and every one of you.
I’ll be waiting too. Look on my
death just the way Jesus does. He
says, “Precious in the sight of the
Lord is the death of his saints.” You
know why it’s so precious? It’s
because He gets to finally welcome
another one that He came here to die
for, another one who believes Him.
That delights His heart. He calls it
precious. That means you can look
at my death as precious. See you.
Bye for now.”

I do not know about you, but that tells me a lot about the heart of the man it was my privilege to know and call my step-dad. Like someone remarked, “Leave it to Fred to get the last word and that word was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He died like he lived, sharing the Gospel, a servant of God.”

Fred M. Server
June 15, 1927 - March 14, 2007
The Godliest man I have ever known!
I pray that I can be half the man, the servant of God that he was.

[*] Fred recorded this video a few months ago (January 12, 2007), to ensure that he had the strength to do it well.

- Special thanks to my sister-in-law Robin for putting together the slide show (from all the family’s pictures) and recording and editing Fred’s final message.

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