These days are not ordinary days.

February 14, 2022: These days are not “ordinary days”. The absence of Nativity symbols or Christian references on last year’s “Peoples’ Capitol” Christ-mas tree was an unsung and virtually unnoticed symbol of the days we have endured….and are continuing to endure.

A Christmas with no mention of Christ…..and now, as the fraudulent Resident continues his reckless agenda of trying to destabilize and minimize the world’s greatest and free-est country, our return-to-freedom and return-to-God struggle in America is far from over. The installed head of country and his fellow globalists would like nothing more than for this beacon of God’s goodness and salvation to be permanently dimmed, then extinguished.

My Spring-Summer Journal and, now, Fall-Winter Journal, have had few entries because my concerns and focus have not varied since my last post many months ago: our nation is in trouble. An illegally-manipulated/impacted 2020 election has been allowed to stand and operate in America for over a year. This remains inconceivable to me, to my sense of justice and faith in our American structure of governance — in spite of the reality before my eyes. I intellectually understand the various factors, the misrepresentations, the misinformation, the soulless cowardice and deliberate inaction on the part of those elected to maintain a Constitutional Republic. Yet I remain in disbelief of its continued reality even as increasing days of illegitimate governance add up on a new-year calendar.

I remain in disbelief because of the firm conviction that God is in the midst of this turmoil and this is NOT the slow winding down of “the American story.” God founded our nation through our Founding Fathers, God sealed our nation unto Him as our forefathers covenanted with Him, and He has intervened at various points of our history to draw us back to Him and reset us on a steady path.

And He is in the process of doing it again.

I actually began this post back in December, then updated it in January. Yet I did not publish it in either month because it “felt incomplete.” For the very reason mentioned above, I think I now know why — God’s move of victory in this nerve-wracking saga also remains incomplete.

Yet I believe we are currently feeling the stirring of the waters around us being reversed, un-muddied, infused with the freshness of His Spirit in a river that flows to Him and from Him. My faith in the unwavering intention of God to intervene, to work through and bring about the just and right end to this nightmare remains unshaken.

In that well-known Ephesians scripture, Paul explained that our battle is “not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12) I have never seen this principle play out on the world and national stage more clearly than watching the daily/weekly events of the last year.

Virtually every nation in what has been called “the free world” has been subjected to a tyranny of governmental control beneath the guise of a health-required “vaccine mandate”, and now the citizens of those nations continue to emerge in unified marches by the tens of thousands to resist the destruction of their liberty. Canada, Australia, Poland, Germany, Austria, France, Italy — we as American news consumers do not know the true extent of the number and scope of freedom marches across the globe because our mainstream sources of information — the supposed bastions of support for our First Amendment — choose not to reveal that particular truth as it unfolds.

And I sit back and ask why. Why would such worldwide movement result in virtually no mention among mainstream media outlets?

I have formed a bit of an hypothesis: to reveal such impassioned expressions demanding freedom would bring courage and hope to others, and it is hope that the enemy resists at all costs. Romans 5:5 proclaims that “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

I believe we are seeing a manifestation of the march of God’s Spirit and the prayers of His elect, taking physical form; of His angelic hosts carrying on warfare in the unseen realm, His servants carrying on warfare in the visible world, all working together in unison — and in unison, re-taking ground that was unwittingly yielded and calculatingly stolen. God is claiming back what is His, as the psalmist states in Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who live in it.” (NASB)

The Lord has spoken recently through many prophets that “the harvest has begun.” His Glory is being released in greater and greater measure upon people, ethnic groups, nations. This epic era we are in is more than a painfully slow, worldwide political transformation; God-given freedoms are being rediscovered and fought for, but not within a carnal void. This position in time is ushering in great spiritual renewal as hopeless people find their only direction to seek guidance and deliverance is to look upwards, to seek the Creator of heaven and earth.

And this, in unison with the spiritual forces of righteousness calling out to each nation, “Lift up your heads, you gates, and be lifted up, you ancient (everlasting) doors, that the King of Glory may come in! Who is the King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.” (Psa. 24:7-8, NASB

He is not leaving His world and people bereft of His action and intervention.

Does Anyone Think Church Gatherings are ‘Essential’? Who’s Speaking Up?

Does Anyone Think Church Gatherings are ‘Essential’?  Who’s Speaking Up?

I shared a link to my commentary and connected editorial (by Matt Walsh) on Facebook last night — but I know how quickly posts run through a person’s feed and quickly disappear.  So I am sending this out as a post because I, like Walsh, am deeply concerned that no specific conversation has occurred regarding the benefit and Constitutional legality of continuing church assemblage — despite the risks — during this coronavirus pandemic.

I had assumed that churches would be considered an “essential social service” and that any mandatory shut down would be resisted.  Necessarily, “crowd considerations” would have been evaluated, with churches likely needing to be creative and/or take measures to accommodate the different situations that were arising.

But it never occurred to me that, based on numbers alone, church assemblage would be shuttered as if it were of no benefit to our neighbors, our rich and poor alike, our now-unemployed co-workers, our very society.

Opinion Writer Matt Walsh declares in this article, “As far as I know, no government at any level, anywhere in the nation, has deigned to label churches essential.  Our Founding Fathers, who gave the right to assemble and the right to practice religion pride of place in the Bill of Rights seemed to have disagreed.”

This is actually a discussion that SHOULD have been broached at the start of “shelter at home” orders, in my opinion.  I am guessing that the original “two-week” duration of time to Shelter-at-home during March was considered “short,” and clearly temporary, therefore becoming a significant factor in the deafening silence regarding this issue.  However, that length of time has now been extended for an additional 30 days.  And there is no clear statement that it will not, in some fashion, continue to be enforced for an additional and unspecified amount of time.  

In a society which considers physical food an essential for physical and mental well being — appropriately so — it is nonetheless truly unfortunate that ‘spiritual food’ is not given equal consideration as to how churches and fellowships might continue to reach out and offer comfort, support and stability to frightened and insecure people in this time of crisis.  Actually, I think it is beyond “unfortunate.”  I think it is a serious gap through which millions of people are falling with limited or no safety net, below.

Yes, online connection options are definitely “better than nothing.”   I give kudos, appreciation, and accolades to those church leaders who have worked diligently to create and maintain contact/support with their people through social media and online opportunities.  Yes, Romans 13:1 states, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God , and those which exist are established by God.” (NASB)

Authority established by God:  consider that phrase, for just a moment.  I propose that our houses of worship — FAR more than any government agency — have been ordained for this very purpose of bearing His authority in the lives of people, and for times just like these.  If I may say so, it is each one of us AND our houses of worship who have been bestowed with the mantle of spiritual governorship to address the necessary task at hand with the power, compassion, and efficiency needed.

We all — loudly, as Americans, whether personally involved in spiritual gatherings or not — really should be discussing if stay-at-home orders from state/federal officials should supersede a Constitutional guarantee of freedom in religious assembly (especially since such orders are currently apart from any specific guidelines as to whether or not a stay-at-home order is justified).  We should be discussing if this is contrary to the Scriptural admonition for us to “consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together.” (Heb. 10:24-25, NASB)

There is a purpose and a point in our “assembling together”…and it is not necessarily for US.  We are NOT called to live for ourselves.  WE have been tasked to be bringers of Light in dark situations; WE have been tasked to share Living Water with those whom the world has wrung dry.  

Matt Walsh states in this article, “This is not ‘health and safety.’  This is tyranny.”   Walsh subsequently asks the question, “Can the government simply declare all churches non-essential, close them indefinitely, and thus circumvent the First Amendment with so much ease as to render it effectively nullified from here on out?”

THIS is the discussion that we-the-people and we-the-children-of-God need to decide within our congregations and bring to the doors of our local, county, state and federal levels of  government.  

4-2-20 UPDATE:  After Hillsborough County arrested Pastor Howard-Browne of Revival International Ministries, the local government has done a 180-turnaround.  According to lc.com (site of Liberty Council), “The council voted to recognize churches as ‘essential,'” reversing an earlier decision which resulted in Pastor Howard-Browne’s arrest.  In addition, “Any future guidance the county may issue will be recommendations and not enforceable.”  The site also reports that Florida Ron DeSantis amended his April 1 executive order for shelter-in-place to recognize that “‘religious services conducted in churches, synagogues, and houses of worship” are “Essential activities.” Liberty Council was in the process of filing a federal lawsuit against Hillsborough County.