Showing posts from November, 2020

The Government is Not God

As a boy, I watched a lot of television. Some programs had an educational value such as the “Schoolhouse Rock” cartoons that used to air on Saturday mornings. Those clips taught subjects such as multiplication, grammar, and American history. One of the latter was about the Constitution and sang the intro of this important document… “We the People…in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Although I didn’t do well in my seventh-grade history class, I got a decent grade on one test when we had to write out the Preamble. Music can be a helpful tool for memorizing things. I’m thankful to be an American but have been appalled by recent actions taken by some political leaders. Under the guise of “saving lives” from the coronavirus, a few autho

A Matter of Trust

There’s a well-known story involving Dutch holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom (pictured here) about the power of forgiveness. Shortly after being freed from a Nazi concentration camp, Corrie spoke about that experience at a church in Munich, Germany. A former camp guard that Corrie recognized approached her, extended his hand and asked for her forgiveness. Corrie struggled at first while she stood face-to-face with one of her former captors. Finally, Corrie shook the man’s hand and in her own words: “I had never known God’s love so intensely, as I did then.” A few years ago, I experienced a forgiveness test at a revival meeting in the Minneapolis area. Around the time the preacher talked about forgiving others, I noticed a familiar-looking man leaning up against the wall. It turned out to be my former best friend whom I hadn’t seen in over a decade. “Stephen” betrayed me by getting into an adulterous relationship with my then-wife who separated from me and subsequently filed for divo

Prophets and Non-Prophets

At the time of this writing, most mainstream media outlets have declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 U. S. Presidential election . However, all the votes haven’t been accounted for yet. There have been reports of illegal voting on behalf of the dead and underaged. I’ve also heard of individuals voting more than once despite that being a federal crime. Nevertheless, there are Christians already labeling ministers “false prophets” who predicted a Trump victory.  Jesus did warn in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” However, the term “false prophet” is used too loosely amongst the body of Christ. Critics often apply that to ministers they don’t like. One example is Joel Osteen , a pastor who (to the best of my knowledge) has never called himself a prophet. So how can one identify a false prophet? It’s more than calling someone out for making a wrong prediction. Even a broken clock is correct twice a

It’s Not Over (Reflections on the 2020 Election)

A few weeks ago, my hometown newspaper conducted a poll asking, “Do you think any political ads have swayed your opinion on who to vote for?” 97% of the respondents answered “no.” I think politicians waste a lot of money on ads attacking their opponents. My focus is not on a personality but on the candidate’s party affiliation and that party’s platform . This year, coronavirus fears prompted states to encourage mail-in voting. That should have been available only to those who requested a ballot. I’m registered to vote in Virginia but spent most of 2020 doing the Lord’s work in the Minneapolis area. Although I put in a request for an absentee ballot the day they became available, a month passed without it showing up in the mail. I called election officials. They instructed me to go online and request another ballot, which arrived two weeks before Election Day. I quickly filled that out and mailed it back to Virginia. Meanwhile, I minimized my exposure to mainstream media outlets (eve

Happy Birthday, Living Word!

Forty years ago, a church was founded that would impact my life. A pilot named Mac Hammond and his wife Lynne had led a Bible study in the Minneapolis area. In November 1980, it officially became a church called Living Word Faith Fellowship that initially met in a hotel conference room. It later moved into a building in Brooklyn Park, merged with another church, and was renamed Living Word Christian Center . This congregation that started with just twelve people has grown into a body of more than 10,000 members. I was introduced to Living Word in February 1991 through my then-girlfriend. She attended services there and invited me to go with her one Sunday morning. It reminded me of a service I might see on TV (later finding out the church just begun broadcasting on a local station). Pastor Mac encouraged first-time visitors to come back again “to take a more accurate measure of us as a church.” The next two times I went to Living Word, I still resisted the altar call for salvation.