Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Kathy Kersten’s article is a blistering attack against the Democrats’ newest religion, the religion of wokeness. According to Kersten, “The movement to eradicate ‘white privilege’ manifests in demands to defund police and in the toppling of statues, not only of Confederate generals, but of figures such as Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, even George Washington.”

Kersten continues, saying “What is unfolding before our eyes is a new secular religion. For all its claims of ‘inclusivity,’ this new faith is deeply intolerant. It has roots in the American past that would likely surprise its adherents: the Puritan era of our nation’s earliest religious zealots. Progressives are now engaged in doing theology without God.”

This especially bothers me:

One of Puritan theology’s core tenets is “innate depravity”, the doctrine that humans are inherently wicked as a result of original sin. The woke faith preaches an updated version: America’s original sin is white supremacy.

As a Christian, I’m convinced that, apart from God’s grace, I’m capable of doing unthinkable things. In the ‘Noah Chapter‘ of Genesis, it is written in verses 5-6 that “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”

Every man, regardless of race, is capable of disgusting evil. When the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the church in Rome, he wrote in Chapter 3 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In both instances, God told us that everyone a) has sinned and b) is capable of incredible evil. Because everyone of every race, creed, color or ethnicity is included, the proper belief is that no race is exempt of committing incredible evil. That’s a little unsettling but it’s God’s truth.

Therefore, if we believe that the Bible is accurate, which I believe is the case, then the truth is that all races are capable of incredible sin. The thing about systemic racism, therefore, is that each race is totally capable of racism.

Parallels abound. One of Puritan theology’s core tenets is “innate depravity”, the doctrine that humans are inherently wicked as a result of original sin. The woke faith preaches an updated version: America’s original sin is white supremacy.

It isn’t that “America’s original sin is white supremacy.” It’s that every nation’s original sin is ignoring the Bible’s teachings. Each of us is born with a God-sized hole in our soul. If we don’t fill that hole with God, the hole remains, no matter how much stuff we throw into that hole.

It’s time to reject this newest ‘religion’ on the grounds that it’s more like a cult than a legitimate religion.

Religious Freedom is Ours to Win or Lose
By Ramblin’ Rose

We mourn the torture and repression of Christians in other countries. Figures from the Pew Research Center reveal the horrific facts that more than 6 BILLION people in 83 countries experience high or very high restrictions on religious beliefs and practice or social hostilities due to religion.

We have felt safe in our nation…“One nation under God.”

But reviewing national polls about the precipitous decline in the number of professed Believers in the last decade, the warnings from Church leaders about the closing of numerous congregations, the proposals in Congress to force a leftist agenda on our nation, legalized abortion (infanticide), and the Supreme Court ruling last week that redefines “gender” as emotion and not biological identity, cut to the hearts of Christians.

Debates and concessions have grown in the last few weeks about the acceptance of “taking a knee” to protest our national flag. Who remembers how Tebow was ridiculed and humiliated by leftists for taking a knee to pray to God? How many recall the numerous high school and college coaches that have been fired because they prayed on the field—by themselves, with their team or allowed their teams to pray?

As the pandemic raged in our land and around the world, allegedly the most requested and purchased book was the Bible. Is there some hope? Have more turned to God or just purchased the Bible to hold it to their heart as hopeful students sleep with their textbook for a pillow before an exam?

Jeremy P. Barker, Director, Middle East Action Team and Senior Program Officer for the Religious Freedom Institute defined religious freedom with this statement: “As articulated in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, core international covenants such as Article 18 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and contemporary research, religious freedom [emphasis added] is understood to be a fundamental human right, the cornerstone of a successful society, and a source of national and international security.”

WE cherish our First Amendment Rights. It is reassuring to know that religious freedom was a part of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, even though that fact was not a part of the school curriculum in the last 50 years, at least. Nor was/is the passage of the United States International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) in 1998 a part of traditional public-school teaching. That act brought attention to the status of religious freedom around the world. Through IRFA, the policy of the United States became one “to condemn violations of religious freedom, and to promote, and to assist other governments in the promotion of, the fundamental right to freedom of religion.”

Consequently, a new position, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, within the State Department mandates an annual report of religious freedoms in every country and an independent Commission on international religious freedom at the National Security Council.

President Trump’s Executive Order 13926 of June 2, 2020, mandates that “Religious freedom, America’s first freedom, is a moral and national security imperative. Religious freedom for all people worldwide is a foreign policy priority of the United States, and the United States will respect and vigorously promote this freedom.”

While the USA was the first country to enact the IRFA policy, now more than two dozen countries have similar positions and policies.

In July 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo initiated the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom to address religious freedom violations on a global level with foreign officials at the ministerial level and representatives from those societies, as well as victims of religious persecution and discrimination. The sole focus of the meeting was “the unalienable human right of religious freedom.” Vice President Pence addressed the gathering.

The second annual (2019) Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom was the largest religious freedom event of its kind in the world, with more than 1000 civil and religious leaders from more than 100 invited foreign delegations.

The Trump Administration sets a priority on the protection of the unalienable right of religious freedom. In September 2019, President Trump hosted the first Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom at the United Nations General Assembly, with UN Secretary General António Guterres, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary Pompeo in attendance.

In 2020, Warsaw, Poland, is set to host the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

I do try to regularly follow the news, but I only recall media coverage of the “irregular” manner in which President Trump addressed the General Assembly of the UN last fall. Was there positive coverage of this event?

It has been gratifying to have speakers at the National Prayer Breakfast, in recent years, that laud Christian/Judeo beliefs, traditions and practices instead of spanking them publicly for past atrocities—in the name of religion.

While there is no guarantee that there is a movement to again embrace the universal unalienable rights of the freedom of religion, it is reassuring to know that the current administration is working to advance those opportunities.

In the words of another great leader of this country, “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” (Ronald Reagan)

God bless America!!

Democrats hating various statues, monuments, military bases and cities aren’t looking at things from a biblical perspective. It’s understandable that Democrats would want the confederate flag removed. It’s a reminder of the Democrats’ racist history. The MSM won’t admit this but the Democrat Party is the party of Bull Conner, Jim Crow, George Wallace, the KKK (including Robert C. Byrd) and the Party of segregation.

Now that that isn’t hidden anymore, let’s look at these sins from a biblical perspective. King David is described as a “man after God’s own heart.” Despite that, David murdered Uriah after David slept with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, and gotten her pregnant. Despite that, God forgave David.

Saying that David was a complex person is understatement. God saw what was important and forgave David. After that, David became one of Israel’s greatest kings. That’s just the first example from the Bible.

Most people know the story of Moses killing an Egyptian who was beating an Israelite while Israel was held hostage in Egypt for 400 years. After that, Moses hid in the desert until God called him to lead Israel out of Egypt. Despite the fact that Moses had murdered another person, God chose Moses to lead Israel out of captivity. After the Passover, when the Lord spared Israelis whose doors were marked, Pharaoh called for Moses, then let Israel go. The only other thing that Moses is famous for is parting the Red Sea and giving Israel the Ten Commandments. Imagine that. God utilized a complex individual to fulfill one of His biggest promises.

That isn’t factoring in the contributions of Saul of Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus was a Roman hired by Romans to kill Christians. Saul was extremely gifted at killing Christians. His most famous slaying was of Stephen, who was stoned to death. While he was being murdered, Stephen “saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!'” That’s the only time in the Bible when Jesus wasn’t seated at the right hand of the Father.

Shortly thereafter, Saul had his “Damascus experience.” After that, Saul of Tarsus became the Apostle Paul, the father of the church and the greatest evangelist in the history of Europe and Asia. During his life, Paul made 3 major missionary trips, establishing churches throughout Europe, Greece and as far away as India and Africa. Paul wasn’t too proud to admit that he was “chief among sinners.”

The point I’m making is that the things that the Cancel Culture wants to abolish were no worse than the things that David, Moses and Paul did. God forgave David, Moses and Paul before using them to fulfill major prophecies. Today, the Cancel Culture wants the statues of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Ulysses S. Grant torn down, just to name a few. Is the Cancel Culture so hard-hearted that they can’t forgive complex people who did things that they regretted doing before doing things that make them heroes worthy of celebration and distinction?

If the U.S. becomes unwilling to forgive our fellow citizens, then this society won’t be sustained for any length of time. Everyone has committed incredible sin. People belong to the least exclusive club in the history of mankind. According to Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That means that everyone, including the members of the Cancel Culture, have committed heinous wrongdoings. Should we eliminate everyone except Christ, the only man who never sinned?

Too late. Cancel Culture wants His statues torn down, too.

Rules for Retrogrades
a book by Timothy and David Gordon
Review By John W. Palmer, Ph.D.

Michael Voris of Church Militant, a Catholic media organization, in his June 8th Vortex commentary highlights what Black Lives Matter stands for. He also calls attention to a victim of intolerance. In his article, Voris wrote “Popular Catholic commentator Tim Gordon was on social media last week talking about these very facts when BLM supporters struck and began doxxing him on social media platforms, calling for him to lose his job at the Catholic high school where he taught. We say taught, past tense, because within hours after the BLM campaign against him began, the diocese of Fresno, under the leadership of Bishop. Joseph Brennan dumped Gordon on the spot and told him not to come back. Anyone that thinks they are going to remain safe as the great Marxist steamroller plows through society still does not realize the reality. If you don’t stand and ?ght now, even in the face of persecution, what comes after this is going to be far worse.”

I share this information as an introduction to an important book for people who wish to defend what is right and true. Tim Gordon and his brother David have recently launched a Youtube channel, named after their book Rules for Retrogrades: Forty Tactics to Defeat the Radical Left. The Gordons have penned a worthy response to Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

What is a retrograde? (from the promo page at Tim’s website) A retrograde calculates, night and day, how to return the world to:

  1. the Old Order of moral and sexual decency,
  2. classical masculinity,
  3. national sovereignty and national borders,
  4. faith, hope and charity,
  5. goodness, beauty and truth,
  6. Christian civic liberty,
  7. and most importantly, the social kingship of Christ.

In the words of Shakespeare, a retrograde is one of God’s spies. The retrograde has the unique capacity for understanding the stark chasm between the degenerate, socialist-in?ltrated world of decay on one side and the well-meaning, good-hearted, but clueless Christian world on the other. In a time of such profound decay, being one of God’s spies is a last resort and a pure necessity: it involves not “deep cover,”—i.e., acting like the enemy—but rather “half cover”: acting as a “contra” in the secular arena, a crypto-Christian counterinsurgent willing to ?ght like a Navy Seal and to think like a counterintelligence of?cer. Retrogrades . . . to the streets: our aim is to reverse the deliberate, deuced machinations of “radicals” like Saul Alinsky who, by penning the rulebook of radicalism, threw down a challenge that has, until now, gone unanswered.

Rules for Retrogrades is the handbook men of good will need to win the culture war! Patrick Cof?n, a well respected Catholic commentator, writes this about Rules for Retrogrades: “If you take your prose pugnacious, your meat red, and your politics incorrect, then you might be ready for Rules for Retrogrades. This isn’t a book so much as a crowbar. The Brothers Gordon have marshaled 40 tactics that are guaranteed to provoke not only pony-tailed boomers but also cautious mod-cons, dour trans, and unsuspecting boomers.”

Rule 11 has special meaning to me since my experience with a variety of media hit attacks directed at me when I spoke out with the truth regarding the refugee resettlement program. Rule 11 Never Trust a Man Who is Unwilling to Have Enemies. Here are a few more examples of rules for retrogrades. Rule 6 Never Compromise with Radicals on their Initiatives resonates with recent events impacting our nation. Rule 5 Risus bellum est (translation at the end) supporting narrative begins with this sentence: The only possible response by a sane man to an insane claim is laughter and ridicule. Rule 26 The memory of the Western public is exceedingly short, pathetically undisciplined, and never to be feared. Rule 33 Stop heralding unwelcome news of progressive victories by wishfully proclaiming that radicals have “awaked a sleeping giant.”

Each of the 40 rules are accompanied by explanatory narratives which help the reader understand the rule and the need for the rule. At 160 pages, about 4 pages for each rule, you will ?nd this book an easy but insightful read. Rules for Retrogrades is a book you will want to keep close at hand after your ?rst reading as you engage in the culture war between the progressives and radicals and the conservatives and retrogrades. As we have seen the events unfold over the past weeks and days we do not need our imagination to see what losing the struggle with radicalism means. Our country is on the brink of a dark abyss and we retrogrades need to be both informed and supported with sound tactics and steely resolve. I do hope you will take time to explore Rules for Retrogrades and visit Tim Gordon’s website, your time will be well spent. ———— Rule 5 (English) Laughter is war.

God’s View on Race
By Ramblin’ Rose

On Memorial Day, a black man was killed by a white man. Shortly thereafter, race riots ensued and the deafening chant was “Black Lives Matter.” Those who responded that “All Lives Matter” were belittled and called bigots.

At times such as these, Christians turn to the Bible for guidance and answers. But this time, there is not as single reference in the Bible about race or when the descendants of Adam and Eve became members of different races. I searched, and I consulted with experts. It isn’t there.

In Jeremiah 13:23a (ESV) we read: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?”

From Genesis 1:26 (ESV) comes the wonderful news that we are created by God in His image. “Then God said, ‘Let us make man[a] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'” [a]The Hebrew word for man (adam) is the generic term for mankind and becomes the proper name Adam.

Why would God not mention race in His Holy Word? The answer comes from 1 Samuel 16:7b (ESV) “…For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

All living creatures have hearts. The human race (yes, all in one) has a heart that has the same design and through which flows blood that transports nutrients and oxygen to the cells and removes the waste materials. All humans have one of four blood types that are each sub-divided into positive and negative for the presence of the Rhesus (Rh) factor. Blood transfusions and organ transplants occur among the races; they are not dependent upon one’s skin tones. If anyone bleeds, the blood is red. We are alike; all people matter.

Throughout history, cultures have offered blood sacrifices to appease their gods. In the Old Testament, God’s People also offered blood sacrifices as a foresight of the perfect sacrifice for all mankind (no reference to race or skin color) by Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. He took away our sins.

From Matthew 22—the Great Commandment, we learn how to live. We are first to love God and then our neighbor as we do ourselves. If we were to follow that commandment, would our present-day anarchy tear our communities and our country asunder?

What our country needs is a revival, an awakening to the Truth. That is a capital T—Jesus Christ, the Son of God, set us free by His death. In John 14:6 (NKJV), Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Freedom is ours if we trust Him.

Truth, with a lowercase t, is an ideology created by a person…that is the truth that is being applied currently. It places the “self” first and imposes that dogma on neighbors. God probably does not even have a role in the life of those people. The result is the stress and chaos that permeate daily life now.

Fortunately, we do have the earthly blueprint to allow us to apply the Great Commandment…our founding documents—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, the anarchists are hellbent on destroying our foundation, our culture, our history, and us.

God made us all, and He endowed us all with unique talents to be used to worship and serve Him by serving those in need, whether they’re our neighbors or whether it’s someone we’ve never met before.

We wonder how all the issues will be resolved and order restored to our country and to us. Maybe we “take a knee” and pray to God for His Blessings. We have a great promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV): “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

We need healing. The time is now!

Despite DFL Gov. Tim Walz’s total failure during the COVID-19 crisis, his approval has increased. While that’s disappointing, it’s understandable. Because the Twin Cities media hasn’t asked Gov. Walz a single hard-hitting question, much less a difficult follow-up question, all Gov. Walz has to do is not totally disintegrate to have his approval improve.

To the Twin Cities media, it isn’t relevant that hundreds of lives have needlessly been lost in long-term care facilities. The Minnesota Department of Health, aka MDH, can be utterly incompetent but that apparently doesn’t impact Gov. Walz’s approval rating, either. Who cares that 500,000 Minnesotans have lost their jobs as a direct result of Gov. Walz’s tight-fisted lockdown order? After all, they’re just jobs. It isn’t like they’re important to people.

Gov. Walz is still letting COVID patients into nursing homes. That’s led to a high percentage of COVID-related deaths coming from long-term care (LTC) facilities. Unfortunately, that’s the only category Minnesota leads in.

Minnesota’s economy is tattered. The percentage of COVID-related deaths in LTC facilities is the highest in the nation. Gov. Walz’s orders have been supported by the DFL. Most importantly, those policies haven’t worked. Some policies have been reversed just days after implementation. Bankruptcies are increasing rapidly. Life savings have gotten lost. Family businesses have gotten shut down.

What part of that sounds like something worthy of a 65% approval rating? It sounds more worthy of a 35% approval rating. Gov. Walz is a failure from a medical and financial standpoint. He’s especially failed from a constitutional standpoint. Initially, Gov. Walz “had said churches would have to wait before reopening for large, in-person services until subsequent phases in his reopening process, but gave no date for when that would happen.” This past Saturday, he changed his mind. Perhaps this is why:

A U.S. District Court judge in Minnesota will conduct a hearing Tuesday about a temporary restraining order on behalf of Minnesota churches to suspend enforcement of Minnesota’s Stay Safe MN order as it relates to religious services. The telephone hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday. It will address the Governor’s current phase of the Stay Safe MN order, which restricts church services to 10 people or fewer.

Check out this headline:

Gov. Tim Walz to let Minnesota churches open at 25% occupancy

This is why the Twin Cities media constantly doesn’t understand the Constitution. Gov. Walz isn’t letting anything. He’s being forced into changing because that’s what the Constitution requires. When you have constitutionally illiterate idiots writing things like that, it isn’t surprising that Gov. Walz isn’t getting asked difficult questions.

Equal application of the law is essential. Gov. Walz failed that test. I’m not surprised.

Last Days
By Ramblin’ Rose

In the last days/months, we experienced and continue to experience fear. It’s horrible. What are the real facts? Whom should we believe? Will this lead to the “last days” as predicted in the Bible? And it’s the fear that disrupts everything in life; it is not the “fear” (respect for) of God.

The good news is that since the minute that we were born, we have been dying. The good news is that since Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven after His miraculous resurrection, we have been in the Last Days awaiting His return. So why are we afraid? Because we don’t know what will happen next. We are not in control…not even of our own daily life, a fantasy always but particularly now.

A few weeks ago, a friend reminded me to keep my eyes on Jesus. He added that Peter could walk on water when he focused on Christ but sank when he looked at the waves. With a single cry for help, Jesus rescued him. This is sound advice.

Many have prayed for a revival in this country. Those people look back to the removal of God from the public arena, the proliferation of alternative lifestyles, the taxpayer funded murders of babies through legalized abortions, even to and beyond the moment of birth, and the drop in the number of persons claiming a faith in God, etc.

Is this the beginning of a revival? Sales of Bibles are record high; people write about God on social media. Is this real? Or is this the same reaction of many when they face adversity? God is not Santa Claus to whom we, like children, submit a long list of desire items (outcomes) to be magically placed into a stocking. But many do. Many truly look for hope; some still want it “my way.”

In Matthew 24:6-8, Jesus said: ” 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.” (ESV)

It is doubtful that civilization has ever been without war and conflict; they are a natural result of human’s sinful state. The same could be said for the other calamities from the list. But, now, it is a crisis with medical, social and economic ramifications that is impacting nearly the entire world, and our daily activities have been greatly restricted by government…even to the point of infringing on our constitutional rights. We have lost control due to the virus and to the government, claiming to protect us. But we are not certain because that “concern” has produced even additional devastating consequences.

While we would hope for honest and accurate news from professional journalists, we find instead bias, inaccuracies and conspiracy theories. To some extent, our hope diminishes, and our anxieties increase. Some partisan politicians are unable (unwilling) to uphold the oath of office to protect the Constitution and the citizens of this country. Astronomical amounts of debt are created in efforts to stimulate/save the economy…and debts must be paid by someone.

Researchers work for find treatments and a vaccine. But some speculate that this is the time of the antichrist from the Book of Revelation. Some fear that the vaccine to be forthcoming to protect us from future outbursts of covid-19 will contain the “mark of the beast.”

As fake news and conspiracy theories proliferate, tension increases. Abuses of many forms multiply in the persons confined to their homes.

I do not have the answers—I wish I did. Nor do I find the answers easily in the book of Revelation. The writings are apocalyptic (visionary prediction of world events). Does one take this eschatology literally or figuratively? Not all Christian denominations concur on the literal meaning of the last book of the Bible. Nevertheless, we keep our focus on Christ.

Does the antichrist have a name, or is it an ideology that aligns with Satan? Is there a “mark of the beast” to be on the right hand or the forehead, or is it the act of rejecting the Lamb (Christ) and following tyrannical leaders to achieve their stamp of approval for personal gain? Is it to give to Caesar that which is the Lord’s? Do we compromise our convictions for convenience?

Our comfort is knowing that Christ is with us in the crisis. He alone is our solid rock and foundation.

Fox News quoted Fr. Frank Pavone on Sunday, April 19, 2020. His words provide comfort and remind us of the essence of America and true Americans. “Our nation is based on spirituality. Our founding fathers were men of faith. And they said so. And we have a president who echoes that very effectively. Pulling through a crisis like this, as Americans — helping one another in our own country and also helping the world — can really bring about a revitalization of the faith that is at the core of our patriotism. And that’s something that’s going to be very good for America.”

So I walk forward with the Bible in hand and a poem on my heart. The poem, “Footprints,” (at least three people claim to be the author) is an inspiring reminder that Christ is with us in the crisis—our last days.

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings,
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

God bless America!!!

I really don’t like the greeting Happy Easter even though I used it as part of the title. If I had a vote on what to call it, I’d vote for Victory Sunday because today is the day Christians celebrate the day Christ defeated sin. That doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped sinning. (I wish that was true but it isn’t.) It’s the day Christ rose from the dead and paid for every sin that had been committed, was being committed at the time of His crucifixion and that would be committed in the future.

The 24th chapter of Luke opens by saying “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, [a]and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!

Later in Luke, Jesus appeared to His believers:

So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?”

Then Cleopas explained to Christ what had happened. While he explained, he told Christ what his expectations were:

But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive.

What happens next was quite a moment. Cleopas and his friend got a personalized Bible study from Jesus:

Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

Finally, Jesus reveals Himself in a most unique way:

Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.”

Immediately, these disciples knew it was Jesus:

“Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

After the fact, Cleopas and his friend knew it was Jesus because, while they didn’t recognize Jesus yet, their reaction to the Christ’s words were immediate and intense.

That morning, the Tomb was empty because Christ paid the price for humanity’s sins. The Tomb is empty because today is Victory Sunday!!!

This post will remain at the top of the page all of Easter day. Check below for additional posts.

Yesterday, I shared with you Pastor Max Lucado’s op-ed in this post. Pastor Lucado’s op-ed opened by saying “Anxiety is an out of control thought pattern. It settles over the mind like a severe weather system, spewing thunderclouds and casting lightning bolts. Life feels like an airplane in a tailspin. It feeds on what-ifs and worst-case scenarios. What if the coronavirus is unstoppable. What if a pandemic takes over? I’ll be quarantined for weeks! The economy is sliding into a bear market. I’ll lose my health. I’ll lose my job. I’ll lose it all. How will I survive on unemployment?

Thankfully, we don’t have to settle for panicked lives. As we learned from Pastor Lucado and especially from Brandon and Cameron Brundidge, we can opt for a better, healthier response. It’s the official response of Discovery Church, my church home. In this video, Paul Brenhaug and Pastor Art talk about how the church will adapt to President Trump’s ’15 days declaration’:

Early in the video, Paul explained how he was entering his home but decided to stop and pray for each of his neighbors. Taking that moment helped Paul pause for a moment, which doesn’t seem like a big deal initially. The first question that people might ask is this: how will pausing benefit me? The answer is simple, yet powerful. Pausing gives people the opportunity to regain perspective.

With the world seemingly spiraling out-of-control, wouldn’t a little perspective help? Imagine how much it might help if you added a simple prayer to that perspective-giving pause. It doesn’t have to be long to be effective. Try this the next time you pause for perspective and prayer: Heavenly Father, the world seems like it’s spinning out-of-control for me, my friends and my family. You are the God who gives peace and perspective. Lord, I pray that You give me, my family and my friends an additional helping of Your peace. Thank You, Lord. I pray these things in Jesus precious name. Amen.

How long did that take? Less than a minute, right? How much will it help unclutter your mind and relieve your stress? That’s up to you. It matters whether:

  1. you’re willing to take the time to pray;
  2. you’re willing to trust God;
  3. you’re willing to trust God’s solutions rather than trusting your own solutions.

It’s natural to get nervous. It’s virtuous to pause, pray and gain perspective. That’s the fastest path to sanity during these anxiety-riddled times.

People have been panicking over the COVID-19 virus for the past 2 weeks, if not longer. The stock market has frequently taken hits, too. The Trump administration has, correctly in my opinion, talked about how the fundamentals of this amazing economy are still strong. Despite those things, it’s time to learn from children. If this story doesn’t help settle you down, then you’re hopeless.

It’s a story about a brother and sister here in Minnesota. The boy’s given name is Brandon. Brandon’s sister’s name is Cameron. According to the story, Brandon’s mother Sheletta Brundidge, a comedian and mother of four said that “Brandon ‘has crippling anxiety because of his autism diagnosis. We watch the news every day and he was watching it and was taking in all the fear and panic…it just made him so scared.'”

Sheletta shared this video with Fox News:

The verse that Miss Cameron taught Brandon is found in II Timothy 1:7. It says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Far too often, people attempt to solve things on their own. If I were king for a day, I’d banish the phrase “God helps those that help themselves.”

The truth is that God helps those that trust Him. King Solomon, the wisest and richest man that ever lived, wrote a book known as Proverbs. In chapter 3 of Proverbs, Solomon wrote “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”

In the past 2-3 weeks, people have tried getting by on their own. Solomon instructs us that trusting in the all-powerful God who created the universe is better than trusting in our own instincts. Miss Cameron essentially taught Brandon to trust in the Lord rather than worry about the fear that the world produces daily. In Brandon’s world, things went from chaotic to peace-filled in seconds.

It seems to me that we’re better off paying attention to Cameron’s and Brandon’s interaction than if we just buy the world’s panic. If you don’t do anything else, thank God for giving you insight into His world. Better yet, thank Him for giving you peace that surpasses human understanding just because you asked Him.