Our Faithful Father
Many years ago a wise English teacher instructed her senior students to keep a daily journal of their lives for part of their credit. Now, to most seniors this task seemed like added drudgery to an already loaded schedule. Who has time to write about what they're doing while they're busy doing it? At any rate, many of we same complaining folks found this venture to be quite rewarding in the years to come. In the keeping of a journal, one has to be faithful to return to it regularly to record information. Naturally, this takes some discipline to perform with any measure of success.
Personally, though the journal came to be very special in the following years, some valuable lessons came about from this simple technique. For the past 32 years, I've maintained a personal "prayer journal." While this is a bit different than writing about senior times, the practice of staying diligent with the task of visiting the writing work is much the same. One doesn't have to write every day necessarily to reap some wonderful benefits of recording moments of special emphasis in a life and its circumstances.
Today, while prowling through some things at home, I discovered that I had misplaced about four years of this work. When I ran across it and began to read back through a volume of this length, once again it began to declare to me the faithfulness of my Heavenly Father. Time after time He is answering one prayer right after another.
Most of us have a tendency to forget things that have occurred in our lives really within just a matter of a short time. Often it is things that are pretty significant at the time, too. We can have a disturbing situation going on and in about six months to a year, not even remember it. This journal tool will remind us of our prayer life during these days and it will also remind us of how faithful our Father is to bring the needed result.
Our Father in Heaven is at work on our behalf so often unknown to us. When we read through circumstances that pinched us in some way, then realize that we lived through them, and actually even forgot about them for a while, this should speak volumes to us about our Sovereign God. The things we discover as we learn of Him should never cease to bring amazement.
These writings may mean nothing to anyone else. My children may or may not read them one day. It's not about the vanity of some great work that I left behind. It's about growing in His grace and learning more of His hand of provision from day to day.
He certainly is a faithful Father to those who put their trust in Him. This is just one of the areas that prove this to me over and again. How encouraging to be reminded continually of His goodness and grace.
Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised:)
Have a Blessed Week,
A few weeks ago it made it into the news that chaplains for the Olympia High School football team in Orange County, Fla. have been replaced with “Life Coaches” after the school caved into pressure from an anti-religion group.
Former chaplain, Troy Schmidt, who also serves as a local pastor in Florida, reported to one news agency that he was told that “Orange County Public Schools is no longer allowed to have chaplains as a part of the football program.” He added that he could “no longer open the Bible, talk about the Bible, talk about God or pray with the team in any capacity.
To many in our culture this may not seem as a strange thing, but to older ears it is an unfamiliar sound. I suppose to the evolutionary mind we are getting better, smarter, wiser as we progress through our history, learning as we improve upon our society. While it is true the more you bake a cake the better you get at it, when you change the ingredients there comes a time when it is no longer a cake you are baking.
I think when times come that what we are baking no longer resembles what we started with, it would be a good idea to talk to the ones who wrote the recipe. From time to time I like to write from the perspective of conversation using the words of our Founders which I think makes for some interesting thought. So with that being said, lets ask a few of them if we may be missing a few ingredients that are essential to our American society.
"Sir, in my opinion, "The Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world. By renouncing the Bible, philosophers swing from their moorings upon all moral subjects. . . . It is the only correct map of the human heart that ever has been published." ~Benjamin Rush. Letters of Benmamin Rush, ed. L. H. Butterfield (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1951), p. 936, to John Adams on January 23, 1807.
You served in the Revolutionary War, was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly for nine terms, the Legislature of Massachusetts for three terms, and served as a judge. I understand you were largely responsible for Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution. I don't mean to make of you more than you seem to be, but those achievements do give weight to the authority of your words. So how would you respond to the question I posted to Mr. Rush a few minutes ago?
My dear sir, "It is alleged by men of loose principles, or defective views of the subject, that religion and morality are not necessary or important qualifications for political stations. But the Scriptures teach a different doctrine. They direct the ruler should be men who rule in the fear of God, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness.
But if we had no divine instruction on the subject, our own interest would demand of us a strict observance of the principle of these injunctions. And it is the neglect of this rule of conduct in our citizens, that we must ascribe the multiplied frauds, breeches of trust, peculations and embezzlements of public property which astonish even ourselves; which tarnish the character of our country; which disgrace a republican government; and which will tend to reconcile men to monarchs in other countries and even our own." ~ Noah Webster. 1823, in his letters to a young Gentleman Commencing his education . . . (New Haven: Howe & Spalding, 1823; Durrie & Peck, 1832, pp. 18-19)
"In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed . . . . No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basic of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people." ~ Noah Webster. 1928, in the preface to his American Dictionary of the English Language.
"All of the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from them despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible." ~ Noah Webster. The History of the United States (New haven, CT: Durrie & Peck, 1832, p. 339.
Speaking upon the subject I would say, "The teaching of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally, I do not mean figuratively, I mean literally, impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed.
We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals, all the standards toward which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves. Almost every man who has by his life work added to the sum of human achievement of which the race is proud, of which our people are proud, almost every such man has based life work largely upon the teachings of the Bible." ~ Teddy Roosevelt. Bible Society Record (New York: The Amerian Bible Society, 1901), Vol. 23, p. 20.)
If the statements above sound strange to your ears, you have lost some ingredients that are essential to the support of our American Culture. Yes, all these people lived under the same Government and Governing Documents that we do today, yet their view and understanding of it was much different. We know the Documents have not changed, so it must me we ourselves who have lost our way.
You see, it was no offense to them if the Schools read the Bible, prayed with the students, posted the Ten Commandants on the wall. It would have been no offense to them when Justice Roy Moore set the Ten Commandments monument in the Rotunda in Alabama, it would have been considered an act honoring the foundation upon which our nation rest. The same laws still govern us as governed them, but in our darkened understanding we no longer embrace them as they intended, but twist them to allow for the departure of our rebelling hearts.
You sometimes hear such things as, "don't try and push you religion off on everyone else" when things similar to the one in Orange county Florida come about. Embracing the principles upon which this nation was founded will not make you a Christian, only God can do that. It did not make everyone a Christian then and it will not make us one now. But it will create freedom in our society, free us from many of the ills that now plague us and instill a more peaceful community for us to live in.
God granted us a great opportunity in forming and raising up this nation. He gave us leaders like the one Mr. Rush spoke off. He gave us a society like Mr. Webster spoke of. But our departure from the book of Truth may lend us to discovering what Mr. Roosevelt spoke of as being impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed.
So what do we do? There is nothing we can do of ourselves, our only course of action is to run to our Saviour and petition Him to have mercy and once again move upon the hearts of our people in turning them back to Him. He does not owe this nation anything and we owe to Him everything! I think it was John Wesley who said something like, you must first talk to God about men before you talk to men about God. It is good that we take a stand against injustice and we must. It is good that we speak up against unjust laws and we must. We must take a stand against the ills of society as Christians, but it all is to no avail if our desire is not to Him who rules the heart of man. Without Him we can achieve no lasting effect, it will all amount only to noise and clanging.
Love Him, cherish Him, trust in His Providence, lay hold of His Mercy and cry to Him and He will answer. He is our hope, our sure foundation and we shall never be ashamed. If God be pleased to give His people a desiring heart for Him, will will see the fruit of our labor, soul's called to the kingdom. He is the hope for the drifting soul, the troubled family, a decaying community, a wayward nation.
May the Grace of God be upon you each of you,