Thursday, November 21, 2013

THYME Magazine American Renewal Issue V

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume VI, Issue XXVI

The Divine Plan for Our Redemption

"If my people, which are called by my name shall 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 will heal their land." -- 2 Chronicles 7:14

The Great Depression of the 1930's in America...

What does redemption really look like? "The greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph" -- Mr. Mendez.

"What this world needs is a little Wonder!" -- Mr Mendez

The Great Depression of Modern America...

Politicians won't save us. Economic vitality won't save us. Indeed we have seen conditions in our nation move ever more from difficult to impossible. The great nation that nurtured us in my youth appears to be disappearing forever. Another election was approaching a few weeks ago. My depression over the situation was obvious. I'd gone to the September 12, 2009 rally on the National Mall and come away hopeful back then. The 2010 elections seemed to indicate that the wind was shifting. Solid principles would once again govern us. In 2011 I cautiously laid foundations for my little architectural visualization business to grow again.

But as 2012 rolled along, the work dried up. One of my clients simply stopped paying me for work already performed and I was living off of my 'second job' and some part-time teaching. The 2012 elections brought many of our worst fears to a depressing reality. The country was being 'fundamentally transformed,' and many of us saw that transformation taking us away from our foundations and into dystopia. 2013, whatever the experts said, saw a stagnation I don't think any of us could imagine. Our parents talked of the Great Depression and what I saw in my own business life seemed to be a revisiting of that dark era.

Those who had railed at the much lower unemployment statistics of the previous administration seemed all to content with the "new normal." Unemployment was far higher, but the figures did not even include situations like mine -- still technically 'at my desk' but seeing only a trickle of small jobs, if that. The nation that put men on the Moon couldn't even keep the shuttle flying. The victory in Iraq that stablized the Middle-East for a time was being squandered as the administration pursued an unclear course in Afghanistan. Debt soared to 17 Trillion dollars as government spending was the ONLY sector of the economy that was growing.

Eventually required payments such as Social Security and other entitlements would be squeezed by debt service to the point that there would be not enough money to meet these required obligations. Meanwhile, the administration moved decisively to block energy production on our public lands and a vital pipeline that would have helped us wean ourselves of foreign oil. A bleak picture was being painted. When Ted Cruz did what he was elected to do, represent the PEOPLE in the Senate, he was chastized by his own party! When Congress dared to defy the President by funding everything but the so-called "Affordable Care Act," the national media painted THEM as extreme... even though the "Affordable Care Act" would soon prove to be anything but.

But as the administration had its way and launched their $500 Billion Healthcare Marketplace Website, created in an extreme and blatant example of crony capitalism, the fall of that house was disasterous. People who create secure marketplace sites for the commercial marketplace have criticized the website's shoddy design and security lapses. A designer who was a guest on Sean Hannity's show said he could have produced a working site in several months (as opposed to six years), adequately tested it in a month and would have been embarrassed if he asked more than a million dollars for his efforts.

Awarded in a no-bid contract to a Montreal company, CGI Federal, which had bought a subsidiary "beltway bandit" firm in Virginia, turned out to be run by an old college friend of the First Lady! Many are shaking their heads at the blatent sloppiness, not only of the website, but the process. Are these people really to be trusted with one-sixth of the country's economy as they rewrite healthcare?

So, going into Viginia's Gubernatorial election, the media narrative was criticizing Attorney General Cuccinelli for OPPOSING THIS MONSTROSITY by mounting the first challenge to the mandates of the "Affordable Care Act." His opponent in the Governor's race -- a Democrat FUNDRAISER, was painted as the 'reasonable' candidate. Though Cuccinelli is being proved right as people actually 'see what's in it:' (the 'affordable Care Act') , vindication moves slowly in the mainstream media. An ever growing population of government-dependent Northern Virginians stood ready to steamroll the electorial process. Virginia has NO Conservative representation in the United States Senate. Were we about to lose the Executive Branch of our own state as well?

Healing for Our Land... Where Will it Come From?

It is days like these that make me think moving to Belize would be a better option than staying put and watching the decline. I wish for the days of the Texas Republic. Was I born in the wrong Century? Some of the great heroes of Texas came from Rockbridge County and were lovers of liberty in their own right. Our nation barely survived the revolution that spun it free from England. What led men to pledge their lives and sacred honor instead of cower in the hopes of "security?" A lot of young people seem all to happy to "take the free stuff" and vote for the "fundamental transformation" that provides it. What's the point in fighting it?

And so I faced the prospect of the upcoming election with some depression. But G-d has a way of breaking through that sort of thing. The young lady who had been my assistant in the studio during the optomistic days of 2011 proudly announced her support for Cuccinelli on Facebook, sharing this sentiment with her fellow college students! Another young man about my son's age did the same. I felt the baton being passed. There is indeed another lap in this race! But this race will not be won by merely prevailing in elections. It will be won by the method revealed in 2 Chronicles 7:14!

Turning G-dward! First of all, we must not be ashamed to call ourselves G-d's. Psalm 91:2 says: "I will SAY of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my G-d; in Him will I trust." Someday they may indeed sandblast the words "LAUS DEO" or "Praise G-d" from the cap of the Washington Monument, but they cannot remove them from my heart! Indeed, I am called by His Name. No amount of politically correct legislation can change my identity... and who I shall identify myself with. Though I am weak, HE is unwavering! My identity in the Lord places me on a firm foundation. Though I bend with the wind, the Rock I stand upon cannot be moved.

Then we must come to our Creator in all humility. Yes, we face situations bigger than our abilities to solve. In Centuries before us others did too. When we seek the face of G-d, we will of necessity check our hubris at the door. He is Lord. He is, as C. C. Lewis says: "Not a TAME Lion!" Our Redeemer is Dangerous! We must acknowledge... I MUST ACKNOWLEDGE... EVIL! Not just some distant evil, like a Hitler or a Terrorist, but that evil that lurks in my own heart. Yes, that evil must be acknowledged and put off. A man alone may deceive himself into thinking he is doing just fine, a man in intentional community knows better. We must learn: "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let us esteem each other better than ourselves" -- Philippians 2:4 by dying to our own default desires. This can only be done by journeying together.

then G-d says HE will "Hear from Heaven!" HE will forgive! HE will HEAL OUR LAND! Yes, it is the Divine who will save us. Angus Buchan, who's true story inspired the Movie: "Faith Like Potatoes" says: "the condition for a miracle is difficulty. The condition for a GREAT miracle is impossibility!"

Last week, THYME looked at the life of IsamBard Kingdom Brunel [click to read] and how he was used by G-d to bring new economic vitality to Bristol, England in the time of George Müller and Charles Dickens, Victorian England. Indeed, G-d used the vision of Müller to begin the healing of a people. The emergence of Brunel must be seen as part of that healing as well. History has much to teach us about faith and perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds... and the great miracles that have come in the face of just such times of adversity. History, you see, is not some obscure set of facts to be memorized or dates to be organized; Rather, it is a map to be followed. The paths of others who have walked where we are about to walk are described in its pages.

Learning from the Example of Previous Generations

We are in need of a Great Miracle today. Other generations have faced times like this as well. In previous times of national peril, our LEADERS called for prayer. Today it is necessary for people of faith everywhere to pick up that fallen standard and lift it high. If we will prepare our own hearts, like soil for the planting, HE will plant the seed. If we will cultivate what G-d plants, nurturing it to maturity, HE will provide the bountiful harvest. If we will prepare the land, G-d promises to HEAL it. History (REAL history, that is) is filled with stories of just such promise being realized in the lives of ordinary men and women.

But to participate in promise requires a relationship. G-d is not some abstract concept, but rather He is the Author/Creator of the Universe. He has a NAME... a Name so Holy as not to be uttered lightly on Earth, but a Name, to be KNOWN by. And how shall I find this G-d? There are men and women in this world who converse with Him in prayer. It is through relationship with THEM that we may be introduced to the Magnificent One, the G-d of Redemption. I am at best a poor disciple of His, but I am His disciple. You should not be introduced to Him by some formula in the writings of man, but rather in the Inspired Words of His Own Testimony. That is why I, and many more of His disciples stand ready to open the Holy Scriptures WITH YOU. In them you will find the Life and Light I speak of. The Food Channel cannot actually nourish you. You must step into the room where the meals are served.

An Earthly author cannot see the 'Great Miracle' that you, the reader, desparately need. But we CAN go together to the Master, who indeed knows what will nourish each of us. It is highly likely that you know someone who knows the Master, who can take you to the place where He can meet you with healing and nourishment. As I write this I pray that that person might indeed come to mind. Before I came to faith I was keenly aware that there was a certain brightness and clarity about the lives of certain people I knew. Later I realized that some of them had indeed been praying for me. Yet, you might be reading this and G-d's Holy Spirit may be speaking to you and you are not sure who to go to. If you would like to know G-d as Reedemer,  watch Defining Moments [click to view], or you may contact me at for more information. Your inquiry will be in complete privacy. It is my desire that you be able to find the 'Living Water' that you so deeply desire. A life transformed by G-d is but a heartfelt prayer away:

Dear Heavenly Father, I know that I’m a sinner. And I ask for your forgiveness. I believe your son, Jesus, died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins. I repent of my sins. I invite you to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name, Amen

The greatest miracle is not the parting of the sea or the feeding of thousands, it is the transformation of the human heart. That is the miracle that gives us access to G-d. It is in knowing G-d that we will find far more than we were looking for in the first place! A G-d who can part the Red Sea, Create worlds and has power over death is pretty much to be respected. A G-d who changes human lives in intimate communion with his Creation is amazing.

A Caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Nature itself suggests the possibility of miraculous transformation and new life! Rice Paper Butterfly, or Paper Kite Butterfly, Idea leuconoe.
Illustration © 2013, by Kristina Elaine Riley for HOPE Publications, Pvt. ltd.

1 comment:

Tina said...

So good... this post just lifted me up today. Thank you... I have shared it on Facebook too.