King Ahasuerus laid tribute on the coastlands of the sea. And all the acts of his power and might, and the full account of the high honor of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? For Mordecai the Jew was next in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brethren, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people. ~ Esther 10:1-3
As we prepare to enter the new year, it is important to reflect on the old. What can be said about it? What will be said about it…years from now when many of us will be gone? Thirty-one years ago the late Robin Williams played an English teacher in the movie Dead Poets Society, in which he popularized the Latin phrase Carpe Diem, which means seize the day. All Christians should live to hear the words well done good and faithful servant at the very end of their days…but do we…have we? There is a popular American phrase, it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings. Any who fail to hear her warming up have simply stopped listening…
Perhaps a recap of the year would help. But before I do, let me set the stage with some very important Christian context…as the fat lady is hitting her scales. Sheep and Goats. Discernment and the Mark of Revelation. Oh…almost forgot…the Ten Virgins. How many of us believe we will be saved as sheep because we call ourselves Christian and attend church…when allowed? All ten virgins believed, but only five were saved. Discernment is the greatest tool God has given us to protect us from the Mark…and mind the lamps.
Now we can recap. 2019 came to a close with the official collapse of the Russian Hoax and the American economy in full rebound swing. The future was bright on New Years Day. BOOM! Just like that, a new hoax was born in Wuhan China. We were told that millions would die. Churches, schools, and small businesses were shuttered, while the corporate box stores, government, and liquor stores were granted the “essential” exemption. God’s favorite woodcarver founded the Fear Not Fellowship in response to not being allowed to celebrate Easter in church for the very first time in his life. We held our 1st service on May 3rd with Pastor Bill Banuchi bringing the “We Are at The Crossroads” message. The time to choose. The messages from the Holy Spirit to the Fear Not Fellowship were crystal clear about the season, putting on the full armor, and God calling us together (John 17:21)…before the wrath.
By the end of May it became clear to those paying close attention and doing a little research that all of this was much ado about a bug with a 99% survival rate…and a political agenda! Inspired by a Delaware man, I wrote to 136 local pastors in Orange County New York (copy attached). Only 4 bothered to respond. I began to realize that all but the precious few were positioning themselves to let the greatest carpe diem opportunity in the history of the church to come together pass them by. While many of them were acquiescing to draconian civil rights violations and the political Black Lives Matter movement, the good shepherd was ministering to the saints in calling his flock “to be first century disciples”. California Pastor John McArthur says it best, Pragmatism has had such a huge impact in the church that the church is more concerned about what the unbelieving world thinks of it than it is about ministering to the Saints.
Every human tragedy, disaster, and catastrophe, whether it be natural or man-made can be understood, prevented, and/or best prepared for by the assessment of cause and effect. A mid-summer campfire conversation about one of the most devastating disasters to strike our country revealed a serious cause/effect problem. Because we have allowed ourselves to become divided and fractionalized as the one body of believers our Lord prayed for us to be, we were too constrained and even hamstrung to dissect and figure out the cause, which made our discussion of effect…ineffectual.
Never one to give up the ship, a core remnant of us drew a group of shepherds together asking the Holy Spirit to guide us in what became the CLOTH (Christian Leaders of the Hudson) as what we hope to become a strong fabric of support to one another in what could be very difficult days ahead for the church. Our meetings are focused on prayer, fellowship and building trust by getting to know one another…as the summer faded into fall.
I think I can fast-forward here by placing everything I’ve just shared in the context of an American society coming apart at the seams from the mayhem in Portland to and through the hotly contested election, and the very mysterious Christmas bomb blast in Nashville. We are a nation in serious trouble. In fact many of us fear that America’s days as “one nation under God” are over…which brings us to this week’s Prayer & Fast Wednesday focus;
With all hearts and minds on the birth of our Savior, permit me to draw your attention to another less important Biblical savior, but significant nonetheless. The number 17 is a very important number to the enemy that stages everything around numbers…and symbols. Esther, the 17th book of the Bible, is a particularly fascinating and timely read because it contains political theater easily, almost perfectly, superimposed on the political theater of our present day.
In Queen Esther’s day, it was the entire Jewish people who were targeted for extinction. In ours, it is America as a sovereign constitutional republic that is targeted for extinction. In the Book of Esther, Haman was the one who was poised to take power and destroy the Jewish people. In ours it is Biden who appears poised to dowse the flame of freedom.
Please join us for a very special “Flip & Boomerang” Prayer & Fast Wednesday tomorrow with prayerful focus on Esther 5:1-14 which mirrors our own 12/17 flip point from the brink of extinction to a replay of: For Mordecai the Jew was next in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was popular with the multitude of his brethren, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people. ~ Esther 10:3
Interestingly, three “Christian” brothers politely requested to be removed from the P&FW email list after receiving this week’s invite. One because “I do not support your political views”, and another citing 2 Timothy 2:15 and Hebrews 13:17 as scriptural reasoning, I can only assume. Rather than question which views and start a debate, I simply replied “As you please dear brothers. Ephesians 5:11 & Matthew 5:13-16.”
This to my mind was another campfire moment and carpe diem opportunity lost. Three chose to flee from cause rather than discuss what we are all facing as brothers. If we are not able to come together as moral-minded men on sanctity of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and honest elections what hope is there? Conservative journalist Tracy Beanz gave this great interview in which she said the following: “The power of social media and the legacy media in general is that they can amplify the one and two percent to make them seem as though they are the sixty and seventy percent and trick the American People into thinking that their normal wholesome views are the minority, but they’re not, they’re the majority.”
DISCERNMENT brothers and sisters. We are allowing thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans to suffer unspeakable hardship, grief, and pain for our lack of it. As we draw to a close in the final hours and minutes of 2020, the flip side of Stop the Steal, is the Great Reveal. I can almost hear from heaven, This has been a test of the emergency Godcast System! There’s still time…to tune our instrument…before the curtain rises.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the lord that will be established. ~ Proverbs 19:21
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