Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the famous Evangelist, Billy Graham has been touring across America with his Decision America 2016 tour, which has been touring the nation in order to lead Christian Americans in prayer for the government and the upcoming elections. Springfield, Illinois was the 27th stop for the 50 State Decision America tour. According to Rev. Graham, the number of people that came out for this particular tour stop was 5,800 Christians, who despite the sweltering 96 degree heat came out “because they mean business,” at least when it comes to praying for America and the multitudinous problems that our country is facing at this present moment. Some of the problems that America has been facing even just this week alone; the terrorist shooting in Orlando, Florida and tonight on the WICS Channel 20 news, it was reported that an active shooter was shot dead in a Walmart in Texas.
According to Rev. Graham, these problems didn’t just crop up overnight, but have been long in the making; one such contributing factor that he cited, was the removal of God’s Ten Commandments from the schools. These commandments were a moral guideline for the generations that came before and it is hard to not compare this lack in our schools to the problems we are now hearing about on the nightly news; these types of problems were just never heard of in prior generations. People feared the Lord God Almighty and they reigned in their behaviors because of this godly fear that had been instilled in their lives by their parents and their grandparents, as well as teachers from Kindergarten through the upper grades in high school.
Rev. Graham led the 5,800 Christians present through several times of prayer: first, he led the group assembled to pray for those in Orlando, Florida; next, he led those present to offer up repentance for the actions of our government as well as requesting repentance for those who work in politics; then to offer up repentance for our own personal transgressions; and then to request repentance for the transgressions of our forbears.
Franklin Graham made it clear that neither political party was going to be able to save America, but that the only One capable of saving America from our moral downhill slide, is none other than the Lord God Almighty. While he did not endorse any particular candidate, he did stress that every Christian should get out and vote. He quoted his Father, Billy Graham, from as far back as 1952, in which Billy Graham had been telling people to get out and vote and to get involved in the political process. He made telling comparisons of how if Christians would just run for school boards, mayoral positions and other political posts, that this could drastically reverse this downhill slide for the next 20 or so years. First to take back the local political scene and God willing, to then take back Washington, D.C.
The event lasted about forty-five minutes and the crowd dispersed in an orderly fashion. Many people came in church buses, but there were some people who had to walk ten or more blocks to get back to their parked cars. I find it rather interesting, but not surprising, that there weren’t any active Christian shooters at the event. Praise the name of the Lord God Almighty.
It has been 151 years since President Abraham Lincoln was laid to rest in Springfield, Illinois on May 4, 1865 at 7:56 p.m. in a temporary vault built into the hillside of Oak Ridge Cemetery. President Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865 but he was not laid to rest until three weeks later after traveling over 1500 miles from Washington DC to Springfield, Illinois, the place he called home.
On May 4, 2016 a reenactment of his funeral cortege pulled by four black stallions covered in black robes, proceeded from the Old State Capitol to his home on Eighth street, and then on to Oak Ridge Cemetery.
The hearse was festooned with black ostrich feathers and gold metal works.
The cortege was led by volunteers dressed as Union Army soldiers as they marched about 100 feet before the processional. Six of the soldiers were chosen to act as the President’s pallbearers as they removed the casket from the hearse, carrying it to the temporary vault. The gates were unlocked and the casket was set on the bier exactly at 7:56 p.m.
the very same time that President Lincoln was actually placed in the vault. The bell tower began to peal its solemn tones and one couldn’t help but count them as they sounded; six times did the bell ring out, interestingly, it rang the number of man. Speaking of the Bible, the number six is counted as the number of man, so it was obvious why the ringing of the funeral bell was chosen to ring six times. Speeches that were spoken at the actual funeral ceremony were read again and honor was given to President Lincoln for having written the Emancipation Proclamation as well as having already reunited the country once again and ending the Civil War.
The final tomb was partially constructed when they placed the bodies of Abraham Lincoln and his two sons, Edward and William, who had died prior to him, were laid to their final resting place together forever in the final tomb. It also marks the graves of Mary Todd Lincoln and one other son, Thomas who died in 1871. President Ulysses S. Grant dedicated the monument on October 15, 1874 and it was in the hands of the private monument association until 1895 when it was deeded over to the State of Illinois. Their son, Robert Todd Lincoln died in 1926 at the age of 82. The monument had already undergone major reconstruction and a new foundation had been erected from 1899-1901. In 1901 President Lincoln’s remains were placed beneath the floor of the burial chamber in a new vault.
Volunteers who came to act in the roles of Union Army soldiers, traveled from as far away as Kansas in order to participate in this event. Tourists had come as far as from California and New York to be present for this reenactment. However, the main, full reenactment was done last year in 2015 at the 150th anniversary, but the Historical Society has already planned on making this an annual event. So make your plans to come on or around May 4th of any year and you may witness this historic reenactment of the entombment of President Abraham Lincoln.
Surfing the web, this writer came across an article written by Matt Walsh that was posted in The Blaze at http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/no-serious-christians-arent-worried-about-the-stupid-starbucks-cups/ about the supposed Starbucks Christmas cup controversy. Seriously? It is hard to believe that any Christian(s) would be upset about such a thing. Then there is the backlash happening on the web as well as the major news outlets picking up the story, and so this guy, Joshua Feuerstein, has been making the rounds on Facebook trying to stir up a controversy. If Christians should get upset about anything that Starbucks puts on their cups, it would be their iconic twin-tailed mermaid siren or Norse goddess. According to Starbucks:
Suddenly, there she was: a 16th century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid, or Siren. There was something about her – a seductive mystery mixed with a nautical theme that was exactly what the founders were looking for…http://www.starbucks.com/blog/so-who-is-the-siren
Then this writer found this blurb:
One of Astarte’s symbols was actually a star within a circle, which was used to symbolize the planet Venus. Interestingly, two stars are found within the green circle surrounding the logo character of the former Starbucks logo, which was used to separate ‘Starbucks’ and ‘Coffee.’ Artistic depictions of the goddess often show her naked, so why was such a figure with a steamy background chosen to represent the popular coffee chain? Astarte was a goddess that was worshiped in the Eastern Mediterranean countries dating back to the bronze age and into classical times, according to http://www.unexplainable.net
As some commentators have responded: Go feed the hungry, etc. etc. which is a reference to:
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
So what should shock Christians the more? No snowflakes on the red cups or the fact that Starbucks has chosen a snake-like goddess that has been represented as a twin-tailed Norse goddess, and which has also represented Astarte, a pagan goddess?
For Christians, the first of the Ten Commandments states very clearly:
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Coming soon to a prayer closet near you, this November 1st will be the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted Church. There are many countries around the world today that are outright hostile towards Christianity, most of them with a Muslim majority in the country. Other countries that target Christians in certain areas, is the predominant group of Hinduism. One group that this writer is in contact with is “Voice of the Martyrs” which publishes their magazines that highlight certain groups of people that are currently suffering persecution for their Christian faith. America is still a blessed country and we have not experienced the type of persecution that many of our Christian brothers and sisters face on a daily basis. They are hunted down like outlaws and treated accordingly; because they have a simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His salvation that they accepted.
Even as the Scriptures have commanded us to follow Matthew 5:44 – “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”
Voice of the Martyrs is a worthy organization to include in your giving heart and hands funds. If you would like to order special magazines that you can pass out to your church, you can go to http://www.vombooks.com/September2015.
Additional resources can also be purchased by going to www.persecution.com/IDOP. If your church would like to add them to their list of mission oriented projects, then please inform your church about this group. They provide medical help, clothing, shelter and many more services to those Christians that have been caught in the line of fire, and have been targeted for violent actions against them, simply because they have chosen to worship the One True God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
September 27-28 will put on display for anyone watching the fourth and final blood moon tetrad that has coincided with the Jewish feasts of Passover and Tabernacles for the last two years. Many have thought these occurrences to be spiritually significant, and truly only history will tell us of any significance in these matters. Plus, tonight there will also be a super moon occurring as well, which will cause the moon to look excessively larger than normal. This is also called the Harvest Moon.
If you live in the Northern hemisphere, the blood moon eclipse will begin at 1:07 UT, which translates to our time in the Central daylight time zone as:
Central Daylight Time (September 27, 2015)
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 8:07 p.m. CDT on September 27
Total eclipse begins: 9:11 p.m. CDT
Greatest eclipse: 9:47 p.m. CDT
Total eclipse ends: 10:23 p.m. CDT
Partial eclipse ends: 11:27 p.m. CDT Super blood moon central daylight times
However, if you live in central Illinois as of this writing, clouds have moved in with light rain and so unfortunately, unless it clears or there is a patch of open sky, the blood moon tetrad will not be as visible as hoped for tonight. It might be worth driving to find an open portion of the sky.
Former dates of blood moon occurrences are according to Dates of blood moons
While it is fairly rare, a tetrad of lunar eclipses has occurred before and will occur again in the future. History and science tell us that tetrads or blood moons also came to pass in the following years:
That means that it’s been 46 years since this has happened, making it something that definitely gets the attention of the masses when it does occur.
So if you have the opportunity for a clear sky tonight, it is definitely worth going outside from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. CDT, which will conclude the super blood moon tonight.
This letter is to you, Bruce. I watched your latest interview with Diane Sawyer on Friday, April 24, 2015, in the which you continually spoke of how you had spent almost your entire life living with confusion as to who you are, and what you want to become for the remainder of your life. I marvelled when you spoke of the Lord God and how you yourself acknowledged that God had placed the “soul of a woman” inside of you, with God saying, “now let’s see what you do with that.” You are right! God did place those emotions within you, however, it is not truly the “soul of a woman” inside of you. God did give you tender emotions…maybe more so than He has given to other men…however, they are the roots of a larger-than-life emotion called compassion.
However, Bruce, God would absolutely never break His own laws and put a “woman’s soul” inside of you, a man. But you are not the only man who has ever had more tender emotions; I think of the Jewish king, King David….just read the Book of Psalms…jam-packed with David’s emotions written down for everyone to read for the last four thousand years approximately.
Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.
David was not ashamed of his tenderness and his compassionate heart for God and for others as well. David could have killed Saul several times, however, because of his love for God and the fact that Saul had been anointed king by God Himself, he refused to lay his hands upon him to take his life. Yet, David was a man’s man even though he had a tender heart.
I think next of the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. He wept over Jerusalem and stated:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
In this passage, the Lord Jesus Christ does take on the attributes of a feminine quality by aligning Himself with a mother hen who gathers her chickens under her wings in order to protect them. Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ was most definitely a man’s man. It took enormous strength to withstand those cruel beatings and the torture that He endured for our sakes. It took a great compassionate heart and a merciful soul to lay His life down and hang on that cross so that we could receive forgiveness for our sins, transgressions and iniquities.
Bruce, we have an enemy who wants nothing more than to “steal, kill, and destroy” us….US…God’s creation. When the enemy saw God placing within you the tenderness and the compassion, he began a campaign of lies against you, to distort, pervert and warp the truth of what God had given to you; by telling lies into your ears that you really had a “woman’s soul” trapped within you so that you would be uncomfortable in your own skin. His design has been to lead you down roads of confusion to the end that you now find yourself facing…an end of your own choosing, of ending or changing the athletic body….the body of a man’s man….that God Himself gave to you. For what? So that you can form on the outside what you have always thought you were feeling on the inside?
Even back when I was ten years old, my uncle who was an alcoholic, jumped out of his chair as if he was going to hit my mother; I also jumped up and stood between him and my mother and told him that he would have to go through me first. I was also a single mother and on two distinct occasions, I had to act very aggressively in order to protect my daughter. First, I had to stand toe-to-toe against a drunken and enraged man and the next one, a few years later, I had to jump into the fray against a girl gang who was beating up my daughter. You can better believe that I got very aggressive….just like a man. Yet, I could have believed the lies the enemy might have told me…that really, I had the “soul of a man” inside….after all, look how aggressive I became. Wow, just like a man…. Thankfully, I am very much a woman of God.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Bruce, as you yourself have said during your interview last Friday, you mentioned your confusion and that is simply because you have always felt internal strife….this has produced the confusion…and now finally you will begin to experience every evil work. The evil work is the fruit of the seeds of the many lies that the enemy began telling you when you were a young boy.
I’m pretty sure that you have always wondered why God seems to have put all of these gentle emotions within you, yet formed a man’s body to house them. As I see it, God did this perhaps to make you to be as a sign and a symbol to other men that it’s perfectly okay to feel tenderness and/or compassion.
1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
After all, here is Bruce Jenner, winner of the decathlon….no mean feat to win such a title…and then to be called the “greatest athlete ever”…and this is what you want to change?
Our culture tries to dictate what makes a man a man, and a woman a woman. Sometimes, however, God sees things totally different and He calls those things that be not as though they are.
Bruce, you need to seek the face of the Lord God and His Son, the Lord Jesus…you know the man’s man…the one who had such tender compassion for you that He died for you. The Lord Jesus knows what it is like to have these emotions and He alone can cause you to finally feel comfortable in your skin, which is that of a man’s skin.
1 Chronicles 16:11
Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.
Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.
Bruce, please re-think what you are about to do.
The newest Hollywood attempt at presenting a Christian-based TV series, which will portray the life of Jesus Christ, not from the viewpoint of Jesus the man, or the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, but from his contemporaries, will be released in the Spring of this year. The book written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard has taken the position of looking at the life of Jesus strictly from a historical viewpoint and not at all religious. This aspect alone has already riled up the Christian segment, especially those who take the Scriptures in a literal sense. Biblical Scholars such as Dr. Darrell Bock have applauded the book as far as the historical insights are concerned and he discusses O’Reilly’s book as readable.
The writers, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard have written the book from the viewpoint of Jesus’ contemporaries according to Jessika Walsten writing for B&C who states:
Green explained that the point of view in ‘Killing Jesus’ is from Jesus’ contemporaries as opposed to Jesus himself. ”This is like the behind-the-scenes story of the life and death of Jesus Christ,” added Green.
Walon Green who wrote the screenplay for the TV series also remarked that even non-Christians would like this series, as reported by Lisa de Moraes, writing for MSN:
A non Christian viewer will really like this film because they can immerse themselves in the human story of this phenomenal guy Jesus and what he is, and what he comes from — his roots,” Green responded patiently. The “dynamics of the period” also are interesting, he suggested: “The Romans are occupying [the land]. it. They are a threat. They will not tolerate disorder. The Jews have had other messianic figures, and as a result the Romans have slaughtered people and decimated villages. They don’t want this to happen again” and so on.
It would seem that O’Reilly’s book and now the TV series will have mixed reviews, even some that may be vitriolic, especially by the Christian community, with some giving credence to the historical aspects while others are deploring the idea that someone like Bill O’Reilly has even dared to write about the life of Jesus Christ outside of the context of Jesus’ Messianic purpose; for which His entire life was given over to for the completion of man’s salvation and the restored relationship between God and man. It is to be hoped that the non-Christian community, who may watch the series, will be affected not only by the historical aim of the series, but perhaps might want to learn more about this ‘Jesus-guy,’ as Walon Green refers to Him, perhaps even coming to a moment of acceptance and faith.
The series has cast a Muslim, Haaz Sleiman, in the leading role of Jesus which has also caused some controversy, since the religion of Islam does not believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God. According to the religion of Islam, they believe that Jesus is a prophet and honor Him. According to Haaz Sleiman:
…he’s honored to play Jesus. “In Islam, we believe Jesus is a prophet and respect him and follow his teachings and put him beside the Prophet Muhammad – a lot of people don’t know that,” he said. “As a person who was raised Muslim, it’s an honor to play that…Personally, I’ve been heavily shaped by his teachings” (Ace Showbiz.com).
The TV series is scheduled to air sometime this Spring on the National Geographic Channel; with this being the third in the ‘killing’ series; the first two being, ‘Killing Lincoln’ and ‘Killing Kennedy.’ The cast includes: Emmanuelle Chriqui; John Rhys-Davies; Kelsey Grammer; Rufus Sewell; Stephen Moyer; Eoin Macken; Haaz Sleiman; Klára Issová; Aneurin Barnard; Dimitri Leonidas and a host of other actors and actresses.