God’s Love Must Torpedo the Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 2)

 

70% of African-Americans live in America’s inner cities or inner-ring suburbs. Most of the following facts refer to that 70% of African-Americans. These facts are not written to throw stones at our inner city black brothers and sisters, but to show where they are right now.

  1. The abortion rate for African-American women is five times higher than it is for white women, accounting for 37% of all abortions in America.
  2. 1 in 3 African-American men can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetimes.
  3. 70% of juvenile arrests in America are African-American youths.
  4. One third of all welfare recipients are African-Americans.
  5. Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person.
  6. 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock. 
  7. Poverty rate among African-Americans is 36%.
  8. The homicide rate among males between the ages of 14 and 17 is nearly 10 times higher for blacks than for whites and Hispanics combined.
  9. The preponderance of school violence in America occurs in big-city schools attended by inner city black students.
  10. Black education is in a state of shambles for elementary and high schools in most inner cities of America.

Without a doubt, the above facts are discouraging, but here’s the irony of it all:

  1. Inner city African-Americans are the most devout Christian group in America and the difference is 21 percentage points higher than the next group.

With the exception of the inner cities blacks being devout Christians, these facts are disheartening.

They remind me of the time a little black six-year old black girl named Cici sat on my lap during a church service at the inner city ministry I attended during the 1990s. She looked up at me and asked, “Can I go home with you and live with you?”

I was shocked at her words. “You want to leave your mother and live with me?” I replied.

Cici nodded her head up and down.

I understood her feelings about her home life. Her mom was a drug addict. Her dad was in jail, but numerous men lived with her mom at various times. Her four brothers and sisters ranged in age from two to twelve years old. Not enough money. Not enough love. Not enough personal attention.

I actually prayed about doing what she asked, but my life was a mess, too.

Cici would be thirty-two years old today…if she’s still alive.

“Life does not ask what we want. It presents us with options.” (Thomas Sowell)

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God’s Love Must Torpedo the Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 1)

 

During the mid-1990s, while I was a member of an inner-city ministry, I had a dream that showed a black river flowing out of the inner cities to every city and town in America.  The dream zoomed in for a closeup of the river, revealing it not to be a river but an army of black preachers. These men of God had scars and tattoos covering their arms. Many were ex-cons. Their message was the same that John the Baptist preached two thousand years ago: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

I somehow knew these men were not seminary trained, but were taught by the Holy Spirit. Their faith had been forged in the brutal fires of inner-city life, but it was their eyes that captured my attention.  Their eyes burned with a love for Jesus, a love not matched by any other generation of preachers before them. I felt these black men were sent to deliver the rest of America from false religious views.

Before you reject my dream as a pizza-induced fantasy, let me share another one from the same time period.

In this particular dream, I saw a race war between black Americans and whites taking place in our nation. As most know, dreams can be weird, but it was not the case for this one. It was a straight forward, four-color documentary of possible future tragic events.

The dream opened up with a large army of inner-city black youths marching into upscale white neighborhoods. The youths carried AK-47s, AR-15s, Glock pistols and knives. They went from house to house, slaughtering white men, women, children and babies. None of the victims defended themselves nor did anyone attempt to stop the youths in their thirst for blood. When they finished, the youths torched the homes and danced in the streets, firing their guns in the air.

The next segment of the dream showed politicians attempting to handle the outbreak of racial hostilities with words, committee meetings and new laws. Although the leaders of both major parties condemned the violence, all worried about losing votes in their upcoming elections. Therefore, a political stalemate arose with nothing concrete being done.

The final portion of the dream showed white Americans hiring trained mercenaries to hunt down the black youths. The mercenaries went into America’s inner cities, killing young black males and filling the streets with their dead bodies. I knew as I looked at the bullet-riddled corpses lying on the asphalt that a whole generation of black leaders had been wiped out.

If both dreams are actually from the Lord, how can they be such polar opposites?

Okay, I wrote the above 439 words as an opening for an article to be published on WND.com. Then I wrote another four hundred words of blah, blah, blah and more blah.

Thank God, they chose not to publish the article because it stunk. Period!

Hopefully, this series will provide a roadmap for our prayers and for our ministry efforts in America’s inner cities. But to do so, we need to heed some wise advice:

Whatever we wish to achieve in the future, it must begin by knowing where we are in the present – not where we wish we were, or where we wish others to think we are, but where we are in fact. (Thomas Sowell)

(Continued in Part 2)

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Are Mass Shootings Judgment from God?

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I wrote a guest commentary column which has been posted on WND.com. You can see the column here.

 

 

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Prayers for American Churches (7/25/2019)

Christ Church Stellarton

Photograph of Christ Anglican Church, Stellarton, NS. Taken the morning of October 28, 2005

How does the Kingdom of God fit together with the church?

Most who have taught on the kingdom of God over the last fifty years have made a dramatic separation between the church and kingdom of God. In other words, they’ve said the kingdom is totally different from the church. That statement is true and also false.

It’s true if you define church as a Sunday morning service or you define church as a building or you define the church as all of the believers in the world. Then the church is not the kingdom and the kingdom is not the church. Those two things are completely separate.

BUT if you define the word “church” as it appears in the English New Testament as ecclesia, which is the Greek word for it. And ecclesia meant a local body of believers that lived in face-to-face community that had a shared life together and took care of each other and loved one another and knew each other in the sense that they saw themselves as family despite racial divisions, despite economic divisions, and despite sexual divisions (meaning men and women). It you see it as that – a living, breathing, close-knit extended family – all of whom were living by the life of Jesus Christ.  Then that was the kingdom of God on this earth.

You see, a kingdom refers to the king, his domain and the people ruled by the king.

In 30 AD, if you wanted to see the kingdom, you needed to find Jesus. He embodied the kingdom. After Jesus ascended, the corporate followers became Christ on the earth – His kingdom.

So, if you want to see the Kingdom of God now, we need to find a group who expresses Christ living in and through them. (Frank Viola, Insurgence Podcast)

My prayer today:

Lord, You promised that You would build Your church on a rock so that the gates of Hell would never prevail against it. So, we desperately ask that You build Your church in America now. (Based on Matthew 16:18)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America’s churches.

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Prayers for American Church System (7/18/2019)

Christ Church Stellarton

Photograph of Christ Anglican Church, Stellarton, NS. Taken the morning of October 28, 2005

We can learn much about the Kingdom of God and also the Church by looking at God’s first kingdom venture on earth (after the fall): Israel.

God’s desire for Israel was that the nation would have no king and no standing army. God would be the Israelites’ King and their defense. Israel was divided up into twelve parcels, one for each tribe. The leaders for each tribe would be elders, heads of families and families. Israel was set up to be a loosely governed confederation of tribes and families, unlike any other nation at the time.

In approximately 1043 BC, the elders came to Samuel the prophet and said, “Samuel, you are old. Now make for us a king to rule over us like all of the other nations.”

Samuel felt bad, but God told him, “Listen to the people. They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should no longer reign over them.”

God warned Israel, telling them all that the kings would do to abuse their authority over Israel. Yet, the people of Israel still said, “We want a king so we are like the other nations.”

From 1043 BC with King Saul until the fall of Jerusalem under King Zedekiah in 586 BC, Israel and Judah had a government headed by a king. They were like the other nations with a hierarchal governmental system. It was a total failure.

Why?

God said it would fail and it did.

Okay, now let’s look at the American Church system.

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

Thousands of American believers are praying for revival, which they hope will bring a move of the Spirit to America’s churches and change our nation. Hey, if it happens, I will join my brothers and sisters in celebration.

But…I don’t believe it will happen.

Most of America’s churches resemble Israel with a hierarchal government reigning over them. The New Testament name – pastor – sounds better than king, but make no doubt about it, the American pastor is generally an overlord in charge of the membership. He’s the CEO! This type of church system has been in place since Martin Luther reformed the church in 1517. Five hundred years!

Now, many will say that God has often revived the Church in times past. And yes, He has, but He also sent some good kings to Israel and Judah until He didn’t send them anymore. Maybe the American church system is in the same season that Israel was when its hierarchal government failed.

So don’t stay with the same-o same-o attitude about traditional churches just because God has not reformed the wineskin in times past. Seek the Lord.

I believe God will totally reform the church, preparing it for the End Times.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us American believers not to be conformed to this age and its traditions, but to be transformed and changed by the entire renewal of our minds and attitudes so that we may know what is Your good and perfect will for Your Church. (Based on Romans 12:2)

Join with me to fast and pray for America’s churches.

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Summer Break

Since we moved to Gilbert Arizona on March 1, I have been busy working on two writing projects while writing four or five blog posts per week. Plus, I have been working as a delivery driver for Panera Bread.

No matter how I slice and dice my day, there aren’t enough hours to do everything. So I will be taking a summer hiatus from this blog to work on my two writing projects. See you soon.

 

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Prayers for Senior Citizens (6/6/2019)

 

One of the greatest geezer preachers of all time was Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947).

Wigglesworth was born in 1859 in Yorkshire, England. His parents were so poor that Smith had to miss school as a child and work to help support his family. Even so he became born again when he was eight years old. Later, he became an apprentice and then a plumber.

He married his wife Polly in 1882. She taught him how to read and encouraged him to preach, but he was tongue-tied and couldn’t speak in front of crowds. So, his wife was the anointed preacher until her death in 1913.

When Polly died, he was so grief-stricken that he commanded death to leave her. She came back to life, opened her eyes and said, “Smith, the Lord wants me. It’s your season now.”

Smith looked into her eyes. “If the Lord wants you, I will not hold you,” he replied.

The day after the funeral, Smith Wigglesworth threw himself on his wife’s grave and wept. The Holy Spirit spoke: “Smith, get up. It’s time for you to travel the world and preach the gospel.”

Then, an argument followed between the Holy Spirit and Wigglesworth. He refused to get off the grave because he was too heart-broken and didn’t want to minister without his wife.

Finally, Wigglesworth said, “Lord, I’ll get up and go to the world, if You’ll give me her anointing, too.”

That day, Smith Wigglesworth, fifty-four years of age, began his ministry to the world and continued until he died at eighty-eight years of age.

Because of Wigglesworth’s lack of schooling, he normally spoke with a working-class cockney accent, hard to understand. But when he preached and ministered, he talked like an Oxford professor. Perfect English.

There has never been a man like Smith Wigglesworth. As many as nineteen people (some say only twelve) were raised from the dead through his ministry. Tens of thousands were healed and saved in his meetings.

And he did all this while he was a senior citizen.

What’s our excuse, right?

My prayer today:

Lord, Your word states that You do not show favoritism toward one person over another. So, I ask You to move on the senior citizens here in American and raise up dozens of people who will walk in the same anointing that You gave to Smith Wigglesworth. (Based on Acts 10:34)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for Christian Senior Citizens in America.

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