Monthly Archives: May 2012

Why California? Why San Francisco? Why Now? (Part 2)

San Francisco is the tail that wags California and most of America.

Although only 46.9 square miles in area and 805,000 in population, San Francisco’s power rumbles throughout our nation’s political and economic corridors.

California’s three most powerful posts – governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general – are filled by politicians from the San Francisco Bay area.  Both U.S. senators for California, until recently, lived in San Francisco, and the U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader is also from the city.

The nation’s largest appellate court,  U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,  is based in San Francisco. This court has appellate jurisdiction over nine states and two territories.

Silicon Valley, on the south edge of the San Francisco Bay area, has the highest concentration of millionaires and billionaires in America. Plus, if you add in the banks and financial institutions, San Francisco is one of the top producing cities in the world.

How did San Francisco ever achieve such a powerful status?

The Spanish first built a fort and a mission on what is now San Francisco in 1776. A nearby settlement was named Yerba Buena. The biggest problems for the new settlement was the scarcity of three necessities: water, wood, and food. These had to be carted into the settlement.

In 1821, after gaining its independence from Spain, the area came under the rule of Mexico. Twenty-six years later, Mexico then ceded the area to the United States at the end of the Mexican-American War. It was then renamed San Francisco.

At the time America took over San Francisco in 1847, it was a settlement of approximately five hundred people. Although the Bay was a strategic port and military base, the inhospitable geography and weather patterns of the area caused families to shy away from living there.

Then, in 1848, the California Gold Rush hit.

Ships from all over the world headed to San Francisco loaded with men who had gold fever. At first, San Francisco was itself a ghost town as shop owners and military personnel fled to the gold fields. But soon, new merchants set up shop and prospered in the city.

With the influx of people, the population of San Francisco jumped to 25,000 by the end of 1849.  The male-female demographics were extremely lopsided, in that there were only 300 women in the city, and of these, two hundred were prostitutes. It took many years for San Francisco to become a family oriented city.

As with most boom to bust mining towns, the social climate in the city was chaotic. Committees of Vigilance took over the city in 1851 and 1856 because of crime and government corruption. Each time, after the city was cleaned up, power was relinquished back to the people.

But one area that was not cleaned up was the Barbary Coast. This nine block area was famous for its prostitution, crime, opium dens, dance halls, and complete debauchery. Many lonely men, searching for love, ended up having bumps on their heads and their pockets picked. Or worse yet, they were shanghaied and woke up on ships heading overseas.

The Barbary Coast was almost completely destroyed in the massive 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Yet, within months, the bars were rebuilt and business continued as usual. It wasn’t until 1917, that the Barbary Coast was finally shut down.

San Francisco has always prided itself on its wild frontier spirit and ribald character, but it is these exact traits which have proved to be the city’s spiritual downfall, especially in the mid-1900’s.

(Continued in Part 3) 

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Why California? Why San Francisco? Why Now? (Part 1)

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Because our minds are limited by space-time continuum thinking, it’s hard to wrap our minds around the simple truth that God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit never had a beginning. They always were and always will be.

This simple truth is the foundation for all of our Christian faith and belief in God. It is one which cannot be partially accepted, but must be believed in whole, in order for us to have a vibrant faith in God. Anything less than 100% on this truth will create doubts which will limit the works of God in our lives.

Okay, assuming we all accept this simple truth,  how did God create the heavens and the earth?

Then God said, “Let there be light; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3)

For years, I figured God spoke His words, wiggled His nose, much like Samantha on Bewitchedand then presto,  light and all the rest of creation appeared on the scene. But there are other scriptures which give us a clearer glimpse of how God created the heavens and earth.

Bless the LORD, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word! (Psalm 103:20)

Our English word angel is translated from the Hebrew word malak which actually means messenger, representative, or deputy. Therefore  God has deputy helpers who perform His words, including the creation of our world.

The Bible gives the names for three angels: Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer.

Gabriel (strength of God or warrior of God) is an archangel who was sent as a messenger with important messages for  humans, such as Daniel, Zacharias (John the Baptist’s father), and Mary.

Michael (who is like God) is a chief archangel, a protector of Israel, and the leader of God’s heavenly angel army.

Lucifer (light bearer or morning star) was also a chief archangel.  In Jude 9, Michael still respected Lucifer’s high level of authority, even though he had fallen and was now known as Satan.

Okay, now let’s do some digging.

For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. (Hebrews 2:5)

For whatever reasons, God set up our present world to be in subjection to angels or under an angelic governmental system. God created this system to be obedient to His words, but obviously, angels, like humans, have a free will. The system was eventually corrupted with Adam’s fall.

Yet, God being true to His own system had the Law brought to man under the direction of angels.

Now, the idea of creating man and man’s home here on earth was always in God’s heart. It was His highest priority as He longed to share His love and fellowship with other beings. And it’s only natural to assume that His angels all knew about the importance of earth and how a being called man would eventually fit into God’s plan for His kingdom on earth.

So, who did God choose to be His chief angel over earth?

You [Satan] were in Eden, the garden of God… (Ezekiel 28:13)

You [Satan] were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. (Ezekiel 28:14)

Eden, the garden of God, and the holy mountain of God were on earth, not in heaven. Thus, it’s my belief that Lucifer (Satan) was chosen by God to be the head angel, or His chief ambassador, here on earth. Satan was actually created to be man’s helper and a minister to us humans, not our accuser and destroyer.

But because Lucifer (Satan) was proud of his authority over earth, he wanted to exalt his throne over all of all the other angels and to be like the Most High God. Then because of Satan’s iniquity, war broke out in heaven. Michael and the good angels drove Satan and his horde (a third of all the angels) out of heaven.

And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Revelation 12:9)

Who were Satan’s angels?

Most likely, Satan’s angels were those he had authority over here on earth, his underlings. Later, Paul referred to a part of Satan’s fallen angel horde as principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Keep in mind that Satan is not a creator. He is a liar, a deceiver, and a usurper of God’s creation and His plans.

Thus, when Eve was deceived and Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, God’s authority to rule on earth passed from man to the fallen angel, Satan. He became the god of this world.

And because Satan had authority on earth and in the heavens surrounding earth, Satan’s angels replaced God’s angels in the spiritual governmental system reigning over earth. Satan’s angels were already trained to do exactly that, but instead of obeying God, these fallen angels now obeyed the father of lies,  Satan.

The bad news is that we are stuck with this corrupted angelic system until Jesus returns. But the good news is that we have a new spiritual governmental system on earth, not subjected to angels. It is the Kingdom of God.

Are you scratching your heads and wondering what this has to do with California and San Francisco?

(Continued in Part 2)

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A One-Word Description of Mom: Feisty!

 

Mom was in a hurry to get home. Potatoes had to be peeled and the roast removed from the oven. No one in sight so she stepped on the gas as she passed through the Northern Illinois town of 1100 people.

Whrr! Whrr! A siren pierced through the stillness of the autumn evening.

Oh no! she thought. I’m in trouble. Freddy’s caught me! Now what?

She pulled the blue Pontiac over to the curb. A black police car pulled up behind her with its red light flashing. A man, resembling Broderick Crawford, stepped out of the car, adjusting his gun and holster as he walked toward her. She rolled down her window.

“So, Mrs. Nevenhoven, we meet again?” said officer Freddie Cannon. A smirk cutting across his lips.

“Yes, Freddie, we do,” replied Mom in a deadpan tone.

“Well, you were doing forty-five miles per hour  in a thirty mile per hour speed zone. I’ll have to ticket you,” he said.

Mom shrugged. “Okay! But I’m not paying it.”

“What?” he said. “It’ll only be thirty dollars!”

“I don’t care,” she replied with a set jaw. “I’m not paying it.”

He laughed. “Then, it’ll be thirty days in jail. How’d you like that?”

“Well, you’d better lock me up now! Because I’m not paying the fine.”

He stared into her eyes for a moment or so. Then, he shook his head. “No way am I going to put up with you for thirty days. Go!” He spun around and went back to the police car. Mom resumed her journey home.

This is a true story.

Now, Mom would probably not choose the word feisty as a one-word description of herself. She’d rather have a more feminine adjective, but guess what?

Her husband, her two children, her five grandchildren, her many great-grandchildren and, at least, one police officer would agree with the one-word description.

Mom is feisty. Period.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You’re the best!

(Rerun from 2009)

 

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Remember The Prisoners (Part 8)

Who is really behind the same sex marriage movement in America? Politicians? Or political parties? Or media? Or Hollywood? Or special interest groups? Who?

No, none of these.

All of these lack the ingenuity required to orchestrate such a brilliant strategy at precisely this time in America’s history. Let’s check the facts, okay?

On the extreme right wing, there are some cut and paste Christians who cloak themselves with Leviticus 18Leviticus 20, and a few other similar scriptures. “Gays are an abomination before God and are all going to Hell. Therefore, same sex marriage is an abomination, too. Period!”

On the extreme left wing, there is another group of cut and paste Christians. These believers hold tightly to Matthew 7, John 13, and a few other red letter words of Jesus. “God created gays and lesbians just the way they are. So, how can their sexual inclinations be a sin? Therefore, we must love them, accept them, and affirm their choices of mates. Period!”

Much of the middle consists of Christians who realize homosexuality is a sin, but hope they will not be forced to take sides. These believers meekly toss their hats on Genesis 2 and the sanctity of marriage. “Historically, marriage has always been between a man and a woman.”

Now, Rachel Held Evans points out an often overlooked group: the 16 – 29 year olds. She states that 91% of non-believers and 80% of churchgoers in this age group describe Christians as antihomosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, and too involved in politics. “So, my question … Is a political ‘victory’ [concerning laws pertaining to marriage as being solely limited to a man and a woman] really worth losing millions more young people to cynicism regarding the Church?”

Put your thinking caps on for a moment, okay?

How could human wisdom come up with this slice and dice, same sex marital strategy which so openly divides the Body of Christ and neuters our divine power?

ANSWER: Human wisdom could never conceive it, but the accuser of our brethren, Satan, could and did do it.

We Christians need to lay our swords down and seek the Lord for spiritual discernment. Our enemies are not our brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what their beliefs are on the same sex marital issues. But instead, our enemy is the god of this world – Satan- and his kingdom of darkness.

At stake are the millions of prisoners held in chains by the kingdom of darkness as pawns on America’s political chess boards: the gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, and so forth.

These prisoners deserve to hear the true gospel of the Kingdom of God so they can make their choices based on truth, rather than on partial truths and emotional gobbledygook.

“Lord we cry out to You today. We ask that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon us believers so that we would be anointed to bring the gospel to those who have not heard its truth as yet. Help us to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the prisoners, to open blind eyes, and to set free those who are oppressed.” (Based on Luke 4:18)

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Will Roe vs. Wade Ever Be Overturned? (Part 3)

We now live in an age where good is considered evil and evil is considered good, and where truth is muddled by whitewashing the facts. But no matter what age we live in or how much we dress up abortion with a catchy sound byte label, such as pro-choice , abortion is murder. Babies are murdered. Period. Then, with this act of murder, another descriptive word must be used: sin.

Hey, folks! Abortion is sin. It breaks commandment number six of the Ten Commandments.

But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. (Matthew 19:30)

In light of the above scripture, the one group which has to be considered as first, from the founding of Jamestown in 1607 until now, would be us white Americans. Our nation’s founders came from Europe, were white, and all of the early colonies were inhabited mostly by whites.

Even today, whites comprise 72.4% of America.

Using the same verse as a standard, the one group which has to be considered last would have to be black Americans. My scriptural usage has nothing to do with intelligence or any other factors, it’s just aimed at racial equality.

From the first twenty African men’s arrival in 1619 as slaves, to the Constitutional Convention’s determination that a slave equals 3/5 of a person in 1787, to the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 aimed at ten southern states, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the racial inequality for black Americans has been a festering sore on our nation’s history.

Today, black Americans comprise 12.6% of America’s population.

Let’s view abortion through a racial lens.

Approximately, 1.2 million babies are aborted each year. This works out to 3,315 babies losing their lives each day, and of these, 50% of the abortions are performed on women under the age of 25 years of age and 84% of the abortions are for single women.

White women account for 36% of the total abortions, but black American women have 36.4% of them. This means that each day, 1190 white babies are murdered and 1207 black babies are murdered. Shocking right?

More black babies are murdered by abortion than white babies!

Now, let’s toss God into the mix.

Even though America has a black president who is a staunch backer of Pro-Choice and Planned Parenthood, even though black Americans overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party which heavily endorses Pro-Choice and abortions, even though black Americans have more abortions than whites and other groups, God will soon change everything.

Like the Israelites who were in Egypt 400 years before their eventual deliverance, God is about to deliver black Americans from the chains of the spirit of slavery. This foul principality has enslaved black Americans, God’s number one group of believers percentage-wise, far too long, and now God declares, “Enough! Let My people go.”

God will accomplish this deliverance through a move of the Spirit of Adoption, especially aimed at inner cities and black neighborhoods. Shouts of , “Abba! Father!” will openly be declared by black men and women.

This move of the Spirit will produce a hunger for holiness and the ways of God for black Americans. God will then raise black Americans up so that other Americans will hunger for God in the same way.

Inner cities which have been centers of crime and waste will end up becoming cities of refuge where the Spirit of Adoption awaits thirsty pilgrims. Hungry people will flock there.

And abortions? And Roe vs. Wade?

Abortions will still be legal and Roe Vs. Wade will still be intact. It’s just that the Planned Parenthood sites which are located in black neighborhoods will be idle and close down

So, then, the last will be first.

(Conclusion)

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Remember The Prisoners (Part 7)

Sometimes in the midst of the clamor and clutter of the 24/7 news cycle, we miss what God is doing and then wonder, “Where are You, God?”

Chen Guangcheng, a blind civil rights activist and self-taught lawyer, recently became a top story in the world’s media by seeking asylum in the US Embassy in Beijing, China.  Chen had served more than four years in prison because he brought a class action suit against the city of Linyi for its one-child policy and other abuses, resulting in sterilizations of women, forced abortions, and the murdering of newborn female babies. Chen had escaped house arrest when he arrived at the embassy.

All this happened on April 22nd, just days before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Beijing for high level economic talks with the Chinese.

Both China and America attempted to diffuse the Chen situation with behind-the-scene diplomatic manuevers, hoping the economic summit could be salvaged.  And after some awkward posturings, it looked like the two nations had succeeded when Secretary of State Clinton finally announced, “I am pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng’s stay and departure from the U.S. Embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values.”

Chen later announced that he left the U.S. Embassy and went to the hospital because his wife and family were threatened by Chinese officials.  Then, to add even more fire to the situation, he said, “My fervent hope is that it would be possible for me and my family to leave for the U.S. on Hillary Clinton’s plane.”

Chen’s words proved to be a sharp needle which deflated the egos of America and China, revealing to the world the true reasons behind both nations’ motives: money.

Now, this is the hand of God working on the world’s stage.

You see, who else but God could help a blind man climb over a wall, move past guards, walk alone through unfamiliar territory for almost twenty hours while falling over 200 times, arrive at a prearranged pick-up point, and then show up at the U.S. Embassy.

Impossible … yes. That is, except for our God who loves little Chinese baby girls.

“Lord, we thank You for using Chen Guancheng to trumpet to the world the horrendous murdering of newborn baby girls and forced abortions in China. We ask You to protect Chen and his family by whatever means possible. And Lord, we know that You are the Protector of these girl babies, not America or any other nation, so we ask You to move on their behalves.”

 

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Will Roe vs. Wade Ever Be Overturned? (Part 2)

Christians have few problems with understanding that God is omnipotent and omnipresent. After all, He has to be all-powerful and always present everywhere  in order for Him to be God. How else could He answer our prayers, right?

But the biggest struggle we have with God is that He is omniscient, too. This means He knows every intimate detail about our lives before we are born, in our present day lives, and in our futures… all before it happens.

The omniscience of God becomes head-scratching stuff when you consider He sees painful circumstances slamming into our lives before they hit, painful circumstances such as divorces, financial failures, miscarriages of justice, accidental deaths, and so forth. Yet, for the most part, He allows the circumstances to hit us anyway, even though He knows we will suffer agony.

This is an integral part of the walk with God, in which we have to trust Him in the good times and the bad, believing He truly knows what’s best for us at all times.

Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. (Genesis 15:13)

God spoke this prophecy to Abraham almost two hundred years before young Joseph received his dreams and was then sold into Egypt by his brothers.  Joseph later understood that it was not “his brothers who sent him to Egypt, but God.”

The seventy members of Jacob’s family, who ended up in Egypt because of Joseph, were spared from a severe famine and for the next two hundred years were blessed. They prospered and multiplied.

But then a new line of  Pharaohs, enslaved the people of Israel for the last two hundred years of their stay in Egypt. They lost their land and wealth in Goshen, were murdered, raped, beaten, and treated as subhuman machines to build public works for the Egyptians.

Now remember: God saw this happening to Israel ahead of time and yet He allowed it to happen. Why?

But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, an inheritance, as you are this day. (Deuteronomy 4:20)

The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, And each is tested by the praise accorded him. (Proverbs 27:21)

Take away the dross from the silver, And there comes out a vessel for the smith; (Proverbs 25:4)

Being humans, we look at painful circumstances and see what is happening in the now of our lives.  Pain hurts. Thus, we want to get rid of it as soon as possible.

God sees and understands our pain, but He may also know how the painful circumstances will mold our characters into the image of Jesus. He therefore may choose not to quickly remove the painful circumstances and may use them instead as a fiery furnace to remove impurities from our lives. Then, when we come through the painful trials, we will be like valuable silver or gold for His kingdom.

In Israel’s sake, God wanted a whole nation to be His people and His inheritance. To prepare them, He sent them to Egypt which then acted as an iron furnace on Israel’s character, removing impurities and readying them to be His people.

Now, this in no way excuses Egypt’s excessive brutality and murderous actions against Israel. In fact, when God spoke the above prophecy to Abraham, He foresaw these problems and added:

And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. (Genesis 15:14)

While Israel suffered in the iron furnace of Egypt, Aaron and other men would have reminded Israel of these prophetic words and its promises to the people. Yet, the suffering was so great that the whole nation groaned and cried out to God for deliverance.

Did God’s Egypt plan for Israel accomplish all what God wanted to happen?

We can argue this until the end of the age and not come up with definite conclusions on every point whereby we all agree. Okay, I understand that.

But what other nation has produced people like Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Samuel, Esther, King David, King Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, John the Baptist, Peter, John, James, Paul, and most of all – Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Savior?

The answer: no other nation has equaled what Israel has given to the world.

I believe that God’s plan always moves forward, just like His words, and accomplishes what He wants it to do. We ourselves may not always see the fruit of His plan in our lifetimes, but it will eventually come forth.

So, what does this have to do with abortion?

(Continued in Part 3)

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