Saturday, September 6, 2008

On My Mind : 9608

Well, first let me send out a huge THANK YOU to everyone who was praying for us yesterday. Nicol's recording session went great... and praise God her cold was not an issue! She was really incredible, if I do say so myself, which shouldn't really surprise anyone. [ :-) ] What amazed me was the vocal strength she had, considering that she hadn't done much singing since February... she had taken some time off because of the pregnancy and was planning to get back on the road doing dates in June... but then our lives were completely turned upside-down and that plan went flying out the window. Her emotional strength was remarkable too. We both had our "moments"... but God multiplied his grace and peace to us in ABUNDANCE (2 Peter 1:2). That and your prayers are the only explanations I have for getting thru that session. Thank you for walking with us. Thanks too to Jason and Rusty... you guys are awesome.

On completely different "note" (bad, I know, sorry)...

Earlier this morning I watched several newsclips on foxnews.com... footage related to the presidential election. I've been following this process with great interest for several months now. I'm sure many of you have as well... incidentally, even though my intention is not to see this morph into a political forum, I would love to know your thoughts on this year's presidential race. Anyway, I've tried to keep up with things consistently and intentionally, beginning with the primary races and, most recently, by watching as much of both conventions as time has allowed.

While I have my preferences politically-speaking, and while I do know the ticket I will "punch" in November, I am intrigued with several Scriptures that the Spirit seemed to bring to mind this morning as I watched clips on everything from Elisabeth Hasselbeck's thoughts on Sarah Palin to Newt Gingrich defending his side to Alan Colmes defending his to parts of Rudy Giuliani's speech at the RNC to Sean Hannity and Al Sharpton in a verbal fist fight to Bill O'Reilly offering his "no spin" assessments of the candidates to Sarah "Barracuda" Palin wowing her audience to parts of Barack Obama's acceptance speech to representatives from both sides defending their candidates to commentators and analysts who offered their insights and opinions to... you get the idea. It was a political highlight reel if you will, the presidential version of SportsCenter... which I need to go catch up on shortly. It's football Saturday!

The Scriptures? I'll list them below. No commentary. I'll spare you that. Just some interesting words to ponder... words that are neither "Red" nor "Blue"... words that seemed to be saying Hey Republicans, hey Democrats... you're both right... and you're both wrong... listen to Me, seek My face.

--The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. ... The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. ... Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned you rulers of the earth. (Psalm 2:2, 4, 10)

--My kingdom is not of this world... my kingdom is from another place. (John 18:36)

--Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (Romans 13:1)

--Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. (1 Peter 2:13-17)

--The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions' den. ... Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. (Daniel 6:7, 10)

--Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)

--Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 16:20)

--Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. (Leviticus 19:15)

--Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. (Deuteronomy 24:17)


--May all the kings of the earth praise you, O Lord, when they hear the words of your mouth. (Psalm 138:4)

--By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just; by me princes govern, and all nobles who rule on earth. (Proverbs 8:15-16)

--The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. (Proverbs 21:1)







16 comments:

Linda Goossen said...

If the apathy and the ignorance of Americans would disappear, and they would pray, and VOTE, we could see our country turned around. I really feel like we are in the end days, before the Lord catches up his Bride, (the Church), so our time is short.

Our country isn't mentioned in the Word of God, and I wonder if that is because we become part of another country? Right now we are still a power in the world, but that could change. We need to bring in the powerful Christians, who aren't afraid to take a stand for Him, and His laws.

Stand up and be counted! Go Vote in November. Every vote counts!

noahandlylasmommi said...

so glad nicol's session went well. prayer is so powerful.

Hannah said...

Hi Greg- I have been following your blog for awhile and praying for you guys. I am sorry about Luke! That is every parents nightmare. You guys will remain in my prayers.
I wanted to comment on the politics- I have a blog too and I have been feeling like I should right about it. I finally got up the courage to do so and it is posted on my blog at www.kopkies.blogspot.com if you are interested in looking at it. I do feel as Christians our voices should be heard- even in political matters.
Keep up the good work!

georgia tarheel said...

Politics are tricky things! Around my house, one of us is a donkey and one an elephant and so we try not to talk about the subject, if we can help it. Both are passionate about our causes... which is not a good thing in a political debate! :)

Seeking the Lord on this issues at hand is something I know I should do more of. Sometimes I get stubborn in my throught processes and fail to ask the Lord for direction (and this not just in politics). Thanks for the reminder that He is on the throne, no matter who is living in the White House!

Blessings--and I am SO thankful that yesterday went well. Nicol's voice has helped so many other people through the grieving process, I pray that her voice, God singing through her, would also help you both as you go through this process.

Becca Sports said...

I'm glad Nicol's recording time went good. I look forward to hearing the new songs!!! We're continuing to pray for your family.

Love,
The Harder Family

KingsLittleBlessings said...

So glad the session went well! Our family is praying for you during this time.
Thanks for the scriptures too, I'm going to mark those and share them too!

susie w said...

First of I want to say..I don't know you personally..I can even say how I found your blog..but I have added it to my favorites..and will check it every day. THANK YOU
THANK YOU for sharing the Word of God..it is so powerful..you have drawn me closer to the Lord with your honesty, words and more important the Word of God..May the Lord of all Bless you in you deep pain!

Tara Renae said...

I am sooo soo glad Nicol's session went well. Her music has helped me through some unbearable times and I know God has more planned for her. What a gift He gave the world when He created that voice!

On the political note, everyone seems to be dancing around the subject. I am pro-vote, that's for sure, but when people say that they are voting, I do like to hear WHO they are voting for and WHY. I know that things could get heated, but I love learning how people tick and their opinions on the things that matter.

I am independant-- I could never tie myself down to one party because I agree with certain aspects of both. For this election, I am McCain all the way. And Palin, what a surprise and wise decision that turned out to be-- Barracuda is right!

I like McCain because of many reasons. He is not afraid to say what he thinks and does not spend forever trying to carefully select his words. He is not a politician's politician. I TRULY believe he is for the people.

On the issues: He is not for taking our troups out of Iraq. I agree. If we did that now there would be complete and utter chaos. I had a brother who was severely injured over there-- a RPG blew thru his Hummer as he was leaving after bringing food and eating dinner with an Iraqi family. The grenade hit him in the arm, and made everyone in the HumV unconscious. He has shrapnel darn near everywhere and lost sight in his eye. He rescued the other soldiers out of the hummer before the insurgents blew it up. He suffers with PTSD bow but, he still believes we are doing important work there and should not pull out. And he HATES Bush, so it is not a political liking thing. 3 of my cousins are currently in Iraq. 2 like Bush, the other does not. All say we need to be there. I hear the stories about the work they are doing over there-- things that do not make the news like playing football and soccer with kids. Bringing meals to families, helping older people around town. Praying with the Iraqi's and leading them to Jesus. Families who have thanked them for making their neighborhoods safe again.

McCain knows what it is like to fight for our country. He is an honorable man who found the good and God in the midst of incredible suffering.

McCain is pro-life. How can you be a Christian and support a man who is not? For those, have you ever seen what happens in an abortion to the BABY.. not fetus. Baby. Sometimes they are born alive and are left in a room to die, gasping for their last breath. Even for special cases-- rape, severe illness. Let God take care of it. I was raped as a pre-teen and got pregnant. I promised to have the baby and would give it up for adoption. There are thousands of people wishing they could have a happy, healthy baby. My cousin knew she was going to have a baby with spina biffida and she could have aborted. She did not and that baby has touched her life more than anyone could imagine. I know people have had abortions-- My own mother has. And if she has repented, she is forgiven. God can make her new. But to knowingly do it again... to be a Christian and consciously make that choice. I can't back a future president who is OK with that.

Taxes. Not what our country needs more of right now. McCain promises to help ensure our taxes will not be raised. And a rise on the death tax? Are you serious? Some of us unfortunately know all too well how expensive it is to deal with all of the things that go along with someone passing. A death tax is one more burden that is too much to bear.

Energy... why do we go to other countries to get energy-- countries that fund terrorism-- when we have a wealth of it in our own? We have the technology to make cleaner energy. McCain and Palin promise to supply our own country with its own resources. This will create more jobs and help our economy.

Alaska's economy is one of the best in the US. Palin has done amazing things for her state. Read up on it. You will be amazed.

Palin knows exactly what it means to have a child with special needs. Sure her son is a baby, but her sister has a special needs child too. We need someone with power who can stand up for the ones without a voice... and you can bet that she will fight for schools too! Thank the Lord, because our schools are in BAD shape!

There are so many more things. I have done a lot of reading... watched every debate... I especially like the Forum that Rick Warren conducted. He asked the real questions-- there you can see just how much Obama was careful with his wording and diverged from the questions to get to his own agenda. McCain answered the questions quickly and straightforward... no ifs ands or buts. I encourage you to find it on the web or youtube if you missed it.

Obama is still young.. he has time to learn the ropes if you feel like you just can't live without him. But we need an experienced president during this time of turmoil in our country. Its really not about black or white skin... its about black or white issues-- no grey. No sitting on the fence. McCain has that experience and that dedication. And Palin has it too-- possibly more than Obama even.

Whatever you do... before you vote, read up on the issues from a non-partisan party. And then go to each candidate's website. Read what they stand for and decide what you think the country needs. And even deeper than that--- Who you think and what you think God would want for His people?

Blessings,
Tara Renae

http://tarasafricanjourney.blogspot.com

Mama said...

I am so thankful to hear Nicol's recording session went well. We continue to think of you and your family often and pray for strength, peace and comfort in the days ahead.

Blessings to you and yours,
Holly

Beckycain6 said...

Ahhhhh, I am so going to avoid my political views!! :) They happen to line up with what you have eluded to in your words, but to save me from having to eat any kind of crow (warm or cold), I am going to jump ship on this one and tell you simply instead that I am thinking of Nicol right now. I hadn't checked your site in a few days, but she was in my thoughts.

I'm still praying for each of you. I want you to know that. A total stranger, but here I am. I believe so heartily in the Lord, and I know that He is loving you through this storm. Like Paul gently told Timothy, the Lord is with you. Be strong and be encouraged, even when you are faced with trial and tribulation...He is there.

Life is wonderful, but it stinks sometimes too. The human thing is just crappy, and unless we constantly work to adjust our focus.....we will slowly wilt in the fogginess of poor vision. Remember, Greg, if you look at your tribulation from a "football game" analogy.......Christ is the ref, the coach, the score-keeper, our cheering section and ultimately? Our biggest fan. He loves us....whether we are winning or losing. He's voting for us, and it's His vote that counts the most.

You don't have to understand why the rest of your life will be spent without your little Lukey. You don't have to get used to the idea, or get over it. You can be sad when you want and cry when you want. You can kick and scream your way to sleep. You can shout to the heavens and beg him back. In doing so, you become a partner in your suffering with Christ. And, He is strong enough to carry you...He is strong enough to love you--even in your confusion or sadness or doubt. He is also strong enough to heal you. And, one sweet day, you will understand how to mourn and praise and then praise more....still wanting Luke so bad.....BUT knowing you will see him again some day...knowing God is real and that we will one day rest in His glory with those who have gone before us.

I pray that somehow today, or even tomorrow, you can find a way to smile in the memory of Luke--without the horrible hurt and sting. May you be able to do that more often than before and may the Lord guide you, Nicol and Summer to a place where He would have you be.

You don't have to know me to know that I am praying for you---and that every single prayer counts. :)

Take care....In Him,
Becky

Anonymous said...

VOTE VOTE VOTE! Every vote counts. We also tried to watch as much of the conventions as time would allow...even allowing our children (ages 15, 12, and 8) to watch, ask questions, voice THEIR opinions, and explain why we, as their parents, vote the way we do.
Seek the Lord before making a decision. Thank you, Greg, for the scripture to read and ponder.
Our country is at a cross roads right now. EVERY SINGLE vote will count to deermine what road our great Nation will take. As Christians we absolutely need to talk with God about it first. We cannot be good stewards of our right to vote without His guidance.

Julie Doody said...

First I am so glad that Nicol's session went well! I was sure that it would! I love her music and can't wait for new music!!

Take Care!!

Love, Julie ;-)

The Morris Family said...

We always vote Republician, yet now we are "up a creek." I found this article on Doug Phillips Vision Forum site. Probably many have not thought about this...Dear Sarah,

This letter is not written with the intention to demean or insult you on any level. Rather, I have a deep appreciation for you in many ways. We have many things in common—I am a Christian wife and mother of five children (one in Heaven, lost to miscarriage) and the grandmother of seven. I attended public schools where my mother, aunt and grandfather taught and was encouraged by all of them, as well as all my teachers, to attend college which I did, graduating with a B.A. in English. My family has always taken strong public stands, especially when serious issues are at stake, even as you do. When my husband ran for U.S. Congress during President Reagan’s second bid for office, my children and I threw ourselves into the battle with all our time and energy. We have since supported several political candidates and are ready to do whatever we can to bring our nation back to its constitutional roots. We have taken a strong pro-life stand and given many women with unwanted pregnancies food and shelter in our own home.

But the primary basis for this letter is not simply superficial interests and commitments. I believe that we are sisters in Christ and, therefore, both subjects of His rule of law from Scripture. It would appear that we share the belief that, “...in Christ Himself are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” - Col. 2:2b,3. I assume the following statement of faith, taken from your church website, summarizes your personal faith:

The Centrality of Christ

By God’s grace everything in the life of this church will revolve around the reality of Jesus Christ - who He is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do. In the words of the early Church “He is Lord” and will be recognized as such in this church with an absolute allegiance that lifts Him above all others in our hearts, in our homes, and in our congregation. It is His commands that we will obey, His warnings that we will heed, and His promises that we will hold. In every endeavor we will rely upon His power, cherish His presence, and honor His name. We will, in sum, love Him. (John 14:6)

Apparently, we also share the belief that God’s Word is the only solid base upon which to build our lives.

The Authority of Scripture

In order to experience and enjoy the centrality of Christ in our congregational life, we will submit to the authority of the Scriptures. They will be the foundational source of information and direction guiding our exploration of Christ’s reality. The Bible will be used to determine our doctrine, to shape our practice, and even, when needed to settle our differences with the conviction that it is the very Word of God. In all the confusion of varied opinions and above all the claims of religious authority we will hold to the scriptures as the Truth for both faith and practice. In them God has spoken and to them we will listen. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)

The serious Christian is one who wants to think God’s thoughts after Him, to shape every thought, word and deed according to His Word. Is God’s Word silent about the role of the woman and how we are to shape our relationships with men? No, it’s clear in its mandate:

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. — ...he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. — For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.- I Corinthians 11:3, 7, 8, 9

My friend, Susan Hunt, an Atlanta-based pastor’s wife, has written her commentary on the role of women in the church:

We write out of the realization that our personal pilgrimages for the last fifteen years have solidified our adherence to the position of male headship in the church. We are increasingly convinced of the theological rightness of this position. But the more urgent motivation is to help Christians move beyond confusion and debate over our roles toward active concern about the needs around us. We are convinced that the church provides that most appropriate context for Christian women to serve the Savior. We further contend that rather than being restrained by our exclusion from ordination, women are actually freed from the restraint of positions of authority to be exquisite expressions of the Biblical meaning of a helper-leader. When women insist on role interchangeability within the church, everyone loses. — Susan Hunt and Peggy Hutcheson, Leadership for Women in the Church, pp. 10, 11.

If these principles apply in the realm of the home and church, surely they apply more broadly in the civil realm. Because you are so gifted, Sarah, your talents are in great demand in the world at large right now. What tremendous sacrifices you, your husband and children have made over the past few years as more and bigger opportunities to serve your fellow-man have been set before you, not only in your community and state, but now nationally. I do not hesitate to recognize that you are a remarkably talented woman. But I have some serious questions I hope you will consider.

As a Christian woman, a wife and mother, surely you have wrestled with what has God called you to do. How are you to order your priorities according to Scripture? Are you over-stepping the boundaries His Word has set for you when you hold public office? I believe you are. Will you really be able to devote the time and energy necessary to raise your children as a public officer holder? What sacrifices will your husband be required to make? What message are you sending to the young women of our nation concerning their God-given role? These are difficult questions, especially since it would appear that you have already set a course that can’t be altered. The question in your mind should not be, “What am I capable of doing,” or, “What are the opportunities I have to serve;” rather, I believe only one question is a valid one: “What does God’s Word tell me I should be doing.”

One of my favorite authors was a little-known, brilliant Southern woman of the 19th century named Augusta Jane Evans. In her great novel, St. Elmo, through her main character, Edna Earle, she battles to save a Christian moral and social order, “taking her stand on the principle that woman can be most influential in society as a woman.” (italics mine) - Richard Weaver, Southern Tradition at Bay, p. 275.

Believing that the intelligent, refined, modest Christian women were the real custodians of national purity, and the sole agents who could arrest the tide of demoralization breaking over the land, she [Edna] addressed herself to the wives, mothers, and daughters of America; calling upon them to smite their false gods, and purify their shrines at which they worshipped. Jealously she contended for every woman’s right which God and nature had decreed her sex. The right to be learned, wise, noble, useful, in woman’s divinely limited sphere. The right to influence and exalt the circle in which she moved. The right to mount the sanctified beam of her own quiet hearth-stone; the right to modify and direct her husband’s opinion, if he considered her worthy and competent to guide him; the right to make her children ornaments to their nation, and a crown of glory to their [people]; the right to advise, to plead, to pray; ...the right to be all the phrase ‘noble Christian woman’ means. But not the right ... to trail her heaven-born purity through the dust and mire of political strife; to ascend the rosta [sic] of statesmen, whither she may send a worthy husband, son, or brother, but whither she can never go, without disgracing all womanhood.- p. 395

Sarah Palin, God calls you to a higher position than the vice-presidency of the United States. He calls you to be the most influential woman in the world today, perhaps in history, by taking your stand on the Biblical principle of His divine model of womanhood. I implore you to see yourself, not as a candidate for political office, but as a cherished child of Christ, in subjection to His will. I earnestly pray that you will make every effort to “arrest the tide of demoralization breaking over our land” as you call upon the mothers and daughters of America to “smite their false gods and jealously contend for every woman’s right which God has decreed upon us: the right to be learned, wise, noble, and useful in our divinely limited sphere; the right to mount the sanctified beam of our own quiet hearth-stone; the right to modify and direct our husband’s opinion, if he considers us worthy and competent to guide him; the right to make our children ornaments to the nation and a crown of glory to our people; the right to advise, to plead, to pray;...the right to be all the phrase ‘noble Christian woman’ means.” [paraphrasing Augusta Jane’s quote above]

I pray that you will demonstrate an even greater humility and strength of character than we have seen thus far by admitting you have taken the wrong path by accepting the nomination for vice presidency and ask to be released from this commitment. I will persevere in praying for you and your family. May God richly bless you as you are faithful to Him. I would be happy to talk with you or to correspond in any way that may prove helpful. My contact information is at the bottom of this letter.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” - Col. 2:8

Yours truly in the bonds of Christ,

Rebecca B. Morecraft

liz said...

Hi Greg,

I just wanted to let you know that your family continues to be on our mind and in our hearts and prayers. I have commented before on some of your blogs, and lost my baby boy Luke on February 19th of this year. His due date was March 17 - your son Lukey's birthday. I really do appreciate your 'grieving with hope' insight. We will see our sweet baby's faces again, and they will wipe away our tears. Please know that you, Nicol and Summer are a part of our family through prayer, and that we want you to know just how loved you are. Luke is so lucky to have you and Nicol as his parents. What wonderful parents you both are.

Also, I have similar scars from carrying my son Luke - tell Nicol I believe God wants our "Luke Scars" there so that we have a physical reminder that our sons did in fact live in case this all just seems like a bad dream. Our sons were here, and through us, were able to achieve their life purpose.

God Bless you.

All our love,
The Timmermans

Johannah said...

I haven't written here before...but I wanted to let you know I feel for you and your family. And I pray that God will heal all of you His way.

So glad to hear how well Nicol did with her singing. :-)

As far as politics are concerned...I don't like to debate or get into them much. I just pray that God's will be done, and trust that He will do that. I ask for wisdom and heart changes for all our leaders in this country...big and small. I felt like I was supposed to point out that we don't understand God and His ways. We are just little humans that tend to get a bit to big for our britches and think we know best. But I was thinking about the part with Sarah Palin being in office and how women are told to submit and let the men be the leaders. I am 100% for that. But that doesn't mean that God won't use women to lead....look at Deborah. God called her to do a job that should have been a man's job. But he didn't want to do it. How do we know that the men God called to fill in the gap told Him "no." Really the only way and answer to figure out just what God wants You to do, is to pray and seek His direction for Your life. Every little detail of it. If He wants you to vote for a certain person do it, trust that God will show You. Life is a journey to discover who God made you to be....and the only way you figure it out is by seeking Him and His will for Your life. This nation needs God and it needs christians to stand up and do what God wants them to do. Seek Him and His answers for your life...not what everyone else is doing or saying you should do. There is only one you and we each have a special purpose. I guess that last bit is off subject a bit. I hope that made sense to everyone. :-)

Prayers for your family and situation Greg.

Johannah

Cristi said...

WHAT IS IT EXACTLY THAT NICOL IS WORKING ON? I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW THE NAME OF IT SO I CAN GET IT WHEN IT COMES OUT.