Does anyone want to be a victim? I doubt it.
Yet, an element of our culture tries to make various groups of people feel like victims. And worse—to act like victims.
Hung up on identity politics, this element does not seek the good of those it considers victims. Those whom it victimizes.
The good news is that no one has to be a victim. We can all be victors—winners, not oppressors.
But we need a relationship with the Champion of salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is
Faith in Jesus brings eternal life. With eternal life, we need fear nothing. If we walk in the Light, which Jesus is, our lives will not be subject to defeat or victimhood. We will walk in victory.
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Have you felt our culture’s growing contempt for Christians?
Do you think things will “go back to normal” in our country—where the Christian faith is respected and considered foundational to our liberty?
Victory through Voice grapples with these questions and other topics such as racism, materialism, and critical race theory. It presents love and fruit of the Holy Spirit as answers to our toxic culture.
Imagine how the first century disciples felt as they preached the good news to a culture that demanded their silence. We can look to their solutions—Christian love, Holy Spirit boldness, and firm faith in the Lord Jesus—as our way of responding to the current cancel culture. Godly living and sharing the gospel are two ways we can speak the message of grace, truth, righteousness, and life. Victory through Voice encourages us to share the Word of God with our lives, our actions, and our voices. Even when the culture demands our silence.
A growing darkness threatens to destroy our culture and make victims of all of us. We don’t have to look far to see the threats to our personal security and liberty, to the survival and unity of our families, and to the continued existence of civilized society.
Many of the trends of the past fifty years have darkened the culture and confused the church, leaving a wide path of destruction. Victory through Light: How to Overcome the Growing Cultural Darkness is the first in a planned set of three books, the purpose of which is to expose the growing cultural darkness and call readers to Jesus Christ, who is “the true light” that “shines in the darkness.” He empowers us to “walk in light” and equips us with “the armor of light” that we may overcome the darkness besetting our nation and invading our lives.
Using relevant scriptures, personal testimony, and modern parables, this book enables Christians to see their way out of the confusing darkness and into the light of victory. It encourages believers to lead others to that light which overcomes the growing cultural darkness.
Many miracles surround and fill the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. Important miracles regarding him—not just miracles that he did. Things like his conception, birth, boyhood knowledge of the Word, and his ability to predict where large schools of fish could be caught.
However, more important than his miraculous birth, and all those things he did, is his resurrection from the dead, even as was prophesied.
For a fact, he really did literally, physically die.
There was a huge stone blocking the entrance. It had been rolled into place as was customary. It probably weighed two tons or more. Once it dropped into place in the pre-cut grove, it would be difficult to move it aside. It would have to be rolled up the incline down which it rolled into place. No easy task.
Upon that stone was the seal of Rome. A soft substance would have been used, such as clay or pitch. Such clay would have been smeared to cement the stone to the opening of the tomb. The Roman seal of closure, so to speak, would have been impressed in the clay. A rope would have encircled the stone to hold the clay in place, with that seal intact. To break that seal was a crime against Rome.
Guarding the tomb was a Roman guard, which consisted of four to sixteen soldiers. Four stood watch and the others slept around them. Thus, a thief would have to penetrate the perimeter to get to those watching. It would be impossible for unarmed fishermen to have outmaneuvered trained and armed soldiers.
Could Jesus have gotten out without the stone being moved? Yes. Later, he miraculously appeared to the disciples in a room without entering through the door. See John 20:19, 26.
The stone was miraculously rolled away so the disciples, as well as the enemies of God, could peer in and see that Jesus’ body was gone—clearly showing that he had risen as he had said he would.
For the stone to be rolled away, other miracles had to happen. The seal had to be broken. And the soldiers had to be disabled. Blaming it on the earthquake that happened when he arose (Matthew 28:2) still doesn’t account for the soldiers sleeping. They were trained to stay alert in all sorts of circumstances.
Matthew explains it well:
Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. (Matthew 28:2–4 NLT)
The women didn’t roll the stone away. The disciples didn’t roll the stone away. An angel of the Lord rolled the stone away. And he did it so we could look in and see Jesus gone—risen as he said.
Who raised Jesus? God the Father did. Over and over we are told that in the Word. At least twelve times we can read that God raised Jesus from the dead. And that same power works in us who believe (Ephesians 1:19–20). What a prospect that is!
Jesus, alive, breathing, and glorified, stepped from the tomb, as a guarantee of our eternal life. And because he lives, we—and I in particular right now*—can survive the “loss” of loved ones who really are not lost but home with Jesus.
*This Resurrection weekend is my first in thirty-four years without my husband. But I know where he is and that our resurrection/translation will be soon (1 Thessalonians 4:14–18).
If globalists get their way and eradicate borders and national sovereignties, there can be no more Olympic games. Why? Obviously because under a one-world government with no borders, there are no individual nations to produce teams to compete in the games.
Some may say, “So what? Who cares?”
But there would be other consequences far worse. People who fail to see the fallen nature of mankind fool themselves into believing the lie that humanity can all come together (apart from Christ) and work for the good of all, in peace and kindness with good will from and toward all.
Have humans ever collectively behaved in a manner like that? What does history show us? Wars and rumors of wars. Battles. World Wars. Genocides. Oppressions (not always by white folk, please note). Many are quick to cite the Crusades as being terrible. But what about the Islamic jihad that preceded them? In all the biblical lands of the first several centuries A.D., Christians were slaughtered or forced to convert to the Muslim religion. Hence the Crusades were the politicized church’s response to that decimation.
Muslims and Africans sold other Africans into slavery. Some of the buyers were whites. It took whites too many years to end slavery, but they did. However, slavery continues today in countries not ruled by Anglo-European whites.
If people of all nations could have “come together,” they surely would have done so by now. What makes anyone think that now is the magic time when unity and peace will be achieved?
In reality, God set boundaries of nations, intending that there be nations. Deuteronomy 32:8 says, “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel” (NIV). Paul refers to this in Acts 17:26.
There are supposed to be separate nations, different ethnicities and languages, and specific borders. How else could we have a heavenly host singing of redemption “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 4:9 KJV)?
How else could we have an innumerable multitude standing before God’s throne, “of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Revelation 7:9 KJV)?
The one body—Christ’s church, of which he is the head—is comprised of redeemed people from every nation, kindred, tribe, and people; of every race and every language; of male and female. That is the global unity that God has purposed. That is the Body without borders.
Furthermore, in no way does God intend that humans, in their sin and unbelief, in their rejection of him and willful disbelief and rebellion, band together to remove national boundaries and function as a global order. The modern “New World Order” effort is in the spirit of antichrist. It is rebellion. It is apostasy. It is abomination. Apart from Christ, all global effort at “unity” is just politicians, power, and people forming an axis of evil against God.
In the face of that movement, we who believe in Jesus are called to stand firm and hold out the invitation to eternal life to all who will listen, so that the Body of Christ—the church—will be complete. And his body, the church, is not a particular denomination. It is comprised of all who have been born again in him—by grace through faith.
National borders and constitutions don’t matter in the body of Christ. But they do matter to the security of nations and to the safety of the citizens of those nations.
And nations are necessary for the Olympic games.
I remember elementary school Valentine’s Day preparations. We’d all take cigar boxes (or similar) to school and decorate our own valentine box. The class rules were that every student had to give a valentine to ALL the other students. Every pack of valentines included one for the teacher as well.
It was easy to pick the valentines for friends and classmates we wanted to have as friends. But choosing a valentine for the kids we didn’t know or particularly like—that was a bit difficult. We didn’t want to send any false message, but we couldn’t be mean either, or we’d be in trouble. So there were no “please-don’t-be-my-valentine” cards.
Of course, as I grew older, being or having a “valentine” took on greater meaning and importance. We all know that. In fact, Valentine’s Day is the busiest day of the year for florists in sales, production of bouquets and arrangements, and delivery volume. It even beats the chocolate industry, which ranks Valentine’s Day as third in sales.
We tie Valentines Day in with “love”—or at least the idea of love. And everyone wants a special Valentine.
Real love—the kind that lasts and is unconditional—God’s love, doesn’t come in boxes of chocolate or bouquets of roses. God didn’t demonstrate love for us in such a trivial way. The most often quoted verse of the Bible declares the best Valentine message of all time:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 MEV).
God’s Valentine gift to everyone in the world, for all time, is the gift of his son, Jesus. Why? Because he loves us and wants us to spend eternity with him. He wants to enrich our life on earth with himself. His very nature is love, and his unconditional love for undeserving people sent Jesus to the cross. God’s power raised Jesus and exalted him in heaven, where we are called to spend eternity.
But we can enjoy God’s gift only one way. By believing in Jesus and accepting the gift of salvation. Only by saying, “Yes, I’ll be your valentine.” If we reject and disbelieve, we lose out.
Did you ever throw away valentines you received in grade school from kids you didn’t hang with? I can remember in fifth or sixth grade (when girls were interested in boys but boys were NOT interested in girls) having a giant crush on some boy in my grade. His birthday was in the summer. I bought him a gift (a cheap “guy” ring, I think). I wrapped it. I planned the perfect delivery. I gave it to him at the town’s swimming pool. Without opening it, he threw the box into the water and walked away. Needless to say, that ended that crush.
But in reality, that’s what people do to God when they reject Jesus. God offers to them, not a cheap dime store gift but the best he has to offer—his own Son—and they disregard the gift, toss it away without even opening it, and walk away.
If you have never received Jesus as your Savior, please don’t let this Valentine’s Day pass without considering the perfect love of God and his Valentine offer to you.
And if you have received Jesus as your Savior, enjoy the “roses,” the “chocolate,” the perfect love, and your eternity.
Photo by Sidney Pearce on Unsplash
The crack in the Liberty Bell is symbolic of the crack in our government. We have several options: (1) Cover it up so it doesn’t show; (2) Work to fix it; (3) Leave it there and see what happens; or (4) Expand the crack and destroy the bell and the nation.
When a politician promises to raise taxes, increase fees and regulations, destroy energy independence, restrict free enterprise, drive the rate of inflation up and up, and hinder individual prosperity, can he expect a high approval rating? Or even the respect of the people whom he hurts?
How can we believe that more people voted for that than the record number who voted for a president who lowered taxes, improved the economy, brought energy independence, combatted inflation, removed unnecessary regulations, and brought jobs and business back to the country?
Of course, certain media sources would switch the information to make the one raising taxes the good guy. Even though he wants to tax us on our mileage, if we read the fine print in the infrastructure bill being pushed through congress. And we pay more and more at the gas pump, the grocery store, and everywhere else we shop.
Add to this the moral division currently raging in our streets. People threaten violence because the Supreme Court kicked the issue of abortion back to the states. They didn’t rule it illegal or immoral or unobtainable. They just kicked it back to states to determine for that state.
Our nation’s division is such that each side thinks they are right, and both sides appeal to Scripture and/or to other “high” ideals as their support.
Political division in this country is greater than it has ever been, I think, with the one exception possibly being the division that led to the Civil War. And the media daily stokes the current division to make it more pronounced. The hostility grows.
I remember when President George Bush announced that we had entered a “new world order.” A red flag flew up for me, and I heard warning sirens. The new world order is simply a human attempt to be God. It is the coming together of the nations, as in Genesis 11, to build a tower to reach the heavens and seize control of all creation.
Of course, the modern scenario isn’t literally the building of a tower as in Genesis 11:1–9, but the motivation is the same—an attempt to supplant God and construct for humanity what only God can really guarantee.
On September 11, 1990, then President George Bush, addressed congress and the world and spoke of American military serving “together with Arabs, Europeans, Asians and Africans in defense of the principle and the dream of a new world order” (https://www.weblinenews.com/september-11-george-bush-new-world-order/). He spoke while preparing for war after Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait. That was less than one year after the Berlin wall had come down, signifying the end of the Cold War between the free world and the communist world.
Bush would use the term multiple times and expounded on it in the January 29, 1991 State of the Union address: “It is a big idea—a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind—peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law” (https://www.weblinenews.com/september-11-george-bush-new-world-order/). I wonder if terms like peace and freedom and rule of law mean the same thing to all nations and all forms of government. I doubt it. Yet all nations seem united in this grand goal.
Both parties in the USA seemed in agreement with this new world order. However, many people in the USA love our liberty and do not want to be a part of a “new world order” if it means sacrificing some of our God-given rights (such as the right to bear arms; the right to free speech; freedom of religion; and so on). We want the independence of being free citizens of a free nation, inspired by and built upon Judeo-Christian values.
Thus, when Barack Obama later declared that he would “fundamentally transform America,” I heard more warning bells. He did a fair job of bringing that to pass, though the full job is not yet complete, by God’s grace.
I challenged a college class of working adults to discuss what it means to fundamentally transform America. They were very in tune with this and realized that it means to change the principles, foundation, morals, and values of our nation into something quite opposite. It would replace a sovereign Creator with big government; personal responsibility with “social justice”; law and order with rioting and chaos; traditional decency and morality with sexual deviation, immorality, and even infanticide; and equality of opportunity and the American dream with equity of outcomes and lots of “free stuff.”
Furthermore, it means to change the economic structure, the social structure, the educational structure, and to remove individual liberties. It means exchanging capitalism for socialism, private ownership for government ownership, individual choice in matters of education, career, and location for government assignment of those in a monstrous scheme of “free education.”
Can a committed Christian really support that fundamental transformation? I know some who did. I believe that they didn’t understand it as that dangerous. They were thinking transforming the residual bad stuff (remaining pockets of racism; poverty, which they linked to race; and the presence of multi-millionaires who seem not to care about the impoverished among us.) Strange that many of those multi-millionaires are career politicians pointing the finger at hard-working businessmen and corporate executives.
But racism, poverty, and rich folks are not the foundation of this nation. So changing those things is not a fundamental transformation. By definition, a fundamental transformation would be a change in the foundation and basis of government. A change in the constitution. A change in the Bill of Rights. A change in the governance of the people. Exchanging a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” into a “government of the politicians, by the politicians, and for the politicians.”
This fundamental transformation was cut short, though, when the people elected a new voice in 2016, whose slogan was, “Make America Great Again.” Was that a plea to bring back racism? No. Racism is not what made America great in the first place. The foundation of Judeo-Christian principles, the war to end slavery, the movement to end racism (mostly completed until the fundamental transformation), the equality and freedom to engage in private enterprise, to build a business or learn a profession and succeed, and biblically moral principles—these are what made America great. This is what can make America great again.
By the way, the Liberty Bell was not originally named the “Liberty Bell.” That name was officially adopted after the Civil War—the war the Republicans fought to end slavery. (For more facts about the Liberty Bell, see my blog of July 4, 2015, “Liberty Bell and More.”)
In 2022 we have the newest slogan, “Build back better.” Apart from the classy alliteration, that phrase is fraught with dangerous implications. In order to “build back,” something must first be destroyed. Energy independence? The economy? The availability of goods? Perhaps the constitution? The “republic” as a form of government, with limited powers and checks and balances? Judeo-Christian morality which served, in the country’s beginning, as our foundation?
And what does that political party consider better? Socialism? “God forbid.”
This lack of clarity creates additional hostility. We are left to wonder what will become of our great nation and of our rights and those of our children and grandchildren. And what will become of the Liberty Bell? (Do you see the crack in it?)