Points of Light

A former President used a phrase in different speeches that called for organizations spread throughout the nation to do good. He asked for people to get involved. He called for a thousand points of light. After he left office, he founded an organization with the same name.

Here’s what he said.

I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the Nation, doing good. We will work hand in hand, encouraging, sometimes leading, sometimes being led, rewarding. We will work on this in the White House, in the Cabinet agencies. I will go to the people and the programs that are the brighter points of light, and I will ask every member of my government to become involved. The old ideas are new again because they are not old, they are timeless: duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in.

George H.W. Bush

It’s a great idea. A thousand points of life. But what does it mean? Does it make any sense? Does it have any meaning in light of current events? This man was on a mission to find willing men and women who would work together to do good.

I am on a mission to find believers who are willing to be a point of light in their neighborhood. In their schools. In their communities. In their churches. Are there people who will stand for truth at all costs?


In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16


As a believer, we have many opportunities to let our lights shine. When we serve the poor, our light is shining. When we give to the needy, our light is shining. When we are persecuted for standing for truth. When we speak words of truth in a conversation filled with lies. When we share our God-given gifts. When we live a biblical life, our light is shining. Let’s shine our light for the world to see.

Duty. A Christian must pray. We must pray about everything. We must pray that the lost seek a relationship with God. We must pray for those who hurt us. We must seek forgiveness for our sins. We must pray for our spiritual, business and government leaders. Whether we agree with them or not. We must pray for our nation to return to God.

As believers, we can’t live this life without God’s help. We can’t do it on our own. We must turn to God on a regular basis to seek His will and His guidance. We can’t serve God alone and in our own strength.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

As Christians, we must forgive those who have wronged us. We must lay down our desire for revenge and forgive others. Forgiving others isn’t an option for those who call themselves believers. We must ask God to give us a heart of forgiveness, grace and mercy.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32

Sacrifice. We must give ourselves to serving God, at all costs. We must stand strong against the false teachings that are being shared these days. We must live a holy life. That means putting aside the desire to be accepted by those who don’t follow Christ’s teachings. There must be an obvious difference in how we conduct our lives. In the words we say. In the activities we participate in. In the ways we spend our money. What sets us apart may cost us everything in this life, but will reap us an eternal reward. Are we up for the challenge?

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

Commitment. Be faithful to God. As believers, we must grow in our relationship with him. We must commit to doing the things Jesus would do. Love others. Forgive. Serve others. At the end of our lives, we need to be able to say we have fought the fight. We have finished the race. We have kept the faith. Our lives must be consistent with Christ’s teaching.

And may you be completely faithful to the Lord our God. May you always obey his decrees and commands, just as you are doing today. 1 Kings 8:61

Patriotism. We on this earth are looking for a homeland. We are strangers and exiles on this earth. Heaven is our home. We must stay true to biblical principles. We can’t let scoffers and mockers dismantle our beliefs. Let’s hold our light high so others can see that our faith won’t be swayed by the evil deeds and words of others. Read the Bible. Attend church. Spend time with those of the faith. Spend much time in prayer. Faithfully support our church with financial offerings.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20

As Jesus is the light of the world, so too must we be a light.  We must never try to hide our light when we’re being ridiculed or mocked. In this day of trouble, others are looking for the light but they don’t recognize it. We must be that beacon of hope for them. 

This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine.

A Prayer for the Nation

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank you for the freedom this great country was founded on. For over two hundred years, we have been afforded the right to freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom to live as we choose. For that we are grateful, as we see so many other nations that have repressed and oppressed their citizens. I fear we as a nation are moving toward censorship and persecution of Your faithful followers. Grant us the wisom to follow your ways.

 I pray for the one who now sits in the oval office to have a clear mind and a strong body. For he needs to give this country his best efforts. I pray that his attentions will be undivided as he leads this land. May he be for the values that center around faith, family and country. May he put God first in his every waking breath. I pray that he will seek to be morally and ethically pure. That he will listen for the still small voice guiding him toward truth and purity. May his intentions, thoughts, words and actions be pleasing in your sight, Oh Lord my Rock and my Redeemer. May we honor his position and show respect for him, as well as the one who is a heartbeat away from the same position.

I pray that the new administration will not turn their back on your mighty hand of leading. I pray they will humbly seek your face. For it is arrogance and shamelessness that will cause a nation to fall from your grace. I pray that they will lead without reproach. Open their hearts to seek you and to find you when they seek you with their whole hearts.

I pray for those who stand for stopping heartbeats that have never beat on their own. I pray that the hearts of those individuals will once again beat for the unborn. Oh. That they would seek forgiveness for ending the lives of so many innocent ones. May they have a heart for family values. May they stand for the right to life for all conceived.

I pray for those who seek to push an immoral, ungodly agenda onto this nation. May their plans be thwarted and their goals unrealized. I ask that you place courageous believers in high positions to uphold truth and dignity for a nation founded on godly principles. May they not be swayed by financial offerings or greedy ambition. May they seek only your heart for this great nation.

I pray for those who seek to do harm to the one who has left the highest office in the land. I pray that they will repent of their hatred and venom. Heavenly Father, forgive them when they run to you for forgiveness. And have mercy on their souls when they repent. For they know not what they do. Their hearts have been hardened to the truth. And they no longer seek to show honor where honor is due.


Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14


I pray for the one who has left the oval office. His words and actions have pleased many, but gravely offended others. May he seek your forgiveness even though he believes it isn’t required of him. He too will one day bow before you, as will his accusers. I pray that as he moves to private citizenship that you will guard him from the schemes of the devil. Those of his own making and those who are bent on destroying him. May evil plans not succeed. I pray that you will shield him from danger and protect his family from the evil intent of others. Bless his honest endeavors and may his ventures succeed.

I pray that any hypocrisy and corruption will be exposed at the highest levels. I pray for truth to be shared and applauded and evil to be on full display and punished to the full letter of the law.  Root out the evil and wickedness while it is still day. For the night will fall and the lost will not be saved. Father, heal this nation.

You alone, Father, know the plans you have for this great nation. Have we squandered the good from our children’s future? Will they suffer for the sins of their forefathers? Will they be prepared for the persecution that may fall upon them? Draw their hearts to you. God have mercy, I beg.

Is this change in leadership our final call to repentance? Is this our last opportunity for revival? Father, set our hearts toward our eternal home. For our only hope is in you. Not in a man sitting in a basement or in an oval office. Deliver us from the hypocrisy that is feeding our newsrooms.

 Oh. I pray for believers to desperately seek you while you may be found. May we repent of our selfish ways. May we have contrite and humble hearts. Show us your grace and mercy, I pray. Forgive us for abusing your grace. We so take it for granted.

I pray for those who ignore you. And for those who blaspheme your name. When they finally bow before your throne and call you Lord one day, may they see the folly of their ways. Will you have mercy on their souls or will you allow the harshest eternal punishment? You are Lord and You are God. Your ways are higher than our ways. Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Do as you will.

I find myself reaching more and more for my Bible. God, I’m searching for reassurance that you are faithful when our country is faithless. I yearn for the peace that only You can give. I seek comfort in knowing that my heavenly Father loves me even when I am unlovely.

Father, I pray that the revival will begin with me.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Who To Believe

I get massages on a regular basis. Out of need. Of course. I have a scar that has built up scar tissue, and it causes much tightness in my shoulder. So, of course, when the massage therapist advised me to get monthly massages, I obliged. Who wouldn’t? I also have some trouble with my right foot. The muscles get tight, which makes walking uncomfortable. She suggested I keep my feet in their natural state as much as possible. Basically, I shouldn’t wear shoes.

I love this massage therapist. She pursues training in new massage techniques. She uses several different methods to help provide relief to my tight and aching muscles. She seems to work magic. I walk away from her sessions feeling relaxed and renewed.

When this massage therapist moved away a few years ago, I had to find another. I had to find someone else who would be able to provide as much relief for my problems as she had given. It was a difficult task. But I found someone who worked in different ways to achieve the same results. This massage therapist is a man with much strength. He is determined to remove all the tightness from my muscles. His massages aren’t relaxing, but they are effective. They are just what I need.

But he gives different advice. As he was working on my tight right foot the other day, he asked if I wore shoes. I said no. Since I’m working from home, I only wear shoes when I leave the house. He didn’t seem pleased with that news. He acted as if my feet would be better off in shoes, rather than in their natural state.

Who am I to believe? Why wouldn’t allowing my feet to be in their natural state be better than being boxed into a shape formed by man or machine? Would my feet be better off walking on more padding? Should I choose what feels more comfortable or what is easiest for me? How am I to know what is right?


My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Psalms 73:26


I think of my daily walk with God. What words am I feeding my soul? Am I getting a daily dose of God’s word in my diet? Or am I filling my mind full of words written by man about the Bible? There is a lot of truth out there. But there is also a lot of false teaching. My first line of defense must always be God’s word. It’s time to put away the junk food and feast on banquet food.

As I consider how best to care for my feet, I have a choice. What is easiest or what is most effective? Am I willing to pay the price now to have healthy feet, or do I just slip my feet into flimsy flip flops and be carefree? Because later, after years of neglect, there will be a much heavier price.

When I think of my spiritual life, I must consider the price I’m willing to pay today in order to be welcomed into the pearly gates of heaven one day. Is the price today so high that I forfeit it for comfort and pride? If I don’t pay the price today, I will pay it for eternity. The price today is a bargain, really. Serving God faithfully. Obeying his instructions. What do I have to lose? That seems to be the question these days.

I’ve never suffered for being a follower of Jesus. I’ve never been inconvenienced for my faith. I’ve never been persecuted or threatened because I attend church or read my Bible or pray. I’ve never been denied the basic comforts of life because I’m a Christian.

Could that day come? Yes. Will it? Only time will tell. But as for today, I will live for Christ regardless of any discomfort I may face in the future. My hope is in God Almighty and the salvation he freely offered.

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here, in the love of Christ, I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save
‘Til on that cross, as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin, on him, was laid
Here, in the death of Christ, I live

There in the ground, his body lay
Light of the world, by darkness, slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave, he rose again
And as he stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am his and he is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from his hand
‘Til he returns or calls me home
Here, in the power of Christ, I stand

Keith and Kristyn Getty

Do You Blush

The ending of a prayer this week has sparked a new controversy. Or shall I say. It has added fuel to the fire. Who doesn’t know that saying Amen at the end of a prayer isn’t a statement of gender identification. In an effort to be politically correct, this former pastor made a mockery of himself, not of prayer or faith. And the fact that a former minister is the one saying the prayer says so much about how lost this great nation truly is. Can we honestly say we are a nation under God? Can we?

On a daily basis, the news is streaming acts of ungodliness without shame. As a nation, we are no longer ashamed of our sins. We no longer blush over wrongdoing or apologize for our sins. We do not heed the warning of our conscience any longer. To say that we’ve lost our way is an understatement. Is it possible for this great nation to repent and return to worshipping God? Who is the god of this nation?

Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 6:15

We are clearly living in an upside-down world where right is wrong and wrong is right, where moral is immoral and immoral is moral, where good is evil and evil is good, where killing murderers is wrong, but killing innocent babies is right.

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What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. Isaiah 5:20

Just recently, I realized that I had accepted a belief that didn’t align with Scripture. After voicing that belief to another, I felt my spirit checked to reconsider what I felt was truth. As I realized I had bought into a lie, I knew I needed to repent and follow biblical truth. What I learned was that I need to test every belief to see if it aligns with Scripture. If it doesn’t, I need to pray for forgiveness and turn my thoughts and beliefs toward God.


The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9


We’ve forgotten how to disagree. Nowadays, it seems that we all must agree on a subject or we can’t be trusted. We kill unborn babies in the womb up to the day of delivery. We’ve come to the conclusion that there are more than two genders. Some have gone so far as to demand a change in the way pronouns are used.

The nuclear family is in jeopardy. We no longer blush about making the holy commands of God unholy. We applaud same sex marriage and call it equality. We congratulate our child who wants to change their gender. When was the last time we stood against the destruction of our sacred family values? 

We proudly congratulate an unmarried couple on their pregnancy. It’s assumed that at some point an unmarried couple will live together before marriage. But do they know what God says about such matters? Does anyone care anymore?

We think nothing of spewing out four letter words. We show a falsely perfect family life on social media. And yet we applaud those who have publicly announced the deconstruction of their faith. 

We’ve stopped reading God’s Word. We don’t even know the most repeated Bible stories. We can’t pass down biblical truths that we’ve never learned.

And we call ourselves Christians. 

“Therefore, Jeremiah, go and warn all Judah and Jerusalem. Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am planning disaster for you instead of good. So turn from your evil ways, each of you, and do what is right.” But the people replied, “Don’t waste your breath. We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires.” Jeremiah 18:11-12

At times, we choose comfort over truth. My question is why are we comfortable with lies? And how does that happen? How long does it take before we have exchanged the truth for a lie? Why do we stay silent when we know the truth?

We’ve forgotten how to spot the lies that we hear or see. False and exaggerated stories fill the news. We don’t look for the truth. We accept what we’re told as gospel. Especially if it’s comfortable for us. 

Why do we choose comfort over truth? Is it because we don’t know truth anymore?

I’m blushing over here. Are you?

Almost Divorced

Mary and Joseph. The couple who almost weren’t a couple. They planned to marry. But before they officially started their life together, it almost ended. Due to no fault of either of them, their marriage would forever be marked by scandal.

Mary was pregnant with a child who wasn’t Joseph’s. 

Imagine Joseph’s fears. The concern. The shame. Knowing he had done no wrong but unable to prove his innocence. Could he trust his bride? Was she being honest?

Imagine Mary’s concerns. Knowing she had done no wrong, but unable to prove her innocence. But who would believe her? Would Joseph trust her? Would her family believe the news the angel spoke? Would Joseph still want to be her husband? Would she be an outcast? But she knew what the angel had told her. And she believed.

It would have been easy for Joseph to win the case in court. Mary was pregnant with someone else’s child. They both knew that. The evidence was stacked against her. What man wouldn’t have dumped her?

But the angel who spoke to Joseph in a dream had a most convincing argument.  But how could it be possible that his Mary had been chosen to birth the Son of God? The Promised Messiah was the babe in her virgin womb. How would they sell that story?

Oh sure. Every Jew was taught that they were awaiting the coming of the Messiah. But why Mary? Why now? So Joseph did the unthinkable. He believed the angel. He kept his vow to Mary. He moved forward with the marriage. He would raise her child. 

The right decision paved the way for Joseph to raise this child in a safe and stable home. Oh. It wasn’t easy. I’m sure. But Joseph could sleep well at night. He could have peace within. He had trusted the all seeing, all knowing God to an unknown future. He willingly accepted the life God laid out for him and his family.

Even Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, recognized who lay in Mary’s womb. And so did the child in Elizabeth’s once barren womb. Mary didn’t need to be vindicated.  But her word and God’s word proved true even before the child was born. And then multiple times after his arrival.  

There were the shepherds who heard the news from the angels. The old man, Simeon, stood in the temple and recognized the baby immediately as the Son of God. And Anna, the prophet, also confirmed the 8-day old baby as the Promised Messiah. Later, the bright star that shone in the east led the wise men to seek this child.

These were no coincidence. These incidents were all by the hand of God. He was moving in his chosen people. The long awaited Messiah was now among them. Carried in a virgin womb. Wrapped in swaddling clothes. Delivered in the town of Bethlehem. Born to be the Deliverance of his people.

 The proof of Mary’s innocence and virtue were in place, if one was looking. 


“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord . “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9


How many times have I almost taken the wrong step, even though the right step was the road less traveled. The wrong step would have been the path of least resistance for Joseph. But the right decision looked foolish in the eyes of his family and neighbors. Who could fault him?  How could he explain the situation to those who asked? Mary and Joseph knew they were in for the long haul. But they didn’t really have a clue what life would be like living with the God Child. 

In our times of uncertainty, it’s easy to choose the obvious path. Especially when it’s what everyone else would do. But I’m not everyone else. And when God clearly says to take the least popular approach, then the response should be just as clear. I wonder how often I have chosen the easier path instead of the one designed by God. No one else has to know. Right? Except for God. But isn’t that enough to make me pause? God knows everything. He knows his plans for me. He knows when I follow his plans and when I don’t. So who am I fooling?

 A life of obedience to God’s will over the ways of the world can be the only choice. It is His perfect plan, even when it doesn’t seem the perfect solution. Even when friends and neighbors offer their unsolicited advice. Turn the other way. They say. Don’t stir up trouble when you don’t have to. Look out for yourself.

But God’s ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. His plans are perfect.