What Would John Adams Say?

John Adams is one of my heroes.

Every year when we celebrate Independence Day, my mind wanders back to the roots of our nation. It is clear that regardless of all of the flaws of its people, God has blessed the United States of America.

“Why?” one might ask. “What’s so special about the US?”

That’s when I start reminding myself about our founders – like John Adams. They didn’t get everything right – after all, they were humans. They had some wrong ideas… some of them preposterously wrong!

Yet in their hearts, most of the founding fathers knew that there was a God who created us. They also knew that the Christian principles of the Bible had to be the foundation for the new nation.

That realization was what this country was built on.

Over the decades God has brought correction to us. He has addressed slavery and the rights of all people. He has guided us toward retribution and compassion toward the Native Americans.

And He has continued to bless us.

Today we can’t stop receiving His correction. A return to Biblical principles will answer much confusion and error in our current society. We will have to see our God as the source of all wisdom and knowledge – and the only One with the answers we so desperately need.

Listen to what John Adams had to say.

JOHN ADAMS

SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; JUDGE; DIPLOMAT; ONE OF TWO SIGNERS OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS; SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.1

The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost. . . . There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation.2

Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company: I mean hell.3

The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.4

Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Eutopia – what a Paradise would this region be!5

I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.6

Notes:

1, Thomas Jefferson The Writings Of Thomas Jefferson, (Washington, DC: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, pp 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813.

2. Letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush, from Quincy, Massachusetts, dated Dec 21, 1809.

3. John Adams, The Works Of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1856) Vol X, p 254, to Thomas Jefferson on April 19, 1817.

4. John Adams, Works, Vol III, p. 421, diary entry for July 26, 1796

5. John Adams, Works, Vol II, pp 6-7, diary entry for Feb 22, 1756  6. John Adams, Works, Vol X, p 85, to Thomas Jefferson on Dec 25, 1813


 

Stir Up the Gifts

A couple of weeks ago, the Holy Spirit woke me up at 3 am and spoke these words into my spirit. “Stir up the gift which is within you.” (II Tim 1:6)

I knew exactly what He was saying.

You see, our church had been holding a campmeeting with Ted Shuttlesworth and his son, Ted, Jr. The building was packed out with visitors praising and worshiping God, clearly eager to receive the divinely inspired messages. And they were not disappointed. The rafters shook with the booming praise, clapping, dancing, and rejoicing over our God and what He is doing in the earth. Healings were dramatic and often. Throngs were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time.

As the night proceeded, I felt the gifts were being stirred in me – and others. In that atmosphere there is always an awareness of heaven’s touch – and the reality of the Kingdom of God.

It reminded me of earlier days…maybe because it was like earlier days. It reminded me of the days when there was rejoicing in the city by the many people who were turning to the Lord, getting saved, baptized in the Holy Spirit and shouting their newfound truth to the rooftops. Continue reading “Stir Up the Gifts”

Stay Strong

The little girl, curls bobbing, confidently nestled into the chair right in front of the podium. She had almost run from the very back in order to acquire this select spot. She didn’t want to miss a thing.

All around her the adults smiled at her anticipation, but they were perplexed. Children didn’t often desire to be up front. It was unusual for children to exhibit such excitement over such events.

Then Oral Roberts, the famous healing minister climbed onto the platform, and a hush came over the audience. Praise filled the tent and an amazing night of God’s presence was underway. This was one of his famous healing services during the days when Dr. Roberts carried his huge tent from city to city.

The little girl was not disappointed. Her jaw dropped as she saw a grapefruit-sized goiter disappear from a lady’s neck. And there was much more. Person after person received God’s touch –  straightening legs, healing cancer, and delivering from depression.

The girl was hooked. At 10 years old she had witnessed some of God’s miracle working power, and she knew from that moment that she wanted to be part of His miracle-working army.

Several decades have passed since that moment.

Last week the evangelist who was that little girl came to our church and it was obvious that she and God have maintained that special connection. Elaine Hollmer has a healing ministry with many testimonies. And a boldness for God’s purposes which is rare. She has made a name for herself as one of God’s “stokers.” When the coals grow dim in the hearts of Christians, God sends her to stoke them, causing the flames to rise again.

Over the decades since I became a Christian I have seen many people come and go. I have known men and women who at one time were on fire for God, but whose hearts have grown cold. There are others who are still going through the motions, but you sense that there is a quiet desperation in their ministry.

Not so with Elaine Hollmer. She exhibits greater zeal – and greater fruit – than she did the first time I saw her many years ago. Full of love, full of anointing, full of God’s healing touch, and changing lives in the process.

Elaine’s diligence is evident. “Through faith and patience she has inherited God’s promises,” (Heb. 6:12)

You can’t stay in ministry for decades without some challenges coming your way. I don’t know what hers have been, but I know that she has met them head on.

Something very interesting is that when you see a person who has walked closely with God for a number of years, you see a sweetness and humility which can only come through time. But also a boldness – and does she ever have boldness! A holy boldness which stirs hearts for more of God.

Well, I’m stirred.

We have some exciting years ahead. There’s a Great Awakening on the horizon and I want to be a full-fledged participant, don’t you?

Let’s Stay Strong – and Finish Strong.

 

 

What Would It Take For Revival?

A few years ago my husband and I had the privilege of accompanying Apostle Ken Malone and a group he had assembled. He wanted us to witness first hand the miracles which God had performed in Clay County, Kentucky. A few years prior to that there had been a major revival which had impacted the entire area and Ken wanted us to see it for ourselves. As we listened to the testimonies of person after person, we could only marvel at the goodness of God.

Prior to the revival, Clay County, Kentucky was famous all over the nation and beyond –  but not for the right reasons. It was famous for being the drug capital of the United States.  As much as 40% of the population was growing marijuana. There were even suggestions that Daniel Boone National Forest was being turned into the world’s largest Pot farm.

The county was also known for being the illegal prescription drug capital of the country. People were openly selling the drugs with no pretense of secrecy. There was one dealer who opened a window of his house for a drive-through dispensary. People would line up for their drugs in a fashion similar to a trip through McDonald’s.

Needless to say, many of the ministers and serious Christians were lamenting the facts, but feeling helpless in the presence of such blatant sin. Obviously, for such drug dealings to be the norm, there was much corruption throughout the region. Politicians, law enforcement officers, and even judges were involved in the payoff.

Along with the drug dealing, violence and poverty prevailed. Families were torn apart and children neglected. Murders and violent fights were common. Deaths from overdoses were the norm. Education levels were at an all-time low. Continue reading “What Would It Take For Revival?”

A Moment of Candor

My heart is so full this morning, it’s hard for me to settle into my post. Our Pastor started a series on Eternity yesterday, and thoughts began exploding within me.

First of all, I was drawn back to the passages within Isaiah which speak of the greatness of God. When you have been in ministry for awhile, it’s easy to acknowledge God’s magnificence, but not really meditate on it. Your concentration is on His greatness, but also on your place in His plan and what you need to be doing.

Today is different. Today I stand in awe of His greatness – and the realization of our smallness in the big scheme of things. When you contemplate eternity, you realize how truly small on the timeline is our lifetime. Even if we live 100 prosperous and prolific years, we are less than a speck on eternity.

When you contemplate this, His tremendous love for us and desire to fellowship with us is even more amazing. What an awesome God and Father we have. Our minds can’t comprehend His vastness or His love. Truly amazing.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in the balance, and the hills in a pair of scales?

Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of knowledge and informed Him in the way of understanding?

Behold the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales.       Isaiah 40:12-15

There is something else which rushes into my mind also, and that is pity for those who don’t know Him.

  • I feel such sorrow for the many who are suffering  in the world and don’t know about the Savior and their opportunity  to know Him.
  • I feel sorrow for the foolish “intellectuals” who want to prove everything by scientific method, and yet defy all science in order to prove that everything “just happened.” That some “big bang” created all of the order we see, when all of science proves that order never comes from “big bangs” – only disorder does.
  • I feel sorrow for the people who think that their moment of celebrity and prosperity is all that there is, when their lives are but a speck, and none of what they are seeking matters in the long run.
  • I feel sorrow for Christians who believe in Jesus and yet deny Him by their actions.
  • I feel sorrow for Christians who believe in Jesus, but are too busy with other things to let Him matter very much.

Yet in all of this, I feel thankfulness to my awesome Father God that He will make Himself known to any who want to know the truth. I know that on the horizon is a Great Awakening which will be revealed to the world.

I also know that many who don’t believe now will be drawn to the truth and to His kingdom when they see the signs and wonders which will be displayed in days ahead.

He will show Himself strong to those whose hearts are sincere and willing to listen to Him.

He is an Awesome God.

The Power of Unity, Part 1

Guest Post by Mickey Estes

[ Note: A few years ago, my husband was led by God to start a Pastors’ Prayer Meeting in the area where we lived. He spent a lot of time locating church leaders in the several counties around, and he began the bi-weekly meetings. During that season, the Lord gave him many words about the significance of leaders coming together for God’s purposes. The next few blog posts grew out of those words.

I am sharing them again since these same concepts are so important for this present time. This word is important not only for leaders, but for all of those in the Body of Christ who truly want to see God’s plans unfold in the earth today.]

Recently, the Lord has been speaking to me concerning the body of Christ. There are so many divisions; so many walls. There are denominational walls, racial walls, gender walls, and cultural walls. It’s as if His body is divided into many pieces with no connections, and it grieves Him.

Why is this so? Why have we allowed Satan to divide us? God has some answers for us.

We are all believing for a great awakening, and there are some keys to our preparation for it. One of those keys is humility. Continue reading “The Power of Unity, Part 1”

Looking For Hidden Treasure

Have you ever been on a treasure hunt? It’s a fun adventure.

One year when our son was in elementary school, we organized a treasure hunt for his birthday party. My husband diligently surveyed our yard, making notes about possible landmarks. Then he created a map, which looked like an antique rendition of a pirate’s map, including the many markers which could lead to the treasure. (A chest full of candy and surprises which would interest boys of his age).

The map took them to the Maple tree and then 25 paces to the right where they would find the rock with a red line on it. Then the directions would lead them to turn right and take 19 paces to find the Rose bush, etc., etc. Finally, of course, the directions would lead them to the place where the treasure was hidden.

It was great fun seeing the boys run and jump around the yard, yelling with glee when they found a benchmark… And when they found the treasure, the effort was worth it!

I had a dream recently which reminded me of this moment, though in some ways it was quite different. I saw a bunch of us entering an old barn which was covered with dust and decay. We went in as a group, knowing that we were on a mission to accomplish something. Continue reading “Looking For Hidden Treasure”

Are You Following in the Footsteps of Daniel?

Daniel is an inspiration for many reasons. All of us remember his faithfulness and his deliverance from the lion’s den. Today our focus turns to another incident in his life.

Daniel 9:2
In the first year of (Darius’s) reign I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. Continue reading “Are You Following in the Footsteps of Daniel?”

Our Founding Fathers Speak

When we delve into the history of our country, it’s remarkable how many of our leaders were devout Christians. To know that for certain, we can take a look at some of their comments. Let’s take a look at some words from our fathers. You may be surprised.
John Hancock
Signer of the Declaration of Independence

I John Hancock, . . . being advanced in years and being of perfect mind and memory-thanks be given to God-therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all men once to die [Hebrews 9:27], do make and ordain this my last will and testament…Principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it: and my body I recommend to the earth . . . nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mercy and power of God. . .

Will of John Hancock

Patrick Henry
Governor of Virginia, Patriot

This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.

Will of Patrick Henry

Robert Treat Paine
Signer of the Declaration of Independence

I desire to bless and praise the name of God most high for appointing me my birth in a land of Gospel Light where the glorious tidings of a Savior and of pardon and salvation through Him have been continually sounding in mine ears.

Robert Treat Paine, The Papers of Robert Treat Paine, Stephen Riley and Edward Hanson, editors (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1992), Vol. I, p. 48, March/April, 1749.

[W]hen I consider that this instrument contemplates my departure from this life and all earthly enjoyments and my entrance on another state of existence, I am constrained to express my adoration of the Supreme Being, the Author of my existence, in full belief of his providential goodness and his forgiving mercy revealed to the world through Jesus Christ, through whom I hope for never ending happiness in a future state, acknowledging with grateful remembrance the happiness I have enjoyed in my passage through a long life. . .

Will of Robert Treat Paine

Benjamin Rush
Signer of the Declaration of Independence

My only hope of salvation is in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!

Benjamin Rush, The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, George Corner, editor (Princeton: Princeton University Press for the American Philosophical Society, 1948), p. 166, Travels Through Life, An Account of Sundry Incidents & Events in the Life of Benjamin Rush.

Roger Sherman
Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Signer of the Constitution

I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. . . . that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are a revelation from God. . . . that God did send His own Son to become man, die in the room and stead of sinners, and thus to lay a foundation for the offer of pardon and salvation to all mankind so as all may be saved who are willing to accept the Gospel offer.

Lewis Henry Boutell, The Life of Roger Sherman (Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Company, 1896), pp. 272-273.

John Witherspoon
Signer of the Declaration of Independence

I entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for there is no salvation in any other [Acts 4:12]. . . . [I]f you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, if you are not clothed with the spotless robe of His righteousness, you must forever perish.

John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. V, pp. 276, 278, The Absolute Necessity of Salvation Through Christ, January 2, 1758.

Many thanks to http://www.wallbuilders.com for providing these documents.

Why Read the Bible?

On a cold winter night in 1981, I had a life changing experience with the Lord. I remember the year, because our country was going through a crisis at the time. A revolution in Iran had occurred, overthrowing the Shah, and putting the radical Islamic rulers (the same ones who threaten the world today) into power, and in the process, seizing the American Embassy. By the time of my encounter, all of the American workers had been held hostage for more than a year, and there seemed to be no solution to getting them released.

That night, as I snuggled down under the covers and drifted off to sleep, a voice woke me suddenly. I knew that God was speaking to me, but the message seemed strange. “What if you could send a coded message to the hostages in Iran which would contain a perfect plan of escape?” I sat up in bed, pondering this unusual message. Of course, I thought that was a good idea, but the question seemed so strange. I knew it was God speaking, but I didn’t understand why he was saying that.

Then He clarified the statement. “That’s what I have done with My Word.” Suddenly what he was saying became crystal clear.

People all around the world are being held hostage by their circumstances. They may be victims of abuse, neglect, or poverty. They may have hurts, fears, and frustrations which run very deep. Anger, resentment, and bitterness may seem to rule their lives.

Yet they don’t have to stay that way, because we have been given a plan of escape. God’s Word is that plan of escape. It will point us in the direction of release from all of the negative influences which try to hold us, and it will give us the power to overcome those influences.

Some see the Bible as merely a history book; others see it as a rule book. Yet the Bible is so much more than either of those things. If we will begin to read it and ask Him to show us His plans and purposes, we will begin to see a God of unconditional love who is reaching out to us. We will begin to understand His power toward us and we will want to latch onto it.

Here’s the thing. We have to read it for it to make a difference, and we have to meditate on what we have read. It is a coded message which only God’s Holy Spirit can reveal in its entirety. As we read, pray, and listen, our eyes are opened to see realities we have never seen before.

Joshua 1:8 says it well.  This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

There’s wisdom in God’s word and there is power. When you allow yourself to feed upon His word, something happens on the inside of you. You find your faith and confidence increasing. You also see your world view changing – coming closer to the way God sees things.

The best part is that you receive the liberating message which sets you free from the negative elements of the world around you. You are no longer a hostage to these evil forces, but you are set free – into the liberty of God’s plan.

Forever Upward!

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