Last night I read the book of Job and was taken aback by the turn of events that left a man devastated by unthinkable tragedy. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
Most of us can't relate to the depth of Job's suffering. He had 11,000 livestock, enough hired help to man a mansion and most of all, a wife and 10 children. And then Satan came in and wrecked his life killing his seven sons and three daughters, the servants and his animals.
Job lost it all, but he never gave up on God.
I don't know about you, but I haven't always responded to hardships and pain in my life with unwavering faith. I sometimes doubted God, took matters into my own hands, and did whatever I could do to make things better. But nothing changed until my heavenly Father said that's enough. He not only rescued me from the enemy, but from myself.
Look at how God blessed Job after his ordeal: "Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.
"He also had seven sons and three daughters. In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job. After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations" (Job 42: 12-13, 15-16, NKJV).
God is the same today, yesterday and forever more. He is faithful and will never change. If He delivered Job from the grip of the enemy and blessed his life, He will do the same for you.
So be encouraged and keep your focus, and don't let the enemy make you curse the Father. He tried that trick with Job, but Job refused to "charge God foolishly," and we must respond in the same manner.
Brian Zahnd, founder and senior pastor of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Mo., recently released a book based on David's response to the tragedy at Ziklag. What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life is a must-read, and if you want to be uplifted and learn how to respond to hardships, I suggest you read it today. To get your copy click here.
Last Sunday I witnessed a powerful move of God. While leading worship, one of the singers got violently ill and could barely stand because sharp pains were piercing her stomach. A deacon whipped out his cell phone to call for an ambulance, but the preacher stopped the service and asked, "Before you call 911, may I call Jesus?" The woman said yes, he prayed, the Lord healed, and spiritual pandemonium broke out in the sanctuary.
Prayer changes things. When we come together in unity worshiping the Father, He comes into our presence and brings with Him all that we need. Our faith was so real in that building, the woman's healing created a traffic jam at the altar. Some people received the baptism in the Holy Spirit while others simply worshiped God and thanked Him for His presence.
Despite what we see in the natural realm-a failing economy, broken marriages, war, cancer and more-God will intervene in the affairs of His people with a holy visitation when we come together and pray.
The Bible says, "And when they had entered [the city], they mounted [the stairs] to the upper room where they were [indefinitely] staying-Peter and John and James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas [son] of James. All of these with their minds in full agreement devoted themselves steadfastly to prayer, [waiting together] with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers" (Acts 1:13-14, The Amplified Bible).
All types of people were in the upper room. A liar, a thief, a woman who had once been possessed with seven demons, the mother of our Lord and others. But they were all partakers of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as demonstrated in Acts 2:4.
God is no respecter of persons. If He responded to prayer 2,000 years ago, He will show up and move by His Spirit when we come together in one place, with one heart and no agenda, wholeheartedly seeking Him.
But let's not wait. Let's come together, corporately right here on Spiritledwoman.com. As a result of the Internet, we can reach heaven on behalf of millions of unbelievers and Christians alike. Logon to the site every day this week, post your prayer and watch God move by His Spirit.
I don't know about you, but I look forward to Valentine's Day. No, I don't have a husband to lavish me with roses and candy or a doting boyfriend anxious to ask for my hand in marriage. (I do have my eye on a certain guy, but he doesn’t even know I exist!) The day is special to me because my twin sister and I were born on February 14.
Though I've never been married, I don't waste time lamenting my status as a single woman. There's someone in my life and he thinks the world of me.
My father is special to me for a zillion reasons. Down through the years he's been a loving husband and father. He's a protector, provider and an awesome grandfather. My dad would take a bullet for me if he had to. But I'm most grateful to my father because his example led me to the Man in my life.
Christ is the center of my world, and the more I get to know Him, the more real He is to me. And every time I celebrate a birthday, I'm reminded of His faithfulness. The Bible says "For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth" (Isaiah 54:5, NKJV). Jesus can be your Husband and my Husband at the same time and never cheat.
That's why February 14 is so special to me. Not only is it the day I was born; it's the day I renew my vows to the Man in my life.
So don't be upset if you weren't showered with gifts, candy or flowers on Valentine's Day. Just thank God for His message of covenant love. It's not just for couples, it's for every single one of us. read more
Last Saturday morning I did something I haven't done in awhile. I teamed up with the women in my church and went door-to-door witnessing to residents about the love of Jesus.
My pastor is determined that in 2009, our church becomes a hub for evangelism and outreach. He feels the best way to be a beacon of light in the community is to do what Elvis Presley did, "leave the building." The Bible says, '"Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled'" (Luke 14:23, NKJV). Last weekend we knocked on more than 400 doors during our Canvassing for Christ event.
Every resident I encountered that day was friendly and receptive to what my friend, Shirley, and I had to say about Jesus. In fact, we were fired up and ready to save the world with a two-minute spiel and prayer. But when we knocked on the door ready to rattle off the "If you died tonight, where would you spend eternity?" type questions, we were greeted by ordinary people with obvious needs, so we flipped the script and listened to what they had to say. read more
One night last year I was about to climb into bed when I felt an urgent need to slip to my knees and pray fervently for my uncle, Don. I had actually had a gnawing feeling all week that God was speaking to me about him and had tried calling him so we could pray together, but I wasn’t able to reach him.
I knew in my spiritual “knower” that I needed to intercede for my uncle.
Has the Lord ever dropped the name of a person in your mind or flashed someone’s face before you? Sometimes He will tell you directly to pray for a person, and at other times He uses a different method to grab your attention. Either way, I believe it is God beckoning us to pray for others. read more
Have you ever looked at or spoken with a person and then walked away wondering what the person is really like at home--when they are not in the public eye? There are some obvious things you can learn about other people simply by the way they dress or style their hair, but all that is superficial and can easily change.
So what you see in a person is not always what you get. read more
Editor's Note: Prophetic minister Bobby Conner posted the following article on his Web site, bobbyconner.org, in June. It is a word for believers to remember and to apply not only in this season but also throughout our lives.
The Spirit of God is constantly seeking to plant new seeds of victory inside you. Why? He is enlarging your vision and increasing your capacity for faith, hope and love. God longs for you to dream big! Ephesians 3:20-21 assures us that our King, the Lord Jesus Christ, "is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" (NKJV).
The Greek word translated "exceedingly" here is a marvelous word—one that should bring unspeakable joy to our hearts. It is hyper! We know what it means to be hyper—to be hyperactive, hyperacute, hyperalert, hyperexcited or hypersensitive. We know that a hyperbole is an exaggeration of the truth. read more
Well, today is the first day of the rest of your life, right? Let's invest the remainder wisely.
If you are reading these words, know this, we have already been, and will continue to be praying for you, our readers. No hollow promises or lip service. No good intentions unfulfilled. You can absolutely count on it.
Now let's talk about what I want you to consider right this minute. But do me a favor, in the busyness of your day, please find a way to engage your heart, otherwise, with your mind alone, you will miss what I am saying - guaranteed. Reading this would then just be another mental exercise, part of the blur of another seemingly average day filled with too much information. Hearts engage! read more
I must admit: I was reluctant to publicly share my views on
President Obama's recent same-sex marriage statement. His presidency has caused separation within the ranks of
African-American leadership too often.
And yet, what does an African-American pastor do when his
African-American president makes a decision that eventually will destroy
the foundation of not only the African-American community, but the
nation as a whole?
Does that pastor take a risk that he will be misunderstood and
labeled as an "Uncle Tom," a Republican Party pawn, or someone "the
white man has bought out?" If I do not take the risk, knowing that
mentality in itself is as discriminatory as it gets, I become a
co-conspirator in keeping us in bondage to our culture; suggesting that
none of us is free to think or speak outside of what we are told. read more
Although Valentine's Day is meant to celebrate love, it
can bring bittersweet memories and pain.
For kids, Valentine's Day is a time to exchange funny cards and eat boxes of
chocolate. For adults, it's often much more than just a time to send flowers
and buy heart jewelry, chocolates and cards—it's a time to rededicate your love
to one special person. But when you're a widow or widower, or have lost your
love due to an unfortunate life circumstance, Cupid's arrow can pierce your
heart in a very different way. What was once a holiday of "warm
fuzzies" can turn into a sorrowful day to overcome.
It's true that Valentine's Day holds significance for most couples, but it was
particularly special for my husband Gordon and me. After losing my father in
February, the whole season had become fraught with painful memories. Then a
young man with a lot of heart came into my life, and it just so happened that
Valentine's Day was right after our first date. When I got home from work,
Gordon had left a bouquet of pink carnations on my front porch. So, it became a
yearly ritual for us to use Valentine's Day as the anniversary of our first
date together. read more
Each December I urge my congregation to focus
on the true meaning of Christmas. The worry my fellow pastors and I share is
that the solemn message of Christ’s birth gets overshadowed by the
commercialization, jingle bells, and Santa-fication of the yuletide season.
As we turn the calendar’s pages to yet another
Memorial Day, I feel compelled to issue a similar challenge, one I offer not as
a clergyman but as an American. Simply, let’s not lose focus about what this
most solemn of national holidays should really be about. read more
regret, my family was unable to attend the homecoming celebration of our dear
friend, David Wilkerson. Due to my own personal sickness, Jeri and I and our
family could not be present to pay tribute to this man who so radically changed
story of Teen Challenge is the story of Steve and Jeri Hill. Christ was brought
to us and nurtured in us through this ministry. It’s with
tears in my eyes that I say, thank you brother Dave, for being there for us. read more
Everyone has heroes--or at least people they respect. David
Wilkerson was one of mine, along with John the Baptist and a few others. So I
was deeply saddened when my daughter called and said that he had been killed in
a car accident. Of course there was the sweet knowledge that he was with the
Lord, but there was also the bitter reality that we no longer had him here on
His passing brought back a flood of memories. Back in 1980, I
screened the movie that was based on his best-selling book, Cross and the
Switchblade. It starred Erik Estrada (from the television series CHiPs) as
Nicky Cruz, the hardened gang member who mocked the naive country preacher who
had come to his rough neighborhood. read more
Christian evangelist Ray Comfort explains why natural
disasters, such as earthquakes, only confirm God’s existence rather than deny it.
“I was actually in
this earthquake ... I live in Tokyo and it was the scariest thing that I have ever
been in. I was in Kitasenju teaching English when it struck and after the
initial shock we all ventured outside. I saw a mother of about 27/28 clutching
her newborn to her chest in fear as the temperature got colder and colder and
colder. Fallen creation? What are you talking about? I will NEVER accept this.
NEVER. Do you hear me Ray? You can SCREAM this in my face for the rest of time.
I WILL NEVER ACCEPT WHAT YOU SAY.”
Creation is absolute
evidence of a Creator. It didn’t make itself. So to suddenly say that God
doesn’t exist because we have killer earthquakes and horrific tsunamis (such as
the March 2011 tragedy) is to be in denial of something we all intuitively know.
The question is rather, “Is God impotent?” Did He have the ability to create
this infinite universe, with suns that dwarf ours massive sun, and yet He can’t
stop a tremor on this little earth? The question itself is rhetorical, but it’s
covered in Scripture when we are told, “With God, nothing is impossible.” So it
then becomes, “Why did almighty God allow it, and its terrible train of
unspeakable suffering and death?”
Atheism has no
consolation for us, other than to say that such pain is the result of an
indifferent “nature” that created itself, and is still in the process of
creating. Richard Dawkins said, “Nature is not cruel, pitiless, indifferent.
This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that
things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply
callous -- indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.” [A Devil's
Chaplain & Other Selected Essays,
by Richard Dawkins]
the Bible has the consoling answer. It says that we live in a “Fallen Creation”
(see Genesis 1-3). We are like an alcoholic who is in denial, adamantly saying
that all is well, and yet the symptoms of alcoholism are clearly evident as he
staggers toward you.
Here is just some of
the evidence that humanity has a serious problem–earthquakes, tsunamis,
hurricanes, tornados, disease, suffering and death. The Bible says the
whole of creation “groans in travail” under the Fall (see Romans
8:22)—the “curse” of Genesis. Those who understand this don’t lose faith in God
when terrible tragedies shake a world in denial. Each one of them instead
reminds us that all isn’t well. For the world they should be a wake-up call—a
slap in our drunken face--a reminder that we are not apes with no moral
responsibility, as so many are trying to have us believe. All is far from well
between sinful man and a holy God. We have a problem. A big one, that is more
serious than a heart attack.
someone to accept that we live in a fallen creation means that they have to
accept that we are sinners—that we aren’t the good folks we say we are. It means
that we have moral responsibility—that when a man rapes a woman and slits her
throat, God will hold him accountable. It means that Hitler will face God on
Judgment Day for the mass murder of so many innocents. It means that God is
just, and that Hell therefore is a real place of punishment for the wicked.
These are not pleasant thoughts when we realize that God is morally perfect,
that he sees the thought-life and considers lust to be adultery and hatred to be
murder. That puts all of us, with our unquenchable thirst for (and addiction to)
sin, in deep trouble.
Earthquakes tend to make us tremble. They show us that we don’t have total
control. In the Book of Acts, there was a big quake that caused a
hardened Philippian jailer to cry out to his prisoners “Sirs, what must I do to
be saved?”(see Acts 16:30). He wasn’t talking about the quake (that had already
happened). He was talking about his relationship to the One he had angered by
Fortunately, God has
more than a 12-step program for the hopeless alcoholic. When Jesus suffered in
our place and rose from the dead, He balanced the scales of eternal justice. He
paid the fine so that we could leave the courtroom. The cross is an expression
of the love and mercy of God. He is “rich in mercy,” and can make us clean and
sober with a new thirst for righteousness, and the ability to walk the straight
I contacted a friend
early in March of 2011, whom I hadn't seen for twenty years. He lived in my
hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand, had always mocked me for my faith, and so
I was surprised that he emailed back. He said that "god" greatly scared him in
2010 (he used profanity) with a 7.1 earthquake. When I then shared the gospel
with him, he wrote back and mockingly said that he was guilty of breaking the
Commandments, and that he going to Hell to “party.” The next day a killer quake
hit, taking over 165 lives. When I contacted him again to see if he was okay, he
soberly replied, "Tell your God I am sorry and please don't do that again." This
time he used a capital for "God."
Tragedies have a way
of putting the fear of God into those of us who are still living. Most of us,
that is. Sadly, some may stay in denial and say, “Fallen creation? What are you
talking about? I will NEVER accept this. NEVER. Do you hear me Ray? You can
SCREAM this in my face for the rest of time. I WILL NEVER ACCEPT WHAT YOU SAY.”
I hope you are not one of them.
(WNS)--While the nation watches to see how the new House leadership flexes its Tea Party-enhanced muscles, the legal campaign to strip the public square of any reminders of America's Christian heritage continues apace.
On Jan. 4, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 57-year-old cross atop the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego is unconstitutional. The decision runs counter to a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a similar case at the Mojave National Preserve, as well as a district court ruling that said the Mount Soledad cross was not unconstitutional because it "communicates the primarily non-religious messages of military service, death and sacrifice."
In finding the cross unconstitutional, Judge Mary Margaret McKeown, a 1998 Clinton appointee, wrote: "The history and absolute dominance of the Cross are not mitigated by the belated efforts to add less significant secular elements to the Memorial."
Perhaps the memorial keepers should have erected a 40-foot Frosty the Snowman next to the cross. Oops. That applies only to Nativity scenes and Christmas trees on public land. I'm getting the sops to secular bullies mixed up.
The problem seems to be that the cross is just too big and obvious. That makes it ipso facto offensive. The 43-foot concrete structure can be seen from Interstate 5, for instance. It's a wonder that the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the suit, hasn't claimed that the cross has caused multiple accidents as atheist, Wiccan, Buddhist, Jewish and Muslim motorists clutch their hearts and keel over their steering wheels upon spying it. Given that the hillside has sported a highly visible cross since 1913, it's safe to conclude that millions of motorists have made it through that scary stretch without incident. It's probably less safe to claim this in areas with noxious billboards for "adult" services, but I haven't checked accident statistics, so let's not go there.
The key aspect that the court ignored in its tortured finding of the First Amendment's secret intent to wipe out Christian symbols on public land is the element of coercion. Allowing mere expression is quite different from using government power to force observance.
As American Civil Rights Union General Counsel Peter Ferrara points out in his friend of the court brief in Jewish War Veterans v. the City of San Diego, "With a clear, simple standard rooted in the text of the Constitution and its surrounding history, this case is easily resolved. The cross at the federal Veterans' Memorial atop Mt. Soledad does not involve an unconstitutional establishment of religion because it does not involve coercion of any sort. It just sits there, without any specified message.
"Each visitor to the memorial is free to decide what the cross, and the memorial overall, means to them. They can take the cross as an expression of reverence for the nation's veterans, including those who suffered the supreme sacrifice. They can take it as an expression of hope that these lost loved ones will be seen again in some unknown future. They can take it as an expression of some religious message. However each visitor interprets the cross, they are also free to then accept or reject the message that they each discern."
Ferrara also notes that in 1776, Thomas Jefferson led the adoption of Virginia's Declaration of Rights and that the religious freedom clause in that Declaration states, "That religion, or the duty we owe to our creator, and the manner of discharging it can be directed only by reason or conviction, not by force or violence;and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience."
It's been tough sledding for public crosses. Even after the Supreme Court in April refused to order the removal of a 7-foot cross made of metal pipe at the Mojave National Preserve, where veterans had maintained a cross since 1934, vandals cut it down. In May, a court ordered a replacement also torn down pending further appeals. Previously, a court had ordered the cross covered in a plywood box, an apt expression of the death wish that secularists have for public religious symbols.
In Arizona, at the behest of an atheist group, a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August that 14 roadside crosses, each 12 feet high and memorializing fallen Arizona Highway Patrolmen, are unconstitutional. On Jan. 6, the full court issued a stay of the order, giving the state 90 days in which to appeal.
The common thread in these cases is the confusion of expression with coercion. It would be nice if the new Congress found some way to coerce federal judges into living up to their oaths. The jurists should be upholding real constitutional rights instead of twisting the Constitution into a battering ram against any public edifice with religious underpinnings.
Robert Knight is a senior writer for Coral Ridge Ministries and a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.
This weekend our
nation experienced a horrible attack by a deranged man in Arizona. My thoughts
and prayers go out to the victims and their families in their time of need and
the American people grapple for answers to the question of how something as
senseless as this shooting could happen, we need to be measured and cautious
before we place blame.
Hasty accusations have already been made before much information is
known and an investigation has occurred. I believe this is counterproductive
and could in itself incite hatred. This is not a time for political
because we disagree with someone from another political party does not mean we
wish them harm. Furthermore, if something horrific happens to a person, it does
not mean those who hold differing views are responsible for the actions of a
frightens me is that our country has accepted murder, violence and rape as
entertainment that we see portrayed every day on TV, movies and video games. I
agree with Sheriff Clarence Dupnik when he alluded to the fact that this country
needs some serious soul searching. If we as a nation are not careful, we could
see the destruction of the foundation upon which this nation was
Clearly our politicians and pundits on the left and right must also
be careful. Their leadership and rhetoric must set an example for decency and
prayer is that God will put His loving arms around the families and victims in
their time of loss and great suffering, and that they would sense His presence
and comfort in their lives.
Franklin Graham is the president and CEO of the Billy Graham
Evangelistic Association and international relief organization Samaritan's
Purse. Photo courtesy of Samaritan's Purse. read more
The end of the year is fast
approaching. It is a time of Christmas trees, Yule logs and year-end giving. But
as millions of Americans prepare to get out their checkbooks, the decision of
where to give has rarely been more difficult. In tough economic times,
nonprofit organizations are vying for decreasing resources and facing an uphill
battle in attracting the all-important year-end donor.
(Rob Hoskins pictured left; Lamar Vest
For decades, year-end giving has often been driven by the
stirred passions of a donor’s heart. We give
because we genuinely care. Our hearts are touched by images and stories of
children in poverty. Families living in
squalor. Individuals that have never heard the
good news that God loves them. Driven by these heart tugs, Americans currently give more than $3 billion to
charitable causes each year according to the Giving
USA. read more
A Micah Challenge paper being released today
reveals a critical need for Christians to further engage with international
advocacy efforts to tackle corruption as a key tool to eradicate poverty.
Open for Service: A Case for Good Governance, being launched on International Anti-Corruption
Day, refers to evidence of
corruption negatively impacting the poor in Latin America, Asia, Africa and
Europe. The paper urgently appeals for transparency in government, business and
the global Christian church.
The document follows
discussion between development
practitioners, politicians, economists and academics reflecting the views of
those living in extreme poverty and proposing solutions to corruption crimes,
which could prevent governments achieving the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs) by 2015. Joel
Edwards, international director of Micah Challenge said: “Corruption is a like a tower block on a
runway. It accounts for over a trillion dollars going missing, and is a massive
barricade to the well-being of the poorest people in the world. It’s difficult to define, complex in its
treatment and entrenched in business and political systems. No wonder it has gone on underground for so
long. Simply, corruption kills people.”
The Rt. Rev. Dr
Benjamin Kwashi, Archbishop of Jos in Central Nigeria, spoke on
corruption as a global problem at Africa’s Transformation conference this year:
corruption in the West, Africa is an apprentice.”
The call for good
governance comes alongside firsthand evidence on the effects of corruption on
poverty released by multiple international stakeholders earlier this year.
Research in the World
Bank's Africa Development Indicators 2010
report highlights the severe effects of “quiet corruption” such as bribery,
weak regulation and poor service delivery in the health, education and
agriculture sectors of Africa. In one instance more than 50 percent of drugs
sold in Nigerian drugstores in the 1990s were found to be counterfeit. The
study also mentions that there are as many as 91 children per primary school
teacher in the Central African Republic, compared with 22 children per teacher
in Mauritius, due to absenteeism.
Case studies from
Peru, Cambodia and Zambia in a Tearfund report called Corruption and Its Discontentssimilarly establishes that corruption
and a culture of bribery form one of the biggest barriers to poverty
A female interviewee
from Moyobamba, Peru, said: “I took my
daughter-in-law to the hospital. She was really sick with appendicitis. She was
initially taken to one hospital but then she was referred elsewhere because
they needed to operate on her. When we arrived at the second hospital, the
nurse who was supposed to be supervising her said to me: ‘It is the end of my
day and I am very busy. I cannot see to her.’ I pleaded with her to take care
of her, and to give her the injections that she needed. I had to take her a
gift to persuade her to take proper care of her.”
Open for Service highlights the role that churches can play in
advocating for good governance in overcoming poverty. Former Director of the U.N. Millennium Campaign
Salil Shetty said in the
foreword: “The people in the frontend of the evangelical churches know that if
public resources are managed in a transparent and accountable manner, there is
nothing stopping the world from achieving the MDGs by 2015.”
President of Evangelical
Fellowship of Zimbabwe and Emminent Person of the Centre for Peace Initiatives
in Africa Goodwill Shana said: “The document captures the central role
that governance plays in the broad agenda of poverty reduction and
This paper launch follows Micah’s 10.10.10 campaign where
60 million Christians in over 70 nations prayed for an end to extreme poverty.
This global event formed part of a growing movement mobilizing the church to
play a greater part in alleviating poverty.
President Barack Obama
sharply and unfairly criticized Israel while visiting Indonesia, the
world’s largest Muslim country. While visiting mosques and meeting Muslim
leaders and giving speeches about building better relations with Muslims, the
president gratuitously chose to criticize the Jewish state for daring to
announce the building of some 1,300 new apartments in Jerusalem to deal
with the city’s population growth. The president said such moves were an
impediment to the peace process with the Palestinians.
“This kind of activity is never
helpful when it comes to peace negotiations,” said President Obama. “I’m
concerned that we’re not seeing each side make the extra effort involved to get
a breakthrough. … Each of these incremental steps can end up breaking trust.”
Unhelpful? Breaking trust? You’ve
got to be kidding me. Netanyahu imposed a 10-month
moratorium on new building in Jerusalem and the West Bank as a goodwill
gesture to the Palestinians to encourage them to begin direct peace
negotiations. Yet Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas squandered
nine of those months by refusing to enter such talks. Then Abbas
engaged for a few weeks, but refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state,
refused to agree to the Palestinians having a demilitarized state, and now has
broken off direct talks and refuses to re-engage with Netanyahu,
even though Israel is offering to allow the creation of a
Netanyahu, currently visiting the U.S., immediately responded to President
Obama’s criticism: “Jerusalem
is not a settlement; Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel.” He
is absolutely correct. Israel has every right to build homes for Jews, Muslims
and Christians in her capital. The “unhelpful” intransigence is on the
Palestinian side. If Abbas wants a state, he should negotiate for one directly
and in good faith, not wait for President Obama to force Israel to
accept Abbas’ demands.
Moreover, the critical question
facing the U.S., Israel and the world right now should not be stopping the
building of apartments in Jerusalem but stopping the building of nuclear
weapons in Iran. Yet the Obama administration is not taking decisive action to
stop Iran from getting the bomb, and refuses to put a credible military threat
against Iran on the table.
Contrast President Obama’s deeply
unfriendy approach toward Israel with Canadian Prime
Minister Stephen Harper’s consistently courageous pro-Israel approach.
Harper was the first world leader to
order his U.N. delegation to walk out of a speech at the U.N.
General Assembly by Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad several years ago.
Harper was the first world leader to announce
Canada would not be sending a delegation to the U.N.’s Durban II conference,
which was supposed to be about opposing racism but turned into a vicious
anti-Israel forum whose keynote speaker was Ahmadinejad, a man who has
denied the Holocaust and has repeatedly called for the “annihilation” of
the Jewish State.
When the Gaza flotilla crisis unfolded,
Harper stood strongly with Israel’s right to defend herself from terrorist
and left-wing activist attacks, whereas the White House equivocated.
In contrast to President Obama, Prime
Minister Harper has built a warm and increasingly close professional
relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Harper has strongly urged the world
to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program before it is too late.
Harper has been so pro-Israel
that Canada recently lost a bid to be on the U.N.
Security Council because anti-Israel countries coalesced against
Canada and prevented her from attaining such a globally influential
This week, Prime Minister
Harper delivered a major address saying he and the people of Canada will
continue to stand with Israel and defend the Jewish people no matter what the
“As long as I am prime minister,
whether it is at the U.N. or the Francophonie or
anywhere else, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost,” Harper told a
conference on anti-Semitism. ”Not just because it is the right thing
to do but because history shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israeli mob
tells us all too well, that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish
people are a threat to all of us.”
“We must be relentless in
exposing this new anti-Semitism for what it is,” Harper said. According to a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Company,
Harper noted that Israel, like any country, may be subjected to fair
criticism, he said. But Harper said Canada must oppose what he called the
“three Ds—demonization, double standards and delegitimization.”
“And like any free country Israel
subjects itself to such criticism, healthy, necessary, democratic
debate. But when Israel, the only country in the world whose very
existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for
condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.”
Please lift Harper
and his family, advisers and his country up to the Lord. Please ask the Lord to
bless them, to continue giving them courage and boldness. Please ask the
Lord, as well, what we as evangelical Christians can do to properly thank and
bless the Prime Minister for the courage of his convictions. read more
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