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Forgiveness….

What is forgiveness? Let’s find out….

​The Dictionary defines “forgive” as:

VERB

stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake:

“I don’t think I’ll ever forgive David for the way he treated her”

synonyms: pardon · excuse · exonerate · absolve · make allowances for ·feel no resentment toward · feel no malice toward · harbor no grudge against · bury the hatchet with · let bygones be bygones · let off (the hook) · exculpate.

Now that we know what it is, let’s talk about it.

The Bible tells us of a forgiveness that is Divine. That is, God restoring a relationship with man that was severed by sin. He removes all guilt. He forgives the sin and the sinner alike.

In the Old Testament, one of the things associated with God was mercy. Some descriptions are “slow to anger”, “abounding in love and mercy”, and “compassionate and gracious”Exod 34:6 ; Num 14:18 ; Neh 9:17 ; Psalm 86:15 ; 103:8 ; 145:8 ; Joel 2:13). God does not treat his people in the way their sin deserves (Ezra 9:13-15 ; Psalm 78:35-38 ; 103:8-10 ),

But He is also jealous ( Exod 20:5 ; 34:14 ; Deut 4:23-24 ; 5:9 ; 6:15 ; Joshua 24:19-20 ; 1:2 ). Don’t forget, God is righteous and holy and will punish sin ( Exod 34:7 ; Num 14:18 ; Nahum 1:3 ).

​God can also forgive a nation or city. For example, take the city of Nineveh. They were an evil people who did evil deeds. And that’s being nice! God was going to judge them, but decided to be merciful. He sent Jonah to warn them of the impending judgement, to give them a chance to repent. Jonah didn’t think he was up to the task. But God made a way to get him to Ninevah. The Ninevites believed Jonah, repented of their evil ways and were spared (Jonah 3:8).

​The way God forgives nations can be summed up in Jeremiah 18:7-8 “If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.”

Jesus has instructed us to forgive our brothers and sisters who sin against us seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:22)

​The concept of forgiveness and the word forgive appear in many forms throughout the Bible.

The word “Forgiveness” is mentioned in the NIV bible 14 times. Once in the Old Testament and 13 times in the New Testament.

Forgiveness, as a concept, is mentioned more frequently. For example, the word “forgive” appears 42 times in the Old Testament and 33 times in the New Testament. The word “forgiven” appears 17 times in the Old Testament and 28 times in the New Testament. And the word “forgiving” appears 6 times in the Old Testament and 1 time in the New Testament.

I know this is a lot of information to take in, but I hope that you will feel enriched and encouraged. Thank you for reading.

Americans are Spoiled

Remember the group of Americans known as ‘The Greatest Generation’? They lived through both the Great Depression, and World War II. They knew the true meaning of sacrifice.

On December 8, 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made an impassioned speech before Congress. He asked that Congress declare that a state of war exist between the United States, and the Empire of Japan.

“No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory!” (Franklin D. Roosevelt, December 8, 1941)

(Original Caption) President Franklin D. Roosevelt is pictured during the dramatic moments before the joint session of Congress, December 8th, as he asked Congress to declare a state of war against Japan for its “unprovoked and dastardly attack.” On the right is his son, James Roosevelt. In the background are Vice-President Henry A. Wallace (left) and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn. Both the Senate and the House complied with his request almost immediately.

American citizens were subject to rationing, air raid drills, and mandatory blackouts. Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, and liberals all pulled together for a common cause. They fought, suffered, and died to win through to that absolute victory of which Roosevelt spoke so highly.

Sadly, the American people can no longer lay claim to that “righteous might”. They have turned their collective backs on God. This version of America could never sacrifice the way ‘The Greatest Generation’ did.

America is facing a new enemy. This enemy however, is invisible to the naked eye. It is known as “SARS-CoV-2”, or simply “COVID-19”.

Too many Americans choose to fight this enemy with selfishness and self-righteousness.

‘The Greatest Generation’ pulled together to fight their enemies. Today, Americans are spoiled, and have retreated into partisan tribalism.

They worry about getting their hair cut, going to a restaurant, or to the beach. Some have carried weapons of war, screaming about their personal liberties being infringed.

Too many Americans do not understand that we are in a public health emergency. They have politicized something as simple as wearing a mask. Some say that masks are an infringement upon their liberty.

Americans now want to sacrifice the weak, the elderly, and infirm all in the name of the economy. At what point did we start to care more about money and the economy than our people?

Businesses suffered during World War II more than they do now. Money was tight, and goods were hard to come by due to rationing. They had no government sponsored payroll program to lean back on.

It seems that our nation has forgotten God’s Greatest Commandments:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  (Matthew 22:36-39)

Dear reader, I ask you to please remember these commandments. Put others before yourself. And wear a mask when away from home. It is the neighborly thing to do.

The Steadfast Watchman

Heaven is Most Definitely For Real

I would like to talk about stories of people who have claimed to have taken a trip to Heaven. And I will use two particular examples.

There was the story of Colton Burpo who said that he visited Heaven while undergoing surgery. The story is told by his father Todd Burpo in the book “Heaven is For Real”. This book has since been made into a movie of the same name.  

And then there was the story about Alex Malarkey. Alex was 6 years old when he was in a severe car accident that left him comatose. Upon awakening from his coma, he said that he had visited Heaven.

He said that he saw himself at the accident scene, and in the hospital while he was comatose. And that he met angels who guided him through the gates of Heaven. And he also said that he had met Jesus while there.

His story was told in a book entitled “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven”. He later recanted his story.  And he admitted that he lied because he thought it would gain attention.

And at the time he had not yet read the Bible. He has since read the Bible, and now says that it is the only source of truth.

The two boys’ stories were somewhat similar. It seems to me that Alex’s story was influenced at least to some degree by Colton’s story.

For decades, people have told stories of what they refer to as “near death experiences.” These accounts have differed from person to person. Logic would say that they can all be wrong, but they all can’t be right. Otherwise, all accounts would be the same.

The main point here is that the Bible is in fact the only source of Truth. And now Alex Malarkey understands this. According to the Bible, man is not permitted to tell of anything he saw if he does go to Heaven.

For proof of this point, we need only refer to the following Scripture passage:

“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows– was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)

My hope is that others will not be lead to believe that the stories they hear about any of these “experiences” are true. And that if they are in doubt, they will refer to what the Bible says.

The Steadfast Watchman

Religion vs. Relationship

Religion (Noun): “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”

Religion is a set of man-made rules, doctrines, ceremonies, and celebrations. But is it possible that it can also be a relationship with God? Let’s see a definition of relationship:

Relationship (noun)

a connection, association, or involvement.

Can one have a true connection, association, or involvement with God if they are bent on following a set man-made doctrines? I submit that the answer to that question is no.

I also submit for your consideration this premise: man-made rules, doctrines, ceremonies, and celebrations directly interfere with having a true relationship with God.

Consider this: A person who spends all of their time worrying about whether they’ve done some ceremony, or followed this or that doctrine, does not leave any room for developing a connection, association, or involvement directly with God.

If a person is not sure they are following these things, then doubts start to creep in. This leaves an opening for Satan to make a move. He loves to plant doubts in the minds of believers.

Can those doubts lead a person to believe that they lack wisdom? Of course they can. Should a person ask God for wisdom? Of course they should! The Apostle James addressed this:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:5-6)

Dear reader, do not be like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Do not let those doubts creep into your minds.

Instead, focus your efforts on building that connection, association, and involvement with God. The rest will fall into place.

This is what religion tells us

I’ll leave you with a couple of Scripture passages that reinforce the idea of reaching for God.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8a)

The Steadfast Watchman

Troubles

Currently, we are facing a global pandemic. So I thought it would be a good idea to write something about facing troubles.

The dictionary defines trouble as: (noun) “a state or condition of distress, annoyance, or difficulty.” And “a condition of physical distress or ill health”.

How about we take a look at what the Bible has to say on the subject?

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  –  John 16:33

In this statement Jesus was issuing a prophetic warning to His disciples about facing troubles in the world. But it was also a message of hope. Jesus told them that He has overcome the world.

In our lives, things come and go. Bad things will happen, and good things will happen. It’s an up and down cycle.

When the bad things happen we tend to get very down and discouraged. For example, we received a cancer diagnosis. We are a stiff-necked people and tend to think that we can get through them ourselves. But we are completely wrong in our thinking. It is times such as these that we must depend on God to carry us through. Because He is the only one who can.

In Psalm 18:2 we see:

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

It is during the good times that we forget to thank God for them. They are His blessings upon us.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we see:

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

The Apostle Paul’s words to the Church in Thessalonica appear to be pretty difficult to follow. Did he really mean that we are to rejoice and give thanks to God during the troublesome times just as we do during the good times? The answer to that question is yes, he did.

The Lord God has a purpose in everything He does, and allows to happen. And His purposes never go unfulfilled. In Job 42:2 we see: “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”

It Proverbs 19:21 we see it again: “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

There is hope in the words of the Apostle Paul to the believers in Rome: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

So dear reader, whatever comes your way, rejoice in the Lord. Talk with Him through prayer. And know that He will work everything out for your good, if only you believe in Him.

The Steadfast Watchman

Diet and Defiling

Under the Old Covenant, God instructed the Israelites about their diets. God declared certain things to be clean and unclean. The Israelites were allowed to eat the things that were clean. But they were not allowed to eat the things that were unclean. If someone were to eat something that God had told them to be unclean, that person was considered to be defiled.

On the surface, this may seem to be extreme. But it was done to protect the health of the Israelites.

Today those who practice Judaism call this diet “Kosher”. Included are foods that meet the requirements of Jewish Law as given under the Old Covenant.

We know that when Jesus came along, he turned everything they knew on it’s ear. Diet was one of them.

In Matthew 15:16-20 we see what Jesus said about diet defiling a person:

“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them.  “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.  These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

I think that we may have misunderstood this passage. And decided that we can eat anything we want. Regardless of whether it’s healthy. This has led to things like heart disease, diabetes, and excessive weight gain. We must understand what Jesus really meant when He spoke those words. And we should make the change to foods that are healthy.

And we also must recognize that it is what we think in our hearts that defiles us. The heart and the tongue are both deceitful and full of sin. To change this we need the power of God. We cannot change this sin nature on our own.

In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, the Apostle Paul said this regarding sexual immorality. So it’s not exactly in context here. But I think it serves to remind of us of what we are to do to, and with, our bodies: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

So remember that even though foods are not considered clean or unclean, we must take care to honor our bodies. Because our bodies were bought and paid for with the blood of Christ.

Forgiveness….

What is forgiveness? Let’s find out.

​The Dictionary defines “forgive” as:

VERB

stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake:

“I don’t think I’ll ever forgive David for the way he treated her”

synonyms: pardon · excuse · exonerate · absolve · make allowances for ·

[more]

feel no resentment toward · feel no malice toward · harbor no grudge against · bury the hatchet with · let bygones be bygones · let off (the hook) · exculpate.

Now that we know what it is, let’s talk about it.

The Bible tells us of a forgiveness that is Divine. That is, God restoring a relationship with man that was severed by sin. He removes all guilt. He forgives the sin and the sinner alike.

In the Old Testament, one of the things associated with God was mercy. Some descriptions are “slow to anger”, “abounding in love and mercy”, and “compassionate and gracious” (Exodus 34:6 ; Numbers 14:18 ; Nehemiah 9:17 ; Psalm 86:15 ; 103:8 ; 145:8 ; Joel 2:13). God does not treat his people in the way their sin deserves (Ezra 9:13-15 ; Psalm 78:35-38 ; 103:8-10).

But He is also jealous ( Exodus 20:5 ; 34:14 ; Deuteronomy 4:23-24 ; 5:9 ; 6:15 ; Joshua 24:19-20 ; 1:2 ). Don’t forget, God is righteous and holy and will punish sin ( Exodus 34:7 ; Numbers 14:18 ; Nahum 1:3).

​God can also forgive a nation or city. For example, take the city of Nineveh. They were an evil people who did evil deeds. And that’s being nice! God was going to judge them, but decided to be merciful. He sent Jonah to warn them of the impending judgement, to give them a chance to repent. Jonah didn’t think he was up to the task. But God made a way to get him to Ninevah. The Ninevites believed Jonah, repented of their evil ways and were spared (Jonah 3:8).

​The way God forgives nations can be summed up in Jeremiah 18:7-8 “If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.”

Jesus has instructed us to forgive our brothers and sisters who sin against us seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:22).

​The concept of forgiveness and the word forgive appear in many forms throughout the Bible.

The word “Forgiveness” is mentioned in the NIV bible 14 times. Once in the Old Testament and 13 times in the New Testament.

Forgiveness, as a concept, is mentioned more frequently. For example, the word “forgive” appears 42 times in the Old Testament and 33 times in the New Testament. The word “forgiven” appears 17 times in the Old Testament and 28 times in the New Testament. And the word “forgiving” appears 6 times in the Old Testament and 1 time in the New Testament.

God requires that we forgive others just as He forgives us. The act of forgiving someone for doing you wrong is a difficult thing to do. Carrying it around does more damage to you than it does to the other person. It can be very liberating to forgive that person, and release yourself from anger and resentment.

Though they are different concepts, I think the this old adage that speaks to carrying around unforgiveness: “Hate is like acid. It does more damage to the vessel in which it is stored, than to the object on which it is poured”.

The Steadfast Watchman

Stewardship of the Earth

The Earth was created by the Lord God. The Earth, and everything in it, belongs to Him.

The following Scripture passages will prove my above statements to be true:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

“Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.” (Deuteronomy 10:14)

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.” (Psalm 24:1)

“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17)

As you can see, the Earth does not belong to us. It is the Lord’s Creation. And we must care for it. At the time of Creation, the Lord placed man in the garden to care for it.

“Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)

The keyword in that passage is “cultivate”. Cultivate is a transitive verb. A definition of it is “to improve by labor, care, or study”.

The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. A translation from the original Hebrew word is “nurture”. If you nurture something, you care for it and see that it does well. You do not intentionally do anything to pollute or destroy it.

"God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)

Notice that here God says to “subdue” the Earth. And also notice that the words pollute or destroy are not part of the text. “Subdue” is a transitive verb. It is defined as “to conquer and bring into subjection”, and “to bring (land) under cultivation”. Again, there is nothing in the definition of “subdue” that says pollute or destroy.

The Hebrew word for “subdue” in that passage is “kabash”. Which translates as “subdue”, or “bring into bondage”. Once again, there is no mention of polluting or destroying.

Why do people pollute and destroy God’s creation? Is it something as simple as a lack of caring? Maybe a lack of appreciation for what we have been given? Or economic reasons?

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established on December 2, 1970 under the administration of Richard Nixon. (Yes, THAT Nixon). It’s purpose was to do just what it’s name says. That is to protect the environment. And the agency has done the best job they could do under the constraints they have.

The Trump administration has been systematically gutting the EPA. Including protections for clean water. A case in point is the Pebble mine in Alaska. The proposed mine is located in the watershed that protects one of the last and largest Sockeye Salmon runs in the world.

After Alaskan governor Mike Dunleavy met with President Trump on Air Force One, protections for the Salmon runs were removed. See the hyperlink below for more information:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/08/politics/alaska-bristol-bay-pebble-mine/index.html

Our bodies are made up of 60% water. Clean water for us to drink is not a luxury. It is necessary to sustain life. That means that everyone should be fighting to protect it. Not exploiting or polluting it in the name of profits.

“And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to DESTROY THOSE WHO DESTROY THE EARTH.” (Revelation 11:18, emphasis added is mine)

That is a pretty sobering prophetic warning. Those who destroy the Earth will bring God’s wrath upon themselves. And they will be destroyed. One cannot destroy God’s Creation and not suffer any consequences.

I would like to ask you a hypothetical question: If you borrowed an item from your neighbor, would you misuse and destroy it before you returned it? No, you would not. You would do whatever you could to return the item to your neighbor in the same condition in which you received it.

The Earth does not belong to us. It belongs to the Lord. So why would one destroy it before returning it to the Lord? We are merely stewards of the Earth. So let us all do what we can to defend and protect it.

The Steadfast Watchman

Onward Christian Soldier!

“Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!”
(Sabine Baring-Gould, 1865)

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

What does it mean to be a Christian Soldier? Is it someone who fights for what is right? It is someone who stands for the truth, no matter the consequences? Is it someone who defends the cause of Christ against attacks from all sides? Is it someone who serves others? Is it someone who puts Christ above all else, including friends and family?

Dear readers, I think the answer to those questions is “all of the above”. Being a disciple is not easy. And it is not supposed to easy (see Matthew 16:24). The cost of discipleship can be high. But the cost of not being a disciple is even higher. The decision on whether to follow Christ has eternal consequences.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)

Those are some very strong words from the Messiah Himself. Words that we should all take to heart. But the Messiah goes on to tell us of rewards to come.

“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:40-42)

So Christian soldier, do not lose heart. Do not grow weary of discipleship. And most of all, do not fear anything worldly. I will leave you with these encouraging words from the Messiah:

“Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:26-31)

The Steadfast Watchman

The Last Full Measure

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave THE LAST FULL MEASURE of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863)

Recently, I saw the movie “The Last Full Measure”. It is the stirring story of US Air Force Pararescue Jumper William H. Pitsenbarger. And the 34 year fight for the award he deserved. The prestigious Congressional Medal of Honor.

Airman Pitsenbarger’s heroic actions occurred on April 11, 1966 during the Battle of Xa Cam My in Vietnam. US Army infantrymen were on a search and destroy mission known as “Operation Abilene”. The battle became known as one of the bloodiest of the Vietnam War. The casualty rate was 80%.

Airman Pitsenbarger’s rescue helicopter was called in to evacuate wounded men in the midst of the raging battle. One of the wounded was the company medic.

When Airman Pitsenbarger saw this, he had himself lowered into the middle of the surrounded company so he could tend to the wounded. He saved over 60 men during this battle. Then, against orders, he stayed on the ground. He picked up a rifle and began to fight alongside men he did not know. He was killed in action.

His bravery and selfless sacrifice was an inspiration to the men around him. And it should be an inspiration to us all.

The “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body” (Description of the US Senate by President James Buchanan, 1867)

Standing in stark contrast to the bravery and sacrifice of Airman Pitsenbarger are the Republican members of the US Senate. In a cowardly display of fealty to President Donald Trump, they refused to put the interests of the nation above their own during the impeachment trial.

They fear their golden calf’s capability of threatening their seats of power if they publicly disagree with him. They do not have the courage to stand up in front of the nation in support of truth. Instead, they make excuses and think of new and imaginative ways to brush off the wrongdoing of Donald Trump.

If they shrink in fear of their dear leader, can you imagine what they would do if they were faced with a fire fight? They would cut and run at the first hint of any trouble.

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

They claim to believe in God, and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet they are not of good courage. And their actions show that they are afraid even though the Lord God goes with them.

Shame on you Republicans in the US Senate. You should know better.

The Steadfast Watchman

Welcome the Refugee

“For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:17-19)

These words that Moses spoke to the Israelites are as important now as they were then. The leaders of our nation have forgotten that the vast majority of people here were aliens at one time or another. Now, they would have us fear the alien. Especially those have skin of a different color.

“Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7)

At the foot of the cross, we are all equal. There is no difference in skin color, or other outward appearances. All believers are one in Christ.

Our President has been quite open about his feelings towards people of color. He has expressed his desire that our nation have more immigrants from nations that are predominately white. He has referred to people from south of our border using prejudiced names. These are human beings. Not some commodity to be used and tossed around like pawns in a political game.

These refugees traveled hundreds of miles to escape violent and corrupt nations. They have been held in squalid camps just south of the border for months on end. With little or no hope of gaining asylum in the United States.

Had these refugees come from places like Norway or Sweden, the President would have welcomed them with open arms. They are neither white, nor wealthy. And so the President deems them unacceptable.

Donald Trump praises the construction of his “border wall” meant to keep out the people from south. The “USA” caption on his red cap actually means “Unwilling to Save Anyone”.

It still astounds me how many millions of “Christians” can support and vociferously defend this evil racist man. There is nothing in the teachings of Christ that say we should support or condone evil.

In fact, the Apostle Paul said we should expose evil for what it is: “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;” (Ephesians 5:11)

Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Concentration Camp Auschwitz.

So many people marked the occasion with the words “Never Again”. But I wonder how many of them really understand what that means? It means to never let anything remotely close to that ever happen again.

And yet, here we are. With unwanted people being held in camps. All because the nation who has always welcomed immigrants and refugees in the past is led by a man who does not believe in that.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
(“The New Colussus”, Emma Lazarus, 1883)