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The Dangers of Judgment

I was excited to hear a woman speak at our church one particular Sunday years ago. She had been the director of our town’s local Planned Parenthood clinic but had left and had since become an outspoken critic of Planned Parenthood and abortion in general. 

I had heard rumors of what happened—it was huge news among the pro-life people in our town—but I was really looking forward to hearing the story straight from her. She’d already had a few media appearances before this Sunday, but not nearly as many as she would have in the coming months and years. She’s since been a regular on many news outlets whenever Planned Parenthood or abortion comes up as a national topic.

As I walked into the lobby of the church, an old high school classmate greeted me in the foyer. He was in the graduating class one year ahead of me, but we had known each other for years. We played on the same soccer team for a couple years when we were ten or eleven. 

I was happy to see him and a little surprised as to why he was there. I asked him how he found his way into our church and what brought him to town. He said that he had been living there for many years now and that his wife was speaking at the church that morning.

Shocked

I’m sure the shock on my face was evident. We had graduated from a private Christian school years before. I was pretty sure we all knew that it was frowned upon to date, let alone marry, a director of a Planned Parenthood clinic. I’m pretty sure it was in the school’s bylaws or something.

Doug gave me the briefest of stories of how they met, married and got to the place where they were now. At no point had either of them felt like they left their faith in Jesus by her working as the director of one of the most heinous organizations in human history. At the time, they both felt like she was performing a wonderful service for women and had continued going to a liberal church the whole time. In other words, they were sincere in their intentions.

It wasn’t until Abby Johnson was asked to take part in an actual abortion procedure, something she had never had to do in all her years at Planned Parenthood. Immediately after the procedure, she walked across the street to the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life and asked for help. She knew that she had made a terrible mistake and had no idea where to go from there.

In the months that would follow, they lived a pretty turbulent life. They were rejected by their liberal church friends who were not okay with her coming out against abortion. They were rejected by a large percentage of conservative Christians for ever having taken part in the abortion industry. 

Fortunately, they’re an irrepressible couple, and two of America’s greatest voices for life today. Abby has a wonderful book and a soon-to-be released movie about she and Doug’s story that I hope everyone will read and see.

New York

In the wake of one of the most heinous laws ever passed in our nation’s history, my social media feed has been full of many different reactions to New York’s recent abortion edict. Because of my book, I’ve also received countless messages asking what I thought about One World Trade Center being illuminated pink to celebrate legal abortions up to the point of birth. 

In the melee of reactions, I have seen good, bad and ugly. It seems that our already polarized nation is retreating further into battle positions, so it is no surprise that I have seen clever reactions, thoughtful reactions and some that have saddened me. Obviously, those who rejoice over the death of unborn children cause me great sadness. But it was something else that caused me grief.

Two reactions that were particularly troubling were those Christians calling for the eternal judgment of Governor Cuomo and those warning the nation that we are headed for judgment, and happily so. Those who proclaim the judgment of America for our sins often seem that they are happy for it. They speak of being happy that we will get what we have coming to us.

This bothers me deeply. It pained me to see the faces of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Assembly when they passed a murder law. They smiled. They cheered. It truly was the face of evil in our land. It was truly a face I had not seen since I had looked in the mirror that morning.

Grace And Mercy

I have no merit to attain to God’s Holy Presence on my own. In fact, on my own, I contain only wickedness that justly deserves the eternal punishment so many would seek for Governor Cuomo and anyone like him. When he said this, the Apostle Paul truly meant it:

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Romans 7:18

I believe that what New York did this past week was truly evil. I think we should call evil for what it is, unashamedly. But to then pronounce judgment over a person on our own accord; that troubles me. 

What has been proclaimed over Governor Cuomo this week sounds much like the stories that Doug Johnson told me he and his wife Abby had received after she had left Planned Parenthood and turned pro-life. She had repented of her actions, but that wasn’t good enough for a large number of self-righteous self-proclaimed Christians.

Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to Christians like Shawn Carney, the current director of 40 Days for Life, and others who took Doug and Abby Johnson in and let them heal and grow instead of rejecting them. I pray that Governor Cuomo will one day repent and be taken in by similar followers of Jesus. People who realize that except for the grace of God, we would be in the same place.

In the Seat of Judgment

As for those who exuberantly proclaim judgment against our nation; I am heartsick. I do not say that lightly. As someone who has written a book exactly about God’s coming judgment of America, I assure you that I take no pleasure in it. In fact, I proclaim it only because of the clarity with which I heard it. 

I have written extensively about that on my website and in my book, so I will not rehash that here. 

What I do want to say clearly is that I live here. My children live here. My friends and family are Americans. I have no desire to see judgment befall us because I know exactly what that means when God judges a nation.

I cannot argue with God that America doesn’t justly deserve the judgment that I know He has proclaimed. We most certainly do. But I will not fail to offer a bold prayer to God until my dying day to beg for mercy. 

Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

James 2:13

We have done nothing to earn the right to ask for mercy, but because of the shed blood of Jesus to wash away our sins, we have the dignity and privilege to ask God for it. As such, I will choose to waste my breath on that prayer. It will be the wasteful offering from an alabaster jar I give to God and my nation, as Mary of Bethany did. 

When I look at my nation and the direction she is headed, prayers for mercy do in fact seem like a waste of too little too late. But I know that there are more Doug and Abby Johnsons out there. I know I serve a God who hears, and even bargains for the lives of the wicked. I have no problem calling people and their actions wicked, because I know who I am without Christ, but I will fight with all my heart to give them the same chance that I had to come to know the risen Christ.

What We Can and Cannot Judge

When we call wickedness wicked, we do in fact judge. But when we call what God has already called evil, we make a sure judgment that we can be confident in; in fact, we are required as Christians to call that which God has called sinful as such. But when we cast eternal, or even temporal judgment upon others or our nation, we are taking God’s seat. We move beyond the surety of His Word and into the morass of our own self-righteousness. 

I hope you will join me in praying for Governor Cuomo. Pray with me for New York. Pray with me for our nation. I pray that none of them get what they deserve. I pray that our nation will receive mercy. There are still more out there just like Doug and Abby Johnson, and the Lord wants to get ahold of their hearts too.

And If for no other reason, pray for our nation because we live here.

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A Tower of Deception

A Special Note:

I don’t do this often, but I feel this is one of the most critical moments in our nation’s history for God’s people to know about this, so I’m asking you to forward this to anyone and everyone you know who should hear this. 

I want everyone to read this book I speak of later, so I am dropping the price on Amazon as low as they will let me from now on and I will be making it free on Kindle for the next five days (the most they allow). 

We are in a divine moment in our nation. Please spread the word and join me in prayer.

In The News

Everyone in America has now seen One World Trade Center in New York illuminated pink by now. If you haven’t, it was done so by the decree of Governor Cuomo of New York to celebrate the passage of an historically evil piece of legislation.

Like anything else, there is nuance to the bill that was passed, but its intent was clear: to provide for abortion on demand up until the point of birth. Those who passed it feared that the landmark Supreme Court decision of Roe v Wade may soon be overturned, and it was their attempt to combat that at a state level by legalizing any and all abortion.

Governor Cuomo directed several buildings and bridges in New York to be illuminated pink in honor of the bill, most notably One World Trade Center’s spire, and issued this statement:

“Today we are taking a giant step forward in the hard-fought battle to ensure a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own personal health, including the ability to access an abortion,” Cuomo said. “With the signing of this bill, we are sending a clear message that whatever happens in Washington, women in New York will always have the fundamental right to control their own body.”

What Owner?

A friend of mine sent me a message after the news started to circulate:

He said that he could “see the owner” of the building. What he meant was that it was obvious now that a dream the Lord gave me in 2003 where God showed me that Satan was behind, and using this icon of America, for his purposes in our nation.

I wrote about this in a book in 2013, where I detailed two important dreams the Lord gave me specifically about One World Trade Center, and its importance to our nation in the coming years. 

The First Dream, September 9, 2001

The first dream was on September 9, 2001. Two days before 9/11, an angel took me around Lower Manhattan (the financial district) and stopped to point at the World Trade Center’s twin towers. As I looked at them, they collapsed straight down into the ground. A flood of people began to rush by us in sheer terror, fleeing the destruction of the building. 

When I awoke from the dream, I had no clue what to make of the dream. I had no inclination that what I had already seen would literally happen two days later. 

On that fateful day, I watched in horror with he rest of the nation, but my horror carried a pain I had never experienced before. I felt the grief of the nation, but I also felt a guilt—guilt that I had somehow failed all those people who died. I thought that the Lord must have shown me that dream so I could do something to stop it.

Months of guilt weighed me down until one day I realized the angel never told me in the dream when what he showed me would happen. I didn’t have time to warn anyone, and certainly no one was going to take seriously a college student from Texas about our nation’s tallest buildings collapsing. 

It took a while, but I finally understood that the Lord prophetically showed me one of our nation’s most tragic moments beforehand so that I would be listening. I needed to be listening to Him.

I began asking the Lord to speak to me, if He had anything else to share about the matter of 9/11. He spoke again in March of 2003.

The Second Dream | March 2003

Long before the designs for the replacement building was conceived, in that dream the Lord showed me the building that now stands. I was there to work on the replacement for the fallen towers. When the dream began, I remarked to myself that I thought it was funny that there was only one building instead of two.

The building also looked very different from its predecessors. Instead of being the opaque dull white of the former Twin Towers, the new building was a shiny, dark reflective glass. In the dream, I was there to work on it as it was still under construction.

When I got inside to begin construction, I noticed that all the people building it were Christians. As we worked, we had a sense of “for God and Country;” that what we were doing was an act of service to our God.

The work progressed until we reached the top level. Just then, Satan walked into the room. Everyone else left, and he and I stared at each other. Confusion surround me as I kept saying to myself, “This is impossible. You don’t belong here. You can’t be here. This is our building.”

After what seemed like forever, I understood something. I realized that Satan had actually been behind the building of this tower, and that we had all been rebuilding it for him! When I understood that in the dream, Satan smiled at me, as if to say “thanks,” and walked out of the room. 

At the end of the dream, I stood at the base of the completed building at night, and I could feel evil exuding from it. What I saw in the dream is exactly what is there now. As soon as I awoke from the dream, I head the voice of the Lord say, “That building will be a sign and a seal of My judgment against America.” 

Since its completion, the building, and its decorative spire have been used to celebrate many wicked events. This week, it was illuminated in pink to celebrate this most wicked of laws. A few years ago, it was illuminated in rainbow colors to celebrate homosexuality. 

At a symbolic 1,776 feet tall, One World Trade Center truly is a sign of America itself. It has come to embody and celebrate some of the most wicked aspects of our nation and culture. 

I feel we are at a critical and divine moment in our nation’s history, and I want to make my book available to everyone free of charge or as cheaply as possible. It will be free on Amazon Kindle starting tomorrow, and from now on, the price has been reduced to as low as Amazon and other retailers will allow. 

Please consider sharing this message so God’s people will hear what He has spoken about the days we are living in.

You can get the book, The Year of the Lord’s Favor, at Amazon.

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How Prayer Changes Things

Lord, I ask that you would close that place. Put it out of business, Lord.

I prayed that prayer nearly every day for seven years. My wife reminded me about that the other day because the Lord had answered my prayer. I hadn’t realized it had finally happened.

The Dirty Sock

The Silk Stocking was a strip club down the road from our house in College Station, Texas. In fact, as far as I know, it was the only strip club in town. I had to pass it every time I went pretty much anywhere, so I made a habit of praying for its closure every time I saw it.

I had actually started praying that it would close back when I was a college student and some of my classmates lovingly referred to it as “The Dirty Sock.” I prayed that it would close and that none of the people I knew would ever go there.

After seven years of praying almost every day and another decade of praying anytime I thought of it or saw it, it finally closed.

Why Prayer Works

Prayer works. It just does. It does not work because of some etherial forces. It does not work because it makes us feel better. It does not work because we become more aware of the need for change within us. It does not work because our minds are cleared from wrong thinking.

Prayer works because there is a real God who really hears our prayers. Some of those other things may be good by-products of prayer, but they make prayer a waste of time if that is what you expect. Prayer should only ever be thought of as communication with a loving God who actually hears and desires to respond.

Planned Parenthood

In 1999, when Planned Parenthood decided to expand their clinic in Bryan, Texas to include abortion services, the churches in Bryan and College Station banded together and started an organization called the Coalition for Life. Their main goal was to pray for the closure of the Planned Parenthood in Bryan.

The organization grew to do more than that, but it never lost its focus. It prayed. We prayed. The city prayed. Groups would almost constantly be in front of the building praying for the women inside and for the clinic to close. In August of 2013 the clinic closed, but not until after it made some national headlines a few years before.

Abby Johnson (http://www.abbyjohnson.org) was the clinic director and had been asked to assist in an abortion for the first time in her career. After seeing a little baby die live on the ultrasound monitor, her world changed. She went from being one of Planned Parenthood’s most outspoken and prized clinic directors to one of the nation’s most firebrand pro-life advocates. After the procedure, she walked across the street into the offices of the Coalition for Life and asked what she could do next. They were shocked, to say the least.

Even the clinic building is now owned by some of the pro-life doctors who supported Coalition for Life, Haywood and Noreen Johnson. Check out their website, http://brazosmedical.com.

The answers to our prayers don’t always look that dramatic, but when we do not give up, our prayers will always be answered.

Faith Defined: Keep Praying

The power of fervent, consistent prayers over years are amazing. Praying for the same thing for a long time is hard, but that is actually how God ordained prayer to work.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I donʼt fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she wonʼt eventually come and attack me!’ ”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Luke 18:1-8

I don’t know why God made it to where we have to pray consistently over time, sometimes years, but He did. That’s just how it works, and He’s the one who gets to decide how it works.

But it works.

It really changes things, because we have a loving God who really hears and He really acts on our behalf, and on behalf of our faith. He defines faith not in what we ask, but in whether or not we will continue to ask.

The Better Solution

The most amazing thing about how God works is that He is way better at accomplishing what we ask for than we would be if we just tried to do it ourselves.

When we get belligerent and militant about not getting our way, we do more harm than good. We turn people off or lock their heart in opposition. When abortion doctors are murdered, it only emboldens abortion advocates. When “Christians” remind strippers of how terrible they are, or how women walking into an abortion clinic are going to hell, it only hardens peoples’ hearts.

But when we pray, and ask God to change things that seem too far above our pay grade, He gives us a clinic director who knows how to offer people working in clinics who want out a way out. When we ask for God to close a strip club, He does it and then provides a church in town that goes out of their way to reach out to every stripper and help them find new work to provide for themselves and their families (that happened for the strippers of Silk Stocking, by the way).

The 7:14 Prayer

The Lord spoke to me about the dire situation America was in back in 2003. I wrote a book titled The Year of the Lord’s Favor based on that encounter, and out of that book I started a prayer movement to encourage people to pray with me.

Now I pray twice a day, at 7:14 am and 7:14 pm, a prayer based on 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“Lord, have mercy on America and Your church for our wickedness. Give us humility and raise up a praying church to seek Your face. Forgive us and heal our land, Lord.”

I pray this twice a day because I know the power of consistent, fervent prayer over years. I have seen it work, and I know why it works. The God who hears our prayers is way better at answering them than we are at making what we want happen by ourselves.

I encourage you to join with me in praying for America. Go to 714Prayer.org and join the movement to pray twice a day with us.

Or maybe you have something bigger than yourself you want to see changed? Lost children, hurting family and friends, or injustice in your city? Begin praying, and set your mind to pray until God answers, even if the answer comes beyond your years.

Because prayer works.

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Current Events Pro-Life

3 Steps To Make A Pro-Life Difference

Pro-Life

The pro-life movement is gaining serious momentum these days in legislative actions, but is it gaining momentum in your city? If we make legislative gains without corresponding heart-changes on a local and national level, we will quickly lose any gains we have made.

I thought I would share a little mini-post today with some concrete steps to help you get involved in your community. Remember that hearts are not won with legislation. They are not won with marketing. They are won person to person, one at a time. We need to be engaged with people and ministries on a regular basis to change hearts.