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18 Years Later…

Every September 11th, I reflect back on the most traumatic day this current generation collectively faced. Many of you have faced much more traumatic events in your personal lives, but this one is one the nation bore together. Its ramification have altered our country forever.

I remember it differently, because I saw it before it happened. On September 9th, 2001, the Lord gave me a dream. I walked around Lower Manhattan with an angel until he stopped and looked at the towers that are now fountanous holes in the ground. He showed me the two towers collapse straight into the ground; a sight I would see again on television as it happened two days later.

The Lord let me see what was coming two days in advance so I could tell the story of what has still yet to unfold nearly two decades later. It hasn’t happened yet, but I know it will. The question is, will our hearts be prepared? Will we be willing to listen to the Lord this time around?

From September 11th through the 13th, my book where I tell what the Lord showed me will be free on the Amazon Kindle store. The Lord gave me an important message to share, and I think it’s worth your time to read and understand that the collapse of those towers isn’t the end of the story.

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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.


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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Is Billy Graham’s Reward Greater Than Yours?

Billy Graham: November 7, 1918 – February 21, 2018

The name Billy Graham is synonymous with evangelism. Possibly the single most influential Christian of the past hundred years, Mr. Graham touched the lives of millions of people in one way or another. He led gigantic crusades in places like the Los Angeles Coliseum and countless events broadcast on television before the idea of Christian TV was even a passing thought in anyone’s mind.

There has simply been no one like him in our generation.

Or has there?


On this day that he has passed from death to eternal life, many people imagine that his reward in heaven will far outstrip anyone else’s by miles. He won souls all over the world and touched the seats of power at home and abroad. For numerous administrations, he had a direct line to the President. His accomplishments for the sake of the gospel are unparalleled. But does that mean that his reward is greater than anyone else’s? I don’t think so.

I believe that Billy Graham was obedient to the call God gave him, and we should all be thankful for that. But that call—the call to evangelize—didn’t come to him because he earned it. In the Christian life, we are all called to evangelize and disciple, but not all of us are good at it. And it’s not for a lack of trying.


There is an understanding within Christianity of something called ordination. That term gets tossed around a lot in Christian circles and it has basically come to mean that someone has finished seminary and has started working vocationally at a church. But that isn’t really what it means. Ordination means that God has graced you with a special gifting toward something that goes beyond what is normal for other people.

For instance, everyone is called to pastor. We must all shepherd (pastor) our children and our own family, but that does not mean that we have been ordained to pastor a local congregation of Christians. We have all been called to evangelize, but for most of us we may see one or two people become believers in our lifetimes—maybe only our children. Others, however, have been given a special grace to lead hundreds, thousands and even millions to the Lord. Names like Billy Graham and Reinhardt Bonke come to mind.

But does that mean that because their grace and ability are greater than yours and mine that they will receive a greater reward? Jesus put it like this:

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Luke 12:48 NIV

Even though we have all been called to pastor, evangelize and disciple, not everyone of us will be as good at each of them as others. Paul said it like this:

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues ? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31

These are all rhetorical questions that Paul asks. Of course not everyone is an apostle or a prophet or a healer. There’s no magical spiritual understanding here—we see clearly around us that some people are just more gifted towards these things because of the results we see in their lives.

Gifting and Grace

I’ve known people who can walk into a crowded place and people will come under conviction and ask that person how to be saved. I’ve never experienced that and it’s not for a lack of trying. I have given the same kind of messages Billy Graham did, yet I didn’t have thousands respond to my altar call. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a bad evangelist, it means I’m not an ordained evangelist.

Billy Graham was graced as an evangelist like few others. And because of that much was required of him. God supernaturally gave him that gift. Billy Graham was no prophet. He probably wouldn’t have made a good pastor. Does that mean that he wasn’t obedient to the Lord because he didn’t pastor a church? No! His God-given assignment was evangelism and he performed it obediently.

If we judge ourselves by a standard that God doesn’t judge us by, then we will live in shame. Someone once said that if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree then it will spend its entire life thinking it is stupid.

Honor and Reflection

I think on this occasion of Billy Graham passing from this life to the next it is entirely appropriate to celebrate and remember the incredible life that he had and to marvel at his amazing accomplishments. I am thankful for his life, but I also know that he would not have wanted anyone to judge their life by his.

Today we should celebrate his life and ask ourselves, what is our assignment from God? What places in our lives have we been given much, and how can we fulfill them? How can we be similarly obedient to the specific call on our lives that Billy Graham was to his?

When we walk out our God-given ordination, we will hear the same words from God that Billy Graham heard today, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

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Who We Should Never Trust


“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Matthew 10:16

This is a warning that Jesus gave to believers that, unfortunately, His followers have neglected to follow time and again. From long before Jesus’ day right up until today, we see people willfully neglect this all-too-important caution.

In every society, we have to coexist with a ruling class. No matter how the politics of any nation works, there will always be wealthy, politically savvy people who want to be in control. Sometimes they are born with those traits and sometimes they earn them, but it is always the wealthy who have power. In America, some are born with wealth and political power and others work hard for it, but they both share one thing in common:

They do not deserve our trust.

Learning Not To Trust

The moment someone involves themselves in political leadership, from the smallest city government to the highest offices in our nation, they must be viewed with an eye of skepticism. They can never prove their trustworthiness again. They have forever lost their credibility. But alas, so few people view politicians this way.

When there is little incentive to lie, people generally don’t do it. When something isn’t worth stealing, it rarely is. But when something has value, it is a prime target for thieves. Lies abound when they advance the agenda of those telling them. As soon as someone becomes a politician, or places themselves in the pocketbooks of them, they become untrustworthy, not because they themselves are proven thieves, but because so many before them have been unable to refrain from taking what wasn’t theirs or lying to get it.

Shrewd As Dinner

Christians fall into this trap way too often because they so badly want to believe the very thing that Jesus warned us about in Matthew 10. There are wolves out there, so we must be wise because those wolves love the taste of sheep. Christians convince themselves all the time that those wolves have switched sides and have become sheep like us.

Christians pray and pray for God to move and intervene in the affairs of politics and business, and when we gain the thoughtful and affectionate ear of a politician or wealthy business leader, we claim spiritual victory. We choose to believe lies because we want to believe them so badly. But there is a solution.

We must be shrewd as snakes—the very snakes who love to lie to us about things like being “pro-life” or having “family-values.” How many times have you seen those lies exposed compared to how often they live up to them?

We should keep praying for God to intervene. We should ask God to send us godly politicians and business leaders who follow Him with all their hearts, souls, mind and strength, but we should also choose to make those kinds of evaluations only with hindsight. Let’s wait to anoint God’s chosen politicians for after they retire from politics. (Hmm, why is it that so few Congressmen actually retire?)

Innocence In Failure

To be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves would be to just assume that politicians lie to us—always lie to us—but that we cannot lie to them. We will assume the worst of those who have the most to gain from us, but we will not act in kind. We will not repay evil for evil, lies for lies or theft for theft. We must remain innocent, but shrewd enough to never really trust a politician.

Christians have thrown their support and trust behind wolves in sheep’s clothing in the realm of politics, business and influence more times than anyone can count because they choose to disregard Jesus’ warning. Don’t get me wrong. I want abortion to end and I know we need politicians and financiers to help, but I will never be willing to trust them more than God’s ability to change things through prayer. He is the one who pulls the strings, not them, so no matter how much money and influence they have, my trust cannot be bought.

So, join with me. Choose not to be smitten by the words of politicians. Choose to view them as liars until a lifetime of truth changes your mind. Choose to assume that human nature (greed, lust, anger, etc.) has more of a hold on people than your good intentions for them do. But never lose your innocence. Don’t join in to try and change things. If you can’t change things by staying innocent, be content with failure. Your eternal success with far outweigh your temporary political and business failures. Trust me—and Jesus: hint, read Revelation 21:9-27 here.

For some examples of how this works:

The Gibeonite Deception: Joshua 9

Elisha “got it” in 2 Kings 3:9-14

“Tell that fox…” Luke 13:31-33

Current Events

Summer Break

summer break

Most of you don’t know this about me, but I actually don’t have “gainful employment.” I write part-time and I watch our kids when they’re not in school.

When our first son was born, my wife and I both knew that we couldn’t keep two very demanding careers, a child and a marriage and have it all work out well. She’s a doctor and I was a construction project manager, both jobs that will take as many hours per week as you will give them. Since her career took a lot more work to get to (college, medical school, residency), I happily quit my job and began transitioning to watching a baby and writing.

As with any kind of career change, writing was a new challenge for someone used to looking at endless spreadsheets, cost analysis reports and having subcontractors curse at you. It took me a few years to get my feet wet and off and running, but I finally found my stride.

Over the past couple years I have been able to write three or so books a year, spend quality time with my children and keep a marriage thriving by choosing a lifestyle over a career and money. I’ve had help from my mother-in-law (because I’m actually not the “stay at home dad” type) and my kids’ wonderful preschool.

What Does This Have To Do With You?

I say all this because I’m going to take a hiatus from the blog over the summer. My children are small, and these are precious years. I want to dedicate as much time to them as possible while I have them with me, because I recognize it as a rare opportunity most people don’t have. I’m currently working on two books for this year that I think you will all want to read, and between those and my children, it leaves me little time to devote to this blog.

I may write something here or there if I get stirred up about it, as well as a podcast or two, but for the most part this blog will be on the “dark side of the moon” for a couple months. If you have just recently begun reading, I encourage you to browse through the archives. I have a lot of content on a variety of topics designed to spur you on in your faith, especially seeking God for yourself in a personal study, prayer and fasting lifestyle.

I appreciate all of you who read, and I will be back in earnest in the fall. Have a great summer, and enjoy those you love while the weather is warm.

And if you’re as pale as me, wear sunscreen.