Melania Trump and The Lord’s Prayer

From Charisma News:

Why Melania Trump Leading the Public in the Lord’s Prayer at a Rally in Florida Was a Historic Event

U.S. first lady Melania Trump steps from the stage after speaking at U.S. President Donald Trump's 'Make America Great Again' rally at Orlando Melbourne International Airport
U.S. first lady Melania Trump steps from the stage after speaking at U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ rally at Orlando Melbourne International Airport. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

We just witnessed Melania Trump’s finest moment as first lady so far.

After a week in which her husband declared war on the mainstream media, Melania absolutely electrified a huge crowd at a rally in Melbourne, Florida by reciting the Lord’s Prayer. What Donald Trump had to share afterwards was remarkable as well, but that night will always be remembered for what Melania did.

After beginning with the phrase “let us pray,” Melania stunned the entire world by slowly but carefully leading the crowd in the Lord’s Prayer, and it is being reported that the assembled throng responded to her prayer with “thunderous applause.”

She did not pronounce all of the words perfectly, but that didn’t matter.

What matters is that her courage enabled her to create the most powerful moment that we have seen from a First Lady in decades. The following is from a transcript of her remarks:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed is your name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespasses [sic] against us.

‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

If you have not seen footage of this incredible moment yet, you can watch it right here.

One of the primary reasons this moment evoked so much emotion is because the Lord’s Prayer is undeniably a Christian prayer.

Over the decades, our politicians have become very adept at speaking of “god” in a very generic sense. Even when they pray, most of our politicians are careful to use universal language that could apply to almost any religion.

That is why what Melania Trump did was so radical. By reciting the Lord’s Prayer, she was clearly identifying herself as a Christian, and there was absolutely no question about whom she was addressing.

 

 

Read the full article here

My Story

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Last night at the Christian Life and Witness Course, which we are running as preparation for Come Together next month, it was suggested that we write down the story of our faith journey. “You can blog it,”  the presenter, Rodney Trinidad said amongst other options.

Unexpectedly finding myself with a spare half hour, I thought that might be a good idea. I have talked about my conversion experience on many occasions, but it has been a long time since I wrote it down.

The story starts with my birth in 1958, in Wolverhampton, England, to a working class couple. My school years were at a Catholic school, and Mum used to take my brother and me to Mass most Sundays.

I guess that time of my childhood would be like that of most children in England at the time. My parents rented an ordinary Council house and made sure we had enough to eat and were dressed warmly.

In the late 1960’s the UK began a long process of transition from the unionised industrial era to a much more modern economy, and as companies were trying to become more competitive there were increasing strikes in all parts of the country. As a result Mum and Dad saw some brochures about how wonderful life in Australia was- backed up by letters from my Aunt who had moved to Sydney years before.

So it was that in February 1969, the Bates family became 10 pound poms and moved to Sydney.

As I grew through my teen years, I became a bit of an atheist. I loved to bait the christians in my year. But I was also very depressed.

In May 1976, during the first year of my degree in Chemical Engineering, I was staying at my friend’s place. His family had gone on holidays, and the plan was that after we had finished our end of term exams we would join them.

As I was lying in bed one night just before going to sleep, I had a vision as clear as if it were real life. In this vision I saw myself climbing a mountain. It was so steep that I was literally dragging myself up the side of the mountain. As I climbed I could see that there was an intense light shining from behind the mountain, but I couldn’t see the source. As I climbed the light got brighter.

Finally, I reached the top and saw that the source of the light was Jesus. As I saw Him I felt love, joy and peace such as I had never experienced before.

So what do you do with an experience like that? God literally dropped on a self-proclaimed atheist and said “Here I am.”

I said to the God who only minutes before I would have said I didn’t believe in, “I will go to church next Sunday and if it’s good I will follow you.”

The following Sunday, I didn’t go to church because I was away with my friend’s family. But the Sunday after, I went to the night service at Wesley Methodist Church Castle Hill. The service, although it was a traditional 4 hymn service, was so full of the presence of God.

Since that time, I have obviously grown in my knowledge of who God is. There have been times when  life has been very challenging. There have even been times when the old depression has threatened to come back and overwhelm me.

But God has given me such purpose in my life, and that initial feeling of love, joy and peace has always remained with me.

Walking with Jesus is just the best life there is.

Book Review: “The Day The Revolution Began” by N.T. Wright

day-revolution-began

One of the big problems with contemporary evangelical theology, according to N.T. Wright, is that we often have part of the answer but it leads to the wrong conclusions. For example, the theology of the cross comes down to “Jesus died so you could be forgiven and go to heaven.”. As Wright points out that is not what the New Testament teaches, or at least it is not all that the New Testament teaches.

So Wright goes back to Adam and Eve, right through the Old Testament and comes to the conclusion that the main sin that people have to face is idolatry. The people of God were constantly faced with the challenge of staying faithful to the one true God, Yahweh or worshipping the false gods of the nations around.

The problem with idolatry is that it undermines our calling or vocation as human beings. We were created in God’s image so how can we worship another image without damaging ourselves? For Israel, God’s covenant people, to worship other gods meant separation from God and the Land He had given them to live out their calling.

When Jesus comes on the scene, Israel has spent much of its existence either in exile or in subjection to other nations. The prophets knew that the solution they needed was national as well as individual salvation.

The cross then is not about a human sacrifice to appease an angry deity, which is what many christians think of. It is more like the one true representative of humanity (“the Son of Man” as Jesus frequently called Himself) dying for the world. He speaks of the sins of the nation, especially its idolatries, being heaped up and falling on Jesus.

A revolution of love, self-denying and sacrificial love, brings a new rule in the world- the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom, launched by Jesus’ death on the cross, sets us free to see and experience the true God and to follow in His ways.

The death of Jesus on the Cross at 6 pm on Good Friday is the start of the revolution. His resurrection before dawn on Sunday is the first sign that God’s kingdom of life, love and forgiveness is here.

Wright says that the gospel is bigger than “we get to go to heaven” (which is a pagan Platonist ideal). The true gospel message is that the Kingdom is here and God is overturning everything that is based on human idolatry, including relationships, politics, oppression and self-worship. Yes we get to live for ever in the new heavens and the new earth, but the Kingdom is more than that.

It’s hard to justice to a book of this size and scope in a few hundred words, but it is well worth reading. Wright covers deep topics in a way that many people find is easy to read. I think most people would want to read a few pages and mull it over for a few days.

I’ve always felt that the typical atonement theory whereby Jesus takes the punishment for our sins and as a result we go to heaven has a few gaps in it. This book goes a long way to filling the gaps.

 

 

 

Jodie Hughes: “God is releasing guardians of the Bride.”

God is releasing GUARDIANS OF THE BRIDE


God is releasing GUARDIANS OF THE BRIDE

There is a cry coming from the heart of the Father…. “Where are the guardians of My bride?”
Jesus has seen and He has heard, and He is releasing those marked by FIRECE LOVE AND HONOUR to turn the tide of this wave of dishonour seeking to divide & destroy His bride.

New love and honour is arising for the bride and a new breed of worship warriors who will guard the heart of the new wine skin is emerging. The church is being transformed but not to demise, but upgrade. She will birth unprecedented revival and receive and steward the end time harvest, but the bride herself is in need of guardians in this hour. Honour is being restored.

Intercessors are being called in now to pray for the bride that she may not just survive but thrive. There has been much onslaught of dishonour and attack, and Gods heart is for his bride and to heal her heart. Those marked by Honour for the King & His bride are arising.

God is calling in His intercessors to not just pray for the Harvest but pray for the Harvesters. Many of the harvesters hearts are tired and weary from the constant battle, not just from the enemy but from within its own borders. There is a call to cease the civil war within the borders of the church itself……. a new sound of honour is arising…. a new love of the church is being restored…. a new grace to serve is being released.

God is pouring out new wine that will bring hope & childlike joy. It will heal the disappointments and the hurts, the offence and the bitterness, but this must be actively received. Many desire an end time harvest… few will love the Harvester as much as the Harvest. The bride needs your prayers and honour in this hour. Her greatest days are upon her….. Jesus loves her and he is calling in those who will pray for her & love her & guard her.

She is not perfect and nor will she ever be. Her imperfections are what make her authentic. She will carry a new grace in this season for restoration as she is a reflection of every heart and every person who desires more and yet discovers an authentic hunger after more finds us each in need of grace. As honour arises, so will grace.

The bride is NOT the enemy, or where the shots should be directed. The enemy of our soul and the harvest is Satan, and always has been. The many misdirected shots are about to be highlighted and redirected to the source of the attack which will bring GREAT VICTORIES AND NEW STRENGTH. Intercessors, this is awakening hour! Arise!

HONOUR IS ARISING. GUARDIANS OF THE BRIDE ARE ARISING who BURN with love for Jesus & His people. This new move is precious and it must be guarded and life spoken over it. Dishonour will be seen for where it comes from, the heart of the enemy, and not the heart of the Father.

Pray for the harvest as it is Harvest Time. But pray for the harvesters too. Release words of life over the bride. The church is arising into her greatest hour. Speak life and honour over the bride as Jesus’ heart is to see her thrive and flourish. Jesus loves His bride and guardians who carry this love and honour as a weapon of breakthrough are arising as Jesus asks, “Where are the guardians of My bride”?

Arise and shine. We, the bride, are entering our greatest days. Let’s walk in greatness and honour that is befitting of our royalty.

Jodie Hughes
Pour It Out Ministries

 

Full article here

From The Babylon Bee

Presbyterian Man Asks Apple Genius To Remove ‘Praise Hands’ Emoji From His iPhone

GERMANTOWN, TN—Walking calmly into his scheduled Genius Bar appointment at exactly 10:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, local Presbyterian believer John Garner stoically greeted the Apple employee assigned to assist him before asking how he could remove the “Praise Hands Emojis” from his new iPhone, sources confirmed.

“There’s a problem with my phone,” Garner began. “See, there are these hands raised up in the air when I pull up the emojis on my keyboard, and I’d like to get them taken off—or if we could at least replace them with hands being placed in pockets where they belong, that’d work too.”

The confused Apple employee, unsure exactly what Garner was asking, launched into a demonstration of how to use the emojis, according to witnesses, but was interrupted by Garner.

“Whoa! Did I just see clapping hands on there? Those are going to need to be removed right away,” Garner said. “Please and thank you.”

“I’m not sure what it is you want, sir. These are installed by default on every iPhone we sell. It’s not a glitch, it’s a feature,” the bewildered Genius Bar worker reportedly replied.

“It’s pretty simple—I want you to remove all these emoji fellows showing various emotions. You can keep the expressionless guy, but the rest have to go,” Garner noted as the worker continued flipping through the pages of emojis on his iPhone.

At publishing time, Garner had run from the store in terror after seeing the wide array of diverse emojis from various cultures.

Porn- A Reversal of God’s Plan For Sexuality

From thewardrobedoor.com

7 FACTORS SHOW PORNOGRAPHY IS BAD BECAUSE IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH

It’s not that bad.That is probably the reaction many have when reading my post on Magic Mike, 50 Shades of Grey and the pornification of women.

I mean, after all, there are many worse things out there, right?

That is absolutely correct, but it is the wrong question to ask. Just like asking how far can I run away from godly purity and it still be OK, it is not the right perspective to ask “What’s the worst bad thing I can do and it not be ‘that bad’?”

The right question to ask is “What’s the best thing?” When we have that perspective, we see things completely differently.

Magic Mike, 50 Shades of Grey and other forms of pornography, be they “better” or “worse,” all pale in comparison to the best thing in regards to sexual fulfillment – God’s design.

Photo from Deviantart.com by Aimee Ketsdever

For many of us, it may seem odd to think about God’s design for sex and His desire that we enjoy it. That may not be a traditional view, but it is a biblical one. If He created us (and He did) and if He created us male and female (and He did), then He created us in a particular way that makes sex pleasurable.

He didn’t have to make human reproduction like that, but He chose to give us this gift for our enjoyment. Being the Creator of it, however, He knew that it would only truly be completely enjoyed in a certain way – within the permanent bond of marriage.

Sure, you can have sex outside of that and it will give you pleasure in some form, but you will not and cannot experience the full sense of joy, peace and love that comes from exercising God’s gift within His design.

In his book, True Sexual Morality, Daniel Heimbach examines sex from a biblical perspective and discovers that certain factors are always present in proper godly exercising of our sexual desires. These seven benefits are facets on the diamond of sexual fulfillment that God has given us.

What makes pornography so vile is that it promises each of these, but can never fulfill any of them. In this way, pornography is the exact opposite of God’s design for sex. It is the most extreme perversion of how God intended us to find fulfillment sexually.

What should sex look like and how does pornography, of all types, miss the mark? Here are the seven components of biblical sex.

1. Personal – God made sex extremely personal. He gave it to the first husband and wife in the garden for them to enjoy together. Sex is made to share in relationship, with that being the marriage relationship.

Pornography claims to meet this need, but instead it enflames lust (not love) toward objects – images, words and thoughts. There is nothing personal about watching someone on the screen. There is nothing personal about reading about a man sexually abusing a younger woman, as is the case in 50 Shades of Grey.

2. Exclusive – In the very way it was designed, sex was meant to be exclusive between spouses. It was meant to be a bond between those two and those two alone.

Pornography, while appealing to this, can never be exclusive. The objects are viewed by countless others. The very fact that it is popular demonstrates that it cannot be exclusive. The woman in the audience of Magic Mike is one of millions of others who saw the men on the screen.

3. Intimate – Sex was designed to be more than just a physical act. It was made to join two human beings together completely. It is to be an act that unites them physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Pornography can say it is intimate, but it is strictly about a physical desire of one person. It is not something truly shared with another person. Even if a couple views it together, it does not increase their intimacy. It invites images of others into their bedroom.

4. Fruitful – God’s design is for sex to bear fruit. The most obvious example of this is children, but that is not the only fruit that grows from a healthy married sexual relationship. A deeper, healthier relationship between the husband and wife is a clear result.

Pornography can produce nothing of value. All it can do is tear down what has been built, be it purity, integrity, honor, relationships, marriages, families, etc. The only fruit it could produce is rotten.

5. Selfless – Sex is intended for spouses to show love to each other. It is meant as something that speaks love and appreciation into the life of the other person.

Pornography often claims that your use of it is good for your spouse in some way. It’s a lie. There is nothing selfless about pornography. It is only about trying to satisfy a personal desire. How can you love your spouse, when your desire is to see someone else naked?

6. Complex – Humans were created as complex creatures. We have emotions, thoughts, dreams and a spiritual aspect to our life. Sex is designed to operate on all the levels of our person. It is so much more than a physical act.

Pornography has no complexity. It can’t. It is images or words on a screen or a page. There is nothing complex about it. Also, it is unable to meet anything but the basest physical desire. It cannot fulfill all of the longings of the person.

7. Complimentary – Sex was created to bring differences together. Men and women are different, not just physically, but in a whole host of ways. In sex the way He intended it, God brings those differences together and creates something new and beautiful.

Pornography has nothing to compliment. It is static and plastic. Fake. It cannot join people together. It can only mar and disfigure what was already there.

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In looking at the list, pornography is the worst of all sexual perversions. It promises everything and delivers nothing. Other sexual sins, while worse in terms of their personal or immediate consequences, at least fulfill one of the purposes for which God created sex. Pornography gives you none.

Our culture’s obsession with it, including so many of us in the Church, must be overturned and conquered. There is only one power man has ever experienced that can triumph over a devastating addiction to pornography – the Gospel.

Thursday, we will see how the Gospel is the only thing that can move us from discouraged addicts of porn to fulfilled disciples of Christ.

Much of the information in this post comes from Daniel Heimbach’s True Sexual Morality, and the pornography position statement by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.