God’s Plan for a Better Tomorrow

by Guest Blogger Bob Santos

I confess. There are days when I just want to power down all my electronics and
escape from the world. I know (as I sit at a computer and type) that technology has
its benefits. But there are drawbacks as well. It seems as though we are constantly
exposed to a world of dysfunction.

Today, we struggle with unjust business practices, an over-sexualized culture, and
toxic politics. Middle-class opportunities are slipping away. Gone are the days
when young children could maintain their carefree innocence at least into junior
high school. And as much as we look to our political parties to build roads to a
better future, our political system has proven its inability to even fix itself.
What would you think if I told you that the Lord has a plan to improve our lot, and
it isn’t all that complicated? Would you believe me? Would you want to get
involved?

The principles are quite simple. God’s plan for a better tomorrow involves His
people coming together with one heart and in one Spirit to pray.

The Body of Christ

If we consider the reasons that the church has lost so much influence in our culture,
there is one that quickly rises to the top of the list: we are divided. Jesus once said,
“Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself fails” (Matthew 12:25 NASB).

If we understand the nature of Christ’s body, we recognize that all genuine
followers of Jesus are members of the church. There aren’t many churches in a
community, but rather one church with various expressions.

We might say that we separate ourselves for biblical reasons, but if our theology is
truly accurate, shouldn’t we be coming together rather than breaking apart?
I am not suggesting that we ignore sin or avoid difficult conversations, but that we
honor our Lord’s directives to preserve the unity of the Spirit and to build up the
body of Christ.

Neither am I saying that our beliefs are inconsequential. Rather, our unity is found
not through uniformity but through Christ and Christ alone. We truly are brothers
and sisters in Christ, members of His body, and members of one another. And as
we come to pray, the Lord imparts an anointed blessing of life to transform our
communities.

Community Prayer Initiative

It is with this mind-set that Search for Me Ministries, Inc. has created the
Community Prayer Initiative. The initiative itself is not complicated. Church
bob-santosleaders in a community use the Community Prayer Devotional to facilitate thirty
days of united prayer within their communities. And as momentum grows, other
steps to bless the community can be prayerfully taken.

The Community Prayer Devotional accomplishes three primary purposes:
1. It draws the people of God in a community together.
2. It actually gets them praying.
3. They pray with one voice about the same issues.

Search for Me Ministries has endeavored to make the Community Prayer Devotional accessible to all. Free PDF copies can be downloaded from
Smashwords.com. The Amazon Kindle version is only .99. And paperback copies
“personalized” for a community can be purchased at a significant discount. (Please
click here  for more information.)
No doubt, we live in a challenging and tumultuous era. But our good God has by
no means abandoned us. Exciting times are ahead for those who set their hearts to
pray with one heart and through one Spirit!


Bob Santos is the founder and president of Search for Me Ministries, Inc.—a ministry devoted to helping to form and equip a generation of world changers for Christ. Bob has written eight books which all touch on topics relevant to spiritual growth. He and his wife Debi live in Indiana, PA and have two adult children.

Finding Family Friendly TV & Movies

canstockphoto10378131More and more people are streaming their at-home entertainment these days. I decided I needed to update the “buy or rent movie” page on my Find Christian Links website to “streaming TV and movies.”

I recently signed up for frndlytv and am enjoying it thoroughly. So I decided to search for other Christian and family-friendly apps for streaming. I was amazed at how many I found! I hope you will check them out here. And please let me know of any I have missed!

Next, I set out to update my TV and Movie Review page. As Christians, we may ask ourselves, “Should I see that movie? How about this new game my teenager is wanting? Is that TV program OK for my 6-year-old?” We try to assess if it has too much bad language, too many offensive sex scenes, too much violence, or too many bad life examples for our kids.

Where do we draw the line? How much is too much?

Figur denkt ber die Daumen Bewertung nachIf we compare movies or television programming or even music today with that of a decade or two decades ago, most of us are horrified to realize how far we’ve come. With  gradually increased exposure to explicit sex, mockery of Christianity, sexuality issues,  occultic phenomena, and violence beyond imagination, our threshold of tolerance has increased. Things that at one time we would never have considered watching or listening to have somehow become acceptable. Our scorecard of “how much is too much” has changed dramatically. We have allowed ourselves to be conditioned.

Perhaps instead of “how much is too much,” we should ask ourselves, “Is this a positive thing for our lives or our children’s lives? Does it teach us something? Does it leave us with worthwhile thoughts or ideas? Is it healthy, harmless entertainment? Would we invite Jesus to watch it or listen to it with us?”

In Philippians 4:8  we are admonished to “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NLT). Let this, instead of “how much bad is too much,” be our guide.

One way we can know which movies or TV programs or music are positive and worthwhile is through reviews from a Christian perspective. In checking the Internet, I found many excellent sites offering such services, but some stood out to me as being especially worthy. I am listing a few of the sites here that seem to approach their reviews and comments from a heartfelt biblical perspective. I hope you find them helpful.

Keeping an Eternal Perspective in a Temporal World

This post courtesy of JesusOnLine. I encourage you to visit their site to read other posts and learn more about their ministry.


One of the greatest challenges for Christians is maintaining an eternal perspective.

Life goes by so quickly. And yet we often get caught up in the day to day tasks and forget that we are not promised tomorrow.

James 4:14 refers to the human life as a vapor: it appears for a while and then vanishes.

Perhaps if we remembered this truth we would have an easier time also remembering our purpose on earth.

Life isn’t about accumulating money, power, or fame. Life’s about fulfilling God’s purpose for us. We must focus, therefore, on His eternal perspective.

Colossians 3:2 tell us, “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”

Although we live in time now, God created us for eternity. As Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “[God] has also put eternity in their hearts.” We may live in time, but eternity must be the backdrop of our life. We must learn to live for eternal purposes.

So what is this eternal perspective? What is God’s way? His thoughts that are higher than ours?

An eternal perspective affects our priorities and actions. Here are some of the ways believing and relying on God’s eternal truths will affect your life:

– You will realize that suffering on earth is momentary. 2 Corinthians 4:17 tells us that our afflictions here on earth are “light and momentary” and are “achieving for us an eternal glory” that will far outweigh anything else. In other words, the things we experience here on earth are shaping us and preparing us for eternal life.

– You will find it easier to love others. Every soul is eternal, and each is in desperate need of knowing God and his mercy. When this is at the forefront of our mind it helps us extend love and mercy to those around us. The way we relate to others is inevitably influenced when we believe that eternal closeness or separation from God hangs in the balance.

– You will not be fearful. People are afraid of many things, and especially of death. But 1 John 4:18 tells us that there is no fear in love and that perfect love drives out fear. We have perfect love from our Savior. It was through his perfect act of love on the cross that sin, suffering, and death was defeated (1 Cor. 15:55-57). He has made available to us eternal life. This means we no longer have to be fearful of anything, not even death. God wants us to embrace and embody the love he has extended to us.

In what ways can you reflect on God’s eternal truths today? How will it change how you think and act? Remember, though heaven and earth pass away, God’s truth will never disappear (Matt. 24:35).

More from Hal Lindsey

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Here is a follow-up email from Hal Lindsey, the second half of “2018: The Prophetic Year in Review.” I hope you will take a few minutes to read it.

January 18th, 2019

As I noted last week, at the beginning of each year, it is my practice on “The Hal Lindsey Report” to review the previous year and highlight both major and minor events or developments that I believe have prophetic significance.

This week, I’ll present the second and final part of “2018: The Prophetic Year in Review.”

On May 14, 2018, Israel celebrated the 70th anniversary of its rebirth as a nation. On that day, the United States finally did what its Presidents had been promising to do for years. It officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s actual capital, Jerusalem.

Since then, several other nations have followed America’s lead or plan to do so. President Trump said the move only acknowledged “the plain reality, that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem.”

But at the end of the year, President Trump announced another move. It, too, is one that may have definite prophetic significance.

He said the United States will withdraw its military forces from Syria. The primary goal of the US had been to destroy ISIS and the President feels that has been largely accomplished.

However, by withdrawing a US presence, it leaves Russia, Iran, and Turkey as the three controlling forces there. Ezekiel 38 predicts that these three powers will form a coalition and one day invade Israel from the north. Syria and Lebanon, which is controlled by Hezbollah which is controlled by Iran, sit on Israel’s northern doorstep.

By propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iran has prolonged that devastating civil war. More than half a million Syrians have died and more than eleven million have fled their homes. Five million have fled the country. Most of them ended up in Europe, which is on the verge of collapse from the weight of the migrant invasion.

In 2018, Israel had better relationships with several of the Arab Muslim nations than at any time in modern history. But as the year ended, that progress was placed in jeopardy by the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

It appears he died at the hands of Saudi operatives. And they may have been acting on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

It may well be that the Crown Prince had this man murdered. It is consistent with his family’s philosophy and history. And that is an abhorrent deed.

But from the beginning, the mainstream media has deceived the public about Jamal Khashoggi. Only at the end of his life did he write a few columns for The Washington Post. But the American media claimed him as one of their own. TIME magazine made him their “Person of the Year” and called him a “guardian of truth.”

But they downplayed the uncomfortable fact that he had been a longtime friend and associate of Osama bin-Laden. He publicly blamed the 9/11 attacks on “Americans who neglected the suffering of Palestinians for half a century.”

Like bin-Laden, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood as a young man. Throughout his career he was an apologist and advocate for the Brotherhood. And, like Israel and Egypt, Saudi Arabia considers the Muslim Brotherhood its enemy.

Canada Free Press called Khashoggi “a cynical and manipulative apologist for Islamic terrorism, not the mythical martyred dissident whose disappearance the media has spent the worst part of a week raving about… [he was] not a moderate.”

Also, though he worked in the Middle East as a journalist, Khashoggi was not a supporter of a free press. According to Canada Free Press, he complained loudly that the Saudi government allowed “some journalists to report positively on Israel.”

None of that means that he should have been murdered, but it’s an important part of the story and it should have been reported.

And it’s telling that the western press took at face value the word of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He was the first to point the finger at the Saudi government. Erdogan is a known liar and despot. After an alleged failed coup, he jailed more than 180,000 Turks. He professes to champion a free press, but more than 170 journalists are being held in Turkish prisons, on Erdogan’s orders.

Unfortunately, some national leaders in our world do despicable things all the time. Why is the American media so vehemently against Prince Mohammad, yet turns a blind eye to other global villains, like the Chinese communist government or the mullahs in Tehran? Perhaps it is because in April of 2018, the Prince became the first Saudi royal to publicly say, “The Israelis have the right to have their own land.”

But Syria and Lebanon aren’t the only places Iran is exerting a controlling influence. According to the United Nations, if the civil war in Yemen continues, that country faces the “worst famine in 100 years.”

The media blames this disaster solely on Saudi Arabia. But the Saudis did not cause Yemen’s civil war, Iran did, through their proxy, the Houthi rebels.

Iran wants to control Yemen because of its strategic location. It borders the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. That connects the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Five million barrels of oil pass through this narrow strait every day.

Iran itself sits beside the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, where even more oil passes to the world daily.

With at least partial control of both straits, Iran could disrupt much of the world’s oil supply. That could destroy the economy of Saudi Arabia, its mortal enemy. It would send the west into a deep depression.

In other words, by fighting Iran’s takeover of Yemen, the Saudis are protecting the world economy. But you would never know it if you only get your information from the western mainstream media.

In 2018, Hamas intensified its efforts in Gaza to provoke war with Israel. It convinced Gazans to participate in its “March of Return.” Hamas assured the Gazans that the March would be the beginning of the “liberation of all of Palestine, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.” In other words, the beginning of Israel’s annihilation.

So thousands of Palestinians crashed the Israeli border fence day after day. They burned thousands of tires, creating massive clouds of dangerous smoke. They threw Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers and planted explosives along the border fence.

They flew kites and balloons with incendiary devices into the skies over Israel, causing wildfires and burning thousands of acres of grassland in the process. They fired almost 400 missiles and crude rockets at civilian population centers in southern Israel.

Besieged Israeli soldiers, guarding the nation’s border with Gaza, responded with remarkable restraint. Yet the media blamed Israel for everything.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement that put it succinctly: “The border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip separates a sovereign state and a terrorist organization.”

But the Israel Defence Forces weren’t the only ones under attack in 2018. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a series of storms, as well. He was accused of crimes. (Sound familiar?) His wife was accused of crimes. His governing coalition fell apart late in the year. It didn’t crumble because the liberal Knesset members were displeased. It fell because the very conservative Netanyahu was not conservative, or aggressive, enough for some members of his coalition.

Now, Israel is facing new elections in April, 2019.

In October of 2018, a gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shouting anti-Semitic slurs, he began firing. He killed 11 and wounded seven. It was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history. But it was only one of an increasing number of attacks against Jews worldwide.

In November, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan tweeted a video of himself from a few years ago. In it, he laughingly scolded people for calling him an anti-Semite. He said, …[when they] call me anti-Semite, stop it! I’m anti-termite!” The crowd roared with laughter.

To her credit, Chelsea Clinton publicly denounced him for it. She tweeted: “Comparing Jews to termites is anti-Semitic, wrong and dangerous. The responsive laughter makes my skin crawl.”

However, the world’s worst aggressor against Jews continued to be the United Nations. In 2018, the UN continued its unending onslaught of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic actions.

But perhaps a 2018 headline in The Jerusalem Post gave a glimpse into a future spiritual awakening among the Jews that is prophesied in Revelation 7. It read: “Study: One-fifth of Jewish millennials believe Jesus is the son of God.”

Revelation 7:4 mentions the gathering of 144,000 Jews, during the Tribulation, who will go forth into the world and preach the Gospel. They will be from all the tribes of Israel.

Obviously, these revelations from 2018 are not a fulfillment of Romans 11, but it does indicate that there is a growing awareness among some Jews that there is more to the claims of Jesus Christ than they have been led to believe. And that may be a precursor to its fulfillment. It may be one of the most definite signs yet that we are getting extremely close to the end of this age.

As I said last week, it’s past time to get ready to leave this world behind!

Don’t miss this week’s Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations,mwww.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com. Check your local listings.

Happy New Year!

God Bless,
Hal Lindsey


mail: HLMM, P.O. Box 470470, Tulsa, OK 74147
email: comments@hallindsey.com

We Are Not Alone

lightstock_157088_medium_user_6214500“But when faced with the reality that God wants more than twenty minutes of my day or a day of the week, the foundation I stood on was shaken. . . . In order to love God at all, I must give him my all.” -Seun Otukpe

The loss of a loved one. Divorce. Natural disaster. Cancer diagnosis. . . . The list could go on and on regarding events that cause pain and anguish in our lives. It’s in the immediate aftermath of these events that we become susceptible to wallowing in our fears and pain, and ultimately become particularly vulnerable to Satan’s lie that we are alone and that we must carry the burden on our own. We put validity behind this lie of Satan by believing that giving God everything is equivalent to giving him one day of the week, or even twenty minutes every day. In essence, we put God in a box and believe that “school, love, family, friendships, food, and even pain” are our responsibility (Seun Otukpe in “Give It to God”). When in reality, God wants us to trust Him in the midst of our pain, to deliver us from our pain in His timing, and in every other aspect of our lives.

But how do we show we trust Him with these things? Even before that, how do we build this trust? Prayer. Philippians 4:6-8 (ESV) says it this way:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

The words of Vaneetha Rendall help to further express what “prayer” means with regard to building trust in the Lord to deliver you from despair . . . “And when I [say] pray, I don’t mean a rote recitation of requests and mindless words. I mean really praying. Speaking to God as honestly as I would a friend. Praying through a Psalm. Desperately crying out to him. Asking him for specific help. Expecting him to answer.” It is this type of prayer and communion with the Lord that builds our trust in Him and ultimately transforms us.

So I challenge you, don’t (intentionally or unintentionally) put God in a box by believing some aspects of your life are meant for you to deal with alone, while others are for Him. ALL aspects of your life are His as “every square inch of this universe exists under his sovereignty.” Check out Seun Otukpe’s full article here.

Something New

My Find Christian Links website and this blog have been sadly neglected . . . my apologies for that. It goes back to not enough hours in the day! But God prompted me this last week to get busy.

I started this website many years ago. Actually the first several years it was ChristianConnectionsUnlimited. My goals at that time included providing Christians with one website where they could find all kinds of Christian links . . . and to build a little extra income with affiliate sales. Through the years the site name changed once. The look has changed multiple times. And the purpose has expanded. I gradually added more information about Christian happening around the world and ways for believers to reach out and make a difference . . . and that became the strongest motivation.

Now I feel God wants me to take it to a new level. We are seeing last day prophecies fulfilled one after another. I believe Jesus is coming soon. His “soon” could be five years or fifty years, but we see the scene being set. As Christians we need to grow stronger in our faith so that no matter what challenges and persecution come, we will remain faithful. We need to be there for one another. And we need to focus on sharing the good news with everyone possible. And . . . I believe FindChristianLinks.com needs to focus on those very issues.

In the last few days, I’ve added a new look to the site and this blog. I’ve restructured the site. And the work is just beginning. It needs a lot of updating right now–and continually.

I need your help! I hope you will follow the blog to keep up with changes–and to give your input. I welcome your ideas. Tell me about topics and specific links you’d like me to add. Ask questions and offer suggestions. And tell me your story! What outreach have you or someone you know been involved in that has made a difference. Are you willing to share the details to help others do something similar? You can submit your thoughts through comments on this blog or by completing the information here.

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT)

 

Making a Difference

As we see what is happening in our country and in the world around us, it’s only natural to askWhat can I do to make a difference? 

I believe God has something for each of us to do. It may be encouraging a neighbor . . . or sharing with someone what Jesus has done in your life . . . or helping a ministry . . . or even staring a ministry of our own. We can also make a difference by staying informed and helping organizations who are making a difference.

Today I’d like to mention three such organizations. I would encourage you to visit their websites and sign up for their emails. And then . . . however God leads you.

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Americans United for Life (AUL). From their website: “Americans United for Life, the nation’s premier pro-life legal team, works through the law and legislative process to one end: Achieving comprehensive legal protection for human life from conception to natural death. The nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization holds the unique distinction of being the first national pro-life organization in America— incorporated in 1971, before the infamous Roe v. Wade decision.

Charmaine Yoest President/CEO“AUL’s legal team has been involved in every abortion-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade, including AUL’s successful defense of the Hyde Amendment before the Supreme Court. AUL’s legal expertise and acumen set the bar in the pro-life community for the creation of effective and defensible pro-life positions. At the state, federal and international levels, AUL works to advance life issues through the law and does so through measures that can withstand judicial obstacles so that pro-life laws will be enforced. AUL knows that reversing Roe v. Wade can be accomplished through deliberate, legal strategies that accumulate victories, build momentum, and restore a culture of life. Read more.”

Pictured above is Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO.  This organization is making a difference! Read about their track record (click here and scroll down).

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Israel Trip May 18-27, 2013

Liberty Counsel:  Restoring the Culture by Advancing Religious Freedom, the Sanctity of Human Life and the Family. Another organization with a proven track record. They are making a difference! Check out their site – see how you can get involved!

Liberty Counsel provides pro bono legal assistance in the areas of religious liberty, the sanctity of human life and the family. Liberty Counsel’s Board of Directors has adopted a Christian doctrinal statement, but Liberty Counsel does not limit its services to Christians, as the rights of Christians are affected positively by defending the rights of others.

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The ACLJ is making a difference! They are currently working on such issues as Israel, pro life, Obama Care, immigration, and the release of Pastor Saeed from prison in Iran. From their website:

About the ACLJ

“The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and its globally affiliated organizations are committed to ensuring the ongoing viability of freedom and liberty in the United States and around the world.

“By focusing on U.S. constitutional law, European Union law and human rights law, the ACLJ and its affiliated organizations are dedicated to the concept that freedom and liberty are universal, God-given and inalienable rights that must be protected.

“The ACLJ and its worldwide affiliates engage in litigation, provide legal services, render advice to individuals and governmental agencies, as well as counsel clients on global freedom and liberty issues. They also support training law students from around the world in order to protect religious liberty and safeguard human rights and dignity.

“As a non-profit organization, the ACLJ does not charge for its services and is dependent upon God and the resources He provides through the time, talent, and gifts of people who share our concerns and desire to protect our religious and constitutional freedoms.”


Visit FindChristianLinks.com to find a multitude of links to Christian ministries, products, and services. Everything from Bible quizzes to homeschooling resources to Christian worldview to Christian employment . . . and so much more!

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Would appreciate your comments! Email my anytime at karen@FindChristianLinks.com

 

Karen Burkett

FindChristianLinks.com