July 10th, 2017
Summer music festivals are exploding across America. Thirty-two million attend - 12 times the number of people who die annually! Average travel distance is 903 miles and festivals normally last three days.
What can be more fun than gathering music lovers outdoors with their favorite artists?
How many parents are ignorant of what occurs at these massive gatherings? Others suspect something inherently dangerous but yield permission, lifting a prayer as they reluctantly send off their youth.
Here's a handful of heavy hitter rockfests attracting millions this summer: Lockn', Afro Punk, Coachella, Bonnaroo, Moog Fest, Pitchfork, Lollapalooza, Hangout, Bumbershoot, FYF, and Electric Forest.
Festivals are all over Europe. Madrid has Mad Cool; Lisbon hosts Super Bock Super Rock; and, Germany features Melt. Sweden just pulled the plug on Bravalla (headliner was Killers) after four rapes and 23 sexual assaults.
June 27th, 2017
My wife and I just returned from driving over 20 hours round-trip to Cleveland, Ohio for my high school's 50th class reunion. We spent money on a rental car, gas, motel room for two nights and two $50 tickets.
With summer, millions get invitations to high school and college reunions. The majority decline. Why?
No. 1: we're all aging, and many are uncomfortable in the presence of those we haven't seen in awhile.
June 19th, 2017
The seventeenth annual Bonnaroo music festival concluded recently an hour from our home. This event draws people nationwide to a field in Manchester, Tennessee for four days of music, drugs, drunkenness and debauchery.
In 2015, more than 80,000 were in attendance. This year over 65,000 gathered together in the field to resurrect this "Woodstock" experience.
Should Christians "flee to the hills" or is this an opportunity for outreach, in of all places an open field?
"But when He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they fainted and were scattered, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest, that He will send out laborers into His harvest' "(Matt. 9:36-38).
If the over 400 dedicated Christian "laborers" hadn't responded, the 750 people converted at this year's event (plus scores who had gospel "seeds" planted in their hearts) would never have experienced a radical transformation by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
June 12th, 2017
Decision magazine this month announced the great news that nine leading members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet, including Vice President Mike Pence, are participating in a weekly Bible study and prayer time.
What is the focus of their study?
Together they are going through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which is recorded in Matthew 5–7. Our church in Nashville, Celebration Church, is on the same track and being challenged greatly!
Smack dab in the middle of this, the greatest sermon ever given by the greatest Teacher who ever lived, is this passage that is ever so relevant for us today.
June 6th, 2017
Almost all of us have seen the sickening internet image of comedian Kathy Griffin holding the gory, severed head of Donald Trump. The same internet that flashed the image has the potential to carry this commentary to the perpetrator of this act. If any reader has the wherewithal to make this happen, please do so!
There come times in all of our lives where we say and do things that we later regret. Sometimes it's premeditated and other times it's not.
Last evening at a baseball game, I sat behind friends planning to be married soon. As the game concluded, the lady said she needed to get home. I bid them goodbye and threw in, "Get her to bed quickly!"
"Ahh ... I mean ... drop her off."
May 30th, 2017
To get a finger on the pulse of our culture, I decided to do an experiment. For months I've faithfully read the "Dear Abby" advice columns to learn the current problems average people face in our topsy-turvy world.
This advice column is something of a national institution going back over sixty years and is a fairly reliable indicator of real people seeking real answers to real problems today. Daily it dispenses counsel to one hundred-ten million readers in fourteen hundred newspapers worldwide!
May 23rd, 2017
"These six things the Lord hates…hands that shed innocent blood"
Barnum & Bailey Circus turned off the lights. Now it’s time for one hundred year old Planned Parenthood to follow suit as social justice advocates say dethrone it, don't just defund it!
Their latest promo video urges supporters: "Watch. Share. Slay." This mentality has no place in a civil society endeavoring to halt bullying and cultivate a culture of life.
Multiple reasons were given for ending the circus but preeminent was today's heightened sensitivity to mistreatment of animals. Technological advances prove they experience pain just like the unborn and progressive, compassionate societies don’t ignore it.
May 16th, 2017
Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition and currently president of Century Strategies, returned from Washington, D.C., with high-level info for praying Christians. On a nationwide phone call with over 1,000 intercessors, Ralph revealed a key official in the Trump administration confided in him their four pre-eminent needs.
The setting for Mr. Reed's disclosure was the First Friday national prayer conference call sponsored by Intercessors for America ministry. Each month, prominent Christian leaders like Ann Graham Lotz, David Barton and others engage with multitudes of intercessors in every state to collectively pray in a cacophony of heavenly appeals on behalf of our nation.
May 8th, 2017
"I don't know what weapons would be used to fight World War III, but IV would be settled with sticks and stones."
- Albert Einstein
USA TODAY ran this front page headline recently: "World War III: Americans are Thinking About the Unthinkable" [May 3, 2017]. Data from Google searches shows incredible spikes for - you guessed it - “World War III.” And the Doomsday clock is now as close as it’s ever been to midnight.
Not long ago there was a similar situation but it was providentially avoided because of the friendship of two outstanding leaders. Can you guess who they were?
This is the absolutely amazing account of two of history's greatest leaders and their bond of friendship that changed the world and averted a nuclear nightmare. Both are gone but their story is worthy of reflection in these tense times.
Ronald Reagan was one of America's greatest presidents and his stature is sorely missed. Think for a moment on his victory margin in the 1984 election of 525 to 13 electoral votes as he won 49 of 50 states!
May 1st, 2017
Christians are often accused of being reactive versus proactive. Instead of anticipating an opportunity, we oftentimes miss chances to be “salt” and “light”, in today’s world.
Publicity is currently underway for "Gay Pride" events in cities across America. "Coming to a theater near you" are well-funded programs promoting the LGBTQ agenda. A generation ago, the idea of citywide celebrations featuring homosexual, lesbian and transgender themes was basically unheard of except in some liberal locations.
Not anymore! Since former President Barack Obama declared June as the first "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month" in 2009, there has been an explosion of gay-oriented festivities in cities across America. As President, he was a passionate, advocate for gay-related issues and helped legitimize a lifestyle that previously was identified with sin, shame and social stigma.
When we hear about upcoming gay pride activities in our city, what should we do?
April 25th, 2017
“By perseverance the snail reached the Ark.”
– Charles Spurgeon
To excel at anything in life, we have to learn to handle adversity and persevere when it’s easier to quit. Long-term success is only achieved by persistence.
Recall the timeless quote by President Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in the world will take the place of persistence. Talent will not; the world is full of unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ told us a parable about a sower planting seed (Lk.8:1-15). He stated emphatically that it was only by “persevering” that an individual will eventually produce a crop. The problem is many of us throw in the towel prematurely and as a result don’t find the achievement and success for which we long.
One of the very best contemporary examples of this character trait is Christian athlete Tim Tebow. He’s currently drawing fans in droves to watch him play professional baseball in a late-in-life career change in Columbia, South Carolina.
April 18th, 2017
"And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret" (Eph. 5:11-12).
"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." —Abraham Lincoln
This Friday is a big day in thousands of elementary schools, middle and high schools, colleges and universities across America. GLSEN (The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) laments losing Obama helping them but they cling to their nationwide, yearly event highlighting the LGBTQ lifestyle to impressionable children and youth.
This national LGBTQ advocacy group, like Planned Parenthood, is extremely tense at present due to the politically incorrect, more conservative Trump Administration. The appointment of strong Christians like Jeff Sessions to attorney general and Betsy DeVos as secretary of education, along with Vice President Mike Pence, has its leadership up in arms.
April 11th, 2017
Don't believe it when people say that in America divorce is declining. The reality is that divorce as a percentage of marriages appears to be less because countless millions are simply living together and not getting married.
A whopping 76 percent of young Americans believe living together before marriage is fine. Sixty-five percent of "altar bound" singles—many of whom identify as "Christians"—live together before marriage, a euphemism for lifestyle fornication.
The latest development is Baby Boomers, 50 and up, cohabiting (an increase of 75 percent since 2007) as splits have doubled since the 1990s. This is being labeled "gray divorce."
What is shameful is that America, supposedly a predominately "Christian" nation places in the top 10 list of countries with the most divorces each year. We actually register having one divorce every six seconds. Understand why we so desperately need a spiritual awakening?
April 4th, 2017
"I believe it's a great mistake to present Christianity as something charming and popular with no offense to it." —Dorothy Sayers, author
In our local church, Bible teacher Ray McCollum is leading us in an exposition of the greatest teaching ever given by the greatest teacher who ever lived. Here Jesus, in His masterpiece Sermon on the Mount, succinctly lays out in an orderly fashion exactly what is the normal Christian life.
Who Are Real Believers?
They are "poor in spirit ... mourn ... meek ... hunger and thirst for righteousness ... merciful... pure in heart ... peacemakers" (Matt. 5:1-9).
What Will Happen to Them?
They will be "persecuted for righteousness sake" (v. 10).
How Do They Affect the World?
They will be the "salt of the earth" and "light of the world" (vv. 13-15).
March 27th, 2017
“The devil pulls the strings which makes us dance;
he finds delight in the most loathsome things;
some furtherance of Hell each new day brings,
and yet we feel no horror in that rank advance.”
- Charles Baudelaire, French poet
Growing up, did you enjoy humor and laughter, especially as you watched TV shows with your favorite characters? Andy, Barney and Opie…Wally and the “Beav”…Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel…Rob and Laura Petrie…Jed, Granny and Mr. Drysdale…
God ordained comedy. “Joy is the serious business of heaven,” wrote C.S. Lewis. Scripture reveals that Jesus was actually the happiest person who ever lived! The Father anointed Him “…with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (Heb. 1:9).
Tragically, Comedy Has Slid Into the Sewer
March 22nd, 2017
The Bible explicitly states the following: "A woman must not wear a man's clothing, nor is a man to put on a woman's clothing. For all that do so are abominations to the Lord your God" (Deut. 22:5).
Scripture also states unequivocally that God created men and women and made no mistakes in the process. "You brought my inner parts into being; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for You made me with fear and wonder; marvelous are Your works, and You know me completely" (Ps. 139:13-14).
Finally, divine revelation records that those who reject God's design "became futile in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools" (Rom.1:21b-22a).
It is with great sadness that I bring this commentary which underscores how far off the track we've gone, particularly in the area of sexuality, marriage and gender identity. Denying and diminishing God's creative masterpiece, people are re-creating themselves in increasingly bizarre ways.
March 14th, 2017
Read Linda Seiler testimony at http://barbwire.com/2017/03/14/transgender-emphasis-advances-woman-21-year-secret-sets-people-free/
For the past decade, I have been addressing LGBTQ issues along with my longtime friend Dr. Michael Brown. On my part, I did a video called “10 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Being Gay” and wrote two books entitled Here’s the Deal and Bullseye. Our passion is to see people transformed by the gospel as the lovely lady cited in this article was.
Our efforts have become more pronounced in recent years because of the acceleration of the LGBTQ agenda and the cultural drift from our Judeo-Christian foundations. We are experiencing massive deception that Jesus highlighted in Matthew 24 as the primary sign prior to His return.
Nowhere is this more prominent than in the area of sexuality, marriage and gender identity. We are in the “ball of confusion” once sung about by Motown’s “Temptations.” Obama’s illegitimate edict pushing public schools to open restrooms, showers and changing areas to gender-confused students brought this to the forefront.
March 7th, 2017
Revered international evangelist Dr. Billy Graham is 98 and still maintains that the "best preacher in the family" is his beautiful daughter, Anne Graham Lotz. As the chairwoman of this year's "National Day of Prayer" on May 4, she took time to unite with over 1000 intercessors on a nationwide prayer call sponsored by Intercessors for America ministry.
I had the honor of being a part of this significant time the day after returning from the 29th Roundtable hosted by Rick Joyner, prophetic leader in the body of Christ. This annual gathering of senior leaders convenes to "hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Rev.2:29b), as well as build our bonds of friendship.
"What happened?" "What was God saying?" "What do we need to know to keep step with the Spirit?" people ask.
Here are 10 significant points I gleaned from these two important events.
February 15th, 2017
When I moved to the Nashville area a decade ago with my wife, you were here launching a musical career that has brought you fame and fortune throughout the world. I, like millions, admired your God-given talent and tenacity as we applauded your affectionate title as “America’s Sweetheart.”
Raising two daughters and now having two granddaughters, your wholesome public image, non-provocative swimsuits and polite manner made you a most appreciated and highly esteemed role model in a society where so few exist in the entertainment industry. Being one of the most followed personalities on social media, you acknowledged your “responsibility” to be conscious of your influence on young fans.
As we watched another Nashvillian, Miley Cyrus, depart from her Disney persona to a scandal-seeking, sex-obsessed, weed-promoting performer, you were the one we could turn to as you engaged in friendly interaction with fans, especially young girls. Your cute smile plus surprise visits to sick and disadvantaged adolescents won us over to what we hoped would make us longtime devotees.
February 7th, 2017
There is a masterpiece of a movie in theaters now. It’s nominated for multiple Oscars including “Best Picture”; has no nudity, sensuality, violence or profanity (some cussing); a PG true story; and, even features people unashamedly praying in the Name of Jesus and declaring, “Thank you Jesus!”
The entire story revolves around three women of character working silently behind the scenes against resistance and shameful opposition. Yet instead of rage-filled protests, they demonstrated grace, humility and patience to bring about change.
In this season of Trump-hating vitriol and angry marches, it’s inspiring and refreshing to be reminded that there is a God-given pathway to progress. The film, “Hidden Figures,” is a tour-de-force that deserves our support.
I wish I could reassure readers that the current swelling “resistance movement” will subside but it won’t. Nasty, vulgar women, subsidized anarchists and lawless legislators are only the beginning. The propagandist media complies as evidenced by their narrative on “airport chaos” when Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” (1/29/17) that only 109 foreigners from select Muslim countries were delayed briefly for questioning out of 325,000 in one day!
January 24th, 2017
Oftentimes people inquire about who will be at a particular event. This determines if they’ll show.
Whether it’s a party, pastor’s luncheon or citywide event, we gauge the importance of a gathering by who’ll be present. Just common sense, right? Star power affects attendance.
What about if the entire focus of a function was not on a celebrity but someone unseen, unattractive and unwanted? Add to the equation this individual is the target of an insidious Satanic scheme to snuff out his very life?
We’ve probably got better things to do. After all, what difference does one person really make?
The Power of One
This Friday a momentous event takes place in our Nation’s Capital.
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January 17th, 2017
U.S. President Barack Obama claps after giving a farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago. (REUTERS/John Gress)
"Reach for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land in the stars!"
These words appear on a sign outside a nearby elementary school. They apply to President Obama's presidency as he departs.
To be respectful, objective and thorough in evaluating eight years of Obama in office, this commentary is a little lengthier since a breezy, superficial treatment doesn't serve us or Mr. Obama well. Let's begin.
Barack Obama believes his presidency has been a success. Speaking recently before a sea of "standing o" supporters in Chicago, he beamed as he rehearsed what he views as his landmark achievements: Iran accord; recession "recovery"; outreach to Cuba; Bin Laden capture; ObamaCare; and, "unleashing the longest stretch of job creation in our history."
He used his rhetorical skills to also highlight climate change advances; "race relations better than they were 10, 20 or 30 years ago;" and "healthcare costs rising at the slowest rate in 50 years."
His farewell address was longer than that of Reagan, Clinton and G.W. Bush combined. He referenced himself 75 times. He tearfully concluded, assuring us that "America is a better, stronger place" igniting the throngs to shout along with him, "Yes we can! Yes we did! Yes we can!"
January 2nd, 2017
Finding and fulfilling your God-given destiny is not a matter of chance but choice. You have to make quality decisions on a consistent basis to enter into the unique plan of God for your life.
Fulfilling your destiny is not automatic but begins when you're rooted in the reality that God has a custom-designed destiny for your life. "Your eyes saw me uninformed, yet in your book all my days were written, before any of them came into being (Ps. 139:16).
December 19th, 2016
"The Son of God became
man to enable men to
become the sons of God."
Amidst the sentimental and somewhat silly mixture of "Santa," "Rudolph," and "Frosty" songs we'll encounter this busy week before Christmas, how many of us will take advantage of this season to simply tell people about Jesus? There really is no better time during the course of the entire year to do it!
December 18th, 2016
“Drug addiction has become virtually an epidemic in cities
and towns, rural and urban, across America.”
– Franklin Graham, Decision Magazine Dec. 2016
After the tumultuous election, actor Tommy Chong consoled himself by celebrating Californians’ vote to legalize marijuana for recreational use. “Thank God pot is legal now, so we have something that can get us through the next four years!”
Amidst the startling Trump upset, multitudes missed the advancement of marijuana legalization in America. Now residents in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine and D.C. can all get blasted! Additionally, Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota approved “medical marijuana”, usually the first step towards legalizing weed for recreational use.
November 14th, 2016
Kneeling bedside at 2 a.m. after election results were in, I tearfully thanked God and gave Him the glory for what just happened. The final text I received said it poignantly: "It feels like the thawing in Narnia when springtime returned."
Indulge me for a moment to describe it in dramatic yet honest terms. I, like multitudes, was euphoric and found sleep extremely challenging! May this unprecedented event remain aglow on the photographic plate of our minds to encourage us for years to come.
We literally witnessed a modern day political miracle. This was, without question, an astonishing once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. I still have to pinch myself that I'm not dreaming!
"Whoa, Larry! Aren't you getting a bit carried away?"
Not at all! And in case you retired early or decided to avoid the evening's developments for whatever the reason, allow me to highlight five aspects of Nov. 8, 2016, that will forever remain in the annals of political history as absolutely phenomenal.
November 7th, 2016
"And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain."
So sang Frank Sinatra in his classic song, "My Way."
Closing arguments were submitted then came the verdict.
This is where America is at as the end is near for Election
CBS News said, "82% of Americans are disgusted with the
presidential campaign." I opine the political situation is the result of
the reckoning of eight years of incompetent, deceptive and uncooperative
leadership that has brought us to a breaking point and this epochal moment.
I offer the following, fully aware that Trump's "Make
America Great Again," pro-growth, reform agenda is laden with his glaring
personal flaws. But as the Wall Street Journal stated in their editorial Saturday
(11/5/16), "The case for Donald Trump is political disruption. A broken
Washington needs to be shaken up and refocused on the public good, and who
better to do it than an outsider beholden to neither political party?"
October 29th, 2016
So where are we at this juncture in the road? No matter how distasteful the process has been, every Christian must help foster a turnaround before it's too late.
October 3rd, 2016
Recently USA TODAY did something they've never done in their 34 year history. Their Editorial Board never took sides in a presidential race till now. You'll never guess who they're supporting!
While they're not officially endorsing Hillary for the presidency, they list 10 reasons why Donald is "unfit for the presidency." Their editorial ends, "By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump."
While President Obama's hometown Chicago Tribune endorsed Gary Johnson for president, this "unbiased," free in the motels publication presents readers with detailed arguments why we shouldn't support the Republican candidate. Ten reasons were given to disqualify the Republican candidate for president selected by the largest number of Americans ever to vote in a Republican primary in history.
My wife believes this is another attempt to demoralize and discourage people from registering to vote since it's a"done deal" Hillary will win. Right?
Not so fast.
Proverbs 18:17 (Amp.) warns, "He who states his case first seems right, until his rival comes and cross-examines him." Examine their reasons to dump Trump. Some criticisms are valid. He has major flaws and truly is a work in progress! But should their same points apply to Clinton?
September 5th, 2016
“Hell’s Hottest Place is Reserved for Whom?”
Without any Jeopardy music in the background, how would you answer the above question? Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave this thought-provoking response during his ministry.
“The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”
Pastor Martin used the literary device, hyperbole, (from the Greek word meaning “over-casting”) to emphasize a point for a grander effect. In other words, he wanted to jolt people and awaken them to action.
The reason we initiated the 30 day Bullseye Challenge was to provide pastors, youth leaders, educators and parents with a resource to equip them and those they influence become informed influencers in today’s turbulent times. People who invest 15 minutes for 30 days viewing immediately accessible, free videos with an easy-to-read book will learn a scriptural worldview on the 30 hot button issues of today.