Light and Dark

The following is my most recent article that I wrote for the Tacoma News Tribune. A couple years ago, I was invited to submit articles twice a month (1st and 3rd Saturdays) for their church page. It has been a joy to do this and an amazing outreach opportunity. These articles are also linked on my congregation’s website which you can see on the left hand side of this page. To God be the glory.

One of my favorite activities as a child was playing night games with my friends. What this usually entailed was two teams of kids: the good guys and the bad guys. The premise was for the good guys to catch the bad guys and put them in jail. I loved being a bad guy. Maybe that’s because it speaks to our innate sinful nature to love the darkness. Whatever the case, as the bad guys, light was bad. We had to operate in the dark in order to conceal our motives. Whether it was hiding from the good guys or trying to break our fellow bad guys out of jail, we stayed in the shadows. The good guys, though, were not afraid of the light and thus they operated in the light. Funny, we had no idea then that we were living out a theological truth straight from the Word of God.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” [John 3:19–21 (ESV)]

Why do I share this story? Our world operates much in the same way. In order to conceal the truth, people have to operate in the darkness. Let’s use the abortion debate for an example. What we hear in the media or from those who are pro-choice is something along these lines: “It is alright to terminate/end the pregnancy of a woman in order to preserve/save her life.” When actually, what’s being said is, “It is alright to kill a baby for the sake of a woman’s health (physical or mental).” An unspeakable evil is being sanitized (kept in the dark) and equated with a medical procedure to promote the health of a woman. And who isn’t in favor of a medical procedure to save a life? But no one is going to talk about killing a baby because most people agree that killing is wrong. Therefore, abortion has to be sanitized because, consider this: The same people that support abortion also reject capital punishment.

Now, if you think I am getting too political, read these words from the prophet Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…” [Isaiah 5:20 ESV]

I am not being political. I am being biblical. You see, we must speak the truth in the light, not in order to win an argument but to save the souls of those residing in the darkness. We need to speak the truth in love, not hate. We need to shine a light in order to snuff out sin. We need to turn the Light on through our words and deeds. I am not being political. I am shining a light. This is not about trying to catch the “bad guys”. This is about the Truth and the salvation of souls. Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Arise and Fight

Let us pray…

Oh God,
in Jesus’ name I appeal to You.
What more can I do?
What more should I do?
How are you calling me to act?
Life is precious but so many don’t see life that way.
Many see the unborn as a “something” or an “it”, not as a child.
May You change their hearts.
May You open their eyes to the Truth.
For me, this is an impossible task but not for You.
Whom shall You send?
Send me.
May I arise and speak.
May I arise and act.
May I arise and fight.
Oh God,
go before me and lead the way.
May the victory be Yours.
Lead on, oh King eternal, and I will follow.
Amen

The Pastor -|—

Intercede

Holy God,
Your Word proclaims to us
that the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Intercede for us now, oh God, and teach us how we ought to pray.
We see the darkness of this world,
and the darkness within ourselves,
and become overwhelmed and convicted.
We know we ought to cry out, but words escape us.
Justice is being denied to many and we feel helpless.
Intercede for us, oh God, and then tune our ears to hear your voice.
Help us to help others.
Help us to cry out for others.
Help us to give justice to others.
Intercede for us, we beg You.
We especially remember those who can’t cry out for themselves;
the unborn.
Transform the hearts of those who feel no remorse
over the death of Your little ones.
Intercede, oh God, intercede.
We are Yours.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Portent

Psalm 71:7–8 (ESV) ~ I have been as a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.

Definition
Portent ~ A warning; sign from God

As you were, and now let us pray…

Holy God,
You have called me to speak Your Word;
To call people to repentance;
To proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ;
To be a “portent”.
But I find that many don’t want to hear Your Word.
There are many that assail me;
Many who speak harsh words to and about me.
Oh God, many don’t want to hear the Truth.
But as the psalmist finds refuge in You,
I, too, find my refuge in You;
for you are my Rock and my Salvation,
and therefore may I stand firm.
May I not back down from speaking out.
May I not back down from proclaiming the Truth.
May I not back down from defending the innocent.
May I stand firm.
In a world where many walk as enemies of the cross,
may I keep in step with You.
Holy God, loving Father,
send Your Holy Spirit and touch my mouth.
Touch my mouth that I may speak Your words;
speaking them in and from love.
May I speak not with the intention of winning an argument,
but to bring glory to Your most holy name.
May I be a portent,
that healing may come to this land.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Known

Psalm 71:5–6 (ESV) ~ For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.

Psalm 139:13–14 (ESV) ~ For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV) ~ “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

In Galatians chapter 4, the apostle Paul talks about not just KNOWING God but being KNOWN by God.

Wow, just reflect on those texts for a moment. You are KNOWN by God. You are KNOWN from the very moment your life began…in the womb. God KNEW you then and KNOWS you now. God has a purpose for your life. Scripture talks about our hairs being numbered. You are KNOWN better by God than you KNOW yourself.

God KNOWS your shortcomings. God KNOWS every skeleton you are trying to hide. God KNOWS every dark secret; every single sin. God KNOWS. The psalmist reflects in Psalm 139 that there is no where he can hide from God. Even darkness is as day to God. Nothing can conceal you.

You are KNOWN.

And it is because God KNOWS you that Jesus was born. It is because God KNOWS you that Jesus was crucified and raised for you. God KNOWS you yet offers forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

You are KNOWN

WOW!

Just think about THAT.

You are KNOWN by God…from the moment of conception. God formed you and wove you together. Everything is ordained by God. And why? Because you are precious. Life is precious. EVERY life is precious. And if it is important to God, then it ought to be important to you.

You are KNOWN
The unborn are KNOWN
ALL life is precious to God

The Pastor -|—

Prayer for the Unborn

This prayer comes from a grieving heart. There’s more that can be prayed and more that should be prayed and more that should/needs to be done, but this is a start. Let us not forget the innocent and may we never cease to fight…

Holy God,
Author of life,
Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of life;
You are Holy and Awesome,
and greatly to be worshiped.

Oh God,
I am grieved,
as I reflect and mourn the slaughter of the innocent.
How can this be?
How can anyone conceive of such an evil?
How can anyone savagely kill?
I am grieved and horrified.
Oh God, help us…

May we remember the unborn;
precious children known, woven together and formed by You.
It pains me, oh God, that many take these children for granted;
saying they don’t matter.
Some contend that they have no rights;
that life is something that is in the hands of man.
But You are clear in scripture that life is of You;
that You know us from the moment of conception;
and that life is precious to You.
Oh God, may You convict such people,
who think and believe otherwise,
and lead them to repentance.

For the women who feel that their only choice is to end the life of their child, please reveal to them the preciousness of the one they carry.
Help them to see that all life is valuable,
and if they aren’t called to parent their child,
lead them to adoption resources
so another couple may parent this precious life.
Oh God, have mercy and reveal Yourself.

For those who choose silence over action;
give them a voice.
Give them courage and boldness.
Raise up in them a holy desire to speak and make noise.
Lead them via Your Holy Spirit and proclaim Your love.
Guide them in ways of justice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

For those who feel helpless;
overwhelm them with Your presence.
Overwhelm them, so much so, that they may not feel alone.
May they know You as their Fortress,
and thus not be afraid;
choosing action over silence and complacency;
choosing life over death.

And finally,
Father God,
if I may be permitted to speak just one more time on this matter:
Have mercy on this land;
a country that slaughters the innocent.
But if it is Your judgment to punish this land,
(and I could hardly blame You),
I beg that You may save the faithful remnant as You did Lot and his family, but not before You give people one more chance to repent.

Have mercy, oh God, and heal this land.
May we not sacrifice our children on the altar of Satan.
May we not take them for granted.
May we see life precious and valuable.
May we stop the slaughter of the innocent.
May the little ones be allowed to live.
May we choose action over complacency.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

Share and pass this on as you feel so move. To God be the glory.

The Pastor -|—