Acknowledging 2 Chronicles 7:14 provides the only real summary solution for reversing America's increasingly rapid decline, a key component of the solution is leadership dedicated to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture.
And for those who are arrogant, deluded, or stupid enough to contend with the previous declaration, puuuuuuuhlease tell us how our government, marketplace, public education, entertainment, moral fabric, and even too many churches have been doing since we kicked God out of American decision-making; precisely asking with incarnational intention if what we are saying and doing honors Him as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture.
C'mon, defend the increasing secularization and bastardization of our heritage with a straight face!
Only a person who thinks an elephant is a mouse with glandular problems cannot see the increasing perils of life apart from our Lord led by our increasingly Godless government, marketplace, public education system, entertainment industry, and sometimes even...
Simply, the only answer to our ailments is getting back to God and electing, embracing, encouraging, and complementing Godly leaders.
Parenthetically, that includes local churches where we have increasing evidences of pulpiteers and pewsitters with connections to God as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture as little more than coincidental.
That's why I'm so proud to know Belvidere's Mayor Fred Brereton and leaders like him who look up, stand up, speak up, and act up for God no matter what, where, or with whom.
N.B., when leaders like our mayor look up, stand up, speak up, and act up for Him, they are fearless in the face of unGodly opposition. They are stewards of resources entrusted to them as they use those resources to honor Him.
Godly leaders know they will be lionized by the faithful for honoring Him and demonized by the unfaithful for honoring Him; or as Jesus warned, "You will be hated because of Me."
Doing the right thing - praying and trying to honor Him as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture - doesn't always mean being liked; especially by people who prefer doing the wrong thing for unGodly reasons. Yet when you are a leader who knows Who really, really, really has the last word, you're willing to suffer short-term disfavor for His/his lasting favor.
The video below - click on the link - is an example of being willing to lose popular favor to gain His favor by doing the right thing.
It's our mayor's budget address to the Belvidere City Council on 3/18/13.
I felt like singing J.R. Lowell's "Once to Every Man and Nation" after watching it!
BTW, after you listen and see the courage of a man whose love for the Lord is more important than worldly favor, consensus, or the last popular poll, you'll know why I'm praising the Lord for the privilege to serve Him with Fred as one of our ruling elders.
He has joined other women and men of faith in our family on the corner of Lincoln and Main who are tired of the SOSO RELIGION and really, really, really want/pray/try to prove an authentic relationship with the Lord.
Tired of posers in pews, politics, and pulpits, the remnant is being reinforced to be a beacon for Jesus and safe haven for everyone!
These are days when we must be very sober in our fidelity to stewardship that will honor Him which always honors His.
Our world, country, state, region, county, community, and all churches are being forced to adjust to very, very, very challenging financial times.
Simply, many desires and a significant number of needs exceed available funds.
The trick aka goal is to adjust in ways that concentrate on real needs over luxuries and desires that subtract from resources necessary to address real needs.
While neighboring congregations have had to slash budgets, cut staff, and inhibit their missions, the generosity of the faithful on the corner of Lincoln and Main has enabled us to maintain most of what we are really called to be and do. However, we are not immune to the challenges; and through the careful stewardship of our session through our Finance and Personnel Committees, we have made adjustments juxtaposed to real needs and evolving technology so what we have not had to slash our budget severely, cut staff, or inhibit our many continuing and new mission efforts.
Praise the Lord!
The most obvious adjustment has been the reduction of hours for monitoring the telephones. Because of e-mail, texting, voicemails, answering machines, and so on, we have joined most churches in encouraging the use of those avenues for contact and communication.
By God's grace through the generosity of our family of faith, we have not reduced or cut essential program and support ministries.
One of our goals remains to have the church "open" for His business 24/7/365 for care, counsel, communication, and contact; and our Mission Committee is praying and working on that. As the Lord continues to send reinforcements for this part of His salvation army, we will expand the "openness" to invite, welcome, include, and love!
A fruit/proof/evidence of living in/through/for the Spirit is patience; and we appreciate everyone's Spirit-focused-filled-filtering patience during any of the necessary adjustments to be faithful stewards of what He has entrusted to us.
And I praise the Lord for leaders like Fred who are showing us the/His way!
Blessings and Love!