Feminism Off the Rails: Reclaiming the Fight for Equality for Women

I remember in my third grade Sunday School class meeting a new little girl who was a guest.  During the class our Sunday School teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up.  The little girl said, “I want to be the President of the United States.”  My first thought was,

that’s stupid, girls can’t be President.

But as her words haunted me I remember my thought pattern shifting,

why couldn’t a girl be President?

It’s amazing that women in the US have only had the right to vote for 100 years.  As I have researched the waves of feminism that have swept across our country since its inception, I have been inspired by Christian women in our history who have stood up and demanded equality with the opposite gender.

Women have achieved so much in the past 100 years.  We are equal when it comes to the government recognizing our rights.  We are not so equal in other areas as Patriarchy still has its clutches in  some churches and in the hearts and minds of some men in the marketplace.  (I have experienced both of these personally.)   We are still making progress and I expect that by the time the good Lord takes me home that Equality for Women in our nation will be fully realized.

The goal of feminism used to be to strive to be equal to men.  The goal was to have a say in the world we lived in. The goal was never to be the “Masters” of men or to have abortion on demand.  It was to be valued as equal people having equal say and equal pay.

The new Feminists seem to be purporting the idea that they cannot feel truly free unless they are the ones who are ruling over men.  The pendulum swings both ways – both Patriarchy and Feminism are now in a ditch.  And both of these ditches are in error.  Feminism was supposed to be about claiming equality for women… but it has turned into a hate spewing, lawless, prideful, female "b*tch fest."

Listen, it was definitely true that women were held back by the decisions of men who chose to hold the reins in the beginning of this nation.  There are still pockets of men ruling over women in our society.  There are still pockets of men who overly objectify women and think that women are for their sexual pleasure.  Each of these pockets is in need of warriors who will fight the inequality.   

But today’s feminists have gone completely off the rails by not recognizing their own fault in some of the areas that they still lack equality.  You cannot glorify some of the things that Hollywood puts out and then whine because you are being objectified.  If we are truly going to be equal then we are going to have to stop being victims.  We already know of an “equality model” that works.

Martin Luther King Jr. showed us how to fight effectively for change.  First and foremost we must believe that our rights come from God.  And we believe that He wants women to be fully restored to the rights we had in the Garden of Eden.  We are equal to but not “over” a man. 

As we look at MLK’s example, we need to practice civil disobedience when necessary – but we do not use violence.  We let justice do its work.  We point out inconsistencies where women are not being treated fairly, but we do not become offended and lose our cool.  We don’t get off message.  We don’t let someone into power who uses the position for their own gain.  (Unfortunately, after MLK died, people who used their position for dishonest gain railroaded the fight for equality for African Americans.  Now racism is a business and corruption and greed keeps the fires alive.)

Women still have some ground to gain in this fight for equality but the word “feminism” is too tainted for us to use anymore.  We must return to the original intent and fight for Suffrage on all fronts.  We must fight for Suffrage (the right to vote/have power) in the home, in the church, in the government, and in the marketplace.

In an ongoing conversation about our fight we must remember these things if we are going to be successful:

1. The fight for suffrage cannot be a single-minded cult.  Equality includes free speech and free thought.

2. Male strength is not bad.

3. Female strength is not bad.

4. Not all men are guilty.

5. Gender equality must also include equality for men.

Men and women can both be powerful, through mutual submission and a healthy fear of the Lord.  I invite men and women to seek the Lord for their role in seeing the powerfulness of Adam and Eve becoming One Flesh again!  The blood of Jesus paid to reverse the curse all the way back down to the first sin.  Men need women and women need men.

Let us reclaim the fight from the bitter and angry women who have taken it hostage!  Let us fight for Suffrage instead of Feminism.

(Men, we can’t do it without you.)

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.  (Galatians 3:26-29)

Facing an Uncomfortable Holiday with Family Because of Politics? Here’s Some Help.

Well America, we’re in a tough spot for sure!  Fifty percent of the nation is at odds with the other fifty percent about the direction of the United States.  This means that some of our families are divided as well.  I have some friends who are concerned about the upcoming holidays with family after such a bitter election.

There seems to be three different categories of how the division is playing out…

1.Some families are so sharply divided that they have already splintered over politics and the relationships are broken.

2. Some have figured out how to cope with differing political ideas while maintaining relationships.  They keep politics in a closet and call a truce during family get-togethers.

3. And some are hanging onto to the last thread of relationship wondering if a serious conflict is going to break loose at Thanksgiving or Christmas?

It’s OK to have differing political opinions.  It’s OK to communicate those opinions with passion.  It’s not OK to think that you are better than someone else because of your opinion…(even if you have a word from the Lord about your candidate).

Give to Caesar what is Caesars.  But give to God what is God’s. (Luke 20:25 paraphrase)

If we apply this verse to our current circumstances we need to let politics remain in the world, but as far as it relies on you, keep your family relationships in the hand of God.

I have four suggestions to help families who are politically divided to NOT cut off relationships but to love unconditionally.

Remain Humble

Let us not think we are better than anyone else because of our politics.  Let us remain humble as we attend our family functions this holiday season.  We are not going to convince one person to change their mind about politics by discussing it.

You can be passionate about what you believe – just let it remain outside the family function.  Talk about the things you have in common.  Talk about how the family has grown.  Talk about the World Series.  Enjoy football.  Trade recipes.

Shake Off Offense

It is offense that separates us from each other.  By getting offended at a Facebook post or mad because a family member is part of an opposing political party – we end up isolating ourselves... causing division.  Forgive any offense that you might have allowed during the past election season.  Love keeps no records of wrong.

Don’t Take the Bait

Don't take the bait to enter the conversation. You have nothing to defend. God doesn't need for you to defend your chosen candidate. And you can't argue with closed minds. He is more concerned with you practicing loving your enemies.

Wear Your Spiritual Armor

God will ask some of you to attend a family event that might possibly be a bit hostile.  This is because He is asking you to show unconditional, sacrificial love to your family.

A very helpful tool in the midst of a hostile environment is to wear the armor of God outlined in Ephesians 6:10-17.  When we go into a meeting where we know there are going major differences of opinions, we need to "pray on" our armor.

Go through each piece and deliberately in your spirit put them on.  The helmet of the hope of salvation protects our head from the "thoughts" of rejection and tormenting hurt.  In doing this the enemy's arrows cannot penetrate our mind.

Put on the breastplate of righteousness, so that we are sure to be in right standing with God.  Forgive your persecutors and then ask if we need God's forgiveness for anything – we need to be righteous in God's eyes.

Buckle the belt of truth around our waist.  Ask the Lord if there are any lies you’re believing and then ask Him for the truth to replace the lies.  Stand firm in the truth, but do not argue. 

Pray for "shoes of peace" on our feet.  If we are getting our peace from our circumstances we will not have peace.  Our peace comes from who is our ROCK!  If our feet are in the sand of man's approval then we will not be at peace.  Knowing His unconditional love for us and knowing that we are standing in TRUTH is where our peace lies.

Take up your shield of faith.  When the arrows of accusation come - or arrows of sarcasm or bullying come... simply lift up your shield of faith and knock them down.  There is no reason to answer those arrows unless the Lord really wants you to.

The last piece is the sword of the Spirit.  Take your sword and decree and declare that politics will not tear the family apart.  Tell every demon to leave the whole house.  Ask the Lord to help you to use the sword to speak exactly the right words at the right time.  

"A gentle answer turns away wrath." Prov. 15:1  

"A gentle tongue can break a bone."  Proverbs 25:15  

Remember that God said when you are brought before "authorities" He would give you exactly the right words to say.  "For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict."  Luke 21:15  

It will help us greatly to think on eternity and not the temporal when it comes to your relationships.  Treat your family as though they are sons and daughters of God, for that is what they are, or what they are going to become!

The Tipping Point of the Government Mountain

This is my monthly article for Cindy Jacobs ministry,

Generals.org.

One of the family stories I love hearing is from 1935 during the Great Depression. My grandfather was just out of high school when he found some surveyors examining the farmland owned by his father. When he approached and asked what they were doing, they informed him that the farm was being repossessed by the bank because the loan payments were not being made.

This news was a tipping point that caused my 19 year old grandfather to shift into high gear to help save the farm. He approached the bank for a loan to purchase some equipment and worked for his dad as a farm hand. He began to help his dad work himself out of the financial hole they were in.

As my grandfather’s five brothers graduated high school, they each spent two years working as farm hands. This caused the family farm to prosper greatly, enabling them to save it and to actually extend their territory during the Great Depression.

It was a huge mountain to climb, but they pulled together as a family, each person doing their part and laying down their lives. In the end, God rewarded them for it.

Remembering this story always encourages me to persevere when I walk through stormy seasons or feel like I am drowning. It inspires me to witness firsthand the fruit from the faithfulness of my grandfather and his brothers’ perseverance during the Great Depression.

Because my ancestors persevered through the trial and tribulation, I have hope. I know that if I simply remain faithful with what needs to be done, refusing to be afraid of the storm or the height of the mountain, then on the other side, I will prosper and extend my territory.

Perseverance is a spiritual principal that is part of my generational foundation. I have seen what my forefathers sowed, and now I am reaping their harvest.

I am reminded of these words from the apostle Paul...

(Click here for the rest of the article)

Life Beyond Thunderdome: When Heroes Become Tyrants

  This song has been playing in my head recently.  I think it reflects my thoughts about our current political and cultural climate. 

♫ Out of the ruins, out from the wreckage

Can't make the same mistake this time

We are the children, the last generation

We are the ones they left behind

And I wonder when we are ever gonna change it

Living under the fear till nothing else remains

We don't need another hero

We don't need to know the way home

All we want is life beyond the thunderdome ♫

Tina Turner sang this theme song in 1985.  It was for a movie called “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.”  In it, Tina Turner played the ruthless ruler of a post-apocalyptic civilization.  The creator of the movie, George Miller, said in an interview that they wanted to give the sense that she was a genuine hero before she built her town.  But because she became a  “holdfast”and would not let go of her world in order to allow the next, natural change to happen she had to become a tyrant to keep it all in order. 

“Today’s tyrant is yesterday’s hero.” – George Miller

This thought of a  “holdfast” is intriguing to me because we are surrounded by people who are holding fast to their positions of power or authority that give them false identity and ultimately keeps us enslaved in a “Thunderdome.”

Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler were both  “holdfasts.”  They started out as heroes but ended up tyrants who were enthralled by their power. 

As I am a lover of the geek world, I submit to you that Darth Vader is a great example of a “holdfast.”

 In the story, he originally was the hero, but his pain made him grasp for power to fill the void and his identity was given over to “the dark side.”   In the Word, King Saul was a “holdfast.”

  The first King of Israel, who was chosen by God, loved being the hero so much that he attempted to hang onto his power by killing his successor, David.

In the Church, a  “holdfast” is an elder or pastor who has been in a particular position FOR-EVER, never letting go of their seat on the board because of the power they hold.  Their time on the board has long surpassed the time that God intended for them to have because they loved the power that it gave them.  If these leaders keep their power through fleshly efforts, they will end up being authoritarian and will use fear and control to keep their position.

In the family structure, parents hold on too long to their children.  When our children are young, we ARE their heroes.  But there is a certain age at which we must cut them loose to be the keepers of their own lives.  If we hold fast to our children too long – we will end up becoming their tyrant and possibly driving them away because they feel controlled. 

Some are holding fast to the political authority.  This is why we have people in congress for 40 years at a time.  They are cogs in the wheel who have outlived their allotted time in office yet refuse to move from their seat to allow the next generation their appointed time at the helm.  In the meantime, they have become ineffective at their job because if they are not called by God to the seat in which they are sitting they have to manipulate to keep their authority.

That’s why John the Baptist was such an enigma.  He didn’t care about his power.  He didn’t care what people thought of him.  He was willing to step down from ministry and “become less” because of the natural order of the Kingdom.  John was a representation of how the flow of leadership in the Kingdom of God is supposed to go. When Jesus showed up, John stepped down. The Pharisees and Sadducees are the representations of the  “holdfast” tyrants of Jesus’s time.

In fact, these religious  “holdfasts” of Jesus’s day, ended up crucifying Him because they were holding so tightly to their power.

Friends – we must renew our thinking about position and power in the Kingdom of God.  We don’t need another hero who hangs onto his power so long that he becomes a tyrant. 

The key to lasting freedom in our churches, in our families and in our nation is to let God’s natural order take its place.  God’s natural rhythm is evidenced in the word of God when Jesus comes to take over for John the Baptist.  When God’s next choice for leadership comes, we must let that leader become greater while we become less.  Holding onto power out of season will affect your eternal reward.  If you serve the living God, this world is not your kingdom, it is His.

Joshua instructed the Israelites in Joshua 23:5-8:

“But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to

hold fast

to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

As Believers the only thing we are to

hold fast

to is God.  To hold fast to anything else will cause trouble and hardship to ourselves and others.

John the Baptist did not need power.  He did not need man’s approval.  He did not need anyone to like him.  He prepared the Bride for the Bridegroom but did not accept the admiration of the Bride.  He did not consider himself a hero.  He was simply carrying out the duty given to him… to prepare the way of the Lord.

If you are convicted of  holding fast to something that you are not supposed to, repent now and put it into God’s hands.  Lay down whatever it is in this world that you are holding onto and wrap your arms around God and hold fast to Him.

It is my prayer that our nation can rise up and find life beyond the Thunderdome in which we are now living.  The tyrants of government and pop culture are getting old.  A revolution may be in order – but let us remember that we will repeat the mistakes of the past if we hold onto power too long.  Let us not escape Thunderdome in order to create another one.  May the generations to come have the wisdom of John the Baptist.  “He must become greater, we must become less.”

So the Church Is in a Civil War - What Now?

If there is one thing that this political season is bringing to light, it is that God’s people are not unified. Our differing opinions about what God is saying concerning the election have uncovered a deep divide - or quite possibly an actual disconnect in part of the Body from Him.

Not only are we not unified, this election has uncovered that The Body is spiteful, nasty and cruel to those who do not agree with their opinion. 

Some of my Christian friends who support Donald Trump for President have decided to just be quiet about it because they will actually be attacked by their friends for supporting him.  

Other friends who openly support DT can be just as vicious as some of the sanctimonious conservatives who swear they have the moral high ground.  

It's like there has been a line drawn in the sand. People are being defined by what side they take.  There is an all-out civil war.  Choosing a side can mean deep rifts in relationships.  Christians from all sides are demanding that if they are true brothers and sisters in Christ that they'll agree with them about who to vote for.

This disagreement basically comes down to this:  I have heard from God, therefore I am right and you are wrong.

The truth is that we should be giving each other the right to follow God as we see fit.  To our own master, we stand or fall.   

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.  Romans 14:1-4

God gives us free will.

The Church needs to allow each other to follow their own consciences.  The Holy Spirit is our guide.

Even if the Body of Christ disagrees about who the next president should be – we cannot cut off the hand or the foot because they aren’t voting or who we think they should be voting for.

We need each other.  You can’t say that someone is not part of the Body because of who they vote for.  Don’t kill me for this – but that also goes for those who vote for Hillary or Bernie Sanders – they are still part of the Body of Christ.  If they are wrong in who they support, it is Jesus their Master who is responsible for His servants.

We should be free to say who we are going to vote for without the fear of being rejected.  Insisting that others agree with us or they are not true followers of Christ is over the line.  The Body of Christ doesn’t get to have a litmus test for who belongs and who doesn’t belong.  That right only belongs to our Master.

I would be quite depressed about the condition of the church except that years ago when I read a book called

The Final Quest

by Rick Joyner he prophesied about the coming civil war of the Church.

I am OK with the Church being in a civil war – because the Church needs to be emancipated.  It is the Lord’s job to make His Body One.  Shouting and fighting each other doesn’t set anyone free.  There is no liberty if there is no free will.

The Spirit of the Lord is not present – if there is no liberty!  (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Let us be passionate about what we believe without demanding that others conform to our beliefs or face being punished by being ostracized.

Here is Rick Joyner’s prophecy from

The Final Quest.  

I pray it brings some clarity to the situation we are in:

Months later I sat pondering this dream. Alarmingly, certain events and conditions in the church had seemed to parallel just what I had seen when the horde from hell had begun to march. I was then reminded of Abraham Lincoln. 

The only way he could become the Emancipator, and preserve the Union, was to be willing to fight a Civil War. He not only had to fight it, but fight it with resolution not to compromise until the victory was complete. He also had to have the grace to fight the bloodiest war in our history without demonizing the enemy with propaganda. If he had done that he might have been able to galvanize the resolve of the North much faster, and win a quicker military victory, but it would have made the reunion after the war much more difficult. Because he was truly fighting to preserve the Union, he never made the men and women of the South the enemy but rather the evil that had them in bondage.

A great spiritual civil war now looms before the church. Many will do everything they can to avoid it. This is understandable, and even noble. However, compromise will never maintain a lasting peace. It will only make the ultimate conflict that much more difficult when it comes, and it will come.

The Lord is now preparing a leadership that will be willing to fight a spiritual civil war in order to set men free. The main issue will be slavery versus freedom. The secondary issue, which will be the primary issue for some, will be money. 

Just as the American Civil War at times looked like it would destroy the entire nation, what is coming upon the church will at times appear as if it will be the end of the church. However, just as the American nation not only survived, but went on to become the most powerful nation on earth, the same is going to happen to the church. The church will not be destroyed, but the institutions and doctrines that have kept men in spiritual slavery will be.

Even after this, perfect justice in the church will not be attained overnight. There will be struggles.

However, in the midst of the coming spiritual civil war, Faith, Hope and Love, and the kingdom of God that they stand upon, will begin to be seen as they have never been before. This will begin drawing all men to the kingdom. God

s government is about to be demonstrated as greater than any human government.

And let us remember that, with the Lord a thousand years is as a day.

He can do in us in one day what we might think would take a thousand years. The work of liberation and exaltation of the church, will be a work that is accomplished much quicker than we may think is humanly possible. However, we are not talking here about human possibilities.

My Prayer:

 Lord send a company of shepherds into the Church with the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln to preside over this civil war.

The Difference Between a Feminist and a Suffragist

I am floored when I think that women have only had the right to vote since 1920.  It is shocking to think that women have only been able to vote for the last 100 years.  Black men were given the right to vote in 1870 after the civil war but women would have to wait another 50 years before they would gain the right to be equal to men at the ballot box.

I am extremely grateful for the women who took up the suffrage fight for women. In a way it was another civil war.  Some of them were beaten, many were imprisoned.  They dedicated their lives to see equality between the sexes.  Some of them died before their dream of equality between men and women were realized.

Unfortunately somewhere along the way the suffrage movement got hijacked.  Women who started out wanting equality at the voting booth began a rebellion against men.  I don't want to rehash the history of Women's Suffrage but I would like to point out some wisdom for finding a balance.

There is a difference between the suffrage movement and the feminist movement. 

Let me be pointed about a few things:

1)

There was CLEARLY a patriarchal society during the first 125 years of our nation.  Men were in charge of everything.

2)

Equality for women is not yet realized on every single front.  However we have made huge strides and I am full of faith that we will see true equality in my lifetime.  I am not impatient with the road it takes to get there.  It takes endurance to see a dream realized.

3)

Some women have taken suffrage too far and have swung clear into feminism – which is the opposite of patriarchy.

Feminism and Patriarchy are both types of Mastery.  Mastery is the sin of one human being ruling over another human being. 

The Patriarchy system made women feel powerless and gave rise to the rebellion of women which created Feminism.  Both systems are in a ditch and neither one represent the Kingdom of God.  Men and women are equal in the sight of God.  When God created Adam – both the male and female parts of “man” were in him.  When God created Eve – he simply separated them.

A pendulum of mastery began to swing after the fall of Adam and Eve.  The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus paid the price to balance the scales once again.  In Christ there is no male or female (Gal. 3:28).

Men should not be the masters of women.  Conversely women should not be the masters of men.  Mastery is a type of control that one exerts over another in order to feel powerful.

You cannot use power to be free from Mastery.  You must use love.  Using Feminism to get free from Patriarchy is using power to achieve equality and freedom from Mastery of the Patriarch system.

As a woman, it is futile for me to emasculate a man in order to restore my power as a woman.  I must want the best for men in my sphere of influence.  I must want them to succeed in all that God has called them to be. 

I must love men and have their best interests at heart, while at the same time remaining true to my identity as a child of God.  I must love God’s definition of who He created me to be more than I love the approval of the Patriarchy system. 

As women, we must want to rule over the earth alongside men, instead of ruling over men.  We’ve been distracted by the perceived trauma of losing our power.  By simply remaining firmly planted on the Rock, and the identity He’s given us, and trusting God to guide us on the path, we will fulfill our purpose whether or not men agree with our purpose.

There is no glass ceiling if you are climbing on God’s ladder.  The glass ceiling only comes into play if you are climbing the ladders of men.  Mastery is a type of glass ceiling.

Several great women of God in our times have shown us exactly how ignoring the ladders of men can lead to great destinies; Maria Woodworth-Etter, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Joyce Meyer.

God has a destiny for each of us.  Those destinies do not overlap.  If I climb to the fullness of who He created me to be, I take nothing away from others.  My success does not take away from anyone else’s success.  Conversely, the success of others does not affect the success God has in store for me.

It is to our advantage to want everyone to succeed because this is how we complement each other.  This is how we rule over the earth.

If my husband and I both succeed in our respective purposes, we shine the light of Christ twice as bright.  Marriage is about becoming Oneflesh but it is not about Mastery.  I am his and he is mine, but I do not lay who I am down in order to let my husband shine.  Neither does he lay down his power to lift me up.

My husband loves me unconditionally – I do not have to meet his conditions to be loved.  He does not have to meet my list of expectations in order for me to love him.  We are both free to be who God created us to be.  We rule together over the earth.  Two people can be powerful at one time.

Love is the opposite of Mastery.

Love sets us free from wanting to be the Master of another.

Adam and Eve were not meant to rule over each other - they were meant to be ONE and rule over the earth the earth together. Christ died that Eden might be restored.

Patriarchy says “Men rule!”

Feminism says “Women rule!”

Suffrage says “We are equal!”

America's Next Season: The Valley of Death

Prophetically I’ve known it for a couple of years.  America is about to go through a Dark Night of the Soul.  It is that season where continual storms in life cause your true nature to arise.  It’s the point at which all of the dross, the dark things in our hearts, rise up in the midst of the chaos. 

The Dark Night of the Soul (click here) reveals your character

and invites you to make necessary changes.

Pretty soon,

America’s Dark Night of the Soul (click here

) is going to reveal where her true peace lies.  Does it rely on government?  Does it rely on money?  Does America’s peace rely on pride or nationalism?  One thing I can tell you for sure is that America’s peace does not rest on the rock of Jesus Christ.  Thus the reason for the coming Valley of Death.

We are no longer living in the “sweet land of liberty.”  We have lost our identity while the enemy has pursued our nation to dehumanize us and twist our thinking away from the reason God created our country in the first place.  We are in need of some severe mercy from the Lord.  The severe storms about to come upon America are meant to point out where our hearts truly lie.

The severity of God’s mercy will be a sweet relief for those who are already have been working to bring heaven to earth.  This Valley of Death will be a help to those who are wanting to see Jesus be the foundation of our nation again.  But the severity of God’s mercy will feel like the world is caving in to those who are not firmly planted in the identity of who God is and who no longer desire “liberty and justice for all.”

I had a vision of a television screen the other night before falling to sleep.  On the screen was a deep orange color that looked like lava.  I asked the Lord, if that was a volcano – did I need to pray against the destruction of a volcano?

The Lord responded to me, “No these are the fires of Mordor, this is how close we are to destroying the “Ring of Power” that rules over your nation.”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the “Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkein, darkness ruled over the people of the land with One Ring.  The One Ring was created by a Dark Lord Sauron and had power to spread darkness over the whole land and giving Sauron complete domination.  It was the quest of a few volunteers to give up their lives in order to destroy the ring by throwing it into the fires of Mt Doom in the land of Mordor.

Unfortunately, we see a similar story being played out right here in America.  A select few people have the power to “spin” America in any way that they see fit.  They are used to pulling strings and ruling over our economy, politics, media, racism, entertainment and even religion.  They are the puppet masters who pull the strings in order to see their will imposed on our nation.

Whether or not we have realized it – the true Church of God has been crying out for deliverance from these puppet masters. We have been crying out for the foundation of Christ to be reestablished in our nation as it once was.  We are crying out for the “sweet land of liberty”  -

the land where our fathers died and land of the pilgrims pride

– we are crying out again for FREEDOM!

The impending Valley of Death is the Lord coming to answer the prayer of His True Church.

This Valley - where everything that can be shaken will be shaken -  is meant to be severe mercy!

These are the things we are about to witness in the Valley of Death:

Government:

No longer will a few people be able to control the elections.  No longer will they be able to blackmail candidates and impose their chosen candidate upon us.  God is using Donald Trump as a wrecking ball to the establishment and to those who have the Ring of Power in politics.  He cannot be controlled even by the political correctness of the Church.  God has no problem offending the religious rules and regulations that the church has in their minds about what a righteous leader should look like. 

God is going to use Donald Trump to break the church free from their self-righteousness.

  Whether or not Donald Trump will be the nominee or even the President, God is not through using him as a wrecking ball and will continue to allow the bull to break up the china shop.  He will remain the instrument of God until the Lord is finished destroying the Political Ring of Power.  (I wish the church would be more grateful for this.)

This election will be the first election in a long time that we truly have FREE and FAIR elections, and it will largely be because Donald Trump will not bow.

Economy:

The economy will begin sinking into the mud.  Those with the Ring of Power are looking to take America out!  It will look as though we are headed for another depression, but that will not be the case. 

Intercessors will rise up and pray for the economy and God will answer those prayers and raise it up out of the sinking mud.  It will be such a drastic turn of events that even the media will have to give a second thought that something supernatural intervened.  

The rescue of the economy will be a humbling to the entrepreneur that their ways and formulas aren’t where their peace comes from, it only comes from the mercy and grace of God that they succeed. 

There will be losses because of the dip of the economy – but they will be small losses compared to what a depression would bring. 

Intercessors will unite in a new way realizing that they have power over the Puppet Masters of this world and a new and stronger faith will inspire many to begin to address the giants in the land.

The Ring of Power over our economy will have met the power of the intercessors – and it will lose.  Those who thought they could manipulate the economy to control America will be frustrated.  Their power will be greatly diminished and their ring destroyed.  

God's people will have renewed faith that God is truly the Provider.

Racism:

The main sin behind Racism is mastery.  When one group of people claims to be the master of another.  We have largely overcome the “mastery” sin from our days of slavery.  There are pockets throughout our nation that still simmer with this sin – but for the most part we are a nation who IS realizing the dream of Martin Luther King Jr.  The problem therein lies with a few who have learned to stoke the fading coals of racism for their own fame, power and financial gain.

There will be a judgment on the Ring of Power that continues to stoke this fire.  Riots and looting followed by curfews and heavy police action will continue and seem never ending.

The voice of Martin Luther King Jr will rise again this time it will be multiplied as God anoints several black and white leaders to increase and displace the Ring of Power.  There will be a balance and acceptance of the races once again in our nation, though a deep price will be paid to see this balance come.

Pride in Nationalism:

America’s standing in the world as a world power will be shaken financially and militarily. 

Those who think the United States should be the rescuer and policeman

of the world will be shaken to the core in order to set them free from looking to a nation instead of Jesus.  America’s Ring of Power will be destroyed during the coming storms in order to make way for the true King of Kings to be on the throne of the sheep nations.

It will also set America free from always having to be the mediator.  Our attention and focus can be freed up to homeland security and domestic issues that are causing a weakness in the infrastructure of our nation.

The Church:

There are also wolves in the Church who have usurped great power over God’s people.  Religion and Witchcraft permeate the Church.  The Valley of Death will reveal the true from the false.  The eyes of God’s people will be opened to their true condition and recognize the places in their lives where they are not truly built on the Rock.

The strength that God’s people gain through this valley will be significant.  With their eyes open to their true condition along with understanding how to wield the power of God, the Giants of the Land like abortion, religious freedom and gay marriage will be easily overcome. 

The Third Great Awakening that we have been hearing about will begin to find traction.  And there will be no stopping the train of unification that happens as the Church lays down their petty offenses with one another and finds a unity in Christ instead of doctrine.

The Valley of Death will serve as a Damascus Road experience for much of the Church.  A realization of everything that is false will empower the Church with truth.  The power of discernment will increase and

God’s people will lay down human kindness for the kindness of God(click here).

  A Holy boldness will rise up in the True Church and they will not be afraid of being called bullies in order to bring the Kingdom of God to earth.

The Ring of Power over the Church is essentially the fear of not being liked.  The media, the entertainment world, and the government have learned to use this Ring over God’s people.

It is in the Valley of Death that Believers will put to death their fear of being disliked.

The Ring of Power will be destroyed as the manipulation of being called “mean”will no longer work over God’s people(click here).

The Valley:

I am not looking forward to this Valley of Death – but I also don’t fear it.  This Dark Night of the Soul is exactly what our nation needs.  The discipline it brings is because the Lord loves us not because He is angry at us.  God is actually taking us through the valley to be set free from the power of the One Ring.

It IS a valley.  It is not the abyss.  We will come out of it and God will restore us.  Christ is not returning yet – His Bride is not ready.  The Bride will have the opportunity to be cleansed in the Valley of Death.  When dawn’s early light begins to shine again after the Dark Night of the Soul – America will be on its way to being the shining city on a hill once again.  We will not be the savior of the world but we will shine a light to the One who is the Savior.  This was God’s original intention for America from the beginning… to point to the good news of The Spirit of the Lord in which there is true Liberty.

My one prayer in the midst of all of this suffering is that we will be trained by it. 

The Body of Christ must understand that our FEELINGS don't matter!(click here) 

Let us not walk through such a severe discipline without being changed by it.  Whatever may happen in the Valley of Death – let our faith in flesh be the thing to die as we put Jesus on the throne in every way in our lives! 

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:11

An Appeal to Heaven - The Only Remedy


God has a covenantal love for America, not a contract.  ~ Lou Engle

I had the privilege of attending a conference last weekend in Middletown, Ohio called “Appeal to Heaven.”  It was hosted by Dutch Sheets. (website)  Dutch is a spiritual father to many in our nation.  He has written several inspiring books on intercession and revival.  The River of God is my favorite but I recommend ALL of them! (click here)

Dutch had a dream from the Lord in 2013 that he was going to war against 5 giants.  He fought five
rounds in the dream, one against each giant.  He had boxing gloves on and was able to knock each one out with one punch.  One glove was called “everlast”  the other glove was called “evergreen.”  If you know anything about boxing.  There is a brand name called Everlast.  But this was not what the Lord meant – the Lord was referring to Isaiah 40:8:

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

Mr. Sheets knew that it was because God would never grow tired and He would fight with us against the giants of our nation without fail until they were defeated.

The other glove named “evergreen” was a little more of a puzzle to Mr. Sheets.  That is until someone not knowing about his dream was impressed by the Lord to bring him a flag with an evergreen tree on it.  It said, “An Appeal to Heaven.”

Dutch Sheets


This flag was the flag that George Washington had put on the naval ships before our nation was born.  There was no national flag yet.  General Washington knew we needed something to identify the naval ships that belonged to the colonies. 

The phrase “An Appeal to Heaven” comes from British philosopher John Locke in his publication Second Treatise on Civil Government, 1690.

Locke essentially said, When all appeals to man’s government have been exhausted, and justice is perverted and injury and violence remain… “the only remedy in such cases, [is] an appeal to heaven.”

Patrick Henry later quoted Locke at Virginia’s Convention
An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! – Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

The tyranny over the colonies by the King of England had left them no recourse but to Appeal to Heaven.

Two-hundred and forty years later we are at this same crossroads again.  The injustice and tyranny of unjust judges, a president who is behaving like a King, and a congress who is neck deep in corruption has brought us to the place where we must again Appeal to Heaven.

The United States needs another Revolution.  We need some giants knocked down.  Mr. Sheets has been given a strategy by the Almighty God to bring our country back around to humility and revival once again.

First we BELIEVE that God is an Everlasting God and He had good plans for our country.  We must come to know His character that He will never grow tired or weary of us.  He is not finished with America.  Yes we need some strong discipline.  And we need some humbling.  But we are not abandoned.  We still have a purpose in God’s Kingdom.

Second we need to APPEAL TO HEAVEN!  We must cry out for our nation to turn back to God.  We must believe 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if we seek Him, humble ourselves and pray and turn from our wicked ways that He WILL hear us and He WILL heal our land.  Our only recourse for America is to Appeal to Heaven.

I invite you to do both!  Believe AND Appeal!


Add America to your prayer list.  Ask God to cleanse your heart of any pride. Pray for humility.  Pray for God to bring His people justice.  Ask Him to save us from the perilous path that America is on.
Dutch Sheets has recently launched an app to unite us in daily prayer.  The phone/tablet app is called Give Him 15 (click here).  It is based on the premise that if people all across the US will give Him 15 minutes a day, we can turn around the ship.  I invite you to check it out – it is free and people ALL over the nation will be using it to pray DAILY for the US.  Can you imagine a million people crying out the same prayer to the Lord?


We will be posting the decrees from this app on our prayer ministry Facebook page New Castle Prays (click here).  We invite you to like this page and join us in praying for the future of this nation.


We invite you to Appeal to Heaven!

It's Not Enough to Demand Liberty...We Must Practice It.

Memorial Day is a special tradition in this community.  It is a time-honored custom to remember those who have fought for freedom at home and abroad since the Revolutionary War.

“Give me liberty, or give me death!”  This quote spoken by Patrick Henry is one we learn as school children.  It helps us to identify with the struggle of the birthing of our nation.  It is hard to truly understand that an entire generation literally committed treason in order to bring a free nation into its own sovereignty.  So many brave men and women gave their lives in
order to give us the luxury of freedoms we now have.

Patrick Henry is the namesake of Henry County.   Some historians call him the spark of the Revolutionary War.  His impassioned speeches about breaking from the monarchy of Great Britain emboldened people to oppose the tyranny of the King.

“If we wish to be free - if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending - we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!”  (March 23, 1775, Second Virginia Convention.)

How grateful we are that this generation was willing to ‘give up their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor’ (Declaration of Independence) in order to give us a sovereign and free nation.  Just think, if they had not succeeded in the revolutionary war, they would have been hanged as traitors and history be telling a much different story. 

There is another part of Patrick Henry’s 1775 speech that intrigues me.  “We shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.”

Indeed God does preside over the destinies of nations.  The fact that He has presided over America is evidenced in our continual struggle for freedom.  Our calling to make men free is still in our country’s DNA. We may not have done it perfectly. We have made some missteps along the way. But our demand for liberty is alive and well.

It’s not enough, however, to demand liberty.  The only way to truly preserve liberty is to practice it. 

We will begin to lose liberties when we no longer use them.  If we allow ourselves to be silenced and do not have the courage to speak against tyranny - we will lose our freedom of speech.  If we squander our right to bear arms and forget the struggle of our forefathers – we will lose the right to gun ownership.  If we do not stand up for the right of the media to address both sides of the story – we will end up with a state-run press.  If we forbid people that we do not agree with to assemble for their cause – the right to assembly will be a counterfeit because only the state will decide who can assemble.

And if we do not continue to use our freedom of religion in the public square – we will lose it.  It is becoming taboo to practice our faith in public.  There is a lie being purported that we can have the Freedom of Religion in our churches but not beyond the threshold of that building.  This is most certainly not what the Founding Fathers meant.  In fact, they used their faith publicly throughout the birthing process of the nation.  They put their foundation firmly on God in the Declaration of Independence and declared that He was the very source of all rights.

This Memorial Day weekend, Henry County FaithFest will honor the men and women who gave up their lives so that we could enjoy this freedom.  We will publicly practice our right to free speech, assembly and faith at the festival happening in the heart of Henry County… downtown New Castle.  We intend to have a great time lifting up the name of Jesus throughout Memorial Day weekend in the very center of our community.

Sunday evening will include a Concert at the Courthouse and a word from Mayor Greg York beginning at 6:30pm.  Monday will include free kids games and family activities after the parade and a cupcake eating fundraiser at 1:30pm or Henry County Young Life sponsored by The Sweet Life cakes by kim.


By using our freedoms we will not lose them!  Jesus loves Henry County.  He wants to see it transformed. May our efforts at FaithFest honor those who gave their lives for our freedom as well as the God who presides over the destiny of our nation.

Orwellian Speak and the Supreme Court

April 4, 2014 - The Courier Times Letter to the Editor - by Tom and Tisha Sledd

This is our editorial response to an Op-Ed by the Courier Editor Bob Hansen from an article dated March 29th regarding Hobby Lobby's suit at the Supreme Court to have the right to refuse to supply certain birth control because it conflicts with their faith.  Mr. Hansen argues that the Bill of Rights does not apply to businesses.

________________________________

Dear Editor,  We find offensive your recent opinion article in the Courier dated March 29, 2014.  As Christians and business owners, albeit a very small one, we DO have rights to not support something that we don't believe in.  We ARE our business.  We put our money, our time, our creativity and who we are into our business.  Our business is a reflection of our faith and our family, because the two are not mutually exclusive.

Our small little BBQ and Chocolate business may seem to you like it only “exists to make money” but that is not true.  It is our dream and our talents rolled into our business.  We along with our boys are trying to create something that is
a blessing to those in this town.  And you better believe that we expect that our right to free speech and freedom of religion is rolled up into our American Dream.

We can put our faith on our packaging by including scripture.  We can criticize the government if we like by hanging signs up.  We can have a gun to protect the money that we bring in.  We can support with our money the lawmakers whom we think will allow us to continue pursuing the American Dream. We can choose to serve our God while also adhering to the guidelines laid out for us in the religious text of our faith.

Practicing these rights is exactly what will keep us from aNineteen Eighty-Four Orwellian Big Brother. If we do not practice them, we will end up losing them. Hobby Lobby is being reasonable about what they offer to their employees.  Is 16 forms of birth control not enough?  They are only asking for two to be excluded that they consider a violation of their faith.  It seems to us Mr. Hansen that your facts are turned around and that your arguments are the ones that are forcing Big Brother on America. “Businesses are not individuals” sounds an awful lot like Newspeak which is reinforcing the dominance of the State.  In the most simplistic of ways your argument sounds like this:  “If money is involved then you shall obey the State.”

We applaud Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, both family businesses, for exercising their right to not support murder!  By your ridiculous standards, once we pursue the American Dream we check our rights at the door.  That is simply not true Mr. Hansen.  We are exactly the people that the Bill of Rights was designed to protect.  We are America.