Why don’t American Presidents carry guns?

Can you think of a US President who carried a gun? Most (if not all) have found it completely unnecessary. Why?

Presidents are protected by the best security system and body guards that money can buy — the Secret Service. That protection (if they listen to and follow the instructions of the Secret Service) is far better and more effective than any protection they could provide themselves by carrying their own guns. Besides that, presidents are too busy to have to think about and worry about their own protection. So they trust the Secret Service

(However, Secret Service protection isn’t perfect. Five presidents have been shot while in office. Ronald Reagan was wounded and hospitalized and four others were assassinated — Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, and John Kennedy.)

There is another group of people who are offered even better body guards than the Secret Service. Christ-followers are offered angels and the Holy Spirit as their body guards. They don’t have to think about and worry about their own protection if they will listen to and follow the Holy Spirit. (God and His are much more powerful and effective than the US Secret Service).

If God’s protection is real (it has saved my life several times and frequently kept me safe on the streets in violent neighborhoods) then we can trust Him. Like American Presidents we don’t need to personally carry arms. However, if God’s protection isn’t real (or isn’t trustworthy) then perhaps it makes sense for Christians to bear arms to protect themselves.

 

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Posted in Abraham Lincoln, American history, American values, Americans, Christianity, gun violence, Holy Spirit, John F. Kennedy, nonviolence, prayer, protection, right to bear arms, Uncategorized, United States, violence in society | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Suddenly Phineas was right in front of me

I wanted to watch a movie last night, so I stopped at a Redbox and looked at dozens of movies, but nothing appealed to me. By a process of elimination, I settled for The Greatest Showman (which I had seen before and loved, but wasn’t eager to see again). It is a musical about the life of P.T. (Phineas) Barnum — founder of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. My wife and I watched it and were both (once again) very inspired by it.

The Greatest Showman shows how Phineas, starting out with nothing but boldness and creativity, built an entertainment empire that brought joy to multitudes. It also shows how he gathered and employed people who were considered misfits and freaks and created a loving community of equals.

After the movie I picked up my Bible and began reading Psalm 106 (where I had left off the night before). Suddenly I came to these words: “Phineas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked.” I was blown away. What was the likelihood that I would rent The Greatest Showman and watch it that night (I very seldom watch a movie a second time and hadn’t rented a movie in many months)? And what where the odds that immediately afterwards I would pick up the Bible and see a verse about Phineas (P.T.’s name)? The odds seemed to me far too great to be a coincidence. So I began to ask God what I was supposed to get from the verse, the movie, and the timing.

Phineas is not mentioned much in the Bible, so I began to search the web to find more about him. I discovered that he was Aaron’s son and the third high priest of ancient Israel. I found out that his name in Hebrew means oracle or prophet and that he was very bold and passionate about seeking to follow and obey God.

Our society seems to be plagued by many things — mass murders by active shooters, widespread natural disasters, an opioid epidemic that is killing 42,000 Americans a year, depression and other mental health issues, racial issues, political hostility and unkindness, soaring medical costs, etc. Perhaps it is time for boldness and prophetic intervention in our society. But what does that look like? Maybe we need the intervention of a Phineas movement (a spiritual awakening of some sort) to stop the plagues.

If you have any serious ideas about what this might mean, please leave a comment. I’m praying for clarity, direction, and revelation.

 

 

Posted in Bible, faith, movie, movie review, movies, prophecy, prophet, psalm, religion, revival, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Colorful race adventures

This Thanksgiving Day I am thankful for my interracial adventures and my new book about them.

Read about my adventures crossing the color-line:
* selling black history books door-to-door in a race riot;
* getting a haircut from Oprah’s dad;
* being a white pastor in a black denomination;
* praying on innercity streets with drug dealers & gang members.

Check out: Off the RACE Track–From Color-Blind to Color-Kind.

Posted in America, American, American history, American media, appreciation, grace, gratitude, prayer, prayer walking, prayers, praying, praying together, Thanksgiving Eve, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To focus on a man’s talk (called a “sermon”) rather than on Christ’s presence is to settle for a 2nd-hand account instead of a 1st-hand experience.

Posted in alternative to preaching, alternative to sermons, church sermons, do away with the sermon, encounter with God, encountering God, experiencing God, experiencing Jesus, homiletics, homily, long-winded sermon, meeting Jesus, preaching the Gospel, preaching the Word, sermon material, sermon series, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Playing the erase card

Play the erase card. Forgive people who have hurt or offended you.

Disrespect makes fairness difficult. People who disrespect others reveal their own insecurity and fear.

Two or more people won’t ever agree on everything, but their disagreement never needs to be disrespectful. Disagreement mixed with respect is healthy. Disagreement mixed with disrespect is destructive.

There’s no pecking order for skin-color, making one better than another. Contrasting colors create beauty! (Ask an artist!)

Let’s apply logical thinking to the subject of race and get beyond this type of illogical thinking: Saying that someone of mixed blood (black & white) is part of the black “race” but not the white “race.”

Life is much more fun when you see people’s skin color as a blessing and not as a threat. Rather than approaching people of another skin color with apprehension and caution, approach them with appreciation and joy.

If we would erase the myth of race and not leave a trace, we could embrace all shades of people with heart-felt color-kindness. However, erasing the parts of history that we don’t like puts us in danger of retracing them in the future.

When Christ tore down the “wall of partition” between Jew and Gentile, He welcomed every color of people as equals in His kingdom. Biblical Christianity overcomes racial and ethnic divisions, fully embracing believers from “every kindred and every tribe.” If any group should overcome racial division and demonstrate loving multiculturalism, it’s followers of the resurrected Jesus.

God doesn’t have a favorite color. Heaven is the most ethnically and racially diverse place in the universe. Do you want to go there?

Race is a cloudy myth
That hovers over America
Like a persistent fog,
Refusing to lift.

Get beyond the myth. Search Amazon for: Off the RACE Track book.

off the race track soundtrack

Posted in agree to disagree, art, colorblind, disrespect, Gentile, history, Jews, kindness, love, Love one another, lovingkindness, multi-racial, racial reconciliation, right to disagree, the colors, Uncategorized, unkindness | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

election and mean talk

Politicians say, “I’ll fight.” Perhaps it would be better if instead, they worked together for the good of the country. Voting nowadays isn’t easy. In many races there are rude and hostile people representing both parties.

Perhaps America needs more than electoral change. Maybe we need to change how we see each other.

God wants us to love one another and not to be mean because of politics or skin color. Dare to lovingly cross lines and be kind! Voting is fine, but unless we Americans change out thinking about race we’ll keep having the same racial problems.

Be a nonviolent patriot for the Kingdom of God — giving your full, courageous loyalty to Christ and His supernatural government.

Publicity is powerful. It prompts behaviors, sells products and gets votes. Perhaps we should stop publicizing violence.

Life goes better if instead of reacting to people by taking offence, we show kindness and try to understand them and their viewpoint.

Jesus implants in His followers a new heart of humility, tenderness, and compassion, that speaks the truth in love. Let’s unite against violence by no longer watching violent shows and no longer speaking with hostility that could incite it.

When a church service became a one-man monopoly and made the members spectators, it set aside the need to depend on the Holy Spirit.

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History of the race card

People with similar personalities have much more in common than people with similar skin color. Get out of the race box. Color outside the racial lines. Get my new book “Off the RACE Track” on Amazon.

If you look back at America’s race tracks, openly and honestly, some of the things you learn will break your heart. Although the Declaration of Independence says we are all created equal, for two centuries America enforced legal inequality.

In the 1600s color was defined as, “a way to separate people.” Perhaps it’s time to redefine it as, “a way to appreciate people.” If America had treated short people and tall people differently for centuries, keeping them in separate neighborhoods, we’d have a short/tall problem today.

When was the race card first played in America? When laws were passed to establish and protect color-based human enslavement. However, the color of the skin has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the person within. Making skin color a way to categorize people was an unwise idea that has caused much pain through out American history.

Colorblind? It’s okay to notice people’s color, but it’s not okay to treat them disrespectfully because of it. To heal America’s racially charged society, perhaps we all need to humbly search our history and discover how we got to this point.

I don’t believe the myth that says that black people are scary. During three summers of selling black history books door-to-door I was never harmed or even threatened by a black person. However, I did have a white guy pull a gun on me for being on his front porch. And I had two white policemen harass me, threaten me to “get a bondsman” to avoid jail, and take me to their station, all because of “soliciting.” I kept responding kindly and they finally let me go.

Race is a myth, created by Europeans as an attempt to justify human trafficking. The idea of skin-color-based racial divisions was rare or nonexistent in the ancient world. Ancient Jews saw two “races” — themselves and everybody else. Red, yellow, black, white — we’re all “Gentiles.”

The melanin within human skin creates various colors, but society’s racial regimen is a myth. Slavery and legal segregation are gone, but many of the myths that maintained them still linger.

 

Posted in ancient history, colorblind, equality, Europeans, inequality, Jewish, Jews, Off the RACE Track, out of the box, outside the lines, the colors, The Declaration of Independence, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment