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Intentional Inspirations Newsletter - 7/4/20
Today's email will be a little different. First, I want to wish each of you a blessed Independence Day! Praying you get to celebrate with family and friends and cherish the gift of freedom that we have. Below I am going to share something I wrote this morning with a heavy heart. I shared it on Facebook and want to share it with you here as well. Praying it challenges and encourages you as we walk through these uncertain days. My two daughters decorated our front steps and sidewalk for today!
Today as we celebrate Independence Day, I have a heavy heart for what I see going on in our country. I see division, hatred, fear, greed, deceit, pride, and the list goes on. What breaks my heart the most is the division I see happening among believers. I feel that I have been misunderstood at times and so I wanted to take some time to try to get out onto paper my thoughts.
With the pandemic going on right now, so much is being thrown at us. Our health agencies seem to change their views and recommendations on a regular basis. So much fear and confusion and isolation– which is just the way Satan likes it.
With that in mind, I understand the very difficult place this puts pastors and church leaders. As they seek God personally as to how to lead their church and implement or not implement measures that are being recommended, believers need to extend grace and understanding to their pastor.
In the same light, pastors and church leaders need to also extend grace and understanding to their congregations as they seek the Lord personally as to how they respond to these measures implemented or not implemented by the church leaders.
Instead I am seeing church members criticizing pastors and church leaders (and each other) for their decisions, and pastors and church leaders criticizing church members for their decisions, saying they are being selfish or not showing love for others or putting others first.
While that may be the case sometimes, that is certainly not always the case and just because each of us may have differing opinions on issues going on in our culture, does not mean that people should be shamed or accused of being selfish if they differ.
We have to realize that we are all in the same army – God’s army. We are all fighting for the same cause – to bring others to Christ.
But God calls us to do that in different ways.
For some it is preaching and sharing the Gospel from the pulpit.
For some it may be through relational ministries like volunteer work.
For some it may be through leadership or teaching.
For some it may be service oriented.
For some it may be standing up for liberties that our founding fathers fought for, including our religious liberties.
Yes we are to lay down our lives for Christ. But that means that we give up our plan and obey God’s plan for our lives.
I have spent a lot of time over the last year fighting for medical freedom – the right for parents to choose what goes into their children’s bodies – specifically vaccines.
I have talked to many moms whose children have been permanently injured or killed by vaccines. They are told they are selfish for not vaccinating their other children and not vaccinating “for the greater good” of others.
Over the past year we have seen medical freedom under attack and freedoms being taken away. In California they removed all vaccine exemptions except medical and in order to get a medical exemption you pretty much have to have almost died after a vaccine. And that exemption is only for that one vaccine.
I see this progression of freedoms being lost in the health freedom arena, and I see it happening in other arenas today as well.
Is it wrong to fight for those freedoms?
Is it wrong to stand up against a government that has turned against us and has turned against Godly authority?
Do we lay down and do nothing while we watch our religious liberties slowly be taken away?
I realize that depending on your circumstances and where God has you (such as missionaries), you may be in a place where you have no choice but to abide by the governing authorities in order to stay there and share the Gospel.
But our country was founded on Godly principles and values. It was founded on having religious freedom. We, as believers, need to seek God and be obedient to what He is calling us to do, whether that be standing up for freedom issues our country is facing or not.
We are all in this fight together, with the same goal of furthering the Gospel.
So when these issues come up that seem to be dividing the church, we need to take a little step back and understand that there may be more going on here than just a “preference” of whether to wear a mask or not.
It isn’t about me…it’s about Jesus and the ability to continue to spread the Gospel to this nation and abroad.
It isn’t about me…it’s about doing the hard things and being obedient to what God is calling me to do (even if others don’t agree or misunderstand).
It isn’t about right or wrong (unless of course sin is involved)…it’s about seeking God and obeying Him.
I want to share this podcast that I listened to yesterday because this pastor put into words how I am feeling but couldn’t find the words. I tried to express myself in this post, but maybe listening to this from a pastor’s perspective will help.
But I want all my friends and family to know that I love you and it’s ok if we don’t agree on everything. The most important thing is that we each are seeking God personally and obeying Him, and then extending grace and love to others as they walk out what God is showing them.
Happy Independence Day!
Take care. Don't fear. Trust God!
P.S. Books I am reading: Mystery of the Silver Coins by Lois Walford Johnson (aloud to the kids), Plague of Corruption by Judy Mikovits, and Intentional Faith.
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Our freedoms are being threatened all across this country and across the whole world. Vaccine mandate laws are being pushed through that take away the rights of parents to choose the health care of their children. If you want to research this issue, I encourage you to check out this resource page. I also want to offer you this Vaccine Hesitancy Review document (PDF file) that does a good job of summarizing the issues: Vaccine Hesitancy Review.pdf
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