Last week, due to an unexpected extension of my post-surgical time in the hospital, followed by a subsequent re-admission, sadly, we were left with no choice but to miss publishing a post. I had expected to be back on track by now, both with my recovery and my normal writing schedule. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case in either category. In light of that, today’s blog effort may seem a bit different, but it coincides with many unforeseen demands being made on my limited resources right now. So, dear friends, you’re not off the hook for two weeks in a row … I do still have a few thoughts I’d like to share with you this week.
A Dependable Principle ~
One of my teachers years ago used to say, “You see what you see because you sit where you sit.” In other words, the direction we’re facing, our perspective, has profound influence over what we “see”; i.e., what we consider to be true or real. That principle goes beyond our observations and exerts the same kind of influence over our responses.
For instance, when life is good, resources are plentiful, and things seem to be moving along according to plan, people are more likely to be concerned over things that have no lasting significance. In prosperous times, people get concerned about such things as whether their sports gear displays the latest trendy logo, whether they’re following the latest health & wellness fad, or whether they’re in touch with the most popular media “influencers”. But what happens if life takes a turn in the other direction?
Changing Perspectives ~
When control suddenly starts slipping away and resources begin to dwindle, perspectives change, and when perspective changes, priorities follow suit. Considerations afforded those peripheral kinds of issues can change dramatically. On a very small personal scale, God used my journey through life for the past couple of weeks to provide a couple of fresh reminders.
I was “blessed” last week with an episode of losing my ability to perform some of life’s most basic functions. Not only was I unable to perform those basic functions, I wasn’t even able to clearly comprehend or respond to what was going on. As I began to come out of that awful state, I was aware of a profound sense of gratitude, but it was not directed toward any of the things the marketers throw at us endlessly. I thought about my wife and our children, of the multitudes of ways they loved me through this, did things for me that I couldn’t do for myself, endured discomfort that I unknowingly caused, protected me from dangers I didn’t know existed, and literally carried me when I couldn’t walk. In addition to those who were with me, others joined in as though my situation was theirs. They lifted up prayers on my behalf and sent words of comfort and encouragement.
Awful Times Will Come ~
When the ground beneath us is shaking, we don’t think about the logo on our sports gear. When we can’t eat and no food sounds appealing, a reservation at the most exclusive restaurant in town means nothing, and the list goes on. Unexpected awful times will always come, both personally and nationally. Nothing will make them easier. Nothing will make them more endurable. Nothing will eliminate the pain that attends them. Nothing will ever justify them or make them good, but there are lessons that can diminish their frequency.
The dark nights won’t always come with a light that makes them less frightening, but they do offer enlightening truths that can help us prevent the next one. The evil that descended on our neighbors in Texas, the ongoing lawlessness in the streets of our cities and the carnage in Ukraine, all cry out for us to turn again toward the solid rock we abandoned. Innocent blood shed needlessly calls us to once again plant our feet on ground that cannot be shaken.
A Devastating Divorce ~
For generations we have been carefully carving God out of our schools, out of our government, out of any judicial relevance, and in millions of cases, out of our homes.
- We’ve acknowledged, as acceptable, things God warned us not to do, and we were rewarded with more of them than we could have imagined.
- We accepted popular opinion over God’s commandments and eventually stripped sin of any definition. Now we have mandated it and made it a “right”.
- We denied God’s design for families, and now have fewer of them.
- We demeaned the role of husbands and fathers, and now we can’t even define what they are.
- We fanned the flames of division, hatred, and violence, and now we are being incinerated by them.
This Memorial Day, the ground beneath our nation is shaking again. We can’t seem to make simple decisions about our own welfare. We can’t perform the most basic national functions and don’t even seem to be aware of how unstable and disabled we’ve become. The pain we’re enduring along with the grieving families in Texas carries the same kind of agonizing lesson it always carries. If we continue the path away from God that got us here, it’s only a matter of time until the next one.
When I couldn’t stand on my own, I was blessed to have people around to lift me up, and America needs that. Politicians can’t support us spiritually, and it’s a cruel joke to think they can. Media oligarchs can’t give us enduring truth. Arrogant entertainers with their filthy mouths and obscene lifestyles can’t tell us how to rebuild our families. Weak, mentally and emotionally twisted educators can’t teach our children how to build healthy, prosperous, lives and careers. Anarchists hiding under judicial robes can’t dictate righteous judgment or deliver real justice.
Time to Listen ~
A national turning back to God must be preceded by a personal one. God has spoken, and it’s time for us to remove the earpods and listen to Him. My wish for all of us this Memorial Day is that we don’t wait until the moral and spiritual foundations are totally gone before heeding the admonition God gave us in the epistle to the Hebrews:
See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:25–29 NKJV)
Rather than wishing all of you a Happy Memorial Day, let me instead pray that this Memorial Day will open a pathway that leads us to happier ones in the years to come.
“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to tweet and share from the pull quotes below. Each one links directly back to this article through Twitter . . .
- “The evil that descended on our neighbors in Texas, the ongoing lawlessness in the streets of our cities, and the carnage in Ukraine, all cry out for us to turn again toward the solid rock we abandoned. ” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “We’ve acknowledged, as acceptable, things God warned us not to do. We accepted popular opinion over God’s commandments and eventually stripped sin of any definition. Now we have mandated it and made it a “right”. @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “This Memorial Day, the ground beneath our nation is shaking. We can’t seem to make simple decisions about our own welfare. We can’t perform the most basic national functions, and seem to be unaware of how unstable and disabled we’ve become.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “The pain we’re enduring along with the grieving families in Texas carries the same kind of agonizing lesson it always carries. If we continue the path away from God that got us here, it’s only a matter of time until the next one.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “A national turning back to God must be preceded by a personal one. God has spoken and it’s time to remove the earpods and listen to Him. Don’t wait until the moral and spiritual foundations are totally gone before heeding His admonition.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “My wish for all of us this Memorial Day is that we don’t wait until the moral and spiritual foundations are totally gone before heeding the admonition God gave us in Hebrews 12:25-29.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
Ron, I’m so, so sorry to hear that you’ve recently suffered so much illness; I will continue to pray for you, your family, and your complete healing in the days to come. Yes, I did miss your post last week and wondered what had happened, so thank you for letting your followers know!
You and I have come to the same conclusion regarding our country and the mess we’re in right now. We have all too willingly removed God from the equation, at least our institutions have, and then these folks wonder what’s wrong? It’s so simple – return to God and He will return to you.
May we pray for all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, and pray that a revival will sweep the land.
Blessings, and feel better!
God bless you, Martha! Your faithfulness has been inspiring to me since we first sort of “met” each other. Your gifts are obvious, but they would be impotent without the courage and faith that undergirds them. Thank you for the encouragement, for the prayers, and for the boost to my faith that your presence always brings.
In the years I’ve been reading and commenting on your blog sir, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve written these words, so add one today. “This is your best post yet!” So much to love about this. Truth spoken in love has always been a hallmark of your writing Pastor Ron, and this one is full of both. Even in your “less than operating range” state, your heart for God, love for your fellow man, and desire to see this nation restored to what it once was (that shining beacon of hope atop the hill) is not lost on many of us who also long for that. As you so masterfully point out sir, we can’t have a national revival until we have a PERSONAL one. I read a Barna Research paper on biblical worldview today, and while this one supposes that only 37% of America’s pulpits are filled with pastors who hold a true biblical worldview, it spoke volumes to me. Sheep go where their shepherds lead them. And we have become a nation of “Sheeple” who are being led right to the edge of eternal damnation by those we trusted to keep us safe. And therein, I believe, is the problem my friend. Collectively, we put our trust in man and turned our backs on God. I was explaining to my ranch foreman this morning, “Any government (socialist, anarchist, monarchy, democracy, or constitutional republic) ONLY has the power that the people cede to them. If we as a nation continue to elect superficial, worldly people to leadership positions, then we can only reap that which we sow. If we elect corrupt politicians, we reap corrupt politics. If we elect “social justice warriors”, we reap hatred and division. If we elected so-called Christians who claim Christianity but hold anything but a true biblical worldview, then we deserve the misleading we’ve sown. Sorry for the long rant this morning my friend, but this is what happens when you ignite the passionate fire that’s been raging inside me for some time. 🙂 God’s blessings my friend, and know that our prayers are continuing for you and your precious family.
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The grace and encouragement you send always does at least two things, J.D. My faith gets a shot in the arm and my determination not to give up or give in gets reinforced. The battle gets tiring, and sometimes it seems as though our prayers and efforts to influence others are too small and insignificant to produce much, but, then, those little seeds you’ve been planting lately are pretty small, too, but there’s stuff in there that just needs the right conditions to produce some shocking results. So, my Brother, let’s reach out together this morning and grab onto this powerful nugget that Paul wrote to the Roman church (which, by the way, was also surrounded by a godless culture). “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Thank you again for making the day brighter around the Gallagher compound–Blessings to your Diane and all the Cross-Dubya family.
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