Good morning, my friends! I hope you are well and safe. I tell you what–I saw a meme the other day that said ‘Welcome to Level 6 of Jumanji’, and I’m starting to wonder if someone got a hold of that game! Let’s just recap 2020 so far.
January- Wildfires in Australia
February- Kobe Bryant, his daughter and several others were killed in a helicopter crash
March- The ‘Rona
April- ‘Rona was still around, but now we have wacky and wild weather
May- ‘Rona is subsiding, but now we have riots and protests over George Floyd’s death
June- Riots and protests continue so far, and it’s now hurricane season with the third named storm of the season, Cristobal, already brewing.
A lot of people are asking if this is the apocalypse. I don’t think it is. It’s supposed to be worse than this, but it sure can feel like it sometimes. I feel bad for George Floyd’s family. They’re mourning a terrible loss and there are people taking advantage of that loss to create havoc. I’m all for peaceful protests, but when you start attacking, looting, and in some cases killing, that’s not a peaceful protest. That’s a riot. What happened to Mr. Floyd was atrocious. It was murder plain and simple, and the police officers (who give law enforcement a bad name, by the way) who murdered him should be held accountable.
The rioters need to be held accountable too. There was a group of them that set fire to a house that had children in it, and then they prevented the fire fighters from saving them. That’s murder too. Every single one of those who had a hand in setting fire to that house should be charged with murder. They’re no different than the corrupt officers who murdered Mr. Floyd. It’s disgusting. We need God to save our country. We need a spiritual revival in America.
Hence the title of my post. Ladies and gentlemen, we most certainly are living in a time ripe for spiritual revival, and I’m praying for it. I’m longing for it. The Church needs to step up and be the Church, not some politically correct wimp that bows out at the first sign of trouble. The Early Church went through some pretty crappy stuff back in the day. They were boiled in oil, cut in half with swords, drawn and quartered, beheaded, crucified, given to lions to be eaten, and used as living torches (Nero lit Christians on fire and used them as torches) simply for being a Christian. If people were willing to die those horrific deaths simply because they chose to follow Jesus, then isn’t He worth looking into? Isn’t He worth a try?
The best way to get to know God is by reading His Word, the Bible. Are there parts that I don’t understand? Yep. Are there parts that are kind of disturbing? Yep. Ask Him to open your eyes and heart. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you as you read through the Bible.
Do you need a Bible? Christian Book dot com has some great deals right now. If you’ve never read the Bible before–I capitalize it, by the way, because it’s a holy book to me–I would suggest using a version that’s easier to understand. New Living Translation (NLT) is a great version, as is New International Version (NIV). Holman Christian Standard is good (HCSB is the short way of saying it), I’m currently reading Common English (CEB). A friend of the family preferred the New American Standard (NASB). I haven’t read that version before. I don’t suggest The Message, simply because it’s a paraphrase of the Bible, not an actual translation from the original text. A lot of people stick to the King James or New King James (KJV & NKJV) versions, but I get distracted by the thee’s and thou’s. I have a New King James version I received on my kindergarten graduation. Yep. Still have it. Click here to visit Christian Book.
Where do you start? Well, you can start at the beginning, or you can start with the New Testament. The books Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are four accounts of Jesus’s life from four of His disciples. You get four perspectives. I really like Luke’s version. He was a doctor, and he liked to write details. Some Bibles will have reading plans either in the front or the back of them. Psalms and Proverbs are good books to start with. Most of the Psalms were written by King David. Proverbs was written by his son, King Solomon.
If you’re already reading the Bible, but you’d like a devotional to add on, may I suggest Bob Gass Ministries? Funny name, but excellent devotional. A year’s subscription is $19.99, and you get the devotional quarterly. Part of the money you spend, I believe, goes to help the Village of Hope, which is an orphanage in Romania that the Gass family started. You can visit Bob Gass Ministries’ website here.
Another great resource, and it may seem a little ‘out there’ is Skywatch TV. I love to watch their news program ‘Five in Ten.’ They come at the news with a Christian perspective. They also aren’t afraid to discuss paranormal things and apply a Christian perspective to it as well. I don’t always agree with them, but it’s thought-provoking. They have some great resources, too, and when you purchase their book deals, your money helps their Whispering Ponies Ranch, which is a camp for kids who have been sexually abused. They actually have an app, SkywatchTV, in the Apple Store, and you can find it on Amazon tv, Roku, and Apple tv. I believe they have an app for Android as well. The app helps you keep up with the various programs they have available. Besides the news program, my second favorite show is ‘SciFriday’, followed by ‘Unraveling Revelation’. Both shows are so interesting! I highly recommend Skywatch TV. Click here to see their website.
Note: Skywatch does have a lot of “special offers” blazing around their website, but considering that’s how they keep their kids’ ranch going, I’m okay with it.
Y’all. I know it’s been a long post, but God laid it on my heart this morning as I was trying to think of a topic to write on, so one of y’all reading this needs to see this. I’m keeping our country in prayer as we navigate difficult times. The only One who can get us through this is God. Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy my friends!