Tuesday, November 17, 2015

If you haven't received info on this timely conference I would encourage you to consider attending-Dave 

You are invited to the

Hosted by the Family Research Council and Covenant Presbyterian Church

Schedule for Thursday, November 19, 2015
Open to the Public                          
10:00 am       Welcome & Prayer
10:15 am       A Strategy for Impacting Omaha For Christ & His Kingdom plus a Q & A session.  
1:00 pm        The Future of America & Religious Liberty . . .
Growing Concerns for Every Christian & Church in America plus a Q & A session.

12:00 pm       Area restaurant of your choice

Covenant Presbyterian Church
15002 Blondo Street
Omaha, NE  68116

Randy Wilson  
​National Field Director – Family Research Council.
Randy Wilson serves as FRC's National Field Director for Church Ministries. He travels the country building relationships with Christian ministers, speaking at the Watchmen on the Wall (Isaiah 62:6) Conferences. Prior to joining FRC, Mr. Wilson worked in the public policy department of Focus on the Family, where he started and developed state Family Policy Councils across the country. He also served the local church as a Family Life pastor. Randy and Lisa Wilson, married for 33 years with seven children, three sons-in-law, a daughter-in-law and eight grandchildren. They are the founders of Generations of Light Ministry, an outreach to families. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Finishing Well!
Thoughts following Ty & Terri Schenzel’s Homegoing … Homecoming!

Wednesday's memorial service for Pastor Ty & Terri Schenzel was probably the largest in my memory here in Omaha. Over 3000 people overflowed Christ Community Church, and thousands more watched it online. I believe most of you know they were killed in a head-on collision with a pickup truck going the wrong way on I-90 in South Dakota last Thursday. 
Click here for News links and podcasts.  

Ty & Terri have been good friends and co-workers for over 20 years, In the mid 90's I remember standing with Ty in a neighborhood in North Omaha we had just PrayerWalked...Ty began to asked some questions about something that was burning in his heart...   In their death, God is multiplying the impact of their lives into thousands more…many times over. 
To honor their memory, in this Update I want to share a few thoughts and insights from my heart.

Ryan & Emily Hrubes were with Ty & Terri in the car. Emily is the only survivor and is still in a hospital in Sioux Falls.

Ty & Terri's four kids sharing at the service

Finishing Well is not the result of living a perfect life,
or accomplishing the “American Dream.
It is more than success and accomplishment for God…it goes much deeper.
Finishing well is not so much what you “Did” but what you “Became”
…Becoming more like Jesus. -Romans 8:29

When I think of Finishing Well, My pastors as a youth at Bethany Fellowship come to mind: Ted Hegre, Harold & Cathy Brokke, blue collar servant leaders like Al Linder and Harold Carlson…People who most of you don’t know, but God does and honors. 
Life mentors like Paris Reidhead and Elmer & Nancy Murdoch are on that list. 
They are all people with lots of humanity who did and are Finishing Well.

What is Finishing Well?
Finishing Well in God’s Kingdom is a life that is (1) more in love with Christ,
(2) more committed to His service, and (3) more devoted to godly leadership
at the end than at the beginning.

Sadly there are a lot of leaders who do not Finish Well. Many have ended discouraged and disenchanted, and others fall prey to moral or ethical failure and compromise. But God always has shining examples like those above who did and are Finishing Well.
There are two more on my list who Finished Well…Very Well! Ty & Terri Schenzel.

People grieve in many different ways, and we do need to do our “grief work” for healthy processing in times of great personal loss. 

The Bible tells us to weep with those who weep...it also says we do not grieve as those without hope.

Death from this side is a big fearful mystery, but it is not a mystery to our God. He comes to personally walk that valley with each one of His kids -Psalms 23. 
“Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones.” -Psalms 116:15

Ty and Terri’s lives were not taken. In the final analysis, Revelation tells us that Jesus holds the keys of life and death. He alone makes the final decision when it is time to come home. We need to trust His love and wisdom for that which we do not yet understand. The Salvation Army rightly calls death for the believer “Promotion!” Promoted into the presence of King Jesus!

There will always be things here we will not understand until eternity. I definitely do not have all the answers but I would like to share a bit more from my perspective.

Several people who knew Ty well shared some amazing things that Ty said in the last few weeks. Ty recently retired from the Hope Center for Kids, which he founded, saying that he felt he had finished his assignment and was ready for a new adventure. He said that he was looking forward to going on a long vacation with Terri.Wow! They began that vacation on earth and ended it in Heaven!

By contrast, on Sunday, May 17th I woke up at 4:00 AM with chest pain that did not go away. I knew it was something more than I have had before. It was the day of our grandson Caleb’s Graduation, and I was wrestling with waking Sheryl, and whether or not I should go to the ER. I remember praying: “Lord, I know you don’t need me…but I would like to finish my assignment.”

I made appointments with my doctor, and the EKG and Cardiac Blood Panels came back normal. We scheduled a stress test which one Cardiologist misread, and two days later--thanks to a friend who connected me to Dr Thomas Porter, a believer and world respected Cardiologist--I walked into the ER unaware that I had a 99% blockage of the primary left artery of my heart and an 80% blockage of my primary right artery.

During that time four separate cardiologists told Sheryl that I never should have walked into the ER alive. On June 5th I had a triple bypass surgery.

Below is a picture of a miracle…Every medical person that has seen it says, “Oh, that is a ‘Widowmaker’, when it goes…you're gone, period!” God kept my heart working…that pain was angina, not a heart attack, so there is no damage. With a good diet and exercise, I can be 100% again.

Thanks to everyone’s prayers and support, I am doing better every day and my cardiac therapy is progressing very well.

Are you seeing an interesting contrast here? Ty knew his primary assignment was done. I felt mine was not, and I had awesome peace the night before my surgery...whether I lived or died. I know that this is not the way it always goes, but I know that God knows best and will prepare His kids for whatever is ahead.

What a way to go…

Some feel it was so tragic that Ty & Terri died at the same time. I know Jesus said that there wouldn’t be giving or taking of marriage in heaven, but unless God wipes out our memories, a special love like Ty & Terri had will carry into heaven in some fashion. I am convinced that agape (Unselfish, Giving) love and phileo (Brotherly) love are eternal.

I also know there is special Grace when one life partner dies leaving the other alone. I frequently say to Sheryl, “Remember, the longer we're together, the shorter we will be apart!”

I know it's hard on the family to lose both parents at the same time, but for those who have grown into spiritual oneness, and whose kids are grown and have their life partners, then what a way to go! Into the presence of Jesus…together…It doesn’t get any better than that!

That Great Crowd of Witnesses…

One of Ty’s best friends, Pastor Lincoln Murdoch, closed his wonderful section of the memorial service with the illustration of passing on the baton in a relay race. Each runner runs his or her best as they carry the baton. 

Once they pass the baton on to the next runner, they go to the finish line to watch and cheer for those still running with the baton.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. -2 Timothy 4:7-8

There is a very interesting verse in Malachi 3:16 “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.”

Someday when we get to heaven, we can go and look up what God has written in His journal about what we talked about here on earth during these days as we each are still running the race…

Ty & Terri are at the finish line watching and cheering for us to Finish Well and to welcome us into that great crowd of witnesses in the presence of our Lord and King.

Be There!

Dave & Sheryl

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Leadership Consultation with David Ravenhill this Saturday Morning

This is short notice, but a few days ago I found out that David Ravenhill will be at Life Church this weekend Aug 21-23. Pastor Dobie Weasel has graciously granted Saturday morning for my friend Femi Awodele and me to plan a Leadership Consultation with David.

I had the privilege of hearing David's father Leonard Ravenhill a number of times as a youth and his book "Why Revival Tarries" is must reading for those serious about seeking revival. David Ravenhill has "a burden to see the church come to maturity through intimacy with God..." 

For some time I have felt strongly led to facilitate a meeting with David and church leaders in our city.  Please come this Saturday morning and invite other ministry leaders that you feel might want to be part of this special consultation 

"Preparing for Persecution"
A leadership consultation and dialogue on "Discerning the Times" with David Ravenhill
9:30 to 11:00 AM, Saturday, Aug 22
8433 W Center Rd (map)

Please RSVP so we know how to plan.

David Ravenhill will be ministering in services open to the public Friday & Saturday Evening at 7:00 PM and Sunday Morning.

"Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?" - Lenard Ravenhill 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

First Responders Community PrayerWalk 
following death of Officer Kerrie Orozco: 
Friday, May 22nd ~ 6:15 PM at the OPD NE Precinct... 
7:00 PM at Graham Triangle Park just west of 30th & Martin.

Following the tragic loss of Officer Orozco during the arrest attempt of Marcus Wheeler who was also killed in the incident Wednesday afternoon, we are calling the community together to grieve and pray for our city, our police, the Orozco family, the neighborhood and all families affected by this tragic situation: 

At 6:15 following the Omaha 360 Harmony Week "Honk for Peace" Street Rallies we will meet at the Omaha Police Department NE Precinct just South of 30th & Ames.

Kerrie was not only a great officer but a wonderful caring person who was involved in the community.  Last February Kerrie gave birth to a daughter.  Oliva Ruth was delivered early and was expected to come home from the hospital today, May 21st… today Officer Orozco was going to begin her maternity leave. The loss of Kerrie is our loss, as evidenced by the response from all over our community.  

We grieve as individuals and as a city with our police and Kerrie's family.

At 7:00 PM following the Prayer at the NE Precinct there will be a PrayerWalk at Graham Triangle Park just west of 30th & Martin to pray for the Wheeler family and the neighborhood impacted by this tragedy.  

While standing against violence and lawlessness we pray and seek Peace and Justice in our city.  We have ministered to moms, dads, brothers and sisters in great pain & sadness...so without passing judgment onto surviving family members and friends of those involved in an incident, we care for all affected by violence in our city. 

In addition to the Prayer events here are some ways you can help right now:

1. Continue to pray for Kerrie's family, our police, and city leaders as we grieve together. Encourage your church leadership to pray in services this Sunday morning for our city.

2. Our police are very close and each officer is hurting and grieving right now. If you know some personally or run into some in the days ahead, reach out to them, thank them for their service and let them know you are grieving and standing with them...they are not alone.

3. The families of officers are also hurting as the reality they face every day when their loved one leaves for work is specifically acute right now. Pray for spouses and children...especially for God's peace that can overcome fears. If you have an officer's family in your church or know one, please ask God to give you a special way to reach out to them.

4. Pray for Harmony in all the events over the next few days and wisdom for those leading.  Pray specifically for the second PrayerWalk at Graham Triangle Park just west of 30th & Martin to pray for the families and the neighborhood affected by this tragedy.

5. Participate in Omaha 360's Harmony Week beginning tomorrow night (Friday) with "Honk For Peace"  Rallies at key intersections from 5:00-6:00 PM. 

This is a time for all of us to unite and pray for healing and peace in our city. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

In this update, I want to share two special stories so that you can join us in praising God and pray with us into the next steps.

As I write this, I am on a plane to Houston, TX, with my friend, Pastor Bruce Williams, who co-leads First Responders.

For nearly ten years, I helped represent Omaha at the annual Mission America National City-Reaching Summit; however, for a variety of reasons, I’ve not been able to attend this conference since 2006. Out of the blue, a friend contacted me with the exciting news that someone wanted to sponsor Pastor Bruce and me, covering all of our expenses, to attend the Summit this month. Because it was a total surprise to us, we literally have had no idea as to why the Lord might want us in Houston, but we are confident in one thing: He has a plan! Please pray with us that we discover His purpose while we’re here for three days (April 27-29), AND that Omaha stays quiet while we are gone!

Now for the second amazing story:
After a violent beginning to the year, things have finally settled down in our city. Our last First Responders Homicide PrayerWalk was April 1st , and it was one of the most amazing ever, encompassing ministry in three languages!

Habitat for Humanity has built a number of homes in the area of 23rd & Sprague Streets in Omaha. Many of these homes are inhabited by refugee/immigrant families from places like Nepal and Burma. As is the norm, many adults and elderly struggle with learning English, while the children pick it up quickly. 

Shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday that week, a Bhutanese woman, recently arrived from Nepal, walked out her front door and found the body of an African-American man lying in the front yard. Fear quickly spread through the neighborhood families, many of whom had fled violence in their home countries.
One of our PrayerWalkers attends a Bhutanese church, so I asked Pastor Phurba Tamang to come and help minister and translate during our PrayerWalk. God gave us great favor with the family, and they agreed for us to meet in their front yard, subsequently joining us in a time of prayer.

While Pastor Phurba Tamang translated, the family shared their concerns about the activities in the lot over the fence behind their homes with Crime Stopper Officer James Shade and two local precinct officers. 

It was evident that these activities were contributing to their fears…now compounded by the homicide. One family had decided to leave, and others shared questions as to whether it would have been better for them to stay in their home countries. 

While they were sharing, I looked down the street and saw a group of refugee families watching us with a great deal of interest. I sent some of our team to speak with them, and they soon came back with about a dozen or more people

…but surprise! They were not Bhutanese but rather were Karen families from Burma. The situation became instantly more complex, as none of them spoke any English! After a few interesting moments, we discovered that across the street was a man who might translate. Some went to get him, and soon we had another translator. 

By that time we also had a good group of PrayerWalkers along with African-American and white neighbors, and the aunt of the man who was murdered. I asked them to be patient as I explained through the translators to the groups of Karen and Bhutanese who we were and why we were there. I have learned to be patient and give things opportunity to develop as God works in ways we can’t always understand.

Soon we all came together to pray over the neighborhood and over the victim’s family. As a visual symbol of the care of the Body of Christ, a prayer shawl was placed on the victim’s aunt, with another for the mom, as the women ministered beautifully to them in the midst of their grief. When the pastor had finished praying for a time in Bhutanese, we asked through the translator if one of the Karen people felt led to pray, not knowing for sure if they were even Christians! The translator started praying with such great power that there was no doubt Who he was praying to!

After he finished praying, something amazing happened. There were about a dozen young Karen & Bhutanese girls there between 10-15 years of age who spontaneously came up and hugged the aunt of the victim as tears freely flowed down her face. We just stood there and watched with goosebumps on our goosebumps! Such an amazing expression of love from one culture to another nearly overwhelmed us. 

Following the PrayerWalk, Officer Shade and I walked to the vacant lot behind the homes at 24th & Sprague where drug activity, etc., is a common occurrence. He asked about the possibility of churches and other groups helping to clean it up. Because of all the kids at the PrayerWalk, I asked him if there were any playgrounds in the local neighborhood. He said there were none in this area, which led us to wonder if we could redeem this land with a playground, thereby significantly reducing the violence, the illegal activities, and ultimately the fear. 

Unknown to me a young Bhutanese girl was standing nearby. Upon hearing the magic word “playground”, she boldly began to tug on my pant leg. I knelt to be at her eye level, and she said to me in perfect English, "Are you going to build a playground for us?" WHAM! My heart was pierced...What do I say? I told her didn’t know who owns the land, but that we were going to check into it to see if it could be done. She told me her father did construction in Nepal and that he would help...that set my mind onto the deeper possibilities... 

I immediately envisioned a collaborative effort with organizations, Habitat for Humanity, churches, businesses, off-duty police, the city, AND the neighborhood families themselves involved in building this together.

As I shared this at the next Omaha 360 network, there was very positive support. The ball is rolling in amazing ways that I am not yet able to share, but everything hinges on getting those vacant lots. We’ve been able to track down the owners in Florida, and Councilman Ben Gray is waiting on a response. 

Please pray into this that we can get this land and see it transformed from a gang/drug selling lot into a beautiful neighborhood playground.

Personal: As I shared in our last update our March support (from Feb donations) was discouragingly low, but thanks to the Lord and to so many of you who helped make it up in April. The reality is that we need about $500 in additional monthly support to stabilize things from month to month. Please pray that the Lord leads and there is response to help make up this monthly short-fall. If you know of a church or individual who would be interested in hearing about (or supporting) our ministry, please make us aware, and we’d be happy to share with them.

Thanks so much for caring and praying for us!

Dave & Sheryl

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Omaha Ministry from Dave:

2014 Ended and 2015 Entered with a BANG…a bang of violence in Omaha. 

Between Dec. 21st and Jan 24th we had 12 homicides and a lot of shootings. 

While overall violence is significantly down, there have occasionally been times when violence spiked like this. The police, civic leaders, and community groups are doing everything they can...The Church now needs to move into a higher level in doing its part…especially addressing the spiritual components in Omaha’s top felt need…PEACE...Stopping the violence.

There was a lot of confusion and misinformation in the media regarding the disturbance after our PrayerWalk at 36th & Parker on Jan 25th. It was a time when well over a hundred people stood with three grieving families in a very emotional, but peaceful, PrayerWalk where three people had been murdered and five wounded just a few hours earlier.                               

Many of the people there, young and old alike, raised their hands to God and before thefamilies in a pledge to do something good to help overcome the evil from these deaths and to give meaning to the families in these senseless murders. Romans 12:21- “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

We had just finished the First Responders PrayerWalk and were informally talking and ministering, when suddenly people started yelling and running. The gang unit was there, and controlled the situation quickly and professionally...I felt God had sent them as guardian angels. Click here for a news report video and the "Rest Of The Story” where what Satan meant for harm, God turned for Good.

We have now coordinated over 300 First Responder PrayerWalks and Community Stop the Violence Rally-PrayerWalks in Omaha. When families of victims started coming, and when people in the neighborhood started coming out of their homes to join us, we felt led to shift our focus from intercession and warfare prayer to ministry prayer. Currently over half of our PrayerWalks are what I call "Community Pastoring". At times it feels more like an altar ministry, but the Church is still not fully walking into the opportunities for the Gospel that God is giving us. God often gives us a beachhead, and then we walk away and abandon it. 

On the other hand, there are times when we would like to take a team to pray into some warfare in the heavenlies – without the media and public present! As a result, I am praying about the next steps for First Responders PrayerWalks in Omaha. Click here if you would like to read more on where I feel God is taking First Responders in 2015. I always appreciate hearing what God may be saying to you.

The “Challenge to the Church” I sent out earlier this month is a word I feel the Lord gave me on the battle in our culture.I got some negative responses, but mostly strong confirmations. There was a lot more He laid on my heart but it was already too long…so expect some more installments which I feel led to separate from our Personal Ministry Update into its own blog and email in the future.

Omaha Base and Urban Plunge Update from Sheryl:

Are we still making prayer shawls? Yes we are!! To date, we have given out nearly 350 Prayer Shawls to those who are grieving or experiencing a significant life challenge. Last year we gave nearly 200 preemie caps to a local ICU unit, as well as about 2 dozen scarves and stocking caps to a ministry that touches the streets. We’re always accepting donations of yarn, or any shawls that you feel led to create at home. Feel free to join our monthly meeting on the 2nd Monday of the month here at our home.

Change seems to be the "stuff of life", and Urban Plunge is no exception. Michael Ross, the Founder and Director of Urban Plunge, resigned from Christ for the City International as of December 31, leaving a huge gap behind him. Randy Fontaine was appointed to give oversight to the Urban Plunge program in 6 cities, and soon learned that there was a great deal to be done to shore up and develop this program. 

In the wake of a number of changes, Sheryl was asked to serve in a new position as the National Director of Training for Urban Plunge facilitators in all the cities where we operate. She is now responsible to set up a basic training curriculum (both written and online) that will bring all Facilitators into alignment with the same basic goals, philosophy of ministry, and methodology wherever we have established an Urban Plunge program. 

While the specifics are currently quite demanding, this position offers the opportunity to build many relationships with young leaders who are eager and excited to serve the Kingdom....and who have more energy to implement ideas and grow programs than we do at this season of life! The most rewarding part is to be able to speak into younger lives as they prepare themselves and grow in their areas of gifting and calling. Along with the logistics of Urban Plunge, we also incorporate modules on creating your personal introduction, time management, decision-making, character development, and conversation skills...all those leadership things we wish we had known at age 20!

We have approximately 30 groups on the calendar for Omaha this year, and approximately 60 altogether in the other cities of operation. While this is fewer than we normally have for Omaha, we anticipate that the development in other cities will soon outweigh the smaller numbers here. Overall, we're excited about the growth we're seeing, as these groups of students come and participate in serving the urban ministries. You can find out more specifically about Urban Plunge at our website www.urbanplunge.com.

One little side note is that I've been able to hire our oldest grandson, Caleb, to work as an Urban Plunge Facilitator. He's wonderful at handling groups, is getting lots of really good leadership experience, and is one of my best at managing those Jr. High kids! That could be because he has three younger siblings and knows how to take charge!

Prayer Requests:

  • Sheryl continues to heal rather slowly from a major foot surgery last August. She is has finished physical therapy and is occasionally working out in a friend’s pool. Outside of a supernatural healing, we expect at least a year for full recovery and for the bones, tendons and ligaments to accept their new alignment. Sunday afternoon we walked about a mile around Standing Bear Lake and are talking about getting the old bikes we haven’t used in years out of the shed… 
  • Dave is dealing with Meniere’s disease in addition to other physical issues. The Meniere’s is a buildup of fluid in the inner ear which causes vertigo, humming and more hearing loss. In noisy environments, it’s almost impossible to hear, so we have been receiving prayer for healing and a visit to a hearing specialist is planned. Since hearing is vital to Dave’s ministry, and Satan likes to target our human weakness we believe this is clearly spiritual warfare on top of natural ailments.
  • The day after I sent out the “Challenge to the Church” earlier this month, we learned that our support last month was down nearly 2/3 from the norm. While the Lord has led us to not mention personal needs when I send out a message like that, we did mobilize our prayer team of intercessors! The Lord wonderfully spoke to some of His kids to help us get to the end of this month…but our deeper need is for additional regular monthly support. Over the last few years we have lost the financial partnership of a number of our support team who have gone to be with the Lord, have lost income as they retired, or felt led to change their stewardship, and it has become very challenging in these days to replace it. 
  • We never take for granted the privilege we have of serving the Lord vocationally. He has taught us again and again that He is our source, but we are somewhat dependent upon His people to hear clearly how He leads them to give. 
  • We are so thankful for the gifts of time that you share with us through your prayers and financial partnership. Please pray with us for God’s supply with some new monthly partners so we continue to serve Him vocationally full-time.   

Click on the "Partner With Us" tab at the top of the page for more info on being part of our team. 
Contact info is in the column to the right.

Dave & Sheryl

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Challenge To The Church

Do you remember that verse quoted
over the years about being Hot, Cold or Lukewarm?
Well…it is ringing loud and clear right now in our culture!

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” –Rev. 3:15,16 NIV

Do you remember those stories about Daniel in the Lion’s Den; and Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego in the fiery furnace?

Well…they are not just children’s Bible stories…they are for us today!
America is transforming before our eyes into a spiritual Babylon like in the days of Daniel.

Yesterday, March 2nd, was an eventful and fateful day in Nebraska:
  • Our local news revealed that NE legislators have made it legal for homosexuals to be foster parents...Sexual orientation is no longer a factor.
  • LB586, which prohibits Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity has been voted out of the Judiciary Committee but has not been scheduled for debate on the floor yet. Now is the time. Your state senator needs to hear from YOU.
  • In the afternoon, it was announced that one man, Federal District Judge Joseph Bataillon, has overturned DOMA (Nebraska’s Defense of Marriage Act) and made same-sex marriage legal in Nebraska.  
I was part of the working committee that initiated (Defense of Marriage Act), which was voted into the Nebraska State Constitution in November 2000 by over 70% of the voters. In the last six months, federal judges have overturned 18 State-constitutionally-enacted definitions of marriage. The Nebraska Family Alliance (where I currently serve as a board member) has an outstanding analysis of Judge Bataillon’s ruling on their website at nebraskafamilyalliance.org This is an excellent resource for more info on related upcoming legislations. 

The LGBT alliances are very confident this year, and they are not done with their agenda to fundamentally change our laws. While a lot of prayer is going up from faithful Believers, many Christians seem to be resigned to the changes…even asking what is so bad about allowing gays to marry or adopt. How does that hurt our beliefs?

It concerns me deeply that many “Christians” are so na├»ve about Biblical marriage and the threat that same-sex marriages represent to the family, to the church, and to our individual religious freedoms. 

Among Christians, a wedding has always been a deeply religious event; it is one of the holy sacraments. 

The sacrament of marriage between a man and a woman spiritually represents the relationship of the Lord Jesus and His bride, the Church.

In states where same-sex marriages have been legalized, the lawsuit judgments are now revealing the deeper and not-so-subtle agendas attacking our religious freedoms. 

It is not enough for same-sex marriage to be allowed; it is not enough for it be accepted; it is not enough for gay marriage to be legal. 

There is a deeper agenda to make all convictional opposition criminal.

In the state of Washington, Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers is in danger of losing not only her business, but her home and all her assets. 

She is literally being destroyed by the state because she refused to do flower arrangements for a “Gay” wedding. 

She willingly offered to sell flowers for the wedding but believed that creating “wedding arrangements” for a “Gay” wedding would have constituted a demonstration of approval for the gay wedding itself and a violation of her faith.

Here are two revealing statements from the Judge’s ruling against this Christian grandmother:

  • In a sixty-page opinion, the judge maintained that “religious motivation does not excuse compliance with the law…In trade and commerce, and more particularly when seeking to prevent discrimination in public accommodations, the courts have confirmed the power of the legislative branch to prohibit conduct it deems discriminatory, even where the motivation for that conduct is grounded in religious beliefs.”
  • More specifically, the judge maintained that while religious beliefs are protected, religious actions are not. When the state of Washington approved gay marriage, a Christian refusing to serve gay weddings became illegal.
If this trend continues unabated, we will soon see more policies oppressive to Christians who are committed to living out their faith. For example, in Nebraska it could now be interpreted, and could soon become policy, that anyone who has faith-based objections to same-sex marriage will be deemed as unfit to be foster parents.

Things we once thought would never happen in America are now the law.

Are you getting the picture?
Are you seeing the deeper agenda?
Do you think these are justun-intended consequences?
Maybe this picture from  The Dennison Forum on Truth & Culture will help…

So are some of you still hoping to avoid these issues? …trying to stay below the radar?
Are you Lukewarm? Are you a spiritual POW?
Are you spiritually ready to face a lion’s den, a fiery furnace, or legal prosecution for your faith? 
I’m not really the One who is asking…
“A judge has ruled that a “relationship with Jesus” doesn’t justify acts of conscience. The only problem is that a relationship with Jesus demands just that."
This quote is from James Emery White in his “Church and Culture” March 2nd blog: Flowers for Gay Weddings. I highly encourage you to read this outstanding blog on the issue of same-sex marriage

What can we do? How do we prepare?
How can we wisely and redemptively respond?

When the Lord called me to get involved in this issue He told me not to trust the “Arm of Flesh,” not to trust in a political solution apart from a spiritual solution. However, I realized we needed to be involved in the political efforts to better understand and wisely help prepare the Body of Christ.

We are Salt and Light. Salt as a preservative helps slows down corruption...But only Light will push back darkness.  Political efforts are important salt to help slow down moral corruption, but only a revival of repentance and righteousness in the church that rebuilds our moral walls will impact our culture and push back the darkness.

Here are some questions to stimulate your thinking and to talk with your Heavenly Father about:

  • Do you know who your God is…His attributes and how they work? Is your God Sovereign? Do you know how that works out in your life?
  • Do you know what you believe and why you believe it? Do you personally know “Who” you believe in and are you secure in your relationship to Him?
  • Do you really know His love for you and trust He does know best?
  • There are two more questions the Lord has put on my heart that give insight to some integrity tests facing us in our culture right now: Who do you Serve? Who is your Source? No one can serve two masters…

  • Pray for your elected officials…especially lift up those standing for Godly values, as they will be under significant political pressure and spiritual attack personally and in their families.
  • Pray for spiritual leaders who are feeling pressure to compromise in order to avoid public conflict or loss of resources.
  • Pray for those of us trying to give wise leadership in these issues. We need to hear clearly from God and need to know we are not out there alone in this spiritual battle.
  • Pray that Believers rise up as Salt & Light…for a revival of repentance and righteousness in the church that rebuilds our moral walls and transforms our culture. 
  • "Trust and obey, For there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey."


"Darkness must always submit to light.
You cannot turn on darkness - you can only turn off the light.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:14-16

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,"
-Ephesians 5:8-18 NIV

June 28, 1969
Dave & Sheryl