Forgiving This Thanksgiving

When my mother showed me her paraphrase of the Lord’s prayer, one line caught my eye.  I memorized it because, frankly, I needed it, too:

“Lord, help me to forgive those who tread on my faith, my feelings, and my heart.”

Amen. If you find yourself dreading the family gathering this Thanksgiving, determine now to forgive all past wrongs as well as whatever may pop up this Thursday! I hope you enjoy some turkey, too! thanksgiving

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

H  O  P  E

 

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My 23rd Psalm by Betty Keenan

Thank you for the kind replies on social media and in person about my latest post,          “Her Vote Counted”.  My mother is resilient to say the least.  I hope you’ll be encouraged as your read her paraphrase of Psalm 23 from the Holy Bible:

You, Lord, are my Shepherd.

I belong to you and will never have to want for anything.

You direct my comings and going, give me rest when I am weary, and renew my spirit when I am troubled.

You give me peace when I face hard things (death, cancer, and unsaved family) and calm my fears.

You strengthen my soul and comfort me with your presence and Spirit in my very being.

You encourage and guide me with Your Word and bless me beyond measure.

I look forward to spending eternity with You.

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Her Vote Counted

My vote counted.i-voted

Your vote counted.

More than anyone else I personally know, my mother’s vote counted. For years my mother has worked at the polls. Last Tuesday she struggled just to get there to cast her own vote. Her greatest regret was that she couldn’t serve at the polls this year due to an annoying and debilitating health issue that is not fatal but extremely painful.

“The only cure is to rest and wait,” they say. “It will get better.”

Hey, it only hurts when you move, blink, or breathe. How does one go to the polls without moving?  Impossible. So my mother, Betty Burt Keenan, went to the polls in great pain to vote last Tuesday.

Did you see anyone struggling to stand behind a walker or a cane at the polls?  Did you see anyone in a wheelchair? Chances are, they were hurting, too, yet they showed up to vote because it’s right, it’s American, and it’s a privilege.

My mom gave me permission to tell her story as long as I don’t make her out to be a hero.  So let’s talk about her brothers for a moment.

 

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Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Born in 1938, Mom was only seven years old when World War II ended. She and her family lived in Washington, DC, which later became the city of my birthplace. Her brother Forrest Marvin Burt told me what he remembers about their older brothers.  Forrest remembers their older brothers serving in the Second World War—Stan Burt was in Europe and Lyle Burt in the South Pacific. Like many American families in the early 1940’s, every day the family back home worried over whether or not they’d ever see Stan or Lyle again. Every day their mother prayed for their safe return.

 

Forrest wasn’t old enough to enlist. He told me, “I wanted to work at BURCO because it stood for something, a factory that built aircraft parts and other things for the government.”world-war-2-sign

Their mother (my grandmother), May Burt, worked with the neighbor next door to help the war effort at a factory that inspected war ammunition parts.

My Uncle Forrest said, “She was so proud of that job. It was part of the war effort that women worked at home so the men could go to war.”

Their father (my grandfather), Earl Burt, became an operating engineer for the Department of Commerce with the United States government.

The Burt family was one of thousands of families that wholeheartedly participated in liberating the world from the likes of Adolf Hitler and his inner circle of henchmen in the Third Reich. I shudder to think where our human family would be today had we not won that war.

Back to my mother.

Last Tuesday my mother’s friend Norma took her to the polls to vote. When they got there, the lines extended outside the building.

“I know I can’t stand that long,” my mother said.

Norma took my mother home, but went back to the polls to see if she could get her friend Betty to go directly inside to vote. YES! Norma went back home and, even though every step was extremely painful, my mother returned to the polls for the second time.  She slowly made her way inside, registered, and voted.

In reality, my mother is one of many seniors and physically disabled people of all ages who struggled last Tuesday to get in their cars and get to the polls. Many of our voters wore medals, caps, and military uniforms.

In the next blog, I want to share a bit more about my mother’s unique faith and family history and some of her own writings. What does all this have to do with “Lift Jesus’ Cross” blog? Freedom isn’t free. If I lived in Iraq or Syria or a dozen other oppressive nations today, I could not write this blog. I’m proud to be an American.

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Raising the Flag at 9/11 World Trade Center, Ground Zero

 

raising-the-flag-at-iwo-jima

Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima

 

 

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Jesus’ Cross is Lifted Again in Iraq!

Friends, let’s REJOICE with the Christians in Iraq right now! The cross has been a flashpoint of war since ISIS invaded Iraq.  We will NEVER forget that the victory belongs to Jesus,  His cross, His blood, His name, and His power. Jesus’ salvation and Jesus’ cross WILL prevail!  Please be at liberty to share the report below from World Watch Monitor:

There were tears, soldiers praying, priests singing. This was the moment thousands of Iraqi Christians had been waiting for: the Cross, symbol of Christ’s victory over evil, deemed illegal by IS, had returned to the Christian villages in Iraq’s Nineveh Plain . . . (Read more) https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2016/11/4703645/

cross-lifted-in-iraq-october-2016                                       Fr. Ammar, another priest and two soldiers stand by a newly erected cross on the roof of Tahira church (church of the Immaculate, Syriac Catholic) in Qaraqosh, a Christian village liberated from IS.

World Watch Monitor reporting https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2016/11/4703645/

 

 

 

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Is the Cross Dangerous?

Is the cross dangerous?

Vladimir Lenin thought so. In November 1917, when he seized power in Russia, Lenin’s soldiers climbed steeples and pinnacles of churches and tore down the cross and replaced it with the red star of the new soviet state. Clergy were denounced as enemies of Russia and summarily executed. Perhaps you’ve heard that Vladimir Putin just made a law to restrict the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Hmmmm . . .

Is the cross dangerous?

Joseph Stalin thought so. After Lenin died in 1924 Stalin ruthlessly tore down crosses from churches in the previously free Christian nations of Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Albania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and East Germany. Stalin was not satisfied until ALL THE CROSSES WERE GONE.

Is the cross dangerous?

Adolph Hitler thought so. One author believes that the Christian Cross was used as a symbol of the Nazi agenda. One thing is for sure. Under Mein Kampf crosses were removed from all churches and replaced with the swastika.

Is the Cross Dangerous?

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) thinks so. The ACLU opposed the eight-foot iron cross in California’s Mojave Desert, an illuminated cross in a California State park, and let’s not forget their opposition over 9/11 steel beam cross being placed in the World Trade Center Memorial.

Is the Cross Dangerous?

China thinks so. ISIS thinks so. THINK THINK THINK. What makes all these people think that the cross is dangerous?

Is the Cross Dangerous?

The devil thinks so. Look what the cross did for us!                                                                      Jesus canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross (Colossians 2:14,15).

Is the Cross Dangerous–or victorious?

What do you think?

cross looks real

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THE WORLD IS NOT WORTHY OF THEM

Erica Grace, the author of this article, kindly gave me permission to share her story with you. God sees the sacrifices his children make, and honors them in heaven whether or not they are honored here on earth. I was so encouraged by this story and I had to share it with my favorite people! This article was published in Connecting With You by Robert and Maureen McQuillan, my New Zealand friends.

Connecting with You!

Erica GraceAugust 5, 2016 – Erica Grace, ex-missionary to South America, challenges us to remember unsung Hebrews 11 type heroes!

Have you ever known people in the ministry that you felt didn’t receive their due recognition? Marie Monsen was one of those people.

Born in Sandviken, Norway in 1878, Marie became a school teacher. She went to China in 1901 initially to help the missionary couple sent there by her Lutheran church who needed a teacher for their children.

But because of the national unrest and turn of events in China, the missionaries left shortly after Marie arrived. The mission agency back in Norway didn’t have the funds to send for Marie as well, so she stayed back waiting for her ticket to arrive.

So many people needing help
Erica 0816a Meanwhile, people kept coming to the mission home looking for help but Marie (left) was the only one there.  She would rush…

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Public Vow to “Break the Cross”

This blog is called LIFT JESUS’ CROSS.

Let’s look at how far the devil has been able to go in expressing his VISIBLE animosity toward the cross of Jesus.  Look at this:

MIDDLE EAST

ISIS has publicly vowed to “break the cross” and eradicate Christianity in the Middle East. . .”     (Joel Rosenberg, Messianic Jew and author who tracks events and trends throughout the Middle East reporting).

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Front cover of ISIS magazine, Dabiq, the 15th issue in 2016.   

Jewish American author Joel Rosenberg reports in his blog that there are three reasons why ISIS published this most recent edition of their magazine, Dabiq:

  1. ISIS leaders make clear they want to bring about the End of Days.
  2. ISIS leaders vow to “break the cross”
  3. ISIS leaders lay out the six reasons they hate us, they state their ultimate objective, and they explain why they will never stop killing until they achieve total victory.

CHINA7_25-cross-china

In my previous blog I shared that persecution inside China has increased “where church leaders are going to prison, are being sent to mental institutions, are being beaten and tortured and where crosses have been forcibly removed from now over 1,800 churches since 2014.”        (Writer Jesse Carey of Relevant Magazine reporting).

Now wait! The United States has had it’s own “cross battles” going on: 

UNITED STATES

“A lonely cross out in the remote Mojave Desert was so threatening that a host of powerful organizations joined the campaign to destroy it.” Dr. Michael Yousef, television host, pastor, and author of When the Crosses Are Gone .

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You have to go out of your way three hours to drive out to see the Mojave Desert Cross in California, but still a few people felt that the site was a worthwhile visit. The cross was erected there in 1934 to honor the memory of our soldiers in World War I, but a former Park Service employee sued the government in a demand to remove the cross. After a decade-long legal battle that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court,  Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “The goal of avoiding governmental endorsement (of religion) does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm.”

It’s nice to win one now and then, isn’t it?

However, two weeks later, THIEVES stole the cross from this site! If you read the sign carefully, you will see that it was rededicated in 2012–after the cross was recovered 500 miles away.

Do you hear what I hear?  The voice of the Son of God, Jesus Christ:


“The thief (that is the devil) comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  I come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”  (Words of Jesus, Son of God, Savior of the World)

So, who is actually vowing to “break the cross”?

 

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Crosses Torn Down in China

I just received word today that Chinese house churches are calling for nationwide prayer from September 26 to 28 for religious freedom in their country.

Persecution inside China has increased “where church leaders are going to prison, are being sent to mental institutions, are being beaten and tortured and where crosses have been forcibly removed from now over 1,800 churches since 2014.”  (Writer Jesse Carey of Relevant Magazine reporting).

 7_25 cross China.jpg

Photo by China Aid  

I am convinced that what we see in these pictures visibly represents what Satan would like to do in the heart of every Christian in the world–break our faith in Jesus Christ and the power of His name, His cross, His blood.

Would you like to join us in fasting and prayer for the cross to be lifted high in this world and satan’s plans broken?

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

(Words of Jesus, Son of God, Savior of the World)

Picture2

“If I am lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me.”   Jesus

I want to help our brothers and sisters to lift Jesus’ cross in China. Would you like to join me?

Posted in preach the cross, The Cross and the Christian, the cross of Jesus, the offense of the cross, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Focus on the Person, Not the Pain

Last week the Lord Jesus spoke to my heart and said:

When I suffered on the cross, my pain was not my main focus. My experience of pain was real, but I did not keep the pain in front of me.cross-istock_000011455820small-2.jpg

At the time, I was in pain physically and after a few months or years of pain anyone can tell you that there comes a point where the pain is ALL you think about.  Without meaning to, I became discontented, complaining, and focused on the pain.

A few days ago the Lord Jesus added one more insight when He said:

When I suffered on the cross, I focused on the PERSON, not the pain. I focused on my Father, and kept the pain secondary.

What a revelation for me! The Lord Jesus gave me insight on how I can share in His sufferings. I am not really talking about bodily pain or sickness as much as I am the overall journey of coming to know Jesus–not just what he suffered or why he suffered but how he suffered.

Do I know Him?  Do I really know HOW He suffered?  Am I fellowshipping with Jesus there? Do I see the pain (physical or otherwise) in front of me or do I see the PERSON of the Father before me today?

Join me in fixing our eyes on our Father in heaven and focusing on His glory, His power, His strength, and His purpose. We can trust the Father for we know that He loves us utterly!

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:10,11).

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Unemployed coal miner who confronted Clinton invited her to join revival sweeping West Virginia coal country

Bo Talks to Hillary Clinton PicRevival is happening in West Virginia! Please see how one revivalist met Hillary Clinton and invited her to the revival .  . .  (By Mark Ellis)

Bo Copley, an unemployed coal miner, who gained media attention after he challenged Secretary Clinton’s statements about the coal industry, is a strong Christian who has been at the heart of the revival sweeping West Virginia.

He prayed and fasted before meeting Mrs. Clinton, then invited her to attend a revival meeting that night only a short distance away from their encounter . . . MORE

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