Episode 33: My Dad’s Final Sermon

Listen to the Podcast on Anchor

– BEGIN TRANSCRIPT –

As I reported to you at the end of my previous show, my father passed away on Wednesday, October 21st at about 2:40pm central time. Earlier in his life, he had been a preacher. As a child and young man, I heard him preach many a message.

In the last truly coherent conversation with our dad, he said, “We ain’t got nothing made if we can’t get to the point where we love everybody. What we don’t agree with is between them and the Lord. We’re just supposed to love ’em.” During his soft-voiced, and tearful little sermon, it felt like he was making peace with God, with us, and anyone he felt he might not have taken the time to ‘love instead of judge.’

Less than three weeks later, he was promoted to his heavenly home. His final little sermonette held within it a simple yet fundamental truth, and it’s what everything else boils down to in the end. If you don’t have love, you don’t have anything.

In this special uninterrupted blogcast, we’ll examine that unifying message of love, and we’ll say goodbye to a true Kingdom Hero – Troy Massengill.

– SHOW INTRO –

A familiar passage of scripture provides the backdrop for this basic lesson. It’s known as “the love chapter.”

1 Corinthians 13 states the following…

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

It’s in these first three verses that my dad’s final sermon was based. His words echo these verses. No matter what else we say or do or become or accomplish in this life, if we don’t love everyone – accept them in spite of their flaws – then all our efforts are in vain. Clearly, love is the most important thing that we can do and possess – and it’s also the hardest concept to grasp. The next verses tell us exactly what love truly IS, what it ISN’T, what it DOES, and what it DOES NOT DO…

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Now that – ALL of that – can be a pretty tall order for many of us. Having patience with people is one of the most difficult things we tend to struggle with in life. And that’s just the FIRST quality that love possesses! Add all the other aspects of love – kindness, absence of envy or boasting or arrogance or rudeness – and it only gets harder for us. Enduring all the heartache someone might cause you and still loving them is not a fleshly characteristic, but a Godly one. And the verses that follow make it clear that this character trait is not something temporary. It’s not something you do only for a time…

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 

What’s it talking about there? When the perfect comes? Well, when Jesus comes, it will mark the beginning of something new. Old things will pass away, and everything will be made new. Another scripture says that, when we see Him, we will be like Him. We will be made perfect like Christ on that day of His return. Likewise, we must be ready to give up the old ways of our flesh NOW, and prepared to take on His new and perfect ways. It’s just like growing up, as this passage reads as we continue…

11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

This is a lesson that we, unfortunately, have to be reminded of from time to time. All too often, we allow our differences with others to become walls of separation that jade our attitudes toward them. But we shouldn’t be doing that. In fact, I wanna read part of a news article to you. This is an example of how that even some of the perhaps more “worldly” among us can show the right attitude regarding their fellow man, despite having very different worldviews and political beliefs…

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020/10/marvel-stars-defend-chris-pratt/amp#aoh=16035110612332&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s

Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Jeremy Renner, and director James Gunn are among the Marvel stars who have stepped forward to defend Chris Pratt after the actor experienced backlash and criticism online for his perceived conservative political views. In spite of their own left-leaning political opinions, they stood behind Pratt’s right to hold different beliefs.

And listen to this – this is what Robert Downey, Jr., had to say…

“The ‘sinless’ are casting stones at my brother, Chris Pratt,” Downey wrote Thursday on Instagram, in a post that was endorsed by Renner. “A real Christian who lives by principle, has never demonstrated anything but positivity and gratitude… AND he just married into a family that makes space for civil discourse and (just plain fact) INSISTS on service as the highest value. If you take issue with Chris… I’ve got a novel idea. Delete your social media accounts, sit with your OWN defects of character, work on THEM, then celebrate your humanness.”

Powerful words there, from Ironman. And this is so true. Members of my own family have very different opinions about things, varying political views – we most definitely do NOT see eye to eye on certain topics. But that does not mean that we hate each other. Our opposing views do not stop us from loving one another, nor should they. And certainly we as Christians have to guard our hearts from being so cold that we allow differing opinions to preclude us from loving our fellow man.

Now on my show, you will occasionally hear me speaking my personal opinions about people who believe differently than I do. You’ll for sure hear me speaking out against some who hold views that clearly oppose scripture. But let this one thing be absolutely certain: I do not ever wish to convey the notion that I hate or wish ill will to anyone with whom I may disagree. No matter what my opinions are, I have to line my actions up with scripture. I am charged by God’s Word to LOVE those people and pray for them. If I truly believe that someone is in the wrong and in danger of going to hell, I’d better be praying that God changes that someone’s heart and soul before it’s too late.

Scripture is crystal clear on this message, as was my dad’s little sermonette. There is no room for middle ground or any gray area. Love is not a mere suggestion. It is a commandment. And it is the GREATEST commandment. Matthew 22:36-40 plainly tells us this. One of the Pharisees – a lawyer – tested Jesus and asked Him point blank…

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus didn’t mince words on this issue. Love is the greatest command we’re given, and every other command is contingent upon it. Of the Ten Commandments, the first few are all about loving God, and the rest are about loving our fellow man. It’s not up for debate. Yet this crucial message is probably the toughest for us to come to terms with.

The fact that this was the theme of my dad’s thoughts so near the end of his life is not mere coincidence. I’ve heard of some others who spoke similarly shortly before death. Of every lesson we learn throughout our lives, this one is the most important. Deep down, within our spirits, we know it’s true. It’s written in the core of our being – woven into our DNA. Love is the language that everyone understands, and it is the essence of the heart of God. Realizing that during our final days of this life is certainly poignant, but it’s something that we should strive to live out every single day of our lives.

So, my father’s final little sermon struck a chord with me – as it did with others in my family. And now we have to prepare ourselves for what could be almost a whole year of firsts – our first Thanksgiving without Dad, our first Christmas without him, New Years, July 4th, and so on. Though these may be trying times, and though some tears may occasionally fall, I know that we will often think fondly of Dad’s last message to us: We don’t have anything made if we don’t love people. Truer words were never spoken.

In closing, I offer this tribute to my dad – Troy Massengill – a real Kingdom Hero who served Jesus to the end. He ministered to many people during his life, both in preaching the Word and in singing God’s praises. He won souls for the Lord. He prayed for the sick. He baptized new believers, including myself. He gave comfort and encouragement to the downcast. He loved his wife faithfully, and he taught his four children to love one another. He wasn’t a perfect man, but he was good example to us, and I was blessed to have him in my life. He will be greatly missed from now until we see him again. ‘Til then…I love you, Pop.

– END TRANSCRIPT –

Episode 32: Media Obsession with Control, Big Tech Censorship, etc.

Listen to the blogcast on Anchor

– Begin transcript –

On my last show, I talked about the mainstream media’s obsession with painting the president as a racist and I played all these cuts of reporters demanding that he condemn white supremacy as if he hasn’t already done this repeatedly. I have a new theory about this, now. I believe that some of these so-called journalists on the left may actually be drinking the kool-aid themselves, okay. I think there really are some of them who are sampling the product, if you know what I mean. That is to say that they really believe the stuff they’re pawning off on the rest of us. I’ll explain that in just a bit – AND we’ll look at the obvious censorship taking place every day by big tech companies. That and more on this episode – don’t go away!

– show intro –

So to set this up, I want to play just a couple of the cuts I used in the previous show from a recent press briefing. You will hear the reporter demand for a clear and concise response, and then White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany’s reply. Here’s that cut…

cut 2

Okay, now initially I was just thinking, great – she’s giving all these times where Trump clearly denounced white supremacy, and this guy is simply being a facetious jerk. And it seems that way. Play the next cut…

cut 3

Stop right there. Now, it still seems he was being a total moron, but having given this a bit more thought, I now think that he may really believe that the president AND his spokesperson are engaging in wordplay and avoiding a direct answer. Bear with me here, and allow me to expound on what I see happening inside the minds of some of these folks on the left.

Notice he kept insisting that reading past quotes was somehow not good enough. And for a moment here, I want you to try to think like a leftist elitist product of liberal bias. Okay? Don’t think that way too long because it might cause a severe headache or brain bleed. But just for a moment, try to see this from a different perspective.

The quotes themselves were not literally saying “I condemn white supremacy in all its forms.” Hang on, go with me here. It was not specifically stated that way in any of those quotes. Now, yes, it was most definitely implied – and STRONGLY implied – but to the leftist liberal mind, that’s not good enough at all. You have to literally answer “Yes, the president absolutely emphatically and categorically denounces white supremacy – and groups who espouse it – in all its forms.” And that is exactly what they are trying to get Kayleigh and President Trump to say – because once you say it in the very terms dictated to you by the left, in words they specifically chose for a reason, THEN that opens the door for further manipulation because now THEY are in control of the narrative. And they love controlling the narrative.

What’s going on here is a power struggle. On one side you have these liberal elites – these entitlement minded people in the press – who want to control what their opponent says by demanding it in their terms. On the other side you have Trump, who is honestly – for all his flaws – he is a master at getting the press to say what he wants them to. He knows the score, okay. He knows how to play the game. And he has a knack for picking people like Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kayleigh McEnany who can sniff out the left’s tactics and counter well.

We can look at Trump’s actions and see where he stands, but the leftist mind works differently – they suspect trickery and wordplay because THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THEY DO. Many of these people are quite narcissistic by nature, and they have to believe that everyone else is just as conniving and devious as they are. And this is why – I think – they press this issue the way that they do.

And just as a side note – because it’s not worthy of an entire segment – Adam “the weasel” Schiff is at it again. In an attempt to downplay the whole email scandal around Joe and Hunter Biden, he says “we know” the Biden smear is coming from the Kremlin. Ha! There’s absolutely ZERO evidence, but he’s still dancing the Russian Collusion Wattoosee. If Schiff is talking, he’s lying. If he’s ever not lying, you’d better check his pulse.

– BREAK –

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Google engaged in anticompetitive conduct to preserve monopolies in search and search advertising that form the cornerstones of its vast conglomerate.

The department alleged that Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., is maintaining its status as gatekeeper to the internet through an unlawful web of exclusionary and interlocking business agreements that shut out competitors. The government alleged that Google uses billions of dollars collected from advertisements on its platform to pay mobile-phone manufacturers, carriers and browsers, like Apple Inc.’s Safari, to maintain Google as their preset, default search engine.

What this means is that Google has pole position in search on hundreds of millions of American devices, with little opportunity for any competitor to make inroads. This advantage also gives the monopolizing Google the opportunity to manipulate search results for the vast majority of web-surfers. They’ve been caught in the past on a number of occasions engaging in the practice of shadow banning.

Example: When searching for a particular video on YouTube by conservative Steven Crowder, frustrated followers couldn’t find it because Google – which OWNS YouTube – had pushed the video down to the 2nd or 3rd page of search results. Most people never look past the 1st page of results, and even then only a few top results are noticed. When confronted, YouTube executives claimed no wrong-doing, saying it was simply an error or temporary glitch. Yeah, sure.

Whether or not this imminent legal action against Google will make a real dent in the ongoing issue of big tech companies wielding way too much power remains to be seen. The fact is that these megagiants like Facebook, Twitter, and Google are actively censoring our voices as well as what we have access to on the internet, and they are clearly getting away with it. That has to stop, just like the mainstream media’s choke hold on the dissemination of information has to be broken. It’s strangling our rights to free speech, and it’s destroying the fabric of all our freedoms.

Another example: We also know that YouTube has been deleting videos and silencing people who go against the popular narrative. Case in point, Dr. Simone Gold is with America’s Frontline Doctors, and she recently tweeted about this again. Her tweets from Tuesday say this…

“WOW: YouTube has removed our White Coat Summit video from its platform under fraudulent and manufactured pretenses, labeling it as “spam, deceptive practices, & scams.”

YouTube is now openly censoring licensed medical professionals.”

“We held a conference with doctors from across the country who have personally treated COVID-19 patients & spoke about treatment options & also discussed the pathology of the virus & its implications.

The videos have been removed from YouTube.

Why?”

Well, Doctor Gold, unfortunately we know exactly why. This group of doctors – professional, reputable physicians – were successfully using hydroxy chloroquine and zinc and azythromiacin to treat CoViD-19. When used early, this treatment actually CURES – totally wipes out – the virus. Literally every patient they treated – hundreds of people – got better and got well. Not a single one died.

But that’s not what we’re told. In fact, largely because Trump praised hydroxy chloroquine months ago, the press has downplayed the effectiveness of the drug. They claimed it was dangerous and that it had awful side effects. Both are lies. HCQ has been FDA approved for 60 years, and it has been used safely for all that time. But if people know that, the left loses its power of fear over the public – they can’t justify all the shutdowns and restrictions and sheer panic if people are made aware that this bug isn’t the hideous beast that they claim it is. And we can’t have that.

So Google, and its subsidiary YouTube, part of the big tech conglomerates that have this sweet deal with the government that allows them to censor speech without being prosecuted, they’re getting their back scratched, and so they are naturally going to scratch the backs of their governmental overlords, right? So what do they do to protect themselves AND those who want to instill panic? They punch a few buttons, create an algorithm, and POOF – your highly informative video with great news for the American people is suddenly just gone, deleted, evaporated into nothingness. And this is the power they will fight tooth and nail to hang onto, folks.

Anyone who can control the flow of information can control pretty much everything else. That kind of power enables you to control what people think and do, what they buy, how they see the world, who they vote for, virtually everything. If power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then this type of power is sure to have a corrupt affect on our way of life. And we’ve seen plenty of evidence of that very thing.

White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany’s Twitter account was deactivated by Twitter. Charlie Kirk – who’s podcast I love to listen to and highly recommend – Twitter deactivated his account just this week as well. Every single time a conservative voice dares to speak out against the preferred narrative of the left – BOOM – it gets silenced.

How long will we allow this censorship and this utter trampling of our free speech to continue? We cannot afford to let it go on as it has been. Because if we do, and we sit back and do nothing, just give in…where do you think it will end? Imagine if the phone company or your wireless provider were to shutdown your cellphone and your access to the network because they didn’t like what you and your friends were talking about. Think about that for a moment. {pause} Then answer this – what rights are we willing to let go of next?

– BREAK –

Reports Claim 440K Questionable Ballots Sent To Deceased Or Inactive Voters In California. According to the article from OANN, the state sent ballots to voters who have likely died or moved in the last decade. The report notes these individuals have been inactive for up to 20 years yet are still considered active voters.

Meanwhile, thousands more California voters have received two or more ballots due to individuals being inaccurately registered in multiple places in the state. Obviously, this opens the door for voter fraud. Instead of one person one vote, it could lead to multiple votes from one person. But no, there’s no problem, right? I mean, it’s only 440 thousand ballots. Nothing to see here, move along. [Biden clip: Come on, man!]

https://www.oann.com/reports-claim-440k-questionable-ballots-sent-to-deceased-or-inactive-voters-in-calif/

Final Update on My Dad

In closing, I want to thank everyone for your prayers and support during my family’s time dealing with my father’s declining health. At this time, I can give you a final report on that. And I do so with a heavy heart…

On Wednesday morning of this week, October 21st, we received a call that Dad was starting to show signs of mottling – indicating that his bodily functions were beginning to shut down. We elected to have him brought home so that he could pass with us around him. The EMS arrived with Dad. And covid-be-damned, we gave him as much love and comfort as we could while we had the time.

At approximately 2:40pm central time, a processional of angels excorted Dad home to glory. We gathered around him as he took his finals breaths, and he got to hear from his oldest daughter over the phone – his granddaughter, too – right before he shed his mortal coil to go see Jesus. I held his hand and felt his pulse until the moment he was gone. And I am so grateful to have had that opportunity.

It was a moment none of us will ever forget. So many emotions were wrapped up in that short span of time – including both sorrow and rejoicing. My dad, Troy Massengill, was a man of God. He was a dear person and a gentle soul, a loving husband, father, and a faithful servant of Christ to the very end.

We take joy in knowing that he is now in the presence of Jesus. He has no pain, no ailments of any kind, but he does have back all his memories that were stolen by the dementia that plagued him in his final months on earth. He is whole again, and he has a new and incorruptible body that will live forever. I will see him again one day. And of that I have no doubt.

End transcript

Listen to the blogcast on Anchor

Kingdom Heroism

Please listen to the podcast at anchor.fm/kingdomhero.

– begin transcript –

I’ve spent some time explaining the concept of being what I like to call “a Kingdom Hero” in the past, especially while I was still making the GC video web-series. But for those of you who have only recently begun following the ministry of GCM – and particularly these blogcasts – you’re probably unaware of the significance or backstory. So this episode of my podcast will bring you up-to-speed, as well as challenge you to strive toward being a Kingdom Hero yourself. Join us now as we look at this AND talk about today’s headlines and what they mean to us.

Episode 31: What Does It Mean to Be a Kingdom Hero?

First of all, let’s define exactly what a Kingdom Hero is. This is “someone who personifies the love and grace of God, shining His light for others, and who puts other people’s needs ahead of his/her own, ready and willing to lend a helping hand at any opportunity.” Now, while that is the simplified definition, the concept goes quite a bit deeper than that. But we’ll get into all that later.

The term “Kingdom Heroes” originated with a GC episode by that name. As previously mentioned, the GC web-series ran for 7 seasons, and it was where Great Commission Ministries began in 2011. That particular episode was about how we should always be ready for opportunities to witness, minister to, or otherwise reach out to those in need. The term has become a recurring theme, and a central tenet of GCM’s online ministry.

As stated in the GC video, you are an instrument of God’s mercy and grace. Are you living like it everyday? When He presents you with an opportunity to show His awesomeness to others, you should JUMP ON THAT! Be more than the sum of your parts. Be a Kingdom Hero. How? Well, I’m glad you asked.

A Kingdom Hero follows in the footsteps of the greatest superhero to ever walk the earth…Jesus. He showed us the way. He was the example. Now you may say that you can’t perform miracles and do the things that Christ did, but the Bible tells us different. It records the words of Jesus himself, saying to His disciples (that’s us) that the Spirit would come and bring power. We often forget our true potential as Christians is in that power He gives us. Power to do even greater things than Jesus did is available to us. We can do more. We can BE MORE than just the sum of our parts. Remember the scripture, “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.”

A Kingdom Hero taps into that power I just mentioned. And yes, we can do amazing things, but we often get opportunities to do seemingly small things that end up affecting the kingdom in monumental ways. God presents us with chances every day to positively affect the world on His behalf. Are we jumping at those opportunities? Are we tapping into the power He gave us? How can we do that? How can we be more?

God’s Word tells us…

They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings as eagles. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.

Whoa! Sounds kinda superhero-like, huh? And the key is to wait upon the Lord. Well, what does THAT mean? Part of “waiting on” has to do with serving, like when a server at a restaurant waits on you. But it also means being patient and letting God speak to you or lead you. How does He lead us? If we open our eyes and hearts, we will see that He gives us those opportunities I mentioned earlier to minister to those around us. We too often turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to opportunities right in front of us. The challenge is to be sensitive to His Will and recognizing those people and things that He puts in our path every day.

So our source of strength and power is the Spirit. And God’s Word is our helpful handbook that we need to study each day to keep our senses sharp. What then, do you suppose, is our kryptonite? What’s the thing that renders us powerless and easy prey for the enemy? Sin? Well, yeah, that’ll do it. But more specifically, what keeps us from being all we can be is usually more a sin of OMISSION rather than a sin of COMMISSION. It’s a certain state of mind known as complacency…

The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

Matthew 13:22

If we are so caught up in our own lives that we can’t seem to find time for doing the work of God, we fall into the enemy’s trap of unfruitfulness. If our master is our bank account or anything other than serving Jesus, we become unfruitful. If we allow satan to convince us that someone else will do God’s work so we don’t have to, then we become complacent and no good to the kingdom.

I have often noted that sin – ANY SIN – can and will separate us from God. Talk about kryptonite! Being separated from our source makes us powerless, unfruitful, AND useless to the kingdom. Just like Superman needs the rays from a yellow sun to shine on him and replenish his super-strength, we need the glory of the Son of God to shine on us and renew our strength. Then we can be mighty and do His great work.

Yes my fellow Christians, we are called to be excellent. We are meant for greater things than just idly strolling through life. We are “more than conquerors through Christ,” so let’s act like it. If you see a chance to make a difference, don’t settle for being a bystander. No, be MORE. Step up, make a difference, and – YEAH – be a Kingdom Hero!

In the Headlines

Turning now to some recent headlines… The mainstream media has been running for what seems like forever now with this idea that President Trump is racist – of course without any actual proof of that, they just SAY it over and over and unfortunately there are many who believe it. They’ve been going on and on saying that Trump has never denounced or condemned white supremacy, when in fact he has on multiple occasions, but they refuse to report it because it doesn’t fit their narrative that he is this awful racist orange man.

In a recent White House press briefing, the president’s spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany was repeatedly pummeled – almost ad nauseum – with this same type of claim from the leftist media. Let’s hear cut 1 from this briefing – listen to this, and when you do, you can even hear the arrogance and sort of pompous superiority in the voice of this so-called journalist who I will not name.

cut 1

So arrogant. He says – I’m gonna play this again, but – he asks this question in such a condescending way, saying “give me a definitive answer without ambiguity or deflection.” And this is because that is the narrative CNN – and others – have run with. They want you to believe that the president has never point blank, bluntly, and definitively stated that he indeed is against white supremacy – when in fact, he has done a very large number of times, and yet they continue with this farce that he’s a bigot and a hater. Now, make no mistake, they KNOW that this isn’t true. They KNOW that they are “reporting” lies. And they have to word their questions in this way to continue fleecing their viewers with contrived falsehoods. Go to cut 2, and this is his question again followed by Kayleigh’s brilliant response.

cut 2

So she very plainly recounts several instances where President Trump has in fact condemned white supremacy. And as she was being interrupted there near the end of that cut, you heard her say that he has actually condemned white supremacy more than any other president in modern history. BAM! Right? I mean that should end it right there, shouldn’t it? For any rational and sane and fair-minded person, yes, that should have been as clear as anyone could want it. But no, not the mainstream media. The same reporter chimes in again with the same – slightly reworded, but same – demand again for a clear and definitive response. Play cut 3.

cut 3

Wow, seriously? “Just to clear it up?” Are you deaf, man!? I mean, what more do you want? She enumerated where Trump had repeatedly done exactly what they’re saying he hasn’t done, and when she finishes saying, you know, he has condemned it here and here and on this occasion and that occasion, this guy has the audacity to act as if his demand is still not being met. We’ll hear it again as we pick up with cut 4.

cut 4

I’m just astonished. The nerve of this guy, to somehow imply that all the past quotes she read mean nothing, and to continue to beat this obviously dead horse of an issue – it’s shameful, it’s certainly unprofessional and unbefitting for this type of behavior to take place in a White House press briefing. It’s just unbelievable. But it didn’t end there.

You heard at the end of that cut Kayleigh rightly stated that the president’s record on this matter is unmistakable, but the very next reporter countered that fact with another attempt to keep this narrative alive. Roll cut 5, and notice how she continually interrupts Kayleigh with the claim that the president’s record on racially motivated violence is rather mixed. Roll it.

cut 5

I like how Kayleigh lays down the law at the end there. But you may notice that every single act that this administration takes to effect positive change and to combat racially motivated crimes, the first thing the left does is simply NOT ACKNOWLEDGE it. When it’s brought up, hey the president actually did this or he’s actually enacted measurements to curb that – some of the strongest measurements ever in the history of America – and then they will barely acknowledge it by downplaying it. And the unmitigated gall, the superior attitude of these people – I don’t see how Kayleigh McEnany can tolerate it – it truly takes a special kind of person to deal with these arrogant, pompous, snot-nosed children in the press corps on a daily basis. It’s just unreal!

What Really Matters

On this show, I talk a lot about fighting the lies out there with the truth. We are spoon-fed misinformation every single day of our lives, and we have to keep ourselves grounded in reality – grounded in the truth – in order to effectively combat and repudiate all the garbage and nonsense we encounter. But while doing this, we are going to run into opposition – and we’re definitely going to cross the threshold between the nonpolitical and the very political. As I have said before, our morale compass can’t take a vacation just because an issue is or has become political in nature. Truth is still truth. Lies are the weapons of choice for satan and all those who oppose God and His righteousness. So our weapon of choice must be the truth.

You might say, “But you’re being one-sided and acting like a right-wing religious nut.” That’s fine. Say what you want. You may disagree with me, and that’s perfectly alright with me. But my views come from my understanding of the Word of God. My sense of morality stems from that. If I see evil happening on the left, I’m gonna keep calling it out. I will do the same when I see it on the right, and I have plenty of issues with some so-called Republicans who are so caught up with the establishment in DC that they don’t have any regard for their constituents. But understand that my right-leaning opinions and conservatism isn’t beholding to a political party UNLESS that party lines up with scripture. The Word of God is the final authority for me.

The fact is that, no matter what you call yourself – Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, Independent – the thing that truly matters the most is what’s in your heart. If you have worldly/humanistic views ingrained in your heart, then THAT will be your guide in life. If you have God’s Word written on your heart, then THAT should be your guide. The latter is the one I choose, and for good reason. My carnal/fleshly nature has always steered me wrong, but God never has.

And this is what it all comes down to – taking on the nature of God and clothing ourselves in His righteousness. The Bible says that our own righteousness is as filthy rags, but the righteousness of God is perfect. When we clothe ourselves in His truth, we can easily spot the enemy’s lies. Wherever those lies come from, we ought to beat them back with the truth. This shouldn’t be a difficult concept to grasp. But we do need to learn to separate the sin from the sinner.

It’s not enough to simply point out where people are lying and combat those lies with the truth. We should also earnestly pray for the souls of those who are helping to propagate false claims. Yes, even those childishly arrogant reporters who I was so critical of earlier should be in our prayers. Though I may be critical of their behavior – or misbehavior – I still ought to go to God on their behalf and pray that they be saved and redeemed from the bad choices they’ve made.

The same is true of those who profess to be Christians and stand on the left. Whatever their reasons are for having an understanding or holding a point of view different from mine – if they claim to be Christian, they should pray for me to come to a correct understanding with God. We don’t need to create divisions among ourselves just because of differing views. But we do need – on the right or left or middle – we DO need to earnestly seek out the view that’s most important…God’s view. Our alignment with Him is what really matters.

At the end of the day, we ought to be just as concerned for the eternal well-being of those that we disagree with as we are about that of our closest friends and people who agree lockstep with us. We have to defeat the idea that disagreeing with someone means hating them. Love for our fellow man must be unconditional, reaching across all boundaries. And as Christians, the perfect love of God should permeate every facet of our lives. So much that, even when we disagree, our actions should be motivated by the loving desire to correct rather than to shame or humiliate. And such is the attitude of a Kingdom Hero.

– End transcript –

Please listen to the podcast at anchor.fm/kingdomhero.

Adapting the Medium

Though the typed out format – or transcript – will remain available, I am changing focus to producing the audio versions of these blogs – or “podcasts.” Be sure to follow my podcast on your favorite provider – I highly recommend Spotify.

Episode 30: Back to My Roots

This is my 30th blog or blogcast since starting the Kingdom Hero website. With this new focus podcasting, I am actually going back to my roots in a sense – back to a familiar place of comfort for me. I started in radio when I was 19, and podcasting is today’s modern equivalent. So I am stoked!

As a radio broadcaster, I always used a pseudonym or fake-name. Off and on for the last 30-plus years, my radio persona has been Nick Sommers – a name I still use on a weekly music-based internet radio show. But while using that name, I was always really projecting a character or personality. Here, within my blogs, my recorded shows, even my old GC videos, and every aspect of the personal ministry known as GCM (Great Commission Ministries), here it’s the real me. This is who I am, and so, no fake names here. I AM STACE MASSENGILL.

That means these are MY real opinions and MY OWN personal beliefs. As I have said before, please don’t go from here and base your beliefs or build doctrine purely on my views. Do the work. Investigate on your own, search for truth yourself, and ALWAYS check out what the Bible has to say about a given topic rather than just taking my word for it.

That being said, I certainly do hope that you go on to enjoy these podcasts. Subscribe or follow them on your favorite provider – again, I highly recommend Spotify. And, of course, share the show with others.

Topic 1: Family Trials

Now indulge me for a bit as I update you on some personal stuff that has been going on and interfering with show production and everything else lately. And I share these things with you because I really want you to be in prayer for my family. As my father’s mental health has been declining due to the onset and rapid progression of dementia, we have naturally been having a rough time dealing with all the aspects of what that entails.

I really must say that my sisters have been amazing at helping our mother through the necessary steps, getting decisions made, and so on. It’s truly phenomenal, and my family is very blessed to have such great leaders within it during this time. However, like the old Navajo saying goes, “When troubles come, they come not as single spies, but in battalions.” In other words, when it rains, it pours.

During a recent trip to Tennessee, we visited with Dad at the facility he was in. They were allowing one of us at a time to go to his room, and we each took a couple of turns before leaving. The following day, we learned that he had just tested positive for CoViD-19. This meant that we were all exposed during our visit with him, and we would need to self-quarantine for 2 weeks. Awesome.

Now, I don’t know about you, but staying in the same house with my family is great for a few days – a couple of weeks, and we can start to really get on each other’s nerves. Besides that, I had not planned for a 2-week trip. I took just enough clothes and everything for a few days. Most importantly, Dad’s covid-status threw a wrench into our plans to bring him home to begin hospice. Everything was set up, and BOOM. It’s suddenly all on hold. To top it off, this is while simultaneously having the knowledge that he might not be around much longer, and the last thing any of us want is for him to pass while in quarantine and away from his family. So, yeah. Your prayers are definitely appreciated.

Topic 2: Continuing the Fight

Meanwhile, as we’re shifting the focus to podcasting, one thing has not changed – the fight against misinformation and defense of the truth goes on. The confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett is still in the news. And it seems that, as expected, the democrats remain relentless in their attacks on her faith and her family. To those who have been paying attention, this comes as no surprise at all.

Attacks on Christianity certainly are nothing new, and attacks on the nuclear family and traditional values are increasingly common. So what should we do when these attacks take place? Same as always. Defend the innocent, repudiate the lies, and speak the truth. Political or not, that duty does not change.

While we will continue using this show to speak out and help make known what is true, I would also encourage you to take another important step in promoting truth over the enemy’s lies. That is, to pray. I’m talking about praying specifically for God to bring truth to light and expose deception so that people will not be fooled. The psalmist David prayed that way on a number of occasions…

1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me!

3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!

Psalm 43 [ESV]

So we should pray that God will defend those who are under attack from the deceitful ones who spread lies, that He will shine His light of truth on those situations. Also, we need to pray that it will be God’s light that leads our country’s leaders. Yes, I do believe that the attacks we’ve seen on our president and on his pick for Supreme Court are orchestrated attacks of hell. So while I will speak the truth that I know, I will also pray fervently for President Trump, Judge Barrett, and anyone else I see being attacked with vicious lies, rumors, and other false information. I encourage you to do the same. Never ever discount or think lightly of the power of prayer. It is the most vital part of our fight against the spiritual forces at work.

Topic 3: Expanding the Format

Another thing we’ll be doing with the launch of this podcast-focused approach is, we want to actually expand the format ever-so-slightly to include more input from you, the listeners. I really want to be able to incorporate as much of your thoughts and ideas in this show as possible.

In addition to dropping us a line on our website’s contact page, you can also send me a voice message through our Anchor podcast page. Just go to in your web browser to anchor.fm/kingdomhero and click on the message button. You will be prompted to record your own voice message. This is one way you can have more input into the show, give us your feedback, AND influence the future of this podcast. Your voice message can even be featured in an upcoming show.

Sound cool? That web address again is anchor.fm/kingdomhero – that gets you to our official Anchor podcast page – click the message button and record your voice message. Opposing views are welcome, but please keep your comments respectful and PG (clean and free from profanity). Be advised that by leaving me a voice message, you are giving me permission to use it in a future podcast if I so choose.

Final Thoughts

There are many of you who are listening right now, and you’ve been following Great Commission Ministries since the beginning. But I dare say a lot of you never saw a GC episode or any of the other videos or blogs generated by GCM. I want to encourage you to, at the very least, check out the ministry videos on my YouTube channel. It will entertain you, hopefully minister to you, and definitely give you a great background of where this all started. There are 7 seasons of the GC web-series, totaling 77 episodes, plus some other short videos that you really should watch and share.

The web address for that channel is YouTube.com/The1Nixter – that’s the video home of GCM (Great Commission Ministries). Again, it’s YouTube.com/The1Nixter. Or you can simply navigate to my YouTube channel by going to my regular website, kingdomheroblog.com, and clicking on the YouTube icon in the right column under the heading “Social Media Sites.” However you get there, just get there. You’ll enjoy the content.

To simplify things, all of my web pages and content are now accessible from a single location. As of now, the main website of kingdomheroblog.com has links to everything else – my Facebook page, Twitter page, YouTube channel – they’re all accessible through the links in that righthand column under the heading “Social Media Sites” I mentioned a moment ago. Be sure to LIKE my Facebook page and FOLLOW me on Twitter for updates and other content. Get there through the links I just mentioned, or you can go to the web addresses facebook.com/KingdomHero67 and twitter.com/KingdomHero67. A link to the Anchor podcast page is also at the top of the kingdomheroblog.com main page – simply click where it says “Audio Blogs.”

Now I realize that I have thrown a lot of web addresses at you, but I just want to make sure you can continue to access all of our content and keep updated on any future changes as we move forward. I promise the next podcast won’t be so dry as was necessary to share all this information with you. The good news is that all of the web addresses I’ve shared with you in this podcast are available in the typed out (transcript) version located on kingdomheroblog.com. Again, my website – kingdomheroblog.com – is the main one you need to remember and bookmark.

I would like to close by asking again for your prayers. Please pray for my family as we go through this difficult time, as my Dad makes his final transitions from this life to a more glorious one. And also remember to pray for our nation, her leaders, and that God’s light will drive out the forces of darkness. His Word says, “if my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their sins, then I will hear from heaven, and I will heal their land.”

Worth the Fight?

Lies. We have to combat them every day, it seems. Lies about our Christian beliefs. Lies about our personal beliefs. When the world is constantly calling evil “good” and good “evil,” is it even worth our time and effort to keep up the fight?

Futile Arguments

In previous episodes/blogs, I have mentioned how we are best to avoid getting into futile arguments with those who don’t really want to listen. And the Bible even speaks of not casting your pearls before swine. This is a metaphor, of course, warning us of the uselessness of bringing a word to those who would automatically reject it. It’s an important lesson for anyone, but especially to us as followers of Christ. We don’t need to argue with those who rail against us when we know they aren’t listening to a word we say. It’s a waste of breath. And our time and efforts should be used more wisely.

But is that to mean that we ought never to argue our side? Perhaps not for the sake of argument, but shouldn’t we stand up for our beliefs and defend what we know to be true and just? It seems that today many Christian believers have been cowed into thinking that they should remain silent. We might offend someone. We may be viewed as radical or intolerant. Oh no, we don’t want to be guilty of forcing our beliefs on others. But, isn’t that exactly what those who belittle our faith do? They insist that we go along with what THEY believe because they see our beliefs as extreme or antiquated.

In the face of injustice, we had better be ready to stand up and be heard. If we don’t speak out against the injustices around us, we are instead being pretty much complicit. If we aren’t striving to right the wrongs we see, then we must ultimately share a part of the blame. Remember the famous quote: Evil prevails when good men do nothing.

Twisted Morals

Be aware that there are many who twist this concept into a devious attempt to force people to go along with their self-proclaimed righteous movement. For example, those in the BLM organization often bully others into falling in line with them saying, “If you don’t support BLM, and you refuse to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ with us, then you are a racist!” This is manipulation, which I’ve talked about before as being evil and never a tactic of the righteous. This skewed sense of morality isn’t moral at all.

While we’re on the topic, let’s talk about the BLM movement for a moment. Fear tactics and manipulation have been used to scare white people especially into going along with them. The name of their organization itself is a clever turn of words designed to make anyone who disagrees with them out to be against black people. If you don’t agree with Black Lives Matter, then you must not believe that black lives do indeed matter. And this is the devious trick at the heart of the movement.

I don’t know ANYONE who values anyone’s life over another based solely on skin color. And as I’ve said before: LIVES have no color, but SKIN does. We are all of ONE race – the HUMAN race. But those who can only see skin color will see racism everywhere, when they are the ones being truly racist. Besides that, when you look closely at what the BLM mission statement says, no Christian anywhere should be aligning themselves with this group. Here’s what Marcellus Wiley had to say about this on his show…

So, among other things, the BLM mission statement clearly indicates that they are fully against the nuclear family and what they call “the patriarch.” In other words, they see no need for the traditional structure of a family with both a father and a mother. One of the biggest societal problems facing ALL families today, but especially black families, is the absence of a father in the home. BLM rejects the patriarch – the very idea that a strong male role model is necessary. And we see time after time where children with no dad are statistically more likely to encounter all kinds of problems in life.

Lies from the Left

To make things even worse, leftist organizations like BLM aren’t living up to their own hype. The very name of BLM says that Black Lives Matter, but they seem to be seriously lacking when it comes to ACTING LIKE every black life matters to them. How about the millions of aborted black babies? Margaret Sangar, a known bigot, established Planned Parenthood to literally eradicate the black population. But all those black lives who were extinguished through abortion, where’s the outrage by BLM? Where are they? Didn’t those innocent little preborn black lives matter to them? No, of course not.

The poverty and sad conditions of black communities is a great source for rhetoric from the left, but has any of the millions of dollars donated to BLM found its way into those communities to help them? Again, the answer is no. And this is where we have to be unafraid to stand up, speak out, and make the truth known. This is why I very much love Candace Owens and the work she is doing to spread truth to people about the lies of the left which has kept a large part of the black population dependent upon government for decades. Listen…

If we don’t expose the truth, as Candace is doing, and support the efforts of those like her who are speaking out the cold hard reality in the face of the more popular lies out there, then what ARE we doing? There are so many people who fall for those lies because they are so prevalent today. When lies are repeated enough times, they become taken as truth. But that’s politics. And again, Christians can’t ignore issues just because those issues are political.

Fighting the Narrative

The mainstream media promotes a web of lies every single day, and it’s no wonder so many people believe it. And most higher learning institutions teach the same liberal garbage to young minds, so it’s no wonder our youngest generation of voters fall prey to the mainstream narrative. Trump is a racist. So are Republicans. America is evil and was built on the backs of slaves. All this divisive tripe is pumped into our nation’s youth, and when they go to the polls, they act on it. Here’s an interview with one such young woman on a college campus…

She has no clue about the positive things that Trump has done for the black community because she never heard it. None of her college professors were going to acknowledge something good that the president had done. And you heard her say, she was just going by all the negative stuff she heard on the news. She believed the lies, and so Trump just isn’t her candidate.

But HERE’s a young black woman (who’s name I unfortunately don’t know), and she decided one day to ignore everything she was being told about Donald Trump, and do her own research. I love it. Listen to this…

So because her older brother supported Trump, she decided, hey, I’m gonna check this guy out for myself. She discovered who the man really is, and she found out that she had been lied to by people all this time. Did you hear what she said? She said, “This is a generation that wants to believe lies.” Man, she nailed it right there! People living in darkness don’t want the light, and there are those who will outright reject the truth for a lie today. And once she learned the truth, she was set free by it. She was no longer angry about all the bad stuff she had once thought was true, and she’s excited to share the truth with others, and she’s also excited about the future, which is not what the left wants at all.

SCOTUS Replacement & Heath Care Lies

Recently, long-time Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg passed away. Did you happen to notice the difference in how those on the right and those on the left took the news? Conservatives, by nature of being conservative, were mostly reserved and respectful in their response to this woman’s death – even though, throughout her career, Judge Ginsberg stood on the side of abortion being a right of the mother to extinguish the life of her unborn child. Despite many other differences of opinion, conservatives were polite and refrained from any divisive talk. Liberals, on the other hand, used this woman’s death as a reason to lash out against their political opponents. Many of them only viewed Ginsberg’s passing as a political set-back, knowing that the president would be nominating a conservative judge to fill the vacant seat.

Of course, that IS his duty. As president, he is required by the constitution to pick a replacement nominee, and the Senate is required to vote on whether or not that nominee should be installed to the Supreme Court. Oh, but it’s an election year, and the left is rallying against Trump, saying the seat should not be filled until after the election. Indeed, they want him to forego his lawful job as president, and they want “the next president” to pick the nominee. Uhm, that’s assuming a bit much, isn’t it? That argument assumes that Trump will lose the election, yes, and it also goes against everything we know historically about keeping 9 justices on the SCOTUS.

We know that, if the roles were reversed, the Democrats would not hesitate for a second to place a liberal judge in that open seat. And they know it, too. Naturally, they have to attack whom ever he nominates. And who was his pick? Roll tape…

Trump brings in Judge Barrett, another brilliant and battle-tested female justice, and without fail, the left zeroed in on her. They attacked her adoption of minority children. They attacked her, of course, just because she’s Trump’s choice and she’s conservative. Then they claimed that this was some awful tactic of the president to help do away with ObamaCare. They made it a political issue as though, if she’s in, heath care is out. Here’s Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany with a response to that…

You know, I didn’t know if Sarah Huckabee Sanders could ever be topped as the White House spokesperson, but Kayleigh McEnany is simply amazing at it.

Why All This Matters

Now, some of you who have been tracking with me for a while now may say, “Whoa, why are you all the sudden getting more political than before?” And it is true that, for the most part, my videos and blogs and podcasts have steered away from these types of things in the past. But I have always believed in fighting back against lies with the truth. Sometimes that truth is about topics that are universal in nature, sometimes it’s strictly a topic of religious or relational nature, and sometimes it’s controversial. There comes a time when we have to step out of our churches and into our community and say, “Enough is enough.”

You can’t call yourself a Christian while you sit by and let the neighborhood burn to the ground. And we literally have people on the far left calling for anarchy in America. We’ve already seen violence and destruction in cities across the country. As I’ve said before, these aren’t just political issues – these are MORAL issues. We have a responsibility to the truth to debunk the lies. We have a responsibility to those before us to maintain the liberty they fought and died for. We have a responsibility to generations to come to protect that freedom. We have a responsibility to those who can’t speak for themselves – like the unborn – to speak out on their behalf. We have a responsibility to those who live in the bondage of darkness to bring the light of truth to them and set them free. And if we shirk those responsibilities, what good are we?

I’m going to leave you with this final word from Jim Caviezel. During an interview recently on Fox & Friends, he gave this stirring speech. Quoting some things that the late President Ronald Reagan had said, Jim offered this…

We can no longer appease and accommodate and retreat because, by doing so, we are surrendering to the enemy. We must be unafraid. We must be righteous. And we must speak out.

Christianity Amid Chaos

Violent scenes we used to only see in news stories from other parts of the world have suddenly become more commonplace right here in cities across the USA. When it all seems so politically and/or racially charged, how should we as Christians respond?

Having an Unshakable Hope

I have personally had a number of occasions when a friend or coworker has asked me how I can be so calm in the midst of turmoil. This has, of course, not always been the case. But the point here is that it IS possible to be unshaken by the insanity going on around us. How? It’s all about where our hope lies. When someone would ask me that question, it was a prime opportunity to share my faith and hope, and explain exactly how I can remain unworried by the dire circumstances that may exist.

I recently learned that the company I began working for in January of this year is now, in mid-September, about to be forced to close down due to the economic constraints of the whole covid crisis. Now, whether or not you believe the hype of the virus being an actual crisis, the effect of the economic shutdown and the hype has certainly created a significant crisis for many businesses. The company I work for is just another casualty in that ongoing crisis. However, I am not fearful about losing my job. I’m not consumed with dread at the wonder of what’s next. Why not? Because my hope doesn’t lie in the material. My God has never ever failed to bring me through the trials that come my way, so my hope is in Him.

Where does your hope lie? If your hope is in the material, in the carnal things of this life, then that’s some pretty shaky ground. Like the fool who built his house on the sand, there’s no real foundation to help that type of “faith” to weather any kind of storms. But if your hope is in Jesus, based on things eternal, then you are like the wise man who built his house on a rock. A firm foundation is essential for the structural integrity of a building, and it’s the same with our hope. My hope in Christ is unshakable, therefore, circumstances are irrelevant.

Knowing and Fortifying Your Stance

Once you have a firm foundation, you don’t stop there. You build. The way we, as Christians, build up our hope in Jesus is by studying His teachings and following His commands. This involves something I have mentioned the importance of in many of my videos and previous blogs: staying ROOTED in the Word of God. We need to keep our hearts guarded and our minds sharp by continually reading and meditating on the scriptures. Without the proper framework solidly attached to that firm foundation, the walls of our hope will tumble down around us. The crafty enemy we face will find our weakest spot and attack us there. Only by staying rooted in biblical principles can we be prepared to defeat him.

Now that our stance is established on the foundation of Jesus, and is built up with a daily renewal of our minds by studying the Word, how do we fortify ourselves from every attack and every scheme of the enemy? This is where prayer comes in, as well as the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. We need to have daily conversations with God, not just to ask for strength, but also to listen and be open to His guidance. Make the time to just BE in His presence and let Him equip you with what you need to face each day. If you haven’t yet experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you should actively seek it. When you pray, ask God to not only fill you with His spirit but also to immerse you in it. The difference is life-changing. (more about that in a future blog)

The Christian’s Worldview

As you can see, we haven’t even dealt with the original question at the top of this blog yet. We first had to tackle the process of establishing our worldview based on a Godly foundation, rooted in His Word, and fortified through prayer and the enabling of the Holy Spirit. If you don’t take care of these things beforehand, you’ll likely fall flat on your face when you try to deal with the tricky arguments and con-games of the enemy. Our current societal worldview is so corrupted and skewed, that any attempt to argue with someone about why the violence is happening or how groups like Antifa are only making things worse would be counterproductive at best. Consider this…

Scoffers set a city aflame,

    but the wise turn away wrath.

If a wise man has an argument with a fool,

    the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

Proverbs 29 [ESV]

These verses jumped out at me recently because they sound as if they were written directly toward the current situation we’re seeing today. How many cities have been set aflame during the riots lately? There’s chaos in our own streets here in the USA like we’ve never seen before. Oh, we saw it happen in other countries, but not here. I would throw in here that, what we are witnessing right now in our country is a direct result of the moral decay which began many years ago. We removed God from so many aspects of our lives, while embracing or condoning so many evil practices, that it’s no wonder anymore how far we have fallen. Our society makes excuses for everything from the wanton destruction we see in our streets to the child-pornography found on major streaming services. Why be surprised by the sheer evil that is currently running rampant right here in our own nation?

But that 9th verse is crucial. Arguing with fools – those who are perfectly happy wallowing in their wickedness – does no good. They just scoff and laugh at us, and continue with their riots, their destruction, their violence, etc. So if we can’t accomplish anything by arguing with fools, what should we do? Should we remain silent and allow it to continue? Should we just sit back and hope somebody comes along and puts a stop to it? Some would say we should just pray and leave it in God’s hands. Okay, but how does God work here on Earth? While He could exact judgement by His own hands, we don’t see a lot of precedence for that in scripture beyond a few major events and of course at the 2nd coming of Christ. But for the most part, God works through mankind. So perhaps we ought to be ready to step up if He wants to work through us.

Willing Vessels

One of my favorite passages of scripture is found in 2nd Timothy…

20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

2 Timothy 2

This is referring to us, as followers of Jesus and as men and women of God, who willingly desire to be used by Him to effect change in this world. It tells us that, if we really want to be used for honorable purposes – for God’s purposes – then we must first be cleansed from what is dishonorable. Then, we can become useful to our master – our God – set apart as holy and ready (or prepared) for any and every good work He might have us do.

If we purpose ourselves to be willing vessels, then God will do a work through us. Stop asking, “Well, what exactly should we do?” Instead focus on being willing and ready to do whatever God chooses to do through us. Remember, a vessel is just a vessel. It’s an empty thing to be filled and used. We can’t fill ourselves. Oh, we can prepare ourselves to BE filled. We can and should empty out anything that would make us unclean. And Jesus does help us with this through His teachings. The Holy Spirit helps as well, by convicting us of wrongs so that we can turn away from them. But it is God – the master – who fills us and uses us. The onus is on God then, once we have done all we must do to present ourselves to Him as willing vessels. We just have to learn to give up the control and let Him do what He wants to do.

Stand Out

Still some might say that Christians should avoid political issues altogether. Really? Why? Are we not to stand up and be counted? Do our opinions and beliefs not matter? There are so many moral issues facing us today, and just because those topics have been politicized we are to keep quiet about them? Abortion, racism, rioting and murder – these are moral issues, and we’d better not be guilty of sitting by and letting these things continue unchecked. We are morally obligated to speak out for those who can’t, defend the innocent, and beat back wickedness with righteousness.

The main idea here is for us not to simply accept the chaos. This is not “the new norm.” Never let that be your attitude. We have to guard against the tendency to just go with the flow of things in this world. Remember the familiar passage:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12 [ESV]

If we refuse to conform to the patterns of the world around us, and instead actively allow the renewal of our minds to take place through studying and meditating on God’s Word, then a transformation happens. We become vessels that God can use for His purposes, and we receive spiritual discernment regarding what God’s will actually is. When this occurs, we go from being mere believers of the Word to being DOERS of the Word.

Through willing obedience to God, we can become more than the average ordinary run-of-the-mill “Christian in name only.” Through sanctification, or being set apart as holy, we distinguish ourselves even in the eyes of those following a more carnal worldview. We stand out. We’re a peculiar people. We don’t just say we believe, but we live in that belief. Our hope in Christ is firmly founded, and God can use us to turn the tide against the evil schemes of satan. The world will hate us, sure. Jesus told us that would happen. But being in the righteous will of God the Father is way better than being in the favor of this sinful and wicked world.

The Christian Response

In the midst of chaos and darkness, we are to be the light of a city on a hill. Our light – which is Jesus – should stand out and overwhelm that darkness. But we must be firmly founded, rooted in the Word, built up and fortified by prayer and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and be ready and willing to let God work through us.

Most of all, don’t get bogged down in futile arguments with those who don’t wish to understand. Our response to others should not come from a place of judgement or condemnation because that’s not our job, but instead from a position of love – the amazing love of God. Seek first His will, and do only as He directs. And they will know that we are Christians by our love, for one another and for them.

Life and Diversity

Life itself has no color; skin does. Diversity can only be appreciated where there is unity rather than division.

What Gives Us Life

The account of Creation given to us in Genesis tells how God formed the first man in His own image, but life didn’t enter the man’s body until God breathed into him. It was this act of giving the man a spirit that made him alive. That spirit was literally the breath of God.

then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Genesis 2 [ESV]

This is what gives us life. And so, the insistence by some to assign color to lives is a narrow view based on an outward appearance. But that which gives us life – our spirit, or breath – has no color. There is no such thing as a black life, white life, or whatever. There is only life, and all lives are attained through the spirit or breath of God.

Crown Jewel of Creation

While life itself is colorless, God saw fit (in His infinite wisdom) to create within humankind the capacity to display outwardly a variety of colors. Why would He do this? Think about it. God had created everything else – stars, planets, trees, flowers, animals – all displaying a wide array of beautiful colors. So when He finally made the crown jewel of His creation, mankind, why would He make us any less glorious? And we’re made in God’s image, so His splendor should manifest in us in a variety of ways – including color.

If you think of mankind as the jewel that it truly is supposed to be, you begin to understand the analogy between humans and rare gemstones. Diamonds, for example, are cut in such a way that light is reflected and refracted by the many different facets or sides. This is what makes it sparkle and appear to shine colorfully in the light. We are also made to shine differently as individuals with different colors and talents, and this is beautiful in the eyes of our Creator.

The Pigmentation Principle

Did you know that all humans possess the same pigment in their skin? It’s called melanin. The type and amount of this pigment in a person’s skin, eyes, and hair is what determines the shade or coloring displayed. So the more melanin in someone’s skin, for example, the darker complexion that person has. Lighter-skinned people have less melanin. But we all have the same pigment, just in varying amounts.

This is God’s design for diversity. One color alone would have been bland and boring, but many colors together is quite beautiful to behold. The key word there is “together.” Separated into this group and that group, the glorious beauty of diversity is lost. So why are some of us so determined to be divided into different groups?

The Race Delusion

For thousands of years, we have come up with excuses to divide ourselves into different classes of people. Some early civilizations had cast systems which divided people into groups according to factors like education, work skills, nobility, etc. There were certain tribes of peoples in biblical times that were considered unclean or lower class. This type of thinking permeated many cultures throughout history and often resulted in violence, slavery, and murder.

Why would anyone hold on to such a backward and uneducated notion today? One reason is the false idea that there are many races of human beings. People tend to divide themselves into groups with others who look like them. But this outward appearance is all about the color of people’s skin. The very thing that makes us beautiful together as a whole is what is being used to separate us. But this isn’t really a race issue, rather it is a race delusion. We’ve allowed ourselves to think of each other as black people, white people, brown people, and so on – but these aren’t different races, just various colors. We are all ONE RACE – Human. We are the same. Skin color doesn’t make us different – it makes us beautiful. It adds variety, which is the “spice of life.”

In The End

Though the fires of division still burn among us today, there will come a time when all people of all nations, colors, and walks of life will finally come together as ONE again – just as God planned from the beginning. We will stand united, hand in hand, and give praise to our Creator with one voice.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Revelation 7 [ESV]

Until that day, we should strive to be what God designed us to be… ONE race of people, human beings joined in unity, diverse but not divided, bound by love for one another. May it be so.

Strongholds

Begin with the Word

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…

2 Corinthians 10 (ESV)

Let’s unpack the truths in this passage before moving any further. First, as believers, we’re at war. It’s not a physical war, but a war of the mind. That is the battleground being fought for every day of our lives. Secondly, God has equipped us with powerful weapons. They are not fleshly or physical weapons, but they are spiritual. And they have the God-given ability to destroy any and all strongholds in our minds that would keep us from realizing and utilizing the Godly knowledge that delivers us.

What are strongholds? Remember, these are mental strongholds we’re talking about. Verse 5 tells us they can be “arguments” or “lofty opinions” which arise to contradict or distract from the knowledge of God. Preconceived ideas or notions that we have held to can become strongholds. If those notions become more highly regarded in our minds than the things of God, even if those ideas are otherwise harmless or even considered noble, they can still act as strongholds. And this passage says that we must “take every thought” that comes to mind and hold it “captive to obey Christ.” In other words, every idea or notion we have must be measured by its agreement with the Word of God.

The Trap of Tradition

One thing most all of us tend to hold as practically sacred is tradition. We have all kinds: cultural traditions, national traditions, regional traditions, sports traditions, and even family traditions. We hold them dear because they seem to be a big part of our make-up as human beings. Pride in one’s heritage, one’s background, or in the local athletic team – these are all examples of why we cling to our traditions…well, religiously.

None of these things are inherently bad, but when they are elevated to such a lofty place in our hearts and minds that they are given more regard than anything else – that becomes a problem. While our traditions usually seem to be what helps define us as “good” people, that’s not the unit of measurement that God established for us. Our example is Jesus, and doing His will should take priority over everything else in our lives – even those traditions.

The warning here is simply to not allow anything to set itself up in your mind as a stronghold that overshadows the importance of obeying God’s commands. If there IS anything that has exalted itself above or against the knowledge of God, that thing is to be torn down and destroyed. Does this mean we should abandon all our traditions? Well THAT depends on whether or not we’ve allowed them to be weightier in our lives than following the example of Christ.

Measure Thoughts with Scripture

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

2 Corinthians 13 (ESV)

Every single day is a new battle…a new test. We will undoubtedly be bombarded with every form of attack the enemy can devise. When God is prodding us to go in one direction, satan will provide excuses to go the opposite way. He might use our traditions against us, or any other form of stronghold we’ve allowed to establish itself in our minds. We must hold our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ and measure our thoughts with the truth we know from God’s Word.

Take a moment to consider your current dilemma or situation. Step back and take a 30,000-foot view. Examine your heart…your attitude. Is the Spirit convicting you of something? Are you deliberating whether or not to go in a direction God is leading you because of a notion that has become a stronghold in your mind? Be honest with yourself. Are you facing your current test with an attitude that’s in accordance with scripture, or with rationalizations and excuses to go your own way?

Real Life Application

It was Sunday morning, Memorial weekend, and I was in the AV booth at church preparing for the service. As I had traditionally done for years, I put a patriotic background on the screen without even giving it a second thought. Politely, yet firmly, the pastor instructed me not to incorporate any patriotic slides into the service. He explained his reasons to me, but in that immediate moment, I was blinded and deafened to any of it because of my own prideful preconceived ideas. It wasn’t that there’s anything wrong with being patriotic, per se, but he didn’t want to offer up any reason for people to cling more dearly to a tradition that honors fallible humans over honoring the infallible Lord we serve.

In that moment, I couldn’t see it. I strongly disagreed. I felt as though I had been rebuked for something harmless. But I also knew I shouldn’t feel the way I was feeling. As a pastor, he had his own set of convictions, and he felt obligated to hold the church to a higher standard. I was conflicted by my great respect for my pastor and my personal feelings. It took some time in prayer for me to come to the knowledge that I was holding my traditions in a higher place in my mind than I should be. When I let go of that stronghold, the mental struggle was over. I knew that, not only was I prideful and wrong to hold on to any resistance to my pastor’s request, but also he was – quite frankly – correct.

Again, patriotism isn’t a bad thing. The problem comes when we begin to elevate things to a level equal to or higher than God. You may say, “Well I don’t do that!” But how many of us have screamed or cheered loudly at a ballgame or concert and yet don’t have more enthusiasm for our salvation in Christ? If we can shout and applaud for our favorite artist or player or team, why can’t we show more excitement at being in the Lord’s presence on Sunday morning? Are we letting those things we enjoy become more highly regarded than God’s gift of eternal life in His Son? Respecting a war hero is one thing, but elevating someone to that status – especially when that person was flawed – while failing to show even more honor for the perfect One who sacrificed Himself for our eternal well-being? Are we measuring things accordingly?

Finish with the Word

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

Remember that this is a spiritual war we are fighting. We are not to be at war with fellow believers, let alone those whom God has placed in authority over us. Our enemy is not one of flesh and blood, and so the weapons of our warfare aren’t carnal either. Ideas or notions that arise in our minds and become strongholds must be dealt with quickly and accordingly. We have to measure everything with the Word of God and make sure we’re not giving more credence or honor to anyone or anything over or above that glory which we ascribe to our Creator.

The enemy will use our pride and traditions to try and create dissension within our ranks. He will use our own feelings against us in an attempt to sow the seeds of contention between us and our spiritual leaders. If he can get us to stop listening to the truth of God’s Word, then he will gain a foothold in our minds and begin filling it with all sorts of wrong notions. We must vigilantly remain in the Word and take on the armor and weapons God has put at our disposal if we intend to fend off the attacks and tricks of hell. And NOTHING but NOTHING should ever be allowed to exalt itself against the knowledge of God. Period.

Emotional Blackmail

This is one of my pet peeves, and social media is rampant with it. Let’s shine a light on this tactic and expose it for what it really is. Then the truth will set us free.
Evolving Methods, Same Junk

Years ago, there was this thing called a chain letter. If you received one in the mail, you were supposed to follow its instructions precisely to avoid bad luck. Basically, you had to write a number of copies of the letter and mail them out to other people. When home computers and the internet came along, the chain letter was replaced quickly by chain email.

The content varied, but the instructions always told readers to forward the email to at least 10 other people in order to receive good fortune. The penalty for not forwarding was the promise of bad luck. Superstitious malarkey, of course. But scores of people felt compelled to obey, lest something awful befall them.

Today’s version of this comes in the form of social media posts. “Copy this to your page,” or “re-tweet,” or “share,” is now what you’re told to do. But it’s not just about good and bad luck anymore. Now, you’re goaded into doing it to prove that you’re a good person or whatever. They often use reverse psychology to get people to comply. “Only 1% of people will share this,” or “Bet you won’t repost this,” for example. And they also tend to make use of conditional statements.

If You Really Love Me…

Conditional statements are recognizable by the “If/then” clauses they contain. They are used in many ways, and they’re not inherently bad. Even the Bible has instances of conditional statements. Jesus Himself told His disciples: “If you love me, then keep my commands.” Of course, He was indicating the evidence of love for a savior – obedience. Obeying the Lord is how we show not only our love for Him, but also our respect and faith in who He is, as well as our appreciation for all He’s done for us.

When these types of statements are misused, it’s usually obvious. A child may tell his parents, “If you really love me, then buy me this toy.” Do you see how this is different from the previous example? Rather than acknowledging the ways his parents love him, the child is placing a selfish condition on that love. The only goal is to get a toy he wants. And yes, adults use this kind of tactic on one another as well.

Origin of Manipulation

This is called manipulation, and that is never a tactic of God. His goal is always to benefit us. But someone who manipulates you is only doing so for their own benefit. This is nothing to be taken lightly, either. Manipulation is a devious act, and its origins are evil.

Think about it… When was the first recorded instance of manipulation in the Bible? Yep, in the Garden of Eden when the serpent (the devil) manipulated Adam and Eve into sinning. Even though God definitely warned them NOT to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, this conniving serpent said the opposite to them. “You won’t die if you eat from it! No, if you eat this fruit, then you will become like God yourselves! He just doesn’t want you becoming like Him.”

And they fell for it. Literally. This became known as “The Fall of Man.” That certainly wasn’t to their benefit, as the serpent led them to believe, but to their detriment – as well as the detriment of all mankind. See, the devil’s goals are always contrary to God’s. So it is dangerous to engage in tactics that are used by the evil one. Such an act cannot be beneficial to us OR to the kingdom of God.

Social Manipulation

My spiritual red flag goes up every time I see one of these posts on social media that insists that you like or repost it to show your love for Jesus. It implies that you don’t love Him if you ignore it and keep scrolling. This is an example of what I call Emotional Blackmail. It uses your own emotions, feelings, and beliefs to manipulate you. Talk about devious!

Of course, emotional blackmail is also used to manipulate people to supposedly prove their friendship, their patriotism, their desire to save the planet, or any number of other things, simply by reading “all the way to the end” and then reposting or forwarding to others. In the end, it’s all the same garbage. But I’m gonna focus on the emotional blackmail of believers.

Do you think that liking or sharing some post will prove to Jesus that you love Him? Or would “keeping His commandments” be the better choice? Do you believe God is going to say to you, “Well, the blood of my Son had your sins covered until you failed to like and repost that thing on Facebook”? No, that’s ridiculous.

More likely, on judgment day, people may stand before Him and say, “Lord, didn’t we like that post about loving Jesus? Didn’t we share that post with others to demonstrate our sincerity?” And He will say to them, “Depart from me, for I never knew you.” Because to KNOW God is to have a close personal relationship with Him, not to like and share some manipulative post.

What Does the Bible Say?

Is there anything in scripture that would lead you to believe that we can prove our faith through something as coerced as a post shared out of misplaced guilt? Does it say, “Faith comes from liking, and sharing through the world wide web”? No! It says:

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

Romans 10:17 [ESV]

More to the point, the Word tells us:

“If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.”

Deuteronomy 30:16 [ESV]

Now THIS is a conditional statement I can get on board with. It demonstrates how obeying the Lord is beneficial to me. It’s not a devious attempt to make me do something meaningless like sharing some tweet or Facebook post or email. Instead, it is instructive on how to do something meaningful which will both display my love for God and be good for me.

Consider this scripture where Jesus answered the question about the greatest commandments…

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Luke 10:27 [ESV]

How do we fulfill these greatest commandments? Hitting LIKE or SHARE on some social media post does nothing really. It certainly doesn’t fulfill our requirement to God. We can’t just tap a screen and be absolved of any other responsibility to Him. Indeed, we love God by doing actual things that benefit His kingdom. And we love others by placing their needs before our own. No amount of liking and reposting will ever replace that.

Share-Worthy

Certainly, there are some things that definitely ARE worth sharing with others. Examine the content and the spirit of the message you’re being asked to share. If it is pure, not manipulative, and likely to truly benefit others, then share it at your own discretion. The message of Jesus is share-worthy, your own positive experiences with God are worth sharing, as is anything that benefits the kingdom.

But if it is making you feel like you have to share it to prove something, then you’re better off disregarding it entirely. God knows your heart, and that’s what matters to Him. The Bible is our guidebook to pleasing Him, and Christ is our example. The Lord doesn’t use pressure tactics or trickery.

Final Thoughts

Remember, God is not in the manipulation business. Even a supposedly well-meaning post that requires you to do something as petty as liking and sharing in order to somehow prove that you are a Christian or that you love Jesus – nope, that’s not coming from a legitimately Godly place. Don’t be manipulated by emotional blackmail.

Likewise, no one is going to LIKE and/or SHARE their way into heaven. There is but one door, only one way to get into the presence of God the Father – that’s through His Son.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6 [ESV]

Further, we should not be so concerned with the approval of man, but rather with the approval of God. Many people feel pressured to LIKE or SHARE one of these manipulative posts in order to seek the approval of their peers or “friends” online. But that shouldn’t be our motivation at all.

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Ephesians 5:1-2

Our goal should be to do what is pleasing to God, not man. The best way to do that is to imitate Jesus and follow in His example to the best of our ability. Do these things with sincerity, and God is sure to LIKE what He sees in us, and He will also SHARE eternity with us. See what I did there?

Uncertain Times

In the midst of the CoViD-19 scare, are you succumbing to the fear? Or is your trust firm and securely in God?
Fear is Not a Sin

There are many things that might make us fearful. Fear is a natural response that we were born with. While often times our phobias may be irrational and non-productive, other times our fear (or healthy appreciation and recognition of dangers) can help keep us safe. Ask anyone who has been in a life-threatening situation – a soldier, police officer, fire-fighter – and they’ll likely tell you that fear is what kept them alive.

During the CoronaVirus pandemic, fears can run high. But there’s a difference between mere fear and sheer panic. Much of the panic we’ve seen during this crisis has been stoked by the media and its tendency to promote a “gloom-and-doom” outlook. Sensationalism is an attention grabber, and it boosts ratings. Not to downplay the CoronaVirus outbreak, but things are seldom as terrifying as most media outlets make them appear. They never seem to give us the good news, only the bad.

Fear is a Liar

When used as a tool of the enemy, fear is always a means of manipulation. If we closely examine the source and motivation of the terrifying information that bombards us daily, it’s not hard to see when someone is trying to control us in some way. Fear is used to get people to buy things, make lifestyle changes, and do all sorts of things that we’re made to believe will benefit us…when it’s actually beneficial to the ones trying to scare us.

Example: the Fear-mongering of the anti-gun lobby. They use horrible stories of gun violence and gun-related crimes to scare people into thinking guns are the problem rather than the criminals who commit the awful acts. But criminals are law-breakers by definition, so more and more restrictive gun laws won’t stop them. Law-abiding citizens, however, become vulnerable without the freedom to protect themselves with firearms. Why would a government seek to disarm the populous? Look at the history of Germany and others who did the same. There’s always a reason, and it comes back to control. And if tyranny creeps in, the populous needs to be able to defend itself to remain free.

To those who would argue, “Aren’t you succumbing to fear yourself in buying a gun for protection?” Nope. Fear wasn’t my motivation. God gave me the good sense to recognize dangers and take precautions accordingly. I trust in God, but I also sleep with a loaded firearm next to the bed – and I sleep well knowing I’m secure. I don’t fear what may happen, but I instead know I’m as safe as I can make myself, and I let God deal with the rest. But hey, that’s me.

A truly manipulating fear is always presented as a warning, appearing to be on your side. But at its heart, it is twisted and evil, built on lies designed to control you. Satan uses this tool against us almost constantly. He will tell you the same lies over and over again, until you start to believe they’re true. We have to diligently guard ourselves against this kind of fear. It is only meant for our harm.

Fear is Not our Ruler

The Bible tells us in many places to guard against fear. But one of my favorite scriptures dealing with fear is found in 2 Timothy 1:7…

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

English Standard Version

And another is 1 John 4:18…

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

ESV

The spirit God gave us is one of love, not fear. And through Christ, we are perfected in that love that casts out all fear. Do we still become afraid at times? Of course, it is a fleshly response, but we can choose not to submit to that fear. Submit instead to God, surrendering our flesh – and our fears – and let Him handle all the things we can’t. Fear should not rule our lives if we have given that rule to the Lord.

CoViD-19 Fears

As with any other fears, we should trust God to keep us in His hands and protect us from harm. At the same time, we should not ignore the good sense He gave us to do what we can to steer clear of dangers. In the midst of the current situation, many refer to it as “uncertain times.” Is it really? Are you allowing your circumstances to throw you into a paranoid frenzy? Are you in a state of panic at the news of the CoViD-19 outbreak? Or are you trusting God and simply doing what you can to avoid exposure?

A friend asked recently, “Where do you draw the line between fear and just taking precautions?” My answer involves other questions: As you take your precautions, what is your motivation? Is it fear? Is it an irrational fear that is more akin to panic and terror, or is it a healthy recognition and respect for danger? Not all fear is bad, and I’ve just illustrated the difference. I believe I can totally trust God in the middle of my circumstances and simultaneously act in good conscience to protect myself. Why should I ignore the sound mind He gave me? Go back to that verse in 2 Timothy…

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

2 Timothy 1:7 [ESV]

God gave us a spirit of POWER, of LOVE, and of SELF-CONTROL – or “a sound mind.” Don’t ignore the gifts He gave you, including your power over fear and your sense of intelligence. Don’t be motivated by fear, but act instead out of the power, love, and self-control God has equipped you with.

Precautions are fine within reason, but we ought not give in to fear. No virus, no tyrant, no threat or danger is bigger than our Creator. Greater is He that is in us than that which is in the world! Believe it. Live like it.