Societal Death By Thousands of Cuts

(photo via Twitter @UN. Love it that Chelsea is the vice chair of this project.)

The clear message of the hashtag #SOWF, the UN State of the World’s Father Conference, and this article is to say, “Men, get out of women’s way.” Stay home, barefooted, in the kitchen while women have a career.

The clear motive is power. And power has very little benefit for relationships. Thus, it isn’t families or relationships that are at issue here. It’s about the supremacy of one gender over the other, namely, the supremacy of women over men.

The point of it all is to set one sex in a relationship against the other, to make it women vs. men (as if all women are the same while all men are neanderthals), rather respect individual differences and rally for couples doing what works. And the lies that make the rift possible are presented by complicit, smiling female partners who REALLY just want you (dad) to know and respect what makes them happy, while feeling supported and cheered on to be the best dad you can be. Because nobody knows being a dad like a mother. Actually, mothers, at least the representative sample of mum readers that frequent the particular website cited in the linked article above, know what they want and expect men to give it to them.

(There’s a lot more to be said about this here, and I’m not finished; however, I want to get out this last point in particular, so I will take up this topic again later.)

To top it all off, I can’t take seriously any movement that states as its goal “men’s contribution to parenting and caregiving” that is sponsored by Planned Parenthood. What I know, based solely on Planned Parenthood’s involvement, is that the quest for “gender equality” exists only to the extent that boys and girls alike are equally devastated by abortion. I also know that, outside of the context of the “first ever global report on the state of men participating in child-rearing,” the position Planned Parenthood takes is “men have no say over what a woman does with her body (PP’s “shut up” is now followed by, “and make me a sandwich!”) I can’t pay attention to the calls for “female empowerment” over the screams of lost female lives that will never have a chance because they were victims of abortion. And I can’t respect women calling for female superiority when they denigrate themselves by supporting the destruction of female lives by abortion. Women supporting abortion as female empowerment is societal death by thousands of cuts, each one snuffing out a life that never stood a chance.

I See You Healed

Update: My symptoms have been nearly nonexistent since writing this post. I believe Christ has honored my obedience, because out of my sickness and the message of healing I received, others were also meant to be healed. I was a roadblock to that until I wrote this post. I’m believing for miracles in the lives of those who have read this and those who have yet to read it.

I should have written this a couple of weeks ago. It’s a story that has begged to be written.

I’m dealing with a little health issue. I’ve dealt with it for around three years now, most of that time doing nothing substantial about it. It finally got to the point it was impacting my daily living significantly. So a few doctor’s visits, tests, and a colonoscopy later, I find out that I have ulcerative colitis. Actually, it took two doctors and a nurse practitioner with a colonoscopy in the middle, then one last doctor (the right one) and a second colonoscopy, to find out the diagnosis.

That being said, I’ve been feeling really bad for a really long time. I’m sure I won’t realize how bad until I finally get my condition completely under control. We’re still trying to do that.

Being an Apostolic Pentecostal, I believe in the gift of divine healing. I have claimed and held to the promise of healing. Hasn’t happened yet. No impact on my faith, just some discouragement every now and then when I’m at my worst. Even though I have had prayer many times, I finally spoke publicly to the church about what I have been going through one Sunday. My family has been aware for quite some time and have been praying for me consistently.

So out of the blue one day, I come home from work. I start seeing these little notes everywhere- on the door coming into the house, on the light switch, on and inside of the refrigerator, and on the mirror in the bathroom.

image

My mother-in-law had been in prayer for me that day when God told her to see me healed. So she did. She told my wife about it. Julie took over and wrote all the little notes, taping them all over the house, putting them in my bag I carry to work, and stuffing them in drawers where I would eventually find them. This has been at least two weeks ago, and just yesterday I found new notes that she put in different places. She is still writing those notes. I know she believes completely.

Again in prayer, God told my mother-in-law, “Glen is going to have a collision with healing.” She has been faithful to share each time she hears from Him.

So I haven’t experienced the fullness of healing yet. But I still believe. And I know what my next step should have been all this time. I’m taking it right now.

I should have written this a long time ago. I’m writing it now: I see you healed.

I wondered why so many people have crossed my path lately in need of healing. I’ve been guilty of neglecting prayer where prayer was desperately needed. I rectified one such lapse a couple of weeks ago with a coworker who had been really sick. She felt God move. I she her healed. Another coworker suffered a stroke. But many prayed, and God spared him. He has a long way to recovery, a recovery that may only be possible by divine healing. I see him healed.

I’d love to see you, speak to you, and touch you according to the scriptures to pray for your healing. It isn’t possible to do that for all of you. But I still see you healed.

From your chronic depression, I see you healed.
Your cancer and your heart disease, I see you healed.
Your headaches, tumors, and infections, I see you healed.
Your long-term disabilities, your chronic, recurrent conditions, I see you healed.
Your grief and strife and bitterness, I see you healed.
Your self-inflicted wounds, your unrelenting guilt, I see you healed.
Your traumas that were outside of your control, I see you healed.
Your type 1 and type 2 diabetes, I see you healed.
Your unexpected emergency, illness or injury, I see you healed.

In the name of Jesus Christ, I see you healed.

Some even in Christianity don’t believe what I’m proclaiming right now. I don’t care. I believe for you even if you don’t believe for yourself.

I know that my healing is not just for me. These simple but profound expressions of faith for my healing is not just for me either. It’s my calling to tell you that you are healed. I’ll get my healing as I’m faithful to tell you that your healing is here.

When you experience your healing, do something for me. Cry out to Jesus out of joy and ask Him for more of His Spirit and grace. And share healing with others. When you pray in the name of Jesus Christ, healing will happen.

See more about my faith here.

Lack of Moral Leadership and Resolve in U.S. Response to Terrorism Rooted in Denial of Absolute Truth and Decency

List of Coptic Christians murdered by ISIS, via @drmoore.
List of Coptic Christians murdered by ISIS, via @drmoore.

I’m sick to my stomach over the latest terror acts in Europe and Libya. I’m almost as sick about the stupidity of my Nation’s government’s refusal to do anything more about it than to offer condolences.

In the White House Press Secretary’s statement released concerning the murder of 21 Coptic Christians by ISIS, it states:

ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity.

I can’t find a shred of truth in this statement. There are some common characteristics that have been shared by victims of ISIS’ barbarity in these terrorist murders: they were Jewish, they were Christian, and/or they supported and dared to exercise Western ideals such as freedom of speech and expression. Kidnapped journalists and aid workers who represented the West have been murdered on video in an effort to strike such fear into our hearts that we will give them what they want. And groups of various size have been attacked in acts of mass slaughter, based exactly on their religion and ethnicity.

Granted, Muslim people in these countries have been victims of unspeakable horrors as well, horrors inflicted by the adherence to Sharia, on those who are guilty unless proven innocent of infractions we can’t even fathom in our part of the world.

But this is nothing new, and it is something that the majority of the world has ignored in the past and in the present, as Islamic violence escalates in the vacuum of strong, moral leadership.

Once upon a time, the shear inhumanity and barbarity of these acts would have mobilized the U.S. to action. A once innate sense of justice and decency would have propelled us to do something definitive as a friend to freedom-loving and freedom-supporting peoples everywhere. Once upon a time, America’s rich heritage of being a haven for Christians and Jews (and countless other oppressed religious groups) fleeing oppression would have driven us to go to their aid in any part of the world they may be found. Being a sanctuary for oppressed religious groups is how we came to exist in the first place.

King Abdullah of Jordan’s actions after the execution of the Jordanian pilot, and President Sisi of Egypt’s promise to respond to the murder of Egypt’s Christian citizens, give me hope that sovereign nations of the world are willing to exercise their power and do the right thing on behalf of their citizens. France and Denmark have spoken definitively that the attacks on their citizens, most recently in Copenhagen against artists and Jews, were acts of terror. We have yet to see real action in Europe like we have started to see in the Middle East, but again I am hopeful.

Hope slowly fades as I consider my own country under the current political circumstances. The world government’s desire is to have independent governments submit to politically correct, multi-cultural and humanistic ideals of decency and justice, which are foreign to our Nation’s strong Judeo-Christian foundation on absolute truth. Our government has has seemingly fallen in line with the international worldview, refusing to acknowledge Islam as the source of this evil, declaring that we need to “empathize” and “respect” these people, and denying, as demonstrated above, that these coordinated acts of murderous terror are anything other than “wanton killing,” or “randomly shoot(ing) a bunch of folks.”

Worsening this trend by our leadership is the constant victim-blaming/shaming of the groups and individuals who are being persecuted and murdered in Europe and the Middle East. The White House took part in this “terrorshaming” by going on the record that Charlie Hebdo should not have published their cartoons against Mohammad. The President himself blamed Christians by referring back to the Crusades in his National Prayer Breakfast address (notice that “Crusaders” is part of the terminology of these terrorist in describing their Christian victims).

And the end of the Press Secretary’s statement (not the President’s statement) on the death of these Coptic Christians indicates more of the same, as the US continues to be subjugated to the amoral, humanistic world government:

We continue to strongly support the efforts of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General Bernardino Leon to facilitate formation of a national unity government and help foster a political solution in Libya.

All talk, no action.

I don’t know what to do. I feel completely helpless to make any real difference against the rage of the heathen. I have prayed several times in the wake of all this that God would tell me what to do. And he has given me a first step.

I am going to pray and start a progressive fast for seven days for the state of our Nation, the state of the world, and the plight of terror victims across the globe. I have something forming in my Spirit that needs nurtured by this time of prayer and preparation. I know too many Christians who are sick of what they see happening in our world but have no clue what to do about it.

Prayer should be first and last in everything we do, but I know we have to be people of action. Like my brother said last week in Sunday service, “It would have been a lot different if the book of Acts had been called ‘The Thoughts of the Apostles,’ or ‘The Emotions of the Apostles.’ But it was called the Acts of the Apostles.” I desperately want to learn what to do so I can teach other believers what to do to make the biggest difference in the 21st century world we find ourselves in.

I ask you to pray as well, for me, that I would have the boldness to speak, and for the believers everywhere, those oppressed by outside forces of evil, and those who are made powerless by the enemy of our souls and need to be aroused to action. And I’ll pray for you as well.

Belief in God, and What’s Wrong in our Country Today

A theology of endowed rights is foundational to our Nation’s government, ongoing success, and longevity. It’s codified in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,chat among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Recently, a cable news anchor, Chris Cuomo, made this statement:

Our rights do not come from God, that’s your faith, that’s my faith, but that’s not our country. Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.

I contend that theology is the basis of all of our beliefs, individually, whether we recognize it our not. Bad theology impacts our culture and enters our government.

What theology was Chris Cuomo influenced by when he made the statement above? Secular humanism. The belief that man is his own god and creates the definition of right and wrong himself. Interestingly, Chief Justice Roy Moore of Alabama, in defending his stay on issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples, cites natural law as his basis. The difference between the two viewpoints is illustrated in a statement Cuomo made earlier in the interview:

Well you don’t believe that as a matter of personal opinion, right? But times change, definitions change, we didn’t think blacks were equal to whites, that changed.

Cuomo cites natural law in regard to blacks being equal to whites. After all, God created mankind in His own image. Why can’t natural law, instituted by God, be recognized as the basis of our man-made laws? All of our man-made laws should support and protect people as God-created, with inherent dignity and intrinsic value.

Why can’t marriage between a man and a woman be recognized as protected by that same natural law? The same source of truth protects mankind and marriage as God’s creation.

Cuomo tried to divide religious belief from governance, and it just doesn’t work. Because everything we do is influenced by our beliefs about God- our theology. And in this conversation, by saying, “that’s your faith, not our country,” God is not acknowledged as God, mankind is.

Belief in God that influences our laws and society is not the problem. Trying to live in this divided way, invoking God when we want and pushing him aside when we want, is what is wrong in our country today.

As believers in God’s Word, we cannot be lured into living on the terms created by humanists. Faith in God and His law is central and influences everything. By God’s grace, faith in Jesus Christ influenced our founding, and by that same grace and our vigilance, faith in Christ will continue to guide the course of our country.

Freedom of Speech, the Gospel, and Calling Out Evil

(image via http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Francis)

The Pope’s comments on the Charlie Hebdo massacre are disheartening because of the exception he apparently made for violence in the face of behavior that is considered insulting by others toward Islam.

The Pope said Thursday that while violence is wrong, it is also wrong for people to mock the faiths of others.
Speaking to reporters while traveling by plane to the Philippines, Francis said certain language is virtually certain to provoke an angry, violent reaction from someone.
“You cannot react violently,” the Pope said. He added, however, that if a good friend “says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. This is normal.”
Francis added that “you cannot provoke, you cannot insult other people’s faiths, you cannot make fun of faith.”
And the Pope does believe it is a “provocation” to “make other people’s religions a joke” because “things can happen” as a result.

“Why? Why is this world so messed up that I agree with Piers Morgan?”, commented one of my friends on Facebook. I can understand the angst. My belief is that, however much I disagree with Mr. Morgan’s political views, there appears to be a shred of decency in him. And the world is in desperate need of decency.

It is decency that allows someone to disagree with both parties on an issue, and yet, after one of those sides decides to commit murder, the decent person says, “The murderers are evil and wrong,” without the need to qualify anything else.

I have no need to partake of the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo. They do me no good at all whatsoever. Whatever message being portrayed is lost on me because I can’t stomach the graphics used to portray the message. I’m sure I would judge many of the views the magazine expresses to be wrong, but how can I say they are wrong to express them? As a lifelong American who values the right to express myself anytime, anywhere, in any way I please, I cannot say those cartoonists were wrong.

We, as free people, understand that there is a such thing as an “off switch” when offensive content comes on our televisions. We “vote with our feet” when we enter a performance that turns out to be offensive in some way. We know we can cover our kids’ eyes and ears and go somewhere else. We don’t buy magazines that portray nudity and pornography, if that’s not what we want to look at. A great portion of the rest of the world, and way too much of America, takes no responsibility for doing what it takes to protect themselves, and instead want to cry afoul at offensiveness. Abolish offensiveness. Shout it down, destroy it (and too often the person who perpetrates it), make it “hate speech”.

I have left the realm of nudity and profanity as I write about offensiveness at this point. Incidentally, the majority of people trying to end offensiveness have no problem with those two things, and would call me a prude for saying that there is something wrong with them. That is exactly why, as much as I hate and avoid many forms of expression that are popular today in the world, I will defend the right of those who spread such filth to do so.

The fact of the matter is, I am the offensive one in the eyes of so many people today. I pray, I believe the Bible is God’s inspired Word and live by it, I’m a minister of the Gospel, I believe in marriage between one man and one woman, I am raising a traditional family (which has been declared dead, by the way), I’m pro-life, pro-protecting-my-family-with-a-gun if it comes down to it, pro-freedom and personal responsibility in this world. I live like I have a responsibility to Christ and my neighbor, because I absolutely do.

And because so much about me is so offensive to the world today, it is in my best interest to stand up for free speech, free expression, free assembly, and freedom of religion. Because if today I am able to condemn someone’s right to speak, then tomorrow I most certainly will be the one facing condemnation.

The Pope did not defend free speech in his remarks. Is the Pope’s reaction coincidental, considering that Charlie Hebdo has also mocked priests due to sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church? Or is the Pope so secure in his ability to continue speaking freely that he isn’t concerned about ramifications of limiting free speech and expression? I’m certain the Pope fears no censorship, but what about you and me?

We have had sermons subpoenaed in Texas. Conservative groups targeted by the IRS. Children and teens required to declare their religion to the government in order to be permitted to homeschool. And on and on.

Freedom of speech allows the Gospel to move. Paul utilized every right of Roman citizenship to move the Gospel across the world. Should we be concerned with being able to do this as well?

Saints in oppressed areas of the world look to the free world, particularly America, and pray that we can keep a firm foothold on the freedoms that make us utterly distinct from the rest of the world. They see our freedom as a blessing from Almighty God, to be cherished and defended.

In a country where all have the freedom to say anything they want, even if it is offensive, there is nothing that can stop the move of the Holy Ghost except our unwillingness to preach the Gospel. The Gospel has no comparison; darkness cannot handle the Light. The Light can stand for Himself and nothing can touch Him.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (‭1 John‬ ‭1‬:‭5‬ KJV)

So mock me and mock my Gospel. I’m not going to shoot you up. I won’t even try to shut you up. But I’ll use the same freedom you have to convince you that there is a better way.

I believe it is time we attack evil and leave free expression alone. It’s time we call out evil doers and have compassion on those who are victimized, not equivocate and resort to terrorshaming people who “had it coming”. Government has excused the latter and neglected the former. Only morally decent people who are not afraid can call out evil and shine light into darkness. And though we may lose our rights as free people one day, we still have the chance today to exercise free speech, defending that right for ourselves and others.

Why My Kids Make It Worthwhile to be a #DadsOnMission

I love the United States of America. I am heartbroken at what we have become. The American nation, and the American church for that matter, need a spiritual revival and renewal. But I am extremely thankful to live my convictions and share those with my kids.

We have begun Bible quizzing with my oldest son. He is 8 years old. He took highest-scoring quizzer in his first tournament, and he won 2nd place team in the tournament along with a buddy.

It has been an emotional roller coaster getting him to study. He simply has not wanted to do it. Tonight, even after winning this past Saturday, he cried as soon as we mentioned studying his Proverbs. Thirty minutes later we were able to start, and after an hour he had settled in and learned 5 new proverbs.

Once we finished studying, out of nowhere, he wanted to have church in his room. He ran to get his bath over with, then set up a chair for a pulpit and pillows on the floor for his brother, mother, and me to sit on. We prayed and sang songs. He asked me to lead the opening prayer and his mother to lead the closing prayer. We all shook hands, hugged, and greeted one another.

He even named the church- Spring Creek Pentecostal Church, after the community we live in. I truly believe that it is a foretelling of things to come. Spring Creek needs an Apostolic church. I think one just started.

imageLittle brother is joyful and does everything his brother does. We spent all of 2014 working as a family on a pro-life initiative called Yes On 1, to pass a state constitutional amendment to strengthen protections for the unborn. A few weeks ago, as his brother and I were working on quizzing, he set up a chair as a display table, with pamphlets and a “Yes On 1” sign, like we did dozens of times at churches and events. Then he said to me, “I need somebody to walk by so I can tell them vote yes on 1!” It was a heart-wrencher, seeing him do what he had seen us do, and having that be important to him at this stage in life, just because it is important to us as his parents.

I don’t write this to convey that my wife and I are super parents, because I, at least, am not. Julie instills so much in the boys that I never could because she is a work-at-home mom, constantly there for them. I need more help as a parent than my sinful pride will allow me to admit. But I am encouraged, and I grow daily, and I ask God for help and cover them with prayer.

And because of the way I see my sons growing, I will continue to be a Dad On Mission, reaching and teaching, to make sure I hand them a baton worth carrying to the finish line.

Never miss a post- sign up for the weekly email newsletter.
Follow me on Twitter, and check out the #DadsOnMission Daily Paper.li:

Four Guaranteed Experiences, and One Thing You’ll Never Experience, When You Step Out in Faith to Do God’s Work

We’ve been meeting bi-weekly for some time now. The closer we get to November 4th, the more sense it made to be in closer, more frequent contact. Yes On 1 has been a massive undertaking. The goal is to mobilize pro-life voters to pass a historic amendment to the Tennessee Constitution and bring life back to our state. A wrongly decided state Supreme Court decision in 2000 made Tennessee an abortion destination by interpreting a “fundamental right” to abortion in our state constitution and undoing the most basic legal protections for women and unborn children.

Around the time of one of our meetings, our regional coordinator sent an email reporting on the ways many of our volunteers have experienced personal trials as our campaign is coming down to its final days. He also gave us scriptural encouragement to continue on in our work.

As our enemy sees us giving our all in service to others, attacks are inevitable. Here are 4 guaranteed experiences that are destined to challenge you as you seek to do God’s work.

I am going to operationalize doing “God’s work” as doing “service,” or serving others- individuals, groups, or even entire communities. In our work with the Yes On 1 campaign, my wife and I have served voters who needed to understand the issue Amendment 1 intends to address. We also have striven to serve volunteers who are passionate about creating positive change in Tennessee. Ultimately, we hope our efforts serve vulnerable women and unborn children. Service to others is God’s work.

Fear. There are going to have bouts with fear when you set out to serve others. I see fear often in the eyes of social work students I am serving at Union University, who have never yet had to sit across from vulnerable people and be competent, compassionate helpers. The fear of being misunderstood, being rejected, or being defeated can be paralyzing. But you can’t be (or stay) paralyzed. You can’t stay stuck wondering, “What do I do now?” In a world that needs your connectedness, you can’t afford to be shut down and out of the fight.

Frustration. The work of serving others is rife with frustration. Service is messy, under-appreciated, and not immediately fulfilling. One of the questions we ask job candidates at Youth Villages is, “How do you gauge your personal effectiveness?” One of the reasons this question is so important is, if you are expecting to rely on “warm fuzzies” to get you through the difficult days, it ain’t gonna happen. The paycheck won’t keep you on the job either, because too often long hours serving others ends with too few tangible results. People don’t always follow through on your good ideas. And when they do, it isn’t often enough that you will get the gratitude you deserve. Nobody who serves others long does it for a paycheck or a pat on the back. It takes a long-term view and an inner-confidence that you are making a difference through service.

How is this tracking with you so far? Well, take some time to ponder over the first two of four guaranteed experiences you will face when you do God’s work of serving others. We will have two more guaranteed experiences, and the one thing you are guaranteed to never experience, in the next post.

The Meaning in the Mess

I know you’re tired. I am too.

It seems like it never ends. There is always too much to do, and not enough time to do it all. The daily care of, well, everything, pulls, and drags, and threatens to take you down.

And then when you look at all that is going on around you in the world- immoral things, evil things, threatening things, things that were once far away but now seem ever so much closer to home- you know you should care and be involved, but how can you?

You know there are people in need, but how can you help? How can you start to right the wrongs that are in the world? What can you do, with so little time, energy, and resources?

I feel this way. A lot of the time, I feel this way. But I’m in good company- I’m with you and with the Apostle Paul when it comes to feeling this way:

In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭11‬:‭27-29‬)

In the middle of weariness and pain, hunger and thirst, in addition to all the “daily cares,” it is easy to adopt the attitude of “I can’t, I don’t have time, it’s not my problem.”

Sign up for The Battle Cry weekly newsletter today!

And, focusing on the battle all the time, with all of the obstacles and struggles, will wear you out. Compassion fatigue sets in. Vicarious trauma sets in. We are overwhelmed with the death and destruction that goes on around us, in the world and in our own cities, and our brain has to dissociate from it all for our own good.

The problem is, in a world that needs your connectedness, you can’t afford to be shut down and out of the fight.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭9‬)

There is no joy in this world, but there is glory in the fight. Why? Because when we are in the fight, we receive God’s grace to make it through. In this cycle of pain upon pain, hurt upon hurt, grace is supernaturally injected into our lives, and we find meaning in the mess.

My family and I have been working on a pro-life initiative called Yes On 1 for over a year. We had a meeting tonight and came to a conclusion along with some of our other stalwart volunteers- we feel like we are in a state of limbo. We have 33 days left until Election Day, when we will know if all of our prayer and labor has paid off. All of our hours and sacrifice, conviction and passion- will it make a difference? And besides all of this, the daily cares- bills and work and dangers and trials.

I don’t want to be numb! I don’t want to say its somebody else’s problem! For my sake and your sake and my children’s’ sake, I can’t give up. Neither can you.

My children are watching. And I know it is all worth while on nights like tonight. We ended our meeting in prayer. My boys had been playing in another room. My wife called for them to come in with us during the prayer. They entered, and folded their hands in prayer, with their heads down, as the adults took turns leading in prayer. I asked my oldest son if he wanted to lead prayer. He said no. But after I led for a few moments, he said, “Dad, I’m ready to lead prayer now.” And he said,

Dear Jesus, thank you for this beautiful day you have given us, and for allowing us to come here to be together to talk about Yes On 1, so we can protect women and babies, and so we can fight the abortion army, and Lord, help people to vote yes on Amendment 1, in Jesus name, Amen.

And it’s all worth it. For him to get it, and to have joy in the work we are doing, that he sees his mother and father doing, and that he can pray about with such sincerity- it is all worthwhile. And there I find it- the meaning in the mess, the reason to fight on, the strength to continue to stand.

If I can help you step into the fight with conviction and confidence, I want to know! It’s a combination of planning and deciding and acting. Email me at glengaugh@gmail.com and I’ll connect with you. For the sake of the call- Glen

The Battle Cry

(original photo from the youth service)

These are the speaking notes for a youth service I preached for TN District North American Missionary Nathan McCrury on this past Friday night, Sept. 19th, in Parker’s Crossroads, TN. The service was in an outdoor amphitheater at the city park. They have their weekly services in a community building in the park. Pray for the Parker’s Crossroads United Pentecostals as they lift a battle cry over the community of their calling!

Click here for an audio recording of the message.

The Battle Cry- not a shout of praise and worship. A shout of aggression, determination, a declaration.

2 functions of a battle cry according to Wikipedia- arouse aggression and induce intimidation.

We’ve come tonight to commit spiritual warfare, to break the back of the devil, to take dominion over spiritual wickedness in high places. Be prepared to be attacked by the enemy. But do not be afraid.

Judges 7:9-15 Gideon saw

And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. (‭Judges‬ ‭7‬:‭13-15‬ KJV)

The enemy declared its own doom.
There is a spirit out there, slinging its head, flinging its venom. The devil stalks like a lion seeking who he can devour. But it is toothless, clawless, and powerless. Gideon had to see that before he could go into battle.

Judges 7:15-18 Gideon stood

And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon. (‭Judges‬ ‭7‬:‭15-18‬ KJV)

Arise, he said. He placed them and he placed himself. There they all remained.

Judges‬ ‭7‬:‭19-2 Gideon shouted the battle cry. The sword of The Lord and of Gideon.

So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon. And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. (‭Judges‬ ‭7‬:‭19-21‬ KJV)

The battle cry is passed down through generations. What we accept slowly creeps into our generations. What we preach does too. What we practice is more powerful still. But what we war against with our battle cry says more about us than all the rest of it- what our children will take up war against will be a testament to us or a judgment against us.

Satan is writhing. Shout him down. Bruise his head. That’s our legacy. We get to bruise him.

Jesus delivered the enemy to us. He lead captivity captive. All we have to do is take dominion. 

There are things that grieve my spirit going on in this world. When I see what the devil and the culture is making out of our youth, I get angry. When I hear the lies that the world is deceiving so many with, I get beside myself with anger. The way everything is accepted and nothing is rejected. There’s some things we need to reject. The culture is inoculating our kids against the shock that sin is supposed to cause. They’re used to gay classmates and teachers. They hear the stories of premarital sex. They learn how to be tolerant. There are things we aren’t supposed to tolerate.

We, and our students, don’t do the world any good by being tolerant of sin. We need to see that The Lord is on our side. We need to plant our feet and stand in the right. And we need a blood-curling battle cry!

Click here for an audio recording of the message.

The Case for Children

I have written very little this week because I am preparing to speak twice this coming weekend, a youth service on Friday night which I am preaching, and a Sunday night service in which I am speaking on Life and the pro-life Yes On 1 campaign. So with nothing new to contribute, I pulled out this sermon called The Case for Children. I appreciate you reading it. Forgive any errors, as these were speaking notes and I did not proof them for publishing.

A sermon on the occassion of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, January 19, 2014.

And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:13, 14 KJV)

20120606-001648.jpgAs far as we know, Adam and Eve were each created as physically mature adults. But that does not mean that conception and birth were not a part of the creation. God created man in His own image. Hebrews 1:2-3 tells us he is that Jesus is the “express image” of God. We surly remember that Mary was told she would “conceive” and “bring forth a son” (Luke 1:31). So though Adam and Eve were not conceived in the womb, they were made in the image of the only begotten son of God, with the plan that He would be conceived of woman at an appointed time. From the time man was created, there was to be an unbroken chain of life: the life still in the womb not to be excluded from personhood, but to be respected as integral to God’s plan.

If I am honest with you and if I’m honest with myself, i would have to say i have been led before the throne of God by my children as often if not more so than I have done so for them. The first time one of my children led me to God was before my oldest was ever born. At their births I was again taken before The Lord in the wonder of that special event. The first time time they realized what those voices, hands, fingers, feet and toes could do, and how they refused to stop using them once realizing how wonderful it was to scream, laugh, crawl, walk, and meddle in a continuous state of curiosity and experimentation. 

20120630-112635.jpgIf judged by the way the world judges utility and productivity, children have absolutely nothing to offer. But we know better than that. Nothing can melt a heart, incite a rage, induce a chuckle, or provoke conviction like a child. Children provide a peek into the brief period of innocence that mankind experienced before we fundamentally and dramatically ruined our relationship with God and altered our destiny forever. WE NEED CHILDREN, FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD!

Regardless of the circumstances in which a child may be conceived, the child himself or herself still meets God’s standard, brings God’s blessings, and is for God’s pleasure. 
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 KJV)

“Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;” (Isaiah 44:24 KJV)

In spite of the biblical case for life, we live in a society today that makes it easy to disregard the life of a child purely for the sake of choice. For the sake of self. The biggest reason for abortions is cited as “not ready to have a child.” Gender selection and risk of genetic defect are not unheard of as reasons for abortion. The case is made in the public arena that poverty, risk of abuse or neglect, and the prospect of life-long illness make abortion a humane choice for children at risk of facing such obstacles. 

20121016-002811.jpgThere is no doctrine of “better off dead” in the bible. There is no list of conditions that are too much for God to handle, no situation in which we mortals have to intervene on God’s behalf for the sake of a child. How absurd! But this is not a statement of imagination or exaggeration- we only have to look at the reality of the choices people are making and listen to the volume of the voices rabidly rushing to justify taking human life. Theses voices erode the value of unborn life for the sake of self, but in doing so they devalue the life of every living person.

Jesus entered the world into a climate that brought forth institutionalized murder of children. Herod declared, in his jealousy, for himself and for the sake of his crown, that all children of 2 years old and younger, were to be killed. There is a spirit of Herod in our world today that says taking the life of the innocent for personal preference, in order to protect and preserve one’s way of life, is ok. As a society we are wearing the crown of kingship over our own lives and are willing to sacrifice others, and paint it as justifiable, in order to keep that crown. 

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

The WAY- those who try to say there are many ways to know God use the illustration of an elephant and blind men who are feeling the elephant trying to decipher what it is. All the others are definitely feeling of an elephant. The elephant in the room is this- unless you are following Jesus Christ, you are charting your own course and being your own god. When we decide is situation is impossible and act on our own fears and insecurities, we take Christ’s authority on ourselves and we hopelessly make a mess of it. We reject God’s perfect provision and try to handle things we cannot possibly handle on our own. Jesus is the way out of hopelessness- the way out of no way!

The TRUTH- Truth today is a la carte in the eyes of the world. Pick and choose. Here a little, there a little. The concept of absolute truth is rejected, because in order to claim that there is only one truth is to say that you are right and others are wrong, which is simply not permissible these days. As believers we are discouraged from speaking out because we might offend someone. The issue is that we do not speak the truth in love to people who need to hear it.

The LIFE- the voices that reject absolute truth and a single path to God also reject the absolute value of life. 

The world is making the case for preference. The case for privacy. The case for live and let live. The case for convenience. The case for the mother. The case for “Why should a teenager be saddled with a baby because of one mistake?” The case for choice.

So why am I standing before you today making the case for Children? Because no one is created to die. We are all created to live.

Never before has the taking of human life been presented as so positive, so innocuous, and so liberating, such that masses are deceived into supporting it or lulled into allowing it. I may not be speaking to people who support abortion, but I am speaking to people who are in danger of being lulled into allowing it to happen.

The cause of protecting life is a concern of the living. You and me. 

It’ll Take a Lot More Than Crying “Hate” to Make a Difference

It isn’t surprising that a group that shares the same ideology as the Charleston mass murderer agrees with his grievances. They are as full of hate as he is.

Equally as unsurprising is that there are groups dedicated to spreading hatred for others who are different from them. Such groups have existed for centuries and have varied in size and impact. In the US, thankfully, such groups have remained relatively ineffective in their efforts other than to gather people of the same ideology. Others, like the old Weather Underground, experienced marginal success, detonating a bomb inside the NYPD. Still others, like the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, made a huge impact at their inception and today have some adherents that talk about the good ol’ days.

Some deadly. All hateful.

The Southern Policy Law Center has a list of over 700 groups classified as domestic hate groups (and many of not most actually are). Bernie Sanders cited the list from the Senate floor in support of his claim that right-wing racist groups have increased and indicated that it is a sign of “how far we yet have to go in order to create a nonracist society.””

Hate should be decried and condemned at every turn. Absent the commission of a crime, however, hatred is only the absence of virtue. And if our society doesn’t work on uplifting decency and enlivening common virtues, then there won’t be any moral ground on which to condemn hate.

Sure, we can play the game of who’s hate is worse relative to someone else’s hate. It’s pretty common to hear individuals say, “I know I’m bad about (fill in the blank), but so-and-so is much worse than I am.” No political or ideological group would concede such a point because each and every one of them has their own predetermined, single solution to problems for which there are no single, simple solutions. And each shouts its own solution at the top of its lungs in an endless echo chamber.

image via cnn.com.
Charleston Unity Walk, our better virtues rising above the fray. Image via cnn.com.

You can’t lie and expect truth to win the day.
You can’t build a bullying culture and expect to end bullying in schools.
You can’t cry out for peace while rioting.
You can’t expect equality when you excoriate people who have different views from you.

Relativism and moral equivalence are cancers on our society, as fewer and fewer people acknowledge any shred of absolute truth (truth which I believe is found in the Bible).

If you’re like me, you pay attention to what is being said in the wake of tragedies like the Charleston mass murder, and you start to find the commentary maddening via circular logic, abundant strawmen, distractions and distortions. That’s because all you’re seeing is Fido chasing his tail. The only way to rise above is to get above the fray and hold on to enduring truths that espouse moral decency and virtues.

H/T to @redsteeze for turning me on to the tweet and article at the beginning of the post. For a great post on the virtues that are causing the victims’ families and the community of Charleston to rise above the fray, read his post here:

Gratitude on Father’s Day

I look back and realize my last few posts (here, here, and here) have been about very difficult topics and negative circumstances. The reason is, I can’t stand a lie, particularly a lie that threatens to lead multitudes astray. The narrative in our country has become so skewed away from God, His objective truth, and common decency that is sickens me. Whether 2 or 2,000 read my blog in a given day, I believe it is worth telling the truth to however many will read it.

However, what I witnessed today from my kids on Father’s Day has me extremely hopeful. We went out to eat with my dad, and had to wait for quite a while to be seated. My sons took it on themselves to open the doors for people entering and exiting the restaurant. They received so many complements for being gentlemen.

More importantly than that, we left the restaurant and went to the hospital to visit a lady who was a part of our church for years, who is terminally ill. As we pulled into the parking lot, my oldest son said, “Me and (his brother) are PRAYERamedics. We don’t use the machines to save people, we pray for them!” We were stunned by how clever he was to come up with that name.

MP900177811
image via Microsoft Office

But it wan’t just him being clever. When we got to the room, my wife and I greeted the family that was present and made small talk. My oldest came to me and said, “Well, should we get to work?” I said, “Sure!” He knelt at a chair and started praying. Everyone in the packed, tiny room noticed. When he got up, I said, “In a minute, we’ll go over and pray with her.” He didn’t wait; he walked over to the lady’s bedside, put his hand on her and started praying. His little brother put his hand on her and started praying. My wife was sitting close and she started praying. I walked over to join them. Everyone started praying. I felt God, like a miracle was about to happen.

Me and (his brother) are PRAYERamedics. We don’t use the machines to save people, we pray for them!”

We saw no immediate change. But there was no denying the power of God was there. The lady’s adult children were there and they were comforted by the faith of two children. My wife and I witnessed fruit growing in our children’s lives. And even though my family had treated my like a king for Father’s Day, I was even more honored and humbled to see that all the investment we make as parents pays off dividends over and beyond what we can imagine.

I give credit and honor to my wife not only for being the parent that is home to care for our kids and our home, but also for instilling in them a love and appreciation for their father. They know that every time I leave the house for any period of time, I am doing it to support them because I love them, and also because I am doing work that is worthwhile. Knowing that my wife and I are bound together in providing a godly home and that they are getting the message- these are the greatest Father’s Day gifts I could ever receive.

The Denial of Decency and Common Sense (Some thoughts on the Charleston Mass Murder)

UPDATE: A tweet that expresses my assertion in the 5th paragraph.

One evil person with a certain motivation does not excuse other evil people with the same or differing motivations.

Yes, the police should be able to do their job and the process for justice should play out. That is not a racist position or a position of denial concerning the murderer’s motivation.

People need to get out of the habit of defending people and condemning people as a knee-jerk reaction (but the problem with the other side is they’ll accuse you either way. there’s only one right answer- immediate condemnation.) I’m not talking about the murder, who plainly deserves condemnation. I’m talking about the talkers on both sides of the political spectrum defending or destroying others who have an opinion and dare to express it.

Identity politics drove Sweet Cakes by Melissa out of business.
Identity politics drove Sweet Cakes by Melissa out of business.

And yes, it is political. See the news about the President and former first lady who have been fundraising off of this tragedy. “Never let a crisis go to waste,” right?

Official diagnoses aside, anyone who thinks he is justified in shooting innocent people has the same derangement as the people who think all people who look like him are to blame for it. Identity. Politics. [The government indulges in identity politics, too](http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/02/b

akery-same-sex-oregon-fined-wedding-cake/22771685/). No better than this guy that shot and murdered people because they were black Christians.

Comparing apples to oranges- This crime was clearly and act of racist murder. It was motivated by hate. I don’t know if it was terrorism or not (no known affiliation with an organization or evidence of acting directly or otherwise on behalf of an organization. Some people just want to kill.) The Mayor and police chief had little reason not to call this a horrible murder apparently motivated by hate, possibly motivated by ideology toward terrorism. It is not the same as the police-involved shootings (one that was blatantly a murder as revealed by cell phone video). We place a level of trust in our public servants that is warranted and crucial for civil peacekeeping and public safety. Officers warrant the benefit of this trust unless and until they break it, at which point they have no business serving the public. To not speculate on officer involved shootings is the right call (again, except in the case of one recent shooting which was clearly cold-blooded murder, and even that case was subject to due process.)

As to why prayer has been the response as opposed to rioting and unrest- the open-and-shut nature of the crime has something to do with why there has been no rioting. It has not stopped the politicization of the SC statehouse flying the Confederate battle flag, blaming of and calling for denunciation of the murders by all white people, or cries for more gun laws, n spite of the fact that the murderer broke existing gun laws in order to commit these murders.

But the only thing that can explain prayer is that, perhaps since this is a church that was shattered by these murders, the suvivors (I hate the word “victims”) know where to put their faith. I’ve seen criticism on Twitter that, because these are black people, they are told that they have to forgive the murderer. I think these people have the opportunity to forgive and they are taking it. I hope and believe that this tragedy will be the one that brings healing from the wounds inflicted by the past several incidents of racial violence and rioting.

If we’re all going to be held responsible for denouncing white racist mass murderers, let’s start with eugenics proponent Margaret Sanger. She’s responsible for ideology that has led to the death of millions. No gun required. Loved by our President and many others from his party and ideological respective:

image via bookwormroom.com
image via bookwormroom.com

The Cultural Injustice of Death on Demand

The disregard for human life in this day and age is breath-taking. It seems that a generation has come that feels there’s honor in controlling the circumstances of death and power in controlling the death of others. I’m referring to the increasing rise and acceptance of euthanasia, which is the younger sister of the much more mature practice of abortion. The culture has embraced death on demand.

Euthanasia and abortion doctors are a special kind of parasites, profiting from taking life from the most vulnerable in society at their most desperate point in life. And it seems that they get to make the decisions about who lives and dies with no third-party, disinterested decision-maker involved. Consider that in Tennessee, from 2000 until now, there has been no requirement for a doctor to provide for informed consent from women seeking abortions. No explanation necessary, according to the law. According to this article in the New Yorker, in Belgium, a death doc carried out euthanasia with no contact made to living family members, and no apparent opinion gained outside of his impression of his victim.

Europe has been the cultural hotbed of such liberal, humanistic, “enlightened” policies, under the guise of “the patient knows best,” and, “Who am I to decide for another person, how they should live or die?” Thus, there it is simply a matter of choice. Like abortion here in the US. One option among many. But which option do the death docs profit from? Which option are they most likely to promote?

It has just gotten to the point where anything resembling authority outside of self is completely rejected. And power over death is the ultimate self-empowerment. Too bad that it is a power reserved for God alone, the One whose Lordship is most spurned today. But is it really self-empowerment when there is such potential for deception and coercion from someone who is going to profit from your death? Is it really autonomy if the options for happiness and fulfillment apart from dying are covered up?

Sympathizing with the desire to die, while understandable as a human emotion, really should have no place in making medical and psychiatric decisions. On that note, as a mental health professional, playing into one’s desire to die is cruel and antithetical to the purpose of improving mental health. Life-long depression as a reason for euthanasia? The potential for psychiatric distress due to having a baby as a reason for abortion?

We have to live our lives and speak truth in such a way that others want to take part in what we have and to understand what makes us who we are.

In decades past, I would feel safe saying that a majority of people in the US would think these sentiments are ludicrous, but today, I’m not so sure. There is some comfort in knowing that, according to Gallup, 51% of Americans feel that abortion should only be legal in certain circumstances, and of that number, 36% believe it should be legal only in few circumstances. While only 19% believe abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, 44% of the sample asked considers themselves pro-life.

It is pitiful that we even need to measure such statistics, but the reason we do is because death on demand was accepted by the culture, then the government, long ago. I hope we never get to the point where these questions have to be asked about euthanasia, the way we have to ask them about abortion. If we the people aren’t careful, we will let the culture get away from us again. Merchants of death, by reason of the lies they tell, somehow are able to turn their consumers into the biggest cheerleaders for the goods they sell.

So we have to live our lives and speak truth in such a way that others want to take part in what we have and to understand what makes us who we are. We pro-life folks haven’t escaped tragedy and hardship our entire lives, but we have understood through suffering that life is worth living and worth fighting for. Can we pass that on to someone else today?

Making Men that Make a Difference

We’re losing a generation to the lies of the culture.

In spite of what the culture wants you to believe, each boy is not a rapist waiting to emerge if he doesn’t get some form of re-education.

The redefining of boyhood and manhood is another of the prevailing culture’s attempts to destroy anything that reflects the glory of God. Like the Nazis burning books or ISIS destroying the old symbols, society wants to purge the world of anything resembling Christ, because it reminds an increasingly godless culture of the once (and still) prosperous existence of those whose faith is in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Boys being driven, aggressive, reckless, competitive, inquisitive, brash, and disruptive, are not subjects to be retrained. They are forces to be channelled. If the (mis)characterization of Jesus as a long-haired, quiet, effeminate, tolerant, passive were true, then God would have just made all of us women. The nature of men is not a curse to be exorcised, it is a reflection of God in the likeness of sinful flesh. The family and the church are meant to mold raw masculinity into usefulness by the Word and the Holy Spirit. Manhood is a tool in the hands of the Master, not a scourge.

When our boys and men get up, bang their chests, grit their teeth on the bulkhead of the Good Ol’ Gospel Ship, then disembark with the Sword of the Spirit in their mouths to storm the god-forsaken beaches of this world, it is going to be an offensive, dangerous blow to the kingdom Satan is running on earth and all the ones who are trapped in it.

Men will not be confused about who they are a la “Caitlin” Jenner.

Men will be confident in their roles and abilities as fathers, sons, husbands, ministers, fighters, leaders, and prophets.

Children and women will prosper under the biblical pattern for family. It’ll be disruptive at first, because as men have previously abdicated their role, the rest of the family has adjusted to fill the vacuum. As men now resume their roles, the rest of the family has to snap back into place. There can’t be multiple heads of the home, only one.

We’ll be labeled old-fashioned, masogynistic, patriarchal, oppressive, homophobic, but these are meaningless words meant to beat us down and intimidate us into a political correct vision of manhood. This war we fight is a war of words and ideas- “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God”- so we have to fight against the words that invoke harmful stereotypes of what a man “should” be.

In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.- George Orwell

Honestly, I’m sick and tired of the lies we all keep believing, that put us in fear of how our boys will turn out if they aren’t domesticated, defanged, and deluded into being something they were never created to be. Think our country is starved for leadership? That’s because our country is deprived of strong men who know power and restraint through a living relationship with God his Creator. It’s because our families are weak and our churches powerless; our religion is a vain show that is emptied of significance.

However, I am hopeful. I am raising two men, and I think that between you and me, we can get out the word about these lies, and the lying liars that tell them, so that more men can be raised up that can change the world.

[Book Excerpt] An Update On What I’ve Been Doing, Since I Haven’t Been Posting at the Blog Lately

Hey, I know I haven’t posted in a while. I’m sorry. I haven’t been lazy. I’ve just been writing other things.

You may have read this post earlier in the month. I know my brother did. He asked me if I was writing my book yet. I said that I was. He found out by reading the blog. I didn’t even know he read my blog…

I have been working on the book. I’ve also had a lot of other things on my mind. Pondering the will of God while trying to get closer to Him.

I’ve realized that writing a book in particular, and sharing a message in general, is an obstacle for me. It’s an obstacle in that, as long as I put it off, I can’t really move forward to do anything else. I see other things on the horizon, but I’m stuck where I am as long as this work goes undone. So I have to get to work. And I have been at work.

Having someone ask me about the book provided a sense of accountability. I don’t know what it meant to him, to find out that I have been working on it, or what it would have meant if I had not been working on it. I’m glad I was able to give an affirmative answer.

There are many of you that I know read this blog, but a good percentage you I probably know personally but have no idea that you’re checking out my material. I want to invite you to let me know that you’re reading, either by commenting or posting on social media.

And to give you something to post about, here is an excerpt from my very, very rough draft. I’m calling the book “Provoked: A Call To Extraordinary Good Works.” The excerpt is from a chapter on personal credibility:

Credibility is living in alignment with your values. It is “practicing what you preach.” It is doing more than paying lip service, it is backing up your claims with action.

There is “microcredibility,” where you make a promise and you either fulfill it or renege on it. Your choice increases or decreases your credibility. Then there is “macrocredibility.” Do people see your beliefs and actions aligning in everyday life? Or do others doubt that your values are really all that important to you?

The doubt that others have when your words and your actions don’t align is called dissonance. It isn’t that you’re trying to deceive people. Your not trying to be someone you aren’t. But something just doesn’t add up, and it is noticeable. You can feel the dissonance too, when you come to a place where you recognize the credibility gap between your beliefs and behaviors.

I’ve taught young people for years that “belief behaves.” Others will judge your beliefs by what they see you do, for better or for worse.

If you commit enough of the microcredibility trespasses, people will believe you aren’t as good as your word. They will believe that honesty and fulfilling obligations isn’t that important to you. Sure, we all make mistakes. We forget, get busy, have emergencies arise that prevent us from fulfilling obligations. At those times, credibility is more valuable than gold. Forgiveness comes easy and relationships stay intact when you are credible. But a pattern of not living up to the obligations you set leads to loss of credibility and broken relationships.

Every obligation you make is a standard of performance you set for yourself.

Yes, a standard you set for yourself. No one sets it for you. You choose. So choose wisely.

Let me know what you think! Do you recognize a credibility crisis in the world today? How does it play out? How is lack of credibility an obstacle to doing extraordinary good works?

A Call To Action

%d bloggers like this: