July 2020

Is it Peace or War

My father was 14 years old when World War I erupted which took around 115,000 American lives. When he was 18 the Spanish flu pandemic killed 675,000 Americans. I was nine in December 1941 sitting at the breakfast table when President F.D. Roosevelt announced on the radio that America was at war with Japan following their sneak attack on Pearl Harbour. A chilling tidal wave of emotion enveloped my young body. That four years of war would cost around 415,000 American lives. Two weeks after I was saved and called to preach, North Korea invaded South Korea which took another 40,000 American Lives. During my second year pastoring Temple Baptist Church in El Dorado, Kansas, around the time I met Kathleen, my future wife, the twenty-year war in Vietnam began which took 47,000. Iraq and Afghanistan lost 6,000 more.. These figures say nothing about the the host of wounded and maimed for life. The Lebanese civil war affected us more personally because it involved a country and people for whom God had given us a passion and love to this very day. Government corruption and the pandemic have brought many of the believers to utter desperation. For the turbulent world add George Floyd’s death which motivated 20,000 peaceful protestors to swell the streets of Sydney. The 2020 coronavirus pandemic just may be God’s special delivery letter to all of us as well as to a godless world including America.

If the foundations be destroyed…

It is not the “if” of whether but the “if” of when. The way of the transgressor is on a downward trajectory. The American institutions of higher learning have been sowing poisonous plants and noxious weeds into the future leaders and now we are reaping the bitter harvest. Hating the American way of life, liberty and opportunity has replaced law and order with nonsensical clichés justifying looting, burning and occupation by radical thugs. It is not unlike the Lebanese civil where we saw its seventy political groups, each with its agenda and militia trying to establish its power and control wherever possible.

What can the righteous do?

They can naturally get tense and worry.
During this three-month lockdown, I have often seriously pondered and prayed, not for myself but for the thousands of churches, pastors, missionaries and potential millions of believers worldwide who are affected and suffering. One Lebanese pastor said that 60% of the church have been reduced to poverty from the lost of jobs, currency collapse and bank instability. Plagues, famine (economy), wars (moral corruption) – what shall the righteous do? The question is complicated, complex and compelling. Thankfully the answer is profoundly simple and direct! “The LORD is in His holy temple, His throne is in heaven: His eyes behold…” Psal 11:4 He is on His throne, ruling in omnipotent sovereignty, lovingly providing our needs and healing our fears and cares. So, that’s it, the righteous can confidently trust God! He is at His post of duty and His eyes are ever paying attention to us.

*Personally, we are greatly blessed and so thankful for your prayers and ongoing partnership in our areas of ministry. Our brethren constantly communicate that we don’t need to do anything, that just our example and presence encourage them, but sometimes I struggle with accepting and coping with an ever-diminishing world of ability and achievement. May God bless you all.