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In Light of Newtown Massacre, Resist the Devil, Not God

joseph-mattera-2One of the most difficult things a pastor has to do when a tragedy occurs is to try to find the words to comfort a grieving family and explain how God can allow such a horrible thing to take place. While I do not purport to have all the answers for such situations—sometimes it's best just to be there for grieving families and offer prayer for them rather then give explanations—these instances do highlight the existence of evil in the world.

On the day of the shooting in Newtown, Conn., I was shocked to hear both a prominent television news anchor and the governor of Connecticut use the word evil several times when referring to the heinous act of the shooter. Where doe evil comes from?

Jesus said that the thief (Satan) comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He also called him a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). Rather than cause me to doubt the existence or goodness of God (like Satan wants), heinous acts like this should remind us that there is a real devil in the world who revels in destroying human life while seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).

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Treasure Hunters Look for Lost and Needy

D-MinOut-Evangel

 The clues on our treasure map led us to a home improvement store, where we began looking for our treasure—someone with “red hair,” “headache,” “Ralph,” and “back problem” were among our clues. 

Immediately, I noticed a woman with red hair. As I approached her and her husband, I asked, “Hey, do you by any chance have a headache?” She responded, “As a matter of fact I do!”

She was visibly shocked that I had this inside information. After explaining that God had clearly highlighted her on my treasure map, she agreed to let us pray for her even though she adamantly stated that she was not a Christian.

After a short prayer, her headache vanished and she started to cry, overwhelmed that God would care enough about her to send us to help her. She then asked Jesus into her life right there in the middle of the aisle, while her husband stood at a distance in obvious disgust.

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Connecticut Shootings: Why the Shock and Awe?

franklin-graham-white-backdropAmid the "most wonderful season of all" comes the tragic news of a deranged young man entering an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., killing 27, including 20 children. Tragically, Christmas for these families will likely be the darkest of many dark hours to come. The days when parents could send their children off to school with confidence that they would be cared for and protected seem long gone.

Just this summer we watched a senseless shooting spree in a Colorado movie theatre take the lives of 12 people and injure another 59. The national premiere of The Dark Knight Rises had Americans clamoring for tickets to be entertained by violent behavior. When tragedies like these occur, why do we respond with such shock and awe? Psychiatrist Keith Ablow said, "This kind of shock registers with people—because it seems like the unthinkable keeps moving into the sphere of our reality."

The "unthinkable" first surfaced in mankind thousands of years ago when Cain killed his brother Abel out of mere jealousy and rivalry. God had warned Cain, "Sin is crouching at your door," but Cain ignored God's word and committed murder. God punished Cain for taking innocent life but the violent shedding of blood has continued for centuries. Why?

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Can There Be Another Great Awakening?

America-for-Jesus-Independence-HallI believe that the greatest danger facing American today is President Obama's redefining of the Christian faith. In the next four years Obama will have the platform to substantially change the face of Christianity unless we act with decisiveness and courage.

Obama keeps saying he a Christian, yet his policies are those of the most radical secular humanist. His social policy is wildly pro-abortion and pro-homosexual. Obamacare and his economic policies are overtly socialist and Marxist. All of these are unbiblical, yet they define Obama's "greatest achievements!" What makes it so infuriating is Obama's campaign to transform America is being done as a so-called Christian.

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Joshua Fowler: ‘Heaven Stood at Attention’ for God Day

Dr-Joshua-Fowler-Joel-ShoesIn an age where the government—both national and local—has seemingly neglected God’s Word, Apostle Joshua Fowler believes Dec. 12, 2012, will be recorded with historical significance.

Wednesday, Fowler and other leaders of God’s army joined local government leaders at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando to proclaim 12-12-12 to be “God Day: Awakening a City to Awaken Nations.” A representative of Mayor Buddy Dyer’s office, city commissioners and a representative of United State Congressman Daniel Webster’s office were on hand for the proclamation.

“When that proclamation—signed by the mayor and city commissioners—was read, the prayer was powerful. God just came in and arrested the place,” said Fowler, senior minister of Life Legacy Church in Orlando. “When the city commissioners left, their words were that they were rocked by this. God just touched them.

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Post-Sandy Chaplains Rely on 'Divine Appointments'

chaplain-divine-appointmentChance. Coincidence. Happenstance. Those words don’t exist in the vocabulary of Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains.

“Because our chaplains pray each morning for God's direction, we don't believe that we ever accidentally stumble into a meeting with somebody as we’re ministering in the aftermath of a disaster,” said Jack Munday, international director of the ministry. “Those encounters were put in place by God. We call them ‘divine appointments.’”

And those divine appointments have been happening for more than a month now in New York and New Jersey following the impact of Superstorm Sandy in late October.

Take, for instance, the recent experience of chaplains in Nassau County, N.Y., where the chaplains have been reaching out to hurting survivors since Oct. 29.

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