The Ugliness of Christian Politics

Most recently, our beloved Commonwealth of Virginia has experienced political controversy of our Democratic Governor, Dr. Ralph Northam, who just endorsed the most aggressive late-term abortion bill. This bill was defeated, but the fact that a Pediatric Neurologist, who is also the Governor of Virginia, is not sitting well with Christians on both the Republican and Democratic sides.

Our Governor proclaims to be a man of faith, a Christian, and a member of a Baptist church. It is concerning that man who proclaims to be a Follower of Jesus Christ then endorses an aggressive abortion bill. Most recently, while being interviewed on WTOP, Northam said, “When we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of obviously the mother, with the consent of the physicians, more than one physician, by the way…And it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that’s non-viable. So in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.” This statement enraged both Christian Democrats and Republicans.

Just yesterday, a racist picture, supposedly of him, from his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School Yearbook, showed two people, one in a KKK hood and robe and the other black-faced, standing holding beer cans. The Governor apologized for the racist picture, and then today he is denying that he was in the picture at all. The picture was located on his yearbook page under his name. Then the Governor admitted that same year, he dressed up like Michael Jackson and put black shoe polish on his face for a dance contest in Texas. The Governor was very apologetic, but many Democrat’s and well as Republican’s have asked him to step down. The Governor states that he will not step down. Racism and the Jim Crow era slurs have no place in society. This shows a heart condition that does not match a Christian walk.

Many took to Facebook and Twitter. Professing Christian’s posted slurs towards Democrats like, “DEMONcrats” or “Democrats were acting like Demons.” Hateful, hurting, words appear to roll off many lips and yet there seems to be no remorse for what is said.

We at The Lantern & Shield do not condone abortion or racism. Although we are all conservative in our beliefs and our politics, it is troubling to us to see how professing Christians seem to find it very easy to say hateful and hurting words just to substantiate their positions in politics. We believe that Christians can take a stand for what they believe in but do it with love. Not everyone who states they are Christian are truly Christians. Approximately 79% of American’s identify with Christianity, but that does not make them a true Christian.

Jesus said in Mark 12:30-31, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and to love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than this.”

If you want to make a difference for the gospel and in the name of Jesus, don’t call Democrats Demons and Demon-crats. It really is very offensive and it appears that people who do this have hate in their hearts. We are to love the sinner but hate the sin. How can you expect people to come to Christ when you just basically cursed them by calling them a demon?

The Word of God also says that we are not to judge others. It’s interesting that some people are so politically inclined to crucify another Christian for their difference of opinion than to try to reason with them by having a loving conversation with them. Matthew 7:5 says, “You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

I have many Democrat friends who do not support this bill. They are loving people and would give the coats off their back to help anyone. Not every person who identifies with the Democratic Party are baby killers or racists. I have known Republicans that believe that it’s okay to have an abortion. Don’t assume that just because someone mostly identifies with one party or the other believe in everything their party supports.

My point in this piece is that if you proclaim to be a true Christian, your life will exhibit love and not hate. We should be living our lives in a way that promotes love and the advancement of the gospel to the lost in our communities, state, and nation.

When people attack us, we should respond the way that Paul teaches us in Romans 12:20, “On the contrary, If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap hot coals on his head.” Respond in love. They most likely will expect a hateful response, but respond with the love of Christ in your hearts.

We must also pray for our enemies as well as those who come against our faith. We do not like this recent abortion bill, which our Governor has supported and endorsed. But we must as Christian’s pray for Governor Northam, that God will change his heart, and that decisions will be made for the glorification of God’s will.

If you have participated in hateful words against others, God said that you must ask forgiveness and repent. By continuing these types of behaviors, this can separate you in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Sin will separate us from God. John 9:31 says, “We know that God listens to the godly person who does His will.”

Copyright © February 2, 2019. The Lantern & Shield Times, A Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.


The Daily Bread: Have you felt Defeated?

Have you ever felt defeated? Have you felt like you have lost everything? In Psalm 86, David cries out to God. Were you aware that you can pray this same prayer and it could apply to your own life in our current society? I could certainly make a commentary about the Psalm, but I will not. Instead, I encourage you to read it, and then pray it to God. He will hear your voice and minister to you.

Psalm 86 ~ A Prayer of David

Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.

Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.

14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

May the Lord bless you! May the Lord restore you! May the Lord shine His face on you, that you may be saved. (cf. Psalm 80:3)

I pray that God will bless you and forgive you of your sin. Jesus is waiting and wanting to come into your heart. Won’t you seek Him?

Copyright © January 29, 2019. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Daily Bread: Monday January 28, 2019

May God be gracious to us and bless us; may he make his face shine upon us so that your way may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. ~ Psalms 67:1-2

Blessed be the Lord! Day after day he bears our burdens; God is our salvation. ~ Psalms 68:19

Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth; sing praise to the Lord. ~ Psalms 68:32

God you know my foolishness, and my guilty acts are hidden from you. Do not let those who put their hope in you be disgraced because of me. ~ Psalms 69:5-6

God, you have taught me from my youth, and I still proclaim your wondrous works. Even when I am old and gray, God, do not abandon me, while I proclaim your power to another generation, your strength to all who are to come. ~ Psalms 71:17-18

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected. ~ Proverbs 18:10

The Christian Life: Colossians 3:12-17

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. 14 Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

May the Lord bless you today and throughout this coming week.

What is Christmas Really About?: The Rest of the Christmas Story

Have you ever wondered about what Christmas is really about? The Christmas holidays are quickly approaching. The celebration about Christmas is not just Santa Clause, presents, Christmas concerts, Winter celebration, or Christmas Trees. It is about the Savior of the world who came into the world to save it and not to condemn it. It is about Jesus Christ and the beginning of His life and the man that He became to fulfill Scripture. This is just the beginning of a wonderful and divine act in which God sent His Son into the world.

This is just the beginning.

Luke 2 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Birth of Jesus Christ

2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. 21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

But this is NOT the end of the story…….

May you find the real joy of Christmas that only Jesus Christ can bring. It is through the death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection that we have forgiveness of our sins. Jesus came into the world not to judge the world but to save it. It is only through Jesus that one can be saved.

Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

John 3:3 “Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Romans 10: 9-11 ” because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

2 Corinthians 5:15 “and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

Jesus stands at your hearts door and knocks. If you want to really experience the “true” meaning of Christmas, then consider inviting Jesus Christ into your heart and life and ask God to change your heart and transform you to be Christlike in all that you do. Believe with your heart and mind. Ask forgiveness of your wrongdoing and sins, and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Transformation means that you are a changed person for Christ.

Although many celebrate Christmas with a baby in a feeding trough, that baby grew up as the loving Son of God who died a horrible death in order to redeem us from our wickedness. He was beaten until his blood was spilled on the ground, crucified with nails driven into his hands and feet, and He died. After three days, He rose from the grave and this is evidence that He truly was the Son of God.

Christmas is really about the Christ who came to save the world! Won’t you give your life to  Jesus Christ and know the real meaning of Christmas?

Copyright © November 1st, 2018, Originally published under Pastor Joseph Lee Blog from March 30, 2017. The Lantern & Shield Times, a Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.


A Nation in Crisis: Illegal Immigrant Attacks Young Boy on School Bus

I love people and have a heart for ministering to immigrants who are in our nation and trying to make a new life for themselves. As a Christian, my heart goes out to people who are less fortunate than myself. My wife and I have helped people from buying groceries for them to praying and helping them at worksites by handing out water on hot days and giving them Spanish Bibles. We both have a heart to help people. Many of these people are here in the United States legally. From time to time, we cross paths with people here illegally and we encourage them to apply for legal citizenship and do it the right way. I mention all this beforehand so that people will know that we really do love people and want the best for them.

At the same time, we consider ourselves to be good citizens of our local community, state, and nation. We obey the law and we expect others to do the same. I have personally been a victim of a violent crime, so I understand the fear when someone is trying to assault you or kill you! I most recently heard of a young boy right here in Virginia who was bullied on a school bus and was beaten in his face to the point that his nose was broken. The school bus driver did not stop the bus to render assistance. The boy bled profusely from his nose and face until his blue jeans were soaked with so much blood that even his underwear was soaked with blood. The victim had to ride injured on the school bus for over 20 minutes, no assistance given by the bus driver, and no assistance to break up the assault. The bully was a high schooler and he received a ten-day suspension. I found out this evening that the bully was an illegal immigrant who was from Honduras.

This is just one circumstance of many being reported across the nation. I am not releasing the name of the victim to protect him from any retaliation. Any recourse against the perpetrator’s parents are drastically diminished since they are illegals. The school district has allowed these illegal immigrants into the school’s and they cannot even protect our own children. With this migrant caravan approaching, I cannot even fathom what may happen if others who do not have good intentions for Americans are allowed in our communities.

It is my understanding that the immigration laws in the United States must take these people in, but to what expense? Not every immigrant is a bully or a criminal, but how does a nation vet these people? Our nation is changing and quite frankly, becoming a more dangerous place to live. The attack on the young boy that I have written about was in a rural area of Virginia. I am not going to tell people how to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections, but when you cast that vote, think about the safety of your children. If this happened in rural America, it could happen anywhere in the United States.

As a Christian, I will continue to be a good neighbor, help those who are less fortunate than me, love my neighbor as I love myself, and share the gospel to all who will hear. I will also encourage all illegal immigrants that if you want to honor God, then obey the laws of the land. That means that if you are here illegally, then you need to apply for citizenship, even if it means that you go back to your own country and do it the right way. There is no honor or respect in breaking the law. If you want American Citizens to respect you, then obey our laws and come to the United States legally.

This is an opinion story of The Lantern & Shield Times. Copyright © October 24, 2018. The Lantern & Shield Times, a division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

America’s Political Turmoil: God Is STILL in Control

Just this morning, I had the pleasure to hear Dr. Brian Autry preach a sermon called, “There is Hope Because God is in Control.” This sermon was taken from Acts 12:1-5, which reads:

“About that time, Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.” (ESV)

Back in the time of the Apostles, the political environment was very violent. Christian’s were the target of violence because of their faith in Jesus Christ as well as the spread of the gospel. If Christians were arrested, many were either tortured, beaten, or put to death by Herod as well as Nero of Rome. This sets the stage for Peter, he was arrested by Herod after Herod killed James. The Early Church prayed for Peter earnestly. Notice in verse 5, Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer was prayed for him by the Church, that God will hear, and act on behalf of the Church. What is important to note here is that Christians during this time were basically helpless. Most did not have the skills of a soldier. The only thing that they could do was to pray for Peter. The outcome was a miracle.

Look at the rest of the story in Acts 12: 6-17:

“6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him.11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” 12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place.”

What is important to understand about this passage is that God heard the EARNEST PRAYERS of the Church and He acted. The Lord came to Peter in the jail cell, released his chains, and led him out away from his imprisonment. Peter was rescued by the Lord through an angel.

Even when people are faced with mounting adversity, God is still in control. According to Dr. Autry, “God is STILL on the throne. He is STILL in control. Who is the ultimate Sovereign? It is God! If there is anything that we can do, it is through earnest prayer!”[1]

Dr. Autry mentions four points as how God is in control.

  1. God is in control even when we have trials. The only way to respond is by earnest prayer. God can deal with any situation. He is in control because His Word says that He is.
  2. God is in control even when it’s dark. Even when we are resting in the Lord, God is in control. Look at verse 6, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, resting without a care, and the Lord stood next to him and struck Peter on the side to wake him up. Even in the night, God is in control.
  3. God is in control even when our faith is weak. God does not answer prayers just because we are in His favor, but because He is God.
  4. God is in control even when wickedness seems to win. Although Satan is running rampant in our world today, God is still in control and in the end, God wins the spiritual warfare.[2]

According to Dr. Autry, “Never, ever forget that God is in control. It seems like evil and wickedness is running rampant, but God is still in control. God puts up with a lot, but He loves each of us.”[3] See 2 Peter 3: 8-9, “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

Given our current political environment, with brother turning against brother and sister against sister, God is still in control. When attacks on character are occurring, God is in control. When a tsunami strikes a city and hundreds are killed, God is still in control. When the health report states there is cancer, God is still in control. When health problems worsen, God is still in control. When a child, brother, sister, mom, or dad dies; God is still in control. The evil prevails our nation and it seems like there is no more morality, God is still in control. Regardless of who is the President of the United States, Congressman, Senator, Governor, Local Government, God is still in control!

What does God want us to do? He wants us to fall on our knees, and pray earnestly for our leaders, the lost, our loved ones, and our enemies. God wants us to pray earnestly and He wants a “True Relationship” with each of us, through His Son, Jesus Christ.

If you want to see God work, then PRAY, have a RELATIONSHIP with the Living God through Christ Jesus. Remember, God is STILL in control!


[1] Brian Autry, There is Hope Because God is in Control, The Victory Hour, Grove Avenue Baptist Church, Broadcast on NBC12, September 30, 2018.

[2] Autry, There is Hope Because God is in Control, September 30, 2018.

[3] Autry, There is Hope Because God is in Control, September 30, 2018

Copyright © September 30, 2018. The Lantern & Shield Times, a Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Storms of Life: Are You Fighting Them Alone?

As of this past weekend, most of North Carolina and South Carolina have been dealing with Hurricane Florence, which struck the coast near Wilmington, NC as a Category 1 hurricane. As the eye moved on shore, in a couple of days, it was downgraded as a tropical storm. Today, it was downgraded again as a tropical depression. This storm was massive and has produced catastrophic flooding in North Carolina and has been attributed to at least 15 deaths. This storm came charging into North Carolina and has effectively been a wrecking ball in the lives of the residents of North and South Carolina with destruction of property and death.

Today, as my family and I attended Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Henrico Virginia, Dr. Brian Autry led the congregation in prayer, praying for the people of North and South Carolina. He then delivered a message of hope called, “There is Hope in the Storms of Life.” His text was taken from Mark 4:35-41. It reads,

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (English Standard Version)

Without rewriting Dr. Autry’s entire sermon, I want to focus on a few nuggets of truth taken away from this sermon which ministered to me and my family in a great way. While Jesus and His Disciples were on the ship, a great storm stirred the seas and the people were scared literally to death. They thought they were going to die, and went to get Jesus and wake Him up so that He could tell them what to do. And Jesus rebuked the storm and the wind. The wind and the rough seas calmed immediately and they were amazed.

Life occurrences are sometimes like major storms. They sometimes come and they disrupt our lives to the point that we are brought to our knees. Dr. Autry stated, “Some examples of these occurrences could be a death of a child, the death of a spouse, losing a job and unable to support your family, the death of a parent, and home destruction from a fire, hurricane, flood, or tornado.”[1] These are just a few things that can disrupt our lives and cause storms in which we do not know what to do? We are scared and our faith is weak because we do not know where to turn?

Within the last four years, I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. To be honest, the diagnosis scared me. I started to think the worse. I did not want to die. I was afraid of the surgery. It was all an unknown for me. After the initial shock, I decided to go for a second opinion. That doctor agreed with the pathology report. So, it sunk in. I had to accept it! But something inside of me said “NO!” I started to reach out to men and women of God who had a very strong faith and believed in healing. The way that they prayed was powerful and they were known as very strong prayer warriors. I decided to go for a third opinion to an ENT Specialist in Norfolk Virginia at Eastern Virginia Medical College. I met with him and he advised me that if it were cancer, that he felt that I had a less than 5% chance of it being an aggressive cancer that would kill me. This offered me hope as well as I calmed down and settled in for the fight. I was scheduled for the surgery in June of that year. I had people praying for me, laying hands on me in prayer, Dr. Mark Becton from Grove Avenue Baptist Church laid hands on me and prayed for me, Dr. John Peyton of Reconciliation Church laid hands on me and prayed for me as well as his church congregation, people I didn’t even know prayed for me all over the world, my Choir Director and staff and worship team at Grove Avenue Baptist prayed for me, and my wife and daughter and family prayed for me. I was covered in prayer. Then, before they whisked me away for the operating room, a nurse at the hospital that I personally knew came in and laid hands on me and prayed for me right in front of the surgeon. Whatever happened, it was well with my soul. I kept singing that in my mind and in my heart. I had totally turned my circumstance over to Jesus Christ, to do with as He wished. My surgery was supposed to be around six and a half hours. After two and a half hours, I was brought back to recovery and the diagnosis was that they did not find any cancer. They did remove half the thyroid because of a very large nodule. The good news was no cancer at all. I must admit, that was a major storm in my life, but God saw me through it. I felt that this was a true miracle!

There have been other storms in my life where God protected me. I was a police officer in Rocky Mount, NC and a deranged drunk man attempted to kill me and my field training officer. The man shot up our police car and by the grace of God, we were not struck by his bullets. Although I had gun powder burns on my face from the suspects gun when my partner and I were fighting for the man’s gun, my partner and I were protected.

There are things that most likely will happen in your life that will bring you to your knees. Why does God allow these storms to happen? Dr. Autry gave three truths pertaining to these storms of life that affect our lives:

  1. The first truth is that you can be close to Jesus and still encounter storms. Storms are not always predictable. Storms can be sudden and severe. They can produce suffering, sorrow, and sin, which can bring about a dark side and destruction in our lives.
  2. Storms force us to cry out to Jesus. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you will encounter these storms that might bring you to your knees. As a Christian, we are to cry out to God and tell Him our problems and pray for mercy and grace. Unfortunately, there are many without Jesus as their Savior. A person without Christ and suffering through a crisis has no source of hope.
  3. Be aware of the Storm Surge of doubt. Pastor Rick Warren once wrote, ‘Doubt your doubts and believe your beliefs.’ Don’t stop believing because you are in a major storm in your life. When you pray, remember that the Holy Spirit knows what you should pray. Have faith in Jesus. Remember His promises. Rest in the presence of Jesus. Rely on the power of Jesus. You can only find joy, hope, and peace in Jesus.[2]

What storms of life are you enduring? Do you know the true Living God? Do you want to deal with it alone or would you like to know the love, grace, peace, joy, and mercy; only found in the saving grace of Jesus Christ? If you do not want to face it alone, then reach out to Jesus. He is waiting for you. He said in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Jesus, would not die and go to hell, but have eternal life in heaven with Jesus. For God did not send Jesus into the world to condemn it, but to save it. Paraphrased from John 3:16-17. For all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. (Romans 3:23). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Jesus died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but live for the One (Jesus) who died for them. (2 Corinthians 5:15). Without a living God and Savior, when battling these storms, one feels defeated. But only with Jesus Christ, one battling these storms has hope and faith.

If you want to pray and ask Jesus into your life and heart, just stop right now and pray this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I am not worthy of life. But Lord Jesus, I want you to come into my life and into my heart. Please forgive me of my sinfulness against you and my Heavenly Father. I ask you to come into my life and forgive me. In Jesus name, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then get involved in a Bible believing church. Without the encouragement of other Believers, you will have a hard time staying on track with Christ. It is my prayer that you stay steady in Christ. Read your Bible. If you don’t have a Bible, I would recommend you purchasing an English Standard Version. This is the translation that I read and study.

Please join me in praying for the victims and families of Hurricane Florence. I pray that God will touch hearts and people will be restored from this tragedy. In the coming days, there will be men and women from other states going to North and South Carolina to volunteer and help with recovery efforts. Organizations like the Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia has a disaster relief team that has been placed on stand-by. This is an organization that I am a part of. Please pray for the volunteers who will be deployed soon to assist in the clean-up as well as be there to feed people who are the victims of the storm. Please pray that the team will be able to minister, not only by Word, but by deed. To make a donation for hurricane relief through the Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia, please click on the following link:


[1] Dr. Brian Autry, There is Hope in the Storms of Life, The Victory Hour, Broadcast on NBC12, September 16, 2018

[2] Autry, There is Hope in the Storms of Life, September 16, 2018.

Copyright © September 16, 2018. The Lantern & Shield Times, a Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Tropical Storm Florence: Heavy Downpours Causing Massive Floods

September 15, 2018. Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm today. The storm has caused rivers to swell and over flow their banks. Massive amounts of rainfall have been received in North and South Carolina. As of 11PM, September 14, 2018, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), “The center of Florence was moving slowly West-Southwestward over extreme South Carolina. Life-threatening storm surges and strong winds continue overnight. Catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected over portions of North and South Carolina.”

The location of the eye of the storm at 11PM on September 14th, 2018 was 33.8° N and 70.1° W, or about 15 miles WNW of Myrtle Beach, SC and about 45 miles SE of Florence, SC. The maximum sustained winds are 65 mph. The present movement is WSW at 5 mph. The storm continues to move very slow due to the high-pressure cells to the North and West. Florence is expected to continue traveling WNW and the take a right turn to the North and then curve around to the Northeast. This will continue to produce massive rainfall.

The NHC reports, “Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from the center.  A wind gust to 60 mph was recently reported at Lumberton, North Carolina.  A sustained wind of 39 mph and a gust to 52 mph were recently reported at Florence, South Carolina.”

The NHC reports, “Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive rainfall in the following areas…Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South Carolina…an additional 20 to 25 inches, with isolated storm totals of 30 to 40 inches. This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding.”

In Wilmington, I spoke with William Hoehlein. He advised that he lost many shingles from his roof. There are trees down all over Wilmington as well as flooding. Hoehlein is a retired law enforcement officer. He advised that the criminal element has been active in looting as well as breaking into the homes of people who left to evacuate. When people are being pounded by a major hurricane, criminals are at work stealing from hard working Americans. Several arrests have been made.

There have been at least five deaths from the storm which have occurred in NC. Wilmington Police report two deaths were in Wilmington where a tree fell on a home killing a mother and child. The father survived and was transported to a local hospital. A third death occurred in Hampstead, NC. Chad McEwen, assistant county manager for Pender County stated, “Emergency Services were responding to someone who was in cardiac arrest. The emergency personnel were delayed due to down trees. When they got to the home, the person was deceased.” Gov. Roy Cooper’s Office stated, “A man was killed as a result of improperly hooking up a generator.” This was the fourth death. A fifth man was killed when his family stated that he died from wind related injuries.

The Lantern & Shield spoke to a person in Wilmington who stated that the flooding was so great, that the Cape Fear River was expected to breach its banks overnight causing massive flooding. They stated that they were leaving their home for higher ground.

Jimmy Keefe for County Commissioner wrote on his Facebook Page, “The National Weather Service has determined that the Cape Fear River will exceed its flood capacity shortly. It is expected to rise to 65 feet which is 35 feet above flood stage. This is also 7 feet above Hurricane Matthew. Residents who live within 1 mile of the river are encouraged to seek higher ground. This will probably turn into a mandatory evacuation within the next 36-48 hours. Please be safe, please be smart.”

There are over 769,000 customers without power in North Carolina. See Power Outage Map:

We ask that people continue to pray for all of our friends and neighbors in South Carolina and North Carolina. We also ask that you take action by contributing to an organization that will be on the ground to minister to those who are hurting from the storm. The Samaritan’s Purse is a worthy ministry who not only takes the Gospel around the world, but backs it up with helping to feed, clothe, and help those rebuild. If you would like to make a donation, please give through this secure link directly to Samaritan’s Purse.



The National Hurricane Center

William Hoehlein

Chad McEwen, Pender County, NC

Wilmington Police Dept.

NC Governor Roy Cooper’s Office

Jimmy Keefe for County Commissioner Facebook Page


Copyright © September 15, 2018. The Lantern & Shield Times, a Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.





Breaking: Hurricane Florence is Slamming the Coast of NC

September 13, 2018. At 10:00 PM, Hurricane Florence was 50 miles S of Morehead City, NC with wind speed of 100 mph. It has slowed down considerably and is moving NW at 5 mph. Florence is currently a Category 2 hurricane with a pressure of 956mb.

The Storm Surge is 6 feet above normal on the Neuse River and it is not even high tide as of this hour. Winds are gusting 97 mph on the coast near Wilmington. Massive flooding from the storm surge and rain are being reported all along the coast.

The storm is moving very slow and is expected to cause massive destruction due to its slow movement. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), “The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.  Surge-related flooding can vary greatly over short distances.”

My friend William Hoehlein is in Wilmington. He states “We are expecting hurricane force winds from 10 PM until 8 AM tomorrow morning. Winds are expected to gust over 104 mph with possibly 30 inches of rain. The beach communities are already flooding and it will get worse as the heavy rains continue to fall.”

The NHC states, “Hurricane conditions have reached portions of the coast of North Carolina and are expected to spread elsewhere within the hurricane warning area overnight or early Friday.  Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread inland and south across the remainder of the warning areas through Saturday.”

According to the NHC, “A slow westward to west-southwestward motion is expected Friday night and Saturday.  On the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and South Carolina later tonight, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina in the hurricane warning area on Friday.  A slow motion across portions of eastern and central South Carolina is forecast Friday night through Saturday night.”

Our next update will be tomorrow morning. Please continue to pray for our friends and neighbors in the Wilmington area and the surrounding areas. We will compile a list of certified organizations tomorrow if you would like to give to disaster relief.


William Hoehlein

The National Hurricane Center

Sharon Grimes Evans – Photo Credit

Copyright © September 13, 2018. The Lantern & Shield Times, a Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Hurricane Florence: Approaching Southern North Carolina Coast as Cat. 2

September 13, 2018. As of 8 AM this morning, Hurricane Florence was located at 33.1° N and 75.1° W or about 170 ESE of Wilmington, NC traveling at 12 mph with Wind Speed of 110 mph. Florence is now a Cat 2 hurricane. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), “Squally rain bands with tropical storm force winds are moving onshore of the Outer Banks of NC…Life threatening storm surge and rainfall expected.”

Within the cone of uncertainty, the center of the cone takes Florence right over the middle of Wilmington, NC as a Cat 2 hurricane. Even though it is downgraded, the storm surge most likely will be very high. Those living near rivers and water need to evacuate immediately.

This morning, FOX News featured a man who lived on the beach at Myrtle Beach, SC who states that he and his friends are staying, having a hurricane party. This hurricane should be taken very seriously. Once the storm hits with the storm surge, rescuing stranded people on the beach will not occur. Intoxicated people most likely may have a hard time trying to save themselves from the storm surge and ultimately drown.

Going back in time, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017, causing 125 Billion Dollars in damage and that was a Cat 2 hurricane. The NHC predicts that Florence will stall, drift, and then ultimately move north. More than 40 inches of rain may fall and massive flooding of Biblical proportions can be expected.

Virginia Beach has started to experience some wind. There is a Tropical Storm Warning in effect for Virginia Beach. Expect winds between 25-35 mph with gusts of 50 mph. Rain fall is predicted between 2 and 4 inches. Potential winds could be 39 to 57 mph. Flash flooding is likely to occur.

In Richmond, Virginia; expect some PM downpours today with a 60% chance of rain. On Friday, wind is expected at 18 mph with 30 mph gusts which can take out some trees with shallow roots. There is an 80% chance of rain. Tropical rain bands can be expected with thunderstorms. Emporia, Virginia can expect wind gust of 40 mph. Considering the ground is already saturated, expect flash flooding and localized flooding.

Although this is the current forecast, because of lack of steering winds, Hurricane Florence is expected to drift South and then move North. Virginia residents still need to stay prepared in the even the storm moves North much sooner than expected.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the residents of North and South Carolina. Please continue to pray, that God will diminish this storm.


International Space Station, NASA-Photo Credit

The National Hurricane Center

Fox News

Copyright © September 13, 2018. The Lantern & Shield Times, a Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.