Do You Pray?: Politicians Curse Prayer

Most recently, I read a news article on CBN News, written by Will Maule, Faithwire, “’We’re Not Going to Give Thoughts and Prayers’: 2020 Candidate Cory Booker Curses Prayer,” dated May 14, 2019. Maule wrote, “Democratic hopeful Corey Booker has issued some harsh words of criticism to those who vow to send ‘thoughts and prayers’ in the wake of mass shootings.” Maule wrote that other Democratic politicians have called that prayer is basically ineffective and Booker called it “Bulls**t!”

You can read the entire Will Maule article here: http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2019/may/lsquo-we-rsquo-re-not-going-to-give-thoughts-and-prayers-rsquo-2020-candidate-cory-booker-curses-prayer

Let’s discuss for a moment the impact of what these politicians are saying. The Bible is very clear concerning the action of praying to God for help. An author by the name of J.C. Ryle wrote in the 1800’s the following, “I have looked carefully at the lives of believers in the Bible. I cannot find a single one (where we know something of their lives) who was not a person of prayer. Quite the opposite. It is often said of the godly that they ‘call on Him as Father’ or ‘call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;’ we are told that the wicked, on the other hand, ‘do not call upon the Lord.’”[1]

Ryle took this statement from the following scriptures: 1 Peter 1:17, “And if you call Him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile.” 1 Corinthians 1:2, “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.” Psalm 14:4, “Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the name of the Lord?”

Anyone who professes to be a Christian and then tells the world that he will not pray and encourages others not to pray does not have a relationship with Jesus Christ or with the Father. This person is separated from God. When one becomes a Christian, they are filled with the Holy Spirit, who in turn teaches the new convert how to pray. Anyone who claims to be a Christian and does not pray has no true relationship with God. Ryle wrote, “The Holy Spirit makes us new creatures and adopts us into God’s family, and He leads us to cry out to Him, ‘Abba Father.’”[2] Let’s look at Luke 18:7, “And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them?” Romans 8:15, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba Father.’”

The Bible is full of encouraging promises to those who pray. I will list a few to consider:

Matthew 7:7-8, ““Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

Matthew 21:22, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

John 14:13-14, “13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

These were just a few encouraging promises to pray. Now, let us look at what prayer did for those in need and during times of peril.

In the Bible, prayer opened the Red Sea when Pharaoh was chasing the Israelites down after they left Egypt. The Israelites were going towards the Red Sea and they started crying out to God for help.  In Exodus 14:16-17, “Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen.” Exodus 14:21-22, “21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.”

Ryle wrote, “Prayer brought water from a rock (cf. Numbers 20:1-13); Bread from heaven (cf. Exodus 16); Prayer made the sun stand still (cf. Joshua 10:1-15); Prayer brought fire from the sky onto Elijah’s sacrifice at Carmel (cf. 1 Kings 18:36); Prayer overthrew armies (cf. 2 Kings 19:20-26); Prayer has healed the sick (cf. Matthew 8:5-17); Prayer has raised the dead (cf. John 11:38-44); He never stopped giving until Abraham stopped praying (cf. Genesis 18:16-33).”[3]

Let us not forget that prayers were answered and Israel won the Six Day War back in June of 1967. God continues to answer prayer today.

For a man or woman that curses prayer and encourages others not to pray, in my opinion, those are not the words of one who has a true relationship with God, with Jesus Christ.  As J.C. Ryle wrote, the wicked does not pray to the Lord.

Folks, we are living in a time where Christianity is on attack. Please join me in prayer to pray for our leaders, that God will change and transform their hearts and that they will come to know the loving and saving grace of Jesus Christ. We are living in a time where spiritual warfare is real and what we fight as Christians are not of this world. See Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

 

References:

CBN News, May 14, 2019, http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2019/may/lsquo-we-rsquo-re-not-going-to-give-thoughts-and-prayers-rsquo-2020-candidate-cory-booker-curses-prayer

[1] J.C.Ryle, Do You Pray? A Question for Everybody (Welwyn Garden City, UK: EP Books, 2018), 14.

[2] Ryle, Do You Pray?, 13.

[3] J.C. Ryle, Do You Pray?, 26.

Copyright May 19, 2019. The Lantern & Shield Times, a Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Meteorite over Brazil: God’s Creation

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights. Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly armies. Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, highest heavens,and you waters above the heavens.

Seeing that video of the meteor over Brazil reminds me of the awesome Creation of God. Look at Psalm  148:
 
Psalm 148
Creation’s Praise of the Lord
1 Hallelujah!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his heavenly armies.
3 Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens.
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he commanded, and they were created.
6 He set them in position forever and ever;
he gave an order that will never pass away.
 
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
all sea monsters and ocean depths,
8 lightning and hail, snow and cloud,
stormy wind that executes his command,
9 mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
creatures that crawl and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all judges of the earth,
12 young men as well as young women,
old and young together.
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted.
His majesty covers heaven and earth.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
resulting in praise to all his faithful ones,
to the Israelites, the people close to him.
Hallelujah!
Watch the video below:
 

International Mission Board: Every Church Every Nation

February 6, 2019. Richmond, Virginia. Tonight at Grove Avenue Baptist Church, we had a glorious time celebrating and sending out the International Mission Board’s (IMB) Southern Baptist missionaries and the installation of Dr. Paul Chitwood, the new President of the IMB. Dr. Chitwood is the thirteenth President of the IMB. There were nineteen new missionaries prayed over and blessed to send them on their way to the utmost parts of the world to tell others of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

A few notable leaders present were Clyde Meador, Executive Vice-President of the IMB; J.D. Greer, President of the Southern Baptist Convention; Danny Aiken, President of Southeastern Seminary; Jeff Lorg, President of Gateway Seminary; D. Jeffrey Bingham, President of Southwestern Theological Seminary; John Upton of the Baptist General Association; Dr. Brian Autry, President of the Southern Baptists Conservatives of Virginia; Jerry Rankin, the 10th President of the IMB; and Tom Eliff, the 11th President of the IMB.

The nineteen missionaries to be sent will work jobs alongside indigenous people so that they can learn their customs, ways, and integrate into their society. Doing so opens up the opportunity to show the love and compassion of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

“Please pray for the new IMB missionaries and Dr. Paul Chitwood and his family as they work together to partner with churches to empower limitless missionary teams who are evangelizing, discipling, planting, and multiplying healthy churches and training leaders among unreached peoples and places for the glory of God.” ~ The International Mission Board.

Jesus Christ was worshipped and glorified at the service through song and praise.

To learn more about the International Mission Board, please visit www.imb.org. The International Mission Board is a Baptist Christian missionary society affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Their headquarters are in Richmond, Virginia.

Copyright © February 6, 2019. 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: https://poweroutage.us/area/state/north%20carolina

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. https://www.samaritanspurse.org/

References:

NOAA

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

Poweroutage.us.com: https://poweroutage.us/area/state/north%20carolina

 

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.

References:

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.

References:

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.

 

 

Hurricane Florence: Euro Model Tracking South

September 12, 2018, 8 AM. It appears that Hurricane Florence will make a more Southern North Carolina or Northern South Carolina landfall on September 15, 2018. It is possible that it will be a Category 2 since it will slow down and be over cooler water. The cone of uncertainty is now between Myrtle Beach, SC and Cape Lookout National Seashore, NC.

The Euro Model has the storm tracking more south. This is good news for the Hampton Roads area if this track remains true. Virginia could receive 3 to 6 inches of rain. If the storm tracks more to the north, the rain amounts could be more. Once the hurricane makes landfall, if there are no steering wind currents, the storm could drift and produce massive rainfall, potentially up to 30 to 40 inches of rain.

The current position of Florence as of 8 AM EST was 29.4° N and 70.7° W or about 530 miles SE of Cape Fear, NC moving at 17 MPH. The wind speed is 130 MPH moving West-Northwest.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), “A motion toward the northwest is forecast to begin by this afternoon and continue through Thursday. Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday, and move slowly through early Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas today, and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday.”

The National Hurricane Center advises, “Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles.”

As for rainfall, The NHC wrote, “Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive rainfall in the following areas…Coastal North Carolina…20 to 30 inches, isolated 40 inches South Carolina, western and northern North Carolina…5 to 10 inches, isolated 20 inches. Elsewhere in the Appalachians and Mid- Atlantic states…3 to 6 inches, isolated 12 inches. This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding.”

This hurricane is expected to be a significant rain event. As the storm nears the coast, the actual location of landfall can be better determined.

Please continue to pray that the storm will weaken and dissipate.

Reference: The National Hurricane Center https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT1+shtml/121156.shtml

Copyright © September 12, 2018. The Lantern & Shield Times, a Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Regent University Announces School Closure in Anticipation of Florence

September 11, 2018. Virginia Beach, VA. Regent University has put out a Press Release that reads, “Due to potential impacts of Hurricane Florence, Regent University operations will close at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11 and reopen no earlier than Monday, September 17.”

The entire Press Release can be read here: https://www.regent.edu/news-events/regent-university-closing-2-p-m-tuesday-september-11/

Regent goes on to state, “As Regent’s campus and surrounding areas prepare for severe winds, possible flooding due to prolonged rains, and power outages, all students living in on-campus housing are strongly encouraged to evacuate the Hampton Roads area by no later than Wednesday, September 12.”

Considering that there are over a million people in the Hampton Roads area, our sources to The Lantern & Shield Times are suggesting that people start to leave the Hampton Roads area today since there may be a grid lock on the Interstates leading out of the area. There are serval roads leading out, but the two main roads of concern are the I-64 corridor and Rt. 460.

As previously reported, the storm’s possible tracking is taking it more northwest than previously thought with the hurricane moving along the ridge of the Bermuda High, striking Central North Carolina or possibly the Outer Banks. If this occurs, it could set up Hampton Roads for high winds and massive flooding. The hurricane is predicted to go inland and possibly stalling for a day or two. This would in turn cause massive flooding inland.

Please note that the exact point of landfall cannot be determined until most likely Wednesday or Thursday. It could still move South or North. It could stay out at sea, but that is highly unlikely based on the projection models.

If you believe in prayer, now is the time to pray. Now is the time to prepare. Now is the time to evacuate.

References:

The National Hurricane Center

Regent University Press Release

Copyright © September 11, 2018. The Lantern & Shield Times, a Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Breaking: Hurricane Florence Has Shifted to Make Landfall Near Jacksonville, NC

September 11, 2018. As of 5AM EST, Hurricane Florence appears to be riding the Bermuda High that is in place. It is expected to make landfall near Jacksonville, NC. This is based on the prediction cone and could go south or north of Jacksonville.

The current location of the storm is 410 miles South of Bermuda, traveling at 15 MPH. Wind speed is 138 MPH with gusts of 167 MPH. According to the National Hurricane Center, a mid-level ridge to the northeast of Bermuda is expected to steer Florence quickly West-Northwestward toward the Southeast United States coast over the next 2 to 3 days.

As of the writing of this story, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has ordered a mandatory evacuation of in the Hampton Roads area and the Eastern Shore. Not all universities in the Hampton Roads area have cancelled classes. We reached out to Regent University in Virginia Beach and spoke with campus police. They advised that the University was going to have a meeting this morning to determine if classes will be cancelled. We requested a phone call from Student Life, but at the release of this story, no one has called us back.

Hampton Roads is expected to get at least 10 inches or more of rain with possible hurricane force winds. Inland flooding is also expected in Virginia and North Carolina.

The next update will be this evening.

References:

The National Hurricane Center

Copyright © September 11, 2018. The Lantern & Shield Times, a Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Hurricane Florence: Possible Cat 5 to hit the East Coast

Richmond, VA. September 10, 2018. It is inevitable that Hurricane Florence will be striking the East Coast anywhere between Charleston, NC to the Maryland Coastline. The current winds are at 138 MPH with Wind Gusts of 167 MPH. The current position is 525 miles SSE of Bermuda on a course of WNW 285° traveling at 13 MPH.

If the hurricane makes a landfall just North of Wilmington, there is a 50 to 60% chance that Tropical Force winds will be felt all the way into Richmond, Virginia. According to The Weather Channel, the storm may hit Cat 5 by tomorrow. If that occurs and strikes the coast, the storm surge could travel up to 30 miles inland. The Weather Channel also states that 79% of hurricane deaths occur in a storm surge and 29% occurs with inland flooding.

According to the National Hurricane Center, as Florence nears the coast on Wednesday night, it could turn to the Northwest as it moves along the Bermuda High Ridge. If that occurs, the Hampton Roads area could be in danger as well as areas North of Wilmington. Damaging winds can spread inland as far as 200 miles or more.

Once on shore, the storm could stall inland dropping anywhere from 10 to 25 inches of rain. Catastrophic flooding could occur in the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. The total impact of the storm could potentially be of catastrophic proportions.

References:

The Weather Channel

The National Hurricane Center

Copyright © September 10, 2018. The Lantern & Shield Times, a Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.