Trump – Existential Threat to New World Order — davidbowerkingwood

Unrelenting Attacks on President Trump! I believe most objective observers can agree, our President has been under attack from the time he announced his candidacy for president. While initially, those devoted to globalism thought of his run for the position as a joke, as the momentum for his election began to grow dramatically, Mr. […]

Trump – Existential Threat to New World Order — davidbowerkingwood

It Will Come to Light

June 1, 2020

Things seem out of control right now – from the months of quarantine to the recent nights of vandalism and rioting, the year of 2020 has become disastrously notable. There is something deeper going on; more than what we are being shown and told by MSM.

When things seem out of control, I seek answers from the only One who is in complete and total control. We may not know the answers today, this week, or even this year, but Truth will always prevail in the end.

There is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known…whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

Luke 12: 2-3

Nothing is hidden that shall not become evident, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light.

Luke 8:17

We will one day know why the coronavirus became sensationalized like no other disease or virus; why the media covered it 24/7 because all other industries were shut down; why large industries could remain open drawing in large crowds while small businesses were ordered to shut down; why the government could prevent freedom of religious expression by shutting down churches…

We will one day know why celebrities donated thousands of dollars to post bail for riotous protesters instead of donating the money to damaged buildings; why a black federal officer was killed during a protest for #BlackLivesMatter yet never received news coverage; why anarchy is taking place in cities all over the country; why large corporations who have had their stores completely looted are still in support of what is happening night after night; why now, all of a sudden, social distancing is no longer important..

Although things seem out of control and irrational now, I am assured the Truth will come to Light. The secrets will be revealed and chaos will not prevail. We cannot trust the MSM, but we can always Trust the One who saves. God is Truth and God is Love. Focus on Him, and the answers will become clear in His time.

A Dire Warning For 2020 Part 2: Coronavirus, Vaccines, & Digital ID — Ryan Callahan’s Blog

Before I get started, I wanted to thank you all for praying for me this week. I also appreciate your messages of support. I am not in pain like I was five days ago and I am thankful to God for that. I am also thankful for God’s mercy in giving me rest. I am […]

A Dire Warning For 2020 Part 2: Coronavirus, Vaccines, & Digital ID — Ryan Callahan’s Blog

Enduring Peace

May 31, 2020

Our country is in desperate need of peace. I”m not old enough to remember the riots in the 1960s but those who lived to see it are making comparisons to what is devastating our country today. America has faced protests and riots before, including the 1960s and also during the “Red Summer” of 1919. Other countries have undergone protests and riots numerous times in history when tensions were high and either racial or political lines were drawn. So what have all of these protests, and oftentimes dangerous riots accomplished?

They have certainly not accomplished peace, at least a lasting and enduring peace. If so, continued demonstrations of violence would not still be happening in 2020.

There was a time when change agents and peaceful demonstrations made a lasting imprint on the world – when a group of unqualified men sacrificed their lives to tell a story of eternal hope. They did not stir up hatred and violence against others, but instead risked everything to love and serve others, especially those who were different and disagreed with them. They had heard and seen something they would never forget, and wanted to tell the world. They were bold, courageous, and fearless even as they faced the threat of death from angry opponents. Two thousand years later, and we are still retelling these stories and learning from these men of faith. So this is what lasts – a faith in the unseen, a bold proclamation of salvation, and a willingness to die for what is true.

Let us not be so foolish as to think we can gain peace from violence, destruction, and looting. Let us instead find peace in the One who saves.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

When we don’t understand why…

May 30, 2020

Sometimes there are questions we will never have the answers to on this side of Heaven. In light of the recent events, I am left with several unanswered questions:

*Why did the police officer in Minneapolis keep his knee on a man’s neck for several minutes instead of proceeding with a normal arrest…

*Why did the other police officers stand idly by and let it happen…

*Why have protests against police force turned into a force of their own…

*Why are the protesters looting and starting fires in their own cities…

*Why is there so much hate and violence in the world…

I will never understand what it is like to be a black person in America, and I will also never understand what it is like to be a police officer in America. What I do understand is God created us all, and we all have the ability to choose good or choose evil. So what I see happening now is people choosing evil over good…it’s not about a person’s race, it’s about a person’s heart. Everyday we have the opportunity to wake up and do good – to serve and love those around us, to work diligently and faithfully, to be generous and forgiving. If we could rewind and go back in time, all of the violence and hate could have been stopped had people chosen to love and do good to one another.

So what’s done is done. It can’t be changed. But it can be stopped now and lives can be transformed. Seek healing, seek peace, and seek love.

Be angry, and yet do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.

Ephesians 4:26

Communion in the Garden Tomb

My incredible Holy Land trip culminated with a group communion service in the beautiful Garden Tomb. The Garden Tomb is the place where it is believed Jesus was buried in a “rich man’s tomb,” and a place where He was resurrected three days later. 

Our tour group gathered in this memorable place to hear our pastor, Andy Stanley, give his final sermon for the trip. Amidst the speculation about the exact place of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, the spiritual impact of the Garden Tomb lies in my belief that Jesus is alive. The importance of the event is not where it happened, but that it happened exactly as Jesus predicted. 

It seemed simple to profess Christ as the alive and risen Savior in that moment. It seemed effortless to wholeheartedly participate in communion while sitting in the very epicenter of the story. But it is what happens after leaving those spiritual high moments that determines the extent of a person’s faith. We must always be ready to give an account of the hope we have, the hope that Jesus is who He claimed to be and He will return just as He promised. 

The place of worship is not what is most important; the importance of worship lies in the unwavering belief that God has etched His story so deeply onto my heart that I have an unrelenting hope in His Son Jesus, my Savior, for eternity.

Sailing on the Sea of Galilee

During my ten-day Holy Land tour, the highlight of the trip was the boat ride our group took on the Sea of Galilee. As a group we loaded onto the boats at Ein-Gev and began our adventure across the Sea. I knew I wanted to see everything I could so I climbed to the front of the boat and sat near the bow. 

I watched as our boat navigators from the Sea of Galilee Worship Boat proudly raised the American flag next to the Israeli flag. I listened as Christian worship music played and riders sang along gladly. It was enough to get lost in the moment and visualize what things must have been like when Jesus was here. This was where Jesus first called His disciples to follow Him and become fishers of men; this was where Jesus calmed the storm; and this was where Peter displayed faith in his Savior by walking on the water. 

Once we reached the middle of the Sea, our group docked all six boats together and listened to a phenomenal message by Andy Stanley. Andy spoke about two miracles that Jesus performed near this very spot – the feeding of the 5,000 and Peter’s ability to walk on water. Peter was able to demonstrate tremendous faith in his Teacher even if it was just for a moment. Andy summarized his message with these words: “what God originates, God orchestrates.” Whatever God calls us to do, He will provide the way if we will just have the faith in Him, even if it is just for a moment.

Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee

If you are not from Arizona you probably will be surprised by this, but native Arizonans will tell you there is nothing quite like a sunrise in the Valley of the Sun. With our distant mountainous landscapes and clear skies, we are awakened morning after morning with beautiful arrays of red, orange, and yellow color schemes. 

During my time at the Gai Beach Hotel in Tiberias, Israel, I knew I had to experience one sunrise by the Sea of Galilee. I love watching the sunrise back home in Arizona, so I did not want to miss this display of God’s glory in the Holy Land. While waiting for the sun to reveal itself, I had time to reflect on the past few days of touring. I could only shake my head in disbelief at the opportunity I was given, and the goodness and provision of God that allowed me to come to Israel.

Long and event-packed days of touring do not always give time for quiet and peaceful moments to simply listen and be still in God’s presence. These early morning minutes provided valuable quiet time with my Father and Scripture verses soon flooded my thoughts. Two passages that illuminated my devotional time were Ephesians 3: 14-21 in which we are called to comprehend the love of Christ and “be filled up to all the fullness of God” and Lamentations 3: 22-23. 

As I reflect back on that morning by the Sea of Galilee, I am reminded of the passage in Lamentations:

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is [His] faithfulness.

Great is His faithfulness indeed.

A Trip of a Lifetime

A trip of a lifetime….what exactly would confer a description like that? As I was preparing for my Holy Land Tour, a couple of my friends and coworkers who had already been to Israel were excited for me. They would tell me that Israel stays with you forever, and I would never forget it. Most people however, responded with shock and skepticism about me even considering going to a place of such turmoil.

Call it a “God thing,” or call it a “meant-to-be” moment, but I never once reneged on my decision to go to Israel. It didn’t matter what people were saying, or even what the news was saying; I was determined to go and walk in the places where Jesus had been. I was ecstatic to go with Dr. Charles Stanley of First Baptist Church because I had been listening to his messages and receiving In Touch magazine for as far back as I can remember. I grew up listening to him, became saved after hearing one of his messages on television, and read through the Bible using his Daily Principles Bible while I was away at college.

Even after learning that Dr. Stanley would not be attending the trip, I was just as excited to have Andy Stanley join the group. I have recently begun listening to his messages as well, and have even started integrating them into the college life groups that I lead.

As the trip quickly approached, I honestly had no expectations other than the steady belief that I was supposed to go to Israel. I was not even swayed after having to undergo emergency wisdom tooth surgery two days before the trip. I had been given books and picture guides about Israel, but there was no way to prepare for the things I was about to see and observe.

From the very first moment my Mom and I stepped foot into the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport until the moment we departed ten days later, I never felt unsafe.  My feelings of security and easiness can be attributed to everyone working for Inspiration Tours, the wonderful tour guides and bus drivers we were provided, and everyone at In Touch Ministries. Every single detail was taken care of with such meticulous attention that it allowed us to fully take in all of the sights, scenery, and historical information. We were initially greeted by chaperones at the airport in Tel Aviv, and then escorted to the bus that would take us to the hotel. There were staff members and directors of Inspiration Tours welcoming us at the hotel, handing out room keys, explaining the itinerary, and making us feel comfortable and secure. 

We did not have to concern ourselves or worry about the logistics of the trip because the logistics were remarkable! Group dinners (of about 700 people) were organized, along with group messages where we could listen to Pastor Andy Stanley’s sermons at Caesarea by the Sea, the Sea of Galilee, the southern steps of the Temple Mount, and the Garden Tomb. As we relocated cities and hotels, our luggage was picked up outside of our hotel room and hand-delivered into our assigned rooms at the next hotel.

I spent ten days in the Holy Land, and can say without a doubt that it truly was a trip of a lifetime. I want to forever remember the places I saw, the feelings I had, the sounds I heard, and the memories I made. Even now, as I have been trying to describe the trip to my friends and family back home, words cannot accurately depict it. It was a surreal environment, yet parts of it felt completely routine and normal. While standing in such historically-rich sites, there were several undeniable Spirit-filled moments, while other moments exuded feelings of regret and sadness. I have never before witnessed a more dynamic and unexplainable place, and I would go back in a heartbeat.

Whether I ever have another opportunity to return to Israel or not, God has utilized this trip of a lifetime to forever change me. I have a renewed thirst for Scripture, to seek and find the places Jesus talked about and the places where Jesus walked…the places where I have now walked! More than that, I have a revived passion in my spiritual life. I want to learn, to study, to pray, and to do anything that will bring me again and again to the feet of Jesus, anything that will continually bring me to that place where Jesus will reveal more of Himself. My friends and coworkers were right – Israel stays with you forever.

Holy Land Tour; Inspiration Tours

September 2014

Garden of Gethsemane
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