Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sex, Drugs and Decapitation
Trudging towards the Great Tribulation

Most of us have stepped back from the ledge after the recent election. 
The rationale is, only four more years, God's in control, the House will provide a check & balance, etc. The fact is, the Lord does appoint kings and leaders, and that might be something to be concerned about. These appointments are often used to communicate divine displeasure on chronically hard-hearted nations. 
We will get a new President (probably) in 2016, control of Congress comes and goes, but trends take us somewhere, and we are certainly trudging towards conditions that will be present during the Great Tribulation. 
We could be one hundred days or one hundred years away, but this much is clear, the stage is being set as never before in history. In case you are new to biblical eschatology or have never read  'Left Behind,' here is why our era is uniquely ripe for the rapture and return of Jesus.
  • Israel had to be re-established. Check. 1948
  • Technology had to exist to allow a global cashless society. Check. Computers 1970.
  • A 'mark of the beast' must be available for the hand or forehead to track and control purchases world wide. Check. 1980 implanted computer chips and laser technology.
  • Mankind needed the ability to 'destroy all flesh.'  Check. Atomic arms 1945.
  • Israel has to be surrounded by enemies. Check! 
  • Israel must be abandoned by everyone but God. When the UN has its way.
  • It has to be possible for 'every eye to see' an event in Jerusalem. Check. Satellite  technology 1960      

The fact is, a century ago, none of these conditions existed, today they all do.  Repent, the end is near. 

Those are the chess pieces, now here is how the 2012 election fits in.

 Sex and Drugs

Revelation 9:21:  Nor did they repent of their murders, their sorcery, or their sexual immorality. 

America is becoming a society that  congratulates itself for encouraging drug use and sex abuse. Gay rights, abortion and legal marijuana are all winning issues. John MacArthur once said that a carnal culture will not tolerate any moderation of its sexual urges, ultimately, with anyone of any gender or age at any time without consequence. Overstating the case? 
We are willing to allow mass killing of babies to ensure sexual  'freedom.'
Biblical revelation is not shocked by these trends.  During the great tribulation, scripture predicts a society given over to crime, sex and drug use (sorcery is pharmakeia/pharmacy). Given current trends, this is not exactly the stuff of science fiction.
Whether hetero or homo,  the so called sexual revolution in America will not rest until every vestige of morality is dismantled. Brick by brick you can feel the foundations of family life crumbling.  America will not survive as a single-parent society.

The classic cycle of a civilization's ascent and deterioration is, first from bondage to spiritual faith.  The zeal of enlightenment cultivates people of great courage, which breeds a willingness to sacrifice and achieve liberty. Freedom unleashes social and economic energy generating abundance. But abundance unchecked leads to selfishness, self-centeredness then lethargy. A complacent nation soon becomes an apathetic one, trending towards moral decay. Decadence leads to dependence upon leaders willing to trade freedom for bread and circuses. This creates a culture of tyranny and bondage.
Weakened and decayed within, lacking moral vigor and doubting national purpose, these are a people vulnerable to external attack. 

Decapitation & A Thief in the Night

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

If you are a veteran of end times prophecy, you might remember the classic and camp movie, 'A Thief in the Night.'  So bad, it was good, and it packed churches in the '70's.
One scene comes to mind, during the tribulation, Christians recently saved and refusing the mark of the beast, dutifully lined up at a guillotine to be martyred for their new faith.  
Wrong. Since the French won't be running the tribulation, these beheadings won't be by guillotine but by sword. This does seem like an inefficient means of execution, unless the Koran commands you:

Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur'an.
This prediction seemed odd until 1979, when the modern Islamic Republic was reborn in Iran.  Check.

Make your own application about where America sits on this track. 

Here's some final takeaway on Election 2012. Hard to argue that Governor Romney had a strong  business resume and would have engineered an economic turnaround. But America's greatest need is not a financial revival but a spiritual one. Economic collapse occurs towards the end of the civilization's cycle, so fixing the finances of America without moral remedy will only postpose the inevitable. A new king of a rebellious nation is no long term solution.  We need not just a new king, we need a nation of new hearts.
One possible scenario that I am not too fond of is this: God must allow conditions to become much worse in America until our nation calls upon Him. 

And if not, lights out as we trudge on.

Postscript: A sense of urgency is needed. No doubt, our generation has been an intersection for a number of vital prophecies, Israel being foremost.  And while the above conditions will certainly be present during the tribulation, the church will not be, having been raptured between Revelation chapter 3 & 4.  

After these things.....

Saturday, October 6, 2012

It's The Economy, Really?

Is the economy the only issue anyone cares about in this election?

Why are crucial social issues such as abortion, gay marriage and single parent homes such non-starters they are  non-mentioned? 

I understand that the American economy is stagnant and stale as we thunder towards a debt crisis cliff like so many crazed lemmings. Borrowing massive money from China will haunt us sooner than later. 

Of course it would be nice to avoid financial calamity, but can we just have a reality check here? 
Poverty level  in America is still above the standard of living in fully eighty-five per cent of the rest of the world.  America is money mad, pure and simple. 

The church can be just as guilty of material madness that causes social myopia. The golden calf has grown up, and too many Christians are dancing around that golden cow.

These thoughts are not rooted in American guilt or intended to downplay the significance of the crisis we face.  But if the economy was at least decent, President Obama would be sailing to certain re-election despite the fact he is the most pro-abortion President ever, he is the first to endorse gay marriage and his treatment of Israel is abysmal. 

These are the true issues that disqualify this man from leadership.
But it is only his controversial treatment of the golden cow that may yet bring moving vans to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. come January. 

I have stood in the slums of Manilla and Juarez and that helps me realize we desperately need some perspective in the U.S.

I think the Lord is much more concerned with the children we are killing, the poor we are ignoring and our perversion of families, rather than endless discussion of  the tax rate for millionaires.  He is the God of the 100 per cent, the six billion plus people on the planet.

The election obsession with 'the economy' is a reflection of our flabby narcissism that will never be satisfied.  Let me invite you to take a few minutes and watch the remarkable presentation on this link from Scott Harrison of Charity Water. 
It is amazing, convicting and challenging. 

So much to do, so easy to get distracted by the seductive mooing of that cow. Watch this:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Meeting Governor Romney- 

(the other one who also ran for president)

I met George Romney one day in Marlette when he was governor of Michigan during my high school years. He had been a successful president of American Motors (think Rambler, Gremlin and Pacer). 

Born to a Mormon family in Mexico, Romney had gone through the Great Depression and worked his way up in the auto industry.

Forceful, energetic and popular, George Romney won re-election and ultimately ran for the Republican nomination for president in 1968 against Richard Nixon. 

At one time he was ahead in the polls against both Nixon and Lyndon Johnson. An unfortunate comment about being 'brainwashed' over Vietnam led to the end of his candidacy.

So we see his son Mitt, successfully accomplishing what his father did not. Ironically,  had his dad won the nomination, he would have had a huge 'birther' issue due to being born in Mexico.
Lots of evangelicals are struggling with the premise of voting for a Mormon president.  I face no such dilemma. We are not voting for 
Pastor-in-Charge, but Commander and Chief Executive.  Would it be ideal to have a fully vetted Christian at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.? Maybe.  You may recall that Bill Clinton recently lived there, and he was a Bible quoting Baptist who never missed Sunday school in Hope, Arkansas. How did his morality work out for you?
And don't forget, God often used leaders who were not believers to execute His plan for the people of Israel, such as Darius, Joseph's Pharaoh, etc. 

America needs a turnaround, plain and simple, and a skilled executive to manage it. 

Here is an interesting twist, Mark DeMoss, whom I have crossed paths with for years, is a high ranking advis0r to Mitt Romney. In fact, this article claims that Mark was the one to approach Romney about pursuing the presidency:

DeMoss has tremendous street cred in my world. He advises Franklin Graham, Samaritan's Purse and many other respected leaders and organizations.

Bottom line, America is on the verge of implosion, fiscally, spiritually and socially.  The choice between leadership paths could not be more stark. 

A financial renewal is not our greatest need, but it would be helpful if we could avoid a catastrophic meltdown.

What America Really Needs

What happened last weekend with Greg Laurie and Harvest America was fantastic, but this level of evangelism needs to be the norm, not the exception.  We have the tech, the time and more than three hundred thousand churches in America.

Heads change when hearts change. Want a pro-life country? Converted people (generally) think straight and want to stop killing babies.  

If Dinesh D'souza is correct, (and I think he is) should President Obama be re-elected, we face a planned dimming of American influence as penance for our colonialism. 
Whomever is in the Oval Office, we will need to seize the day through either depression or revival and, as Steve Jobs said, 'make a dent in the universe.' 

I suggest we hire a qualified executive to occupy the White House and superintend  our complicated economic system. Then, if believers will be about His Business in God's House, I believe the Lord will take care of the rest.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Few Thoughts on 35 Years of Walking (sometimes crawling)With the Lord

It was a warm Hawaiian night in Maui in 1977 and I could not make up my mind. I was on a solitary spiritual crusade and I could not decide between a evangelistic church service and a Buddhist festival across the street in Lahaina.
That was thirty-five years ago this summer when I was at the intersection of faith and forgiveness. Even though I was living the island life, working on-air at KMVI in Maui, I was a total train wreck.  I had burned just about every bridge I could find. Relationships, career and emotional stability were all victims of my compulsive, selfish and destructive behavior.
My mystical pilgrimage had been reduced to two paths: Buddhism or Christianity, so the proximity of these events was a perfect illustration of the choice I was facing. For over an hour I literally went back and forth between the church and the temple. It became clear, Buddah was the great 'maybe,' while Jesus said He was the only way. 
So, I ended up at the church, pictured above, and made famous by the Eagles on their Hotel California album in the song, 'The Last Resort.'
What waited for me at the church was a major culture shock. I was coming out of a career in rock radio and I stepped into a flaming charismatic service where the pastor's wife led worship on a trombone and sang in tongues. Really.
Add to that, no one except me showed up for the service, and I mean no one. The pastor, his wife and me. Period.
God love him, the pastor went through the whole service for me, including the altar call.
You talking to me? End of story, I went forward, and then it all began.  Two days later, on Sunday he took me down to Hanakao'o Beach to be baptized. The beach was crawling with tourists, and we were in white robes, my own little 'Oh Brother, Where art Thou,' moment.
Then surprise! Just before immersion he said I would come out of the water speaking in tongues IF I was sincere. Uh, no. But I was genuine in my faith and today, thirty-five years later, I am hanging in and holding on.

I was brought into Calvary Chapel in an equally unique way.  After my disappointing baptism performance, my new and only Christian leader/friend gave me a bag of mangoes and sent me on my way without any direction.  I ended up on the Na Pali coast of Kauai wandering around looking for some tree house commune I had heard of. Probably good I didn't find it, I don't think they wore clothes. Eventually, on the remote coast, I sat on a rock and told God that I really gave up. Moments later, a guy came crashing out of the jungle with a cross around his neck and a Bible in his hand.  Really. He was from Shiloh, a Calvary Chapel house ministry in Honolulu and within an hour he paid to fly me to Oahu and get me involved in intense discipleship. And man, did I need it.  

All these years later, I am still involved in that process, I have been fortunate to be part of  the amazing work of Calvary Chapel. I've been able to travel to Israel numerous times and be part of outreaches all over the world. Etc.
When I started my radio career at WCHP (really) in Michigan, I never imagined I would use those skills to be part of many Christian media projects. 
I have a godly, gorgeous wife and spectacular children who all love the Lord. And now, grandchildren. Who knew?

Certainly, I have disappointed the Lord and myself, but learned a great deal about grace.
Here's a reality check for me:
John MacArthur took forty one years to teach through the new testament.  He said that time is so short that a man can only hope to adequately study one of the testaments in a lifetime!
In whatever time is left on my clock, I also want to upgrade my investment in those who live with so much less. The other day I was reading by the pool at my health club, the sprinklers were on behind me and I had a quart of ice water after my workout. Just then, I read an article about the large percentage of people who live without access to decent drinking water- and we literally swim in it. No condemnation, just conviction to live lighter so we can give more.
There was a time when all I cared about was my media career and the advancement of my name. Now, I know that I must decrease so Jesus can increase.

Maybe I have learned something in the past thirty-five.
In the meantime, I intend to go hard before we go home.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sweet Trip Highlights: ABQ to Montana

Back side of the front range:  We took the western route and flashed up through the Vail Valley. As the old school TV spot said, Vail Valley is yummy. 
A night in Rock Springs, Wyoming left us on the door step of the gorgeous Tetons and a slide through Yellowstone on July 4th.
Always wanted to see Jackson Hole, now I want to go back and hit the amazing bike trail I scoped out. Then, off to Yellowstone.
No fireworks, but Old Faithful was a more than adequate substitute.
Elk, antelope and lots of deer of course. We hit the 'Grand Canyon of Yellowstone' right at sunset. Spectacular.
Another road trip highlight was the Battlefield of Little Bighorn, location of Custer's Last Stand.  Sobering,  I've studied this history many times, it was powerful to stand where Custer fell. Pride did come before his fall. 

Skull Church! 

This road trip was more than worth it, because it led us to more than fantastic scenery and awesome history, it took us to the Skull Church outreach in Billings.  I have been able to be some support to these events, producing and procuring secular radio for outreach is one of my favorite endeavors. For some reason, most churches and ministries spend the vast  majority of their energy and efforts on Christian media, which is fine, but we also need to fish where the fish are are.

Do I also need to mention that four grand-daughters were in attendance with Levi & Jennie? 
Added bonus: ultra-hours with Heidi & Larissa, then stopping in Denver to see Becca, Jason, Jaxon & Bridget. Excellent family time.  Wealthy man am I. 

It is amazing to see Skull Church and the 'Levi Lusko' brand be used so powerfully. We ain't seen nothing yet.

Well over one hundred young people responded to the gospel invitation, plus our media campaign generated huge impressions for various gospel messages. Love it. Love it. Love it. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2,000 Miles Later...... 

To my pleasant surprise, round trip to Montana has been a breeze. My trepidation was partly because of trauma from our last excursion to the Treasure State.  A few years back on the way home from the Flathead Valley I absentmindedly took a wrong turn heading home.  I managed to drive almost to Spokane instead of heading to New Mexico. When we almost entered Washington, the wrong state, I was plunged into depression, there was no recovery from a six hour detour.  So twelve hours into our trip, we hadn't made it out of Montana yet. Troubling.  Nothing of the kind happened on this road trip.  Great media helped, including John MacArthur & Francis Chan teachings and two audio books, (All Brave Sailors, Killing Lincoln). 


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Road Trip! 

Larissa, Heidi and I are off to the Skull Church outreach in Montana.  16 hours one way. Five more to pass through Jackson Hole in Yellowstone. 
We are downloading our favorite Bible teachers, audio books and movies for the trip. I am also stocking up on copious amounts of caffeine and Melatonin. Whatever it takes. This could easily turn out to be a righteous version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I will be a holy Hunter S. Thompson.  Happily, Heidi has mad twitter skills, so she can document the road madness. It might not be pretty. I lose focus easily and could threaten to burn the rental car and fly home. We shall see.  Stay tuned.

Friday, June 8, 2012

June 6:  D-Day for me.

A year ago on this day my world was rocked.  Thankful to survive and thrive.
I have had an amazing year, once I got out of Cardiac Critical Care that is. Open heart surgery was a rude reminder of my mortality and I got the message. Remarkably, I am one of four staff members from Calvary of Albuquerque to have a serious cardiac event in the past year. Three open heart surgeries, one stent. One pastor did not survive surgery.  Sobering.
When I went down in Miami, I was suddenly surrounded by my wife, all five children and good friends.
Last weekend in Colorado, we enjoyed a family reunion around an outreach with Levi that brought amazing fruit. Being with all the family was fantastic.
In the past year I was able to watch Larissa create a new ministry,  see a new grandson born, take Heidi to Bible College in England, work on major projects with Levi & Daniel  and so much more.
I've been able to see Jesse grow as a staff pastor and Becca promoted in her career in Denver.
I could have missed all that.
I have also developed a teaching about Open Heart Surgery that has been therapeutic for me.
It has been evolving since I first gave it in Hastings, England. Here is the most recent version  delivered in Miami:

Guest Speaker: Chip Lusko from Calvary Chapel Kendall on Vimeo.

Mile High Meeting of the Tribe:
An embarrassment of family wealth. 
Blessed indeed.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

America slides towards the tipping point: When the inconceivable becomes the inevitable

In his pivotal book, 'Slouching Towards Gommorah,' rejected  Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork wrote:
"Despite assurances that abortion decisions did not start us down a slippery and very steep slope, that is clearly where we are, and gathering speed. "

 Life is not stagnant, wisdom watches for trends, and ours  are accelerating in the wrong direction.  The abortion battleground has shifted from death in the womb to partial birth to post birth abortion. Inconceivable? Not anymore. 

President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage was a politically expedient maneuver. Just five years ago this was a toxic topic for politicians, clever that the President's moral 'evolution' coincided with gay marriage sliding into favor for fifty percent of Americans. Hello Sodom! A nation often gets the leadership it deserves.
What's next on the slippery slope?  Let's not be shocked when these roll out:
  • Shut up the opposition, watch for more aggressive hate crimes laws.  Pro-marriage talk will be officially labelled discriminatory and outlawed as hateful. On the radio or in the pulpit, churches and conservative talk must be muzzled. Best of luck with this one. I know a lot of guys ready to join Prison Fellowship.
  • Mainstream pedophilia: Look for the repeal of laws governing the age of sexual consent.  (This should send a chill down the spine of any parent. It would legally allow pedophiles, and homosexuals who were so inclined, to access your children and teens for their own predatory sexual gratification — so long as those children "consented" to having sex.)*                                                               Slouching indeed.
  • Repeal of all legislative provisions that restrict the sex or number of persons entering into a marriage unit.  (Once marriage is redefined, there can be no logical or ethical objection to any conceivable "marriage" combination, including polygamous marriages.)*                                      Woe to those who call good evil and evil good. 
Throughout the Bible there are clear flash points that ignite God's judgement: eating the fruit, building the tower or the notorious Sodomite behavior. When the Lord draws a line in the sand, pity the man who steps across it.  Immoral gravity is pulling the national body politic in America more rapidly down the hill towards the reprobate landing detailed in Romans 1.  Left to our own devices, what was once utterly inconceivable becomes inevitable, as do the consequences, unless intervention reverses our course. This can only happen through the church in a national call to repentance. 

Will we  grasp this serious moment and seize the day? Or will the church quibble about our franchise brands and borders while entertaining ourselves to death as our  nation slips into a moral sewer?
Of course we offer gays grace and not condemnation, sinners of all sexual stripes need Jesus. We can't be guilty of antagonizing our mission field.  (See the book, 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Church.') 

For much of its history, the people of Israel mirrored the morality of their king until idolatry became so rampant that even a good king and a strong prophet could not rescue the land. Weeping over an apostate and insolent nation, Jeremiah told king and country it was too late, buckle up and prepare for brutal captivity. 

An inwardly corrupt nation becomes outwardly vulnerable. (Look under Empire, Roman)

That could never happen here? Sharia law could never rule our land. Really?  Be sure to tell the  church in Turkey that.   Once  the cradle for Christianity, Turkey is now ninety-nine percent Muslim. I have been awakened in  Istanbul by the Islamic  call to prayer. If a muzzein provides our wake up call in America, it will be too late.
The inconceivable will have become inevitable. 

 * J. Matt Barber,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Charles Colson: A Lion of the Faith 

In 1976 I managed a movie theater in the village of Estes Park, Colorado. This allowed me to watch all or part of movies to the point of memorization. I could recite whole sections of Gumball Rally and The Outlaw Josie Wales
In another summer film that year, I also recall most of Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman's dialog in  All the Presidents Men.  This was the first time I heard the name Charles Colson. He was briefly referenced for his toughness and allegiance to President Nixon.

When the real life Charles Colson was indicted for crimes during the Watergate era, he was uncomfortable with the direction his defense was taking. It was possible he would escape conviction due to legal maneuvering, so he pled guilty.  Not the expected strategy of a hardened D.C. attorney and political operative. Here was the 'hatchet man' of Nixon's White House,  an evil genius, as one reporter called him.

But Chuck Colson was truly a new man, born again. Colson had fallen from a premier pinnacle of power, working near the Oval Office, traveling on Air Force One and swimming skillfully in the shark-infested waters of Nixon's White House. 
Imagine the comeback Colson made.  Staring at the ceiling in Federal prison he must have struggled with depression and self-loathing.  Disbarred, disgraced and branded a criminal, this former Marine could could have spiralled into despondency and bitterness.

However, his fall from grace was not the end, but the first step to a startling and public redemption. Yes, his powerful career was over, but his calling in Christ was just starting. In a classic comeback story, Colson incredibly recovered and became an international figure of respect and impact. He did not make a comeback to show his critics who he was, but to reveal who Jesus is.  
Few Federal prisoners go on to write thirty books, win million dollar Templeton awards and receive the highest endorsements for their ministries. Charles Colson did.
And here's a little known fact about his release from prison, taken from Cal Thomas' column,

  Remembering Charles Colson

'Colson was released early from prison because of some problems with his son and because former Minnesota Governor Al Quie offered to serve out the rest of his term for him so he could address those problems. 
Apparently Quie found a precedent in an old law that permitted under certain circumstances, an innocent person to take the place of a guilty person and pay the rest of his penalty. Quie never had to go to prison, but his offer of personal sacrifice remind one of that central Christian message: an innocent man lays down his life for a guilty man.'

Perfect. Mainstream media probably missed the spiritual  analogy of  this fact about his release, but you can be sure that Charles Colson never lost sight of that principle.
So, Colson created Prison Fellowship, Operation Angel Tree, Breakpoint Radio and much more.
Now that is a comeback indeed.

As Charles Colson observed:

"My greatest humiliation- being sent to prison was the start of God's greatest use of my life. He chose the one experience I could not glory in to use for His glory."

Well done. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

From Miami to Montana
From Michigan to New Mexico,
God is moving in America

 The invitation starts now
I think Joel Rosenberg is dead on with his analysis of America at the crossroads of either Implosion or another Great Awakening.  The optimist in me looks at the way God is moving and I remember that even a remnant of 10 righteous can restrain judgment. On the other hand, Eastern Europe was recently plunged into totalitarianism due in large part to a slumbering church.
And yet, a cross section of this past weekend reveals a fresh move of the Spirit.  In Miami, Pedro Garcia and company are zeroing in on the heart of Miami. God deals with cities because the population is dense and trends are set here.  With Hurricane Pedro unleashed, look out Miami.
In Montana, the Majestic Rodeo arena again became a sanctuary for a weekend where hundreds responded to the gospel invitation. Remarkable. I am without words to explain what it is like to watch what is happening through Levi & his team.
Friday night alone, Red rocked it and 240 people came forward at the invitation.

As a side note, Sunday, I met a new band, For King and Country, originally from Australia, and made up of family members of Rebecca St. James. The depth and quality of music and ministry was obvious. It was one of the most refreshing presentations I have seen in some time.

Meanwhile in New Mexico, Lobo Stadium again held nearly 20,000 people for the annual sunrise service. 
This is an event I had been part of producing for each of the past 20 years.  Here's a video Daniel produced to introduce Skip's teaching: 

The Ransom Project vol. 1 DEATH
The Ransom Project vol. 1 DEATH

And what about Michigan? I don't have any specific examples, just hope for my home state. 
And the Lord knows, Detroit needs grace.

This just a small sampling of what is happening across America. 
Easy to go on and on about Steven Furtick and Elevation in Charlotte, Greg Laurie and Harvest in So Cal,  Louie Giglio at Passion City in Atlanta, etc. etc.  This should give us hope.  Dark as America may be in many quarters, thank God that many other churches are going and growing in Miami, Montana, New Mexico and nationwide. 
May the Lord have mercy on our nation, one way or the other, things will not remain the same. 

What's it going to be, Implosion or Awakening? 
That's the real vote we will cast with our lives this year.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Hearts, Broken Hearts & Flaming Hearts

Dick Cheney's doctor says his recent heart transplant may extend the former Vice President's  life by ten years or more. 
That is fantastic for Mr. Cheney. It is no picnic to sit on the brink of death because of heart disease. Dick Cheney knows this, his first heart attack happened at age 37, now 71, he has a new heart and a life extension.  But this is a temporary solution, eventually, this heart too will give out. That's why the amazing promise of Ezekiel 36:26  is so reassuring.  A new heart to replace a stony heart, that's a final fix for the broken heart of man. 
Physical heart disease is the most prevalent cause of death in America. 
Spiritual heart disease is the universal problem in the human condition, and without intervention, it is always fatal.
There is  no bypass operation for this one.
Dick Cheney is fortunate indeed, he waited nearly two years for an available heart. No wonder, 800,000 people are in need of heart transplants, yet only 3,500 operations take place worldwide each year. 
So, more than 98 per cent are disappointed. 
As wonderful as a heart transplant may be, a spiritual replacement is far superior:
  • No one is rejected- Whosoever will….
  • It is permanent- God's Gift is eternal life
  • No scars, for us- Jesus was pierced

The average 70 year-old will spend 20 years sleeping, 6 years eating, 5 years dressing and preparing, 2 years on the phone, 3 years waiting (mainly on women). So the question remains, for the limited number of heart beats we are granted, how many are devoted to Kingdom work?  
Eight months after my Miami ambulance ride, I can hear my heart beat at night and I thank God. But I also know my shelf life is limited and I am determined to make a mark for the Kingdom.
We need to consider where our heart is at with the Lord.
Have we had our broken hearts replaced?
If so, do our hearts burn with passion, power and gratitude? Only flaming hearts will do.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Successful Launch: Heidi off to Bible College

There is a reason the British Empire once ruled the world: The English are so stylish! Our continental cousins act like they have a superior civilization because they do.  Coming from the colonies the first time years ago, I was massively humbled by a London taxi driver (do not think Manhattan, think clean and cool) when I innocently asked him how it sounded to the British to hear an American speak. 

'Have you ever heard someone from the deep south of the U.S. drawl? That's how you sound to us.'

Lesson learned y'all. I now talk as little as possible in the UK.

We made a quick trip to England last week to deliver Heidi to Calvary Chapel Bible College in York.  Good friends Doug and Lisa Keen have planted a church in Hastings, by the English Channel, and they graciously invited us to stay with them and have me teach Sunday morning at CC Hastings. 
No interpreter was provided. 

Doug is a pastor, tennis pro, and good friend - their three girls are precious and have adapted well to England. 

The case can be made that the British empire shrank in concert with a loss of spiritual vigor in the homeland. Once the pulpits of England flamed with Spurgeon, Morgan et al, but that was then. Today the evangelical community is infinitesimal. God certainly has his remnant through Hillsong, Calvary and others, but Doug told of Franklin Graham speaking in York and receiving a response of four hands to a gospel invitation to thousands. Chilling. 

Larissa & Heidi in Cambridge

Our whirlwind trip took us the length of the country, London, Hastings, then north to York.  I chose to pass on trains this time and rent a car. Challenging.  Shifting with my left, driving on the 'wrong side' and navigating with a steering  wheel in the passengers seat.  Not for the faint of heart.

And the GPS did not work. Rubbish

We made a lunch stop in Cambridge to visit the home of my favorite Bible and it was excellent to stroll around the village, Kings College and environs. Inspiring and on the list for a longer stay, perhaps to write much and talk little. 

Then on to York, a walled city where the Bible College is located.  How thankful I am for the Calvary Chapel Bible College system. Heidi is the fifth child to attend a various campus and it is a wonderful to see each child immerse themselves in scripture, each one has grown marvelously from this experience. Thank you Pastor Chuck.

Castle and moat near Hastings

This does leave the Lusko Nest empty of first generation children for the first time in a long time; No worries, we shall reload with g-kids.