What I am thankful for today

I have as much to be thankful for as any man that ever lived.  But today I am gripped, stunned and collapsing beneath a weight of gratitude.   I am thunderstruck with thankfulness over this one thing: God’s mercy on America.  Seven times in our history when we would have been destroyed, and by all accounts should have been destroyed, God intervened.  Read on.

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Seven Miracles that Saved America

 “In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine protection — Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. … I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs the affairs of men!”

—Benjamin Franklin, 1787

“There is no overwhelming proof, but deep inside we know. And to those who believe, it also seems clear that these events took place with the direction and purpose. Despite our weaknesses, which are many, and our failings, which have existed since our inception, God has been willing to intervene so that this nation might survive.”

– Chris and Ted Stewart, 2009

The Founding Fathers regularly wrote that they considered themselves to be doing God’s work in establishing the United States. This habit was not just confined to the conspicuously devout, such as Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams but also to such secular saints as Jefferson and Franklin, the so-called Deists.  More to the point, they fervently believed — and often asserted — that God in his Providence actively intervened in events to make their efforts successful.

Today, we often dismiss such rhetoric as “just the way people talked back then” and explain how politicians of a certain era used it to rally an overwhelmingly religious populace behind them.

In their terrific new book, Seven Miracles that Saved America: Why they Matter, Why We Should Have Hope, former Air Force officer Chris Stewart and his brother, U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart, argue forcefully that the Founders not only meant what they said, but they were right.

The Stewarts look at seven instances in which overwhelming odds had to be beaten for the United States to exist in its current form. While some might argue over their meaning or the significance of some of their “miracles,” the unlikely circumstances that saved the day in several cases will have even a hardcore secularist taking a second look:

  • The extraordinary unlikelihood that America was colonized due to the efforts of an ambitious navigator with humble beginnings  – rather than perhaps the greatest fleet ever assembled for just such a purpose– which “discovered” North America about 70 years before Columbus.
  • The million-to-one odds that saved the English colonization of America as a fleet crossing the Atlantic arrives in Jamestown minutes before it was to be abandoned.
  • The fortuitous fog that saved Washington’s army that was as well-timed — and accurate — as any artillery smokescreen.
  • The discovery of the Japanese fleet heading toward Midway in the vastness of the Pacific during World War II by an American reconnaissance airplane extending its search well beyond its operational range.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While this book makes a theological and political point, the emphasis in Seven Miracles that Saved America is on storytelling. The Stewarts employ an unusual device — novelizing part of each chapter, much like the Shaaras or Alan Eckert — while sticking to known facts and actual quotes. This makes for an extremely engaging, if rather quirky, narrative.

The authors open with the fascinating — and not well known account — of how America should have been colonized by the Chinese, rather than by Western Europeans.  Even if the Chinese did not discover the American continents, though it seems likely they should have, with their massive fleet and more advanced technology.

However, the glorious fleet that was sent on a mission of discovery, returned to a China that had changed and become inward-focused and xenophobic. The records of the exploration were burned, and the fabled fleet was left to rot, along with China’s expansionist ambitions.  (For more on this, check out last year’s interesting, if flawed, book, 1421.)

The next chapter, The Miracle at Jamestown, continues the discussion of the religious and cultural nature of those who colonized America and why it was important. While the Stewarts propose the obvious, that those who followed Columbus were culturally very different than the navy of Zheng He, the authors assert it was also very important that a Protestant presence be established in America. They contend the competition among Christian sects led to the religious diversity and tolerance that formed the basis of the United States.

Their story of how close Jamestown came to failure and abandonment is gripping reading.  How it was saved is one of the more convincing cases for the word “miracle” in the book—along with the “mysterious fog” that saved Washington’s army in New York in the Revolutionary War, allowing him to pull off a Dunkirk-like evacuation and live to fight another day.

Many might put the circumstances of extraordinary events down to the American character that results from free men, for the first time in history, being allowed to operate on principles of liberty.  It’s not unusual, for instance, to hear the term “the miracle of the Constitution.”  It’s just unusual — today, at least — for it to be meant as literally as the Stewarts’ assert.

This is particularly true in the chapters in which the authors see the hand of God in the timing of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan assuming the presidency in times of crisis.

Easily the most controversial chapter — and the most likely to raise the ire of some country club Republicans, much less Democrats — is the chapter saying that Ronald Reagan not only won the Cold War but also saved America.

The Stewarts, however, point out that George H.W. Bush, while a good man, did call the Reagan economic agenda “voodoo economics” during the Republican primaries. Even if Bush 41 truly was aboard, he would not have had the political oomph to push it through a Democrat-controlled Congress.GodBlessAmerica

More importantly, Bush was from the “realist” foreign policy tradition, which would have looked for “stability” and détente over real change. The most persuasive point the authors make here is to remind us that, after all of Reagan’s successes in putting the USSR on the ropes, Bush ordered a “reassessment” of U.S. relations with the Soviets upon taking office.

While the first Bush administration was “reassessing,” communism collapsed, and 41 was too surprised to even celebrate the Berlin Wall coming down, as Reagan had predicted.

Of course, such pivotal battles as Gettysburg and Midway had hundreds of little moments that one could argue “changed the course of history.” In the case of Midway, for example, the authors are persuasive in their argument that nearly every one of those moments miraculously went the Americans’ way.

In the case of Gettysburg, for instance, they could easily have titled the chapter, “The Miracle of Friendly Fire.”  Had Stonewall Jackson, the South’s best tactician and Lee’s greatest commander been with him at Gettysburg … who knows?  Jackson was easily the most important figure in American military history to be mistakenly shot by his own troops.

Those of a determinedly secular mindset may be apt to dismiss this book too quickly.  Even if you reject the premise out of hand and prefer to think of it as “Seven Statistically Wildly Improbable Coincidences that Saved America,”this book is worth your time.

In each case, the Stewarts do a masterful job of setting the stage of not only why the odds were stacked against the outcome we take for granted but also in reminding us of what was at stake.  Each chapter, it could be argued, is as good a one-chapter treatment of a momentous time as you are likely to find anywhere—particularly setting the stage for the Civil War, and demolishing the notion that slavery was a side issue.

Which brings us to the authors’ ultimate point. As bad as things seem now, America has been much closer to the precipice in its history. The Stewarts write that if God did not let the nation fail, or fall to its enemies then, there is no reason to suppose he is done with America yet.

The end may not be near after all.

P.S.  I am gripped by hope but equally sobered by the fact that today is unique in our history.  This is the first time that America has been led by God haters.  That hatred extends to every vestige of Christian influence on America.  Our leaders are, in fact, shaking their fists at God.

We are in desperate need of a new mercy, a mercy unlike any that we have ever known.  Today I am stunned by the fact that we will be shown mercy.  It will not be easy, it will be costly and we can certainly expect that God will even allow crisis that will, in the end, save the Republic.  It begins today with hearts full of gratitude for past mercy and a new passion to repent and pray.  Your prayers are powerful.  We must cease with lukewarm intercession and graduate into prevailing prayer for America.  MM

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4 IN 5 IN US FACE NEAR-POVERTY, NO WORK: HERE IS WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO.

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 4 IN 5 IN US FACE NEAR-POVERTY, …HERE IS WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO.

By Mario Murillo

According to exclusive information from the Associated Press,  four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

Hardship is particularly on the rise among whites, based on several measures. Pessimism among that racial group about their families’ economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987. In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 63 percent of whites called the economy “poor.”

Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in government data, engulfing more than 76 percent of white adults by the time they turn 60, according to a new economic gauge being published next year by the Oxford University Press.

More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41 percent of the nation’s destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks.

By 2030, based on current trends, 85 percent of all working-age adults in the U.S. will experience bouts of economic insecurity.  Just 45 percent say their family will have a good chance of improving their economic position based on the way things are in America.

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To understand why 80% of all Americans are facing poverty you can blame Obama’s obsession with Obamacare, the media’s obsession with Obama and the damage of Obamacare itself.

Obama was so pregnant with Obamacare that he squandered everything to create it.  Obamacare is why Obama did nothing about jobs when his party controlled both houses of Congress for two years.  For four years, Congress refused to even create a budget at Obama’s bidding so that the cost of Obamacare could not be evaluated.  Only Democrats voted for Obamacare.

To create Obamacare, the Democratic Party turned Congress into Frankenstein’s laboratory.  They perverted laws and parliamentary procedure like “reconciliation” to put the pieces of the corpse together.   Then the cadaver was elevated on a platform to the mainstream media which provided the lightning to bring the beast to life.

Obama, no statesman to begin with, was even worse under the spell of Obamacare.  He bungled foreign policy, made clumsy and arrogant power grabs, diminished our standing in the world, our net worth and possibly our life span.  In simple terms, American is beyond human solution.

HERE IS WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO:  The answer we seek is prescribed in the last verse of the Star Spangled Banner:

“Oh! Thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand between their loved home and the war’s desolation! Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.” And the Star – Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

In this verse we find three things:  1. Strong medicine for our poverty and disgrace.  2. An act of honor and worship that will save us.  3. And finally, a nation rescuing declaration: “In God is our trust!”

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1. Mario Murillo Ministries will henceforth refer to America as the HEAVEN RESCUED LAND.  Our national anthem declares that we were born from a divine rescue mission!  You cannot say that without also speaking of REVIVAL!  We are a nation of revivals.  We have been rescued by revivals.  Awakenings have come at key times in our history.

Just when doom was certain God has come on the American scene with a vengeance.  As a youth I began reading about the moral awakenings in our nation’s history.  I saw a pattern, a glorious tapestry of mercy and grace that visited us again and again.  My heart burned with the accounts of how entire cities would shut down to pray, how crime was abated and families restored.

Then I lived to see it with my own eyes in the Jesus Movement.  Millions of American youth were converted in the next two decades and the Church was ignited nationwide.

Revival is what we must seek and the nucleus of what we preach.

2. “Then conquer we must when our cause it is just.”  Mario Murillo Ministries will speak out because it is a just cause!  How shall we preachers allow false humility and political politeness to keep us silent in America’s darkest hour?  Combating the poverty that is spreading like locusts is a just cause.  Speaking out in defense of marriage and the unborn is a just cause.  To refuse government constraints on our First Amendment right to speak out in our pulpits is a just cause.

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3.  “In God is our trust.”  The enemy we face is sophisticated, organized and well-funded.  Any endeavor with a human origin is doomed from the start.   Going forward, every Pastor, leader and believer must saturate their plans in prayer and tune their souls to hear solutions from the Holy Spirit.  The ideas must come from Him.  The finances will come for divinely approved projects.  We will find the strategies we need, the words that will silence our enemy and the miracles that will confirm and convince a secular generation.

In conclusion:  To make a difference we must see the threat.  To retake the land we must call on God.  We must speak out loud and clear.  We must provoke the lukewarm to action and the lost to redemption.  The matter is summed up in the Prayer of Saint Peter:

“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,  by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”- Acts 4: 29,30.

P.S.  We are moving full speed ahead on our next Living Proof Crusade!

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