One Nation, Under God

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“Flashpoint” will be airing again tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. CT

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Psalm 33

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

For the word of the Lord is right,
And all His work is done in truth.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deep in storehouses.

Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.

13 The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men.
14 From the place of His dwelling He looks
On all the inhabitants of the earth;
15 He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works.

16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army;
A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for safety;
Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,
19 To deliver their soul from death,
And to keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
22 Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.

(Scripture: New King James Version)

God and Country

What every country needs is leadership by those who do pray–
and that would also be those who follow what the Bible has to say.
The beginning of wisdom, it states, comes by the fear of the Lord;
therefore, leaders of any country should want for Him to be on board.

So, as we pray for the U.S.A., we intercede for God’s protection
from any legislation that would not be His heart’s true reflection.
We pray that the light of Christ will shine into every person’s heart–
especially those in leadership roles, so that liberty will not depart.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.  His praise endures forever.”  Psalm 111:10 NKJV; also Proverbs 1:7 and Proverbs 9:10

The following were the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower at his first Presidential inauguration in 1953:

My friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughts that I deem appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask that you bow your heads.

“Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment, my future associates in the executive branch of government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere. Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race, or calling. May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths, so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen.”

During his first term, Eisenhower signed the federal law inserting the phrase “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance. Why? According to Eisenhower: In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future: In this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.

For his second inauguration, Eisenhower was actually sworn in twice. Because the legally designated inaugural day fell on a Sunday, Ike refused to have a public ceremony; the official oath was administered to him on the Sabbath in private. The following day, however, he had a public ceremony and was sworn in (again) before large crowds at the Capitol, taking his oath on his West Point Bible as he had at his first inauguration.

Info on President Eisenhower from: Wallbuilders.com

Refer to:
Tonight, “Flashpoint,” at www.govictory.com
8:00 p.m. ET7:00 p.m. CT
www.hankandbrenda.org
www.lohchurch.org
www.dutchsheets.org

What time is it?

“I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Psalm 34:1

When troubles disappoint, overwhelm, or sometimes shock,
remember, then, what time it is: it’s always Praise o’clock!

As much-loved members of the Good Shepherd’s flock,
His goodness makes us praise Him all around the clock.

After praise and a mighty shout, the walls of Jericho fell down flat…
The people followed Joshua’s instructions, and that was that!

When Daniel faced the lions in their den ’til morning light,
an angel at Praise o’clock came there to keep their jaws shut tight.

Paul and Silas were imprisoned; their feet were placed in stocks.
But they just sang with all their hearts, and made that prison rock!

If your prayer is for a miracle, but it seems to be “out of stock,”
don’t give up, don’t give in–look at the time, it’s still Praise o’clock.

Surely when the way seems hard, there’s an answer to any “block,”
for continually and forever, the correct time is Praise o’clock!

P. A. Oltrogge

“O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving. Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods, in whose hand are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:1-7 (NASB, Ryrie Study Bible)

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height–to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” Ephesians 3:14:21 NKJV

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

“Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 RSV

Some may feel this poem doesn’t seem like the right choice for serious times, sounding too simplistic; yet it’s in serious times or circumstances that it’s exactly right to praise God. At the same time, we take authority, by the blood and name of Jesus, over evil spirits that would hinder or harm in any circumstance. We’re seated with Christ in the heavenly places, far above them. (Reference Ephesians 1:18-23 and 2:4-10)

Photo/Unsplash

Questions on Authority and the Chief Cornerstone

from Luke 20:1-19

One day Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts, proclaiming to all the good news…. when the chief priests and teachers of the law and the elders came up to question His views..

“Who gave you this authority?” they asked, for He’d just driven out all who would buy or sell.  He’d said they’d made the temple a den of thieves, rather than a house where prayer could dwell.

Jesus answered them back with a question of His own about whether they could recognize…if John the Baptist’s ministry was of his own initiative–or was it divine in God’s eyes?

Before they answered, they debated among themselves on which answer would be best.  If they said it was from heaven, they knew He would ask why they then hadn’t believed John was blessed.

But if they said John was acting only on his own, they feared they would actually be stoned… for all the people felt that John had been a prophet, and such an answer wouldn’t be condoned.

So their final reply on where John had gotten his authority was that they really didn’t know–  Then Jesus answered them that neither would He reveal the source of His ministry’s flow.

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Jesus went on to tell the story of a man who planted a vineyard and decided to rent it out.  He journeyed to a distant land for some time, but sent one of his servants back on the route…

to collect his share of the harvest one day; but the renters beat him, and he returned in lack.  The vineyard owner sent a second, then a third servant, who also received the same kind of an attack.

So he came to consider that he would send his only son–surely, they’d give respect in that case–   Well, they not only beat him, but they killed the heir as well, thinking then they might own the place.

Jesus asked what they thought the owner would do to those who had done this thing…. He said he would come to destroy them in turn and give the vineyard to others whom he would bring.

This upset the chief priests, teachers, and elders as they realized he was speaking of them in the story.  Some said no one would do such a thing, but Jesus brought up scripture that spoke to them of His glory….

What was the meaning, then, He asked, of “The stone which the builders rejected–has become the chief cornerstone” — Of course, therein His own life and ministry were reflected.

You see, the Jewish nation was the vineyard; the chief priests and others like them were tenants of the land.  Through the years they’d not heeded God’s servants, the prophets–now His Son they were rejecting on every hand.

This parable speaks of God, the Father, who sent His prophets, then His Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Lord. As in the parable, He’ll return through His Son–and those who’ve put faith in Him will have great reward….


P. A. Oltrogge

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”  Psalm 118:22

Well-Built Faith in God

Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”

Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?”

And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” Luke 8:22-25 NKJV

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“Now why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when there was a flood, the river burst against that house and yet it could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; and the river burst against it and it immediately collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49 NASB

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“For if by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17 NASB

Reign through the “rain”…is a message made clear

by Jesus, the Master, who said not to fear.

Rely on God’s Word in the midst of a storm

to stop fearful thoughts before they can form.

Having done all we can, we’re told to “stand,”

trusting God will come through with His victorious right hand.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13 RSV

“…fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 RSV

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” …from Matthew 6 KJV

God bless/strengthen you in any circumstance in which you are standing on His promises in faith….

Delete Worry

Cleanse me of worry, oh Lord.
I lay my concerns at Your feet,
for it’s only in letting You solve them
that these problems will meet their defeat.

When worrisome thoughts do come around,
I’ll trust You to help me to stand my ground.
Worry can only cause hurt in a life–
It can touch others, as well, and even cause strife.
For worry is a poison to resist and forsake–
Instead, from God’s goodness and mercy I’ll take.

So thank You for cleansing me of worry,
reminding me to turn up the PRAISE,
for You are a God of deliverance and peace,
and it’s only Your banner I’ll raise!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NASB

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation. God is to us a God of deliverances; and to God the Lord belong escapes from death.” Psalm 68:19, 20 NASB

“Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity, for they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:1-4 NKJV (and the entire Psalm)

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6 KJV

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 KJV

Psalm 27, a Psalm of David

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.

11 Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Why Faith?

“Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’

“So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’

“And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.’

“And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’

“Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'” John 20:24-29 NKJV

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Why is faith needed–because, like Thomas, we, too, can sometimes doubt,

so we need to continually go to God’s Word to push wrong thinking out.

Without faith, it’s impossible to please God–it’s a detriment to us as well.

How can we doubt God’s integrity, who’s provided heaven and escape from hell?

The truth about this…is that there’s a deceiver, who actively bombards with lies,

which is the reason God says to be vigilant in keeping His Word before our eyes.

And words of faith are like a refreshing breeze in the midst of a bad situation.

“Have faith in God,” Jesus said, which are His words to the people of every nation.

“For with God, nothing shall be impossible,” is another important Biblical quote.

We can even “walk on the water,” at His direction, boldly stepping out of the boat.

Author, Ravi Zacharias, called Thomas the “Questioning Apostle,” but doubt didn’t stay.

Thomas went on to serve in God’s kingdom, leading others to follow Christ and The Way.

So, just like Thomas, we can walk on in faith, despite doubts that have assailed us.

Fixing our eyes upon Jesus, we’ll be able to say, “God’s Word has never failed us!”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

The above image of Jesus
used by permission of Bob Berran
at http://www.bobberran.com
See his Online Store to
purchase reprints of
various sizes.

Ravi Zacharias was the author of many Christian books. Having been born and raised in India, he spoke of the cited influence by Thomas, for Christianity, to a certain area of that country, historically in Kerala. He wrote of this in “Walking from East to West,” the autobiography of his own life, on pages 46 to 50.

Peace be with you

“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19 NKJV

Jesus came and stood in the midst of His disciples after He’d been raised from the dead.

He’s in our midst today, the eternal Prince of Peace–for us, His blood was shed.

Our Shepherd laid down His life for the sheep. He’s the chief cornerstone and our rock.

We praise God for what His Son has done and that we’re part of His blessed flock.

Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In the midst of troubled times, He’s the mighty fortress, who, with trust, we look toward.

P. A. Oltrogge

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3 KJV

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:26-27 KJV

“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” John 19:14-15 NKJV

“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:19-21 NKJV

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 KJV (and all of verses 31-39)

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2 NKJV

“Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” 1 Peter 2:6 NKJV

A lamp to my feet, a light to my path…

I can’t start my day, Lord Jesus, without first turning to You.
I need Your promised help to be able to see things through.

I need to know You’ll be walking with me, steadying me on my feet,
to handle any challenges today that I might possibly meet.

Of course, I know Your assurances, as written to us in Your Word;
but folding my hands in prayer to You reassures me that You’ve heard.

I’m relying on You for strength and peace and a faith that won’t retreat.
On paths my feet will tread, may I “see” beside my own, Your sandaled feet. 

P. A. Oltrogge

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Psalm 119:105 KJV

“Hold thou me up and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.” Psalm 119:117 KJV

“Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.”
Proverbs 3:23 KJV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11 NIV

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3 NLT

“I indeed baptize you with water, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Said of Jesus by John the Baptist)
Matthew 3:11 NKJV

You may be blessed to view episodes of “The Chosen” (Dallas Jenkins, Director) on the life of Jesus.