Friday, August 29, 2014

John Mark McMillan - "Future / Past" (Live Performance Video) - Dove Award Nomination 2014


John Mark McMillan


Published on Jan 15, 2014
"Future / Past" is the first single off John Mark McMillan's upcoming LP Borderland, which debuts March 04, 2014.

Buy "Future / Past" now on iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fut...


"Future / Past" by John Mark McMillan ::

You hold the reins on the sun and the moon
Like horses driven by kings
You cover the mountains, the valleys below
With the breadth of your mighty wings

All treasures of wisdom and things to be known
Are hidden inside your hand
And in this fortunate turn of events
You ask me to be your friend
You ask me to be your friend

And you,
You are my first
You are my last
You are my future and my past

The constellations are swimming inside
The breadth of your desire
Where could I run, where could I hide
from your heart's jealous fire

All treasures of wisdom and things to be known
Are hidden inside your hand
And in this fortunate turn of events
You ask me to be your friend
You ask me to be your friend

And you,
You are my first
You are my last
You are my future and my past

You are the beginning and the end












9 Things Men Seek at Church

9 Things Men Seek at Church

Men's discipleship
Men, what are you looking for in your local church? (Lightstock file photo)

New Man

There is no easy answer, but in this article I would like to provide some basic principles that will help you develop a male-friendly church. The overriding principle is simply this:
The environment you develop is more important than the events or programs you put on. A man is looking for an environment that is consistent with who he is as a man and a place where he feels comfortable belonging and becoming the man God wants him to be.
1. Relevance. Most men in our society today do not see the value of going to church because it is not speaking their language, and it is not addressing the issues they face. For example, a recent survey showed that 92 percent of church-going men have never heard a sermon on the subject of work. The unspoken message is: What you do for 60 to 70 hours a week does not relate to what you do on Sunday mornings. The most important issues for men are their work, family, marriage, sexuality and finances—and rarely are these addressed from the pulpit today? Some of the key questions men are asking are:
  • What is true masculinity?
  • What is success?
  • How do I deal with guilt feelings?
  • What is male sexuality?
  • Is purity possible today?
  • What does a healthy marriage look like?
  • How can I raise my children to be successful?
  • How can I be a man of integrity in the workplace?
  • How can I be a leader in the home, church, workplace and world?
  • What is my purpose in life?
2. To be involved in a cause greater than themselves. Men want to be involved in something driven by a compelling vision. Men want to know what hill the church is climbing, where we are going, what we are about. The church has the greatest and most far-reaching mission on Earth, and we should not be bashful about challenging the men of our congregation with it.
3. A shot at greatness. I have never met a man who wanted to be a failure or a loser. Men want to win. They want to be heroes. They want to come in first. Unfortunately, it seems the church today wants nice men, not great men.
4. To be challenged. Men tend to view the world around them as something to be overcome or conquered. It's high time we told them they do not have to check their competitive drive at the door of the church. If they are seeking risk, adventure, change, competition and expansion—tell them how to find it within the mission of Jesus.
5. Action. Men today are looking for something to do; they do not like sitting around and theorizing about the 27 views of the second coming of Christ! Men measure themselves by productivity and gain a portion of self-image based on what they do. Their desire for adventure is often expressed in the desire to be on the solution side of things. Many churches today are in maintenance mode, rather than being missional.
6. Men are looking for leaders, and they want to be leaders. This principle is simple: Men do not follow programs, they follow men. They want to follow a bold, courageous, visionary leader. Establish an environment where strong leadership is attractive. Not only are men looking for a leader to follow, they want to become leaders themselves. They want to lead in their family, workplace, church, community and world. One of the things you can do is equip them to lead.
7. Fun. If men walk into a church and see a bunch of serious, stoic-looking people, shouldn't they wonder if Christianity really is a killjoy? The world is a serious place; men are looking to laugh and have fun to balance that reality. They love a good joke, funny story or movie. I encourage you to develop a ministry environment in which men have fun together.
8. Brothers. Most men have many acquaintances, but very few men have a good friend. According to statistics, the average man over 35 years old does not have one close friend. Men need teaching on how to develop and strengthen friendships and an environment where they can find genuine male friends.
9. Healing. Many are using socially unacceptable means to deal with their pain—making their work or their hobbies their life, misusing sex, drugs or alcohol. Unless these wounds and hurts are dealt with in a healthy way, they will never become the man that God wants them to be. They will never be able to have healthy relationships or move on from childish behavior.
I hope some of these insights from my own ministry to men will serve you well as you seek to minister more effectively to the men of your church and community.
Steve Sonderman is the associate pastor for men's ministry at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wis., and the author of How to Build a Life-Changing Men's Ministry.
For the original article, visit men.ag.org.

Newsboys | Your Love Never Fails 2012 - music video

Newsboys with Michael Tate

From Newsboys [Baltic Youth Festival] in Riga, Latvia 2012
1080 HD



Michael Tate


Hillsong Live - Forever Reign - music video


Hillsong Live - Forever Reign
HILLSONG
(P) (C) 2010 Hillsong Church T/A Hillsong Music Australia. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is a violation of applicable laws. Manufactured by EMI Christian Music Group,

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"As In the Days of Nehemiah - It's Begun" - Theresa Phillips

Theresa Phillips:
The Elijah List

Steve ShultzI was at a prayer meeting when the Lord's Presence came in so strong. I heard the intercessors praying for our nation – they were crying out for wisdom for our leaders, for our President, and loving Israel at the same time. It was as if I were hearing many sounds at the same time yet distinctly and uniquely different, but the cause was the same: The Cry was AS ONE!

"I love our Nation to LIFE TO LIFE!!" We were all crying out... and I was instantly reminded of Nehemiah.

A Vision of the Wall

I was seeing a scroll before me, an ancient scroll, and heard the words, "It's begun." In my vision, my senses were activated as the intercessors were praying. I saw a wall, a huge wall, that had been broken down. Holes were huge in the wall and the wall was old and ancient. Once beautiful and fortified, but now left to decay. Then as I looked at the wall, I saw an olive tree, small and green, growing out of the wall!

My heart was feeling torn in two. I was visually seeing brokenness and life at the same time. I began to cry inside of me, not outwardly, because I wanted the intercessors to continue to pray. I was being activated by those prayers! I kept in the vision, and I saw only a few men at first climbing onto that wall.
In one hand was a trowel and in the other The Word (Bible). 
Others began to come to the wall and they began to lift up tools to rebuild the wall. 

Those ON THE WALL were "weeping and repenting" for allowing the wall to fall into decay... They began to take the tools, while others beneath the wall began to brace the wall. They had come to HELP! (Photo Wikipedia)

I lifted my head and I looked off into the distance and saw One man... One Man coming. He was headed to the wall. At first I was timid, until I recognized His garment was draped with flags of the nations. In that one garment were the flags of all the nations. On each flag was written all the different Christian denominations in the nations – Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Christian, etc.

As He neared the wall I saw His eyes, the pupil of His eyes, and I could see a banner. On that banner were the words "One Call". I began to shudder. I knew he was nearing with a purpose – the Wall. Instantly I remembered Nehemiah.

Nehemiah 1:3-4, And they said to me, "The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire." So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of Heaven.

As I remembered these Scriptures, I knew it was time to weep and pray and fast. I hear Him speak again: "Theresa, tell My people to rebuild: To cry aloud and spare not."

Isaiah 58:1, "Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet..."
"How Lord How?" I asked. He said, "I am about to show you something."
I waited and nothing...

ElijahList Prophetic Resources


The Dream: We Are At War

Then that night, I had a dream that has shaken me to the core. I saw my husband, an Air Force Technical Sergeant, recalled to Washington (he is retired from 30 years of service). I watched him walk out of the driveway saying to me, "We are at War. Call them to pray and cry out to GOD."

Still in the dream, I was standing in the very center of our driveway with our son... MY son walked close to me. "We are at War mom." "Yes," I said, "we must build a fortified wall."

I awoke from the dream paralyzed with prayer, "GOD, save our nation. God Save our Nation!!"

I knew that my husband would not be recalled to Washington. I knew it was symbolic. We must change our clothes and GO and rebuild what has fallen down. We must ask Jesus to show us where we personally and corporately and regionally need to ask for His sovereign forgiveness. We must rebuild the ancient walls of our Christian spiritual covering that is being viciously attacked all across the world. I knew this...

I joined now with the prayer of Nehemiah. My whole heart is in this:

Nehemiah 1:11, "O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer."

As I wept (I have done this for days), I have fully committed myself to the Prayer of Nehemiah. Because God said to me in a simple prayer meeting where the prayers were surrounding me:"As in the days of Nehemiah, it's begun..."

The Prayer of Nehemiah

If you have it in your heart, will you please take this prayer and pray with me?

Nehemiah 1 (NKJV):
Nehemiah Prays for His People
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel, that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, "The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire." (Photo via deviantart)

So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of Heaven. And I said:

"I pray, Lord God of Heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father's house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.

Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name. Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.

O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man."

For I was the king's cupbearer.

Nehemiah changed the city! He secured the people GOD heard! God Bless the Christians of the World.
God Bless America. 

Dr. Theresa Phillips
Chicago Prophetic Voice

Email: Info@ChicagoPropheticVoice.net
Website: ChicagoPropheticVoice.net

Dr. Theresa Phillips is senior pastor of Praise Ministries Church and dean of Praise Christian Seminary in St. Charles, Illinois. Theresa is dedicated to helping you encounter the living God and be filled with His never-ending glory. Pastor Theresa and her husband Robert have started an online publication called Chicago Prophetic Voice. This online publication is intended to help you see and hear the unseen and unheard realms of God as they are portrayed in the written Scriptures of the Holy Bible.

To subscribe to The Elijah List go to:http://elijahlist.com/subscribe

ElijahList Prophetic Resources


Captured Hamas Militants Spill the Beans on Gaza War Crimes

Captured Hamas Militants Spill the Beans on Gaza War Crimes

Thursday, August 28, 2014 |  Israel Today Staff
During the summer’s Gaza war, hundreds of Hamas militants surrendered to or were otherwise captured by Israeli forces. In the course of interrogation, many of these prisoners were candid regarding the unlawful tactics of their leaders.
A statement released by the Shin Bet, or Israel Security Agency (the local equivalent of the American FBI) noted that the investigation of these prisoners confirmed that “prominent use was made of mosques and hospitals [in Gaza] as meeting points and hideouts. Worse still was the digging of tunnels and launch sites, and the placing of arsenals, near kindergartens.”
The Shin Bet went on to list a number of the more revealing testimonies, including the names and hometowns of the more chatty prisoners, a move that is certain to get them labeled as “collaborators” back in Gaza.
  • Abdel Rahman Balousha from Khan Younis revealed that the Alsafa and Alabra mosques in his hometown served as meeting and assembly points for Hamas terrorists.
  • Muhammad Ala’a from Khan Younis and Muwaz Abu Tim from Bani Suheila said that they were recruited for Hamas military activity at mosques in their respective hometowns.
  • Muhammad Ramadan from Khan Younis said that his February 2014 training as an anti-tank fighter took place in a hall located beneath the Alshafi mosque. He added that the hall serves as an Izzadin Al-Kassam Brigades training and instruction facility.
  • Muhammad Alqadra from Khan Younis said that several local mosques served as sites to conceal war materiel such as RPGs, heavy PKC machine guns and AK–47s. He added that local schools and hospitals, including the Nasser and Halal hospitals, were also arsenals.
  • Afif Jerakh and Amad Jerakh from Beit Lahiya said that an attack tunnel had been dug close to a kindergarten.
  • Muhammad Abu Daraz from Greater Ibsan said a tunnel in which he worked was begun next to the Alfukhari clinic adjacent to the Abu Daka family home. He said that in the area in Hazara in which he was arrested there is a kindergarten, next to a clinic, to which he was to bring prisoners in the event of a successful kidnapping.
  • Muhammad Alqadra from Khan Younis said that it was well known that senior Hamas leaders and their armed bodyguards, usually in police uniforms, openly hide in hospitals.
  • Marad Amr said that before he was arrested he saw a Hamas Toyota military jeep blocking the entrance to the European hospital in Khan Younis.
The Shin Bet insisted that given this evidence, “it is clear…that Hamas knowingly and intentionally operates in and adjacent to civilian areas… Hamas deliberately operates in these locales, thus turning the civilian population into human shields on the assumption that Israel will be blamed for any injury and loss of life.”
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor this week submitted a lengthy letter including the above and other evidence to the Security Council, and demanded that the world body hold Hamas accountable for its crimes.
“I expect the Security Council to loudly condemn Hamas’ activities,” Prosor wrote. “Despite the fact that the Council recognizes that Hamas has committed war crimes, nothing has been done yet about them.”
PHOTO: 150 Hamas gunmen surrender to Israeli forces during battles in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.
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PROPHETIC WATCH WORD! - Lance Wallnau

PROPHETIC WATCH WORD!

1560684_10152651322119936_7852029081806554587_n10625082_10152651322244936_2705460651696297383_nPROPHETIC WATCH WORD!

TUNNELS and TERROR and BROKEN DOWN WALLS

I am no alarmist but I do know how to discern the obvious.

When…
Christians and children are being slaughtered by ISIS and an American Journalist is beheaded for publication on social media, at the same time that race riots start to spill over into American cities it starts you wondering. What is being unleashed against us?
Is there a connection? Are there other connections?
Then it hit me like a whack to the side of the prophetic head, that Israel and the United States have a unique spiritual connection.
Israel has been under attack by implacable foes committed to their destruction. One of the Hammas tactics that was exposed is an elaborate underground TUNNEL SYSTEM designed to penetrate and GET INTO Israel’s borders to unleash destruction. Money that could have been used for the welfare of the people in building of schools or hospitals was diverted for the construction of multiple tunnels to export terror.
Our BORDER SITUATION with Mexico has been on the news. Masses of people, including vicious CRIME GANGS have been coming over along with a flood of youth. ISIS has been caught communicating with leading Mexican DRUG CARTELS in an effort to coordinate agendas against the United States. Probably leveraging access through our own border.
The ISIS butcher who did the beheading of the American is believed to be a British man. The U.K. has been host to many unhappy Muslim sympathisers. News reports that as many as 100 ISIS trained Brits and US citizens are expected to be working their way into the United States and back to England.
Remembering 9-11 when we were hosting terror cells that plotted our destruction.
Americas lawlessness and rejection of God reminds me of a Proverb of Solomon…
“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” (Pr 25:28) As we cast off Biblical values our walls collapse.
The only ones who will see this connection are Gods people. Maybe this is a catalyst for us to humble ourselves and pray and turn from our own wicked ways so God can heal our land?
The secular world will laugh at the notion that our nation is experiencing the erosion of its divine protection.
Let us pray that God will use this hour to truly awaken His church and that we shall prevail in rebuilding the walls and restoring the fear of God to a nation asleep to its own perilous condition.
Now is the time we REALLY NEED TO BE WATCHMEN!
Let me hear from you.
1.) How do you suggest we pray? (Give me some brief comments – short enough so all can be read) and also give a prayer strategy.
2.) Are you seeing this connection also?
KNOW that God is working all this together for an American Awakening
Lance

Santorum & NRB executives showed real leadership - Joel Rosenberg

Santorum & NRB executives showed real leadership by visiting Israel amidst a hot war. They get the importance of US-Israel alliance & gravity of jihadist threat.

by joelcrosenberg
(Central Israel) -- Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to and travel through Israel with two solidarity delegations from the United States. One was organized by former Senator Rick Santorum and included businessmen, journalists and evangelical Christian pastors from across the country. The other was led by Dr. Jerry Johnson, president & CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters and included highly-respected Christian leaders such as Anne Graham Lotz, Kay Arthur, Tony Perkins and Dr. Richard Land.
I shared some of our experiences on my blog last week. But I want to add a few thoughts upon having had time to reflect further on what I saw.
Senator Santorum and the NRB executives showed tremendous leadership by visiting Israel during a hot war. Each is a long-time friend of Israel, but this was above and beyond the call of duty. These principled men and women demonstrated true love and support for America's number one ally in the Middle East. They came here even while hundreds of rockets were raining down on the Jewish state. They came when almost no one else was visiting the country. They visited troops on the frontlines.  They visited Israelis personally scarred by Hamas terrorism. They met with high-level government officials. They met with everyday Israelis -- Jews and Arabs -- all over the country. They learned how the Iron Dome system works and saw its benefits. They heard the Code Red sirens go off. They ran to bomb shelters like everyone else. Most importantly, they studied the Scriptures together and prayed for the peace of Jerusalem and communicated what they saw and heard back to millions of Americans back home via radio, TV and newspaper interviews, as well as via Facebook and Twitter.
How many others did that over the past fifty days of this cruel war?
I don't know whether Senator Santorum will run for President again. I know he did remarkably well in 2012, coming in second after Gov. Romney, after winning the Iowa caucuses and a total of 11 primaries and some four million votes. He's not currently a declared candidate, and won't make his decision about 2016 until sometime next year. Therefore, what impresses me is that he is standing up for what is right, right now. He didn't come for a photo op. He came to better understand the crisis in the Middle East and explain it to the American people.
When Santorum was serving in the Senate, he took the lead in supporting Israel and advancing legislation to deal with the threats from Iran and Syria. Today, though he is out of office, he continues to demonstrate that he gets the importance of a strong US-Israel relationship; that he truly understands the threat Radical Islamic jihadists pose to the U.S., Israel and our Arab allies in the Middle East; that he sees the danger Christians, Jews and other minorities face in the epicenter. He has enormous experience on these issues, and it shows in the way he speaks about these issues and the policies for which he advocates. He's willing to speak out in a bold, principled way, regardless of whether the establishment in Washington notices or cares, and regardless of whether the mainstream media notices or cares.
Good for him. I'm impressed and grateful. May his tribe increase.
Likewise, Dr. Jerry Johnson and the folks from NRB are acting as true Christian statesmen. They love and support Israel. But they also care deeply for the plight of the Palestinian people who are being traumatized by Hamas and being caught in the crossfire of this terrible, painful war. These Christian leaders aren't succumbing to the moral relativism of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) or other liberal, apostate denominations that have abandoned the Bible and the Scriptural call to bless Israel. They are standing on the Word of God, boldly and without apology.
Good for them. I'm impressed and grateful. May their tribe increase, as well.
One last thought for now: I strongly agree with the point Senator Santorum makes in his new op-ed (see below) -- supporting Israel should not be a partisan issue. It should be a bipartisan commitment. Sadly, the President has brought US-Israel relations to its lowest point in 66 years. This deeply concerns me. That's why I'm working on building friendships with Democrats as well as Republicans who support Israel and understand the issues here in the Middle East, or want to. To the extent time permits, I will do my best to help any leader who cares about these issues and is trying to do the right thing. That's why I joined the Santorum and NRB delegations, and why I'll help others in the future.
Please join me in thanking Rick, Jerry Johnson, and all who joined their delegations for showing true leadership and the courage of their convictions "at such a time as this."
Op-ed in the Manchester (NH) Union Leader by former Senator Rick Santorum, published on August 27, 2014
On May 14, 1948, the United States of America was the first nation to officially recognize the newly reborn State of Israel. It was morally right and strategically wise that we did so, and we have been blessed as a nation ever since with a true friend in the Middle East.
It happened to be a Democrat, President Harry Truman, who understood the Jewish people’s right and need to return to their ancient homeland to be safe and free, especially in the wake of the Holocaust. To his great credit, Mr. Truman refused to follow the counsel of those in his own administration, even his own secretary of state, who said it was foolish for America to support a strong, safe and free Jewish state.
Yet while it was a Democrat in the White House who set into motion America’s alliance with Israel, it is another Democrat in the White House who has brought U.S.-Israel relations to their lowest point in 66 years.
This great alliance should not be a partisan issue. Indeed, support for Israel on Capitol Hill is one of the few issues that bring both parties together. Yet the President is an outlier, consistently creating new tensions and divisions with Israel, even while she is under attack by a virulent and ruthless enemy.
This should not be. Most Americans see Israel not simply as an ancient nation but a modern miracle, a true partner on many fronts, from manufacturing to agriculture to the development of state-of-the-art weapons systems like the Iron Dome. They also see a vibrant democracy and a real partner in the war with terrorists.
Yet it has become painfully apparent that our current President does not agree.
I came to Israel last week to show solidarity with her people and government, in part because I am embarrassed by the actions of my own government. The White House should never pressure an ally to accept flawed, biased ceasefire proposals in a war with terrorists who are hell-bent on annihilating them.
The U.S. government should never hold back arms from — or micromanage arms transfers to — an ally fighting for her life.
No administration should try to force an ally to divide her own capital city and surrender the sovereignty of that capital to an enemy sworn to obliterate her.
Nor should any administration leak to the media policy or personal disagreements with an ally, especially during war time.
Yet this is exactly what is happening.
The delegation of American business leaders, pastors and journalists I brought to Jerusalem join me in standing with Israel because we see a friend under attack and feeling increasingly alone. While we were there, Hamas fired more than 150 rockets at Israeli civilian population centers, bringing their total rocket attacks to more than 4,000 in the past seven weeks. My colleagues and I were in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening when the Code Red sirens sounded. A rocket was headed for the Holy City and we had to rush into bomb shelters with our Israeli friends. Yet the world repeatedly criticizes and condemns Israel for exercising her right to self-defense.
Imagine if Washington, D.C., or St. Louis or San Diego were under rocket attack. Would we not strike back hard and relentlessly at those firing the rockets? Would we take kindly to foreign leaders who told us to stop defending ourselves even as the terrorists kept shooting at us?
The most moving part of our visit was meeting with the precious parents of Gil’Ad Shaer, one of the teenage boys Hamas kidnapped and murdered in June. As we sat in their home we heard their story and saw their grief. But we also saw their determination not to let the jihadists destroy their country or their hope for the future.
America must stand with such brave souls. After all, Israel’s fight against radical Islam is our fight too. If we do not defeat the terrorists in the Mideast, they will strike America at home.
Our commitment to Israel does not mean we are blind to the pain and challenges the Palestinians in Gaza face. To the contrary, we care deeply about them and seek their freedom from tyranny.
The Palestinians of Gaza absolutely need to be liberated....from the cruel occupation of Hamas. The Palestinians of Gaza need to be set free from Hamas’ reign of terror and barbarity. This should be a major priority of the U.S. government.
Unfortunately, American foreign policy today is in complete disarray. Incompetence reigns in the White House and State Department and has for six years. Our friends no longer trust us. Our enemies no longer fear us. This is a recipe for disaster.
“Leading from behind” is not leadership at all. The President’s steady retreat from the Mideast is creating a dangerous vacuum jihadist forces are moving to fill from Syria to Iraq to Gaza.
We can and must do better. Democrats should start by putting serious pressure on the President to truly and fully support Israel and to stop pressuring her to make bad deals with dangerous foes. Republicans can start by repudiating isolationist voices in our party and those who call for ending all military aid to Israel.
Now is the time to stand unified for Israel.
---------------------
Rick Santorum is a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
joelcrosenberg | August 28, 2014 at 7:19 am 

9 Secrets That Your Pastor's Wife Wishes You Knew

9 Secrets That Your Pastor's Wife Wishes You Knew

woman holding Bible
(iStockPhoto.com)
She's always there. Sometimes in the background, sometimes with a welcoming smile up front, sometimes noticed and appreciated, sometimes being silently judged. Your pastor's wife; the powerful force behind most church leaders often perceived as a mystery by the rest of the church.
It doesn't have to be that way.
What if we just asked our pastor's wife to candidly, honestly, even anonymously share some of their secrets? What if we invited them to share their hearts and tell us what they wished the church knew?
I posed a simple, open-ended question to a panel of pastors' wives in different states, from different denominations, with various years of service, "If you could tell the church a few things about your role as a pastor's wife, what would you say?"
The women selected are the wives of music ministers, children's leaders, senior pastors and youth pastors. Some of them serve in churches with large staff and even larger budgets, others in newer church plants, and even some from old and barely surviving congregations. Despite such different backgrounds, their responses were strangely similar and in several cases, almost identical.
I've sat for coffee, exchanged emails and had lengthy conversations with many who freely shared their secrets with me in exchange for the promise of anonymity. What follows is a condensed collection of their words.
1) "I wish people knew that we struggle to have family time." There was one common response that I received from every single pastor's wife. Every. Single. One. Over and over again, many pastors' wives shared numerous occasions where planned vacations had been cut short (wouldn't that be hard?). They told me tales of family evenings being rearranged for crises of church members, middle-of-the-night emergencies and regular interruptions. A true day off is rare; even on scheduled days off their husbands are essentially on call 24/7.
2) "Almost every day I'm afraid of screwing it all up." They don't have it all together. They battle many of the same issues every other woman battles: marriage issues, extended-family difficulties, sickness, finances, children who make poor decisions, fear and insecurities. Some seasons of life are obviously harder than others; but remember, ministry wives are not Wonder Woman with special powers. Please have a little mercy and extend grace.
3) "Being a pastor's wife is THE loneliest thing I've ever done and for so many reasons." Personally, I think this is surprising to many (it was to me). Several ladies shared the difficulties of finding friendships that are safe, being looked at (or treated) differently and even the desire to be invited for an occasional ladies night out. One woman shared, "Invite us to something just to get to know us. We like being known." People in the church often assume that the pastor's wife is always invited and popular. In reality, for whatever reason, many ladies fear befriending them. On Sunday mornings pastors' wives are often sitting solo, and those with children are essentially single parenting.
4) "It is OK and welcomed to have conversations with me about things that do not pertain to church, or even Jesus. There I said it!" They have a variety of interests. Believe it or not, many pastors' wives went to college and had full-time careers before becoming "Mrs. Pastor's wife." They have hobbies, likes and dislikes, and though they often serve beside their husband, they are individuals with their own unique gifts.  
Do not make the mistake of assuming your pastor's wife has the same personality as her husband. One wife shared that when they announced their engagement people regularly commented on how good of a singer she must be (because her husband-to-be was a music minister). When she shared that she sounded more like a dying cat than an elegant song bird, the shock on their faces was evident.
5) "Sundays are sometimes my least favorite day. Wait—am I allowed to say that?" Sundays are hard. And long. And there is no rest. To a pastor's wife, Sunday means an early morning of rushing around to have the family ready in their "Sunday best." Although you may not see your pastor's wife on the platform, rest assured, Sunday is equally tiring for most (all) of them.
6) "It's hard to not harbor resentment or to allow your flesh to lash out at members who openly criticize his ministry." They hate church criticism more then anything. It's hurtful. Offensive, and yes, it's very hard not to take it personally.  
It is one of the most damaging things they witness regularly inside the church whether it be through emails, social media or gossip. They wish people understood how serious God's Word speaks on the danger and power of our words. And how much it can injure the pastor's family.
7) "Please don't look down on me or assume I don't support my husband just because you don't see me every time the church's doors are open."
Most wives are not paid staff. They are wives, often mothers, and some are employed outside the home. They need to be allowed the freedom to pray and choose the ministries they feel called to.
8) "I wish people knew that we taught our children to make good choices, but sometimes they don't."
Jokes about pastors' kids should be avoided at all costs. The risk of rebellion in a "preacher's kid" is no secret. They aren't perfect and never will be (are yours?). They have to learn to walk in their faith just as other children and need encouragement and love to do so. Again, extend grace.
9) "What I can tell you is I have been blessed beyond measure. I have been given gifts, money, love and prayer—so much prayer—by so many."
They love their church and understand the role comes with special challenges and special blessings; it is fulfilling and brings them great joy.
One Extra Thought
Though it was not a common response, there was one that stood out. The top of the list of one seasoned pastor's wife simply read, "I deleted my number 1." Some secrets are so difficult to share, even the promise of complete confidence is not enough to bring them out.
These godly women have something they want us to know and as a body of believers working together toward the same goal, I think we might gain a better understanding of how to appreciate our leaders by listening. All of these responses point to a singular truth: Your pastor's wife is a human being who desires to be known, just as you do.
Reprinted with permission from Shattered Magazine. Christina Stolaas is a mom to four young kids, wife, a lover of the outdoors and people. In her free time she enjoys writing, training for road races, drinking too much coffee, belly laughs with friends and pursuing a deeper walk with Jesus. She is forever thankful that God's script for her life needs no editing. (Romans 8:28) Click here to view the original post.

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