By Rev. Robert A.Crutchfield, Founder & Editor FaithInsipres.Org
In many cities modern traffic lights have what is called preemption equipment installed. Fire Engines, Police Cars, Ambulances etc. have transmitters on them that trip this equipment. The point is to turn all the lights green for the first responders so they can get where they need to be as quickly and as safely as possible. They “ Clear the lights.” The obstacles presented by traffic and red lights are kept from their path.
On Tuesday, July 12th 2016 I had an experience that showed me all too clearly that my savior Jesus Christ is like having my own set of preemption equipment. I had a heart attack. Shortly after waking up, I felt pain in my chest. I had suffered indigestion, bronchitis etc. so it wasn’t the first time my chest had bothered me. But Jesus spoke to me and made me understand this time it was different. From this point on many things could have gone wrong,many obstacles could have gotten in my way.
The type of heart attack I had kills one in four people in minutes. If I had blown it off as some weird case of indigestion, or waited to “see how it goes,” I would be dead now. But I didn’t, Christ Cleared the Lights ! I might not have had the presence of mind to call 911. Christ Cleared the Lights ! The ambulances could have been on other calls,but they weren’t. Christ Cleared the Lights ! The Hospital ER bays could have been full, the Cath Lab could have been busy, The doctors and nurses already tending to some other urgent case. Obstacle after obstacle between me and what I needed fell away. Christ Cleared the Lights ! Like the first responders and their preemption equipment, I was sped along. Christ cleared all the lights !
Many would say that it was just a string of happy coincidences. Others that it always happens so well. Sadly for others it doesn’t always turn out so well, and that’s an awful lot of coincidences. Some would think because I give Jesus Christ so much credit I must be ungrateful to the doctors, nurses, medics, clergy, and family members who united around me to make sure I was so well cared for. Nothing could be more ridiculous ! I have thanked God for each one of them many times in my prayers over the past week, and I do so again here, now. However I am left with the sense that Jesus Christ is the one who made sure they were all where I needed them when I needed them. And it was he who Cleared the Lights to get us all where we needed to be.
Chances are you are not having a heart attack so what does this mean to you ? Easy, we are all facing challenges in our lives. We all have obstacles between us and where we need to be. More importantly as Christians, we all if we choose to call on him have our own sort of “preemption equipment” to move the obstacles of this world aside. We have a comforter, and healer when we need one. Like 911 that Tuesday,he’s waiting on us to call to spring into action. He is Jesus Christ ! He is waiting to Clear the Lights for you just like he did for me !
The following Commentary on this week’s tragedies is authored by Pastor Jeremiah Hill. Hill is pastor of Journey Church here in Katy. He, his family, and church have been loyal supporters of this ministry for some time. His remarks, are published here with his permission.
By Jeremiah Hill, Pastor Journey Church Katy, Texas USA
This week our country has been gripped by several unnecessary, and unacceptable tragedies. It should go without saying that we should always be moved to finding positive solutions for problems… but it seems with each passing major incident our countries resolve is paralyzed. I have watched this week as the events have broken relationships and created wedges between friends, families and sadly even churches.
I have been blessed since becoming Pastor of Journey Church to see our congregation grow multicultural, as well as our staff and leadership teams. Black, Hispanic and white all united for one goal… to be the body of Christ… and to show the world what the body of Christ should look like. So it should go without saying that we love everyone at Journey Church.
As I thought more about the recent events the following came to mind:
When God formed the first man, Adam, I have this picture of God kneeling over the dirt that He just created. And as He knelt, he pressed His hands into the dirt and began to form Adam… and He said that He created Adam in His image and that it was good. In Psalm’s it tell us that God formed all of us in our mother’s wombs, down to knitting our inner parts together. That means the same hands of God that reached into the ground to form Adam… are the same hands that made each and every one of us.
What we see on display today is NOT God’s image.
Abuse of power is not the character of God.
Rejection of authority is not the character of God.
Hatred is not the character of God.
Racism is not the character of God.
From the moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden… sin came rushing onto this earth. And it’s one job was to take captive every person that is not willing to take the very thought of sin captive. Every single one of those characteristics I just mentioned are a direct reflection of our sin nature… the very nature that is a polar opposite of the very image God created us in.
We pray for peace on this earth. We pray for wars to end. We pray for racism to end. But peace will NEVER happen in our lives, when sin is the ruler. And in this world, it is much of the same. What we have witnessed displayed over the course of this week is a reflection of the display of sin on this earth that has been building for 1000’s of years.
This display of sin comes in many forms. But as of late the primary display has been a hatred in our hearts for our neighbors… and we have used things like race, sex, gender and class to promote further hatred.
Scriptures are also clear, you can not love God who you have not seen… and hate your brother who you can see. We have departed from the very basic of moral standard that God laid out… “love your neighbor as yourself.”
There is no greater commandment than that!
We were all formed in Gods image… and if you chose to follow Him, obey His Word and keep His standards… you will remain in His image. But to remain in His image… takes work. Scriptures say that we are to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling.” That means on a daily basis. The last time hatred or disgust rose up in your heart for another person, did it make you tremble in fear… because you had departed from God’s standard?
We need to take a step back and realize that what we see on display today is a direct form of Godlessness. Scriptures are clear in the end days there will be more of this. But if we truly want peace… it begins with us turning back to the very one…God… who created us.
Every person who will read this post has at least one thing in their life right now, big or small, that is in direct conflict what who God created you to be. Turn back to God and to His standard… and watch how quickly grace can cover a multitude of sins.
By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Founder FaithInspires.Org
In this world there will always be challenges in life. We are after-all imperfect people living in a fallen world. “ For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23. Since none of us are perfect our lives cannot be perfect, things happen. When things happen even though they may be unintentional we end up with consequences to deal with. We are also affected by the consequences of the people around us. It is here that our ability to overcome the consequences of this world is called upon.
It has been my observation over the years that our internal infrastructure which allows us to overcome the challenges of this world can be separated into four categories. I call these the Four Spheres of Overcoming. They are not distinct, and quite often overlap. They are Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual. I often use grief as an example of how these spheres work because, grief is such a profound challenge that it often involves all four spheres. The same dynamic however can be seen in how we confront a wide range of challenges.
Let’s look at each one more closely,
- Physical – Our bodies have their limits. Even though we can train to expand and extend those limits, there will always be boundaries to what our physical bodies will allow us to do. Adrenaline among other chemicals within our design can also expand our physical abilities beyond their normal state for a short period of time.
- Mental- This sphere is defined by both the physical structure of the brain, and by our accumulated knowledge. Studies have even shown that as we accumulate knowledge, the structure of the brain changes over time. Certain mental illnesses (depression for example) can also alter the physical structure of the brain. Depression in many cases can even be seen on a PET scan. So its not just “all in your head.” We can also read, take classes etc. to expand our knowledge. Including how to handle whatever challenges we face in our lives. The mental sphere can have great affect of the physical. World class athletes, and soldiers both talk of “mental toughness.” They literally train themselves to use their minds to expand their physical abilities. People of faith have been known to use their faith in much the same way. I remember years ago, I was a volunteer at the U.S. Gymnastic Championships. I got to see some of the world’s best athletes up close. Even now I am in awe of their mental focus. The way they can control their thoughts, and use their thoughts to control their bodies is beyond amazing !
- Emotional – Anger, sadness,and other emotions are most often normal reactions to abnormal external stimuli. Some emotions, anger for instance will even affect the physical sphere. Anger can cause an increase in in heart rate and Adrenaline levels as part of the fight or flight response. Of course we have to exercise caution when our emotions rise to the point that out body launches a physical response. Inappropriate or even dangerous behavior can result when such natural responses are left to run their own course.
- Spiritual- Particularly as Christians we take great comfort from our faith. Obviously as a minister I spend the most time working within this sphere. Verses such as John 16:33, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Can offer much strength when challenges arrive in our lives. The fellowship we share as Christians can also serve as a readily available support network It can also serve to strengthen and enlarge any support network you may have. Support networks can be vital to dealing with some challenges. Support networks can also vary according to the need at hand, so having the largest possible pool of people to draw from can be helpful.
These four spheres are my attempt to outline the internal resources we have when we face challenges, and how our body uses them. Obviously there are other factors that can come into play, the reaction of others for instance. Hopefully what it said here has given you a start. I invite you to consult your pastor, doctor, or other adviser to continue your journey to facing life’s challenges in a more productive way.
WASHINGTON (NRB) – National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is deeply disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday not to grant a hearing to Stormans v. Wiesman, a case challenging pharmacy rules tailored by the state of Washington to discriminate against those with religious objections to abortion. NRB agrees with dissenting Justice Samuel Alito that “this case is an ominous sign.”
“This week the same five Supreme Court justices who yesterday rejected Texas’ common-sense health and safety regulations on abortion providers and one year ago used legal gymnastics to impose a radical understanding of marriage on the nation again show they are willing to bend or ignore the U.S. Constitution to appease liberal elites,” stated Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB. “In this case, these justices seem not to think worthy of a hearing a well-grounded case based on the Bill of Rights’ guarantee of the freedom to believe and live in accordance with deeply held religious beliefs. Justice Alito is right — the apparent takeaway here is that ‘those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern.’”
In this case, Ralph’s Thriftway, a family-owned business, sought relief from a Washington state regulation that outlawed conscience-motivated referrals from one pharmacy to another for the dispensation of an abortifacient known as the “Morning After Pill.” This rule, strong-armed into effect in 2007 by then-Governor Christine Gregoire (D) with the help of Planned Parenthood, was also opposed by the American Pharmacists Association among other pharmacy groups. Notably, the state allows referrals for numerous other business and convenience reasons.
The pharmacists were victorious in the U.S. District Court on grounds that the rule violated the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment. However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision in favor of the state.
Among notable quotes from Justice Alito’s dissent, in which he was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas:
“There are strong reasons to doubt whether the regulations were adopted for—or that they actually serve—any legitimate purpose. And there is much evidence that the impetus for the adoption of the regulations was hostility to pharmacists whose religious beliefs regarding abortion and contraception are out of step with prevailing opinion in the State.”
“The dilemma this creates for the Stormans family and others like them is plain: Violate your sincerely held religious beliefs or get out of the pharmacy business.”
“The bottom line is clear: Washington would rather have no pharmacy than one that doesn’t toe the line on abortifacient emergency contraceptives. Particularly given the State’s stipulation that ‘facilitated referrals do not pose a threat to timely access’ to such drugs, … it is hard not to view its actions as exhibiting hostility toward religious objections.”
Notably, attorneys for NRB member Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) were lead counsel for the pharmacists in this case.
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at http://www.nrb.org.
About the NRB Convention
The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of around 200 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. The next Convention, Proclaim 17, will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Fla., February 27-March 2, 2017. For more information, go to http://www.nrbconvention.org.
CMA Doctors Lament Supreme Court Decision Upending Women’s Health Protections in Abortion Clinics as Ensuring ‘Back-alley Abortions’
WASHINGTON, June 27, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — The 17,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA, www.cmda.org) today lamented the Supreme Court’s 5-3 decision to overturn a lower court ruling that upheld a Texas law protecting the health of women in abortion clinics.
CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens declared in a statement, “Given the shocking revelations of abysmal health and safety deficiencies in abortion clinics around the country, the Court’s disallowance of health and safety requirements just protects what amount to back-alley abortions.
“Texas had the courage to require medically appropriate measures to protect women in abortion clinics, where state investigations had uncovered gross negligence and health hazards. The Supreme Court today upended those reasonable, medically necessary safety and health protections in favor of abortion ideology.
“We hear over and over the abortion mantra, ‘safe, legal and rare.’ But with over a million abortions a year and courts preventing even modest health and safety regulations, abortion is only legal-not at all safe or rare.”
An amicus brief filed in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt for CMA by Alliance Defending Freedom highlighted the state’s interest in protecting women’s health by passing reasonable protections that rationally relate to health risks: “Texas’ law appropriately expresses Texas’s constitutional interest in safeguarding women’s health and maintaining medical standards. The Ambulatory surgical center requirements rationally relate to Texas’s legitimate interest in upholding consistent standards for outpatient abortion providers. The admitting privileges requirement rationally relates to Texas’s legitimate interest in regulating outpatient abortion.”
CMA Executive Vice President Dr. Gene Rudd, an obstetrician-gynecologist, added, “Surgical and drug-induced abortion carry significant risks to the mother that require timely care and continuity of care. The way to ensure adequate care when abortion complications occur is to require that the physician who performed the procedure that resulted in the complication be able to assure rapid treatment of the patient. That needs to be done in a medical facility properly equipped to care for these types of surgical emergencies.”
As CMA’s brief noted, “That is exactly why ambulatory surgical facilities require admitting privileges for physicians performing surgery comparable to elective abortion, and exactly why Texas needs this law to ensure the health and safety of women undergoing both medical and surgical abortion.”
PORTLAND, Ore., June 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AJC deplored the adoption by the Presbyterian Church (USA) of a report that lays the foundation for the denomination to repudiate the vision of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Commissioners endorsed “Israel-Palestine: For Human Values in the Absence of a Just Peace” by a vote of 429 to 129. The report was approved despite efforts to send it back to the committee that wrote it for a full and fair examination of the current situation and the role that all parties need to play in reconciliation and peace.
“For those who seek an enduring Israeli-Palestinian peace it is deeply disappointing that a major Protestant denomination in the U.S. with deep roots in the Middle East has chosen to be a cheerleader for those whose vision of peace does not include the State of Israel,” said Emily Soloff, AJC Associate Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, who attended the PCUSA General Assembly in Portland, Oregon. “Sadly, efforts to moderate the Presbyterian trajectory toward rejection of peace were derailed.”
The report is filled with inaccuracies, innuendos and unsubstantiated claims. It perniciously leads readers to the conclusion that the goal of two states is unattainable and that Israel is solely responsible.
In 2014, the PCUSA GA called for a review of the Church’s support for two states for Israelis and Palestinians, but Church representatives chose instead to use that review process to create yet another one-sided document that condemns Israel.
As it did in 2010 with its notoriously biased Middle East Study Commission Report, the Church chose to follow those who prefer rejection over reconciliation and punitive language over peaceful pursuit.
For One Night, Fathom Events, Provident Films and Hickory Films Present “To Joey, With Love,” An Incredible True Story of Life, Love and Hope that Never Dies
(Katy,Texas) Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, founder of FaithInspires.Org a Christian blog read in 195 countries issued the following statement about the horrific attack last night on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
“ Last night as most of us were sleeping in beds, first repsonders were already combing through what we now know to be the worst attack on U.S. Soil since 911 ! At this moment 50 people are known dead, and nearly as many more wounded. The carnage in its wake is worse than the Sandy Hook or Virginia Tech massacres. We do not yet know the motivations behind the attack . We do know that Omar Mateen a 29 year old Islamic American is believed to be behind the attack. We do know that he was not in imminent danger, and was therefore not defending himself. From that we know that his actions can not be defended on any level.
The nature and scope of this tragedy should and shall launch us as Christians into compassion. We take to God’s throne the sorrows and needs of those who have been impacted by this cowardly act. We send out our prayers for the comfort and strength of the families of those who were lost. We include also in our prayers the people of Orlando, of Florida, and of this great nation. God Bless America !”
Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield is a Katy, Texas based minister. He is the founder and editor of FaithInspires.Org, which was read in 195 countries around the world in 2015. Crutchfield and his work have been seen in Google News, SelfGrowth.com, ChristianHeadlines.com and others.
PASADENA, Calif., June 8, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Legendary American singer, composer and actor Pat Boone recently endorsed The Ark of Noah Foundation (www.youtube.com/watch?v=EexrhRLKkZs) encouraging viewers to join him in supporting the life-size Ark of Noah replica, which is preparing to take sail across the Atlantic. The 2,500-ton ark is larger than a football field and stands 410 feet long, 95 feet wide, and 75 feet tall. It can carry more than 5,000 people at a time.
“My friends at the Ark of Noah Foundation plan to bring a life-size Biblical replica of Noah’s Ark from the Netherlands to the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil,” said Boone. “From there, it will go through South America, Central America and then the United States.”
Transportation of the Ark of Noah from The Netherlands to Brazil, is 5,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, will be a massive undertaking that will be streamed live on the Internet. According to Boone, the vessel will be docked in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will bring real hope to a country and world in need.
“The proceeds from the Ark will be used to build Hope Centers in the underprivileged areas of Brazil,” said Boone. “These hope centers will provide food, education, as well as the Gospel for the unreachable children and families.”
Boone ended the video encouraging viewers to go to www.donate.arkofnoah.org and join him in supporting the Ark of Noah Foundation.
The profit foundation is a 501c3 charity based out of Pasadena, CA and is raising money to fund the trip, which will eventually end in the United States.
The Ark has been getting worldwide attention as it prepares to take sail. Dutch carpenter Johan Huibers built the Ark of Noah four years ago as a religious attraction and now has partnered with The Ark of Noah Foundation, www.ArkofNoah.org.
Hundreds of thousands have already visited the Ark of Noah in The Netherlands to see the Biblical reconstruction and hear the story of Noah and the great flood. To be in line with the Biblical story, the ark includes artificial replicas of animals paired two-by-two as described in Genesis.
For more information, photos and video on the Ark of Noah, visit arkofnoah.org/media.