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Whoops. Woke up too early to get to the Kadoka, SD stop here on the twelve-city state Urgency Tour rallying pastors to use their influence to help end abortion in South Dakota. I guess I forgot to consider the time change. But nothing so far has been incidental or accidental or coincidence or without purpose. Waking up too early made me think I’m getting ahead of myself. I do think we are one step ahead of our enemies in the battle. My pro-life blog has more on our tour so far.

The theme of the tour is Urgency and we’ve been reading Martin Luther King Jr’s book “Why We Can’t Wait” in the car. I particularly enjoyed this little section on an “urgency tour” he found himself on. We are in good company.

We were seeking to bring about a great social change which could only be achieved through unified effort. Yet our community was divided. Our goals could never be attained in such an atmosphere. It was decided that we would conduct a whirlwind campaign of meetings with organizations and leaders in the Negro community, to seek to mobilize every key person and group behind our movement. Along with members of my staff, I began addressing a cross section of our people in Birmingham. I spoke to 125 business and professional people… talked to a gathering of 200 ministers… met with many smaller groups, during a hectic one-week schedule… I dealt with the argument of timing. To the ministers I stressed the need for a social gospel to supplement the gospel of individual salvation. I suggested that only a “dry as dust” religion prompts a minister to extol the glories of Heaven while ignoring the social conditions that cause me earthly hell. I pleaded for the projection of strong, firm leadership by the Negro minister… I asked how the Negro would ever gain his freedom without the guidance, support and inspiration of his spiritual leaders. (pg. 54-55)

Did you catch how he said – “I dealt with the argument of timing.” It’s all about timing. Here’s another gem from MLK on the issue of urgency and timing:

“Another consideration had also affected the thinking of some of the Negro leaders in Birmingham. This was the widespread feeling that our action was ill-timed… The words “bad timing” came to be ghosts haunting our every move in Birmingham… Above all they did not realize that it was ridiculous to speak of timing when the clock of history showed that the Negro had already suffered one hundred years of delay.”

I hit the state this week with my friend Matt Lockett for another 12 city tour of South Dakota. I’m calling it the Urgency Tour because we have 30 days left to get signatures to put an abortion bill on the November ballot that would prohibit abortion from being used as birth control. It’s a big deal with huge national implications. You can find out more about the tour here.

Kicked it all off this weekend with a message today called – A Great Urgency. You can listen to it here, or through the podcast links on the church website or through itunes. Feedback is always welcome on the messages. I’d covet your prayers as we travel this week. I have plans to update my pro-life blog but posts here may be intermitent. But, then again, maybe not.

I’m super proud tonight of the CATG family – huge offerings this weekend for the Urgency Tour – HUGE!! And, 33 people showed up tonight with their cell phones to personally call 300+ pro-life pastors in our state and invite them to the meetings.

I’m upgrading to the world of WordPress Semiologic – wordpress on steroids.  So, this blog is soon to change.  But, my pro-life blog has already been switched over. It’ll take me a while to learn Semiologic but already, its really slick.  

The new IP is www.voicescarryblog.com  The old IP still works and will still exist in cyberspace with the stuff I had on it up until now but the new stuff is on the new site. See you there.

In the name of relevance

YBOR CITY, Fla. – A southwest Florida church issued a challenge for its married members this past Sunday: Hanky-panky every day. Relevant Church head pastor Paul Wirth says the 50 percent divorce rate was the catalyst for The 30-Day Sex Challenge. “And that’s no different for people who attend church,” Wirth said. “Sometimes life gets in the way. Our jobs get in the way.” Oh, and the flip side of the challenge? No rolling in the sheets for the unwed. “It’s going to be tempting and awkward at the same time for sure,” said parishioner Brent Cayson. Single men and women can’t have sex for 30 days, and married couples are urged to have it every day. “If you look at studies, studies say in 30 days you can develop a habit,” said Pastor Paul Wirth. It definitely caught wives in the church by surprise. “Our married people are far more fearful than our single people,” said Wirth. Church member Tim Jones and his fiancée agreed to take on the challenge, though he acknowledges it’ll be a tough month. But he added: “I think it’s worth trying to find out other things about each other.”

It’ll be a tough month?!?! How will we ever stay true under the pressure of the end of the age if 30 days of moral purity is so much to ask. Nothing like setting the bar low, church. What happens at the end of the 30 days… a church-wide party, perhaps rent a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Express… what are your ideas???

Last night the USS Lake Erie, in international waters near Hawaii, launched a SM-3 missile into space at a disabled school-bus-sized US spy satellite. One shot… the Pentagon reports nothing larger than a football remains. :)

The satellite was 130 miles in the air traveling at 17,000 miles per hour. The SM-3 missile travels at 8,277 miles per hour which means it took about a minute to hit the target. But, weather, wind, sea swells, and the curve and rotation of the earth had to be factored in. You thought leading a rooster pheasant on opening day with your 12 gauge shotgun in a brisk South Dakota wind was a trick.

China expresses concern this was a thinly disguised attempt to test our anti-satellite weapon system. China was put on full alert for possible fall out.

International tensions regarding blowing spy satellites out of the sky with long-range high tech weaponry illustrates we live in a dangerous age. These are likely the very “arrows” foreseen in ancient prophecies of archers shooting arrows at the tribes of “Joseph” at the end of the age.. This is the time for strategic, high-level praying over international issues. The armies of the earth are obviously getting ready, is the praying church ready for what is ahead?

Only on rare occasions have I been at a loss for words. My problem lies more in the fact that, more often than not, I don’t feel like talking. This will surprise some because my weekend messages certainly don’t reflect that – especially if you are going by your watch. Or, here on this blog, coming up with content isn’t a problem, my frustration is whether I should start a couple of other blogs so I can focus more specifically on all the topics overflowing in my head.

I’m careful to not be a parrot and repeat what others are saying. Pastor Sunday Adelaja wrote in the foreword to my Momentum book that most America church leaders are simply writing books that quote each other. There isn’t a fresh word from God in the land. That’s what I’m listening for today. Bob Sorge writes about the difference between being a voice and being an echo. He says many seminaries send you out with an echo (as you submerge yourself in what others throughout the centuries have said about God.) Noting John the Baptist, he says we find our voice in the Wilderness with God.

The Beijing Tourism Administration website says that “(a)ny printed material, film, tapes that are ‘detrimental to China’s politics, economy, culture and ethics’” are forbidden, and adds that, “Each travel(ler) is recommended to take no more than one Bible into China.” Despite China’s claim that it allows religious freedom, the truth is that this “freedom” is tightly controlled through government-registered churches. Bibles are officially printed in China, but in quantities too small for the growing Chinese church.

This from the Bibles Unbound website:

According to recently-released Chinese house church leader Cai Zhuohua, he was not allowed to read his Bible during his time in prison and was forced to make soccer balls for the 2008 Beijing Olympics for 10 to 12 hours a day. Cai Zhuohua had been in jail since 2004 for “illegal business practices.” What were these illegal practices? He was distributing Christian literature, including Bibles, and giving them away without a government permit.

A few days ago I modeled how you can reach China and win the lost with your computer. Here’s how to do it through your mailbox. Right now, there is a list with the addresses of 30,390 members China’s underground church who are requesting a Bible.

The hunger for the Word of God in China is awesome. And yet, 9 out of 10 of the Christians in the US reading this own multiple Bibles and yet haven’t opened one since Sunday. Hmm.

GUEST POST: I asked a friend who is presently in China to contribute a story or testimony from the underground church there. What follows is a transcription of a testimony from a 32 year old woman from Chengdu, China. It’s not safe to post her real name so for here we’ll call her “Mei Ying.”

Jesus Showed Me He Loved Me

I had to buy some air tickets for a friend and she introduced me to a Lawai woman (Lawai is what Chinese call foreign people). This woman was from America and was working in China. She was so kind and smiled at me. I thought “This woman is very happy and kind.” She asked for my mobile telephone number and after that day she called me many times to say hello and ask how I was. One day she called me and asked “Mei Ying, are you busy? I want to speak to you today…

“She invited me to her home and it was a very hot day. We went up on the rooftop to drink some tea and she started to tell me about Jesus and how He loved me. How He died on the cross for my sin and now was alive and wanted to come into my heart. I had never in my life heard such things! I had no words to say. Then suddenly, even though it was a very hot day, I felt a whoosh! a cool and powerful wind came from nowhere and moved my heart! Nothing in my life felt this powerful – I honestly feel at this time I have no other choice but to accept Jesus in my heart as he showed me He was alive and the only true God by this powerful wind!

When I receive Jesus my friend the American woman cried so much and hugged me! I felt like she was my big sister and was so very happy! Today I love Jesus every day! I know that He loves me and will never abandon me. He is so real to me. He has given me so many things – so much hope for the future! I will always be grateful for the American woman that first showed me such kindness, treating me with so much love. Before even I knew Jesus I realized that this woman was different from all the other people I had met.

Jesus showed me He loved me through this woman. If she had not told me about His love I would still be alone in my life. Now I will never be alone because I know my Father!!! Love my Father so much!

DID YOU KNOW…

1. Estimates vary, but somewhere between 20,000 to 30,000 people a day in China convert to Christianity!!!!!!! Read the rest of this entry »

GUEST POST: Steven M. Collins
Big thanks to CATG’r Steve Collins for this special contribution to my mini-blog series on China. Steve lives here in Sioux Falls with his wife and family, has written five books on Israel, and is one of our life group leaders. Check out his website for more on his books and his blog.

PROPHECIES FOR THE “TWO CHINAS”

Increasingly, there are two different aspects to China. There is the old-line Communist Party leadership and all the parts of organized Chinese society which are dominated by the Communist Party. This includes the government, the military, industrial and commercial leaders, the banking industry and all parts of “official” China. There is also a new emerging part of China which is embracing Christianity and the western value systems which flow from Christian beliefs. Indeed, the Christian part of China is growing rapidly by all reports. What will the future hold for these two separate Chinas? Read the rest of this entry »

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PIC: Nigeal Big Pond, some white pastor from SD :) , Bruce Whalen, Sen. Sam Brownback, Vi & Gabe Medicine Eagle

This will be huge in God healing our land!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEWS RELEASE February 14, 2008
BROWNBACK APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF NATIVE AMERICAN APOLOGY AMENDMENT TO INDIAN HEALTH BILL
WASHINGTON: U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today applauded passage of an amendment to the Indian Health Care Bill offering an official apology from the United States federal government to Native Americans. Senator Brownback has been calling for an apology since 2004. With this apology, the federal government can repair and improve our relationship with Native Americans, said Brownback. While we cannot erase the past, this amendment hopefully helps heal the wounds that have divided America for too long. The Indian Health Care Bill is being debated on the Senate floor this week. Brownbacks resolution, which had 13 co-sponsors, and passed tonight by voice vote as an amendment, recognizes the impact of destructive federal policies in the past toward Native Americans and is intended to facilitate reconciliation and healing. Brownback continued, Our nations relationship with the Native peoples of this land is an issue that is very important to the health of the United States. For too much of our history, Federal-Tribal relations have been marked by broken treaties, mistreatment, and dishonorable dealings. We can acknowledge our past failures, express sincere regrets, and establish a brighter future for all Americans. This amendment does not diminish the valiance of our American soldiers who fought bravely for their families in wars between the United States and a number of the Indian Tribes. Nor does this amendment cast the blame for the various battles on one side or another. What this apology does do is recognize and honor the importance of Native Americans to this land and to our nation in the past and today and offers this apology to Native peoples for the poor and painful choices our government sometimes made to disregard its solemn word. Hopefully, this apology will help restore the relationship between the United States and Native Americans.

You can read the official apology here.

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February 14, Valentine’s Day. Weather guy says 14 below zero tonight. Thought of a good line to insert here basically about how, no matter the temperature outside, I’ve not been “cold” on February 14 since Kristen graced my life in 1986. But she threatened me if I didn’t leave that line out. Actually she didn’t say anything, I just felt the cold wind.

Here we are in a warmer setting this past summer right after Jerrid & Emily’s wedding in Jamaica…

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Too bad kids can’t vote because they get it better than we do. No wonder Jesus said we need to become like little children. Hot off the press… a new children’s book with a powerful LIFE message! My plan is to buy copies for every family with kids in our church. I really believe what Lou Engle is saying about this book is true: “This book can help start a children’s prayer movement to help end one of the great injustices of our day.” More details and ordering information here.

For my local viewing audience… Star Parker and David Bereit, two of the most sought after pro-life speakers in the country are coming to Sioux Falls for a pro-life rally this Sunday February 17, 2008 at the Ramkota Inn Rushmore Room at 3 PM.

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Hear Star talk about the effect her 3 abortions had on her and why she now stands for life! Star Parker heads a non-profit think tank that provides a national voice of reason in the media and public policy. Also speaking is David Bereit is from 40 Days of Life. David became an outspoken pro-life advocate after Planned Parenthood announced plans to build an abortion clinic in his Texas town in 1998. He helped to start and build a local grassroots coalition that rallied 60 churches and thousands of people together and dramatically reduced abortions in the region. Planned Parenthood recognized the effectiveness of David’s efforts when it labeled his town “the most anti-choice place in the nation.” David led the first-ever 40 Days for Life campaign in College Station, Texas.

Bring your family for music, snacks and to meet the Cat in the Hat – because a person is a person, no matter how small. We need your help to spread the word – Stand Up and Be Counted! Call 605-271-7185 with any questions or to volunteer.

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