Offensive Speech

Why is the Word of God such an offense?girl_censored_1_
Because to all who will listen and hear,
it is the power of God unto salvation;
when Christians speak Truth, Satan fears.

As such, God’s commands take precedence in my life
over any laws the government would impose
that would halt my ability to speak the Truth,
because the Truth must always be told.

I can do no less; the Truth is resident in me ~
it’s the very power and presence of Christ
who enables me to speak,
emboldens me to preach;
He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

I am consumed by Him; He inhabits me
and when I speak, I speak forth with His voice.
The Truth of Jesus Christ exudes from me ~
I have no other choice!

So I cannot and will not be muzzled;
I will boldly share the Truth of my Lord
without watering it down or leaving parts out,
I’ll spread the Gospel of Christ to the world.

— Cheri Henderson
http://decayfighters.com

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Our Only Recourse

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A government that no longer responds to the voice of the people . . .
an out-of-control train with a spiritually dead conductor at the helm.
Prayer. It is our only recourse.  It is time to kneel down.
Kneel down, Christians; kneel down, fast and pray.

As men in powerful positions
make unholy decisions
that advance the attrition
of a once Christian nation,
get on your knees, Christians ~
ask for mercy and forgiveness,
strength to press on
in the midst of persecution,
Psalm 91 protection
for you and your children,
and a Holy Ghost outpouring
with signs and wonders following
in the name of Jesus Christ
who is our
only salvation.
Get on your knees, Christians!

Get on your knees and pray!

–Cheri Henderson
http://decayfighters.com

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Truth

new-flag-010
The Truth
is not negated
by an absence of belief.
Its power
is not diminished by
the voice of the majority.
It remains forever steadfast,
unchanged
by current events.
It cannot be diluted
It will be
what it always
has been.

The Truth.

Your truth,
my truth,
a lie
and another lie.
The Truth belongs to no one
except the One who is:
Jesus Christ.

Available to every person,
so many choices,
but only One Truth,
and to make no choice
is a choice in itself.
So which one will you choose?
Accept it
or reject it?
Remember, no choice
is a choice.
Now or never
will decide your forever.
Depart this life,
then reap the results.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”  John 14:6

–Cheri Henderson
http://decayfighters.com

 

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Livin’ in the USA

independence-iSince the 4th of July is just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about how incredibly fortunate we are to live in the United States, one of the most prosperous, blessed countries in the world.  The majority of us live in modern homes with most of the comforts of the 21st century – microwave ovens, televisions in several rooms with satellite or cable services, wireless computers, cell phones, ipods . . . you name it and we likely have it . . . or plan to get it! We have transportation to take us anywhere we want to go, plenty to eat and a variety of choices.  And most importantly we’re free to make choices about our belief in God and to worship where we wish. For what more could we ask?

On this Independence Day, Lord, I will lift my praise to you
because I’m free; yes, truly free to love and worship you,
to read your word, to share my faith, to openly speak your truth
without fear of torture, chains, or death, I can praise and honor you!
I am free from failure because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I am free from want because my God supplies everything I’ll ever need.
I am free from doubt because God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.
I am free from weakness because the Lord is my strength; of whom shall I be afraid?
I am free from sin because the blood of Jesus cleanses me from all sin.
I am free from worry because He said to cast all my worries upon Him.
I am free from fear because I walk in the Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.
I am free from defeat and failure because my triumph is always in Christ.
I am free from every sickness because I’m healed by the stripes of Christ.
I am free from death, because I believe in Him; He is the resurrection and the life!
Yes, on this Independence Day, I rejoice in the fact that I’m free.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty! For freedom He has set me free!
Oh, Father, I praise and I thank you for providing me with this blessing,
and while it is still day in the USA, let me always be confessing
my dedication to you and your gospel of truth at every opportunity –
as others are dying in foreign lands today, someday here it might not be so easy.

As I’ve continued to reflect on how blessed I am to live in this country, I’ve also begun to think about other Christian brothers and sisters who are, this very day, suffering persecution, torture and death in foreign lands because of their devotion to Jesus.  It’s really convicted me about how I often take my blessings for granted . . . and worse yet, how I whine and complain about such unimportant things.

A long, hard day at the office,
then I fix dinner, wash the dishes, do some laundry;
it seems my days, from beginning to end,
are filled with such tiring activity!

I glance at the clock – it’s 11:00 p.m.,
and once again I’m too exhausted to pray.
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll have a little more time,
but for now I must call it a day.

In comparison, a story on the “Voice of the Martyrs” website reported:  “Following a death threat delivered to the Canaan Fellowship Church in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, 34 year old Pastor Vasu Sritharan was brutally murdered by three young men who laid in wait for him. The pastor, after a night of prayer, entered his room and encountered his assailants. The killers slit his throat and he bled to death. Some of the Hindu groups were trying to curtail Pastor Vasu’s work with the Hindus. Another man from this same church was found with his throat cut almost a month later.”

It’s Sunday morning (the second service)
as I sit down with my bible in hand –
third row, aisle seat, middle section  –
pastor and friends always know where I am.

But the music’s all wrong, the sermon’s too long,
and the air conditioning’s on the fritz.
How will I ever concentrate on the Lord?
How can I possibly “enter in”?

In another story, Voice of the Martyrs stated: “Last week it was reported that Chinese police hauled another 50 believers in Wuhan, China to jail. Most of the arrests happened while believers worshipped in house churches.  One hundred thirty members of another Protestant house church were also recently imprisoned. Many believers are now secretly gathering together in rooms with windows closed and shades drawn so authorities will not see or hear them. They whisper their prayers and praises as temperature in these rooms often exceed 100 degrees.”

People in the marketplace are just faces,
mixed together in a hurried blur.
Some I might notice, but others I do not;
I’m so busy, I can’t be concerned.

I don’t have time to get to know them;
they have their lives, and I have mine.
Besides witnessing to strangers is awkward;
evangelists are supposed to share Christ.

And in another report: “Firing squads recently massacred more than 20 new believers in North Korea.  They were executed on grounds of ‘criminal charges.’ Other recent killings include two Christian women who were publicly executed. They were faithful believers who were spreading God’s Word. The women were charged with ‘illegal smuggling’.  In another case, two believers were shot to death in public. North Korean officers broke the teeth of one of them, and as they dragged him to the place where he would be killed, he continued to tell them about his Savior, Jesus.”

I whine and complain about such little things!
When am I gonna get it?
This walk’s not about me, my petty needs,
or all my creature comforts.

It’s about Jesus and what He’s asked of me –
the plan He’s established for my life.
Am I gonna heed His call and give Him my all,
or am I just gonna live to “get by”?

Several weeks ago, I was sitting in the congregation at a ladies’ retreat and happened to look down at a purse I’d bought that day at Wal-Mart.  Unexpectedly and powerfully, I felt the urge to pray – right that moment – for the person who had made the purse.  It was such a strong leading, it literally dropped me to my knees and I immediately began to intercede.  Later when I looked at the tag in the purse, I discovered that it was made in China.

Because of this experience, one more report I read this week really tugged at my heart.  “Pastor Cai Zhuohua was imprisoned for three years for ‘illegally printing’ Christian literature. He was tortured with a cattle prod, held in a cold and cramped cell with 27 other prisoners and forced to make soccer balls for 10-12 hours a day in a Chinese sweatshop.” 

I just recently learned that many of the items we purchase here in the United States, marked “made in China”, are actually made in Chinese sweatshops by prisoners.  Many of these prisoners are, in fact, our brothers and sisters in Christ whom the Chinese government has arrested and tortured because they’re considered “dissidents”.

Hebrews 13:3 says “Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.”

The Voice of the Martyrs ministry says the plea of persecuted Christians is always the same: “Please, pray for us”.  And so, I’ve made the decision that in the midst of my “activity-filled” days, at the very least, I am going to pray for my brothers and sisters who are suffering in foreign lands . . . and I hope that some of you will also join with me.

Let’s begin now.

Lord, we ask that you have mercy on your people who are persecuted and afflicted around the world – those who have heeded the call of Jesus to take up their cross daily and follow him. Their path has been difficult, full of trials and hardships, yet they refuse to deny you, Lord.  Please stand by them and strengthen them as you did the Apostle Paul, so they can earnestly say, “Your will be done.”

In your Word, we’ve read about the rescue of Peter from prison and we know you can turn the heart of any government official, including those with authority to release your people from prison.  Father, you rescued Peter in response to the prayers of the Church, and we now ask you to do the same for your disciples everywhere who have been imprisoned because they preach Christ. Deliver them from the hands of their executioners so that through them, your message can continue to be proclaimed to the people of their lands.

Lord, we’ve also read in your word about your servant, Stephen, who was stoned to death. We know that many others since that day have been executed because they would not deny their faith, and for those in our generation who will suffer this same fate, we ask that you would strengthen their faith so they can say with Paul, “To die is gain.” Expand their vision, Lord, so that they see what Stephen saw: Jesus standing at your right hand.

And Lord, we pray for ourselves and other believers here in this country. Help us to recognize and appreciate the freedoms we have here and the incredible blessings you’ve provided.  But in the midst of this prosperity and abundance, give us wisdom and strength to resist the temptation to put other things ahead of you because anything that becomes a distraction and detriment to our walk with you is no longer a blessing.  It’s a curse.  And, Lord, help us to always be spiritually ready for whatever tomorrow brings; that in the wake of whatever faces us, we will stand strong and never turn away from you.

We ask all of these things in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

–Cheri Henderson
http://decayfighters.com

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A Response to Gay Marriage Proponents

beautiful wedding ringsI’ve heard it said (and often by gay marriage proponents) that the main argument against gay marriage is it would tear apart the very social fabric of our society. While that may or may not be true, I think there is a more substantive concern by the opposition than just that.

Let me start by saying, my father used to say “everyone takes his own hide to market” and, in line with that, I believe it is each and everyone’s own individual choice to decide whether or not they will accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, turn away from sin, and surrender their lives to His Lordship. It’s one of the liberties we enjoy in the United States of America – freedom of religion.

Yesterday, however, the Supreme Court began its debate on the future of the political definition of marriage, and if it decides in favor of the gay community, there is a good likelihood religious liberty will be squelched. Why? Gay marriage is incompatible with those who believe Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, His Word never changes and it cannot be modified to fit the fleshly desires of a “modern” society. As followers of Jesus Christ, we cannot comply, agree or submit to anything that is contrary to the Word of God.

I’m reminded of Jude 1: 17-23 which says “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.’ These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” As such, secular society needs to understand that followers of Jesus are Christ are not homophobic or bigoted. To “live and let live” (or more accurately, “live and let die”) is to show a complete disinterest in the eternal destiny of another human being, but true love is caring enough to snatch someone from the fire by sharing with them the Truth of God’s Word.

I believe when the definition of marriage is changed and it becomes mainstream, legal harassment and outright harassment against the Church will be unceasing. In all likelihood, we’ll see such things as pastors attacked for refusing to hold gay weddings or for preaching the Word of God as it relates to homosexuality, and Christian-owned hotels and rental properties shut down for refusing to treat as legitimate that which is contrary to the Bible. Christians will not be allowed to continue to preach the full gospel and eventually religious freedom will be ended through the judiciary.

But no matter the decision of the SCOTUS, we will obey God rather than men. No matter the decision of the SCOTUS, we will not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. And no matter the decision of the SCOTUS, to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!

Amen.

–Cheri Henderson
http://decayfighters.com

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Will We Set Up Kings Without His Consent?

crossandcrown“In 2008, over 17 million self-identified Evangelicals didn’t go to the polls, either because they weren’t registered to vote or they were registered and just didn’t bother,” according to Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed.  Barack Obama won the election by 10 million votes.

Charles Finney, who helped introduce half a million Americans to Christ, wrote in 1835: “God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the Church will take right ground. Politics are a part of religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as part of their duty to God…God will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.”

In “Your Duties as a Christian Citizen”, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ,  wrote: ” We are in danger of losing our nation by default, and with it our individual freedoms and possibly our very lives.  America is one of the last strongholds of freedom on earth – and citizens who are dedicated to God are the only resource for the preservation of our freedoms, including the freedom to serve Him. Citizenship in a free country is a blessing from God. Our great system of self-government assures every Christian a voice in the affairs of the nation, and enables us to bring a heavenly perspective to the earthly realm. God wants us to do His will in government, just as in the church and in the home. If there is no qualified candidate who is spiritually mature, vote for the one whose personal principles and platform most nearly agree with your own Christian position based on the Bible.”

We are the Body of Christ on this earth. We have the mind of Christ. We must crucify the flesh, be led by His Spirit, and vote with Wisdom.

So what will it be?  “The good influence of godly citizens causes a city [state or nation] to prosper.” (Proverbs 11:11) OR  “They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval.” (Hosea 8:4, NIV) and “You will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day.” (1 Samuel 8:18, NIV)

Our nation’s course is up to us.

– Cheri Henderson
http://decayfighters.com

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Right Wing Extremist

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I’ve never thought of myself as a “right wing extremist”,
but if I break the entire phrase down, piece by piece,
the word “right” is defined as “true and accurate, correct and precise” . . .
all of which seems logical to me.

The word “wing” has some really interesting meanings:
a group of people or a branch (like “He is the vine”?),
a feathery-type of arm (like that found on an angel?)
Yep.  These descriptions also accurately apply.

“Extremist” sounds very ominous, but really it is not ~
it means radical (deep seated, essential and sweeping),
fanatical (uncompromising), revolutionary (world-shattering) ~
all the things a follower of Christ should truly be.

Right wing extremist:  that seems to describe me,
but is there something here that I am totally missing?
Instead of the harsh labeling that seems so popular,
why don’t they call me a “devoted Christian”?

I would venture to say over 2000 years ago
if these same people were labeling Jesus,
they wouldn’t call him “Messiah, Savior or Lord”,
but would also call him a “right wing extremist”.

Yes, the “labelers” may think I’m quite dramatic,
over the top in the things I believe,
but the truth of the matter is
it’s the Truth of the matter – His
for which I live and write and speak . . .

so if my walk with Jesus Christ offends them,
it’s unfortunate, but I do not apologize
because the Word is my defense
and if Jesus Christ is a Rock of offense,
when I represent Him well,
then so am I.

–Cheri Henderson
http://decayfighters.com

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