Posts Tagged ‘history’

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Researcher George Otis Jr. writes in Charisma Magazine.com: “Of the nearly 800 cases of authentic, transforming revival in the last 15 years, only two were in North America.”

So why has it been so long since the Church has experienced a true spiritual revival like those in the 1800s? Because our need for a true spiritual revival will always be determined by our true condition. The question of whether we will actually experience revival depends on how we perceive our condition. But until there is a conviction of need, there will never be a desire for change.

I find it interesting that so many Christians quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 as a formula for revival in the land. But they totally overlook verse 13: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people…” And then concludes with verse 14.

Why do so many Christians purposely overlook verse 13? Possibly, like Israel of old before they were exiled to Babylon, Christians today refuse to believe that God would purposefully bring adversity to us. (See Jeremiah 29:1-14) If all Christians in America would heed God’s warning and do what this verse says, I believe revival would come, but so far it hasn’t happened–Mainly because most Christians in the land have not repented.

Throughout history nations have fallen because people forgot God and did what was right in their own minds. (Judges 17:6) One only has to examine the fall of the Roman Empire to see that this is true. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet learned from the mistakes of our ancestors. The major causes for the fall of the Roman Empire were:
• Antagonism between the Senate and the Emperor
• Decline in Morals which led to the Gladiatorial Games
• Political Corruption
• Constant Wars and Heavy Military Spending
• Failing Economy
• Unemployment of the Working Classes
• Decline in Ethics and Values

Sound familiar?

There is much talk in Christian circles these days about “taking back our cities for God”. And there is no shortage of books and evangelists who promote strategies for transforming everything from our neighborhoods to Hollywood to Washington, D.C. But God has not called us to win the so-called culture war. He has not called us to change the world, but to overcome it. But how do we overcome the world when we have become so much like it?
I recently read an article that listed U.S. companies that were considered to be religious.
Yahoo Finance

Many of the companies were listed simply because they print Bible verses on their products or claim to begin meetings with prayer. But quoting a Bible verse or starting a meeting with a prayer does not necessarily make you religious. Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” (Matt. 7:15-18)
What are the fruits some of the so called religious companies listed in the article?

• Forever 21 – Sells skimpy clothing for young trendy girls.
• Tyson Foods -The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a complaint against Tyson Foods, Inc. for violating the Federal Trade Commission Act after it was revealed that workers routinely abused animals.
• Jet Blue airlines – Lowest rated airline since they stranded passengers for hours in 2011.
• Carl’s Jr. – Uses racy videos with scantily clad women to sell their unhealthy menu.

An even better Old Testament passage than 2 Chronicles 7:14 concerning revival can be found in Psalms 85:6: “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” King David, who was a man after God’s heart, knew that the purpose of revival was so that people would rejoice in God. Revival is not to be used bring glory to a program or a denomination or a person, but to God.

This verse places the origin of revival in God and not man. It is God who must quicken us that we may be changed to a people that rejoice in the Lord. If God is the one who sends revival, then He is the one we must plead with. We must ask Him to send revival on the land. We must cast ourselves on His mercy and ask that He send what we do not deserve. We deserve judgment as a nation for our sins, but we must intercede with God to have mercy upon us and to turn us around by His mighty power. We need God’s mercy toward us in this hour that He might turn us around that we might be a people who will acknowledge Him and rejoice in Him.

We need to pray as the prophet Daniel did: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land…Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” (Read Daniel 9:1-19)

There are many Christmas traditions that we observe and sometimes hold as sacred. I was surfing the net today and discovered some interesting facts concerning some of these traditions:

Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer:

To most of us Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer has always been an essential part of our Christmas folklore and tradition, but Rudolf is in fact a twentieth century invention whose creation can be traced 1939 when the Chicago based Montgomery Ward Company asked one of their copywriters, 34 year old Robert L. May, to develop a Christmas story they could give away in a booklet form to shoppers as a promotional gimmick.

May had a talent for writing children’s stories and poems so drawing from his own “ugly duckling” background, (He was often teased and bullied as a child for being small ) came up with the idea of an underdog ostracized by the reindeer community because of his abnormality: a glowing red nose. May considered and rejected several names before deciding on the name of Rudolf. He then proceeded to write the story in a series of rhyming verses testing it out on his 4 year old daughter as he went along. Although his daughter was thrilled with the story, May’s boss was worried that people would associate a reindeer with a red nose to drinking and drunkards and would be unsuitable for Christmas, but later overcame his hesitancy and approved the story.

Montgomery Ward distributed 2.4 million copies of the Rudolf booklet in 1939 and although war-time shortages limited the printing for the next several years, by the end of 1946 a total of 6 million copies had been distributed. Since May had created the story as an employee of Montgomery Ward they held the copyright and May received no royalties for his story.

May’s wife died the year that the Rudolf story was released. Because he was deeply in debt from medical expenses, he convinced Montgomery Ward to turn the copyrights over to him in January of 1947 and May’s financial security was insured. “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was printed commercially in 1947 and was released in theaters as a 9 minute cartoon later that year.

The “Rudolf Phenomenon” really took off when May’s brother-in-law, songwriter Johnny Marks, developed the lyrics into a song that was recorded by Gene Autry in 1949, sold 2 million copies, and became one of the best-selling Christmas songs of all time, second only to “White Christmas”.

The television special about Rudolf narrated by Burl Ives was produced in 1964 and remains a popular staple of the Christmas season today.

For more information visit:   http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/rudolph.asp

 

For more origins of Christmas Traditions visit http://www.history.com/topics/christmas