Posts Tagged ‘joblessness’

I sympathize with the children who have made the long and dangerous trek across our borders from Mexico and Central America. If I were a child surrounded by gang violence and drug cartels I don’t know that I wouldn’t illegally cross a border in order to be safe. But since President Obama has opened the flood gates for these children there has been many documented cases of communicable diseases brought over our borders.

Why not treat these children BEFORE shipping them to various parts of our country knowingly exposing them to other children in our schools as well as other  undocumented children?   I would think that Michelle Obama would be all over this, considering her stance on improving children’s health.

The link below describes what I’ve been wondering since news of the outbreak of entrovirus in many schools…

http://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/obama-responsible-for-spread-of-enterovirus-and-other-diseases-by-illegal-alien-children-from-central-america-obama-ignored-warnings-from-prominent-health-officials-obama-more-concerned-about-electi/

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Illegal immigration has become a controversial hot button issue in the United States today. Some argue that the immigration laws are unfair, unjust, and even discriminatory. Others claim that the lack of enforcement of immigration laws give individuals justification to immigrate here illegally.

Some Christian critics of illegal immigration often quote Romans 13:1–7 to justify massive deportation of illegal immigrants. Yes, God expects us to obey the laws of the government, but He also gives us an exception to this is whenever a law of the government forces us to disobey a command of God. (Acts 5:29) Yes, illegal immigration is the breaking of a governmental law, but does God give us an exception to this law?

Leviticus 19:33-34 states: “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

And in Deuteronomy 10:18 we read: “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”

Jesus himself said, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:35-36)

The vast majority of illegal immigrants in the United States have come for the purpose of having a better life, providing for their families, and escaping from poverty and violence.

Why should the immigrant or the “foreigner who resides among you” be such a concern to the Jewish and Christian faiths and what bearing does it have on the current immigration debate in our country?

God didn’t want the ancient Hebrews to forget where they had come from, or how they had gotten where they were. They had come from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. They knew what it was like to be exploited and taken advantage of. Now that they had land and wealth God didn’t want them to forget that that hadn’t always been the case.

Most Americans are the descendants of immigrants.
When European settlers arrived on the North American continent at the end of the fifteenth century, they encountered diverse Native American cultures—as many as 900,000 inhabitants with over 300 different languages. These indigenous people welcomed the new visitors with open arms and were willing to share the bounty of their land. But years later they were virtually destroyed by the subsequent immigration that created the United States. This tragedy is the direct result of ‘governmental laws’ enforced through broken treaties, warfare with the Native Americans, and of through forced assimilation.

For Native Americans, the world after 1492 marked the beginning of the long road of persecution and genocide of Native Americans. Genocide was an important cause of the decline for many tribes. By conservative estimates, the population of the United States prior to European contact was greater than 12 million. Four centuries later, the count was reduced by 95% to 237 thousand! The Removal Act of 1830 set into motion a series of events which led to the “Trail of Tears” in 1838, a forced march of the Cherokees, resulting in the destruction of most of the Cherokee population.

I must confess that until recently I was strongly opposed to allowing illegal immigrants into our country. But God has shown me that as Christians, we have to separate our attitude toward the act of entering the country illegally from our attitude toward the illegals themselves. The first obligation of a Christian is to express godliness in all our thoughts and deeds. There is no room for hatred toward those who come into the country, (Even when it’s done illegally) desperately seeking work, refuge from danger and persecution, or a better life for themselves and their families. We are to show Christian compassion toward those who would risk their lives in a dangerous, and often fatal, attempt to cross a border. Acts of hatred or violence toward illegal aliens is never to be considered or tolerated by those who profess to be followers of Jesus.

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Mat 25:37-40)

“If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.” – Proverbs 29:12

According to the AMA’s code of medical ethics, “Physicians have an obligation to assure the disclosure of medically appropriate treatment alternatives, regardless of cost.”

And yet America’s disabled veterans have been victimized by a corrupt claims agency within the Department of Veterans Affairs, with a well-documented history of falsifying evidence and shredding documents submitted by veterans in support of their claims in order to cheat America’s disabled veterans out of the benefits they EARNED.

Recently, Phoenix VA Director Sharon Helman, who has been accused of running the VA’s hospital with a double secret waiting list, received a $9,345 annual bonus for 2013, despite possibly being responsible for the death of 40 veterans who died waiting for doctors’ appointments! This is exactly the same sort of Bizarro-World performance evaluation system that got VISN 4 Director Michael Moreland a $63,000 bonus just days before the VA Pittsburgh announced a deadly Legionnaires ‘disease outbreak in November 2012!  http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4847570-74/bonus-moreland-veterans#axzz306pVtfBa

Doctor Sam Foote exposed the ‘secret waiting’ list at the Phoenix VA medical center. Doctor Foote is now retired, but he worked at the VA medical center for 24 years. Foote says he became suspicious in December of 2012. “We had thirteen thousand patients that we did not have primary care providers for, and we had over a year waiting list,” said Foote.

Dr. Foote told FOX 10 News that after a meeting with clinic directors and the head of primary care in 2012 it was decided that the VA doctors would pick up 67 new patients. “So by mid-January my clinic had pretty much finished our work ahead of everyone else. I said well, do you have any more patients for us? And he said no and that made no sense.”

Foote says the secret waiting list began in February of 2013 and that if they were on that list there was no record that the new patient ever came to the medical center. He explained how this was done: “You would come in and they’d register you in the computer, (or so you thought) and rather than hit save they would hit print and do a screen capture. Then they would not enter your data in the computer. They would take the paper up to health administrative services and then they would put it on a secret paper list at that time, and then shred the screen capture shot.”

Last week the VA’s medical director Sharon Helman told fox 10 News, “I have never directed staff to do a secret waiting list.” But Doctor Foote believes Sharon Helman is using a play on words. “She didn’t say she didn’t know about it and didn’t agree with it.” Said Foote. He believes that director Helman lied about wait times so that she could get a bonus. He’s asking anyone who may have lost a relative due to the wait times to contact him at sfootemd@gmail.com
http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/25337334/2014/04/25/va-whistle-blower-speaks-out-about-secret-waiting-list#ixzz2zxE9l0u8

Corruption in government is nothing new. It has existed since the first king sat on his throne. But it should infuriate us to think that those who have put themselves in harm’s way in order to faithfully serve our country and protect us from our enemies have been treated so badly by corrupt officials and politicians for so long:

A “Primetime Thursday” investigation in 2004 by Diane Sawyer uncovered disturbing information by hidden cameras about the quality of care and questionable management practices at some VA hospitals, including misdiagnosis. One patient, Terry Soles, who served in the Navy during the war in Vietnam, went to a V.A. hospital for two years complaining of intense abdominal pain and diarrhea. His wife finally took him to a private doctor, who diagnosed him with cancer. Soles died three days later.

Two years after a report regarding incompetent VA staff, US Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the VA was still doing a poor job of checking health care providers’ backgrounds. At least 63 cases of malpractice were found between 1997 and 2002 that resulted because of the failure of a supervisor to oversee residents. These cases included misdiagnosis, surgical and medication errors, and inadequate care.

In November 2008, the VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia sent a letter to more than 1,200 patients who were treated for ear, nose and throat, warning them they may have been exposed to infections.
Following a December 2008 investigation at the VA clinic in Murfreesboro, TN, officials discovered that clinic workers were not properly maintaining the medical equipment used to conduct colonoscopies. More than 6,000 patients were notified and offered free testing.

In March 2009 VA officials announced that veterans in South Florida may have been exposed to Hepatitis and HIV after being examined with contaminated medical equipment. According to reports, more than 3,200 veterans who received colonoscopies at the Miami VA medical clinic between May 2004 and March 12, 2009 are at risk of exposure to both Hepatitis and HIV.

So what can veterans do?
Filing a veterans’ medical malpractice claim under the FTCA is complicated and typically requires help from VA medical malpractice lawyers who understand the requirements for filing medical negligence lawsuits. For instance, before you sue, an administrative claim has to be made against the VA for the full amount of damages you have suffered, and that is difficult and risky to determine. Once you have filed your administrative claim, you won’t be able to ask for more damages—EVER AGAIN–unless you have evidence that proves additional damages are warranted and you didn’t have knowledge of them prior to filing your claim. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help determine how much in damages you are entitled to receive and will make sure you don’t “short change” yourself. Of course, a VA medical malpractice lawyer sometimes works FOR the VA.

After your administrative claim is filed with the FTCA, the VA is entitled to six months for investigation and review of your claim. The VA can then do the following:
• Accept the claim and pay it out in full
• Settle the claim for less
• Reject the claim outright.

If your claim is rejected, your next step is to file a lawsuit in federal court. If the VA does nothing within six months, this means that your claim has been rejected. You can sue in federal court under the FTCA, which allows you to file a lawsuit within 2 years of discovering your injury and what caused it. But keep in mind that this time frame includes the 6-month time period needed to file and complete your administrative claim. It is imperative that you meet these legal deadlines; if not, you may lose your claim forever! A veterans’ lawyer experienced in VA medical malpractice can help to protect your claim and possible recovery.

Our system of government was designed to serve and protect its people. But over the years it has become more and more corrupt. The Bible is very clear regarding corrupt governmental leaders: Proverbs 16:10 says, “The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth should not betray justice.” Proverbs 17:7 says, “Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool — how much worse lying lips to a ruler!” Proverbs 28:3 says, “A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.” Proverbs 28:16 says, “A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life.” And Proverbs 29:4 says, “By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.”

Please pray with me that soon God will intervene so that His justice will be given to our brave men and women who have given up so much to serve our country.

Because if our military goes down then we will all go down!

 

 

“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)

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” (Ezek. 16:49)

Bangladesh’s Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith downplayed the impact of last week’s factory building collapse on his country’s garment industry, saying Friday he didn’t think it was “really serious” just hours after the 500th body was pulled from the debris. The government has recently suspended the mayor there and arrested an engineer who had called for the building’s evacuation last week, but was also accused of helping the owner add three illegal floors to the eight-story structure. The building owner was arrested earlier. The official death toll from the April 24 collapse reached 512 Friday and was expected to climb, making it likely the deadliest garment-factory accident in world history.

The minimum wage for a garment worker there is only $38.00 a month! And that is only after being nearly doubled this year following violent protests by workers! According to the World Bank, the per capita income in Bangladesh was only about $64.00 a month in 2011!

According to data from Bangladesh’s commerce ministry and industry sources, Bangladesh ships about $15.6 billion of ready-made garments each year – about 80 percent of its total exports. Sixty percent of its garment exports go to Europe, the United States takes 23 percent, and Canada takes 5 percent. About 18 months before this tragedy in Bangladesh a fire killed 112 people in a textile factory in Tazreen in which locked doors prevented workers from fleeing to safety.

Shareholders at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had the opportunity to weigh in on the safety question. By a nearly 50-to-1 margin, they rejected a proposal to require suppliers to report annually on safety issues at their factories. In arguing against the proposal, Wal-Mart’s management made its reasoning clear: “Having suppliers compile such reports could ultimately lead to higher costs for Walmart and higher prices for our customers. This would not be in the best interests of Walmart’s shareholders and customers and would place Walmart at a competitive disadvantage.”

Wal-Mart and Sears’ shares have moved higher since the Tazreen fire last November. That disaster did not appear to have any measurable impact on sales at Wal-Mart and Sears after both acknowledged their products were made there.

The larger tragedy I see is that consumers will continue to purchase products from brands like Wal-Mart’s Faded Glory and Loblaw’s Joe Fresh found in the ruins of the factory building this week. Many people justify it by saying, “I go there because it’s cheap.” Or, “I’m on a limited income and I can’t afford to shop anywhere else.”

The unemployment rate is down to 7.5 percent and we gained 16,000 non-farm jobs last month, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the Morgan Stanley report said “the current investment in U.S. manufacturing remains at depressed levels.” With the loss of 5.5 million manufacturing jobs this decade, and the residual impact (for every one manufacturing job there are five others created – truck drivers, accountants, research & development, clerical, etc.), the U.S. has seen a loss of over 30 million jobs.

While many who read this will try to blame this problem on Democrats or Republicans, this is NOT a political problem! This is a spiritual problem!

I am reminded of James 5:4-6 that says, “Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.”

We have lost our moral compass and have become like Sodom–arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; refusing to help the poor and needy.

But what can we do?

Repent of our selfishness and arrogance! Then refuse to purchase goods that are sold on the backs of slave labor with the wages covered in the blood of the poor!

This has had a huge impact on not only our economy and national security but also on our very survival! Since government has not provided a solution, it is time for us to take action before it’s too late.

American Made Products Directory:  http://www.americansworking.com/

Today over half of the world’s population lives in large cities. Many Christians think cities are by nature, evil places. If they were asked, they would say the city is a curse, not a blessing – A breeding ground for poverty and homelessness. However, that is not God’s view. After all, the human story begins in a garden and ends in the great city, the New Jerusalem!

Most cities seem to hold a collective vision, and there is usually both a good and evil side to that vision. I believe God has participated in our cities by stationing high-ranking guardian angels over each one. However, Satan will do anything in his power to accuse your city and to malign its redemptive gift.

The experience of Elisha’s servant is recorded in 2 Kings 6:16-17: “So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. ‘And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”  If our eyes were opened like Elisha’s servant, what would we see? Would God reveal a divine purpose? How would we react once we were aware of that purpose?

The Purpose For Your City
When traveling through your city have you ever asked, “Why is this town here?” God always has a reason for everything He does, and the reason your town is where it is usually stems from the geography of the location, such as a mountain pass, rich soil, mineral wealth, or a river crossing. The earth has been lovingly crafted as a habitation for people. God anticipated the development of your city. And He marked out a place in it just for you.

Consider the city of Los Angeles; on one hand, it is a technological tower of Babel, polluting the world with its communications and entertainment industry. On the other hand, it is a city with a gift in communications. Los Angeles is a city blessed by God with certain resources that can either be perverted – or used to further the kingdom of God. Even the name of the city speaks of its destiny: “Los Angeles” is Spanish for “The Angels.” The word ‘angel’ in the Greek is angeloss and means, messenger. I believe God designed Los Angeles to be a messenger, communicating the good news in the midst of an end time harvest.

Indeed, this plan of God has already enjoyed success several times in history: In 1906 through the Azusa Street Revival; in 1949 through an evangelical renewal leading to the birth of such groups as Campus Crusade For Christ and the launching of the Billy Graham Crusades as a national ministry; and in 1972 with the beginning of the Jesus Movement. But today the city is torn by violence, poverty and homelessness while it pumps pornography into the minds of millions.

Rebuilding The Walls
God desires to rebuild the walls of our cities, and I believe it must begin with the leadership in His churches. But it seems as if the Church today remains asleep as the world around us falls deeper into sin and despair. If the Church would only wake from its slumber God would pour out revelation concerning His redemptive plans for our cities. It was to the Jews living in the wicked city of Babylon that God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11)

Unless you understand Biblical warfare you will be frustrated, confused, and ineffective in your ministry to your city. You may be attempting to coordinate Christian concerts, pioneer a church, or reach businessmen, but the principle is still the same: We need to gain a place of authority over Satan before we will see the full fruit of our labors.

Binding The Strong Man
Jesus said, “How can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.” (Matt. 12.-29) Discerning the nature of principalities at work in your city can be as simple as asking God to tell you what’s going on. But God also wants us to use our minds in reasoning through the things He has already taught us and then applying them. Ask yourself the question: “Why is this city here? Is it merely a product of geography and commerce, or does God have a redemptive purpose in mind for it?” Your city is also God’s city. And the people are made in His image. Satan is an invader and a usurper operating in our territory. God did not give demons authority over your city. They have infested the earth’s atmosphere since before the creation of mankind, but they can only extend their authority into a town or an institution when people give them that authority through their sin.

This is our planet, and the only authority Satan has, he has gained through deception of human authority. He initially gains this authority when, at some point in history, human beings believe his lie, receive his accusation, and are seduced into an allegiance to his plan. An obvious example would be the spirit of greed which has infected our political system and still dominates the culture of politics to this day. But what can we do about this today? Scripture gives us an answer. Through repentance, reconciliation, and prayer, this present generation can work to repair the broken-down walls of the city.

Bringing Down Strongholds
“Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.” (Is. 58:12) The strongholds that bind our urban populations have power, but they are not invincible. They’re vulnerable, and, if we move wisely, we can overthrow them. In his book, “Taking Our Cities For God” by John Dawson, he shares a five-fold approach to bringing down our cities’ strongholds:

1) Begin with worship and praise.
Everything born of God goes through a very natural process: worship, conception, gestation, travail, and birth. So always begin with worship. It’s in the place of thanksgiving and praise that God conceives within us His mind and heart for our city. No longer join with Satan, the accuser of your city, but lift up your heart in thanksgiving as you declare by faith the effect that the gospel will have! Do you want revival in your city? Do you want to defeat the powers of darkness? The way to get rid of darkness is to turn on the light, to establish the Lord’s presence in the midst of His people through praise!

2) Wait on the Lord for insight.
Don’t rely on finite reasoning or human cunning. If we listen to God with childlike dependency, He will guide us into victory. Breaking the strongholds that bind our urban populations will take prayer that will flood our hearts with conviction of sin. We must see ourselves in the light of God’s true holiness and rid ourselves of every hindrance through open confession and repentance. Even then, it may take days of prayer to receive a clear picture of the principalities and powers attempting to control our city. The Lord will expose the tactics of the enemy and give us strategies for his defeat. When we wait on the Lord and give Him room to move – He moves. This was an important factor and is a characteristic of every divine visitation in history.

3) Identify with the sins of the city.
The great intercessors of the Bible all approached God with a sense of shame and sincere repentance. (As the prophet Daniel did as recorded in the 9th chapter of Daniel. “O LORD, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.”) Our communication with God must be rooted in the truth – the eternal truth of His holy standards and the awful truth about our society as God sees it. The intercessor experiences the broken heart of God through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. The intercessor also identifies with the sin of the people, because the intercessor has personally contributed to God’s grief. In responding to the broken heart of God, we must identify with the sins of the city in personal and corporate repentance. It is only when God has cleansed our own wicked hearts that participation in the redeeming work of intercession becomes possible. It is then that the power to change history is released through prayer.

4) Overcome evil with good.
Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13) Overcoming evil with good is not merely a spiritual technique, but represents a means of applying the victory Jesus already gained. When we come against the enemy, we by faith manifest the aspect of Christ’s character that is the opposite of the temptation facing us. Take, for instance, Jesus’ statement regarding a particular evil spirit. “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matt. 1 7:21) The admonition to abstain from food is probably because the power of God was hindered until they yielded themselves further to the control of the Holy Spirit through a particular step of obedience – a step involving the opposite spirit, an act of self-control.

5) Travail until birth.
There are times when God’s Spirit stirs our souls through times of intense travail. We must travail in prayer until God’s purposes are birthed. That which is conceived of God will eventually come to birth. When Christians of a city unite in spiritual travail, it is an indicator of impending revival. When you truly love somebody, you don’t just mention that person before the Lord. You pray until that which is needed happens, until the answer comes, until breakthrough. Love settles for nothing less than victory. If you are praying for a family member who is in bondage, you are not released from the burden until that person is saved, set free, and set in order. This is the way we should pray for our cities. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matt. 7:7)

The level of a spiritual victory for your city is directly affected by two spiritual conditions: the intensity of your desire and the size of your faith. God wants to see if you want the minimum or the maximum. Do you want institutional survival – or citywide revival? Will you and I be prepared to pay the price for victory over our cities? There is a high price to be paid in personal discipline, prayer, and obedience. Like you, I live on a dying planet, a dark place polluted with demons, but growing in my heart is a fierce joy. Jesus came to reveal the Father, to atone for us, and to teach us how to live. He also came to destroy the works of the devil, and He has commissioned us to do likewise.

I’m not suggesting that Christians take over the city in a governmental sense or even that Christian action can halt all the institutional and personal evil of those who have rejected Christ. I’m suggesting that the power of the resurrected Christ is released when God’s people are united in citywide prayer.

Business as usual is not good enough. God has much more in mind. Are our expectations of God too low? Are we participating in the sin of unbelief when we entertain despair or indifference over the moral, environmental, social, and spiritual needs of our cities?

The power of the gospel has radically impacted the life of cities for over 2,000 years, but most importantly our cities must become places of harvest. In the early 70’s we saw the youth of the counter-culture swept into the Kingdom, but that was a long time ago. There is now an entire generation missing the true gospel message! Today’s youth culture needs a revelation of Jesus! Citywide prayer gatherings should be springing up all over America! Tears of repentance should be flowing! And if the Church doesn’t wake up we will miss the day of God’s merciful visitation. God is definitely up to something. Let’s get involved and take back our cities for God!

This article includes excerpts from Taking Our Cities For God by John Dawson. ©1989 Creation House Publishers, Lake Mary, Florida. Used by permission from Last Days Ministries. http://www.lastdaysministries.org/Groups/1000002797/Last_Days_Ministries.aspx

I recently read an article that immediately filled me anger. The article, in the Spokesman-Review in Washington State, reported that about 30 homeless people have died during 2012 and at least four were 17 and two others were between 18 and 20!

The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that on any given night there are approximately 1.3 million homeless youth living unsupervised on the streets, in abandoned buildings, with friends or with strangers.  Homeless youth are at a higher risk for physical abuse, sexual exploitation, mental health disabilities, substance abuse, and death.  It is estimated that 5,000 unaccompanied youth die each year as a result of assault, illness, or suicide!

The death of any young person is tragic. Kevin M. Ryan wrote in his blog that he had attended the funeral of a young man he’s known most of his life, who died unexpectedly in his sleep at the age of 21 a few days after Christmas.  He relates how, at the funeral, the church was packed with hundreds of family and friends.

While reading these sad and tragic stories I couldn’t help but think of what might have happened; how these precious lives could have been saved and changed for the better, if only someone who attended one of these funerals would have stepped up and helped them. Maybe they too, would be alive today and be following their dreams.

Over the past five years my wife and I have opened our home to a dozen men, women and children who were in need of a home. I’m happy to report that today they all have homes of their own and doing well.

Reading articles like this should cause a righteous rage to well up inside of every Christian’s heart and spur them to action.  I pray that more people will step up and help more of these vulnerable people instead of attending their funerals.

“I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.” (Matthew 25:45)