You can’t vote if you aren’t registered.

A few days ago I sent out a communication inviting individuals, pastors and churches across the state and beyond to join together in 40 days of prayer for our country leading up to the election. If you count Election Day we have exactly 40 in which to pour out our petitions to God on behalf of our land. If you missed the post here is a link to it.

https://stevethornton.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/40-days-of-prayer-for-america/

I want to invite you to join me in one other effort on behalf of America. Would you join me in setting up a voter registration table the next couple week at your church meeting place and encouraging any that are not registered to do register and vote? You do not have to push either party or support any candidate. The intention is to get people to register and vote and to make it easy for them to do so. I have attached a link to a registration form for the state of Virginia that can be reproduced. If you are from a state other than Virginia they can be found on your state board of elections website.

http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/Files/Forms/VoterForms/VoterRegistrationApplication.pdf  If your virus protection gives you problems with opening this, just copy and paste the link into the address line of your browser.

You can approach this in one of two ways:

  1. Have then fill out the form at that time and you will mail them in. This will assure a higher degree of response than if they take them home hoping it gets done. If you collect the forms be sure to tear off the receipt part of the form and give it to the registrant.
  2. Or they can take them with them and mail them in themselves. If they take them you might encourage them to hand deliver them to their county elections office.

Here is the critical piece of information. OCTOBER 15 IS THE DEADLINE FOR VOTER REGISTRATION FOR THE NOVEMBER 6 ELECTION. So all this will need to be done rather quickly.

I believe this election to be the most crucial one in my life time (and that is a pretty long time). We need to be willing to do everything we can to mobilize the people under our influence to first pray for our country and then to put some feet on their prayers and get to the poles and vote. I truly believe that if everyone receiving communication this takes those two steps we can definitely have an impact on the outcome of this election and the direction of our country.

 

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40 Days of Prayer for America

I am asking you to join me for forty days of prayer for the future of America. These forty days will lead up to the 2012 election on November 6. Whether you get in a full forty days or not I encourage you to begin today to pray for America.

America is the greatest nation in the world. She has provided more opportunity for freedom, equality and justice than perhaps any nation ever. But her greatness is in serious danger. Never before has she been in more danger. I believe this election to be one of, if not the most crucial one, in the history of our great land.

All of America’s greatness will change in a dramatic way on November 6. She will either continue down a road that leads to her demise in an unabated way or she will stop the rush to destruction on a dine.

Nothing is more important at this point than prayer. Voting is vital and I will vote but prayer must come first. Standing for and even campaigning for your candidates is good but prayer must come first. Posting signs in strategic places can have an impact but prayer must come first. Prayer must come before everything at this point. Prayer cannot be our last resort. For the next forty days prayer must be our first resort.

Will you MAKE time every day to pray for America? Here are a few suggestions.

  • Designate a specific time and pray at that time each day.
  • Pray whenever you think of the future of our country.
  • Be aware of distractions because Satan does not want you to pray for America. Resist his distractions with all your strength.
  • Pray for a specific candidates, issues and results. Get painfully specific.
  • Invite and encourage others to join you in praying for America for the next forty days
  • Pray together with others whenever possible.

It is good to be reminded that the Bible reveals forty days to be a spiritually significant time period.  In fact, in the Bible, any time God wanted to prepare people and circumstances for action, He took forty days.  For instance:

  • Noah’s life was transformed by 40 days of rain
  • Moses’ life was transformed by 40 days on Mount Sinai
  • The spies were transformed by 40 days in the Promise Land
  • David was transformed by Goliath’s 40-day challenge
  • The city of Nineveh was transformed in 40 days
  • Jesus was empowered for ministry by spending 40 days in the desert
  • And the disciples were transformed by 40 days with Jesus after the resurrection.

I believe that America can and will be transformed by forty days of prayer as we call out to him to lead our great nation toward Him, His principles and His truth instead of farther away. If we will pray, this transformation can go far beyond a four year Presidency term to many, many years to come.

Two questions: will you join me in praying ever day for America for the next forty days? Second question: will you get the word out and invite as many others as possible to join you in these forty days of prayer?

“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 7:13-15

 

 

The new normal for Christians

There is an awful lot of talk these days about the “new normal” especially since NBC introduced “The New Normal” sitcom to its fall program schedule. I will not even begin to comment on the content and character of said program due to the adult and socially driven agenda of the series.

The media and news programs are also flooded with talk about what looks like the new normal in America. Here are a few examples of what we are being prepared for as more of the “normal” than the exception in the new America.

8% + unemployment

50% of Americans on public assistance programs

Continually falling wages and buying power

Retirement at later and later years, if at all

Muslim leaders entertained in the White House while our long time ally, Israel is snubbed

25% the new standard for tipping

The new normal in America is generating enormous amounts of concern and elevated levels of disgust. How have we fallen so far, so fast? Where will it all end? Is there any hope for a return to some of the healthier normal of the past?

All I can say is, there’s an election coming in a few weeks and if you are unhappy with some of the new normal talk and direction that we are confronted with and are experiencing daily, then get out and vote for the best candidate that is likely to change it. Otherwise, be quiet and just live with it.

The really sad news, though, is that the new normal is not just a disappointing direction of the country, it has infected the church as well. At a recent meeting of some fellow pastors our conversation centered on what seems to be the new normal for Christians. Here are a couple eye openers.

  • The average American Christian gives 2.6% of his income to the Lord or an average of $17 a week.

Here’s a piece from Crown Financial Ministries that features a sermon by author Randy Alcorn. A summary: Randy says we’re living in the most affluent society the world has ever known. American Christians control 70% of the world’s Christian wealth. The average American Christian gives 2.6% of his income.

The average amount of giving by an adult in a Protestant church is $17 a week, which is $70 a month, or $840 a year. A full 96% of American Christians don’t tithe or give 10% of their income.

Crown includes this in the piece as well: The average Christian gives 30% less than the average churchgoer in 1933 during the Great Depression.

  • Less than 20% of Americans regularly attend church. That figures out to a once every five weeks church attendance for the average Christian. That might be a little lower than your attendance patterns but it reveals an alarming condition. And the trend is trending downward all the time. Is this the new normal for church attendance? Is the church no longer a priority in the life of a Christian? Is the church relegated to a bottom five classification when it was once #1?

These and other statistics reveal that Christians are just going the way of our culture instead of shaping and leading it. It seems that lowered standards, commitment and values, that our society has embraced, have made their way into the church and Christian’s hearts as well.

Isn’t it time for the church to be the church and Christian to be just that, Christians who are serious followers of Christ rather than drifters. Isn’t it time for real Christ followers to be trend setters rather than trend followers? Isn’t it time to return to the normals of the past that were far better and more productive, both personally and for the kingdom of God? How about beginning with these two?

  •  “A tenth of all you produce is the Lord’s and it is holy.”  Leviticus 27:30
  • “Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do.” Hebrews 10:25

Join with me in rejecting the new normal and sticking with the time tested standards of old.

Enough said. Let’s do it!