Archive for March, 2022


March 27, 2022

Former President George Bush called him Pootie Poot, but I doubt he said it to his face. History might well label him Pootie Poot the Pariah. The long-suffering souls of Ukraine will remember him as Vlad the Mad, who aspired to be a 21st century Ivan the Terrible. In the 20th century Vlad’s predecessor, Stalin, one of mankind’s most notorious mass murderers, took away their farms and starved to death millions of Ukrainians. Today Vladimer Putin, a “murderous dictator” and “butcher” in our president’s words, is bombing Ukraine’s cities to rubble and attempting to exterminate the populus again while fending off the West with threats of nuclear war. The risk goes up with each passing day of failed Russian conventional aggression.

These three ruthless murderers will forever be in the top-tier of the lowest level of Dante’s Inferno. A fourth contender licks his chops in Beijing, playing Vlad as a diversionary useful idiot as he prepares to pounce on Taiwan. And the Taliban are busy honing their skills on their multi-billion-dollar windfall of the latest American military equipment in Afghanistan.

Such grave dangers find America engaged in another war against an intractable adversary–reality. Its crumbling culture, in the grip of an insanity pandemic, abandons God, the foundation of all reality, and attacks biblical truth as hate speech, celebrates fanciful genders, enforces farcical new social theories and enables ailing boys who think they are girls. And our military stands down to contemplate unicorns and hobgoblins.

Last week at the Ligonier conference Harry Reeder said, “A cultural revolution is taking place all around you, and it isn’t looking for toleration or for accomodation. It’s looking for capitulation.”

These are the times that try men’s souls. How long , O LORD?


"How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me."

O Sovereign God, nourish in me the steadfast faith of the Psalmist. Amen.

See you in church.


March 20, 2022

The warrior mentality dies hard in a veteran who, by God’s grace, survived both a hot and a cold war. I have been following the Russia/Ukrainian War with an inordinate amount of fascination and prayerful concern for the citizens of Ukraine and the world. The risk of nuclear war has not been so worrisome since my warrior days. Add in the blow to US credibility by the Afghanistan fiasco and China’s saber-rattling and a generation of young Americans are learning, and too many older incorrigibles relearning, that there is a whole lot more to survival in this fallen world than just visualizing world peace. Nothing has fundamentally changed since Plato said 2500 years ago, “Only the dead have seen an end to war.”

In the Cold War with the Soviet Union in the last century, I sat alert with a nuclear bomb on the centerline pylon of my jet in the UK and Turkey. My target from Turkey was an airbase in Ukraine, then part of the USSR, north across the Black Sea, as low as I had the nerve to fly to avoid enemy radar.

In the ensuing half-century, again by God’s grace, we won the Cold War without ever launching and destroying the planet, the Soviet Union fell and Ukraine became a free nation. Now Ukraine is back in the crosshairs, but of the same ruthless despotic seat of power it suffered under when it was in my crosshairs.

In God’s mysterious ways, today I pray for a Ukrainian Christian family in Kiev, the capital. Maia Mikhaluk, a wife, mother of two, and brand new grandmother, has been posting twice-daily Facebook updates of her family’s trials in a war-torn nation with a vastly superior enemy force besieging the city, air raid sirens wailing at all hours of the day and night, and bombs exploding, sometimes so close their apartment building shakes. (You may go to her Facebook page and click on “follow.”) Her powerful Christian witness and her communication skills have brought that war into my living room in a very personal, poignant way. She is providing fodder for prayer warriors around the world. Last I looked she had 30,000 followers. In that regard she is one of Ukraine’s most important frontline soldiers in this David and Goliath battle for survival with global ramifications.

In Old Testament times evil King Sennacherib of Assyria had Jerusalem, Judah and its King Hezekiah besieged with a vastly superior force, just as Kiev, Ukraine is today,

“Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed because of this and cried to heaven. And the Lord sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he came into the house of his god, some of his own sons struck him down there with the sword. ” So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem…” (2 Chronicles 32:20–22).

In the surprisingly poor performance of the besieging force in Ukraine thus far, and its loss of five key generals, it appears the Lord’s angel is at work in the enemy camp. And I know countless prayers are crying out to heaven from all around the globe, as are mine.

Dear Merciful God, please work a miracle in the heart of Vladimer Putin, or dispose of him and his army as you did with Sennacherib. Save Maia and her family and the people of Kiev and Ukraine as you saved the inhabitants of Jerusalem of old. Thine is the power. Thine is the glory. Forever. Amen.

“Arise, O LORD, in your anger . . .  let the evil of the wicked come to an end.” (Psalm 7:6,9).

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

See you in church, the divine manifestation of the most formidable force on the face of the Earth. The gates of hell will not prevail (Matthew 16:18).


March 12, 2022

“God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
My offenses are innumerable and egregious.
I was conceived in sin and born in sin into a life replete with sin;
I am the grossest of hypocrites–
I know your Word but disregard it at will;
I beg your forgiveness, then repeat the offense;
My actions make a mockery of my words;
If thoughts are deeds, I’m a dead man walking;
I eye my name in all I do.
I deserve eternal hell.
It is incomprehensible to me that you could look at such a wretch and see Jesus,
But your mercy is my only hope.
Let repentance be my daily bread.
Let me possess what I profess,
Walk my talk,
Live my life for you.
Your grace is my greatest treasure,
The fountainhead of my everlasting joy and gratitude.

See you in church

*THE VALLEY OF VISION: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions


March 5, 2022

righteous: 1. acting in accord with divine or moral law; free from guilt or sin. 2. very good; excellent

At the end of their performance in an LA nightclub, an enthusiastic, appreciative listener shouted out to Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, “Righteous, brothers!” Thus did the iconic, blue-eyed soul brothers of the ’60’s and ’70’s acquire their moniker, The Righteous Brothers.

But in a striking condemnation of fallen, depraved mankind, the psalmist wrote the God-breathed words, “…no one is righteous” (Psalm 53:1-3)–no one is free from guilt or sin, no one is good. The Apostle Paul repeated that profound truth in his letter to the Romans (3:11): “…no, not one…no one [even] seeks after God.” That has been mankind’s dilemma since Adam and Eve’s cosmic treason in the garden. Every living soul born since is conceived and born in sin with no interest in the God who created him and sustains him.

In The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness…” (Matt. 5:6). Hunger and thirst are not casual wants. They are demands from our bodies that must be met or we die. So it is with righteousness. Jesus added, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees [the most outwardly religious men in Israel] you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20). Old Testament Israel had been making a hash of the Ten Commandments for 1400 years, and now the Son of God was telling them his commandments were a whole lot more than just external laws–anger is murder and lust is adultery, for example. Thoughts are deeds in God’s economy. The beatitudes in The Sermon on the Mount call for  a total and radical holiness! So how do you get from “no one seeks” to “hunger and thirst after righteousness”?

The Preacher of the Sermon himself provided the solution. As the Son of God incarnate, perfectly sinless, he took the rap for sinners in his horrible death on the cross. In that great sacrificial accounting transaction, his righteousness was credited to his chosen and their sin was debited to him–redemption! He died as a ransom for them, rose again, and returned to heaven. Then he sent the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) to regenerate the hearts of the redeemed (John 3:3) in due time. Thus is faith granted and their wills inclined (Phil. 2:13) to hunger and thirst after righteousness.

That is how, in his grace and mercy, Jesus’ promise in The Sermon on the Mount is fulfilled: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied(!)” They are satisfied, as is God’s perfect justice, with a righteousness not their own, that could never be earned, given to them by Son of God who loved them and gave his life for them (Gal. 2:20).

A wise old Puritan parson said, “If Jesus were not my righteousness and redemption, I would sink into nethermost hell by my misdoings, shortcomings, unbelief, unlove…”

Turn to Jesus, absent all self-righteousness, with a God-given yearning in your heart, and you will be satisfied–filled to overflowing–with a righteousness far beyond yourself, and “…no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22). In this manner be righteous, brothers and sisters. Blessed are you.

Oh my Lord, My Savior,
I hunger for your touch.
Forgive, one more time.

Life's sped by so quickly
And I have sinned so much.
Is pardon mine?

I need your love,
I need your grace,
God speed them both to me.

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…” (Psalm 42:1–2).

See you in church.

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