Showing posts from January, 2017

Connecting to the Church

What is the church?  A denomination?  An organization?  No.  The church is people.  While people may organize with good and Godly  intentions, these things are NOT the church.  People are.  That's you! Ephesians 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. I have been preaching, as of this writing now for 38 years and pastoring for 27.  I know the difference between going to church and being the church.  Most people go, but few are.  So how can you change that? In my early days of pastoring there was a family who came to church at the invitation of a friend.  They responded to the altar call and expressed their fai

Connecting to People

This blog may sound more like a leadership blog than a spiritual blog but bear with me. The old saying is, "It isn't what you know, it's who you know."  Well, there is truth to that, but let's take that a little farther. "It isn't what you know; it's who you know and how you treat them."  Years ago people paid for IQ.  You could have the personality of a rabid squirrel, but that didn't matter.  You were paid for your knowledge.  Today that isn't true. Knowledge is cheap.  As Google or YouTube, they know everything.  So if knowledge isn't the key to your future, what is? Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. The key to your success is your ability connect to people in a real and meaningful way. Years ago I went to a car dealership to buy a used car.  The salesman was highly motivated to sell me a car.  He told me all about it and then proceeded to put th

Connecting to Christ

How do you connect to Christ? 2 Cor 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Understand your part in the process. There is an old metaphor that the Church has used for years.  "You need to get plugged in."  You don't hear it much anymore because it doesn't make much sense to most.  But as you may be guessing, it has to do with an electrical wall outlet.  Before there were USB ports, telephone, and cable jacks the only power that came out of a wall was electrical.  So Pastors, always looking for good illustrations, used something in every home to illustrate the following. The first purpose was to communicate that Christ is your source for the power that you need to live every day (The outlet).  The second purpose was to communicate that you are to go to the power (Get plugged in).  Has anyone eve

Speedy or Slowpoke?

How many of you remember Speedy Gonzales?  He was a cartoon character in the Looney Toons cast.  You can YouTube some of his stuff.  He was the fastest mouse in all of Mexico. Did you know that he had a cousin?  His name was Slowpoke Rodriguez.  His claim to fame was entirely different.  He was the slowest mouse in all of Mexico.  Put the two together, and the hilarity ensued. Now I never assumed that Speedy or Slowpoke were examples of typical Mexicans or Mexican culture.  So don't go all PC on me about this.  I just want to ask you a question. Are you Speedy or Slowpoke?  I think most people will answer the question like this.  "I am somewhere in the middle."  Nice, but I don't believe it.  The reality is that you are living your life more like Speedy. Matthew 11:28   "'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.'" There comes a time when you run out of energy, you run out of time, and you run out of patien

Where Are You Going Today?

If you are a parent of a teenager, you know that they will make you drive everywhere!  I've been to Orlando with her, then to Boca, now to Miami, back to Boca, then back to Orlando.   That's just within the last couple of weeks. Every time I get in the car I have to ask.  Where are we going?  I can get to the major cities in Florida without a map.  But once I'm there, now what?  North?  South?  Turn left here?  What? John 14: 4 - 6 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Most followers of Jesus have a general idea of where they want their life to go.  They want to discover health and life.  They want to go to heaven.  They want to achieve peace and joy.  That's all well and good, but it's like saying, "I'm going to Miami."  Great!  Once you

Are You Forgetting Something Today?

I did it.  I forgot to blog yesterday.  Sorry about that.  By the time I remembered, it was too late.  We've all done it.  We get occupied doing a project or helping a friend out and the day is over. This reminds me of something that Paul writes in 1 Cor 11: ...  Do this in remembrance of me ....   Sunday we will participate in Communion.  The Lord's Supper.  Why do we do this regularly?  So we don't forget what Jesus did for us on the cross.  But what can you do to remember Jesus everyday?  You can be a better follower of Jesus if you would just remind yourself.  Here are some ideas. #1 - Read God's Word every morning.   #2 - Pray every morning.  #3 - Talk to your family about what you learned from God today OR review one of the great stories in the Bible. #4 - Play some Christian music in the car as you go to work or school. PRAY: Dear Jesus, I need you in my life of every moment of every day. I do not want to forget. AMEN

Are you Living The Good Life Today?

Everyone has an idea of what they call, the good life.  Some people imagine themselves sitting on a beach sunning themselves under a tropical sun.  Some people imagine themselves driving a convertible sports car along a scenic highway.  Some even imagine themselves in a luxury home with a great view over some water.  Whatever your idea of the good life is, this isn't what I am talking about - sorry. 1 Peter 3:8-12   8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is agai

Who Will You Serve Today?

Yesterday was one of those days.  I enjoyed and embraced every conversation large or small as a blessing. But I heard something that upset me.  I'm not going into the details of what that is because it would just be gossip.  Let's just say that the Holy Spirit and I had to have a conversation.  Then He asked me this question, "Who am I here to serve?"  After some thought, here is my answer. Serve others who need you Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. There are so many people in your life that need you.  Servanthood isn't slavery.  Servanthood is a form of leadership.  Lead people through your actions. Serve others who lead you Heb 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no adv

Where Are You Today?

I'm sitting in a room of leaders today.  We haven't started the meeting yet, so it is a room full of conversations at this point. What do I hear?  Men and women are helping each other become better leaders. Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another You become like the people who you surround yourself with consistently. Being a good steward to of your relationships is a vital key o your success.  So here are a few questions you need to ask yourself. Who are you with when you laugh the most? Who challenges you with thought-provoking questions? Who are you with that boosts your energy levels? When things are tough, who doesn’t bail on you? Who asks you about your dreams and goals? Who brings out the best in you? PRAY: Dear Jesus, help me choose the right people to be around today.  AMEN

What will you do today?

When I wake up in the morning, I ask that question.  I bet you do too.  What will I do today? Sunday morning I woke up and thought how today was going to be a great day.  Any day that you meet with join with fellow followers of Jesus to worship His is a great day. Monday morning, which is just a few hours away for me, I will wake up and believe it will be another great day.  I get to hang out with some of my friends and discover what God is doing in other parts of Florida and the nation. Ps. 143:8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. How you start your week will determine how your week goes.  How you start your day will determine how your day goes.  If you do not determine how you are going to start your day, the world you live in will.  I guarantee you it will not be positive.  What can you do? #1 - Be grateful, before anything else.  Get a journal and put it beside your bed.  T

Stop and Breathe

Stop and breathe, God made you who you are. I am sitting in one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the country.  On the wall is a quote by a Prima Ballerina Margot Fonteyn.  "The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking oneself seriously.  The first is imperative and the second disastrous. Pro. 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine. There is NO one laughing in here.  Everyone is sizing everyone else up.  I'm not talking about the students, I'm talking about the parents!  Yikes. #1 Choose who you listen to.  Everyone does not get an opinion. #2 Remember God made you who you are.  No one can change that. #3 Relax!  Fear will never serve you, I will only enslave you. PRAY: Dear Jesus, help me to not take myself to seriously.  AMEN Fundamentals of Faith starts tomorrow at FFWC.  Also, Football Sunday will be Feb. 5th.  Watch the big game with us starting at 5:30 pm.

The Peaceful Transfer of Power

Today I watched as Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America.  We have witnessed, in our two-party system of government, this transfer happen for over 200 years.  It is the peaceful transfer of power. What does this mean to you? The same transfer has to happen in your life.  How?  Through repentance, the turning away from your rebellious way of life and embracing Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  When you repent, you transfer your power to rule over your life to Jesus. Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Whether or not you believe that Donald Trump is right or wrong for the country isn't the issue here.  Only time will tell.  But Jesus' track record already speaks for itself.  The Son of God loves you, He died for you, and He lives for you today. PRAY:  Dear Je

Have you repented yet today?

In my devotional book, Sifted by Wayne Cordeiro, I learned about Hudson Taylor.  Hudson was one of the first missionaries to set foot in China in the late 1800s,  He used to greet people by asking, “Have you repented yet today?” Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Hudson understood that a repenting man is a healthy man.  Repentance has a powerful effect on our body, mind, and soul.  Repentance forces you to examine yourself with God's standard.  While some look at this as a painful process they would prefer to avoid, it is actually a healing process that they need to embrace. #1 - Body - Repentance leads us to take care of our physical bodies as God so desires. #2 - Mind - Repentance helps us unload anxieties and memories that would otherwise torture us. #3 - Soul - Repentance keeps our relationship with Jesus in its proper


I've got your attention.  How do I know that?  Because blog entries that have a negative title are being read more than ones that don't.   First of all, it doesn't surprise me, and secondly, I do it too.   There is a Youtuber that I watch from time to time which is very successful.  In almost every broadcast he says, "Work hard, stay positive and do something that will make the world a better place."  Millions of people watch his broadcasts daily.  There is another Youtuber I've also watched who recently quit.  Millions of people watched him too.  But his channel was a bit more negative and whiny.  He got tired of making the videos.  Both make millions of dollars a year off of their channels, but one just whined himself out of his income.   Proverbs 15:13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. Having a positive attitude, which is different from positive thinking, encourages your whole being.   #

Bad News is Good News

Today we took pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. The Stevens Family was back in town. If you drove by the church last night or this morning, you probably saw their RV. Erin, their daughter, is an accomplished photographer. You can check out her work here . When you sit down with Christian leaders, the question that must be asked is, "How's the church?" Don't worry, it isn't a prying question. However, Erin's mom Tammy asked it a little differently this time. "How's the church, is it healthy?" To which I said, "Good Question - NO!" Now I can go into a long dissertation about what a healthy church is, but this blog isn't about the church - it's about you? Are you healthy? Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is what you would call a good news and bad news verse. Bad News: Sin will always kill you, Yikes! Good News: But Jesus can save you from that aw

I'm Tired

Saturday - Orlando and dropped off Anneka at the PK Retreat. Sunday - Jumpstart Life Group, Sunday Services and Youth Group. Monday - Back to Orlando to pick up Anneka.  (FYI - Never drive the Turnpike on holiday.)  Back to Stuart for a dance rehearsal.  Finally get to eat for the first time today at 4 pm.  Back to the studio for dance lessons at 6 pm. I'm tired. I do not doubt that you can also tell me your story about how you earned your exhaustion.  But I am reminded of Gal. 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Being tired, or exhausted, is a part of life.  We all know that.  Galatians doesn't imply that it is a sin to be exhausted.  It teaches us not to become so weary of what we are doing that we give up.  Recharging your batteries is necessary and healthy for your body, mind, and soul. #1 - Get some sleep.  You will always be more productive with 7 - 8 hours sleep. #2 - Pace yourself.  Discover wha

What did you miss today?

Sunday was an important day at FFWC.  Maybe one of the most important days we have had in sometime. I felt a definite and positive turn for the future of FFWC. In youth group this evening I heard our youth make some powerful statements about faith and life.  WOW! Hope always brings encouragement. I am reminded of  Proverbs 21:5 where it says, Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. Today you may be going to work or maybe you are taking care of some personal needs.  Remember that God has a plan (Jer 29:11) and that  you should Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed. (Prov. 16:3).  Everything that you do today matters.  As Col 3:23 says,  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. PRAY. Dear Jesus, help me to work hard and let my work will honor you. AMEN

The Greatest Mistakes in My Ministry (So Far)

That is the title of my message Sunday, Jan. 15th. Don't assume anything.  It isn't a depressing message that includes me weeping uncontrollably with stories of doom, despair, and agony. It's good news.  Well for me at least. Pro. 24:16 for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. Making mistakes and failure is a part of life.  That's what Proverbs is saying.  What you do afterward defines who you can be.  So admitting my mistakes means that #1 I know what they are and #2 I can do something about them. But for many people they neither know what is wrong thus, they cannot do anything about it. For years I have used an illustration about Pain that may be useful here.  Before I had a kidney stone, I thought I had a high tolerance for pain.  Ha!  After I had my first kidney stone, I quit whining about a lot of things that use to bother me.  But when I do reach the threshold of my pain, it's a full blown

Naturally Naked

No this isn't a post about nudism.  I live in Florida and believe me after you have seen an elderly man at the beach wearing a speedo, you're not a fan of nudism.  (Or near nudism.) What I am writing about is what comes naturally to us. Galatians 5:19 - 21 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.   In our own emotional and moral nakedness, this is how we can expose ourselves to God and the rest of the world. I know that my naked metaphor here might be a little difficult to understand but keep reading. Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (ESV) The NIV puts it this way, Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Paul tells us to get


If you read yesterday's entry, you know that Anneka, my daughter, got an immunization shot. She is fine, but she wasn't happy about it. But after I posted yesterday's blog entry I felt the need to make this statement. I do not depend on the church to make me happy. There I said it. It took me a while to come to this realization, but the truth is this. It isn't supposed to. My relationship with Jesus is the reason why I have a relationship with His Church. If I were to reverse that order, I would become disillusioned and disappointed. Depending on a Pastor or ministry to make me, "happy" is a recipe for disaster. Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Jesus didn't say, I will build my church, and it will meet all your needs or solve all your problems. He said, "I will meet all your needs." (Phil 4:19) One of my facebooks friends asked this q

I'm Not Happy

Anneka received an immunization shot today.  Her arm is SORE which was followed by the statement, "I'm Not Happy.", which is code for, "I want a milkshake." If you expect the government to make you happy - you're going to get disappointed. If you expect your marriage to make you happy - you're going to get disappointed. If you expect your career to make you happy - you're going to get disappointed. Today, on Facebook, one of my friends asked this question.  If "Pride goes before destruction," WHAT comes before success?  I was intrigued by many of the answers such as Humility and rebuilding,  Preparation and work, and Tacos.  Another person wrote, "Failure, Failure, a bunch of experimentation, more failure, persistence, clinical depression, a little bit of hope, a ton more hard work.........and then success." "Hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice." All great answers, (Yea, I don't get the T

Families are weird.

I come from a dysfunctional family.  Oh, don't be surprised you do too.  The "perfect" families were on television.  AKA: It was all make believe! I remember going to family holiday celebrations as a kid and wondering, "Why is my uncle so strange?  Why does my cousin act that way?"  They were valid questions.  When I would ask my mom or another family member about them, they would answer something like, "That's just they way they are." Over the years I have discovered that some of my questions were valid.  As I watched these family members destroy their lives, marriages, and families.  I've also watched as some heeded the warnings of others and saved their lives and future.  After 53 years of life and I can tell you that one life can cause great pain or great joy to those closest to them. Eph 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, Household

Having lunch with my hero.

Today I got to have lunch with one of my hero's.  I'm not going to drop names; that would be rude.  But it will be an experience that I will never forget for the rest of my life. I consider this person to be a Level 5 leader.  This kind of leader, according to John Maxwell, is a person whom you would follow because of who they are and what they represent.  A level of influence that very few people achieve.  Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, Jack Welch and others like them would fall into this category. 1 Cor 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Paul, a Level 5 leader, told the church in Corinth to do what He was doing.  As he followed Jesus, they could be confident that his actions wouldn't lead them astray.  It takes lots of confidence to say this as a leader, but I believe I  understand how he could say this even better now after today. Humility -  Prideful boasting always focuses on one's self.  Praise always lifts someone else up. Appreciation - A genui

What A Great Day!

The Stevens family was AWESOME today at FFWC!  What a wonderful time of ministry.  Connect with them on Facebook at Stevens Family Music. Had a meeting with the leadership team today in preparation for next Sunday - Church Family Day.  What a great team of leaders.  You need to hear what they have to say next Sunday!! The youth group was great, as always.  Nikki, Tony, Tai, Tome, and Anneka are a great group of kids.  Looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings for Voltage Youth Ministries. 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. Ever had someone say, "Have a great day?"  I have.  How did you respond?  My responses have been from, "Thank you!"  to "Whatever."  It depends on my mood.  I know that it should, but I am working on it. I have to believe that when the Apostle John wished you a good day, he meant it.  Wow!  What would it be like to have Peter, John or J

You Light Up My Life!

I heard someone say this the other day.  "Oh, I just love that song, You Light Up My Life!"  If you were around back in the 70's then you what you did after the 8th or 9th week of it being on the top Billboard chart.  Turn it off!  The song wasn't bad - you were just worn out from listening to it. So what does light up your life, but doesn't wear you out?  For me, it is simple.  Jesus - My Wife - My Daughter and God's Calling on my life, to name a few.  So how is it that I can enjoy the presence of these things day after day without giving up on them? Psalms 136: 1 - 3 Praise the Lord! He is good. God’s love never fails. Praise the God of all gods. God’s love never fails. Praise the Lord of lords. God’s love never fails.  God's love never fails.   That means that each and everyday the love that He gives me is sufficient to love Him in return, then to love my wife, my daughter, my friend's and my church. Does this mean that I am always happy w


"I can't get it all done!"  "How am I going to do all of this!"  "Ahhhhh!" In the 70's there was a commercial on television for Calgon.  Their catch phrase was, "Take Me Away!"  The idea was that if you soaked in their bubble bath, it would wash away your stress.   I've seen people use a lot of difference ideas and methods to "de-stress" their life.  Everything from the weird to the illegal. The need to "get control" of one's life is so overwhelming it's become a multi-billion dollar industry.  Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. The world says, "You've got to do it ALL!"  "If you don't, you're a failure." Don't conform to this nonsense.   Be transformed!  Allow Jesus to change your thinking?  

Not Fair!

Fairness is a principle that is being redefined as I write this post.  People are having full blown arguments about this online, on television, over coffee and just about everywhere we go.   Now some of this is justifiable.  I have been the recipient of some, "unfairness" in my day.  But some of the "unfairness" that people pop off about is more about personal desires than a sense of justice.  So what is fair?  Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. We were all sinners at one time or another.  We deserved to receive the appropriate punishment for our sins, death.  In life, we can suffer death financially, emotionally, relationally, physically and spiritually.  After death, we deserve to hell.   Now I can hear someone saying this right now, "But that's not fair!  I'm not perfect, and I make mistakes."  We all do.  But God has a plan and therein lies the pr

You've Been Lied To

Self-help books lie, or they assume way too much about people.  Either way, you're never going to get help until you decide to do the right thing first. I hear people say all the time.  "I need to get my money under control."  "I need to get my weight under control."  "I need to spend more time with my family." They have great intentions but never follow through - why? Because they didn't do the right thing the first time. 2 Timothy 1:7  for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Because I am a pastor and have been preaching for 37 years, I often see a sermon in Scripture.  (I also see them in everything else too.)  So here is a three point sermon. Introduction - God did not give us a spirit of fear.  There are a lot of things God will not give us, but we can find on our own if we want.  Fear is one of them.  In other words, God never created you to be a coward. 1. God gives us power - The Greek wor

1% Closer To God

In 2010, Dave Brailsford was the new General Manager and Performance Director for Team Sky (Great Britain’s professional cycling team). His goal? Create the first ever British team to win the Tour de France.  Big goal - but how? He believes in a concept called “aggregation of marginal gains.” Or in other words, improve every area (here as it related to cycling) by just 1 percent.  The belief that small gains would add up to remarkable improvement. It worked. In 2012, the team won the Tour de France. They won 70 percent of the gold medals available at the Olympic Games that year and then repeated their Tour de France win in 2013. So how do you get closer to God?  1% at a time. Here is a three-step process that you can employ right now. #1 - Sign up for my daily devotionals.  Start your day off right.  (It takes about 5 minutes a day to read.  That's .4% of your day.) #2 - Go to church soon.  Just once!  Don't go looking for a reason to leave.  Go to find a reason to

Praying and Fasting - Why?

Prayer Changes Life - that is a fact. But what kind of change are you seeking? Because of our sinful nature, we are naturally selfish.  There is that inner child within you who wants something NOW - RIGHT NOW!  I've seen this at the car lot as a grown man says, "But I NEED the $1,000 chrome grill upgrade on my new truck."  I've heard this in a shoe store.  "But I NEED these $100 shoes to impress my boss with." Prayer and Fasting as a tremendous impact on your inner man. It checks that selfish part of you and helps you to make wise decisions. When you make wise decisions, it brings life to you and your family. James 1:5  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. If you want to have wisdom in your life #1 - Know where to get it.  (Hint:  It isn't at Wal-Mart.) God has all the wisdom you need.  All you have to do is ask for it. #2 Listen to God.  That's what fasting

What A Day!!

The first day of the new year was Sunday!  What a great way to start off the year!  I suppose if I had it my way, the first day of every new year would be Sunday.  I know, I know - I'm dreaming. Breakfast was great!  Mark Clawson did a fantastic job cooking this morning, and we had a great crowd join us for our first event of 2017. The worship service was excellent!  Many people who had been traveling for the holidays have returned.  It was great to see them today. The soup kitchen was fantastic today.  Tony, Donna, Sheila, Mary and others made it a great day. For some of you who have been asking.  SUPERBOWL is ON!  More about that next Sunday.  You don't want to miss it. Now to the devotion of the day. I spoke about prayer, and it's important in our life.  FFWC is praying and fasting this week.  We are praying for ourselves, our families, our church, our community, and our nation. 1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.