THE STATE OF THE UNION                                                                                                       Andy Hollifield 1-31-18

Psalms 11:4 The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

Psalms 47:8 God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

Psalms 93:2 Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.

Psalms 103:19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

Last night, our president gave his first State Of The Union address. I did not watch it or listen to the talking heads on all of the networks. I knew that if I had watched it, they would be trying to explain to me what I just heard, from their point of view of course. I will watch it all day today I am sure regardless of what channel I may turn to. It is not that I am not concerned with the state of our country, it’s just that there was no one on TV last night that I have got my faith and confidence in to fix anything. Psalms 75:7 speaking of the Lord himself says, “But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” Instead of tuning in to the show, I began reading a little about some of the dark times our nation has seen as well as some other notable things that happened on this day.

To begin with, as far as I am concerned, one of the most important events that took place on this day was the birth in 1964 of my older brother Jim. Who could have known that only 19 years and less than 9 months later, he would be the instrument God used to preserve my life by the gift of one of his kidneys. So once again I will say to him; thanks again and Happy Birthday.

Now on to some other important things. One of the most historically important events that has taken place in the history of the United States was the passage of the 13th Amendment on this day in 1865. That was the bill signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln abolishing slavery in this country. While there remained a lot of work to be done, that event changed our country forever along with the Civil War that followed. It truly was the very beginning of the civil rights movement although it took another 100 years give or take, for it to finally come to fruition. Another event a few years later in 1872 was the birth of legendary western author Zane Grey. His books about the frontier have brought it to life for many readers including myself. In 1950, President Harry Truman announced the development of the H-bomb to the world. The development of this bomb was spurred by the discovery of a spy that was a top ranking scientist. Before he was caught, Franz Fuchs had passed all of our nuclear designs and info to the Russians. In 1971 on this day, Apollo 14 launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida en route to the moon successfully completing the third US moon landing by the United States. On this day in 1988 Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins led his team to a lopsided victory in Super Bowl XXII. The reason this is noteworthy is because Williams was the first black quarterback to play in a Super Bowl. And finally in 1990, the world got just a little smaller as McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in the Soviet Union. People waited in long lines and paid several day’s wages for the famous Big Macs, shakes, and fries.

We now live in a tumultuous time in our country. But as you can see by the previous paragraph, it isn’t the first time that our country has endured times like these. Granted, our country may not have been as internally divided as it now in so many different ways. It has seen great divisions without question, but in previous times we were all united in one aspect; we were all proud to be Americans first and stood ready to defend our country against outside enemies in spite of our own disagreements. Now, that is not the case as we have reached a time of intolerance to the opinions of others to the point of being willing to sacrifice the union for the sake of our opinions whether or not they are grounded in facts. We have reached a time when patriotism, character, integrity, respect, morals, honesty, and manners seem to be outdated ideas from old people who just aren’t with the times. Well, I am one of those old people and I have the answer for the woes of our nation: GOD. The same answer it has always been but some, not all, seem to think that is just a crutch and a way of restricting the fun and freedom of others. Psalms 9:17 says, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” I didn’t write it, I just believe it and repeat it. Every civilization that has accepted the social behaviors that our country has, has crumbled from within by their own excesses.

I didn’t write this article to state the obvious because most of us are already sickened by what we see going on in the world today. But in the midst of all the chaos around us, I want to report that the state of the union is excellent and more people are immigrating every day. No, not this country but the eternal one that those of us that are born again are already citizens of. You don’t get to immigrate to that country just because you are a good person, or because you die, but only because while you are alive you repent of your sins and accept Jesus into your heart. There is no sneaking over the border there and, not that it is needed to keep anyone out or in, but they already have a wall. Also in that city, there will be no need of money because there is nothing to buy and the only purchase ever made there was when Jesus left his throne and came to die for our sins and purchase forgiveness for us through his blood. As a matter of fact, the one thing that keeps most people from God and hinders greatly the faithfulness of God’s people, is the cheapest thing there and we will be walking on a street of pure gold. I mean 100 percent pure like nothing we have ever seen on this earth. As far as leadership goes, there has only been one coup in the history of that country and it was highly unsuccessful and resulted in all of the coup leader’s angels being cast out with him. That country is still managed and presided over by the creator of the entire universe and he has been in power since before there was even a universe. When it comes to weather, it’s always perfect! It’s bright all the time because Jesus, the light of the world, is the light there. You remember those days that have been so good you wished they would never end; well there it won’t. To be honest, there has only been one day there and it is still going because there is no night. The residents there are all folks that have been born again before they died. The incredible thing is that we will be known there as we are known here. I don’t know exactly how that works with various ages but no one ages over there because there is no time. We will never be in a hurry because there is no night and besides that, there is nowhere else to go. Why would anybody want to go anywhere else anyway? We will be there with Jesus who purchased our salvation and forgiveness whereby we were made worthy to enter that city. Also present are those that have gone on before us and are now rejoicing in the presence of the angels. That is our loved ones, both family and friends. Most importantly, the biggest problem we have ever had in our life will be gone. No, I am not talking about sickness or anything like that; I am talking about the devil. Once we breathe our last breath over here and draw in our first one in that glorified pain-free body, we will have left the devil behind us never to be bothered by him again. I forgot to mention that glorified body till just now. When we leave here we will be changed into a body like Christ that will never age or hurt or hunger or get tired and we won’t have to worry about dying because there will be no death there. Jesus got the victory over that when he came out of the grave while he was here on earth. Lastly, the union I mentioned; that would be God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Not only are they united, they have never had but one problem between them. That was while Christ was here, when he took our sins on himself on the cross of Calvary. His Father had to turn his back on him because he refuses to look on sin. He forsook his only begotten Son that day so he will never have to forsake me and you.

Well, I guess I better stop now. We can’t handle but so much thinking about our country. We will have to have that new body to be able to withstand the presence and Spirit of the Lord and all the goodness that awaits us there. Oh, the state of the union: I would say it couldn’t be any better until we get there! It just depends on which country you are most concerned with. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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