A FEW THOUGHTS AT 1:00 AM

April 2, 2015 1 comment

I should be going to bed, but I wanted to write some of this down.

We see what ISIS is doing. There were around 1.4 million Christians living in Iraq pre-our 2003 invasion there. Now, 12 years later, that number is down to as low as 260,000 Christians. We may have meant well for the region, but that is what is happening. Not sure what it means yet, but we played a role.

Our government is currently negotiating with Iran at the same time Iran states the complete destruction of Israel is nonnegotiable. But this same government will not tolerate a baker who doesn’t want to make a cake for a gay wedding.

We’re hearing what’s happening in Indiana. Travel boycotts to the state by other state governments?

We do live in that crazy world that we thought we’d only see in a Hunger Games movie. While all of it happens around us, we’re tuning into Ellen DeGeneres for a good belly laugh; we’re amusing ourselves with beauty pageants and talent shows. In many ways, we are those same people from the movies. The best of us. Gluttons for pleasure while all of it happens around us.

Sometimes when I see what evil is doing around the world or in our own families, I get angry. When I want to be, I am the best prosecutor and just want to rip shreds into every argument that evil can offer. Peter from the Bible might have something to say about that though. Or Gideon. The balance between justice and mercy is a daily battle for me. Jesus is the perfect example.

There is something we can do. Like Esther, we are alive at a time like this. We can say something. We can — we must — start in our own home. I love the discussions Abby and I have together. She has so many important things to say. We have something called the Internet. We can pray.

Trust God.

IN 2016, IT WON’T BE A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT THAT SAVES US

February 1, 2015 Leave a comment

The other day, we went to see the movie American Sniper. It was great, but there is one scene I cannot get out of my head (and don’t worry, there is no spoiler here). When you see our military convoy snaking through back alleys of hostile territory strongly controlled by the terrorists–and we’re talking routine mission–you cannot help but ask, what are we doing there? The odds are highly stacked against us, yet it shows just how good the U.S. military is, because of what they do accomplish under those difficult circumstances.

Despite all of our military might, compare where we are today to when we first set out to defeat terror over thirteen years ago after the 9-11 attacks. Does it seem like our calamities have multiplied? Are we missing something?

Yes, we are. And we are repeating history.

In the Bible, when the people of Israel depended on God, they found safety and security, in many cases without the need for war. When they went ahead of God in their own power, they found chaos and…war.

“The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do.

The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.

Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory–for all its strength, it cannot save you.

But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.

We put our hope in the Lord” (Psalm 33:13-20).

It is the only way out, and it is very possible. Nothing else will matter. In 2016, it won’t matter if you’re a Republican or Democrat running for President. If you don’t have the God factor, it will be just another election with the usual letdown.

Whether we get that candidate or not, there are some things we can influence. Our hearts. Our families. I’m convinced one of the most important legacies we can leave is that we were a good father or mother to our children. A good neighbor and friend.

I guess the most important thing I want to share is that God has to be THE factor if we want a better world, or a better home. I believe there are a lot of people out there who are getting a strong sense for this as well. I’m excited to see what God has in store.

THE SEVEN HOUR LUNCH – HOW WE MET

March 13, 2014 2 comments

It happened when we least expected it.  Two separate circumstances outside of our control brought us both to the same place at the same time.

On Sunday, November 25, 2012, we met “by accident” over lunch at her parents’ house (I go to church with her parents).  For her, it came about because she was dropping off her nephew that day.  For me, it came about because on the Sunday her parents originally wanted to invite me over, I rushed out of church to purchase concert tickets that just went on sale, because I thought they would sell out.  So they never had a chance to ask me until the Sunday they were meant to. 

Abby and Me

I remember walking into their house.  When I first saw Abby (this is the point at which you would expect to read something like “it was love at first sight,” but not here), my first thought was, “Oh, there’s some person’s daughter,” and not with any interest on my part.  That was it and maybe it’s my funny way of translating that I wasn’t expecting such a large group at lunch.  Plus, after ‘’Hello,” she hardly acknowledged that I was in the room anyway…at first.  The first thing I noticed about Abby was her bright personality. 

The lunch was going very well, her mom and I were doing most of the talking (We had some great conversations, or should I say “many,” as you will soon learn why), and then Abby started to slowly enter my radar as we made more eye contact and exchanged more words with each other.  There were several occasions, and Abby will tell you the same thing, when she said something, and I was like, “Holy Cow, I was going to say that same exact thing.” 

We ate our food fairly quickly, but the lunch and conversation kept going, and going, and going…  It was sometime after 5:00 PM when I suggested that it might be time for me to go, but her mom was quick to dive into another great conversation.  I felt rude for trying to leave.  I remember thinking, “Do they always eat lunch this long?”

As the hours passed, Abby eventually moved over to the chair beside me.  I remember at one point she mentioned that she was single.  I don’t know if that was a hint or not, but I took it that way.

If lunch had not been for such an unusual length of time, I know Abby and I would not have had the opportunity to connect like we did, at least not on that day.  Long story short, as a result of that lunch, I asked her out for coffee and water (this has its own story) the following Saturday, and here we are today.  I thank God for her.  She is a miracle from Him.  He did this.

After I left their house that day, I went to my parents’ house to watch our favorite show, Once Upon a Time.  I walked in the door just before 8:00 PM when the show starts, and they were like, “Where were you?”  I sort of smiled and said, “Lunch.” 

That is, The Seven Hour Lunch.

 

To Abby, I love you!  -Andrew

RESTORING LOVE: A MESSAGE FOR OUR TIME

August 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Wherever our country goes from here, I do not know. I do know that what I heard on Saturday night, July 28, 2012, in Dallas Cowboys Stadium is the answer to what is coming our way.

Glenn Beck’s Restoring Love event was not just an event; it was a message for these times.

As tens of thousands gathered in a stadium to hear this message, it felt like what I imagine it was like to hear George Whitefield speaking to the masses on a hillside. It was not just another thing to do on a Saturday night; it had a purpose that is meant to be applied.

There are a lot of people on TV and elsewhere, who complain about the problems in our country, and these same people would not even consider attending an event like Restoring Love. Don’t they know the answer is here? Then I remember what David Barton said- 25% won the American Revolution. We don’t need every American to get it; we just have to be it ourselves.

Nor do we need the media, which is easier said than believed, I think. Many of us have fallen prey to society’s lie that if we see it on TV, then it must be legit. And it’s almost like we’ve been waiting for the media to get our message, embrace it, and tell it the right way. I’ve come to the conclusion, as have many others, that we don’t need the media or government to recognize an awakening for it to be reality.

Alyssa Krumm’s photo

Here are some of the words from Restoring Love that I believe will have a lasting impact…

Witness the Third Great Awakening!

History is a guide. It is not a guarantee.

All they saw was a blank canvas and they filled it. And so shall we.

The moment we won our freedom, Congress printed this Bible.

You’ve already won…just get out on the field and finish the game.

History tells us when we have both the good and the bad…we stand and we mark our place.

To restore our purpose as a nation, to remember who we are as Americans.

We must not become America in name only…I charge you…to act, to commit, to shape our future.

Some succeed…those who fail have failed because they waited for someone else to act.

Kenneth Powell’s photo

I was moved by the video showing the things that made America great. As culture abandons them, our charge is to restore them.

Are you among the Americans who will have rallied around this message when our country needed it most?

I am. History will show that Restoring Love was the right road.

We heard a message for our time from the person appointed to give it.

It will have a lasting impact.

MORE-

The Greatest of These

9/11 MEMORIAL EVENT PLANNED FOR YORK COUNTY

9-7-12 – An Event

Every year around September 11, we take time to remember the fallen. The day America changed. Many of us still turn to faith in something around the anniversary. Our hearts still soften to the reality that so much of our existence is really out of our control. But tragedy is not the end. Patriotism is not the sole purpose. There is a deeper meaning behind 9/11. As we turn to faith, on what do we plant that faith?

On September 7, 2012, our community will gather together for one night to remember 9/11/01, but this event will awaken a deeper hope in people that will excite them for their future in America. We want to give the community a way to remember 9/11 by gathering together, and not only that- leaving with hope. Awakening Hope is the sequel event to the Advancing Honor Rally at Sovereign Bank Stadium that took place on May 27, 2011.

“A Way to Remember” by Matthew Meckley

Friday, September 7, 2012

7:30 PM-9:00 PM, Doors Open 6:30 PM

Free, Open to the Community

At New Beginning Assembly of God, 223 W Jackson St, Spring Grove, PA 17362

The event will include inspirational music, special speakers, a fun presentation for children, a special cause behind the event that will soon be announced, and more.

Contact advancinghonor@gmail.com

Did you know that at the corner of Ground Zero there stands a church? Not just any church–the church where George Washington dedicated our nation to God after his inauguration as the first President of the United States of America. What’s more, the same church actually owned the field that is now Ground Zero at the time of the dedication.

As we remember the fallen, it takes us back to our foundation as a nation, to what happened in that very same spot in a little church. That is why we’re having Awakening Hope in a church. We will remember the fallen, our foundation, but I believe Awakening Hope will kick start something we haven’t seen a whole lot of since 2 Corinthians 8 was written. More on that to come.

A FIRM FOUNDATION

June 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Matthew Meckley has been quietly working on a drawing, the sequel to American Joy, and here it is. The drawing is named, “A Firm Foundation.” Meet Ruth, Benjamin, and Elizabeth! They are childhood friends, making their own music outside of a one room schoolhouse in the country.

I had no idea what Matt was putting on this piece of artwork, let alone that he was even working on something. I was blown away by what I’m about to tell you. The day Matt said he had a surprise and sent this to me, I had just visited a one room schoolhouse out in the country that very morning. I remember standing there at the schoolhouse and thinking, it was in schoolhouses like this one where the foundation was laid for my grandparents’ generation and way of life. A foundation on which God was still welcome, the Pledge of Allegiance still meant something, and character is what mattered.

Compare that one little room to the multimillion dollar deficits of public education today. Are we building the same foundation today?

Here are some photos I took of the schoolhouse and the wide open, Ohio country around it.

My grandpa’s farm at one time (below)

The road there and back…

One more thing about “A Firm Foundation,” the drawing–Matt made two girls and one boy making music together. It took me back to my own childhood days when my sister, cousin (female), and I started our own southern gospel group at Grandma’s house. We even sold cassette tapes for profit. We were convinced we’d go big time. Like Ruth, Benjamin and Elizabeth, we used our energy to create something of real value (maybe not talent…okay, definitely not). Oh, and Grandma’s house happens to be in the same area as the schoolhouse and where I was when Matt sent me this drawing.

May this drawing always serve as a reminder for those who see it, to build a firm foundation in your life and that of your children’s. It may require tracing your steps back to a time once lived on a small country road.

A LETTER TO THE POST-FREE WORLD

May 10, 2012 3 comments

If you’re reading this in the post-freedom world, I want you to see this. If for some reason you happen across this post a hundred years from now as you’re surfing the internet, I want you to know what happened today. I believe today is one of those quiet turning points in history; one that will take us into a very dark period of world history, where you now find yourself.

I am convinced the invasion of Iraq in 2003 is another of those turning points in history, but not so quietly. I think it will have some part to play in the end, for good or bad, I’m not sure. Maybe you have a better understanding of that by now.

Today’s turning point is obviously not solely responsible for the kind of world in which you now live. It is a mile marker. A road sign to where you are now. The sad part is, today’s turning point into darkness was only taken for political advantage. The gravity of such an issue was exchanged for a couple votes.

What is the turning point? Let the President of the United States of America tell you himself in a letter I received at 4:28 this morning.

Friend —

Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:

I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.

Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn’t dawn on them that their friends’ parents should be treated differently.

So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.

Thank you,

Barack

Barack Obama is the first sitting president to take a position of support for same-sex marriages. A loss of values will guarantee the loss of everything else, including freedom. Freedom is built on values. Without values, the world unravels toward evil.

I don’t know if your schools are teaching this, but know there was a time in America and the world when we had freedom and values. Know there were some who stood where God wanted us to stand and speak the truth. I might have already left this earth by the time you happen across this, or it could happen in my lifetime; but today, I am thinking of you.

Let this spark hope inside you to do the right thing.

“A divine sentence is in the lips of the king…It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 16:10, 12, 25

ANDREW TOME

May 2012