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Days of Encouragement & Challenge

posted Mar 12, 2015, 10:34 AM by First Baptist


The reason my article is a day late this week is because Sally & I were attending a pastors’ conference in Des Moines on Monday & Tuesday.


The primary purpose of the conference was to alert Iowa pastors (of which about 250 were in attendance) to the erosion of religious liberty in American society. You’re probably heard the stories about Christian photographers, for example, who’ve been fined thousands of dollars for refusing to participate in homosexual weddings. Also, the Justice Department is suing the Little Sisters of the Poor (an order of Catholic nuns who serve the poorest of the poor) for refusing to include abortion-inducing drugs in their health plan.


One of the most interesting speakers was a historian who traced the “evolution” in America from being a Christian nation to being a secular nation. He then made a startling argument: Secularization is only a transition stage to becoming a Muslim-dominated nation! He pointed to what’s happening in Europe as support for his thesis.


Other speakers encouraged pastors to be bold in their proclamation of the Word. One speaker in particular suggested that too many pastors in America are skipping over the difficult things in Scripture out of fear of what people might say or do. We were encouraged to fear God more than people and to trust in the power of His Word to change lives.


A couple of politicians showed up – Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Bobby Jindal. Both men made strong professions of faith in Christ. It appears we’ll have several evangelical Christians running for president in 2016.


Sally’s favorite speaker was a woman from Texas who was forced to choose between her eyesight and giving birth to her second child. (She had some kind of disease; I don’t recall the name of it.) She told the doctor that it wasn’t even a difficult decision – she would choose their child. Her doctor called her a fool for not aborting the baby.


The woman indeed went blind, but she and her husband now have 5 children and all of them are serving the Lord in some capacity. She urged us to think of our legacy (what we leave behind) and not simply our personal happiness or convenience. Although blindness is a terrible handicap, she has no regrets whatsoever.


Pastor Dan