The above video is about 45 min long but well worth the listening to.  Francis Chan reminds us to stand firm on God’s Word and hide it in our heart.  With all the re-educating going on in America, I think this is more important than ever. 

Below, I found this letter very interesting.  Love to hear your thoughts!


From the Desk of:
Steve Elliott

November 7, 2012

Four more
years … of exile. But there is hope. Please read my thoughts
on where we go from here. –Steve


Dear Friend,

I’m writing to
you to explain why, even after a late and discouraging evening
that stretched past 1:00 a.m. on the East Coast, I was back at
the office before 8:00 a.m. this morning.

And why the sinking feeling I felt last night has already been
replaced with a deep determination.

And why I’m going out to buy equipment for our new office this
afternoon.

And why we are going to build, build, build — despite a
stunning and, for me, unexpected defeat.

+ +
Let’s Be Clear: We Just Got Pummeled

Before I go on, let’s be clear: last night was a defeat, and I
didn’t see it coming. I expected a “Tea Party Wave” — perhaps a
300+ electoral-vote victory for Romney. All the signs seemed to
be there. The 2010 elections, the failed recall of Wisconsin
governor Scott Walker and even the Chick-fil-A Day pointed to a
re-shaped political landscape. The polls and crowds made it
clear that there was more enthusiasm with Romney.

But that wave never came. The people did not rise up and reject
Obama’s statism. Quite the opposite — 15 million fewer people
voted, and Romney earned less votes than John McCain did four
years ago.

+ + Far Worse Than 2008

Upon reflection, what happened last night was far worse than
what happened in 2008. Our first “dance” with Obama was mostly
about smoke and mirrors — “hope and change” that was never
really defined. For many Americans, Obama 2008 was more an idea,
an idealized dream and a collective catharsis from our dark
past.

But Obama 2012 was something altogether different because now we
know the real Barack Obama. We watched him advance the most
radical leftist agenda since at least FDR. We saw him rape and
pillage the free market and impose a government takeover of
industries. We witnessed him go to foreign nations and apologize
for America and then leave our people alone to die in Benghazi.

This time we
knew Barack Obama. Yet a majority of American voters said,
“More!” The opposition to Obama’s agenda never really showed up
at the polls.

We can try to console ourselves by saying it was a close
election … that the leftist media gave Obama the election …
that we couldn’t really expect a Northeastern liberal Republican
to be our standard bearer … that a bizarre hurricane swung the
election.

All that may be true.

But it matters little now. And the less time we spend blaming
each other or the trickery of the other guys the better.

So here’s why I’m more determined … why I’m building.

+ + A
2,500-Year-Old Letter Written for Today

I want to
share with you a letter that, although 2,500 years old, it could
have been written this morning. For us. For faithful patriots
who feel like they just discovered they will have to live at
least the next four years in exile.

This letter was written to Jewish exiles who had been pushed out
of Jerusalem and forced to live under a tyrannical ruler named
Nebuchadnezzar.

The exiles wanted one thing: they wanted to be re-established
back in Israel. They even had a prophet named Hananiah come to
them and tell them that their time of exile would only last two
years.

You can read about it in Jeremiah 28.

Hananiah was a false prophet. He died.

And so Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiles. You’ve probably
heard a part of that letter recited many times. It’s one of the
most commonly quoted passages in the entire Bible.
Unfortunately, this passage is mostly taken out of its proper
context and delivered as a “feel good” word that everything is
going to be O.K.

One of my friends was quoting this verse yesterday morning:



“For I know the plans I
have for you,” declares the
Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you
hope and a future.

Those words
sound so good. The future is bright. God has a plan for
prosperity, for a real hope and a real future. On the eve of the
election, it must have meant a Romney win, the GOP takes the
Senate and we start the rollback of the Obama regime, right?

Not exactly.

+ + The Plan Was Exile

Here’s the shocking context of Jeremiah 29 (and I offer to you,
the context for November 6, 2012): the plan was exile.

That was the “plan” Jeremiah’s letter was talking about. I
encourage you to go read all of Jeremiah 29. Here is the
immediate context:
 


This is what the
Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will
come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to
this place.

For I know the
plans I have for you …”

The plan
was 70 years of exile. Keep that in mind the next time someone
quotes Jeremiah 29:11 to encourage you that your time of trouble
will soon end. Not only was the exile going to last 70 years,
the exile WAS the plan!

If you don’t believe me, go back and read the beginning of the
letter, from Jeremiah 29:4. Here you’ll see the Lord (through
Jeremiah) giving the Jewish exiles specific instructions on how
to conduct themselves in exile:

–Build
houses and settle down.

–Plan gardens and eat what they produce.

–Marry and have sons and daughters.

–Marry off your sons and daughters so they can have children.

–Increase in number; do not decrease.

Again,
remember the context. A false prophet had just come and said the
time of exile would only last two years. That prophet died. The
truth is, the people will be in exile for 70 years. And the
directive is to build families, grow businesses, think
trans-generationally and increase.

+ + Seek the Welfare of the Land

It gets better. Because Jeremiah’s letter makes it clear that
building and marrying is not enough. People in exile must do
something else — they must be a blessing to the land.

 


“Also, seek the
peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you
into exile. Pray to the
Lord
for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

So let’s
review. First, the plan is exile. Second, build. Third, bless.
Simple, clear instructions.

But why was this important? Why a “plan” for exile with specific
instructions on how to act in exile?

Historians tell us it was during the Babylonian captivity that
the Israelites moved from a Temple/Jerusalem focused society to
a synagogue and community focused society. Simply put …

It was the lessons learned during their time in exile which
enabled the Jews to survive 2,500 years in exile. But not just
survive — but to thrive and become the most prosperous, most
successful and most innovative people group in the history of
civilization.

Exile was the plan.

So that’s why, today, I’m going to build. And I’m going to
plant. I’m going to bless. And I’m going to pray.

For that is the final piece to the puzzle …

 


“Then you will
call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.


You will seek me and find me when you seek me with
all your heart.”

So let’s
get building. Let’s get planting. And let’s get praying. And
let’s bless this land. There are lessons to be learned in exile.

Steve Elliott, Grassfire