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The Troubling Times in Israel… is Ezekiel 38 Happening Before Our Eyes?

The title of my message this Sunday is “All Eyes on Israel.” What is taking place right now in the Middle East has all appearances of a precursor to the events of Ezekiel 38 – a massive coalition that invades Israel, only to be defeated soundly by the Hebrew nation.

Joel Rosenberg has a remarkable blog about this today that demonstrates just how incredible the parallels really are – especially the unlikely involvment of Turkey.

What does this mean for us?  From a concern point of view, we should pray for Israel and its leaders, as well as our own.  If Israel is faced with war against everyone else, we want to be on the side of Israel.  As one listener to the Ryan Rush Show pointed out yesterday, this is certainly worth a call to your Senators and Congressmen.  Contact information to reach them is found here.

From a prophetic point of view, there is always reason for anticipation and excitement when prophecies are being fulfilled before our eyes.  We don’t wish harm to anyone, but we are reminded that God’s promises are true.  If He keeps His promises in the midst of Middle East conflict, He most certainly keep His promises to you!

In the meantime, we trust, pray, and share the Good News…

An Opportunity to Influence the Austin City Council…

Austin City Councilman Bill Spelman announced earlier today his intention to propose a new code requiring Pregnancy Centers in town to post a sign at their entrance indicating that they do not perform abortions.  The argument is made that this is done in the interest of full disclosure.  After seeing the vehement comments that have already been posted at the announcement on Statesman.com, I fear we may miss the opportunity to  do something positive here.

Rather than automatically accusing the Councilman of an agenda to funnel women to abortion providers, why not respectfully request that the postings become effective for all pregnancy centers in town – regardless of position?  That would be just fine with me.  After all, it would remove the  accusations that NARAL has made that pro-life centers are trying to trick women into choosing life or adoption, and provide a new opportunity for abortion providers to step up and be forthcoming about their own intentions.  (By the way, I spoke with Councilman Spelman on the phone earlier, and he has agreed to call into the Ryan Rush Show on Tuesday or Wednesday and take your questions.)

Before you let the proposal ruin your weekend, I would recommend that you send a respectful email to Councilman Spelman – and perhaps the others on the Council – asking them to consider expanding the proposal to increase clarity for all women.  Something along these lines:

Dear Councilman Spelman,

Thank you for all of the work you do on behalf of our city.  I noticed today that you have submitted a proposal to the Council for a vote next week regarding signs at the city’s pregnancy centers who do not provide abortions.  As you have stated, the signs would not be inflammatory in nature, and are not intended to be divisive, but instead are intended to provide clarity.  Disclosure can certainly be a good thing – especially for those who are facing such a difficult situation.  I want to ask you and other members of the Council to make one adjustment.  Why not require such postings at all pregnancy centers, requiring clarity regarding their abortion services?  That way, a woman could know at the entrance exactly where that center stands.  A center that does provide abortions would have the same-sized signs stating simply, “This Center provides abortions or refers to abortion providers. This center also provide or refers to providers of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved birth control drugs and medical devices.”

As a supporter of area Crisis Pregnancy Centers, I believe that this could help to further enhance everyone’s understanding of the variety of clinics in the city.  Thank you for your consideration of this proposal.

Respectfully Submitted,

______________________

You can reach Councilman Bill Spelman online at this link.   Before you get angry, consider the opportunity this may present.  Have a great weekend!

This Just In… Family Devotions are Not the Answer.

Maybe we’ve been telling people the wrong answer to success at home all along.  Wouldn’t it be just like Americans to over-categorize our answer to the most pressing problem in our culture?

Deuteronomy 6 is an oft-quoted verse by many pro-family speakers – including myself.  However, I must admit that we all might have taken some of these words a bit off the path of their original destination.

Verses six through nine of this dynamic chapter challenge the families of Israel as to how the wonderful book of the law should be used: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”(NKJV)  In other words, the Word of God should be taught at all times!

Now, here’s where most of us take a bit of a wrong turn.  I can almost hear myself tell a group of families, “Now, don’t you see?  God is making it clear that we should have a specific time of family devotions every day in our homes!  If it’s that important, shouldn’t we set aside a time every day to spend as a family in the Word?”  While the PROMISE of that statement will always be very positive for any family, the PREMISE of it is not the content of those key verses of Scripture.

Continue Reading…

The Three Walls that Separate the Church

For the past five years, our church h has been connecting church life and home life using a process we call Faith Breakthroughs.  A Faith Breakthrough is a turning point when a person intentionally moves beyond spiritual barriers to the blessings God has promised.  There is no doubt that our walks with God were never intended to take place in one building on Sundays; yet a large proportion of American Christians find themselves stuck in their faith when it comes to real-life transformation.

The process of a Faith Breakthrough begins with identifying specific “walls” that are holding back the believer.  These walls are barriers of unbelief that keep us from living the life God intended.  Walls are not circumstances, as the Scripture makes it clear that Christ Followers overcame all sorts of circumstances.  Instead, walls of unbelief take the shape of bad attitudes, unhealthy choices, and rebellious acts – all of which hold us back from the abundant life for which we were made.  We’ve seen walls of resentment, of doubt, of anger, of greed, and many more.

We have also seen God tear those walls down, and He always uses the same weapon.  Walls are built by unbelief, and walls are destroyed through a process of believing God’s promises!

Not only do walls hold back people, there is evidence in Scripture that walls can hold back churches as well.  Laodicea faced a wall of pride.  Pergamum faced a wall of compromise.
They are not alone: most congregations have dealt with the reality of unbelief – and the barriers it causes.  These walls keep them trapped inside their internal programs and agendas – distracted by unimportant things that matter little in eternity.  These walls also isolate individual congregations from the Church as a Whole – the Body of Christ in Austin and beyond.

Continue Reading…

Ryan Rush Show on The Prosperity Gospel

Talking today on the radio show about the dangers – and difficulties – of the prosperity gospel.  John MacArthur has an interesting, if not polarizing, article on crosswalk.com: http://www.crosswalk.com/spirituallife/11626683/.  Amazing how many people have called in with scars from being disappointed from false teaching.

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Ryan Rush Show 3/12/2010

I don’t get to talk sports all the time, but every now and then, sports intersects with life, and it becomes show-worthy!  Today is such a day.  Houston Yates High School is ranked number one in the country, and they play tomorrow here in Austin for their second consecutive state 4A boys basketball championship.  Unfortunately, they have done so at the expense of good sportsmanship.  Read Rick Reilly’s ESPN commentary for the details:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=reilly_rick&id=4977305

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to have a lively discussion about Bullying in schools, Austin Police Chief Acevedo, and lots of legal questions for Terry Belt.  Thanks to all who called in!

Radio Show on Wednesday, March 10

We had an interesting conversation today about what people should wear to church.  But it wasn’t what you think – we weren’t rehashing ties versus no ties, or sandles versus dress shoes.  We are speaking about modesty in the church.  Here’s an interesting video clip: http://www.wvec.com/news/local/INSIDE-A-NAKED-CHURCH-85062392.html about a nudist church in Virginia.

Great comments from our listeners!  The bottom line – this is not about legalism, but honoring God and not becoming a distraction to others.

Family Ministry (AKA D6, Faith@Home) is More than Lip Service

Connecting church life with home life, building bridges across the generations, and drawing people into a passionate walk with Christ requires more than lip service.

Continue Reading…

Lily’s Medical Biography…

Our youngest daughter, Lily Anne, has sort of dominated ourlives with her medical adventures in the last three years. I’ve transfered over our postings during that first year of life, because they share so much about us – and about how God has been faithful. The adventure is certainly not over, but I wouldn’t trade Lily for anything… and I’ve learned to be content in all circumstances.

Jan 2, 2008 Update on Lily

Dear Friends,

The last time we shared with you about Lily’s medical condition, we told you that we were waiting until January of 2008 to do some follow-up testing on Lily’s kidneys. You might recall that the doctor in Boston gave us hope that there was a small chance that her reflux could improve on its own, and he wanted to give her the rest of the year to try.

On Monday (New Year’s Eve), we went in for a follow up VCUG, and received the results this morning from Dr. Jolet. Here’s what we discovered: when children have grade 4 and 5 reflux (5 is the worst, and Lily had a 4 on one side and 5 on the other), the hope is that over the course of time it might improve to grade 3 or maybe even 2 if everything goes very well . This would allow us to continue in hopes that it would improve on its own, or be treated without having to go through another surgery. She told us that the results don’t just show improvement – they show that Lily’s problem is completely gone! Dr. Jolet said that we shouldn’t be surprised if the doctors in Boston want to re-test because the results are so impossible, but we have no reason to doubt that God has answered our prayers with a miracle!

Thanks to all of you for your many prayers in the last year. The Lord was listening, and we are eternally grateful.

Lily took her first steps on New Year’s Day, and we heard this news on January 2, so 2008 is off to a fantastic start. Hopefully, this will be the last CarePages update you receive from the Rush Family. Nevertheless, I doubt you’ve heard the last of Lily Rush. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for her in the coming days, and it’s only fitting that this chapter of her life would end with something only God could do.

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Start your faith breakthrough now!
The spiritual barriers people face are countless, but they can be categorized into Eight Primary Walls. These walls correlate with the 8 primary breakthroughs that everyone needs.
1 of 48
When I am facing a difficult situation, I feel like I can solve problems on my own.
2 of 48
I am grateful for the things I have been given.
3 of 48
I feel I can turn to God for direction.
4 of 48
I believe God is willing and able to answer my prayers.
5 of 48
I believe God is loving and kind.
6 of 48
I think God cares about the details of my life.
7 of 48
I have to guard against judging people when I learn they are dealing with tough circumstances.
8 of 48
I feel compelled to make the world around me better.
9 of 48
I tend to expect the worst to happen.
10 of 48
I have a hard time trusting people.
11 of 48
It humbles me to think I can know God.
12 of 48
I have witnessed things that make me wonder if God is in control.
13 of 48
The possibility of gaining a good friend is worth the risk.
14 of 48
People who have hurt me in the past cause me to avoid some relationships today.
15 of 48
I observe things that make me wonder if I should believe the Bible.
16 of 48
It troubles me that God has not answered my prayers.
17 of 48
I am amazed at God's power.
18 of 48
I find myself drawn to things I know are bad for me.
19 of 48
People would describe me as a giving person.
20 of 48
I worry that God is angry with me.
21 of 48
I try to avoid temptations that would bring me harm.
22 of 48
I believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing God.
23 of 48
I feel with God's help, I can face any situation.
24 of 48
I look forward to good things in my future.
25 of 48
I think that God will meet all my needs.
26 of 48
I am confident God has forgiven me for my past.
27 of 48
I believe God loves me in spite of who I am.
28 of 48
My faith practices are more about routine than relationship.
29 of 48
I am so busy that I find myself ignoring the most important things in my life.
30 of 48
I am intentionally seeking to grow in my relationships with others.
31 of 48
I find myself more focused on the things I don't have but wish I did.
32 of 48
I feel there is a disconnect between who I really am and how I act in front of other people.
33 of 48
I have too many of my own problems to deal with the problems of others.
34 of 48
I question why God allowed certain things to happen in my life.
35 of 48
I feel strong relationships are hard, but worth it.
36 of 48
I believe the Bible has answers for today's circumstances.
37 of 48
I spend too much of my energy pursuing material things.
38 of 48
I worry about the problems that the future holds.
39 of 48
I am willing to serve others for nothing in return.
40 of 48
When bad things happen, I feel like I am getting what I deserve.
41 of 48
I believe truth is the same for everyone.
42 of 48
I know a lot of people, but don't feel very close to many people.
43 of 48
When looking back on my life, I tend to focus on all of the things I did wrong.
44 of 48
I believe God wants what is best for me.
45 of 48
I am willing to sacrifice immediate gratification for something better down the road.
46 of 48
I have been wronged in the past in a way I cannot get over.
47 of 48
I don't believe anyone can ever know what is absolutely true.
48 of 48
When bad things happen, I wonder if God can make things better.
Great you have finished the evaluation.
Ready to see the results?