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Letter from Dutch Sheets
October 20, 2008

Dear Praying Friend,

In 2000, I wrote the 2nd most important letter of my life—a call to prayer for the elections of that year. I’m now writing what may be my most important letter. I knew the importance of those elections in 2000 was beyond any in my life up to that point and that the spiritual warfare surrounding them would be unlike anything any of us had ever seen. That letter was read by millions of people and I believe millions of them responded by praying. I also believe the prayers turned the tide.

You may question whether President Bush was the right choice; obviously, he has made some blunders in his tenure as president. But two of his decisions alone left no doubt he was God’s choice: Roberts and Alito.

These two Supreme Court Justices have proven critical in the process of breaking the hold of humanism, death and anti-God agendas that have ruled the Court for 50 years. I assure you that more devastation—the shedding of innocent blood, immorality, decay of the family and an erosion of our godly heritage—has flowed into our nation through that institution than any other door in America. Many times more. The poison allowed into America through their decisions is beyond any of our abilities to articulate. The reality in America is that you don’t need to control Congress or the White Hose to rule the nation. You only need 5 people – 5 out of 9 on the Supreme Court. And for decades those who disagree with just about everything you and I stand for have been in control!

In Bush’s two terms, the process of turning this around began with the appointments of Roberts and Alito. Now, we win some cases 5-4 and lose some 4-5. (We barely outlawed partial birth abortion. The vote of one judge saved thousands of babies from this horror.) We need one more conservative Justice for a consistent majority, then more to build a strong majority.

In Obama’s own words, “the next president will appoint at least one, perhaps two or more Supreme Court Justices.” He’s right. Almost certainly two or more older, liberal Justices are waiting until after the elections to retire, in hopes of Obama winning and appointing more liberals to replace them. And he certainly would. He voted against the confirmation of Roberts and Alito. So did Biden. And Biden led the fight against Justice Thomas several years back, another of the 4 solid conservatives. Make no mistake about it, the two of them do have a litmus test for Supreme Court Justices, and a major part of that test is Roe vs. Wade. McCain and Palin, on the other hand, both have very strong pro-life positions. This alone makes the choice for President simple. To vote for the 2nd and 3rd most liberal senators (Obama and Biden), both of whom are firmly and blatantly pro-abortion, would be unconscionable.

Obama has actually said that if he wins, he would like his first action as president to be the signing of the Freedom of Choice Act, which would eliminate every other law against any aspect of abortion (partial birth abortion, parental notification, etc., etc.). And with a democratic majority in the House and Senate, pretty much any legislation he and Biden want to pass will be a slam-dunk. There are many other unrighteous positions they hold but this position alone makes the choice easy. If they win this election, it will set America back decades in the cause of life and the restoration we seek.

Just as many of you do, I too, want to see a first black President, but not Senator Obama. To allow that noble and godly desire, the economy or one’s position on the war to trump this issue of life and death for the innocent unborn is simply wrong. The scriptures teach that if we choose first to exalt righteousness and turn from evil, God promises to heal our land (see Proverbs 14:34; 2 Chronicles 7:14). It is righteousness that exalts a nation, not wealth, prosperity or armies. If we will finish the process of removing the curses of death and anti-God laws off of America by electing a president that will continue to shift the Court, God will grace us with breakthrough in other areas such as the economy, the war against terrorism, etc. My faith is not in a person, and certainly not a political party, for the healing of America, but I know God’s word and His ways well enough to know that our decisions do move Him to action or inaction. Now to the heart of my reason for writing this letter (I realize I am “preaching to the choir”—most of you who know or listen to me are conservative enough to vote for McCain and Palin.)

I have not written any appeals for prayer concerning this election because:
1) others have, and
2) I believe our movement has matured to the point that the prayer base of the Church is already praying.

But I now feel the need to raise my voice. I am appealing to you to pray for these elections the next two weeks like you’ve never prayed for any in the past. Faithfully. Passionately. Boldly. Ask God for His mercy and grace. We deserve His judgment for removing His influence and authority from our government, schools, homes and businesses; for the killing of 50 million babies; for leading the world in the consumption and exporting of pornography; for passing laws to reject His; etc. But mercy triumphs over judgment and in His wrath He remembers mercy. In 2000 we actually lost the popular vote and won the election—talk about grace! Please pray for this grace to be released again.

But I am also asking you for something more than normal prayer. For those of you who understand spiritual warfare, I am asking you to also include this aspect of prayer. There is no doubt that we have entered a Daniel 10 moment in time: “Then he said to me, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia’” (Daniel 10: 12-13 NAS). The spiritual warfare in this election is incredibly fierce, and just as it was in Daniel’s day, is all about the restoration of a nation. And also like Daniel, we must keep praying until we win the battle in the heavens.

In August of this year I predicted that September would mark a shift in momentum for these elections. This happened with the appointment of Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential nominee (who is a true Esther in our generation), but when the economy began its meltdown and the media ramped up their unprecedented attacks on Palin, that momentum wasn’t sustained. But we can see it turn again if we approach this battle as the spiritual warfare it truly is and bind the evil forces involved (see Matthew 16:18-19). The reality is that this election can be the breakthrough we need to fully shift the Court (and ultimately our nation) or it will be an immeasurable setback that could take many years to reverse—if ever. Please understand what I am saying: if we engage in this battle and do what I am asking—in mass—we will win; if we do not, we will lose. I, for one, don’t intend to allow the latter. I am in Washington, D.C. now (October 20-22) with Lou Engle and a team of prayer leaders from around the nation to war for this election. Join us! Lose some sleep, miss some meals— pray! Pray like never before for these elections. And as you do, involve yourself not only in petitioning prayer but also in spiritual warfare. Use your God-given authority over the plans and strategies of Satan’s kingdom. Bind all witchcraft that is working to control the outcome, including occult powers that are suppressing truth. Release Christ’s Kingdom rule in every way the Holy Spirit leads you.

Don’t be deceived and don’t lose hope (if you have to, turn off the TV.) It is not too late to turn these elections. God is plenty powerful enough to do so. The real question is will we rise to the level of prayer and spiritual warfare necessary to release that power. And remember, we don’t need a majority of Christians who are willing and able to do this—only a praying remnant. We can do it!

Here are some practical suggestions to consider:
1) Fast (a meal a day; a day a week; a Daniel fast; 3 days; 10 days; TV; etc.) and spend the time praying.
2) Agree in prayer with someone everyday for God’s will to be done.
3) Form/participate in prayer groups regularly. Churches could pray everyday.
4) Take time in every gathering to pray. (Take 15 minutes in every service to pray for the elections. Turn an entire service to harp and bowl style intercession—worship and prayer combined.)
5) Join 2 or more on a conference call and pray for 15, 20, or 30 minutes.
6) Pray on the way to work (and on the way home).
7) Pray before you go to sleep.
8) Pray before church services.
9) Ask God to give you His strategy—He will!

In His grip,
Dutch Sheets

Draw the Line...thoughts on the election from someone in the black community

please note...this is an exact copy of an article that appeared on fireinmybones.com - this is not rick writing, but this is rick agreeing!

Draw the Line!

White Christians can’t say this—and black preachers won’t touch the issue. But it’s time black Christians faced the reality about Barack Obama’s dangerous moral values.
by Kimberly Daniels
As a child in the 1960s I rode in the back of the bus. I was at the front of the riot lines in the 1970s, when I hit white boys on the head with bricks and dragged white girls down sidewalks near my school. I also experienced serious racism when I was an athlete in college.

I have been called the "N" word many times. I was taught to hate white people, and some of my relatives still call white people names such as "honky" and "cracker." But after I found Jesus, I was delivered from racism. I am free indeed!

"Regardless of political opinions, the Bible makes it clear: Those who support the homosexual agenda and the murder of unborn babies will be judged.”
The residue of my abuse has dried up at the root, and I am no longer a victim of what I call "ricochet racism." This occurs when the abused becomes the abuser.

Ricochet racism is a hellacious boomerang that grips the victim with pride and makes him think he has a right to hate. When I was saved, God taught me that I did not have a right to hate white people. Jesus nailed all my excuses to the cross, and I moved on.

Now that I am a born-again Christian, I do not consider my race to be my primary identity. I am a Christian first—before I am an African-American, a Democrat or a Republican. That's why I am troubled that so many African-American Christians are voting for Barack Obama simply because he is black.

If someone won't vote for a person because of race, we call this racism. But it is also racism when someone votes for a person because of his race!

Believe me, I would love to see a black brother in the White House—but not someone like Obama, who has embraced humanistic doctrines. Many white preachers are afraid to say this, and many black preachers won't touch it with a 10-foot pole.

I love Obama and pray for him and his family. But as Elijah troubled Ahab in Israel, I will challenge his views because they are dangerous to our religious liberties. It's time to draw the line.

Black Christians today need to put their faith first when they step into the voting booth. Does Obama represent godly values?

We know, for example, that he is an inclusionist. For 20 years he attended a church in Chicago that preaches that (1) Jesus is not the only way to God; (2) there is no hell; and (3) God will allow homosexuals to go to heaven even if they remain in their sinful state. Obama also has defended the killing of unborn babies, even in the third trimester.

He claims to be a Christian, but in his book The Audacity of Hope he calls the first chapter of Romans an "obscure" passage of Scripture. God's admonition about the sin of homosexuality is hardly obscure. It is very clear!

Jesus is the only way to God, and God will surely send homosexuals to hell if they do not turn from their ways and accept Christ—just as He will do for all other sinners who do not trust Jesus.

Regardless of political opinions, the Bible makes it clear: Those who support the homosexual agenda and the murder of unborn babies will be judged (see Rom. 1:32). These were the main issues in the days of ancient Israel, and they are critical issues today.

The pro-abortion movement is tied to the worship of two idols, Chemosh and Molech, the gods of child sacrifice. The movement toward gay marriage is rooted in the spirit of gameo, a Greek word that refers to same-sex marriage (see Matt. 24:38).

How can we vote for politicians who favor these ungodly movements? The Bible says we must separate ourselves from sin and wickedness. God is looking for faithful Christians who will not bow to the gods of this world.

I know what I am saying is not popular, and some people will denounce me for it. But I believe it is time to draw a line.

Believers can no longer make excuses by pulling their race cards, leaning on their lukewarm denominational rules or hiding under the covering of a political party. If we want America to recover, we must repent. We must choose the right side.

We must stand strong for what we believe and hold our ground. We must declare, as Joshua did, "Whoever is on God's side ... stand with me!"
Kimberly Daniels is the founder of Spoken Word Ministries in Jacksonville, Fla., and author of several books including her new release, Inside Out. Visit her at kimberlydaniels.com.

challenges leaders face

spent some time this morning listening to andy stanley address leaders in a past catalyst conference...
andy's a gifted, dynamic and insightful leader - some great things to keep in mind here...
  1. Your leadership ability has the potential to take you further than your character can sustain you
  2. Leaders get into trouble when their integrity doesn't keep pace with the momentum created by their giftedness
  3. Their is no correlation between giftedness and maturity
  4. Our commitment to integrity can be easily eroded by our love of progress - leaders love progress (that's why many pastors hate counseling...its about getting people back to "zero" so that they can make progress) - leaders don't love the past, don't really care about the present, they love the future and the progress to get there - this can set us up for some unique pitfalls.
  5. The excuse we are most tempted to use: "God promised it, I deserve it" - when you begin to get close to what you think God has for you, it's easy to turn a blind eye to a small compromise that will get us to what "God promised"...then there's the "I deserve it" thing - "I deserve" it will lead to compromise.
life of david
  • when opportunities line up with our prayers and our passions, it's difficult to exercise restraint - ex.: saul in the cave with david their hiding
  • emotional environments are like a fog - you get emotion when you mix prayer and passion
  • opportunities must be weighed against something other than the uniqueness of the circumstances surrounding them
  • we must use something far more objective than circumstances
  • an open is not necessarily an invitation from God
  • how do you look at something and the surrounding circumstances and know it's from God?
  • david weighed this opportunity against three things:
  • the law of God - "the Lord forbid that I should do such a thing against my master" - it was against the law to kill the king!...even thought the king is trying to kill you, you don't kill him - seemed like an "open door" - maybe God didn't open this door - maybe the door doesn't matter when compared to the law of God. saul was still david's master - not only is saul the king, he was "anointed of the Lord" - you do not REPLACE what God has put IN PLACE.
  • the principles of God - "may the Lord judge between you and me" - i know God wants me there, i'm going to wait for God to put me there.
  • the wisdom of God - how wise would it have been for a "wanna be" king to murder the "sitting king" while he's using the bathroom in the cave. that's not the story you want to tell your grandchildren sitting around the camp fire. his leadership would have always been in question because he had murdered saul while he was most vulnerable
  • everything that looks like a God thing, feels like a God thing, is suggested by others that's its a God thing...may NOT be
  • the most direct route is rarely the best route
  • the tempatations of Jesus was all about "isn't that what God" it's all the "most direct route"
In summary:
  • weigh every opportunity against the law, principles and wisdom of God
  • decide everyday you will not sacrifice integrity for progress
  • give the right people an all-access pass to every leadership decision - don't decide on your own.
  • being a leader does not exempt you from the need for wise counsel - it necessitates it
  • solomon (wisest man in the world) wrote more about the need for counsel
  • it takes only once decision to compromise your integrity and derail your life
  • never accomplish the will of God by violating the law of God, ignoring the principles of God or ignoring the wisdom of God
  • God is capable of getting you where you need to be, when you need to be

on my radar

thought i'd drop a few links here that you may find interesting...

twitter...take 2

you've seen it here before...twitter

well, i've decided to give it another shot to see what i like & dislike about it...

for those that don't know what twitter is...it's basically a "micro-blogging" site - it gives you the opportunity to set up a page (mine is www.twitter.com/rickwomack - i know, real original), then send updates to that page based on what you're thinking, what you're doing, etc. you can send pics to the page, urls of other websites, etc. the cool thing is that people can subscribe to your feeds (the information you send) and follow along and you can follow along on others. currently, some of the cool tweets i'm following are: max lucado, fast company (a business magazine), billy hornsby (church planting guru), thom rainer (pres. of lifeway bookstores and church research guru), matthew barnett, catalyst and only ONE IPHC person (props to megan for being an early adopter and encouraging me to sign on). twitter gets the "micro" description because it uses SMS (short message service...or text messaging) which means each update is only 140 characters or less.

so, there's my basic definition of twitter...

here are a few articles to that have been written that do a better job - check them out.
what is twitter?
several habits of highly successful twitter users
newbies guide to twitter
tech you might want to use: twitter (great article relating to ministry use)

oh yea, i don't use the text messaging part (i do have text messaging, just not unlimited - too cheap for that) - i use twitterberry (a small app) that i downloaded to my blackberry that runs all the messages throughg it and it doesn't 'look' like a text. when i'm on my laptop, i use tweetdeck and leave it on in the background.

back to the future

had a very surreal opportunity today - to speak at emmanuel college for the school of christian ministries. its been over 17 years ago that i left emmanuel and it really doesn't seem that long - guess that's my memory beginning to fog over.

anyway, although i work for our denomination, i've purposed (at least for now), not to "re-preach" a word that God's given to me previously - i always want it to be a fresh word, not left-overs. disclaimer, keeping with the food metaphor, there are some times that i'll use some "ingredients" from a previous message - i.e., a particular point or story - but never the whole message, rehashed.

so today i thought i'd share the reduced fat version (i.e. to the point!) of what i spoke on:

title:
detours, delays & distractions

big idea:
could it be God trying to get your attention when you encounter these

notes:
  • In my job, I travel
  • Like to get where I'm going quickly
  • Don't like a detour or delay
  • What can we learn in the process?

  • Some of you heard Steven Furtick say last week at Catalyst, "Between the promise and the payoff is the process."

  • God uses the detours and delays to help us with our Understanding of the Process
  1. You discover who you are in the process -

  • Neh. 1:11-2:5

  • In prayer, Nehemiah discovered his purpose (end of vs.4 & vs. 5)
  • Know who I am NOT - I'm not a plumber/car repairman/handyman/hunter/fisher/gardner

  • Know, Who I am? - Things I love: being a husband, being a great dad, worship, public presentation (teaching, preaching, leading), ideation, privately serving others

  • Nehemiah started ended with "I was a cupbearer" --> becomes a leader and rebuilder in vs. 5

  • Nehemiah was a cupbearer

      • not an illustrious career

      • equivalent to a butler

      • It was one that was:

        • trusted

        • respected

        • close to the king

  1. Relationships are key

  • Scripture says, "Iron sharpens iron"(Prov. 27:17)

  • No "iron" can sharpen itself - it takes another

  • Life happens

  • Life happens in relationship

  • Nehemiah had relational expertise on several levels that we can learn from:

    • As the King's cupbearer, he basically was a part of the inner circle of leadership - that constitutes: diplomacy, tact, wisdom, trust, awareness and leadership

    • As the leader of the people he had to know how to: organize, administrate and encourage the people

    • Chapter 4 where they begin to grumble and he basically tells them to "man up" and get the job done

    • Criticism is a part of leadership and criticism is a part of relationship: How will you respond?

    • I like what Rick Warren says, "When you're small, they'll dismiss you; when you're growing, they'll criticize you; when you're large, they'll resent you"

    • You can't win, dismiss the critics and move on with what God has for you - a tough lesson, but one you have to learn.

  1. In every season of your life, look for fruit

  • In the process of life, we go through seasons

  • Some of the seasons are great, we know God is near

  • Some of the seasons are painful

  • What do you do in the painful seasons of you life: you have two choices?

  • You own the past - leads to self-engulfment (to flow over and enclose); self-seeking; self-serving - focused on self

  • You allow God to own the past - He can use it and you to help others, serve others, see others

    • Jesus said in Jn 12:24-26 - "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

    • Jesus compares our lives to a kernel of wheat that falls to the ground

        • That means I must be willing to get stepped on

        • Dirty

        • Stepped on
        • Unnoticed

        • Obscure

WHY?

So that the soil of life can fall on me and that I can learn to push through that soil as a seed does so that I can produce fruit

CLOSE:

  • Detours...
    • Good because you're still headed toward your destination
    • Along the way, you learn new things
    • Read this recently, Passion is Belief in Motion
    • Can still be full of passion in a detour
  • Delays...
    • When God says, "Pause"
    • Most key Biblical people had a season of 'Wait'
    • Joseph experienced an extended delay...a season of silence
    • Silence does not equal absence - God is still with you
  • Distractions...
    • Have a saying, "Distractions distract"
    • Remove your eyes from the focus
    • God is not in distraction
  • Nehemiah had them
  • 5 times he was asked to "come talk with them" (the critics)
  • His response: I'm busy doing what God wants.
  • Delays & Detours are often a tool that God uses - Nehemiah waited