Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Why is something like the Manhattan Declaration even necessary? Well, I suggest you read the book of the Minor Prophet Hosea in the Old Testament. The people of Israel had not just turned their backs on the Lord but actively sought after false gods. They had done evil in the sight of the Holy One by sacrificing to idols, killing their children in the fire of Molech, and committed evil sexual perversion in the temple (using male prostitutes etc).
Is there any difference between that and say - abortion, gay marriage and the falling way of many from their first love - Jesus Christ? No! American is going the way of ancient Israel. The LORD sent Hosea to prophesy not just against them but to call them back to love and repentance. You see, our God is not just the Only GOD and the ONLY true religion of Peace, but does not delight in the destruction of the wicked.
After all they had done, He call them back to His Great Big Heart "O Israel, return to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity" (Hosea 14:1) He can call America back to Him once more, even if many in the church have not just gone cold, but are following their own made up theology and have chosen style over substance and emotion over solid knowledge.
CLICK HERE to listen to a message by Dr. Ravi Zacharias on the topic of the Manhattan Declaration. It is sad, but a sign of the times, that a document like this is needed for the Likeminded Remnant to take stand in the marketplace of free ideas for the Faith of our fathers. Read the entire declaration here. However here are three main pillars as you pray and determine if you wish to join over 313,000 Americans in signing this document.
  1. The Sanctity of human life
  2. The Dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
  3. The Rights of conscience and religious liberty.
Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
As we roll right into a new year, consider not just renewing the purpose of our Faith in your own hearts, but consider putting the key verse of this ministry into action - 2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP)" For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control".

Monday, December 21, 2009



Ed Merkel December 20 at 8:43am Reply

This is amazing and beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. I'll pass it along!

Paul Younghaus December 20 at 11:41am Reply

I love it Bernie, truly a work of love! I posted it as soon as I saw it and didn't have time to say thanks before church this morning. I must say thanks now brother!

Ed Evans December 20 at 2:13pm Reply

It's not fair to bring tears to an old man's eyes. Such a beautiful voice, and such precious words and pictures. Thank you for sharing, I'm doing the same. God bless Vicki Lutchman, Jr., and her husband, whats-his-name.

Mel Whirley December 20 at 11:32pm Reply

I agree with Paul that this is a labor of love. Bernie, this is an heirloom and thanks to you, and Vicki, for including me!

Doc Blakely December 21 at 1:08pm Reply

Thanks Bernie. Blessings on you and yours.

Susan E Harmony December 20 at 11:06am Reply

Thank you so much for this video, Vicki and Bernie. I have reposted it and hope that it can reach the world! I am still crying. God Bless You!

Jeri Doming December 20 at 11:49am Reply

Brother Bernie I saw your Video on the home page this morning, about 4 hours ago-
I shared it on my Wall. and here is what my thoughts were while and after hearing such a beautiful loving song. I wrote on my wall right after listening...

Oh my what a story of the biggest trial to ever be put thru.
I have tears of Joy and Sorrow. Our Soldiers are the Most caring and bravest. we are all blessed in that. And then it is the most painful to lose any one of Our Precious Soldiers. So extremely heartbreaking for a lifetime for his and her family members. This song is so beautifully written by Ms. Vicki, and her voice is as an Angels would be. Singing with love and caring.
God Bless You Ms. Vicki for caring for Our Soldiers so very much.
and for sharing in a way, to remind us all to never forget.

~~ thank you so much BB for sharing this blessing with all of your friends. friends to you and Vicki. GOD BLESS, Forever :) your Patriotic Sister, Jeri D.! :)

Alexandra Foster December 20 at 11:55am Reply

The only thing I could hope for at this time, is to bring our troops safely... Dear lord please watch over and protect our armed forces while they are over seas fighting to protect us and our rights. Dear lord please make their family strong and give them the strength to get through this.... I ask this humbly in the name Jesus Christ your son, Amen...

Thank you brother Bernie and Vicki for such a beautiful song.... My soldiers are all that matter to me... please bring them home alive to their families and loved ones.

Ginny Meerman December 21 at 12:16pm Reply

Thank you for sharing this....thank you so much.

Deb Kenny December 21 at 12:26pm Reply

Hello Bernie. Somehow...this wonderful email got in a heap of others and i missed it yesterday. What a wonderful blessing! I love songs dedicated to our precious Troops. What a great talent Vicki has. You two are quite "the dynamic duo"
for the Lord Jesus! I will be happy to share this. Merry Christmas & God Bless!


Each Christmas, the gracious folks at the Villa Retirement Home in Sherman, Illinois invite our family to minister to the wonderful residents of the center. This year's program was the best of all these years as we had approximately 30 in attendance during the midafternoon.
My daughter Sarah (11) made her public debut on the piano, while accompanying us through many of the traditional Hymns and Carols of Christmas! Vicki got to sing her new song "Home For Christmas (see video above); Sam played his violin for three songs and Bernie III read the Christmas story!
The Lord put on my heart to speak on Hannah's prayer from 1 Samuel 1:11, and it was the first time I ever had applause for the LORD over any kind of sermon! Glory to God. Thanks to all who welcomed us as well as activity director Vicki Sarnes of Dawson.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Micah 5:2(NKJV): " But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me - The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."

A cold dark, starry, starry night in the little sleepy village of Bethlehem was a night just like any other.....or was it? Bethlehem literally means "House of Bread" (from the Hebrew "Beit Lehem"). The great King of the Bible and History - David, was born here, as was his father Jesse, from the Line of Abraham. By the way, isn't it amazing that the Bread of Life (Christ) was born in the "House of Bread"!
Once in Royal David City, stood a lowly cattle shed, a manger if you will. Rachel, the wife of Jacob (Israel) is buried at the entrance to the gate of the little town. The fields of Boaz, from the book of Ruth are in this area. It is so like God, to send His Only One - Yeshua the Maschiah (Jesus the Messiah) to be born in a land with such a rich, yet humble history. 

He had planned it long, long ago.

The world of the Jews at the time were looking for a political deliverer, just like most today who can only see and exist in the temporal and the flesh. They missed the importance of the Creator "Whose goings-forth are from old"...and Who has always existed. This is Who was born in this little town, on Christmas day.

It matters not what day of the Hebrew or Julian calendar He was born. This day which was chosen to celebrate His Birth can be used to shout His Name from the mountaintop. From the day after Thanksgiving to December 25, we have four weeks when the world has its eyes and, without being totally conscious of it, hearts tuned in to what Christians celebrate.

So as we go about our Christmas programs, carols, outreach and even shopping etc...let us NOT waste this privilege to share the Hope, Love, Peace, Joy and Encouragement of the Ancient of Days, born cold and humble in a shed of straw not too far from where poor, unloved and rugged shepherds - as insignificant as you and I - were tending sheep that night almost 2000 years ago!
Merry Christmas to one and all, in Jesus Name, Amen.

Monday, December 14, 2009


God gave His best to us, almost 2000 years ago when we deserved nothing more than eternal punishment!
However, there is one small catch - in order to benefit from a Gift, we have to receive it! Christ, Who's "goings-forth" (Micah 5:2b) was "from old and from everlasting", descended to mere mortal status, to live, teach, preach and die that we may be saved from the fires of hell!
If anyone knows of a better gift than that, please let me know! When He gave His life on the Cross, He died for all mankind for all time - past, present and future! If you believe, trust, obey and live this Absolute Truth, you are a child of God and will be in Heaven for eternity. If you reject this - eternity is a long time in darkness and torment!
Which is it? Christmas Time's A-comin.....are you going to Heaven?!
Love, the Lutchman Family.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

AVA ASTON...the Soul of a Patriot and Singer by friend and Author - DARIA DIGIOVANNI

I originally “met” beautiful, talented singer/songwriter Ava Aston when a mutual friend connected us on Facebook. The budding entertainer was seeking footage from the 9/12 March on Washington and photos from various, local tea party protests to enhance the video production of her newest single, We The People. Knowing of my involvement with all things Constitutional, our common friend sought me out for help, and I happily obliged.

The ensuing result was an inspiring anthem to American patriotism, designed to energize, inspire and — whenever necessary — life the spirits of dedicated citizens across the country who are fighting back against massive government, and standing tall for freedom.

Recently, my Conservative Republican Forum co-host Steve and I had the pleasure of interviewing Ava about her new song, her motivation for writing and recording it, and her experience as a right-leaning performer in an industry dominated by lefties.

Question: What was your motivation for writing and recording We The People?

I am an unsigned artist, which means I have a day job. I live and work in the New York area as a bartender, so I do a lot of events. One day in particular, I was really mad after listening to a.m. talk radio, something I do regularly to stay informed. As I recall, it was Fashion Week in New York and I was doing an event at Banana Republic. The more I thought about what was bugging me, the angrier I got. So just as I’ve done from the time I was five years-old, I conceived a melody in my head, which I wrote down on a cocktail napkin. Then I began to list all of the things that were annoying me about this current administration.

By the time I left work, I had the first verse and chorus, which I immediately shared with my husband. He assured me it wasn’t silly, and encouraged me to keep going. By 4 a.m. the song was done. When I sang it to my mom over the phone, she was adamant about me recording it and producing a companion video. Because in my family, we’re like many others out there — we’re watching the news everyday and we’re horrified by what’s going on. In some small way, I am hoping We The People will help keep the tea party movement mobilized and energized. It’s also a tribute to all Americans who are fighting so hard to preserve our freedom — first and foremost the US Military.


Sunday, December 6, 2009


Can you believe in a few weeks we will celebrate another Christmas? Can you believe 2010 is peeking around the corner? Time seems to travel at warp speed. A person can hardly take a breath without another day passing at lightning pace. Do you think Christmas, compared to a Christmas generations ago, has changed? More and more people are angry, entitled, and out to commercialize a sacred month.

When Tony and I are home and the television is off, we play traditional Christmas music—those good old tunes by Bing Crosby, and others, with the scratchy background reminding you of the antiquated technology. I recall many Christmases with sweets decking out the dining room table, cousins romping around, making eyes at the presents under the tree, and the movie, “Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer,” playing downstairs (sung by a claymation snowman, played by Burl Ives). The most pleasant memories were made around my cousins.

Next Saturday is my Coffee and Dessert Open House. Tomorrow I will begin preparations so I can enjoy

Acker Music Night and all fun of putting together my yearly Christmas party. What is Christmas without food? What is Christmas without the hope and love the birth of Jesus Christ brings to us? Most gifts do not come wrapped or with price tags. Most gifts come in the form of the people we call friends and family. I know I am blessed to have so many of them surrounding me today. What makes Christmas special for you? What are your traditions?


Lemon or Chocolate Parfait

1) In a small plastic cup (usually bought at party stores), add some pieces of white cake. Top the parfait with either lemon curd or chocolate cream.

2) Top with whipped cream, chocolate bits, a chocolate wafer, or a lemon wedge. Whatever makes it look delicate and pretty. Serve immediately.


2 Cor. 7: 9b-10a (NLT): "..but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants His people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin..."
The great Moody Church Pastor Dr. H.A. Ironside once said " Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership - the owning before God, that I am as vile as He declared me to be, in His Holy Word" (from his book "EXCEPT YE REPENT").

If anyone reading this thinks this does not apply to them, preacher, priest or programmer, then we have another problem. Repentance is the ongoing process of Sanctification which never stops once the believer is alive on this earth.

Both Repentance and Faith are gifts from God. We are first saved by Grace through Faith in Christ (alone).Grace is the first gift. We grow by gradually or dramatically turning away from our evil, vile and disgusting sins...making them dead to the flesh, as we grow weary of battling the flesh and surrender more and more control to Christ, through the Holy Spirit (this is the Spirit-filled living).

In the Secret Place, we bare it all. We hide nothing from Christ. He knows it anyway!! If you struggle with smoking a pack a day, plainly state this and plead for help to stop. If you struggle with looking at miniskirts in the office, more than confess and ask the Lord to direct your eyes elsewhere. If you struggle with drinking beers almost daily and thinking you're not an alcoholic, come to Christ for the strength to quit drinking, even socially.

In the Secret Place, where the rubber meets the road, where His Eyes see all and He is just waiting to help - just come! You can't lie to the Holy Spirit who just convicted you! Will you wake up 15 minutes earlier to spend time with your face up to Heaven calling on His Name? You can't con Christ, why not Repent? He loves when His sheep come calling. Won't you?
Part 4...More on Repentance! (Bernie)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Am A Christian

I Am A Christian

Posted using ShareThis


Matthew 6:6 (AMP): But when you pray, go into your [most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.

Remember when you first met your wife or the special lady, who was soon to be your wife? Remember how you looked into her eyes and the very sound of her voice melted butter?!! Well, this type of love is similar to the Love the Father has for us, except He has "fileo" love.

Do you look in His Eyes the same way you look at the world? We think nothing about having fellowship freely with the fickle emotions of this world, yet neglect 'RETIRING' our heart to DIRECT communication with the Father.

Jesus gave the guidelines (see verse above) for what some people call "QUIET TIME" with God. I don't! Sure, I remain quiet, but I want the SPIRIT of the Living GOD to speak LOUD and CLEAR to me! Meditation is a heart to His Heart pressing into Abba Father.

HOWEVER, we should NEVER lose sight of what caused this to be so - the Cross. The Cross was the most vulgar, obscene, scandalous and bloody evil instrument of death. Yet it is the most amazingly beautiful symbol of Love ever in Human History. Those who follow pagan religions and those so-called Christians who compromise the Crucified Christ with the world, by watering Him down to lukewarm vomit (Revelation 3:15-16) should shudder because they are not invited to the Secret Place.

It is only us, those who are called to the Cross, carry a Living Temple within us - the Holy Spirit. Would you consider taking up residence in that temple, starting now?! This is the Secret Place He spoke of in the verse!

Friday, November 13, 2009


The just concluded AWAKENED HEARTS conference, led by Lou Engle (Kansas City IHOP and The Call) (seen at left with me) as well as Kirk Bennett (recently back at KCIHOP) and Springfield Illinois' own Scott Beauchamp, was a move of God bigger than what was going on less than 2 miles away at the almost 9000 strong Beth Moore conference!
As all us intercessors know, Lou is in a class by himself and Kirk has an anointing to teach, impart and share the Word of God that only a few of us warriors are allowed to by Jehovah God. But Scott Beauchamp of Springfield IHOP brought a word from the Lord which brought Breakthrough to many saints present - right in the middle of the afternoon! I know because I felt a burden from a two month long spiritual attack on my mind lift so clear off me, there was also a tremendous physical change from my shoulders all the way up through my head. With hands lifted high, and an angel of mercy laying hands on my shoulder and head, I worshipped like never before!!
Scott was absolutely correct! He told Lou and Kirk that he would take the mid-afternoon spot when everyone would be either sleepy or the crowd would be smaller! It was neither. There were enough people there to fill the average American small church and many more were delivered, at the Altar of Christ through this move of the Spirit.
The lesson here - awaken your heart through humility, through submission, through confession, through repentance, through intercession and then Let the Spirit of God and those He sends to pray for and lay hands on you, Let the Spirit do His Work. This is the ONLY way to TRUE deliverance and even MORE freedom to Walk in the Light of Christ!
(Bernie Lutchman)

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Our house is three-years old. When I stood in the giant kitchen, it was love at first sight. I ran my hands along the counters, envisioned the wall color, and in my mind dictated where each piece of furniture would find a home. We eagerly called our friend and realtor and signed the papers. Picking up the keys to our new house was the happiest day of our lives. My husband owned a house all ready when first I met him, but this is our first house bought together. This is my first house.

I drove to our new home as fast as the speed limit and police officers would allow. I pulled into my new driveway and squealed in glee when I saw what my husband had done; he bought a bottle of wine and some flowers. We slept on the floor in our new bedroom. The next day my mother-in-law and other family friends rallied around us in our new barren front yard. I pulled in with a fresh batch of groceries. Smiles adorned everyone’s face as they shared in our joy.

The cell phone rang.

I should have ignored it. I should have listened to the nervous twitter of my heart. The day my husband and I moved into our home is forever tainted by the memories of that phone call. I imagined so many teas and so many friends stopping over to say hello. I imagined many heart-to-hearts in the kitchen over coffee and fresh baked goods. I imagined my home would flow with friends and family. It may not have turned out the way I had imagined at first blush, but I am grateful for what God did teach me.

Relationships take two people. It takes two people who want to learn about each other and who want to get involved. It takes two people who forebear each others faults and encourage each others strengths. It takes two people who care enough to break down the barriers. We each put up barriers. We are not even aware of it. Once we become aware of those barriers, we need to break them down and allow people inside. Our friends may let us down. Our family may let us down. Our hearts may break a thousand times, but Jesus has a big tube of super glue and He knows how to put those pieces back together again. Do not be afraid to let your heart break. Take a risk on someone. Love them in spite of their differences. Enjoy healthy boundaries. Most importantly, keep your hearts and doors open for the unexpected. You will not have any regrets.

My home is full of love and encouragement. It is not a brittle or cold place. I don’t care if you come in with muddy shoes. I don’t care if you wish to use my place as a place to crash because the world is unfair and weighing too heavily upon your shoulders. I don’t care what you have done wrong. God loves you. He loves you so much He sent us His Son to die on the cross for our sins. A home is not a roof and four walls; our home is where Jesus resides. My home is also wherever my husband sleeps. Our house is full of laughter. Joy has a permanent place in our house. How? Because we believe a marriage is three people: Jesus, your spouse, and you. We believe a marriage is not about power plays or egos. It is not about selfish ambition. It is not about crossing healthy boundaries. It is about encouragement, love, and following Jesus with all your heart and your soul. How are you breaking down the barriers? How are you making your home a place where people want to spend their time?


Friday, October 30, 2009


LINCOLN BREWSTER was born in Nome, Alaska but found his calling in Southern California. He was a session guitarist in the mid 1990's when JOURNEY's lead singer Steve Perry asked him to be on his first Solo project and tour with him! But God had different plans for Lincoln!! He saved him and brought Lincoln into the Kingdom of Christ to serve in a worship group. He is now one of the foremost musicians in Worship Music and leads the Worship Arts ministry at Bayside Church in Sacramento, California.
Lincoln blessed us here in Springfield, Il. a couple weeks ago at a fundraiser for Contact Ministries. Here is the most powerful song in his repertoire and one that would lead you worship the King - "GOD YOU REIGN!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Annual Chili Cookoff, 2009!

The Secret Chili Recipe I developed about 5 years ago led to another victory in the annual CMS chili cookoff, for the computer operations department. The recipe is still a secret, but let's just say it has a Texas Twang and great aftertaste!
God bless,


Sunday, October 25, 2009

PART ONE OF SERIES "The Secret/Sacred Place"

Psalm 91:1 (KJV) says: "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."


Now more than ever God is calling His people to that Secret Place - the place where He meets with us, fellowships with us, reveals to us His Will and His Word. The great thing is His Revelation NEVER contradicts the Living Word of God, found in 66 books of the Bible!

There are many requirements, once the saint or believer, decides he/she wants to enter this SACRED PLACE! In my humble opinion, they are:
1. Complete Faith in the Power of God and the Glorious Mystery of the Cross.
2. Complete surrender to the Son of God, knowing we are nothing without Him.
3. Complete consecration centering on the Character of God.

It could take a series of sermons to flesh these points out into an aggressive dynamic for flourishing in the Secret Place with Abba Father. But we will have to settle for bite-sized morsels in this blog, until the book comes out! :-)) So here we go!

1. Complete Faith: The Majesty and Power of God is evident for ALL mankind to see, but more so to the saint as we have the Holy Spirit to guide and instruct. Ninety percent of the World does NOT, and will not, even after hearing the Gospel. The Power of God is not in dispute. What gets those who are perishing is the Glorious Mystery and Power of the Cross! THIS they, including infidels in the church, will never grasp, even as their rank disobedience descends with them into the eternal fire.


Monday, October 12, 2009


It is a known fact that more women pray than men. From first hand experience, I know that almost every strain of the National Prayer ministries are populated by a majority of women. Why is this? Why are men, whom Almighty God, through Creator Christ, put in positions of leadership from Adam on down, loath to spend time on their knees?

Reasons and excuses are many. The good news is that changes are coming. Starting in 2008, our National Day of Prayer head office in Colorado Springs forged alliances with national men's movements like the National Iron Sharpens Iron and Joe White's Men at the Cross Conferences, that are bearing fruit. From Kansas City, the International House of Prayer (IHOP) movement spread like wildfire across America and here into Springfield, Illinois (led by Scott Beauchamp).

Men - young and old are now walking in the Spirit as mighty warriors of prayer in the IHOP, Apostolic and other independent prayer networks and churches we travel in.

The primary goal is to Glorify God; seek His Face; repent of personal and corporate sins and travail in intercession with someone in need (or over a critical issue).

For the fervent and effective prayer to be heard, the spiritual heart of a righteous man MUST be awakened to the Call of the King. Too many men lose out on this amazing blessing, by thinking crazy things about prayer warriors - except when they need us!

If you wish to find out for yourself, contact Scott or anyone of us. One great opportunity is here: consider attending this Awakened Hearts Conference led by Lou Engle from November 5-7, all or part of it. A meaningful relationship with Christ can not be developed only by going to church on Sunday. Pray about it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009




Saturday, September 26, 2009



( First published September 20, 2009)

A leaf drifts down from the tree and the wind catches it like a kite. I am watching as it dances down the street, helpless to the blowing wind. The street is quiet except for a few children playing in the road and my husband is channel surfing. His thumb is forever pressing 'next' without staying too long on one particular place. My book hangs limply in my hands and I am stuck somewhere between chapters 5 and 6. My eyes continually wander from the television screen to the quiet neighborhood outside my window where life continues to play like a VCR without a pause button.
Don't you wish you could sometimes press 'pause' and stop the continuing march of time? Every day, every month runs swiftly past, and dark hair turns gray, children grow older, and the time a husband and wife have to share together grows shorter. Was it not yesterday when we were children playing house, playing ball with our fathers, and was it not yesterday when we first fell in love? My husband and I are lucky for our relationship has no distractions. There is not a day I do not appreciate him or wish I could press 'pause' and spend more time with him.
Why, you ask me, am I thinking so seriously today? A friend of mine lost someone dear to her this past weekend and my prayers are with her as well as my sympathy and love, but time ticks on by like a clock unrestricted by battery power. She will grieve and be surrounded by people who care, but outside her world traffic continues to back up on the freeway, people are hanging out at a coffee shop, and grandmothers are knitting cute scarves for their grandchildren. Life continues like the wind, but we do not have to be the leaf controlled by the blowing of the winds. There are those of us who are children of God who believe Christ died on the cross for us. Our fate is not controlled by a chance wind. Our fate rests in the hands of Jesus. We laid our life in His hands, handed over the control of our life to Him, and we are the better for it.
Social networking like twitter and face book are not simply a means for my name to get out there in order for my book to have a better chance at publication. Social networking is caring about others in our world. There are so many lost souls floundering like a leaf in the wind, with no direction, purpose undiscovered, and so many who are beguiled by the other side. In short, I have come across many great people online and I was given the privilege of being able to pray continually for them. Their requests are fresh on my heart even now.

1) So many times on Twitter people trying to market new ideas are always trying to sell something on their profile. Are we like this? Are our conversations focused on ourselves? Are we losing time that could be spent more wisely? Is our witness like a salesman on your front porch?

2) How much time is spent with our spouses? Do we laugh together? Do we pray together? Are we like one person heading on the same journey? Is our marriage Fireproof?

Ephesians 5:31:
"For this reason a man leaves his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." (NASB)
"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)

Saturday, September 19, 2009





Friday, September 11, 2009

Annual NDP Prayer Summit October 16-18, 2009

The Annual National Day of Prayer Summit will be held at the Focus on the Family headquarters, Colorado Springs, Colorado.This is a critical year, not just for the pro-family movement but for the entire praying body of Christ.
Speakers include Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and the grandson of evangelist Billy Graham - Will Graham. Workshops will be held by great friends and brethren in the Faith - Bruce Assaf of Blow the Trumpet International Ministries and Lori Wagner, of Affirming Faith.
Bruce has just written the foreword for my new book called "DANGER ZONE", which is designed for men of all ages.
Lori is a delightful author, conference speaker and prayer warrior from Troy, Michigan who has written both non-fiction and children's books.
The National Day of Prayer is more than an event which takes place on the first Thursday of each May!
We have grown into a nightly event called WATCHMEN OF THE NIGHT (WON) where prayer leaders intercede in Praise, Repentance and Yielding (PRY) to the Will of Christ in our lives. We like to call this PRYing the lid off for true Intercession. Then each January, we hold a National prayer vigil for all intercessors.

Monday, September 7, 2009


If you’ve followed the local news recently, you’ve probably seen coverage of the plan to bring high speed rail to Springfield and the current proposal to locate it on the Third St. corridor. You may have even seen protestors lining the streets on your way home from work, or received an invitation to a “Rail Rally.” Since Amtrak and freight trains already operate on the Third St. corridor, it may be hard to understand why so many groups oppose the current proposal. After all, isn’t high speed rail a sign of progress? Doesn’t the construction of it create jobs and bring economic growth to our city? What’s the big deal?
Three distinct railway corridors dissect the city of Springfield, which is highly unusual for a city of our size, and each corridor is owned by a different company. The corridor along Third Street is owned by Union Pacific, who is slated to receive more than 2 billion dollars in federal stimulus money earmarked for high-speed rail. However, the primary increase in trains will be additional freight, and Union Pacific held a groundbreaking ceremony last week for a new distribution center in Joliet. A second set of tracks will be needed to accommodate the additional freight trains. The question now is where the second set of tracks will be placed, and which corridor will become the primary rail line for the city.
This is a decision which will affect the citizens of Springfield for generations to come, and we believe it is a decision that should not be made lightly. By IDOT’s own standards, an Environmental Impact Study is supposed to be conducted to compare the effects of using Third St. or 10th St. as the primary rail corridor, but now IDOT insists that there is no time to study the issue. IDOT is also required by Public Act 93-0545 to engage the citizens of a project in "early and ongoing" collaboration to ensure that the values and needs of the affected communities are identified and carefully considered. IDOT and Union Pacific signed a memorandum of understanding for this project back in May, but it has only been recently that the citizens of Springfield have been made aware of this proposal, and now we are being told it is a done deal and there is no time for study or discussion.
Although the city and county have hoped for years to eventually be able to consolidate the rail lines along the 10th St. corridor, there are strong feelings on all sides of this issue. We believe that makes it all the more important for our elected officials to engage in dialogue with the citizens of this community about how the various proposals will impact us. To date, Senator Durbin has not been receptive to discussions with Mayor Davlin, County Board Chair Andy Van Meter, Chamber of Commerce President Gary Plummer, and others. Local officials understand the dramatic impact that this rail plan will have on our community, but our federal officials are turning a deaf ear, and this is a public project funded with taxpayer money!
Political pressure comes from the people. Contact Senator Durbin and Governor Quinn and insist they get Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern to the table to negotiate an agreement that will allow both companies to improve their operations in the manner that will be the least disruptive to the citizens of Springfield.
Legal pressure comes from groups filing class action suits or seeking an injunction to slow down the process, or correct violations of state and/or federal law. Contact Ray LaHood (USDOT), Administrator Szabo (FRA), and Secretary Hannig (IDOT) to ask them to follow and enforce all rules and regulations as related to the selection of eligible projects for stimulus funds.
Above all, pray for the elected officials involved in making these critical decisions, and especially pray for the opportunity to engage in open dialogue with the people who will be most impacted. No matter where the rail line is ultimately located, there will be homes and businesses affected. This is not an issue that is specific to one neighborhood or one part of Springfield- it affects all of us. Rather than using this as one more way of dividing the citizens of this city, let this be an opportunity for us to come together around a common cause.

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28)

Michelle Higginbotham is Vice President of the Enos Park Neighborhood Improvement Association.

For more information or to be added to the list for “Rail Rally” notifications, call 553-4629 or