Author Archives: Gatekeepers Association

ByGatekeepers Association

The Violation of God’s Truth:The Reason for the Declaration of Independence

declarationOur Founding Father’s declared:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. – From the Declaration of Independence 1776

The founding fathers built this nation upon fundamental beliefs that they called self-evident truths. Truths, as given by God, that would be readily apparent to any common sense thinking individual.

The first truth was to state that all men have been created equal by God. This implication was based upon the creative process as defined in Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

They proclaimed that it was self-evident and a fundamental truth that these God-given rights were not to be deprived from the individual by anyone other than God Himself.

As a result of this creative process (giving man life), the right to life was extended to all men. They could see by God’s displeasure at Cain (for the murder of his brother) that all human life should be valued as sacred. This right to life, most certainly to our Founding Fathers, would also have been extended to be a right of even an unborn child, whether planned or unplanned, if it were possible for such an unthinkable act to have been done in their day.

It is also clear that God gave Adam the right of choice to eat or not to eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This indicated to them that God also gave man a right to have the freedom to choose his own destiny. In other words, a right to liberty.

Inherent in this liberty to choose, man was given the option to pursue his own course in life or to pursue a course of submission to his God. Thus, giving to man, the right to pursue happiness as he personally saw fit.

From these self-evident truths, the Founding Fathers saw the sole reason for the establishment of government. It was to ensure that those rights given to the individual by God would be protected. They further saw that government was an institution that derived it’s right of existence from the people – who themselves had derived their rights from God.

They, then, took the position that if any government did not respect these fundamental God-given, self-evident truths, it was the right of the people to take steps to change, or if necessary, abolish and reestablish new governments that would.

They felt it was also clear that the existing government had an intent to force them to submit to an absolute authority that would render them as slaves. Thus, depriving them of their God given rights.

They, therefore, felt it was their right and their duty to undertake whatever means necessary to rid themselves of an oppressive government that ignored their God-given rights and undertake what steps they felt necessary to protect those rights.

Therefore, they declared their independence.

Today, we should remember that our government was established to secure our God-given rights. Therefore, it is imperative that we continue to recognize the God that gave us those rights, less again, history repeat itself and there arise a government that will try to deprive us of those rights.

ByGatekeepers Association

INFLUENTIAL GROUP OF CLERGY OPPOSE CHANGES TO MAYOR-COUNCIL ACT

(From the Birmingham Times)

A group of diverse pastors on Wed., April 6 voiced strong opposition to legislation that would give Mayor William Bell additional appointments to the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB).

The Gatekeepers Association of Alabama (GAA), which includes nearly 40 influential pastors from across Jefferson County, said state lawmakers and city officials need to discuss changes before action is taken. The statement came after legislators on Tues., April 5 passed out of committee a bill that would change how BWWB members are appointed.

Currently, the Birmingham City Council appoints all five members to the board, which is expected to grow to six members next year. Under the new legislation, the council will appoint four members and the mayor will appoint two.

Also, mayor would have to approve the council’s selections and the council would have to approve of the mayor’s appointments.

Those and other proposed changes to the Mayor-Council Act, which lays the ground rules for Birmingham’s municipal government, have created a firestorm among residents who have packed hearings to voice concerns about the modifications.

“Today, it is about the city of Birmingham. Tomorrow, it will be about other issues that affect additional residents of the state,” said Bishop Jim Lowe, pastor of Guiding Light Church and member of the GAA executive board. “We must begin to take a stand so that the voices of the people may be heard.”

The GAA met with members of the Birmingham City Council and Jefferson County Democratic House delegation to discuss the proposed measures, Lowe said.

“These two elected entities have not had sufficient civil dialogue together discussing these two critical pieces of legislation that will have an impact on hundreds of thousands of current citizens … as well as the potential control of billions of taxpayer dollars,” the GAA said in a press release.

“Therefore, these two pieces of legislation should not hastily be voted upon without a thoughtful, transparent, intellectual, thorough process involving all parties from both elected entities working together for the good of all citizens affected.”

State lawmakers held a 90-minute public hearing on Monday, April 4, to discuss the legislation. Support and opposition were evenly divided during the meeting.

Lowe said he was disappointed that state Rep. Oliver Robinson (D-Birmingham), who chaired the meeting, told the overflow crowd that it didn’t matter what the people said, the bill would be passed anyway.

“This is the very thing we have been meeting about—when government leaders no longer consider themselves servants of the people but, rather, lords over the people,” Lowe said.

Read Original Article

ByGatekeepers Association

New details emerge about proposed Mayor-Council Act changes

State lawmakers have offered new details regarding controversial amendments to the Birmingham Mayor-Council Act.

Council members claim it is a power grab by Birmingham Mayor William Bell and his allies in the legislature.

Just a few weeks ago, a full house gathered for the city council hearing on the amendments, with most of the criticism aimed at the mayor and state lawmakers.

A day after that event, the mayor called the information presented at the hearing misleading and lawmakers called it incomplete.

Monday night at a forum, bill sponsor Oliver Robinson is sharing details on five amendments designed to streamline the Mayor-Council Act and clarify any questions about the role of the mayor and the role of the council.

Councilor Steven Hoyt says lawmakers have shown little interest in discussing the bill with both the mayor and council present.

The bill is expected to be filed at the statehouse as early as Tuesday morning.

There were several outbursts during the meeting on Monday night by people who are against the proposed changes. Some citizens say they don’t think some lawmakers are being truthful about why they’re proposing changes to the Mayor-Council Act.

“This is the biggest power grab and we as citizens of Birmingham object the plan,” said one Birmingham resident against the changes.

Read Original Article>

ByGatekeepers Association

Gatekeepers Take Position On Controversial House Bills

HEADLINE: Gatekeepers Association of Alabama recommends voting “NO” on HB399, or the Birmingham Water Works Bill, and “NO” to the current proposed amendments to the Mayor-Council Act of 1955

Birmingham, Alabama, April 5, 2016

The Gatekeepers Association of Alabama (GAA), a diverse group of pastors united to empower the church to influence the governmental realm, recommends our State Legislators vote “NO” to HB399, or the Birmingham Water Works bill, and “NO” to the current proposed amendments to the Mayor-Council Act of 1955. After multiple meetings with several members of the Birmingham City Council as well as members of the Jefferson County Democratic House delegation, including the latest public forum at the Jefferson County Courthouse on April 4, 2016, it has become increasingly the opinion of the GAA that these two elected entities HAVE NOT had sufficient civil dialogue together discussing these two critical pieces of legislation that will impact hundreds of thousands of current citizens and millions to come in future generations as well as the potential control of billions of tax payer dollars. Therefore, these two pieces of legislation SHOULD NOT hastily be voted upon WITHOUT a thoughtful, transparent, intellectual, thorough process involving ALL PARTIES FROM BOTH ELECTED ENTITIES WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF ALL CITIZENS AFFECTED.

 

Moreover, GAA urges all citizens, especially the voters who voted these current elected officials into office and will vote again next year for Birmingham city offices and in 2018 for state representatives, to call the members of the House Commerce and Small Business Committee concerning HB 399 immediately. Please begin your calls with the clerk for this committee, Mary Ruth Davis, who can send a message to the entire committee:

Mary Ruth Davis                                                  334-242-7696           maryruth.davis@alhouse.gov

Jack Williams, Chair (Jefferson Co)                   334-242-7779           jack@jackwilliams.org

Dimitri Polizos, Vice Chair (Montgomery Co) 334-242-7469           dimitri.polizos@alhouse.gov

Craig Ford, Ranking Minority Leader (Etowah County) 334-242-7690    craig.ford@alhouse.gov

Louise Alexander (Jefferson Co)                       334-242-7593              louise.alexander@alhouse.gov

Adline Clarke  (Mobile Co)                                 334-242-7449              adline.clarke@alhouse.gov

Anthony Daniels (Madison Co)                         334-242-7494

Danny Garrett (Jefferson Co)                            334-242-7535              dannygarrett44@gmail.com

Micky Hammon (Limestone Co, Morgan Co) 334-242-7709              mickyhammon@gmail.com

Nathaniel Ledbetter (Dekalb Co.)                    334-242-7492              nathaniel.ledbetter@alhouse.gov

Jimmy Martin (Autauga & Chilton Co)            334-242-7139              jimmy.martin@alhouse.gov

Barry Moore (Coffee Co)                                   334-242-7773              barry@barrymooreindustries.com

Jim Patterson (Madison Co)                              334-242-7531              jimpattersonhd21@gmail.com

Richie Whorton (Jackson & Madison Co)       334-242-7753              ritchiewhorton@gmail.com

 

 

Additionally, please contact the Jefferson County House delegation concerning the Mayor-Council Act:

 

Louise Alexander           334-242-7600              205-425-5700                          louise.alexander@alhouse.gov

Jim Carns                         334-242-7600              205-314-9808                          jim.carns@alhouse.gov

Merika Coleman-Evans 334-242-7755              205-325-5308               merika.colemanevans@alhouse.gov

Dickie Drake                    334-242-7727              205-699-7392                          dickie.drake@alhouse.gov

Allen Farley                     334-242-7767              205-477-5617                          allen.farley@alhouse.gov

David Faulkner               334-242-7600              205-870-9577                          david.faulkner@alhouse.gov

Juandalynn Givan          334-242-7684              205-326-2466                          juandalynn.givan@alhouse.gov

Arnold Mooney              334-242-7600              205-222-8721                          arnold.mooney@alhouse.gov

Mary Moore                    334-242-7608              205-229-9966                          mary.moore@alhouse.gov

Oliver Robinson              334-242-7769              205-849-6765                          oliver.robinson@alhouse.gov

John Rogers                    334-242-7761              205-925-3522                          john.rogers@alhouse.gov

Rod Scott                        334-242-7752              205-837-5673                          rod.scott@alhouse.gov

Kyle South                      334-242-7600              205-393-4496                          kyle.south@alhouse.gov

Patricia Todd                  334-242-7718              205-324-9822                          patricia.todd@alhouse.gov

Allen Treadaway           334-242-7685              205-566-6835                          allen.treadaway@alhouse.gov

Tim Wadsworth            334-242-7600              205-712-1792                          tim.wadsworth@alhouse.gov

Jack Williams                 334-242-7779              205-862-5041                          jack.williams@alhouse.gov

 

 

This recommendation reflects a collective opinion of the entire group and is not considered the official position by any individual members of GAA or any organizations with which the members are affiliated.

 

Charles Finney wrote, “If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.” We as the GAA accept and embrace our responsibility to empower the church through education, encouragement, exposure and evaluation.

 

Moreover, GAA encourages continual prayer for our Mayor, Birmingham City Council members, and all State Legislators involved in this decision-making process as well as all other governmental leaders and those serving in our nation’s armed services protecting the freedoms we hold so dear.

 

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”- Thomas Jefferson.  So “person of good conscience”, let your voice be heard concerning both pieces of legislation.

 

END

ByGatekeepers Association

Gatekeepers Recommend “No” Vote to HB399 & Mayor Council Act Amendments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:

Bishop Jim Lowe

Gatekeepers Association of Alabama

205-365-2757

Info@gatekeepersassociation.org

 

HEADLINE: Gatekeepers Association of Alabama recommends voting “NO” on HB399, or the Birmingham Water Works Bill, and “NO” to the current proposed amendments to the Mayor-Council Act of 1955

Birmingham, Alabama, April 5, 2016

 

The Gatekeepers Association of Alabama (GAA), a diverse group of pastors united to empower the church to influence the governmental realm, recommends our State Legislators vote “NO” to HB399, or the Birmingham Water Works bill, and “NO” to the current proposed amendments to the Mayor-Council Act of 1955. After multiple meetings with several members of the Birmingham City Council as well as members of the Jefferson County Democratic House delegation, including the latest public forum at the Jefferson County Courthouse on April 4, 2016, it has become increasingly the opinion of the GAA that these two elected entities HAVE NOT had sufficient civil dialogue together discussing these two critical pieces of legislation that will impact hundreds of thousands of current citizens and millions to come in future generations as well as the potential control of billions of tax payer dollars. Therefore, these two pieces of legislation SHOULD NOT hastily be voted upon WITHOUT a thoughtful, transparent, intellectual, thorough process involving ALL PARTIES FROM BOTH ELECTED ENTITIES WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF ALL CITIZENS AFFECTED.

 

Moreover, GAA urges all citizens, especially the voters who voted these current elected officials into office and will vote again next year for Birmingham city offices and in 2018 for state representatives, to call the members of the House Commerce and Small Business Committee concerning HB 399 immediately. Please begin your calls with the clerk for this committee, Mary Ruth Davis, who can send a message to the entire committee:

Mary Ruth Davis                                                  334-242-7696           maryruth.davis@alhouse.gov

Jack Williams, Chair (Jefferson Co)                   334-242-7779           jack@jackwilliams.org

Dimitri Polizos, Vice Chair (Montgomery Co) 334-242-7469           dimitri.polizos@alhouse.gov

Craig Ford, Ranking Minority Leader (Etowah County) 334-242-7690    craig.ford@alhouse.gov

Louise Alexander (Jefferson Co)                       334-242-7593              louise.alexander@alhouse.gov

Adline Clarke  (Mobile Co)                                 334-242-7449              adline.clarke@alhouse.gov

Anthony Daniels (Madison Co)                         334-242-7494

Danny Garrett (Jefferson Co)                            334-242-7535              dannygarrett44@gmail.com

Micky Hammon (Limestone Co, Morgan Co) 334-242-7709              mickyhammon@gmail.com

Nathaniel Ledbetter (Dekalb Co.)                    334-242-7492              nathaniel.ledbetter@alhouse.gov

Jimmy Martin (Autauga & Chilton Co)            334-242-7139              jimmy.martin@alhouse.gov

Barry Moore (Coffee Co)                                   334-242-7773              barry@barrymooreindustries.com

Jim Patterson (Madison Co)                              334-242-7531              jimpattersonhd21@gmail.com

Richie Whorton (Jackson & Madison Co)       334-242-7753              ritchiewhorton@gmail.com

 

 

Additionally, please contact the Jefferson County House delegation concerning the Mayor-Council Act:

 

Louise Alexander           334-242-7600              205-425-5700                          louise.alexander@alhouse.gov

Jim Carns                         334-242-7600              205-314-9808                          jim.carns@alhouse.gov

Merika Coleman-Evans 334-242-7755              205-325-5308               merika.colemanevans@alhouse.gov

Dickie Drake                    334-242-7727              205-699-7392                          dickie.drake@alhouse.gov

Allen Farley                     334-242-7767              205-477-5617                          allen.farley@alhouse.gov

David Faulkner               334-242-7600              205-870-9577                          david.faulkner@alhouse.gov

Juandalynn Givan          334-242-7684              205-326-2466                          juandalynn.givan@alhouse.gov

Arnold Mooney              334-242-7600              205-222-8721                          arnold.mooney@alhouse.gov

Mary Moore                    334-242-7608              205-229-9966                          mary.moore@alhouse.gov

Oliver Robinson              334-242-7769              205-849-6765                          oliver.robinson@alhouse.gov

John Rogers                    334-242-7761              205-925-3522                          john.rogers@alhouse.gov

Rod Scott                        334-242-7752              205-837-5673                          rod.scott@alhouse.gov

Kyle South                      334-242-7600              205-393-4496                          kyle.south@alhouse.gov

Patricia Todd                  334-242-7718              205-324-9822                          patricia.todd@alhouse.gov

Allen Treadaway           334-242-7685              205-566-6835                          allen.treadaway@alhouse.gov

Tim Wadsworth            334-242-7600              205-712-1792                          tim.wadsworth@alhouse.gov

Jack Williams                 334-242-7779              205-862-5041                          jack.williams@alhouse.gov

 

 

This recommendation reflects a collective opinion of the entire group and is not considered the official position by any individual members of GAA or any organizations with which the members are affiliated.

 

Charles Finney wrote, “If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.” We as the GAA accept and embrace our responsibility to empower the church through education, encouragement, exposure and evaluation.

 

Moreover, GAA encourages continual prayer for our Mayor, Birmingham City Council members, and all State Legislators involved in this decision-making process as well as all other governmental leaders and those serving in our nation’s armed services protecting the freedoms we hold so dear.

 

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”- Thomas Jefferson.  So “person of good conscience”, let your voice be heard concerning both pieces of legislation.

ByGatekeepers Association

Many Americans Say Bible Is Key to Better Politics

header_ABS.JPGPresidential elections are rarely kind and congenial affairs, but many pundits and politicos—and even the current president—think this year’s primary season has been more abrasive than usual. Aside from the candidates and their teams practicing civility, is there anything else that might improve the tenor of American political discourse?

According to American Bible Society’s annual “State of the Bible” survey powered by Barna, half of American adults (51%) say politics would be more civil if politicians engaged in regular Bible reading. A similar majority (53%) says American politicians would be more effective if they read the Bible on a regular basis. In addition, nearly half of all adults (46%) say they wish the Bible had greater influence on American society.

These views are likely influenced by most people’s belief that the Bible is sacred literature (80%) and that it contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life (66% strongly or somewhat agree). Among Elders aged 70 and older and Boomers 51 to 69, the percentages are even higher: nine out of 10 Elders (91%) and Boomers (88%) consider the Bible sacred and three-quarters (79% Elders, 74% Boomers) agree the Bible’s contents are sufficient for living a meaningful life.

Overall, Americans hold the Bible in high regard.

Younger Generations Are More Skeptical
Americans with a positive opinion of the Bible and its teachings are in the majority—but the majority is not evenly distributed across the population. Generally, American adults under 50 tend to be more skeptical, or at least more ambivalent, about the Bible than older adults, and this is especially true of Millennials aged 18 to 31. For example, fewer young adults consider the Bible sacred literature (71% of Millennials and 75% of Gen-Xers, compared to 88% of Boomers, and 91% of Elders), and Millennials (22%) are three times more likely than Elders (7%) to say that none of the books considered sacred literature by many religions—including the Torah, the Koran, the Book of Mormon and “other”—are holy books.

Read More >

ByGatekeepers Association

Godly Politics

Sant_Elia_AJ-Yahweh

 

What does it mean when a vacant seat on the Supreme Court is filled? And, why would it matter who sits on the United States’ most powerful assembly of magistrates? This group of judges offer speculations surrounding the rule of Law. The individual who will have this position shares power and has influence over what a nation believes to be truth.

We should pray about the Supreme Court nominee because if he or she has a liberal mindset and gets the position, many court decisions may be determined and interpreted from a more contemporary or liberal point of view.

 

How important is it that we should have a Godly balance in the Supreme Court?  God’s prosperity is with a nation when the people are righteous.

While Yeshua (Jesus) will be the King over the earthly Kingdom, His government will have no end.

NLT  Isaiah 9:6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isa 9:6 NLT)

 

What we do for God can overshadow what we say about God.  Every believer knows that their primary call is to build disciples for God’s Kingdom.  Therefore, every Christian worker should strive to be the best employee in the company.  Every Christian student should study to develop themselves personally and academically.  As a Christian neighbor, we should walk alongside the people in our communities and be intently involved.  This is done by meeting the needs of our neighbors with love and compassion.

 

NLT  Matthew 19:19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Mat 19:19 NLT) 

 

In the last days, political systems will come under the influence of the Kingdom of darkness. Men will start looking for answers to the world’s chaos from ungodly men.  This state of affairs will open the doors for a leader who is a brilliant politician, but he is not Godly.  People will be looking for political answers but not for God’s Word. Eventually, the Bible and the religious institution will come under persecution and preachers will be told what they are to teach. I believe that

 

17 For God has put a plan into their minds, a plan that will carry out his purposes. They will agree to give their authority to the scarlet beast, and so the words of God will be fulfilled. (Rev 17:17 NLT)

 

Whenever any nation turn’s it’s back on God, the blessing and prosperity of those will come in the form suffering economy, weather, and national disasters.

 

23 The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The happy voices of brides and grooms will never be heard in you again. For your merchants were the greatest in the world, and you deceived the nations with your sorceries.

 24 In your streets flowed the blood of the prophets and of God’s holy people and the blood of people slaughtered all over the world.” (Rev 18:23-24 NLT) 

 

CNN News Reports

 

“There is a lot at stake here. Depending on who ultimately fills this vacancy, the next Supreme Court justice could change the ideological direction of the court for a generation — and fundamentally reshape American society in the process. As we know from his previous nominees, a court selected by President Obama could impose its views on the people, regardless of the democratic process. The question now before the American people is whether they want to dramatically change the current ideological makeup of the court.” http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/18/opinions/supreme-court-nomination-cornyn/index.html

 

Each party has specific beliefs:

 

The Democrats

This website states that the party is focusing on “building an economy that lifts up all Americans, not just those at the top.” Interests of the party include equal pay, job creation, health care, education and clean energy. Democrats.org features more detailed information on the party’s stance on specific issues. Civil rights, education, immigration reform, national security and voting rights are a few of the issues selectable on the bottom of the Democrats.org

 

The Republicans

Republicanism refers to a loose tradition or family of writers in the history of western political thought, including especially: Machiavelli and his fifteenth-century Italian predecessors; the English republicans Milton, Harrington, Sidney, and others; Montesquieu and Blackstone; the eighteenth-century English commonwealth men; and many Americans of the founding era such as Jefferson and Madison. The writers in this tradition emphasize many common ideas and concerns, such as the importance of civic virtue and political participation, the dangers of corruption, the benefits of a mixed constitution and the rule of law, etc.; and it is characteristic of their rhetorical style to draw heavily on classical examples

 

The Liberals

A liberal democracy is a form of representative democracy in which elected representatives who hold power are limited by a constitution that emphasizes protecting individual liberties, equality and the rights of minority groups. Among the many liberties that might be protected are freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of religion, the right to private property and privacy as well as equality before the law and due process under the rule of law. Such constitutional rights, also called liberal rights, are guaranteed through various controlled institutions and statutory laws. Additionally, the constitutions of most contemporary liberal democracies prohibits majoritarianism, which is ruled by the will of majority when it harms those in the minority. http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-liberal-democracy.htm

 

 

Politics

Activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of a government or getting and keeping power in a government. the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy.

 

God’s Earthly Commonwealth

 

In the community of faith, God has always divinely placed servants in high positions of government. For example, Josiah was responsible for the great awakening of Judah.  His revivals were instrumental in the people’s return to worship Adonai, the G-D of Israel.

 

 יֹאשִׁיָּה Yo’shiyah {yo-shee-yaw’} or יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ {yo-she-yaw’-hoo}

Meaning:  Josiah = “whom Jehovah heals” 1) son of Amon by Jedidah who succeeded his father to the throne of Judah and reigned for 31 years; his reign is noteworthy for the great revivals back to the worship of Jehovah which he led 2) a returned exile and son of Zephaniah at whose house took place the solemn and symbolical crowning of Joshua the high priest in the time of Zechariah the prophet.

 

Another key person God used in the political arena was Joseph.  Although he went through a series of betrayals and disappointments, Joseph was divinely placed in a situation where he finally received a high ranking position in Pharaoh’s upper Government. God’s sovereign plan was to rescue the children of Jacob with Joseph’s influence in Pharaoh’s government.

 

יוֹסֵף Yowceph {yo-safe’}

Meaning:  Joseph = “Jehovah has added” 1) the eldest son of Jacob by Rachel

9 So the chief cup-bearer told Joseph his dream first. “In my dream,” he said, “I saw a grapevine in front of me.

 10 The vine had three branches that began to bud and blossom, and soon it produced clusters of ripe grapes.

 11 I was holding Pharaoh’s wine cup in my hand, so I took a cluster of grapes and squeezed the juice into the cup. Then I placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”

 12 “This is what the dream means,” Joseph said. “The three branches represent three days.

 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift you up and restore you to your position as his chief cup-bearer. (Gen 40:9-13 NLT)

 

David may have been the most unlikely one of Jesse’s sons that one would have expected to be king.  His story reveals to us the importance of repentance, servitude, and worship.  Although David made mistakes, he was a seeker of God.

 

דָּוִד David {daw-veed’} rarely )fullyדָּוִיד ( Daviyd {daw-veed’}

Meaning:  David = “beloved” 1) youngest son of Jesse and second king of Israel, a man after God’s heart. David moved God’s heart, not because he made no human errors, but because he ruled with compassion and fairness. David sanctioned a more redeeming, softer approach to leadership.

 

Solomon is known because of desire for wisdom.  He could have asked for riches, but his request was that God would give him wisdom to rule his people.

 

שְׁלֹמֹה Shelomoh {shel-o-mo’}

Meaning:  Solomon = “peace” 1) son of David by Bathsheba and 3rd king of Israel; author of Proverbs and Song of Songs

 

I would be remiss if I did not mention the prophetess and judge, Deborah.

דְּבוֹרָה Debowrah {deb-o-raw’} or )shortenedדְּבֹרָה ( Deborah {deb-o-raw’}

Meaning:  Deborah = “bee” 1) the nurse of Rebekah who accompanied her from the house of Bethuel 2) a prophetess who judged Israel

 

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get ready! This is the day the LORD will give you victory over Sisera, for the LORD is marching ahead of you.” So Barak led his 10,000 warriors down the slopes of Mount Tabor into battle.

15 When Barak attacked, the LORD threw Sisera and all his chariots and warriors into a panic. Sisera leaped down from his chariot and escaped on foot.

16 Then Barak chased the chariots and the enemy army all the way to Harosheth-haggoyim, killing all of Sisera’s warriors. Not a single one was left alive. (Jdg 4:14-16 NLT)

 

Deborah was a ruler during the time that Israel needed a military mindset.  She had strong leadership skills that brought God’s people out of captivity and led them into a season of prosperity and victory.

 

Any nation will prosper when they make God the ruler and Kind of their land.

 

Pastor Demetrics Roscoe

 

 

ByGatekeepers Association

Charles Finney Words To All Pastors

Charles Finney’s wrote in his article, “The Decay of Conscience” published in The Independent of New York, Dec. 4, 1873,

“Christ crucified for the sins of the world is the Christ that the people need. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”

These are the words that inspired the creation of the Gatekeepers Association. They were spoken in 1873 but they are relevant to today.

ByGatekeepers Association

What Makes a Good Candidate?

JUDGING POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

“What Makes a Good Candidate?”

This is the season when we as the public are bombarded with the appeals for various offices in which candidates tout their leadership ability. In some of these cases, the appeals come from a place of demonstrated leadership. In far too many other cases, those requesting the privilege of leading us in public office are thoroughly lacking in the elements that make good political leaders. This is true for political offices at all levels.

Over the past two decades, I have spent many hours examining the attributes of effective and capable leaders. I have looked historically at those who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the office they were elected to as well as those who failed horribly as leaders. Unfortunately, in many cases, both the effective leaders and the failed leaders present some of the same characteristics.

My scholarly work in the area of leadership and my experience with leaders have led me to identify five (5) essential characteristics of a good leader who is aspiring political office. They are character, cosmpetence, courage, compassion, and commitment.  Interestingly, these characteristics apply in almost every scenario whether in the business, political, educational, or religious arenas.  A rigorous examination of any aspiring leader will very likely reveal the quality of the leadership they will provide.

As pastors and spiritual leaders, we are often called upon to advise our members, family, and friends on which candidates have the ability to be effective leaders (and which should, as such, earn our votes).  More importantly, we are often asked the more general question, “What characteristics must a candidate possess to merit our support and to be effective in public office?”

As a scholar, I have had the opportunity to study political leaders and read biographies and source materials on histories of great leaders. I have also had the privilege of developing close relationships with some of the well-known leaders in our area over the past twenty (20) years.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”  Fortunately, many of the individuals who offer themselves for positions of leadership have, in fact, previously held power in other leadership capacities. We must ask ourselves, “How have they used that power?”

To be sure we are selecting the best candidate, we must examine their character. An examination of character is, essentially, a determination of an individual’s faithfulness, integrity and reliability. We consider people who are faithful in meeting their obligations and who are honest and truthful as having good character. Conversely, people who are determined to be dishonest, unreliable and unfaithful in meeting their obligations, we tend to consider as having bad character.

In the political context, we determine a person’s character by how they have behaved themselves in both their public and private lives. Character is the essence of leadership and it can make or break a leader. When a leader has significant character flaws, it erodes the trust in him by his constituents. Once the trust in a leader crumbles, his ability to lead effectively crumbles also. An important component of character is integrity. This means that there is not a gap between what a leaders says and what he does. Those who are seeking political office and requesting our votes and support should be people of impeccable character. This should be a non-negotiable.

Former Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton have been examined as political leaders on the basis of their character. Although both men served as president of the United States, their legacies are not the accomplishments achieved during their administrations but rather the scandals left behind by their character deficiencies that followed them throughout their presidency and beyond.

A rigorous evaluation of an individual’s ability to lead in a political milieu requires us to look beyond character. We know many people in our lives who have exceptional character. That is to say they are honest, truthful and faithful in all of their dealings. The question becomes, for a particular position or office, “Does this person possess the requisite competence to lead?”  Competence is primarily a matter of ability, intellect and experience. These variables will determine a person’s ability to address issues as they arise in the most effective possible manner.

There are many people who may possess exceptional character but who lack competence based upon inexperience, lack of intellectual development, or unfamiliarity with the issues that they face.  There is little solace to those who are harmed by well-intentioned leaders with good character, but who simply do not know what they are doing. Thus, the first question we must ask is, “Whether a person has the requisite character?”  The second must be, “Is this person competent to do the job?”

Competence alone cannot make a leader, but it can undo one. Competence is characterized by both knowledge and skills. In the political arena this does not mean that a leader knows everything or how to do everything but it means he know what to do and how to get it done. Leadership expert John Maxwell states, “Highly competent people always go the extra mile. For them, good enough is never enough.” Competent leaders never settle for mediocrity and half done tasks; they constantly strive for excellence and completion of responsibilities.

The third element of an effective leader is courage. Maya Angelou said that, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you cannot practice any of the other virtues consistently.” It does not matter if you have the character to understand right from wrong and the competence to make the right decision for your followers if you lack the courage to do so.

Courage is simply the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous, in spite of the dangers or difficulties. Courage is a necessary trait of effective leadership. Courage, like all values, develops and grows with practice. It takes courage to go against the grain, break from the norm, make tough decisions, challenge the status quo, admit when you are wrong, and stay true to your values and convictions in the face of contrary winds.

Our society recognizes the value of courage by honoring people who, in the face of danger to themselves, make difficult choices to help or benefit others. In 1957, John F. Kennedy, won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, Profiles in Courage.  The book chronicles eight (8) U. S. Senators who took courageous stands, and in most cases, paid high personal prices for their service to their country and the Senate. In each Senator’s situation, the common thread is the quality of courage that each manifested in choosing to do the right thing in the face of the potential (or actual) loss of political power, influence, or reputation as a consequence of doing the right thing.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather fear that has said its prayers. It is the inner strength and resolve to go forward even when fear presents a clear and present danger. In many ways, the greatest challenge to a leader in a democracy is to do the right thing when it is the unpopular thing to do. For that, courage is an essential trait for a good leader in a democracy.

Another essential trait by which we should measure a good leader is demonstrated compassion. Effective leaders must care for those that they lead, from the least to the greatest. A good leader is one who is compassionate towards others. They have the power of empathizing with all people and seek to know and understand the issues affecting them. However, on the other hand, uncompassionate leaders do not empathize with their people, but instead make decisions based on what they want, what is popular or what is good for them.

Most leaders are trained to lead with their head and not their heart. However, compassionate leaders lead with their heart as well as with their head.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States is a perfect example of leading with his heart as well as his head. He is revered as one of our greatest leaders because of his deep compassion for all people. In the depths of the Great Depression, he felt the pain of the hungry, the anxiety of the unemployed, the disillusionment of the displaced, and being deeply moved with compassion, he devised programs to better their lot in life.

The final trait that a good leader must possess is commitment. Commitment is the act of binding, engaging and dedicating oneself (emotionally or intellectually) to a particular cause, idea or activity. The world has known absolutely zero great leaders who lacked commitment. A leader who lacks commitment is someone walking down an endless and meandering road that leads to nowhere. Authur Gordon summed up commitment best when he said, “Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them day after day.” Leaders must be committed to being in the fray day after day.

The reality is that many leaders fail due to a lack of dedication to the principles that they say they stand for. In order to determine a person’s level of commitment, we need simply examine things that they have done or said or principles that they have stood for in the past and how they have adhered to those things or principles. In making our examination we must be mindful of everyone’s need to evolve to meet changing circumstances. However, real commitment is having non-negotiable core stances, values, principles, and having the strength and tenacity to stand by them undeterred by social and political pressure.

A lack of commitment by a leader weakens his leadership and eventually kills it. No leader can last very long in the political arena without commitment. Commitment is one of those intangibles that you cannot teach a leader; he either has it or he doesn’t have it. When commitment exists, you can see it in the leader’s eyes, actions, and in everything he says and does.

It is difficult to discern an individual’s capacity to lead by applying only the principles herein discussed. Ultimately, we must rely on being led by the unction of Almighty God.  James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” When all is said and done, and we have assessed an individual’s character, competence, courage, compassion and commitment, we need to ask God for wisdom as to whether any particular person merits our support.

 

ByGatekeepers Association

5 Reasons Why You Should Vote

By: Randy W. Williams

  1. Because you can!Only a handful of countries have the freedom to choose their leaders. Americans enjoy this freedom that has come at a great price to obtain and to maintain. For More Click Here
  2. Because it makes a difference!You may be tempted to think that your one vote does not count, or that it will be negated by someone else’s opposite vote, but don’t be deceived. When you vote politicians pay attention! Voting not only selects leaders, it also helps determine policy direction and strength. For More Click Here
  3. Because it secures justice for the future!When a government is truly a representative of the people then all the people can share in the freedoms of society. For More Click Here
  4. Because it keeps the government accountable to the people!As it says in the Declaration of Independence, government should be by “the consent of the governed.” Politicians fear (respect) votes more than publicity of scandal! For More Click Here
  5. Because it invests in our children’s future!What type of America are we handing forward? You have a say-so in it by how you vote. Learn the issues and the candidates, go to the poll, encourage others to go as well. “A democracy with ignorant voters becomes a tyranny every time.” Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. For More Click Here