Since Nov 2, 2007

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I joined Free Republic because it was so thrilling to find a place where conservatives gathered, many of whom had come to their conservative positions as a result of their faith in God. As a conservative Californian it seemed like a place where I might feel at home and find many others who are like-minded. In the 5 months since August 2007 of lurking and participating, I have not been disappointed.

My website will give you an overview of my activities to support God and country. (www.holyspiritpress.org/standup.html)

Here is an op/ed piece written 2/12/08 during the rally to support our troops (especially the Marines!) in Berkeley.

God bless America! God bless our troops! And God bless those who support them!

February 12, 2008
A Different Take on the Berkeley City Council/Marine Recruiting Station Rally

OpEd piece humbly submitted by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c)2008(www.shofarhornmusic.com)

One of today’s hot new stories is the rally being held by pro troop supporters against the City of Berkeley’s decision to vote the U.S. Marines Recruiting Office is not welcome. But there is another angle to this story. It is indicative of what God is doing in our country and it is good. In His word, God promises:

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron 7:13-14 NIV)

Many of us have been before the throne day and night for years seeking His face and praying God would heal our land. I believe He is hearing and answering our prayers.

In 2004 when a group of us were praying for the United States and the upcoming presidential election, several of us saw the same vision. It was a large map of the United States and in every state, one by one, there were individuals standing up. At the time, it was thought these were intercessors hearing the call to rise up and pray for our nation to return to its Christian foundations. However, it now seems that God intended more.

Almost one year ago, Breaking Christian News ran a story on the ministry God has given me to get a song and worship music to our troops to encourage them in their mission, teach them how to worship and to rally those of us here at home to unified worship to change the spiritual atmosphere in our nation. Shortly after the story broke, I re-recorded the song for our troops, then called “We Will Fight For Freedom” as a rock anthem with troops singing for troops in the background and renamed the song “STAND UP” (which is the message of the chorus). Since it was released in September 2007, I have been walking out the steps God lays before me, to get the music into the hands of those for whom He always intended it.

The mission is far from complete. However, in the past few months STAND UP has been shipped to individual troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, gifted to 600 children of the deployed, aired on Christian radio on 9/11 and Veteran’s Day, delivered to General Petraeus, put in the hands of Pentagon chaplains, handed out to some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital, and given to over 100 families of our fallen heroes. It has also been posted on www.youtube.com/ascendinworship with a slide show put together by an army dad of his son in Iraq in the hopes of gathering views and pro troops comments to encourage those who fight for us.

In walking out these steps I have been privileged to meet some of the most amazing Americans. These are not people of title or position in the way which the world would see them as important. They are ordinary citizens like you and me. But each of them in their own way is giving their time and often their money to stand up for what is right. They are standing up and speaking out in increasing numbers daily against abortion, to support our troops and for other causes which mirror God’s heart. I believe they are Gideon’s army and through them God is going to reveal the sovereignty of His way and the foolishness of the ways of the world.

The rally in Berkeley is a counter to ongoing protests by anti-war activists and city council actions. But what is happening today is in direct opposition to how similar actions were met during the Vietnam War. The United States does not go to war to conquer a people, take their land and dominate them. We fight to set the oppressed free so they can govern themselves and leave. This is God’s heart and it is a part of that for which He purposed the USA. Consider the verses in Isaiah 61 with which Jesus launched His ministry, declaring His God-given purpose:

Isa. 61:1-12
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
4They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

Note that He was anointed and sent by the Lord to bind up the brokenhearted, claim freedom for the captives and release prisoners form darkness. Then in Isaiah 58 He proclaims our role: the type of “fasting” which is pleasing to Him. Not surprisingly, our role mirrors His own (we, the sheep, following our Master Shepherd in His perfect Way). The fasting He would have us do is to “loose the chains of injustice, untie the cords of the yoke and set the oppressed free.” In Isaiah 61:4 He declares that once freed by Him, we will rebuild ancient ruins and restore places long devastated, which is confirmed in Isaiah 58:12. When we indeed work through Him to set the oppressed free, we will be called “Repairer of Broken Walls and Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”

Isa. 58 (NIV)
5Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?
6”Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousnessA will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. “

Forty years ago when the first anti-war protestors smeared our troops, not understanding their God-given purpose, the majority of the American public remained silent – watching incredulously from their living rooms but doing nothing. They became known as the Silent Majority.

There seemed no reason to stand up or speak out. For over 150 years of our history, everyone had seemed to be in agreement that there had always been a price for freedom and that every generation may have to fight to either preserve ours or help free someone else. No one thought that the minority would ever be listened to, or that they could have an effect. But the minority was loud and it swayed the entire war.

Now let’s consider again what is happening in Berkeley today. It is a sign that the Silent Majority is silent no longer. People – ordinary people – most of whom the world would consider unimportant are gathering in Berkeley to stand up for those who are fighting for the oppressed overseas. This action today in Berkeley mirrors what I have experienced as I have traveled around the country – ordinary citizens willing to make a huge effort to stand up for what is right, making sure the voice of the majority is heard.

I believe this is the gradual fulfillment of the vision of people standing up all over the U.S. map when we prayed for our nation in 2004. The prayers of the intercessors are being answered. Our people are fighting for the God-given principles upon which our nation was founded.

I would encourage every individual to pray for God’s direction, then stand up in the areas to which you are called. In addition, cover the activities of all those standing up with worship and intercessory prayer. Those of us who have been praying for restoration and revival know that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities of this present darkness. Therefore, just standing up in our own power will have limited effect. But if we stand up for what is right in God’s power, in His strength, according to His way, exhibiting the fruit of His Spirit (instead of stooping to the enemy’s tactics), then this movement back towards His Way WILL have the desired effect and our land will be healed. Let us each find our place on the wall as in Nehemiah’s time and with sword in one hand, standing up for what is right and just (in the eyes of our Lord), re-take the land and rebuilt the walls.

Neh 4:15-20 (NIV)
15When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work. 16From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me. 19Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”