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Saturday, September 16, 2017

423: ONE SMALL ACT OF PROTEST CHANGED THE WORLD

The Lord said that the weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones. (I Corinthians 1:27, D&C 1:19). Next month on October 31, 2017 the world will commemorate the small act of Martin Luther posting his 96 Theses to the front door of the mighty and strong Catholic Church which started the Protestant Reformation.

Seven videos have been created to commemorate this event that took place 500 years ago and its impact on the world. Below is the link to the seventh and concluding video in this first of three installments of videos that show God's Hand moving once again on the earth and His involvement in our lives today.  Next week is the Fall Equinox, a time of harvest. Three talks will be given in three major and symbolic cities in the next two months. The first one is next week in Los Angeles.  We invite all to join the live streaming video here on Thursday September 21, 2017 at 8:00 PM MST http://www.christianreformation500years.info/

These videos have been produced as a precursor to those talks.



Sidenote:

There is a beautiful lakeside  village in Austria  called  Hallstatt. Next to the lake there is a small Lutheran church. This church is planning events to commemorate the 500 year anniversary of Protestant Reformation. I took a photo the banner that hangs outside the church. I found it interesting that it is written in 13 different languages including Arabic and Hebrew. Truly the entire world was changed by what began with Martin Luther. A candle that can not be blown out.






Monday, September 11, 2017

422: 16 YEARS LATER....SOMETHING I WILL NEVER FORGET.

This past July, my daughter and I spent a few days in New York City. On the Fourth,  we spent the morning down at Ground Zero and went into the 9-11 Memorial Museum.   Even though this event happened 16 years ago today, I can still remember everything about that morning as if it was yesterday. Below are a few photos I took of a few images I saw at the Museum.

















One of the most symbolic things I saw at the museum was this stuffed animal that found on top of the rumble after the Towers fell. Of all the types of stuffed animals that it could be.. it was a lamb. Below is the placard next to the stuffed animal.


 



....
Yes, The Lamb did survive! He is the way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.   

 ....................


Sidenote: A few letters are on display expressing their thoughts about 9-11. The below postcard really touched me. You can see from the date, it was written on August 22, 2012 almost 11 years after the event. 




This is what Ground Zero looks like today. In place of the twin tower, are twin cascading fountains the disappear into the ground. Each occupying the exact footprint of the towers with all of the names etched around the exterior wall of the cascading pool of water.




 The newly built tower next the 9-11 Memorial that is now even taller than the Twin Towers.










Thursday, September 7, 2017

421: FOUR DESTRUCTIVE FORCES FOLLOWING THE 2017 GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE

We live in exciting times. Less than 3 weeks ago our country experienced a total solar eclipse that crossed from the west coast to the east coast of the United States. It is the first time since the birth of our nation in 1776  that the path of totality stayed completely in the United States. I believe it was ominous sign.
Since then we have experienced Fires in the Northwest, Earthquakes in the Rocky Mountain Region, Flooding in Midwest, and are expecting Winds over 150 miles an hour along the Atlantic coast. The Four elements of this world: Fire, Earth, Water, and Air. These elements are also symbolic of the four archangels) These four elements have caused damage across  the United, similiar to the path of totality of the solar eclipse.






Below are some notes I have written in my journal from recent talk about the importance of these recent events:

The next total eclipse will be in about seven years on April 8, 2014. With the recent eclipse and the one 2024 they will make an X across the United States. It’s a fairly dramatic celestial event that suggests possible meanings like the times of the Gentiles are coming to an end and there are about to be swept away and replaced as the possessors and the rightful owners of the land.  How we act matters a lot. Nineveh got saved because they repented and if God will spare Nineveh because they repented then he ought to be willing to spare other people because they’re willing to repent. The focus will be here on this land primarily until the Lord’s return and then Jerusalem will reacquire the spotlight. But Zion is going to be on this, the American continent. Since Zion must precede the Lord’s return and since this land is the land that has a restriction on it that requires those who are going to occupy it to serve the God of the land who is Jesus Christ,  the sign of the eclipse is a rather ominous suggestion that we can be crossed out and we can be replaced unless, of course, we choose to repent. 

There are two great symbols that are identical in size and identical in their position they occupy in the heaven above us. One is the sun and one is the moon. From the surface of the earth they are exactly the same size. The moon is 1/4 th the size of the earth and the sun is thousands, and thousands times bigger. But they were placed in the heavens at the relevant distances so that when you’re looking at them they are identical in the area that they occupy in the heaven above. The sun is a symbol of heavenly Father. The moon is a symbol of Heavenly Mother. And they occupy exactly the same position on the ecliptic. They move in the same position across the heavens. The movement of the mother as a symbol is far more complex than the movement of the sun across the sky because the dance that the symbol of our Heavenly Mother is performing is both progressive and recessive. She moves constantly across the sky from the East to the West once she comes into sight, but every night she moves farther East and so she begins farther to the East every night and then moves across the night sky to the west. So her dance is far more complex than is the Father’s. His is stable and relatively stationary and relatively predictable. The symbol of the mother plotting out the light of the sun in the eclipse is what you were asking about is ominous indeed because when a mother loses hope for her children, that’s a lot more frightening than the father’s ire. 

When a mother gets worked up enough to send a symbol across the land to suggest the blotting out the light of the father, it’s something that maybe we ought to sit up and take note of that. 

 There’s a message up there that was part of the gospel that will be restored again, but right now, faith, repentance, baptism, and treating one another kindly and preparing to be the kind of people that are worthy of preservation are far more important than all of that. 

.......

I recently read someone's notes that they took from Isaiah classes from a well known scholar. He spoke about three groups of the Lord’s people in the last days.

  • The first group would be those that would be granted divine protection and preserved from the worst turmoils of the tribulations. (Although some would be sacrificed for a testimony.)
  • The second group would be those who were not loyal to the Lord, but loyal to their Church Leaders. They would have to suffer tribulations to change their thinking and to be punished for their idolatry. This group would have to work hard to survive, but eventually, they would be gathered into Zion after sufficient time and after their hearts were changed.
  • The third group were wicked and rebelled. They joined in with the world were to be destroyed.

....

And lastly this:

The spirit of God is withdrawing from the world. Men are increasingly more angry without good cause. The hearts of men are waxing cold. There is increasing anger and resentment of gentiles. In political terms, it’s rejection of white privilege. Language of scriptures description of the events now underway calls it the end of the times of the gentiles. This process with the spirit withdrawing, will end on this continent as two prior civilization ended, in fratricidal and genocidal warfare. For the rest of the world, it will be as in the days of Noah in which, as that light becomes eclipsed, the coldness of men’s hearts is going to result in a constant scene of violence and bloodshed. The wicked will destroy the wicked. The covenant, if it is kept, will prevent you from losing light and warmth of heart as the spirit now steadily recedes from the world. The time will come, when you will be astonished at the gulf between the light and truth you will comprehend and the darkness of mind of the world. Be charitable and patient and labor to reach others. They will judge you harshly, but nevertheless be kind to them. They are going to grow to fear you, but that’s only part of how darkness responds to light. Give them no reason to fear you. The time will come for us to gather, but between now and then be leaven. Preserve the world. Be salt. Preserve the world. Even if it hates you.

Friday, September 1, 2017

420: AND I SHALL GIVE YOU REST

I went for a hike this morning to see the sunrise. Besides spending time with my wife and family, getting up early and hiking up to see the sunrise is one of my favorite things to do. I climbed a different peak than I normally do. When I got to the top I was surprised to see an empty chair waiting for me. Very unusual to see a solitary chair on top of a mountain. Someone must have left it for the next person to enjoy and rest from the steep hike.

I sat down on the chair and opened up my scriptures. My scriptures opened up to 3 Nephi 14. Below the photo are the verses. Very symbolic when you think about all the events this past week.




Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock—

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand—

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.



...

Monday, August 28, 2017

419: RECENT LDS TEMPLE DAMAGES and NEW CONSTRUCTIONS

Houston, Texas
Houston Temple President Marshall Hayes confirmed Monday night that the LDS Houston Temple was flooding. "The creek became a river and the current is so strong that it’s been dangerous to even try and approach the temple," he said. Nearby Cyprus Creek rose by more than 20 feet. “It appears water to the depth of four or five inches has gone inside the temple," he added. “That includes a baptistry, a marriage waiting room, dressing rooms, kitchen and laundry. We haven’t been able to go inside so we really don’t know the extent of the damage.” The temple closed Saturday after the 11 a.m. session. Water also breached an adjoining building.

Photo taken of the outside of the LDS Houston Temple. 


Bountiful, UT
Last year, lightning struck the bountiful Temple causing part of the head of  Angel Moroni statue's to go missing and a hole in the back.  News Article
 Image result for lightning bountiful temple

This year there has been substantial structural damage to the Bountiful's spire which needed to be fixed. The fiberglass structure showed signs of decay and cracking. The spire has been removed and repairs are currently underway. Below is a recent photo I took with the missing spire on the Bountiful temple and the scaffolding to now rebuild it.



________________________________________________

Sidenotes: Speaking of no spire.

Here are some recent LDS Temple constructions.
Below is a photo I took of the recently dedicated Paris Temple. There is no spire.. on purpose. At first we drove by it and did not think it was a Temple. Long are the days of the impressive "San Diego" like Temple structures.



Below is a photo of the Rome Temple.  This Temple was announced almost 10 years ago on October 4, 2008.  Groundbreaking and Site Dedication was on October 23, 2010 by Thomas S. Monson. It has encountered numerous construction problems. When we visited it last month, it appeared that construction had stalled. Apparently it was supposed to be completed years ago, even before the Paris, France temple was completed.



And lastly, below is a photo of the newly dedicated LDS Temple in Tucson Arizona. It is definitely different looking. To me, it kind of looks a little like a Mosque with the exception of Moroni on top instead of Mohammed.  :)






Oh the Glory Days.

Friday, August 25, 2017

418: HOMELESS


Recently I visited a small church in old city of Barcelona that was built in 1141. This Church was unlike all of the ornate Catholic Cathedrals that we saw all through Europe.  It was simple, small and unassuming.  If you visit this church during the week, it is not closed unlike thousands and thousands of our chapels around the world.  During the week they turn the church into a soup kitchen and a place for the homeless to sleep. The Church pew benches are rearranged and placed around portable tables. Plastic table cloths are laid down on the tables and dinner mats are used like you would see at a restaurant. The local parishioners volunteer days to come to their church to serve the homeless. Food is prepared and served to the hungry. This church is a place of refuge for the homeless, the outcast, the hungry and the needy.

Above is the photo I took of the church. You can see some of the homeless sleeping on the floor and on the benches. On one of the walls there is a beautiful painting of Christ serving the five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish.


Compare that to what is happening in Salt Lake City.



I have written a few blogposts about the growing problem of homelessness in downtown Salt Lake. The Road Home which houses over 1000 people is being shutdown. Three smaller locations are planned to be built in other areas of the city. These new facilities are planned to only accommodate 150 people each. The numbers don't add up, because without the Road Home, this will effectively reduce shelter beds by 500. One of the proposed sites is owned by the LDS Church. I posted about it here.
This week the Salt Lake Tribune published this article about the financials of the sell of this proposed site. Here is the news article. 

State to pay $4.5 million to buy Deseret Industries thrift store from Mormon church for homeless shelter
" Utah will fund the purchase of a downtown thrift store owned and operated by the Mormon church for $4.46 million following negotiations on the final of three future homeless shelters to be opened by July 2019.

The Salt Lake County Assessor’s Office values the property at $2.7 million – $1.4 million for the land and $1.3 million for the building."
Even though the SL County Assessor's office values the property at about half of what the LDS Church is selling it for, the property was apparently appraised at about the selling price.

My purpose for even pointing this out is.. why doesn't the LDS Church just donate this to the city to build a homeless shelter. I mean we donated a mansion names after Thomas S Monson to the University of Utah. It appears that we might even be making a profit off the sell of the land especially if it was valued on the tax appraisals  at almost half of the selling price.

Also, one more thing I want to point out:

Instead of helping the homeless find a place to sleep and eat, We are arresting them. It is called Operation Rio Grande. This past week alone police officers have arrested 423 people that are homeless.  Below are some photos from this article. The first photo shows the brand new mobile command center. It is large hi-tech moving vehicle used to coordinate the efforts of the law enforcement.   Now I understand that many of those on the streets have drug and alcohol addictions. Many have to resort to crime. I agree that arrests should be made for illegal activity and unlawful behavior. But homeless is not a crime.. and maybe it is more of a crime on our part for not helping them.


Here is the news article:
http://kutv.com/news/local/inside-the-heart-of-operation-rio-grande



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

417: THE GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE ON AUGUST 21, 2017


Standing in the middle of a wheat field in Eastern Idaho, just a few miles west of Salem, Idaho  my family witnessed the Great American Eclipse of 2017. We were invited by our close friends to camp out near the center line of the Path of Totality. Words can't really describe the experience. Unless you saw it, no one can really explain the event to you and give it justice. A total solar eclipse is not only meant to be seen, but needs to be experienced first hand. It is not just a visual spectacle, it is an experience you feel with your entire body. It is life changing.  My mouth dropped in awe.  Tears fell down my wife's cheek. My confused 5 year old daughter asked us, "When is it going to be morning again Dad?"

Within a 3 minute time span , one witnesses the bright blue sky of the midday change to a dark sky of night. Stars and planets appear, temperatures plummet as the sun and moon align perfectly changing day to night then back to day in minutes.

To sum it up best would be to quote D&C 88: 47: "Any man who hath seen any or the least of these  hath seen God moving in his majesty and power."
I testify that my family and I witnessed God moving in Their Majesty and Power yesterday at 11:33 AM on August 21, 2017.

Here are a few photos I took with my camera to document the event.

 Taken Just a few minutes before the complete total eclipse. 

Photo of the total eclipse that lasted for us for about 2 minute 18 seconds. While the moon completely covered the sun, we could watch this without any eye protection. This sign in heaven was meant to be seen with the natural eye without any protective eye gear.

Photo of the sun reappearing after the total eclipse with the moon. 

The moon and the sun continuing to move apart after appearing to be exactly the same size. 

This is still frame from the video I took with a wide angle lens while the eclipse was occuring. 



Sidenote:

For weeks I was trying to determine where I would go to view the eclipse. There were alot of factors to consider including the weather, traffic, accommodations, and who was going to come from my family. We finally decided on Saturday and we got ready to leave early Sunday morning. It was a beautiful drive up to Idaho Falls and we continued further North to be as close to the center of path of totality. That evening some clouds began to roll in creating a beautiful sunset but causing some concern and/or doubt that maybe it might be cloudy the next day. It seems like in every important event in our life, we have "clouds" of doubt roll in and cover our skies.

Photo taken of the sunset on August 20,,2017 on the eve of the Total Eclipse in Plano, Idaho.

However the next morning, just hours before the eclipse, I woke up early to beautiful clear skies. I went into a nearby wheat field to watch the sunrise.




Standing in the middle of a wheat field. I could see the location where NASA set up their operations for the eclipse. NASA They were located on top of the plateau that you can see in the distance.



Photo taken hours on top the water irrigation tower that is located in the center of wheat field.
This is the location where my family would return to watch the eclipse.  

In the distance it was possible to see the Grand Tetons in the horizon just before the sunrise. 


The event was not just observed by us, but it seems like all of creation anticipated the event.

Photo of a flocks of birds heading east towards the sun in the horizon.

(Not the best photo since it is kind of blurry, but it is a photo of a night owl flying low over the wheat.
It 
was taken in the wheat field where we watched the eclipse.

Not only have I never seen a total eclipse, I have never seen an owl fly in the wild.

Photo of a dove perched high up in blue spruce just prior to the eclipse. 
.......................................


Image for comment no 3 from Taylor:


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

416: LDS CHURCH SUPPORTS LGBTQ CONCERT EVENT





Today, on the front page of the Deseret News, the LDS Church owned paper, there is an article entitled: "LDS Church issues statement of support for LGBTQ concert event".  See above in highlighted yellow.

On  August 26, there will be a first-time music festival called LoveLoud, an event which is aimed at supporting LGBTQ youth. It will be hosted at the Utah Valley University campus where Elder Jeffrey R Holland's son is the University President.  This event now has a statement of support from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here is the LDS statement:
“We applaud the LoveLoud Festival for LGBTQ Youth’s aim to bring people together to address teen safety and to express respect and love for all of God’s children. We join our voice with all who come together to foster a community of inclusion in which no one is mistreated because of who they are or what they believe."
“We share common beliefs, among them the pricelessness of our youth and the value of families. We earnestly hope this festival and other related efforts can build respectful communication, better understanding and civility as we all learn from each other.” 

Here is the full article online:NEWS ARTICLE


To the average member, the stances that the Church takes on these LGBTQ issues is be confusing....It is almost as if the Church is bi-polar. One the one hand the Church is supporting the LGBTQ youth, but on the other hand,  if you are a straight youth with just one LGBTQ parent, you CANNOT get baptized until you are an adult and are forced to renounce your parent.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

415: OVERBLOWN, EXAGGERATED STORY GIVEN BY ELDER HOLLAND HAS NOW BEEN RECANTED

In his remarks during the 2017 Seminar for New Mission Presidents, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a missionary account, which was published by the Church News under the headline: “Elder Holland shares 'The Missionary Speech of All Time' at Seminar for New Mission Presidents.” The article was widely read and shared. It was also reprinted in the Deseret News.

Here is the excerpt from the published story:

Elder Holland closed by relating a story — being careful to protect the privacy and anonymity of the participants — of a young man from southern Idaho. One night the young man stormed out of the house and set off to join an infamous motorcycle gang. He succeeded in that resolve and for 20 years became immersed in a culture “of temptations yielded to and degradations explored,” never contacting his parents, who feared that he was dead.

Eventually ending up in Southern California, he one day was sitting on the porch of a rented home when he saw two LDS missionaries making their way up the street.

“With a rush of memory and guilt, regret and rage, he despised the very sight of them,” Elder Holland recounted. “But he was safe, because he kept all visitors at bay by employing two Doberman Pinschers who viciously charged the gate every moment that anyone came near.”

The dogs startled the missionaries as they passed by and continued on, “our man on the porch laughing at the lovely little drama he had just witnessed, wishing only that the gate hadn’t restrained his two dogs.”

Then, the two elders stopped, looked at each other, conversed a little, “likely said a silent prayer,” then turned around and approached the gate.

“The Dobermans on cue charged the gate again, hit it, snarling, frothing, and then stopped in their tracks,” Elder Holland said. “They looked at the missionaries, dropped their heads, ambled back to the front steps and lay down.”

The man on the porch was speechless as they missionaries opened the gate, walked up the path and greeted him.

“One of the elders said, ‘Are you from this part of California?’

“The man said, ‘No. If you want to know, I’m from Pocatello, Idaho.’

“There was a pause. ‘That’s interesting,’ the elder said. ‘Do you know the [such-and-such] family in Pocatello?’

“With a stunned look, our biker paused, and then, in very measured words, said, ‘Yeah, I know them. They are my parents.’

“ ‘Well, they’re my parents too,’ the missionary said. ‘God has sent me to invite you to come home.’ ”

The younger brother had been born after the older boy had left home. The elder brother did not even know of him.

“Mom and Dad have been praying for you every morning and night for 20 years,” the younger brother said. “They were not sure you were alive, but they knew if you were, that someday you would come back to us.”

The wayward son invited the two in, and they talked for the rest of the day and some of the night. He did return home, returned to Church activity and, in March 2015, was married and sealed in the Boise Idaho Temple.

Commenting on the account, Elder Holland said, “This is a story of the role of Almighty God, the Savior of the World, and the Holy Ghost involved in the work of the ministry to which we’ve been called.

1. “The Holy Ghost prompted those parents to keep praying, to keep believing, to keep trusting. …

2. The Holy Ghost inspired that rebellious boy to come to himself like the prodigal he was and to head for California. …

3. The Holy Ghost influenced that younger son to serve a mission and be willing to accept a call to Southern California. …

4. The Holy Ghost inspired one of my brethren in the Twelve, who was on the assignment desk that Friday, to trust his impression and assign that young man for service not a great distance from his native-born state.

5. The Holy Ghost inspired that mission president to assign that young missionary to that district and that member unit.

6. The Holy Ghost led those missionaries to that street, that day, that hour, with big brother sitting on the porch waiting, and, with Doberman Pinschers notwithstanding,

7. the Holy Ghost prompted those two elders to stop, talk and in spite of their fear, to go back and present their message. …

8. “And, through the elders, the Holy Ghost taught repentance and brought true conversion to one coming back into the fold.”

Elder Holland said the young elder, without realizing it, gave the missionary speech of all time, when he said to his brother, “God has sent me here to invite you to come home.”

“We are sent by God to invite His children home,” Elder Holland concluded.

----------

This story was retold word for word in our Sacrament last week at a Missionary Farewell. My wife turned to me after hearing the story and said.. "as if that really happened that way". She has great discernment and apparently not everyone can recognize truth from error when they hear it.

However, in the end, truth will always prevail..

On July 31, Elder Holland released the following statement regarding the account:

"A few weeks ago when speaking to new mission presidents at the Missionary Training Center, I shared a story about two brothers, just as I heard it from individuals who knew the family and had heard it recounted by a family member. Within a few days, my office was contacted by the family, who expressed concern that some elements of that account were not accurate due to embellishing by a family member.“
As a courtesy to me the family contacted my office, wanting me to be aware of the inaccurate parts of the story and offering their help in avoiding any perpetuation of those elements in the account I heard. I am deeply touched by their humility and courage in doing so, and as an equal courtesy to them, I am withdrawing the story completely and request that it not be shared further."
Elder Holland revised the story stated that the facts were:
  • The older brother did indeed leave his home and his family and for many years pursued the lifestyle I described in my talk. 
  • During these years his parents lovingly tried to maintain contact, prayed faithfully for him and even sent local leaders to seek after him. 
  • However, at the time his younger brother was called to serve as a missionary, the older brother had already returned to Idaho. 
  • With the help of missionaries there, he started the difficult and courageous process of changing his life. 
  • In time, he would return to full activity and be sealed in the temple, and he would also have a son who would serve a mission.

So... no Doberman pinchers, No younger brother serving a mission who found his wayward brother. No emotional dialogue that took place.where the younger brother said "They’re my parents too,God has sent me to invite you to come home.’

I mean how do you get those details included in a story?

Personally, after reading this press release from the Church, I had a déjà vu moment since I grew up listening to Elder Paul H Dunn talks.





Wednesday, July 26, 2017

414: "A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD"


In the LDS Hymn Book, the first listed hymn in alphabetical order is "A Mighty Fortress is our God". This hymn was written and composed by Martin Luther.   Luther wrote the words  sometime between 1527 and 1529 as a paraphrase of Psalm 46, though stanza four comes directly from Luther’s own persecution experience.

This hymn is often referred to as “the battle hymn” of the Reformation.    It has had a part in countless celebrations commemorating the men and events of the Reformation.  It was sung by poor Protestants on their way to exile, and by martyrs at their death. The very first line is engraved on the base of Luther’s monument at Wittenberg, Germany.

There are four verses to the song, but the LDS Hymn book only contains the first verse. 
Furthermore, the words we now sing in our Sacrament Meeting have been altered from the original lyrics that Martin Luther wrote.

Here are the lyrics to the song as they appear in the LDS Hymnbook:
A mighty fortress is our God, A tower of strength ne'er failing.A helper mighty is our God, O'er ills of life prevailing.He overcometh all. He saveth from the Fall.His might and pow'r are great. He all things did create.And he shall reign for evermore.

Here are the original lyrics translated into English: 

A mighty Fortress is our God, A Bulwark never failing; Our Helper He amid the flood. Of mortal ills prevailing: For still our ancient foe. Doth seek to work us woe; His craft and power are great, And, armed with cruel hate, On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing; Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God’s own choosing: Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth His Name, From age to age the same, And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled,Should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us: The Prince of Darkness grim, We tremble not for him; His rage we can endure, For lo! his doom is sure, One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, No thanks to them, abideth; The Spirit and the gifts are ours. Through Him who with us sideth: Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also; The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still, His Kingdom is forever.

Sidenote:
Below are a few "man-made" fortresses that I photographed during an extended backpacking trip with my oldest daughter this past month. While impressive and magnificent, none of the works of men can compare to the mighty fortress that our Lord can provide. Unfortunately, we all to often rely on the physical fortresses we build instead depending on the Lord as our defense. 

Belvedere Castle in Central Park ,New York City, NY
Photo taken on July 3, 2017
Montserrat Monastery near Barcelona, Spain
Photo taken on July 6th, 2017
Charles Bridge and Old City in Prague, Czech Republic
Photo taken on July 16th, 2017

The Prague Castle above the Vitava River in Prague, Czech Republic
Photo taken on July 17, 2017.
Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
Photo taken on July 7, 2017

View of the Duomo from the Uffizi Museum in Florence, Italy
Photo taken on July 11, 2017
Notre Dame in Paris, France
Photo taken on July 18. 2017

Vatican and St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome, Italy
Photo taken on July 9, 2017
Venice,Italy
Photo taken on July 12, 2017

Triumphant Arch in front of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France
Photo taken on July 18, 2017
Bavarian Castle outside of Munich,Germany
Photo taken on July 14th, 2017 
The Salt River along side the city of Salzburg, Austria
Photo taken on July July 13th, 2017
Small village along the Swiss Alps
Photo taken on July 14th, 2017

Munich, Germany
Photo taken on July 14th, 2017

Empire State Building, New York City, NY
Photo taken from The Top of the Rock on July 3, 2017

Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau. Germany
Photo taken on July 15, 2017