Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy


Part IV – A Shocking Solution

Posted by admin in March 28th, 2018 | 5 comments 
Published in immigration, prayer, Revival

Hard to believe I’ve been writing this blog for ten years. Quite honestly, today’s post is a tough one to write. Dealing with immigration issues is hard. I think this is one of the reasons people try to avoid the topic. But should we? Should we as followers of Jesus avoid difficult issues? Probably not.

Long before March 7, and my first post about the World Relief video, I’d been struggling, wrestling, praying, debating with myself over the topic of immigration–not just illegals, but poorly vetted refugees, and random lottery visa winners. I’m not going over the stats and specifics on these matters again. Please read the three previous posts – they are filled with facts, figures, and information on immigration. In this final post on the topic, I want to think about the heart of the matter.

What does it mean for those of us who are Christians, as one author puts it, to “live a truthful, meaningful, and responsible life” in a world filled with landmine issues and topics too hot to handle? Let me answer this in a roundabout way…

Back in 2002, Daryl and I went to Scotland to meet with Christians who had experienced the Great Hebrides Revival of 1949. This is when Duncan Campbell preached for three years and the Spirit of God moved powerfully on the tiny Isle of Lewis and throughout the Hebrides.

What on earth does revival in the Hebrides have to do with immigration problems here in the US? Fair question, but please read on. I think the answer might be interesting.

On March 22, President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion Omnibus bill. At that point, hope of immigration reform was lost. Sanctuary cities are funded now under the bill and there is no money appropriated to build the wall between the USA and Mexico. President Trump’s signing of the Omnibus bill was bad news for Christian conservatives and especially for pro-life advocates. The bill provides $1.5 billion to Planned Parenthood and like-minded agencies abroad. The signing of the bill forced me to think about the Isle of Lewis. And here’s why:

In the 1940s, the Isle of Lewis, part of the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland, was suffering from the highest rate of alcoholism in Scotland. There was high unemployment and the youth of that time were described as “careless and worldly.” Crime too was at an all-time high. Jails were filled to capacity, especially after payday when men brawled in the streets and spent their hard-earned wages on drinking and gambling leaving their families penniless. Church attendance on Lewis was down to only a few elderly congregants on Sunday mornings. Alcoholism, crime, domestic violence, and a lagging economy held the Hebrides in darkness and bondage. Many would say, “without hope.”

But on the small Isle of Lewis there lived two old maid sisters. The Smith sisters, Peggy, 84, who was totally blind, and Christine, 82, who was crippled with arthritis, were faithful women of God who believed in God’s Word and believed in prayer. They were greatly burdened because of the appalling state of their country. Because of this burden, they boldly asked God to heal their small island and to send His Spirit to revive the Church and to use the revival to spread the Gospel across Scotland and the world.

And God did.

By November of 1949, after seven years of intense intercession by the sisters, and others who had joined them, the Spirit of God fell on the small village of Barvas where the Smith sisters lived.

This revival, often called the Hebrides Revival, lasted from 1949-1953. God moved on the hearts of men and women and children under the preaching of evangelist Duncan Campbell. The Spirit of God was so mighty on the small village of Barvas that sailors claimed they could see fire coming from the village while they were at sea. During the time of the revival, ewes lost no lambs while giving birth. The jails emptied. Drinking and alcoholism ceased. Marriages were saved. Domestic violence stopped. People were healed and filled with love for God and love for each other. Local dance halls and drinking establishments closed due to no patronage. In one night, over 100 young people gave their lives to Christ just traveling in a bus toward the village! The revival spread throughout the Hebrides and even to the mainland. People came from all over to see God’s Hand move on this small island community.

The Smith sisters held tightly to a verse the Lord had given them, “I will pour water on him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground,” (Isa. 44:3). They were so burdened for their community that they both decided to spend several hours in prayer twice a week. Every Tuesday and Friday they got on their knees in prayer at 10 o’clock in the evening and remained on their knees until 3 or 4 o’clock the next morning. Two old women, one blind and one bent over with arthritis, in a very humble cottage in a small village on the Isle of Lewis touched the heart of God. And as a result, the world would never be the same.

And just as Isaiah 44:3 promises, the whole region was saturated with God. Wherever people were – in the workplace, homes, in the fields, or on the roads, they were overwhelmed by the presence of God. Water indeed soaked the dry ground as the Holy Spirit’s conviction was poured out in those days. A stream of blessing flowed that brought thousands to Christ. The revival spread from Lewis to all of the islands. There was real fruit and fruit that lasted. Missionaries that experienced this Great Revival of Lewis were sent out to all the world.

Daryl and I were privileged to meet several folks back in 2002 who had experienced the 1949 revival. We were asked to speak at the church in Barvas. They hosted a reception for us after. Church members were eager to tell their stories of God moving on their families and their lives. Each one had a miracle to tell. Their eyes filled with tears as they recalled the daily meetings during the revival – each day followers met for prayer, singing, and Bible reading. The small Isle of Lewis began to flourish. Lives were changed. To this day, the Isle of Lewis doesn’t experience the same social and economic problems as the rest of Scotland.

Do I want a wall built to protect our nation’s borders? Sure. Am I disappointed in President Trump’s decision to sign the $1.3 trillion Omnibus bill? Yes. Am I frustrated by the funding for Planned Parenthood? Absolutely! But here’s what I have learned from the Smith sisters of Barvas:

Political systems will fail us. Men and women will fail us. Promises are not always kept, but the lessons I learned from the Hebrides Revival are powerful –

1. God moves through intense and earnest prayers.
2. God uses the weak and feeble things of this world to do His will.
3. No situation is hopeless – no country, no people group, no spouse, no child! With God ALL things are possible.

Can this type of revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit happen in our nation today? I’d like to think so. Is there an answer to all the divisiveness, violence, immorality, and disobedience we find in our nation these days? Is there hope? YES! Prayer changed Peggy and Christine Smith’s village and eventually their nation. Prayer can change our nation as well. It is hard work and it takes sincere and earnest prayer, but it is possible.


Peggy and Christine Smith are the great aunts of President Donald Trump – the 45th president of the United States. Really!! Makes me think God has a plan. Makes me hit my knees. Will you join me? Peace.


Peggy and Christine Smith with Evangelist Duncan Campbell

Part III – The Truth About Illegals in Our Nation

Posted by admin in March 14th, 2018 | 2 comments 
Published in immigration

Have immigrants done harm to anyone here in the US? Aren’t they just here to live out the American Dream? Aren’t they just Dreamers? Unfortunately, as one reporter put it, “Not everyone has melted.” Assimilation is vitally important to a nation of immigrants. That’s why the USA has been referred to as a Melting Pot. Adaption to language, cultural norms, and standards of law are vitally important for a nation of immigrants to succeed.

As Christians, how are we to respond to the questions about illegal immigration? It’s really difficult to pilfer through the definitions, clarifying terms, and crazy statistics all related to illegal aliens, undocumented workers, DACA Dreamers, and refugees. UGH – sometimes it gets to be just too much!

World Relief’s “Welcome the Stranger” video released last month is directed by Jenny Yang. Yang is a staff member at World Relief in charge of their political arm. World Relief lost their way a long time ago and sadly, church organizations around the nation (including SBC), jumped on the WR bandwagon and bought whatever they were selling. Jenny Yang is their hawker of wares for everything immigration. And BIG surprise!! Jenny Yang is a Democrat who supports […] Continue Reading…

Part II – Was Jesus A Refugee?

Posted by admin in March 12th, 2018 | 1 comment 
Published in immigration

“JESUS was a refugee. If He came to earth today, He’d be cast out by anti-refugee policies! As a Christian, are you okay with that?”

This is a myth. Jesus was NOT a refugee. Ever. He also was not an illegal immigrant. Unfortunately, someone picked up on this untrue story a while back and started blasting it throughout Christendom. In fact, one family I know wanted to celebrate Christmas Eve last year at their church. Instead of celebrating the wonderful birth of Jesus, their pastor showed a rather lengthy film (pro-Palestinian) on how unwelcoming “Jesus the Refugee” would find Israel today. “Nothing but a wall would welcome him.” Hmmm…. that and the fact that Palestinian-occupied Bethlehem doesn’t allow Jews inside the city. Israel gave Bethlehem to the Palestinians in 1995.

If Jesus wasn’t a refugee, what was He? What really happened? Joseph and Mary were living in Nazareth. Nazareth is a city in Israel. The Roman Caesar, whose armies occupied and controlled Israel, called a census and required all Israeli citizens to return to their home city for a head count. Registering citizenship – wow! That’s a good idea.

Joseph and Mary (pregnant with Jesus) OBEYED the law […] Continue Reading…

World Relief and the Strange Video

Posted by admin in March 7th, 2018 | 8 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

Am I the only person who has been frustrated by the use of Matthew 25 by pro-DACA groups to bludgeon American Evangelicals over the head? Jenny Yang and her World Relief video “Welcome the Stranger” sent me over the edge. Watching it, my heart grieved as well-meaning, but ill-informed women leaders with condemnatory tones and moral superiority read the words of Jesus. As I watched women that I’ve admired such as Kay Warren and Joni Eareckson Tada, speak these words into the camera, I just kept thinking, “Do they know what they are doing? Have they been tricked? What bill of goods has Jenny Yang sold them?” Misguided at best; theologically off at worst, where are their accountability partners and wise counselors?

It is difficult for me to put into words how I feel when men and women, everyone from World Relief to Christianity Today, misuse Jesus’ words from this important passage in Matthew 25. It is an attempt by these left-leaning people to make a case for illegal, undocumented immigrants to stay in the US. It is their belief that we should coddle, protect, and defend (as followers of Jesus) all DACA and illegal border crossers. […] Continue Reading…

The Obedience of Standing Still

Posted by admin in January 26th, 2018 | 6 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

When we got our pup Mindy two years ago, our lives changed. Yes. For the better. Mindy brings us a lot of joy and laughter. She is a funny dog. Because of my previous experience of dog ownership, training of little Mindy is primarily my job. Potty training, leash training, stop licking training (haven’t got that one down yet), taking treats like a lady training and the all-important command of “stay.”

Hand out flat, voice firm and low, eye contact and then the command, “Stay!” pause, “Stay Mindy! Stay!” And I am very proud to say that she obeys. In fact, on those occasions when she is dying to go with us (she LOVES car rides), or we have the grandkids with us, or when we are leaving for church, I turn around with my back to the door facing our eager little puppy whose tail is wagging, whose tongue is flapping and ears all perked up ready to go and I say, “No Mindy. Stay. Stay.” And she sits down very disappointed, but compliant. Even though every fiber of her being wants to go with us and she longs to be with us and she hates being left […] Continue Reading…

God Is In Control?

Posted by admin in January 1st, 2018 | 8 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

I love my church. And I love my pastor. I really appreciate our young pastor’s preaching and teaching. His sermon on Sunday focused on all the details that had to come together in order for Christ to be born in the appointed place at the appointed time to the appointed people. Miracles really–every single detail. But there was one thing our pastor said that I have been mulling over and over in my head: God’s will is always accomplished and God is in control of all things. This I’m not so sure about. And for all of you Twila Paris fans, please hear me out.

Every time a human being is murdered – God’s will is not being done. Each time a person chooses to lie – God’s will is not being done. When a woman is raped or a father is killed by a drunken driver – God’s will is not done. When a helpless baby is aborted or a spouse cheats or a man beats his wife or a child is molested – NONE of these are God’s will. In fact, countless times around the world in thousands upon thousands of lives, God’s will is not being […] Continue Reading…

Transgenderism: When Falsehood Looks Like Truth

Posted by admin in June 21st, 2017 | 1 comment 
Published in Uncategorized

Trans·gen·der – /transˈjendər,tranzˈjendər/ adjective: denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

I teach semantics. The first three weeks of class we look at definitions and try to answer these questions: How does society determine the meaning of words? How are lexicons formed or developed? This is a big deal, because if speakers of a common language don’t agree on a definition, communication is not only hindered, but it is a bit chaotic. For example, British English refers to the end of a pencil used to wipe out written words as a “rubber.” American English uses the word rubber to mean a condom. That’s a big difference. British English says a person is “pissed” when he/she is drunk; American English uses the word “pissed” to describe someone very, very angry. Again, that’s a big difference.

So, people communicating in the same language must have an agreed upon definition of a term in order for true communication to take place. In my classes these days we have to look at terms that are rapidly changing in society due to use or new concepts—words such as marriage, gender, euthanasia. […] Continue Reading…

Living Right-Side Up in An Upside-Down World

Posted by admin in January 31st, 2017 | 3 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

I just read an essay by Stephen Mattson, “History Will Judge Today’s Christians According to These 4 Questions.” Mattson lists the four questions he decided were the important issues the Church in America is miserably failing to answer. There’s an arrogance in Mr. Mattson’s approach and an assumption that he alone knows what is the high moral ground all Believers should take because of his superior intellect. BTW, he published his essay in Huffington Post – who by their own definition call themselves, “a left-leaning American online news aggregator…” After reading Mattson’s article, I had to ask myself the question, “How did a young Christian man from Moody Bible Institute come to this?”

Some days I feel dizzy. Not from hot flashes or sugar lows, but from some of the things I hear in person and see on social media. Do you ever wonder, “What in the world is going on?!?” How am I supposed to navigate in today’s swampy waters and alligator infested bayous? It’s tough. It’s disheartening. And sometimes it seems impossible.

Recently, I was talking to a family member about our family doctor and I said, “He’s an excellent Catholic…” Someone overhead the comment and yelled at […] Continue Reading…

The Misery of Being Misunderstood

Posted by admin in November 2nd, 2016 | 4 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

The more you try to explain, the worse it gets. Ever been there? The more you try to bridge the gap, the wider the gap becomes. One of my greatest struggles in this world is the angst I get if someone misjudges me. Makes.Me.Crazy. There is a hilarious episode of Everybody Loves Raymond titled “Somebody Hates Raymond.” The entire episode Ray is trying to figure out why this guy hates him so much and how Ray can clear the air and make things right. Doesn’t happen. The writers were able to hit on the average Joe’s struggle with rejection over misunderstanding. “If they only knew my heart!” Or, “If I could just explain, I know I could make him understand.” And the always useful, “If we could just sit down and talk…” But sometimes, for whatever reasons, there will be people in our lives that simply want to keep their negative opinions of us. Why? I have no idea. But it happens and I guess the upside of it all is that it happened to Jesus too…a lot. As Jesus Followers we are called by God to be conformed to the image of Christ and most of the time […] Continue Reading…

Road Signs

Posted by admin in October 6th, 2016 | 7 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

Am I the only person who likes road signs while driving? I like them because they tell me what is ahead and if I need a warning. Caution: curve ahead. Yield: there’s oncoming traffic. Slowdown: school crossing. Love those road signs. Need them.

There are some “road signs” in our Christian walk, but not always and not as many as I would like. In July 2015, Daryl and I moved back to the US after a dreamy and wonderful five-year existence in beautiful Lithuania. Loved my job. Loved my students. Loved my friends. Loved Lithuania. I truly felt God’s good pleasure (in the words of Eric Liddell). But we knew in our last year there that God was calling us back to the US. Promptings. Urgings. And some tangible evidence that we were needed back home. So we packed up our wonderful life in Lithuania and returned to the States with joyful expectations and a plan. Plans are funny. Plans are stupid.

On the night of our arrival back home in Kansas City, all of Daryl’s kids greeted us at the airport and all the grandkids were there too. It was a lovely sight and all felt as it should […] Continue Reading…

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