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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Put a Cork in It!

                Put a Cork in It!

With all due respect, Senator McCain, your lecturing of your Senate colleagues was unseemly at best, and arrogant at worst.  Like Tom Dewey, you led your party down the road to defeat.  Now you presume to lecture your colleagues on the fact that we lost and need to roll over and play dead when it comes to appointments and policies that are detrimental to our nation!

You have absolutely no claim to leadership of the Republican Party.  It is the Party of Ronald Reagan, not John McCain and Nelson Rockefeller.

You were an accidental nominee who generally sounded more like a Democrat than a Republican.  You were for the bail out and didn’t mind criticizing the free market (of which it is apparent you have little or no understanding).  You were wrong on everything from conservative judges to so-called Global Warming to amnesty for illegal aliens to drilling in Alaska, and that’s just the short list. 

Your defeat would have been even more crushing if you had not selected Governor Palin.  The selection of Sarah Palin turned out to be the one shining moment of your campaign and without the wind she put in your sails, the Obama electoral landslide, and the loss of Republicans at all levels, would have been even greater.

I have two pieces of advice if you hope to have any following whatsoever.  Sit down.  Shut up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations & Best Wishes

   Congratulations & Best Wishes
Congratulations and best wishes to President Barack Obama.  Your election is truly an historic event.  It is a great testament to our nation—a nation where equal opportunity under the law is not just a goal, but a proven reality.  You are now the leader of our nation and of the free world.  That means many things.

As Commander-in-Chief, you are to protect the security and sovereignty of our nation.  To the world, you are the keeper of the torch of freedom and opportunity.  As President, you set the standards for personal conduct and morality.

You are living proof of the fact that any American, regardless of race, ethnicity, or background, can go as far as their skills and God’s blessings take them.  You have a wife and two delightful children that project everything that is good about our nation.

And, yes, you enter the White House with many challenges—war, a tenuous economy, and a nation with distinct moral and political divisions.

Yet you have many outstanding role models within your own party, and from your adopted model, Abraham Lincoln.  Consider these sound principles from—

Thomas Jefferson, who would encourage you to be wary of big, expansive government, which is the greatest threat to individual freedom.  Surely Mr. Jefferson would be thrilled with your election, yet strongly caution you to suppress the human inclination to expand the control of government over the lives of our citizens.  Jefferson understood that in order to maintain individual freedom, government must stay out of the lives of its citizens, letting them succeed and fail on their own merit.

Andrew Jackson had great trust in the American people and provided a great, positive vision for the future.  He saw the United States as the greatest nation on the face of the earth and that vision propelled the nation to new heights.

Abraham Lincoln sought, as you do, to be the great unifier, yet he was reviled in his own time.  He had great patience and great perseverance and he had a strong reliance on God as he sought to bring equal opportunity to all Americans.  Like Jefferson, he understood that government can only work toward equal opportunity, not guarantee equal outcomes if its people are to remain free.

From Franklin Roosevelt, follow his example of being resolute in war with America’s enemies.  Don’t falter, or give in to any opposition to taking the war on terrorism to complete and clear victory.

Harry Truman loved the United States and always did what he thought to be right.  He accepted the fact that when it came to the Presidency, “the buck stops here.”  You can set the model for personal responsibility for all politicians and for all Americans.

John F. Kennedy knew that you can never create prosperity by taking money out of the hands of the American people.  His famous saying that “a rising tide lifts all boats” has proven to be one of the most accurate economic explanations of all times.  He might have said, “You can’t tax your way into prosperity.”  Fair and low taxes lead to economic success.  There is no other way and JFK knew that.

Finally, I want to commend you on not only having Pastor Rick Warren provide your invocation, but also urge you to bring Pastor Warren close to you.  Make him the “Billy Graham” of your White House.  Count on him to provide a moral compass in times of challenge.

I firmly believe that if you will follow the positive examples of the successful Democratic Presidents noted above and fix your moral compass, yours will be a successful administration.  I wish you God Speed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Parting Words

                Parting Words
Parting words are generally important words.  When parents send a child off to college, their final words are filled with the main thing—get enough sleep, eat right, attend classes, and study hard.  When people die, and they have the time and the mental clarity to do so, they share the most important thing they have learned with those they are leaving behind.  All the fluff and nonessential things fall to the side.  This is the last chance to provide positive influence to their loved ones, the last chance to impart wisdom which will keep their children on the right track.  Parting words are limited to the main thing.  They are worth listening to, worth following.

Jesus, before He ascended into Heaven, said some parting words that are important.  He had finished three years of instructing His disciples and leading by example.  He had fulfilled His role as Savior of the world—led a perfect, sinless life, surrendered His life on the cross, and then rose triumphant from the grave.  His time on this earth was coming to an end.  It was time for His parting words.

What did He say?  There were many important things He could have said.  He could have said, “Study the Scripture each day,” but He didn’t.  That would have been a very important command.  He could have said, “Build big, beautiful churches in which to worship Me.”  He didn’t say that either.  He could have said, “Build schools to educate your children, and universities to turn out Christian scholars.”  But, He didn’t say that either.

No, Jesus got down to the primary thing, the main thing, the most important thing.  In Acts 1:8, He said just this:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

There was no mistaking Jesus’ intent.  His disciples (that includes all believers) have one primary reason for existence, one primary responsibility in life—to serve as witnesses for Jesus among our acquaintances, in our town, in our state, in our nation, and throughout the world.  This is our role as individuals and it is to be the primary responsibility of the Christian Church.  There is no confusion, no ambiguity.  Our individual goal and the goal of the church, is to witness to the truth of Jesus and to share the Good News everywhere.

There are lots of good things we can do and lots of good things the Church can do, but the main thing, the primary thing is Jesus’ charge to be His witnesses wherever we go.

It makes me consider how I live my life.  It also makes me take a look at my own church.  Does it have its priorities straight?  Is it focused on Jesus’ priority, sharing the Good News?

Is it exercising good stewardship with the finite funds it has available to it?  When I look at my church budget, is it clear that the main thing is the main thing?  Are all the programs of my church aligned toward the main thing?  If I look at my church’s expenditures from a cost/impact perspective will I see that we are exercising good stewardship?

Is my church, is your church, taking Jesus’ parting words to heart?  Do Jesus’ parting words focus and align your programs for maximum effectiveness in serving as His witness to the world?  Perhaps we should all do a cost/impact analysis of our projects and programs to see if they are aligned with Jesus’ parting words.  His parting words are His most important advice to you and me and to His church.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Recap of 2008 Forecasts and Bold 2009 Predictions

Recap of 2008 Forecasts and Bold 2009 Predictions

Well, how did I do with my 2008 forecasts?  My batting average was about .429 which is not quite enough to get my multi-million dollar contract renewed (I wish!).  I was right that Hillary would not be elected President, that the Yankees would not win the World Series, and that continued progress would be made in Iraq.

I was way off-base on a number of other prognostications—wrong on the US staying out of a recession (little did I know that our economy was being undermined by politicians forcing bad credit risks on our lending institutions), wrong on Osama Bin Laden meeting his maker, wrong on Ford & GM being resurgent (might have happened without the $4/gallon gas which killed their profitable SUV business), wrong on Katie Couric being gone from CBS.

Regardless, it’s clear that no one should fly to Las Vegas to place any bets on my forecasts.  But they were fun to make anyway.  So here it goes again…

1.          Fairness Doctrine Reprise.  The Democrats will not re-institute the Fairness Doctrine through the front door or the back, in spite of the desire of the more fringe members of Congress and their efforts to do so.

2.          Iraq.  The Obama Administration will not pull all our troops out of Iraq.

3.          Osama Bin Laden.  Maybe he’s already dead.  Who knows?  Prediction: His current status will remain the same in 2009.  

4.          New York Yankees.  Yes, they will make it to the World Series in 2009.

5.          Washington Redskins.  After a long drought, they will make it back to the NFL playoffs in 2009.

6.          Chicago Cubs.  They will not make it into the MLB playoffs in 2009.

7.          Katie Couric.  Gone, gone, gone!  This time I can’t be wrong.

8.          Cuba.  The US will recognize Cuba. 

9.          Economy.  Although the news media will say encouraging things about Obama policies and stoke the fires for an economic resurgence, the economy will stall and roaring “Jimmy Carter” inflation will return.

10.      Spiritual Resurgence.  There will be signs of a spiritual resurgence with a positive impact on serious moral problems that confront our nation.

You have been advised—don’t bet on anything I have included in my forecast.  Here’s one more piece of advice—don’t put you faith in rulers or princes or presidents, put it in the Lord who rules heaven and earth!  That will guarantee you a wonderful, peace-filled 2009, regardless of the problems you face.