Category Archives: Politics

Growing… and Prayer

What do you remember about growing up?

I remember a childhood in a small town where anything I said or did at school was home before I got there. My grandmother cautioned me not to do anything I wouldn’t want printed in the Advocate or that I wouldn’t do in the front window of the local mercantile.

I also remember feeling inadequate and ineffectual more often than not.

That has been more (substantially more) than half a century ago. But some of those feelings haunted me well into adulthood.

Even at age fifty-plus, I felt as if I were ten years old when I stepped into my mother’s home.

People in my home town remember who and what I was as a teenager. We went to school together. Most of them have no idea who I am now. We’ve had little contact in the last sixty years. We may exchange greetings, notes, Christmas cards, email and phone calls, but we’ve not been with one another face-to-face for any substantive time.

They have only the vaguest idea of how I’ve grown and changed over the years. And when we come together, it’s almost always on the old footing.

This tendency to keep people as they were is even referenced in the Bible.

But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. ~~  Mark 6:4 (KJV)

He was acknowledging the fact that the people in the town where he grew up could only see him as the carpenter’s son. The people of his home town missed out on his miracles, his teaching, his presence.

Sometimes we do this same injustice to our children, remembering them at ten rather than seeing them grow and change.

We have a president-elect who leaves a lot to be desired. But it is a known fact that the presidency changes people. Some grow into the job; others botch it royally. But through it all, we have survived as a nation.

I would like to suggest that we exercise a little patience to allow this president-elect to grow into the job. We just might be pleasantly surprised. And while we are being patient, it wouldn’t hurt to pray for him – and all of our elected officials.

In the words of Paul:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

 ~~ I Timothy 2:1-2

For kings and all that are in authority…

That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life….

The Daniel Prayer just might be the proper pattern.

 

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A Simple Suggestion

This political season has shown our country and our politics in the worst possible light. The debates have not been helpful on many levels.  So I have this modest proposal for the third debate.

No one including the moderator is allowed to talk about personalities or personal behavior.

Questions will relate strictly to national defense, immigration, homeland security, welfare, the economy, social security, health care, and similar issues.

Answers from the candidates will NOT contain the word “I”, “he”, “she”, or individual names. They must, instead, be framed as “our policy will be…” or “the plan is to…”, etc.

Interruptions will not be allowed and time limits will be strictly observed. This can be enforced by turning off the offending microphone.

I have attempted to send this suggestion to the Presidential Debate Commission and both major party candidates. However, finding contact information proved problematic.

Perhaps if the general populace rose up and demanded better accountability from the commission and the candidates, we could get on with the business of selecting a president and dispense with the useless noise.

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Political Season

Because political discussion tends to generate passionate emotions, I try to stay away from those topics on social media. Sometimes, however, something needs to be said. The following is not directed at any person or party in particular, but toward the process in general.

Is anyone else weary of the political season now in progress?  The name calling, the insults, the crude language, the jockeying for position regardless of the consequences all remind me of a school yard brawl. None of which makes me optimistic for the future of our nation.

The media hasn’t helped the situation. Reporters strive to ask “pertinent” questions which are actually impertinent and designed to generate more heat than light.

The public laps up the sound bites, thinking with their emotions and reflexes, not considering the ramifications of all the promises. At this point, it’s difficult to ascertain the truth.

Without a large dose of discernment, the public will go to the polls, salivating like Pavlov’s dogs, hoping that their choice will be able to deliver on the impossible promises that have been offered.

And the situation in this nation will continue to spiral downward.

We need an individual of real character, with an accurate moral compass, who has the heart of a servant rather than the arrogance of privilege to fill the oval office. I’m still waiting for that person to appear.

God help us.

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July Fourth

We the People  of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

 

The American’s Creed

by William Tyler Page

I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed, a democracy in a republic, a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.

–Written 1917, accepted by the United States House of Representatives on April 3, 1918.

Let us never forget the cost to the founding fathers and those who followed, giving their all to secure our freedoms.

Have a happy and sane Fourth of July, honoring our Independence and those who maintain it, whatever the cost.

 

 

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Pray for those in Authority

1 Timothy 2:1-2        I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;      For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Yesterday, we went to the polls to vote for the leaders of this nation. We are responsible to and for those leaders, no matter whether we voted for the winning or losing candidates.  The best thing we can do is to pray for those who have elected to office – from president to dog-catcher, they all need our prayers.

As we pray for them, we benefit both them and ourselves. Let’s look at it. We are to give thanks for our leaders. But wait, you say. I didn’t vote for that one. Why should I pray for him/her?

You pray harder for those who were not your choice than for those who were. You intercede that the Lord would be in charge of their lives exactly as he is in charge of yours.

The result of such prayer is that we may lead quiet lives, that our physical and political houses would be in order – God’s order.

Father, God,

Teach us to pray for those in authority over us. Grant us the wisdom to ask your wisdom for our leaders. Help us to pray that their hearts might be in order, submitted to you.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

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Reprinted from Marlene Bagnull, Litt.D.

Marlene Bagnull is the director of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. Below is the body of a letter from her that I received in today’s mail.

I just read op-eds on CNN written by Romney and Obama about their vision for the future. Both, of course, are focused on the economy. I too am concerned about the economy. It’s certainly impacted us as a family. Our son was out of work for almost a year. Praise God he’s working again but in South Carolina instead of Delaware. I hate having him and our daughter-in-law 13 hours away. Our old house was on the market for more than two years before it finally sold at close to half of our original asking price.

But as much as I’m concerned about the economy and the national debt that puts us in such a precarious position, I’m even more concerned about biblical issues that cannot be ignored. The powerful ad the Catholic church produced has been redone with Mike Huckabee narrating. I hope you’ll watch it and pass the URL on – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eV0OipvkZE.

Focus on the Family Citizen Link says “it is absolutely critical that we all understand where our candidates stand on the issues that matter to us. See CitizenLinkVoter.com for information on candidates in your state.

Dr. Billy Graham says in a full page ad in many newspapers, “I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel.”

Franklin Graham says, “This Could Be America’s Last Chance” in his October 22 letter.

In a stirring and challenging message Dr. David Jeremiah also urges everyone to “Vote Your Values.”

Father, You know we’ve been inundated with TV ads, emails, phone calls . . . But please, save us from complacency. The issues are important not just to our nation’s future, but to You. Help us not take for granted our freedom to choose our leaders or to believe the lie that our one vote doesn’t matter. Please draw our nation back to You.

In Him –

mjb signature

To which I will add my AMEN.

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Philadelphia

I have just returned from a trip to Philadelphia.  Research for a novel dictated the venue. A Christian writers’ conference sweetened the trip. We stayed in a hotel in the old city at the corner of Fourth and Arch Streets. Virtually every historic destination was within easy walking distance – even for two senior citizens.

Philadelphia exemplifies the religious freedom and tolerance upon which our nation was founded.  Within four blocks of our hotel we have two Quaker meeting houses, a synagogue and three different Protestant denominations. The Catholic basilica is a little further away.

I am always amazed at the claim that this nation was not founded upon Christian principles. Plenty of local evidence would support the notion that God, the God of the Judeo-Christian faiths, was the basis for our liberty. Evidence of scripture is everywhere if one but looks.

If you can get there, a trip would be most worthwhile.

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