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Why We Should Be Thankful for COVID-19

coronavirusshopping

What kind of warped thinking would combine the word “thankful” with COVID-19? My last two blog posts have suggested the purpose and benefits of the pandemic. Now let’s look at this tragedy as something to actually be grateful for despite the pain.

If we can see through the dense fog of the sickness, death, economic blight, and paralyzing restrictions, there is resultant good in the crisis that is worthy of celebration. For those who are secure in the Lord and spiritually aware of His precepts, this pandemic can and should be perceived as an opportunity for both ministry and thanksgiving. Of course, we wouldn’t ask to be attacked like this, but, understanding it comes only by God’s permission, we should not only tolerate it but be joyful in it. God reminds us in His Word to be thankful in the worst of times.

Philippians 4:6. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

1 Peter 1:6. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.

 1 Peter 4:12-13. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Psalm 30:4-5. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Romans 5:3-5. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I will continue praying for relief from the pestilence of COVID-19 but will also continue thanking God for it. It is drawing me closer to Him and maturing me spiritually. How can we be thankful for a condition, yet want it to end? I think no further than how a woman must feel during pregnancy. What else can you think of as analogous to our present suffering?

Benefits of COVID-19

covid-19

The catastrophic COVID-19 virus that has attacked you, me, and almost 8 billion others in one way or another may be one of the best things that has ever happened to us. Whether we are literally sick from it or sick of what it is doing to disrupt our lives, it may be shocking us back into reality–a place we desperately need to be. Here are some benefits of our plight worth considering.

Most importantly, this world crisis is resetting our minds to understanding we mere human beings are not in control of anything. Health, economies, governments, and military strength cannot guarantee our safety and welfare. We have just witnessed the mightiest powers of man crumble in a matter of weeks. Surely no one can continue to believe any nation or society is invulnerable. We have been forced to shift from fantasy to reality in our world view. That is ultimately beneficial.

Our situation is leveling the social disparity among all people. Coronavirus is no respecter of persons. All classes, races, nationalities, ages, genders, and religions are equally susceptible to this invisible microbe. We now have to look at all people as impartially linked and having the same needs. That is ultimately beneficial.

The dire need of social connection is heightened at a time when the ability to connect is drastically restricted. This forces us to be creative in finding ways to communicate, fellowship, and share our lives. We are now using technology to do more for us than entertain us and maximize our productivity. We are relying on it to bring us closer together. That is ultimately beneficial.

The crisis is slowing us down. The world has become so busy and chaotic that it is sucking the life out of  us. Our speeding pace has now met a huge speed bump. We can catch our breath. We can meditate on what is really important instead of the superficial. We have more time to engage the things that matter. That is ultimately beneficial.

It may have taken this pandemic to bring families to a closer, healthier relationship. Both immediate and extended families are finding time and need to tighten the bonds that hold them together. Communications are opening up and feelings are being shared perhaps like never before. Dependence on each other is strengthening the family. That is ultimately beneficial.

As this disease is limiting us in so many ways, we are learning we can live with less. We are finding many things we thought we needed are not really necessary. The entertainment we had to have can be substituted, and the work we needed to accomplish isn’t really that important. We’re learning that much of our external work can be accomplished from home. The material things we valued so protectively have shown to often be distractions. That is ultimately beneficial.

Finally, going back to the second paragraph, we are recognizing that absolutely nothing in life is really under our control. The entire universe including our world and we as individuals are part of the master plan of God. His Word teaches us that He desires the best for us, but that only comes through total commitment to Him and obedience to His perfect ways. He loves us so much that He corrects us when we disqualify ourselves from His blessings. Since the world has paid little lasting attention to previous warnings, this unprecedented wake up call has forced us into a posture of major adjustment. That is ultimately beneficial.

I believe this crisis is a modest preview of the final judgement, but it is also providing us an example of the values He wants us to assume. It is a huge interruption in our lifestyle that beckons us to pay attention. Our response must be an awakening to reality, a return to God and His church, and a re-commitment to His precepts. If we will view COVID-19 for what it seems to be, a message from God to the world, we will react accordingly and reclaim the abundant life He promises. That will be ultimately beneficial.

Do you think there is more to this pandemic than just a coincidental renegade virus?

 

Purpose in the Pandemic

coronavirus

At some point in everyone’s life, something will be the most phenomenal happening that he or she will ever experience. For most of us, perhaps all of us, this is it. The world’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic may be our generation’s great depression. Amid all the noise and confusion, is there sense to be made of it all? Is there purpose in it?

I believe there is purpose to everything. We are often surprised–shocked–by catastrophes. But nothing happens randomly. The same God who created the universe still orchestrates everything. The Bible says, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17) He is perfect in all His ways and desires the best for us. With that perfection, He grants us an abundant life of love, happiness, and joy in addition to our basic needs. But sometimes that perfection also brings on corrective consequences when we fall woefully outside of His requirements for our best.

The world in general and America in particular have turned away from God over the last several decades. We have digressed in biblical standards of morality, in attention to the Bible, in worship, in prayer, in church involvement, and in overall obedience to the Lord.  This is cyclical throughout history as nations and societies rise and fall. In these cycles, God gives progressive warnings when His people are distancing themselves from Him. These warnings come with ample opportunities to confess our wrongs and turn back to Him. The warnings are often in disastrous natural and man-made events. I believe 911 was such a warning to America. This pandemic is a warning to the world showing His sovereignty over our lives. For America, it includes a demonstration of how little power our “idols” have: economic wealth (stock market crash), entertainment (sports and theater shutdowns), leisure (travel and dining restrictions), and freedom (separations and quarantines).

With each providential correction, God has pleaded with His people through His Word, His prophets, His preachers, and His Spirit’s influence on individuals and populations. The Bible says, “…if I send pestilence (contagious disease) among my people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

This crisis is reportedly already bringing a spiritual awakening in the world. Italy is experiencing revival. Iran’s Christians are breaking through the Islam barrier. Look for this to take root in many other nations. What about America?

We have to deal with the reality of this pandemic. We must listen to the CDC and DHS experts and discipline our lives as instructed to protect our health. But far more important than social distancing, washing hands, and buying toilet paper is concentration on the purpose of what we are experiencing and adjusting our lives accordingly. Get into the Word more, pray more, connect with church more, and love others more. Spiritual renewal happens one person at a time. Pray that America’s spiritual response to this pandemic will be one that pleases God.

 

Who Is Joe Biden?

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It looks like Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee for president. We should know a lot about him, since he has held political office longer than two-thirds of America’s people have lived. We may think we know Joe, but let’s take a close look at who this man was and is.

Vice President Biden was born on November 20, 1942. He grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Biden, Sr., a used car salesman, and Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Biden. In 1955, his family moved to Mayfield, Delaware, a blue-collar community where almost everyone worked for DuPont chemical company. As a teenager, he work to help pay his tuition to the prestigious Archmere Academy.  He became a standout football player described by his coach as one of the best pass receivers of his 16 year coaching career.

He studied history and political science while playing football for the University of Delaware Blue Hens. He admits he was more interested in girls and partying than academics and barely qualified for law school. The inauguration of President Kennedy inspired him enter Syracuse University Law School in 1965. The next year, he married Niellia Hunter with whom he says he fell in love at first sight. A mediocre law student, he flunked one of his first classes for not citing a reference on an assignment. He managed to graduate and pass the bar exam, then moved to Wilmington, Delaware to practice law.

He immediately became an active member of the Democratic Party and was elected in 1970 to the New Castle County Council. From there, his political life would continue unbroken to this day. In 1972, at just 29 years of age, he ran a long-shot race for the U.S. Senate to unseat a popular Republican incumbent, J. Caleb Boggs. His narrow victory made him the fifth youngest senator in the nation’s history. That year, just a week before Christmas, his wife and daughter, Naomi, were killed in a terrible car accident while Christmas shopping. His two sons, Beau and Hunter, were severely injured. Devastated to the point of considering suicide, Joe desired to withdraw from the Senate seat, but his family and friends convinced him to honor his commitment to the voters. Considering his family situation, he decided to commute to Washington from Wilmington by train. This commute continued for his 36 straight years in the senate.

Biden married his second wife, Jill Jacobs, in 1977, and they had a daughter, Ashley, born in 1981. Jill Biden has a PhD in education. In 2015, Joe Biden suffered another personal loss when his son, Beau, died at age 46 after battling brain cancer.

In 1987, Joe decided to run for president, but dropped out of the primary after reports that he plagiarized part of a speech. He had been suffering headaches during the campaign, and doctors diagnosed two life-threatening brain aneurysms requiring surgery. After seven months of recovery, he resumed his senate obligations.

Twenty years later, the senator once again ran for the presidency. However, his 35 years in the senate failed to create enough support to overcome the field dominated by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He dropped out after receiving less than 1% of the Iowa caucuses votes. A few months later, the victorious Obama selected Biden for his running mate. His job was to help the low-experienced Obama convince the blue collar workers he could recover the sluggish economy. The duo prevailed in victory.

Vice President Biden’s main wheel house was behind-the-scenes advisor to the president in foreign affairs and financial policy. He is credited in hammering out negotiations with Russia and tax increases with the Congress. He was also a leading figure in the national gun control debate.

His climb to the top of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race has been fraught with many issues. His alleged Ukraine scandal to enrich his son, Hunter, plus Hunter’s other misdeeds are constant drags on his campaign. His age at inauguration, if elected, would be 78, eight years older than the next oldest newly elected president in our history…Donald Trump. Biden would be 82 at the end of his first term, older than 98% of all Americans. A lot of speculation is stirring about his health, particularly his mental acuity at that age. Many go so far as questioning his mental state, even suggesting he has the onset of dementia or alzheimer’s. These assessments are mostly based on his exponential increase in verbal gaffes.

Although Joe has been gaffe-prone most of his life, he seems to be stockpiling the incidents of late. Here are just a few examples from his present campaign rhetoric:

  • Calling his opponent, Julian Castro, “Cisneros”
  • “You can’t, in fact, preach to the choir if you can’t sing.”
  • “I’m going to make sure that we rejoin the Paris Peace Accord on day one.” (The Paris Peace Accord was the treaty to end the Vietnam War)
  • Saying he went to college at Delaware State (a historically black college) instead of University of Delaware
  • Claimed that over 40 students were shot at Kent State in 1970 (actually only four)
  • Confusing Iraq and Syria
  • “We have to start rewarding work, not just wealth. I would eliminate the capital gains tax.”
  • “Why in God’s name should someone who’s clipping coupons in the stock market pay a lower tax rate than someone who is a school teacher and a firefighter.”
  • Claimed his policy would put more than 720 million American women to work
  • “My health plan is not quality and will increase premiums.”
  • “Who is Boris Johnson?”
  • Told a moving story about pinning a Silver Star on an elderly Navy captain in Afghanistan. When the statement was challenged as being totally false, he said the central point of the story was correct.
  • “We choose truth over facts.”
  • “Poor kids are just as bright as white kids.”
  • Referring to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, he said he remembered when the Parkland kids came to see him in Washington when he was vice president. (The Parkland shootings were in 2018, over a year after Trump took office.)
  • “What’s not to like about Vermont?” (He was in New Hampshire.)
  • “It’s a three-letter word: jobs.”
  • Recently declared, “I’m running for U.S. Senate!”

Many political pundits say the Democrats are going to Biden because he is the moderate choice. I suppose he is moderate compared to Bernie, but, make no mistake, he has spent his career pursuing liberal policies. He is far left of center. Joe Biden has had many personal and political challenges in his life and has shown amazing resilience. The question is, do we want a life-long, very old liberal politician who has never known anything but beltway politics since law school. He is ensconced in the swamp and may have serious mental issues. America has a crucial decision to make.

 

 

 

Understanding Socialism

Bernie Sanders

One of the biggest mistakes of my generation was somehow allowing much of American society to degenerate from rational opposition to blind acceptance of socialism. We have sat idle while our replacement generation has lost sight of the grave dangers of this political and economic system. The best we can do now is to make a bold attempt to expose this evil for what it really is. This post is a move in that direction.

Socialism in a nutshell is giving up individual freedom and allowing the government to provide for our needs in exchange for making our decisions for us. It is an economic and political system that depends on a powerful, autocratic government. Socialism came of age with Karl Marx’s theories written as the Communist Manifesto in 1848. The socialist government can be totalitarian (a dictator), oligarchic (a powerful committee), or even democratic. Regardless of the structure, such a government determines what the people need and controls all business production and services to meet those needs. This results in an equitable distribution of wealth and material resources among all people with no competitive buying and selling in the market. Citizens are totally dependent on and subject to the government.

Prominent historical examples include the former Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, while current examples are China, Cuba, and Venezuela. Although some socialist governments have maintained a robust economy by controlling production, those countries’ citizens are ultimately oppressed and have little incentive to pursue a better quality of life.

In this election year, we are being told that the socialism of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren is not the failed socialism of the past but rather “Democratic” socialism. They point to the Scandinavian countries as examples instead of China, Cuba, and Venezuela. Sanders says he is not anti-business and declares he supports free elections. However, his proposed system of government is pure socialism. He advocates free health care, free college education, controls on income, and major government subsistence for low income earners. The astronomic costs of these government programs would be funded by huge tax increases on everyone. Oh yes, he says he will tax the rich to provide these comforts. The problem is these costs could not begin to be funded by taxing the top American earners at 100 percent. Taxes would be raised tremendously on almost everyone, which is exactly what socialism does. If the socialist government decides the people need more, it takes more from the people in the form of taxes. A democratically elected socialist government is still a socialist government that preys on its citizens.

The truth is that socialism has never worked effectively as a political and economic system…never!  Even in the Scandinavian countries, it reduces efficiency and initiative in production. It can easily take root in a poor country with a chaotic government looking for something different. When it does, it is usually the result of a revolution that leaves a trail of violence and death. But the “utopia” is short lived as the citizens figure out they are under oppression without freedom to determine their own destiny. Then it is too late. To bring socialism into a thriving economy under-girded with individual freedoms would be absolutely disastrous and absurd.

Free market capitalism has made America the richest, healthiest, most powerful, and most productive country in the history of the world. A recent study shows the poorest 20 percent of Americans consume more goods and services than the national averages for all people in most affluent countries including western Europe. In other words, if America’s “poor” were a nation, it would be one of the world’s richest. This is why we have such an immigration problem. Millions of people dream of coming to America. The greatness of America is the result of God’s blessing through two essential concepts: capitalism as the driver of our economy and individual liberty as the standard of our society. Both must exist simultaneously for the ultimate benefit of the people.

Granted, there are some downsides to capitalism. It does not ensure economic equality. Those who work hardest and are most productive will gain more wealth than others. Incentive is rewarded with better quality of life, while lethargy lessens quality of life. American capitalism, however, makes provision for the less fortunate with social programs supported by reasonable taxes of the more affluent. A cursory study of the American free market and individual freedoms proves that, despite some problems still needing to be resolved, our society is superior to any other in the world. Then why is seemingly half our population ready to trade that life for a much lesser life?

I believe the answer lies in two realities. First, the education of our youth, both parental and institutional, has largely avoided the socioeconomic truths that formed this great nation. Instead of factual studies of constitutional democracy, economic history, and comparative government, millennials and younger have been fed a scholastic diet of liberal psychology and social radicalism. They have learned the weaknesses of America but not its overriding strengths. Secondly, technology, liberal media, family breakdown, and the devaluation of discipline have produced a sense of entitlement, false security, and irresponsibility in our younger generation. Why wouldn’t they want more free stuff without regard to its source and ultimate cost to society? That is their experience, and they have not been taught the consequences. The reality that nothing is really free has been lost on most of them.

The future of America as we know it will depend on freedom-loving Americans showing up on election day to put down the revolution of socialism. We must also make every attempt to instill the truth in our children and grandchildren. We have to replace their indoctrination with factual counter positions. The future of our nation hangs in the balance.

Please “like” and share this post.

 

 

What President Trump’s Recent School Prayer Guidance Really Means

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On January 16th, President Trump unveiled the first updated White House guidance on school prayer since 2003. It was a promised follow-up to his Executive Order in 2018 putting religious groups on equal footing with other organizations competing for federal funds. There is talk across the country about what this new guidance means to Americans of faith. Let’s take a look at where the issue stood before the guidance and where it stands now.

The “restriction” regarding school prayer that most Americans have lived under their whole lives resulted from the 1962 Supreme Court case of Vitale vs. Engel. New York state had encouraged schools to begin each day with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer with the words, “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country. Amen.” A group of New Hyde Park school parents led by a Jewish man, Steven I. Engel, sued the school board president, William J. Vitale, Jr., challenging the constitutionality of the school policy. The case drew frenzied response dividing the nation on the issue. It ascended to the Supreme Court which held that reciting government-written prayers in public schools was unconstitutional, violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Ever since that decision, well-meaning, but over-zealous Christians have lamented that our kids can’t pray in school anymore–that we have taken God out of the schools. Simply put, that has never been true. The Supreme Court decision and most subsequent lower court rulings prevent school policies that would allow administrators or faculty members to force or coerce students to pray. Granted, a few judicial rulings have overstepped the Supreme Court’s intention and have come down against any prayer by students. Most of those, though, have not withstood appeal.

What has hampered most student prayer has been school administration and faculty members who are paranoid about threats of parents or the ACLU. They have too often opted to create policy that actually does take away the religious rights of students.

In 2003, the federal government, responding to a groundswell of school-based religious rights violations, provided official guidance to schools regarding school prayer policy. This guidance clarified what schools could and could not do in school prayer matters. On January 16th in the Oval Office, President Trump unveiled the federal government’s first updated guidance on school prayer since 2003. It details scenarios in which school officials must permit prayer and clarifies the consequences if they don’t. Those consequences include loss of government funding for any schools violating student rights to pray. It also streamlines the complaint process for such violations.

The president signing the guidance with Christian, Jewish, and Muslim students standing around him declared, “We will not let anyone push God from the public square. We will uphold religious liberty for all.” The students in attendance had each filed grievances over religious rights violations in school. Although this guidance made few major changes to what it replaced, it threw down the gantlet to liberal lawyers who see a lawsuit in every issue of school prayer. It also affirmed the president’s commitment to evangelical supporters.

The guidance makes it doubly clear that students have the First Amendment right to pray in school including organized group prayer. The 1962 Supreme Court decision was never about excluding that right. Challenges to that right have only come from over-reaction by lawyers and scared school officials. All American students can pray during free times at school. They can organize group prayer during free time, and even use school property for prayer meetings. Students can initiate prayer at sports events or any school event for that matter. The only restriction is that school administration or faculty members cannot initiate the prayers or in any way pressure students to pray.

The Trump administration has now put the American education system on notice to abide by the Supreme Court decision on school prayer, but to not add the tiniest restriction beyond that. Any future student complaint about violation of religious rights will be afforded the full support of the federal government.

So, let’s get over the myth that little Johnny or Suzie can’t pray in school anymore. But, let’s celebrate that our president has warned the nation’s attorneys, judges, education departments, and school officials that his administration will guard that right aggressively.

Trump May Be the Most Loving President Ever

Donald Trump

In the wake of the impeachment trial and all the accusations of hate personified in our president, the title of this post will seem preposterous to many. However, let’s zoom out from all the media and public rhetoric that constantly slam him and view what really drives him. We will see a president who loves the American people more than any of his predecessors have. Let’s take a look.

Certainly, the president does not endear himself to Americans by his over-inflated ego, his boisterous language, and his put-down of adversaries in speech and tweets. His disregard for tradition and the status quo has drawn the rabid ire of his political foes. Without a doubt, he offers a daily dish of opportunity for harsh criticism. Do we all wish he would dial it back? Absolutely. But it’s important that we see through his often impulsive and repulsive methodology and understand the underlying compassion in his purpose.

I believe evidence shows his pursuit of the presidency was not driven by ego enhancement and personal gratification as is widely believed. His concern for people’s problems and belief in his solutions were his motivation for leaving the comfortable billionaire life to lead the nation to prosperity. His three years in the White House have proven his unwavering fight for a better life for all Americans. He was convinced his business experience and economic philosophy would re-energize the nation’s economy, create jobs, and rectify the international trade imbalance. He also knew his experience would help restore our military’s credibility in defending our freedoms. He used his big-business confrontational negotiating acumen to bring China, Europe, Canada, and Mexico to the table for trade resets that benefit all Americans. His determination to drastically decrease crime and drug addiction in our country resulted in major reductions in illegal immigration. The judicial oppression and moral decay he observed in our liberal courts have been reversed by his appointments of unprecedented numbers of conservative judges. These and many more examples have convinced me that President Trump is not in this for personal gain, but for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to better the quality of life for all Americans.

If he’s so loving, why does he so often revert to words and actions that don’t fit most people’s definition of love? I have to go no further than Jesus to understand some of it. Now, don’t think I’m comparing Trump to Jesus. The president is far from divine. However, Jesus, the ultimate characterization of love for mankind, turned over tables and snapped a whip in the temple, dubbed the cultural leaders snakes, and even called his disciples fools. Yet all of Jesus’ harshness was for the ultimate loving purpose of attaining the best for all people.

I have observed 12 presidents in my lifetime and none has accomplished as much good for all Americans in his first term as President Donald Trump. This in spite of his incurring more vengeful opposition than any of the other 11. He has a rare knack for throwing off the opponents’ attacks and concentrating on the people’s needs.

President Trump’s bizarre actions and inflammatory words are sometimes attributable to his character and personality. More often, though, I believe they are theatrics and purposeful means to an end–unorthodox methods of producing the overall good for all concerned. He has never shown any tendency toward corruption but has rooted out corruption at every turn. He has never shown any desire for dictatorship but has supported freedom at every level. He has never shown any sinister motives but has outed many sinister plots of others. He has never shown any motivation but that which would elevate the standard of living for all Americans.

Unlike our view of other presidents and world leaders, our perception of this president  has to penetrate the surface to realize who he really is and what he values. His love for America and its people is clear in all he deems worth fighting for. He works feverishly to accomplish what will improve the safety and quality of life for those he loves, the American people. Isn’t that what we want in a president?

Process or Production–Which Do We Want from Washington?

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America’s government in Washington is broken and unresponsive. By and large, our elected officials have become so focused on the governing processes that little or nothing is getting done. Particularly, for the last three years they have been gridlocked in bureaucratic shuffling, and we have seen scant production. That is the new normal. Let me expand on this.

In government affairs, those at the very top crave resolution to problems and needs. But those responsible for generating those resolutions tend to justify their existence by meeting, debating, scheming, delaying, and making excuses. Producing results would leave them no opportunity to practice their bureaucratic expertise. It’s like a chef over-cooking a steak because he wants to keep practicing his culinary skills. I experienced this at many levels in the military.

When I was on the staff at Headquarters European Command, my ultimate on-location boss was a four-star general, the commander-in-chief of all US forces in Europe. I led a small staff responsible for preparing the four-star for Congressional Testimony several times a year. The problem was I had a two-star and a three-star between me and the four-star. I spent almost all my time forwarding paper after paper from my staff and attending meeting after meeting with my immediate bosses. My production was gummed up by the most minute and senseless tweaks to the final advice for the four-star. Yet the four-star was always asking for quicker responses and wasn’t interested in unanimity of the staff or absolute perfection. Our products were usually late and often inferior due to the process.

I see the same wasteful processes in Washington. We have a businessman for our president who is a problem solver–a results man. He was not raised in the environment of government paralysis. Unfortunately, he has to suffer a Congress, particularly the Democratic-controlled House, that glories in processes, rules, and partisan showmanship. To them, congressional process is not a means to an end but an end in itself. Legislators measure their success not in productivity but in how to work the system for partisan gain. Their objectives are to hold the hard line, over-analyze the issues, and use delay tactics to wear down the opposition.

It is amazing that the president has accomplished so much in three years regardless of the quagmire on the Hill. We will never know what advances could have been made for our nation had the legislative branch produced instead of processed.

The impeachment process in particular has completely consumed the House for over three years. From the get-go, every member of Congress knew the allegations were baseless and would result in the ultimate exoneration of the president. Yet the majority chose to disregard the obvious result and ignore the dire need for many legislative actions that would improve the lives of Americans. They opted to immerse themselves in the agonizing process of impeachment that would logjam all of Washington. In 2020, we must act on what we have experienced.

Between now and November, we must be aggressive and determined to reelect the most results-oriented president in our history. We must act similarly to fill the congressional seats with those who are committed to streamlining process in order to produce. If you agree, please like and share this post.

 

Just How Important Are You?

Thoughtful young man

As we launch into a new year, a new decade!, most of us give at least some thought to adjustments we need to make–some shedding, some pursuing. Self-examination is in order as to who we have been, who we are, and who we will be. This can lead to gut-level contemplation of our reason for existence. Just how important are you? Let’s consider that.

Since the beginning of mankind, every person in your direct ancestry bloodline through hundreds of generations had to survive and produce your subsequent ancestor in order for you to have been born. If any one of those ancestors had not produced your next ancestor, or had died childless, you would not exist. Therefore, your chances of being born were like one-in-a-million. Looking ahead, if you have children, you will likely be responsible for producing over 40 descendants in the next century–none of whom would exist without you. You will have made a major contribution in shaping their physical and spiritual character. What might some of those descendants accomplish for mankind? You are very important to God!

As in the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life (you did watch it again didn’t you?), think of whose lives and what circumstances would not have had certain positive impacts had you not been a part of them? Even minor improvements you have made in the destiny of a few others will be your legacy for an inestimable number of generations. You are very important to God!

The minute you were miraculously born began a life that will never end. Your relatively momentary life on this planet will soon transition into eternal existence. I like the illustration of the line and the dot.

___________________._______________________________________________________________________

The dot is your life on earth. It seems so brief and insignificant. Yet, it is the product of your ancestry and history over time represented by the line to the left of the dot. That line actually would extend off the page and for several yards relative to the time of your dot. The line to the right of your dot is your eternal life after death. It would actually extend off the page into the next county, next state, and around the world…and it would just be beginning. It never ends. You were born to live forever! Suddenly, that seemingly insignificant dot has significance beyond our comprehension. You are very important to God!

God tells us in His Word that He knows you more intimately than anyone else. He says He knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows the good, the bad, and the ugly of everything about us. He wants to give us personal peace. The God who created the universe gave us birth, knows everything about us, and still wants us to spend eternity with Him. Sadly, relatively few will have that privilege due to their own decision to disregard it. Those who do not give attention to their spiritual condition and God’s gracious invitation will still live eternally but tragically separated from Him. God is very important to you!

As you enter 2020, you could commit to nothing better than securing a personal relationship with Jesus if you haven’t settled that yet. If you are in that relationship, commit to growing in it and understanding more about just how important you are to Him. Much of your importance is in your sharing God’s love and desire for those important to you. Take time to meditate more on these truths by visiting https://terrythompson.org/eternity. This year, let’s renew our joy in how important we are to the One who created us to live for Him and how important He is to us.

Have a Happy New Year!

Now Is the Best Time to Join AMAC!

If you are a member of AARP, you may want to rethink that organization. AARP was once a respectable voice for the interests of seniors. Unfortunately, they have become an arm of the liberal movement in America and have lost touch with their mainstream members. The conservative alternative, AMAC, is worthy of your consideration. I urge you to join this worthy organization for those 50 and over.

If you fit this age category, you may have joined or have received appeals for you to join the American Association of Retired Persons, or AARP. For many years, they have lobbied Congress on issues related to the 50+ demographic. They offer appealing services and discounts for such things as travel, dining, insurance, health services, etc. I paid their reasonable fee and joined the organization as soon as I crossed that half-century mark. Then, a few years ago, I began to see some things in their literature and magazine that troubled me. They led the charge in promoting Obamacare. They have maneuvered against President Trump on almost every political issue. The further I looked, more was revealed about their liberal institutional values and principles. They support abortion and LGBT initiatives. They are leftist leaning in almost every aspect of their operations. Since most of us 50+ folks are conservatives, I had to conclude that AARP, while benefiting us in some ways, is working against the majority of us on issues that really matter. Then I began hearing about the Association of Mature American Citizens, AMAC.

AMAC was founded twelve years ago by a great patriot and Christian business man, Dan Weber, and has grown to two million members. Its values and principles are conservative, and it advances both God and country. AMAC has an active operations office in Washington, D.C. and administrative offices in New York and Florida. Its lobbyists work aggressively on Capitol Hill in the interests of the 50+ population. They are working to support conservative initiatives in general. They offer essentially the same services and discounts as AARP for the same low annual fee. You will also get the great bi-monthly AMAC Magazine filled with articles and opportunities for retirees and those approaching retirement.

Now for the exciting news! During this holiday season you can get your first year membership free at conservative radio personality Ben Ferguson’s website, https://benfreeonline.com. AMAC is a major sponsor of the Ben Ferguson Show.

AMAC’s political action strategy includes a unique grass roots effort. An AMAC volunteer delegate has been appointed for each Congressional district across America. I am the delegate for Arkansas’ 4th District. Like other delegates, I am obligated to meet with my Congressman, Bruce Westerman, periodically to discuss issues of importance to seniors and to promote AMAC’s position on those issues. This helps keep our country’s Congressmen focused on their senior constituents. I am fortunate that Congressman Westerman is a strong conservative and a proud AMAC member.

AARP has been around for many years and has a large membership. Their sheer size gives them a significant advantage in Washington. Therefore, it is important that conservatives shift this lobbying power balance away from AARP and toward AMAC. So, if you are on the back side of 50, I urge you to go to AMAC’s website, https://amac.us, read all about it, and become a member. It’s an outstanding organization working on your behalf. Remember, the first year is free if you go to https://benfreeonline.com. Do it now before the promotion expires. There is nothing to lose in this one-year free trial period. Help AMAC work for you and your fellow senior adults.

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