Linkathon!

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147 Responses

  1. Captain Kevin says:

    Is it ok to say “Amen” to the first link before I even read it?

  2. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Not to kick a dead horse but John Fea does once again state that 81% of evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump in 2016 – he didn’t even narrow it down to “white” evangelicals. (check at 1:20 min into the video)
    Again, I think this sends a wrong message that ‘evangelicals are nuts.’

    Does anyone know how many evangelicals there are in the US?

  3. Xenia says:

    I read the ADD (etc) kids article earlier this week and I can tell you one reason why they may not be welcome at some churches, two reasons, actually. One, if they are sent to “children’s church” or whatever arrangement some churches have, the staff may not know how to work with disruptive children. I think this could be remedied if a parent stayed and helped BUT the exhausted parents probably cherish the hour of piece during the adult service. It needs to be worked out and I am sure there are plenty of churches that do work it out so look to them for advice.

    The 2nd reason for not having disruptive children in the adult service is because of recording, either for the web site, the radio show, and/or for the TV program. Everyone must maintain radio silence in the congregation if recordings are being made. I have less sympathy for this. Actually, zero sympathy. If you listen to the recorded sermons made in Orthodox churches on Ancient Faith Radio you hear a lot of kid-noise in the background. This should make us smile. 🙂 We aren’t too bothered by kid-noise although it does bother some converts from “radio silence” type evangelical churches.

    So Reason One should be fixable and Reason Two I have no patience for. If the pastor wants his messages to be promulgated with no background noise he should record them at a different time of the week in a sound booth.

    This applies to all noisy kids- God bless them!- not just kids with an alphabet of troubles.

  4. Michael says:

    I don’t think the message is that evangelicals are nuts unless you think all Trump voters are crazy.
    I think it’s more about the cognitive dissonance between true evangelical beliefs and Trump.
    I have friends who voted for him strictly on the basis of business concerns and they had viable reasons to do so.

  5. Michael says:

    Xenia,
    You nailed it…

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, my point is I think he has an agenda using the inflated number vs my number of 30%.

  7. Michael says:

    I think it’s been made clear elsewhere that the percentage is of those who voted. It’s undeniable that this president has a very vocal and active base of Christians . I think the agenda is to try to understand that…because I sure as hell don’t.

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Whatever the breakdown, I am just making note that his reporting is sloppy and he should correct it. But who am I as I don’t even know who he is other than these 2 times I have seen him promoting his book.

  9. Xenia says:

    How rapture theology affected evangelical politics…<<<

    This is an outstanding article.

  10. Michael says:

    MLD,
    I think the distinction you make is important…and I’m going to pass that critique on to Fea.

  11. Xenia says:

    The kid-noise level of acceptability is cultural, I think and not always because of the two things I talked about. I attended a all-convert parish for years and all the toddlers pretty much stood at attention for the two-hour service. It was amazing. There was a cry room for little babies, but more often than not, the babies spent most of the Liturgy in the arms of their tireless dads who never sat down. So that’s how anglo-saxon-ish ex-evangelicals train their children to behave in church.

    But not so with ethnic Orthodox parishes! Kids are permitted to run around, jabber, fool with the candles and all kinds of fun stuff until the parent (or an ex-evangelical) notices and subdues them. Russian, Syrian or Greek, it’s all the same. Kids are adored and the people revel in their antics.

    I am an ex-evangelical anglo-saxon type person and it is taking me a while to accept these cultural differences but I smile at the kids and if one slips out the side door, I chase after him/her to make sure she doesn’t wander into traffic. It’s a different world, one that takes getting used to but definitely a child-affirming world.

  12. Michael says:

    Xenia,
    I thought so too…

  13. Xenia says:

    Dr. Fea’s sentence lacks the clarifying phrase “of evangelical Christians who voted.”

    He should say: Of all white evangelical Christians who voted, 81% of them voted for Trump.

  14. Michael says:

    Xenia,
    As often as that number is cited I think he and others to to be careful to put the clarification first.

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I have seen on 4 or 5 occasions where a small child gets loose from the pew and before the parents can react, the child is at the chancel steps as the pastor is preaching. Without missing a beat, he comes down the couple of steps, picks up the child and continues preaching.
    I am also a big fan of the children’s sermon where he gathers the kids on the steps and gives them their own message (which is usually the one I understand.)

  16. The New Victor says:

    East vs. West? I remember going out to Sweet Tomatoes on Eastside with my Israeli friends and their 4 kids were running around doing whatever. My friend noticed my look and said, “I know what you’re thinking, but this is how Israelis raise their children, just to let them be children.” I would have long been smacked or taken the bathroom to be spanked bare-bottomed by my Dutch Reformed mother from the Midwest long before I started behaving like that.

    I remembered years ago when I was friends with another Israeli couple from school. They were more Americanized, yet I remember their daughters being little hellions, by my estimation. They both turned out to be fine young ladies; one did an MS in Psych and is a high school counselor and the other an MS in biology[somethingorother] and in her late 20s decided to go back to med school.

    My 8 year old son with ASD1 prefers 95% of the time to stay with me in service. We sit near enough the door that any activity wouldn’t interrupt anyone but those around us. He usually listens to me well. A hug and a touch goes a long way to comforting him. He pretty much leans against me the whole time.

  17. One thing we’ve done as a sort of kids message from time to time is something we call the Surprise Box. Here’s how it works. A child from the church is given the box (it’s actually a small ice chest/lunch container) and told to put something in it. Anything. The following Sunday they bring the box to church with them and bring it up when the kids are called up for the kid’s message. The pastor then opens the box and has the challenge of coming up with an extemporaneous spiritual message based on the object in the box. I sometimes call this “Stump the Pastor.” It is a lot of fun for all those involved, and it is amazing some of the applications one of our pastors comes up with based on something like a superhero toy, a pine cone or an old shoe.

  18. As far as kids and interruptions, I’ve seen a few pastors come close to losing it when a child caused a bit of an interruption. Their actions made me determined NOT to freak out or scold a kid for being a kid. Last year at the end of our Easter service, my 2 year old grandson somehow was released from the nursery and made his way into the service. I was wrapping things up and he came right down the aisle calling out “Papa! Papa!” I just let him come down and picked him up and had him help me with the closing prayer.

  19. McGarrett says:

    i clearly remember, on or about 27 years ago, walking into a CC in Aliso Viejo, to attend this Church for the first time. Our kids at the time, were young, but were quiet during a Church Service, and wanted to be with us during a first visit. We no longer had sat down, when the Pastor’s Minions told us that no young kids could be in the Church, that any noise could affect an “eternal decision”. We walked right out of there, with bewilderment.

  20. TheGhostofBelleStarr says:

    As for the depression article and being a Christian who suffers with it, and it IS suffering I will say… I believe I have had it since childhood, my mom had it and her mom had it. At 12 I started self medicating with lots of drugs. Even after I accepted Christ at 33 I still struggle with it, and that was 25 years ago. I have never really felt true joy or “happiness”. I have prayed for years that the Lord would heal me, I have asked and asked and asked. He has not chosen to do so. I have come to accept that this is my thorn in the flesh. I also feel I will receive a crown for having persevered and held to faith in Him in spite of it. It’s a slam in the face of the Devil that one would suffer (and we all do in some way in this life) and yet hold to Jesus, so Jesus gets the glory. I look forward to heaven when I know I will be filled with joy unspeakable.

  21. Dan from Georgia says:

    Another “amen” to link 1. As one who has perused blogs and twitter feeds of many progressive/left Christians, I can assure you the Christian left is just as fundamentalist as the Christian right. Just as the right has hated Obama/Hillary, so has the left hated on Trump. They (both sides) believe in the inerrancy of the scriptures that support their beliefs, and question/ignore the scriptures that challenge their ideals. Both side have an insane lack of sense of humor. Both sides would censor the other side if given the opportunity. Both sides question or deny the salvation of the other side. Ad nauseum.

  22. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Excellent synopsis…I’ll add one more.
    Neither side is interested in actually finding solutions to anything…they need someone to hate to keep the money coming in…

  23. Kevin H says:

    I haven’t yet had the time to watch the Fea video, nor read many of the other links yet, for that matter. I trust the others who have commented here that he again refers to the 81% of evangelicals voting for Trump, and doesn’t clarify that it was the 81% *who* voted, or even that it was 81% of *white* evangelicals who voted. I have seen plenty of other places where he refers to the 81% *who* voted, sometimes including the “white, so I think he probably refers to this number at other times with what he probably thinks is the understanding that he is talking about the 81% *who* voted.

    But I do agree that he should always make the clarification as it can give a misleading message when he doesn’t, as not everybody assumes the 81% refers to those *who* voted.

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I would prefer they say 25-30% of evangelicals voted for Trump. The reason many evangelical may not have voted or register could have been because of Trump.
    I didn’t vote for any candidate.
    I think using the 81% whether in general or “of those who voted” is to get a bigger rise out of people.

    If my figure is correct, then 65-70% of all evangelicals did not vote for Trump and that changes the conversation.

  25. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Do you not believe that Trumps base and most public defenders are evangelicals?
    The Christian media here is continual Trump propaganda…

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, if I remember correctly the evangelical vote for Trump was only 1/3rd of his vote total.

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – what percentage of the total area you live in listens to the programming? 1%?

  28. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I haven’t seen an Arbitron book in a long time but for years they have been one of the highest rated stations in the area during morning drive.
    They are quite influential.

  29. Jean says:

    Both David later in life and Hezekiah were considered very good kings. Yet, when they did evil in God’s sight, God’s prophets condemned their evil behavior. I see no justification for any Christian to paper over or ignore the evil deeds or words committed by an otherwise good President, if the Christian indeed believes he or she is otherwise good. Each action or should be judged independently. Otherwise, the Christian may be perceived as sanctioning evil.

  30. Jean says:

    Through one’s life, both words and deeds, he or she receives both a blessing and an obligation from Christ: Jesus, working through both His Church and Christian’s individually, will use our good works so that they may be seen by others (i.e., non-believers) who will on account of them give glory to our heavenly Father (Matt 5:16).

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, again if I 3rd.ember correctly, and I was a TV arbitron family for 7 years back in the late 70s early 80, the ratings are a percentage of the people listening to the radio at a given time. A 7 rating is outstanding to market to advertisers but it still only means 7% of all those with their radios on – not 7% of the local population.

  32. Em says:

    While our Lord had encounters with secular governors and showed them no deference, i am puzzled by the Christian’s concern with the moral conduct of secular office holders – like all humanity, they will answer to God, Himself at some point.
    Where do we, the Church, receive instruction to police the world? We’re not doing a great job of cleaning our own house.
    If you are voting in a public/secular election, there is a responsibility to learn what one can about the candidates’ ability to do the job of the office – that is all.
    If the condition of their souls is your concern, go witness to them.

  33. Michael says:

    John the Baptist has his head chopped off commenting on the morality of a secular leader…the OT prophetic witness is to both the sacred and profane…

  34. Xenia says:

    there is a responsibility to learn what one can about the candidates’ ability to do the job of the office – that is all<<<

    I could not disagree with you more.

    Some of the worst autocrats of all time made the trains go on time and achieved 100% employment.

  35. Xenia says:

    And since I believe the current occupant of the WH is both mentally unstable and senile, he doesn’t even fall into the category of efficient.

    But let’s not think about these things. Let us think about the Illuminati instead.

  36. Michael says:

    The witness of the prophets and the voice of the church has been to speak truth to power where there is oppression and injustice.

    The difficulty here is that the church is as divided as the culture…where I see horrific oppression and injustice, as many see the righteous exercise of the “rule of law”.

    My task is to try to keep a community together that is every bit as divided as the rest of the country…while acknowledging my own calling to speak.

    I should have become a sports writer…

  37. Xenia says:

    AND, a politician with a sordid past is susceptible to blackmail.

    That’s one of the things they check for when granting security clearances, is there something you could be blackmailed for, something that you might even sell your country down the road for rather than have your secret revealed.

  38. Jean says:

    “there is a responsibility to learn what one can about the candidates’ ability to do the job of the office – that is all.”

    That statement could not be further from a Christian ethic.

  39. Jean says:

    further = farther

  40. Em says:

    Correct me if i’m wrong, but John was brought before Herod (as was our Lord). Finding themselves in the presence of the rulers, neither man compromised the truth in confronting them.
    My point, however lame in expression, was that rebuking secular rulers was not their mission. But yes, they certainly had a ready answer for them. On that i agree.

  41. Michael says:

    John was rebuking Herod publicly…that’s why he was arrested…

  42. Em says:

    Jean, i have no intention of entering into debate on cherry picked, out of context words… not anymore…

    If you wish to encourage Christians to police the secular world, you’re definitely riding the popular tide …. If that is your definition of salt and light, you are on safe ground here

    Jesus didn’t, nor did the apostles. Thus I read our mission differently

    What puzzles me is the declaration that this is not a Christian nation while expecting it to act as if it IS….
    ?

  43. Michael says:

    I’m expecting the church to act as a Christian nation…

  44. Em says:

    Xenia, if one is going to vote, a hidden, sordid past is definitely one of the points to consider

  45. bob1 says:

    “there is a responsibility to learn what one can about the candidates’ ability to do the job of the office – that is all.”

    Total BS.

    Is that what all the rightwing Christians did when Obama was our
    president?

    You know the answer…

  46. Babylon's Dread says:

    Ok,

    I held my nose and voted for Trump. I am not sorry. I am evangelical. Deal with it. If given a democrat with a progressive agenda TODAY… I would vote for Trump again.

    Enough of indicting whole groups of people. We call it hatred when you indict anyone other than an evangelical Christian. I’m calling hypocrisy.

    Do I love Trump… NO! Do I think he is doing right by every decision… NO! I would choose him over Hillary a thousand times…not even close.

    Unrepentant Dread

  47. Em says:

    Michael at 1:57… I have no problem with that …
    Maybe, if we turned our whole attention to our house, to evangelizing and growing spiritually we could turn the ship of State as a ruling majority… IF….

  48. Michael says:

    Let’s keep this as civil and familial as we can, folks…

  49. Xenia says:

    Xenia, if one is going to vote, a hidden, sordid past is definitely one of the points to consider<<<

    Yes well we now know Trump paid big bucks to keep his sordid past secret.

    But we all knew what he was.

  50. bob1 says:

    What puzzles me is the declaration that this is not a Christian nation while expecting it to act as if it IS….

    Also BS.

    As citizens of our nation, we should expect our elected leaders to represent our values. No one’s talking about anyone living up to being a Xn nation — whatever that means.

  51. Xenia says:

    I remember the days when conservative Christians used to appreciate the fact that our founding fathers were devout Christians. This isn’t exactly the case, but the sentiment was there and it had a charming naive optimism about it. I remember taking a class at CC Bible College that featured David Barton videos explaining how all the early presidents & signers of the Declaration were Christian men of good character and this was what our country was built on. I guess a lot of people don’t care about this kind of thing anymore.

  52. Xenia says:

    And if the Dems don’t come up with a charismatic, moderate candidate for 2020 but instead go full bore with the worst of the left-wing agenda, Trump will win again.

  53. Em says:

    Michael, i realise that my conclusions don’t line up with the thinking of most today … right or left
    I am not offended although it is sad to assume that another’s conclusion, which one has decided is wrong, came out of the back end of a bull ?
    For the record mine didn’t. LOL

  54. Jean says:

    From somewhere, somehow, Christianity has for some become internalized. It has become a spiritual matter, with little or no external concerns. I wonder if this internalization of the faith has anything to do with the decline in church membership among young adults.

  55. Xenia says:

    Em, now that it has been clarified that John the Baptist was put in prison for questioning the morality of Herod, do you still stand by your statement the Christians shouldn’t concern themselves with the morality of presidential candidates or the president? Do you believe the John the Baptist was in error when he questioned Herod’s morality?

    I am also curious if your thinking has been changed any by the fact that Trump paid big bucks to cover up his sordid past (part of it, anyway), since you (rightly) believe that sordid pasts are a red flag in a candidate.

  56. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It is silly to think that the church has been mandated to call out bad morals and policies. If you read Josephus and all the other 1st century historians of the Roman Empire you find tremendous cruelty and bad behavior. You will not find any first century disciples or apostles writing editorials or mandating recalls. They did their church stuff.

    Now individual Christians in their civil vocation and protest all they want.

  57. Jean says:

    “[M]agistrates themselves , having laws as clothing of righteousness whenever they act in a just and legitimate manner, shall not be called into question for their conduct, nor liable to punishment. But whatsoever they do to the subversion of justice, inquitously, and impiously, and illegally, and tyrannically, in these things shall they also perish; for the just judgment of God comes equally upon all, and in no case is defective. Earthly rule, therefore, has been appointed by God for the benefit of nations, and not by the devil.” – Irenaeus (c. AD 130-202), Bishop of Lyons, Against Heresies.

  58. Xenia says:

    A few questions for those who don’t believe morality matters in a president:

    1. Did you feel this way when Obama was President? Were you bothered by the extreme nature of his old church in Chicago? (It’s actually hard to find examples of personal immorality with Obama although many of his policies promoted immorality.)

    2. Were you at all bothered by Bill Clinton’s relationship with Monica L? Were you angry when he lied about it? Were you glad to see him impeached?

    3. In other words, has this idea that presidential morality doesn’t matter come upon you rather recently or have you always been of this opinion?

    (Not just asking Em.)

  59. bob1 says:

    Jean@ 3:26

    So much for the early church being ‘hands off’ when it comes to
    public morality! LOL.

  60. Jean says:

    The early church took public stances against several issues of public morality, including abortion, infanticide, and gladiatorial entertainment.

    What is unique is that Christianity in the first couple (plus) of centuries was a minority religion, often persecuted, and certainly having no protected speech, in an empire which did not have democratic institutions. That they were able to offer any critique of the culture is remarkable.

  61. Xenia says:

    St. John Chrysostom was at odds with the Empress Eudoxia and he was not shy about criticizing her from the pulpit.

  62. Em says:

    Waaay back somewhere i attempted to clarify that morality does matter very much in one’s personal life – both in interpersonal relationships and in answering to God ultimately. And no, i am not saying we can justify ourselves to a holy God… sigh

    My point is that the Church is not tasked with policing the world. JFK, Nixon, Clinton, Obama… even Ronnie and Jimmie were flawed and we’d probably all disagree on who was a good head of State and who was a dangerous dud…

    And, even though John the Baptist got thrown in prison for insulting Herod’s wife, i don’t believe John sought Herod out to talk about his divorce…. If John sought Herod, not vice versa, then i stand corrected – surprised and corrected ?

    Morality may be too broad a term …. Would i vote for a child or wife abuser? A drug addict? A murderer? Not knowingly. But the civilized world is riddled with sin and, if a sinner has proven that he will do the job, i would vote for him or her. If they come up for re-election and have shown they can’t do the job, or are discovered to beat their children or their wife, of course i won’t vote for them. There are some very devoutly religious that i’d never vote for, for that matter.
    Clinton made a mockery of his impeachment – anybody still trying to figure out what is – is?

    I find this thread to be very odd… BTW.

    I hope whatever it is that so many are trying to sort out gets sorted out …. whatever it is….

  63. Xenia says:

    Em, it’s simple. A large number of my fellow Christians voted for and strenuously defend a man I consider corrupt, petulant, immoral, senile and dangerously vengeful. I am at a loss to explain this. No matter what evidence they are presented with, they bat it away with a blithe “We are all sinners.”

    Em, I love you but I do not understand you.

  64. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean & Xenia,
    But I specified 1st century for a reason.
    Also in both examples it was not a plea for ‘the church” to rise up against government policy.

  65. Xenia says:

    Yes, you did say 1st century MLD. My error.

  66. Cash says:

    I agree with Xenia on this one. I admittedly am a Trump loather. I can’t understand how otherwise spiritual people could support such a man. A well known liar, and everything else Xenia already said in her comment. Not to mention the horrible things he has done to people by separating them from their children and such. Policies such as these are evil and immoral. Yet Evangelicals as a group are among his biggest supporters. I don’t get it.

  67. Xenia says:

    If I believed in conspiracy theories, which I don’t, I might wonder if some foreign country where they eat borscht got a hold of a cable network that rhymes with pox and are sending out subliminal messages.

    But that’s crazy talk. I don’t really believe that.

    But man, it would explain a lot.

  68. Em says:

    The world is full of the power hungry and their conspiracies. Remember Haman?
    If we depend on our modern sources for news – throw in pox.. err Fox, if you wish – in order to grasp what’s going on, we will be deluded…
    That said we are moving in the direction of globalism and it is not dependent on a political party. I find this intriguing as it lines up with prophesy… but like the kids in back seat of the car on a long drive would say, “are we there yet?”. Dunno

    FWIW – i think that the Church concentrating on evangelism will speed things up, not slow them down. ?

  69. descended says:

    In the CC my wife and I attended for a long time, we offered training to volunteers on how to appropriately handle problematic behaviors. Suffice to say it never stuck, it wasn’t anything that was supported or encouraged. We were given a space and had one training, then would be called to be one-on-one if problems ever arose.

    One of our tasks in a master’s program I was in was to call area churches and interview about inclusion for severe developmental delays in the sanctuary. Most of us received suggestions of nursery, Sunday school, or nothing was available.

    It’s an important issue. Until we get over ourselves and our optics here in SoCal/America, it will remain the same.

    Good link. Here’s another:
    disabledchristianity.blogspot.com/?m=1

  70. Jerod says:

    I have a conspiracy theory

    Satan rules this world and he’s conspiring against all of us

  71. Em says:

    Jared, hold onto that theory….
    We tend to forget, i think… Dunno

  72. So, the worst pastor I ever served under once became unnerved when an autistic teen was making some minor yelps during his preaching. Later that week he ran into his mom at the grocery and wondered out loud if her son was demon afflicted. I know this because at a subsequent staff pastors meeting he BRAGGED about the interaction. Obviously that family left that church.

  73. Babylon's Dread says:

    I think conspiracy theories abound and thrive partly because we are barely a hundred years beyond the worst conspirators history has known. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Mao all conspired, fomented lies, seized power and slaughtered untold millions. There is a corporate twitch in the soul of the nations fearing a return. Like Nero Redivivus the mythologies linger of resurrection.

    When all of our information machines seem to be clogged with their own pandered and sanctimonious fear-mongering we just make stuff up. Not knowing what to believe we believe everything.

    Recently I have become less mocking of conspiracy theories, though no more tolerant of them, because we live in a world where some monsters do live in the dark places waiting their opportunity.

  74. Cash says:

    BD-“When all of our information machines seem to be clogged with their own pandered and sanctimonious fear-mongering we just make stuff up. Not knowing what to believe we believe everything.” I think you are right about not knowing what to believe. But there has to be objective truth somewhere. It’s our responsibility to find that truth and reject the lies. We can first begin with Jesus, who of course said He IS the truth. When things don’t line up with Him, truth is sacrificed.

  75. Xenia says:

    I agree, Dread, the networks have their biases and emphasize the news that promotes their narrative. Both sides are fear-mongerers.

    As a Trump critic, I used to revel in CNN. They were all Trump all day. He could hiccup and there would be Anderson Cooper, looking grave, giving a monologue on how the presidential burp forebodes the end of the republic. This was too much for even me! Even *I* thought they were going overboard. And I couldn’t stand five minutes of Fox.

    So we downgraded our cable service and now our only network news is the morning CBS news show which breaks away for local news and weather. I can’t tell whose side they are on so I figure it’s pretty fair. Who knows.

    As I said before, get a Twitter account and follow the president. Read what he says for yourself. Fox will downplay the inane Tweets and CNN will talk about them hysterically for 12 hours straight. Read what he says for yourself. That should be enough to scare you. Don’t trust Fox, CNN, Rush Limbaugh or any extreme right or left wing web site. And above all, don’t believe any of the whackadoodle conspiracy nonsense you hear on your local Christian radio station. They are the least trustworthy of all, IMO.

  76. Em says:

    Gman’s cartoon post, like most of what is paraded to shame those who have voted for Trump, overlooks one important factor.
    Do those who’d vote for the more polished, more politically correct players really believe that their choice is not quite closer to what they hate about Trump when out of the pubic eye? Man does indeed look on the outward appearance…

    Am i in favor of locker room manners, nazis and child abuse? No… Just anticipating the obvious retort

    I’ve said it before, but our nation is in the midst of a deep downward transition and Trump is not the cause – more than likely won’t stem the tide either …

    Pray for those in authority… and pray for wisdom… God is our strength and salvation and may now be our only safe place – He is what we can offer those who have a false hope in politicians or the canny ones who have no hope at all ?

    It’s headed for 100 degrees and we have no air conditioning, so i’m done pontificating …. For today… LOL

  77. Michael says:

    I’m pretty done with memes and cartoons that don’t facilitate dialogue.
    Mocking the other side doesn’t build a foundation for anything but more anger and mockery.

  78. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I have a question for Jean @ 3:26pm and bob1 @3:55pm yesterday .
    Is it your understanding that the quoted Irenaeus passage was directed to the government? I see this as just the opposite.

    Irenaeus, was writing his Against Heresies to the church – not the government and if anything he is saying that if government is doing wrong – God will judge and take care of it. I see no call for “hands on” intervention into government affairs.

    What do you guys think?

  79. JoelG says:

    I get my news from The Onion. ?

    My advice is to turn off the news and go about our daily business.

  80. ( |o )====::: says:

    https://johnpavlovitz.com/2018/01/12/good-people-dont-defend-bad-man/

    unrepentant evangelical trump voters

    #JesusNeedsNewPR

  81. Michael says:

    GMan,

    I understand your view well.
    I loathe the man and most of his actions as well.
    However…and this is a big however…some of the best folks I know…”good” people…support him.
    I don’t understand that and I won’t understand that, nor they me, unless we are able to dialog without labels and vitriol.
    If you want to change minds and hearts it always starts by listening…

  82. Xenia says:

    MIchael, yes.

    I do not at all understand the pro-Trump mindset of Christians. I think this has baffled more than any other situation that has arisen during my lifetime. I am bewildered. And heartbroken.

    However, while I don’t understand them, I can’t condemn the whole lot of them as “bad people.” While I was arguing with Em yesterday I was simultaneously working on a baby quilt for a church family that I am pretty sure voted for Trump, the husband, at least. I love these people. They are good people. We get along great because we never discuss these things for friendship’s sake.

  83. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So where are we on this? Is the church to stand up and voice a strong opinion on sociey’s morality? Are we to challenge immorality in government in regard to policy making?

    That was tried and given a 25-30 yr run with the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family. It was also tried on the other side with Jesse Jackson and the RCC council of bishops (I forget the formal name.)
    Anyone ready to support their return?

  84. Michael says:

    I believe that the witness of the prophets and the church is to speak truth to power…to speak God’s will and ways to power.
    It is not our job to seek power.
    I will keep speaking when I believe the government is acting in opposition to the ways of God.

  85. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, I said that very early on – a Christian in his / her (or you pick the pronoun) vocation is to speak rally, lobby the governing authorities. I do not think the church is mandated to do such. The church is set to forgive sin.

    So, as individual Christians can we unite (moral majority style) to increase our voice? But we would still have factions –

  86. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I don’t think that political groups such as the MM are effective or sometimes even godly because they seek power to legislate and lose the heart of Christ and the Gospel.
    When we engage over issues like slavery, abortion, etc, with a heart for people and God, based on the righteousness of God, we do God’s will.
    The current situation on the border deserves the attention of those who believe in Christ and love people…

  87. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So you don’t think that we could form Phoenix Preacher Inc where all of us could /would speak as one voice as it might lead to power if a million others wanted to join us?

    If PP Inc formed a million person March on DC to protest for border justice that does not work?
    To me all this is fine and acceptable – but not led by the church.

  88. Michael says:

    MLD,

    The reason I care a whit about this or any other issue is because Christ compels me.
    On my own, I’m not very nice and prefer the company of cats.
    I’m not interested in power, I’m interested in bringing about a piece of the kingdom of God in both hearts and reality.
    Changed hearts will change lives…and policies.
    I do think the church should lead on matters of morality and mercy…and take these issues out of partisan politics and over taxed congregants.
    If you want to start a million person march to help kids and people fleeing violence, I’ll walk with you, though… 🙂

  89. Babylon's Dread says:

    Good people do not support a bad man… is a straw man argument for someone like me. I support many Trump initiatives while knowing that he is a boorish, brutish, bombastic blowhard. But I also know that he is speaking to issues that have been ignored that people, including myself care about.

    Supporting Trump as a political choice is not the same as endorsing a man as an icon of virtue.

    Reframing arguments so that people you disagree with will look evil is in itself an evil intention.

  90. Michael says:

    Redding, California is literally on fire…this is a horrific fire season.

  91. Em says:

    in agreement with Pastor Dread’s 8:59 here… as the old saying goes, if you have to have brain surgery, do you want the ham handed Christian or the genius reprobate doing it?

    it is a horrific fire season, – amen!!!
    we were so blessed that they got on the one up the road with several days of arial attacks… but we’re not out of the woods…
    i though it was Idyllwild that was on fire (been to a camp there in my youth)… Redding? Dear Lord! praying as i type… we had a town burn up up here a couple years ago… hard to comprehend… also hard to comprehend why they are still letting off roaders run around the hills… lost count of how many fires we’ve had in this area… at least they are getting on them with everything they’ve got now… the year the town burned down this State was taking the stand, let it burn, it’s natures way
    praying all stay safe… btw saw the story and pics about the cougar napping on the living room sofa down the road from you, Michael – keep your door shut! 🙂

  92. ( |o )====::: says:

    “some of the best folks I know…”good” people…support him.”

    Michael,
    By definition, if a person supports him, that person is not “good” any more than the white supremacists of Charlottesville can be considered “very fine people”.

    Remember this?
    “Trump Defends White-Nationalist Protesters: ‘Some Very Fine People on Both Sides'”

    I refuse to normalize racists and bigots are “fine people”.

    Anyone who supports that person who Melania travels with as she watches CNN is party to the evil of the person wreaking havoc in the name of Evangelicals and stands against everything Jesus stands for.

    Remember when you could say stuff like, “the Earth is round” or “Nazis are bad” and be absolutely certain everyone who heard you would agree?

  93. bob1 says:

    Trump is a ham-handed reprobate.

  94. Michael says:

    GMan,

    I refuse…utterly refuse… to condemn people in this fashion lest I become what I loathe.
    Furthermore, I will not ruin relationships by allowing this sort of discourse on this site.
    I stand by everything I said…and will enforce it if necessary.

  95. Jerod says:

    No one sinned in voting for Trump.
    Anymore than someone sinned in voting for Hillary.
    We simply used the copious amounts of steer manure available on all sides to make a binary decision.

  96. Jerod says:

    Last comment tonight

    I heard a very good study on the meaning of intercession, beyond what it has come to mean in evangelical circles – simply praying for someone, maybe with vigour.

    I learned that if we are interceding on behalf of someone then we are intentionally putting ourself in the place of that person, identifying with their sin, meeting with God through his Spirit, accepting punishment on their behalf. The way Jesus did for us, and was martyred.
    The way the early church did for their persecutors, and was martyred.
    The way our brothers and sisters do on the southern half of this planet, and are martyred.
    Like Christ in Is. 53 before Revival comes maybe his body has to be broken to save those that hate Him.

    Before that’s even possible we have to repent

    as American Christians of all the vitriol we’ve poured on one another.

    That’s not something I hear much on National Prayer Days or on Memorial Day, what have you.

    It’s a sobering thought to realize I’m not there yet. I want to pay I will be but I’m afraid of the consequences of increasing my faith. It makes me wonder where my allegiance lies.

    I don’t think I’m the only one

  97. Kevin H says:

    I am with Michael on this on in how we interact with each other. From my writing and commenting here, I have made it clear that I am not a Trump supporter and very much do not like the man and do not think he is a good President. With that said, I will not blanketly demonize those who voted for the man and support some of the things he does. Heck, even I agree with *some* of the things he has done as President, while still opposing others and certainly having big difficulties with how the man carries on and conducts himself.

    With the state of politics we are in right now, there are seemingly so many times of the kettle calling the pot black as people partisanly attack the “other side” while choosing to ignore/minimize the rot on their “own side”. This constant attacking of those on the other side is doing us no good and is not contributing at all in any manner to actually making things better in our country and culture.

  98. ( |o )====::: says:

    Help me understand this, how can anyone support the actions of ICE at the direction of this administration to separate children from their parents, place them into detention camps, then LOSE THE CHILDREN?

    Let’s start with that one.

    Explain it to me like I’m in Sunday school, using examples of how Jesus taught it, demonstrated it, and applauds it.

  99. Michael says:

    G,
    I think I can safely say that few people are more troubled by what is going down on the border more than I am.
    I can also safely say I know more about what’s happening than everyone here put together…it’s terrible.
    My choice is to either seek to persuade with facts and prayer or spend the day insulting people with memes.
    I can speak the truth in love hoping that people will hear or I can condemn people on social media for sport, knowing that it accomplishes nothing but exacerbating the problem.
    I want to be effective more than self righteous…

  100. Michael says:

    I’ve always believed, and still choose to believe, that if I took folks on a day trip to Juarez they would listen with their hearts.
    I believe if they saw what was going on with the children and their parents they would do likewise.
    I can’t do that…and I have to speak in my little voice against the lies and propaganda of Fox and Breitbart…a whisper next to a waterfall.
    Still I will continue…and I will try to speak so as to be heard.
    Heard by hearts and spirits…

  101. ( |o )====::: says:

    I’m forcing the issues to be addressed, to be pondered, to be confronted.

    You didn’t back down when confronting abuses within Calvary Chapel.

    When has speaking truth to power or evil become an act of being “self righteous”?

    Always wishing you the best, brother, even when we disagree.

  102. Michael says:

    G,

    I’m not backing down at all.
    In my early years at war with CC I made a lot of enemies and no converts.
    When I decided to speak so as to be heard, we saw some positive change.
    Make your own application…

  103. Em says:

    I have no quarrel with anyone’s heartfelt grief over the plight of the innocents massed at our border and i agree that most of the sorrows are the result of a dishonest, greedy lowlife element – some in expensive suits living in haciendas and penthouses – that have found a windfall of unimaginable wealth in supplying weak and short’sighted people looking for happiness in illegal and destructive pursuits.

    I don’t know what the solution is, other than a bloodbath of equally lawless attacks on the bad guys.. .. but IMV blaming Trump for all this is the easy out and contributes nothing to a solution.

  104. ( |o )====::: says:

    So, asking for a friend, how can anyone support the actions of ICE at the direction of this administration to separate children from their asylum seeking parents, place them into detention camps, deport the parents, then lose the children?

  105. ( |o )====::: says:

    let me also be clear, I’m not saying you are backing down, I am asserting that I will not back down

  106. Michael says:

    The border is about more than drugs.
    It’s about economic policies that devastated the small farmer and years of U.S. interference in other governments.
    It’s about corruption and graft at many different levels and many different places.
    I blame Trump for using lies and fear to stoke our worst fears about the alien… invoking policies that will result in pain and death now and enemies of our country in the future.
    I have said it before and I’ll shout it again…neither side of our divide gives a damn about these people or finding solutions…it’s too valuable as a political tool to ruin it by solving the problems.
    It was Obama who was the deporter in chief…

  107. Kevin H says:

    G,

    The question can be asked the other way around. How can anyone support the actions of politicians that favor and support the taking of life in the womb, resulting in the killing of millions and millions of babies?

    I strongly disagree with those who support abortion rights just as I strongly disagree with those who support the separating of children from their parents at the border. I can’t fathom how people can support either, especially those who are Christians.

    I have often spoken out about both issues, strongly at times. I will say that it is wrong for people to support these things. However, I try to keep my main focus on speaking to the wrongfulness and evilness of the issues rather than putting down the collective people who support the issues. Regularly insulting people, even if they are in the wrong and deserve the insults, will invariably lead to deafness and blindness to the real problems. I believe that is where we are at in the country. In many cases, people can no longer hear the truth contained within the words being thrown at them. They only hear the battle cries and insults and respond in kind. They cling to their partisanship and only see the terrible problems on the other side and are blind to the rot on their own side. This has all created a vicious, unproductive, and destructive cycle.

  108. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    Wonderfully well said…

  109. ( |o )====::: says:

    Kevin,
    Poorly said.

    Attempting to answer by an attempt at shifting to abortion is simply not answering the question.

    Here’s the question again…
    “How can anyone support the actions of ICE at the direction of this administration to separate children from their asylum seeking parents, place them into detention camps, deport the parents, then lose the children?

    A direct answer to my direct question is all I ask.

  110. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    At 9:52 this morning, I hope the G Man was not suggesting that we make immigration policy base on the Bible examples of his posted meme.
    Accordingly, the Moses led Exodus ended with the immigrants (the Joshua led Israelis) killing off the citizens of the receiving country – Canaan.
    Sounds silly to me but it may be what many Americans fear.

  111. ( |o )====::: says:

    I am stating that these are examples of immigration throughout the bible which conservative american religious people ignore, then ignore Jesus as well, who was a refugee

  112. Kevin H says:

    G,

    I already answered your question. I said people are wrong to support what is happening with the separation of children at the border. I even said I can’t fathom how people can support such a thing.

    I also added onto my answer by including abortion as another example of evil that people support, that shouldn’t be supported and I can’t fathom how people do so. Some of those who are rightfully calling out the evil of what is happening at the border also happen to support the evil of abortion. And vice versa.

    This was done to lead to my point that I believe the continual insulting of those we disagree with is only leading to a hardening to seeing all evil and responding constructively to it. We can only see the evil on the “other side” any more and our responses to it are often not constructive.

  113. ( |o )====::: says:

    Kevin,
    Here’s the thing, I am pro-life across the entire spectrum.
    As a man, I can only urge a woman to consider alternatives, respecting her right to choose. If i feel strongly enough about it I must step up emotionally, financially and realistically support her through my preferred choice, that she does not choose abortion, and if she chooses to be a single mom, I must commit to being in her life for a lifetime. Same goes if she chooses to adopt the abay out, I must be there to support her, and the new parents.

    With regard to clarifying your answer, :: thank you::

    We’re united in our demand that this administration immediately end the policies which separate children from their families.

  114. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    G, I fail to understand you rage. I just looked it up – the US takes in 1,000,000 legal immigrants per year and we currently have over 47,000,000 legal immigrants currently living here.
    To point and say we are un Christian is foolishness.

  115. ( |o )====::: says:

    Em,
    The solution is for each of us as citizens to demand that ICE back down immediately, that those who wear the badge resign immediately, and that the remaining law enforcement community return to being supporters of America’s leadership in human rights

  116. Em says:

    Very seldom does a virtuous person gain a position of power …

    FWIW… It is Immigration, not ICE, that has been separating children from the adults that have brought them in… pray that families are reunited, but also pray for the at rjsk children who come across unaccompanied or worse
    And don’t overlook the magnitude of situation … even folk with the best intentions would find it overwhelming to manage right now
    It is natural to think or want the nation we’ve inherited from our forefathers and its Constitution and Bill of Rights are the normal for this continent …. But i am among those who fear that we were just a blip in history. A blessing that that we can’t seem to perpetuate. Talk and moralise, if you wish, but talk certainly wont do it. And civil unrest? Dunno, but i fear that’s playing with fire as mobs are too easily manipulated to destructive action… Remember “give us Barrabas?” Jesus? ” crucify him! “. Remember the festival of the guillotine in France! Dunno… But a goid outcome to all this ought to cause to drop to our knees thanking Godt
    Guess we will do that…. Someday

  117. ( |o )====::: says:

    Sit with this awhile…
    https://youtu.be/ZLFak6N04GY?t=48s

    “Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
    Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine…”

    Jesus left the 99

  118. ( |o )====::: says:

    Jesus brings us each “blip” as an opportunity in these things which unfold as history. Each “blip” is a moment of decision to do the right thing.

    Each “blip” is an opportunity to be God’s person in the moment.

    When it was WW2, it was each and every guard who could have and should have resisted, just as it is incumbent on each ICE and Immigration official to stand up, protest, resign and go public at the abuses and bigotry which permeates these american concentration camps.

    Anyone with the will to do, to resist, to demand change, this is the time to get active.

  119. Michael says:

    The only thing overwhelming is the crisis the government created. There are Christian groups already mobilized that could process and place these folks efficiently and quickly.

  120. Em says:

    “Each blip is an opportunity to be God’s person in the moment”

    Okay… ? Reminds me of a children’s chorus… “Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do. Do not wait to shed your light afar….. Brighten the corner where you are….”

    Lots, of folk here doing their best to brighten the corners … There is that….

  121. Xenia says:

    Sometimes standing up for what is right is as easy as posting a comment on a blog.

    Sometimes it will cost you your life.

  122. Linnea says:

    Great links this week… Thanks EricL!

    All right i’m going to wade into the 1st one. Michael knows how socially and fiscally conservative I am, however, I am a big fan of Queer Ey, but I also have a very tender heart that is easily broken. I am one of those in tears every episode. I believe, because these men have suffered, processed that, and have chosen the high road, they can now provide encouragement to others. I also realize I am to some degree being manipulated by the TV director. I have known a number of gay men who are wonderful and loving friends and sons. I will be the first to say that I am repulsed by the lifestyle, but the love for others, from some, is undeniable.

    I once had a good friend in college who moved to San Francisco in the ’80s. He was a wonderful friend and we had many good times together. He died of AIDS, but not before telling me, as I professed my born-again Christianity, that we could no longer be friends because he had so many negative experiences with Christians. This broke my heart. I continued to try to reach out to him until one year, my Christmas card was returned to sender, as he had died.

    I can’t begin to understand the depths of all our sins. I marvel at how God can comprehend the sum total of humanity’s sins and still exist. However, I am called in this life to cooperate with God in sanctification, and in being conformed, through his Spirit, to His image. That is a profound mystery. I don’t pretend that my sins are any different than those who practice homosexuality. Sin is sin. It all separates us from God.

  123. Linnea says:

    ( |o )====::: @ 12:20…love this worship song. We sing it often at church. Didn’t realize it was a Bethel song. Props to BD’s people. It expresses so precisely God’s love for us. We’re all in the soup. We all need the same provision. Thanks be to God!

  124. Jerod says:

    I’d love to hear G’s solutions

  125. bob1 says:

    I’d say at the least, ICE needs reforming. Not sure how starting over would work, practically speaking.

    Something needs to be done and pronto! Even Japanese citizens during WWII weren’t separated from their families! I shudder to think how private companies are profiting here from human misery.

  126. Michael says:

    Short term solutions would be relatively simple had not the American public been lied to about the situation.
    At this point, little can be done because all things are done for votes.
    Long term, we either find solutions or watch bloodbaths and destabilization like we’ve never seen before in Central and South America.

  127. Jean says:

    I am not an asylum lawyer and have no interested in becoming an expert. But because of the disinformation provided by the current administration, I did look into asylum seeking in a relatively superficial manner. This is from the U.S. Immigration & Immigration Services Website:

    “To obtain asylum through the affirmative asylum process you must be physically present in the United States. You may apply for asylum status regardless of how you arrived in the United States or your current immigration status.”

    In addition:

    “Affirmative asylum applicants are rarely detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). You may live in the United States while your application is pending before USCIS. If you are found ineligible, you can remain in the United States while your application is pending with the Immigration Judge. Most asylum applicants are not authorized to work.”

    When people say that the asylum seekers are entering the U.S. illegally, etc., that does not appear to square with what I understand the process to be. According to the website, the current rules anticipate that asylum seekers, in this particular case, must enter the U.S. to apply for asylum. In other words, this is the intent of the process.

  128. Michael says:

    To apply for asylum you either go to an American embassy or to the border and present yourself to the Border Patrol.
    While this administration has raised the level of cruelty to new heights, Obama wasn’t much better.
    To see what the process has been like for one man and his son since 2008 read his story through these links…
    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/07/we-bring-fear/

    https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Mexican-Reporters-Asylum-Bid-Rejected-Despite-Death-Threats-20170728-0016.html

    https://www.texastribune.org/2018/07/26/mexican-reporter-and-son-released-immigration-detention-texas/

    The last link tells of how after years of hell our government and the (expletives deleted) that run ICE actually targeted these two…

  129. Jean says:

    It appears that the U.S. government website is saying the opposite of what it actually does at the boarder. E.g., “Affirmative asylum applicants are rarely detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). You may live in the United States while your application is pending before USCIS.”

    Why is the U.S. government lying to both the American public and the asylum seekers?

  130. Michael says:

    Jean,

    “Why is the U.S. government lying to both the American public and the asylum seekers?”

    Because the American public, after years of propaganda, want to believe the worst about the least of these…this is a big vote getter.

  131. Jean says:

    What happened to a thousand points of light America?

  132. Em says:

    I think. ? what you all are overlooking is the enormity of the problem…. plus we all know that, once in the country, very few of these folk ever show up for their hearing … I think this is understandable for a number of reasons, one of which is their history with the “law” in their countries of origin.
    Am i correct that most folks here advocate legislation to permit anyone suffering in a distressed or dictator oppressed nation enter the U.S?
    I know all have a heart to act according to our Christian mercy and grace and i cannot argue against that. But there is such a hoard of people now entering… i guess i’m like the disciples who asked the Lord how the boy’s loaves and fishes were going to feed the multitude… this nation is very poor at money/resource management. Furthermore we are riddled with greed both in big business and government…
    Please don’t think i am disparaging the things expressed here – not at all… nor am i brainwashed by Fox news… I do have many questions as to how our nation will function in the 21st century and the immigration influx (here and around the world) is just one …
    “We are all immigrants?” I imagine there are some Sioux and Navajo smiling to themselves now. .. I wonder what the next face of America will be… how organized and prosperous? Or?

  133. Michael says:

    The enormity of the problem has been overstated by the right and right wing media.
    There is no “hoard”.
    As we get nearer harvest, many farmers wish to God there was a hoard.

    As I’ve tried to tell people for years now, the Mexican migration has been in reverse since 2012.

    We have significant numbers of Central American people seeking refuge…but not in such numbers that would distress either the country or those religious organizations that can and would resettle them.

  134. Xenia says:

    I see signs in the country side advertising for berry pickers. You never used to see that.

  135. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    A lot of farmers threw in the towel here…acres and acres of orchards ripped out…

  136. Em says:

    Yes, the point is valid that we need orchard and field workers (my 4 children caught the berry bus and picked strawberries).
    We’ve always had Latino citizens that chose agricultural work and the 20th century solution to the shortage was migrant workers, housed by the farmers and returned to Mexico at the end of the season. Their U.S. wages went further at home.
    In my part of the world today we have Latino ownership of orchards and probably 1/3 of our population are Latino. And every single family has their children headed for white collar employment. So the field worker shortage will reappear in about ten years.
    New York Times , March of last year, said that the estimate of employed undocumenteds is over 11 million, over half are from Mexico… that seems like a lot.. dunno… maybe not…

    At any rate, even taking into account the slanted news sources, i just don’t think it is as simple as the good hearts here want it to be…. my viewpoint is, admittedly, the accumulation of years of watching the passing scene… there is something in the air… ?

  137. Michael says:

    Actually, my mentor (who knew more about this issue than anybody) estimated the number was closer to 15 million or more.
    The vast majority of those came here before 2012 and many have been here for decades.
    I will also point out that it is those damned undocumented workers who can’t collect SSI but do pay into the system are the ones keeping it afloat.
    It’s just like the right to try to collapse it just before I get on it… 🙂

  138. bob1 says:

    … there is something in the air… ?

    There sure is.

    It’s coming from the current regime. Smells like BS.

    But it’s OK. He’s on his way out. Just a matter of time.

  139. Em says:

    Michael and bob1, i’m not trying to bring anyone here over to my point of view… just commenting from another viewpoint… and i appreciate your counterpoint, Michael
    SSI is in big trouble… my children are aware that they shouldn’t have counted on our gov’t to keep its word… hope it lasts till i die (she says selfishly)…
    bob1, i hope that your hope for the downfall of Trump turns out well for the nation…
    but as i’ve said, we have a whole lot more causing us to be a disfunctional bureaucracy than the election of Trump…
    maybe the sweet little Puerto Rican girl from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has the answers eh?
    she makes no sense to me, but i’m old 🙂

  140. Em says:

    SSI – i think the whole problem would solve in an eye blink if our congress would do two things: create a means test… if your assets, excluding your home, put you at an established amount above the poverty level, you aren’t eligible (and eliminate the Trust gimmick)… and two, stop robbing the fund for other things. Everyone who works contributes thru the payroll deduction to an untouchable old age insurance fund … if you’re lucky and dont need it to live when you’re old …?… Well consider yourself blessed
    Will we ever see integrity greasing our economic wheels, not just political speech? It would be a miracle of God’s grace. Grace which this nation has run out of, from where i sit…
    Which is probably why it troubles me to see both extremes of Church folk looking to our government to act as if they feared God…. Remember, those Biblical leaders who ran for cover under the rocks in preference to repentence?
    Somehow, the above words are always interpreted here to mean that we church folk shouldn’t defend what is right publicly… probably my poor ability to express what “i think”
    ?

  141. Jean says:

    The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.

  142. Em says:

    How differently we’d see life, if we had heaven’s viewpoint… let alone God’s… I recall teaching some of my cousins who were afraid of water to swim… the longest part was encouraging them to jump in… telling them that i’d catch them meant nothing.. all they could see was the water… God will catch us, if we get into the Christian life and run into trouble (happens!)
    I got a little smarter with my daughters who were afraid of putting their heads under… We got one of those small backyard 3foot deep pools and i told the girls to see if they could dunk mom under… they had so much fun that they didn’t even notice that they were submerging, too – don’t know if there is a spiritual application, but if you have a child afraid to put their heads in the water, you might try it ? every child should at least master a back float

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