Monday, August 2, 2010

When the Election is Over: what do we do then?

When the election is over, here's three things to do that will give you peace and perspective.

  1. Thank God that the election is over.
  2. Trust Jesus for the future.
  3. Pray for your new President, Senator or Congressional Rep.

Appendix A

Proclamation for National Day

of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer

President Abraham Lincoln

WHEREAS, The Senate of the United States; devoutly recognizing the Supreme authority and just government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.

And Whereas, it is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

And, insomuch as we know that, by His Divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People. We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope, authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh.

Abraham Lincoln,


William H Seward,

Secretary of State

The Senate resolution requesting the president to proclaim a day for "national prayer and humiliation" was introduced by Senator James Harlan on March 2, and adopted on March 3, 1863.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Too funny: "The Dad Life"

Last post here before the Devotional begins on July 1. My kids thought this was a riot and so did I. This is one to bookmark for your next Father's Day message. Enjoy. Next blog post is July 1 and the beginning of the Vote for Jesus devotional.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Vote for Jesus Devotional coming July 1

Here's a video to think about until July 1 when I will begin to repost the devotional VOTE FOR JESUS.

It's Coming! July 1

It's coming, four more days and the devotional will start on July 1. In the meantime, drop over at for spiritual content
or for content of a more political nature.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Introduction to the "Vote for Jesus Devotional"

And Jesus said to them,

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,
and to God the things that are God’s.”
Mark 12:17 (NASB95)

8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8 (NASB95)

Honor all people, love the brotherhood,
fear God, honor the king.
1 Peter 2:17 (NASB95)


Two things never to talk about in “polite conversation,” religion and politics. You’ve heard it for years. I have. I don’t know if the advice is good or bad from a camaraderie standpoint. But one thing is sure, it is impossible to not talk about religion and politics if a Christian is thoughtful about his faith and responsibility in the world.This simple devotional that will be serialized on the blog is about the intersection of these two great topics of controversy, religion and politics. I am convinced about three things concerning that intersection:

1) not only can these two topics be discussed rationally and insightfully, but that they must be if we are to be faithful to the risen Christ in this or any age, and …

2) the book of Proverbs is a good place to start the discussion. And finally, …

3) the message of Proverbs—that character counts—is correct, both for us as individuals and for the leaders of our nation.

It is therefore a good place to begin because it is God’s word, it is practical, and specifically, it is counsel from a ruler to a future ruler. What better place could there be to begin?

In addition, the book of Proverbs is “pithy.” It dresses its truth up in memorable pictures and short sayings that penetrate our minds and linger long, yielding in their length, greater insight with each passing glance. There is humor. There is a bit sarcasm and skepticism. There is irony. It is nuanced, yet straight-forward and even blunt at times. And above all, there is wisdom. Wisdom sifted through experience and purified by the superintending of God’s Spirit.

In short, Proverbs contains exactly the kind of thing we need in the dizzyingly complex political landscape of our democratic republic in the 21st Century. The book of Proverbs can help us think better. It can help us think biblically. It can help us think practically. Derek Kidner comments on the way truth is presented in the book this way:

“‘Make the bad people good, and the good people nice’, is supposed to have been a child’s prayer: it makes the point, with proverbic brevity, that there are details of character small enough to escape the mesh of the law and the broadsides of the prophets, and yet decisive… Proverbs moves in this realm, asking what a person is like to live with, or to employ; how he manages his affairs, his time and himself. This good lady, for instance—does she talk too much? That cheerful soul—is he bearable in the early morning? And this friend who is always dropping in—here is some advice for him… and for that rather aimless lad…

It is not a portrait-album or a book of manners: it offers a key to life. The samples of behavior which it holds up to view are all assessed by one criterion, which could be summed up in the question, ‘Is this wisdom or folly?’ This is a unifying approach to life, because it suits the most commonplace realms as fully as the most exalted. Wisdom leaves its signature… In other words, it is equally at home in the realms of nature and art, of ethics and politics, … and forms a single basis of judgment for them all.”1
Wisdom is what we need in our leaders and it what we need to choose our leaders. The issues of our time are too complex, too important, and too filled with emotion. In order to guide us through the fog of the so-called “cultural wars” we need not bland (or excited) appeals to "experience" or "change" but real, rock solid wisdom that stands the test of all time. I hope these devotions help us along that path.

July 1 will begin the first devotion based on Proverbs 1.
1. Derek Kidner, Proverbs: An Introduction and Commentary, in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series, D.J. Wiseman, General Editor. (Leicester, England and Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1964) 13, italics added

Don't Vote for Democrats or Republicans: Vote for Jesus

I am reposting the original blog for a new audience. Hope it helps you think.

Vote for Jesus Introduction

For at least 20 years, I have been an advocate that all Christians should declare their political independence of all political parties. Part of this perspective is driven by a view of the radical difference that should exist between the believer in Christ and those whose allegiance is elsewhere. Paul wrote about the radical change that ought to characterize those who follow Christ and even how they once lived in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (NASB95, emphasis added)

If I could pick up the sense of what Paul is saying and apply it to the political spectrum, "You were Green, or Republican, or Democrat, or Libertarian but then you became a Christian and your allegiance is now to him. You seek his will, his way."

A big problem with discipleship in America is that we are more American than Christian. We think that we can just add Jesus to our already existing worldview. What folly. Jesus won’t be added to anything! He wants to radically overturn every thought we ever had. He is looking for worshipers. How can we think that he would not want to reconfigure every value we have to suit his own agenda?

I am not advocating a Christian Party, but that Christians declare their complete independence from all parties and make those parties listen to the prophetic voice of the church. Idealistic? Yes. Inappropriate? No. Especially with the confused and warped values of both of the major political parties and the complete ineffectiveness of our Congress and Senate.

So in this blog I am going to serialize a "devotional for an election year" the main part of which I wrote about four years ago. It is based on the book of Proverbs. I trust that God will use it for His glory and for the purifying of His people.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Political Thuggery

Monday, June 21, 2010

Obama's Thuggery Is Useless in Fighting Spill

by Michael Barone

Thuggery is unattractive. Ineffective thuggery even more so. Which may be one reason so many Americans have been reacting negatively to the response of Barack Obama and his administration to BP's gulf oil spill.

Take Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's remark that he would keep his "boot on the neck" of BP, which brings to mind George Orwell's definition of totalitarianism as "a boot stamping on a human face -- forever." Except that Salazar's boot hasn't gotten much in the way of results yet.

Or consider Obama's undoubtedly carefully considered statement to Matt Lauer that he was consulting with experts "so I know whose ass to kick." Attacking others is a standard campaign tactic when you're in political trouble, and certainly BP, which appears to have taken unwise shortcuts in the gulf, is an attractive target.

But you don't always win arguments that way. The Obama White House gleefully took on Dick Cheney on the issue of terrorist interrogations. It turned out that more Americans agreed with Cheney's stand, despite his low poll numbers, than Obama's.

Then there is Obama's decision to impose a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the gulf. This penalizes companies with better safety records than BP's and will result in many advanced drilling rigs being sent to offshore oil fields abroad.

The justification offered was an Interior Department report supposedly "peer reviewed" by "experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering." But it turned out the drafts the experts saw didn't include any recommendation for a moratorium. Eight of the cited experts have said they oppose the moratorium as more economically devastating than the oil spill and "counterproductive" to safety.

This was blatant dishonesty by the administration, on an Orwellian scale. In defense of a policy that has all the earmarks of mindless panic, that penalizes firms and individuals guilty of no wrongdoing and that will worsen rather than improve our energy situation. Ineffective thuggery.

And what about the decision not to waive the Jones Act, which bars foreign-flag vessels from coming to the aid of the gulf cleanup? The Bush administration promptly waived it after Katrina in 2005. The Obama administration hasn't and claims unconvincingly that, gee, there aren't really any foreign vessels that could help.

The more plausible explanation is that this is a sop to the maritime unions, part of the union movement that gave Obama and other Democrats $400 million in the 2008 campaign cycle. It's the Chicago way: dance with the girl that brung ya.

Or the decision to deny Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to deploy barges to skim oil from the gulf's surface. Can't do that until we see if they've got enough life preservers and fire equipment. That inspired blogger Rand Simberg to write a post he dated June 1, 1940: "The evacuation of British and French troops from the besieged French city of Dunkirk was halted today, over concerns that many of the private vessels that had been deployed for the task were unsafe for troop transport."

Finally, there's the $20 billion escrow fund that Obama pried out of the BP treasury at the White House when he talked for the first time, 57 days after the rig exploded, with BP Chairman Tony Hayward. It's pleasing to think that those injured by BP will be paid off speedily, but House Republican Joe Barton had a point, though an impolitic one, when he called this a "shakedown."

For there already are laws in place that ensure that BP will be held responsible for damages, and the company has said it will comply. So what we have is government transferring property from one party, an admittedly unattractive one, to others, not based on pre-existing laws but on decisions by one man, pay czar Kenneth Feinberg.

Feinberg gets good reviews from everyone. But the Constitution does not command "no person ... shall ... be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law except by the decision of a person as wise and capable as Kenneth Feinberg." The Framers stopped at "due process of law."

Obama doesn't. "If he sees any impropriety in politicians ordering executives about, upstaging the courts and threatening confiscation, he has not said so," write the editors of The Economist, who then suggest that markets see Obama as "an American version of Vladimir Putin." Except that Putin is an effective thug.

About The Author

Michael Barone is a Fox News Channel contributor and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. He is Senior Political Analyst for theWashington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.