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DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE ANGER, BUT DON’T DISCONNECT

“This House Guarded by SHOTGUN 3 Nights per Week. YOU GUESS WHICH THREE!” – Sign posted at a front door

With the intensity of anger rising daily, this statement captures the atmosphere in America today. Where there was once a general sense of civility in public discourse, the new norm is to brandish your sword, protest with vitriol and lambast your opponents.

My wife just attended a meeting in Nashville on upcoming legislative issues. An attorney shared how last week irate LGBTQ proponents shut down a similar meeting with shouting and screaming.

Barring some divine intervention or catastrophic event that could pull us together, tensions won’t simply dissolve. This reality is extremely unhealthy and the trajectory unmistakable.

Musician Charlie Daniels said days ago, “It’s only a matter of time before there is blood on the streets.”

News commentator Bill O’Reilly lamented, “I’ve never seen America more hateful – even worse than the Vietnam era. It’s worse!” (2/15/17).

Immigrants’, women’s and employee’s “walk outs” occur; celebrities galvanize their followers for “resistance;” the press is up in arms; man-on-the-street interviews deliver ugly, “bleeped” rants from hostile people, some even suggesting civil war!

Incendiary “fake news” stories about “banning all Muslims” or “rounding up all immigrants” inflame the situation. Trump calls out news outlets publicly, being confrontational rather than conciliatory. It’s unprecedented!

Young people, growing up in this environment, think lashing out is the norm. This avalanche of outrage, belittling and haranguing is damaging the soul of our nation.

Freedom of Speech?

Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom of Speech”Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom of Speech”
Iconic artist, Norman Rockwell, painted the classic “Freedom of Speech.” The Saturday Evening Post published it after an inspirational speech by President Roosevelt on America’s “four essential human freedoms.”

Author Bob Green, penned an article entitled “Ode to Civil Discourse” in the Wall Street Journal (2/10/17) describing it this way, “The setting is a town meeting. One man, in work clothes, has risen from the audience to speak. There is nervousness, and courage, in his eyes; Rockwell makes it evident that the man is likely not accustomed to talking in public. Other citizens of the town, the men in coats and ties, are in the seats around him. Their eyes are focused upward, toward him. They are hearing him out; they are patiently letting him have his say.”

Mr. Green went on to say this is “disappearing in this era when angry words hurtle past each other like poison-tipped arrows.”

This coarsening of our culture presents an opportunity for the Church to arise with the alternative! We have a magnificent chance to demonstrate what it means to be preservative “salt” amidst the decay.

Altering the Atmosphere

Years ago my wife and I spent time in Birmingham, Alabama, once “America’s Most Racist City.” In the 60s, Dr. King and Christians changed a situation on the edge of exploding after four little black girls were killed in a reprehensible church bombing.

They remarkably refused to get caught up in the anger, yet they didn’t disconnect which eventually brought change.

Across from the church is a park where a memorial stands revealing the secret. It depicts individuals humbling themselves in prayer. These words are inscribed, “May men learn to replace bitterness and violence with love and understanding.”

1. Show Humility

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God… “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jam.1:19-20; 4:6).

Weeks ago, I carelessly offended a woman when I joked, “I hear Trump put you on his Cabinet!” The humor backfired. She reacted, “He’s a bigot! I’d never do that!”

I sheepishly exited the awkward moment with a gulp.

Later I went back to Jess, humbled myself and asked forgiveness for my insensitivity. As soon as I did, she teared up, winced and told me that she’s going through a personal tragedy and should never have reacted like that. She then hugged me! And to my astonishment, she agreed there’s bigotry on all sides as we cited Hillary’s “deplorables” remark and Obama’s “clinging to their guns and religion” mockery of Christians.

2. Stay Calm

“Stay Calm and Carry On” appears on T-shirts today. Scripture says it similarly, “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Is. 30:15). The day after writing this commentary, Wall Street journalist Peggy Noonan wrote her column under this headline: “The White House Needs an Injection of Calm.” (2/18/17)
Weeks ago as I entered a roundabout a pickup truck darted in ahead of me. Slamming the brake to avert a collision, anger arose at the “idiot” breaking the law.

Hours later I pulled into our shopping plaza and the careless young driver pulled in right next to me! As I approached the driver side with a smile and politely motioned for him to roll down the window, he nervously admitted he was the culprit and braced himself for a tongue-lashing tirade.

Instead he ended up flabbergasted as I calmly mentioned the occurrence and pardoned him “the same way Christ pardoned me.” He accepted my personal testimony tract and sat stunned as I offered to buy him lunch!

“If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat…for you will heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord will reward you” (Prv. 25:21-22).

3. Seize Opportunities

“Walk in wisdom towards those who are outside, wisely using the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you should answer everyone” (Col. 4:5-6).

This passage is the foundation for the “Bullseye Challenge” initiative; helping Christians address confidently and charitably today’s 30 controversial issues. It’s needed today more than ever!

Here’s the Deal: Animosity in America is not merely temporary turbulence. Demonic forces have been unleashed that are working aggressively to thwart the spiritual awakening God is initiating in our day. We must neither get caught up in the anger nor disconnect from the challenge.

Like the early church facing threats and hostility, let’s bring healing as we pray, “Now, Lord, look on their threats and grant that Your servants may speak Your word with great boldness, by stretching out Your hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be performed in the name of Your holy Son Jesus” (Acts 4:29-30).

Let’s rise to the occasion for what can be the Church’s finest hour!

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How to Grade Obama’s Presidency in 10 Minutes or Less

“Reach for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land in the stars!”

These words appear on a sign outside a nearby elementary school. They apply to President Obama’s presidency as he departs.

To be respectful, objective and thorough in evaluating eight years of Obama in office, this commentary is a little lengthier since a breezy, superficial treatment doesn’t serve us or Mr. Obama well. Let’s begin.

Barack Obama believes his presidency has been a success. Speaking recently before a sea of “standing o” supporters in Chicago, he beamed as he rehearsed what he views as his landmark achievements: Iran accord; recession “recovery”; outreach to Cuba; Bin Laden capture; ObamaCare; and, “unleashing the longest stretch of job creation in our history.”

He used his rhetorical skills to also highlight climate change advances; “race relations better than they were 10, 20 or 30 years ago;” and “healthcare costs rising at the slowest rate in 50 years.”

His farewell address was longer than that of Reagan, Clinton and G.W. Bush combined. He referenced himself 75 times. He tearfully concluded, assuring us that “America is a better, stronger place” igniting the throngs to shout along with him, “Yes we can! Yes we did! Yes we can!”

Question: Is it possible for leaders to project prosperity and peace while it’s contrary to reality? Of course! Jeremiah 8:11b exposes officials saying, “‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.”

I’m convinced Barack Obama believes it when he says. “By almost every measure, the country is better off than when we started!” Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s unaware of the scriptural admonition, “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips” (Prov. 27:2).

Others identify more with the Wall Street Journal’s editorial, “[Barack Obama’s] presidency has been a disappointment at home and abroad, a fact ironically underscored by Mr. Obama’s relentless insistence that he has been a success” (Jan. 9, 2017).

In his “hope and change” pledge to “unify us” and “fundamentally transform America,” he certainly reached for the moon, did land among the stars but the time has come to evaluate his record.

This following evaluation of our 44th president is not personal but based on his policies and performance. I prayed for him every single day (encouraging others to do likewise) yet can’t concur with how he sees himself and his legacy.

Dealing With Reality

Have you ever faced a situation in management where your team affirmed qualities in a well-liked co-worker yet had to face the reality of incompetence? Someone can be generous, friendly, have a beautiful family—yet doesn’t get the job done? As gut-wrenching as it is, the person has to be let go.

In our case, the person is not Obama, who can’t run again, but his “anointed” successor, viewed as an extension of himself and his policies. America overwhelmingly said, “No mas!” This follows eight years of his party losing almost 1,000 State House seats, 12 governorships, 13 Senate seats and 69 House seats.

Leadership is about real results. When Alabama lost to Clemson in the recent national championship game, their coach, Nick Saban, retained his proven record of five national championships. Alabama’s football program was 67-55 in the decade before he arrived. His record is 119–19 these past 10 years.

Because millions have an emotional attachment to Obama and others want to avoid bigotry charges, his approval rating stays high. Yet the reality is this: Much of what President Obama did is not going to survive this next presidency, some not even the next month. Therefore, it behooves us to carefully look at his record and learn lessons for future generations.

Ten Areas to Assign Grades

Jerry Seinfield said, “Obama was the coolest guy to hold this office.”

Let’s go deeper, looking through the lens of Scripture and measure fruit, as Jesus taught, with a biblical worldview.

1. Economy

God directs us to be faithful stewards of finances (Luke 16:11) and steer clear of debt (Rom.13:8). We do not want to foist upon our children and grandchildren an avalanche of debt that crushes them.

Obama pledged to reduce the national debt one-half by the time he ended his first term in office. Instead he allowed it to double from $10 trillion to $20 trillion by his lack of leadership regarding reckless spending, entitlements and waste. Forty-seven percent of America’s more than 200-year debt has been accumulated during these past eight years.

Grade: F

2. Recession “Recovery”

God commands us to be truthful and not lie (Ex. 20:16). While wages have been stagnant for eight years, Obama’s administration uses cleverly worded statements to camouflage facts, confuse the unsuspecting and convey the impression that the “propped up” economy is roaring. The number of people on food stamps exploded from 30 million when Obama started to 46.5 million. A record 93 million Americans are not in the labor force, and home ownership is at a 48-year low.

His $831 billion “Stimulus Package” doled out millions to automakers encumbered with pensions; gave $535 million for the boondoggle Solyndra, the solar-powered manufacturer that went bankrupt; $1.3 million for road signs hailing the success of the Stimulus Package; plus millions in wasteful spending for so-called “shovel ready projects” that never materialized.

Grade: F

3. Health Care

ObamaCare is a disaster and will be repealed. God commands us not to lie, yet Obama promoted ObamaCare with what has been called the biggest lie of the decade that, “You can keep your doctor and you’ll save money.” Twelve out of 23 co-ops failed at a cost of $1.2 billion. Seven hundred forty thousand Americans have been forced to find new health insurance. As foretold, premiums and deductibles skyrocketed amidst calls for more and more government subsidies. Obama’s “affordable healthcare” is not affordable but a total disaster.

Grade: F

4. National Security and Terrorism

Government’s God-ordained role is to protect its citizens (Rom.13:1-6), yet our president’s track record here is appalling as he refused to identify ISIS as the world’s greatest threat, deflecting us to climate change instead. Telling us that “ISIS is not Islam,” “They are a JV squad” and are “being contained,” all the while they advanced globally and in our nation. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich finally threw up his hands and declared, “Obama is the greatest national security threat to ever occupy the White House.”

Withdrawing our troops from the Middle East prematurely and contrary to our military adviser’s counsel brought about the birth of ISIS, hundreds of thousands of innocents were slaughtered, irreplaceable holy sites were demolished and a heartbreaking refugee crisis resulted as migrants fled to Europe with multitudes dying and families devastated.

Grade: F

5. Illegal Immigration

God calls to care for immigrants and orphans, but He established borders (Acts 17:26) and required the immigrant to keep the laws of the land just like the native people (Ex. 12:48-49; Ex. 23:12). Jesus made it crystal-clear: “Truly, truly I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1). When people argue, “We need to bring people out of the shadows,” there is a reason law-breakers are there in the first place. Jesus also said, “For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:20).

Refusing to act responsibly to protect our nation from illegal immigrants, drug transporters and sex traffickers, our president promoted open borders and amnesty for any and all while guaranteeing privileges and entitlements. Laws were disregarded and lives endangered by his feckless approach. Add to this powder keg, hundreds of sanctuary cities that emerged where lawless officials ignored the safety of citizens and protected illegal criminals.

One of the primary reasons for the unprecedented popularity of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate was that tens of millions of Americans resonated with his message of stopping illegal immigration, establishing a fair and compassionate pathway to citizenship and building a wall already on the books but not enforced.

Grade: F

6. Race Relations, Inner Cities and the Poor

Jesus told us the poor will always be with us (Matt. 26:11) and that we are to be charitable and help “the least of these” (Matt. 25:35-40).

Unfortunately, the economic situation for the poor and minorities has not improved but deteriorated under Barack Obama’s leadership. The racial divide has deepened as “a mere 25 percent think the racial situation has moved forward.” Fifty-six percent believe we’ve lost ground on crime and 52 percent in race relations.

Racial division between citizens and law enforcement has been scandalous, fostered in part by suspicions sown by this president’s example in welcoming divisive race-baiter Al Sharpton repeatedly into the White House. Black Lives Matter anarchists and advocates of police assassinations have been welcomed as well. Mr. Obama’s propensity to “rush to judgment” in Florida with Trayvon Martin, in Ferguson, Baltimore and elsewhere was inexcusable and further inflamed racial tensions.

Education in the inner cities remains dismally poor while drugs and distribution prosper due to lax law enforcement. President Obama minimized marijuana usage and orchestrated the release of multitudes of criminal drug dealers for their “mistakes.” His actions communicated a clear message undermining parents and police working to stop the drug epidemic.

Grade: F

7. Military Strength, Readiness and Morale

Under President Obama’s leadership, there has been inadequate funding and clear-cut weakening of our United States Armed Forces. There were massive reductions in military equipment and personnel, leaving us dangerously vulnerable in the event of a crisis.

Military frustration is at the highest level in decades. “There’s a level of dissatisfaction among the uniformed military that I’ve never seen in my time here,” said John McCain, Senate Armed Services Chairman.

The most recent survey showed U.S. service members have an overwhelmingly negative view of Obama: 60 percent of the Marines, 53 percent of the Army, 50 percent of the Air Force and 46 percent of the Navy.

The Obama Administration promoted the “gayification” of our Armed Forces, and we’ve seen repeated undermining of religious expression among our military chaplains and officers.

Grade: F

8. Marriage and Family

Romans 1:18-27 outlines the decline of a culture that celebrates homosexuality.

President Obama’s aggressive advocacy of the LGBTQ homosexual agenda has brought devastation to the future of the traditional family. He endorsed and celebrated gay “marriage,” violated the safety of young girls by forcing school districts to allow boys who identify as girls to have full access to the girls locker rooms and showers, undermined the Defense of Marriage Act, honored the LGBTQ lifestyle by affirming people “coming out” and appointing unprecedented numbers of LGBTQ proponents to government positions and endorsed efforts to ban “conversion therapy” counseling (sharing the transformative power of the gospel) for confused youth struggling with gay and transgender issues.

Capitalizing on his influence as the most powerful person in our nation, Barack Obama worked aggressively to transform marriage, sexuality and our children into considering participation in the LGBTQ lifestyle as a normal, healthy way of life. His official White House website touted efforts to stop counseling young people struggling with same-sex attraction and transgenderism as “protecting America’s youth.”

Grade: F

9. Relations with Cuba, Iran and Israel

President Obama lifted the embargo on Cuba and hails it as a major foreign-policy achievement. He failed to gain significant concessions while normalizing relations with this communist country where imprisonment and persecution of dissidents continues unabated.

God warns of serious judgment for dishonoring Israel (Gen. 12:2-3) and daring to divide what He calls “My land” (Joel 3:1-2). Iran meanwhile has repeatedly vowed to destroy Israel.

In seeking office, Barack Obama emphatically stated he would never allow Iran, the world’s No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism, a nuclear bomb. His “Iran Deal” is viewed as the greatest foreign-policy disaster in history and endangers Israel, the Middle East and America. As Tehran has repeatedly been caught violating terms of the so-called agreement, President-elect Trump has pledged to nullify this “deal”.

Israel is the only democratic nation in the Middle East and our strongest ally. President Obama has repeatedly alienated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his most recent betrayal of Israel in the United Nations’ attempt to divide the land was seen as a last-minute backstabbing, unwarranted and uncalled for at this critical time.

Grade: F

10. Moral Integrity

The president of the United States has a responsibility to demonstrate character and integrity in his exalted position. Friend and spiritual adviser to half a dozen presidents, Dr. Billy Graham, said, “In a society which too often places a great premium on cleverness, materialism and greed, our greatest need is moral integrity.”

Sadly, Barack Obama has let us down significantly here by his example, especially in his pattern of not telling the whole story to gain credit for himself as well as not telling the truth in situation after situation. The influence of Saul Alinsky and his Rules for Radicals (dedicated to Lucifer!) instilled in him these ungodly principles which justify deception to accomplish goals.

One glaring example is his taking credit and emphasizing his achievement of capturing and killing bin Ladin. Even the uber-liberal Washington Post called him out on this in an excellent article entitled, “The Path to Osama bin Laden’s Death Didn’t Start with Obama.”

Another is highlighted by David Axelrod, his former senior adviser, who revealed Obama’s unconscionable lie in his book, Believer: My 40 Years in Politics. He described how the president crisscrossed the nation and told countless millions of children, young people and adults that he stood for marriage between one man and one woman and opposed homosexual marriage. He deliberately deceived us about his position on the most hallowed institution in human history.

Personally, I feel like I entered “La La Land” Sunday evening when I tuned into 60 Minutes and heard him shamelessly boasting, “We’re probably the first administration in modern history that hasn’t had a major scandal in the White House.” It was all just “P.R. problems,” he said.

This is blatantly untrue.

President Obama’s lack of integrity has had a corrosive effect on our nation and influenced others to follow in his footsteps. He has made so many dishonest statements regarding gay marriage, Muslims’ role in establishing America, ObamaCare, Benghazi, IRS targeting of conservatives, Bowe Bergdall, NSA spying and others that my wife and I couldn’t bring ourselves to watch Mr. Obama’s farewell address.

God outlines seven sins He hates and only one is repeated, “a lying tongue … a false witness who speaks lies” (Prov. 6:17b, 19a).

After pledging to protect all Americans yet ignoring millions of unborn babies exterminated through abortion (recall his “God bless you” speaking to Planned Parenthood?). He also falsely promised us “the most transparent administration.”

I’m afraid I have no other alternative but to place here my final grade: F

Here’s the deal: Although I thank President Obama for his service, marriage, family and sincere desire to bring about a “fundamental transformation of America,” I strongly disagree with his unbiblical worldview while promising to continue praying for him. He will one day give an account for every action he performed and even every word he spoke (Matt. 12:36).

Nat Hentoff, brilliant historian, author and distinguished columnist for The Wall Street Journal died Jan. 7 at the age of 91. His insightful assessment of Barack Obama shouldn’t be taken lightly: “He is possibly the “most dangerous and destructive president we’ve ever had.”

Jim DeMint, former U.S. Senator from South Carolina and president of the Heritage Foundation, adds the following: “Our deeply held religious beliefs have been a great inconvenience to the president. Just ask the nuns whom his administration tried to bully into providing drugs they didn’t want or need: If they taught school, they’d probably give President Obama a failing grade, too.” (USA Today Jan. 10, 2017).

What do you say?

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Trump’s Election Is a Prophetic Picture of Your 2017 Breakthrough

As we approach the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States, let’s pause to remember the magnitude of this miraculous event. Its significance: It is a sign of breakthrough to encourage each of us in our lives.

Senior prophetic leaders with whom I relate are unanimous in underscoring the word “breakthrough” as the God-ordained theme for 2017. This is not a cliché or “feel good” exhortation. It’s rooted in revelation, and we all have the opportunity to benefit from it.

Scripture tells us, “He who breaks through has gone up before them; they will break through and pass the gate and go out by it. Then their king will pass on before them, the Lord at their head” (Micah 2:13). This is a “now” word for us today.

Have you endured a longstanding illness? Are you desiring a return to “first love” intimacy with Jesus? Has that wayward child drifted long enough? Has your ministry breakthrough seemed elusive? Have you persevered in prayer, yet the heavens seemed like brass?

As a plane rattles through turbulent air and then breaks free into the calm, it’s time for discouragement and unbelief to be set aside so we may receive our inheritance.

My almost 40-year friend, James Goll, shared with me recently that this is a time of convergence and crossing a threshold after years of patiently waiting. He’s brimming with excitement, saying, “Discard disappointment, discouragement and distraction; let the flood break through the dam that’s been holding up answers for decades.”

Trump’s Election is Our Sign

I’m convinced that future generations will look back on Donald Trump’s miraculous ascendancy to the presidency as an epochal moment. People will ask, “Where were you that election night?”

All of us have stored away memories of extremely significant personal events, like a wedding or unexpected death of a loved one. Then there are unprecedented, almost unbelievable events that lodge in the collective consciousness of a nation. Can you relate to any of these?

* 9/11

* Challenger disaster

* American moon landing

* JFK assassination

* Berlin Wall and USSR collapse

* 2008 Bank/Market crash

* Cuban Missile Crisis

* The Cubs’ 108-year breakthrough

* Celebrity deaths of Elvis, Lennon, Jackson and Princess Di

We now add a 10th one to this list:

* The 2016 historic election of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton

To honor God for His divine intervention and to encourage ourselves in our individual situations, consider these seemingly impossible obstacles that were all overcome. May we not lose sight or take lightly these “un-scalable walls” that came crashing down for Trump to triumph.

20 Insurmountable Obstacles

Consider these seemingly unbeatable hindrances to an outsider like Donald Trump vanquishing “Goliath” in the 2016 presidential election. The miracle and magnitude of his victory should be savored by reflecting on each one.

1. Hillary Rodham Clinton, with decades of experience and connectedness, labeled by the current president of the United States as the “most qualified candidate for president ever”

2. The two largest electoral states and Democratic strongholds, California and New York, automatically in her corner

3. A massive and well-organized Democratic Party machine geared up to vanquish all opposition

4. The lure and excitement of electing the first woman president following the election of our first black president

5. The entertainment industry’s celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Katy Perry plus sports superstars like LeBron James with their massive followings, all engaged to elect Mrs. Clinton

6. Almost complete solidarity in the African-American community to support Barack Obama’s choice and heir-apparent

7. Overwhelming support from the Hispanic community and its influential leaders

8. Many young and older women ecstatic about electing the first female president

9. Over $1 billion available for the campaign

10. An incredibly popular sitting president actively campaigning and speaking for Hillary’s candidacy

11. A revered First Lady also actively campaigning and supporting Hillary’s candidacy

12. Another very popular former president, Bill Clinton, engaged in actively campaigning for the Democratic candidate

13. A divided Republican establishment with Jeb Bush, two Bush former presidents, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina and others non-supportive of Mr. Trump

14. Almost the entire media, newspapers and TV commentators, arrayed against the Trump candidacy

15. Academia in near-solidarity opposing a Trump presidency

16. Silicon Valley tech giants openly against Mr. Trump as president

17. Billionaire George Soros and his organization aggressively opposing Trump and supporting Hillary Clinton

18. Clinton Foundation donors, awaiting their payback, backing Mrs. Clinton in overt and covert ways

19. LGBTQ advocates intentionally giving huge sums of money plus volunteering for Mrs. Clinton’s election

20. The AFL-CIO and Planned Parenthood, representing countless millions, endorsing Hillary Clinton, volunteering workers and investing megabucks to assure her “sure thing” election

Get the picture?

Add to it orchestrated, skewed polls convincing multitudes that the election was over; an avalanche of biased, cruel and oftentimes dishonest character assassinations of Mr. Trump, undermining his admittedly flawed character; non-stop articles and commentaries by pundits outraged by Mr. Trump’s utter defiance of political correctness; and finally, images almost everywhere of a beaming Hillary Clinton projecting her “inevitable” coronation and landslide victory (Newsweek magazine even had a printed election edition with a picture of Hillary Clinton on the cover under the title, “Madam President”).

Hillary Clinton was evasive, deceptive and an avid supporter of taxpayer-supported abortion until the moment of birth. She was committed to appointing pro-abortion judges to the Supreme Court, influencing our nation for generations.

Her loss was not due to a bias against women but her lack of competence and character. Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel and Cory Aquino were elected because they were qualified, not because of their gender. Having said this, Mrs. Clinton deserves our ongoing prayers as she faces an uncertain future after this devastating and embarrassing defeat.

The God Factor

God’s people awakened after eight horrible years of the Obama Administration and the damage done in the name of his “fundamental transformation of America.” Multitudes prayed, fasted and came out of their caves to speak up and act out biblical convictions to see our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage reclaimed. Franklin Graham called it “the God factor.”

As the Inauguration draws near, let us unite in prayer for safety, healing and spiritual restoration in our land. Let’s give glory to God for a new start and celebrate while recognizing our work has just begun.

As the towering figure of the 20th century, Winston Churchill, exhorted, “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.

But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Here’s the deal: The upcoming Inauguration represents an incredible prophetic sign and reminder of our miracle-working God. He loves us and is so merciful, desiring that each one of us experience our long-awaited breakthrough in 2017, no matter how insurmountable the odds.

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Divine Direction for Donald: Remain or Resign?

“Governor Haslam Calls for Trump to Step Aside. …

“Governor Haslam is first prominent Republican in state to join growing national chorus.”

So reads the headline in our state newspaper following Sunday night’s presidential debate. Some prominent G.O.P. leaders like John McCain and Carly Fiorina echo the refrain while others are dialoguing on conference calls and in behind-the-scenes closed-door meetings on the Hill.

Donald Trump states emphatically that he is not going to step aside. Should he?

What triggered this “October Surprise” was the release of a videotaped private conversation from over 11 years ago between Donald and a relative of the Bush family, Billy Bush. In it, Trump made vulgar comments that condone inappropriate sexual conduct with women.

In fairness to Mr. Trump, something should be highlighted that’s conveniently ignored by biased media supportive of Hillary Clinton.

Hillary’s husband’s sordid sex life is surfacing once again as four victims of Bill and Hillary’s past sat uncomfortably nearby at Sunday night’s debate. WikiLeaks just revealed that a journalist told campaign chairman Podesta, “The Clintons would be well-advised to advise the people in their orbit to shut the (expletive) up about this!”

Mr. Trump has apologized, saying he was wrong for what he called “locker-room talk.” Being a “brand-new Christian” as Charisma founder Steve Strang calls him, this is probably the way he’s accustomed to acknowledging wrongdoing.

Mrs. Clinton and her campaign were quick to capitalize on this disclosure as multitudes cite her hypocrisy in vilifying victims of her husband’s immoral behavior over the decades. Repeatedly she’s said Trump is “unfit for office.” Interestingly, the same charge that was leveled by opponents of Winston Churchill in Roy Jenkin’s Churchill: A Biography.

What Should Donald Do?

Here’s the deal: Donald should do what God tells him to do! Divine direction is assured him if he comes humbly in faith and stays single-minded. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and without criticism, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, without wavering” (James 1:5-6).

How God guides him can be confirmed through wise counselors on his Spiritual Advisory Team and then he should remain resolute, remembering the wisdom of Proverbs 24:10, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”

At the end of Sunday night’s debate, the final question posed to the candidates was about the quality they most respect in their opponent. Hillary spoke of Trump’s beautiful family while he applauded her perseverance. Her husband’s nickname is “The Comeback Kid” and I think Mr. Trump respects the Clintons’ tenacity and is not about to let them trump him here!

Where Do We Go From Here?

Our 2016 presidential campaign seems like we’re having a bad dream, awakening disturbed, only to doze off then discover—yikes!—it’s repeating in more bizarre forms again. It feels like we’re being whipped around white-knuckled on Disney’s Space Mountain ride as we lurch for relief at the end of the line.

In a matter of weeks, we’ll reach that point. Soon we’ll elect the 45th president of the United States, breathe a collective sigh of relief and shortly thereafter Barack Obama will ride off into the sunset. Some will offer “Good job!” while others will say (hopefully with respect), “Good riddance!”

Since I value transparency, I state the following up front so you know exactly where I stand as we hit the homestretch.

Cruz I endorsed. Trump I support without endorsing. Hillary I oppose without reservation. The president and the candidates I pray for daily and urge you to do the same.

Yesterday I saw a bumper sticker saying, “I’m a deplorable,” referring to Hillary Clinton’s dismissive statement of those backing the Republican candidate and platform. I know it’s risky, but the alternative is anathema to countless millions opposed to her, her platform and what she and her husband represent.

Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, said recently, “The most important issue of this election is the Supreme Court. … Trump and Clinton scandals might be news for the moment, but who they appoint to the Supreme Court will remake the fabric of our society for our children and our grandchildren for generations to come.”

Be Merciful and Discerning

Jesus told us, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt. 5:7). The Bible also warns us, “Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judges, for when you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you who judge do the same things” (Rom. 2:1).

One former Republican governor of California immediately said he was now not going to vote for Trump. He’s the same guy who committed adultery with his housekeeper, fathering an illegitimate son that led to his wife divorcing him!

Working across the street from the White House and living in D.C. for 24 years, I was constantly amazed at the usual “black out” or excusing of foul and sexual language by JFK, LBJ, Nixon and more recently Barack Obama (captured on YouTube “Presidents Being Colorful”), Bill Clinton’s accuser’s testimonies and Hillary’s vulgarities and use of profanity.

These are just a handful of examples of the duplicity that is so prevalent today, requiring us to be very discerning. Again, this is not to condone or excuse comments made 11 years ago by a less mature man.

Corey Lewandowski did tell Wolf Blitzer on CNN Oct. 7, “It does not reflect or bring to mind the Donald Trump I’ve spent 18 months with traveling. I’ve never heard anything like this out of him.”

If you’re feeling a bit discouraged by all the mudslinging in this campaign, welcome to the club. Brace yourself because the modus operandi of the liberal progressives in campaigns is to demonize and destroy those standing for conservative values and America’s Judeo-Christian foundation. Remember how they shredded men of character like Mitt Romney and George W. Bush?

They excuse their own and excoriate others. The very ones promoting and celebrating abortion, homosexuality, pornography, cohabitation, adultery and licentiousness in the name of “tolerance and freedom” will raise the morality card if they can find a flaw in the opposition. They’re vicious and attack with ferocity.

May we be vigilant and also guard ourselves from self-righteousness when one of our own is hit.

Pressure Reveals the Person

Recently a much-anticipated film titled The Birth of a Nation was released dealing with the true story of Nat Turner, who led a slave rebellion in 1831. There was Oscar buzz and excitement that the “white” pattern for the award would be broken.

All this came to somewhat of a screeching halt when someone leaked that the actor/director in the film was accused of a sexual crime 17 years ago. He was acquitted but many feel the damage was done.

Pressure will prove the person in the midst of the trial.

At the risk of being misinterpreted as soft on sin, I mention the following regarding a bespectacled Founding Father graced with the title “The First American.” He was a wealthy entrepreneur, author, businessman and later a politician and diplomat.

Along the way he had numerous sexual involvements and took some heat for statements like this: “She that paints her face thinks of her tail and others!”—Poor Richards Almanac.

Benjamin Franklin is considered an American icon and legend. He worked diligently to cultivate 13 virtues like frugality, order, industry and cleanliness. The one where he had his greatest challenge was with chastity.

Understanding the presence of sin in every heart and the temptation to corruption for those in power, Ben Franklin and the Founding Fathers devised a system of government with checks and balances and separation of powers. The three branches of our government, the legislative, the executive and judicial were to prevent abuse of power and protect individual freedom.

Unfortunately, up until today, some politicians try to subvert these foundational principles in our Constitution, intended to safeguard them and our republic. I for one don’t believe the man whose motto is, “Make America Great Again” would do that. I could be wrong but I sure hope not.

I stand with Donald Trump and Mike Pence in their quest to lead our nation back to conservative principles and the greatness that comes from honoring God’s Word, though sometimes they and we fall short. Others stay the course like Dr. Robert Jeffress, Dr. James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Jentezen Franklin, Ben Carson and scores of others, probably a bit nervous like myself.

When Richard Nixon was president and feeling the heat for his sins, Billy Graham was asked if he still supported him.

“I am still his friend. I have not forsaken him. I have met and prayed with him many times.”

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Prov. 17:17).

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USA Today’s 10 ‘Trump Disqualifiers’ Actually Disqualify Hillary

Recently USA TODAY did something they’ve never done in their 34-year history. Their Editorial Board never took sides in a presidential race until now. You’ll never guess whom they’re supporting!

While they’re not officially endorsing Hillary for the presidency, they list 10 reasons why Donald is “unfit for the presidency.” Their editorial ends, “By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.”

While President Obama’s hometown Chicago Tribune endorsed Gary Johnson for president, this “unbiased,” free-in-many-motels publication presents readers with detailed arguments why we shouldn’t support the Republican candidate. Ten reasons were given to disqualify the Republican presidential candidate who was selected by the largest number of Americans ever to vote in a Republican primary in history.

My wife believes this is another attempt to demoralize and discourage conservatives from even voting since it’s a “done deal”—Hillary will win. Right?

Not so fast.

Proverbs 18:17 (AMP) warns, “He who states his case first seems right, until his rival comes and cross-examines him.” Examine their reasons for dumping Trump. Some criticisms are valid. He has major flaws and truly is a work in progress! But shouldn’t their same points apply to Clinton?

Pastor Robert Morris at Gateway Church recently told his congregation, “We vote for the person we think will do the least damage.”

10 Reasons to Also Tell Hillary, “You’re Fired”

1. Unfit for the Presidency

In their opinion, Trump isn’t fit for president, yet in 2008 President Obama stated emphatically, “Hillary can’t be trusted and isn’t qualified to be president.”

Six months ago Bernie Sanders declared, “Hillary Clinton is not qualified to be president.”

On MSNBC, outspoken actress, Susan Sarandon, said, “People feel she’s a liar … She’s not authentic… They don’t trust her!”

Why does USA TODAY conveniently bypass this?

Multitudes of Christian leaders, including Billy Graham’s own daughter, quietly support Donald Trump. I do also. While we recognize Donald Trump’s deficiencies and character flaws, we refuse to be intimidated, silenced or made to feel guilty if we take our stand with him and the Republican platform!

2. Lack of Honesty

If Donald Trump lacks the honesty that “America needs from its presidents,” how about Mrs. Clinton? Consider her whopper on national TV, “When we left the White House we were not only dead broke but in debt.”

In August, under penalty of perjury, she submitted a signed declaration in which she swore that she had directed all emails that “were or potentially were federal records” to be handed over to the State Department.

This was a blatant lie at the highest level. The FBI found thousands of emails never turned over, Blackberries smashed with hammers, servers wiped clean, immunity deals for her closest advisers and major communications deleted.

A recent Gallup poll revealed, “75 percent of Americans believe there is widespread corruption in government.” Many are convinced that Hillary and Bill Clinton symbolize this tragic trend.

3. Erratic

If Mr. Trump shifts positions, how about Hillary? Gay marriage: “I think marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman.” Iraq war … Ban on late-term abortion … Cuban Embargo … Opposing illegals getting driver’s licenses … Keystone pipeline … Trans-Pacific Partnership …

There’s more, but media bias wants us viewing these as positions “evolving” not erratic. Of course there is consistency in one Clinton area—radical commitment to abortion.

4. Ill-Equipped to be Commander-in-Chief

Trump’s foreign policy vision is said to be lacking although he has the endorsement of 88 generals and military leaders.

As Secretary of State, are we to ignore her disastrous “reset” with Russia; Benghazi calamity with four dead Americans which she attributed to the fabricated “spontaneous demonstration from a video” narrative; premature removal of Armed Forces from Iraq which directly contributed to the birthing of ISIS; and ignoring the reality of Islamic terrorism by refusing to define it and dismissing domestic attacks as done by “lone wolves?”

5. Traffics in Prejudice

Mr. Trump “appeals to bigotry” and “stirs racist sentiments.” He’s also done “clumsy outreach to African-Americans.”

Prejudice means to “pre-judge” before the facts. Has Hillary done this, especially in the area of her husband’s admitted adultery and repeated sexual abuse of women? Remember Juanita Broderick, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Kathleen Willey, Gennifer Flowers, etc.?

The liberal Washington Post said, “She discredited claims later revealed to be true …” Former White House press secretary George Stephanopoulos said, “She had to do what she had always done before … savage his enemies!”

Flowers was some “failed cabaret singer … if I could cross—examine her I would crucify her!” Bill later confessed his immorality.
Lewinsky, an intern similar in age to his daughter, was publicly humiliated as Bill denied and lied while Hilary judged accusers as a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Finally caught by DNA and tape recordings, Bill confessed his lies and immorality.
Kathleen Willey, a volunteer at the White House, says Bill harassed her sexually and then she faced “mob-like tactics” to silence her. She finally wrote Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton and was interviewed on 60 Minutes to tell of her ordeal.
Hillary labeled these victims, “trailer trash” and a “narcissistic looney toon.” Yet on the campaign trail she said, “I would say everybody should be believed at first…” regarding sexually assaulted women.

6. Business Career Is Checkered

Here the newspaper primarily cited Trump’s “six bankruptcy filings and apparent misuse of the family’s charitable foundation” with lots of lawsuits thrown in.

As a wealthy entrepreneur for 30 years, should this surprise us? Open the door on his “family’s charitable foundation” and does anyone think it comes even close to the suspicious activity and alleged corruption of the Clinton Global Foundation?

7. Not Leveling With the American People

Trump is excoriated for not releasing his tax returns when he said he would when his attorneys and audit provide the green light. You may recall Hillary being challenged by him in the debate when he said, “How about I release the tax returns when you release your 30,000 emails?”

In the debate, Hillary also mentioned a 20-year-old story about a Hispanic beauty contestant supposedly “bullied” by Trump to lose weight. The Venezuelan expressed “surprise” that she was mentioned; yet the Clinton campaign was involved with her for months. Besides her filthy video that Trump should never later have alluded to, this “innocent” lady allegedly threatened a prosecutor with murder and was the mistress of a Mexican drug lord!

8. He Speaks Recklessly

Everyone knows Trump is an outsider, New York businessman and not a “cupcake” politician speaking political correctness. That’s why so many people are drawn to him.

Was Hillary speaking responsibly as she covered up the Benghazi disaster by saying some video caused a spontaneous demonstration resulting in four dead Americans? How about when she later told a Congressional hearing on the issue, “What difference does it make?”

9. Coarsened National Dialogue

Many of us have rightfully cringed at Donald’s earlier speech patterns that hopefully Ben Carson and other Christian leaders are tempering. Are we praying for him?

Isn’t it fair to examine Hillary in the same area? When she dismisses millions of patriotic Americans supporting Trump as belonging in a “basket of deplorables,” is this coarse?

How about Hillary calling young blacks “superpredators”? Bernie Sanders referred to this as “racist” saying, “…everyone knew it was a racist term!”

10. A Serial Liar

For three decades Hillary and Bill have left scandals, improprieties, ethical questions and patterns of lying in their path. For USA TODAY to singularly brand Donald Trump in this manner is unfair.

Opposing View

“In 1980, Ronald Reagan was regarded by the Washington political establishment as little more than a cowboy or celebrity who entered politics late in life. He even made some Republicans uneasy. Along the way, people heard his vision of a renewed America. Americans from all walks of life flocked to a man who was so clearly unbound by Washington niceties and political correctness. Ronald Reagan spoke the truth in 1980 to the American people, just as Donald Trump has in 2016.”

“Opposing View” – Mike Pence, USA TODAY

The election is about five weeks away. Register to vote! Google “Voter Registration Info” to get the info for your state. Time runs out in a few days in some states. Pray! Study the platforms and vote for the candidate who best represents righteous positions for your future, your family and for our endangered United States of America.

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Why We’re Spending Our 40th Wedding Anniversary Praying Instead of Vacationing

As originally featured on Charisma News.

Order the Bullseye Challenge today!

When I returned home after hearing the announcement about the United Cry DC16 event on April 9, I wondered what my wife would say. When I heard about this national pastors prayer event in Washington, D.C., my spirit was excited, and I wanted to be there. However, it is on the same weekend as our 40th wedding anniversary. Continue Reading

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WHAT IF MY MOM HAD ABORTED ME?

I was born with a serious calcium deficiency that today could’ve prompted a mother to consider abortion. Pictures of my infancy reveal a sickly child looking like death warmed over.

There were no sonograms back then revealing a child’s in utero compartment of comfort. There was, though, an almost universal respect for the sanctity of life and my mom, being a staunch Catholic, would never have considered terminating my life. Continue Reading

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How You Can Change the World in 3 Minutes

This past Saturday in Orlando, Florida, over 1500 people packed a church building for the Awakening 2016 conference. Sponsored by Mat Staver’s Liberty Counsel, participants were inspired by speakers and ordinary citizens whose courageous actions challenged Planned Parenthood, Islamic radicalism and opponents of religious liberty. They’re making a definite difference today.
Continue Reading