The Old Preacher

Viewing the World through God's Word

Month: September 2015 (page 2 of 2)

Mrs. Carson

O PreacherA man’s wife deeply influences his character and success.  That’s why we should know as much as possible about prospective presidents’ wives.  After all, when a man and woman marry, they “become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

So here’s an informative article by Michelle Malkin In National Review about Dr. Ben Carson’s wife, Candy.   Malkin contrasts Candy Carson with Michelle Obama.  If you think that unfair, concentrate on the good attributes she identifies about Candy Carson.

Meet Candy Carson, the Anti–Michelle Obama

Dr. Ben and Candy Carson

by Michelle Malkin September 9, 2015 12:00 AM @michellemalkin

She’s smart, she’s talented, and she loves America.

After nearly seven years of the East Wing’s politics of mope and complain, it’s refreshing to see a presidential candidate’s spouse who is always smiling. Candy Carson — wife of GOP 2016 hopeful Dr. Ben Carson, mother of three sons, and grandmother of two — is the anti–Michelle Obama. She’s a quiet but confident ray of sunshine: down-to-earth, devoutly Christian, and proudly patriotic. While Mrs. Obama first gained notoriety by carping about racism and trashing America, Mrs. Carson helped kick off her husband’s 2016 bid by playing the violin with a gospel choir as they performed a joyful, rousing rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
I met the couple, who recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, a few weeks ago during a campaign stop in Colorado Springs. Dr. Carson’s dazzling career as a Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon is well known. But Mrs. Carson’s own personal story is remarkable as a stand-alone exemplar of the American Dream achieved. The daughter of a teacher and a factory worker, Candy Carson grew up poor in inner-city Detroit with four siblings. She earned a scholarship to attend Yale University, where she met her future husband and fellow Detroit native. Mrs. Carson triple-majored in music, psychology, and pre-med. She played violin for the Yale Symphony and the Yale Bach Society. Just as her church-organist mother insisted that all her children learn to play instruments, Mrs. Carson formed a string quartet (two violins, cello, and viola) with her own three sons and dubbed it the “Carson Four.”
Feminists loved Mrs. Obama’s relentless jokes openly denigrating her spouse’s shortcomings as a husband and father on the campaign trail. Victory did not improve her dour disposition. Even after moving into the White House and enjoying multiple taxpayer-financed vacations around the world, President Obama’s bitter half bizarrely lamented her plight as a “busy single mother.” So. Put. Upon. Share article on Facebook share Tweet article tweet
By contrast, Mrs. Carson revels in her role as family matriarch and life partner in her husband’s endeavors. “The calling of a neurosurgeon isn’t easy to live out, and Ben has been required to go above and beyond the call of duty many times,” she writes in her upcoming memoir, A Doctor in the House. “The life of a neurosurgeon’s wife isn’t much easier. But it’s all been worth it. Together, we’ve been through poverty, tragedy, wealth, and joy, and I’ve come to love Ben more as each year has passed.”
Mrs. Obama regularly grumbles about juggling her various roles. “Finding balance has been the struggle of my life and my marriage, in being a woman, being a professional, being a mother,” she kvetched to Ladies’ Home Journal. “What women have the power to do, through our own experiences, is to push that balance out into the culture. If people are happier, and they’re more engaged, and they have jobs they can value that allow them to respect and value their homes, that makes the home life stronger.”
Moms like Candy Carson operate in a no-whine zone. It is a blessing to have so many opportunities and choices. Struggle this, struggle that. Time for another Aspen ski vacation or carbon-footprint-enlarging jaunt to Milan! Elitist liberal working mothers expend an astounding amount of energy letting everyone know how hard they toil, how much “sacrifice” they’ve made, and how unhappy they are if they’re not working outside the home earning “respect” from other elitist liberal working mothers. Meanwhile, moms like Candy Carson operate in a no-whine zone. It is a blessing to have so many opportunities and choices. And there’s no time to waste.
In addition to raising the Carson children, co-founding the Carson Scholars Fund charity (which has awarded nearly 7,000 scholarships across the country to academically gifted students of all backgrounds who give back to their communities), and serving as sounding board and co-author of three of the Carsons’ New York Times bestsellers, Mrs. Carson worked in trust administration, insurance, and real estate. She also found time to earn a master’s degree in business from Johns Hopkins and conduct the University of Maryland Medical Center Chamber Players.
Like the Obamas, the Carsons have experienced their share of racial discrimination and prejudice. But it does not define them. Neither have they let their phenomenal success get to their heads. “Did I ever imagine I would live in a place like this?” Mrs. Carson reflected in an interview at her elegant home with Baltimore magazine. “Of course not. Growing up poor, you try to be a good steward of the money you have.”  What a refreshing change from the arrogant profligacy that has marked the past two presidential terms in Washington. The most common refrain you’ll hear from people who meet the couple is how humble and gracious they are. They’ve made sure to instill the values of thrift, personal responsibility, and private philanthropy in their children.
Both Carsons emphasized in our visit their profound concern for their grandchildren’s future, the abandonment of constitutional principles, and the fiscal cliff that young generations of Americans now face. Attitude is everything. The narcissism and nihilism of the Beltway stand in stark contrast to the faith of the Carsons in God, their country, and each other. However their political adventure turns out, they are “ready to follow . . . whatever He has in store for us next,” Mrs. Carson writes. Keep smiling, work hard, be grateful, and play on. This is what makes America great. — Michelle Malkin is author of the book Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs.
<b>Ben</b> <b>Carson</b>, <b>Candy</b> <b>Carson</b>

(Malkin’s e-mail address is

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The Mouth Speaks Out of the Heart’s Overflow

O Preacher“When he questions my faith and I’m a believer—big league—in God and the Bible and he questions my faith and he doesn’t know me.” (Donald Trump reacting to Dr. Ben Carson)

Words not only communicate.  Words reveal what’s in one’s heart.  Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).

I read the following report from CNN and put in bold-face type the words I thought were particularly revelatory about Republican presidential primary candidates Dr. Ben Carson and Donald Trump.

* * * * *

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump pulled no punches as he slammed Ben Carson Thursday morning for questioning his faith. But Carson won’t fight back.

Instead, the retired neurosurgeon apologized for firing what the billionaire front-runner perceived as the first shot when Carson on Wednesday called the depth of the two contenders’ faith “probably the biggest” difference between them.

“I would like to say to him that the intention was not to talk to him, but about what motivates me,” Carson told The Washington Post. “If he took that as a personal attack on him, I apologize, it was certainly not the intent.”

Trump hours earlier called in to CNN’s “New Day” and laid into his rival, calling Carson — the first surgeon to separate conjoined twins joined at the head — just an “OK doctor” and said “you look at his faith and I think you’re not going to find so much.”

Trump also called Carson’s views on abortion “horrendous.” Carson is staunchly opposed to abortion now, but was an abortion rights supporter when he was younger and performed medical research on aborted fetuses in 1992.

“If you look at his past, which I’ve done, he wasn’t a big man of faith. All of a sudden he’s becoming this man of faith. And he was heavy into the world of abortion,” Trump said.

Trump is now opposed to abortion, but only after years supporting women’s right to abortions, describing himself in 1999 as “very pro-choice.”

Carson has been a prominent figure in the evangelical community for years and repeatedly touts on the stump the role faith has played in his life. He jumped onto the conservative political scene when in 2013 he delivered the keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast, diving into a heavy-handed criticism of President Barack Obama’s health care reform measure with Obama at his side.

Despite the harsh criticism, Carson resisted the urge to wage war with Trump.

“The media frequently wants to goad people into wars, into gladiator fights, you know. … And I’m certainly not going to get into that,” he told The Washington Post.

A Carson surrogate — his business manager, Armstrong Williams — did go after Trump, suggesting the billionaire was just waiting for an excuse to slam Carson.

“Mr. Trump sounded almost like a schoolyard bully that if you say something I don’t like I’m going to come at you with everything I’ve got on the table,” Williams said on CNN’s “This Hour.”

Trump and Carson have so far played nice, but Trump recently suggested he might have to start lashing out if Carson continued to surge behind him.

Carson’s criticism of Trump’s faith offered Trump the perfect opportunity, allowing him to hit Carson while remaining a “counterpuncher.”

“I’ve realized where my success has come from, and I don’t in anyway deny my faith in God,” Carson said Wednesday when asked about the difference between him and Trump, before quoting what he said was one of his favorite Bible verses.

“‘By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life’ (Proverbs 22:4), and that’s a very big part of who I am. I don’t get that impression with him,” Carson said of Trump. “Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t get that.”

Carson told The Washington Post that his comments were interpreted as an attack on Trump.

Trump has pulled strong support from evangelicals, but has also stumbled on questions about his faith, saying that he does not ask God for forgiveness — a key tenet of Christianity — and declining to cite his favorite Bible verse in a recent interview. And the New York church that Trump said he attends told CNN that Trump is not an “active member.”

Trump, who has repeatedly called himself a counter-puncher, said he was only hitting Carson because he attacked him the day before.

“He makes Bush look like the Energizer bunny,” Trump said on “New Day.”

Trump also defended comments he made about Carly Fiorina’s appearance in a Rolling Stone profile published Wednesday, insisting he was not talking about her looks when he said “Look at that face!”

“Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president,” Trump had said while sitting with a Rolling Stone reporter.

“I’m not talking about looks. I’m talking about persona,” Trump insisted on CNN’s “New Day.”

Trump did not refute the accuracy of the quote.

Fiorina declined the opportunity to punch back Wednesday night on Fox News with Megyn Kelly.

“Well, I think those comments speak for themselves,” Fiorina said. “Honestly, Megyn, I’m not going to spend a single cycle wondering what Donald Trump means.”

But then, sensing an opportunity, Fiorina added:

“Maybe — just maybe — I’m getting under his skin a little bit, because I am climbing in the polls.

* * * * *

Which mouth do you want speaking for America?  Which heart is exalted in God’s sight?

Poll: Donald Trump leads GOP nationally, but Ben Carson gains


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Discipleship 101

O PreacherWelcome to Discipleship 101.  In Mark’s Gospel, class starts after Peter acknowledges Jesus as Messiah (8:27-30).  Mark’s explicit about it: “They [Jesus and the disciples] went on from there [the mountain where Jesus was transfigured] and passed through Galilee.  And [Jesus] did not want anyone to know for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him.  And when he is killed, after three days he will rise'” (9:30,31).

So what discipleship lessons does Jesus teach?

Lesson 1:  I’m going to be killed and rise (9:31).  This is the Gospel’s heart (see 1 Corinthians 15:3,4).  A crucified Messiah is a scandal, but familiarity has softened it.   Because of pride, we’re blind to our need of him. But this is the Good News—not only because his death and resurrection were for our sake, but also because they mark out the road of discipleship we’re called to follow.

Lesson 2:  If you want to come after me, you have to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me (8:34).  We looked at this lesson here and here short, to follow Jesus we have to lay down our lives as we naturally want to live them—and in some cases, lay them down to death.   We may learn this  at the very beginning of faith or a little later.  But learn it we must.  The lesson is foundational.  Until it’s in place, nothing of any weight can be built into us.

Lesson 3:  To be first, be last and serve everybody (9:35).  We previously considered this lesson here:  Each disciple argued, “I’m the greatest”. Jesus made a little child their model (9:33-37).  Why?  Because Jesus was bottom-of-the-order servant to everyone and so must his disciples be.

Lesson 4:  Whoever isn’t against us is for us (9:38-41).  “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”  “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,  for whoever is not against us is for us.  I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. 

Welcome to denominationalism (or non-denominationalism)!  Because he’s not “one of us”  (Reformed, Arminian, hymn-singers, contemporary worship song-singers,  Lord’s table “fencers”, charismatics, etc.)  we brand him “inferior”.   The Twelve looked down on a man acting in Jesus’ name who was not one of them, so we openly or subconsciously look down on those not one of us.  Two thousand years of church history and we still struggle to learn the one not against us is for us!

Lesson 5: Better to drown than cause a little one to stumble (9:42-50).  “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.  If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,  where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’  Everyone will be salted with fire.  Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

If you don’t get that this is serious stuff, better re-read Jesus’ words!  It seems Jesus said this while the child (9:36) was still in the house with them.  So  I take “little ones” to mean “children”.  Little children are capable of “little children faith”.   But if any of us “big” disciples causes one of Jesus’ “little ones” to “stumble” (the literal meaning of the Greek verb skandalion) it’d be better for us to jump into the river wearing a concrete necklace!

This is a frightening warning!  How does a child react to a father who abuses his mother?  What happens when a child sees his father watching online porn?  How do children feel about the church “family” when they hear gossip or bad-mouthing about them?  They follow in the footsteps of the “big” guys!  How many children have been “tripped up” in their simple faith by adults who don’t take sanctified living seriously?

Jesus is so no-nonsense about this he uses his strongest language for the guilty.  Hack off your hand if  it brings about sin!  Saw off your leg if it leads you to sin!  Claw out your eye if it compels you to sin!  Of course,  Jesus is using figures of speech.  But let’s not allow grammar to soften the force of the warning!  It would be better to drown than cause a “little one” to stumble over our sin! Jesus is that serious about our not causing a “little one” to stumble over our sin!

Jesus’ “salt”-talk puzzles me.  Commentators I’ve read do contortions, but in my opinion poorly explain it.  So when I figure it out, I’ll come back to it.  Meanwhile the class for Discipleship 101 is over.

* * * * *

Ah, but wait, let’s talk test.  When will the test be?  The rest of this day.  And the rest of our lives.  You see, this isn’t a pen-and-paper test taken in the church sanctuary or Sunday school class  or online.  We take it where we live and work.  We take it in our day-to-day circumstances.  And as soon as we’re done here, it starts  . . .

 The <b>disciples</b> <b>of Jesus</b> and His <b>teachings</b>




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A Stranger & You Welcomed Me

O PreacherHave you watched those heart-rending scenes of refugees pouring out of Syria toward western Europe and wished there was something you could do?  How could we not?  My daughter, Meridith, posted this on her Facebook page.  Because it gives concrete ways to “stand up and be the church” in the midst of this refugee crisis, I’m posting it here to reach anyone she might not.   Please prayerfully consider being Jesus’ hand extended . . .

5 Ways To Stand Up & Be The Church in The World’s Worst Refugee Crisis Since World War II

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1. Be Moved 

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AFP/Getty Images

Quick Facts to Understand the Crisis:

–> One Stop to Understand it All

The world is in the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
And Syria’s civil war and the rising of ISIS is the worst humanitarian disaster of our time.

The number of innocent civilians suffering: more than 11 million people are displaced.

Half of those 11 million refugees are under the age of 18. There is no such thing as other people’s children. They are all of our children.

Why are they coming?

–> You Must Read this. 

They are risking everything, — because these families consider themselves dead already..

Right now Syrians consider themselves dead.

Maybe not physically, but psychologically and socially [a Syrian] is a destroyed human being, he’s reached the point of death.”

–> Experience the risk of desperate journey for yourself

–> Tweet a photo of yourself holding a sign saying “Refugees Welcome” and tag your government and or your government representative #refugeecrisis; #refugeeswelcomehere


2. Each One … Do Just One Thing:

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Daniel Etter/The New York Times
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Mauricio Lima/The New York Times



–> Mennonite Central Committee
–> World Relief (donate to provide backpacks for resettled children here)
–> World Vision
–> Samaritan’s Purse
–> Doctors Without Borders: Has three rescue ships in the Mediterranean, on Tuesday alone they rescued 1,658 people
–> Hand in Hand for Syria: Working within Syrian borders to provide aid. Donations are made via British currency but these are easily converted from US donations during the transaction.


–> Migrant Offshore Aid Station:

Watch how One Family Is Saving the Lives of Thousands of Migrants — Help them?

(More of their unforgettable story here: American Family Use Assets To Save Refugees Headed For Europe)
–> International Rescue Committee
–> Lending a Hand in Hungary for refugees (volunteers bring food, clothing, and emotional support to refugees)
–>Refugees Welcome (for UK and Europe)


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Bernadett Szabo/Reuters
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Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

If you’d like to help Syrian refugees stranded on the Greek Island of Lesvos, see the list below, and mail to:
Hellenic Postal Office of Mythymna
℅ The Captain’s Table
Molyvos 81108, Lesvos, Greece


Sneakers, gym shoes for men, women and children (all sizes) are a HIGH PRIORITY
Sweatpants of all sizes.
Briefs/underwear for men, women and children (all sizes)
Men’s trousers (small, medium and large) and shoes
Baby powder milk
Any non-perishables like nut butters or other long-lasting foods.
Feminine products
Sleeping bags
Plastic to cover the floor/for shade
Mats (camping or yoga mats)
Hats and caps for sunshade (adults and children/light colours because of the sun)
Electric Plug for multiple devices (european voltage)


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Vassil Donev/EPA
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Valdrin Xhemaj/EPA)

Sign the Petition to the White House to Help
Petition Canadian government to welcome the refugees
Petition to the UK to welcome asylum seekers
Petition for Australia to create asylum seeker policies


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picture alliance / dpa
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Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press
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Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

–> Americans, sign home to a Christian refugee family fleeing from ISIS 

–> Canadians, sponsor a Syrian refugee family to come to Canada through Missionary Christian Alliance
      Canadians, sponsor a Syrian refugee family to come to Canada through MCC

–> Americans, Use this US map to find an agency near you and offer to support a newly arrived refugee family. There are 9 Voluntary Agencies in the US that sponsor refugees to come the the United States and build their own local networks to resettle refugees — where is one close to you?

–>Help someone in Germany cover costs in opening up their homes to more than 800,000 refugees

–> Americans, help RefugeeOne meet needs of refugees already settled who may have seasonal needs, etc.


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Dear Aylan,

Dear little refugee boy who drowned in the sea — 

You just wanted the dirt I call home, to be your home.

That’s what they said: When they scooped up your little Syrian body on the shores of Turkey, they said you just wanted to get to Canada. 

You could have stayed with us, Aylan. Your whole family could have stayed with us.

Shalom has a new bunny — she calls him Jesse or Jojo, and Malakai calls him Peter Rabbit, and I call him Edward Toulane, and you could have come and played with that floppy eared fur ball, here on the back lawn and just called here home.

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AFP/Getty Images

You could have jumped on our couch, Little Aylan, and we would have made you an extra tall stack of steaming pancakes this morning—  and did you know that one of my favourite things in the whole wide world is to stand out in the kitchen garden in the rising fog of the dawn and eat a few cherry tomatoes?

We could have done that barefoot together, Aylan. You could have kneeled and looked for the juiciest, ripest ones. I can see it now, how the juice would have dripped off your chin and you would have grinned from ear to ear. You could have all come. There’s enough room in our hearts. 

There’s enough room for all of you in our imagination of the future, Aylan.

There’s enough room in this land, in our embarrassment of riches, for us to imagine you growing up and opening up books and bringing creative ideas and forging a fresh way and our land needed the hope of you, Aylan. We couldn’t afford to lose you, Aylan.

We couldn’t afford to lose the music only you would make, the ideas only you would have, the world that only could ever be, because you were here with us. There was enough space in our schools, in our streets, in our dreams for you.

Your were born for this land’s dreams, Aylan — not a haunting of all our collective nightmares.  

I woke this morning with you haunting all my thoughts, Aylan,  and our national motto echoing in my head: “A mari usque ad mare.” It means “From sea to sea.” 

I thought of that, when I saw that photo of you lying on that beach in Turkey, the waves lapping against your little lifeless head.

You only wanted to get from your bloody sea to our blessed sea, for crying out loud. We’re the ones literally crying out loud now. You only wanted there to be a way across the waves — the endless waves of terror, of gnawing hunger, of bloody battles, of suffocating hopelessness.  From sea to sea — for yours to ours— the whole world between us is filling right now with a sea of tears.

We’re a weeping broken mess over the war that you were born into, ISIS bombs exploding all around you, smoke filling the air over Kobani when you first inhaled this warring world into your lungs.

We’re shattered that for all of your three short years in this huge home that we call the earth, you didn’t know the sun rising over the Rockies or prairie fields of hope or countries of people all with open, beckoning doors —- you only ever knew fear, Aylan. You only knew the death and destruction that is ISIS, you only knew fleeing and running and everywhere, closed doors. We could have done better,  Aylan. You’re begging us all to do better now.

Once I sat at our breakfast table in the thin early light, Aylan, and saw a fawn run right up to our house, right up to our window and press his head right up against the glass because there were guns firing everywhere in the woods. I looked right into the deer’s begging wild-eyed fear, Aylan. I wanted to let it in. 

Why —  why in the name of Almighty God — why did we not let you in, Aylan? 

There may be seemingly impossible seas between the rich and the poor, but how in God’s name can there be distance in the family of God?

There may be seemingly impossible seas between the rich and the poor, but how in God’s name can there be distance in the family of God?

They say your Canadian aunt who lives there right at the sea, she begged them to let you in, even went directly to her Canadian member of parliament, who hand delivered a letter to Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander — but the request to let you in, Aylan, was met with a rejecting, slamming door. Hadn’t anybody bothered to looked directly into your begging, wild-eyed fear? But thanks to a strangling mess of bloodied red tape, we all instead get to look into your glassy, wild-eyed death on some Love-forsaken shore. We’re sorry. We’re all sick with this sorry sorrow. 

It may be nauseatingly hard for us all to look at that last photo of your limp body, Aylan —- but you’re seared into all of our collective conscience, Aylan, because the undeniable truth of it is: We can turn a blind eye to the poor all we want, but it could have turned out that we were the poor.

That’s why all of us, from sea to sea, across the sea, we’re not looking away from you, Aylan. The whole world murmurs their repentant beckoning, Aylan: Come to our shores.

Come to our tables, come to our hearths, come fill our playgrounds with your laughter and come fill our land with your dreams.  

There’s always enough room at our tables for those in need, because our imagination and our nation and our transformation have always fed off the truth of abundance and refuse to be poisoned by the myth of scarcity.

There’s always enough abundance and grace to welcome those in need, because it’s only by abundant grace that any of us are here — and if there’s abundant grace for us, by God, there’s abundant grace for all of us. 

There’s always enough hope because dreams always last longer than the dark.

There’s always enough hope because dreams always last longer than the dark.

Possibility is always more potent than past history.

Love always trumps death.

Love always trumps death, Aylan. 

It’s Love for all you were meant to be for all this world, Aylan, that drives us to our pens to ask lawmakers to listen, that causes us to all link arms in brave ways like the regular folk in Iceland and Germany who are banding together to say we will open our homes so the fleeing can find safety.

It’s Love that drives us to not let the fleeing be pushed off this earth and into the sea, but to come up with ways to say: Come. Come and we will hold on to you because we all belong to each other. There are dreams enough for you, there are tomatoes in the garden for you, and a rising sun and hope coming even now for you, and there is no bureaucracy or excuse or reason that can render us impotent, that can paralyze us in helping the immigrant or wild-eyed or the littlest because we know a Love that is infinite. 

When our woods exploded in gunfire, and that deer pressed its own wild-eyed fear up to our glass window, I looked into its eyes, Aylan:

How can we not move heaven and earth to let the broken in —- when heaven moved and came to earth to let us in? 

How you would have loved this morning, Aylan, if we’d let you make it to land, if you had got here…

How you would have sat out on the back lawn in the heavy mist and buried your head into the thick abundance of that rabbit. How you could have heard, right above you, the mourning doves up there somewhere in the filmy spruce trees, cooing this quieting peace…

How your eyes might have danced…

You would have seen it too —

How, about mid-morning, the shroud of fog lifted —-

and you could see a whole new world.


Each One — Do Just One Thing

Related: 1.  When You Really Need A Fresh Way Forward: The Emmaus Option
2. when it feels like the whole world is in crisis [or how a river runs through the current of things]

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County Clerk Jailed

O PreacherThe trouble started last June when the U.S. Supreme Court discovered the U.S. Constitution legalized same-sex marriage.  The 5-4 ruling required same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states no longer may reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.

In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision.  Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”  Implication:  the five justices who favored same-sex marriage grounded their decision in something other than the Constitution!  If true, the Court made law! 

Rowan County (Kentucky) Clerk Kim Davis, a professed Christian, claimed issuing same-sex marriage licenses violated her religious faith.  She stopped issuing all marriage licenses.  Two homosexual and two heterosexual couples sued her.  A federal judged ordered her to issue the licenses, a decision an appeals court upheld.  Davis’ lawyers appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled against her.

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to jail for refusing to obey an order of his court which required her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  Davis and her attorneys stated she’s been willing to have her name removed from marriage licenses in the county.  But Judge Bunning replied he would be satisfied only when Davis either issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples per the U.S. Supreme Court decision or resign.

When asked about the case yesterday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the penalty for the Kentucky clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples is a matter of the rule of law in the United States.  “I would just say on principle that the success of our democracy depends on rule of law. And there is no public official that is above the law, certainly not the president of the United States. But neither is the the Rowan County clerk. That’s a principle that is enshrined in our Constitution and in our democracy and it’s one obviously the courts are seeking to uphold.”  Pardon my cynicism, but it seems to me the president has placed himself above the law!  (Okay, that was a cheap shot.  But political class hypocrisy galls me!)

So what next?  Today Davis sits somewhere in jail–not allowed to post bail.  (Mass murderers have been out on bail!)  What’s up with Judge Benning?  Doesn’t “equal protection under the law” apply to Davis?  Is Benning angry at her conscientious disobedience?  Or does he have an agenda?

Admittedly a resolution isn’t simple at this point.  Davis is a government employee.  She could resign.  On the other hand, what of her religious freedom?  Is there no middle ground?

But something more ominous is in play.  In his blog yesterday, Dr. Albert Mohler wrote, “What this story reveals beyond the headlines is that the moral revolution on marriage and human sexuality will leave nothing as it was before. No area of life will be untouched, and no address will be far removed from the front lines of the revolution.”

Sound extreme?  I don’t think so.  Five justices have been allowed to redefine marriage.  And because Davis acted on her religious convictions, today she sits in jail.  What would we do if a same-sex couple wanted to use our church building for their wedding? Or if a same-sex couple wanted to use our service business as part of their ceremony or reception?

If Mohler is right, soon we may not be mere spectators in the “moral revolution.”  We may be participants. 


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Dr. Ben Carson

P.AllanI am unabashedly and unreservedly pulling for Dr. Ben Carson to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States.  As the headline below announces, here is his stand on the issues.  I hope you take time to read the article and become an informed voter.

Why Carson?  I see America plunging headlong and long down the wrong moral path.  A Washington insider isn’t enough; we need a brilliant, respectable, caring outsider to lead the country back to the right path.

Ben Carson on the issues: Inside the mind of the retired neurosurgeon surging in polls, rivaling Trump

Michael Walsh
Yahoo Politics
September 2, 2015

Ben Carson speaks in Little Rock, Ark., during his campaign for president. (Photo: Danny Johnston/AP)

The red-blooded Republican base of America is fed up with career politicians and ready to hit reset — if poll numbers are any indication.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has been surging in the early polls for the GOP presidential nomination. His reserved and soft-spoken personality is a far cry from the bombastic rhetoric that’s largely defined the primary race so far.

Like real estate tycoon Donald Trump and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Carson has never held elected office, but that might actually be a boon rather than a hindrance in appealing to conservatives frustrated with politics as usual.

Without a governance track record for Carson, some voters are unsure of whether he would be able to “play the game” necessary to make changes in Washington. But his commitment to conservatism is indisputable.

Here’s where Carson stands on several key issues:

National debt

Carson thinks that the government will not pay down the national debt of more than $18 trillion until a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution mandates it.

He says “career politicians in Washington” have shown that they won’t get serious about balancing the budget until they are forced to.

“Each generation’s greatest responsibility is to pass on a greater opportunity to the next generation. Our generation is failing in this regard,” he wrote on his official website. “A Balanced Budget Amendment to our Constitution will lead to a better future for our grandchildren.”

The Economy

Carson has argued for a flat tax between 10 and 15 percent based on tithing for all Americans.

“You make $10 billion, you pay a billion. You make $10, you pay one [dollar]. Of course I would get rid of all the deductions and all of the loopholes,” he said during an appearance on Fox Business.

Carson also called for gradually raising the age of eligibility for receiving Social Security and eliminating the IRS.

Ben Carson poses for a photo in Little Rock, Ark. (Photo: Danny Johnston/AP)


Carson says he does not think that the 14th Amendment should protect birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants.

In a 2014 National Review op-ed, he criticized the Obama administration for making it clear that “certain unaccompanied illegal minors would not be deported if caught.”

According to Carson, this helped to create an environment of tolerance that led to what he called the “current rash of illegal dumping of thousands of children.”

He bemoaned “incentives” for illegal immigration, such as easy government assistance and public school enrollment.

“We must create a system that disincentivizes illegal immigration and upholds the rule of law while providing us with a steady stream of immigrants from other nations who will strengthen our society. Let’s solve the problem and stop playing political football,” he wrote.

Health care

Carson says the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is a “looming disaster” and “monstrosity.” Despite the cost of $1.2 trillion, he argues, 23 million people will still not have health insurance even after it has been fully implemented for 10 years.

He supports health savings accounts that, he says, will lower health care costs while letting Americans make their own decisions about the medical treatment they receive.

Carson says that the medical community must re-establish a direct relationship between patient and physician.


Speaking on Fox News, Carson said that medical marijuana has been useful in certain cases but that he opposes legalizing the drug for recreational use — saying it’s important to remember it is “a gateway drug.”

“I don’t think this is something we really want for our society,” he said. “You know, we’re gradually just removing all the barriers to hedonistic activity. We’re changing so rapidly to a different type of society, and nobody is getting a chance to discuss it because it’s taboo. It’s politically incorrect. You’re not supposed to talk about these things.”

Ben Carson speaks with Edwin Johnson at a Little Rock, Ark., coffee shop in August. (Photo: Danny Johnston/AP)

Climate change

Carson has described the issue of manmade climate change as irrelevant. Though he says we must protect the environment, the presidential contender said climate change cannot be an “excuse not to develop our God-given resources.”

Same-sex marriage

Carson opposes same-sex marriage and says he believes in the traditional definition of marriage as one man with one woman. In 2013, he incited controversy by comparing homosexuality to bestiality and the North American Man/Boy Love Association.

“Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition,” he said in an appearance on Fox News.

Carson said he thinks people who want to “change the definition of marriage” are ”directly attacking the relationship between God and his people.“


Carson describes himself as “unabashedly and entirely pro-life.” He believes that human life begins at conception and needs to be protected from that point forward. As a surgeon, he has operated on fetuses and says they are “very much alive.”

The Second Amendment

Carson vowed that he would never support any attempt to “to weaken the Second Amendment.” He said it is not a mistake that the Founding Fathers established the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns immediately after the right of free speech — they are essential for American liberty.

“The Second Amendment is a central pillar of our Constitution,” he said. “Our Founding Fathers added it explicitly in order to protect freedom in the United States of America. It provides our citizens the right to protect themselves from threats foreign or domestic.”

Ben Carson laughs as his wife, Candy Carson, waves to the crowd after saying a few words supporting her husband in Phoenix. (Photo: Ross D. Franklin/AP)


Carson says the U.S. must maintain its special bond with Israel and help protect it against surrounding nations that “threaten her very existence.” As Israel is America’s only democratic ally in the Middle East, he added, we must never waiver in supporting the nation.

Iran deal

During a speech in Iowa recently, Carson said that the controversial Iran nuclear deal puts the “whole country in jeopardy” and betrays a “complete lack of common sense,” the Daily Signal reported.

“It [the deal] doesn’t disassemble the nuclear infrastructure of Iran,” Carson said, according to the news site. “It lifts the economic sanctions. … It allows for arms dealing and ballistic missiles. And if we want to inspect something, it has to go through a committee on which Iranians sit, and on which the Russians sit.”


In an opinion piece for the Washington Times, Carson said that conditions across the globe have improved since the United States hit the stage. People need to suspend their knowledge of American history, he said, to believe that the U.S. is the source of much of the world’s problems.

“Understanding that we are not evil makes it easier to identify evil elsewhere and to combat it effectively,” he wrote. “When we accept the falsehood that everyone is equally bad and, therefore, we have no right or obligation to interfere with atrocities occurring elsewhere in the world, we facilitate the development and growth of groups such as ISIS, which are not dissimilar to the adherents of Adolf Hitler, who also aspired to world domination.”

Carson said it is better to fight the country’s enemies when they are in their early stages before they grow into bigger threats.

On his campaign website, Carson said the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp is the best facility in the world for detaining dangerous terrorists while they await a military trial. The United States, he said, must keep Gitmo open to protect the country from potential attacks.

Ben Carson laughs during a rally in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Photo: Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette via AP)

Tax Code

Carson described the U.S. tax code, which includes more than 74,000 pages, as “an abomination.” He supports wholesale tax reform to remove the system’s complexity and loopholes, arguing that career politicians are unable to deliver the bold changes Americans deserve.

“We need a fairer, simpler, and more equitable tax system,” he said. “Our tax form should be able to be completed in less than 15 minutes. This will enable us to end the IRS as we know it.”


Carson says that Americans should be proud that “courageous men of principle and faith” founded the United States on “Judeo-Christian principles.” He thinks that secular liberals are trying to drive faith out of public spaces in American society.

Confederate flag

Carson says he does not have a problem with removing the Confederate flag from government property and acknowledges that it has been used for racist purposes. But, he said, the real issue is not the flag as much as what people use it to symbolize.

“The issue is not the flag so much as it is how people think,” he said to the Wall Street Journal. “What’s in their heart? You can get rid of every Confederate flag in the world, but if you’re still being motivated by the wrong emotion it’s not going to solve any problem.”

During an appearance on CNN, he shared a story about a racist person trying to intimidate his family into leaving a new home in rural Maryland shortly after they arrived.

“One of the neighbors put up a big Confederate flag on the barn, I guess as a message to us,” Carson said. “And one of our friends who’s a black general came through the drive, saw that and said, ‘I’m in the wrong place.’ The interesting thing is all the neighbors immediately put up American flags and shamed this individual and he took it down.”

Carson said that humans are social beings and we live in a pluralistic society, so we should pay attention to the messages we send one another.

With additional reporting from Yahoo News’ Gabby Kaufman

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MORAL Pill Exemptions

O PreacherLast Monday, a federal judge made a decision that the Alliance for Defending Freedom proclaimed was “a groundbreaking development in litigation over what it called the health care law’s contraception mandate.”

The following report appeared in “The New York Times” . . .

Judge Allows Moral, Not Just Religious, Contraception Exemptions

By ADAM LIPTAK AUG. 31, 2015

WASHINGTON — Employers do not need to provide insurance coverage for contraception even if their objections are moral rather than religious, a federal judge here ruled on Monday.

The case concerned a group called March for Life, which was formed after the Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right to abortion in 1973 in Roe v. Wade. The group, Monday’s decision said, “is a nonprofit, nonreligious pro-life organization.”

It opposes methods of contraception that it says can amount to abortion, including hormonal products, intrauterine devices and emergency contraceptives. Many scientists disagree that those methods of contraception are equivalent to abortion.

President Obama’s health care law and related regulations require most employers to provide free contraception coverage to their female workers. But there are exceptions and accommodations for religious groups and their affiliates.

Various models of IUDs, circa 1960 to 1994. Inserted into the uterus, they provide long-lasting and effective birth control, but they are not without controversy.

March for Life sued the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies, arguing that the government had violated equal protection principles by treating it differently from “similarly situated employers.” The government responded that it had a rational basis for the differing treatment, as the group “is not religious and is not a church.”

Judge Richard J. Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the government’s position. “This not only oversimplifies the issue — it misses the point entirely,” Judge Leon wrote.

“The characteristic that warrants protection — an employment relationship based in part on a shared objection to abortifacients — is altogether separate from theism. Stated differently, what H.H.S. claims to be protecting is religious beliefs, when it actually is protecting a moral philosophy about the sanctity of life.”

“H.H.S. may be correct that this objection is common among religiously affiliated employers,” he added. “Where H.H.S. has erred, however, is in assuming that this trait is unique to such organizations. It is not.”

Giving religious groups special treatment, Judge Leon wrote, amounts to “regulatory favoritism.” Moral philosophy, he said, should be accorded the same treatment as religious belief.

The government is likely to appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit law firm that represented March for Life, called the decision a groundbreaking development in litigation over what it called the health care law’s contraception mandate. “The order is the first one to be granted in favor of an organization opposed to the mandate for pro-life reasons based on moral convictions instead of religion,” the firm said in a statement.

The case also concerned two employees of March for Life who, unlike their employer, did raise religious objections to having insurance that included coverage for some kinds of contraceptives. They argued that the government had violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which requires skeptical review of laws and regulations that burden the exercise of religion.

Judge Leon agreed. The health care law, he said, had put the workers “between the proverbial rock and a hard place.”

“They can either buy into and participate in a health insurance plan that includes the coverage they find objectionable and thereby violate their religious beliefs,” Judge Leon wrote, “or they can forgo health insurance altogether,” subjecting themselves to penalties under the health care law.

* * * * *

Despite the likelihood of appeal, this is good news for us who believe human life begins at conception (what other life could it be?) and every human life is sacred!

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26a).

unborn child photo: Unborn Child 4bfe809c4a5eec51fb83351659e858c2.jpg

*Check out “Faith Life” news here!

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The Donald & the Last Days

P.AllanA column in today’s Wall Street Journal about Donald Trump reminded me of the antichrist.

Whoa there, Trump fans!  Don’t cancel your free subscription to my blog without hearing me out, please.  I’m not implying Trump is the antichrist.  I simply see a parallel between the way people are going wild over him and the way ” . . . the whole earth [will marvel] as they [follow] the antichrist” (Revelation 13:3).

The WSJ column was written by Bret Stephens’.  Here are a few selected quotes.

Since Mr. Trump joined the GOP presidential field and leaped to the top of the polls, several views have been offered to explain his popularity.  He conveys a can-do image.  He is the bluntest of the candidates in addressing public fears of cultural and economic dislocation.  He toes no line, serves no PAC, abides no ideology, is beholden to no man.  He addresses the broad disgust of everyday Americans with their failed political establishment . . .

[The ascendancy of Trump] says . . . that a movement that is supposed to believe in defending old fashioned values and traditions against the assorted degradations of the postmodern left might allow itself to be led by a reality-TV star whose [trashy] tastes in trophies, architectural and otherwise, mainly remind me of the aesthetics of Bob Guccione (founder of a porn magazine) . . . It says that many of the same people who have bellyached nonstop for the past seven years about the cult-of-personality president currently in the Oval Office are seriously willing to consider another cult-of-personality figure on the off-chance he’s peddling the cure America needs.  Focus group testing by pollster Frank Luntz suggests that Mr. Trump’s fans could care less about his flip-flopping political views but responded almost rapturously to his apparently magnetic persona.  When people become indifferent to the ideas of their would-be leaders, those leaders become prone to dangerous ideas.  Democracies that trade policy substance for personal charisma tend not to last as democracies . . .

Somewhere along the way I was taught that antichrist will rise up in a world of chaos.  Things will have become so bad everywhere that we’ll clamor for a strong leader who promises to save us.  I think Revelation chapters 6-11 imply that, and recent history bears it out.  Recall how new President Obama was going to unify this divided nation, and how he exuded hope for a new world order.

Now we have a candidate who, in Stephens’ words, “conveys a can-do image, is the bluntest of the candidates in addressing public fears of cultural and economic dislocation, toes no line, serves no PAC, abides no ideology, is beholden to no man [and] addresses the broad disgust of everyday Americans with their failed political establishment.”

Therefore . . .

  • Let’s not be carried away by Trump’s angry charisma.
  • Let’s not believe, as he said in one interview, that the Bible is his favorite book.  When asked his favorite verse, he couldn’t even loosely paraphrase one!
  • Let’s consider that we have two remarkable contenders not part of “the political class”–Carson and Fiorina.
  • Let’s realize that our primary allegiance is to the Kingdom of God and our voting should be informed by that.
  • And let’s remember that, while we must submit to and pray for those in authority (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-7), new political leaders are not our hope.  Jesus is (Titus 2:13).

For the grace of God that brings salvation
has appeared to all men.
It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions,
and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
while we wait for the blessed hope—
the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness,
and to purify for himself a people that are his very own,
eager to do what is good (Titus 2:11-14).

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