Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, October 8, 2018

The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh opens a new problem for Conservatives: supermajority. Any unchecked party is dangerous. Breyer and Ginsberg are aging. If one of them resigns or passes within the foreseeable election future, the Supreme Court would be packed with Conservative, Republican judges. Justice Kennedy had been a swing vote, a kind of wild card on the court. That time is gone. We live in a new era of a truly Republican court.

The path leading the country to this Republican control, however, was too bumpy to make Republican voters lazy. Had Democrats played friendly and kind, the coming wrath of the Republican voter wouldn't have become so big as we will see in November. With polls being reported as hopeful for Democrats, we could see even more Republicans provoked to vote in 2018 than in 2016. It almost seems as if Democrats and the media are in some kind of secret cooperation to push Republican voters.

With the economy clipping along and so many kept promises from Trump, who has a 50% job approval rating, Republican progress looks likely. There are many states reportedly in play, but that amounts to 44 Senate seats secure for Democrats and 48 secure for Republicans. The reported tossup is a steeper climb for Republicans than Democrats and, with the Kavanaugh turbulence, Republican voters won't be staying home.

In the minds of Democrat voters, a strong Republican court makes them paranoid that Republican police could come to their homes any minute now and burn them alive for flying rainbow flags. This kind of hysteria has been cultivated by Democratic propaganda, though never stated directly, being intended to get Democratic votes, though its effects will be dangerous when those votes aren't enough to win elections.

Republican strategy went correctly. By confirming Kavanaugh, Republicans acted like Republicans, which always brings out the Republican vote. Loss has always brought out Democratic demonstration. While we may be looking at an unusual mid-term victory for the president's party next month, we could also be looking at riots soon after. And, in America just as we see in the swelling #WalkAway movement, the aftermath of riots lead to one thing: repentance.

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Letters

My Authority


Authority is always given, never taken.  That’s pretty much immutable.

Father could claim authority in my life in his role as my creator, but he doesn't. That's what free will is about: he gave me the right to choose whether he will actually be my Lord or not, and it’s a choice I need to keep making, not a one-time, set-it-and-forget-it choice.

Civil government assumes (correctly) my submission to its authority by virtue of the fact that I choose to make my home within the boundaries of its authority.

Nobody else has the right to claim authority over me, though some may claim power over me (e.g. incarceration).

I can and do choose to submit myself to other authorities in my world. I have submitted much of my will to my bride with the simple commitment, “I do.” I have a pastor (not in position, but in fact) to whom I submit this: I will always listen to his input, and take it seriously, but I do not delegate my decision-making (my will) to him.

Similarly, I have invited a few others to speak into my life, though not all of them know it. However, if someone assumes that they have authority in my life, that generally disqualifies them to speak into my life. If they insist, we’ll have a blunt conversation. I am the one responsible for me. Only I can exercise my own free will, regardless of theology or psychology or civil law. The best they can do is either a) counsel me on *how* they think I should make my choices, or they can make their own choices for how they will respond to my choices (e.g. if I drive drunk, they might choose to incarcerate me), but they cannot make my choices for me.


I’ve had a goodly number of folks come into my life for the sole purpose of assuming authority over my life and my choices. I used to submit to that process, but giving away my free will has never worked out well in my world. And it insults my beloved King if I despise (= “to treat as unimportant,” e.g. by giving away) his precious gift of free will.

In my opinion, this is one of the greater obstacles to the western Church, and one of the greatest problems in many western nations, particularly my own: individuals giving up their responsibility for our own lives, choices and circumstances. 

The current buzzword for the process of not taking responsibility for our free will is “entitlement,” and it’s a doozy. The sense of “It’s not my fault!” is pretty epic right now, and it’s often accompanied by either “…therefore someone should pay me for it!” or “…therefore I’m powerless!” or pretty often, both.

So much gets resolved when we merely accept responsibility to make our own free-will choices.





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Faux Report

Barack Obama Announces Plans To Get Elected As Italian Prime Minister

obama arrested

FLORENCE, Italy – 

Former President Barack Obama has announced his bid to become Italy’s newest Prime Minister. After discovering that Italian law did not dictate that the leader of the country must be a citizen, Obama stated that he had plans that would “directly lead to his election” as Italy’s Prime Minister.

“Italy has had 17 Prime Ministers in almost as many years, and it’s pathetic,”  said Obama in a statement to the Italian people via ITV News. “In 8 years, I turned America from a depressed, Bush-era country into the thriving, amazing place it is today. If the Italian people go to the polls and write me in, I can do for your country what I did for mine.”

While there are several candidates currently running for the position, the Italian people are extremely divided on the ballots, and it’s likely that no leader will be chosen in the election. At that point, the existing sitting government can choose any person that the like, even if that person is not a citizen, and/or not a current member of government.

“I’d like to also tell the sitting government that I will work just as hard for the Italians as I did for the Americans,” said Obama. “There is no doubt in my mind that my leadership abilities will outshine anyone else you have running currently.”

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 25, 2017

China is taking a turn for the better over North Korea's "Rocket Man". Stronger sanctions, limits on trade, cutting off oil, halting banking—it was all a wise move on China's part.

At the United Nations, North Korea made no new friends. They made no indications of any change of heart. North Korea shares the same view of President Trump as the American Left: that he is crazy and irrational and should be called the types of names expected on an elementary school playground.

Even China's new best buddy, Russia, is concerned for stability in the region. It's not a threat. It doesn't sound like a threat. Russia is genuinely concerned. Conflict with North Korea is, indeed, a nosedive and it does affect all Koreans, both North and South, as well as Japan, Russia, and, of course, China. Ending trade is the best bet.

Keeping North Korea alive and kicking as a China-Russia buddy is no longer a reasonable "hopeful". Now, it's about damage control. China is being urged to consider cleaning up the dismembered parts of a soon-to-be-former North Korea to avoid other problems.

Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is expected to call an election. There's no better time to get re-elected than when the backyard "Rocket Man" is firing missiles over your country and Russia and China won't do anything about anything except cut off trade with "Rocket Man". So, from this week's ongoing drama with North Korea, Japanese Prime Minister Abe is likely to remain in office and China got more involved.

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Faux Report

Hillary Clinton Undergoes Sex Change Operation So She Has a ‘Better Chance’ At Winning 2020 Election

hillary

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 

Hillary Clinton has reportedly began taking hormone injections in preparation for a sex change operation she will have this fall. The change is being performed because Hillary believes that her chances are “exponentially better” of winning the 2020 election if she is a man.

“The reason I lost the election to Donald Trump is because I am not a man,” said Hillary to a rally of nearly 11 people in South Dakota. “If I had a penis, I would have stood a chance. Being a woman has done nothing for me in my career, and it’s time there is a big change made. A big, thick, veiny change.”

Hillary’s doctor, Dr. Marvin Richards, said that he has tried to talk Clinton out of the operation, but with no results.

“She really wants to go through with this. She’s a grown woman with a lot of money, so I won’t stop her,” said Dr. Richards. “She honestly believes that if she becomes a man – even though she’ll still be her when it comes to policies and government and opinions – will help her to become president. If she thinks so, more power to her. Frankly, I think she should just cut her losses now and retire to the beach, but hey – what do I know? I’m just a voter.”

Hillary has already begun the conversion via hormones and other drugs, and the surgery will take place in the fall. She plans to “fully expose” her/his new look come January.

 

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, December 19, 2016

Socialists worldwide claimed Trump would be bad for America and predicted his loss in the election; Russia probably would think the same and try to help him. If Russia aimed to help Trump, that would be yet one more mistake on behalf of the global club of socialists—both official and unofficial. There is no news here, though many report it as such.

The faithless elector movement has already found it’s scrutiny, already fulfilling Symphony’s prediction from just last week. Their point man is reported as a would-be fraud. And, the dwindling movement itself does not include most of the people who voted against Trump. These are only the few who don’t know how to accept loss.

The anti-Trump alarmism has an interesting history since his announcement to run. Trump makes public comments that reflect a private self-talk of “no excuse, no whining, and know which battles you’ll lose”; his opponents lost, don’t seem to know it, make progressively-more dramatic excuses of how it’s “someone else’s fault” (this time the Russians), and won’t stop whining. They seem to follow the Kübler-Ross five-stages of grief. This current suspicion of the Russians has a few contradictions…

In the “election hack” narrative, no one claims that votes were directly altered. Though, precincts in Wisconsin had more Republican votes than registered voters and Democratic precincts in Detroit had something similar. Both parties can thank Hillary for exposing those precincts in her generous reverence for honesty—but, we don’t hear much thanks.

The purported “bias” in the leaked-hacked info. implies that an unbiased leak would have been preferable. And, it ignores the reversed bias from the American media, not to mention its failure to recognize the use of “fear marketing” from the Trump opposition.

Moreover, the clearer influence of Russian propaganda has always been in sectors of education, where the Constitution is attacked, turning points in American history are left out, and Communism is touted as an ideal theory. Those who opposed Trump seem to agree with one or more of those talking points, but only seem concerned as if Russia wanted to pick and choose candidates rather than sowing doubt of the entire process itself; and they certainly show no concern for the Russian influence in their own ideology. The Russian-conspiracy theorists should suspect themselves most of all—and they will, sooner or later.

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, November 28, 2016

Hillary’s involvement in a bid to recount the election results will lead to her indictment. Before, her indictment was in question. Perhaps Trump would be “magnanimous” and not persecute his political opponent. That would make sense since political retribution is a can of worms that few want to open—except perhaps Hillary. Then again, no one is sure what she wants from this post-concession recount.

Chris Wallace proved his dated journalism nose once again; he asked the wrong candidate about accepting election results. He really expected the tables to be reversed. He questioned Trump based on his speculation of the vote rather than on the character of the candidates.

Of course Hillary would contest the results after she conceded to them. From her retributive, venomous, retaliatory mode of operation—even with every indication of magnanimity from Trump—she thought surely she would be indicted because that’s what she would do. While some speculate that Hillary hopes to sow doubt about Trump’s legitimacy and stir chaos in the nation, she’s just a wolf trapped in a corner who doesn’t seem to know that she is driving nails into her own political coffin.

Michigan and Wisconsin both could see intervention from their own legislatures and State Supreme Courts. The States could determine that the request for a recount came too late to be completed before the electoral college meets. The US Supreme Court would be divided and bounce decisions back to the States. Other speculations include Congress choosing the President and Vice President, but it is doubtful to even get that far. The States are about to display their power. America’s adversaries will quietly watch and that will make them respect America more than anything we will read in the headlines over the next eight years.

Fidel Castro died at 90 years old. He even said goodbye at the most recent Communist Party Congress. Cubans celebrated in the streets of Miami while Black Lives Matter mourned.

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Faux Report

Edward Snowden Says Russian Hackers Rigged U.S. Election For Trump

snowden

As Reported By World News Daily Report:

Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden announced this morning that he had “clear evidence” that the 2016 US election was rigged by Russian hackers in favor of Donald Trump.

“I have received confirmation through Guccifer 2.0 that malware was used in the electronic voting machines that lead to the victory of Donald Trump” Snowden told an internet conference in Berlin, speaking via a video link from Russia, where he has been living as a fugitive.

“ We aren’t surprised that the elections were rigged. Instead, we are surprised that they were rigged in favor of Donald Trump.” – Edward Snowden

READ FULL STORY HERE

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, November 21, 2016

Liberal leaders’ ill preparation of their voters should be cause enough for suspicion. Ongoing disappointment is one of the best-kept secret evils of the two-party system. If Liberal leaders truly cared so much for their voters as their never ending empathy implies, they would have made sure that Liberal voters were ready for the inevitable losses associated with bipolar politics. But, they didn’t. Why?

Ill preparation from Liberal leaders isn’t the biggest cause for question.

The Republican compromisers in Congress over-reached. For decades, they have condescended and lectured their voters on “why having a majority means they must lose”. They didn’t seem to realize that, while Left-wing voters were sissified and setup for dismay this past election, Right-wing voters were strengthened and beat into confidence. As Tolkein writes of Morgoth, “his cunning overreached his aim; his words touched too deep, and awoke a fire more fierce than he designed.” Had the Republican Congress not passed so many Liberal laws on the Bush agenda–stiff FDA rules, the added bureaucracy of DHS, Common Core and centralized education, the Patriot Act, to name a few–the Religious Right would have gladly accepted his brother as the likely-to-lose nominee.

But, this raises the deeper question that Liberal voters also are just now considering: Why do Republican politicians, ostensibly controlled by so-called “Big Wall St. Money”, vote for Liberal ideas against the will of their voters? Wouldn’t that indicate that the so-called “Big Wall St. Money” wants Liberal things to happen? Given the evidence in plain sight, Liberal voters have every reason to question their own political talking points because those points all agree with “Big Wall St. Money”. It’s only a matter of time before they finish mourning their first failure and realize what they already knew.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 14, 2016

The news in Asia is Trump. Having put their chips with Clinton, some governments in Asia are scrambling to guess what Trump’s next move will be. Japan didn’t interfere. So, things are “business as usual” in Tokyo. While Asian politicians scramble to clean up their attempt to chose America’s next president, they still might not learn from Japan’s example: It is generally best if one country does not interfere with the elections of another country.

That election-country boundary is somewhat askew where Beijing and Hong Kong are concerned. Beijing is not supposed to interfere at all, as per the condition of the H-Kexit from Britain in 1997. Beijing did, however slightly and defensibly and yet predictably objectionable, and now Beijing must intervene.

Pro-Independence lawmakers inserted a byword for China in their oaths, which legally alters the oath. In doing so, they relegated their oaths’ legitimacy to the determination of higher courts in Beijing. If they couldn’t figure out how not to invite intervention, how could they keep domestic peace as lawmakers? If they didn’t know the legal meaning of words, how could they craft laws with proper wording in Hong Kong? Though unanswered at this time, these are questions their actions begged, making their argument for the second H-Kexit less credible, but, nonetheless more infamous and more famous, depending on who is asked. Infamy and fame gain equal press. “Press” is the battle HK Independence advocates win every time, which is why some in Hong Kong argue that “press” is all they want. But, there is always more going on.

In answering the metaphoric question of whether to be the dead lion or the victorious fox, the Hong Kong Umbrella students chose to be dead foxes. Some call them “martyrs”. Others call them “dinner”. The weakness and failings of disrespect aren’t limited to Hong Kong. The rest of the world is demonstrating the same toward Donald J. Trump, who did get elected after all. Now, Asia must figure out how to deal with the decision in the US while Trump figures out how to deal with the indecision of Asia. Unlike fame and infamy, decision and indecision fair differently.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 7, 2016

China had been doing so well. Hong Kong had one of the best democratic systems of representation in the world—allowing a plurality of representatives to be elected in each legislative district. Since the Crown left Hong Kong, the number of newspapers went from three to countless. Hong Kong became a world city, dearly loved from the four corners of the world.

Then, it all changed.

The decline began with a natural sentiment against status quo. That wasn’t enough by itself. China, having possessed Hong Kong for just over 15 years, declared that politicians would be vetted for being pro-China in advance. That was the first clue.

Foreseeable anger was ignited by likely influence from media mogul Jimmy Lia—who to this day captured some of the best photojournalism of protests he likely created. The “Umbrella Movement” started as a face, but was given a name when police used pepper spray, provoking the crowds to respond with umbrellas. The Western media’s influence can’t be ruled out, but neither can many factors.

Latest episodes of the ongoing Hong Kong drama included the recent elections. A few students from the Umbrella Movement protests were running. A number of pro-Independance candidates were not allowed to run after Hong Kong mandated a pro-China affidavit signed in advance—and the election office could decide if the signers were “sincere”. Two Umbrella students seemed to get past the process and were elected, but not allowed to take their oaths. This week, after turmoil, disruption, and well-covered attention from international press, the State-run People’s Daily declares that they should never take their oaths. Beijing will decide next week. Beijing also removed Hong Kong’s minister of finance, Lou Jiwei, 66.

The argument against pro-Independence legislators is rooted in the Basic Law, a kind of Constitution for Hong Kong. The Basic Law states that Hong Kong is part of China. All laws are open to request for review. China and India both did with Britain. But, in this situation, there is no distinction explained as to the right or wrong way Hong Kongers may ask to seceded. It’s all either forced or just not allowed.

Beijing miscalculated. Free people, such as in Hong Kong and much of the West, must be governed and laws must be controlled. Things work reverse of that way in China. Perhaps China’s control of Hong Kong would have gone better had there been a powerful British advisory envoy to help China understand the newly acquired anomaly called Hong Kong SAR. But, the Chinese don’t like to take advice and the British don’t like to give it.

Hong Kong could have been happy without changes. But no one liked status quo, not the people, not even Beijing, and arguably not the Crown. The question remains unanswered: Was it Beijing’s goal to incite Hong Kongers to rise up by vetting people before rather than reviewing laws after? Or, was it the Crown’s goal to allow China to irritate the dragon by not training Beijing how to ride it yet handing over the reigns? Was it all a plot from the Western press who just want to sell newspapers? Or, is it all some alien plot managed from a secret extraterrestrial base on the moon? All possibilities remain equally on the table since we don’t really know what’s actually going on.

It is unlikely that China wanted Hong Kong to break down. It was one of the best things China had going. Hong Kong won’t be the same. Change is coming before China promised and before Britain required, one way or another.

Hong Kong didn’t see the only shuffle in the Western Pacific. Taiwan was booted from Interpol. The guesses as to that hidden hand and its motive are much less vague than guesses about Hong Kong’s.

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Devotionals, Letters

Accusations Against God.

I was thinking about God’s provision. Provision is something that God is really quite good at.

If I ask my Father for something to eat, and then I complain about what he brings me, my complaint is not merely against the food. My complaint is also against my Father who brought me the meal.

My words address the food: “This is yucky! I don’t like this.”

But the accusation continues further: “Your provision for me is yucky! I don’t like how you provide for me!” It’s inescapable.

The Israelites did this regularly during the Exodus. “Where’s the water? I’m thirsty!” “This water isn’t good enough; it’s bitter!” “I’m tired of manna; I want meat!”

We do this pretty often, don’t we?

We complain about God’s provision for us, because it’s not as generous or as comfortable as we want. We ask for a ministry, but it’s not as effective as we think it should be. We ask for a home, and then complain that it’s uncomfortable. We ask for a job, and then we fuss about the people we have to work with.

In all these things, we’re not just complaining about the things that God has lovingly and carefully provided for us. We’re also complaining about the God whom we accuse of such inferior provision.


The obvious solution to this problem, after we’ve repented (changed how we think about God’s care for us), is to practice giving thanks. “Thanks, God, for this adventure in the desert, away from the Egyptians. It sure is exciting to think about how you’re going to take care of us!

There’s one more place that Father’s been speaking to me about our whining:

I was visiting with a friend about how the Saints are pretty unhappy with the candidates for president in this election cycle (and I’m guilty of mocking them, too!), and Father whispered this verse to me:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Romans 13:1. Then he added,

“These are my provision. I’m sorry that you don’t like my provision. But you’re going to need to learn to work with them. You’re going to need to bless them, and not curse them.”

When I complain about the poor choice of presidential candidates, I’m accusing God’s fulfillment of Romans 13:1. With every complaint about Donald or Hillary, I’m accusing God of being a failure as a provider! And I haven’t even asked him about why He provided these candidates. 

(Even worse, when Paul wrote this verse, and when Peter wrote “honor the emperor,” they were referencing Caesar Nero, unquestionably one of the cruelest and most evil rulers in the history of this planet. We are without excuse.)

I’m thinking we have room to grow in how we respond to God’s provision in our government.

Let the lessons begin. Are we ready to learn? 


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Devotionals, Letters

Accusations Against God.

I was thinking about God’s provision. Provision is something that God is really quite good at.

If I ask my Father for something to eat, and then I complain about what he brings me, my complaint is not merely against the food. My complaint is also against my Father who brought me the meal.

My words address the food: “This is yucky! I don’t like this.”

But the accusation continues further: “Your provision for me is yucky! I don’t like how you provide for me!” It’s inescapable.

The Israelites did this regularly during the Exodus. “Where’s the water? I’m thirsty!” “This water isn’t good enough; it’s bitter!” “I’m tired of manna; I want meat!”

We do this pretty often, don’t we?

We complain about God’s provision for us, because it’s not as generous or as comfortable as we want. We ask for a ministry, but it’s not as effective as we think it should be. We ask for a home, and then complain that it’s uncomfortable. We ask for a job, and then we fuss about the people we have to work with.

In all these things, we’re not just complaining about the things that God has lovingly and carefully provided for us. We’re also complaining about the God whom we accuse of such inferior provision.


The obvious solution to this problem, after we’ve repented (changed how we think about God’s care for us), is to practice giving thanks. “Thanks, God, for this adventure in the desert, away from the Egyptians. It sure is exciting to think about how you’re going to take care of us!

There’s one more place that Father’s been speaking to me about our whining:

I was visiting with a friend about how the Saints are pretty unhappy with the candidates for president in this election cycle (and I’m guilty of mocking them, too!), and Father whispered this verse to me:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Romans 13:1. Then he added,

“These are my provision. I’m sorry that you don’t like my provision. But you’re going to need to learn to work with them. You’re going to need to bless them, and not curse them.”

When I complain about the poor choice of presidential candidates, I’m accusing God’s fulfillment of Romans 13:1. With every complaint about Donald or Hillary, I’m accusing God of being a failure as a provider! And I haven’t even asked him about why He provided these candidates. 

(Even worse, when Paul wrote this verse, and when Peter wrote “honor the emperor,” they were referencing Caesar Nero, unquestionably one of the cruelest and most evil rulers in the history of this planet. We are without excuse.)

I’m thinking we have room to grow in how we respond to God’s provision in our government.

Let the lessons begin. Are we ready to learn? 


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Devotionals, Letters

We Have Room to Grow in Our Prayers

I learned some things recently. I probably shouldn’t be surprised, but I was.

I’d started a discussion about “What one thing would you pray for Hillary Clinton?” (That conversation is here: http://nwp.link/FB-PFHillary .)

We had a handful of folks ignore the question and rage – sometimes for, mostly against – Hillary-the-Candidate. And we had a pretty substantial number of “prayers” that were political rants in disguise.

I get that: people have been trained to have strong opinions about this election. That always happens. Moving on…

The majority of people didn’t do that; the majority of folks prayed for Hillary, or described a hypothetical prayer. And that’s where my eyes were opened.

I was struck by the nature of those prayers. Out of a hundred or so responses, the vast majority (>90%+) of the responses apart from the political comments roughly fit into one of two religious categories:
Praying for Hillary Clinton
  1. She needs to repent and stop supporting bad things! or    
  2. She needs to have a revelation of God and get saved!
Or some variation of these two. (Full disclosure: my own prayers were in these two categories too.) They were proper religious prayers. They’re the things we’re told we “should” be praying for. 

These all begin with the assumption that “Mrs Clinton is messed up, and she needs me to fix her, and let me tell you how I’d fixer, cuz I’d fix her good!”

I’m not sure any of us would want to have a crowd praying those prayers for us. She doesn’t believe she’s doing bad things (give her the benefit of the doubt); she doesn’t believe she needs to be saved (her testimony of faith was documented in the conversation).

May I be honest? These feel a whole lot like we’ve been praying, “Make her more like us!” 

And that always carries the intrinsic assumption of “You’re not as good as I am. You need to be better, like I am.” 

Ewww. That is, by nature, something of a curse, not a blessing.

Reading through all the prayers (and I have, many, many times) leaves me feeling like I need a bath.

Relatively few responses were addressing actual issues that Mrs. Clinton is facing: health, destiny, goodness, protection, provision.  These were so terribly refreshing! These carried life, hope, faith, and (dare I say it?) love. These were the prayers I found myself feeling proud of (and they weren’t my prayers!).

This draws my attention to at least one reason why political leaders don’t like to listen to Christians: our communication (to them, among ourselves about them) is pretty unambiguous: We think we’re better than you. We’re going to fix you with our talk, with our prayers.

Our interaction with “the world” is so very seldom actually focused on their needs, their wants, their situation. Our interaction is pretty strongly “all about us.”

And in reality, it isn’t even a little bit “all about us.” Not to them. It needs to be an awful lot “about them,” if we’re going to actually connect with them.

Otherwise, we’re wasting their time and ours.

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The best part of the conversation will be on Facebook. Come join in.


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