Wednesday, May 9, 2018

American Invasion Of Normandy in 1944----Omaha and and Utah Beaches Revisited


THERE'S NO WAY I COULD EXAGGERATE WHAT AN DEEPLY MOVING AND RICH experience going to Normandy has been.  Weather and temperature were perfect, crowds and parking manageable and the scenery, especially at Omaha Beach was stunning. Utah Beach, 20 or so miles away, was less impressive visually (though no less important for the campaign).  But Utah's marvellous museum with films and massive memorabilia more than made up for it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Today May 8 Is VE Day in France, So Off We Go to Normandy To Remember The Allied Invasion D-Day That Turned the Tide in WW2

WHEN MY CHILDREN who are living temporarily in Paris asked me what I most wanted to do during my  visit here, without hesitation I said, 'go to Normandy!' As far as I'm concerned all the other attractions in Paris and Provence---where we spent 5 days last week----simply pale in comparison to this outing.  I have been to France several times and care not a wit for a lot of sightseeing beyond Omaha and Utah Beaches.

Today my son and I go there together since the rest of the family has already made the trip.  I will post photos from my phone as I can.

God bless all the brave men and women who served there and the thousands who died liberating Europe, the Jews and the world from the horrors and true Evil of Nazi Germany. God bless the Allied troops.  And God bless America.

I consider this a sacred pilgrimage.

Below, a photo I took at Normamdy on a beautiful day with perfect weather.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Sunday on Monday: The Evil of Envy


'Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,  but who can stand against jealousy?'
---Proverbs 27:4

THE EVIL OF ENVY.  This says jealousy can be more harmful than anger.  Why?  Envy is wanting someone else's life.  But it is not just that.  In envy we don't just want other people's lives,  we resent and begeudge them their lives.  In praise you recognize other people who are better off than you and you rejoice in it. But in envy you recognize people who are better off and you burn with bitterness.  John Gielgud, the great British actor,  in his autobiography said,  'When Sir Laurence Olivier played Hamlet in 1948 and the critics raved,  I wept.'

Envy is being unhappy at other people's happiness.  Envy weeps because of those who are rejoicing and rejoices if they are weeping. It is exactly the opposite of the godly state of mind. (Romans 12:5)  And the best way to stop it is to look at Jesus, about whom it could truly be said,  'In all their distress he too was distressed.'  (Isaiah 63:9).

Is there someone you feel has the life you deserve?  Is that belief and feeling diminishing your happiness to any degree?  What can you do about it?

PRAYER:  Father,  I need the ability to be happy for people who have what I badly want.  That is a love of which I am not capable but one that I really can't live without.  I do not want to live in resentment.  Help me, Lord!  Amen

Timothy Keller,  Proverbs,  God's Wisdom for Navigating Life,  May 7,  page 127

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Une Jeune Fille Avec Une Baguette

Greetings From the 16th Arrondissement of Paris

ADMITTEDLY, HAPPY AS I am to be in France with family and grandchildren and in a lovely part of Paris, I am out of my element here. Don't care for balsammic, pastries or bread, so finding my way will be challenging. We arrived early Monday morning to 30-something temps, along with wind and rain. So much for April in Paris...It's only going to get better, as we slowly get over jet lag. A warming trend and sunshine today is bringing much needed relief! The best so far? walking and small sidewalk cafes.....it's been a while since I've been here. So far nothing much changed.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday, Psalm 100-- A Psalm of Thanksgiving

IT'S BEEN A LONG, LONG WET WINTER AND VERY LATE SPRING.  On top of that, for weeks I've had a  sinus infection  that's left me de-energized and listless. Haven't known it till two days ago.  Now on antibiotics, I'm gratefully starting to feel my energetic self again.  It's a good thing--- I'm leaving today with family for Europe.  Blogging has been sparse to non-existent lately and may mostly stay that way.   Still, I may post a few pics from my phone cause I'm not taking my computer with me.  What a relief!

The sun is out today and warming our souls and spirits!  It seems a good time to post Psalm  100, a psalm of praise and thanksgiving to God!


1Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;[a]
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday: Idol #3---Need for Power

John Piper:  The Righteous Are Not Perfect, from Psalm 1, with video

A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth....the wise prevail through great power and those who have knowledge muster their strength.  (Proverbs 11:26, 24:5)

POWER.  Another overdesire is the will to power.  In 11:26 the word gains means to seize or take hold of through sheer power.  That is how ruthless men live.  By contrast, the kindhearted woman is 'characterized by grace...someone who acts for the benefit of others, not expecting a return.'  While she gives up power to serve others,  they serve only their love of power, which can take many forms.  Ambition and careerism can be driven by a desire for wealth as a means of gaining power.  The overlove of power can also show itself in people who are opinionated, poor listeners, argumentative, highly partisan, unteachable, and afraid to admit when they have been in the wrong.

As the woman gains honor, paradoxically, by not seeking honor at all, so Jesus achieved true strength by seeking not power but service. "Who is greater, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves?...I am among you as one who serves." (Luke 22:27)

Proverbs 24:5 teaches that wisdom itself---not being wise in your own eyes, loving God, disadvantaging yourself for others---is in the end the greatest power and strength of all.

When did you last give up significant power in order to serve someone else?

Prayer:
Lord, there is nothing more seductive than power. If I am honest, I confess that there are many situations and relationships I enjoy mainly because of the power I exercise in them. Help me to kill the sinful part of my heart that rejoices in that. Amen.

Timothy Keller,  God's Wisdom for Navigating Life,  page 98

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Pal Sent Me This of Her And Mrs. Bush....I, Too, Have A Fun Tale To Tell of Meeting Her

REALLY GORGEOUS PIC JUDYC OF YOU AND FIRST LADY BARBARA BUSH IN DC.  TWO GREAT, CLASSIC DAMES, TO SAY THE LEAST.  Let's talk about this and other tall tales of the Bushs and beyond over Zucchini Panko and pork tenderloin in Jackson next summer.



Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday-- Idol #2---Inordinate Desire for Comfort

COMFORT

Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will  have food to spare....Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;  whoever loves wine and olive oil will never become rich.  

---Proverbs 20:13, 21:17

A second form or inordinate desire is an inordinate love of physical pleasure and comfort.  The pleasure described is the joy that comes from the satisfaction of physical wants.  Wine, of course heightens spirits and oil was used in cosmetics and indicates beauty and sensual comfort.  The Bible isn't against pleasure per se.  Wine gladdens the heart of man and oil makes the face shine (Psalms 104:15)  And the overlove of comfort is no more wrong than the overlove of discomfort.  Sleeping when you should work (20:13) and working when you should be resting (Psalm 127:2) are both wrong.

Yet if we become 'lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:4), it leads to disaster---not only economic,  but also emotional and spiritual.  At one level, addiction to comfort can make people detached, avoiding entanglements with people in order to protect their own time and convenience.  It can also lead to literal addictions to substances and sexual practices.  Idolatry takes many forms, and it is the wise man or woman who can locate and destroy anything usurping God's place.

What pleasures are perhaps too important to you---not just giving comfort but giving you a consolation only God should give?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you left the unimaginable comforts of heaven for a life of hardship on earth for me. Someday I will live in that same unimaginably glorious world.  Until then, however, let me not set my heart on thrills, sensations, and comforts but follow in your footsteps.  Amen.

----Timothy Keller,  God's Wisdom for Navigating Life,  page 97

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Utterly Disgraceful Mueller Coup


AS USUAL, I'M  WITH DON ON THIS:

The Mueller coup

Robert Mueller's unconstitutional raid on the president's lawyer -- with Democratic Party operatives grabbing privileged communications -- is the last straw.

Mueller should not be fired.

Mueller should be arrested and charged with political espionage.
That won't happen, but I trust that something calmer and more effective will occur.

I hope that the president will empower Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz to raid the offices of Mueller and every one of the two dozen Democratic lawyers he put on the public payroll with absolutely no vetting by Civil Service or Congress.

Furthermore, Horowitz should raid their private law offices and their homes.

Then -- and only then -- fire Mueller and his henchmen for abusing the authority of the special counsel.

What a government we now have. The FBI covered up the real high crimes and misdemeanors by Hillary, Huma Abedin, and the rest while pursuing Fake Crimes concocted by Democratic Party operatives.

Sadly, this unconstitutional spectacle is only the latest attempt by the Democratic Party to invalidate the last election and overthrow the president.

If you vote for any Democrat from senator down to county surveyor this year, you are condoning this un-American activity.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday, God Substitutes: Number 1--- Needing Approval

Fear of man will prove a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.  

---Proverbs 29:25

APPROVAL.  The only way to reorder our desires toward God is to identify where our hearts are already committed instead.  Let us look at the most typical God substitutes.  The first is human approval.  The fear of man is a snare.  If we look to human beings more than to God for our worth and value, we will be trapped by anxiety, by an overneed to please, by the inability to withdraw from exploitative relationships, by the inability to take criticism, and by a cowardice that makes us unable to confront others.  Our feelings will be easily hurt and we will tend to overcommit out of a desire for acceptance.

The devastation that comes from the fear of man has many forms.  It includes parents who are afraid to discipline their children and employees who are unable to call out corruption in their companies.  But we must obey God rather than men.  (Acts 5:29)  The only thing that casts out the fear of man is a deep love relationship with God. (1John 4:18)  Then we can say, "The Lord is my helper;  I will not be afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me? (Hebrews 13:6)

Whose approval is functionally more important to you than God's?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you said that you were the liberator (John 8:36) Now liberate me from my enslavement to "the fear of man."  I am far too concerned about what people think of me.  If I have the regard of the King, why should I care about what others say?  Never let me forget this.  Amen.

God's Wisdom for Navigating Life, Page 96
Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller

********

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Spike---Saying Goodbye For Now to One of Nashville's Very Best Men

BEEN A DREARY WEEK TO THE WINTER THAT WON'T end.  On top of that,  one of my favorite guys in Nashville lost his several years battle with cancer.

We all knew it was coming since last summer,  but prayed nonetheless for a miracle.

Spike was a family man,  a terrific CPA,  a farmer and an outdoorsman who loved duck hunting and fly fishing. He had a joie de vivre that was infectious.

I and many others will miss him mightily. His death has brought me to tears off and on all week. But Spike's beloved tractor with funeral flowers in front of the church in typical fashion made me laugh!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Glorious Early Easter Morning


 MATTHEW 11: 28-30

28 COME TO ME,  all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

AMEN AND AMEN

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday, Four Things We Can Learn From Judas' Betrayal of Jesus

By Colin Smith writing at The Gospel Coalition

IT'S EASY TO DISMISS JUDAS as a villain or a victim, but I’m struck by the fact that, in many ways, he was just like me.
;;
Judas was a follower of Jesus and a preacher of the gospel, but there was a doublemindedness about him. In the end, he abandoned the faith he once professed.

Here are four things that are easily overlooked in the story of Judas.

1. The Commitment He Made

Judas made a commitment to Jesus, and there’s no reason to think he was anything but sincere in his faith. Like the rest of the disciples, he left everything to follow our Lord. Judas was actively involved in ministry, and he was given remarkable spiritual gifts. Luke tells us that Jesus called “the twelve” together—that included Judas—and “gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal” (Luke 9:1–2).

Judas Iscariot was a gospel preacher! He was given the gift of healing, and he exercised authority over demons. Active involvement in ministry is a good and wonderful thing; but it is not, in itself, a guarantee of spiritual life or health.

2. The Opportunity He Was Given

Judas walked with Jesus for three years. He saw the greatest life ever lived up close and personal. You can’t have a better model of faith than Jesus or a better environment for forming faith than Judas had in walking with the Savior.

He directly witnessed the miracles. When Jesus fed the 5,000, Judas was there. He took the bread and distributed it along with the other disciples. When Jesus calmed the storm, Judas was there. And he was there when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. You can’t have better evidence for faith than Judas had.

Judas heard all the teaching of Jesus, too. He heard the Sermon on the Mount, so he knew there is a narrow road that leads to life and a broad road that leads to destruction. He heard the warnings Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, so he knew there is a hell to shun and a heaven to gain. He heard the parable of the prodigal son, so he knew God is ready to welcome and forgive those who have wasted themselves in many sins.

With Judas’s own eyes, he saw the clearest evidence. With his own ears, he heard the finest teaching. With his own feet, he followed the greatest example. And yet this man still betrayed Jesus.
With Judas’s eyes, he saw the clearest evidence. With his ears, he heard the finest teaching. With his feet, he followed the greatest example. And yet this man still betrayed Jesus.
The human heart is beyond understanding (Jer. 17:9), and there is something incomprehensible about a person who abandons the faith they once once professed. It’s hard to understand how a young person raised by godly parents in the context of a healthy church, taught the truths of Scripture from an early age, and grounded in apologetics can give up on Jesus.

Judas’s story contains an important lesson for parents, leaders, and friends who grieve over someone they love who has abandoned the faith. They worry:
  • Where did we go wrong?
  • What more could we have done?
  • Did we fail in our teaching?
  • Did we fail in our example?
  • Should we have immersed our son or daughter or friend in a different environment?
But Judas teaches us that even the the best example, the most compelling evidence, and the finest teaching—the ultimate environment for incubating faith—cannot, in and of themselves, change the human heart.

3. The Choice He Made

Satan made a relentless assault on Judas’s soul, as he makes a relentless assault on everyone who chooses to follow Christ. We read about Satan’s attacks on Judas:

Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot. (Luke 22:3–4)
The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him. (John 13:2)
Satan entered into him. (John 13:27

The Bible’s clear statements about Satan’s activity have led some to say, “Well, poor Judas, he didn’t have a chance. Satan entered into him. What could he do about that?” But this evaluation overlooks the fact that Judas opened the door to Satan.

Judas had been stealing from the collective money bag, and when he kept this sin secret, Satan entered into him. He made a deal with the chief priests and then sat down at our Lord’s table with known sins he would not confess, and Satan entered even further into his life. Unconfessed sin always opens the door to Satan’s power.
Unconfessed sin always opens the door to Satan’s power.
Satan doesn’t gain a foothold in the lives of people who are walking in the light with Jesus. He only gains access when we open the door. As Klaus Schilder observes:
 
It is the peculiar majesty of Jesus that he can conquer man without man’s first approaching him. But Satan’s frailty is proved by this, that he cannot approach a soul unless that soul has first turned to him.
Sometimes we get this the wrong way around, fearing that Satan will somehow have secret access to God’s children, while doubting that Jesus can do anything for a person unless they open the door. But the Bible teaches precisely the opposite.

4. The Outcome He Embraced

Judas went out into the darkness he had chosen. When you get close to Jesus, one of two things will happen: either you will become wholly his, or you will end up more alienated from him.
Among those who hate Christ the most, some once professed to trust him. His claims are so exclusive, and his demands so pervasive that, in the end, you must either give yourself to him completely or give him up altogether. There is no middle ground.
The story of Judas reminds us that nothing good can come from giving up on Jesus Christ.
Only those who have never known him can remain indifferent to him. For those who get close, the only outcomes are full devotion or eventual antagonism; and every day, each of us is heading in one direction or the other.

In an age when many are abandoning the faith they once professed, the story of Judas warns us to guard our hearts, lest we drift away. The story of Judas also equips us to reach out to those who may be close to walking away from the faith. Christ calls us to “be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire” (Jude 22–23). Finally, the story of Judas reminds us that nothing good can come from giving up on Jesus Christ. He is of supreme value, and following him is worth any cost.




Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sunday: Understanding the Human Heart

PROVERBS 4:14-16

DO NOT STEP FOOT on  the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers.  Avoid it, do not travel on it and go on your way.  For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.

ACTIONS, NOT FEELINGS, SHAPE THE HEART 

Walking on a path always  takes you somewhere.  Life is likened to a path because every action takes you somewhere.  That is, the act changes you, making it easier for you to do it again.  Eventually it becomes so natural to be cruel and selfish that you cannot rest unless you are doing it. "Sow a thought, reap an action;  sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character;  sow a character, reap a destiny.'

Modern people (wrongly) think feelings determine what we do and that it is hypocritical to act loving if they don't feel loving.  Proverbs, however, tells us that our actions, and thoughts, shape our feelings.  So if you don't feel love for someone, don't let that stop you. Do the actions of love, and often the feelings will follow. When Jesus tells us to love our opponents (Matthew 5:43-48), he does not mean to work up warm feelings. He is telling us to seek our opponents' good, even at a sacrifice. So start doing the actions of love----take that path  (which is often very difficult)---and you will see your heart changing.

Think of one hard-to-love person in your life.  What practical things could you do to begin to love them better?

PRAYER:  Lord, the feelings of my heart are so unruly, but teach me how to exhort my heart rather than simply listening to it ( Psalms 42:5, 103:1-5) And help me in my resolve to also take charge of it by loving and obeying what you command.  Amen.

Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller, God's Wisdom for Navigating Life

March 24,  Page 83

**********

PROVERBS 4:18-19

THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.  But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness, they do not know what makes them stumble.

ACTIONS OPEN THE EYES.

The paths of love and of selfishness lead to two different end points.  But they also differ along the way.  One path brightens gradually and the other darkens.  The darkness represents increasing self-deception (and self-absorption). We say, "I'm not proud, just confident.  I'm not abrasive, just direct.  I'm not greedy just sharp in business." The more we follow the path of self, the more we live in denial until,  when life breaks down, we do not know what makes us stumble.  Self-deception is not the worst thing you can do, but it's the means by which we do the very worst things. The sin that is most distorting your life right now, is the one you can't see.

On the other hand, those growing in grace (2 Peter 3:18) take the path shining even brighter. They see more and more things about God and themselves that they were denying.  Why? The gospel so assures us of God's love that we are finally capable of admitting the worst about ourselves.  In his love, based on Christ's work, not ours, it is finally safe to do so.

Ask two or three good friends, "What is a character flaw of mine that others can see but I can't see as clearly?"

PRAYER:  Lord, there is no more important petition than this one----show me my hidden faults.  Amen.

Keller, page 84

Friday, March 23, 2018

President Trump Weenied Out On Vetoing A Shameful Montrosity---What A Disapppintment

IF TRUMP IS TO KEEP HIS CONSTITUENCY, HE MUST VETO THIS GARGANTUAN BILL.  And insist on more border security, including more monies for The Wall.

And speaking in the 'common' parlance of the day featuring Stormi and Karen, it is an orgy of fiscal lack of discipline and restraint.

Trump must do the right thing amd veto.

My New Studio Office/Guest Quarters/Get Away From Noise Retreat


BEEN GETTING THIS FABULOUS NEW SPACE MOVED TO WHITE BLUFF AND SET UP over the past few days.  There are  also several  other pressing projects pending as spring teases us into thinking, hoping! she's almost---but not quite-- here.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday, Yet Man Is Born to Trouble As Sparks Fly Upword (Job 5:7)


NO SURPRISE.  Sparks fly upward from a fire natually,  so human suffering is inevitable.  God told us so in Genesis 3:13-19)  so we should not be shocked at suffering.  Modern Western people are more traumatized by it than others.  We have too much faith in our technology and our democratic institutions, and we are conditioned by our secular, materialistic culture to seek most of our happiness in fragile things like looks,  wealth and pleasure.

It is wise, however, to be ready for suffering.  Often most of the painful emotions people experience during adversity are actually  the shock and surprise that they are suffering at all. Even many Christians believe won't let really bad things happen to them.  But Jesus himself disproves that. If God allowed a perfect man to suffer terribly for a greater, wonderful good, why should we think that might not happen to us?   "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal.....as something strange were happening to you." (1Peter 4:12)

How can we have fellowship with Jesus in our suffering?

PRAYER: Lord, as I read about your life in the gospels, I see you experencing pain and rejection on every page.  Yet somehow I assume that I deserve a better life than you!  My heart's foolishness is so deep when it comes to suffering.  Make me ready for it.  Amen.

----Timothy Keller,  God's Wisdom for Navigating Life,  page 76

Monday, March 12, 2018

President Trump's Remarks At the Gridiron Recently

Gridiron

Thank you all very much. Melania and I are thrilled to be here. It’s been another calm and quiet week at the White House. We finally have it running like a fine-tuned machine. 

I know the Gridiron is an old tradition in Washington and one that’s important to many of you in the media—so I was very excited for the invitation to come here and spoil it in person.

My staff was concerned heading into this dinner that I couldn’t do self-deprecating humor. I told them not to worry—nobody does self-deprecating better than me. 

They told me my remarks tonight should be something like a late-night routine. So in preparation, I did what any good late-night comic does these days—I called Chuck Schumer to ask him for talking points.

Mike Pence is doing a fantastic job as our Vice President—or as I call him, the Apprentice.

He’s showing a particularly keen interest in the news these days. He starts out each morning asking, “Has he been impeached yet?”

It’s great to see Attorney General Sessions here tonight. The truth is I have some thoughts for Jeff that are best shared in private. Which is why I will be posting them on Twitter later this evening.

It’s also nice to see Jake Tapper from CNN. He recently said that the “job of the press is not to be liked.” Jake, mission accomplished.

As I’m sure you’ve seen, we are now riding high in the polls. The numbers are looking really good. A lot of people said I wouldn’t be able to do so well after losing my chief strategist. But somehow, we’re still doing great, even without Omarosa. 

The unfortunate thing about tonight is that no matter how well I do, no matter how amazing my jokes—I could be even better than Bob Hope, and you’ll all write stories titled, “In First Gridiron Speech, Trump fails to mention Russia.” I’ve also steered clear of the bar area—I don’t need stories headlined "Trump spotted at bar with white Russians." 

I do enjoy gatherings like these that give me the chance to socialize with members of the opposition party. And it’s also great to see some Democrats here too.

I know New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu feels right at home in Washington.  Coming from Louisiana, he’s used to being in a swamp. Mitch, while you’re here in our nation’s capital, I only have one request: Please don’t touch the statues.

I thought my State of the Union Address was very good. In fact, Louis Gutierrez was so overcome with emotion, he had to leave the chamber. I probably could have found a way to get the Democrats to stand and applaud, but I decided not to include a salute to Fidel Castro. 

I’ve been watching Nancy Pelosi lately, acting like she’s some sort of Populist. She’s worth more than $100 million. We all know you can’t be a real populist unless you’re worth at least $10 billion.

You also have to have the right kind of ideas—ideas like DRAIN THE SWAMP, LOCK HER UP, and BUILD THE WALL. Nancy has been trying out some new ideas of her own. But MOW THE GRASS doesn’t pack the same punch. 

I was hoping we’d see Adam Schiff tonight.  He was going to come until he heard there were no cameras.

Adam is constantly on TV pushing the absurd idea that I want to undermine democracy. But I have great respect for the four branches of government: The Executive, the Legislative, the Judicial, and Fox and Friends.      
       
There’s talk about Joe Biden getting into the race in 2020.  Give me a break.  A guy who keeps making outrageous statements thinks he has a shot at being president?

I hear a lot about the Dreamers.  I have nothing against them.  The Democrats can dream all they want about winning in 2020.

Oprah says she’ll run only if she gets the go-ahead from the Almighty. Alright, Oprah—go, ahead.

I will say, Elizabeth Warren has a unique plan for how to ease world tensions—sitting down with the leaders of Iran and North Korea and smoking a peace pipe.

I have been asked if I'd be willing to smooth things over with our adversaries by making a trip to a hostile country.  Yes—I'll be visiting California very soon.

I don't rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un in North Korea.  As far as having o deal with a madman is concerned -- that's his problem.

In fact, General Kelly is one tough cookie and he’s doing an amazing job. He even tells me he’s going to let Jared and Ivanka visit me in the Oval Office on my birthday.

That reminds me: I want to apologize for the slight delay in getting started this evening. Jared had some trouble getting through security.

There’s been a lot of discussion about Jared’s clearance. To be honest, it’s not a big deal. You don’t think I had a thorough background check done before I let him marry my daughter?

Many people have asked how my time as a reality TV host prepared me for the Presidency. The truth is, there’s very little overlap between the two. In one job, I had to manage a cut-throat cast of characters desperate for TV time, totally unprepared for their roles, and each week afraid of being fired. In the other job, I was the host of a smash-hit reality TV show. 

Well, I better wrap up-- I have to be up early tomorrow. Fox and Friends comes on at six. 

This was a beautiful dinner, and I will say the wait staff was very helpful. When they put down my plate, the waiter asked, “Mr. President, do you want fries and 12 Diet Cokes to go with that?”

I do want to say this is one of the best times I can ever remember having with the media. This might be the most fun since watching your faces on election night.

In all seriousness, it truly has been a wonderful evening. It has also been an opportunity for us to pause and remember how privileged we are to be here. All of us are temporary players in two of the great traditions of American life: a free press, and a representative government. For America to be strong, we need each of those traditions to be great and worthy of the people’s trust. So whether we work in the halls of government or in the newsroom, let us strive to embody the best of these historic traditions and to serve the nation that we all love so much.

Thank you and GOODNIGHT.
**********************
Thanks Judy for sending! Classic Trump.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Proverbs 31---Leadership Is Lonely At the Top


(This has been a tumultuous week in Nashville politics as former Mayor Megan Barry was forced to resign due to a two-year affair with her body guard, as well as due to the misallocations of tax payers' monies during the onging heat of this passion.  The following devotional is to remind us of God's way of leadership and how lonely it can be at the top for a truly righteous leader who is able to withstand the temptations inherent in leadership:)

“Oh, son of mine, what can you be thinking of!
    Child whom I bore! The son I dedicated to God!
Don’t dissipate your virility on fortune-hunting women,
    promiscuous women who shipwreck leaders.

4-7 “Leaders can’t afford to make fools of themselves,
    gulping wine and swilling beer,
Lest, hung over, they don’t know right from wrong,
    and the people who depend on them are hurt.
Use wine and beer only as sedatives,
    to kill the pain and dull the ache
Of the terminally ill,
    for whom life is a living death.

Proverbs 31: 3-7

LEADERS ARE ALONE from God's Wisdom for Navigating Life with Tim and Kathy Keller)

This is the advice of a royal mother to her son, the young King Lemuel (31:1-2)
Proverbs is filled with  warnings against sexual immorality and abuse of alcohol, but leaders have even more need for self-control, because of their power to do good or ill.  When Lemuel's mother proposes that those without power drink till they are drunk, she is actually making a rhetoric point.  Others might have a drinking binge or wild affair,  but leaders must not do this, for it could destabilize a whole nation (or city!).

Leadership, then, is lonely.  Leaders cannot allow themselves many of the indulgences others have. Because of the peculiar stresses and sacrifices leaders make, they can be prone to self-pity, to engage in a secret affair or addiction, because they say to themselves, "After all I've done, I deserve this."

But they must not do this.  After all, the rights of the oppressed are on their shoulders. John the Baptist was unjustly executed by a sovereign whose pride and fears were out-of-control (Mark 6:21-29)  Don't be a leader, or in ministry, unless you accept the high standards for self-control and dependence on God.

Have you been in positions in which you sensed the loneliness of leadership? Can that help you imagine what it is like higher up?

PRAYER:  Lord, I have come to see that doing right, telling the truth, going against the evil tide----can be so lonely.  When I'm tempted to give in, help me to remember your loneliness.  In order to save me, you bore rejection not only of enemies and of friends, but of your Father----and all for me.  Amen.

-----page  325



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Will David Fox, Narrowly Defeated by Barry in 2015, Run For Mayor?

UPDATE: US FOREST SERVICE CHIEF RESIGNS AMID ALLEGED SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

UPDATE: IS FORMER MAYOR BARRY'S EX-SECURITY LOVER THE REAL VICTIM? Actually, they victimized Nashville, themselves and each other. There's enough victimization, deceit,  and suffering (featuring depraved nude photos) to go around for years to come. 

I CERTAINLY HOPE SO. I HAVE IT ON GOOD AUTHORITY FOX WILL DECIDE WHETHER TO RUN AGAIN in the next few days. Without doubt he's a very viable, fiscally conservative candidate and can win if he runs. I voted for him last time and support him now. Step up, David, and hit the ground running. And now I give you a taste of true irony in one of David Fox's 2015 campaign ads. Take it away:

Only mistake David makes in that ad is that Big Spender Dem Megan Barry FIRST turned Nashville into Club Med BEFORE working us towards Atlanta.

Barry's transportation plan must be defeated in the May special election.

Democrat Mayor Barry Resigns---Et U Tu, My dear?

THERE IS NO OTHER WAY. Details later. Now, let's move on.

Monday, March 5, 2018

@ Powerline: Mark Levine Interviews Rep. Devin Nunes

THIS IMPORTANT INTERVIEW POSTED ON POWERLINE BY SCOTT JOHNSON is worth watching from start to finish at least once: It's a good way to get a panoramic view of the outrageous spying---domestic surveillance---on the Trump campaign by the Democratic party, the Hillary Clinton campaign, the FBI and the Obama administration to undermine first his candidacy and, second his duly elected administration. I am horrified and frightened for our country and Constitution. This is shocking because of the ongoing investigation to nail Trump with no evidence whatsoever to warrant this fishing expedition.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

7 Ways To Work Hard At Rest

Isaiah 30:15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.


By Gavin Ortlund @ The Gospel Coalition

LIFE TENDS TOWARDS BUSINESS. Have you noticed? Clutter and frantic are effortless. Clean and calm tend to slip away while we’re not looking.

Over the last several years I’ve been through busier seasons, and now God has kindly provided more of a sabbatical kind of season. I’ve noticed several things about the idea of Sabbath rest:
  • Busy seasons are often when I’ve learned how to do Sabbath well.
  • Not being busy is never a guarantee that I’m actually resting my soul.
  • Paradoxically, drawing from both of these points, rest is hard work.
Here are some specific lessons I’ve learned along the way. Maybe they’ll help you to endure amid busyness and fatigue.

1. Rest Before You Get Tired

Working until you crash is an easy default. When there’s a lot to do, it’s easy to keep going as long as you have the energy. But I’ve found that effective Sabbath rest requires paying greater attention to patterns of behavior over the long haul than bursts of energy in the short term.

It can be difficult to wrench yourself away from the computer when you still feel like working. But it’s healthy to have defined limits determined by objective plans more than by moment-by-moments feelings. If I go home at 5 p.m. even when I feel like I could keep working, for instance, I almost inevitably have more energy the next day. Taking Sabbath rest well requires discipline and intentionality. Again, paradoxically, rest is hard work.

2. Have a Rhythm to Your Rest

Christians interpret the fourth commandment variously. But whatever your view of the old covenant regulations, we can all recognize a more abiding significance to the Sabbath. After all, Sabbath is not merely a commandment to Israel (Ex. 20), but a part of creation (Gen. 1), and a picture of the gospel (Heb. 4). So whatever our Sunday schedule looks like, none of us can avoid wrestling with the larger principle.

In my own life, I have carved out particular portions of my week for particular kinds of rest. When I don’t have structured times of work and rest, my times of work are less productive, less enjoyable, and accompanied by a nagging feeling of guilt that I’m overworking. By contrast, if I know I have a time for rest with my family coming up, I can work with greater productivity and with a sense of freedom, knowing that God’s pleasure is in my work insofar as I do it unto him. It’s a great feeling to come home exhausted, feeling like I’ve given it my best, and then genuinely leave my work behind me.

3. When You Are Resting, Rest

It’s easy to think during our day off, “I’ll just respond to this one email; it’ll only take 30 seconds.” But there is something healthy about having space that is truly blocked out for rest, space that nothing that can invade. An email may take 30 seconds to write, but it will probably take more psychological and mental energy, especially if it’s something important you will keep thinking about. There’s also wisdom in setting good boundaries and helping people not expect immediate email responses all the time. (If you answer once, will they keep emailing?)

4. Rest from Social Media and Other Electronics

Social media speed up and often clutter life. They are great resources but can also be incredibly destructive if we abuse them. I try most weeks to take Sabbath rest from my phone and computer from noon Saturday to noon Sunday. It’s a way to declutter my mind before church. I’ve found I really need that space, and I didn’t know how much I needed it until I started doing it.

I wonder if sometimes our minds and habits are so enmeshed with social media that we aren’t even aware of the effect they’re having upon us. It’s healthy to take small steps and see what effect it has: even turning off our phone for one hour in the middle of every day can start to show us just how addicted we’ve become.

5. Find a Hobby

I think one of the reasons people don’t rest well is they don’t have hobbies. Hobbies are helpful because they occupy our minds and energies during Sabbath rest. That’s often more balancing and more restorative than simply sitting on the couch and watching TV. Sabbath rest is not just about ceasing activity, but redirecting activity into alternative, life-giving channels. Once again, Sabbath rest takes work.

Often it’s good, I think, for our hobbies to be different from our profession. For instance, if you have a desk job, join an intramural sports team. Or if your job is highly relational and fast-paced, find a hobby that is leisurely and provides solitude. Pastors and others who work in a Christian environment can often benefit from having hobbies that put them into close contact with non-Christians and/or in a non-leadership role.

When your identity six days a week is “pastor,” there’s something healthy about your identity switching on the seventh day to “the guy in right field.” It’s healthy and normalizing. I know one pastor in the UK who joined a boxing league. He said he loved it, and also got to share the gospel with Muslims regularly. What a good idea: for the exercise, for the gospel opportunity, and also for the personal rejuvenation.

6. Find Ways to Rest with Your Family

Sometimes being a father or mother is exhausting, and sometimes marriage takes a lot of work. But for the most part, family can also be a healthy distraction from busyness. I’ve heard it said you can often measure how healthy a family is by how much they play together and have fun and laugh together. I think there’s truth to that. The overworked dad may find nothing better for his own soul than to come home and play with his kids at the park. Rather than see it as another thing to do, see it as a divinely appointed distraction and Sabbath opportunity.

For me, this means going to the park with my son between 5 to 5:45 p.m. every day. I started doing this to serve my wife and get more time with Isaiah, but now I look forward to it daily. It’s relaxing at the end of the day to be outside and to slow down a bit before I come home for dinner.

7. Where You Struggle with Sabbath, Remember the Gospel

If you struggle to take Sabbath rest, it may be a gospel issue—finding your identity in your work, or being a people-pleaser, or using busyness to distract you from unhappiness. So much overwork is driven by self-justification efforts: we need to accomplish more and more because we’re failing to apply to our hearts what Christ has already accomplished for us. So the most important thing to do during Sabbath rest is to refresh your heart with fellowship with God, and to enjoy your status as his beloved child because of what Jesus has done.

A great irony is that if my day off is going poorly and is not fun or restful, I can start to get a little agitated or stressed at how poorly I am “doing” Sabbath. In those moments I need to remember that Jesus himself is my truest Sabbath rest. Ultimately, my rest is not in a Sabbath day but in the One who has promised: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

Friday, March 2, 2018

My Nomination For Lifetime Movie Achievement: Bagdad Cafe

ROGER L. SIMON: WHY I DIDN'T VOTE IN THE OSCARS   TRULY, ONE OF THE ALL-TIME GREAT MOVIES. The haunting song.... calling us to make something out of seeming nothing, even in the middle of seeming nowhere. Even when we've seemingly lost everything.This movie has it all. I love it!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Tennessean Editoral Board: Why Megan Barry Must Resign As Mayor of Nashville


THE TENNESSEAN, A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT NEWSPAPER IN NASHVILLE, and my former employer, is calling for Megan Barry to resign as mayor of Nashville. David Plazas of the USA Today Network in Tennessee explains why. Good work, gentlemen.

 It's no longer possible for Barry to remain in office. Her political career is over. It's not a matter of if she resigns, but when. Clearly, she has very poor judgment and even poorer integrity. She has to go, and for Nashville's sake, it needs to be sooner rather than later. Read the full Tennessean editorial published Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Pastor Mike Atkins At River Crossing On Staying True

THIS IS ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITES.

Without Further Ado, Defiant Nashville Mayor Megan Barry Should Resign

AT THIS POINT, there's absolutely no way Megan Barry can survive politically as mayor of Nashville. Nude photos and deleted texts on cell phones are not the worst of it. It's carrying on her affair on taxpayers time and money is sinking her .

What was she thinking? Megan Barry may have looked the part of a mayor, but she was never ready for prime time in Nashville or anywhere else. She should do herself and all of us a favor and resign now before it gets even more humiliating.  Her personal and public lives have become  a soap opera and monumental distraction.

If Barry has a modicum of judgment left,  she should be realistic and show she sincerely cares for Nashville by stepping down.

One more thing:  our mayor and all the families touched by this tragedy need our prayers.  I am deeply, deeply sadden by this terrible mess.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Nashville Taxville Under Madame Mayor and Lover of Big Spending Megan Barry

THIS BARRY TRANSPORTATION PLAN IS A MASSIVE BOONDOGGLE. We're committed to defeating it! MORE @ No Tax 4 Tracks