Hows that change working for you?
James is recovering from hip surgery this week and doing quite well. He’s already walking, albeit slowly, and his doctor expects him to continue improving every day. So while he’s catching up on some reading and napping in his recliner, I took some time to look back on last year’s columns.
A lot can happen in a year — especially an election year. As I looked back on his comments, written before the election of a new president and change in direction for the country, I was amazed at how prophetic many of them were. Of course, when you deal in absolute truths, some things never change. But in light of current events, pending legislation and the overall national dialogue, many of his insights are striking. I believe you will enjoy reading these highlights while James recuperates. He will be back next week.
Randy Robison, editor
From "What Kind Of Change?" on Oct. 31, 2008
We’ve been hearing for months, "We need change!" Both major candidates promise it.
But do we need change simply for the sake of change or should we have the wisdom to know what kind of change is needed and what should stay the same?
Change should only come as the result of wise choices based on sound principles.
Does change mean increasing dependence upon government? Increased tax burdens? Continued spending beyond the budget and burdensome bailouts necessitated by foolish leadership and rampant greed? Will the free market remain free, with proper oversight, or be eliminated?
From "Only One Messiah" on Aug. 1, 2008
It is important to recognize that no candidate, however gifted he or she may be, is the true hope for America. After touring in the Middle East, comedian Jon Stewart quipped that [Senator Obama] should have gone to Bethlehem and visited his birthplace. It drew laughter, but the fact remains that many people really do look to a politician as the answer to all of our problems.
Obama often refers to "his policies," when in fact he has not established any policies; he has only expressed his opinion. But believe this: if he is president, his opinions and guiding beliefs will impact the policies that govern the American people.
From "Talk Is Not Always Cheap" on Sept. 5, 2008
A slick salesman can manipulate and take advantage of unsuspecting listeners. Politicians have been guilty of saying things that prove to be anything but cheap. When politicians promise to provide certain needs, they do not always communicate the great cost.
Beware of those who say, "I am going to do it for you," and take very seriously those who say, "We must do it together." Promises to care for everyone’s needs may not, in fact, be cheap. It may be unbearably expensive. Much of our national debt, through excessive spending, waste and "pork barrel" projects is directly attributable to expensive talk.
From "Government: Protector or Provider?" on June 27, 2008
Many people look to the government not just for jobs, but for food, healthcare, education and even cash. But ask yourself this: Other than protecting us, what has the government done well?
Jesus laid out a principle that we would be wise to remember. "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." (Luke 16:10)
The government has not proven to be trustworthy with a little, yet many people want to give it much more. How many politicians have to become embroiled in scandal before we learn to be wary of them?
The government is not a good provider. It was never meant to be. It functions best when it gets out of the way and allows the good people of this country to go to work, unfettered by excessive regulation and taxation. Government will always serve best as an enabler of people, not the provider.
From "Principled Leadership" on Feb. 8, 2008
These are sobering days as we face serious threats, not only from the outside, but from within. We need to pray for leaders who understand that government possesses nothing that it does not first take from the people, and that its primary role should be protecting individual rights, maintaining security and dealing with lawlessness through a system of justice based upon principle. Presently, we are unquestionably a polarized nation. Sadly, much of the polarization is determined by foolish partisanship, rather than sound, unshakable principles. It is time not only to stand and hold fast to that which is true, but to get on our knees before God and pray for our nation, the free world and third-world countries in need of compassion and care.
From "Itching Ears" on Feb. 29, 2008
Consider the words of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1938 after signing the Munich Agreement: "We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe.
"My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."
Chamberlain’s words were met with enthusiastic applause from the crowd. He had told them exactly what they wanted to hear while ignoring the wisdom of others and Hitler’s record of violent words and aggressive actions. Bloodshed and suffering soon followed on a massive scale and Britain was not spared.
Is it possible that we are now setting the stage for a similar assumption regarding the Muslim terrorists who have declared war on democracy, freedom and non-believers? When leaders in the west tell us that we have nothing to fear or that we simply need more dialogue with those who vow to kill us, how much faith should we put in them? We need not fear discussion, even with our enemies, but we must not be so naive as to believe that eloquent words are powerful enough to dissuade a murderous heart.
From "Is Our Government Broken?" on Sept. 19, 2008
One of the main reasons that I am calling America to prayer at this time is that we need a return to the core values that made this country the greatest, and even the most prosperous, in history. Understanding the proper role of government and the obligations of free citizens is critical to that re-stabilization. Our founders understood that our freedom will only be preserved by self-government, self-control and a government that encourages these values while enforcing the laws and punishing those who break them. If we continue on this path of government-as-provider, we will soon find that we are slaves to our source.
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