Hope for our battered president

There is no disrespect intended in the title.  No one can deny he is being battered.  We begin by facing facts: Trump’s statement about Haiti and Africa have unleashed a firestorm.   I am not here to examine what he said or shouldn’t have said.  That is for another blog. This is about you and me.  This is about keeping our perspective, our cool, and our discernment.This is about why there is hope for our president.

But, true hope is anchored in truth.  There’ll be no Pollyanna pep rally here.  It looks bad, real bad.  There will now be a massive effort to remove him from office by proving his is mentally unfit and invoke the 25th Amendment. Even some of his ardent supporters fear this will sink his presidency.  But before you lose heart remember what we know.

 

-We know that Obama and Hillary loyalists—deeply embedded in Washington—are working feverishly to destroy president Trump.  They are using their dark arts, not just on him, but on you.

-We know that a soulless media has discarded all pretense of objectivity.  They are minions of a mindless coup.  They are no longer capable of even thinking a decent thought toward Trump.

-We know that Trump is struggling to drain the swamp because some Republican Congressmen have stuck a hose back in it, recycling the swamp water.

-We know that Trump make-believers who once supported him abandoned ship at the first sign of trouble.

-We know that the forces behind Mueller and Comey will witch hunt Trump for concocted crimes while refusing to hold Hillary  accountable for terrible crimes.

-We also know that during this overthrow of freedom much of the Church naps under the influence of frightened ministers.

-But the most important thing to remember is why there is hope.  Yes, there is great hope for our president.  I am shouting this question in your ear: HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THAT POWERFUL FRIEND?

Once before evil rose, with its bloody talons on the throat of America, and relief came from an unexpected source: This plea from Benjamin Franklin:

In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in this struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend?

Here is our powerful friend: Prayer, real prayer, sincere prayer, fervent prayer, unceasing prayer.  Prayer will expose the lies.  Prayer will defeat the traps laid before Trump.  Prayer will shut the mouth of the lion, topple the Washington walls of Jericho, split the Red Sea of fake news, and raise the Lazarus church from the dead.

Our powerful friend is waiting to bring unimaginable help and shocking breakthroughs.

Can I reintroduce you to our powerful friend?  Consider these points:

1. Even if you are the only one praying, it can change everything.  “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”  James 5:16

When Israel languished in Babylon under the lash of Nebuchadnezzar only Daniel engaged that powerful friend.  He set himself to pray and fast.  His prayer, his solitary prayer, moved Cyrus to fulfill the prophecy of Jeremiah and release the Jews after 70 years of slavery.

The angel told Daniel it was his prayer that did it.  Daniel 10:12 “Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.”

In the New Testament, one man’s prayer brought the Holy Spirit to the gentiles.  Acts 10: 1 “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ‘Cornelius!’ 4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, ‘What is it, lord?’ So he said to him, ‘Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.'”

2. Even if you do not know how to ask, the Holy Spirit will pray through you.  Romans 8: 26, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Think of that!  We don’t know how to pray for this national disaster, but the Holy Spirit does.  Our prayer language carries untold power to interrupt, and alter the affairs of man.  He, the Holy Spirit carries all power and wisdom.  He possesses the precision of prayer that totally escapes us.  He will commandeer our requests to the very throne of God.

3. My final point is the most powerful and encouraging: God told us to pray for our leaders.  1 Timothy 2: 1 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”

Why would we expend energy on worry when we can pray?  Why would we sit paralyzed watching the news instead of utilizing prayer to make news?  You, by yourself, have the power to ask and receive, why would you delay praying?  God told us that He is pleased when we pray for our leaders.  Isn’t that the most powerful motivation of all.  Remember our powerful friend.

 

Michelle Obama did not learn hope and humility as first lady

 

Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming once said, “Those who travel the high road of humility will not be troubled by heavy traffic.”

That descriptive and funny line came to mind after I heard what first lady Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey last week in a TV interview. Because of Donald Trump’s election, she told the former talk show host, “We are feeling what not having hope feels like.”

She couldn’t prove that by the polls. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 59 percent of voters are “optimistic about the next four years with Donald Trump as president.” Sixty-six percent of respondents said they believed he would create jobs, 52 percent said they believe Mr. Trump’s policies will help the economy, 53 percent expressed confidence he will take the country in the right direction, and 49 percent think Mr. Trump will be either a “great” president or a “good” president.

 Michelle Obama’s hubris that only her husband could provide hope, despite the unpopularity of his policies (his personal popularity remains high), may be why St. Paul cautioned: “Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought.” (Romans 12:3). Pride is the first sin, which leads to all others.

Anyone who puts faith in a politician to make his or her life better is worshipping a false god. Politicians can make your life worse by overtaxing your income, overregulating your business and conducting foreign policy in ways that put America’s security at risk, but the qualities that improve any life — a good education, strong work ethic, self-control, taking personal responsibility for one’s actions, obeying the law, developing good character — these are virtues over which government has little influence.

Politicians promote faith in themselves because it helps their careers and feeds their egos. When was the last time you heard a politician say only you can make your life better by the choices you make? Have you ever heard a politician say, “We are clearing the field of liberty as much as we can so that you have the best opportunity to succeed at whatever you believe your gifts qualify you for”?

No, Oprah, America isn’t racist.

No, Oprah, America isn’t racist: Column

Mark Joseph1:43 p.m. EST November 25, 2013

President Obama isn’t loathed for his skin color.

SHARE 4027CONNECT 154TWEET 525COMMENTEMAILMORE

Shortly before receiving the medal of freedom from President Obama, Oprah Winfrey gave an interview to the BBC in which she seemed to chalk up much of the opposition to the president to racism: “I think there’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs … because he’s African American,” she said.

Her claim reminded me of the times when, as a child of the ’70s, my father would ask an odd question about my friends, “What is he?”

“Huh?” I’d ask.

“You know, what is he — Italian? German? Lebanese? What is he?” my father replied.

Colorblind eyes

I had no idea what my friends’ ethnic origins were. It was only when I traveled with my father to the north side of Chicago where he grew up, and he pointed out which ethnic groups had lived in various parts of town, that I understood.

To be sure, I was well aware of racism. I had read Black Like Me as a third-grader. But the idea of discriminating on the basis of race simply made no sense to my young mind.

Oprah’s pronouncement produced another “huh?” moment for me, considering the fact that it was millions of Americans that gave their colorblind eyes to her show for a quarter-century, famous enough to be interviewed by the BBC.

As communism wound down in the Soviet Union, President Reagan was asked whether he still considered it an evil empire. “You are talking about another time, another era,” he replied.

Oprah is still living in that other time and era in which people separated themselves from one another primarily on the basis of race — a real time to be sure — but one that is, for the most part, not our reality today. That’s especially so at the highest levels of politics and entertainment.

Tea Party racism

Because it is more often than not Tea Party types who are accused of racial hostility toward Obama, I have a parlor game I play with my white conservative friends that tells me everything I need to know about the state of race relations in America.

“If your daughter were thinking of marrying a man like Clarence Thomas or one like Chris Matthews, which would you choose?” I ask.

The answer is quick and unanimous: They’d choose to spend their holidays with a son-in-law who looks nothing like them but shares their values rather than one who merely shares their skin color.

Oprah might want us to believe Obama faces extraordinary opposition that can largely be explained by his race, but she conveniently forgets that in the past 100 years, six presidents were shot at, one killed, another impeached and two driven from office. All were loathed by millions. Some more than others.

Our first black president is actually accorded more respect than some past presidents have received. At the height of his health care reform failure, Obama has the lowest popularity of his presidency, yet the past eight (white) presidents in a row were all less popular at their own low points.

The success of the civil rights movement and the widespread acceptance of interracial marriage has fundamentally changed America’s racial equation.

Some day soon, when we all look like actor and TV host Mario Lopez, it will simply be impossible to find people of a different skin color, let alone hate on the basis of it.

Mark Joseph is an author and producer. His next book is Rock Gets Religion: The Battle for the Soul of the Devil’s Music.

Top 10 Things I Want For My Birthday.

10.  That it takes 6 wins to sweep the World Series so the Giants could win it before the home crowd.

9.   The View forced to move to the Oprah Network.

8.   Pizza starts causing weight loss.

7.  Al Gore is forced to stop talking for the sake of global warming.

6. Donald Trump offers me 5 million dollars for my college transcript and passport applications.

5. Nancy Pelosi is fired first and then she reads it.

4. The Raiders go professional.

3. Joe Biden gets a jobs.

2. Yankees sold to the Philippines and renamed the Manila Folders.

1. Barrack Obama is elected president of Kenya.