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Hurricane Harvey Brings out the Best and the Worst

As I type this, Hurricane Harvey made landfall last week and has devastated Houston and surrounding areas with wind damage and “unprecedented” flooding. Some parts have had over FOUR FEET OF RAIN. I didn’t say that there was over four feet of flooding, but over four feet of rain! And rain continues to fall. Moments ago, I heard that a levee was breached.  This is NOT good!

Once again WeatherBell’s Bill Bastardi was spot-on in his predictions.

Thousands of victims have been rescued by the US Coast Guard, Texas Guard, US National Guard, and an army of volunteers who launched their personal boats at their own risk in an effort to rescue every person from the floods. A friend of mine loaded up his car with as much as he could and hauled his boat almost 300 miles to help in the rescue efforts. This IS good.

Even before Harvey approached the Texas Coast, Texas Baptist Men, volunteers who travel wherever there are disasters, loaded up trucks with roofing materials, food, water, and portable facilities for showering and laundry and began the near-300-mile trek Southward. This IS good!

Meanwhile, some long-time friends have posted comments and memes on Facebook callously mocking Texas politicians, saying they’re hypocrites for requesting and accepting federal money when they voted to deny such federal support for victims of Super Storm Sandy in New York. Some of my friends posted a link to an article saying that this Hurricane was related to man-caused climate change. However, seasoned meteorologist Bill Bastardi (mentioned above) says this is a “natural cycle” that has been observed before.

Here is my latest plea on Facebook:

Regardless of your political leanings, please show some semblance of respect and basic human DECENCY by not politicizing the disaster that was Hurricane Harvey, and as a tropical storm continues to deluge SE Texas and SW Louisiana.Your snide remarks, memes and other criticism of POTUS and Texas politicians are falling on deaf ears. You are only displaying your ignorance, cruelty, and downright indecency. Your attempt at levity in the midst of the gravity of this situation is sabotaging any amount of credibility and respectability you *think* you still have.

I have lost all respect for some long-time friends whose focus is solely on politics and not on the decency of helping victims of this tragedy. Debating politics is one thing, but it is disgustingly heartless to do so while the area is still being inundated by torrential rains and flooding. This is NOT good!

So how can people help? I’m glad you asked that question! Here’s what I said last night on Facebook:

Especially for this need, I might not recommend Red Cross (or any other organization whose CEO makes multiples of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year). As I understand it, the Red Cross pools resources from other organizations. Why not give directly to those organizations! If the Red Cross keeps 15% of what they receive, then only $.85 of your $1 would be able to pass along to the organization that the RC uses. Why not eliminate the middle man and give the entire $1 to one of the organizations below, who already have a low overhead and therefore operate more efficiently! And these are not fly-by-night organizations; they are well-established with an excellent stewardship history. 

So here are my recommendations (none of which has a high-paid CEO):

Texas Baptist Men go wherever there’s a disaster. This time, they stayed home to help fellow Texans. Some crews departed Dallas as early as last Thursday (before Harvey made landfall) with roofing supplies, food, water, portable shower and washer/dryer facilities. TexasBaptistMen.Org/give-now 

One friend’s church (in Virginia) made this remark:
Want to help victims of Harvey in Houston? Our denomination has the 3rd largest disaster relief organization in the country (SBC Disaster Relief) and they are already staged in Houston with hundreds of thousands of meals, water, chains saws, shower trailers, etc. They also have teams of chaplains to provide spiritual counseling in the wake of this disaster.
If you would like to donate, you can give directly through the NAMB website below or text SENDRELIEF to 41444.
North American Mission Board’s Hurricane Harvey Response 

And of course, everybody has heard of The Salvation Army.

 However you choose to help, please do so.

The Election is Over

WOW! Not many people saw it coming. We have a President-elect who is clearly an outsider with no political experience. He overcame vicious lies propagated by the liberal left and lapdog Mainstream Media. As I have said here on my blog, from my pulpit and on Facebook, Donald Trump has major character issues. He was not my candidate of choice.

 

However in light of Hillary Clinton’s very radical ideas, Trump became the only viable candidate to stop her agenda. (Yes… radical: outside the view of even mainstream pro-choicers). Her views on abortion would allow for late-term, partial-birth abortion up until just before delivery; she said in the last Presidential debate that she would litmus-test her SCOTUS nominees in order to politicize the Court in order to push her very radical views.

 

 

Our Nation’s Founders set up a Democratic Republic. We do not have a true democracy…. by design.

 

For better or for worse, this is America. If you don’t like the outcome, voice your objections at the voting booth in two years and four years; that is exactly what happened in 2014 and this past Tuesday. The People have said that enough is enough; we are tired of the political and media elites telling us how we should live our lives. Anyone who disagrees with the narrative has been dismissed and ridiculed. The former “watchdog” media has become the lapdog of the DNC and other leftists. The People have said “ENOUGH!”

 

It’s time for us to realize that the choices have been made. We must come together. As President Obama said several years ago, “Elections have consequences.” It’s time for the left to adjust to the populist views. It’s time for the Republican Party to deliver on what it says it will do and reduce government, reduce spending and protect our nation’s interests.

 

It’s time to come together. Our real enemy isn’t the people on the other side of the political aisle. Our real enemy is Radical, Jihadi, Shariah Islam which seeks to eliminate the US and the only Democratic nation in the Middle East, Israel.

 

It’s time to come together.

 

But mostly, it’s time for the Church to be the Church. It’s time to PRAY!

 

 

Character Still Doesn’t Matter

It’s been a while since I posted anything of political nature on my blog. However, I think I need to weigh in on the recent Presidential Campaigns.

We, as a country, decided in 1992 that “character doesn’t matter”. In 2016, both the Republican and Democrat Presidential Nominees reflect that we, as a country, still believe that “character doesn’t matter”.

Both Nominees are failures in terms of character. Both are despicable and both are possibly criminals.

Let’s move on from the “Your Candidate is flawed, unqualified and would be dangerous to this country” arguments and look at the differences of the policies and goals of the Candidates.

Regardless of who you want to be our next President, these are our options. This is a binary election. In January 2017, the US will have a President Clinton or a President Trump. A non-vote and a third-party vote are not options if you care about the future of the country. A lot is at stake. Possibly more so than any other election in our Nation’s history.

  • National Security
  • Foreign Policy
  • Immigration
  • Supreme Court vacancies
  • The Economy
  • Abortion on demand

We need to pray a LOT in the coming days. (Ephesians 6:12-18; 1Timothy 2:1-6).

Read up on the issues. And vote. (Romans 13:1-7)

 

Freedom for All!

Following today’s #SCOTUS ruling in favor of the Green Family of Oklahoma City, I wrote the following on Facebook:

Just to clarify, in case you missed the real issue behind the emotionally-based headlines…. Today’s Supreme Court Decision in favor of the Green Family (Hobby Lobby, Mardel, etc. stores) does *NOTHING* to prevent access to contraception. It does *NOTHING* to prohibit access to abortions. It does *NOTHING* to restrict the ability for women to get healthcare.

What the ruling *DOES* do is to allow people to express their First Amendment Rights of Free Speech and Religion through their privately-held businesses. And it limits the Federal Government’s power … just like the Constitution does.

The Green Family’s employees are *free* to purchase their own birth control. They are *free* to purchase their own abortifacients (abortion-causing drugs), and they are *free* to purchase their own abortions.

Limits on Government. Freedom for the People. Today’s SCOTUS Decision protects Constitutional Freedom for everyone!

Happy Independence week, everybody!

‪#‎freedom‬
‪#‎scotus

I recommend that you also check out Ed Stetzer’s great article, “Hobby Lobby Wins: Where Do We Go from Here?

The only thing I didn’t say is that, “Everybody wins, except for unborn babies.” That is still an issue to pray about. Perhaps one day, the Supreme Court will — just like they did with African Americans — affirm the “personhood” of the unborn, thus confirming Constitutional Rights upon them.

Side note: Abortion is disproportionately high for minorities. And abortion clinics are disproportionately placed in minority neighborhoods. So, although the Supreme Court affirmed the rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for African-Americans, abortion providers like Planned Parenthood wish to rob them of those rights by disproportionately killing their children. There. I said it.

I will moderate comments for spam, but I promise to post all on-topic comments, whether or not I agree with them.

 

 

Phil Robertson, The First Amendment, and the Christian Response

News of Phil Robertson’s “indefinite suspension” from the A&E Network’s immensely popular Duck Dynasty has exploded across the social media in the past 24 hours. As I am typing this post the three top ten trending terms on Twitter are #Duck Dynasty, A&E and Phil Robertson.

In case you missed it, Phil Robertson made some comments in an interview with GQ Magazine, expressing his personal thoughts on sexual expression outside the confines of monogamous marriage as well as other behaviors spelled out in 1Corinthians  6:9-11. Yes, some of his remarks could be considered “crude”, but that’s the way Phil talks and he has used the exact same anatomical terms on the show when he was explaining the “birds and the bees” to his grandchildren. And for what it’s worth, GQ Magazine is not known as a “family friendly” magazine. GQ’s subscription page has the byline, “It’s how sophisticated gentlemen keep up with style and fashion.” The magazine is not “pornographic” like many other “men’s magazines”, however, it is designed to be read by men; Phil Robertson’s choice of words is not out of line. (Note: Before his suspension, Phil issued a statement regarding his remarks, reiterating his religious beliefs and how they relate to his interaction with those who see things differently than him.)

Many Christians are in an uproar, claiming they will boycott the network and “Liking” various “We Support Phil” and “We Stand with Phil” pages on Facebook. I have “liked” a few of the pages as well.

As I sat down to write a response this morning, I came across this article written by a friend, Scott Prickett. Scott speaks as a Christian lawyer regarding the separate issues of our Constitution’s freedom of speech and religion on one hand, and the Bible’s descriptions of morality on the other hand.

The issue isn’t free speech and the censorship of Phil Robertson.

A&E is free to make the decisions they have made. And the viewing public is free to support – or not support – A&E because of their decision by how we spend or don’t spend in buying DD merchandise. I’m sure that according to  contractual arrangements, more profits from the merchandise goes to A&E than the Robertson family.

A few years ago, Natalie Mains, lead singer of the “Dixie Chicks” said she was ashamed she was from the same state as President Bush. She exercised her freedom of speech. In response, many Americans exercised their “freedom of the purse” and many radio stations, especially in Texas, exercised their freedom of airplay. I don’t know (or care) what happened to the group, but their music is rarely played, they’re rarely on TV, and I’m confident that they were deeply affected financially.

Last year, GLAAD boycotted Chic fil-A because the CEO commented that he supports traditional marriage, implying that he doesn’t support “nontraditional marriage”. Sales spiked and it proved to be the least-effective boycott in the history of mankind.

The free market has a way of utilizing its own “free speech”.

I expect that A&E will regret their decision. But whether they do or don’t, we shouldn’t be surprised when lost people act like lost people.

Christians need to be careful of how we express our concerns. Some of the posts I have seen on Facebook are downright hateful and vengeful. This is out of character of how the Bible tells us to to act.

Phil’s teenage granddaughter, Sadie Robertson Tweeted, “Prayer is the best conversation of the day. It’s better to go to God before taking it to someone else.” Such wisdom from a teenager!

I have a quick question

Have you prayed for the executives at GQ and A&E as well as the critics at GLAAD and the LGBTQ community as much as you have expressed your angst with your family and friends? I must confess that I haven’t.

Yes, we must be careful how we express our concerns (Colossians 4:6). The lost (and the fence-sitting world) are watching.

What do you think?

 

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