We Prevailed…because HE Prevails!

The election may be over, but the turmoil & conflict is still hanging in there!

…and I think it is so important that, “as much as it lieth in you” (Romans 12:18), each of us needs to lay aside malice & move on. I know this sounds simplistic & probably, in reality, it is NOT but we need to try. Those of you with cooler heads, may your thinking, words & actions prevail. Let wisdom rule.

~~~

In the months leading up to election day, I periodically turned to the posts of  a young wife & mother from Australia, who heard from the Lord on a regular basis. He often shared with her His plans, both general & specific, for the United States of America, the body of Christ & the nations. These posts uplifted me like nothing else. The confirmed my own beliefs, but they did so much more than that.

Now – as I see those words having been manifested – my sense of destiny has begun to engulf my whole life. This is exciting. My personal borders are crumbling. SO much is at stake. The brass ring is within reach.

I do not believe that I have ever, in my 40+ years as a believer in Jesus, seen His Word come forth the way I did during the hours following the close of the voting booths on November 8, 2016. It is impossible to explain. But it happened. I saw with my own eyes the “great tumbling of victory!!!”  predicted. By sizable margins, state after state was falling to our now President-elect Donald Trump. And though by the end, the race tightened up, in those earlier moments I knew what I was seeing. There is nothing like watching His Word come forth.

Because I actually witnessed this phenomenal event, I have confidence that we will come through this post-election turbulence. It will settle down. God is & will be with President-elect Trump, and with us as Americans. We have cause for great confidence & rejoicing!!!

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Returning to Monarchy?

 

benIt was a great concern of Benjamin Franklin’s that, eventually, America would return to monarchical rule. When I first learned of that fact, I was confused. I could not understand why Franklin entertained such a fear, in light of the monumental struggle against a monarchy, only recently survived by the thirteen American colonies in the Revolutionary War. The pieces of such an ominous puzzle eluded me.

Today, I understand. I see how it could conceivably happen.

~~~

Life can be dangerous, and freedom brings with it responsibilities & obligations, perhaps burdens. Even so, who would desire imprisonment instead? Would any one of us choose slavery in its place? A Power timeless and eternal has undertaken to “…bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” (Isaiah 42:7) A Servant has been sent forth, and a proclamation of liberty has been made. (Isaiah 61:1) While you were held captive, that which was precious to you fell into a state of desolation, and seemed wasted…but a Promise has been sent, to raise up and repair (Isaiah 61:4), even the very years that seemed lost. (Joel 2:25)

Provisions have been made, and are at work today, to set men free, and to keep them free.

I believe that that the United States of America was raised up so that such Provisions could be displayed to humankind, and learned, and lived.

~~~

 

Monarchy was NOT in the heart of the Lord for His creation. You need to get that fact straight, right from the start. The Lord was looking for willing relationship, for fellowship, with man. Genesis shows us communication between the Creator and the first man & woman (Genesis 3:8-13) Granted, that particular conversation was not a casual social exchange – but it would seem as though perhaps it was part of an accepted, expected routine. Adam and Eve recognized the Lord’s voice; they’d heard it before.

In a previous conversation, the LORD had instructed the man Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This command was given to Adam because, if he ate of this fruit, he would surely die. He would die. Got that? No shades of gray here. A certain kind of knowledge kills. This is as true today as it was then. God was not trying to rain on Adam’s parade: He was trying to preserve the paradise of their existence from corruption.

Sadly, or so it seems today, such was not to be the case.

~~~

Even if you are not a Bible believing follower of Christ, you probably know this account of what is termed ‘the fall of man’. She ate the forbidden fruit, he ate the forbidden fruit, the LORD confronted them, the LORD cast them out.

At first reading, these actions of what we probably perceive as a displeased God may seem heartless & cruel. But one needs to discern the motive behind them. Because the mans27-th (2) now had the knowledge of good and evil, he, and therefore his progeny & the world they would fashion were in dire trouble. Trouble such as would take millenia to come to pass. Adam could not have imagined it…but the LORD could. Already knowing the atrocities and horrors that mankind would eventually perpetrate upon the earth because of this first error in human judgement, He had to act. He would not allow this catastrophe to run rampant into infinity. A redemptive Plan was begun.

“…and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat , and live forever…the Lord GOD sent him forth from the garden of Eden…” (Genesis 3:22, 23)

~~~

In this account of the Creation, we learn that the crafty serpent lured God’s first couple into partaking of deadly knowledge by introducing doubt – a doubting of the nature of God’s intentions towards man. By skillfully inserting one question, “Yea, hath God said…?”, this diabolical being set in motion a process which still goes on today. and which, when engaged in, brings with it destruction on every scale. He questioned God’s statement, then flat out denied it. Lastly, he lied about God’s intentions with a devious implication. The implication was that their Creator did not want this first couple to know what He knew – not because it might harm them but because He wanted all the attention, all the power. He didn’t want to share. Without actually coming right out & saying so, the serpent painted a picture of God as being petty, jealous & selfish.

In a very short conversation, this beast of the field dismantled Paradise.

~~~

I have always believed that motive is paramount. Often, more so than what you say to me, I want to know your motive. More so than what you do, I want to know why you are doing it. It is way too easy to get caught up in the spider’s web! Where people are concerned, look before you leap…we are needy, selfish, prone to change on the turn of a dime…God, however, is not and does not. It behooves us to learn of Him, so that we may stop doubting. Faith builds up on itself, and results can endure.

Without, however, that enduring trust in God & His motives, man will seek out other ways & means to make their way back to Paradise. We may not realize that is what we’re doing. The problem here is that any other Way will at some point fail you. It will disappoint, it will run out when you need it most. Worst case scenario, it will enslave and kill.

On man’s journeys back to Paradise, he mistakenly sought out monarchy as a means to get there.

~~~

Going back to Biblical times, prior to and during the years of the prophet Samuel, we learn that judges & prophets ruled over the affairs of the people of Israel. They had no earthly king. That was the Plan.

Ushering Samuel in as one who judged over Israel were brutal onslaughts against Israel by the mighty Philistines. The children of Israel pleaded with Samuel to intercede for them to the LORD, for deliverance from this powerful enemy. Long story short, “…Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him…and they {the Philistines} were smitten before Israel…so the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more unto the coast of Israel…all the days of Samuel.” (1 Samuel 7:9,10,13) From that point on, Samuel was the man.  He judged Israel until his death.

It appears to me to be a case of ‘we, the people’ seeking out a leader, who was NOT a king. Rather, this leader acknowledged, worshipped & served Another, the King of all the earth. And it sounds like it worked out very well.

What changed?

As he grew old, Samuel appointed his two sons as judges, also. They, as it turned out, craved money. They “took bribes, and perverted jundgment.” (1 Samuel 8:3) (Does this sound at all familiar?) Distressed by this shift in leadership style, the elders of the tribe decided a regular king (more government?  Big government?) would be the answer. Despite Samuel’s resistance and the LORD’s detailed warnings, they persisted, and got their way.

According to these Scriptures in 1 Samuel, by desiring an earthly king, Israel was rejecting the kingship of the LORD. In doing so, though they thought that such a course of action would bring peace & prosperity, the Israelites were in fact setting themselves up for servitude (v.17). They were inviting many an evil king to sit on their throne, as Bible history shows us.

~~~

At root, then, it appears that a love of money was the catalyst toward monarchy. Seems absurdly simple, doesn’t it? Well…“the love of money is the root of all evil…” (1 Timothy 6:10). And, if this was true in ancient Israel, it is just as likely to have been true in the days of America’s Founding. I take you back to my opening statement regarding Benjamin Franklin’s serious concerns about the new young nation returning to monarchy. Impressively, Franklin cites this very same cause. He “…foresaw the possibility of profit in public office becoming the means by which an American monarchy could arise.” He could envision “…an executive with monarchical powers.” (Skousen, Cleon W. The 5000 Year Leap: A MiracleThat Changed the World)  Franklin believed, as did George Washington & Alexander Hamilton, that men tend to progress towards either anarchy or tyranny/kingly government, and that a king – a single leader in charge – is thought by the people to somehow ensure equality. If the people think a king can ensure their safety & well-being, and choose him over the true King’s provisions of these things – and you have avaricious men seeking such offices because they offer ‘honor’ (power) and high salaries (power) – talk about hand-in-glove!

Or talk about history repeating itself.

Jefferson - Machinery of Govt. (2)

~~~

How ‘full circle’ it becomes!  A destructive love of money lays the path & fosters the conditions towards monarchy, which office is fulfilled & perpetuated by such a one in whom that same passion dwells. Franklin, while knowing that his belief was unrealistic, nevertheless advocated that public office not be an office of profit. That way, the right men with the right motives would be the ones occupying governing positions.

~~~

Optimistically, however, Franklin concluded that his opinion of his country and her citizens was such that there would always be “…a sufficient number of wise and good men…to execute well and faithfully…” such offices. (Smyth, Albert H., ed., Writings of Benjamin Franklin) Thank God for faithful men & women, and for those (though perhaps few) who yet remain with the heart of a patriot.  Faith only as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.

~~~

…More than just a Government ?

Last 4th. of July I began what I intend to make a tradition: I read the Declaration of Independence aloud. (So far, I’m the only person present at the reading.) This year, while reading those hallowed words that explained & proclaimed the American Revolutionary cause, I also began to get unexpected glimpses of parallels with things not necessarily ‘political’. These glimpses will, I know, become full visions, if I am not just imagining them. If I am not just imagining them, surely others have been graced with such…insight.

My conviction that the hand & works of the Lord run through all of American history, for a strong & definite purpose, grows every day. There is not much about which I have no doubt, but I have no doubt about that. I think I am coming late to the party! as the almost tangibleness of His invisible things become more manifest to me. We read in 2 Corinthians 4:17 about affliction “…working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” and are counseled to look at those things which are not seen. I suspect that the United States of America is a powerful representation of those unseen things.

~~~

 

“That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

What impacted me especially, in this statement in the beginning sentences of the Declaration of Independence, was the idea of the consent of the governed. That some form of government among men is necessary cannot be disputed. The heavy-handed concept of government might be inherently assumed. Clearly, with tyrants & dictators, it is. There, the people fall prey. Perhaps they have never known any other way.

(But there is another Way.)

God is on the march, and He has plans for men.

~~~

 

We begin our endeavors with high hopes & grandiose plans. Then, we usually start hitting roadblocks, right? Sometimes, roadblocks hit us! As the sparks fly upward, man is born for trouble, we read in the book of Job. (Job 5:7) I hate that this is written, but…it is. We can usually safely assume, at the very least, glitches along the way; but often serious difficulties, conflicts & divisions rise up.

So it is & has been in governments among men. The reason for that is that governments are composed of men. Our Founders knew this well, and did not expect perfection, or a problem-free republic. In the Federalist No.51, James Madison astutely wrote: “It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

‘Glitches’ began rearing their hostile heads early on in the young United States. Prior to the framing of the Constitution, under the Articles of Confederation, Congress had failed so miserably to govern that a return to monarchy was being considered as the only defense against chaos. George Washington doubted that the young nation could exist much longer without “…having lodged somewhere a power which will pervade the whole Union…” (Athearn, Robert G., American Heritage series, Vol.4, ‘A New Nation’)  Such crises led to four months of constant, intense & sometimes bitter debate during the Constitutional Convention, where the Articles of Confederation were scrapped, and agreement was finally reached on the new Constitution of the United States of America.

Safeguards against the inclinations of man at his worst were implemented into our Constitution, to the best of our forefathers’ ability. In his closing speech at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, while acknowledging not entirely approving it, Benjamin Franklin also acknowledged astonishment that the finished Constitution of the United States of America approached so near to perfection as it does.” (Ravitch, Diane & Thernstrom, Abigail, eds., The Democracy Reader)

~~~

So…men struggle to achieve the goal of a free nation. Such a nation requires government.  And perhaps we see in the heart, the form & the functioning of the government & citizens of the United States of America a parallel to the corporate body of Christ and the individuals within it. And thus, a glimpse into the heart & desire of God.

~~~

Just as the American governing system is comprised of many persons who serve in a hierarchy of various offices & functions, so Christ operates His government on this earth through His people, who serve within a Divine structure, as many members of one Body. Yet “…all members have not the same office.” (Romans 12:4) The optimal functioning of the body of Christ on earth requires the willing participation of…His people. God want co-workers. (2 Cor.6:1, 5:19)  He wants us to agree with him, so that we can act in accord with His purposes. Although the Lord can do as He pleases, it is not in His heart to subvert us, or force us to work with Him. He wants our consent.

He wants the consent of those over whom He would be Lord.

Consent of the governed.

~~~

America…and Law vs.Grace

 

I sometimes find myself pondering what seems to be the discrepancy between our Rule of Law and standing in God’s grace.

…and many times I’ve wondered, how does one justify the supposed hand of God in the creation of the governing systems of the United States, when those systems are law-based, and yet His way is one of grace & faith? Aren’t these two ‘methods’ mutually exclusive?

Clearly, the Rule of Law in America has proven more than successful. We became THE world superpower. Some in other countries hate us because we excel. I don’t think it can be effectively disputed that the blessings & favor of God has crowned America up to now. Therefore, our systems of law must not be against God’s plan. Just the opposite must be true…so…

Am I missing something?

~~~

 

As I’m listening to a lecture on the Constitution…or maybe reading something along those lines…like a bird flitting across my line of sight, I catch glimpses of answers. They are there, joyfully, quickly. But if I don’t write them down, well…you know how that goes! So I’ve decided to attempt to round-up a few of them, and write them down here…

~~~

 

I got delightful insight on this quandary from, surprisingly, an Economics lecture. Yes, economics…Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College in Michigan, in his introduction to Economics 101, presents the picture of man as being a political being, with an innate desire/need to live within a political system of laws, or some form of government. History is replete with evidence of man living under various forms of law & government.

History is also replete with evidence of man’s innate desire to worship a higher Power, to practice some form of religion.

The change in religious practices that emerged from Christianity were, according to Dr. Arnn, the essential root of being governed by kings & rulers to being governed by…consent. In other words, ‘We, the People’. In other words, Christianity eventually produced America and her Constitution.

~~~

…so, for starters, let’s first travel back in time to ancient Israel. Those Hebrews were loaded with laws! Besides the basic Ten Commandments, there were laws covering just about every conceivable situation, moral, civil and criminal. Rulers & kings were appointed to ensure that those laws were obeyed. God Himself gave those laws, so they weren’t to be trifled with. Not a lot of leeway or flexibility goin’ on back then.

Fast forward a little bit. Jesus Christ has walked the earth, taught, and been crucified. His resurrection sealed the Eternal Deal.In Him, we are free from law. Biblical New Covenant Christianity repudiates all those Old Testament laws, judges, & rulers. Now what? We are still basically the same human beings, with that same innate need to be governed. Hmmm…

…so at this point, perhaps we can conclude that law was meant to have its limits?

~~~

freedomNow…this lifestyle of ‘no law’ made possible by the blood of Jesus was made available to all. “…whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev.21:17)  This offer is extended to people of all nations, throughout the whole world. But the realm from which this freedom is offered to us is actually not of this world. (John 18:36) Think of it, perhaps, as an overlay, or strata, upon your daily life, invisible but there nonetheless. Underneath this ‘umbrella’ of the God who makes Himself available to all will be people from all countries, with different governments & laws. These laws are not meant to intrude into His dimension…ergo, again, perhaps we can conclude that law was meant to have its limits.

Limited government?

~~~

“…in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth…”  (Ephesians 1:10)

A magnanimous, sweeping statement like this Scripture seems to support my growing belief that the United States of America is in fact a word from God. It is a living word. From America the Beautiful we can see, if we want to look, a demonstration of the ways & principles of God in action, in consort with mankind. We see God walking with men. We see Satan in action, adversarial & malignant, opposing the Son of God at every turn. ( If you doubt this, look at the world around you, look at the lives around you…look at your own situations.)

Perhaps we are seeing – over the years producing Revolution, birth, young nationhood, government, Civil War, industry, technology – the outworkings of new life in Christ. If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.

I wonder if God wants to show us, throughout world history and culminating in America in these days, the perfection of His ways, not ours. Down through the ages, He has brought mankind through laws enforced by kings, rulers & armies to a place where man is so much more free than he ever was. Those olden times throughout civilizations, their declines & rebirths perhaps symbolize the tenaciousness of Old Testament law. The Declaration of Independence, hallelujah, brought us into the light. Bold & glorious words bearing truth changed history. In them we find a realization of New Covenant power.

~~~

Man, however, cannot be fully & finally free on his own. Not gonna happen. The Son makes us free, and that as we continue in His Word (John 8: 31,32).  So I wonder, then…despite her best efforts, even though the Constitution of the United Statesof America is implemented as intended by our Founders…can America ever fulfill God’s best & ultimate Plan for us? Is the United States the final experiment in world history? Maybe she was launched for the purpose of teaching mankind that, as good as it can get here, still…His Plan is at the end a spiritual one. In Christ. Our most perfect of laws can’t produce “gather{ing} together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth…” (Ephesians 1:10)

~~~

Author’ note:  My conclusion above is in no way meant to imply that any one of us, who loves our country and our Constitution, should EVER stop standing for liberty & justice for all, forever. 

God continue to bless & protect America.

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…Transitioning…

I don’t know if it is me, or the times. 

I have observed that I am less & less inclined to attempt to ‘stay on top of things’, politically.  It’s too much.  Even just glancing at my emails makes me instantly tense anymore.  Do I really need to know all this?  Or do I? It isn’t up to me to accurately assess national & international crises.  I’m not a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, or the Intelligence Committee.  No one needs to know my opinions, and none of the outcomes are my call. Yet it seems wrong to not be at least aware of the major happenings of the day in this extraordinary land I call home.

It’s a dilemma. 

Is it just me, or is it the times?  What is really going on?  I’ve learned enough, over the last 5 years of writing & publishing on this site, to have reached a saturation point where current events are concerned.  I can’t absorb anymore right now.  I may need to do something with what I already know, but I also think I need to monitor what new information I let in.

Where are we going wrong?  What is happening in this country?  What did God intend for America?  What was in His mind, and can we still do anything about that? 

Issues are so complex.  There are no simple solutions.  It would seem that some matters would be black & white, matters of morality, or security, but there is law and there is grace. Drawing a line may not be the Godly move. Motive is everything.  Substance trumps form, does it not?

Barbara Walters was David Letterman’s guest tonight, and they were discussing various well-known international leaders, mainly dictator types.  She demonstrated knowledge, class and compassion.  Yet she too expressed her quandary with the times.  Wrapping up a summation of a current world situation, Ms. Walters declared that she didn’t even know what she was saying.  Trying to describe the realities of the times brought her to a standstill.

I feel exactly the same way these days.  Even as I begin to form a thought or opinion, it fizzles out.  There is no point.  I don’t say this by way of despair or fatalism.  Not at all.  But when I was watching one of the last  government shutdown news broadcasts – before it was ‘resolved’ –  for the first time, I felt a disgust with Washington, DC.  Suddenly, to me, the whole kit & caboodle of ’em were disgusting.  I’ve seen this sentiment many times in online forums and comments, but I’ve never believed it to be true.  Until now.

Is it just me?  Or is it the truth of the times?

Donald Trump was also a Letterman guest recently.  He emphatically volunteered the information that all of them up there on Capitol Hill dislike each other, can’t stand each other.  Trump has been around the block many times;  I would trust his input on a matter like this.

So where does it go from here?

~~~

I can only see one solution for this country.  More than ever there needs to be the planting of the seeds of knowledge of our Constitution, and of the heritage of America, still beautiful.  This has to happen.  Whether it is done from your home or in the classroom, through computer screen or the pages of a book, while in a church  or in a university – it has to happen.

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…here’s real Hope & Change…!

I wonder sometimes if the real underlying, ever-present battle is one between hope & despair preceded by fear.

During President Obama’s first-term campaign, (or was it early on in his Presidency?) his ‘politics of division’ was often mentioned. I remember reading that he was deliberately seeking to create class warfare; this, to me, as a fairly novice embracer of things political ,was a confusing notion. Now, everything is suspect! – but then I was ignorant of the darker, devious motives that might be employed to achieve one’s political goals. In my naive, lala land, God-bless-America mentality, I just assumed that both God and Washington, D.C. were good. All the time.

I still don’t absolutely know if Barack Obama was working on the warfare thing, or if he still is, at times. I read this, I hear that, and I think I get it – then someone I respect presents a whole other viewpoint that makes perfect sense, and I am again befuddled.

The thing is, once an idea like promoting division through envy, and employing scare tactics in the process, gets in your head, it can be almost impossible to blot it out. There lingers a grain of suspicion. Add that to all the other grains of other suspicions…or bushels of them…one remains cautious. Like Fox Mulder, I want to believe but the truth is more important. Judge nothing before the time, and perhaps always retain some skepticism until you are absolutely sure.

~~~

Lately, I keep coming across the idea of the Obama adminstration (or President Obama himself) employing scare tactics as a means to their/his ends. Despite my slight change of heart towards the President (link) , I find that my earlier suspicions remain intact. Though I am trying not to be adversarial, in my view, he is still suspect – so I seriously consider this fear maneuver as being a reality.

Just 2 days ago, in her article ‘The Anti-Confidence Man ‘ (guess who that is?), Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal columnist, wrote: “Their whole approach is still stoke and scare—stoke resentment and scare the vulnerable…” “The White House is, as always, confident of its strategy: Scare people as much as possible and let the media take care of the rest”, she declared the week before.  Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal advises the President to “… stop sending out your cabinet secretaries to scare the American people.”  “Then the Sequestration cuts won’t scare people like the current administration is trying to do.” (“The Politics of Fear and Sequestration” )

Fear is a powerful inhibitor.When I find myself in the grips of it, my ability to think is frozen. That is usually not a good thing. The opposition could easily manipulate and overtake. Our Founding Fathers knew that, given certain circumstances, fear might “trigger the temptation to surrender freedom to a demagogue promising strength and security in return.” (The Politics of Fear)  Where fear fractures reason, hatred & division can be a problematic result. We might trust the wrong person, become aligned with the wrong kind of thinking, and make choices detrimental to our well-being. Personal choices become a national reality, as citizens and then as a nation we lose our sovereignty.

Is this what you really want?

~~~

As with just about everything, conflicts and dilemmas lead me back to God. God does not give a spirit of fear  (2 Timothy:7).  There are no ifs, ands, or buts about this, as far as I can see. The antidote to fear is love – perfect love casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18)  And since Scripture teaches us that God is love and God is perfect…He is the starting point for combatting fear.

How this works out for each of us, on an individual basis, is personal. I can’t say how you or anyone might need to employ these truths of the Word, or specifically how, going forward, these principles can & will – if we try & if we let them – work out in our national realities. But getting a handle on the the true nature of the Lord can only help.

~~~

I realize this is my third Peggy Noonan quote, but I respect her thinking and like her style, so here goes:  “…I see an opening for a candidate down the road who does the opposite of what Washington is doing now. Washington now is like a suffering marathon. Which kind of suffering do you want the most, cuts, tax increases, FAA flight controllers leave, it’s all about suffering. Someone coming forward and saying, no, actually, it’s all about growth. We can get dynamism back in our country again…”

Isn’t that a grand and wonderful approach? Doesn’t it make your heartbeat quicken? There are people who actually do see things this way…folks, here is the real hope and change…

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Evolving concerning Barack Obama…?

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Not too long ago, watching David Gregory interview the President on Meet the Press , I was struck not by the President’s words or the topic – but his manner. Low key, matter-of-fact. Not carefully crafted rhetoric type speech (though I don’t doubt that it was carefully crafted to appear not so.) Still, down-to-earth & willingly explanatory. To me, this seems significant, big time…My personal impression of the President’s manner of speaking was confirmed by one of the panelists, Presidential historian & author of Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin. Her first response to Mr. Obama’s words was that she noticed a change in his style: “I thought he spoke in a different tone today, more conversational…he’s learned from that first term where he was arguing with– to explaining things. He talked simply in this thing. He talked conversationally.”

So, I didn’t imagine it. And I was very aware of that today also (January 14, 2013), watching his news conference televised on FOX 29. Maybe this shift in style is something as basic as, he won re-election & the heat is off, he’s undeniably Chief and can relax more in this secured position. Or maybe the shift represents as well a thoughtful change in his approach to We, the People…

~~~

My animosity towards this man, over the past 4+ years, has probably contributed no small part to the stress level in my life, as well as some physical ailments. It is a RELIEF to watch & listen to not only Barack Obama but many others with a more open mind. (Bi-partisan?) Not looking at certain ones through shades of resistance & hostility allows me, to my cautious surprise, to realize that maybe he/she is not the enemy…and, oh my, I think I actually see their point, and, uh, I think I agree with it.

And I’m also finding that some of those points are the same as certain suspicions nagging at the edge of my consciousness, concerning past issues & conversations, which I tried to ignore…but which I suspected held the truth. Certain apparently patriotic crusades & tirades sometimes struck me as extreme, too far left or right, even radical in a ‘your adversary the devil’ kind of way. It looks like I may have been headed towards the right track at times but thought I wasn’t!, and chose to stay off it! Well, Jesus said that even the very elect, if it were possible, shall be deceived…so, if ‘the elect’ could be led off-course, so could I…

I am not tossing the baby out with the bath water, nor leading the Barack Obama parade with banners & balloons.  Believe me, I am not.  I want to be careful here in this transitional place. Very careful. But the Scriptures tell us, in the thirteenth chapter of 1st. Corinthians, that loves believes all, hopes all. I sometimes wonder what that means, believes ‘all’…but this approach perhaps creates an open door to healing possibilities.

~~~

Yet, at the same time, we are also cautioned in these same Scriptures to “…judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts…” (1 Corinthians 4: 5)