Sarah Palin: Tough politician

OK, I’m kind of wearing out the Sarah Palin posts today, but this article in the Wall Street Journal gives a good summary of her political style while she’s been governor in Alaska:

When she ran for governor as a Republican outsider in 2006, she took on not only a sitting governor from her own party but Alaska’s Republican establishment — vowing to clean up a political system that had been rocked by an FBI corruption investigation.

After winning handily, her popularity in Alaska has soared as high as 83% as she has gone on to sack political appointees with close ties to industry lobbyists, shelved pork projects by fellow Republicans and even jumpstarted a campaign by her lieutenant governor, Sean Parnell, to unseat veteran Rep. Don Young of Alaska in the Republican primary held this past Tuesday. The winner has yet to be declared in that contest, as Mr. Young currently leads by less than 200 votes and a recount seems likely.

Gov. Palin has shown similar fearlessness in going after Big Oil, whose money has long dominated the state. She appears, for example, to have forced Alaska’s dominant oil producers, ConocoPhillips and BP PLC, to finally get serious about a natural-gas pipeline — without making any tax or royalty concessions.

“People see her as the symbol of purity in an atmosphere of corruption,” says Anchorage pollster Marc Hellenthal. “She’s more like Saint Sarah.”

You can, and should, read the whole artice here.

So, who is Sarah Palin?

The Palin family
The Palin family

We will hear much in the coming days and weeks about Sarah Palin. In her own words, she considered herself “an extreme longshot” to be chosen as John McCain’s pick for vice president. She is decidedly conservative and a strong family person.

After she had her fifth child this past April and the child was diagnosed as a Down syndrome child, this is what she said about how she and her husband felt about it:

“We’ve both been very vocal about being pro-life,” Governor Palin said. “We understand that every innocent life has wonderful potential.”

“I’m looking at him right now, and I see perfection,” Palin told the Associated Press. “Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?”

Consider the power of life and death your words have

Mark Driscoll, the preaching pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, will be one of the featured speakers at the Desiring God National Conference on Sept. 26-28 in Minneapolis. This year’s theme is “The Power of Words and the Wonder of God.” The folks at Desiring God have been posting short interviews with the speakers leading up to the conference. In this interview, Driscoll talks about the effect and power our words have:

Allyson Felix runs for the glory of God at the Olympics

Allyson Felix takes a handoff from Mary Wineberg on the second leg of the Olympic women's 1,600 relay. The U.S. women won in 3:18.54.

One of my favorite all-time movies is Chariots of Fire. I love it when Eric Liddell tells his sister that when he runs he feels God smiling on him. It sounds so self-centered, but the point is that Liddell is running for God’s glory, not his own. And that is a good way to look at sports or any other interest that we may pursue. It is because God has blessed us with a talent we should do it our best for His sake, not ours.

All of that brings me to the recent Olympic games in Beijing, China, where many athletes did many outstanding things. I am sure that there were many who understood that the talents that got them to China were bestowed by a great God on humble human beings. One of those great athletes is Allyson Felix of the United States. Felix, who is a sprinter, won a gold in the 1,600 relay and a silver in the 200. She was disappointed in her performance in the 200, where she was the reigning world champion, but she didn’t let that stop her from giving her all in the relay.

In a feature segment run during the games, she is clear about where her heart is. Clink on the image below for the video:

And, to remember  a truly great Olympic athlete and a dedicated servant of God:

What is the difference between being anxious and being careful?

There are times when I wonder what exactly the Bible means when it tells us not to be anxious. I mean, where does being careful or prudent turn into being anxious?

John Piper, after almost being run over while walking across the street one day, wondered about the same thing and wrote a great article on it. Here is his conclusion:

“Do not be anxious for your life” (Luke 12:22) does not mean: Walk on red (at least not always). It means: 1) don’t fantasize nervously about getting pasted in the crosswalk; 2) believe that if you do get pasted, God is still in control and you will be with him and he will take care of your family; 3) if a carton of gold is across the street and the kingdom of God is on this side, don’t cross even on green; 4) if a red light tries to stop you from giving a big missions offering this week, walk on red! (Financial precautions are almost always too conservative.) After blue, God’s favorite color is green. Consider the lilies.

God’s Favorite Color :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library.

Bigfoot is fake. Jesus is real

Bigfoot turned out to be a hoax. Look into Jesus.

Not that this is a surprise, but it turns out the recent discovery of Bigfoot in Georgia was a hoax. I read somewhere in the last week someone saying that Bigfoot is like religion in that it is something that exists in legend but is not real. But that’s just not the same. Consider: What would it mean if Bigfoot indeed exists? What exactly does the existence of Bigfoot mean in our lives? Anything?

Now consider Jesus. What does it mean that Jesus exists? Plenty. There aren’t many people who are saying that Jesus didn’t walk in this world around 2,000 years ago. Many argue about what kind of man he is and what impact his life should have in our lives. And, more importantly, what impact does his death and resurrection have?

In the Bible, in Matthew 28, it talks about Easter Sunday when Jesus arose from the tomb after being dead three days after his crucifixion. It says:

When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

So, there is a lot riding on it. John Piper lays out how important:

If this is true, if this is real – that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead (verse 6), and that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him (verse 18), and that he will be with his disciples to the end of the age (verse 20) – if this is true, then nothing is more important in our lives, nothing is more crucial or more urgent or more needful than believing it and becoming a follower of Jesus. I know it’s a big if – if this is true, if this is real (you may believe it or not) – but if the premise is true, wouldn’t you agree with the conclusion? – nothing is more important for everyone in this room than to believe in him and be his follower.

That’s it. Nothing is as important. Not my family. Not my health. Not my job. Not what’s on TV. Not my retirement. Nothing. I will live on with or without Bigfoot being real. I cannot have life without Jesus because he not only did he die but he also rose and lives now. No one can live without him.

New Twins Ballpark video tour

And, because baseball was meant to be played outdoors so we could see it and appreciate God’s great work in nature at the same time, here is a link to a video tour of the new Minnesota Twins ballpark. The new park will open in 2010. Click on the image below to watch the tour. (Note: Watch you see in the image is just a model of the ballpark so, no, that is not Paul Bunyan standing behind it getting ready to grab some Twins fans. As a bonus, you get to hear a real, live Minnesotan describe the ballpark in his real, live Minnesotan accent. Ah, it brings back memories. 🙂 )

The news Twins ballpark will open in downtown Minneapolis in 2010.
The news Twins ballpark will open in downtown Minneapolis in 2010.

And, to make it unique, get ready for the Stone Zone.