From Desiring God:
And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
— Ezekiel 11:19-20
Charles Spurgeon, the great preacher from the 19th century was saved when he was 16. His recounting of how it came to be is good to remember for all of us:
I can recall the very day and hour when I first received those truths (of election and effectual calling) in my own soul—when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron, and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown on a sudden from a babe into a man—that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God.
One week-night when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, “How did you come to be a Christian?” I sought the Lord. “But how did you come to seek the Lord?” The truth flashed across my mind in a moment—I should not have sought him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that he was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, “I ascribe my change wholly to God.”
In a recent article, Byron York at NRO looked at how Sarah Palin governed in Alaska. What the article demonstrates is that she has learned quickly and governed more than ably and that the talk on the campaign trail is not empty rhetoric.
Of note, York describes her style of governing:
[I]t’s fair to say that overall, Palin’s time in office, from her swearing-in until the moment John McCain picked her to be his running mate, has been a success. And from her handling of the issues she has tackled, it’s possible to see a pattern in the way she approaches governing.
First, she hires well. “There was a pretty good team of people assembled right away to come in and start with her big-picture principles and develop a process and legislation to carry that out,” says Joe Balash. “I would say that her management style is to give her staff, her cabinet, a pretty long leash, but with very high expectations — and she’s not afraid to tell you that you didn’t get it right.”
Second, she is involved with details on some big things, but not on everything. “When it comes to issues that she cares about, that she knows the public cares about, she’s got all kinds of time and prioritizes things in a big way,” says one insider who has worked with her and asked not to be named. “For the mundane tasks of government . . . say, regulations for the Kenai River, she instead looks for recommendations from her cabinet and the regulatory agencies, but she’s not going to get in and argue specific details.”
Third, she is dead set on fulfilling campaign promises. “There was this absolute expectation that if it was an issue that had been talked about during the campaign and there was a particular commitment that she had made, then we had to live up to it, no matter how difficult,” says Balash, “because her big thing was restoring the confidence of the public in state government.”
From that same article, Republican state senator Gene Therriault sums it up best when he says: “She’s been in office for two years now and has been fairly successful, which either belies the argument that she was not prepared or is an argument for the fact that she is a quick study.”
Read the whole article here.
I have read more than once, from various sides of the political spectrum, how appalling John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate was. Perhaps they may have reasons, although I will point out that any serious student of presidential history will see that Sarah Palin is no less experienced than many people who served capably as president of this country. But appalling? Here is video of what kind of character Sarah Palin has and the nerve she has touched for one segment of our society.
I guess I can’t really understand that hatred that is being directed toward this woman. Perhaps it’s easier for people to direct that hatred toward her rather than come right out and say it’s Down syndrome people they really hate. Or, rather, would not want to see live in the first place. That is what is appalling.
Economy. War. Taxes? Here is one thing that Barack Obama has promised he will do as president as soon as he is inaugurated:
One of Barack Obama’s most potent campaign claims is that he’ll cut taxes for no less than 95% of “working families.” He’s even promising to cut taxes enough that the government’s tax share of GDP will be no more than 18.2% — which is lower than it is today.
It’s a clever pitch, because it lets him pose as a middle-class tax cutter while disguising that he’s also proposing one of the largest tax increases ever on the other 5%. But how does he conjure this miracle, especially since more than a third of all Americans already pay no income taxes at all? There are several sleights of hand, but the most creative is to redefine the meaning of “tax cut.”
For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase “tax credit.”
Read the whole thing
Joe Biden, the man chosen by Barack Obama to serve as his vice presidential running mate, is a man who is not afraid to let his mouth run and say what’s on his mind. And, to be honest, when you hear what’s on his mind it’s not just amusing but more often disturbing.
Of course there is plenty of talk about his gaffes (like referring to FDR going on TV after the 1929 stock market crash), but his thinking about an issue like abortion reveals not just muddled thinking but a man who wants to have it both ways.
John F. Cullinan, in an article on National Review Online, says Biden has often referred to himself as an “Irish Catholic kid from Scranton” as a way of ingratiating himself with voters who hold moral issues highly. But, because of his lack of discipline concerning his tongue, he often betrays himself as a person who holds views that are in fact in opposition. Cullinan gives an example:
One moment he’s wearing his Catholic faith on his sleeve, the next he’s thumbing his nose at basic Catholic teaching. For Biden, faith has long served as sword and shield: “The next Republican that tells me I’m not religious,” he once vowed, “I’m going to shove my rosary down their throat.”
Such calculated bravado has long helped Biden to obscure the radical inconsistency between what he says and what he does, especially regarding the basic human right to life. “My position is that I am personally opposed to abortion,” Biden wrote in his 2007 autobiography, “but I don’t think that I have the right to impose my views on the rest of society.”
Never mind that Biden has otherwise shown no such reluctance to impose his views; that his personally opposed, publicly supportive dodge applies solely to life issues; or that this intellectual and moral muddle is wholly inexplicable other than by political expediency and political partisanship.
While there is talk about Obama somehow replacing Biden on the Democratic ticket, the truth is that Biden’s faux religion serves the purpose of somehow softening Obama’s extreme liberal views. The problem is, however, that Biden continues to put his foot in his mouth and thus makes his religious ruse all too obvious. More people, hopefully, are paying attention.
UPDATE: So now Barack Obama is attacking Gianna Jessen for what his campaign is calling “sleazy ads” that are “anti-choice.” Jessen responds:
“Mr. Obama is clearly blinded by political ambition given his attack on me this week. All I asked of him was to do the right thing: support medical care and protection for babies who survive abortion – as I did 31 years ago. He voted against such protection and care four times even though the U.S. Senate voted 98-0 in favor of a bill identical to the one Obama opposed. In the words of his own false and misleading ad, his position is downright vile. Mr. Obama said at the recent Saddleback Forum that the question of when babies should get human rights was above his pay grade. Such vacillation and cowardice would have left me to die if his policies were in place when I was born. Thank God they were not.”
Jill Stanek also weighs in:
“It is despicable, repulsive and beneath contempt that Barack Obama would attack Gianna Jessen. She is a courageous abortion survivor and living miracle who would not be with us today if Obama’s policies had been in place when she was born. Mr. Obama continues to mislead the American peopleon this issue, he voted four times against medical care and protection for babies who survive abortions in the Illinois State Senate, while the U.S. Senate was voting 98-0 to pass an identical bill. Mr. Obama needs to come forward and tell the American people that he understands people like Gianna Jessen, and that he will support and enforce Born Alive Infant protections — that these are living, breathing human beings who have come into our world and deserve protection in the law and should receive medical care at health care facilities. These babies have the same rights as the rest of us.”
Here is Obama’s ad:
HT: Michelle Malkin
Gianna Jessen, who I highlighted on this blog in June, is doing an ad for BornAliveTruth.org, a 527 organization that will be highlighting Barack Obama’s extreme views when it comes to abortion. The National Review Online interviewed Jill Stanek recently about the ad and why the group put it together. Stanek, a former nurse at Christ Hospital in Illinois, watched children left to die after surviving botched abortions. Her testimony led to the legislation in the Illinois statehouse that Obama passionately argued against.
Read the interview with Stanek and then watch the ad with Jessen below.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! — Isaiah 5:20
The Associated Press is reporting that Barack Obama is attacking John McCain for being too adamantly pro-life:
Obama is calling out McCain in ads that say the GOP nominee takes an “extreme position on choice” and “will make abortion illegal.” He is spreading his message through low-profile radio ads and campaign mailings, though, hoping to avoid being tagged as too liberal on a woman’s right to choose to end a pregnancy.
The article, written by the AP’s Liz Sodoti, says that each of the candidates are dancing around perceived “extreme” views in order to woo voters. But, if you listen to the candidates, I would disagree. In fact, the only “dancing” I’ve heard this election season is Obama’s “it’s above my pay grade” and Sen. Joe Biden’s “good people disagree” statements. McCain has been clear about what he believes, and we know where Gov. Sarah Palin stands. Let’s be clear here: McCain is pro-life and has voted that way. Obama is not and has voted that way. I’m not sure what a “moderate” position on abortion is just like I’m not sure what a “moderate” position on murder is. Honestly, I will give both candidates credit for not trying to occupy that ridiculous ground.