Steve King is Not Racist

On the one hand we have a mass of liberal democrats and the New York Times (but I repeat myself) who are telling us that Congressman Steve King is a racist, white supremacist, neo-nazi.  On the other hand we have….well, Republicans telling us that they agree with the Democrats.

Let’s examine the evidence.

  1. Steve King has stated repeatedly that he is not a racist, white supremacist, or a neo-nazi, most recently last week from the floor of the House.
  2. Steve King has made some comments that, taken out of context, can be made to appear as if he supports white supremacy.
  3. In October of 2016, according to the NYT, “Mr. King meets in Austria with leaders of the far-right Freedom Party, including Heinz-Christian Strache and Norbert Hofer. The party was founded in the 1950s by former Nazis.” He met with these people. Talking to someone is not the same thing as agreeing with them.
  4. His largest crime according to the NYT articles about him appears to be that he is actually proud of the accomplishments of white people, not unlike black people are proud of black accomplishments, latino people are proud of latino accomplishments, etc.

I have not heard one quote from him that is racist.  I’ve heard several quotes that the left would consider racist (such as “English should be our official language”) but are not actually racist. The closest thing he’s ever said that could be seen as racist is that there are Mexican drug mules bringing drugs into the US illegally. And yet this article and this article and this article show that it’s true.

If Steve King went on TV tomorrow and said, “All Mexicans are criminals” then I would reject him and label him racist.  But he has not done so. He has actually stated, “One of my most strongly held beliefs is that we are all created in God’s image and that human life is sacred in all its forms. All of my life’s work, all of my public record, all of my bills, all of my votes, all of my activities support that statement, that human life is sacred in all of its forms and that we are created in God’s image.”   

The resolution that the House voted on yesterday condemning white supremacy passed by a vote of 424 to 1.  You would think that the one was Steve King, but it wasn’t. He actually voted FOR the resolution condemning white supremacy. The one negative vote was from a Democrat who didn’t want to go on record condemning white supremacy, but instead wants a resolution censuring King.  Well Rep Rush, thanks for spoiling our chance to state emphatically on MLK’s birthday that the House unanimously rejects white supremacy.

As for Congressman King, I don’t know what is in store for him. He’s a true conservative, and as such, is a major target for the left.  I’m sure there are people reading these words that think I’m naïve or willfully ignorant, because you are just absolutely positive you know what’s going on inside Mr. King’s head.  Well I’ve seen racism, and he’s not it. I will continue to support Congressman King, I will continue to pray for Congressman King as I pray for all our leaders, that he would make wise choices, that he would do what is right, and that he would trust in Christ as Savior if he has not already done so.

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Past Tense

There is a way of thinking that permeates our culture and is reflected in almost every report given regarding someone who has died. I am talking about the practice of referring to people who have died in the past tense.

When we talk about something that happened in the past we use the past tense because it is past. It’s over. There is no more.

I had pizza yesterday.
I was 43 years old last year.
I got married 23 years ago.

My wedding was one day and it is over. The pizza was one slice and it is over. I am now 44 years old and I will never be 43 again. It’s totally appropriate to refer to things events happening in the past by using the past tense. The problem enters when we refer to people in the past tense.

When my wife went to visit family for Thanksgiving last month and I was not able to go with her I did not refer to her in the past tense when talking about her. I did not say, “My wife was a beautiful woman” or “My wife was very intelligent.” I said she IS beautiful, she IS intelligent. Because she is still alive. We were separated by distance, certainly, separation by distance does not negate existence. She does not cease to exist when I leave home to go to work.

In the same way, when someone dies they do not cease to exist. Those of us who have trusted in Christ as Savior and therefore identify ourselves as born again believers acknowledge this fact, that people do not cease to exist. Death is not the end. Death is a door way through which we step from this world into the next. I know several people personally in the next world. They are not dead. Their bodies are dead, yes, but that does not mean they as a whole are dead. When I get a haircut, part of my body is removed but I do not cease to exist. When someone gets their arm or foot amputated, part of their body is removed and is now dead but they do not cease to exist. And so it is with our physical body. The Bible says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. That applies to those of us who have trusted in Christ as Savior. Those who have not trusted in Christ are still alive when they leave their body but they wish they were not because the Bible says that they are suffering as we speak. So when someone dies we should not say they WERE our brother or our sister or our father. Because they ARE alive they still ARE our brother or sister or father.

Death is not an ending, it is only separation. As believers, we will one day be reunited with those of our family and friends that are also believers. That is the joy and the hope and the surety of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said in Matthew 22:31-32 ” “But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”” If God doesn’t refer to these people who no longer live on earth as “dead” then why do we?

So the next time someone asks you, “Did you love that person who died?”  You can answer, “Yes, I love them” instead of “I loved them.”  Because they aren’t gone, they’re just somewhere else.

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The Revision of My Voting Policy Regarding Trump

I have changed my mind. In April 2016 I said I would never vote for Donald Trump. I gave nine reasons why. But times have changed, and I now have almost two years of track record to look at for his administration. Here is the list of my nine reasons, each immediately followed by the reason I have changed my mind.

1. His character is lacking: Not lately.
2. He is a narcissist. In fact but not in practice.
3. He thinks he is never wrong: still true, but he does listen to people and consider carefully before he makes decisions. And never admitting you are wrong is acceptable so long as you aren’t wrong.
4. He is nonspecific about his plans: This is still true, but the decisions he’s made during the first two years of his Presidency have been good ones, by and large, so we can probably expect this to continue.
5. He supports Planned Parenthood. He has actually made moves to defund PP and CNN is upset with his moves against abortion, so they can’t be pro-abortion, right? That being said, the Republicans as a whole (not just Trump) are flat-out refusing to defund PP, so it’s not just Trump’s fault.
6. He is not a good businessman. Still true, but from his actions, he’s a good President.
7. He lies constantly: He still lies, but not constantly. And he has kept his promises about the important things.
8. He does not tell it like it is: This is still mostly true, but as I said, his actions speak louder than his words.
9. He’s not a Christian. From every evidence I’ve seen, he still has not stated that he has trusted in Christ or asked Him for forgiveness, but he is at least friendly to Christianity.

If his current decisions continue to be positive ones for the country for the next two years, I can definitely see myself voting to reelect Donald Trump. I have stated that we shouldn’t vote for the lesser of two evils, but until Christ returns there will always be two evils because all humans are sinners. The question is where do you draw the line? What evil is too much for me to support someone as leader? Given his behavior and decisions, I don’t think Trump is “too evil.”

At one point in 2016 I referenced “you shall know them by their fruits” but I believe he has shown good fruit as President. Yes, he’s a blowhard. Yes, he is egotistical and at times dishonest. But he has kept his promises. He has nominated two constructionist conservative justices to the SCOTUS, he has made several other moves in foreign policy AND domestic issues showing his decisions are conservative even if his personal positions are not.

This does not mean that I will definitely be voting for him, only that he is back on the table as a candidate I might vote for. In short, I believe people can change. And so must I.

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Heavenly Food

I had an interesting thought.

But first, background. When someone dies they go to one of two places. If they have trusted in Christ to forgive their sins their spirit goes to heaven. The Bible is unclear about whether or not we will be given temporary physical bodies in heaven. I’m not sure exactly how that works. I mean, in the account of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man asks for Lazarus to dip his FINGER in water so as to cool the rich man’s TONGUE. This would seem to indicate that we do have some kind of body complete with physical sensation.

When Christ returns for His church as promised in I Corinthians 15 it says we will receive immortal, imperishable bodies. Immortal means forever, so whatever body we had on earth or possible temporary body we had in heaven, we will, at that point, receive our new, permanent, immortal bodies. We will not die. I was going to say we will not ever get injured, but the Bible doesn’t say that. What it does say is that we will have no more pain and no more crying (after the final judgment, that is). So if we DO get injured, it won’t hurt, and it won’t be permanent. Why do I allow that we may get injured? Because the last chapter in the Bible, which takes place in eternity future, says that the leaves of the tree of life are “for the healing of the nations.”

But the point of this post is this: it will not be possible for us to starve to death after we get our incorruptible bodies. And yet the Bible shows that we will be able to eat. God created food in the Garden of Eden as a good thing. Jesus ate food after He rose from the dead. Revelation 22 says the tree of life will produce 12 different kinds of fruit. That implies it will be available to eat. So we will finally be able to enjoy eating the way God intended.

To be able to eat, but not need to eat. Now that sounds nice.

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When Did Music Change?

At what point in music did we as a human race decide that it’s a good thing to skip around and slide from note to note instead of making clean transitions? I mean, if you sing the notes as written, you’re not going to sound like Whitney Houston.

So when did we decide we weren’t going to sing the notes as written?

I mean, let’s look at “By Faith” which is written by Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend. I don’t think I have permission to post the sheet music as a whole, so I’m just going to post the first five measures for reference.

By Faith

Now, this video is sung by the Galkin Evangelistic Team, and if you look at the sheet music they get pretty close to following the notes, although they do slide a little bit (their transitions aren’t clean).  But when you listen to the same song sung by Kristyn Getty (one of the authors), not only is the sliding between notes more pronounced, she doesn’t follow the timing and she even adds extra notes in there that aren’t in the sheet music.  And if we go by how many people prefer the Getty version of singing in all different genres of music today I think that one is more popular.

So when did we as a society decide that this was a good thing?  Because it irritates me, and I’d really like to know.
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Every Adult Needs To See This Movie

Gosnell

I love words. They convey meaning, they can make us laugh, they can make us cry, they can make us FEEL.  They can make us know things we need to know.  I love words.

I almost always know what I’m going to say in situations.  “Speechless” is not a word that applies to me. Seriously, just ask anybody who knows me.  There are words to describe my use of words:  Verbose. Loquacious. Garrulous.  Sometimes I feel like Bugs Bunny in the cartoon where someone tells him to shut up and he shuts up with a paragraph..

And so it means something when I say that I have no words.

At least I didn’t.  After some time, I now have words again. I just got out of the theater.   I knew it wasn’t going to be entertainment. I knew it wasn’t going to be “fun.” But someone told me I needed to see this movie, and so I went.

I saw Gosnell.

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer

This is the story of a man who lost his respect for human life.  For those of you who are pro-choice, you need to see this movie.  For those of you who are pro-life, you need to see this movie. For those of you who are reading this right now: You. Need. To. See. This. Movie.

It is not fun.  It is one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen.  And sadder still because the practice of legal abortion continues.  In the hour and a half that I sat there watching the movie there were an estimated eight thousand abortions performed across the world. 125,000 babies are killed every day in the world, 3,000 of them in the United States.  That’s over forty-five million abortions per year.  There are eight million people living in New York City.  The population of NYC is killed in abortion clinics every two months.  The scale of this boggles my mind.  In the United States alone there have been 60,000,000 babies killed since Roe v. Wade was decided.

To me, abortion is two things.

  1. Abortion is the holocaust of our day. We look at the holocaust as a horrible event because of the 17 million people that were murdered by the Nazis. Well a holocaust-worth of human babies are killed every 4.5 months in the world. The fact that every person in the world isn’t rising up in protest of this atrocity is amazing to me.
  2. Abortion is the slavery of our day. It’s the moral issue that is perfectly legal and practiced in most countries in the world, just as slavery was several hundred years ago. And yet today no decent person would say that slavery is a good thing or even that it should be legal.  It is my hope and prayer to Almighty God that someday we will look back on abortion with the same attitude that we now view slavery:  a horrible human rights crime that our ancestors practiced, a practice we’re ashamed of, but something we fought to end.

The smugness on the face of the actor portraying Kermit Gosnell all throughout the movie was infuriating. The roadblocks that were thrown down for the prosecutor at every turn, the media blackout that happened (this may be the first time some of you are hearing of this man), and the outright censorship that is currently occurring just because the movie was released is amazing.  Theaters refused to show this movie. Theaters are pulling this movie prematurely. Why? Because there are those in our society that will do anything to keep people from hearing anything negative about abortion. A “woman’s right to choose” is held up over and over and over as vastly more valuable than that of human life itself.  At one point in the movie a judge commands the district attorney’s office to care for Gosnell’s endangered pet turtles.  The irony of her vehemence that turtle life be preserved in light of her attitude towards abortion is shocking.

In short, watch the movie.  You will not enjoy it, but your eyes will be opened.  Pray for our country. Pray for our world. This massacre will not go unpunished.  God is love, but God is also wrath.  And as Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

May God have mercy on our souls.

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I’m No Botanist

Magnolia

When I was a kid, I lived for a time in the house that my great-grandfather built. I have been told that my grandfather was born in that house. As in, not at the hospital but inside the house.  My parents were living there when I was born (at the hospital).  Years later I lived there again.

We had a magnolia tree in the back yard.  I used to climb in that tree, and I loved the smell of the blossoms every year.  I can honestly say that tree has been my favorite tree ever.   I recently moved back to Adel, Iowa to pastor the Baptist church in town, and since I hope to be here for many years, I decided it might be a good idea to try growing my own magnolia tree.  There are over 200 varieties of magnolia.  I don’t know what variety my tree is, but I knew that’s the one I wanted.  So I called up my aunt (to get access to the house, which is currently vacant), and we went looking.  I really hoped there would be a seedling that I could just dig up and transplant, but there weren’t any.  Plan B was to get cuttings.

As the title says, I’m not a botanist, but I am following the advice of videos I’ve found online to attempt to grow a new tree from some branches I cut off the existing one. I removed most of the side twigs and leaves from the cuttings I took, and then made a cut in the end of each one, and dipped them in this root hormone powder I bought.  Then I shoved them in a mixture of dirt and peat moss.

I don’t know if anything will come of it.  If the tree is still there next year I may try again if these cuttings are unsuccessful, as one video informed me that June-August is the best time to do this.

I also took a cutting of the Concord grapevine that has grown there for decades. Did the same procedure.  I have less hope for that one, but we’ll see what happens.

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