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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Stop the Honduran Invasion

What would you say if I told you that there was a man that is on his way to your house, and when he arrives, he is going to live there whether you like it or not? That’s the situation our country is in right now, because there is a large invasion force seven thousand people strong that is headed for our southern border from Honduras. These people are not American citizens. They have not received permission to enter the United States.

Now some would say (and I agree) that life is a basic human right, which is odd coming from those who support abortion, but I digress. They say, “You don’t care that these people are fleeing the violence in their country.” That’s not true. I DO care, and it should stop, but Honduras is NOT the United States. Honduran citizens are NOT the citizens of the US. They need help, but forcing us to care for them is not the way.

When I was young I helped my family participated in sending care packages to Honduras. I still remember packing boxes with bags and bags of rice, beans, powdered milk and many other things. I didn’t speak Spanish, but packing those boxes is why I will never forget the meaning of the words arroz, frijoles, and leche en pulvo. We took the boxes to a farm in Minnesota where they then shipped them to some aid station in Honduras to help feed hungry people. I am not heartless. But if those Hondurans had shown up at our door and started taking our food and other belongings out of our house? They would have gotten a much different response.

I sincerely hope that the United Nations takes action to help the country of Honduras. I think human rights abuses are horrible. But I don’t think that allowing the citizens of Honduras to enter other countries illegally is the answer. So far Guatemala and Mexico have not stopped them. Let’s hope that Trump can stop them at our border.

I don’t have any easy answers, but if I were President, here’s what I would do:
1. I would immediately put a hold on all immigration from the three countries that have helped cause this problem: Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, until such time as they show willingness to abide by international law.
2. I would immediately end foreign aid to all three countries.
3. I would assemble a force of Americans to stop these people from crossing the border. I would direct this force to detain anybody who crcosses illegally. I would then determine if the person has a visa. If no visa, no entry, and they would be returned to Mexico, and let Mexico deal with them, since Mexico let them in at their southern border.

I don’t have all the answers. Maybe somebody has a better idea. But I know that allowing 7,000 people to enter illegally is not the answer. If these people are allowed to enter, then our borders truly mean nothing.

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Resign to Run?

I just had a great idea. At least I think it’s a great idea.  I’m not really sure, I mean, it’s new. It’s a baby idea.  Maybe someone else thought of this already and there’s whole books written about why this would be a bad idea.  I don’t know, because I’ve never heard of it. It just came to me.

What if we passed a law that said if someone files paperwork to run for federal office (US House, US Senate, VP, or President), the day they file papers to run, they must also resign from their current elected office.  You’re a congressman that wants to run for Senate?  First resign from your House seat.  You’re a Senator that wants to run for President? First resign from your Senate seat.

That way we could clean out the legislative branch in a few election cycles, because the number of congresspeople running for Senate every two years AND President every four would allow fresh blood into the legislature.  Ultimately I’d like congressional term limits (maybe two terms for each chamber: four years in the House, 12 years in the Senate), but that doesn’t seem to be popular.

So what do you think?

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