Pumped

The famous Boston pastor, A. J. Gordon, visited the World’s Fair in Chicago. From a distance he saw a man robed in bright, gaudy Oriental clothes, who appeared to be laboriously turning the crank of a pump and thereby creating a mighty flow of water.

Gordon was impressed with the man’s energy, his smooth motions, and his obvious physical conditioning. He was pumping a tremendous amount of water. Drawing closer, Gordon was surprised to discover that the man was actually made of wood. Instead of turning the crank and making the water flow, the flow of the water was actually turning the crank and thereby making him go!

Are you tired? Most of us are. Half the population doesn’t get enough sleep. That is probably because the other half snores. But either way, we are tired.

One reason may be that we have been doing all the pumping. When you decide to generate all the power, you will always be exhausted. But when you plug into the real Source, you will experience a power you never imagined before. The choice is yours. You can pump or be pumped.

If you are tired of being the pumper, I suggest you become the pumpee.

What Great Parents Do

In his book, The Upper Room, J. C. Ryle writes on the subject of effective parenting. He offers 17 observations on what successful Christian parents do well. These are five of those strategies.

1. They train their children in the way they should go, not the way they would go.

The child knows not yet what is good for his mind and soul, any more than what is good for his body. The good parent does not just teach his child what to eat and when to sleep, but how to live.

2. They parent with tenderness.

Love should be the silver thread that runs through all the parent’s conduct. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is present in effective Christian parenting.

3. They teach their kids God’s Word.

Effective parenting involves teaching the Bible. The Word is to dwell in the child fully. It is never too early to begin.

4. They lead their children to a lifestyle of prayer.

Prayer is the breath of real religion. Prayer is, of all habits, the one which we recollect the longest.

5. They teach their kids to manage their time wisely.

Parents teach their kids to value time, and to use it well. As Billy Graham says, what we do with our time is the one thing that makes all the difference.

National Geographic Society Founded

On this day in 1888, the National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, D.C., for “the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.” The 33 men who formed the society were a diverse lot, sharing an interest in scientific and geographical knowledge. Nine months after its inception, the society published the first issue of National Geographic magazine. Readership soared in 1899 when editor Gilbert H. Grosvernor began publishing articles of general interest accompanied by stunning photographs.

By using its revenues from the magazine to sponsor expeditions and research projects, the society has been instrumental in making possible some of the great achievements in exploration and science, including Robert Peary’s journey to the North Pole, Richard Byrd’s flight over the South Pole, Jacques Cousteau’s oceanographic work, and Jane Goodall’s observations of wild chimpanzees. One of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions, the society today sees itself as a guardian of the planet’s natural resources.

I love the National Geographic. They take great pictures. For that they are to be congratulated. But they don’t create the nature they photograph. That honor belongs to God. And for that He is to be congratulated.

How Far Will You Go?

How far will you go in life? Today, let’s talk about the single most important factor in determining your worth and destiny.

Doug Firebaugh said it this way: “Achievement to most people is something you do. But to the high achiever, it is something you are.”

Professors James Kouzes and Barry Posner have spent more than 25 years surveying leaders in virtually every type of organization, in which they ask, “What values, personal traits, or characteristics do you look for and admire most in a leader?”

During those years, they have administered a survey questionnaire called “Characteristics of Admired Leaders” to more than 75,000 people on six continents.

“The results,” they report, “have been striking in their regularity over the years, and they do not significantly vary by demographical, organizational, or cultural differences.”

And what quality is most admired in leaders? The answer is honesty.

Norman Schwarzkoft said, “Ninety-nine percent of leadership failures are failures of character.”

The good news is, you can go really far in life and achieve great things. But you must come by it honestly.

The Rushmore Report: Super Bowl Gospel Presentation Coming to Lakewood Church

The NFL Super Bowl Gospel Presentation, the only multicultural event sanctioned by the National Football League, will kick off Super Bowl 51 on Friday, February 3, 2017, with its 18th annual star-studded concert at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. The annual event joins together key NFL players and top gospel and contemporary Christian artists.

GRAMMY Award-winning artists and special guests will gather on one stage to bring audiences an evening of uplifting music and inspirational messages.

The event became the first, and remains the only gospel concert sanctioned by the NFL. The show has drawn hundreds of thousands and has demonstrated growth year after year, selling out venues in major Super Bowl host cities, including Dallas, Tampa, Detroit, Jacksonville, and Phoenix.

“We founded this event to bring even more inspiration and celebration to one of the biggest events of the year – the Super Bowl,” says Melanie Few-Harrison, Creator and Executive Producer of Super Bowl Gospel Celebration.

“Each year we aim to touch lives in a meaningful way and make the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration bigger than the last with artists and special guests. We look forward to kicking off Super Bowl 51 in Houston and making our mark as the best, most uplifting event we’ve had in our 18-year history.”

The show features amazing testimonies from current and former NFL players. Hundreds of players and coaches have participated in the past, including Ray Lewis, Emmitt Smith, Tony Dungy, Tim Brown, and Devon Still.

The highlight of the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration is the Players Choir. Featuring current and former NFL players, the choir has become one of the most anticipated performances during Super Bowl Weekend. The choir made its debut at the 2008 show with more than 40 members.

About the Source

The Seattle Medium is the largest African American owned and operated newspaper in the Pacific Northwest.

The Rushmore Report: Chip Gaines’ Amazing Response to America’s Disunity

Chip and Joanna Gaines are rock stars. As hosts of one of cable television’s most successful shows, Fixer Upper, they are seen by as many as ten million viewers each week. Therefore, though unfair, they were challenged by mainstream media to defend their pastor’s controversial remarks about gay issues. Now, Chip has offered an amazing response to the division in America.

These are his words . . .

“Jo and I sometimes don’t see eye to eye on stuff. She looks at something one way and in her gut she thinks she is right, and I look at it an entirely different way. I wish that she could get with the program and just see things the way that I do. (Of course, I’m kidding – we all know Jo’s usually right.) If Joanna and I, who are best friends, don’t see lots of things the same way – how on earth do we expect a world of strangers to magically align? The reality is, we may not all get on the same page and I think that’s okay.

“This past year has been tough. In my lifetime, I can’t recall humanity being more divided. Plenty of folks are sad and scared and angry and there are sound bites being fed to us that seem fueled by judgement, fear, and even hatred. Jo and I refuse to be baited into using our influence in a way that will further harm an already hurting world. This is our home. A house divided cannot stand.

“If there is any hope for all of us to move forward, to heal and to grow – we have got to learn to engage people who are different from us with dignity and with love. Joanna and I have personal convictions. One of them is this: we care about you for the simple fact that you are a person, our neighbor on planet earth. It’s not about what color your skin is, how much money you have in the bank, your political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, nationality, or faith. That’s all fascinating, but it cannot add or take away from the reality that we’re already pulling for you. We are not about to get in the nasty business of throwing stones at each other. Don’t ask us to, ’cause we won’t play that way.

“In 2017, we have decided to change the conversation. You wanna talk about how to build bridges between people that disagree? We want to be a part of that conversation. Do you want to talk about healing and compassion and kindness and restoration? We’re in the restoration business; we can for sure make time for that.

“I think we are all here for a reason. I think we all have a call on our lives. Your role is not my role, and thank goodness, because there is so much unique and important work to be done. Jo and I feel called to be bridge builders. We want to help initiate conversations between people that don’t think alike. Listen to me, we do not all have to agree with each other. Disagreement is not the same thing as hate; don’t believe that lie.

“Also, let’s cut each other a little slack. This living out loud thing is not for the faint of heart. Jo and I don’t want to hide; we want to live brave and bold lives and we wish that same thing for you as well. But words can cut deep and having someone misunderstand your intentions can hurt as much as just about anything. If I misjudge people and am wrong, I want to be wrong having assumed the best about them. The bottom line is, I would rather be loving than be right.

“Our family wants to fight for a world that knows how to lovingly disagree. We believe it starts when we operate from a position of love in all things. If your position only extends to the people who agree with you, we want to respectfully challenge that position. We propose operating with a love so real and true that you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work alongside the very people that are most unlike you. Fear dissolves in close proximity. Our stereotypes and vain imaginations fall away when we labor side by side. This is how a house gets unified.

“Think about it for a minute. This could be one of the greatest restoration stories of all time.

“Who’s ready to get to work?”

The Rushmore Report: NBC, Rosie O’Donnell Attack Barron Trump

On November 21, “comedian” Rosie O’Donnell posted a video featuring Donald Trump’s 10-year-old son, with the caption “Barron Trump autistic?” Not to be outdone, NBC writer Katie Rich tweeted the following after the inauguration: “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter.” Can you imagine such treatment of Malia or Sasha Obama?

Let’s start with O’Donnell’s statement. We know three things. First, she said it. Second, she never offered a public apology. Third, the media basically ignored it.

Let’s consider Rich’s statement. The writer for Saturday Night Live tweeted her outrageous message to the Twitter world, then deleted it – after she knew it had been seen by millions. Again, there has been scant coverage by the media and she has not been fired by NBC.

There used to be this universally accepted practice in American politics – the president’s family was off-limits. In eight years, we never saw this kind of filth aimed at Obama’s daughters. If a conservative writer or entertainer had said such despicable things about President Obama’s daughters, they would have been fired.

But this is Donald Trump’s family. So, NBC offered no correction of condemnation of Rich’s statement. ABC continues to feature O’Donnell on The Match Game. For Katie Rich and Rosie O’Donnell there has been no price to pay for accusing the President’s 10-year-old son of being autistic and a future mass murderer.

Still some insist there is no double standard in the media. You need to find these people and sell them your stock in the Ford Edsel, while their ignorance of reality persists.

The Rushmore Report: Trump’s Early Report Card – 10 ‘A’s and 2 ‘F’s

President Donald Trump has been in office less than one week, but he has done enough to receive his first Report Card. Some of his actions reflect campaign promises, while others are standard operating procedure for an incoming president. He has shown that his adversarial relationship with the press, a consistent feature of his presidential campaign, seems likely to continue while he is in office.

With Trump, there is no middle ground. We will grade his early performance. For ten actions, he has earned an “A,” while on two others, he has earned an “F.” So here’s his first Report Card, just a few days into his term.

Where President Trump Has Earned an “A”

1. Worked on getting his Cabinet confirmed

Trump is moving forward with installing his Cabinet. On Friday, he signed a waiver to allow Gen. James Mattis to serve as secretary of defense. Then he signed executive orders to formally nominate his candidates for the heads of various federal departments.

2. Advanced the pro-life cause

By reinstating the “Mexico City Policy,” Trump prevented the federal government from providing funds to foreign organizations that provide abortions.

3. Issued executive order on Obamacare

While he cannot undo Obamacare with the stroke of his pen, the new president signed an executive order demonstrating his commitment to rolling back the law. His order directs the Department of Health and Human Services to minimize the financial burden of Obamacare on citizens.

4. Ended involvement in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership

With the stroke of a pen, Trump ended negotiations, which President Obama had failed to get through Congress anyway.

5. Ended regulations and implemented a hiring freeze

In an expected move, Trump issued an executive order Friday night, telling all agencies and departments in the executive branch to freeze any pending regulations. Then he froze all new federal funding.

6. Made nice with the CIA

In a speech in front of the CIA’s Memorial Wall, Trump downplayed his prior criticism of the intelligence community. He said he would aggressively support the CIA.

7. Reversed a planned cut on mortgage insurance

Trump signed an order that repeals the cut for mortgage insurance that had targeted many first-time home buyers.

8. Moved forward on the Keystone Pipeline

The president has announced his intent to bring the pipeline into reality. This affects Dakota access and lays the groundwork for the XL pipeline to go forward.

9. Spoke with Benjamin Netanyahu

Mr. Trump called the Israeli Prime Minister by phone. In so doing, he sought to improve relations between the two countries and signaled his support to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

10. Worked really long and really hard

The new president worked all day Saturday and Sunday. He is sending a clear message to Congress – it’s okay to work weekends. Do what is necessary to get the work done.

Where President Trump Has Earned an “F”

1. Fixation on inauguration crowd

Trump sent press secretary Sean Spicer out to celebrate his “largest crowd ever to see an inauguration.” When that was proven false, the message changed to “the largest audience to view an inauguration.” Predictably, the mainstream media made this their sole focus on Sunday’s shows. While they are certainly to blame for ignoring real events that affect real lives, and for giving President Obama a complete pass on each of his misstatements, they only had the issue because Trump gave it to them. In short, Trump stepped all over his own message. In tennis terms, it was a huge unforced error.

2. Claims of voter fraud

The President continues to promote the unsubstantiated claim that “millions” of votes were cast illegally, by non-citizens, double votes, or dead people. Now, he says he will investigate. Again, he is stepping on his own message. By giving the media such trivial dribble, he is allowing them to completely ignore the ten things he has done really well.

Spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sean Spicer are both doing amazing jobs representing the president. But he isn’t making it easy for them.

The Rushmore Report: Trump’s Ruling on Federal Jobs and Abortion

President Donald Trump signed executive orders implementing a hiring freeze across the U.S. government, except for the military, and renewing an intermittent federal policy that forbids international nonprofits receiving federal money from providing abortion services. These two far-reaching orders will be among Trump’s most significant acts.

The abortion rule is known as the Mexico City policy, and it dates to Ronald Reagan’s presidency. It was rescinded by former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, restored under former President George W. Bush, a Republican, and then rescinded again under former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, according to the Population Research Institute.

Senator Jean Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat and supporter of abortion rights, said on Monday that she would introduce legislation permanently ending the policy, which she called the “Global Gag Rule.” The bill is unlikely to advance with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress.

About the Author

Alex Wayne is a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, with a focus on national politics.

The Rushmore Report: ‘Women’s March Destructive’ – Anne Graham Lotz

More than a million people worldwide took part in the Women’s March on Saturday to protest President Donald Trump and show their support for women’s rights, specifically abortion. Conservative Christian evangelist Anne Graham Lotz, however, has warned that the movement is “destructive” and will lead women to their “spiritual and moral graves.”

CNN reported that over a million people around the world marched in rallies. Organizers said the protest was primarily a pro-choice rally in defense of abortion and abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, amid fears that Trump will appoint a pro-life justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lotz took to Facebook to share her feelings about the Women’s March, and said that while the protesters claimed to represent all women, what they were really looking out for was access to unrestricted abortion.

“My heart aches for many of the women I saw marching – women who have joined a movement that is deceptive and in the end will be destructive and lead them to a spiritual and moral grave. I pray earnestly for them to turn to the one, true, living God, who is the only One who can give them the deep, permanent peace, love, hope, and security we all long for,” Lotz wrote.

Notable celebrities took part in the Women’s March, though singer Madonna stirred controversy when she admitted that she had thought “an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”

Madonna later took to Instagram to clarify that she was not advocating for violence: “I spoke in metaphor and I shared two ways of looking at things – one was to be hopeful, and one was to feel anger and outrage, which I have personally felt.”

The Christian Post reported on Sunday that some pro-life supporters and street evangelists were treated roughly during the rally in Washington on Saturday, with Christians preaching against homosexuality and other sins reportedly shouted down and spat on.

“We expect that to happen because they are living according to the flesh and we shouldn’t expect anything less because people killed Jesus because He preached righteousness and called people to repent,” Joseph Neigh, a U.S. Army veteran and D.C.-based evangelist, told The Christian Post.

“There have been a lot of people who have done dirty dancing around us, flicked us off, cursed at us – but we are not going to return evil for evil. We say, ‘God bless you.’ We are not out here casting stones; we are throwing life preservers,” Neigh added.

About the Author

Stoyan Zaimov is a writer for The Christian Post, addressing political and social issues in modern America. He is a former writer for Sojourners magazine.