Honesty

There was an elderly lady who said to a little girl, “How do you do, my dear?”

The girl replied, “Quite well, thank you.”

After a long pause the woman asked, “Why don’t you ask me how I”m doing?”

The child paused and then said calmly, “Because I don’t care how you’re doing.”

There is another story about two women who were riding together on a bus. One of them suddenly realized that she had not paid the fare. “I will go right up to the driver and pay it now,” she said.

Her companion replied, “Why bother? You got away with not paying. So why pay now, if you don’t have to?”

The first woman said, “I have found that honesty always pays. It is a virtue. I couldn’t live with myself if I did not pay the fare.” At that, she went up to the front of the bus to pay the driver.

When she returned, she said to her new friend, “See, I told you honesty pays! I handed the driver a quarter, and he gave me 50 cents in change!”

Sometimes it is inconvenient to be honest. But it is always right. I don’t ever remember telling a lie and looking back on it as a good idea. Be a truth teller. God will bless you for that. Honestly!

A Few Good Men

One of the great movies of recent years was A Few Good Men. Jack Nicholson played the role of Colonel Nathan R. Jessup. In a courtroom scene, he bellowed to Tom Cruise, “You can’t handle the truth!”

The same could be said to the modern church. You want the truth? I’m afraid most of us can’t handle the truth. But here it is. Forty-six percent of people in their twenties say Christians get on their nerves. And only five percent of them are drawn to a church that bears a denominational name.

But most churches fall into one of two categories. We are a “checkmark church,” where we check off “I went to church today.” Or we are a “clown church,” driven by entertainment. And as a result, the church is losing ground.

We are like the Black Plague. In 1664, only a few cases were reported. By 1665, 590 died. And within a few years, 100 million were dead. Disease is like decay. It happens slowly.

The modern church must awaken to today’s reality. The world is hungry for Jesus. It’s not Jesus they don’t like; it’s the church. The way most of us are “doing church” isn’t working anymore. Does that make you angry? I told you, “You can’t handle the truth!”

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

The Rushmore Report: Are Liberal Policies Good for America?

When Seattle passed a $15 an hour minimum wage law, liberals cheered. That was three years ago. What did it accomplish for the poor – who the law was intended to help? A new report from the University of Washington finds that the law is actually hurting the very people it was intended to help. Since the passage of the law, the study finds, the average worker has clocked nine percent fewer hours and earned $125 less per month.

“If you’re a low-skilled worker with one of those jobs, $125 a month is a sizable amount of money,” Mark Long, a UW public-policy professor and an author of the report told the Seattle Times. “It can be the difference between being able to pay your rent and not being able to pay your rent.”

It’s all about simple math. Every company has a personnel budget. They have a limited amount of money to pay in salaries. When the government dictates they must pay employees more money, one of two things will happen, and either is bad for the poor. First, they will lay off some workers in order to have the money to pay the other workers. Second, if they don’t do that, they will simply raise their prices for consumers, which will again affect the poor. Additionally, forced wage hikes lead to inflation, meaning the poor will eventually have to pay more for a loaf of bread.

Count McDonald’s among the growing list of companies that is fazing out workers in order to save money. Automation is replacing workers.

Still not convinced? Setting the actual proof aside – the failed Seattle experiment – ask yourself this simple question. If $15 per hour is better than $10 per hour, and if – as liberals claim – the hike has no negative effects, why not raise minimum wage to $20 per hour? Why not $50 per hour? If $15 per hour has no negative effects verses $10 per hour, why stop there? That’s mean-spirited. Why not pay everyone much, much more?

One doesn’t have to be an economist to understand the simple math. When government steps in and mandates higher wages, small business owners either shut down, pay fewer employees (meaning lay-offs), or charge more for their services. Either way, the working class is harmed the most.

When government dictates that a company must pay its employees more money, said company doesn’t suddenly have more money to pay its employees. So, for example, instead of paying out $1 million in annual pay spread across 50 workers ($20,000 each), they will now pay 33 workers ($30,000 each), leading to lay-offs. Or worse yet, the company will eliminate all such employees, using modern automation instead.

So the working poor are hurt the most.

Other liberal policies are just as harmful to the working poor. Here are a few examples.

1. Climate change

New regulations rolled out by the Obama Administration, in a response to climate change (they used to call it global warming) have resulted in higher energy prices. Green energy still costs more than fossil fuels. And the poor spend a much higher percentage of their income on energy than the rich.

2. Environmentalism

Imposed regulations result in higher costs for factories. Environmental amenities are expensive. This affects all of us, but especially the working poor, who can least afford it.

3. National security

Open borders result in more crime. Sanctuary cities result in more felons going free and killing innocent lives. Pulling out of Iraq results in ISIS. More money spent on the welfare state results in less money for national security.

None of this is to impugn the motives of liberalism. But there are these pesky things we call facts. Fact: Obamacare gave us a 200% increases in premiums instead of the 25% promised cut. Fact: The war on poverty has left us with a higher poverty rate than ever – $20 billion later.

Let’s return to the most recent experiment in liberal economics. I’m sure the government of Seattle meant well when they raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour. But good intentions did little to help the thousands who were laid off. And good intentions did little to help the small business owners who could no longer afford to stay open.

Liberalism is a legitimate view. It is held by roughly a third of Americans. But I posit that there is a competing view that has proven superior when applied.

It’s called capitalism.

By all accounts, California is governed by pure liberalism, while Texas is governed by conservative capitalists. And guess which state is losing thousands of business owners and workers to the other state – every day?

And if you have a friend in Seattle who is benefiting from the highest minimum wage in America, you may want to send him a check – because he is making $125 a month less today than before he got his “raise.”

The Rushmore Report: President Trump’s Choice to Lead the Democratic Party

Since Donald Trump was inaugurated, there have been four special congressional elections to fill vacated seats in the House. Democrats are 0-4 in these contests. This has led to fresh introspection within the Democratic Party. What is clear is that the party lacks a unified vision for America. What is equally clear is that the party needs one leader around whom they can rally. Not surprisingly, President Trump has weighed in. He has thrown his support behind one experienced politician to lead Democrats as they seek to regain a majority in both houses of Congress in 2018.

And President Trump’s choice is . . .

Nancy Pelosi

Trump is now on record. He hopes Democrats keep Rep. Nancy Pelosi in her role as House Minority Leader. In a tweet, Trump offered his “endorsement” of Ms. Pelosi. “I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out. That would be very bad for the Republican Party – and please let Cryin’ Chuck stay!” (“Cryin’ Chuck” is Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.)

Trump’s tweet comes at a time when some Democrats are questioning if Pelosi is the right person to continue to lead the party in the House of Representatives.

“We need leadership change,” New York Democrat Rep. Kathleen Rice recently told CNN. “It’s time for Nancy Pelosi to go, and the entire leadership team.”

Criticism of Pelosi increased after Democrats lost in the special race in Georgia last week, with Republican Karen Handel’s win over Jon Ossoff.

For her part, Pelosi has made it clear that she isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Though Democrats have lost over 1100 seats to Republicans – House seats, Senate seats, Governor seats, and state congressional seats – since Pelosi rose to leadership, most in her party seem content with their current direction.

Count President Trump among her biggest supporters.

The Rushmore Report: Top Ten Reasons People Divorce

Marriage is not easy. Unfortunately, even couples with the best intentions can end up in divorce court. While divorce is not inevitable, it is becoming all too common. Couples getting married must be aware of the factors that lead to break-ups. Then they must remain on guard; divorce can hit anybody. There are a number of reasons people get divorced; the following are ten of the most common.

1. Extramarital affairs

According to a report published by AARP, infidelity still plays a significant role in why people file for divorce. However, usually there is an underlying reason that causes a spouse to cheat, including anger, resentment, and growing apart.

2. Weight gain

Surprisingly enough, “forever after” often comes with the caveat “as long as you maintain your figure.” According to a survey reported by Men’s Health, one spouse gaining substantial weight can be a damper on marital bliss, right or wrong.

3. Money

The American Journal of Sociology recently published a study that found a husband’s unemployment can be a key factor behind divorce. A couple facing financial difficulties is often under a lot of stress, which in turn harms communication.

4. Lack of communication

A commonly heard phrase to successful marriage is “communication is the key.” Relationship coach Deb Dutilh has found that communication can quickly mar feelings of love and romance. Once parties stop communicating effectively, marital troubles that lead to divorce are not too far behind.

5. Abuse

According to Simple Divorce Advice, physical, mental, and emotional abuse all are common reasons couples get divorced. Most people in such a marriage reach a breaking point. Without serious counseling the marriage will end.

6. Incompatibility

Nothing stays the same. Over time people grow, develop, and change. Changing interests or dreams often lead to incompatibility. Divorce Magazine reports that incompatibility is a growing reason that marriages end.

7. Unhappiness

This is at the root of a high number of divorces. Sometimes individuals don’t realize that love in and of itself is not enough to keep you happy. A study published by Penn State University concluded that “severe unhappiness” by one or both partners almost always brings an end to the marriage.

8. Addiction

People can become addicted to substances, behaviors, and even other people. This can wreck a person’s life. An addict often finds himself out of control as his addiction affects every area of his life. Henry Gornbein, a family law specialist, sees this as the fastest growing cause of divorce.

9. Age

According to a study published by the Wharton School at Penn, the age at which a couple marries plays a huge role in the success or failure of their marriage. The younger the couple that marries, the more likely they are to see their marriage end in divorce.

10. Parenting styles

Parenting is an even larger undertaking than getting married. Attorney Jeff Biddle says he has seen dozens of marriages end in divorce simply because the parents cannot agree on the way they should discipline their children.

About the Author

Shannon Johnson is an attorney who walked away from her practice to pursue her dream of writing. She is a frequent blogger on her site, Love to Know.

The Rushmore Report: Obama’s Liberalism Paved the Way for Donald Trump

The rapid pace of change in American life does not exempt politics. Witness how fast Democrats are cycling through scapegoats. First came Hillary Clinton. When she emerged to gripe about all the reasons she lost last year, except herself, party activists told her to be quiet and go away. She has – for now. Next came Nancy Pelosi. When Republicans won four contested special elections for House seats, disgruntled Dems turned their fire on their minority leader, telling Pelosi it was time to get out of the way. She refuses – for now.

And now comes Barack Obama. The former president, shredding what was left of his promise to not interfere with his successor, is joining the fight against the repeal of Obamacare. He called the Senate bill an example of “meanness,” and pledged to campaign for the Democrat in the Virginia governor’s race.

For Republicans, luck can’t get much better. While Clinton and Pelosi were hardly innocent bystanders in the historic rout of Democrats at every level of government, the main culprit was Obama.

It was Obamaism, more than Clintonism or Pelosism, that elected Donald Trump and gave the GOP both houses of congress. The former president’s coercive liberalism at home and appeasement abroad led to the greatest upset in American politics.

His two biggest achievements, Obamacare and the Iran nuclear deal, were sold on the back of lies. President Trump is Obama’s legacy.

And now Mr. Obama wants to “help” Dems again. Let’s see how many Clinton and Pelosi critics have the courage to tell him “No, thanks, you’ve done enough.”

Obama’s desire to re-litigate his tenure comes amid other signs that the siege of the Trump White House is lifting and the political momentum is shifting.

Suddenly, Dems are the fighting, fractured party with no agenda or leader while Republicans finally show signs of uniting their majorities to get big things done.

Indeed, Obama’s return to the fray coincides with a belated congressional focus on his administration’s misconduct on the Clinton investigation and his failure to counter Russian interference in the election.

Most ominously, the Senate Judiciary Committee has opened a probe into whether former Attorney General Loretta Lynch impeded the FBI investigation into Clinton’s private server, with members from both parties raising concerns about her role. They cited accusations by former FBI director James Comey and a published report that Lynch promised a top Dem that she would not let the Clinton investigation go far.

It’s hard to believe Lynch won’t be forced to testify publicly, an event that would revisit all the suspect twists and turns of the Clinton probe, including Lynch’s failure to impanel a grand jury. She also should be asked what, if any, orders she got from a White House invested in a Clinton victory.

The role of politics also surfaced when Obama’s former director of Homeland Security admitted that the administration decided to withhold public discussion about Russian hacking because of its possible impact on the campaign.

“This was a big decision, and there were a lot of considerations that went into it,” Jeh Johnson told the Senate. “This was an unprecedented step.”

He said the White House feared that accusing Russia of interference might have looked like an effort to help Clinton, especially given Trump’s claim that results would be “rigged.”

Obama’s decision to wring his hands and take no action until after the election, when he imposed minor sanctions on individual Russians, might explain his team’s efforts to pin the collusion tag on Trump. Those charges, made mostly by anonymous leaks, are catnip to the Democratic media and distract attention from Obama’s failure to respond to what has been described as a Russian act of war.

Taken together, last week’s extraordinary developments are injecting a dose of reality into the Washington scandal machine. For months, anonymous-sourced reports about various Trump associates having meetings with Russian officials painted a troubling picture and led to the appointment of a special counsel.

But when the Obama team’s role is highlighted, it too, looks very troubling. The implications of the president being paralyzed because he didn’t want to give Trump ammunition are almost as grave as the still unexplained surveillance, leaks, and unmasking of Trump associates.

From here, it all looks like the Obama White House is guilty of playing politics with national security. The possibility is worthy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s attention, who is so far exclusively focused on Trump’s team. That one-dimensional view must end.

About the Author

Michael Goodwin is a writer for Fox News.

Rushmore Report: How the World Will Look in 100 Years

In 1900 an American civil engineer named John Elfreth Watkins made a series of predictions for how the world would be 100 years later. Many of his prophecies came true. Now two futurologists have come up with their own ideas for life 100 years from now. These are ten ways Ian Pearson and Patrick Tucker say the world will be different in 100 years.

1. We will be able to communicate through thought transmission.

Transmission will be just as easy as other forms of brain augmentation. Picking up thoughts and relaying them to another brain will not be much harder than storing them on the net.

2. We will be able to control the weather.

There is already some weather control technology for mediating tornadoes and making it rain. New methods will be developed to head off severe weather conditions.

3. Antarctica will be open for business.

The area seems worth keeping as a natural wilderness, but large areas will be used commercially for resources. It should be possible to do so without harming nature.

4. There will be one world currency.

We are already seeing electronic currency that can be used anywhere, and this trend will continue. By 2050, most national currencies will be phased out.

5. There will only be three languages in the world.

As the world becomes one, these are the only languages that will endure: English, Spanish, and Mandarin. Minor languages are dying at a rapid pace already.

6. California will exit the United States.

There are already some indications that the liberal state wants to split off from the rest of the country. The emerging political divide will foster this effort.

7. Marriage will be replaced by an annual marriage contract.

While traditional marriage will remain an option, many will choose this new route. As lives are lived longer, being married to the same person for 70 years will lose its appeal in a secularized society.

8. One world government may evolve.

Sovereign nation states will become increasingly dependent on larger, more powerful nations. This could lead to one world government – as far fetched as it appears right now.

9. War will be fought by remote control.

This will especially be true in the West. There will be no more “boots on the ground.”

10. We will be wired to computers that will make our brains work faster.

We can expect this as soon as 2050 for many people. By 2075 most people in the developed world will use machine augmentation of some sort for their brains and, by the end of the century, pretty much everyone will.

About the Authors

Ian Pearson and Patrick Tucker are futurists, published by the BBC.

 

 

 

 

The Rushmore Report: The Top Ten Bible Cities in America

How do Americans from each region interact with the Bible? A new study by George Barna explores the faith profile of 131 large cities to identify the top ten Bible-minded cities as well as the least Bible-minded cities in 2017. The report is based on interviews with 76,505 adults over a 10-year period. And its conclusions are most interesting. Where does your city rank on the list? Read on . . .

The most Bible-minded cities in America

1. Chattanooga, Tennessee

2, Birmingham, Alabama

3. Lynchburg, Virginia

4. Tri-Cities, Tennessee (Kingsport, Johnson City, Bristol)

5. Shreveport, Louisiana

6. Charlotte, North Carolina

7. Springfield, Missouri

8. Little Rock, Arkansas

9. Knoxville, Tennessee

10. Greenville, South Carolina

The ten least Bible-minded cities in America

1. Albany, New York

2. Boston, Massachusetts

3. Providence, Rhode Island

4. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

5. Buffalo, New York

6. Las Vegas, Nevada

7. San Francisco, California

8. Hartford, Connecticut

9. Salt Lake City, Utah

10. New York City, New York

The Rushmore Report: The ‘Dark Soul’ of Johnny Depp

Last week, actor Johnny Depp said it may be time for another president to be assassinated by an actor. Of course, Hollywood and the Democratic-controlled media have virtually ignored his outrageous, indefensible comments. But that didn’t keep Franklin Graham from speaking out. “Johnny Depp is one dark soul. To even suggest the possibility of assassinating the president is shameful,” he said.

Depp made his comments at the Glastonbury Festival in England last Thursday. His exact words: “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president? I want to clarify: I’m not an actor. I lie for a living. However, it’s been awhile, and maybe it’s time.”

Graham did not just condemn Depp’s statement. He offered the troubled actor a way out.

“Jesus Christ died on the cross for all dark souls – even mine. My prayer is that Johnny Depp will one day come to know the Savior who died so that he could be saved from his sins. Jesus Christ alone can change the human heart and bring us from darkness to light,” Graham said. He then quoted John 8:12. “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

The White House offered this response: “President Trump has condemned violence in all forms and it is sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead. We hope that some of Mr. Depp’s colleagues will speak out against this type of rhetoric as strongly as they would have if this was directed toward a Democrat elected official.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time liberal “entertainers” have called for violence against the president. In May, comedian Kathy Griffin posed with a severed and bloodied mannequin head in a blonde wig to resemble Trump.

Rapper Snoop Dogg released a music video in March. It depicts himself shooting President Trump in the head.

Madonna was among the first to joke about harming the president. During the Women’s March on Washington in January, she publicly said she thought about “blowing up the White House.”

The only thing more shocking than the complete look the other way by Hollywood and the mainstream media is the notion that if conservative entertainers had suggested the beheading or shooting of President Obama, liberals would be so quick to give them a pass.

There is not an actor or performer who would still have a job had they said and done the things against Obama that are being said and done against Trump.

The bad news is that Hollywood and the mainstream media are complicit with their silence.

The good news is that most Americans don’t care what Hollywood or the mainstream media are saying these days.

I applaud Franklin Graham. Rather than rant – as is the common response from the right – he understands the real issues for the likes of Johnny Depp, Kathy Griffin, Snoop Dogg, and Madonna. He understands that the answer to darkness is not logical discourse. That rarely helps in times like these. The answer to darkness is light.

For those of us who find such hateful speech from the left deplorable, we must never forget our battle is not with flesh and blood, but the powers of darkness.

Jesus nailed it when he said we are to let our light shine before men – because light is the only thing that can ever drown out the darkness.

The Bite of the Century

It happened 20 years ago today – the Bite of the Century. It was also known as Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson II. In a classic rematch, the two heavyweights fought for the WBA boxing championship of the world. As in their first fight, Tyson won. But it was how he won that made history.

Not once, but twice, Tyson bit the champion’s ears. After the second biting, in the fourth round, referee Mills Lane stepped in and disqualified Iron Mike, and the fight was over. Holyfield, ahead on all cards, retained his crown.

Tyson never returned to boxing greatness. Holyfield, on the other hand, would become the only four-time world heavyweight boxing champion in history.

Fast forward 12 years to October 16, 2009. Tyson and Holyfield made a joint appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Before millions of viewers, Tyson apologized to Holyfield, who accepted his apology. Actually, Holyfield had stated his forgiveness years earlier, on the basis of his faith in God and his Savior, Jesus Christ.

It is our love for each other that marks us as true believers, said Jesus. That is what makes Christianity real.

I have had the privilege of meeting both Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. I found Tyson to be surprisingly surreal, measured, and calm. When I sat down with Holyfield for several minutes, he wanted to talk mostly about his faith – and forgiveness. He really did forgive Mike Tyson. He told me he had no other choice. “How can I claim to be a follower of Christ and not forgive others?” he asked.

His boxing nickname was “Real Deal.” They always introduced him in the ring as “Evander The Real Deal Holyfield.” And that is right. Evander Holyfield is the real deal – not because he beat Mike Tyson 20 years ago today – for the second time – but because of the forgiveness that rules his heart.