Power of the Saw

A man had a firewood factory that employed prisoners. He gave them a place to live, specific directions on what to do, and he paid them good wages, but they were unproductive. Eventually the man had no choice. He fired them and purchased a circular saw powered by a gas engine. In one hour, the new saw did more than all the men had done in a week.

The man talked to his new saw. “How can you turn out so much work?” he asked it. “Are you sharper than the saws my men were using?”

The saw answered, “No, I am not any sharper than the other saws. The difference is the gas engine. I have a stronger power behind me. I am productive because of the power that is working through me, not because my blade is any sharper.”

Many of us work for God in the power of the flesh. We use our best intellect, charming personality, and enthusiasm to its fullest. We are like the saw. We’re really pretty sharp. The problem isn’t our blade. It’s our power source.

Until we are plugged into the right power source, we will never produce the right results, no matter how sharp we may be.

War of the Worlds

It was on this day in history, 79 years ago, that Orson Welles sent America into panic. On October 30, 1938, he broadcast the radio program, “War of the Worlds.” It was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series “The Mercury Theater on the Air.”

The show was broadcast as a Halloween episode of the series and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by Welles, the episode was an adaptation of Welles’ novel “The War of the Worlds,” written in 1898. It became famous for allegedly causing mass panic, although the reality of this mass panic is disputed since the program had relatively few listeners.

The first two-thirds of the one-hour broadcast was presented as a series of simulated bulletins, which suggested an actual alien invasion by Martians. The bulletins said the invasion was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that Mercury Theater on the Air was a sustaining show without commercial interruptions, adding to the program’s realism. Much of the radio audience was listening to Edgar Bergen and only tuned in to “The War of the Worlds” during a musical interlude, thereby missing the introduction that proved the show was a drama.

In the days following the adaptation, there was widespread outrage in the media. The program’s news-bulletin format was described as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers (which were losing advertising revenue to radio) and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast and calls for regulations by the Federal Communications Commission. Despite these complaints – or perhaps in part because of them – this episode secured Welles’ fame as a dramatist.

We haven’t changed much in the past 81 years. We are still prone to believe a lie – if it is well-told. That’s why the Bible says to measure the things we hear, to be sure they are the truth. But in order to know the truth, you need to know the Truth – the Truth that can set you free.

Advice of a Dad

Heinrich Bullinger was a good pastor and a better father. He was born in 1504 to a priest who, in his old age, embraced Reformation views, such as “the just shall live by faith.” Though it cost him his church, it gained him his son.

Young Heinrich fell in love with Martin Luther’s writings, Melanchthon’s books, and the study of the Bible. At the remarkably young age of 27, he was asked to take the place of slain Swiss Reformer Ulrich Zwingli as pastor of the Grossmunster Church of Zurich. He ascended the pulpit there on December 23, 1531.

Bullinger continued Zwingli’s practice of preaching through the books of the Bible, verse by verse. His home, like his Bible, was open from morning till night, and he freely distributed food, clothing, and money to the needy. His wisdom and influence spread across Europe. No one was more affected than his son, Henry.

When Henry packed his bags for college, Heinrich gave him this piece of advice. “Fear God at all times, and remember that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

Great advice from a great man. And what worked for Henry will work for you.

Barrels of Water

The Sunday School teacher was carefully explaining the story of Elijah the prophet and the false prophets of Baal. She explained how Elijah built the altar, put wood on it, cut the steer in pieces and laid it upon the altar.

And then Elijah commanded the people of God to fill four barrels of water and pour it over the altar. He had them do this four times.

“Now,” said the teacher, “can anyone in the class tell me why the Lord would have Elijah pour water over the steer on the altar?”

A little girl in the back of the room raised her hand with great enthusiasm. “To make gravy.”

That’s not exactly right. But give the girl a break – she was just a child. What’s worse is the biblical ignorance that has infected adults who are actually in church every Sunday. If you rely on one hour a week for your spiritual strength, you won’t be very strong. I suggest a few minutes each day – perhaps in the morning.

Spend time with God and learn the word. The rest is gravy.

The Rushmore Report: Couple Married 68 Years – ‘The Thing that Matters Most in Marriage’

Bill and Anne McDonald met on a blind date in 1944. Both were students at Duke University. They seemed to be “exact opposites,” according to Anne. Still, Bill and Anne – both age 91 – have made it work. They have been married for 68 years. And they’ve never been happier. The McDonalds recently sat for a short interview, and they opened up about the keys to a successful marriage. At the heart of a great marriage, they say, is one thing.

Trust.

It wasn’t always easy. Their differences presented struggles early on. Anne recollects, “Whenever he said, ‘Let’s dance,’ I said, ‘Not now.’ If he said, ‘Would you like some punch?’ I would say, ‘No, thank you. Let’s dance.'”

Still, Anne thought he was devilishly handsome. Bill, who’d been dating a few women, “immediately dropped them,” she says. The couple spent their first five years of marriage far from family. Two sons would come later, but those early years forced them to rely on each other, working as a team, “to make the foundation for our marriage a success through thick and thin,” Anne added.

Bill says, “We discussed almost everything. One of us would propose something and say, ‘What do you think of this?'” When they couldn’t discuss things – Bill’s 32 years in the Navy required regular stints at sea in the days before cellphones and the Internet – they had to rely on trust.

“I think that’s the most important thing – trust,” says Bill. “We have to trust each other in daily living, when we’re apart. When we’re together, we trust each other for our expertise.”

Do Bill and Anne McDonald know what they’re talking about? I’m guessing yes. You can read a lot of books and articles on what it takes to make for a long and happy marriage. And they give good advice. But I’d rather learn to fly from someone who has flown – a lot. I’d rather learn how to cook from someone who has already done it successfully – a lot. And that’s what makes Bill and Anne worth hearing. They have done marriage well – a lot.

So there you go. According to a couple who has done it well for 68 years – and counting – the key to a great marriage can be summed up in one word.

Trust.

The Rushmore Report: What Marco Rubio Is Doing that Is Driving His Critics Nuts

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has long confounded his critics. He is an unabashed conservative in the ultimate swing state. He is pro-immigration, but in a way that supports border security. His star shines brightest among young Republicans who are likely to dominate the national stage for the next 20 years. But there is one thing Senator Rubio keeps doing that is driving his critics nuts.

Marco Rubio has a Twitter page, and he knows how to use it. Every day, he uses this platform to promote Biblical principles and family values. Specifically, he tweets verses from Scripture, mostly Proverbs. And the people with nothing better to do – at the Freedom From Religion Foundation – are demanding that he stop.

While other politicians might respond politically, that is not Rubio’s style. He insists, “I’ll continue to do it. If they don’t like it they don’t have to follow me on Twitter.” He continued, “Faith is the single biggest influence on my life, and it’s a positive influence.”

In late August, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, America’s largest atheist organization, charged that Rubio is in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Attorney Andrew L. Seidel wrote, “It appears that you began tweeting the Bible in mid-May and have been doing so regularly ever since. This is not an errant Bible verse or two, but more than 60 Bible verses in three months. That’s enough verses to tweet the entire Book of Jude twice.”

A trained lawyer himself, Rubio has only continued the practice in the face of such criticism. He recently posted Proverbs 18:2, which says, “Fools take no delight in understanding, but only in displaying what they think.” That didn’t go over particularly well with his critics.

In July, Politico posted an op-ed suggesting that Rubio only tweets the “Republican” parts of the Bible. Rubio’s response was classic. He tweeted, “Proverbs is the Republican part of the Bible? I didn’t know that Solomon had yet joined the Republican Party when he wrote the first 29 chapters of Proverbs.”

Will Senator Rubio continue to uphold Scripture and tweet Bible verses? Yes. And will the nutwings at the Freedom From Religion Foundation continue to whine about it? Of course they will. After all, what could be more offensive than quoting the timeless words of the wisdom of Solomon, that great old Republican King of Israel?

The Rushmore Report: Attacks on Religious Liberty in U.S. Up 133% in Five Years

A new report by a prominent religious liberty advocacy organization claims that there has been a 133 percent increase in domestic “attacks on religious liberty” in the past five years and about a 15 percent increase in attacks on religious liberty in the last year. The First Liberty Institute, a conservative legal group, released its annual report, Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America.

The report highlights cases reported in the last few years in which Americans have had their religious liberty rights infringed or “attacked” in one way or another – either in the public arena, military, schools, or even within church walls.

The report highlighted a number of cases, such as one involving a woman who was ordered to stop praying in her home by police officers, another involving a high school football coach punished for praying at midfield, and that of a military veteran who was ejected from a military retirement ceremony for referring to “God” in his speech.

The First Liberty report comes after the social conservative advocacy group Family Research Council released a report in June that stated that there has been a 76 percent increase in religious freedom violations and a 114 percent surge in documented hostility toward Christian views on marriage and sexuality over the last three years.

About the Author

Samuel Smith writes for The Christian Post. He can be followed on Twitter: @lamSamSmith.

The Rushmore Report: You Won’t Believe What Jimmy Carter Just Said about Donald Trump

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, remains amazingly engaged in international issues and national policy at the age of 93. He remains a reliably liberal Democrat and equally reliable critic of President Trump and conservative policies. That’s why his interview with The New York Times has surprised many. Carter said some things about Trump and the mainstream media that are shocking in their deviation from the far-left rhetoric that has taken the Democratic Party hostage.

Carter told columnist Maureen Dowd, “I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president that I’ve known about.” He added that he thought the media “feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.”

Carter also doesn’t believe the current president’s “America First” strategy is out of step with the larger world, spoiling international relations. “Well, he might be escalating it but I think that precedes Trump,” he said. “The United States has been the dominant character in the whole world and now we’re not anymore. And we’re not going to be. Russia’s coming back and India and China are coming forward.”

The former president also offered to serve in a diplomatic role to calm tensions with North Korea. He said, “I don’t know what they’ll do, because they want to save their regime. And we greatly overestimate China’s influence on North Korea. Particularly Kim Jong Un. He’s never, so far as I know, been to China.”

In September, Carter expressed optimism that Trump might break a legislative logjam with his six-month deadline for Congress to address the immigration status of 800,000 U.S. residents who were brought into the country illegally as children.

He told Emory University students that the “pressures and the publicity that Trump has brought to the immigration issue” could even yield comprehensive immigration law changes that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama could not muster.

Carter blamed both major political parties for an inability to pass any major immigration law overhaul since a 1986 law signed by President Reagan.

“I don’t see that as a hopeless cause,” he said. Carter then added that Trump’s critics “have to give him credit when he does some things that are not as bad” as they are depicted.

The Rushmore Report: Open the Floodgates – CA Becomes Sanctuary State

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has decided to make the entire state of California one giant safe space for illegal aliens. The Democratic-controlled state legislation just passed the California Value Act, which will bar state and local law enforcement from working with federal authorities on enforcing immigration laws. So California is now officially opposed to carrying out laws passed by regular and constitutional process.

In a move meant to counter the Trump Administration’s tough approach to immigration enforcement, the California legislation approved the so-called “sanctuary state” bill that would establish new protections for people living in the country illegally.

The California Values Act would forbid state and local law enforcement agencies from providing information to or acting as the deputies for federal immigration authorities. The bill also prohibits police and sheriff officers from inquiring about a person’s immigration status.

The fight over sanctuary status concerning immigration law is yet another legal battle facing the Trump Administration. A federal judge has ruled that Attorney General Jeff Sessions cannot withhold grant money from cities that have adopted sanctuary policies. The rationale behind the decision is to make illegals feel safe in providing information about crimes, without fear of deportation.

California is clearly degrading citizenship, our borders, and our laws. Of course, it’s what you’d expect from a liberal cesspool.

Gov. Brown and his legislation have decided the wise thing to do is to set an example for all citizens that we need only obey those laws with which we agree. And they have found wisdom in granting illegals the very objective (legal residency) they broke the law to attain.

About the Author

Matt Vespa writes for TownHall.

The Rushmore Report: Media Lynch Mob Trying to Take Down Trump

Reince Priebus learned a hard lesson over the past six months and America should pay attention to it. After leaving his job as White House Chief of Staff, Priebus told Sean Hannity that the national press is flat-out “dishonest.” He continued, “What I find to be amazing is how narratives are set and a lot of it is not true. The most breathtaking thing for me has been the difference between what is truth and what is reported.”

Preibus was referring to story lines that have taken deep root in the anti-Trump media.

The most prominent one is that Russia and the Trump campaign worked together to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. Hundreds of stories have run bolstering that theory – many of them driven by rank speculation and the use of anonymous sources that are clearly opposed to Trump.

The second story line embraced by the hate-Trump forces is that the president is unfit to hold the office. Under this banner, almost everything the man says or does is reported as a negative. Day after day, the media themes of corruption and incompetence are hammered home with few solid facts to back up the negative expositions. It must be said, however, that Trump’s lack of discipline in replying to the attacks is greatly aiding his opposition.

It is certainly true that every American has the right and perhaps civic duty to form an educated opinion about their leader. But those opinions should be based on facts that demonstrate truth – not contrived narratives designed by partisan ideologies.

And it’s not just the left that is hating Trump. A good number of conservatives are participating in the lynch mob. If you think there wasn’t a dose of personal animus in John McCain’s vote to keep Obamacare intact, you’re living in the Land of Oz. Sen. McCain despises Donald Trump, perhaps with justification, and fully understands how his vote has damaged the president.

Another conservative, pundit Peggy Noonan, recently launched a vicious personal attack on Trump’s manhood. Ms. Noonan basically ignored the unprecedented battering the president has taken in the media as a reason that he might respond to criticism inappropriately at times. She is smart enough to know the media score but not honest enough to provide perspective while denigrating Trump.

By the way, that’s what seeking the truth is all about, providing some honest perspective even if you don’t like someone.

Reince Priebus witnessed the hostile media onslaught up close and personal. At this point in our history, few reporters are actively seeking the truth. Almost all allegations against Trump and his supporters are treated as facts. Conclusions are drawn, narratives spun.

In short, Americans are being barraged with story lines designed to make it impossible for Donald Trump to govern.

This is right out of the Saul Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” playbook. Isolate a political target, and hammer the person ceaselessly with whatever you can think of. The truth be damned. Demonize and marginalize your opposition in order to destroy them.

As Sharyl Attkisson’s new book, The Smear, chronicles with facts, the anti-Trump, anti-conservative movement has now become an organized industry in the U.S. with millions of dollars supporting it. More than a few national press people are part of that industry as they print or broadcast unproven accusations using the word “reportedly” to justify spreading unverified information.

It is very possible that the White House does not fully understand the powerful forces arrayed against it. Priebus seems shocked by what he calls “press dishonesty.” But it has been on display for many years.

The difference now is Donald Trump. He is so despised by the progressive movement, and by some conservatives as well, that old rules of fairness and truth-seeking no longer apply. It is obviously wrong for the press to insinuate and then promote conclusions based upon biased conjecture, but in some media precincts the “get Trump” end justifies the means.

Presidential tweets and charges of fake news are not going to be enough to blunt the media corruption that has so horrified Reince Preibus.

Only a full, methodical exposure of it to the American people may provide some balance.

About the Author

Bill O’Reilly is a writer for The Hill, and former host of The O’Reilly Factor, the most watched show in the history of cable news.