Why You Need to Join a Church

I hear it all the time. “I don’t need a church. I can worship God alone and serve him on my own.” That would be great if it weren’t so terrible. You cannot fulfill God’s purpose for your life on your own. You simply weren’t designed that way. Life is not a solo act. You were created for community. The only way you can fulfill God’s perfect plan for your life is with people in your life who are giving you spiritual input. You need a church family.

Why? Because the church helps you center your life around God.

God didn’t put you on Earth to live a self-centered life. His purpose for you is to build your life with him at the core. You were planned for God’s pleasure. He made you to love you, and he wants you to love him back. God says, “I want to be the hub of your heart. I want to be the focus of your attention. I want to be the center of your life. I want to be the axis of your existence.”

The Bible says, “Christ’s love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center” (2 Corinthians 5:14 MSG).

How can you tell when Christ is at the center of your life? You stop worrying. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” There’s a word for this: worship. Whenever you focus your life on God, that’s called worship. And worship is the antidote for worry. If you want to worry less, worship more.

When are we supposed to worship? The Bible says, “You have six days when you can do your work, but the seventh day of each week is holy because it belongs to me. No matter where you live, you must rest on the Sabbath and come together for worship” (Leviticus 23:3 CEV). God says once a week I want you to come together to re-focus, re-calibrate, and re-center you life on me.

Where are you supposed to do it? Acts 2:46 tells us that “they worshiped together regularly at the temple” (TLB).

Can you see that God meant for you to be a part of a church family? When you are, it helps you focus and center your life around God so that you can fulfill his purpose for your life.

Family Tree

The great American novelist Mark Twain said that he spent a large sum of money to trace his family tree and then spent twice as much trying to keep his ancestry a secret.

He was like the family that reportedly wanted its history written up, so they hired a professional biographer to do it, but they were worried about how the document would handle the family’s black sheep. Uncle George had been executed in the electric chair for murder.

“No problem,” said the biographer. “I’ll say that Uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution. He was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a real shock.”

We can’t do much about our ancestors, but we influence our descendants greatly. I have often commented that I will change the world more by how I pastored my son than by how I pastored three churches over a span of thirty years.

Even if you could change your ancestry, would it matter? Spend your time where you have the most influence, with your family. The seeds you plant today will bear fruit tomorrow. The Bible says your greatest inheritance is your kids.

“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3).

The Rushmore Report – ‘Deeply Religious’ Chelsea Clinton Sees Abortion Ban as ‘Unchristian’

Chelsea Clinton has said that, as a “deeply religious person,” the idea of America going back to a pre-Roe v. Wade society where abortions were banned is “unchristian.” In an interview with Sirius XM’s “Signal Post,” on Thursday, Clinton said every day she makes the “moral choice” to be optimistic for her children when it comes to what she says is the battle for women’s rights.

“That my efforts and my energies, particularly when I’m fortunate enough to be in partnership with fellow travelers, hopefully will make a difference,” the activist and former first daughter said.

“And when I think about all of the statistics that are painful of what women are confronting today in our country, and what even more women confronted pre-Roe and how many women died and how many more women were maimed because of unsafe abortion practices, we just can’t go back to that,” Clinton said, referring to the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the country.

“Like that’s unconscionable to me, and also, I’m sure that this will unleash another wave of hate in my direction, but as a deeply religious person, it’s also unchristian to me,” she added, referring to her Methodist faith.

Clinton added that she has been receiving “a lot of hate” over the issue, and has been compared to slave-owners and Nazis.

Several conservative figures, including evangelist Franklin Graham, have recently taken objection to Clinton’s continued comments on abortion. Back in August, she spoke at a pro-abortion event “Rise Up for Roe” in New York City against Judge Bret Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

At the event, she seemed to suggest that the ability to have legal abortions has led to economic growth in the U.S.

Graham wrote on Facebook that such notions are a “lie,” however.

“Hitler probably also claimed that killing the Jews would be good for their economy. Legalizing abortion hasn’t added anything to our country, it has only taken away. It has cost this nation more than 60 million lives — lives precious to God,” Graham said.

“Just think of the contribution these people would have made. There will be another high cost. I believe God will judge America for allowing the heinous murder of our own children in the womb,” he added.

Clinton added in a subsequent statement that what she is saying is not that having an abortion is good for the economy, but that women were more likely to enter the workforce due to the legalization of abortion.

“From 1973–1985, American women’s deaths from abortion declined 5-fold. Reproductive rights are also about women’s economic rights and agency,” Clinton tweeted.

Susan B. Anthony List, a nonprofit that seeks to advance pro-life women in politics, responded to Clinton’s original comments on the economy and abortion by asking her to consider “the 60 million aborted babies who won’t enter the labor force or pay into Social Security.”

“Their parents won’t purchase diapers, clothing, toys, cars or houses to accommodate them. … Yes, abortion’s had a huge impact on America’s economy and it hasn’t been good. Not only are we hurting economically, we’re missing 60 million blessings from God and the good they would have contributed,” Brad Mattes of the institute said.

About the Author

Stoyan Zaimov writes for the Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report – The Surprising Way Mark Wahlberg Starts Every Day

Mark Wahlberg was Hollywood’s highest paid actor in 2017, bringing in $68 million. The 47-year-old star has made a name for himself as an actor, producer, businessman, model, rapper, and songwriter.  The husband and father of four is known to keep an insanely intense daily schedule that includes weight training, family time, and a strict diet. Wahlberg’s day begins at 2:30 am; he is in bed by 7:30 pm. But it’s what he does first – from 2:45 to 3:15 am – that is noteworthy.

The first thing Mark Wahlberg does every day is spend 30 minutes in prayer.

The star of the upcoming movie Mile 22, says that prayer has been an essential part of his life for years. He told the Catholic Herald, “Being a Catholic is the most important aspect of my life.” Then he added, “The first thing I do when I start my day is, I get down on my hands and knees and give thanks to God. Whenever I go outside of my house, the first thing I do is stop at the church. The kids will be mad with me. ‘Daddy! It takes too long!’ Because I do. If I can start my day out by saying my prayers and getting myself focused, then I know I’m doing the right thing. That 10 minutes helps me in every way throughout the day.”

Wahlberg has also expressed regret over some of the roles he played earlier in his career, especially one in an Oscar-nominated film in which he portrayed a porn star. He told Cardinal Blase Cupich at an event in Chicago, that “I just always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving because I have made some poor choices in my past.”

When Cupich asked if her regretted any of his movie roles, Wahlberg answered, “Boogie Nights is up there at the top of that list.”

On the subject of his daily routine of prayer, the actor says he does not pray for success. Instead, he prays for three things every day: his wife, his children, and his personal character.

“For me to sit down and ask for material things is ridiculous. It’s a much bigger picture than that. I want to serve God and to be a good human being and to make up for the mistakes I have made in my past. I want to make up for the pain that I have put people through. That’s what I’m praying for, and I recommend it to anybody.”

In an interview with Men’s Health, Wahlberg was asked about how he accomplishes all that he does. He said, “If you’re doing the right things, then there’s always enough time in the day to get it all done.”

The Rushmore Report – Bill Maher Hits New Low with Profane Attack on Patriotism

Forgive me if I’m not direct enough. Bill Maher is an idiot. Last Friday, Maher did the impossible. He sunk to a new low. The vile leftist – a hero to millions – weighed in on his HBO show, Real Time. He jumped into the argument about the NFL response to players who won’t stand for the National Anthem. To say that Maher’s comments were offensive is an affront to the term “offensive.” So what exactly did he say? This is a family newsletter, so we won’t give you his exact word.

After a softball interview with John Kerry, Maher spoke on the critical debate facing millions of Americans in 2018. No, I’m not talking about the economy, taxes, or national defense. The deep-thinking Maher addressed the subject of cheerleading at NFL games. Then, while defending the role of cheerleaders, Maher condemned the display of patriotism. In his own words . . .

“Why don’t they just take away the militarism? I kind of like the cheerleaders. Maybe that makes me a sexist. But why do we have to mix football, you know, the season has just started, with so much of this patriotic ********? You know, the fly overs and the flag on the field and the singing?”

Responding to anything Bill Maher says is as fruitless as trying to explain to a two-year-old why we don’t let him eat dirt. Our explanation will make sense, but the child’s mind is incapable of grasping the simplicity of the message.

(For all of our two-year-old readers, please don’t send me an angry email. I don’t mean to say you are no smarter than Bill Maher. Let me explain what I am saying in a way two-year-olds can understand me, but Bill Maher will not be able to, given his obvious lack of mastery of the English language. My comparison of Bill Maher’s hateful rhetoric to that of a two-year-old was hyperbole. The comparison was not intended to insult two-year-olds.)

Back to Mr. Maher. It’s one thing to say you don’t enjoy the National Anthem or patriotic fly-overs. But personally, I don’t get it. As the grandson of a WWI vet and the son of a WWII vet, I’ll never get it. But I support Maher’s right to his opinion. And I even support his right to call patriotism ********.

But I also have a right to state my opinion, which I’ve done. And I’ll say it again.

Bill Maher is an idiot.

 

The Rushmore Report – Six Questions About the Sexual Assault Allegations Against Judge Kavanaugh

Last week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) threw a last-minute Hail Mary attempt to stop the ascension of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court: an anonymous letter accusing Kavanaugh of sexual impropriety. The accuser was anonymous; the charge was unclear. On Sunday, Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault accuser came forward in the pages of The Washington Post. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor in California, apparently first contacted the Post in July.

This was after Kavanaugh began being discussed as a replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy, but she didn’t talk with the paper on the record until now. “Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation,” she stated.

According to Ford, when she was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17, they were at a pool party where both got drunk. Her story continues in her letter:

Brett Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980’s… The assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home at a gathering that included me and four others. Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stairwell from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help. Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with [Mark Judge], who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh’s hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me. From across the room a very drunken [Judge] said mixed words to Kavanaugh ranging from “go for it” to “stop.”

At one point when [Judge] jumped onto the bed the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled, and the two scrapped with each other. After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom. I locked the bathroom door behind me. Both loudly stumbled down the stair well at which point other persons at the house were talking with them. I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house and went home…. I have received medical treatment regarding the assault.

Originally, Ford contacted Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), who sent Ford’s letter on to Feinstein.

Kavanaugh has said this never happened. “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” he said. Judge says the same. Judge told The Weekly Standard, “I can recall a lot of rough-housing with guys. It was an all-boys school, we would rough-house with each other. I don’t remember any of that stuff going on with girls.” He strongly denied witnessing an attempted assault.

On its face, the allegations aren’t non-credible. Ford has come forward, and she’s told a story with specifics. But serious questions remain. Here are six:

1. Why Didn’t Feinstein Come Forward Earlier? Feinstein had every opportunity to ask Kavanaugh about the allegations. She didn’t. She didn’t even share the letter, which she had for weeks, with her Democratic colleagues. Instead, she waited until days before the vote to dump the allegations publicly, and did so without revealing the name, choosing to release this absurd statement:

“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” she wrote. “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”

Furthermore, she referred the matter to the FBI only at that point. All of this looks heavily political – in the interests of justice, she should have come forward earlier.

2. Why Isn’t The FBI Investigating? Feinstein passed along the charges to the FBI. The FBI immediately passed the charges on to the White House instead of investigating. Why?

3. Why Didn’t Ford Tell Anybody About This Incident Until 2012? In many cases of accused sexual assault (see Moore, Roy), accusers told their friends, family, or medical workers about the accusations at the time. This at least time-stamps the accusations. That didn’t happen here: the accuser says she first told no one for three decades. That makes it questionable as to when this even happened, and difficult to track down.

4. Why Do Her Therapist’s Notes Conflict With Her Account? Ford showed her therapist’s notes to The Washington Post. Those notes conflict with her account. The notes don’t include names, instead stating that the alleged perpetrators were “from an elitist boys’ school,” and had since become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.” The notes also state that four boys were involved, not two; she says her therapist got it wrong, and that there were four boys at the party but only two boys involved. Another therapy session the following year includes the charge that Ford underwent a “rape attempt” in “her late teens,” but she was allegedly 15 – not late teens – when this incident occurred. Her husband, who was present for the first therapy session, said Kavanaugh’s name was raised, but the Post account doesn’t say that Kavanaugh was called the alleged perpetrator.

5. She Doesn’t Remember Key Details. According to the Post, she doesn’t remember key details:

She said she believes it occurred in the summer of 1982, when she was 15, around the end of her sophomore year at the all-girls Holton-Arms School in Bethesda. Kavanaugh would have been 17 at the end of his junior year at Georgetown Prep….Ford said she does not remember how the gathering came together the night of the incident. She said she often spent time in the summer at the Columbia Country Club pool in Chevy Chase, where in those pre-cellphone days, teenagers learned about gatherings via word of mouth. She also doesn’t recall who owned the house or how she got there. Ford said she remembers that it was in Montgomery County, not far from the country club, and that no parents were home at the time. Ford named two other teenagers who she said were at the party. Those individuals did not respond to messages on Sunday morning.

6. Why Aren’t Any Other Women Coming Forward? In other cases, many women come forward. In fact, it’s difficult to think of another high-profile #MeToo case without multiple accusers. In this case, it’s one woman making an unsubstantiated three-decade-old allegation – the ultimate he-said, she-said. In this case, of course, it’s actually a he-said-he-said-she-said, since there were two men accused of involvement.

You don’t have to believe that Ford is lying to believe that these allegations require more substantiation. Thirty-year-old events are difficult to reconstruct; memories change over time. Witness testimony is notoriously unreliable in many cases. And she could be telling the absolute objective truth, of course.

With all of that said, it’s not out-of-bounds for Republicans to call Ford to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee – we need to know more about these allegations. It’s also not inappropriate to delay the vote on Kavanaugh until after such a hearing, or at least until Ford has turned down such an invite. Kavanaugh has already offered to come back and testify on this matter. But allegations alone, without further supporting evidence – even contemporaneous accounts, witness accounts, or corroborating details – should not destroy someone’s life.

Kavanaugh deserves more, and so does the appointments process.

About the Author

Ben Shapiro is Editor-in-Chief for The Daily Wire, and the most followed blogger in America.

The Rushmore Report – Predicting 2018 Senate Outcome, An Update

Leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, we will continue to provide updates on the key senate races. With Republicans holding a slim 51-49 lead, races in 11 states are still up for grabs. At risk is the Trump agenda and future court nominations. With Vice President Mike Pence holding the tie-breaking vote, Republicans can afford no more than one net loss of one seat. So what will happen in the coming elections? Who will emerge with control of the Senate in 2019?

The short answer is, “It’s too close to call.”

My prediction is that Republicans will emerge with a shaky 52-48 lead, for a net gain of one seat.

In 11 races, polls give either candidate a legitimate hope for victory. These are those races.

States with incumbent Democrats: Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia.

States with incumbent Republicans: Arizona, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas.

States especially close: Florida, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, Arizona, Nevada, and Tennessee.

If we assume that Missouri, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas remain in incumbents’ hands – all of which seem likely – the hold of the Senate will come down to those other seven states, four with incumbent Democrats and three with Republicans.

Based on all recent polling, trends, and historic voter turnout, here are my predictions for each of those seven states.

  1. Florida: Republican Rick Scott will unseat Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.
  2. Indiana: Incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly will defeat Republican Mike Braun.
  3. Montana: Incumbent Democrat Jon Tester will defeat Republican Matt Rosendale.
  4. North Dakota: Republican Kevin Cramer will unseat incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp.
  5. Arizona: Republican Martha McSally will defeat Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, holding the seat for Republicans.
  6. Nevada: Democrat Jacky Rosen will unseat incumbent Republican Dean Heller.
  7. Tennessee: Republican Martha Blackburn will defeat Democrat Phil Bredesen, holding the seat for Republicans.

Summary

  1. Democrats’ best case scenario: If each of the seven races go Democrat – which they could – Democrats will emerge with control of the Senate, 52-48.
  2. Republicans’ best case scenario: If each of the seven races go Republican – which they could – Republicans will maintain control of the Senate, 55-45.
  3. Most likely result: Democrats will pick up one seat in Nevada, while Republicans pick up seats in Florida and North Dakota. All other races will be won by incumbents. That will result in Republicans holding control of the Senate, with a net increase of one seat, 52-48.

A Great Author Was Born

If he were still alive, Roald Dahl would turn 100 years of age today. He was born in South Wales. His childhood was filled with tragedy. Roald’s father and sister died when he was three, and he was later brutally abused at his boarding school. After high school, he traveled widely, joining an expedition to Newfoundland and later working in Tanzania. In World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot.

So who is this guy – Roald Dahl?

Ever hear of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? Mr. Dahl wrote the screenplay. He also wrote other children’s stories, including the best-selling Someone Like You, Kiss Kiss, and James and the Giant Peach.

Roald wrote the screenplay for another movie. While it didn’t fit his normal mantra, it made him a rich man – the James Bond film, You Only Live Twice.

I’ll admit it. I never heard the name, Roald Dahl. I’m pretty sure you haven’t heard of him either. But as we reflect back to his birth, 100 years ago today, I have one thought. Some of the most significant things ever done were done by men and women whose names history does not remember. God’s best plans for each of our lives is not to be known, but to be faithful.

New Math

I was not a math major, so I could be wrong. But it seems some of the following could be a bit off. Tony Blair said, “The single most important two things we can do are . . .”

Tennis legend Pat Cash described player Lleyton Hewitt: “His two greatest strengths are his legs, his speed, his agility, and his competitiveness.”

Kevin Keegan announced a soccer game. He said, “Three things can happen: Chile can win or they can lose.”

Jerry Coleman said of a baseball hitter, “That is his 19th homer. One more, and he will hit double figures.”

Larry Bowa said, “We talked five times. He called me twice and I called him twice.”

Running back George Rogers said, “I will gain 1,500 yards or 2,000 yards, whichever comes first.”

And a game show host asked the contestant to name a prime number between 10 and 20. The response was “seven.”

But here’s another crazy mathematical fact. One plus one equals a majority. That works, if the “one plus one” are you and God.

The apostle John said, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

FDR Signs Neutrality Act

On this day in 1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Neutrality Act, which he called an “expression of the desire to avoid any action which might involve the United States in war.” The signing came at a time when newly installed fascist governments in Europe were beginning to beat the drums of war. In a public statement that day, Roosevelt said that the new law would require American vessels to obtain a license to carry arms, would restrict Americans from sailing on ships from hostile nations, and would impose an embargo on the sale of arms to “belligerent” nations.

Most observers understood “belligerent” to imply Germany under its new leader, Adolf Hitler, and Italy under Benito Mussolini. It also provided the strongest language yet, warning other countries that the United States would increase its patrol of foreign submarines lurking in American waters. This was seen as a response to Hitler’s March 1935 announcement that Germany would no longer honor the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which prohibited the country from rebuilding her military.

So America chose neutrality. Of course, we know that didn’t last long. It never does. The lesson from history tells us that we must take a stand – or die. Imagine what would have happened if Roosevelt had stayed the course. We might all be speaking German right now. In neutrality there is comfort – but never victory.