Grandmas and Stamp Machines

There was a long line at the post office. A man stood in the line, noticing the lady in front of him was there to buy stamps. After 30 minutes he said, “Excuse me, but there is a stamp machine over there that would be a lot quicker than waiting in this long line.”

She replied, “That’s okay. We’re almost to the desk.”

A few minutes later, he said, “But the stamp machine would be so much quicker.” She responded, “Oh, I know, but that old stamp machine would never ask me how my grandchildren are doing!”

Some of you are screaming to grandma, “Learn to adapt! Use the stamp machine!” Adaptability is good for some things. Fifty-one million people watched the final episode of the Survivor series that had 16 men and women “stranded” on an island near Borneo. The survivor/winner became an instant millionaire. When asked how he won, he said, “I learned to adapt.”

But if you want to be happy, stay in line. Be patient. Nothing is better than having someone ask, “How are your grandchildren doing?” There is no substitute for the personal touch. Consider the woman in the Bible who suffered with the issue of blood. She was so desperate to touch God that she was willing to stand in line. She thought to herself, “If I touch his clothes, I will be healed” (Mark 5:28).

The Rushmore Report – Great Speech, Mr. President! This Is What You Should Do Next

Last night, President Donald J. Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address. And he did a remarkable job. While touting the economy, advances against terrorism, and his immigration plans, he did what some thought was impossible. He looked the part; he was presidential. Mr. Trump deserves credit, not for delivering a speech written by someone else, but for delivering on his promises. He deserves credit for his tax cuts, plunging unemployment, and more. But the speech last night will be forgotten by tomorrow night. What will be remembered – and what really matters – is what he does next. I suggest five things. Do this, Mr. President, and 2018 will be a successful year.

1. Keep selling the tax cut.

While Democrats continue to ridicule $1,000 bonus checks as “crumbs,” keep telling the truth. Millions are better off because of the tax cuts. So keep beating that drum, through the 2018 election and beyond. Make Democrats answer for why not a single one of them voted for the tax cuts.

2. Keep talking about ISIS.

Stay on track. When the media/Democrats try to refocus your attention on Russia (every day), talk ISIS. When you are asked about North Korea, talk ISIS. When they ask you about the wall, talk ISIS. When you are asked where you buy your suits, say, “ISIS.” Keep saying it – the world is a better place because of what you have done about ISIS.

3. Keep pushing immigration.

Your plan legalizes about 2 million non-whites, which explains, of course, why the Left calls this an act of white supremacy. Huh? That’s okay. The extreme Left and Right were never with you, anyway. You have a sensible, balanced immigration plan. Stick with it. Push the plan hard.

4. Keep at it with health care.

Don’t give up. Go small. Go incremental. Take what you can get and then go for more. Last time you did it the wrong way and lost. If you do it the right way, you can win.

5. Keep your mobile devices out of reach.

By “out of reach,” I mean, memorize the nuclear code, but forget the password to your iPhone. When you are criticized (every day), let it go. When you are misrepresented by the media (every day), look the other way. When under attack, let someone else do your fighting. Leave Twitter behind. Twitter is not your friend. Instead, reach out to the more centrist Congressional Democrats you can find and work with them. You need ten Senate Democrats to get anything done. So if there are ten Senate Democrats who choose to not run for president in 2020 – it will be a close call – work with them.

Bonus Idea

In summary, it is not what you do that will determine whether you get a second term or not, but how you do it. For eight years, polls found President Obama’s policies to be largely unpopular, while he was personally popular. You, Mr. President, are the mirror opposite. People like your tax cuts. They like your America-first message. They are for reasonable immigration reform. They like your ideas. It’s you they aren’t so crazy about. So become a bit more likable and less defensive. Pop in some old videos of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton; watch how they did it. If you can do this – and that’s a choice you will need to make every day – what comes after the big speech will be better than the speech itself.

That would be good for you, for your presidency, and most of all, for America.

The Rushmore Report – How America Was Different 50 Years Ago

The year was 1968. It really doesn’t seem that long ago. But a quick look back at how America was different then serves two purposes. It makes you laugh out loud and it make you feel old – if, like me, you were around in 1968. So let’s take a brief stroll down memory lane, to one of the most colorful eras in American history. Here we go . . .

1. You had to go to the bank to get money; there were no ATMs.

2. There were no “R” rated movies; movies weren’t rated back then.

3. Man had not walked on the moon yet.

4. The drinking age was 18.

5. Seat belts were not mandatory.

6. A gallon of gas cost 34 cents.

7. 9-1-1 didn’t exist. (911 was used later, because it had not been used as an area code.)

8. Most phones were rotary.

9. All phones had cords.

10. Local calls required only seven digits.

11. Chicken pox killed 100 children per year.

12. Cigarette ads were still allowed on TV.

13. Lenders could discriminate based on gender or race.

14. Builders could still use asbestos.

15. Computers took up entire rooms.

16. Child car seats weren’t regulated.

17. Babe Ruth was still the home run king.

18. Walmart had just 24 stores.

19. There were three TV networks.

20. There was still a military draft.

21. Radio was the only means of portable music.

22. The #1 hit of the year was Hey Jude.

23. Median household income was $7,743.

24. An average new house cost $26,600.

25. Most TV sets were still black and white.

Now, let’s jump ahead another 50 years. The year is 2068. This is what they will be saying about us . . .

1. Cars still required drivers.

2. Man had not yet stepped on Mars.

3. Jet packs were still in the developmental stage.

4. America was ruled by two political parties.

5. We did not yet have a cure for cancer, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s.

6. We still had banks, gas stations, and physical money.

The Rushmore Report – Reagan or Trump: Who Had the More Conservative First Year?

The Heritage Foundation, widely viewed as a leading conservative think tank, has taken a close look at the first year of the Trump Administration, comparing it to that of other Republican administrations of recent memory. Specifically, Heritage has compared Ronald Reagan’s first year, versus Donald Trump’s. Which president has been the most conservative?

Heritage has found that Donald Trump has enacted a more conservative agenda than did President Reagan, as American policymaking has taken a sharp turn to the right. Their assessment, which has not yet been released, was previewed by The New York Times and reportedly shows that Trump had a considerably more conservative first year in office:

“The results, Heritage found in its review, exceeded even the first year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, whose tenure has long been the conservative gold standard. Heritage said that 64 percent of the items which they support were enacted by the administration either through executive order or another means of enforcement, or included in Mr. Trump’s budget, which has not yet been voted on by Congress.

“In Reagan’s first year, 49 percent  of Heritage’s wish list items were embraced by the president or enacted. At the time, Heritage identified a familiar problem for why the administration’s policies were wanting. In almost every federal agency, Heritage said in November 1981, ‘Delayed appointments, unqualified or misqualified appointments, or the appointment of individuals who are not committed to the President’s goals and policies’ had delayed or thwarted policy changes.'”

Kay Coles James, the new president of the Heritage Foundation, said Trump’s achievements are going largely underreported due to political games being  played by the media and Democrats.

“There is so much noise in this town that I think it obscures the real work that’s being done,” James said. “This administration is doing quite well in terms of advancing a conservative agenda – clearly, quite well.”

Ed Feulner, a Heritage Foundation founder and former president, described Trump’s style as being significantly different from other presidents who have a background in politics.

“Hell, why can’t we do that? Let’s try it. Let’s make it happen,” Faulner said, speaking of Trump’s attitude. “In some respects, Trump the non-politician has an incredible advantage, even over Ronald Reagan, because Reagan knew there were certain things government couldn’t do.”

About the Author

Ryan Saavedra writes for The Daily Wire.

The Rushmore Report – Democrats Flip on Value of $1,000

The Trump tax bill – passed without a single Democratic vote – has created a great quagmire for the minority party. Even after the Democrats shut down the government out of deference to illegal immigrants, companies continued to dole out bonuses. Over 250 companies have given out $1,000 to $3,000 per worker. Democrats call these payments “crumbs.”

At least that’s what they call $1,000-3,000 now. Thousands of dollars given to hard-working Americans have not always been “crumbs,” as Rep. Nancy Pelosi now calls them. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) now criticizes the bonus money as “not going that far” in helping workers.

But let’s harken back to the days of 2011, when, under Democratic leadership, payroll tax cuts resulted in taxpayers receiving a whopping $40. Democrats basked in the glory of this massive benefit given American workers.

That was then. This is now.

Give the Democratic leaders credit for getting their talking points together. All three leaders, Pelosi, Wasserman Shultz, and Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, used the same word – “crumbs” to describe the $1,000-plus bonuses.

George Will noted, “We have not had a truly successful socialist and redistributionist party in America. At least not the prominent leftist parties that are prominent throughout Europe, though that could be changing with how far to the left Democrats have moved in recent years.”

The criticism of the left, aimed at the tax benefits they opposed, is a stale narrative. The challenge for Pelosi, Schumer, and Democratic candidates in the 2018 elections will be to convince their constituencies that the $1,000-$3,000 bonuses they have received – not to mention their tax reductions of $2,000 on average – are mere “crumbs.”

This will be their message . . .

“In 2011, when we were in charge, you each received a massive $40 tax break. But now that the evil Republicans are in charge, your tax break is only $2,000. And worse yet, your bonuses are just $1000-$3,000. Mere crumbs. They [Republicans] only gave you a few thousand dollars back. We gave you $40. So vote for us.”

And that is the Democrats’ economic message to hardworking Americans.

Good luck with that.

The Rushmore Report – A Sad Day for the U.S. Senate and the Lives of the Unborn

Monday was a sad day for America. Once again, in the U.S. Senate, the Democratic minority imposed its will on the majority out of its commitment to stand with countries such as North Korea and against the lives of the unborn. The measure would have banned abortion after 20 weeks, when fetuses feel pain. Here’s my question: Where’s the outrage?

The Senate voted for the bill, named the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, 51-46. The vote fell short of 60, which is needed to cut off a filibuster. All Republicans voted for the measure, with the exception of Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. And all Democrats voted against the bill, except for the few pro-lifers still among the party: Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

In defense of her vote against life, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said, “Abortions are safer today than getting your tonsils out.” Well, that would be true, except when you get your tonsils out, nobody dies.

Thom Tillis of North Carolina has it right. “The life of the unborn is a precious life, and we as members of the United States Senate and the U.S. Congress are tasked with making sure we protect all lives in America.”

It is interesting that the same senators who defend their global warming positions on the grounds of “established science” ignore the science that confirms a fetus at 20 weeks can live outside the womb and feels pain.

Almost no civilized nations still allow this practice. But senators like Warren and nearly every other Democrat are beholden to the abortion lobby. To be “feminist” means “pro-abortion.” The terms have become synonymous. And that’s sad.

They don’t even pretend abortion is not the taking of a life. The procedure at 20 weeks “is safe.” That’s their argument. As long as the only thing “bad” that happens is the taking of the unborn life, it’s okay.

Still, Monday’s vote barely registered a blip on the conservative newscasts. We have grown so accustomed to the sickness called abortion that it somehow makes sense to some to call themselves “personally pro-life,” while voting for candidates who will continue to support the taking of the lives of the most vulnerable. That’s as irrational as telling your neighbor that you are personally against arson, but that if you see his house on fire, you will neither grab a fire extinguisher nor call the fire department. In fact, when given a chance, you will actually vote to bring more arsonists into the neighborhood. But you are personally against arson. Yeah, right. Makes a lot of sense.

Yes, this is a sad day for America, the U.S. Senate, and, mostly, for the lives of the unborn.

I repeat. Where’s the outrage?

The Rushmore Report – Jim Caviezel Warns Against ‘Fake Christianity’ in ‘Pagan World’

Actor Jim Caviezel put on his preacher’s hat during a recent conference held at the Fellowship of Catholic University Students Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois, where he warned those in attendance against false Christianity and urged them to publicly express their faith in “this pagan world.”

Caviezel, who stars in the upcoming film, Paul, Apostle of Christ, surprised the attendees by sharing a portion of his testimony and encouraging them to be warriors for faith.

He explained that portraying Jesus in Mel Gibson’s box office hit Passion of the Christ put him through great physical suffering. He was struck by lightning, had his shoulder separated, and suffered from hypothermia for five months, which later resulted in him needing to have open heart surgery.

“The suffering made my performance, just as it makes our lives,” Caviezel said.

“Some of us now embrace a fake Christianity where it’s all happy talk and all happy Jesus and glory. Guys, there was a lot of pain and suffering before the resurrection. Your path will be no different, so embrace your cross and race toward your goal,” he advised.

The Hollywood star then charged everyone listening to be like Jesus’ true followers in the Bible.

“I want you to go out into this pagan world, I want you to have the courage to step into this pagan world and shamelessly express your faith in public. The world needs proud warriors animated by their faith,” he declared. “Warriors like Saint Paul and Saint Luke who risked their names, their reputations to take their faith, their love for Jesus into the world.

“God is calling each one of us, each one of you to do great things – but how often we fail to respond, dismissing it as some mental blurp. It’s time for our generation, now, to accept that call, the call of God urging all of us to give ourselves entirely to Him,” Caviezel stressed.

He encouraged the audience to first make the commitment to pray, fast, read, and meditate on the Scriptures. Then he warned that the world is entrenched in sin and God is calling out to everyone to give themselves to Him.

Paul, Apostle of Christ, stars Caviezel as Luke; James Faulkner as Paul; and Olivier Martinez, Joanne Whalley, and John Lynch.

The film showcases when “Paul suffers alone in a Roman prison, awaiting his execution under Emperor Nero. Mauritius, the ambitious prison prefect, can hardly see what threat this broken man poses,” the film’s synopsis reads.

“Once he was Saul of Tarsus, the high-ranking and brutal killer of Christians. Now his faith rattles Rome. At great risk, Luke the physician visits the aged Paul to comfort and tend to him – and to question, to transcribe, and to smuggle out Paul’s letters to the growing community of believers. Amid Nero’s inhuman persecution, these men and women will spreak the Gospel of Jesus Christ and change the world.”

About the Author

Jeannie Law writes for the Christian Post.

Rules for Teachers – In 1872

Last week, Beth and I had a blast. We spent a few days in the oldest city in America – St. Augustine, Florida. One of the many interesting sites was the oldest standing school house in the country, built in the early 1800s. Hanging on the wall was something called “1872 Rules for Teachers.” Now, I happen to think teachers are the most important people in the world. They are underpaid, overworked, and under appreciated. But, compared to 1872, they have it really good. Here are the nine things they were expected to do every day.

1. Teachers each day will fill lamps and clean chimneys.

2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session.

3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.

4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.

5. After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good  books.

6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.

7. Every teacher should lay aside from each day’s pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.

8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.

9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.

It’s hard to imagine a day in which teachers were expected to clean chimneys, bring coal, and make their own pens. I don’t know of too many school districts that encourage their teachers to read the Bible and attend church today. The rules of 1872 promoted morality, spirituality, and responsibility. And teachers were rewarded for high living – with a raise that came to about $13 a year.

So why would anyone become a teacher, with such hard demands and low pay? I suspect they did it for the same reason they do in 2016. They love kids, value education, and in many cases, see it as a calling.

Much has changed in the 144 years since the little school house posted that sign in St. Augustine, Florida. But one thing has not changed. Teachers are still heroes.

The Rushmore Report – Who’s Behind These Bible Studies in the White House?

A spiritual awakening is underway at the White House. Some of the most powerful people in America have been gathering weekly to learn more about God’s Word, and this Trump Cabinet Bible study is making history. They’ve been called the most evangelical Cabinet in history – men and women who don’t mince words when it comes to where they stand on God and the Bible.

Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries told CBN News, “These are godly individuals that God has risen to a position of prominence in our culture.”

They’re all handpicked by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

“I don’t think Donald Trump has figured out that he chained himself to the Apostle Paul,” Drollinger laughed.

Drollinger is a former NBA-playing giant of a man with an even bigger calling. He founded Capitol Ministries with the idea that if you change the hearts of lawmakers, then their Christian world view will guide them to make good policies.

He’s started Bible studies in 40 state capitols, a number of foreign capitols, teaches weekly studies in the U.S. House and Senate and now leads about a dozen members of President Trump’s Cabinet in weekly studies of the Scriptures.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Agriculture Secretary Sunny Perdue, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo are just a few of the regulars.

“It’s the best Bible study that I’ve ever taught in my life. They are so teachable; they’re so noble; they’re so learned,” Drollinger said.

It’s groundbreaking since he doesn’t think a formal Bible study among executive Cabinet members has been done in at least 100 years.

America’s top cop, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, also attends the study.

“He’ll (Jeff Sessions) go out the same day I teach him something and I’ll see him do it on camera and I just think, ‘Wow, these guys are faithful, available and teachable and they’re at Bible study every week they’re in town,'” Drollinger said.

President Trump is invited to attend the Bible studies, too. Each week he receives a copy of Drollinger’s teaching.

And Vice President Pence is also planning to join the study as his schedule permits. He also serves as a sponsor. In Pence, Drollinger sees many similarities to biblical figures like Joseph, Mordecai, and Daniel – all men who rose to the number two position in governments at different times in history.

“Mike Pence has respect for the office. He dresses right – like it says Joseph cleaned himself up before he went to stand before the Pharaoh,” Drollinger told CBN News.

“Mike Pence has uncompromising biblical tenacity and he has a loving tone about him that’s not just a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal,” he continued. “And then fourthly, he brings real value to the head of the nation.”

Like others, Drollinger often compares President Trump to biblical strongman Samson.

“I just praise God for them,” he said. “And I praise God for Mike Pence, who I think with Donald Trump chose great people to lead our nation.”

About the Author

Jennifer Wishon writes for the Christian Broadcasting Network.

The Best Question Ever

Life is full of questions. Most of us ask over 50 questions a day. Someone made a fortune off the statement, “Don’t ask why.” My response is, “Why not?”

We ask when, where, how, who, and what, dozens of times each day. We ask for help when we are in need. Fifty percent of the adult population asks for directions when they are lost. (The other 50 percent are called “men.”)

Life is full of statements. “Why is grass green? What makes rainbows? Why does Grandpa have more hair growing from his ear than from his head? Why do clocks run clockwise? Why is a fly ball ruled fair when it hits the foul pole? Why do we have to stay out of the pool for 30 minutes after we each lunch?

I have a question of my own. What is the greatest question ever asked? What is the one question we should ask ourselves several times each day? Here’s my suggestion. Ask yourself this, every time you face an important decision – “What is the wise thing to do?”

That’s it! “What is the wise thing to do?” Andy Stanley wrote a whole book on that one question. If you’re like me, the answer will usually be obvious. So try it. It makes life a lot simpler. “What is the wise thing to do?” It really works. But don’t ask me why.