How to Win Carnival Games

Ethan Trex has done the world a great favor. He has studied carnival games and devised a winning strategy. Follow these simple tips and you can be the king of carnivals, a prince to preschoolers. Let’s start with the “Balloon Dart Throw.” The scam is that the darts are dull and much lighter than normal darts. And the balloons are under inflated, which makes them harder to pop. The strategy is to not hurl the darts hard, but to loft them up, so they can come down onto their target with the assistance of gravity.

Ever tried the “Basketball Shoot”? The rims are smaller than regulation and oval-shaped. The backboards have a harder bounce, the balls are overinflated, and the rims are higher. The trick is to toss the ball underhanded; it’s all about getting a good arc on the ball.

Then there’s the “Milk Bottle Pyramid.” The bottoms are heavier. So if you aim for the middle, you’ll never win. You must go low!

Now let’s talk about the “Game of Life.” The scam is that it looks like you can win by your own strength. The trick is to recognize you can’t win unless you depend totally on God. God said, back in the first book of the Bible, “I will go with you to Egypt, and I will bring you up again.”

American Revolution Begins

At about 5:00 a.m., April 19, 1775, seven hundred British troops, on a mission to capture Patriot leaders and seize a Patriot arsenal, marched in Lexington to find 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waiting for them on the town’s common green. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation, the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the area. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and ten others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had begun.

Eight years and 25,000 deaths later, the United States of America had won her independence and was a free nation. That is how revolutions happen. They start small and end big. One shot was fired, and the world took notice, 241 years ago today.

When’s the last time you “fired a shot”? Take aim at God’s preferred future for you life. He is speaking, if you’re listening. Too often we shoot before aiming. Let God direct you, and take aim at the revolution He has in front of you. Then take your best shot.

Holy Huddles

I was insecure as a child. I think it goes back to my infant years. When mom used to rock me, she used really big rocks. My insecurities carried over into my teen years. When I watched football games on television, I hated it when the players got into huddles. I assumed they were talking about me.

Actually, there was a day when they didn’t huddle up at all. The quarterback would tell each player what to do. Then it all changed at the powerhouse of college football: Callaudet University. Located in Washington, D.C., Gallaudet is a school for the deaf. The quarterback calls the plays by sign language.

In the old days, one of their quarterbacks noticed the defense was watching him call the plays. So he asked the players to “huddle up,” so he could call the plays without being seen by the opposition.

The custom continues today, on the football field and in the church. yes, in the church! In most churches, we are more concerned with “holy huddles” (meetings, gatherings in our buildings) than we are with putting points on the board (ministry, service).

Church, it’s time to break the huddle!

The Rushmore Report – Is Facebook Really Biased?

After two days of Congressional hearings with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, American perceptions of the power of social media became clear. After 2012, Democrats and the media celebrated President Obama’s Facebook campaign strategy. But in 2016, with the Donald Trump election, Facebook became a malignant ghetto of “fake news” and inappropriate election manipulation.

Congress is right to ask how Facebook’s massive popularity could lead to clear violations of privacy and manipulation of our political process. But there is more to discuss. Questions of bias and censorship demand answers, despite the reticence to seek those answers from the political left.

The grilling by Republican senators was classic. Ben Sasse (Nebraska) asked Zuckerberg how he defines “hate speech” (which Facebook pretends to ban), noting that many young people find the First Amendment to allow for “hate speech.” Zuckerberg offered no legitimate response.

Ted Cruz (Texas) zeroed in on the hard evidence of Facebook demonstrating a “pervasive pattern of political bias,” citing Facebook’s actions to keep major conservative stories off its “trending” topics for readers. As evidence, Cruz pointed to Facebook’s shutting down of the “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” page. Two dozen Catholic pages have been blocked, as well.

To his credit, Zuckerberg replied, “I understand where the concern is coming from because Facebook and the tech industry are located in Silicon Valley, which is an extremely left-leaning place.” Just acknowledging that reality sends shock waves down the spines of Democratic legislators, who predictably avoided the subject of bias in their softball questions.

Cruz was relentless in his questions. He asked if Zuckerberg had ever heard of a Planned Parenthood page being taken down. No. How about a MoveOn.org page? Nope. Any Democratic candidates’ pages? No, again.

Bias complaints from the right usually fail to acknowledge the balance provided by such outlets as Fox News. But as a monopoly, left-leaning Facebook has no competition, which is why it is important that the social media giant play things down the middle in an apolitical way – or at least openly admit who they really are.

The Rushmore Report – Newt’s Explosive Response to Comey Book

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has reacted to the new James Comey book – and he’s not holding back. The former FBI Director has gone on a speaking tour to bash President Trump in his efforts to sell books. Gingrich has responded with pointed criticism in his call for more revelations to be forthcoming from the Justice Department and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Gingrich discredits many of Comey’s claims.

Gingrich told Fox News, “My first reaction to fired FBI Director James Comey’s new book, A Higher Loyalty, is to demand that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein release the still-secret Comey memorandums describing his conversations with Donald Trump as president-elect and president. After seeing hundreds of pages of Comey’s self-serving version of reality, the American people deserve to see what he actually wrote at the time of these conversations.”

The former Speaker suspects “the memos will undermine a lot of Comey’s case.”

Gingrich identifies two striking things about the book.

First, the now-fawning Democratic leaders were Comey’s worst critics just over a year ago. The Republican National Committee has compiled a video showing the comments of leading Democrats and their harsh criticisms of the former Director. From Nancy Pelosi to Chuck Schumer, virtually every leading Democrat called for Comey to be fired in the months leading up to the 2016 election.

Then, the Speaker says, “miraculously, after President Trump fired him and Comey began to attack  his former boss – Democrats suddenly considered Comey to be a saintly, loyal public servant.”

Second, the book is a perfect example of an angry, fired employee ranting against his former boss. Gingrich says, “Anyone who has had to fire someone who was convinced they were right and you were wrong can appreciate the intensity of Comey’s anger. That intensity and bitterness flow throughout the book.”

Gingrich concludes, “Comey is a man who lied to Congress about never having leaked documents and then admitted a few weeks later that he had given documents to a college professor friend, specifically so this professor could pass the information to the media – in this case, the New York Times. Comey told Congress he did this so the media could demand a new independent counsel, who Comey was sure would be Robert Mueller.”

The Speaker is on target in his analysis. We now know that Comey took a discredited dossier written by Christopher Steele to Donald Trump and was surprised that Trump was shaken by some of the viciously dishonest things written about him in it. Comey also had used this phony document to get a FISA warrant to eavesdrop on Americans involved in the Trump campaign.

Gingrich is right when he says, “Sadly, Comey has tarnished the FBI and set a terrible precedent for future directors. After this, if you were president, would you confide in an official who could end up writing a vicious version of your conversations a year later? Comey will go down in history as the most discredited Director of the FBI we have ever had. Remember that when you watch the endless interviews conducted by the fawning left-wing media outlets.”

The Rushmore Report – Should Christians Care about Earth Day?

This Sunday, April 22, is Earth Day. This is the day set apart for citizens of the world to honor their planet, while committing to new ways to preserve her resources. For the environmentalist, Earth Day is his national holiday. But what about the Christian? How important should the environment be to a follower of Christ?

Billy Graham was posed this very question a few years ago. Following, we offer his response – unedited.

“In reality, many churches and mission groups are speaking out about these issues. A number of denominations, for example, have passed resolutions urging their members to be more active in environmental issues.

“Why should we be concerned about the environment? It isn’t just because of the dangers we face from pollution, climate change, or other environmental problems – although these are serious. For Christians, the issue is much deeper. We know that God created the world, and it belongs to him, not us. Because of this, we are only stewards or trustees of God’s creation, and we aren’t to abuse or neglect it. The Bible says, ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it’ (Psalm 24:1).

“When we fail to see the world as God’s creation, we will end up abusing it. Selfishness and greed take over, and we end up not caring about the environment or the problems we’re creating for future generations. It’s not surprising that some of the world’s worst environmental damage was done by the old atheistic regimes of Eastern Europe.

“I hope you won’t lose your concern for these issues, for they are important. But don’t lose sight of something that is even more important: your relationship with God. Is Christ first in your life, and are you seeking to follow him every day?”

About the Author

Billy Graham wrote this letter in response to a reader, on Earth Day several years ago.

The Rushmore Report – The Top 50 Christian Universities in America

Picking a good university to attend involves many factors: your major, cost, location, and the culture of the university and its campus. I can make a great recommendation – Houston Baptist University. I’ve never known a finer institution. But setting all bias aside, here is a Top 50 list, via Anna Rebekah Orr.

1. College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, Missouri)

2. Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois)

3. Whitworth University (Spokane, Washington)

4. Messiah College (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)

5. Grove City College (Grove City, Pennsylvania)

6. Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

7. Taylor University (Upland, Indiana)

8. Union University (Jackson, Tennessee)

9. Cedarville University (near Cleveland, Ohio)

10. Asbury University (Wilmore, Kentucky)

11. Abilene Christian University (Abilene, Texas)

12. Corban University (Salem, Oregon)

13. Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, California)

14. Eastern University (Saint Davids, Pennsylvania)

15. Milligan College (Milligan College, Tennessee)

16. Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa)

17. Westmont College (Santa Barbara, California)

18. Dordt College (Sioux Center, Iowa)

19. Hope International University (Fullerton, California)

20. Greenville College (Greenville, Illinois)

21. Bethel College (Mishawaka, Indiana)

22. Seattle Pacific University (Seattle, Washington)

23. George Fox University (Newberg, Oregon)

24. Lipscomb University (Nashville, Tennessee)

25. Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, California)

26. North Park University (Chicago, Illinois)

27. Geneva College (Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania)

28. Bethel University (St. Paul, Minnesota)

29. Houghton College (Houghton, New York)

30. Dallas Baptist University (Dallas, Texas)

31. Simpson University (Redding, California)

32. Gordon College (Wenham, Massachusetts)

33. Roberts Wesleyan College (Rochester, New York)

34. Huntington University (Huntington, Indiana)

35. Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia)

36. Anderson University (Anderson, Indiana)

37. Biola University (La Mirada, California)

38. Fresno Pacific University (Fresno, California)

39. Northwest University (Kirkland, Washington)

40. The Master’s College & Seminary (Santa Clarita, California)

41. Midamerica Nazarene University (Olathe, Kansas)

42. LeTourneau University (Longview, Texas)

43. John Brown University (Siloam Springs, Arkansas)

44. Mount Vernon Nazarene University (Mount Vernon, Ohio)

45. Oral Roberts University (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

46. Concordia University (Irvine, California)

47. Oklahoma Christian University (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

48. Bob Jones University (Greenville, South Carolina)

49. Trinity Christian College (Palos Heights, Illinois)

50. Spring Arbor University (Spring Arbor, Michigan)

About the Author

Anna Rebekah Orr writes for Christian Universities Online.

The Rushmore Report – According to Democrats, Christians Cannot Serve in Government

On Thursday, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) offered a bizarre critique of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Pompeo wasn’t sufficiently enthusiastic about homosexual sex.

Yes, this is a real thing.

Booker asked Pompeo, “Do you believe gay sex is a perversion?”

Pompeo is a religious Christian, so presumably he does. He answered, quite properly, “When I was a politician, I had a very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same-sex persons to marry. I stand by that.” He also informed Booker, “My respect for every individual regardless of sexual orientation is the same.”

Booker was outraged by Pompeo’s reply. His time ran, however, before he could grill Pompeo on whether he enjoyed Brokeback Mountain sufficiently or cried at the end of Moonlight.

This is anti-Christian bigotry from Booker. It’s that simple. Religious people of all major faiths — Christian, Jewish, Muslim — believe homosexual activity is a sin. Full stop. The Bible is quite clear about this in both Leviticus and Deuteronomy, the New Testament is clear about it in Romans and Corinthians and Timothy. The Koran isn’t shy on the issue, either. None of that means that religious people thereby want the rights of gays and lesbians violated. I, for example, am fully libertarian on same-sex marriage, and have been for years. Religious people think lots of things are sins, and also think that people have a right to do the wrong thing. The same logic undergirds support for the First Amendment: I hate racism, but people have a right to say racist things. I may dislike sin, but a government dedicated to stamping out sin rather than preventing violation of rights is called tyranny.

But according to Booker, you must celebrate sin in order to believe there is a right for people to commit sin that has no externalities in a free society. This makes sense from a Leftist point of view, where government is the great instrument of the good, not a mere protector of rights — the same people who try to stamp out dissenting thought through “hate speech” legislation are likely to believe that religious Americans feel the same way about using government to stamp out sin. But they’re wrong. And they’re religious bigots.

Worse, Booker’s shtick is unconstitutional if it were to be applied legally. The Constitution forbids religious tests for office. What Pompeo thinks about sin has nothing to do with what he thinks about public policy, unless Booker has evidence otherwise. If not, this is simple intolerance. Ironically, Booker would go on to essentially admit that point a few minutes later when he ripped into Brigitte Gabriel for supposedly expressing bigotry for questioning the compatability between Islam and democracy.

But that’s no shock. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked judicial nominee Amy Barrett just a few months back about her religion: “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.”

Here’s the real issue: when your religion is government, and government is god, you cannot tolerate any other God before it — and you assume that all those who believe in God wish to mobilize government in order to impose God’s will. The only people on the political spectrum interested in using government as a proxy for imposing heaven from above live on the Left.

About the Author

Ben Shapiro is the editor for The Daily Wire.

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 pastor my son than by how I pastored my churches. 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 it like this – “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3).

Titanic

Robert Ballard was a man on a quest. He wanted to find the Titanic. And on September 1, 1985, he discovered the sunken ship in the North Atlantic, more than 350 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.

I got chills when I read his account for the first time. He sent down that bright probe light and saw that sight more than two miles below the surface of the icy waters. “My first direct view of Titanic lasted less than two minutes, but the stark sight of her immense black hull towering above the ocean floor will remain forever ingrained in my memory. My lifelong dream was to find this great ship and during the past 13 years the quest for her has dominated my life.”

What quest is dominating your life today? What do you dream about when you are laying in bed late at night? What would you do if you could do anything? What is the carrot that keeps you going?

God created us with passion. Ask him to give you a passion worth committing your life to. Paul said, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).