The Remedy

A  man went to his doctor, who told him he had a bad illness, and had just one year to live. So the man decided to talk to his pastor. After he explained the situation, he asked what he should do.

His pastor had an answer. “What you need to do is to go out and buy a Dodge pick-up truck from the late 1970s. Then go marry the ugliest woman you can find and buy an old trailer house and put it halfway up a mountain.”

The man asked his pastor, “But I have a terminal illness. Will this help me live longer?”

His pastor replied, “No, but if you do the things I just said, it will be the longest year of your life?”

Life is about quality, not quantity. For some of us, this next year will actually be our last. Let’s treasure every moment, capture every memory, and take in every sunrise. In the process, may we lean on God more than ever; this is the great remedy for life.

The Rushmore Report: David Jeremiah – ‘I Feel Safer with Trump’

Megachurch pastor David Jeremiah, who leads the Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, says that now that Donald Trump is president, he feels a “greater sense of security” as an American citizen. “I’ll be honest with you, I feel safer as a citizen because he’s my president,” Jeremiah told CBN last Thursday.

“I feel like there’s a greater sense of security in our country even though people don’t want to talk about it,” said Jeremiah, who also founded Turning Point Radio and Television Ministries.

While he doesn’t like some of the things Trump “says and the way he says them,” Jeremiah doesn’t appear too concerned since, he said, the New York City billionaire “is not my pastor.”

Jeremiah also pointed to a few more positive outcomes of Trump’s presidency so far, such as the improving economy.

“Right now, we are in the best economic situation I can ever remember in terms of the stock market being $5 trillion more than it was in November,” he said

“Many of the experts say we’re in the process of getting prepared for a big downturn, but nobody knows that, and I don’t know that,” Jeremiah added. “I just know that ultimately if we don’t deal with our debt, then there’s not a lot of good news long-term.”

“Obviously, he’s making a difference in many areas. He’s making a difference economically; nobody wants to talk about it, but I just mentioned what’s happened to the stock market since he’s been in office.”

 

The Rushmore Report: Justin Timberlake and Stephen Colbert Talk about God

Justin Timberlake got his start singing in church and now the entertainer is explaining why it’s the best place to begin a music career. “You know that church is the best place to sing because you can go up there and completely botch anything and then at the end everyone says, ‘Amen,’” Timberlake said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

The pair joked about God in a light-hearted satirical segment called “Big Questions with Bigger Stars,” where Colbert got to ask Timberlake, “If the universe is so infinite, then what’s beyond?”

The singer responded, “Everything other than bed and bath.”

Timberlake asked the comedian and late night talk show host, “Hey Steve, if God made the universe, then who made God?”

Colbert responded, “Like most stuff, I think probably a factory in China.”

Despite the jokes, Colbert has been vocal about his Catholic faith in the past. He previously spoke about the fusion of his faith and comedy on the Witness program in 2015.

“Faith ultimately can’t be argued, faith has to be felt. And hopefully you can still feel your faith fully, and let your mind have a logical life of its own, and they do not defy each other, but complement each other, because logic itself, I don’t think, for me, and you know – logic itself will not lead me to God,” Colbert previously said. “So hopefully, I can use my mind to make my jokes, and not deny my love for God at the same time.”

Colbert said his mother heavily influenced his faith, but he also has told Rolling Stone that he was moved by the words of Christ.

“I saw how my mother’s faith was very valuable to her and valuable to my brothers and sisters, and I’m moved by the words of Christ, and I’ll leave it at that,” he added.

About the Author

Christine Thomasos writes for The Christian Post.

No Cure

There was a farmer whose chickens were dying. He called an agriculture agent and said, “I had 600 chickens, but now I have just 300, as half of them died. What should I do?”

“It’s simple,” said the agent. “Give them penicillin.”

A few days passed, and the farmer approached the agent again. “I tried penicillin, but now I’m down to 150 chickens. It didn’t work.”

The agent offered, “Give them castor oil twice a day. That should take care of your problem.”

A few days later the farmer called again. “That didn’t help. Now I’m down to fifty chickens.”

The agent countered, “Here’s your solution. Give them two aspirin each day. That should do it.”

Two days later, the farmer was back on the phone. “All my chickens are dead!” he said.

“Oh no! That’s too bad,” said the agent.

“Why are you so upset?” asked the farmer.

“Because I still had some more remedies we didn’t get to try.”

We all know people like the agriculture fellow. Sometimes, we are like him ourselves. We are surrounded by people with problems. We love to offer remedies.

In Jesus’ day, they were called “Pharisees.” Sometimes, it’s okay to say, “I’m sorry. I don’t have all the answers. But I know Someone who does.” And when he doesn’t make sense to us, he still makes sense.

17 Days

Two young blonde women were sitting in a coffee shop in a celebratory mood. A man drifted over to buy them something to drink. When he got close, he heard one lady say to the other, “Here’s to 17 days!”

Smiling, the man said, “Congratulations! But what’s so special about 17 days?”

Eyes twinkling, one of the blondes explained, “Well, we’ve been spending our evenings working on a jigsaw puzzle! And we finished it in just 17 days!”

“What’s so good about that?” asked the man.

The lady responded, “On the box, it said 3-5 years.”

A famous Christian author wrote a book a few years ago. His premise was, “It all goes back in the box.” He said that whatever you have in life, when this life is over, your toys all go back in the box.

A little boy stunned his dad by putting together a jigsaw puzzle of the world in just ten minutes.

“How did you do it?” asked his dad.

“It was easy,” said the lad. “I turned the pieces over, and they formed the image of a heart. And when I got the heart right, the world fell into place.”

Get your heart right today, because when it’s over, it all goes back in the box.

Initiative

General William Westmoreland was once reviewing a platoon of paratroopers in Vietnam. As he went down the line, he asked each of them a question. “How do you like jumping, son?”

“Love it, sir!” was the first man’s answer.

“How do you like jumping?” he asked the next.

“The greatest experience in my life, sir!” exclaimed the paratrooper.

“How do you like jumping?” he asked the third.

“I hate it, sir,” he replied.

“Then why do you do it?” asked Westmoreland.

“I want to be around guys who love to jump.”

That’s good initiative!

Here’s a story of bad initiative. A store manager was walking through the packing room when he saw a man lounging on a shipping crate. He asked how much he was paid. The man said, “$500 a week.”

At that the manager paid the man $500 and said, “Here’s a week’s pay. Now get out!”

The manager went to the department head and asked why he had hired the man in the first place.

“We didn’t, sir,” he replied. “He was here to pick up a package.”

Initiative can be good or bad. I’d go with the first kind. Find a group going places. Don’t hold back. And at the right moment, jump! But don’t jump alone. Find a church full of believers worth jumping with.

Advice from Charlie Brown

Lucy says to Charlie Brown, “You know what I don’t understand? I don’t understand love!”

He says, “Who does?”

She says, “Explain it to me, Charlie Brown.”

He says, “You can’t explain love. I can recommend a book or a poem or a painting, but I can’t explain love.”

Lucy says, “Well, try, Charlie Brown. Try.”

Charlie says, “Well, let’s say I see this beautiful, cute little girl walk by.”

Lucy interrupts. “Why does she have to be cute? Huh? Why can’t someone fall in love with someone with freckles and a big nose? Explain that!”

Charlie: “Well, maybe you are right. Let’s just say I see this girl walk by with this great big nose.”

Lucy: “I didn’t say GREAT BIG NOSE!”

Charlie: “You not only can’t explain love, you can’t even talk about it.”

Let’s talk about it. The ancient Greeks had three words for love, meaning sensual live, friendship love, and sacrificial love. God has one word for love – the sacrificial kind. The most famous verse in the Bible begins, “God so loved.” God loves with a sacrificial love that cost him his son. He loves us all, including those of us with a big nose.

The Rushmore Report: What God Would Say to Matt Lauer

For twenty years, Matt Lauer was perhaps the most popular and trusted news host in America, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars to NBC every year, from advertising on the Today Show. More than that, he was a champion of women’s rights, beloved by feminists since the 1990s. But this week, that all came crashing down, with the revelation of a far-reaching sex scandal and Lauer’s resulting firing by NBC. You can read the sordid details on other outlets. But only here will you read what matters most. We answer the question, in light of recent events, What would God say to Matt Lauer?

I think that if God were to sit down with Matt Lauer, he would say six things.

1. I love you as much today as I did before the scandal broke.

God would go even further. He’d tell Mr. Lauer, “I love you just as much today as before the scandal broke, and just as much as I did before you committed your first indiscretion.” We don’t know when it all began for Lauer, though that will likely be exposed soon. To God it has no bearing on his love for Matt Lauer. God’s love for him today is just as complete as it was on the day before his first sin. I think God would say it like this – “There is nothing you can ever do that will make me love you more, and  there is nothing you can ever do that will make me love you less.” Upon learning the news, Lauer’s co-host, Cathy Lee Gifford, texted him, “I adore you.” She said, “No person is perfect. No one is sinless. We need God’s mercy.” God’ love for Matt Lauer – and for you – is not diminished by the magnitude of any sin.

2. What you do in secret will always be exposed.

The accusations against Mr. Lauer are growing by the day. Like so many before him, his actions of sexual misconduct have been repetitive. Lauer’s activities seem to have crossed the line into addiction. And as with all addictions, secrecy is the incubator of the compulsive lifestyle. It’s not that men like Lauer, Weinstein, Conyers, and Franken want to battle such ferocious demons. It’s just too hard to overcome in secret.  Sins of darkness cannot be solved in darkness. Jesus said, “There is nothing done in darkness that will not be revealed in the light” (Luke 8:17). For the perpetrator, his exposure is both his worst fear and his very best friend. The reason our sins “find us out” (Numbers 32:23) is not one of judgment, but mercy. God knows that we can only get well in the light. Patrick Carnes, perhaps the foremost expert on sex addiction, says it like this: “The addictive system uses secrecy as a shield. Addiction thrives on secrecy.” God would tell Matt Lauer, “What you have done behind closed doors, I will expose in the light of day – not so you can lose your reputation – but so you can find it.” If he opens himself to God’s grace, Lauer will look back one day and see the day of his exposure as the best day of his life.

3. What you took a lifetime to build can be lost in a moment.

Will Rogers famously said, “It takes a lifetime to build your reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.” Case #1 – David (adultery with Bathsheba). Case #2 – Noah (drunk and naked before his children). Case #3 – Peter (denied Christ three times). Case #4 – Matt Lauer. What is built for 30-40 years can be lost in a moment. But God would tell Lauer – and you and me – that this is not all bad. He would tell Lauer, “You no longer have the ability to write the start of your personal story, but you can still write the ending.”

4. Pride precedes fall.

God would tell Matt Lauer what he has already said in his Word. “Pride comes before fall” (Proverbs 11:2). One of the things all the men who have recently been disgraced in the nightly news have shared in common is power. Matt Lauer is – or was – a powerful man. His mere presence on The Today Show made NBC hundreds of millions of dollars every year. And in turn, they made him the highest paid newsman on television. But power is more often our enemy than our friend. What Abraham Lincoln said over 150 years ago still resonates today: “Nearly all men can stand adversity; but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” NBC gave Matt Lauer power – lots of power. But the higher the pedestal, the greater the fall.

5. The Mike Pence Rule is a good idea.

When Vice President Mike Pence shared the boundary he has erected to protect his integrity, the media scoffed. His rule is simple – never be alone with a woman other than your wife and never be in a room where alcohol is served without your wife there also. Billy Graham lived by this standard, and so did his entire team. It was called the Modesto Manifesto. And now in his 100th year, Graham has never had a hint of personal sexual scandal. Graham once said, “It’s not that I don’t trust the women; I don’t trust myself.” If Matt Lauer, John Conyers, and the rest had followed the “Pence Rule,” their stories would have played out much differently. The same is true of each of us.

6. Get help!

God would tell Matt Lauer it is never too late to seek help. The Bible says, “They cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of distress” (Psalm 107:28). The First Step of recovery is to admit one’s powerlessness over his struggles. Yes, Matt Lauer crossed some clear lines. Yes, he has lost his job and his reputation. And yes, of all the paths he may take in the future, the road of recovery will be the road less traveled. There are too many bumps along the road, not to mention exit ramps, for the road to be easy. But there is hope for Matt Lauer if he wants it. But he must really want it. Since their sexual indiscretions were made public, rumors have resurfaced that suggest Bill Clinton and Tiger Woods have not taken their recovery seriously. It is hard to begin the journey, still harder to stay on it. Matt Lauer has apologized. He has admitted personal failings and faults. But will he really seek help for his problems? Will he make amends? Will he put his recovery before anything else? We will know soon. God would say to Matt Lauer, “Seeking help is a good thing, not a bad thing.” To quote Les Brown, “We ask for help, not because we are weak, but because we are strong.” Whether or not Matt Lauer is strong enough to know he is weak, smart enough to know he is not so smart, and helpless enough to know he needs help – will determine how his story ends.

Yes, God has something to say to Matt Lauer. But is he ready to listen? He needs help – help he probably would have never sought until God gave him the gift of exposing his sins. I pray he gets help. He suddenly has a three-hour hole in his daily schedule, Monday through Friday. If he uses his time to get well, he may never return to the fame he once enjoyed. But what God has before him is so much better than what lies behind him. What would God say to Matt Lauer? “Matt, the rest of your life can be the best of your life. But you’ve got to want it – more than you’ve ever wanted anything before.”

This Day in History

It all happened in a day . . . November 30. How many of these events do you remember, that all occurred this day in history?

  • Earliest eclipse on record (3340 B.C.)
  • Second siege of Pensacola, ending with Britain’s failure to capture Pensacola, Florida (1707)
  • U.S. Senate begins impeachment trial of Federalist Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase (1804)
  • Civil War Battle of Franklin, Tennessee; the South lost six generals (1864)
  • Lucille Ball marries Desi Arnaz in Greenwich, Connecticut (1940)
  • Civil War begins in Palestine, resulting in creation of the State of Israel (1947)
  • Only documented meteorite to hit a human directly, crashes through house in Sylacauga, Alabama (1954)
  • Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller” is released; becomes best-selling record in music history (1982)
  • Official end of Operation Desert Storm (1995)
  • Exxon and Mobil merge to form ExxonMobil, the largest company in the world (1998)
  • Jeopardy Show champion Ken Jennings finally loses, having won a game-show record $2.5 million (2004)

Yes, a lot can happen in a day. How ’bout these for good days – the resurrection of Christ, the creation of the heavens and the earth, the Sermon on the Mount, the parting of the Red Sea.

It’s amazing what God can do in a day. And only heaven knows what God plans to do in your life – today!

Banks

A farmer who had experienced several bad years went to see the manager of his bank. “I’ve got some good news and some bad news to tell you. Which would you like to hear first?” asked the farmer.

“Why don’t you tell me the bad news first, and get it over with?” the banker replied.

“Okay. With a bad drought and inflation and all, I won’t be able to pay anything on my mortgage this year, either on the principal or the interest.”

“Well, that is pretty bad,” said the banker.

“It gets worse,” the farmer continued. “I also won’t be able to pay anything on the loan you gave me for that great machinery I bought.”

“Wow, is that ever bad!” said the banker.

“It’s worse than that. You remember I also borrowed money to buy seed and fertilizer and other supplies? Well, I can’t pay anything on those things, either.”

The banker said, “That’s enough! Tell me what the good news is.”

“The good news,” replied the farmer, “is that I intend to keep on doing business with you.”

You and I have the greatest Banker in the universe. Despite our defaults and faults, debts and moral bankruptcies, he still does business with us.