CLARITY – 1-23-18 Border Wall Looking Better

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-23-18

 

Border Wall Looking Better

What’s Happening:  “Mexico’ murders, at 25, 339 (mostly by drug cartels), is more than three times as high as the U.S. (and not as populous). The border wall is looking better all the time (https://www.yahoo.com/news/were-more-25-000-homicides-010954454.html). ‘Even though Mexico has a significant problem with violence, it is plainly false that Mexico is the most dangerous country in the world,’ said Mexico’s Foreign Minister.”

 

Knee-jerk Response: “Maybe I should cancel my vacation south of the border.”

 

Biblical Response:  “You think? Not that you’re going to be there to raise the ire of a drug cartel, but just being an American with money makes you a target…Texas beaches are looking better all the time! So is Trump’s border wall. Sure, determined smugglers can find a way (over, under, or through), but that’s what the Border Patrol and high-tech surveillance are for. No wonder folks want to come here…where the rule of law trumps (pun intended) might makes right.”

 

“Christians? Of course it’s wrong to kill (Ex.20:13), but more than that, it’s wrong to even force your philosophy on someone else (2 Tim. 2:24). Although we believe we have the superior ideology, we also believe that its superiority will out (will be eventually proven to be right) (1 John 5:9). Keeping bad out may win the short game, but producing good from within is the only recipe for long-term success.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, teach us that you defeat an ideology with an ideology…that there’s a belief system that squelches (and pays in full for) the evil, while the good eventually dominates…humbly so; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

CLARITY – 1-22-18 Is Anywhere Safe?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-22-18

 

Is Anywhere Safe?

What’s Happening:  “How about some good news for a change? The two IED’s that exploded around 5:30pm at Eagle Ridge Mall at Lake Wales, Florida (about 30 minutes east of Tampa) injured or killed no one. That’s the good news…that no one is apparently safe anywhere: the bad news. (https://www.yahoo.com/news/2-ieds-explode-florida-mall-073521103.html. ‘It’s very concerning to us. We’re a family-oriented community. This is a family-oriented mall,’ said Deputy Police Chief Troy Schulz, at a press conference Sunday.”

 

Knee-jerk Response: “There go trips to the mall. I’m going to do all my shopping online.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Which may be exactly what terrorists want…what with wanting to change our culture and cyber-terrorism and all. Living in fear is exactly what terrorism is all about. It is reasonable to want to be safe, but is there really anywhere safe?”

 

“Christians? That is a great question deserving a great answer: YES! Let me put it like my friend, Ralph Irwin, put it when asked the same question as a medic in VietNam (imagine being on a jungle battlefield armed with only a first aid kit!). He said, ‘The safest place is the center of God’s will.’ (Psalm 18:19) When put like that, fear has no power.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, grant that we might operate in faith, not fear; there are plenty of things we can do something about to fret over the things with which we cannot: in Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

CLARITY – 1-20-18 The Blame Game Strikes Again

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-20-18

 

The Blame Game Strikes Again

What’s Happening:  “The Republicans call it the ‘Schumer Shutdown’ (winning the alliteration game – they’ve actually got a website: SchumerShutdown.com), while the Democrats lay the blame squarely on the Republicans because, they say, that they are completely in charge having the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Of course, they say nothing when it’s pointed out that nothing can pass the Senate now without a super-majority (https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/us-government-shuts-down-as-midnight-deadline-passes-live-updates-1802448). The best comment was probably made by Vice President Mike Pence: ‘It’s disappointing to every American that Democrats in the Senate would shutdown the government when we have troops in harm’s way.’”

 

Knee-jerk Response: “Don’t we (the taxpayers) win anytime government workers have to stay home without pay?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Perhaps…I mean, I do understand the sentiment…though those doing without a paycheck might disagree. Too bad the Congress’ paychecks are not tied to their performance. I think we should propose a Balanced Budget Amendment – when we have a surplus, Congress gets a bonus…when we have a deficit, they get no pay…of course, that just makes too much sense.”

 

“Will the shutdown really accomplish anything? Probably not. It’ll probably be short-lived. Although there appears to be intractable differences, both sides know this is an election year.”

 

“Christians? We are to be fiscally responsible (Rom. 13:8), yet we are also to be merciful (Rom. 11;32). Surely, there’s a balance there somewhere.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to find the balance between mercy and responsibility; isn’t Your provision both? In Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

CLARITY – 1-19-18 Where Were the Neighbors?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-19-18

 

Where Were the Neighbors?

What’s Happening:  “Details continue to be revealed as the 13 children (2-29) are being treated in local hospitals for the forced incarceration by the parents, David Allen and Louise Ann Turpin, who were arrested last Sunday on torture and child endangerment charges. They might still be there if a 17-year-old sibling had not escaped out a window and called police for help (https://www.yahoo.com/news/13-children-held-captive-parents-161714493.html). ‘We do need to acknowledge the courage of the young girl who escaped from that residence to bring attention so they could get the help that they so needed,’ said Captain Greg Fellows of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.”

 

Knee-jerk Response: “Where were the neighbors?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Good question…though I have to say that when I moved from San Diego in 1977, the neighbors came to say goodbye…sadly, it was the first time I had met them. Of course, that was only after a year…the Turpins had been there since 2010..I guess it depends on your definition of ‘neighbor.’ Perhaps we do tend to be too focused on our screens (phones, tablets, laptops, TV’s) to lift our heads to discover what is going on all around.”

 

“Christians? The Bible has a lot to say on how to be a good neighbor (Luke 10:25-37). Additionally, care for our children should be the parents’ first calling. Our children should be our first disciples…their salvation and godly upbringing our primary concern.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, forgive us where we have fallen short in our God-given responsibilities and help us to do better; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

CLARITY – 1-18-18 Brilliant (and healthy)

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-18-18

 

Brilliant (and healthy)

What’s Happening:  “Rear Admiral Dr. Ronny Jackson gave President Trump a clean bill of health Tuesday, the first cognitive test for a sitting president, and predicted he’ll probably outlive us all in what was a ringing endorsement from a neutral physician who was Obama’s doctor, too (https://www.yahoo.com/news/doctor-gives-trump-clean-bill-health-physical-mental-223547871.html). ‘Absolutely he’s fit for duty, I think he will remain fit for duty for the remainder of this term, and even for the remainder of another term if he’s elected.’

 

Knee-jerk Response: “I guess that will end all the ‘mentally incompetent’ accusations.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Probably not…there are probably as many ‘armchair doctors’ as ‘Monday-morning quarterbacks’…once a Trump-hater always a Trump-hater…at least until they see how much less is taken out of their paycheck. Is Trump a narcissist? Probably. Just what the ‘doctor ordered’ (pun intended) to deal with the likes of Kim Jong-Un. Trump probably consumes too many carbohydrates, but I’d take his extra weight if I can have peace. Do you mean his diet is keeping America safe? No, but it might make him less irritable and that might be good news if you lived in the DPRK.”

 

“Christians? Humility and patience would be preferable, of course (Eph. 4:2). Nobody’s perfect…except One…and look what they did to Him!”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, we need to be supportive, but discriminating (not in the racial sense, of course); in Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

CLARITY – 1-16-18 Then There Were Three

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-16-18

 

Then There Were Three

 

What’s Happening:  “First, there were wildfires, then devastating mudslides, now the cleanup and the 20 dead – four missing has turned to three with the discovery of 53-year-old transient  John ‘Jack’ Cantin and his dog Tina in Ventura. The mudslides have damaged or destroyed 500 of the 3,200 homes in Montecito, California (https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-president-trump-monitoring-california-mudslides-171853755.html). Although much of the water has receded on highway 101, Jim Shivers of California’s Highway Transportation Department said that cleanup crews were only recently allowed in to focus on removing the debris. ”

 

Knee-jerk Response: “Imagine the terror of wildfires, only to be followed by mudslides!”

 

Biblical Response:  “That was tragic, for sure. Still, it may not have been all that different for ‘Jack.’ He went from homeless to…well, homeless. At least he wasn’t of that number (20!) who were killed by the recent mudslides. All tragedy may be local, but the whole nation should be grieving.

 

“Christians? Almost everyone will experience a devastating loss during their lifetime, but we can be thankful that God is never caught off guard by these events. Jesus even tells of one such tragedy in the New Testament  (Luke 13:2-5). He said it was not always the result of their own sin. The are four basic reasons for calamity; 1) our stupidity – sinful or otherwise 2) someone else’s stupidity – sometimes we are the ‘innocent’ victims (read: collateral damage) 3) living in a fallen world – the repercussions of what Adam and Eve set in motion are incalculable or 4) God is trying to show us something (or 5: some combination).Still, God is just as upset about it.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to correct the things we can, comfort others where we can, and quit blaming You for every bad thing that happens (Really? ‘Acts of God?!’): in Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

CLARITY – 1-15-18 What Would You Do?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-15-18

 

What Would You Do?

 

What’s Happening:  “At 8:07 am (their time), Saturday, the Civil Defense System sent out a message to anyone with a smartphone in Hawaii; BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER . THIS IS NOT A DRILL. And, as was discovered and people were notified 38 minutes later, it wasn’t…it was a mistake. People huddled in garages, called loved ones to say goodbye, some even prayed (https://www.yahoo.com/news/hawaii-apos-false-missile-alert-044316057.html).  Governor of Hawaii, David Ige tweeted: ‘Today is a day most of us will never forget. A terrifying day when our worst nightmares appeared to become a reality. A day where we frantically grabbed what we could, tried to figure out how and where to shelter and protect ourselves and our ohana, said our “I love yous,’”

 

Knee-jerk Response: “I wish I were selling fallout shelters in Hawaii.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Or anywhere, for that matter. Seriously, why hasn’t anyone come up with a mylar-thin lead sheet…like a space blanket…to huddle under? I mean, they can roll out aluminum to make aluminum foil…why not lead foil? Whether it works or not might be irrelevant…at least folks would be thinking it would and have some peace. Of course, that’s not the real question. The real question is: ARE YOU READY? Whether or not Un decides to lob a missile at Hawaii or some mainland U. S. city would be irrelevant to the guy in a fatal car crash tomorrow (with California just making recreational marijuana legal, that might be an increasing possibility). One thing is certain, we’re all going to die…someday.

 

“Christians? In a sense, WE will not die (John 11:26)…at least we are not going to experience the second death (Rev. 2:11, etc.). The first death…well, Adam and Eve made that a certainty (Heb. 9:27; Rom. 3:23). We don’t need missile insurance, but a little fire insurance might go a long way.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the creativity and courage that living in this world will take…and the sense to prepare for an uncertain future…of course, for Some it IS certain; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

CLARITY – 1-13-18 In the Ear of the Hearer

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-13-18

 

In the Ear of the Hearer

 

What’s Happening:  “President Trump, in a bipartisan, behind-closed-doors meeting Thursday, may have said some remarks that some in his own party found regrettable and distasteful, but Democrats are insisting were racist and hateful. It depends on who’s account you believe (https://www.yahoo.com/news/president-trump-denies-calling-haiti-shithole-country-152929482.html). ‘Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country,’ Trump tweeted Friday morning.“

 

Knee-jerk Response: “If he didn’t say it, I’m sure he was thinking it.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…but it was ‘behind-closed-doors’ (which apparently means something else to many). I wasn’t there…and neither were you.  I’d certainly take Donald Trump’s word over Dick Durban’s. Does he make remarks I wish he’d said differently? Yes, but then I’m not under the pressure he is, either. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not making excuses for him. A President is supposed to be an example for the rest of us (of course, I like the tenor of his decisions…even if I don’t like the tenor of his voice). Maybe it takes this kind of man (my wife and I watched a talented Gary Oldham play a quirky Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour last night) for such a time as this.

 

“Christians? Should we complain when He chooses ‘the foolish things of the world to confound the wise’? (1 Cor. 1:27-28) Let us not be so quick to judge. The rule is: Go to God about people and people about God.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, we desire to be discrete in our own personal lives; help us not call anyone to a standard we don’t live by ourselves; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

CLARITY – 1-12-18 Picking at a Scab

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-12-18

 

Picking at a Scab

 

What’s Happening:  “Just when it looked like Julian Assange’s latest ploy at solving his Ecuadoran Embassy ‘cell’ situation (Quito – Ecuador’s capital – declared him a citizen of their country on Dec. 12), he uses WikiLeaks contacts to notify the world of his support of Catalonia’s independence drive, not a wise move for someone who makes enemies faster than friends (https://www.yahoo.com/news/ecuador-grants-citizenship-wikileaks-founder-assange-foreign-minister-173828863.html). ‘We have reminded Mr Assange that he has no reason to interfere in Ecuadoran politics because his status does not allow it. Nor in that of nations that are our friends,’ said Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno. “

 

Knee-jerk Response: “Assange’s leaking of documents makes for interesting reading.”

 

Biblical Response:  “This may be true, but the end doesn’t justify the means. There are many leaks in the White House (though less now that Gen. Flynn has taken over); and they may be entertaining, but that doesn’t make them good…or right. You may argue that the public has a right to know. Aren’t some secrets better kept? There are things in everyone’s life that only glorify the enemy’s handiwork if revealed…that’s certainly true in mine. If we can’t let regret teach us, how are we ever to learn the lessons of mistakes made? The entertainment value of others’ errors is not the standard by which secrets should be judged. Besides, how can a person be healed if scabs are only for picking?

 

“Christians? We should never reward rumor-mongers, gossipers, or talebearers (Pro. 20:19). Just because something is salacious doesn’t mean revealing it is a good thing…it only increases ratings or sells more issues. We are for telling the truth…but discreetly.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us wisdom when we are privy to special knowledge…not braggadocious; in Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

CLARITY -1-11-18 Fear Works

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-11-18

 

Fear Works

 

What’s Happening:  “The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted raids of 98 7-Elevens in 17 states (making 21 arrests). That and Trump’s tough talk on immigration during the campaign has reduced illegal border crossings since his election(today’s numbers are the lowest since 1971). Calling the recent outreach to both parties on creating a solution for DACA (the so-called ‘dreamers’)immigrants a ‘bill of love,’ Trump seems to be having a little compassion for those brought to America by parents seeking illegal work…much to conservatives’ consternation (https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/11/577271488/ice-targets-7-eleven-stores-in-nationwide-immigration-raids). ‘Today’s actions send a strong message to U.S. businesses that hire and employ an illegal workforce: ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable,’ said ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan.”

 

Knee-jerk Response: “Some of them really do want work.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Of course. That’s not the point. The fact that most illegals have a good work ethic, or just want to feed their families, etc., is not the point, either. What is the point? Don’t we need cheap labor? Yes, but you only have a country when you can control who gets admitted. If that means more raids, or employer discipline, or even a wall, so be it. No employer likes paying more for good help. Believe me I know (talk to me sometime about the illegals who worked hard at reasonable wages, who paid good money for SS numbers that were fake…that I had to fire in my landscape business). The point is that low wages keep finished products at artificially low prices. And those jobs should be going to those who are citizen-taxpayers. It might make prices go up, but taxes will go down because the demand for support services will go down, too (free education, food stamps, etc.).

 

“Christians? We want to be merciful, but we want to respect the law, too (Heb. 13:16-17). We can and should do both. When the Church allows the government to be the main or sole source of help, we promote their valueless  handouts. At least we preach a Gospel that can transform more than a hungry body or mind…how about ministering to the soul? The government can’t do that and still be neutral…hmmm.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help our leaders to promote what is right and deter what is wrong. Help us to do that, too; in Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent