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Christianity/Religion Political insight

Does God Set Up World Leaders–Both Good and Evil?

In another of my columns, the discussion arose as to whether or not God is in control of this world. I am adamant in saying that He is, even though God has given free will to all humans and we choose for ourselves how we will live our lives. But the ultimate control is God’s alone. Any dominion or authority we as human beings have is only at His discretion and allowance.

I commented at one point that scripture says that God “sets up whom He will, and brings down whom He will.” I wasn’t sure of the exact location of the scripture and promised to get back with it. There are several pertinent scriptures:

Psalm 75:7 “But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”

Daniel 4:35 “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

Daniel 2:21 “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings:…”

In my mind, I puzzle:

Did God set up Hitler, who was a monster and murdered millions of Jews?

Did God set up President Bill Clinton who brought extreme shame to the Oval Office?

Did God set up President George W. Bush?

Has God always had His will in elections and in the progression of kings?

or…are we humans indeed “setting up and bringing down”, albeit under the authority and permission of God?

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about this.

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Christianity/Religion Political insight Social

THINK

THINK, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Some believe thinking is a lost art among us. Let us prove those persons wrong by carefully considering our past conclusions, honestly examining our beliefs, and surrounding ourselves with God-fearing, righteous people. This is a time for us to invoke God, to plead for His guidance and for His direction.

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Christianity/Religion Photography Political insight Social

PEACE

White rose, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165

“I will lift up my mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

Psalm 121

It is vital that the Word of God be fully understood, read with spiritual understanding and discussed wisely, considering always the context in which particular scripture was revealed. The Bible was written by men of God as they were “moved by the Holy Ghost.”

Surely we understand that from antiquity godly and holy people have met untimely distress and death from the hands of evil men. Did that mean God had neglected His people, or ignored them, or turned His back on them? Of course not. Our bodies, as important as they seem to us now, are expendable and begin decaying at the moment of our birth. It is our eternal, everlasting soul that is of value and of issue. None can destroy, injure or mutilate our souls–save God alone. We are safe in Him, secure, at peace.

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Christianity/Religion Political insight Social

Fires Over Lebanon

Fires Over Lebanon

By Anthony Shadid, Scott Wilson and William Branigin
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, July 14, 2006; 3:38 PM

BEIRUT, July 14 — Israel pounded Lebanon with airstrikes and artillery for a third straight day on Friday, bombing the headquarters of the radical Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah and the residence of its leader in the capital’s southern suburbs.

The leader of Hezbollah, Hasan Nasrallah, subsequently threatened to engage in “open war” against Israel. Hezbollah’s television station, al-Manar, reported that Nasrallah, his family and his aides were safe after the separate attacks on his home and the Hezbollah headquarters in the Haret Hreik neighborhood late Friday afternoon.

Read more here…

The Middle East and its activities have always been highly significant to God’s people, whether those people live here in the United States or another part of the world. Again, I call for loyalty and patriotism. At such critical times as these, we must put aside political differences, seek the face of God, and pray sincerely for our leaders. There are those who believe we are at the beginning of World War III.

I am not a panic-crier, but neither am I one to ignore such significant developments as these. God help us, everyone. I say that not lightly, but with all sincerity.

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Political insight Social

General Peter Pace and a Call for Patriots

Extending past the unfurling of our flag, pressing beyond the ground-shaking march of struck drums and bellowing tubas must be an enduring patriotism for our country–for the United States of America. It pains me to agree with Thomas Sowell‘s recent statement, and thus to acknowledge, “how little remains of the patriotic glue that holds a society together.”

I’m calling today for open expressions of patriotism, of flying our flag on this ordinary non-holiday, of tender words rolled from our mouths, yet connected with honest and chilling understandings of our flaws. Clarity demands we see national fissues and glitches, the perplexing skin of today’s world, and of the “mere humanness” of leadership. Patriotism prevents our jeering, childish scoffing, and certainly, the tearing from our roof, the very tiles designed to hold at bay evil storm.

I was heartened to read of General Pace and his emotions as he recently spoke of his immigrant father.

Washington Post Staff Writers

Tuesday, July 10, 2006: Page A03

MIAMI, July 10–A congressional hearing on immigration came to a dramatic pause Monday when Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, choked up as he talked about his Italian immigrant father and the opportunities that America had given to his family.

A hush fell over the auditorium at Miami Dade College as Pace, a Marine who was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., and grew up in Teaneck, N.J., was overcome with emotion and struggled to continue reading from his statement as the opening witness at the field hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Pace was explaining his family’s origins to the committee and the opportunities he and his three siblings enjoyed in America when he lost his composure, much to the surprise of the 150 people gathered in the hearing room and to the five senators, who sat riveted as the general paused.

After he composed himself, Pace described his older sister, who went to law school, and his older brother, who, like himself, attended the Naval Academy and was a Marine.

“There is no other country on the planet that affords that kind of opportunity to those who come here,” Pace concluded. The audience burst into applause.

Pace’s father was born in Italy in 1914, immigrated to the United States and became an electrician in New York City, raising four children there. Pace, whose last name means “peace” in Italian, is a 1967 graduate of the Naval Academy and has served in Thailand, Korea and Japan.

I’m concluding this column with observations again by Thomas Sowell. Be reminded to think clearly: be not quick to judge the following as contrary to the previous words of General Pace.

The decline and fall of the Roman Empire was as much due to the internal disintegration of the ties that bind a society together as to the assaults of the Romans’ external enemies.

The pride of being a Roman citizen was destroyed by cheapening that citizenship by giving it to too many other people. The sense of duty and loyalty eroded among both the elites and the masses.

Without such things, there could be no Roman Empire. Ultimately, without such things, there can be no United States of America. In neither case have tangible wealth and power been enough to save a country or a civilization, for the tangibles do not work without the intangibles.

I believe you who read my column frequently know I am a lover of God, of my family, of people everywhere and of my country. Today, I make a renewed call for Patriots–for allegiance to our country–the United States of America. And to my readers from other parts of the world, I implore you to love what’s good in your world, to pray for your leaders and to carry high your flag.