Guest Blog by Star Parker

Star Parker @UrbanCURE
Star Parker is a columnist for The Daily Signal and president of the Urban Center for Urban Renewal and Education.

As so much despair has gripped our nation during this difficult time, I decided to go into our nation’s most distressed communities with a message of hope and truth.  I have been working on policy issues dealing with race and poverty through my organization, UrbanCURE, for 25 years.

We purchased billboard space in hard-hit cities across the nation and posted a short, time-tested message that strikes at the heart of what drives poverty.  The billboards show a picture of a young black man or young black woman and say: “Tired of Poverty? Finish school. Take any job. Get married. Save and invest. Give back to your neighborhood.”  The billboard then refers to Proverbs 10:4, which says, “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”

This is a message delivered with care and love.  It’s a message I know is true. It is so true that it produced an immediate reaction from Black Lives Matter, which contacted the billboard company, Clear Channel Outdoor, demanding that the billboards be taken down.

Claims from Black Lives Matter — laced, of course, with profanity — that our message is racist, inaccurate, and self-hating are a crude distortion of reality.

I know the accuracy of our message from my experience in life. I was once a young woman with disdain for the “establishment,” living off welfare and going nowhere.  Then two Christian businessmen straightened me out. Their message and guidance saved my life.

Aside from my personal experience and my daily learning as a Christian, I also know the truth of this message from years of policy work that has been going on in Washington.  The impact of the “success sequence” on poverty is well documented. Brookings Institution scholars Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill published their findings in their book “Creating an Opportunity Society,” in which they report that those who follow three steps — finish high school, get a full-time job, and get married before having children — face a 2% chance of being poor.

Brad Wilcox and Wendy Wang of the American Enterprise Institute followed on this work, showing that among millennials — ages 28-35 — there was a 53% incidence of poverty among those who did not follow these steps and a 3% incidence among those who did.

But regardless of whether or not you want to believe me or agree with me, what about freedom of expression?  What about the inherent importance of keeping dialogue open and free in our nation, with a goal of reaching truth?  How can shutting down communication serve anyone’s interests?

Shutting down dialogue, shutting down free and open exchange of ideas, is exactly what Black Lives Matter wants.  It said as much in a Facebook post to the billboard vendor that read, “At the end of the day, messaging and narrative control is priceless.”

Unfortunately, Clear Channel Outdoor responded to the intimidation of Black Lives Matter and took down UrbanCURE’s billboards, saying, “We strive to respect a wide variety of viewpoints on diversity and racial sensitivity.”  But can shutting down a powerful and truthful message because Black Lives Matter doesn’t like it reflect respect for “a wide variety of viewpoints”?  The nation’s shock after the terrible murder of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman was justifiable.  But the pushback unfortunately put wind in the sails of Black Lives Matter.

The question is: What does America, and what do black Americans, need? What will fix our problems?  For sure, suppression of free expression will make no one better off.  These are communities that need truth, that need love, that need empowerment.

This is the message we are delivering at UrbanCURE.

I hope Clear Channel Outdoor has a change of heart and is not intimidated by Black Lives Matter to breach contract and not publicize UrbanCURE’s message on its billboards.

Black Lives Matter: Shepherds or Thieves?

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Jesus, John 10:10 
(See https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2010/06/09/shades-of-brown-from-dark-to-light/)

BLM tries to portray itself as a shepherd of the black community, all the while raising racial tensions and alienating the very people who would help them if they acted on Martin Luther King’s principles of peaceful protest.  MLK would be appalled to see black men and women demanding that Black Lives Matter more than any other color or ethnicity.  Remember his dream, “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  Curiously, this beacon of hope for minority communities in the mid-1900s is rarely, if ever, quoted by Black Lives Matter leaders or speakers.

Black Lives Matter was never a grass roots organization, but rather a consortium of Marxists who mask their communist and fascist sympathies under a veneer of racial injustice.  The grass roots part has taken on characteristics far different from their statement of being “restorative,” anti-racist and egalitarian, “building a beloved community to cultivate a communal network” that “practices justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.”

The first question to ask rioters destroying police cars, buildings and private property is, “How is this bringing ‘peace in our engagements with one another’?”
If black lives really mattered to Black Lives Matter, the corporation, why do the rioters not distinguish between white and black policemen and policewomen when they are throwing bricks and molotov cocktails?
If black lives really mattered to Black Lives Matter, why do they graffiti and destroy black owned businesses without discrimination?
If black lives really mattered to Black Lives Matter, why do they not address the black-on-black violence that takes more lives in a month than police kill in years?
If black lives really mattered to Black Lives Matter, why are they destroying the fabric of communities that invite resources to come there?
If black lives really mattered to Black Lives Matter, why do they not address the pillaging of a Florida WalMart by an almost entirely black mob or the trashing of a Nashville mini golf course?

If black lives really mattered to Black Lives Matter, why are they not addressing what some activists are calling “womb lynching” of black babies?

In the late 70s Jesse Jackson called abortion “murder” and once told a black newspaper in Chicago that “we used to look for death from the man in the blue coat and now it comes in a white coat.”

“According to a city Health Department report released in May, between 2012 and 2016 black mothers terminated 136,426 pregnancies and gave birth to 118,127 babies. By contrast, births far surpassed abortions among whites, Asians and Hispanics.” (WSJ, Jason Riley).  At a ratio of 474 abortions per 1,000 live births across the entire US (more than 40%!), black women have the highest ratio of any group in the country.

Writing in Commentary magazine, Jason Hill, a professor of philosophy at DePaul University, noted the hypocrisy of groups like Black Lives Matter, who “want white people to esteem black lives and value the humanity of black people when they themselves can’t condemn and express moral outrage at those who maim and kill black children in the course of gang warfare, senseless street violence, and drive-by shootings.
“The moral hysteria raised by a few incidents of police brutality in the face of this larger national tragedy is reckless hyperbole and hides from the nation a deep malaise at work in the psyche of some in the black community: a form of self-hatred that manifests itself in a homicidal rage not fundamentally against white people, but against other black people.”

It is intriguing is that Planned Parenthood does not support black lives, though the abortion giant supports Black Lives Matter.
https://illinoisrighttolife.org/three-reasons-why-planned-parenthood-does-not-support-black-lives/

“When you combine the amount of black violent behavior directed at other blacks with the number of pregnancies terminated by black women, the rate at which blacks willingly end the lives of one another is chilling and far surpasses what goes on within other racial and ethnic groups. Racial disparities in abortion rates are no less disturbing than racial disparities in income, crime, poverty and school suspensions. Why are the people who want to lecture the rest of us about the value of black lives pretending otherwise?” (Jason Riley, a black syndicated columnist)

As for the racism of BLM, now a white actor is not even allowed to voice a black cartoon character!  So how does one address the portrayal of historical figures like Aaron Burr, Angelica Schuyler and her sisters, Hercules Mulligan, George Eaker and others in Hamilton by excellent, but much more melanized, actors than the real historical figures?  The cries of systemic racism ring hollow when they are voiced by “anti-racists” who are more racist than those they are protesting. 

Many black authors and pundits would certainly agree, as I do, that black lives matter.  But my black friends do not have any qualms about asserting Chinese lives matter; Asian Indian lives matter; Australian lives matter; Mongolian lives matter; Dutch lives matter; Egyptian lives matter; yes, all lives matter.  Because it is not the color of the skin that matters.

As one pundit said: “the problem is not skin; the problem is sin.
The solution is not race; the solution is grace.” 
We must not confuse racism and injustice.  Racism cannot be fixed with legislation.  That is a posture of the human heart.  A conscious or unconscious feeling of superiority and partiality of one color of skin over another one is not subject to legal definition or prosecution. 

Racism, as an attitude of the heart, does not affect another person until the racist acts on that attitude.  That is when injustice occurs and we must strive as Christ-followers to help laws protect others from injustice, even if the racist refuses to allow his heart to change. Jesus changes the heart . . . Laws protect us from those whose hearts won’t change.”  (Dr. Dharius Daniels

Remember under all this, there is one race, the human one, and we are all no more than six degrees of separation from any other brother or sister, no matter what their melanin content.  “We are all actually the same color . . . from our melanin; we’re just different shades of the same color.  Just because you don’t have as much melanin as I do, don’t you dare think God does not love you as much as he loves me, just because He gave me more!”  (Vodde Baucham)

It Hurts So Bad! How Do You Respond?

Paul Tripp looks into his own heart and sees how easy it is to respond to the crises we face with anger, disgust or hatred, but there is a better path.   It is the way of grace.  I am looking into my own heart and face the same dilemma: How do I respond?  As C.S.Lewis said, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”  The Weight of Glory

What Is Your Response? by Paul David Tripp

If you mourn the fallenness of your world rather than curse its difficulties, you know that grace has visited you.

Life in this terribly broken world is hard.  You are constantly dealing with the frustration of this world not operating the way God intended.  You are always facing the unexpected.  Almost daily you are required to deal with something you wouldn’t have chosen for your life, but it’s there because of the location where we live.

Life right here, right now is like living in a disheveled house that has begun to fall down on its own foundation.  It is still a house, but it doesn’t function as it was meant to.  The doors constantly get stuck shut.  The plumbing only occasionally works properly.  You are never sure what’s going to happen when you plug an appliance in, and it seems that the roof leaks even when it’s not raining.  So it is with the world that you and I live in. It really is a broken-down house.

Now, there are really only two responses we can have to the brokenness that complicates all of our lives: cursing or mourning.  Let’s be honest.  Cursing is the more natural response.  We curse the fact that we have to deal with flawed people.  We curse the fact that we have to deal with things that don’t work right.  We curse the fact that we have to deal with pollution and disease.  We curse the fact that promises get broken, relationships shatter, and dreams die.  We curse the realities of pain and suffering.  We curse the fact that this broken-down world has been assigned to be the address where we live.  It all makes us irritated, impatient, bitter, angry, and discontent.  Yes, it’s right not to like these things.  It’s natural to find them frustrating, because as Paul says in Romans 8, the whole world groans as it waits for redemption.

But cursing is the wrong response.  We curse what we have to deal with because it makes our lives harder than we want them to be.  Cursing is all about our comfort, our pleasure, our ease.  Cursing is fundamentally self-centered.

Mourning is the much better response.  Mourning embraces the tragedy of the fall.  Mourning acknowledges that the world is not the way God meant it to be. Mourning cries out for God’s redeeming, restoring hand.  Mourning acknowledges the suffering of others.  Mourning is about something bigger than the fact that life is hard.  Mourning grieves what sin has done to the cosmos and longs for the Redeemer to come and make his broken world new again.  Mourning, then, is a response that is prompted by grace.

This side of eternity in this broken world, cursing is the default language of the kingdom of self, but mourning is the default language of the kingdom of God.  Which language will you speak today?
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2020-08-15 Paul David TrippPaul David Tripp (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a pastor. He is also the president of Paul Tripp Ministries and the executive director of the Center for Pastoral Life and Care in Fort Worth, Texas. He has written a number of books on Christian living, including What Did You Expect?, Dangerous Calling, and New Morning Mercies.  He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Luella. For more information and resources, visit paultrippministries.org.

 

The Walk

2020-08-08 The WalkMy wife and I walk around our neighborhoods, about three to four miles almost every day.  Rising at 7am, my brain doesn’t have to engage while she gets ready, I “snack” a breakfast and a coffee, and we go hiking for an hour or so.  By the time we get back, I am almost awake and ready to take on the day’s tasks. 😉

My Master and I also take a “walk” together almost every day.  But our “walk” covers a lot more ground, usually going around the world.  We start by “visiting family” which extends past my biological relatives to “adoptees” who are as dear to me as my own flesh and blood: from Lexington, we “drop in on” some “family” in Mongolia, back through New Jersey, Peoria, Illinois, Waverly and Marshalltown, Iowa, Kansas City (both sides of the river, from Liberty to Overland Park to Olathe), pass through Phoenix and Yuma, Arizona and wind up north in Edmonton and Calgary.

2020-08-08 US Map

Then we begin a “trek” around Lexington, visiting our neighborhood, the University, our church leadership, our Boomers’ fellowship, and locals of our church and community, reaching out to Winchester and Versailles.  From there we make a loop around the US, starting with friends in China Outreach Ministries in UT (Knoxville), down to Dallas and Houston, Texas and then east to Birmingham and Selma, Alabama.  Continuing east we stop in Atlanta, drop down to the University of Miami and skirt along the coast up through Savannah, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina, Virginia and through a suburb of Washington, D.C..

Stops in Philadelphia and New Jersey take us up to ‘The City’ (New Yorkers are so provincial; they think that is sufficient designation for Gotham 😉).  Jump up to Boston, then turn west to COM at Penn State and up to Toronto.  The westward segment continues through Michigan where we take a sharp hook south to visit three families in Ohio, all from acquaintance at First Alliance Church originally.  We swing back north to Industry, Illinois, Chicago Land and Madison, Wisconsin, meandering south through Iowa City and St. Louis.  A further southern excursion to Branson, Missouri and then it’s up to Kansas City, Kansas again to see some others who are not in my family.  A zig up to Omaha and a zag back to central Kansas takes us then over to Denver.

From there we head north to Libby, Montana, on west to Ellensburg, Washington from whence we head south to Chico, California before going coastal to San Francisco and LA.  A jaunt back east into the Phoenix valley and we conclude our US “tour.”

The second leg of our journey goes around the rest of the world.  We start in Sydney and Brisbane, Australia before sailing north to Viet Nam and universities along the Pacific Rim.  We stop in Hong Kong, move east to Taiwan, then north to Fukuoka and Tokyo, swinging back west through Korea and Jilin, China.  We head south through Beijing and visit Yiwu City and Shaoxing.  There are a four other cities in China that we “visit” by identifying the residents as I do not know in which cities they live, but He knows.

2020-08-08 The World


We go back north to Mongolia, this time to spend some time as there are lots of friends from our 2013 semester at MIU and students with which we are still involved, with a short stop in southern Russia where one of my former students went home.

The next stop is in Dhaka, Bangladesh where my best friend in all my life has lived since shortly after graduating from college.  Then we go west to Nepal and south to India where we have several friends, before moving further west to see friends in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  We hit each of the “stans” north of there before sojourning through Iran and the persecuted church there.  We then go through the unrecognized country of Kurdistan on our way to Istanbul.  Before leaving the Mid East for Europe, we stop in several nations there, bordering on Israel and our final stop is in Even Yehuda.

The north route to Bulgaria takes us across the Bosphorus and on to North Macedonia and Albania.  We then visit some friends in Austria and Germany before crossing the English Channel for a stop in London.  Our final stops are on the African continent where friends live in Tunisia, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, and Tanzania.

As we pass through each of the cities or countries listed in our travelogue, the Lord and I talk about the people I know in these locales.  It may be just to ask for mercy, mentioning their family name, or there may be events in their lives of which I am aware, asking for Father to give them some special attention.  Sometimes we will pause for some time with some of our friends as I try to listen to His “still small voice” for what He wants to say about them.  But each one is prayed over.

Don’t think I am some kind of saint to do this walk.  “Lord knows better than that!” my mother used to say. 😉  Rather it is what He has asked me to do, and how do you say, “No” to a Master?  To One who loves you so much that He went to the cross for you?  To One so magnificent that John could barely find words to describe Him in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

When you know Him, you stumble along trying your best to please Him, and if He asks for something so simple as a cup of water to give to a thirsty soul, well, you give it.  I still mess up plenty, like a baby crying for milk and pooping in its diapers, but He loves me.  So I find our walks refreshing, even though I do most of the whining and gurgling.  But He loves me.  If you do not get anything else from this blog, please recognize that He knows and loves you, too.

So next time you go for a walk, let Him come along.  He wants to be with you wherever you are.  Can you just imagine what it will be like someday when we all see Him face to face!?

Trump Does The Unthinkable!

I am going to be out of it this weekend, as I am working for the US Census as long as no one shuts down our ACO (Area Census Office) because of Covid-19.  I have been very disappointed in the laissez-faire attitude of some of the office staff towards those of us in the “high-risk” age group.  However, my manager and leaders at the office are stepping up to protect us, even offering to deliver supplies so that I will not have to visit the office.

But all we need is one case from someone not wearing a mask to infect the numerous people in the office and – whammo – the whole staff could be shut down.  So I really hope that our managers take the concern of some of us who want to work there to heart.  I really enjoy the job, but it is not worth dying for.  This weekend I have the honor of assisting with training some of the 350 Enumerators that will work our area of the country, and my co-trainer agrees that we will firmly enforce the mask policy as cases of Covid-19 are significantly increasing in our area.

That said, this is the weekend blog that will get me back on schedule, but it is also a guest blog from Liz Crokin.  Trump is certainly not a saint or in any risk of being confused with one, but everyone has good and bad in them.  The question is which will rule our hearts, and only Father really knows what is in the spirit of a man or woman.

These incidences are anecdotal, but they are telling that without a conservative investigating, most media will never tell you about these positive events.

TRUMP DOES THE UNTHINKABLE. by Liz Crokin
Orange Man Bad. Sorry, what?

As an entertainment journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to cover Trump for over a decade, and in all my years covering him I’ve never heard anything negative about the man until he announced he was running for president. Keep in mind, I got paid a lot of money to dig up dirt on celebrities like Trump for a living, so a scandalous story on the famous billionaire could’ve potentially sold a lot of magazines and would’ve been a huge feather in my cap.

Instead, I found that he doesn’t drink alcohol or do drugs, he’s a hardworking businessman. On top of that, he’s one of the most generous celebrities in the world with a heart filled with more gold than his $100 million New York penthouse.

Since the media has failed so miserably at reporting about Trump, I decided to put together some of the acts of kindness he’s committed over three decades which have gone virtually unnoticed or fallen on deaf ears.

In 1986, Trump prevented the foreclosure of Annabell Hill’s family farm after her husband committed suicide. Trump personally phoned down to the auction to stop the sale of her home and offered the widow money. Trump decided to take action after he saw Hill’s pleas for help in news reports.

In 1988, a commercial airline refused to fly Andrew Ten, a sick Orthodox Jewish child with a rare illness, across the country to get medical care because he had to travel with an elaborate life-support system. His grief-stricken parents contacted Trump for help and he didn’t hesitate to send his own plane to take the child from Los Angeles to New York so he could get his treatment.

In 1991, 200 Marines who served in Operation Desert Storm spent time at Camp Lejune in North Carolina before they were scheduled to return home to their families. However, the Marines were told that a mistake had been made and an aircraft would not be able to take them home on their scheduled departure date. When Trump got wind of this, he sent his plane to make two trips from North Carolina to Miami to safely return the Gulf War Marines to their loved ones.

In 1995, a motorist stopped to help Trump after the limo he was traveling in got a flat tire. Trump asked the Good Samaritan how he could repay him for his help. All the man asked for was a bouquet of flowers for his wife. A few weeks later Trump sent the flowers with a note that read: We’ve paid off your mortgage.

In 1996, Trump filed a lawsuit against the city of Palm Beach, Florida, accusing the town of discriminating against his Mar-a-Lago resort club because it allowed Jews and blacks. Abraham Foxman, who as the Anti-Defamation League Director at the time, said Trump put the light on Palm Beach not on the beauty and the glitter, but on its seamier side of discrimination. Foxman also noted that Trump’s charge had a trickle-down effect because other clubs followed his lead and began admitting Jews and blacks.

In 2000, Maury Povich featured a little girl named Megan who struggled with Brittle Bone Disease on his show and Trump happened to be watching. Trump said the little girl’s story and positive attitude touched his heart. So he contacted Maury and gifted the little girl and her family with a very generous check.

In 2008, after Jennifer Hudson’s family members were tragically murdered in Chicago , Trump put the Oscar-winning actress and her family up at his Windy City hotel for free. In addition to that, Trump’s security took extra measures to ensure Hudson and her family members were safe during such a difficult time.

In 2013, New York bus driver Darnell Barton spotted a woman close to the edge of a bridge staring at the traffic below as he drove by. He stopped the bus, got out and put his arm around the woman and saved her life by convincing her to not jump. When Trump heard about this story, he sent the hero bus driver a check simply because he believed his good deed deserved to be rewarded.

In 2014, Trump gave $25,000 to Sgt. Andrew Tamoressi after he spent seven months in a Mexican jail for accidentally crossing the US-Mexico border. President Barack Obama couldn’t even be bothered to make one phone call to assist with the United States Marine’s release. However, Trump opened his pocketbook to help this serviceman get back on his feet.

In 2016, Melissa Consin Young attended a Trump rally and tearfully thanked Trump for changing her life. She said she proudly stood on stage with Trump as Miss Wisconsin USA in 2005. However, years later she found herself struggling with an incurable illness and during her darkest days, she explained that she received a handwritten letter from Trump telling her she’s the bravest woman, I know. She said the opportunities that she got from Trump and his organizations ultimately provided her Mexican-American son with a full-ride to college.

Lynne Patton, a black female executive for the Trump Organization, released a statement in 2016 defending her boss against accusations that he’s a racist and a bigot. She tearfully revealed how she’s struggled with substance abuse and addiction for years. Instead of kicking her to the curb, she said the Trump Organization and his entire family loyally stood by her through immensely difficult times.

Donald Trump’s kindness knows no bounds and his generosity has and continues to touch the lives of people from every sex, race, and religion. When Trump sees someone in need, he wants to help.

Two decades ago, Oprah asked Trump in a TV interview if he’d ever run for president. He said: “If it got so bad; I would never want to rule it out totally because I really am tired of seeing what’s happening with this country.'”

That day has come. Trump sees that America is in need and he wants to help. How unthinkable! On the other hand, have you ever heard of Hillary or Obama ever doing such things with their own resources?

Now that’s really unthinkable! Might be worth passing on!!!