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Let He Who Has Not Sinned Cast the First Stone

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There seems to be seething anger in the world today that seeks someone to attack. It is a world where there is little room for redemption or forgiveness. It’s a one-and-done trial. You have a visible sin, and it’s over. Like the gladiators with swords to the neck of their defeated opponent, they look to the coliseum masses for a verdict. The thumbs-down condemnation seems unanimous. There is no mercy to be had.


Maybe two years of being cooped up in our homes for fear of COVID has left us easily enraged by those we deem evil and deserving of our wrath. The media, eager to draw our attention to the mistakes and sins of others to improve ratings, use any “sinner” they can find to capture viewers and feed our appetite to have someone to hate. Whether it is a politician we dislike, a law enforcement officer who goes too far, a fellow citizen who dares try to defend his community, or even an offended Oscar-winning actor who slaps a comedian in front of millions of viewers, we may not want blood, but we do want to destroy their reputations.


Our country seems to be majoring in condemnation. Whether it’s former President Trump or President Biden, with a polarized electorate, the faithful followers do what they can to bring their opponent down. When an officer in a scary moment of confrontation makes the wrong decision and it is captured on video, we want his job-we want him convicted and locked up. When a citizen brings a gun to town to help protect his city from rioters and chaos reigns, there is no room for mercy. And when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, millions piled on to the outrage.


Maybe we are not as unique as we think. Two thousand years ago, a man named Jesus was led through a throng of adoring fans on his way to Jerusalem. They laid cloaks and palm branches on the ground before him with shouts of “Messiah” echoing for all to hear. But in less than a week, another crowd gathered before Pontius Pilot as his fate laid in the balance and demanded in one voice-“Crucify him!” And they did. He was nailed to a cross until he died.


That same man, when a woman who was caught in adultery was brought to him and he was asked to condemn her to be stoned to death as the law prescribed, gave an unexpected but powerful response. As the crowd gripped their stones ready to deliver the verdict the woman’s sin deserved, Jesus knelt down and seemingly drew images in the sand. With all eyes upon him, he said to an angry crowd, “Let him who has not sinned cast the first stone.” Within moments, stones could be heard dropping to the ground. No stones were thrown.


As we enter Passion Week, we are reminded of the powerful message and life of Jesus Christ. He ate with sinners, those in need of forgiveness and healing. He challenged the religious of his day to not focus on the speck of sin in the eyes of others but to deal with the planks in their own eyes.


As the Apostle Paul would remind us in his letter to Christians in Rome, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Jesus came not to lead the perfect but to save the sinner. Our society likes to feed the illusion of perfection. Maybe that is why we get so upset when anyone dares break that illusion. We know privately that we fall short of even our own ideals. But publicly we dare not confess to such sin. Maybe that is why hiding in our homes exiting only with the cover of face masks to hide who we really seem somehow safe.


The COVID restrictions are coming down. The mask mandate is being made optional. We will soon be re-entering a new normal. Unfortunately, the anger and calls for condemnation are still there. Everyone has a cell phone ready to capture the “sins” of others. The private is now dangerously public. Videos of sin feed the social media and those captured moments never go away. Will Smith’s slap will be with us every Oscar season. He may not be in the Oscar audience for the next ten years, but the slap will be used to make sure we don’t forget.


Those willing to forgive may be ready to give Will Smith a second chance. After all, like me, we love many of his movies, and everyone deserves a second chance. But is a second chance enough? Like us, Will Smith will certainly sin again. He most certainly will not slap anyone else at an Oscars, but the media will be watching him for more proof of how far he has fallen.


To Will Smith and all of us, God sent His Son that rather than being limited to a second chance, God gave us grace. Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sin. On Easter, Jesus rose again that we might by faith share with Him in eternal life and a loving relationship with God. The price for that gift of grace is to put down the stones we throw at others, to repent of our own sins of the past and those of the future, and to believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose again through faith we might be forgiven and saved.


In His ministry, Jesus shared the story of the “Prodigal Son” who demanded his inheritance from his father and left only to squander his wealth and be left to a life of sin and want. When he decided to return to his father, repent of his sins, and offer to live as his servant, his father saw him coming and ran to him with open arms. I recently preached on the fact that, like the sinners we all are, we all have our own prodigal moments. This is the Easter God is inviting you to come back home to His loving arms. Is it time to come home?


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Dr. Terry Paulson is a PhD psychologist and author of The Optimism Advantage, They Shoot Managers Don't They, Speak Like a Pro, Meditations for the Trail, and The Dinner: The Political Conversation Your Mother Told You Never to Have. Since founding Paulson and Associates, Inc. in Agoura Hills, CA, Dr. Paulson has presented to such companies as IBM, 3M, Kaiser, Nationwide, SONY, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and hundreds of hospitals, government agencies, and associations. Dr. Paulson is a past president of both the Global Speakers Federation and the National Speakers Association. He’s been inducted into NSA’s CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame, an honor given to less than 230 speakers worldwide. Dr. Paulson is a long-time conservative Republican who has spoken to numerous Republican groups. He currently is a regular op-ed columnist for townhall.com and politicrossing.com. Terry brings knowledge, tasteful humor, and a passion for conservative principles to every presentation. Dr. Paulson graduated with honors from UCLA and received his PhD in psychology and an MA in theology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena, CA.



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Business

What America Do You Want?

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What have we done to the shared values that made America great? Do you shake your head as you listen to the nightly news or the latest Biden gaffe or executive order? Yes, it has been amazing to watch Americans come together to help their neighbors in the face of Hurricane Ian, but hurricanes have an end to their destruction. Between now and November, we must remind Americans of the disaster we face if we do not elect candidates who will put a stop to the Biden Administration’s destructive policies and priorities. America’s future depends upon it.

We know that every improvement is the result of change, but we are now learning a very painful lesson—not every change is in improvement! Biden’s America hardly resembles the country our Founding Fathers envisioned. Fake news abounds, unchecked by mainstream media. Dissent is silenced or, even worse, labeled hate speech. The value of work, personal responsibility, and perseverance are replaced with honoring victimhood, fueling racism, and encouraging dependence.

We might heed the words of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 5:20) when he warned: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” The prophet could say the same thing about Biden’s America today!

We are becoming the fake news capital of the world. Speaking to Democratic governors recently, President Joe Biden compared Italy’s new and conservative prime minister Giorgia Meloni to Chinese dictator Xi Jinping. Meloni campaigned on God, pride in country, and defense of family values to win the election. Even the direct rival she defeated, ex Italian PM Matteo Renzi, defended her: “Personally I was against Giorgia Meloni, I’m not her best friend. We are rivals, but she is not a danger to democracy. The idea there is a risk of fascism in Italy is absolutely fake news.” Biden’s reckless diplomatic statements are dangerous and irresponsible. America has and must expect more from her presidents.

When most Americans are concerned about their own safety and the rise of crime in their communities, Biden’s Washington remains focused on a never-ending investigation into the “January 6th Insurrection.” The Democrats seem to feel it is the worst travesty to hit America since 9/11. While many who participated in the “insurrection” remain in jail, Democrats are still calling for police budget cuts, an end to bail, fewer prosecutions, and early release for true criminals. To prevent criminals from being homeless after serving time, President Biden has even promised housing for 100% of those who have done criminal crimes. At the same time, his administration has done little or nothing to improve housing for veterans, seniors living on fixed incomes, or working Americans on the verge of losing their homes in the face of the inflation-driven increases in the cost of living.

Instead of challenging and encouraging all Americans to earn their own American Dream, today’s Democrats are arguing for a guaranteed income for all Americans, In America, we promise the freedom to work in pursuit of one’s own happiness. Now, Democrats want to provide a guaranteed income whether you earn it or not. Why work when you can be dependent on your tax-paying neighbors?

Americans wonder why there is inadequate housing, but Washington seems to ensure that building and owning rental property doesn’t pay. When government mandates rent moratoriums, property owners are left holding the bag. Owners must still pay their mortgages and maintenance expenses while renters get a free ride and can’t even be evicted. Why would anyone want to own rental property in today’s America? Want more housing, let capitalism work.

And just what has happened to our guaranteed freedom of speech? If you dare say that you are a MAGA voter who still believes there was rampant fraud in the 2020 election, you must be shamed into silence as an obvious domestic enemy worthy of scorn. In today’s America, the Left can say anything they want about Trump or conservatives and still post away on social media, but even mention election fraud or tyranny from the left, and your freedom of expression goes away. “Hate speech” rules are one-sided and a true threat to our freedom of speech.

Democrats try to tell us that the Southern border is secure, and they rail against conservative border governors sending even a few illegal immigrants to Democrat-controlled cities like Washington, Chicago, and New York. They claim they are “sanctuary cities” ready to protect illegal immigrants. But when put to the test, they plead for National Guard troops and for President Biden to do something! He has been doing something; he has been sending illegals by the bus loads to red states for well over a year. We do not have a secure border, and even Democratic mayors in border cities know something needs to be done. President Biden, it is time to finish the wall and secure our border. It’s time to elect candidates who will demand just that.

If this is the America you want, vote Democrat. If not, embrace the GOP’s Commitment to America and get ready to take back the future of this great country. Yes, it is time to Make America Great Again!

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Life

Like a Category 5 Hurricane, Kamala Harris is a Threat to All in Her Path

Nations that strive for ‘equality of results’ dampen the spirits of their citizenry

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Vice President Kamala Harris is proving to be the perfect complement to Joe Biden. She mangles what she says almost every other time she’s in public. You can count on her for ‘word salads’ that are either cringe-worthy or all together unfathomable.

Days ago Harris explained, “I know we’re all thinking about the families in Florida and Puerto Rico with hurricane Fiona, and what we need to do to help them in terms of immediate response and aid… We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity.”

Huh?

She went on, “Understanding not everyone starts in the same place, and if we want people to be in an equal place, sometimes we have to take into account those disparities.” Harris, you see, is all about chasing the illusive notion of ‘equality of results,’ whether it’s following a natural disaster or any other aspect of society.

Fixated on Illusions

Following her ill-conceived message, Christina Pushaw, the rapid response director for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, jumped on Harris’s words, and rightfully so:

Harris is fixated on the equality of results trap, in which most Marxists and socialists are ensnared for their entire lives.

Away from hurricanes, Harris believes that equal opportunity in the U.S. is not sufficient. Her raison d’être is championing equal results. Wikipedia says, “Achieving equal results generally entails reducing or eliminating material inequalities between individuals or households in a society and usually involves a transfer of income or wealth from wealthier to poorer individuals, or adopting other measures to promote equality of condition.”

As with so many on the Left, Harris thinks sees the role of government and society at large as ensuring equality of outcomes. ‘Residents’ of America, illegal aliens included, ought to enjoy the same benefits as everybody else. In her view, it’s not nearly enough to offer individuals a sound education, counseling, job training, apprentice programs, equal employment opportunity, and unemployment compensation.

Leftists in Never Never Land

As with nearly all ideas that the Left supports, if something sounds good then, gosh, it must be so! Let’s have it passed in Congress!

The itty-bitty, unrelenting problem with this political viewpoint is not everybody gives the same effort. Do you recall the kids in your high school class who constantly were slacking off? How about the ones who smoked behind the school building? And the students who often were tardy or absent? Or, who constantly made trouble?

Some of these students were regarded as the cool kids, showing up in all the right places around town and having a fun time (largely because they were not doing much homework). They didn’t study hard as you did. Hey, no problem! In the world of Kamala Harris, they each receive a free, all-encompassing, lifetime, ‘hall’ pass.

Do you also recall the kids who cheated on exams? Or, perhaps their lesser sin was cramming the night before a test and barely passing. You, however, prepared days in advance by reviewing the homework assignments and exercises in the textbook.

So What’s New?

In the workaday world today some of your ex-classmates, the ones who slacked off, are still proceeding in the same way. They drink or smoke or are chemically dependent. They look forward to taking the easy way out. Predictably, they desire more and more government benefits. They vote Democratic because the party keeps dangling proverbial carrots in front of them.

“Equality of results” is a socialist/Marxist if not communist platform. The notion reveals the major inherent flaws in the thinking of its advocates. Globally, nations that strive for equality of results dampen the spirits of their citizenry.

Invariably the intrusion of government elites, such as Harris, into so many aspects of people’s lives yields the emergence of a ruling class that is above all others. These puppet masters contend that they uniquely possess the wisdom to ascertain what is best for everyone, and exactly how these remarkable outcomes will be achieved.

In reality, the elites gum up the works. Favoritism rules. As in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, some animals (people) are “more equal” than others. Societies that mandate “equality of results” drive people to emigrate to places like America, or at least the few free parts of Europe.

Conversely, nobody risks their lives and their fortunes to live where a privileged ruling class, who are ‘more equal than the rest, determines what is best for everyone.

Reality Strikes

Individuals throughout the world simply do not approach their careers or jobs with the same vigor, smarts, or dedication. Many adults exert little effort or mis-directed efforts, and merely get by. They are unlike those who carve a path for themselves, generate wealth, and provide for their families. Most kids know this by age nine.

The U.S. Declaration of Independence rightfully declares that all men [/women] are created equal. This does not imply that everyone has the same capabilities. Skills and aptitudes vary! Some people are knowingly suited for a certain field of endeavor; others spend years or decades unsure where to best apply themselves. They settle into a work routine that might earn them a living but doesn’t offer a great life.

Welcome to reality. The government is not omniscient. The government cannot legislate equality of results. The government can’t delve into the lives of each and every citizen to provide some gilded path for each to follow. It is not possible and even if it were possible, it would not be desirable.

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