• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • September 2008
    M T W T F S S
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Sarah Palin Or Joe Biden: Who Would Be Best For America?

James P. Lucier, in his article “A Negotiator Without Preconditions,” asks the question: “Would you trust Sarah Palin to negotiate with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions?”  And if not, Lucier asks: “Why not.”  Lucier writes:

Palin came into the governor’s office and found a mess on her desk. The oil deal struck by defeated Republican governor Frank Murkowski wasn’t working. Through creative accounting by big oil and ambiguous reporting standards, the Murkowski plan just wasn’t giving the State of Alaska the pay-off that was expected. So the former mayor of Wasilla (population 9,000, as the MSM always points out) demanded that the agreement be renegotiated and the terms be nailed down. They laughed when she sat down to negotiate, but in the end she had a new deal that delivered 50 percent of the oil revenues to the Alaska Permanent Fund, and enabled Palin to send a check for $1,200 to every qualified Alaskan citizen.

Now one of the major companies involved was BP, a.k.a. British Petroleum. . . .

BP . . . is the third largest global energy corporation. It now claims to be privatized, and it is estimated that 70 percent of the shares are owned by British investors . . . Under Prime Minister Thatcher, the company went private and on a spending spree. BP bought up Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio), Standard Oil of Indiana (Amoco) and Atlantic Richfield (Arco). BP became a major player in the U.S. petroleum industry, including Prudhoe Bay and the Alaska Pipeline. . . .

So enter the PTA community organizer from Wasilla. Without preconditions she took on a company that has a market cap of $205 billion and annual revenues of $291 billion in worldwide operations. Its budget is larger than those of most sovereign countries, yet she won on her terms. . . . Then to follow up that act, she got the Alaskan Legislature to approve development of the TransCanada gas pipeline, a $40 billion deal that will go 1,715 miles from the treatment plant at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to the Alberta hub in Canada, from which it will be transferred to the United States. This project had been sitting around for 30 years on hold because the big energy companies didn’t think it would be profitable, and their corrupt cronies in the legislature obediently kept it on the shelf.

Crusading against corruption and negotiating across the aisle, Palin not only got it passed in record time, but opened up the bidding when the U.S. companies were reluctant to jump in. So she went ahead and awarded the contract to low-bidder TransCanada Alaska, a firm that has already built 36,000 miles of pipelines in North America. As a final fillip, the Governor signed the bill at the Alaska AFL-CIO biennial convention. While Barack Obama’s solution to the energy problem is to urge us to check the air in our tires, Palin’s solution is to start building a $40 billion gas pipeline, without Federal government assistance.

SO HOW DOES the experience of Sarah Palin stack up against the experience of Joe Biden? There are some people who confuse seniority in the Senate with experience. In the Senate you get to be Chairman of something or other if you sit around long enough until all those with higher seniority pass out of the picture. Merit has nothing to do with it. That’s how Biden got to be chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. . . .

No Senator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has authority under the U.S. Constitution to conduct foreign relations or to negotiate treaties. That’s why Biden has no experience in foreign relations, and Palin does. He just talks about foreign policy, and talks…and talks. Biden’s long tenure on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is not necessarily a red badge of courage. He thinks he has experience, but most of his experience is wrong. We can look at a few examples of the results of his experience, and ask What Would Sara Palin Do?

If Sarah Palin were campaigning for President, she probably would not have made the centerpiece of that campaign a cockamamie plan to divide Iraq into three autonomous regions.

Sarah Palin probably would not have told General Petraeus that he was “dead flat wrong” on the surge.

Sarah Palin probably would not have voted against the first Gulf War. Sarah Palin probably would not have opposed the United States designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. Sarah Palin probably would not have told top Israeli officials, as reported in the Israeli press, that Israel would just have to learn to live with a nuclear-armed Iran. Sarah Palin probably would not have assumed that the answer to failed diplomatic negotiations with Iran was more diplomatic negotiations with Iran.

The word “probably” must be used because we can only speculate on the basis of her barracuda-like instincts.

But there is one thing of which we can be sure: If Sarah Palin had been in the Senate in 1973, she would not have been one of the five Senators opposing the Alaska Pipeline Bill.


Joel Beeke: Why Pray?

Dr. Joel R. Beeke

Dr. Joel R. Beeke

Dr. Joel R. Beeke serves at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary as President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics, as well as Academic Dean for students from the Heritage Reformed Congregations. He is currently a pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a position he has held for 20 years. He has been in the ministry for 28 years. He is also editor of the Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society.

Prayer helps us cling to the altar of God’s promises by which we lay hold of God Himself. Failing to pray is the downfall of many Christians today. “A family without prayer is like a house without a roof, open and exposed to all the storms of heaven” wrote Thomas Brooks. If the giants of church history dwarf us today, perhaps it is not because they were more educated, more devout, or more faithful as much as because they were men of prayer. They were possessed with the Spirit of supplication. They were Daniels in the temple of God.

Let us cling to the refuge of the inner prayer chamber, for there experiential Christianity is either established or broken. Let us refuse to be content with the shell of religion without the inner core of prayer. When we grow drowsy in prayer, let us pray aloud, or write down our prayers, or find a quiet place outside to walk and pray. Above all, let us continue to pray.

We should not give up regular times of prayer, but we should also be open at the slightest impulse to pray. Conversing with God through Christ is our most effective antidote to spiritual backsliding and discouragement. Discouragement without prayer is an open sore ripe for infection, whereas discouragement with prayer is a sore lifted to the balm of Gilead.

Keep prayer a priority in your personal and family life. As John Bunyan said, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed. … Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge to Satan”. (From: Puritan Reformed Spirituality)

If You Can’t Find Dirt On Sarah Palin – Make It Up!


Governor Sarah Palin

Governor Sarah Palin

 Here they go again.  Fearful that an evangelical-conservative woman and working mother of five might actually be the next Vice-President of the United States, The Washington Post has published a story that GOP Alaska Governor Sarah Palin “slashed” funding for teen moms.  There is only one small problem.  Covenant House’s IRS Form 990 shows the funds that Paul Kane describes as “slashed” was, actually, over a threefold increase from the government funds they received from all sources in 2006 (FY2006 ending 12/31/06).

One might just wonder how a threefold increase in a budget could be called “slashed.”  Such is the desperation of the liberal media to discredit the first female Republican candidate for Vice-President.


Fear Drives Media To Attack Sarah Palin


Governor Palin & Family
Governor Palin & Family

In his article, “Savaging Sarah Palin,” L. Brent Bozell points out the media’s bias against middle America and a pro-life mother:

The media’s treatment of Palin [has been] nothing like their approval for Joe Biden, Obama’s running mate, the week before. The Washington Post called the Biden selection an “infusion of experience and aggressiveness,” and he was “a sharp-witted and energetic foreign policy expert.” There was no mention that Biden was a liberal, or that while National Journal found Obama to be the most liberal senator in 2007, Biden came in close behind in third place.

When Palin was picked, the Post couldn’t stop pounding away on her conservatism. The lead story underlined: “The self-described ‘hockey mom’ brings a blue-collar conservatism and strong antiabortion views to the ticket.” Another story on the front page called her “the pro-gun, antiabortion governor of Alaska. . . .”

The media didn’t simply slam Gov. Palin as a conservative, they went intensely ugly and personal. CNN’s John Roberts quickly suggested she might be a crummy mother: “There’s also this issue that on April 18, she gave birth to a baby with Down’s syndrome. … Children with Down’s syndrome require an awful lot of attention. . . .”

Then came the media’s heavy rush to cover the news that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter Bristol was pregnant, and would keep the baby and marry the father. Once again, ABC led the media insult machine. They called the baby a “skeleton in the closet,” a strange term for an unborn child, a “bombshell” cynically timed to explode on the day Hurricane Gustav swept ashore. . . .

ABC and CNN also used the Bristol news to lecture the Republicans about their hypocrisy on sex education in high schools, wildly presuming Gov. Palin’s daughter didn’t know how babies were made. The agenda seemed clear: Keep Palin constantly under attack, and suggest perhaps McCain should just dump her and go find someone else …for the media to brutalize.

Read the complete article here. . . .

Is Thankfulness A Part Of Your Attitude Towards Life?

Thankfulness must be practiced until it is a habit. If you are like me, there must be times when you are moody and quick to complain. There are times when we all think the world is hard on us. Bad moods and complaining can be brought under control by developing the habit of thankfulness.

Learning to consistently express thanks to God will tend to make your life more enjoyable. Thankfulness is a soothing balm for distress and anxiety.

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

It is a blessing of God to enjoy our earthly existence. It is important to enjoy what we have. We cannot possibly have everything we desire, but it is important to be thankful for what we do have. If times are bad, be thankful they are not worse. There is always someone going through a much more difficult experience than you. Be thankful for the mercies you have received.

If you are a Christian, you can be thankful for the blessings yet to come. The greatest of these is eternal life with Christ. Give glory to God in all things.

The discipline of thankfulness is established by doing it. Make it a regular habit to thank God each night, before going to sleep, for the good things that happened during the day. Think upon the blessings you have and thankfulness will become a natural law in your heart. It cannot be maintained, however, without consistent effort on your part. Pray and strive for an attitude of thankfulness.

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