way or another. We are just getting accustomed to a different type
of computer, and using a different operating system. If any of our
readers have switched overnight to the new "Windows 7, " they
know what we are talking about. But one way or another we plan
to create, publish and distribute this issue! Among other changes
you will note that we have used the liturgical color of purple for
the season of Lent, which begins today -- Ash Wednesday. And
perhaps it should be noted that your Senior Editor reached the age
of 91 last week, adding a new note of seniority, but maybe not
adapting too quickly to changes from established procedures!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The Scriptural records of the Birth of Jesus -- the Nativity story --
and of His death on the cross and resurrection -- the Easter story
-- are the foundational elements of the Christian faith. (They were
included among the "Fundamentals" of our faith, and from that
term came the division of Protestantism called "Fundamentalism,"
with -- unfortunately -- an aggressive and belligerent manifestation
of our faith.) But those accounts of His birth and of His death and
resurrection, are familiar and are retold at those seasons each year.

There is another part of Jesus' life and ministry which is not spoken
of as often -- the final moments of His earthly ministry. Those
final words spoken before He ascended into heaven should have
special meaning for us, His followers today, as they did for those
first century followers. We find them in all four of the Gospels,
in Matthew, chapter 28; in Mark, chapter 16; in Luke, chapter 24,
and in John, chapter 21.

Taken together, in the Gospel records sequence, these are His
final instructions:

(Matthew)"Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever
I have commanded you..." (Mark) "Go ye, therefore into all
the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that
believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth
not shall be damned ..." (Luke) "Repentance and remission
of sins should be preached in His name among all nations,
beginning at Jerusalem, and ye are witnesses of these things
..." (John) "Feed my lambs ... feed my sheep ... feed my
sheep ... follow thou me."

Through the years, now no less than at any other time,
Christians have accepted from those words of Jesus what
has come to be known as the "Great Commission"-- to
go into all the world and preach the Gospel (evangelize)
everyone. And through the years perhaps an over-emphasis
on evangelism as the primary ministry of the Great
Commission has evolved from these words of Jesus.

It is obvious that Jesus intended for His followers to do
more than merely evangelize, or preach the Gospel. We
are instructed to preach the Gospel -- to evangelize -- yes,
of course. But we are also to teach the things which Jesus
had directed us to do, the ways in which He instructed
us to live -- for example to be salt and light in our world
(Matt. 5:13-14) And He intended that those who had
responded to our evangelistic efforts should be baptized,
and become part of His church. And they should observe
the things He had commanded of us and thus be His
disciples, or as He said, "Follow thou me." An old
saying expressed it in these words, "It is easier to
become a Christian than to be a Christian.".

So in those final words of Jesus as He concluded His
earthly ministry, a heavy responsibility was placed upon
us as Christians, as members of His Church. And we
cannot fulfill that responsibility by sitting back, doing
nothing, and allowing our world -- our nation, if you
will -- to destroy itself because we did not speak up
and act in accordance with the instructions of our
Lord Jesus Christ.

All of which leads us to the question: "What can
we, as Christians do?" One of the great mission
organizations of the 20th century used to feature this
motto: "Some can go ... others can give ... all can
pray." Nothing new or different about that concept
-- but it is true that as we see our nation going downhill
morally and religiously, we can pray for God to give
wisdom to our leaders as they make decisions which
can adversely affect America and the world. Some have
suggested that rather than simply saying "God Bless
America" we should say "God Save America," or
"God Help America."

And we can back up our prayers with our actions as
we face each election day, and we can vote into public
office men (and women) of high moral character... even
beyond that, as the Founding Fathers intended: men of
Christian beliefs and convictions.

"It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often
that this nation was founded not by religionists, but
by Christians, not on religion but on the gospel of
Jesus Christ" -- Patrick Henry, 1765

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and
religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the
government of any other." -- John Adams, 1798

"Providence has given to our people the choice of
their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the interest
of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians
for their rulers." -- John Jay , 1816

It is disturbing, even frightening, to note how far President
Obama has departed from the intents and purposes of
our nation's Founding Fathers, as evidenced by his often
repeated assertion that this is no longer a Christian nation,
and his strong endorsement of Islam as a religious faith.

In addition to our prayers for the survival of America and
for wisdom to be given to our leaders, we can exercise
the ultimate political power which is ours -- to vote on
November 2 of this year -- now just 258 days away --
and elect to office new Senators and Congressional
Representatives who will act to restore this nation to
what it was founded and intended to be.

And pause to reflect on this word about voting from
one of our Founding Fathers, Samuel Adams in 1781:

"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is
offering his vote that he is not making a present
or a compliment to please an individual -- or at
least that he ought not so to do; but that he is
executing one of the most solemn trusts in human
society for which he is accountable to God and
his country."

A thoughtful word of caution from Randy Alcorn of
One News Now about the careless use of email messages
which we may receive. The point in question: "Well-
meaning Christians sometimes forward me emails
that I find out later are not true." His advice is to be
sure the message is from a reputable and reliable source
alerting us to things happening with respect to moral and
ethical issues which we as Christians support. And he
reminds us that God holds us accountable for every word
we say. Jesus said, "But I tell you that men will have
to give account on the day of judgment for every
careless word they have spoken." (Matt. 12:36).
The conclusion: Think carefully before forwarding emails
that may be false. (Think also about wasting the time of
the recipient.)

Fellow Christians: How should we react to this poll?
Group Publishing, a Protestant publishing firm, has released
results of a new poll, showing that restaurants and bars are
better than churches as places to meet new friends. Chilis,
Starbucks and pubs and bars were rated as the best places
to meet new friends by 18% of respondents; churches were
rated best by 16% with Internet sites like Facebook rated
best by 11%. But while churches may not be the best place
to meet new friends, they topped restaurants and bars as the
most friendly places, second only to home.

If you didn't tell us you like "one liners," we wouldn't
keep saving some that we find in our research each week.

"A distinct Obama governing style emerged, which was
half Harvard Economics Department, and half Boss
Daley." -- David Brooks, New York Times

“I am very optimistic about the future of Palestine and
believe that Israel is moving on the precipice of wane
and demise, and God willing its annihilation is for sure.”
-- Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei

"Fame is proof that the people are gullible."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"As Washington continues digging out ... bracing for
another 10 to 20 inches of snow ... With each falling
flake, Al’s global warming theory looks flakier and
flakier." -- Gary Bauer

And equally so, you say you enjoy reading: "What
Others are Saying," so here are a few interesting quotes
we found this week:

Larry Kudlow: "The disconnect between Washington
and the rest of the country has never been greater. Why
can’t the political class in D.C. produce a fiscal product
that voters, taxpayers, and investors are willing to
consume? According to the Washington Post, voters
want smaller government and fewer government services
by a large 58 to 38 percent margin. In a whopper of a
poll result, the New York Times reports that 75 percent
of Americans dislike Congress."

Arnold Kling: "The ones throwing the temper tantrum
right now are the Progressives. They think that the 2008
election gave them the right to operate like China’s
autocracy, and they are lashing out hysterically at those
they perceive as preventing them from doing so."

Floyd Brown: "ObamaCare was dead...until Republicans
decided to give it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The
American people had won until Republicans rushed in
to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory ... Someone
has to save these Republicans from themselves. Someone
has to save the American people from the possibility
that ObamaCare may come back from the grave, and
that someone is us."

David Ignatius on the 31st anniversary of the Islamic
revolution in Iran: "A hollowed-out regime that is better
at repressing its own people than at governing, and
that after three decades of fervent belief has reached
a cynical middle age."

Some Random Afterthoughts . . .

In case you missed it: In the latest CBS/New York Times
poll, Mr. Obama's disapproval rating jumped 5 points since
mid-January to 45%, while his approval rating stands at just
46%. In the Rasmussen daily Presidential Approval Rating
index Mr. Obama's score remains mired in negative double
digits at -16, or thereabouts.

Remember our warnings about the "Hate Crime Act?"
The Mayor of Lancaster, CA, Rex Harris, while speaking to
a group of Christian ministers recently, made this comment:
"We are growing a Christian community . . ." As Matt
Staver put it: "It's 'Open Season' on Christians." CAIR,
the Council on American-Islamic Relations, filed a federal
complaint that the mayor had violated the civil rights of all
non-Christians by his remark. Now the Antelope Valley
Human Relations Task Force has opened an investigation,
claiming that they have the authority to treat this as a "hate
crime" or "hate incident" which is now a federal crime. It
gives us some idea of how our freedom of speech -- even
from church pulpits -- may be affected by this action by
President Obama and his Congress.

Here's a timely and interesting note: In spite of all the
recalls for mechanical defects, the American public has a
higher regard for Toyota than they do for President Obama
-- 59% still have a favorable view of Toyota, while less
than 50% favor Obama.

We continue to be impressed by the wisdom and
foresight our nation's Founding Fathers demonstrated
again and again:

"Nothing is more essential to the establishment of
manners in a State than that all persons employed in
places of power and trust must be men of
unexceptionable characters." -- Samuel Adams, 1775

"The essence of Government is power; and power,
lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be
liable to abuse." --James Madison, 1829

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