Sunday, November 30, 2008

Coming Soon...

NHPCA's Journey To Bethlehem Float in the 2008 Landis/China Grove Holiday Parade
If you are anywhere China Grove, NC you should check out the outdoor "pageant" that my church does called "Journey To Bethlehem." Visitors drive through the church's property that has been "transformed" into the village of Bethlehem. There are live actors and animals.

It is pretty cool. I went through it last year for the first time. I am a tad cynical, and I was pretty impressed. It was MUCH better than I had expected. This year I am a participant. Perhaps I can post a picture of myself in costume here before the event begins.

The pageant will be nightly December 12, 13, and 14. If I am not mistaken, it runs from 6-9 pm. It will likely be postponed or canceled in the event of rain, so check back here if you are interested. I'll give more specifics as the time draws near.

NHPCA's Journey To Bethlehem Float in the 2008 Landis/China Grove Holiday ParadeThe picture above is the back of our float in the recent Landis/China Grove Holiday Parade. I got to drive the truck that pulled the float. I just found out today that we won a prize for our float! Cool!

We had some folks that rode on the float and others who walked (or to be more accurate, ran) alongside and handed out candy and information about Journey To Bethlehem. It was really interesting hearing all of the comments from the people watching the parade. I rather doubt that most of them knew I could hear what they were saying. I had no idea how many people were familiar with this really neat tradition that my church keeps.

In other news today I officially joined the church, so that was kind of neat. It feels oddly different! (But not in a bad way.) I also made my debut on the recorder today playing along to three songs. It was a bit nerve wracking, but I managed to survive.

Hope you all had a great start to your holiday season and I hope that the remainder of the year will be good. Thanks for reading and God bless you!

God Help Us

I just read a very distressing article about the downward ethical trends among our nation's youth. According to the article:

The Josephson Institute, a Los Angeles-based ethics institute, surveyed 29,760 students at 100 randomly selected high schools nationwide, both public and private. All students in the selected schools were given the survey in class; their anonymity was assured.

Michael Josephson, the institute's founder and president, said he was most dismayed by the findings about theft. The survey found that 35 percent of boys and 26 percent of girls — 30 percent overall — acknowledged stealing from a store within the past year. One-fifth said they stole something from a friend; 23 percent said they stole something from a parent or other relative.

...Cheating in school is rampant and getting worse. Sixty-four percent of students cheated on a test in the past year and 38 percent did so two or more times, up from 60 percent and 35 percent in a 2006 survey.

Thirty-six percent said they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment, up from 33 percent in 2004.

Forty-two percent said they sometimes lie to save money — 49 percent of the boys and 36 percent of the girls.

Despite such responses, 93 percent of the students said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character, and 77 percent affirmed that "when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know."

Is it just me or does anyone else detect a disconnect between the data in the first part of this quote and the statement in the last paragraph? This is utterly appalling to me. Such a discrepancy would either indicate to me that there are some really bad people not accounted for in this survey or that a whole bunch of people have absolutely not clue about what is moral or ethical.

Just as scary as the results of this survey is the responses that the article reported from educators that were presented the results. A typical response came from Peter Anderson the principal of Andover High School in Andover, Massachusetts. He said, "This generation is leading incredibly busy lives — involved in athletics, clubs, so many with part-time jobs, and — for seniors — an incredibly demanding and anxiety-producing college search."

Another "educator" said, "We have to create situations where it's easy for kids to do the right things," he added. "We need to create classrooms where learning takes on more importance than having the right answer."

I think though that Michael Josephson hit the nail on the head when he "contended that most Americans are too blase about ethical shortcomings among young people and in society at large. 'Adults are not taking this very seriously,' he said. 'The schools are not doing even the most moderate thing. ... They don't want to know. There's a pervasive apathy.'"

Why are many adults not taking this seriously? I would suggest that a similar survey given to adults about the age of the kids' parents would find that they are no better than the kids surveyed. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, America is in a serious moral crisis.

Good grief! The guys I quoted above made excuses instead of even acknowledging that these behaviors are wrong. I wonder if the tone of these individuals would have been different if the survey showed that intolerance, ethnocentrism, or conservatism were on the rise. And one suggested that if we make it easy enough then they won't have to cheat! These people are morally bankrupt! It is a classic case of the blind leading the blind. No wonder we're so screwed up!

Information like this just convinces me that a reckoning is coming and coming soon. God help us.

Making The Move

A teacher surrounded by her students
For wisdom for the President- and Vice President-Elect as they make decisions regarding their families and the move to the White House and the Vice President’s residence in Washington, D. C.

The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.
—Proverbs 14:8

Holy God, thank You for being a loving, reaching God who longs for fellowship and intimacy with us. Thank You for the blessing and privilege of prayer so we may speak with You about all our needs and concerns, no matter how large or small they are.

Lord, work now in the lives of the families of the President- and Vice President-Elect, so that they may make the transition to Washington, D.C. with ease. Help those impacted by these moves, Lord, to be open and eager to be in a new place, develop new relationships and face new challenges. Give newly-elected Barack Obama and Vice President Biden insight to do what is best for their families, particularly in the choice of schools. We give You glory, in the name of Christ, for hearing our prayer, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Refugee children
For Appropriate Submission to Authority

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.
—Proverbs 29:7

Holy God, I praise You this day for Your authority and power which govern the affairs of humankind. Thank You for looking on us with compassion and mercy, calling us to justice and righteousness for the least, the last and the lost.

Today I pray for the spouses of the President- and Vice President-Elect, asking that they will seek Your will as they decide the causes and concerns to which they will give their time, energy and attention. Guide them to the issues You desire they lift up, and may they choose wisely so that Your will can be accomplished in their efforts. In Jesus’ holy name, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sonnet XVIII

Summer produce from my garden

Sonnet XVIII - Thanksgiving: A Sonnet To My King
By Jonathan D. Eller

Dear Lord, there's so much to be thankful for
For everything I have has come from You:
You've given me my life and so much more,
And guard all of my ways my whole life through,
You give me air to breathe and food to eat,
Clothes to wear and shelter safe and dry,
I've friends and family to make life sweet,
And freedoms many - that I can't deny.
But all of these are merely corporal.
The greatest gifts are those I cannot see.
For in the Spirit I have been made full,
And I am sure that Jesus lives through me.
But most of all I'm thankful for the cross -
That Your desire for me was worth Your loss.

November 28, 2008


A family holding hands looking at the ocean.
For the President- and Vice President-Elect’s families to be protected by God moment by moment

But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.
—Psalm 5:11

Holy Lord God, You alone are deserving of our complete faith and trust. You can do anything and Your plans cannot be undermined by even the wisest or cleverest of persons. As You showed Your faithfulness to the psalmist, You show Your faithfulness to us day by day.

Now, God, we ask that You will do the same for the families of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. In their positions they are vulnerable to attack from forces both literal and spiritual. Protect them, Lord, and keep them under Your mighty wings, that they may witness Your power and know that it is You, and You alone God, who is ministering to them. We pray this, O Lord, in the name of Your Son Jesus, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving 2008

Norman Rockwell's 'Freedom From Want'Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I have said it before, and I suppose I will continue to say that Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. I like it because it isn't as commercial as Christmas.

The grocery stores make a pseudo-deal out of it, but when you walk into the stores and see Christmas decorations and displays up, it is kind of hard to hide the truth. So in a way, I guess I like Thanksgiving because it is a little bit of a Charlie Brown holiday: often over-looked, under appreciated, and poorly celebrated but with such potential for greatness.

The Christian faith, in breaking away from our Jewish roots, has abandoned the great festivals instituted by God in the Bible. For them we have made substitutions, but very few with the depth of significance of the biblical festivals. Thanksgiving is one of the ones that seems closest of all. Its stated purpose is to be a day set aside to give thanks to God for the many blessings that He has poured out on us individually and as a nation. And how greatly we have been blessed!

Our land has known peace and security for most of its existence. Only a few wars have been fought on our soil. This is an incredible blessing. Our nation has known great prosperity. It is a beautiful land. It is a land where people have been free to express their opinions - even to express opposition to the government. It is a land where we are free to worship as we choose or not at all. I thank God when I think about the principles upon which this nation was founded.

I too am very blessed. I have wonderful friends. I have a nice home. I have transportation and food. I have clothing. I have a family that cares about me and a wonderful church that does the same. Most of all, though, I guess I am most thankful that God loves me and that He sent His Son to die for my sins so that I could have fellowship with Him.

I pray that each of you is enjoying this holiday. I pray that there is peace and harmony with the people that you are celebrating it with. I pray for your safety and health. And mostly I pray that you keep in mind that today is about more than eating turkey, spending time with friends and family, and watching sports. It is first and foremost a day to give thanks.

If you have something that you are thankful for, I'd love to have you comment about it!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Hands of a bride and groom exchanging rings.For the President-Elect Obama's and Vice President-Elect Biden's marriages to be protected and preserved throughout their administration

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
—Hebrews 13:4

Oh loving Lord God, all praise and thanks to You for creating us with a need for love, intimacy and companionship with one another. Thank You for the beauty of the Garden before the fall, and for providing a glorious image of Your view of life, relationship and marriage.

I pray for our new President and Vice President that their marriages will be safeguarded and preserved through all the days to come. I ask that You will surround each couple with Your great protection, keeping them from arrogance, pride and temptation. Give them joy in their relationship day to day, and strengthen them in the moments of difficulty and pressure, seeking You and Your peace together. In Your loving and holy name, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Godly Counsel

For the President- and Vice President-Elect to be surrounded by wise and godly spiritual advisors who will pray with them as they seek God’s will

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.
—Psalm 1:1-2

Mighty God, Your will is sovereign and perfect, and You do as You see fit in the affairs of humankind and in all Your creation. Your way is not thwarted; Your purpose is not deterred. We thank You for this assurance as we pray, now, for the President- and Vice President-Elect this day.

Lord, bring godly and wise men and women into the halls of political power in this land, and place them in positions of spiritual influence on those who lead our nation. Give them wisdom and boldness to pray for and with the President- and Vice President-Elect, leading them into Your presence, guiding them toward Your will for whatever situation or circumstance they’re facing. We praise You, Heavenly Father, for hearing our intercessions, by the power (and) in the name of Christ we pray, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Sunlight shining through clouds
For President-Elect Barack Obama to have confidence that he may consult with God in every challenge he faces, finding mercy and grace as he does so

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
—Hebrews 4:16

O Gracious God, I praise and thank You for the grace You give so freely to all in Your kindness, mercy and love. Thank You for the rich provision of Your Son, Jesus Christ who tore the veil and opened the way for us to approach You with our petitions and concerns.

Bless, O Lord, our new President with a constant awareness that You are present with him and long for him to turn to You, to bring his needs and concerns to You, and to willingly receive Your kind provision and answers. Draw him to Your Word as revealed in the Scriptures and cause him to come to You with his every concern so he will find Your help with confidence and peace. In Your loving name, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Monday, November 24, 2008

An Open Mind

A weird-looking guy trying to fly in front of a sunrise
For freedom and openness on the part of the President- and Vice President-Elect regarding matters of faith

Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.
—1 Chronicles 16:24

Awesome God, there is no truth to be found anywhere in all creation apart from You. All Your words and ways are true and Your righteous laws last forever. Your glory is evident, and Your works are manifest in the world You have made.

Lord, we ask for Your glory to be revealed in the lives of the President-Elect Barack Obama and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden. We ask for them to be open and accepting of Your presence and direction. Let them foster openness toward Christian faith in their administration in which issues of faith and biblical truth are discussed candidly and without hesitation in the White House in ways we could not have anticipated. Let this be done, Lord, according to Your will, in the name of Jesus, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


The White House - view from the mall
For God Himself to be at work choosing those who will serve in the new administration

"Yet the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever. He chose Judah as leader, and from the house of Judah He chose my family, and from my father's sons He was pleased to make me king over all Israel.
—1 Chronicles 28:4

O Holy Lord God, You are Lord of all time and history, and You reign over it in perfect authority and sovereignty. We trust in Your wisdom and Your ways. You call out those You desire to serve You, and You remove those who are not part of Your plans. I praise You for this, and I trust You in it.

As our newly-elected President makes plans for his administration, I ask that You identify for him those leaders who You want to serve our country in the coming months and years. I ask for godly, wise persons who will have integrity in all things. I ask for those who will submit their wills to Yours in faith. In Jesus’ name, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Sunlight through grape leaves
For the new President and all members of his team to acknowledge and rely fully on God

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
—John 15:5

Loving Lord, You are the God of all truth, and there is nothing impure or false in You. You bring all things to light, and nothing is hidden from Your sight. You are almighty, all-knowing and fully reliable.

Heavenly Father, move in the hearts and lives of the new President and those in his service causing them to trust You completely and without reservation. Give insight to him and his team so that they may bear much fruit and fulfill Your purposes for themselves and for our nation. In the mighty name of Christ we pray, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Good News Baseball Fans

MLB Logo
Talks are underway between baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball to prevent the shortening of World Series Games on account of weather.

DuPuy said talks also were underway on the issue of not shortening postseason games. Selig decided last month that Game 5 of the World Series wouldn’t be cut short by rain. While the game was suspended with the score tied after 5 1/2 innings, Selig said if one team had been ahead when play was stopped, he would have presided over the longest rain delay in baseball history until weather allowed action to resume.

“The commissioner has indicated his intention of getting that done,” Selig said. “There are various approaches that could be taken, and we’re still working on the process.”

Approval of the players’ association might be necessary.

I thought the umps were trying to force that to happen in this year's World Series. I didn't get to watch that many games, but that was the worst officiating I have ever seen. I'm glad to see them making this change.

PS - Anybody want to buy the Cubs? They are for sale...

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Pal

My sister's Yorkshire Terrier, Zippy, in the fallen leaves.
This is my sister's dog, Zippy, or as I like to call him, 'The Zipster.' He sometimes forgets who his real owner is and adopts me, but I have grown to suspect that his affinity is closely tied to the likelihood that he will get human food when he comes to visit me. Oh well...

Wise As Solomon

King Solomon judges in favor of the mother who wanted to spare her child's life.
Got this from a friend the other day. I think that it puts the matter in perspective quite nicely.

A worried woman went to her ob/gyn and said:

'Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 yr. old and I'm pregnant again. I don't want kids so close together.'

The doctor said: 'Ok, and what do you want me to do?'

She replied: 'I want you to end my pregnancy, and I'm counting on your help with this.'

The doctor thought for a bit, and after some silence he said to the woman: 'I think I have a better solution for your problem. It's less dangerous for you too.'

She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.

Then he continued: 'You see, in order for you not to have to take care of 2 babies at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we're going to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.'

The woman was horrified and said: 'No way! How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child!'

'I agree', the doctor replied. 'But you seemed to be OK with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.'

He showed the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that's already been born and one that's still in the womb. The crime is the same.

I couldn't agree more.

Powerful Song

Mostly Gone

Fallen maple leaves

Sadly, most of the leaves find now have found themselves in the same position... except with the wind many of them are probably airborne today!

This Annoys Me

According to a Michelle Malkin piece today, eHarmony has wimped out and agreed to change its business model to include homosexuals because of a lawsuit leveled against them. Would somebody please get a spine?! If nobody stands up to this crap it will not stop - in fact it will get worse. I would rather shut down my business than give in to this kind of unconstitutional coercion.

The absurdity of this lawsuit is beyond bounds. That the AG of New Jersey even countenanced it is an outrage. Are there not plenty of websites that help homosexuals hook up? Are there not plenty that help them find a "life partner?" Well, hooking up homosexuals or adulterers isn't, er, wasn't eHarmony's thing. They were serving the portion of the market that they wanted to serve. Should a business be forced to serve all portions of the market? I suppose that the pedophiles and folks that like our four-legged friends will be up in arms demanding equal access too. Perhaps they could serve necrophiliacs too?

Where does it stop? Perhaps I should sue JC Penny's because I can't get milkshakes there.

One From The Oogedy-Boogedy Crowd

...I will grant you social conservatism can be a loser if it comes across as preachy, bossy, or overdone. Moreover, there is a weird discomfort some people have about Christians who are serious about their faith getting interested in government. However, Christians had better be interested in the government because the government is certainly interested in them. It's interested in shaping the minds of their children, it's interested in shaping the culture around them, and it's interested in shaping who gets to be married in their church. If people of faith are willing to help the GOP in return for having their interests protected in Washington, the Republican Party would be extraordinarily foolish to turn them away.

- John Hawkins

The quote above was in response to Kathleen Parker's denigration of Evangelical Republican voters. Understandably her statement has apparently been the subject of a mild uproar. There were quite a few columns in response to it today. I heard about it originally in David Limbaugh's column.

Apparently in the aftermath of the GOP's defeat on November 4 the finger pointing has gotten around to us "values-voters." Many are suggesting that the GOP is doomed until it sheds its "archaic" attachment to the protection of the unborn, the defense of marriage, etc.

Let this "oogedy-boogedy" member of the GOP go on record to say that if the party ever abandons these issues it can stop counting on my vote. The likelihood of my voting straight ticket for the Republicans will be nil. Granted, the likelihood that I'll vote straight ticket for the Democrats is even less than that, but there will be no more blank check. I will vote for each individual and will be paying attention to these issues.

I have no illusions that the political system in America will ever be able to accomplish the restoration of the values that our country has drifted so far away from, but I'll be hanged before I'll help it drift further.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Submission To God

A silhouetted cross at sunset

For each decision made by President-Elect Barack Obama to be submitted to God in complete surrender to His will

All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
—Proverbs 16:3

Awesome and all-knowing God, You are amazing in all Your ways. You see our hearts, our thoughts and our motives, and You love us in spite of this! You are kind and loving, desiring our success as we place our trust in You, following Your ways. Thank You for showing us how You want us to make decisions.

Today, I pray for President-Elect Barack Obama and I ask You to speak to his heart in a personal and intimate way, urging him to submit all his decisions and choices to You in thoughtful and heartfelt prayer. May he examine his heart, submitting his motives to You so You may scrutinize them with Your goodness. As he does this, Lord, I ask that You will give him success in Your eyes. In Your loving and holy name, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Quote Of The Day

Robert Novak
I find that politicians as a class are up to no good. Sometimes they accidentally do the right thing.

- Robert Novak

This was from a really interesting interview with the columnist. It is worth a read.


Kay at the spelling bee
A good friend of mine won the Guilford County Senior Spelling Bee. Congratulations, Kay! (Did I spell everything right?)

According to the article on

Kay Setzer took the top spot by spelling "chouette." According to, it means "a variation of a two-handed game, as backgammon, allowing the participation of three or more persons, in which one player accepts the bets of all the others on the outcome of a game between that player and one other active player, who is permitted to receive advice from the nonplayers."

Perhaps her background as a French teacher helped out? Oui o no?

Ignorance Isn't Bliss

My favorite columnist, Cal Thomas has written an article reporting on the national results of the latest Intercollegiate Studies Institute civics test:

For the third straight year, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) has found that a large number of Americans cannot pass a basic 33-question civic literacy test on their country's history and institutions. The multiple-choice questions ask about the inalienable rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness), the name of Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1933 series of government programs (The New Deal) and the three branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial). No, I didn't peek at the answers. I received a good education.

The random sample of 2,508 American adults, ranging from those without high school diplomas, to people with advanced degrees, revealed a minimal difference in civic literacy between the uneducated and the highly educated. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed could identify Paula Abdul as one of the judges on "American Idol," but only 21 percent were able to recognize a phrase from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. I had to memorize that speech in high school. What are they memorizing now?

This article is a must read. And you should also take the time to go to the ICI website and take the test for yourself. I scored 87.88, missing 4 out of the 33 questions, but learned something that I didn't know in the process of taking the test. I was hoping for an A, and if I'd gone with my instincts on two of the questions I would have gotten it. The scary thing is just how bad Americans do on this test across the board. What is even scarier is that the elected officials who took the test did WORSE than the national average.

It's no wonder that we're in the state that we are. God help us.


A person lighting a candle
For wisdom and cohesiveness to characterize the teamwork of the President- and Vice President-Elect

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
—Psalm 133:1

Lord God, You know all hearts and You discern our motives in ways we cannot know. You are wise and good and truthful in all things, and You bring together that which can easily be torn apart. You love unity and in Your triune nature, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, You are a holy personification of what You desire for all human relationships.

Today we ask that You bring oneness to our President- and Vice President-Elect. Give them unity in all they do, from national policy to work with Congress, to respect for each other. Let them experience a pleasure they did not anticipate, and a joy they could not experience if they were divided and contentious. We give You glory for this, in the name of Christ our Lord, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Quote

A non-normative marriage, once allowed, undermines the normative kind just by inference. If the norm no longer is the lifelong union of a man and a woman, we may count on the imaginative faculties of those most concerned to come up with new understandings. I don't think the proponents of gay marriage have in mind the extension of the matter to polygamy, but when you think it over, why not? It's what some people want. Shouldn't they have what they want? To deny a 21st century American his wishes (unless he's some Christian rightist or other) would be cruel and hateful.

- Bill Murchison from his article "Calling Things By Their Right Names"

Interesting article worth a read. I find it ironic that he uses polygamy as the next logical progression should marriage be re-defined to include homosexual unions. There is far greater biblical support for polygamy than there is for "homosexual marriage." Indeed, I think polygamy is the least of our concerns should the homosexuals have their way.


Grand Canyon
For the complete safety and security of the President- and Vice President-Elect and their families

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent men You save me.
—II Samuel 22:1-3

O God of peace and security, thank You for being strong and safe and secure. I praise You for being a solid and firm place to which we can go for protection and safety. Thank You for looking on all You have made with compassion and kindness; thank You for keeping Your loving eye on all You have made.

Today, as I pray for the new President and Vice President, I ask You to powerfully protect them. Send Your heavenly warriors to drive away anything or anyone who would do them harm. I ask You to protect their families in the same way, that no harm will be done to their spouses, children, grandchildren or parents. Cover them with Your complete protection moment by moment and day by day. In Jesus’ name, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Road To Zion

Old school Petra. A great tune from the Greg X. Volz days.


Great Sequoias

For the President-Elect to be patient in every endeavor

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
—Ecclesiastes 7:8-9

Holy God, all wisdom and knowledge begin with You. You alone hold eternity and truth in Your hands. Discernment comes from You and You see and know all motives and purposes. You are awesome and wise, and we begin by recognizing and praising Your authority and knowledge.

Lord, it is sometimes our nature to respond with fury rather than restraint in times of stress or trouble. But God, we also know that through You we can do all things, even those things that go directly against our nature. We ask You to do this work now in our President Elect, and make him a man of caution, reason and perspective. Enable him, O God, to be able to see the big picture, and to have a patient spirit that eschews pride and emotionalism. Give him, Lord, Your patience, great and long-suffering, in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Monday, November 17, 2008


"people who hate others because of their race, religion or national origin, are just plain lazy. After all, once you get to really know people, there are always better reasons than that for despising them."

- Burt Prelutsky

I didn't really like the article that much, but I thought this statement was clever.

A Quote For Today

A baby's hand grasping an adult's thumb thing that can be said with clarity and consistency: the Catholic Church has been a beacon in leading the fight against the destruction of the unborn. Say what you will, but few religious faiths and organizations have had the rock-solid conviction to fight for unborn babies like the Catholic Church has had. And judging by the actions of this one priest in South Carolina, they're just getting started.

I pray that more priests, ministers, and rabbis follow suit.

How can a spiritual leader stand at the pulpit every week and ignore the slaughter of millions of innocents? Why would a pastor be inclined to defend an individual, politician or otherwise, who could support partial-birth abortion or the destruction of the life of an unborn baby at any stage?

- Mike Gallagher

Thank God for the Catholic church's devotion to this issue.

Morning Glory

Morning sunrise through autumn leaves

Justice, Humility, And Mercy

Columns at the Lincoln Memorial

For justice and mercy to be in the forefront of concerns of the new administration

He has showed You, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with Your God.
—Micah 6:8

Living Lord God, how I praise and thank You today that You have shown Your people what You desire from us. In Your kindness and love You have pointed us toward You and Your righteousness. Thank You for Your Word which lovingly reveals Your standards for the way we must live. Thank You for being a holy and just God!

I bring the members of the new administration before You today, asking that they will burn with desire to please and honor You in all their ways. May they long to do what You say is good, O Lord—to act justly, to live mercifully and to walk with You daily in humility and gentleness. When they are tempted to bring You sacrifices, God, remind them that You show them what is truly good, and protect them from substitutes. In Your holy name, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Focused On Prayer

A group of people holding hands

For prayer to characterize everything that is done in the new administration

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
—Romans 12:12

Exalted and holy God, we thank You for the gift of prayer, because we may speak with You at any time and at all times! Since You are timeless, You hear all our prayers no matter when we offer them. This is an incredible truth, Lord, and we are grateful for the privilege You give us to come to You in intercession.

God, there is no way for us to see the triumphs and the tribulations this new administration will face in the coming months and years. But incredibly, God, You see these things, and You can prepare us in advance for their arrival—but only when we seek You in prayer. Encourage our new President, his cabinet and all who serve under him to develop and embrace a lifestyle of faithful, persistent, patient prayer to You. Draw them to You, O God, with a desire to seek You and hear Your voice, from the White House to Capitol Hill. We boldly ask this in the name of Jesus, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dependence On God

Young man praying
For the President- and Vice President-Elect to humbly acknowledge their need to consult with God as they make their plans, cooperating with God to bring about His will

He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
—Psalm 91:15

O Lord God, You are high and lifted up, yet You invite us to speak with You, to call to You, even to cry to You. We praise You for being an approachable and inviting God who makes good on every promise in Your word. I exalt You for reaching to us in our frailty and weakness, giving us Your power and presence.

Lord God, as we look to the establishment of the new administration, I pray for the President- and Vice President-Elect, that they may honor and acknowledge You in every part of their new administration. May they turn to You on calm days and in times of trouble alike, seeking to consult with You in all their plans. Let them know beyond all doubt that You promise to hear and answer when they pray to You. Thank You, mighty God, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another Taken By Me

Fallen autumn maple leaves

Did I mention that I really like Autumn?

The Sins Of Sodom

Raphael (Raffaello), Lot Flees from Sodom
OK, with a title like that I am sure that you are expecting a diatribe against homosexuality. Nope. Not going to happen - well, not a diatribe anyway. And frankly, this post really isn't even about homosexuality. So you can breathe a sigh of relief.


As many of you may know, I try my best to read through the Bible each year. (Not that I think that makes me super holy or anything, it is just some background information for what I am about to write.) I have been reading in the prophets now for quite a few weeks and at the present time I am reading in the prophecies of Ezekiel.

Reading through the prophets is a very scary thing to me, because each time I do I hear echoed in the charges brought against the people of Israel charges that could be legitimately brought against America. History has shown us how the Lord executed his vengeance against Israel with the conquests of the Assyrians and the Babylonians. It was truly a terrible time to be in Israel. Because God is just, I cannot help but believe that we face similar judgments. I have said this recently, and I believe it to be as true now as when I said it before.

Now before you turn me off, thinking that this is going to be another doom-and-gloom "thus saith the Lord" sort of message, please hear this encouragement. Throughout the prophets God tells His people that they can avert the coming judgment by repentance. So please keep that in mind as you read.

Anyway, as I was reading I came across a passage that compared Israel's sins to the sins of Sodom, and then it named the sins that brought about Sodom's judgment.

I'll bet you think you know what at least one of them was, don't you?

You'd probably be surprised to find that you are wrong. I was.

Ezekiel 16:48-50 says:

"As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "Sodom, your sister and her daughters have not done as you (Judah) and your daughters have done. Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it. "

Surprised? I'll admit that I was.

Sodom's greatest sins were as follows:

1.) They were arrogant
2.) They had abundant food and careless ease, but they did not help the poor and needy

The interesting thing is that the perversion of Sodom was not listed in the charges leveled against her - it was an outcome of her other sins.

I doubt that many could effectively argue that America is not guilty of these very sins, and the very tragic thing is that they are just as prevalent in the church as they are outside of it.

How many people inside or outside of the church truly believes that our military forces could be beaten by anyone in the world? Why is that? Is it because of our ingenuity? Perhaps we feel that way because of our technology. We certainly have some of the coolest weapons at our disposal. Maybe we even believe that we are morally superior to anyone that we would fight.

I hate to be the one to break the news, but the truth of the matter is that confidence in any one of these things is pure arrogance.

Do we really believe that our economy could collapse to the point that we would no longer be able to buy bread let alone a new iPod? Why? Because of our manufacturing greatness? Maybe we'll lean on that Yankee ingenuity again. Because it has never happened before? And there is good old fashioned hard work, grit, and determination too, right?


Reliance on ANYTHING other than God's providence is pure unadulterated arrogance.

America is a nation of a great abundance of food (as my waistline can verify.) Can anyone deny it? I have heard reports that enough of our grain is eaten by rats every year to feed the whole world. Yet there are people within our nation that do not have enough to eat - and there are people the world over who are starving to death. With such abundance how is it possible that there are starving people? This very fact is a testimony against our nation.

Who has more leisure than Americans? Is there another people as over-entertained as we are? We feel entitled to entertainment in America. How much time is wasted every day on entertainment? How much time do we spend on YouTube, Facebook, or MySpace? How much time do we spend watching TV? How much time do we spend watching movies?

If you want a good idea to the answer to those questions consider these. How much of our time during the day is spent getting to know our neighbors? How much of our time is spent interacting with other people? (I'm not talking about grunting at your cashier at the grocery store - I'm talking about engaging with another human on a personal level.) How much time do we even spend truly interacting with our immediate families? (Once again, screaming at your kids for inconveniencing you and griping at your spouse about how they are not meeting your needs is NOT what I am talking about here.) Is there any time spent on personal growth and intellectual pursuit? (Computer Solitaire doesn't count.) How much time is left over for worship? How much of our time is truly dedicated to work?

Because we are overly content we are oblivious to the very real problems that exist all around us. Because we are overly entertained we can't be bothered to do anything about the problems that we somehow do become aware of. We are like morphine addicts drugged with food and pleasure - utterly useless.

What is the result? We don't care for the poor and needy. Sure there are some generous people. I'm not denying that. I will, however, question just how generous we really are. How many people do you know that really and truly give even 10% of their income to help those less fortunate than themselves?

Let's take it even further. How many people do you know that give 10% of their TIME to help those less fortunate than themselves? I daresay that the numbers are abysmally low on both counts.

If even 10% of our population gave either 10% of their time or money do you think that we would find the same situation in the world? Would the ghettos be getting bigger or smaller? I know we'll never eradicate poverty. Some people refuse to leave it. Some are too broken to live any other way. But how many could be helped if we truly put an effort towards ending it?

There is another outcome too. Our arrogant, contented, distractedness leads us to become haughty towards God which leads us into abomination.

Once again, even a casual observer of our culture would have to agree that this is the case in America. The perversion of our people has accelerated since the 1960s. Sexual sin so saturates our culture that even Christians don't complain when it is boldly portrayed in the shows that they watch or on the billboards that they see. Our nation brazenly murders millions of its children every year. More and more God is being forced out of the public life. Our attitudes say so clearly that we don't believe that we need anyone's (especially God's) help to succeed. We'll do it on our own thanks to our own power and ingenuity. Our culture has turned more and more to other gods - false religions and non-religions.

What was God's response to Sodom? It wasn't nice.

What is the proper response from us? Repentance. We have to begin to compare our lives and our culture to the template of righteousness found in the Bible. And when we become aware of an area where things don't match God's Word, we need to cut off that excess just as a tailor would who is cutting out cloth to make a suit. I pray that our nation will heed these warnings and repent before it is too late.

Today's Prayer From The Presidential Prayer Team

Today the PPT repeated yesterday's post. Not a bad thing, because I think that we are going to need to pray for President Obama's courage in the days to come (and ours too for that matter.) But rather than post the same thing two days in a row I thought I'd offer my own prayer for today. It is on the same basic theme.

An English Castle with a moat

Prayer that the people of America and its newly elected leaders will not fear men, but will fear God.

"Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." Matthew 10:28-31

Father God, thank You that You have promised to care for even the smallest creatures! Thank You for the assurance that we are worth more to you than anything else in creation. What great love You have lavished on the people of the earth!

Father, please help us as a nation to respect You as we should. Please write Your laws on our hearts and cause us to obey Your precepts. In the same way, Father please cause our elected leaders to fear You more than they fear popular opinion or the threats of others. Give them the courage to lead in the direction that You would have our nation to go even if it is unpopular. Cause them to have a godly fear if they try to direct our nation towards ungodliness.

Please place wise advisors around those that have been elected to office and please put Your counsel in their mouths. Please give our leaders the wisdom to heed Your advice and to ignore any that is not from You.

Thank You, Father that you have promised to be a strong tower of refuge for the righteous. Help us to place our confidence in You and not in people, political parties, or the things that we can see with our eyes.

In the name of Jesus, amen!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finally, One I Took!

Willow oak tree in its full autumnal glory

I just love Autumn!

Thank You

Hi folks. Thanks to your readership I have finally crossed the threshold of 10,000 page views! I guess for as long as I have been doing this that isn't all that many. There are blogs that attract that many in a week, but I am happy to have reached that mark. Thank you for taking your time - which I have learned is far more precious than gold - and sharing it with me here on my blog, reading the ramblings of my oft-addled mind! God bless you all!


Rocky Mountains

For the President-Elect to be fearless, trusting God in times of difficulty and trial

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
—Psalm 46:1-2

O Lord God, You are mighty and strong, unshakable and powerful in all Your ways. I praise You for calling us to hide in You, to take refuge in You during times when we are tempted to fear. When things in our lives appear to be falling apart, I thank You that You are immovable and strong.

Today I pray for the President-Elect, that You will help and empower him to place his full trust in You. Make him fearless, Lord. May he replace any fear he feels with confidence and trust in You at every turn. Hold him firmly in Your hand as he trusts in You, O mighty God. In Your wonderful name, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Proper Use Of Authority

Sunset with a man praying with uplifted hands
For the President- and Vice President-Elect to be wise and thoughtful as they exercise their authority, firmly resisting the temptation to abuse it

When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.
—Proverbs 29:2

All-knowing God, before You all things are laid bare and every detail, whether large or small is known. All praise and glory goes to You, O mighty God, for Your omniscience and omnipotence before the greatest and least of the rulers of our world.

Lord, we ask You today to help the new President and Vice President of our nation to be persons of impeccable integrity. O God, make this team one that does not use its authority for frivolous means or mis-guided intent, but instead recognizes and reveres the responsibility that has been given to them. May they see it as a divine trust given by You. Cause them to be wise and proper stewards of their positions, and keep them from the evil that could so easily ensnare them in dishonesty. By the power of Jesus we pray, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanks, Veterans

A handicapped veteran stands for the colorsThank you to all the men and women who have and are serving our nation in the armed services. You have sacrificed much and put up with much to give us the freedoms that we have. Please forgive us when we take those freedoms and your sacrifices for granted. May God richly bless you.

Righteousness and Godliness

Praying man
For righteousness and godliness to characterize the life and actions of the new President, Vice President and every newly-elected leader

Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.
—Hosea 14:9

O mighty God, You are our perfect and righteous God. There is no goodness or righteousness apart from You and Your ways. Today I praise and thank You for Your perfection and Your holiness. Even though they are unattainable, they put in my heart a thirst for You and Your goodness. Thank You, Lord that Your holiness compels us to be holy.

I pray today for the new President, asking that You will put in his heart a desire for You, for Your goodness and holiness. I pray that You will give him a thirst for wisdom, discernment and understanding from You. Protect him from leaning only on his own wisdom, and cause him to look to You. Cause him and the Vice President and all our elected leaders to desire Your righteousness, so that their steps may be sure. This I ask in Jesus’ name, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Beautiful picture of a sunrise with clouds
For the President-Elect to be genuinely humbled before God as he faces the daunting task of leading our nation for the next four years

The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
—Proverbs 15:33

Holy God, You give us the gift of communication with You through prayer. You promise to guide us as we humble ourselves before You, and You declare Your truth and insight to us as we listen to You respond to our supplications.

Today, Heavenly Father, we ask that You would empower our new President to reverence You, putting aside all pride and self-centeredness as he acknowledges who You are and what You wish to accomplish through him. Show him that for him to be honored, he must humble himself before You and be taught by Your voice and by Your Word. As he does this, Lord, give him confidence that, as he trusts in You, You will equip him to meet the challenges of his high calling as President of the United States. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Submission To Authority

For Appropriate Submission to Authority

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
—Romans 13:1

Loving Lord God, in Your grace and goodness, You have given us the gift of free will and have mingled it with Your sovereign will and authority. We thank You today for this powerful gift. We open our hearts to trust completely in You—to look to You in every part of our national life, accepting Your will as wise and good.

As we pray for our newly elected President, we ask for grace to see Your hand at work. May we willingly acknowledge that You are the one who establishes all authority, and that those who are lifted up to serve do so at Your good pleasure. We ask You to unite us in that understanding, Lord, that our nation may move forward in Your will. In Your holy name, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


The Statue Of Liberty

For citizens to rise up in gratitude to God for the blessing of living in a democracy and having the majority elect those who will lead us in the coming years.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
—Colossians 3:16

O majestic God, Your love for all persons and peoples has been shown from the beginning of time. You poured out blessings on Your people Israel, time and again, leading them down paths of repentance and restoration. Thank You, Lord, for Your legacy of deliverance.

Now, God, we express our everlasting gratitude to You as we reflect on the blessings of living in this great nation where we can voice our opinion and vote for the elected officials of our choosing. May the truth of Scripture infuse us with knowledge so we may correct and exhort each other to obedience and service. We sing to You, Lord, as an expression of our joy from our hearts for being uniquely American and uniquely Christian. We worship You, O God, in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, amen.

This is the latest in the series of prayers led by the Presidential Prayer Team for the new President and for our nation. If you are interested in receiving the email with each day's prayer assignment you can click here and sign up.

Alright! We're "Cool" Again!

It would appear that the world thinks that the United States is "cool" again.

It's Cool To Be An American Again

You don't know how THRILLED I am to have the endorsement of Hamas as a result of the elections this week.

Friday, November 07, 2008

John McCain

Senator John McCain
Many of you know that I was not a big fan of John McCain at the outset of the campaigning season, but I have to say that my opinion of him has been greatly boosted after watching him through the campaign. I have to admit that I misjudged him. John McCain is a true patriot and servant of our nation. I wish we had 99 others just like him in the Senate... and one in the White House.

I was especially proud of his concession speech that ended the Presidential race of 2008. His words and poise showed great character, vision, and devotion to our nation. In case you didn't get the chance to hear what he said, I have provided the text below.

John McCain is a fine man. I wish that I could have called him my President, but that was not to be.

I dare say that it was necessary for the election to end the way it did if real change is to come to our nation. Had John McCain won the Presidency I believe that the trials that are coming our way would have been postponed. The Congress (both Republicans and Democrats) would have done everything in their power to resist the reform that he wanted to bring to Washington. He would have been a very frustrated man because as surely as I breathe as I am writing this there would have been no change.

The people would have remained as they are or gotten worse.

As things are now, I believe that the trials to come will purify our nation and cause a real change in the place that matters most: the hearts of the people of this nation. As John Adams put it:

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other. "
So true. Our fallen nature sees to that.

Senator McCain, my hat is off to you. Thank you for your service to our country. I pray that you will still be in office to see the changes that you have so earnestly desired to see.

The Text Of John McCain's Concession Speech For the 2008 Presidential Election

JOHN MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening.


My friends, we have -- we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.

A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him.



To congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.

I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too.

But we both recognize that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters.

America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States.

Let there be no reason now...


Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.


Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day. Though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain.

These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans...


I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.


It is natural. It's natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.


We fought -- we fought as hard as we could. And though we feel short, the failure is mine, not yours.


MCCAIN: I am so...


MCCAIN: I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. I wish the outcome had been different, my friends.


MCCAIN: The road was a difficult one from the outset, but your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you.

I'm especially grateful to my wife, Cindy, my children, my dear mother...


... my dear mother and all my family, and to the many old and dear friends who have stood by my side through the many ups and downs of this long campaign.

I have always been a fortunate man, and never more so for the love and encouragement you have given me.

You know, campaigns are often harder on a candidate's family than on the candidate, and that's been true in this campaign.

All I can offer in compensation is my love and gratitude and the promise of more peaceful years ahead.

I am also -- I am also, of course, very thankful to Governor Sarah Palin, one of the best campaigners I've ever seen...


... one of the best campaigners I have ever seen, and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength...


... her husband Todd and their five beautiful children...


... for their tireless dedication to our cause, and the courage and grace they showed in the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign.

We can all look forward with great interest to her future service to Alaska, the Republican Party and our country.


To all my campaign comrades, from Rick Davis and Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter, to every last volunteer who fought so hard and valiantly, month after month, in what at times seemed to be the most challenged campaign in modern times, thank you so much. A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship.

I don't know -- I don't know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I'll leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes, and I'm sure I made my share of them. But I won't spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been.

This campaign was and will remain the great honor of my life, and my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.


Please. Please.

I would not -- I would not be an American worthy of the name should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century.

half a century.

Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone, and I thank the people of Arizona for it.



Tonight -- tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama -- whether they supported me or Senator Obama.

I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender.


We never hide from history. We make history.

Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all very much.