Editorial: Leftists see bigotry everywhere — except where it actually is

It is the rare Republican today who hasn’t been called a racist or a bigot, particularly if he or she is running for office. From candidates for city council to presidential hopefuls, Republicans across the nation are perpetually put on the defensive, as if they have to prove that they’re not racists.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

Op-Ed: Why Illinoisans can’t trust Pritzker’s tax promises

A five-letter word should sink Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s new tax plan: trust.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Illinois News Network.

College cheating scandal should make blue-collar families absolutely furious

I grew up in a blue-collar family and earned admission to an Ivy League university based on good grades and high test scores. So I was outraged to learn Tuesday of an alleged college admissions scam under which rich parents are accused of paying a total of about $25 million in bribes to fraudulently get their students admitted to some of America’s top universities.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

Pastor Rick Warren: You’ve Got to Let Yourself Grieve

You’ve Got to Let Yourself Grieve
by Rick Warren

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed” (Psalm 34:18 NCV).

Every change we experience in life includes loss, because you give up something old to get something new. And there’s no loss without pain, and there is no pain without grief.

Grief is not bad. It’s the way we get through the transitions of life. What is bad is unprocessed grief. If you don’t grieve, you get stuck emotionally, and you spend the rest of your life reacting to something that happened a long time ago. That’s unhealthy!
Sometimes the only appropriate, logical response to life is grief—the losses, disappointments, sin, and suffering in the world. God doesn’t expect you to be happy all the time. In fact, God wants you to be intentional in your grief. Grief is a choice. Not everything that’s helpful and healthy feels good. You’ve got to let yourself mourn losses so you can receive God’s blessing.
There’s no hurt you can experience that Jesus doesn’t understand. He’s experienced all of the loneliness, all of the betrayal, and all of the rejection that we can possibly experience. And the good news is he came to heal our hearts.
When you are sad, God draws you close to himself. Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed” (NCV). When you grieve, you may feel like God is a million miles away. But what you feel and what’s real are not always the same. God is not a million miles away. In fact, he’s never been any closer: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 NIV).
Let God restore your soul by doing three things:
Trust the Good Shepherd to forgive your sins. Romans 3:23-24 says, “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins” (CEV).
Release your offenders, and focus on the future. Your soul cannot be restored until you let go of resentment. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice . . . forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV).
Team up with Jesus to carry your load. When you’re yoked up with Jesus, you don’t have to bear your burden alone: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT).
PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick
Talk It Over

Is there a loss that you have failed to grieve? How has it affected you physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
What does it mean to have your soul restored?
Why do you think God often feels far away when we are at our lowest point? What do you think he wants you to do when you feel like that?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.

Editorial: To curb sexual abuse of children, be alert to ‘grooming’

“Leaving Neverland,” the HBO documentary alleging Michael Jackson sexually abused two young boys, examines an insidious aspect of child sex abuse: the way predators might groom children and even parents to build intimacy and trust.

Here’s a link to the editorial at the Chicago Tribune.

Here’s what Nancy Pelosi got ALL wrong about February job numbers

February was yet another stellar month for the U.S. economy. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent, the number of employed Americans once again reached an all-time high and wages continued to increase sharply.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

Your Daily Prayer: A Prayer for Finding the Good During Hard Times

A Prayer for Finding the Good During Hard Times – Your Daily Prayer

By Mary Southerland
“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you may know that I am the LORD, your God.” – Isaiah 45:3, NIV
I am constantly amazed at the profound truths God has tucked into the simple things of life.
Pearls are formed when a piece of grit, sand or shell is trapped inside an oyster. The oyster protects itself from irritation by secreting a nacreous liquid that surrounds the irritant until it eventually becomes a pearl. In other words, that which begins as an annoying irritant eventually becomes a valuable treasure. The same is true in life.
The greatest treasures in my life are products of the darkest times of my life.
A battle with clinical depression stripped away years of fear and doubt, leaving me with a new identity in Christ and a ministry I never thought possible.
The inability to have biological children made it possible to adopt our son and daughter, Jered and Danna, giving my husband and me a gift beyond measure.
Over the years, weaknesses have given way to strengths and failures have led to successes.
God has used it all for His glory and my good.

In every trial or difficult moment of life, God has buried a treasure. To find the treasure, we must go through the trial. So when the tough times come, just look for the pearls.
Father, I am so sorry for the way I complain about my circumstances. Please forgive me for my bad attitude when things don’t go my way. I want to see Your hand in every part of every day – good or bad. Help me learn how to face every storm with confidence, knowing that You really are in control even though I cannot hear Your voice or see Your hand at work.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Pastor Rick Warren: God Wants to Make the Bitter in Your Life Better

God Wants to Make the Bitter in Your Life Better
By Rick Warren

“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).

We’re all broken people. We’re all imperfect. Sometimes we hurt each other intentionally or unintentionally. Life isn’t fair. Innocent people suffer. Everyone has experienced unfair or prejudicial treatment in some way.

How do you respond to it? If you start dwelling on it and stewing, spewing, and worrying, your soul takes a hit. Grudges over what others have done to you will hurt your soul, impairing your thoughts, emotions, and decisions. Resentment, bitterness, retaliation, and revenge will damage you.
The Bible actually says that God’s going to even the score. Judgment is coming one day. People who were mistreated, misjudged, or treated unfairly will receive justice. But it is not your job to avenge yourself: “Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it” (Romans 12:19 TLB).
Unaddressed grudges blind you to how much good God has done in your life. You become blind to the truth. You become blind to the needs of people around you. Your soul will not be restored until you let it go. That’s what Jesus wants to help you do. God wants to restore your soul, taking the bitter things in your life and turning them into better things.
Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (NIV).
Of course, we know that not everything that happens to you is good. But can God take the bad things people do to you and use them for good? Yes. Can God take your sins and mistakes and bring good out of them? Yes. Can God take your own weaknesses and your damaged will and work good even then? Yes. Anybody can bring good out of good, but God specializes in bringing good out of bad.
God turns your hurts into holiness. He turns your wounds into wisdom. He uses offenses to remove your pretenses.
When you believe that God can bring good things out of very bad things, he will begin to rebuild your soul—your broken thoughts, your broken emotions, and your broken will.
PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick
Talk It Over

What people or situations are eating you up inside because of something they have done to you or didn’t do for you?
What’s the cost to keep mulling over that offense (or those offenses)?
When we pray for others and tune in to God’s heart for them, it’s impossible to hang on to a grudge. Write down each person’s name from the first question and a blessing for each of them.

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.

Column: Are you a victim?

The wind is howling and our windows shaking as I sit and write this column. We have jumped from polar vortex to dangerously high winds that seem to be knocking power out of many Midwestern communities. The power of Mother Nature is awesome. As long as the roof doesn’t blow off and the winds rip my laptop from my hands, I should be able to finish this, the ninth column of 2019.

Here’s a link to the column at the Southern Illinoisan.

Op-Ed: Illinois facing jobs’ crisis with latest policy initiatives

With no warning, an Illinois community learned this week it is losing almost 1,400 jobs.

Here’s a link to the story at Illinois News Network.