Historian Michael Beschloss has written a book on the faith of American presidents. He tells a story of Ronald Reagan's concern over Armageddon. He understood what Revelation said about armies gathering in the Middle East in a climactic battle at the end of the age. He feared this scene was near and openly discussed it with visitors. His aides asked him to stop since he was scaring people!
The most compelling example he studied is Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was a skeptic through most of his life but the agony of the Civil War and the death of two of his sons changed him.
"He felt his moral duty was to discover what God wanted him to do. In a handwritten, undated note found in his desk after his assassination, Lincoln gave us the best clue to his religious faith.
Lincoln scrawled that while "the will of God prevails," he was struggling to understand His attitude toward the Civil War. The Almight "could have either saved or destroyed the Union" without a civil war: "And, having begun, he could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds."
Lincoln observed that it was "quite possible" that God's purpose is something different" from either North or South. Thus as Commander-in-Chief he must keep on trying to discover what it was".
This is a sound approach to understanding what God is doing. It is better to seek to understand what God is doing rather than force our will and calling it God's. God says His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are different from ours. Anytime we seek to push our own will forward we are likely to run into snags.
Humility says we should wait to hear that still small voice of God within us that tells us His will. When our will shouts so loud in our minds that we cannot hear God we are headed for a fall. Pride has overtaken our spiritual senses and canceled out any chance to understand what God is doing in our life for that moment. Humility is getting ourselves, our will, out of the way long enough for God's will to be understood.
Here is the right path to guidance and empowerment.
Here is a call for Europe to re-arm and become a key player on the world stage. You do not see many articles like this. Most articles about Europe today are about its decline and fall.
In the wake of the new French President Nicolas Sarkozy this author, Pascal Bruckner, says the Old World needs an intellectual revolution to meet the challenges ahead. Indeed, there are many challenges.
Here is how it concludes...
"The time has come for a new generation of political leaders to mentally re-arm Europe, to prepare the Union for the confrontations which will soon be coming".
The Europe they seek to create will become something altogether different then what they envision.
The Case For Bombing Iran
This long article by Norman Podhoretz is long but it sums up his case for launching a preemptive strike against Iran to prevent its development of a nuclear weapon.
I recommend reading it for an overview of the thinking of all sides of this monumental issue. Iran cannot be ignored in the volatile Middle East. Indeed, you wonder if we are not in a parallel with 1938 on the international scene. Podhoretz says...
In short, the plain and brutal truth is that if Iran is to be prevented from developing a nuclear arsenal, there is no alternative to the actual use of military force--any more than there was an alternative to force if Hitler was to be stopped in 1938.
He also says we are presently fighting World War IV
A Page on the World
I see in this morning's Wall Street Journal a new book to read. Walter Lacquer's "The Last Days of Europe". The titles says it all.