Saturday, November 18, 2006

Being "my sister's keeper"

It's tough, sometimes. I have a reflexive tendency to avoid even looking at news stories of the "Isn't that awful?" variety. And if I do look, I often resist posting the link. I mean, we all know (at some level of our consciousness) that awful things are happening all over the world. But we can't fix *everything*, right? And it just seems wrong to post something that is going to make everyone feel bad, if I can't also add, "And here's what we can do about it."

Anyway, I'm purposely resisting that tendency today. This article is hard to read, but I felt I had to share it. Don't know what to do, beyond sharing it, but hopefully it can spur some discussion. Maybe there are some do-able action items out there as well--I just don't know what they are at the moment.

Afghan women commit suicide by fire

Desperate to escape domestic violence, forced marriage and hardship, scores of women across Afghanistan each year are committing suicide by fire. While some gains have been made since the fall of the Taliban five years ago, life remains bleak for many Afghan women in the conservative and violence-plagued country, and suicide is a common escape.
You can read the rest of the article here. The article mentions a UK-based group called Womankind. Are there any similar U.S.-based groups out there?

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Saturday Comics

And my favorite for today: Reclaiming America

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Hail To The Victor

From Renee: I added the link to Gerald Levert, as I had no idear who he was before reading Oscar's post. And a curious was "spirit day" at Son in Ohio's school, and they were able to come dressed in OSU or Michigan swag. Guess which he chose? Marches to his own drummer, that boy does. Happy to report that he didn't get beaten up or anything. ;)

Bo Schembechler
April 1, 1929 - November 17, 2006

I was prepared to come home from work and post a scathing (if sanctimonious) screed about how everyone in Black America was catching the vapors about the passing of Gerald Levert, even while nobody seemed too terribly moved by Ed Bradley's passing last week and next to nobody noticed Ralph Wiley's passing a couple years ago. Bradley and Wiley were two Black men that I looked up to, Black men that I admired, Black men who pursued the truth and exposed it to the light of day. Ralph Wiley's medium was the written word while Ed Bradley's realm was the world of television, but both of them inspired me to be more than I am, and it really galled me that people would be so moved by the passing of an entertainer, albeit a good one and from what I hear an all-around great guy.

My mindset changed as I was shutting down my system at work and preparing to leave the building when someone mentioned to me that Coach Schembechler had passed. I thought that they were joking, here on the eve of the biggest Michigan-Ohio State game in my lifetime, but they pulled up the article for me on their PC. After the initial shock I found myself even more shocked at just how much that upset me - here I am getting caught up about a football coach that I have never met.

Mr. Kettle, meet Mr. Pot.

The truth of the matter is that I can't rationalize it as losing a great personal motivator - I've never heard a Schembechler speech. I can't rationalize it as mourning the loss of a personal inspiration - I never thought that deeply about Coach Schembechler. I can't even rationalize it as a loss for the University of Michigan - Coach has been off of the sidelines for more than a decade now. The truth is that the greatest coach of the team that I love - the University of Michigan Wolverines - has passed and I am moved by his loss.

Just like millions of Black folk are moved by the sudden loss of Gerald Lavert.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to prune the forest that I have just discovered growing in my eye...

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More birthday celebration

The Kos diary wishing Howard Dean a happy birthday has gotten kind of long, and it's not on the recommended list any more. So I wanted to highlight this comment so that people will see it and have a better sense of what was extraordinary about Howard Dean's campaign and its legacy...

I sometimes think that perhaps you have no idear how much you have changed people's lives, or how many people's lives you have changed, and to what degree.

So I thank you for my life, and I thank you for Edwin's life, and I thank you for our life together (had you not run, had you not had a blog, had you shut down your blog like the rest did, we would never have even met).

I'm sorry he didn't live to see the results of this election, which he and I both believed was engineered by you, but I know he was a true believer. This is the story of the day he met you

Click here for puddleriver's story.

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Open Thread

'Cause even though it's Howard's birthday, we might want to talk about other stuff too. Here are a couple of links....

How Full Is Your Quiver?
In a new movement, Christians 'open their wombs to God.'

CNN's Beck to first-ever Muslim congressman: "[W]hat I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies' "

BECK: Thank you. I will tell you, may I -- may we have five minutes here where we're just politically incorrect and I play the cards face up on the table?

ELLISON: Go there.

For future reference, next time someone asks that question, how about answering something like, "Well, I can't stop you, but I wish you wouldn't. America deserves better than that."

Better responses? You can see how deep Beck ended up digging his hole here.

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Happy Birthday, Howard Dean!

Crossposted at Daily Kos and My Left Wing

The happiest of happy birthdays to the Chair of the DNC. Thank you for all of your hard work and persistence in implementing the 50-state, strategy, and for always remembering to thank the rest of us for all we do.

And thank you for setting an example of graciousness and maintaining an "eyes on the prize" mentality, in refusing to be sidetracked by the "inside the beltway silliness" of folks like James Carville.

Have some cake. :)

Update: Here's a donation link, if you'd like to donate to the DNC in Howard Dean's honor.

Show your support for our party Chair by donating to the DNC through our own Howard-Empowered bat
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Thursday, November 16, 2006


The current post at Blog for America, titled in all caps, is IMPEACHMENT IS OFF THE TABLE. I disagree, but after a long day of teaching can't articulate why at the moment. I'll leave that to others.

But I hereby register my disagreement with the following Photoshop image. It reflects my feelings about impeachment and its proximity to "the table".

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Case dismissed!

Good news about Charlie!

"A judge on Thursday granted a motion to dismiss a felony wiretapping charge against Charlie Grapski, who was charged with taping Alachua City Manager Clovis Watson Jr. against his will in May."

More here.

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Fox News Memo

No time to write up a proper post, but this is big enough news to front page. Via Crooks and Liars

The FOX NEWS Memo explored

Olbermann did an segment on John Moody's "The Fox memo" that the Huffington Post revealed. Robert Greenwald explains…
Crooks and Liars has video.

Charlie's trial is in our thoughts today. You can light a candle here, if you wish.

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Open Thread

This seemed like a good time to put up an open thread--given that it's officially "tomorrow" and all. Since I will be teaching all day, I won't have time to blog, so can people pretty please carry on with telling people about Howard's virtual birthday card in my absence?

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Howard gets a laugh out of James Carville

Thanks to Crooks and Liars for linking the video and providing the relevant part of the transcript. I got this screen cap of Howard laughing--which is at the point where the interviewer says "you can see where I'm headed with this".

Q. The election results were barely in when a top democratic strategist, James Carville — you can see where I'm headed with this — a former advisor to Bill Clinton, started going after you. Let's take a look at what he had to say. (Clip: The RNC did a better job than the DNC, that's the republican national committee and the democratic national committee, this year. He says, the house and senate campaign committees made up for your shortcomings and that Congressman Harold Ford should replace you as chairman of the DNC. First of all, what do you make of his criticism and do you have any intention of stepping down?

DEAN: I have to say I get a laugh out of that one. Here we have — let's leave the federal races aside. The DCCC and the DSCC did do a wonderful job. The truth is we got six governors. We got nine additional legislative chambers. New Hampshire now has a democratic House and senate for the first time in a century. We did great. I think the time really has come now, now that we're in power, at least in the Congress, to pull together, to be unified. We've got a lot to do in two years. We have a elect a democratic president.

Q. Do you have any intention of stepping down?

DEAN: No, I talked to Harold last night. He doesn't want the job. This is some kind inside the beltway silliness.

Howard is a class act. Watching the way he handled this interview is almost enough to make me forget about doing some "Photoshop therapy" at Carville's expense.

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Charlie Grapski's wiretap trial is tomorrow

Update: I just saw this comment from Subway over at the other place:

I'm a little nervous today. I'll be returning to Rector Street for the first time since my ordeal. Gonna try for 2 hours...

I just set up a candle page for Charlie, Subway, and any other of our intentions, whether spoken aloud, typed on a screen, or held in the silence of our hearts.

From the comments...


Listen to Charlie's "illegal" recording and get the latest information on his case at the grapskidefense website. Spread the word and help us expose corruption in Alachua.

Click here for Charlie's post at Blog for America.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dated Kerry, Married Dean

UPDATE: Please recommend and forward this Kos diary by Grapski Defense Committee.

Here's a nice "Howard Dean was right" piece from Hotline On Call.

Dated Kerry, Married Dean

As the result of Dean's own 50 state funding initiatives, when states like Indiana and Wyoming and Nebraska suddenly featured competitive races, the DNC had trained field staffers on the ground. But even Dean’s admirers admit that there’s no concrete way to know whether the 50 State Project gave these races a bigger boost than the DSCC and DCCC efforts.

But give Dean credit for setting the tone and style of Democratic politics. Successful, Democratic politics, that is, in an environment that Dean first detected three years ago.
Click here for the rest. (And don't forget to send Howard a birthday card.)

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DemocracyFest 2007 Tickets Available! Get Your Discount Now!

The 4th Annual DemocracyFest will take place in Manchester, NH on June 9th-10th, 2007.

Tickets are limited this year (yes, really), so get your tickets now and Spread the Word!

Buy Your Tickets Today!

Tickets include:
* All trainings and workshops on Saturday 6/9 and Sunday 6/10
* All Entertainment on Saturday 6/9 and Sunday 6/10
* All speakers on Saturday 6/9 and Sunday 6/10
* Optional Pre-Event Meet and Greet on the evening of Friday 6/8
* Breakfast, Mid-Day Snack, and Dinner on Saturday 6/9
* Bloggers Breakfast, Mid-Day Snack, and Dinner on Sunday 6/10
* Free parking or transportation to and from Manchester Airport
* Access to hotel business center, swimming pool and game room.
* Priceless interaction with activists from across the nation.

For the next 7 days, tickets will be available for $135 each (a $20 discount off the regular price) and you will receive a free commemorative November 7th t- shirt to celebrate the day Democrats took back Congress.

Starting 11/20, tickets will cost $155 each.

Order Your Tickets at:

All DemocracyFest event activities and meals will take place at the Wayfarer Inn and Conference Center.

Lodging: If you need a place to stay for the event, the Wayfarer Inn is offering a special DemocracyFest rate of only $87 per night! To get the reduced rate, call the Wayfarer at 603-622- 3766, and say you are with DemocracyFest. Space is limited, so reserve early!

Buy Your Tickets Today!

Don’t wait, or you'll miss out on this limited time discount!
The DemocracyFest Incorporated Team
Charlene, Jessica, Liane, Pam, and Quintus

Contributions or gifts to DemocracyFest Inc are not tax deductible.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

The Howard Dean birthday card project

I've already linked this diary in the comments, but I'm frontpaging it as well, so that as many people as possible can get their cards in the mail on time.

To recap, the goal of this particular project is to heap mounds of thanks on Dr. Dean and the DNC in the form of birthday cards and contributions by Friday, November 17 (Dean's birthday). Although if they get there by Saturday, that's kewl. We want his desk covered with cards! Just like in the original "Miracle on 34th Street" (accept no remakes) when the postal workers dumped bags and bags of letters to Santa on the judge's bench. I don't actually expect us to do that well, but you get the idea. Birthday donations to Dean was first suggested by Cherisse. If you can send a contribution, make it for any amount you like, and tack 50 cents on, to show our appreciation for the 50-State Strategy, which despite being a long-term project, already showed signs of success in the 2006 elections.

Click here for the rest.
By the way, I've changed the link for the Birthday Flat Howard image in the left sidebar. It now links to a fresh thread which we can use as a virtual birthday card.

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Paging Dr. Freud

Via Buckeye State Blog, Deborah Pryce is giving the classic, predictable Republican response to Mary Jo Kilroy's demand that all legal votes be counted.

"Democrats are simply running their Florida playbook again and trying to steal the election," said George Rasley, spokesman for the Pryce campaign.
Funny coincidence here--I just finished covering defense mechanisms in the Introduction to Psychology classes I teach...
Projection is a defense mechanism that involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people. For example, if you have a strong dislike for someone, you might instead believe that he or she does not like you. Projection functions to allow the expression of the desire or impulse, but in a way that the ego cannot recognize, therefore reducing anxiety.

Or, and here's just a totally random, off-the-top-of-my-head example--if you yourself are trying to steal an election, you might instead accuse the other person of trying to steal the election.

Zees ees veeery interesting Ms. Pryce. Tell me about your mother....

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Count Every Vote in Ohio's 15th District

From Mary Jo Kilroy's web site, November 9: "An overflowing and widely enthusiastic crowd rallied at Ohio State University in support of Mary Jo's "Every Vote Counts, Count Every Vote" effort..."

And click here for Lucie's writeup of that rally, posted at Buckeye State Blog.

Did you Vote a Provisional Ballot in Ohio's 15th District?

Here's a link to Mary Jo's interview with Eric Vessels on Plunderbund's podcast back in June.

See also Kilroy Advertising to Provisional Voters at Pho's Akron Pages. (That's the ad I mentioned hearing while in the grocery store.)

And here's the New York Times article about the undecided nature of this race.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Charlie's trial is tomorrow

Update: Donna in Evanston and Catreona both have diaries at Kos about Charlie.

Note from Renee...I need to leave in a few minutes for my EFM class. Don't really feel like going out tonight, but I already missed last week's class. Checking comments I saw something from Charlie, so I am logging in as "guest blogger" to front page it. This is all I have the time or energy to do at the moment, so I hope that people will take it from here and post links to Charlie's post on other blogs.

Message from Charlie
Submitted by Charlie Grapski on Sat, 11/11/2006 - 11:16am.

The one question that people ask me, whether we are talking to people locally or across the nation, is how can this trial be happening. There is a great deal of disbelief that the Courts and the State Attorney would allow this case to move forward as it has if there wasn't something else that wasn't being told. Why would they allow a case to be dragged out six months and then go to trial (and this only because I forced the trial by asserting my right to a speedy trial) if there was not some wrongdoing on my part?

And they are correct. There is something missing from the picture as it is publicly viewed. And it does have to deal with an element of wrongdoing. But wrongdoing on whose part?

Last Tuesday I met with the prosecuting attorney who has been pursuing this case, Geoffrey Fleck. Everything he said to me can be confirmed, not by a recording, but by a witness - Michael Canney - who was with me at the meeting.

To understand how and why the State Attorney can continue to prosecute this case (and how a judge can allow them to do so) one only has to listen to what Fleck said at that meeting.

"The system will close in to protect itself."

This is the motivation behind the actions of the public officials involved in this matter from Clovis Watson and the City of Alachua, to Bill Cervone and the State Attorney's office, to Judge Sieg.

"The system" - one of them - has gotten itself into trouble. They stole an election and then tried to silence those who attempted to expose that fact. But rather than law enforcement and the courts seeking to right that wrong in the name of justice and the public good; we find the individuals in that system - the nexus of the political, law enforcement, and legal communities (all public officials) - acting to protect one another rather than the public.

It was on this basis that Geoffrey Fleck viewed his offer to grant me a Deferred Prosecution rather than try the case. It had nothing to do with who was right or who was wrong. It had everything to do with who had power and who did not (in their eyes).

I might be innocent of the crime alleged but the State could muster its forces sufficiently to place me into a position of vulnerability - simply because they had the power to do so. Is that the legitimate authority of their position of public trust? No. But it is a real power, Fleck wanted to stress, because no player in that system - including the Judge - would side with the player outside of that system (the citizen).

Fleck's honesty in that meeting reveals less about his character than his belief that the powers of the State when wielded sufficiently will force any citizen (actually from this viewpoint we are more accurately mere subjects) into submission. And normally, each and every day, their view is reinforced by the realities of that power differential. The normal, average individual will not stand their ground against the forces of the State - especially when they close ranks to protect one of their own.

And this is understandable. To fight "the law" is nearly impossible unless you are willing to endure substantial hardships and sacrifices. "The law," here meaning the power of authority, which is not necessarily the legitimate use of that authority and the power thereby derived. It is not the law as justice - the law that we, as citizens, enact for ourselves (through our elected representatives), to ensure that our government aims at justice and the public good. It is brute, naked power - force - clothed in the legitimacy afforded by our laws that the State is wielding in this case. But it is not legitimate power.

Fleck's stated position was accurate - the system will close ranks to protect itself and thus to protect one of its own. The reality that this system extends beyond the City limits of Alachua and into those in charge of law enforcement and the law throughout the Eighth Judicial Circuit should be a wakeup call to all Floridians not just those residing in Alachua. The legal and political system is supposed to protect the rights, the liberties, and the well-being of the public. It is not supposed to weild its power to protect itself from public accountability.

This is the law perverted, politics corrupted, and justice and the public good denied. I will continue to stand up in defense of not merely my rights but the rights of all of us, as citizens, against the abuses of power. I will not yield in this struggle regardless of the personal cost and without regard to how many, or how powerful, are the actors willing to abuse their positions of authority to protect one of their own or themselves.

The message, however, that I want to convey as widely as possible is not about my personal struggle in all of this. It is about our struggle. It is about our rights. It is about our Constitution. It is about our government.

We are being denied that form of democratic government which this nation was founded upon and people have sacrificed all to defend. When we, as citizens, allow those we entrust with positions of public authority to abuse that trust, to misuse that authority, to wield that power for their own interests - they are denying us that to which we all have a fundamental right: equal justice under the law, liberty and freedom, justice and the public good.

These are the actors who are destroying our nation. We don't have to look far - to Washington D.C. or Tallahassee - to see the roots of our national crisis. It is right here in our own back yard.

If we cannot expect the premises of democratic government and justice in our local government - where we, as citizens, potentially wield the greatest power; then we have no chance, regardless of which major party holds the majority, to realize the dreams of generations of Americans at the national level.

I am calling upon you, whoever you are, wherever you live, to begin standing up for your rights and your dignity. Expect to be treated as a citizen, and not a subject, by those you entrust with public authority. Do not allow their system to destroy our government.

There is more to this story than my particular struggle. This is a struggle for all of us to unite in - the struggle to re-establish the citizen as the highest office in our democracy.

Charlie Grapski

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Via Booman Tribune (and also the Orange Place and MyDD), from Russ Feingold:

I know there may well already be diaries here and elsewhere discussing my decision to continue my important work in the Senate and not run for President in 2008, but I wanted everyone in the online community to hear from me directly.
Click here for the rest.

Use this thread to share your thoughts on 2008--or anything else. I'm going to have some more tea.

Update: Alan in CA has provided us with a link to Joe Trippi's predictions.

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Prophet Motive

For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel. The king of Israel had said to his officials, "Don't you know that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?"

So he asked Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?" Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, "I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses." But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, "First seek the counsel of the LORD."

So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, "Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?"
"Go," they answered, "for the Lord will give it into the king's hand."

But Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?"

The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, "There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah." "The king should not say that," Jehoshaphat replied.

So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, "Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once."

Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them. Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, "This is what the LORD says: 'With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.'"

All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. "Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious," they said, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand."

The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, "Look, as one man the other prophets are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably."

But Micaiah said, "As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me."

When he arrived, the king asked him, "Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" "Attack and be victorious," he answered, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand."

The king said to him, "How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD ?" Then Micaiah answered, "I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the LORD said, 'These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.' "

The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Didn't I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?"

Micaiah continued, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD : I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?'
"One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.'

" 'By what means?' the LORD asked.
" 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said.
" 'You will succeed in enticing him,' said the LORD. 'Go and do it.'

"So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you."

Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. "Which way did the spirit from the LORD go when he went from me to speak to you?" he asked.

Micaiah replied, "You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room."

The king of Israel then ordered, "Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king's son and say, 'This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.' "

Micaiah declared, "If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me." Then he added, "Mark my words, all you people!"

1 Kings 22:1-28
Micaiah was a true prophet of the LORD. He was fully committed to the will of God. Look at verse 14 of I Kings 22. “But Micaiah said, ‘as the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I will speak.’” Micaiah was not interested in what would advance his career in ministry, or what would ingratiate himself with the king. He was interested in and committed to doing the will of God who called him and spoke through him. Micaiah had God as his top priority, just like we are supposed to.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” David, king of all Israel and Judah, understood that he was to seek God first. In II Samuel 7, David sought to do a work for God. David was living in a beautiful palace, but the Ark of the Covenant, the symbol of God’s presence, was outside in the cold under a tent. David thought this was wrong and wanted to build a temple for God in which to place the ark. But God told David, paraphrasing verses 5-17, “Thanks, but it isn’t that crucial. However, since you’re your heart is set on me I’m going to bless you.” God blessed David because David sought God first, because God was his first priority. God chose to bless David based on David’s relationship with God. Nothing was more important to David that the will of God.

The first desire of David’s son Solomon was to do the will of God. In I Kings 3, God tells Solomon to ask for anything that he wanted. Solomon praised God and asked God to give him wisdom to govern God’s people effectively to the glory of God. Since he requested something that would help him serve God and not something to fulfill the lusts of his flesh, the lusts of his eyes, or the pride of life, God blessed him with the wisdom he requested and all of the material riches and social honors that one could imagine, simply because Solomon’s first priority was the will of God. Solomon was fully committed to the will of God.

There was a young aspiring preacher who was visited by an angel. The angel said to the young preacher, “Your ministry will grow and be prosperous if you do according to all of the words I am about to speak: Never mention the word sin – ever. Never mention the word repentance or even refer to it. Offer them salvation in terms of deliverance from their problems. Motivate your people to be moral and upright human beings and your ministry will flourish. The bigger the building you build, the more people that will fill it. And everyone who commits themselves to this salvation will join me in eternity…” How many pastors have compromised their ministries in this fashion? How many preachers will only preach what the people are willing to hear? How many are committed to say that which God has told them to say only as long as it will be well received? Micaiah was fully committed to the will of God. Are we fully committed to the will of God, to seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness? Is there a prophet of the LORD here?

Micaiah was also courageous in the face of perverse authority. Ahab was the most wicked king that Israel had ever seen. The name of his wife, Jezebel, is still synonymous with wickedness to this day. A king has power over the life and death of his subjects, even the prophets. With a word he could have had Micaiah killed. Despite that, Micaiah still spoke what the LORD told him to speak – a word of rebuke and judgement – which he knew would upset the king. Look at verse 18 in I Kings 22. “Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?’”

You see, people usually know when they’re wrong, but they often want to kill the messenger for telling them that which they already know. Most messengers know this and become afraid to deliver the message, desiring to avoid the retaliation of the recipient. Parents stop spanking their children, teachers stop failing students, preachers stop mentioning sin. All from fear of what might happen to them if they take a stand for that which is right.

But you know, there were three Hebrew boys who were not afraid to take a stand for what was right. They stood up to the most powerful man on the planet, Nebuchadnezzar, and told him to his face, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” They took a stand. They were fully committed to the will of God and they were courageous in the face of perverse authority. They understood that it’s all good – for believers. The Word of God says “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” It’s all good.

God knows what we need, and if we seek him first to do His will, he will provide for all of those needs. No weapon forged against us will prevail, right? So what’s the matter with our standing power? Why can’t we take a stand? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego took a stand for the LORD. Micaiah, a prophet of the LORD, took a stand for the LORD. Is there a prophet of the LORD here?

You see Micaiah was also convinced of God’s truth. He wasn’t just running off at the lip with what he thought or what he believed or what was the logical conclusion from the scientific or statistical data. He was convinced, no, he KNEW that the word of the LORD was true. In verse 28 we find the last words recorded from Micaiah. “And Micaiah said, ‘If you indeed return safely the LORD has not spoken by me.’ And he said, ‘(Mark my words) NIV, all you people.’” He knew the truth of the Word of God, that it was without error, that it is God-breathed and useful for instruction and correction. Ahab had him sent to prison where Micaiah was to stay until Ahab returned safely from battle. Micaiah told him up front that he would be spending the rest of his days in prison because Ahab would never return from battle alive. Micaiah was convinced of God’s truth and courageous in the face of perverse authority because he was fully committed to the LORD. He was a prophet of the LORD.

Moses was committed to the LORD when he faced pharaoh and commanded him to “Let my people Go!” and the captives were set free.

Joshua was committed to the LORD when he marched around Jericho for seven days and the walls came tumbling down.

David was committed to the LORD when he confronted Goliath and God granted the victory.

Nathan was committed to the LORD when he rebuked King David and the king repented.

Elijah was committed to the LORD when he faced the 450 prophets of Baal and fire fell from heaven.

Jesus was committed to doing the will of his Father who sent him and now salvation’s free to you and me.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good.

Ezekiel got a taste and it was sweet as honey.

John got a taste on the Island of Patmos and it was like honey to his lips but he couldn’t stomach the testimony.

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

You see there is no one righteous, not even one, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

It is written that the wages of our sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our LORD.

And God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

But in order to have salvation we must accept it, and we do that by confessing with our mouth, “Jesus is Lord of my life,” and believing in our heart that God raised him from the dead.

We must commit our life to serving Jesus Christ – our whole heart, all of our mind, our entire body and our very soul. Now, no man can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or he will love the one and hate the other.

• You cannot serve both God and Money.
• You cannot serve both God and Lexus.
• You cannot serve both God and prosperity.
• You cannot serve both God and America.

You must choose this day whom you will serve. Whether the ancestral gods of your forefathers beyond the Atlantic or the self-centered, humanistic and materialistic gods of the Americans in whose land you live, but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

And if you will be fully committed to do the will of God, I implore you to be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey the Word of God; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let the Word of God depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything according to it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Haven’t I already told you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Is there a prophet of the LORD here?

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants you to to be true to Him,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

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