President Obama’s 2014 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving Day invites us to reflect on the blessings we enjoy and the freedoms we cherish.  As we gather with family and friends to take part in this uniquely American celebration, we give thanks for the extraordinary opportunities we have in a Nation of limitless possibilities, and we pay tribute to all those who defend our Union as members of our Armed Forces.  This holiday reminds us to show compassion and concern for people we have never met and deep gratitude toward those who have sacrificed to help build the most prosperous Nation on earth.  These traditions honor the rich history of our country and hold us together as one American family, no matter who we are or where we come from.

Nearly 400 years ago, a group of Pilgrims left their homeland and sailed across an ocean in pursuit of liberty and prosperity.  With the friendship and kindness of the Wampanoag people, they learned to harvest the rich bounty of a new world.

Together, they shared a successful crop, celebrating bonds of community during a time of great hardship.  Through times of war and of peace, the example of a Native tribe who extended a hand to a new people has endured.  During the American Revolution and the Civil War, days of thanksgiving drew Americans together in prayer and in the spirit that guides us to better days, and in each year since, our Nation has paused to show our gratitude for our families, communities, and country.

With God’s grace, this holiday season we carry forward the legacy of our forebears.  In the company of our loved ones, we give thanks for the people we care about and the joy we share, and we remember those who are less fortunate.  At shelters and soup kitchens, Americans give meaning to the simple truth that binds us together:  we are our brother’s and our sister’s keepers.  We remember how a determined people set out for a better world — how through faith and the charity of others, they forged a new life built on freedom and opportunity.

The spirit of Thanksgiving is universal.  It is found in small moments between strangers, reunions shared with friends and loved ones, and in quiet prayers for others.  Within the heart of America’s promise burns the inextinguishable belief that together we can advance our common prosperity — that we can build a more hopeful, more just, and more unified Nation.  This Thanksgiving, let us recall the values that unite our diverse country, and let us resolve to strengthen these lasting ties.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 27, 2014, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.  I encourage the people of the United States to join together — whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors — and give thanks for all we have received in the past year, express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and share our bounty with others.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.

BARACK OBAMA

Russell Moore – Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Will Tear Us Apart

Over the past several years, a remarkable consensus has emerged on immigration reform, uniting the left, right and center. I am often in meetings in which those of us at the table can agree on almost literally nothing else. The business community, agriculture, law enforcement, religious constituencies and immigrant advocacy groups have come to this question with unique but overlapping points of concern. There are few Americans who think the system works as it is, and there is little support for deporting 11 million people from this country. This consensus is one to cultivate, not to tear apart.

Acting unilaterally threatens that consensus, and is the wrong thing to do. Even those who support broad executive action (including many friends of mine) acknowledge that the actions won’t solve the problem, only a legislative solution will. My hope is that the Republicans in Congress will not allow the President’s actions here to be a pretext for remaning in the rut of the status quo. Too many people are harmed by this broken system, many of them our brothers and sisters in Christ. The lives of immigrant families, made in the image of God, are too important for political gamesmanship.

Read the rest of the post here.

A Quick Prayer for Ferguson

(This was written shortly before the grand jury’s decision was made public)

Dear Lord Jesus,

As the grand jury prepares to read their decision to indite Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown, I pray for the city of Ferguson.  I pray that justice will be done. I pray for peace in the city tonight, peace even in the midst of perceived injustice.

I pray for the members of the grand jury.  They will be criticized by the entire nation no matter where their decision falls.  They may be called ignorant cogs in a racist system that refuses to see the plight of African Americans.  They may be called weak lemmings giving into overwhelming public pressure.  Give them clarity, give them peace.  I pray for their peace of mind, safety and mental well being.

I pray for the family of Michael Brown.  I cannot fathom the depths of their despair.  Not only have they lost their son, but this death continues on in the media all over country and will continue to do so for some time to come.  Give them the comfort that only you can give.  Keep them safe.  I pray that through this death some good will be accomplished.

I pray for Officer Wilson.  No matter what happens tonight, his life will never be the same.  Protect his family during this time as they are going through a trial few families will ever have to go through.  Give them strength.

I pray for the residents of Ferguson.  Their city has been turned upside down.  Their streets have turned into continual protest sites.  They are a city under siege as police armed with military weapons roam the area. Protect the innocent citizens just trying to eek out a normal life in the midst of this upheaval.

Lord, please allow justice to be done and truth to prevail, not matter what they may be.  Let the truth be known and accepted.  Let justice prevail.  But I also pray that through this ordeal we will learn how to love each other.  We are a nation divided by race.  Help us to see each other more clearly through the eyes of love and understanding.  May we recognize our own sins and show grace toward each other.  May we repent of our own ignorance before casting aspersions on people we may not understand or relate with.  Draw us closer together.

May we all weep for a death that should never have occurred.  We live in a broken world.  We weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn.  More than anything else, Lord, we long for day when you will make all things new.  We long for the day when true justice and righteousness will reign everywhere as the King of Kings rules and reigns in his rightful throne.  Lord Jesus, come quickly!

Amen

Is Elgin Blocking Christians from Witnessing to Gang Members?

From Illinois Review:

ELGIN, IL – A Chicago law firm is asking a court in Elgin, Illinois, to get off the backs of former gang members who are now born-again Christians.

Attorney Andy Norman of the law firm Mauck & Baker represents the former members of the Latin Kings, a rather notorious gang in Elgin, Illinois. Norman tells OneNewsNow of the great awakening experienced by some of the members of that gang.

“Three of them were in the gang,” he explains. “One [of my clients] actually was never in the gang. He was born-again, and he started witnessing to the three who were in the gang. And, one by one, they ended up coming to faith and then leaving the gang.”

Two were beaten out of the gang. That means having to pay to get out of the gang or experience a very intense beating for two minutes – which, if survived, allows the member to be released from the gang. However, even after that experience, the new Christians were not done with the gang.

“They started witnessing to other gang members, some of whom were born-again as a result,” he says. “And that takes a lot of courage because once you’re out of the gang, you’re [considered] a bad guy, you’re an enemy. To go back into the gang area and try and get gang members to leave is a very risky thing.”

But the city of Elgin has used the Street Gang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act, which helps in breaking up street gangs, to prevent these former gang members from witnessing their faith. The city filed a lawsuit in September 2010 to obtain a court order prohibiting them from any interactions with current members of the Latin Kings. For more than four years the case has languished in court without being resolved.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

LZ Granderson on Mia Love

I hope President Obama called to congratulate Mia Love.

The way he called college student Sandra Fluke after Rush Limbaugh called her a “prostitute.” The way he called the NBA’s first openly gay player, Jason Collins. The way he called the San Francisco Giants after they won the World Series.

I hope he called Mia Love because her story is every bit as unlikely, courageous and yes, inspirational, as his own. Love — the first black Republican woman elected to Congress — will not be his political ally and that’s OK. I spoke with membership services and blacks are no longer revoked for voting Republican.

If you don’t believe me, please note the most popular black television character on network television is Scandal’s “Olivia Pope.” She worked to elect a Republican president twice and no one on #blacktwitter calls her an Uncle/Aunt Tom.

Love is progress, whether so-called progressives want to embrace it or not. Her election is a reflection, yea an extension of the Rev.. Martin Luther King Jr’s dream. The daughter of Haitian immigrants, born in Brooklyn, living in Utah, a state that is less than 1% black, judged by the content of her character. And because of that, she is coming to Washington. If that is not what the dream is all about then we truly have lost our way.

Read more here.

Scott Walker to be on Meet the Press Sunday

Exclusively on Meet the Press Sunday, NBC’s Chuck Todd talks to newly-reelected Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who has now won three elections in four years in the battleground state of Wisconsin.

We’ll talk to him about Tuesday’s midterm Republican wave and how he sees the GOP’s mandate for governing now, both at the state and the national level.

And we’ll ask about his thoughts on the 2016 presidential race — and whether he is considering a run for the Republican nomination.

Read more here.

The First 2016 Candidate Making the News – Dr. Ben Carson

We’re not even a week removed from the Midterms and already we’re hearing noise from possible 2016 candidates.  The first seems to be Dr. Ben Carson.  His first move, according to the Washington Times, is to officially register as a Republican:

“It’s truly a pragmatic move because I have to run in one party or another. If you run as an independent, you only risk splitting the electorate,” Mr. Carson told The Washington Times in an interview Tuesday night shortly after making the change. “I clearly would not be welcome in the Democratic Party, and so that only leaves one party.  (Read more here)

His second move is to introduce himself to the public:

Carson, a famous pediatric neurosurgeon and conservative political star, will air a nearly 40 minute-long ad introducing himself to the American people this weekend, an aide to Carson confirms to ABC News.

The documentary titled “A Breath of Fresh Air: A New Prescription for America” will air in 22 states and Washington, DC. The paid video will detail some of his biography and family life, including his rise from being born to a single mother with a poor childhood in Detroit to director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins for almost 40 years, known for his work separating conjoined twins, to potential 2016 presidential candidate. (Read more here)