Month: June 2019

Lyndon Baynes Johnson

This is the third blog post on an American president.

Lyndon Baynes Johnson. LBJ. What a messy mystery he was. Most of us forget he was the formidable leader who accomplished so much for the civil rights movement. We remember LBJ for the mess he created in Vietnam.

Here are some of his words (and perspective) when he took office for the second time on January 20, 1965. Until President Obama, LBJ’s audience was the largest EVER for an inauguration. He talked for 22 minutes, and here are a few things he said. You will read his critical realism and vital optimism, as well as appeal to faith.


Under this covenant of justice, liberty, and union we have become a nation—prosperous, great, and mighty. And we have kept our freedom. But we have no promise from God that our greatness will endure. We have been allowed by Him to seek greatness with the sweat of our hands and the strength of our spirit.

I do not believe that the Great Society is the ordered, changeless, and sterile battalion of the ants. It is the excitement of becoming—always becoming, trying, probing, falling, resting, and trying again—but always trying and always …

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The History of Our Best and Worst Presidents

Not only do I read biographies on individual presidents, I also read studies about the presidency. A brand new book is out (over 500 pages) titled THE PRESIDENTS: Noted Historians Rank American’s Best – and Worst – Chief Executives.

Here are the Top Ten presidents of the United States.

  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. George Washington
  3. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  4. Theodore Roosevelt
  5. Dwight D. Eisenhower
  6. Harry Truman
  7. Thomas Jefferson
  8. John F. Kennedy
  9. Ronald Reagan
  10. Lyndon B. Johnson

Barack Obama came in 12th, George H. W. Bush at number 20, and George W. Bush at number 33 (just keeping him out of the ten worst presidents).

When you look at the list of the WORST presidents, quite a few of them were the predecessors of Lincoln, and each one had major failures on the issues of slavery and the preservation of the union. I have read biographies on all the presidents up to Lincoln and frankly, it was appalling to read just how BAD many of them were.

This book is summer reading for me. I am also reading two books on the faith of American presidents: Religion in the Oval Office: The Religious Lives of American Presidents and Faith & the Presidency: From George

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President Abraham Lincoln

There are several presidents that I have studied at length. Abraham Lincoln is one of them. I won’t give my tribute to this “perhaps best USA president” we have had. I’ll save that for another time.

But here is his second Inaugural Address, given on March 4, 1865. It is simply brilliant and beautiful presidential leadership. It is humble and hopeful. He assigns no particular blame to any special group. He wisely discerns that EVERYONE was responsible for what happened and everyone must be accountable for what will happen.

He will NOT allow any political party to claim God to be on their side!

It is Lincoln seeking to heal a deeply divided and suffering nation. You should probably read this at least twice.


One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict …

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President Dwight D. Eisenhower

As part of this blogging, I thought I would provide a few posts that are the insights of past presidents. For the first one, this is the Inaugural Address of Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 20, 1953.

Notice the personal piety and faith that President Eisenhower brought to his comments to our nation.

1 Timothy 1:1-2 instructs us to pray for those who lead us, but this prayer is more reminiscent of King David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:10-20.


MY friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughts that I deem appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask that you bow your heads:

Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment, my future associates in the executive branch of government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere.

Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our …

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The American Presidents Series

Our July 4th Celebration of Independence is approaching. Anticipating that, I thought I would blog a bit on American history and American presidents over the next 2 weeks.

You may remember me mentioning I am slowly working my way through the total collection of American presidents (as is Brian Newman). With President Trump, we are on our 44th president. Actually, President Trump is our 45th president, but Grover Cleveland is counted twice as our 22nd and 24th presidents, since he served non-consecutive terms.

The American Presidents series is a series of short, summary volumes, each written by a historian who specializes in the president they are writing about. The general editor of the series is Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., one of the premier political historians of modern times. (Check out the series here.)

Each volume has the same preface written by Schlesinger about the presidency. Below are several statements I found interesting and I think you will, too. Except for the one indented paragraph, everything is quoted from the prefaces.


The president is the central player in the American political order. The presidency is described by President Woodrow Wilson as “the vital place of action in the system.”

Presidents serve …

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Baptism Celebration Recap

On June 9th we celebrated baptism with members of our church family. This afternoon was a beautiful time of sharing stories of the work of God in the lives of his people.


We believe that baptism is an outward sign of a Christ-follower’s inward commitment, and a step into a life of commitment to Him. As Growth Groups Pastor Ned Keen shared, “they’re now here to demonstrate outwardly the new reality that has taken place internally.”




“I know Jesus is with me when I walk this path. I see him every day in everything I do. And I know his plans for me will be better than any I could ever come up with.”



If you are interested in being baptized at Living Word, our next baptism information class is Sunday, August 4. You can register on our website. The next baptism will take place on Sunday, August 18 at 3:00 pm.



Enjoy watching this recap video from our recent baptism 

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