FTA: The original of Washington’s Letter to the Hebrew Congregations of Newport, Rhode Island is small in size, but its impact on American life is immense. In 340 well-chosen words, the Letter reassures those who had fled religious tyranny that life in their new nation would be different, that religious “toleration” would give way to religious liberty, and that the government would not interfere with individuals in matters of conscience and belief. Quoting the Bible’s Old Testament, Washington writes,
“every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”
For happily the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.1
May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.
When he wrote this particular letter in August of 1790, the new President must have been aware of the effect it would have on the fledgling nation. He could not have known the extent of its influence today. The history behind Washington’s Letter not only gives us an understanding of the values of the early colonists and our Founding Fathers, but also insight into two fundamental tenets of American democracy: the separation of church and state, and the right of individuals to believe in and practice their religion.
Read more here.
The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. -Isaiah 17:1
Many are saying, and I’m one of them, that soon Damascus will be a ruinous heap. I imagine, though this is not in the scriptures, that Russia, Iran and Turkey will gather together to shoot nuclear bombs at Israel to wipe her out and God’s hand of protection will intercept causing those bombs to fall on Damascus. But in this post by Bill Wilson is a challenge to our prophetic leaning concerning Damascus:
The context of Isaiah 17 is judgment on nations that come against Israel, beginning with Assyria in Chapter 9 and continuing with Palestina, Moab, Ethiopia, Egypt, Shebna, and Tyre through Chapter 24. The phrase “In/At that day” is mentioned no less than four times in this short chapter of 14 verses. This phrase is an indicator for the Day of the Lord, meaning when the Lord returns to judge the nations that came against Israel. Verse 7 says, “At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.” Verse 11 speaks that the harvest shall be a day of grief and of desperate sorrow. Context is key. It’s dangerous to take just one verse and develop a scenario or doctrine around it. In Syria, we are seeing prophetic movement, but we will know when God fulfills the prophecy. It will be clear. The Daily Jot
What is the day of the Lord?
(be patient with this video-it has some interesting things to say about the recent US led bombings near Homs and Damascus!)
Dealing with criticism is a skill every well-adjusted man should possess. We give and take criticism among our co-workers, our friends, and our family. Criticism is an important part of our personal self-improvement, for it is other people who can point out mistakes and shortcomings that we can’t see because we lack objectivity. Unfortunately, many young men today don’t know how to offer and accept criticism like a man. Instead they handle criticism like little boys. When giving criticism, they opt only to give snide, cutting jabs that do nothing to improve the situation. When receiving criticism, they sulk, make excuses, and argue with the person criticizing them. Ask any teacher who has the nerve of giving a student a poor grade. Today’s students will cry and whine their way to a better one. Or worst of all, have their parents intervene. They simply don’t know how to respectfully accept criticism.
Okay, I know this is a blog for men but this advice about giving and taking criticism is wise for women to heed, too….we ladies can be rather catty and “little girl” bratty with one another when in disagreements…and what about this practice in our marriages and families?
Read and watch the videos here: How to Give and Take Criticism like a Man
hattip to Phil Brown, the Lutheran Baptist