Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.
It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.
Its the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
Its been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.
I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nations promise in the months ahead.
I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.
I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation's next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy thats coming with us to the White House. And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.
To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what youve sacrificed to get it done.
But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.
I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.
It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generations apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.
I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didnt do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government cant solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.
What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, its that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.
Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, We are not enemies, but friends, though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.
And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.
For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one thats on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. Shes a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.
She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldnt vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.
And tonight, I think about all that shes seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we cant, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.
At a time when womens voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.
When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.
She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome. Yes we can.
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.
America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:
Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
"I am glad to be here today for this voter registration drive and for Barack Obama, the next President of the United States.
"I've spent 35 years writing about America, its people, and the meaning of the American Promise. The Promise that was handed down to us, right here in this city from our founding fathers, with one instruction: Do your best to make these things real. Opportunity, equality, social and economic justice, a fair shake for all of our citizens, the American idea, as a positive influence, around the world for a more just and peaceful existence. These are the things that give our lives hope, shape, and meaning. They are the ties that bind us together and give us faith in our contract with one another.
"I've spent most of my creative life measuring the distance between that American promise and American reality. For many Americans, who are today losing their jobs, their homes, seeing their retirement funds disappear, who have no healthcare, or who have been abandoned in our inner cities. The distance between that promise and that reality has never been greater or more painful.
"I believe Senator Obama has taken the measure of that distance in his own life and in his work. I believe he understands, in his heart, the cost of that distance, in blood and suffering, in the lives of everyday Americans. I believe as president, he would work to restore that promise to so many of our fellow citizens who have justifiably lost faith in its meaning. After the disastrous administration of the past 8 years, we need someone to lead us in an American reclamation project. In my job, I travel the world, and occasionally play big stadiums, just like Senator Obama. I've continued to find, wherever I go, America remains a repository of people's hopes, possibilities, and desires, and that despite the terrible erosion to our standing around the world, accomplished by our recent administration, we remain, for many, a house of dreams. One thousand George Bushes and one thousand Dick Cheneys will never be able to tear that house down.
"They will, however, be leaving office, dropping the national tragedies of Katrina, Iraq, and our financial crisis in our laps. Our sacred house of dreams has been abused, looted, and left in a terrible state of disrepair. It needs care; it needs saving, it needs defending against those who would sell it down the river for power or a quick buck. It needs strong arms, hearts, and minds. It needs someone with Senator Obama's understanding, temperateness, deliberativeness, maturity, compassion, toughness, and faith, to help us rebuild our house once again. But most importantly, it needs us. You and me. To build that house with the generosity that is at the heart of the American spirit. A house that is truer and big enough to contain the hopes and dreams of all of our fellow citizens. That is where our future lies. We will rise or fall as a people by our ability to accomplish this task. Now I don't know about you, but I want that dream back, I want my America back, I want my country back.
"So now is the time to stand with Barack Obama and Joe Biden, roll up our sleeves, and come on up for the rising."
Monday, October 27, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Models of Atonement
Atonement is about the incarnation of Jesus into this world, and of participation and sharing in the suffering of humanity, taking them to the cross, so that God triumphs over evil and all of creation is restored and recreated.
This model is grounded in the concept of personal honor found in the European feudal culture. Sin dishonors God. A price must be paid to satisfy God and restore his divine honor. The only penalty suitable to God was Christ’s obedience to death.
Jesus’ self-giving love, expressed in his death on the cross, leads us to love God and love others fully, giving our lives back to God.
Christ, by his own sacrificial choice, was punished in the place of sinners, thus satisfying the demands of justice so God can justly forgive sins.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Palin routinely claims to have put an end to Alaska's infamous "bridge to nowhere," even though she supported the project during her gubernatorial campaign and turned against it only when it became a national embarrassment and Congress threatened to cut its funding.
In this article, we see how McCain drastically twists an Obama vote on sex education. Obama was voting for legislation that would give schools the ability to warn young children about inappropriate touching and sexual predators. McCain now runs an ad that says Obama wanted to teach comprehensive sex education to kindergartners--a gross distortion.
I am convinced that many conservative Christians in politics (ie. Palin, Bush and others) really believe they are on a mission for God. They are so convinced of the righteousness of their mission, that they have no problem lying to accomplish their goals. that's scary.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.
We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.
We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.
Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.
Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.
Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.
Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.
Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.
Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.
We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.
Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.
A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.
Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.
Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.
Lastly, father, unify us.
Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.
And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.
God we know that you are good.
Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.
I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.
Let Him be our example.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Last night I saw Bruce Springsteen in concert for the 11th time. That’s right, 11. One more than 10 (which was a nice round number, and one my wife thought was a good one on which to end my Bruce concert career).
But he was in Richmond last night; only an hour away, and I decided to save up my allowance for a couple months and do it. Kenny and I drove down, had a forgettable dinner at the Third Street Diner (Penny Lane was too crowded), and went to the show.
The concert was amazing. Back in the 80’s he played monstrous 4-hour marathon shows. Bruce is 58 years old now; the shows these days usually go about 2-1/2 hours. Last night he played for 3 hours. He talked about how special Richmond was—in the early days, it was the first place outside of New Jersy that he played.
Each concert is an amazing experience. (check this out: The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen.)
There are times when the experience is transcendant. 10,000 strangers (or more, I once saw him with 50,000 at Mile High Stadium in Denver) joined together, connected by the music. And the music is incredible. Bruce sings about life--good, bad, relationships, tragedy, hope. He did a good mix of old and new; several of my favorite songs—"Badlands," "Cadillac Ranch," "She’s the One"...
I thought about how Bruce’s music has been the soundtrack of my life. I began listening seriously when my friend Jeff introduced me to Born to Run in high school.
I was fully converted when I saw him for the first time in Denver--November 11, 1984. Now, 24 years later, I hear the songs and each one takes me back to a different time in my life, bringing memories of an old girlfriend, or job, or home, or car...
If you've never seen Springsteen; do it next time you get a chance. I've seen a lot of concerts; his are without a doubt the best.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
We ate dinner, talked and caught up, and discovered that we have a favorite show in common--The Office; so we watched some TV. Great to relax and be with people we love!
We spent the next two days eating, swimming, splashing, tubing, waterskiing, took the boys for their first boat ride...it was an awesome two days; the most relaxed and fun we've all felt in a while.
Ryan and Kelly are wonderful people--kind, loving, fun, easy-going. The best friendships are ones where, even after years apart, you bond immediately when reunited. That's how it is with Ryan and Kelly.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
This is a really challenging season in life. I have four dear friends (two couples) dealing with serious marriage trouble...several friends struggling with depression...two sick boys, and a wife who isn’t sleeping much, exhausted from running our home…one of my favorite people is in the midst of chemotherapy...one of my best friends is a new dad, but both mom and baby are dealing with health issues...another close friend, moving toward marriage, recently hit a huge bump in the road...another friend whose mother is dying.
So many people I care about are really hurting and struggling. One of my strengths is being compassionate and sympathetic…but it can also be a weakness…taking the weight of all these burdens of the people I love.
I feel heavier than I have in a long time. I am behind on several projects at work, garden full of weeds, much yard work to do; home office is covered with piles and stacks that need to be gone through. Church—more people I want to spend time with than I have time.
But I will not despair. My problems really aren't that big. And through it all, I have experienced God's presence like never before. This idea of whole-life worship we have been exploring has become very real to me. So I hold onto God, the one constant in life.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008