It’s not often that you get an email from somebody you don’t know telling you they read (and actually like!) your stuff, will be in D.C. the next day and wonder if they could stop by to say hello and introduce themselves.
Of course I said yes and so I had the pleasure Tuesday of meeting and getting to know two really great folks, Evan and Kelly Bryan of San Diego, California.
Evan is a traveling massage therapist who spent five years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an avionics expert.
Kelly teaches world history at a San Diego area public high school. They were married last November, are active in Flood Church (great web site!) back home and are both people whose love for the Lord absolutely radiates.
This was their first visit to D.C., and after taking the tour of the Capitol, they spent an afternoon at the Museum of the Bible, which Evan described as “amazing.” I have yet to hear anybody describe that new facility in anything less positive terms.
I simply love meeting people from all over our incredible country and it was a special treat — because it was unexpected — meeting and talking with Evan and Kelly.
It is a commonplace in many of the most influential public policy precincts in the nation’s capitol these days — including among congressional aides working for senators, representatives and committees — that Christianity is in steep decline in America, that the country is fast becoming more secularized with every passing day.
That certainly appears to be the case, judging by many aspects of the elite culture and the intellectual, social media and political rhetoric it sanctions, but a totally opposite picture is easily seen once you get outside of Amtrak’s Acela Corridor and the LA-San Francisco-Seattle axis to examine the data that reveals the real America.
There we find a nation whose people are becoming more, not less, involved in their churches, small groups, Bible studies and caring ministries reaching out in their communities. Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that the same thing is true in their own ways of most of the rest of the people with whom we share this Earth.
This Silicon Valley inspired congregation believes “machines” will soon take over.
If you work on technology issues in the transportation sector on Capitol Hill, you probably know the name, Anthony Levandowski, the guy who designed and built Google’s first driverless car, among other neat stuff.
Levandowski is such a believer in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that he literally went out and founded a church —Way of the Future Church —that in its statement of beliefs sounds, well, maybe a little whacko but definitely committed to bringing about an AI-driven paradise on earth:
“Way of the Future (WOTF) is about creating a peaceful and respectful transition of who is in charge of the planet from people to people + ‘machines.’
If there are no absolute standards, justice is whatever anybody decides is ‘right for them’
Hitler killed at least six million Jews, plus millions of other people. Stalin starved millions of people living in “the breadbasket of Europe.” Estimates of how many millions were murdered by Mao range as high as 60 million.
And yet there are still many who insist there are no absolute moral standards, every culture has its own definitions of what is right and wrong and it’s all just a matter of what “works for you.”
All of us have done things to others for which we want forgiveness, but finding it can be difficult for those working in a hyper-competitive environment like Capitol Hill where “what have you done for me today” is heard far more often than “I forgive you.”
This will likely come as a shock to those steeped in the stereotype of Christians as judgmental, overbearing and narrow-minded, but guess who finds it easier to forgive? Married Christian couples, at least according to the results of a recent survey by the Barna Group, one of the nation’s pre-eminent social science research groups.
“For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. Whatever the wording of a couple’s wedding vows, there’s generally an acknowledgment that tough times will come.
You’ve followed up on that job lead from your college friend who now works on the Hill, you’ve prepared a relevant resume, found a good recommender, and you just got invited to meet with the hiring manager.
Now, how do you make the best of that interview? Here are nine tips:
First, there are a few important things you’ll need to do leading up to the interview, but on the day of the meeting, it’s most important that you have the right frame of mind. If you are a Christian believer, you should exercise “confident humility,” as we discussed in my previous post (“Getting In The Door On Capitol Hill”).
This means having confidence in knowing you are loved and accepted by God, while asking the Lord to search your heart for anything that impairs your relationship with Him. Reading and meditating on Psalm 139, or other go-to verses, is an excellent way to accomplish this.
This will give you a measure of peace and tranquility, which prepares you to be relaxed and free from anxiety when you interview.
Check out my Office Hours schedule for this week in the sidebar to the right. If you have questions about Jesus, who described Himself as “the Way, the Truth and Life,” or how things are going in your life or anything else that puzzles you, then come on by.
No appointments necessary and the coffee is on me! Stay as long or as little as you wish. I’ve been in this town since 1976 and have learned some lessons — spiritually, politically and lots of other ways, trust me!— and just might have something of value in the way of insights to help in your search for answers to your questions.
And don’t worry, I’m not a preacher, I understand what Jesus was talking about when he discussed the plank in my own eye, and nothing surprises me. I’m interested in conversation, not confrontation.
Just look for the guy with a Mac Air displaying this cobbled-together logo (And yes, that’s Scotch tape. Hey, this is a low-budget operation!):