WORKING ON THE HILL: They Made The Transition From Being Staffers To Members Of Congress

Excellent story today on The Washington Examiner by Naoimi Lim on former congressional staff members who went back home, ran for Congress and won. There are also some former Members who came back as staffers.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), former chief of staff to Sen. John Cornyn

“At a personal level, going from staff to member, the hardest thing is to not staff yourself. I drive my staff crazy because I expect certain things. That’s the hardest part: try to just turn the keys over to that and just go do my job,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) told Lim.

Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), former press secretary for Rep. John Linder.

Roy was Sen. John Cornyn’s chief of staff before returning to the Lone Star State and winning the House seat previously occupied by Rep. Lamar Smith for many years. He and other Members who have made similar moves have a lot to say about the unexpected challenges with which they found themselves dealing.

“As a staffer, you fight to defend your member, you only work for one person, and you’re fighting to protect and serve that one person. As a member of Congress, you have 700,000 bosses back home that you’re fighting to protect,” Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) told Lim. He was press secretary for then-Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.).

Definitely want to read this if you are now or have ever before thought about seeking to become a Member of Congress after serving on the staff of a senator, representative or congressional committee.

THINK ABOUT THIS: You Are A ‘Poiema’ (That’s A Great Thing To Be, By The Way!)

There is a passage in the New Testament that is among my favorite in the entire Bible and that’s saying something, considering that the most widely read literature in all history is more than 1,000 pages in length and includes 66 discrete books written by about 40 people over a period of thousands of years.

The passage is Ephesians 2:8-10. Ephesians was written by Paul to a church in Ephesus, in present-day Turkey, where he had invested three years of his life leading and teaching the church he planted there:

Pages in the New Testament book of Ephesians.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Continue reading “THINK ABOUT THIS: You Are A ‘Poiema’ (That’s A Great Thing To Be, By The Way!)”

How To Be Confident Christianity Nails It On All The God Questions

Christian apologists like J. Warner Wallace, the famous NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective, speak to lots of college and high school groups and they often get the most penetrating questions from the students.

Such was the case at the recent Grounded Youth Apologetics Conference hosted by the Donelson Fellowship in Nashville. A student noted that Wallace had spoken of how he believes Christianity “fits” science better than religions like Islam and Hindu and asked him why the others don’t.

Wallace answered by pointing out that religions, including even those like Deism,  may well fit with much of science, but stopping there “doesn’t get you to Christianity. The strength of Christianity is determined by the strength in the historical record regarding the claims of Jesus.” Christianity rests upon real events. Continue reading “How To Be Confident Christianity Nails It On All The God Questions”

Blessed By New Friends From Real America

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.

Evan, center, and Kelly Bryan, right.

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.

Have You Bowed Down To Your Smartphone Yet Today?

If the question posed in the headline above strikes you as curious or confusing, you aren’t alone. I was initially puzzled by the headline on the essay that prompted this post, too.

Fr. Dwight Longnecker. Screen shot from his personal website.

Fr. Dwight Longnecker was in Italy recently where he paused to look around at the throng of people and noticed how “the universal ubiquity of the smart phone hit home. Everybody has one. Chinese tourists, American sightseers, Muslim women in burkhas, children and old women, beautiful Italian teens, thugs with tattoos, and charming African nuns.

“Everybody has an iPhone and everybody has their nose stuck to the screen. Not only are their noses stuck to the screen, but there seems to be an odd obsession with taking photographs of everything all the time. (Remember when you only had 24 or 36 shots in a roll of film?)” Continue reading “Have You Bowed Down To Your Smartphone Yet Today?”

HARD FACTS: Americans, And Most Everybody Else, Too, Are Becoming More Religious Today, Not Less

Two books every congressional aide should read, closely.

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 reality is made crystal clear by the data and analyses found in the two remarkable recently published books seen in the photo above. Continue reading “HARD FACTS: Americans, And Most Everybody Else, Too, Are Becoming More Religious Today, Not Less”

THINK ABOUT THIS: A Letter From King David To Us In 2019

Imagine what we might be told if the most famous among the ancients like Socrates, King David of Israel or Alexander the Great  had been able to sit down and write us letters of advice, based on their experiences.

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Louis Markos, Professor of English and Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University, has an idea of what David would tell us and The Imaginative Conservative has published what makes for a fascinating read.

Here’s a sample:

“Earlier, much earlier, the Lord took me from the sheepfold and brought me to the court of King Saul. He even helped me to slay the dread Goliath with my slingshot.

“Well, immediately, I started spinning glorious scenarios of what the next few years would bring. I saw just how the story would unfold, with Saul giving me his daughter, making me his son and heir, and praising my name before all the people.

“It didn’t quite go the way I had mapped it out in my head. I confused the Lord’s plans with my own. I would do that quite a bit in my life.”

Go here for the balance of David’s “letter” to us from 3,000 years ago. And here’s to hoping the good professor will apply his impressive skills to others among the ancients.