Have you ever found yourself needing to extricate yourself from a "sticky" situation? Things are uncomfortable, yet you must redeem the moment.
When I started in ministry, at the beginning of each month, I would sign birthday and anniversary cards for a secretary to mail to people during the month. Usually I would add a PS with something humorous like, "Hope you like the new Lamborghini!" or "Check for $10,000 coming!"
One day I received a call from a close friend who wanted to come by with his wife. When they arrived, they were tearful and gushing with gratitude as my wife and I sat perplexed.
"We just had to come by and express thanks. We've been praying so long for God to supply the down payment for our house. When we read your anniversary card to us citing the $5,000 gift, we were speechless! How can we ever thank you?"
Gulp! Talk about embarrassment and regret.
It was not easy to explain myself and redeem the situation without causing offense. Thank God they were gracious. Something like this ever happen to you?
Recently our president found himself smack dab in the middle of some difficult situations. In the aftermath of a devastating terrorist attack, he needed to consider creative alternatives for pre-planned commitments. It reminded me of President Bush's moment upon hearing of the 9/11 attack while he was reading to children.
If you were an adviser to the president, how would you counsel him? Or, if you were commander-in-chief with the eyes of the world watching, what course of action would you have taken?
Significance of Brussels' Blast
A defiant stake was driven into the heart of the European Union's capital, Brussels, Belgium, with the recent Islamic terrorist attack. Shrapnel, smoke and shock left 31 killed and over 270 injured. Three Americans died.
Convulsions reverberated throughout Europe from yet another savage jihadist attack. Brussels shut down and was at a standstill. Considering the city's population, it was proportionate to America's 9/11 nightmare.
In that dark hour you may recall that European heads of state paused in sober reflection and issued statements of sympathetic support. The Prime Minister of England cut short his vacation to return home while the Queen had our national anthem played ceremoniously in the courtyard.
Considering the optics of the moment and the message sent to the world, did President Obama handle this recent attack correctly?
1. Instead of remaining at a baseball game in communist Cuba, doing the wave, laughing with Michelle, his daughters and Raul Castro, wouldn't a more statesmanlike approach have been to graciously wave to the crowd but make a quiet exit followed by a press conference communicating heartfelt sympathy and support?
Mr. Obama admitted after the horrific beheading of American journalist James Foley in 2014 that he'd made a mistake in simply continuing a golf game. Was this a similar error?
2. Rather than continuing on to Argentina to dance a tango with a sensually dressed Latin lady, wouldn't sensitivity to the seriousness of the hour been better conveyed by refraining from the dance and politely requesting a more subdued participation in the dinner?
3. As cable stations, newspapers and magazines worldwide featured almost daily headlines and pictorials underscoring the gravity of spreading Islamic terrorism, wouldn't it have been better for our President to again not minimize ISIS? Shouldn't he have recognized this spreading jihadist contagion and firmly stated our resolve to vanquish them?
Did Mr. Obama miss a golden opportunity? Unfortunately, he once again brushed them off as "not an existential threat."
Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote a commentary, "Unite to Defeat Radical Jihadism." In it she said, "If you were at San Bernardino or Fort Hood, the Paris concert hall or the Brussels subway, it would feel pretty existential to you."
Islamic Terrorism: Hit the Mark
President Obama said the following days ago: "The number one question I'm getting as I travel around the world or talk to world leaders is 'What is happening in America?'... They understand America is the place you can't afford completely crazy politics."
It's legitimate to question and cringe at what some see as "crazy politics"—pictures depicting a sun-glassed president at a ball game and twirling a Tango, in the immediate aftermath of a horrific terrorist attack.
Isn't it time for everyone to recognize the reality and growing menace of radical Islam? This includes our beloved president.
To help awaken Americans and educate us to "hit the mark" on Islam and 29 other hot button issues of our day, a movement is underway to establish informed influencers in our generation.
The Bullseye Challenge, an innovative initiative endorsed by numbers of America's top Christian leaders, is a resource for pastors, parents, educators, youth leaders and patriotic citizens. The purpose is to equip you to understand and communicate confidently a biblical worldview on Islam and the issues impacting our lives, our families and our future.
This 15-minute, 30-day challenge offers immediately accessible, compelling three-minute videos and an easy-to-read book that changes lives!
As a sample, click on Islam and get the facts on Islam, plus other issues like illegal immigration, climate change, transgenderism, abortion, gay marriage, living together and income inequality.
It's not only our president who must do better but also every one of us. We're at a tipping point, and things can go either way depending on our response.
Larry Tomczak author of 10 books, is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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