- - Thursday, February 16, 2017
First, in World magazine’s “Pledges of protection,” J.C. Derrick helps us think through the question: “After fulfilling major campaign promises regarding abortion and the Supreme Court, will President Trump stand up for religious liberty?”
… But Trump has sent mixed signals on religious liberty: Early indicators and reports of pushback within the administration suggest Trump is taking a less assertive approach to the issue. Among more than a dozen conservative Christian leaders interviewed, most expressed confidence that the president will fulfill his religious liberty promises in due time, yet some acknowledged creeping skepticism.
“I’m still optimistic, but all the way through the election, this was the one issue that was his weak point from a Christian conservative perspective,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal group. “I think he needs more information and more advisers to give him the lay of the land on this issue.”
Next, Christianity Today reports that President Trump’s refugee ban has led to layoff within Christian refugee agencies.
Three weeks after President Donald Trump issued an executive order temporarily stopping refugees from entering the country, a major evangelical refugee resettlement agency announced plans to shut down 5 of its 27 locations nationwide and lay off more than 100 staff members working there.
World Relief announced Wednesday evening that it would close offices in Boise, Idaho; Columbus, Ohio; Miami, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; and Glen Burnie, Maryland. These five locations had resettled 25,000 refugees.
…“How do we sustain our network?” World Relief president Scott Arbeiter asked in an interview with CT days before the executive order became official. “When you turn off the refugee flow completely for four months, that means you’re trying to carry all the infrastructure that you’ve developed over decades—great people with expertise and experience with these areas—how could we keep them on the payroll?”
Third, you will really enjoy Jackie Gingrinch Cushman’s piece, “Washington and Lincoln Acknowledged God as Source of Power.

This Presidents’ Day, instead of buying a new appliance, read George Washington’s Farewell Address and Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.
The two speeches provide insight into my two favorite presidents. Both presided over our country during times of vast change and both put their country before themselves. It would be hard to imagine our country being formed without George Washington’s presence, or being saved without Abraham Lincoln.
Both presidents referenced “providence” and “God” extensively. They understood that they were part of a bigger plan and worked to do their part. Lincoln wrote about being an instrument in the hand of God.
…Will we hold up our Constitution and take warning from Washington of partisanship, debt and foreign intrigue? We will remember Lincoln’s words that “human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are for the best adaptation to effect his purpose?” Will we strive to finish our work while remembering we are but an instrument in the hand of God?
As the new Trump administration moves forward, they may want to take pause, pray, and reflect on how their actions and reactions will shape our future as a country.
Finally, take four minutes to watch E.W. Jackson talk about “A Christian Response to the Immigration Issue.”

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