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Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:00 PM
When looking for the next big investment boost for Mississippi – both private sector profits and tax revenue – some folks propose the Colorado model: marijuana legalization. It could help blunt budget cuts and as a business be in high demand.  That revenue would still violate federal law making banking difficult and farming on federally insured or loan guaranteed land problematic.
    Jesus said “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Psalm 15 is a commentary on what it means to be pure in heart. It isn’t an exhaustive commentary to be sure, but it does describe virtues that arise out of a heart set on seeking the Lord first.  The virtues in the psalm are not what God finds in us, but what God forms in us after we come to faith.
  • DUNCAN/‘What you must know about the second coming’
    Turn to Luke 17:22-37. There are a couple of things I want you to note about this passage before you read it. First of all, some of your Bibles may not have a verse 36. This is because that verse is not found in some manuscripts. Lest that cause you some problem, I want to set your heart at ease. The Lord has providentially given us thousands of manuscripts of the Greek New Testament. One of the things that comes along with having so many manuscripts is the small variations within those manuscripts that scholars of the Greek New Testament have to wrestle with. In this case, it ends up not mattering because the entire verse is found in the original manuscript of Matthew. So do not be unsettled by this.
  • LOWRY/Trump’s new Watergate?
    In an environment where every day has felt like a month and almost every news cycle has something that the media consider a potentially administration-shaking disaster, we finally have something worthy of the perpetually screaming headlines — a national-security adviser getting fired under a haze of suspicion about his dealings with Russia.
  • BROOKS/This century is broken
    Most of us came of age in the last half of the 20th century and had our perceptions of “normal” formed in that era. It was, all things considered, an unusually happy period. No world wars, no Great Depressions, fewer civil wars, fewer plagues.

    It’s looking like we’re not going to get to enjoy one of those times again. The 21st century is looking much nastier and bumpier: rising ethnic nationalism, falling faith in democracy, a dissolving world order.
  • THRALL/Early returns on President Trump
    During Trump’s surprising presidential campaign, pundits became fond of pointing out that Trump’s supporters took his often-shocking rhetoric seriously, but not literally, whereas his opponents took his rhetoric literally, but not seriously. Today, however, it is obvious that one should take Trump’s words both seriously and literally. In his first month Trump has been busy matching actions to words, temporarily banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations and ordering sanctuary cities to detain illegal immigrants, launching work on the U.S.-Mexican border wall, and preparing to lift the ban on the CIA black sites where the United States carried out “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
  • DUNCAN/‘The Kingdom of God’
    Turn in your Bible to Luke 17:20-21. In this passage we find Jesus correcting the Pharisees’ incorrect ideas about the kingdom of God. It is an idea that even today is hotly debated amongst Christians. Some believe it is an entirely future entity, while others believe we ought to be working to establish it on earth either by reclaiming Judeo-Christian moral norms or promoting social justice in the culture. In Jesus’s day as well there were all sorts of competing expectations about the kingdom of God. Many, including the Pharisees, believed that the kingdom of God would involve the repentance of the Jews, the expulsion of the Romans, and the restoration of the kingship in Israel. Jesus here is responding to precisely that kind of misguided expectation about what the kingdom of God is going to look like. What we find Jesus saying here and elsewhere in the gospels is that, wherever God is truly recognized and honored as King, there you find His kingdom.
    The notes in the NIV Study Bible say Psalm 93 is: “a hymn to the eternal, universal, and invincible reign of the Lord.” This is correct. It is a hymn we should remember. The praise of God’s glory and his attributes is where we find real joy.  If you want to be happy, seek to understand and marvel at the Lord. Studying this psalm is a good start.
  • TANNER/Trump’s prescription problem
    Keeping track of Donald Trump’s shifting policy positions could make even the most balanced of observers dizzy.

    Take, for example, the president’s position on prescription-drug prices. Candidate Trump garnered bipartisan plaudits by criticizing the pharmaceutical industry for the high cost of prescription drugs. Shortly after becoming president, he reached out to Democrats such as Representative Elijah Cummings with a promise to lower drug costs. But not long after that, he met with drug company CEOs and backed away from that promise.
  • LOWRY/Heed the protests
    It’s beginning to look a lot like August 2009 in reverse.

    In that summer of the Tea Party, conservative activists packed the town-hall meetings of Democratic congressmen and peppered them with hostile questions. It was an early sign of the abiding opposition that Obamacare would encounter, and the prelude to Democratic defeats in 2010, 2014 and 2016.
  • BROOKS/Bonhoeffer, Benedict or Ford
    How should one resist the Trump administration? Well, that depends on what kind of threat Donald Trump represents.

    It could be that the primary Trump threat is authoritarianism. It is hard to imagine America turning into full fascism, but it is possible to see it sliding into the sort of “repressive kleptocracy” that David Frum describes in the current Atlantic — like the regimes that now run Hungary, the Philippines, Venezuela and Poland.
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