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VOTE NOW: What should Republicans' Top Legislative Priority Be?
Repeal the ObamaCare individual mandate
Stop the NSA's warrantless spying on Americans
Refuse to reauthorize the Import-Export Bank
Stop the ObamaCare bailouts of insurance companies
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There is no list of all of the federal government’s agencies, bureaus, programs, and projects.
By JIM HARPER SHARE
Public oversight of government and internal managment could both improve dramatically with an authoritative, machine-readable representation of what the federal government is. Right now, there isn’t a list of all of the federal government’s agencies, bureaus, programs, and projects. That’s a big part of why the government is run so badly and so impervious to change. The government is illegible, even to many insiders.
Happily, the Obama Administration recently promised to produce a machine-readable federal government organization chart. And it promised to do so in a matter of months. That’s something the administration can do to leave a lasting legacy and fulfill an important part of his promise of more transparent government, something we touted here in a 2008 policy forum, Just Give Us the Data!
If there is no list of all the federal government’s agencies, bureaus, programs, and projects how can there be any transparency or accountability?
Depression or Despair
The apostle Paul had some experience with depression, but he
always made a comeback. He wrote about being content in every
situation, whether hungry or satisfied, with plenty or with nothing.
Jeremiah lived in a state of despair most of his life. King Jehoiakim
cut Jeremiah’s scroll into shreds and burned it (Jeremiah 36).
However, God told Jeremiah to write it again (actually dictated to
the scribe Baruch)—a long, hard job in 600 bc. Jeremiah suffered
near-death prison time in a cistern with water up to his neck—an
early version of water boarding? In Lamentations 3, he expressed
his bitter feelings. Hope faded. But a new day dawned when
Jeremiah discovered that God’s mercies are new every morning.
He wrote that man needs to wait for God’s deliverance. With God’s
help, we too can get through tough times.
1. Genesis 27:46; 28:1–5.
Why was Rebecca depressed about her son Jacob? Who helped
her? How can we help people with difficult decisions avoid despair?
2. Numbers 11:10–17.
Why did Moses feel depressed and blame God for his troubles?
What did he ask God to do? What answer did God give Moses?
How can we apply this story in our own lives?
3. Numbers 21:4–5.
Why were God’s people impatient and upset? Why did they blame
God and criticize Moses for their predicament? Why were they in
the desert in the first place? What daily routines today can be
4. Joshua 7:5–12.
What did Joshua do in this stressful, daylong experience?
What was his regret? What was God’s answer?
5. 1 Kings 19:1–8.
Why was Elijah in the desert? What did he want God
to do to him? Have you ever felt like Elijah? How do bad
experiences sometimes bring about good decisions?
6. Psalm 142:1–7.
Who will listen to our complaints? What bad can happen
when we are in the right place? What is our resource when
no one seems to care about us?
7. Jonah 4:1–11.
Why did Jonah say it would be better for him to die?
Did he need a new focus? What would happen to our
depression if we obeyed God?
8. Matthew 27:46.
What did Jesus say as He was dying? Why did it feel like
God had left Him? If Jesus could be depressed, this would
certainly be the time.
9. Luke 15:20–21.
What brought on the depressed state of the prodigal son?
When a person’s friends and money are gone, will
depression be the natural outcome? What is the solution?
10. 2 Timothy 4:10, 16–17.
Did Paul sound depressed in these verses? If your friends all
forsook you, how would you feel? What help did Paul find?
What is our hope in desperate times?
From 102 Fascinating Bible Studies by Preston A. Taylor
About the Author (2010):
Preston A. Taylor is a retired pastor and missionary to Argentina. He received
his BD and ThM degrees from Southwestern Baptist Seminary and his DMin
from Luther Rice Seminary. For the past 25 years, he has written a weekly
devotional message for newspapers in the towns where he has served as
pastor. Dr. Taylor currently lives in Zapata, Texas.
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