Awakening: How America Can Turn from Economic and Moral Destruction Back to Greatness by Ralph Reed

Available March 18, 2014

Are we watching our nation commit suicide? Is America, like a modern-day Roman Empire, doomed to moral decay and demise?

In his new book, Awakening: How America Can Turn from Economic and Moral Destruction to God’s Blessing, Ralph Reed reveals how the United States has abandoned its founding principles and spiritual heritage. Yet Reed, adviser to the Bush-Cheney campaigns and former executive director of the Christian Coalition, believes better days are ahead for our nation. This book, featuring practical action points and a bold pro-family plan, provides a road map we can follow to restore America back to God’s blessing.

Find out how to re-energize our call to effective citizenship and revive America’s core values of faith, personal responsibility, and liberty. As the 2014 election cycle approaches, Awakening is a timely plea for people of faith to spark a spiritual and moral awakening that will reverse the cycle of destruction, renew our country, and see God heal our land.
Ralph Reed is founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. He was senior advisor to the Bush-Cheney campaigns in both 2000 and 2004, and chairman of the Southeast Region for BC04. As chairman of the Georgia Republican Party he led the GOP to its biggest victory in history, helping to elect the first Republican Governor and third U.S. Senator since Reconstruction. Reed is chairman and CEO of Century Strategies, LLC, a public relations and public affairs firm. As executive director of the Christian Coalition from 1989—1997, he built one of the most effective public policy organizations in recent political history. He is the best-selling author and editor of five books. He and his wife, Jo Anne, live near Atlanta, Georgia. They have four children.

Ralph Reed on Meet the Press

Ralph Reed, the Founder and Chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, joins the Round Table on Meet the Press.

Vedic astrology and Barack Obama ~ Sam Geppi


Obama is a Capricorn, so his ruling planet, Saturn is going through his 10th house and is getting eclipsed. Also, Mercury retrograde has been challenging his to change and adjust. –

On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned about Serving the Common Good ~ Jim Wallis

“My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side.”–Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln led America through one of the most tumultuous times in our nation’s history. Reading his words today, it is clear we still have much to learn concerning what it means to be on God’s side.

Bestselling author, public theologian, and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis speaks directly into our current context, revealing the spiritual compass we need to effect lasting change in our society. He explains how the good news of Jesus transforms not only our individual lives but also our public lives. Jesus’s gospel of the kingdom of God helps us recover a personal and social commitment to the common good and shows us–in concrete ways–how to be both personally responsible and socially just. Working together, we can reshape our churches, society, politics, and economy.

Releasing in the wake of the 2012 election cycle, this book seeks to move beyond the current media and political warfare and bring together a divided country. Wallis explores how Jesus’s agenda can serve the common good, what it takes to sustain a lifelong commitment to social justice, and how reading the Bible as well as the culture can shape our lives for genuine transformation.

Contents

Part 1: Inspiring the Common Good
1. A Gospel for the Common Good
2. The Lion, the Word, and the Way
3. Who Jesus Is and Why It Matters
4. Lord, Help Us to Treat You Well
5. The Good Samaritan Goes Global
6. The Beloved Community Welcomes All Tribes
7. Surprising Our Enemies
Part 2: Practices for the Common Good
8. Conservatives, Liberals, and a Call to Civility
9. Redeeming Politics
10. Economic Trust
11. A Servant Government
12. Making Things Right
13. Healthy Households
14. The World Is Our Parish
Epilogue: Ten Personal Decisions for the Common Good
Index

Click here to browse inside.

New York Times best-selling author Jim Wallis thinks our life together can be better. In this timely and provocative book, he shows us how to reclaim Jesus’ ancient and compelling vision of the common good — a vision that affects and inspires not only our politics but also our personal lives, families, churches, neighborhoods, and world.

On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good

New York Times Bestselling Author Jim Wallis discusses the themes of his latest book, On God’s Side.

Special thanks to Matt Willingham for extra video footage.

Rediscovering Values On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street – by Jim Wallis [updated Feb 15, 2013]

A moral compass for the new economy—one that will guide us on Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street.

When we start with the wrong question, no matter how good an answer we get, it won’t give us the results we want. Rather than joining the throngs who ask “When will this economic crisis be over?” Jim Wallis says the right question to ask is “How will this crisis change us?”

The worst thing we can do now, Wallis tells us in Rediscovering Values, is to go back to normal. Normal is what got us into this situation. We need a new normal, and this economic crisis is an invitation to discover what that means. Here are some of the principles Wallis unpacks for our new normal:

• Spending money we don’t have for things we don’t need is a bad foundation for an economy or a family.
• It’s time to stop keeping up with the Joneses and start making sure the Joneses are okay.
• The values of commercials and billboards are not the things we want to teach our children.
• Care for the poor is not just a moral duty but is critical for the common good.
• A healthy society is a balanced society in which markets, the government, and our communities all play a role.
• The operating principle of God’s economy says that there is enough if we share it.

In this wide-ranging discussion of the moral issues raised by our deep and wide economic crisis, Wallis argues that change needs to come from families, communities, and our whole society. These kinds of changes are never quick or easy solutions but, rather, long-term shifts that we must choose and rechoose every day.

The Great Recession: A Spiritual Crisis – Jim Wallis
The Great Recession is not just an economic crisis, it is the result of a loss of values, a moral crisis. And to say that it is a moral crisis is also to say that it is a spiritual crisis. At the center of most religions is the question of who and what we worship? Where is our deepest allegiance?

So the Great Recession bears some “religious” reflection, as the market has gradually become all pervasive–a replacement for religion and even for God. It is the Market now that now seems to have all the godlike qualities–all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful, even eternal–unable to be resisted or even questioned. Performing necessary roles and providing important goods and services are not the same things as commanding ultimate allegiance. Idolatry means that something has taken the place of God. The market can be good thing and even necessary; but it now commands too much, claims ultimate significance, controls too much space in our lives, and has gone far beyond its proper limits.

Idolatry comes in a lot of different forms. Today, it is much more subtle than bowing down to a golden calf. It often takes the form of choosing the wrong priorities, trusting in the wrong things, and putting our confidence where it does not belong.

Today, instead of statues, we now have hedge funds, mortgage-backed securities, 401(k)s, and mutual funds and, for some, bonuses. We place blind faith in the hope that the stock indexes will just keep rising and real estate prices keep climbing. Market mechanisms were supposed to distribute risk so well that even those who were reckless would never see the consequences of their actions. Trust, security, and hope in the future were all as close to us as the nearest financial planner’s office. Life and the world around us could all be explained with just the right market lens. These idols were supposed to make us happy and secure, and provide for all our needs. Those who manage them became the leaders, to whom we looked, not just for financial leadership, but direction for our entire lives. That is indeed idolatry.

Rich and poor alike were sucked into making heroes out of those who seemed to be able to turn everything they touched into gold. Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel lost virtually all of his personal wealth and his foundation’s, up to $37 million, to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. “We gave him everything, we thought he was God, we trusted everything in his hands,” Weisel said.

The market even has its priests, pastors, rabbis, imams, and shamans. These money and market commentators translate the often confusing signals of the Dow, international currency exchange rates, or futures indexes and tell us all what they mean and how they should act as a result. Sometimes they preach famine and the retribution of the market for the sins of the people, and other times they praise the market and the feast it provides. Those who question the market “god” are called heretics and lunatics and are burned at the stake on conservative talk radio.

In claiming the power to define what is real and true, and bowing to no limits beyond itself, the market now claims “a comprehensive wisdom that in the past only the gods have known,” according to theologian Harvey Cox. And like a god to be feared and worshipped, we now can even know the market’s moods on a daily basis–moody, angry, restless, or satisfied. And to even question the market’s “high priests” and their declarations is now to commit heresy. The worship of this false god, The Market, has become quite ecumenical. Across denominational and faith persuasions, herds of us are bowing down to the doctrines and dictates of The Market.

But this crisis presents us with an opportunity, not just to be smarter and more prudent about our economic lives, but to change something much deeper–to reject the idolatry of our market worship, to expose the idols that have ensnared us, and to reduce “The Market” to simply “the market,” asking the market to again serve us, rather than the other way around. According to John Deere CEO, Bob Lane, the market is to be “a means, and not an end.” That’s good theology.

Indeed, it could be that the religions of the world might help lead the way here, challenging the idols of the market and reminding us who is God and who is not–a traditional and necessary role for religion. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world, and they that dwell therein,” say both Christianity and Judaism: it does not belong to the market. Let us also remember that human beings are merely stewards of God’s creation; not its masters. And we humans are the ones who preside over the market–not the other way around.

And despite our differences, the religion of the market has become a more formidable rival to every religion than we are to one another. But together now, we could challenge the dominion of the market, by again restoring the rightful worship of God. The market’s false promise of its limitless infinity must be replaced with the acknowledgment of our human finitude, with more humility and with moral limits–which are essential to restoring our true humanity. The market’s fear of scarcity must be replaced with the abundance of a loving God. And the first commandment of The Market, “There is never enough,” must be replaced by the dictums of God’s economy; namely, there is enough, if we share it.

For people of faith, there is another question: What is a Christian, Jewish, or Islamic response to a deepening economic crisis like this? What should people of faith be thinking, saying, and doing? What is the responsibility of the churches, synagogues, and mosques to their own parishioners, to their communities, to the nation, and the world? And where is God in all this?

What do pastors, lay leaders, activists, and practitioners say about creative opportunities and new solutions that could come out of all this: the possibilities of mutual aid, congregational and community credit unions, and new cooperative strategies for solving problems like health care, housing, and even jobs. How can an economic crisis reconnect religious congregations with their own communities? How might a crisis be an opportunity to clarify the mission of the faith community?

One good example of a response is the Vineyard Church of Columbus, Ohio. On Palm Sunday, Pastor Rich Nathan told his congregation, “We want to help families and individuals who have lost their jobs by taking a special offering.” The collection that followed was an amazing surprise to everyone – raising $625,000! The church is now using these funds to provide resources, coaching, counseling, and networking events to assist people with securing employment; to both its members and the wider community.

And at a larger level, the basic teachings of our faiths, from our many traditions, offer useful correctives to the practices that brought us to this sad place. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount instructs us not to be anxious about material things, a notion that runs directly counter to the frenzied pressure of modern consumer culture. Judaism teaches us to leave the edges of the fields for the poor to “glean” and welcome those in need to our tables. And Islam prohibits the practice of usury. And the core religious values of simplicity, stewardship, humility, patience, and modesty are now just what we need.

This is already a time of great anxiety for many. But it could also be a time of prayerful self-evaluation, redirection, and even new relationships with others in our congregations and communities, with our families and children, and even with our God.

Click here to browse inside.


Bestselling author Jim Wallis on his new book, Rediscovering Values on Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street argues that the economic crisis affords us an incredible opportunity to rescue our culture from commercialism and create a moral social order. Wallis provides a moral compass for our new emerging economy.

God Is Red by Liao Yiwu

When journalist Liao Yiwu first stumbled upon a vibrant Christian community in the officially secular China, he knew little about Christianity. In fact, he’d been taught that religion was evil, and that those who believed in it were deluded, cultists, or imperialist spies. But as a writer whose work has been banned in China and has even landed him in jail, Liao felt a kinship with Chinese Christians in their unwavering commitment to the freedom of expression and to finding meaning in a tumultuous society.

Unwilling to let his nation lose memory of its past or deny its present, Liao set out to document the untold stories of brave believers whose totalitarian government could not break their faith in God, including:

The over-100-year-old nun who persevered in spite of beatings, famine, and decades of physical labor, and still fights for the rightful return of church land seized by the government

The surgeon who gave up a lucrative Communist hospital administrator position to treat villagers for free in the remote, mountainous regions of southwestern China

The Protestant minister, now memorialized in London’s Westminster Abbey, who was executed during the Cultural Revolution as “an incorrigible counterrevolutionary”

This ultimately triumphant tale of a vibrant church thriving against all odds serves as both a powerful conversation about politics and spirituality and a moving tribute to China’s valiant shepherds of faith, who prove that a totalitarian government cannot control what is in people’s hearts.

Liao Yiwu was born 1958 in Sichuan, and is a Chinese author, reporter, musician, and poet. He is a critic of the Chinese regime, for which he has been imprisoned, and the majority of his writings are banned in China. Liao is the author of The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories, China from the Bottom Up and God Is Red: The Secret Story of How Christianity Survived and Flourished in Communist China.

In 2003, he received a Human Rights Watch Hellman-Hammett grant, and in 2007, he received a Freedom to Write Award from the Independent Chinese PEN Center.
HARDtalk: Liao Yiwu 1

Stephen Sackur talks to Liao Yiwu, writer and musician, about his time in prison and his work depicting China’s underclass.
HARDtalk: Liao Yiwu 2

Stephen Sackur asks Liao Yiwu, writer and musician, about his feelings towards his country.

HARDtalk: Liao Yiwu 3

Stephen Sackur talks to Liao Yiwu, writer and musician. Has his struggle for freedom become lost in modern day China?

THRIVE: What on Earth Will it Take? by ThriveMovement

About THRIVE: What on Earth Will it Take?

THRIVE is an unconventional documentary that lifts the veil on what’s REALLY going on in our world by following the money upstream — uncovering the global consolidation of power in nearly every aspect of our lives. Weaving together breakthroughs in science, consciousness and activism, THRIVE offers real solutions, empowering us with unprecedented and bold strategies for reclaiming our lives and our future.

INTERVIEWS in THRIVE

Duane Elgin, Nassim Haramein, Steven Greer, Jack Kasher, Daniel Sheehan, Adam Trombly, Brian O’Leary, Vandana Shiva, John Gatto, Deepak Chopra, David Icke, Catherine Austin Fitts, G. Edward Griffin, Bill Still, John Perkins, Paul Hawken, Aqeela Sherrills, Evon Peter, Angel Kyodo Williams, Elisabet Sahtouris, Amy Goodman, and Barbara Marx Hubbard.
AVAILABLE in 10 LANGUAGES

In order to make THRIVE accessible to a worldwide audience, the movie has been dubbed in 9 additional languages: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.

The Greatest Truth Never Told:45.30 Reasons To Get Out Of Real Estate Part1 46. 30 Reasons To Get Out Of Real Estate Part 2 47.The Shock of a New Paradigm 48. Our Great Depression

46. 30 Reasons To Get Out Of Real Estate Part 2

47. The Shock of a New Paradigm

48. Our Great Depression

TheGreatestTruthNeverTold: 41. You Make Plans They Make Plans 42. The Duck Dinner 43. The Rigged Game 44. Confiscation and Inflation

Conspiracy.

42. The Duck Dinner

43. The Rigged Game

44. Confiscation and Inflation

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