Richard Exley Ministries


Will the Real Michelle Obama Please Stand Up
Posted on August 26, 2008

“My experience tells me that what a person says and does spontaneously usually comes closer to reality than a carefully choreographed performance, prepared by a talented speechwriter.”


As I listened to Michelle Obama’s speech last night at the Democratic National Convention, I couldn’t help but think of something Chaim Potok wrote in The Chosen:  “When his people would ask [my father] why he was so silent with his son, he would say to them that he did not like to talk, words are cruel, words play tricks, they distort what is in the heart, they conceal the heart, the heart speaks through silence.”

Why did that quote come to mind?  Because the Michelle Obama we saw last night was a distinctly different Michelle Obama from the one we had previously seen and heard. Earlier in the campaign she made remarks about her country that can only be described as negative. Some of them were equally misinformed.  For instance she said, “...most American’s lives have gotten progressively worse since I was a little girl.”

Category: Politics

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Substance or Style: My Take on the Faith Forum with McCain and Obama
Posted on August 20, 2008

I wasn’t scheduled to write a blog this week, but the Rick Warren Faith Forum with Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama has generated so much interest that I wanted to weigh in.  First kudos for Pastor Rick Warren for having the vision to stage an event like this.  To my knowledge it is the first time anything like this has ever been done. I especially appreciated his rejoinder to those who accused him of violating the separation of church and state. He said, “I support the separation of church and state but not the separation of faith and politics. Faith,” he explained, “is a person’s world view. It determines how he will make decisions and interpret world events.”

Never have the differences between McCain and Obama been more obvious. Obama went first and he was comfortable, conversational, charming, and even witty at times. When he finished I felt sorry for McCain. I didn’t see how he could top Barack’s performance. Don’t misunderstand me. I am at odds with most of the positions Obama espoused, still I couldn’t help but admire his gifts. He was a very effective communicator but as I told my wife, he seemed to have more style than substance. 

McCain exceeded my wildest expectations and nearly everyone else’s as well. He was decisive! Whether talking about his pro-life convictions, evil in the world or his energy program he was unequivocal. There was no doubting where he stood. And he managed to come across as a caring human being to boot. Is he without flaws? Of course not. No one lives 72 years without making some mistakes. Still when the night was over John McCain was the clear winner. Obama was good but McCain was great!

Category: Politics

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No Easy Answers
Posted on August 12, 2008

“Faith is a factor to be sure but not the only factor and not necessarily the deciding factor. There are other forces at work here, things veiled in mystery...”

While preaching in the Tulsa area this past week-end I bumped into an old friend. Well actually she is the widow of one of my dearest friends. He went to be with the Lord just over a year ago and she is learning to live alone again after more than forty years of marriage and that’s no easy task. She’s a remarkable lady with a gritty faith and an incredible sense of humor. Still the months since her husband’s death have taken their toll and I could see the pain and loneliness in her eyes.

As we talked she asked me if her husband would have been healed if she had had more faith or prayed harder. I responded with a question of my own, “Why do you ask?”

Category: Ministry

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