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Mrs. Rosalynn Carter was laid to rest this week at 96 years of age. She was an admirable woman whose 77-year marriage and partnership with former President Jimmy Carter is downright remarkable.
Mr. Carter is 99 years and has been in hospice for some months, yet he attended his wife’s funeral.
I did not agree with a lot of Mr. Carter’s politics, but I respected his Christian faith, his willingness even at the risk of loss of supporters to work toward a two-state solution in the Holy Land, and his disciplined work ethic. Indeed, his body of work surpassed the prolific Teddy Roosevelt as the most-published former president.
Mr. Carter’s idealism got him in trouble. His hope that if people could dialogue, they’d agree to live peaceably, failed to account for the deceitful nature of the human heart. He was taken off guard by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in the 444-day hostage crisis of 1979-1980.
Leaders must recognize that evil exists in the world. Evil is why George Washington said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace,” why Nobel Peace Prize winner T.R. said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick,” and why Ronald Reagan said, “Peace through strength” and “Trust, but verify.” Hopefully, today’s leaders do not make Mr. Carter’s error as they calculate how to deal with Hamas.
I wish Mr. Carter well but I do not think he will live much longer now that Rosalynn has passed, which is a good thing, soon to meet the Lord and see Rosalynn again.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2023     

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For a lot of kids like me in the 50s, Superman, on black and white TV, was a fav hero. 

“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!” He fought “a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way."

Now it appears Superman is becoming Superwoke. DC Comics announced Superman will henceforth be bisexual, and he’ll now fight for the decidedly bland “Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow.”

Aside from a serious discussion about what morality DC Comics is promoting, this is a bit like celebrities who have some talent but not a lot, so the only way they can make news is to declare some new sexual proclivity. Happens every week.

And rather than find new ways to improve upon the American way, to be PC relevant Superman must ignore nationality and patriotism.

Star Trek’s tweak, “To boldly go where no one (not “man”) has gone before” enriched the franchise. 

This Superman nonsense fundamentally alters the character. And it sadly may happen, Get woke Go broke.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

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All historic and important figures, including those remembered in sculpture and statues, were imperfect sinful human beings.

—King David, the shepherd-poet-king and man after God’s own heart, was a murderer and an adulterer. 

—The great Reformer Martin Luther wrote horrible anti-Semitic pieces, yet he blessed the world with his considerable work and legacy. 

—Thomas Jefferson, maybe the most brilliant President whose Declaration of Independence is a gift to the world, omitted Native Americans, owned slaves, and lived secretly with a Black slave mistress.

—Abraham Lincoln, perhaps the greatest President, preserved the Union and freed the slaves, but earlier in life made a number of racist statements. 

—The great Civil Rights and non-violence leader Martin Luther King, Jr was a serial adulterer, as was JFK. 

So who is without sin? None.

If perfection or purity is our standard, we will honor no one but Jesus.

I’m not sure I can answer when it is reasonable to honor someone other than to say it’s our stewardship to figure it out by making judgments based upon our spiritual discernment (Phil 1:9-11). And given Christian liberty, (Romans 14), we may make different decisions. And in the public venue, it's a matter of lawful democratic process, e.g., to determine what Confederate statue to remove or not to remove. 

As I said, no one is perfect, so while I cut my teeth on Rock n Roll, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Supremes, Sonny n Cher, and many others, there’s a lot about these artists’ lives and character that leaves much to be desired (the case in my life too) and that I could not possibly endorse. 

Same for movies: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Halle Berry are fun to watch, but they aren’t innocents. 

Raise the cultural bar: same for the great masters—Michelangelo, Da Vinci had weird stuff in their lives, but their art is unsurpassed. So it goes. 

It’s the dilemma of human nature, created in the image of God and capable of incredibly noble acts, but sinful hearts capable of ignoble acts of the worst kind too. The crime boss who loves his daughter, the war hero who is a thief, the serial killer who helps take down a drug ring… Same for religious, political, military leaders, some who do great things but one and all who fall short.

There’s something else, repentance and forgiveness. King David wasn’t the man after God’s heart because he lived a perfect life but because he repented, exalted God, and God forgave him. This is what’s missing in some current social movements aimed at making all things right—no room for forgiveness, just outrage; no mercy, just judgment. 

I believe we should live justly and seek justice, but I’m also glad God grants me mercy not the judgment I deserve.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

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I don’t think it’s particularly morbid to pause from time to time to remember those who’ve gone before, people we miss and wish still walked among us.

I have friends who think it’s odd. But for me it’s a walk down memory lane as well as a quiet form of respect I can express one more time for those remembered.

Who you miss says something about you, I guess, but I’m not reaching for the philosophical here. Just good thoughts.

Men influence boys. Again, not reaching for the philosophical; just saying something that seems obvious but is often missed or dismissed today. A few men now gone influenced me. This isn’t an attempt at a complete or even a most important list; just a list of a few who come to mind. Here’re a few men I miss:

-My Grandfathers – both men made huge contributions and impact upon my life. I wish I could know them, now that I’m an older adult.

-Dr. Mead Armstrong – he made a lasting contribution to at least one young mind.

-Ronald Reagan – the man was incorrigibly “up.”

-Uncle Bob – he was a good, hilarious, hard-working man, a life-long friend of my father’s and a highly influential uncle for me.

-Johnny Carson – I can’t affirm his lifestyle and may not have liked him if we’d met. But his talent, intelligence, and finesse as a late-night comedian far surpassed the dumbed-down drivel we’re presented today.

-Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer – I never knew him, but I got to hear him speak once when he was by then weakening and sitting down for the presentation. Few can claim a greater impact on whatever understanding I possess of a Christian worldview. I’ve read all his books long since and still draw upon them. I’ll be forever glad for that one session.

-Jimmy Stewart, James Arness, and Gregory Peck – real men all.

-Herb Corum, Ed Daverman, and Richard Stewart – elder statesmen on the Board when I was a young college president, men who loved the Lord and the school and taught me much.

-Louis L’Amour – who can write a better short Western?

Who do you miss?


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

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It’s springtime and baseball’s back. And fans are once again filling stadiums to watch the boys of summer chase a hardball.

Baseball produces sports heroes and one of the greatest in his day was Mickey Mantle. Those who got to see him play still talk about his athletic prowess. But unfortunately Mickey pursued other interests off the field that changed and eventually took his life. For a time he thought he was invulnerable.

Charlie Sheen is not a baseball player but a Hollywood star. He’s in his 40s, “livin large,” thumbing his nose at the world, and also thinks he’s invulnerable. Charlie could learn from Mickey.

Young Mickey was born to play baseball. By the time he was 20 years old, this strong farm kid from Oklahoma was playing for the New York Yankees. At 25 years of age he’d won baseball’s Triple Crown, leading the league with a .353 batting average, 52 homeruns, and 130 RBIs. By the time he’d finished his baseball career, he’d blasted 536 homeruns, third all-time in his day, had played in 12 World Series (Count them: twelve!), and was one of the most popular players in the history of the game.

But for much of that career Mickey’s lifestyle included unfettered excess: alcoholism, drug abuse, and womanizing—with its associated physical maladies. Eventually it all caught up to him. After a failed liver transplant he died of inoperable cancer at just 63, way too young with way too much good left undone.

Just before Mickey Mantle died, though, he made two memorable choices. He made a video in which he sat in a chair with his emaciated body, looked into the camera, and told viewers about his poor choices. Then he said, “Don’t be like me.” It is one of the saddest yet most compelling videos you will ever see. It’s a summative comment on the results of embracing deficient values and making poor, ill advised, wrong, and truly, insane choices.

Mickey Mantle made one more momentous choice. According to the testimony of his good friend and former major league playing partner Bobby Richardson, Mickey Mantle placed his faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins and therefore was promised entry into heaven. As he lay dying, Mickey asked God to change him from the inside out, to give him a new reason for living and an assurance of his destiny. Mickey Mantle finally got the help he needed. Though his life was near its end, Mickey embraced the Lord and with that commitment a wholly new and transformative worldview.

Mickey’s spiritual decision, real and wonderful though it was, didn’t alter his life expectancy. But had he made this decision years earlier it likely would have. He could have turned his exceptional talents and popularity toward accomplishing something that helped others and blessed him in the process. But he hadn’t, so in a very real sense his life ended too soon with potential unfulfilled.

Charlie Sheen is on this same track. He’s literally burning himself out in front of the eyes of the world—on Twitter, on, maybe eventually back on network television. But however cool, cocky, and bad boy roguish he seems to be to some who voyeuristically follow his every word and deed, he’s spending, a la wasting, his life on excess and narcissistic pursuits.

Behind the Sheen bravado is a scared, scarred, and confused person. Charlie needs a wholly transformed worldview, which as long as he breathes is available to him through rebirth in Jesus Christ.

While Mickey is gone the legacy of his testimony is not. Based on that, I think I know what Mickey would say to Charlie if he could. He’d say, “Don’t be like me.” I sincerely hope Charlie learns from the life and lesson of Mickey Mantle.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

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The successful rescue of Chile’s 33 miners late last evening is an all-too-rare good news story, this one of global proportions. Trapped a half-mile underground for 69 days, the fact their rescue was played out live on worldwide television made it even more dramatic.

The miners’ resilience and their families’ emotional welcome were moving illustrations of human resolve. The crew’s outstanding leadership and well-organized activities underground for the past two stressful months were inspiring. Both the responsiveness and effectiveness of the Chilean government were enough to give one hope that government really can get it right, sometimes.

And three cheers to the rescuers, including particularly the six who descended to the miners’ chamber to help them come back safely to the surface. Needless to say, the world wishes the miners well in their post-traumatic re-entry and healing process.

Of course there are those who find ways to muddy the story. Sure, the miners are human and they’re not necessarily all stand-up guys when it comes to family and fidelity. So with 33 men involved it’s not surprising to discover there may be both wives and mistresses in the mix. What’s more discouraging, though, is to see various world media trying to make some kind of cheap reality program out of whatever moral mess they can find or agitate.

Still, the story is a great one from which books will and should be written. These books will bear some similarity to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated 1914-17 expedition and ship, Endurance, which was trapped in Antarctic pack ice and crushed. Shackleton led his 27 men through extreme hardship to safety with no lives lost, earning for the captain, though mostly after his death, heroic status.

The extraordinary efforts put forth to rescue 33 miners reminds the world once again of the ultimate value of each human life. Everyone matters, everyone deserves dignity and liberty.

There are leadership lessons, as well as disaster prevention and response lessons to be learned here. There’s fodder for fictional plot twists and compelling documentaries. There’re religious and political morals to this story.

Here’s hoping these lessons are learned, stories are told, and these Chilean men go on to other achievements and an appreciation for a gracious God.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

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