Twenty-two years a girl was born with undeveloped optical nerves and mild cerebral palsy. She was not expected to live more than at most one year. But God had other plans for her. At age two she began to sing. Her love for singing praises to God has never ceased. And so, in God’s providence she was chosen to sing at the 2017 inauguration interfaith prayer service. And sing she did! Her name is Marlana VanHoose, a little girl, but with a voice.
Meanwhile, the media was busy tracking the protest rallies all around Washington that day. I watched all day and never saw it.
How did the audience that was privileged to watch react? It is worth to listen to it a second time, this time around watching the reaction of the public in attendance, notably Melania Trumps reaction.
After the song Melania led the standing ovation to acknowledge God’s grace, not only for the song, but for the whole day and for the whole presidency.
This is what give us evangelicals hope. She not only sang it, she also sang the third and fourth verses, so often omitted in public settings, especially in interfaith services. Why is that so important?
Let us look at the history of “O store Gud”, and how it came to be the most favored Hymn of at least three presidents before Donald Trump!
Clouds have always been my fascination. They come and go, form and disappear, cool by day and warm by night. But most impressive of all are thunderstorms, forming when the temperature and humidity are high, transport a lot of water vapor to higher elevations, there condensing as rain or ice, coming down, cooling and watering the earth. Clouds and thunderstorms are the thermostat of the earth. Without it the earth would respond like climate models, predicting a sharp temperature rise as carbon dioxide levels increase. The models are all flawed, since they predict a hot spot in the troposphere over the equator, but there is none. The thunderstorms in the tropical doldrums take care of that. “Settled science” instead has settled on ignoring the lack of the hot spot, for to acknowledge it would make the global warming claim invalid.
I thank God for providing us with a thermostat that protects the earth from overheating, and especially for thunderstorms!
Such was the case in July 1885, when Carl Boberg, a 26 year young pastor of a small congregation of the Swedish Missionary society was the honored guest of the ladies’ auxiliary annual picnic, held in a meadow near Mönsteråsviken, (a bay of the Baltic Sea in southeastern Sweden). The day was perfect, the sky was clear, pleasant temperatures, the cows were grazing on the meadow, the birds were singing, in short, a pastoral idyll. Then it happened. In a few short minutes thunderclouds appeared out of nothing. There was no time to go home, so they all sought shelter in a barn close by. The rain came down hard, and lightning struck a nearby tree. Then as suddenly as it started the rain stopped and all was calm. In Sweden it turns much cooler after a thunderstorm, and the birds sing like they got a new lease on life.
They all went home, and the young pastor pondered the events of the day. He
heard the Coalthrush singing its melodic, beautiful drill and in a distance he heard the church bells ringing from Kronobäck’s church. The bay was calm like a mirror, and inspired he started penning the song “O store Gud”. Here is the first verse:
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the works Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
He continued to write and write of all the mighty works that God has made and what He has given us through His word, and continued long into the night. Before going to bed he had penned over twenty verses. The next Sunday he wove the poem into his sermon. They all loved it, but that was about it. Slowly the word got around the poem was pretty good, after much editing down 9 verses were published in the local newspaper Mönsteråstidningen in 1886. Carl Boberg didn’t make any efforts to publish it further, and was surprised when he heard it sung a few years later to a Swedish folk melody (in 3/4 tempo). This was then published in the periodical “Sanningsvittnet” (witness of the truth) in 1891.
It was translated into German by an Estonian, Manfred von Glehn. Five years later it was translated into Russian by Ivan S. Prokanoff, the Martin Luther of modern Russia. It was published in a book with the title “Cymbals”.
Later, while in the Carpathian Mountains of what is now Western Ukraine the English Missionary couple Hine heard the song sung in Russian, this time as a wandering song in march tempo. He got impressed by God’s great works in the Polish mountains, and as Stuart Hine heard the people singing it on their way to church he penned a translation. This become the second verse:
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
From now on the English version is different than the Swedish original. This is the origin of the third verse: It was typical of the Hines to ask if there were any Christians in the villages they visited. In one case, they found out that the only Christians that their host knew about were a man named Dmitri and his wife Lyudmila. Dmitri’s wife knew how to read — evidently a fairly rare thing at that time and in that place. She taught herself how to read because a Russian soldier had left a Bible behind several years earlier, and she started slowly learning by reading that Bible. When the Hines arrived in the village and approached Dmitri’s house, they heard a strange and wonderful sound: Dmitri’s wife was reading from the gospel of John about the crucifixion of Christ to a houseful of guests, and those visitors were in the very act of repenting. In Ukraine (as I know first hand!), this act of repenting is done very much out loud. So the Hines heard people calling out to God, saying how unbelievable it was that Christ would die for their own sins, and praising Him for His love and mercy. They just couldn’t barge in and disrupt this obvious work of the Holy Spirit, so they stayed outside and listened. Stuart wrote down the phrases he heard the Repenters use, and (even though this was all in Russian), it became the third verse that we know today: And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin.
The second world war broke out, and the Hines were forced to return back to England, but they continued their ministry. The fourth verse was was added by Stuart Hine after the Second World War. His concern for the exiled Polish community in Britain, who were anxious to return home, provided part of the inspiration for Hine’s final verse. Hine and David Griffiths visited a camp in Sussex, England, in 1948 where displaced Russians were being held, but where only two were professing Christians. The testimony of one of these refugees and his anticipation of the second coming of Christ inspired Hine to write the fourth stanza of his English version of the hymn. According to Ireland: One man to whom they were ministering told them an amazing story: he had been separated from his wife at the very end of the war, and had not seen her since. At the time they were separated, his wife was a Christian, but he was not, but he had since been converted. His deep desire was to find his wife so they could at last share their faith together. But he told the Hines that he did not think he would ever see his wife on earth again. Instead he was longing for the day when they would meet in heaven, and could share in the Life Eternal there. These words again inspired Hine, and they became the basis for his fourth and final verse to ‘How Great Thou Art’:
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”
The complete song was soon published, not in England but in the Soviet Union (in English). The famous Gospel singer George Beverly Shea got hold of it, liked it a lot, but he wanted to change two words in the first verse: Instead of works, he wanted to use worlds, and instead of mighty he wanted to use rolling. Very reluctantly Stuart Hine agreed, but only for use in the Billy Graham Crusades. It was first sung in Canada in 1955. It became so popular that in Billy Graham’s 1956 New York Crusade it was sung at all 99 events, and from there the song spread out through all the world, even back in Sweden where the new version became the popular one. One of the visitors to this Crusade was the little boy Donald Trump, who went with his Father and Mother and Brother (and Sisters?) to listen. God’s word never returns void.
The Federal Government maintains a list of its citizens, the state governments don’t. Judicial watch has made an investigation of the registered voters and found that eleven counties had more voters registered than the number of eligible voters. Here is a list of them:
County Vote Vote % eligible Clinton/
—————— Clinton Trump registered Trump
Los Angeles 1,893,770 620,285 144 3.05
San Diego 567,243 386,807 138 1.47
San Francisco 312,445 34,493 114 9.06
San Mateo 192,035 47,627 111 4.03
Solano 94,622 48,712 111 1.94
Yolo 34,460 13,178 110 2.61
Santa Cruz 85,185 20,158 109 4.23
Monterey 64,733 26,378 104 2.45
Stanislaus 73,939 72,960 102 1.01
Imperial 23,887 9,318 102 2.56
Lassen 2,224 7,574 102 0.29
11 Co. Total 3,344,543 1,287,490 2.60
Rest of Calif 2,514,062 1,391,229 1.81
All Calif. 5,858,605 2,678,719 2.19
This compilation is remarkable in so many ways.
California has 3.4 million resident aliens (green card holders and special visas). They are not eligible to vote. They also have about 3 million illegal aliens (obviously not eligible to vote)
California has motor voter registration. They issue driver’s licenses to, not only resident aliens but also to illegal aliens. All they have to do to be registered to vote is to check a box indicating they are eligible. No check for its validity is performed.
Los Angeles County is the capital of illegal aliens, so it comes as no surprise that since they now have driver’s licenses and thereby by extension are made eligible to vote, the ratio of 1.44 between registered voters and lawfully eligible voters comes as no surprise.
Silicon valley has more resident aliens than other areas of California, so it is no surprise they have registered voters exceeding eligible voters.
There is one small county located way up in North East California, Lassen County which voted heavily for Trump. It has only two major employers, two state prisons and one federal prison. Could Lassen County have registered ineligible prisoners?
This calls for a thorough investigation if the integrity of voting means anything.
The Russians are good hackers. They hack and sell passwords, hack and demand ransom to restore computers, hack for industrial and military espionage, I could go on. They have been doing this since the internet started. The lower level hacking, such as Podesta’s e-mails, is usually done at the cottage industry level, the more sophisticated espionage is controlled centrally.
But Russia is not the only hacker. China is much more prolific, at least as sophisticated, and has the goods on all U.S. citizens (more than 20 million) with top secret or secret clearance, and all government employees.
There are two types of corporations in the U.S. Those that have been hacked, and those that don’t know yet they have been hacked.
Other actors are North Korea, Iran, Nigeria, and many US allies.
Are we innocent? Hardly. Here is a snapshot of one day in the world of cyber attacks
When all these hackings were starting the Bush Administration did very little to combat it. The Obama administration did even less as hackings grew in numbers and level of sophistication. By doing nothing, he gave away trillions of dollars worth of intellectual property, and jeopardized our security.
Now, after losing the election Obama wakes up and expels some some Russian diplomats from two compounds that have been doing mostly industrial and military espionage since the 70’s.
Way to go, Obama. First you used U.S. taxpayer money to try to prevent the re-election of Israel prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu won in a landslide.
Then you went to London and said “If the U.K. voted to leave the E.U, Britain would be left back in the queue”. Brexit won convincingly.
You campaigned hard for Hillary Clinton and ridiculed Trump as much as you could. Trump won in an electoral landslide.
Now you think you have found the culprit: Putin’s Russia.
At least Trump is forming a group to report within 90 days how to handle cyber security in his administration and for the whole country. It won’t be easy or cheap, but it must be done to preserve freedom.
First they lost the election by concentrating on the wrong states.
Then they lost the recount. Trump gained more votes in Wisconsin than Hillary, and in Michigan they stopped the recount after they found massive voting fraud in Detroit. In Pennsylvania they refused to recount, did not want to open up a can of worms in Philadelphia.
Then they tried to sway the electoral college. Hillary had 5 Faithless Electors, compared to Trump’s 2. It can not get more embarrassing than that.
Did Hillary Clinton really win the popular vote? Let’s look at the result.
Popular vote total: Trump: 62,958,211 Clinton: 65,818,318 Advantage: Clinton: + 2.8 million
Popular vote total outside California: Trump: 58,474,401 Clinton: 57,064,530
Advantage Trump: + 1.4 million
California total vote: Trump 4,438,875 Clinton 8,753,788 Advantage Clinton + 4.3 million
Donald Trump got 11% fewer California votes than John McCain did in 2008, but Hillary Clinton got 6% more votes than Obama did eight years ago. ( the number of registered Democrats in the state climbed by 13% over those years, while the number of registered Republicans declined.)
California is the only state, in fact, where Clinton’s margin of victory was bigger than President Obama’s in 2012 — 61.5% vs. Obama’s 60%.
This may be because many Republicans in the state had nobody to vote for in November.
The candidates to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer were both Democrats. There were no Republicans on the ballot for House seats in nine of California’s congressional districts.
At the state level, six districts had no Republicans running for the state senate, and 16 districts had no Republicans running for state assembly seats.
So, many perceived California as a one party state, and had no choice but to vote Democrat.
I worked for a while on the 2010 census, and it was an eye opener. We count people, not citizens. We count citizens, resident aliens, temporary work visa aliens, aliens with expired visa, illegal entry aliens, illegal entrants from countries who do not require a visa, in short everyone that does not state they are just tourists here very temporary. This census then serves as the basis for allocating congressional seats. California has an estimated 3.3 million illegal aliens and 3 million legal resident aliens. Most of the legal resident aliens and about half a million of the illegal aliens have drivers licenses. Many of the aliens with expired visa have a driver’s license issued to them when they were here legally.
The time comes to renew your license and one question on the application is: Would you like to register to vote? If you do not x the box they may think you are here illegally so you do. This brings up another form where they ask if you are a citizen. The form cannot be completed unless you complete this box. It is my suspicion that more than one of the millions of illegal aliens and resident aliens have obtained a voter registration. If any of them went ahead and voted, then any precinct that had an illegal vote should be eliminated from being counted due to voter fraud.
But in an interview in the Hispanic media President Obama more or less promised nobody will ever check your eligibility.
RODRIGUEZ: Many of the millennials, Dreamers, undocumented citizens — and I call them citizens because they contribute to this country — are fearful of voting. So if I vote, will immigration know where I live? Will they come for my family and deport us?
OBAMA: Not true. And the reason is, first of all, when you vote, you are a citizen yourself. And there is not a situation where the voting rolls somehow are transferred over and people start investigating, et cetera. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential in terms of who you voted for. If you have a family member who maybe is undocumented, then you have an even greater reason to vote.
It is time to clean out the voter rolls of not only dead people and people registered in more than one state, but also clean it from illegal voters. And if anyone has voted illegally, this act alone should be cause for immediate deportation. This may cause some disruptions in production and providing quality service, since many are very productive and otherwise good people, but our election process must be held to the highest standards.