Carter the Prophet

“In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption.  Human identity is no longer defined by what one does but by what one owns.  But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning.

It has been called a speech that should have changed history.   Thirty years ago President Jimmy Carter gave what at the time seemed a successful speech.   He noted that the problems the country was facing — an energy crisis, an economic recession, and a question of confidence after a failed foreign policy venture in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon — required a national renewal of purpose.  The speech was inspirational, but later pilloried for as the “malaise” speech, contrasting Carter’s supposed pessimism with Ronald Reagan’s optimism.

Carter had the fate of any prophet of doom — he was quickly pushed aside by the optimists who said nothing is wrong, we can keep moving onward and upward!  And within years, as oil prices dropped (ending the concern about dependence on foreign oil — at least for awhile) and the economy rebounded (albeit through increased debt and foreign goods from abroad), Carter’s warning was forgotten.  President Reagan took the solar panels off the White House and dismissed Carter’s call for a national renewal, including Carter’s claim that we had become overly materialistic and risked severe consequences if we didn’t change our ways.

Carter was prophetic.   Even though he wasn’t able to follow through and bring the change needed, in part due to actions of his administration, in part because of the nature of American capitalism, his speech rings true today.

In that speech, Carter offered a course of action the country should now reconsider:

First of all, we must face the truth, and then we can change our course. We simply must have faith in each other, faith in our ability to govern ourselves, and faith in the future of this Nation. Restoring that faith and that confidence to America is now the most important task we face. It is a true challenge of this generation of Americans.

….

We are at a turning point in our history. There are two paths to choose. One is a path I’ve warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure.

All the traditions of our past, all the lessons of our heritage, all the promises of our future point to another path, the path of common purpose and the restoration of American values. That path leads to true freedom for our Nation and ourselves. We can take the first steps down that path as we begin to solve our energy problem.

(Read the whole speech)

Carter left office in 1981 with very low approval ratings.  The country had fallen into recession after the oil spike in 1979, Americans had been held as hostages in Iran at the US embassy for over 400 days, as our former ally had become a foe with the overthrow of the Shah.

1979 stands as a pivotal year, with the Iranian revolution in January, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December.   The decline in the ability of the US to use military power to shape events had been shown in Vietnam, and it appeared that the hegemony of the post-war era was over, America was in decline.  Carter offered a way out.   He called for a massive effort to develop alternative sources of energy and move towards energy independence.  He called for a “rebirth” of the national spirit.  Instead, the country embraced the superficial but seductive optimism of Ronald Reagan.

The journalist Walter Lippmann once talked about what came to be known as the “Lippmann gap,” the gap between national commitments and the ability to follow through on them.   Carter was essentially saying that we were suffering from that kind of gap, and would have to pull together and work as a community to set things right.   Ronald Reagan effectively dismissed the idea of there being a gap, and we embraced the “you can have it all” mentality.

In 1979 our total debt was 30% of GDP, about $640 billion.  Our budget deficit that year was $28 billion.   Now we have total debt of $12 trillion, and a deficit of over a trillion dollars.   In 1979 we had the capacity to change course, we were in relatively good economic shape fundamentally, but needed to react to growing economic imbalances caused by a new trend of increased global interdependence — what would later be called globalization.   Oil prices fell dramatically in the early eighties, and that gave us the chance to balance economic health with a concerted effort to keep our economy productive (e.g., save the steel industry, invest in infrastructure) and achieve energy independence.   It would not have been easy, we’d have had to deal with some lean years in terms of economic growth and spending, but we’d arguably have been able to create a sustainable and environmentally friendly long term economic future.

Instead, we partied!   Run up the debt!   Consume, consume, consume!   Bigger cars, more stuff, and stay close to the Saudi royal family so they supply the cheap oil.    Yup, those were a fun thirty years.   We enjoyed a bubble economy where it seemed easy to get rich, stock market increases promised everyone an early and wealthy retirement, and cheap credit with low (observable) inflation that made it seem like there were no dark clouds on the horizon.   We therefore didn’t save for a rainy day (US saving rates reached zero in 2006), and entered a series of wars to boot (Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq again).

So here we stand, the problems of 1979 didn’t go away, we just hid them by consuming and borrowing, making wars and losing clout, responding to crisis much like the old Roman Empire did — refusing to confront the need for real change until too late.  In 1979 the decline could have been turned around.  President Obama claims we still can — but he has to claim that, doesn’t he?   Perhaps we can, but the price will be higher, and the pain (real pain of people out of work, earning less, losing homes, not being able to pay for college, having stresses that tear apart families — not just metaphorical pain) more intense than if only we had listened 30 years ago.

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  1. #1 by Anon on July 16, 2009 - 00:27

    I like how you completely ignored the collapse of the nuclear industry as an alternative source of energy. I suppose that was Reagan’s fault as well?

    Also, Carter was no prophet. Every president before him and every president after him has made similar statements about over-consumption. Carter just had the misfortune of being an amazingly poor president whose policies exacerbated the problems every president faces.

  2. #2 by Scott Erb on July 16, 2009 - 00:42

    Anon, the Reagan administration rejected Carter’s call for national renewal and started us on an orgy of debt, over-consumption and loss of production. The choices made in the early 80s (continued by both parties) have been a disaster. The numbers speak for themselves. Carter was right, Reagan was wrong.

    Also, if the President can control the nuclear industry, then Reagan has to share blame with Carter, or even take more of it. After all, he came after Carter.

  3. #3 by Anon on July 16, 2009 - 01:23

    My point about the nuclear industry is that it was (and is) a currently functioning and viable energy source. No other alternative energy can make the smallest dent in our energy needs. It was Leftists who destroyed the chance for a functioning alternative energy for the past 30 years. You completely ignore that and instead blame cheap oil.

    As far as a “national renewal,” it was meaningless talk. The Reagan administration took action to revive the economy that had been micromanaged by the Nixon and Carter administrations.

    And your repetitive cries against Reagan and his massive expansion of debt is ridiculous considering your support of Obama’s super-massive expansion of debt.

    What has been wrong about the administrations for the past 30 years is their acceptance of congressional budgets that never cut a government program once it’s created.

    If you want to blame deregulation, then you need to point out some actual deregulation acts that led to our current problems. It’s just an easy Leftist talking point to keep yelling “deregulation” without backing it up.

  4. #4 by Scott Erb on July 16, 2009 - 01:45

    Anon, I am not opposed to nuclear energy, I just don’t think you can blame Carter. The point about Reagan (and both parties — it’s not just the GOP) is that we had a managable debt and deficit, and now we have an utterly unsustainable economy. Rather than invest in maintaining productive capacity, we went into hyper-consumption mode via cheap foreign goods, bought with money imported from foreign countries (China often sending us money knowing we’d use it buy their goods). The policies started in response to the last recession, during the eighties, were the exact wrong way to go. I noted this back last July, before the current crisis was obvious: http://scotterb.wordpress.com/2008/07/15/the-economic-storm/

    I also have had mixed feelings about Obama’s spending. We do need to restructure, and an investment in restructuring might pay off. On the other hand, I am very concerned that this won’t work this time — we could get away with it in 1982 because our starting debt and deficit levels were so low, and the US was relatively stronger in the world. Now high deficits could produce a weaker dollar and stagflation at home. As I note in the post “Economic Heresy” a couple days ago, we have to make hard choices. I’m not sure if Obama will follow through. I think we have to make real budget cuts, including large military cuts, reflecting the depth of this crisis. I think we have an untenable health care system, especially as the population ages and retires. This isn’t a GOP vs. Democratic issue; in fact, the silly debates and name calling that goes on between the two may seem childish when people look back in a few years.

    I hope I’m wrong. I hope we get a recovery like some are now predicting, that allows us to quickly pay down debt, and we can restructure relatively painlessly. But I doubt it. As a country — and I can’t blame just Reagan or the GOP, even if it sounded that way — we choose the easy way. Consume, borrow, and not consider the consequences. And despite optimism in many quarters now that the worst may be over, I think the worst is yet to come.

  5. #5 by Anon on July 16, 2009 - 02:16

    I never tried to blame Carter for our lack of nuclear power. I blamed Leftists — the same group that dreams we can get sustainable power out of solar, wind, etc., but forced us to abandon a functioning alternative energy. You only want to blame cheap oil (which you predicted would continue to skyrocket, btw).

    As far as name calling between parties, I’d note that last summer you were talking about the rich waging “class warfare” against the rest of the country.

    I also think the worst is yet to come with our economy because Obama’s policies are doing everything to stifle the growth of small business owners (i.e. the “rich” making over $250K). We are in for a painful 4 years.

  6. #6 by Scott Erb on July 16, 2009 - 02:27

    I do think there are real class differences, and that wealthy actors have the power to structure the system to their advantage. I don’t recall saying “class war.” Oil prices are down thanks to lower demand. We’ve reached peak production, but that was not enough to give cheap oil to everyone when the boom was still going. Economic contraction caused a drop in prices — in a commodity like oil with inelastic demand and stable production, any change in demand can cause dramatic swings up and down to reach the new equilibrium. Get out of the recession, you’ll see sky high oil prices again.

    Otherwise, you seem very much caught up in the partisan ‘politics as sports’ or ‘one side good, other side bad’ mentality. That blinds people from really analyzing the reality and thinking self-critically as well as other-critically. And, while you may blame Obama, neglecting the policies (from both parties) that brought us to this point seems irrational. This crisis started in late 2008, and is based on thirty years of economically unsustainable practices. And costly and unnecessary (yet deadly) wars we’ve started have also hurt.

  7. #7 by Anon on July 16, 2009 - 03:18

    I’m only “caught up in the partisan” mentality to balance your Carter lovefest. Since you conveniently ignored the decline of nuclear power in order to blame Reaganites for ignoring Carter’s plea for unsustainable energy sources, I pointed it out. Since you want to pretend that Carter is the only president to preach about energy independence, I called you out on that as well. Finally, you never bother to point to any specific policies “that brought us to this point.” You merely repeat leftist talking points. That’s meaningless.

    You have a habit of presenting only facts and ideas that are consistent to your point of view. That’s fine. But when someone challenges those views, it is only he that is partisan, not you. It must be nice to own the monopoly on unbiased thought.

    • #8 by Scott Erb on July 16, 2009 - 03:39

      The policies that brought us to this point are clear. After the last recession the Reagan administration chose to ‘borrow and spend,’ and undertook not to rebuild infrastructure, but instead to shift our current account surplus to a huge deficit, as the US shifted away from production to over-consumption. These policies were, as noted, bi-partisan. The same kind of argument about these economic imbalances has been put forth by anti-Obama anti-government spending libertarian types such as Peter Schiff. They believe the market can rebalance all these wrongs, I’m not so sure.

      You say “Carter lovefest,” but I think history will look back at Carter’s plea and wonder what hardship might have been spared if we’d started then to make necessary changes, rather than partying for three decades and then having to correct huge imbalances.

  8. #10 by Henitsirk on July 16, 2009 - 03:30

    I’ve always admired Carter personally, though I was too young when he was president to understand really how he performed.

    Your phrase “pull together and work as a community to set things right” reminds me of what I’ve seen of WWII domestic propaganda (and I’m not using that word pejoratively but rather descriptively as a government activity) to inspire Americans to work together and to sacrifice for the greater good. You’d think that would have been the kind of rhetoric Reagan would have embraced!

    As for nuclear power, I’ll always be skeptical of the long-term problems, particularly waste “disposal”. Any industrial process that creates that kind of toxic waste can’t be sustainable. And while I recognize that other alternative energy technologies have often-hidden high environmental costs, such as the mining of exotic metals needed for solar panels, I think it behooves us to invest in these technologies so that our energy sources are more diversified. The lesson there is that you can’t get something for nothing.

    • #11 by Scott Erb on July 16, 2009 - 03:41

      Nuclear isn’t a panacea anyway. There are limited uranium supplies (I think Iran has a lot, which is why they see nuclear power as their post-oil future), and the problems you mention are real. France gets a good 70% of it’s electricity from nuclear energy and that gives them benefits. They are also leading the fusion research. But when the age of oil is over, which is probably sooner than most of us hope, that will entail another very difficult transition — nothing else is a quick replacement.

  9. #12 by Anon on July 16, 2009 - 17:04

    Nixon the Prophet…

    Richard Nixon to Congress on Feb 10, 1970:
    “I am inaugurating a program to marshal both government and private research with the goal of producing an unconventionally powered virtually pollution free automobile within five years.”

    Nixon’s Project Independence in 1974:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,943755,00.html

    “Let this be our national goal: At the end of this decade, in the year 1980, the United States will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need to provide our jobs, to heat our homes, and to keep our transportation moving.”

    Carter was no prophet.

  10. #13 by Scott Erb on July 16, 2009 - 19:47

    You don’t get it, Anon. The point is that this wasn’t just a policy — calls for policy change come and go — Carter focused on values, noting the effect materialism, consumerism, and the loss of confidence Americans had created the real crisis. We could choose either the path of self interest or fragmentation, he stated, or the path of renewal. We choose wrong. Face it, history will remember Carter far more fondly than it will Reagan. It’s already moving strongly in that direction. Watch the speech. Carter was the real conservative, he was talking values, hard work, and national purpose. Reagan supported just cutting taxes (but not spending) and high debt. It appeared to work in the short term, we are seeing the long term consequences (and yes, Democrats and Republicans both grasped that ‘prosperity on the cheap’ idea).

  11. #14 by Anon on July 16, 2009 - 20:18

    So pretty words repeating the same things every president says trump his failed policies? You really are in love.

  12. #15 by Scott Erb on July 16, 2009 - 20:25

    Except the point is that he was not saying what other Presidents had said, quite the contrary. He laid out a stark choice relating to our values as a nation. We should have listened to the wise one, rather than the actor saying “no effort, no worry, just pay less taxes and all will be fine.” Here’s a link to a book I just ordered, and you may find interesting: http://www.amazon.com/What-Heck-Are-You-President/dp/1596915218/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247775820&sr=8-1

    I also just got done watching a link sent to me with the author of that book on the Colbert report:

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/232490/june-30-2009/kevin-mattson

  13. #16 by Anon on July 16, 2009 - 21:13

    Reagan didn’t say anything like that. If you can only raise up Carter by misrepresenting Reagan, then your point is lost.

  14. #17 by Scott Erb on July 16, 2009 - 21:53

    You think I’m misrepresenting Reagan? Readers can decide.

    • #18 by Anon on July 16, 2009 - 23:02

      Or you could provide a link to a speech of Reagan’s that supports your claim.

  15. #19 by John H. on July 17, 2009 - 02:51

    Anon,
    No thinking person would think Scott was directly quoting Reagan…it was a paraphrase. Are you disputing that Reagan cut taxes, borrowed outrageously and ran up the national debt?

    Were the 80s so long ago that you don’t remember Reagan’s legacy?

    • #20 by Anon on July 17, 2009 - 03:22

      I didn’t accuse Prof. Erb of quoting Reagan directly. That’s why I wrote, “Reagan didn’t say **anything like** that.” I am disputing that Reagan ever said or implied that the nation didn’t have to put forth effort or worry, and that lower taxes would make everything fine.

      If you pay attention to what Prof. Erb writes, you’ll find that he often mischaracterizes what other people have said. He like to use strawmen arguments.

      You’ll notice that Prof. Erb mixed truths about Reagan’s policies with untruths about Reagan’s message. And Prof. Erb completely ignored messages from previous presidents (which is why I gave a couple of Nixon quotes). He did that to make Carter look better than he really was. If Carter’s messages were no different than any other president, then Carter is left with only his failed presidency.

  16. #21 by Scott Erb on July 17, 2009 - 03:41

    Well, when our anonymous commentator is not engaged in ad hominems against me, he ignores the fact that Carter’s challenge is not the same as what other President’s were saying, and, really, doesn’t address the issues at hand. If you have something of substance to say, Anon, make a cogent argument, without ad hominems and considering other arguments. Otherwise, your comments will not be welcome here. Discussion includes listening, not just pontificating.

  17. #22 by Anon on July 17, 2009 - 13:42

    You continue to avoid posting what other presidents have said. You are the one pontificating. I have made an argument by providing other evidence to counter yours (i.e. Nixon statements). When you provide evidence to support your claim about Reagan’s vision, then you will be doing something other than pontificating.

  18. #23 by Scott Erb on July 17, 2009 - 14:32

    There is no reason for me to post what other Presidents have said, since what they said is irrelevant to my post. Your response has been to post only policies from Nixon, which was not the point about Carter — it wasn’t the policies, it was his statement about the crisis of confidence in the country, the rise of consumerism, and the need for national renewal. And even if Kennedy or Eisenhower (who was prophetic about the military industrial complex) said something similar, that wouldn’t disprove my claim. That would be like saying “you say Daniel was a prophet, but Isaac also said similar things.” In short, you have made no argument against my post.

    As far as Reagan is concerned, you’ve not answered my point that it’s not rhetoric that matters, but real economic results, and I’ve given you the stats of how as oil prices declined, boosting the economy anyway, the Reagan years were filled with increasing debt, and a shift away from production to consumption (rising current account deficits). I said Reagan’s message was to lower taxes unleash the American potential — and not to call for hard work. If people don’t believe that, that’s fine — I don’t have to prove it. That’s how I read his a core part of his message from my vantage point of being a Political Scientist, and having worked in DC (for a Republican Senator) during part of the Reagan years. If that, plus the reality of the economic results of Reaganism isn’t enough to convince you, that’s fine by me.

    Now, if you continue to refuse to deal with the real issues and just repeat things about the rhetoric of other Presidents, or with ad hominems, I will have to assume that you are an anonymous troll and not approve your posts.

    • #24 by Anon on July 17, 2009 - 15:56

      Argument from authority? OK.

      • #25 by Scott Erb on July 17, 2009 - 17:50

        Technically an argument from authority requires one claim authority proves ones’ point. I’m saying “here’s what I believe, readers can decide if they agree or not, and if you don’t, that’s all right.” That, to be sure, was on the small point of what Reagan’s approach was (I said I believe he was focused on less taxes and cutting regulation, but that’s my belief, if you disagree, that’s cool).

  19. #26 by notesalongthepath on July 17, 2009 - 16:12

    Holy moly, talk about having a communication! I just wanted to post about how much I admired President Carter and his ability to touch the heart, to make us want to do and be better people.
    But now I’d like to add that all of the things that cause us to choose and protect “sides,” are the very things that undermine our ability to pull together and move forward as a country. It’s not about who’s right or wrong, it’s about caring for each other, our neighbors, our cities, our states, our country. Together, no matter what happens now, we can get through these really tough times by un-choosing sides, by seeing how much we all truly have in common.

    • #27 by Scott Erb on July 17, 2009 - 17:42

      Well, put — it is easy to get caught up in the emotion of an argument and lose sight of what matters. Thanks for the reminder.

  20. #28 by Mike Lovell on July 17, 2009 - 16:16

    I have to disagree on one point you made…about the declining ability of the US to use military power to shape events. In fact the use of military power has always had a sustaining effect of shaping events, not just in the U.S. sense, but since the beginning of warfare history in any area or empirical reigns.

    The problem with considering Vietnam as a military failure is a myth. Militarily we were winning battle after battle, campaign after campaign. The problem was not with the military or THEIR planning, but the political “minds” that decided what was to be and where. That conflict was entirely a political fiasco. From the Gulf of Tonkin incident all the ay through McNamara’s reign over military and foreign policy in the region.

    Would the end result of Vietnam’s Communistic fate have changed? I don’t know. It could very well be that Vietnam would be in perpetual detente, as the Korean peninsula is today.

    The problem with “failed” military interventions throughout our history have been the political entanglements of ‘enlightened’ individuals with high personal aspirations and egos to match. And it is this same mentality that within the military’s top ranks that overshadow the truth of events, such as the Marine’s being the overwhelming force in Fallujah in ’04, when in fact they found themselves encumbered amongst themselves while the Army infantry units moved much more effectively into the city, and fought often harder battles with no fanfare.

    • #29 by Scott Erb on July 17, 2009 - 17:39

      Mike, I think we agree more than disagree (correct me if I’m wrong).

      My point in using the term “shape events” is to distinguish between winning wars and military operations (we had the Iraq war won within a month), but actually shaping political outcomes and structuring the international system. The reasons are twofold (primarily): a) to shape outcomes to fit our interests usually involves economic, cultural and political activities that either are outside the military’s responsibility, or are made more difficult by the emotions caused by warfare; and b) the amount of activity needed to achieve the outcomes is more costly than the American public are willing to pay (or now, maybe even can pay). In Vietnam it was clear that any gain potentially made by staying there and creating a long term detente didn’t seem worth the cost in human lives or the instability in the US political system. I mean, Johnson wanted to win — he gave Westmoreland more and more troops, quickly reaching just under 600,000. The North had patience, supply routes through neighboring countries (who also didn’t fare well in the aftermath of the war), and commitment. We were asking “what’s really in this for us?”

      Americans like quick, easy wars without ambiguity. Those are rare these days, especially in areas where American interests are most intense. It’ll be interesting to see how Obama handles Afghanistan. He seems to be listening to his military advisors, hopefully they are of the kind who will give good advice.

      • #30 by Mike Lovell on July 17, 2009 - 18:04

        Yes, Johnson did give Westmoreland the troops, but I question his overall commitment. Again I must say I’m not much of a conspiracy buff, but you have to consider a couple points on that issue. Why didn’t he reign in McNamara, and give the go ahead on American intervention north of the DMZ. We had troops marching straight for Hanoi, with Generals giddy about the opportunity to reign terror there, bombing runs on targets of little importance or effect in the long run (taking out supply centers, active NVA military installations in the north, or [i hate to say it] populated areas) such as abandoned warehouses and the like.
        Consider the military contracts on choppers tied to the family of Johnson’s wife and the economic boon personaly it meant to fight a protracted war, with heavy chopper losses in hot LZ’s.
        The General’s and other area commanders did a fantastic job given the circumstances of overall planning conducted back here in the states by a bunch of egg-headed politicos who stymied the full force our military could have brought to bear upon the NVA and the North Vietnamese government, whose commitment and patience you mention I don’t doubt one bit. They were a cunning foe, and pretty effective with the guerilla tactics when full confrontational warfare was proven ineffective against the willful American military machine.

        As for quick wars, yeah I have to agree with you there. That’s all the American public, and thusly most politicians are willing to take. Clean technological warfare with minimal losses. Unfortunately, this isn’t the truth of real war. Gulf War 1, was mostly clean, due to intimidation factor of the mighty US army, backed up by almost complete Arab support of Kuwait’s plight, and that we merely freed Kuwait, and avoided total confrontation of Iraq, which we opted for as a government this time around. (whew..that was a run-on sentence wasn’t it?!?!?)

        Like economic situations, military ones must be very direct, and pose longstanding and complete order to be truly effective, if that makes any sense.
        The technology war has bolstered optimism amongst our enemies, as they see the media as a way to fuel our weak-stomachs towards war causing us to press for a quick end, as well as perceiving a sense of cowardice that we don’t fight more old-fashioned, man to man frontal ground wars.
        World War II, was more or less the last of the ‘manly wars’ in a historical sense. Everything changed after that. In a sense it was the second, and last, war to end all wars- as we knew them anyways.

  21. #31 by Mike Lovell on July 17, 2009 - 18:15

    oh i forgot to mention also….on the military shaping things, I still sort of stand my ground.
    I believe all military interventions either bolster, or change many of the categories you mentioned. Sometimes its based on the overall outcome, othertimes, its based on sub-results over the course of the action, regardless of the ‘winner’ of such events.
    The Soviets had to change many policies, not just militarily, due to their Afghan incursion. Likewise, there were mixed civilian-military events all over China, that caused major economic policy changes. Norht Korea’s military activities, while still sort of on the “cold war” style, have caused foreign policy shifts with their natural Chinese allies, and American preparatory measures as well, which muddy the political waters all over the place, as well as militarily.

  22. #32 by Sarah on July 17, 2009 - 18:59

    Hi Scott, President Carter has always been a hero of mine. He is the first president I really remember. He made an impression on me as being a real person who seriously cared about us and not just politics. I think remembering this speech now,is extremely appropriate. What’s really interesting is that it totally ties in to your blog from Tuesday about individual and national identity. But, you may have intended that.

  23. #33 by kingsley owen on September 11, 2009 - 15:56

    Dear pastor or men of God,
    compliment of the season, i am kingsley owen by name from Nigeria which i am very much interested in your church cos back in africa the talent that God bless me with is not been inproved sir i need ur help

  24. #34 by Mike Lovell on September 11, 2009 - 16:04

    Wow Scott,
    I almost forgot about this post. Didn’t realize it was also a church, congrats Professor Pastor!! LOL

  25. #35 by kingsley owen on September 11, 2009 - 16:21

    compliment of the season, brethren and sister in lord, i greetings u all,ok i am kingsley owen by name which is interested as a member and also to part of this ministry and work for the church also to traning me too for me to put in the talent that God has giving me in life and also to fullfile destiny too

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