Headlines from the New York Times for Thursday, March 16, 2017
Who Wins and Loses in Trump’s Proposed Budget – President Trump released a partial outline of his 2018 budget on Thursday, proposing billions of dollars in spending cuts to most government agencies to pay for large increases in military and homeland security spending, resulting in a 1.2 percent cut in discretionary spending over all.
The E.P.A. is among the hardest-hit agencies. The budget calls for the elimination of about 3,200 staff positions — over 20 percent of the department.
The government would cut back its regular contribution to the U.N. and would pay no more than 25 percent of the cost of U.N. peacekeeping operations.
President Trump wants to scale back on a number of job training programs, including those aimed at helping seniors, disadvantaged young people and unemployed Americans.
The budget makes significant cuts to the department’s spending, by eliminating $4.2 billion in community services programs like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
The budget would eliminate the Community Development Block Grant Program, which funds local improvement efforts and anti-poverty programs, and cut funding for rental assistance and homeownership programs and affordable housing initiatives.
Readings from Isaiah Isaiah 29.9-14 for Thursday, March 16, 2017
There is no greater motivation to listen to God today than the thought that there may come a time when you will no longer be able to hear his direction for life. If we lose contact with God, we become like an airliner in the fog that has lost radio and radar contact.
Isaiah presents both the cause and the dilemma of the nation’s problem in Isaiah 29.13-14. He writes: “The Lord said: Because these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote; so I will again do amazing things with this people, shocking and amazing. The wisdom of their wise shall perish, and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.”
A manipulative, pushy salesperson reveals the truth that self-interest is at the heart of his or her sales presentation. In the same way, if our self-interest in at the heart of our communication with God, we cannot expect to receive anything from the process of worship and prayer but more darkness in our soul.
Prayers for Thursday, March 16, 2017
Dear God, we ask that you cause us to be dead to the things that produce death. We ask that you grant us a repentance that allows us to become as little children, by surrender, by faith that works by love, love that produces obedience. We ask that you help us to walk in the ways you have ordered for us and that we accept your direction joyfully. May we be fully aligned with your purposes and plans for us. We pray this for ourselves and for the leaders of nations.