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On Monday, September 15, 2008, a very interesting panel of men was assembled and interviewed as a PBS special. The program aired on Friday night, September 19th. The gathering was of past and current White House Chief of Staff. One of the questions that was posed to the men was, “In your opinion, what did you witness and believe was an historic moment for the President whom you served?” Kenneth M. Duberstein, President Ronald Reagan’s White House Chief of Staff replied with two amazing stories. He said that the first had to have been the speech President Reagan gave in which he called for Russian General Secretary Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall.” Mr. Duberstein recounted that after the speech was written, there was great concern over the paragraph that contained that statement. The State Department did not want President Reagan to include that paragraph because it could be too inflammatory. President Reagan decided that it must be said and history now sites that call as an historic moment.


The second story literally blew me away as I heard Mr. Duberstein tell of a later meeting President Reagan had with Mikhail Gorbachev. Mr. Gorbachev and seven members of his cabinet met with President Reagan and seven of his cabinet members. Gorbachev was asking for advice from Reagan on how he could be successful with his attempts to reform the Soviet Union. His programs of Perestroika and Glasnost were faltering. The opposition by the Communist Party leadership was stifling the entire reform progress. President Reagan told Gorbachev that, “… he needed to win the people’s hearts. Spend less on the military and more on meeting the people’s needs…on better housing, food and clothing. If you win the people, you will defeat the bureaucrats.” Gorbachev replied, “That makes perfect sense, it sounds like just what Jesus Christ would have said.” Duberstein then said that when it was reported to the CIA what Gorbachev said, and using the name of Jesus, the CIA said that the reference to Jesus was just a figure of speech. Reagan disagreed. Duberstein then said that a week later Reagan was proven right when Gorbachev went to a Russian church and confessed Jesus as Lord.


When I heard that, I was both amazed and thrilled. Gorbachev was a Christian! What was happening in Russia with the end of the cold war and the dissolving of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Gorbachev was spiritual and led by God. Jesus had touched Gorbachev’s heart and that led to the tearing down of an oppressive stronghold and the introduction of freedom.


It is touted that politics and religion should not mix. The truth is that when they do, miracles happen and people are literally set free. God is at work all around our world. He is working behind the scenes, in people’s lives and setting the stage for amazing things to happen, even in the most unlikely places. If you are feeling anxious about the future, remember that God is on the throne and He still does miracles.

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