My words to President-Elect Obama

I am part of a fascinating project at the Sojourners blog … leaders offering encouragement and counsel to our new president.
My piece begins like this:

As you prepare to begin your historic presidency, I offer you these simple words from another senator of Illinois in whose footsteps you are walking. Abraham Lincoln said, “I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.”
Being a friend to yourself will mean at least four things for you:
First and foremost, it will mean keeping your soul open and connected to God — through prayer, through worship, through fellowship, through confession of your sins and mistakes, through constant thanksgiving, and through a sustained humble attitude of dependence on God. If you seek God’s wisdom, will, and guidance first, you will lead with the same serenity and strength that have brought you this far.

For the rest, go here …
Also, I am part of the On Faith blog, where I posted on “The Maturing of America” – here. My post begins like this …

Over my lifetime, I’ve had the recurring feeling that America was an adolescent nation beginning to come of age. Like a lot of adolescents, our national behavior was erratic, moody, reactive, hostile, defiant. We found ourselves popular, got conceited, broke faith with our best family traditions, made excuses for ourselves, blamed others when things went wrong. We flirted with the drug of war, had some bad trips, pulled back, then relapsed several times. We didn’t know how to handle our money. We bullied our younger brothers and sisters. We got caught in some orgies of torture and other shameful behavior. Yet we thought we were “all that” and found it nearly impossible to admit our failures.
During this election, I felt that our nation was poised between the chance to grow up a little and the chance to prolong its adolescence a little longer. By choosing Barack Obama, I believe, we’ve chosen to mature into a more responsible and humble young adulthood as a nation.