Saturday 25 May 2024

What Happened to Our Country?

I've had one of those pesky headaches that never seems to go entirely away all week. The one with the blurrier vision--since I have very dry eyes and my insurance won't cover the eye drops that work best--the nausea that makes the very thought of food unappitizing and the loss of motivation when it comes to doing anything more thought-provoking than working in my flower gardens. I seem to be able to put the most annoying thoughts aside when I'm rescuing plants from noxious and vigorous weeds, like the fast growing Morning Glory that grows a good six inches overnight. The weed and feed I put on the lawn earlier this year seemed to make it hardier than ever and it can spread faster than any weed I know of. 

I love to feel the warmth of the sun on my body as I work until it gets too hot to even be outside. That's seventy degrees for me if I'm doing anything more strenuous than lounging in my recliner hammock because I sweat a lot. It's also the place where I work out my frustrations with the harsh realities of daily living, the minor inconveniences that seem like gigantic mountains until they're resolved and difficult people who test my patience to the max. It's also where I go to try to solve the world's problems without the global elite forcing their decisions on me.  Getting along as persons who share the same planet seems easy enough to me if we would just follow the Ten Commandments, the God-inspired Constitution and the Beatitudes. But then I'm a Christian, a patriot and a woman who will always believe in God, country, family and a border that protects our liberty and our identity as a people and a country.

That certainly puts me in a precarious position right there with the other 50% of the country who is as tired as I am of being branded as racist, homophobic, traitorous and every other awful sounding jab the left makes as it tries to reassert its dominance and pressure us into keeping quiet.  But that's rather hard to do when my heart breaks every time I read the headlines on Fox News. Like I've mentioned before, I gave up mainline media's supposed news coverage after Covid because all the anchors do is read from a script that covers up what we should know while trying to indoctrinate us into believing that the left and their insane policies, rules and laws are beneficial to Americans. 

Everything they profess just makes me wish more strongly that there was some way I could return to the values I grew up with. I loved feeling safe, being able to provide for my family without going into credit card debt, honoring my country and the heroes it helped create, knowing I wouldn't be bullied or prosecuted if I used the wrong pronoun or objected when murderers, rapists and thieves were set free to commit more crimes. I also liked having neighbors with basically the same values and cultural heritage so we could understand each other and actually get along. Being able to worship freely without fear of retaliation by those who believe in nothing but doing what feels good was also a huge plus.

Now I know it wasn't all sunshine and roses after World War II in which both my father and my mother actively participated. Money was tight, but we had pride in our country and for the most part were willing to work incredibly hard for everything we had. There were no government handouts to people who lived in the country on farms. We had to make it on our own. I had school clothes and play clothes--which is a kind way of saying work clothes--since there was always something that had to be done. We kids didn't particularly like doing chores like bucking hay, changing water on crops or feeding and herding unruly animals both before and after school but we did it because it was expected and there were always consequences if we refused. But I digress because even with all the hardships and deprivation of being a poor, white farmer's daughter, I learned to value what was good, wholesome and worthwhile. Things that have long since been discarded by a great many people who live here.

I suppose that leads me into what I want to share with you today. It's about the United Nations and how they're pushing towards having the entire world under their control. The thought terrifies me, but until I read a book with a chapter about the UN in it I had little to back up the unease I felt just hearing the name. My first serous thought about what they really stood for began a few years ago when a huge building was given to them in a city less than forty minutes away from where I live. In Utah of all places since it has always been a huge conservative state until very recently. That was fodder enough for speculation but when citizens of our own country were told by armed guards that it was off limits to American citizens my mind began to race.

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann in the last chapter of their book Here Come The Black Helicopters! give some great insight. They begin by explaining how the radical globalists and their environmental allies are determined to get their hands on America's wealth any way they can and give what they don't keep for themselves to third world nations to help them deal with climate change. Reading what countries are willing to do to each other to get what they want isn't easy. But it certainly offers greater clarity as to why our legislators keep passing bills that give trillions of dollars of borrowed money to enemy nations while neglecting the most basic needs of suffering Americans. All the time knowing that they are leaving the 50 percent of our country who actually pay taxes to foot the bill, along with generations of their posterities. 

According to the authors, "the UN doesn't hide its goal, income redistribution, noting that 'it is high time that governments re-examine the basic redistributive role of taxation to ensure that wealthier individuals and the financial sector contribute their fair share of the tax burden.'" But taxing us to add more money to the coffers of other nations and global elites doesn't compute with our fundamental sovereign rights. "Ever since the Magna Carta, the principle has been honored in democracies of 'no taxation without representation.' To backslide on this rule in order to line the pockets of third world dictators is a very dangerous and bad idea."

After that disheartening introduction, Morris and McGann ask a few simple questions. "Would such rule be democratic and freedom loving or autocratic and arbitrary? Would it be fundamentally honest, albeit with a few bad apples, or would it be governed by rulers who were intent on stealing and plundering their way to mega-wealth? Would it be respectful of human rights or ride roughshod over them like happens in many parts of the world?" 

It's one thing for those on the west coast of America to trust those on the east coast or in the south or midwest to make every law or rule governing us, but its "quite another thing to give that power to Russia, China or a conglomeration of tiny, lightly populated, third world autocracies, riddled with corruption and dedicated to the enrichment of their leaders." 

In the United Nations, every country has one vote and every decision is decided by a majority rule. Have I scared anyone yet? With 193 countries in the UN, a coalition of very small nations exercises a disproportionate power. For example, the 97 least populated UN members have a combined census of only 241 million inhabitants--about one-quarter less than the population of the United States when there were only 310 million living here. These nations comprise less than 4 percent of the world's 7 billion people, but together they can determine the direction of its decisions.

The UN was originally formed as an association of Allied powers, who had emerged victorious from the Second World War: the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China. Each of these countries was given veto power over the global body since none of the allies were willing to trust its fate to a roll of the dice in the General Assembly where each nation has a single vote. Only 45 nations were represented when it opened its door in 1945. By 1959 it had grown to 82 members and it soared to 189 in 2000. Now it stands at 193. 

With each new third world addition, the voting power of the West--and Russia--was diluted and the power of the nations of Africa and Asia grew. The larger their power  grew the more the Anti-America bias grew. If the globalists have their way, the countries who hate America and want to destroy her will decide where we can drill for oil, which sea lanes will be open for our navigation, how the global Internet is administered, how much we should pay to third world countries to adjust to climate change, what limits to place on our carbon emissions, how much we will be able to earn at our jobs, which jobs we can even have, what food we can eat, what kind of cars we can drive, how our kids will be educated and what religion we will have to follow.

The diminishing power of the major UN nations is evident in the increasing domination of the Group of 77--something I had never heard of before. But it's a coalition of the poorer nations that are determined to use the UN as a vehicle to channel money from developed nations to meet their own needs. These countries contribute only 12 percent of the UN operating budget, but their combined power has become dominant in the General Assembly where all the votes are taken. 

Morris and McGann ask these probing questions. "Before we dilute our national sovereignty, we are entitled to ask of our fellow nations, with whom we would share power in global governance, are they worthy countries? Are they free? Are they corrupt? Do they respect human rights? The short answer: No, they don't."

In 2011, Random House --an organization founded in 1941 that has kept meticulous records and impartial track of the degree of freedom and democracy in each of the world's nations--designated 87 of the world's 195 nations (including two non-UN members) as free. Another 60 countries were partially free, which means limited respect for civil liberties and political rights, frequently suffering from an environment of corruption, weak rule of law, ethnic and religious strife, and a political landscape where one party rules. The other 48 countries were designated as not free. The 87 free countries make up a minority of 45 percent. 

Morris and McGann state. "To lump free and not-free countries into one world body and to assign each the same voting power mocks the very concept of democracy. The UN is very punctilious about preserving the idea of majority rule and its implication of democratic decision making in the General Assembly. But what kind of democracy is it when 55 percent of the delegates come from governments that do not represent the people who live there?" The premise of the UN is to take countries as they are. If they want to change that's their own business.

I don't have to give examples of how corrupt the governments of the world have become, ours included. We see examples nearly every day on the news. Corruption has become so commonplace that a new word had to be created to articulate the degree of corruption within a government: kleptocracy. These governments are more like criminal gangs. Their ruling elite get to serve as presidents, prime ministers, ambassadors, negotiators, foreign secretaries and cabinet secretaries. In each position, they are empowered to steal all they can and to share their loot with one another. But in such nations, membership in the UN offers entrance to a realm of vast resources that are there for the taking. 

The concluding paragraphs by Morris and McGann state. "The world we face today is neither democratic nor honest. Neither respectful of human rights nor a guardian of individual liberty. It is dominated by corrupt dictators and one-party governments that do not speak for their people and keep power only by coercion, censorship, and repression. . . . We dare not trust our liberties to them.

 ". . . The globalist adversary is more insidious and a greater threat to our liberty today than we face from any other source. It advances in the name of our own good, seeking to frighten us into line by dire predictions of global disaster unless we give up our sovereignty and share our wealth. Its apocalyptic predictions of environmental catastrophe come like tornado warnings on the prairie, leading us to come and huddle together in our shelters, accepting disciple and a loss of freedom during the emergency. But the emergency is fabricated and the warnings are issued just to panic us into the shelters, where we can be subjugated and tyrannized.

". . . Those who would impose a global governance on us count on our worry about climate change, global warming, ocean acidification, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and shifting rainfall patterns to get us into line behind a new world order. But we are Americans and our knees don't bend to tyrants, however disguised."

When one factors in that the UN is financing the arrival of the majority of illegals coming into our country and giving them a credit card with new money on it each month it becomes an even greater concern. As are the intentions of the World Health organization that can easily exert control over our lives again if another manmade pandemic occurs. That power grad includes all the other three letter agencies that bow down to the globalist leaders who rule over them. 

I try not to mull over everything I'm learning to the point that it disrupts my sleep too often, but I'm glad to be at least partially informed rather than dwelling in some bubble that will eventually burst. We have been living on borrowed time for much too long already, and I fear the disruption to our lives and livelihoods will only become worse as 2024 continues. The stage for civil war types of terrorist events has already been set. It's my opinion that it will take more than hiding to make it through what lies ahead. 

If we want our country to survive as the independent republic we love so much we have to take a stand. My hat goes off to every patriot who risks personal and family safety, monetary assets and being falsely imprisoned for standing up for Constitutional rights or maintaining a steadfast belief in God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray for them every night, along with asking God how I can help in my own limited way. 

By standing together I know we can take our country back, but it won't be easy. Helping to wake people up to the dangerous situation we are in is the first step, and I know it's happening. People haven't fallen for a second pandemic scare like they did with the first one and they're tired of being lied to about climate change and green everything. Democrats and Republicans alike are starting to fight back when it comes to what is being taught in our schools and the open border fiasco where people intent on destroying America far out number those who want to become responsible, assimilated citizens who have more to offer than living off welfare and government handouts for the rest of their lives.

In conclusion, I want to share the highlights of an article I read last week about California being the fifth state, behind Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Vermont, to pass a law making human composting an alternative to burial or cremation. It's going to take effect in 2027. That's three years away and only a certain faction of the Catholic Church has opposed it. The body will put in a metal container along with decomposing elements like chemicals and insects and nature is supposed to do the rest. When it turns to dirt--no time limit given--the family can use it for gardening or filling in a hole. I told my son I would haunt him if he did that to me. It's pushing the green agenda a bit too far. 

As a Christian I know God created this earth with all the resources his sons and daughters would need to live full and rich lives while completing tests of obedience and love. He even sent his beloved son to atone for every sin should the sinner choose the path of complete and humble repentance. There is enough and to spare for all the generations yet to come. But if we willingly turn away from our creator to walk a path of evil and corruption in obtaining fortune, fame or power we will lose everything of eternal value. I don't want that for myself. Eternity is forever and I know where I want to be.

If you need something to help ease your mind, why not try one of the books I've written. They are Christian based and filled with adventure and excitement. I have listed them below with the newest ones at the top. Your support would be amazing since I can't afford to advertise in traditional ways and would love for people to have an additional boost of hope as they journey through an increasingly difficult world.

The Truth about Strangers - Book 3

The Hearts of Strangers - Book 2

The Trouble with Strangers - Book 1

Rivers of Rage Beyond the Glass Doors

Kismet Finds a Way

Crossfire at Bentley

Final Allegiance - Reagan Sinclair, FBI - Book 1

Resilience - Reagan Sinclair, FBI - Book 2

Safe Haven - Reagan Sinclair, FBI - Book 3

Unsheltered - Reagan Sinclair, FBI - Book 4

Welcome Redemption - Reagan Sinclair, FBI - Book 5

Indecision’s Flame - Book 1

Lost - Indecision’s Flame - Book 2

Exposed - Indecision’s Flame - Book 3

Betrayal - Indecision’s Flame - Book 4

Reawakening - Indecision’s Flame - Book 5

Unraveling - Indecision’s Flame - Book 6

Destiny - Indecision’s Flame - Book 7


So Long Bishop by Viola Ririe



All books available in both print and eBook formats at https://amzn.to/2BXNSdv


Monday 6 May 2024

And the Door Bangs Shut


 

A week ago Monday I was going about my day thoroughly exhilarated because the sun was shining and it was finally time to put the yard ornaments and furniture outside so another summer season could be fully enjoyed. Little did I realize that a split second in time would place me in a life or death situation with no one to turn to but God. You see, I use this home-crafted shed in the picture above--that was built by the previous owner--to store everything that needs to be protected from winter storms. But it is also home to dozens of yellow jacket mud nests for new arrivals and more Black Widow and Hobo spiders than I care to think about. It is constructed of pressed wood on the outside with particle board floors that have warped horribly and even have gaping holes open to the soil underneath. 

It's not a place that I venture often because the dust alone aggrieves my allergies and I've been deathly afraid of being locked inside in the dark with no means of escape. If you look closely at the picture above you can see that the door is held in place by a latch with a hole in the top through which a piece of twine was strung as a safety feature should the unthinkable ever happen. Unfortunately, this precaution for safety had a peg board hanging over so it was inaccessible from the inside. I always inserted a broom, rake or shovel to keep the door open, but as I was finishing my chores I decided to stick my head far enough inside to grab a faded folding chair so I could sit on it while digging out more of my park strip for flowers. 

That's when I heard that clanging bang that made my blood run cold. I had reached too far inside and the door had closed engulfing me in the terrible darkness that had been a part of so many horrific nightmares. The piece of twine broke off in my hand as I pulled down on it making my enslavement complete. Words cannot express the terror that came over me I stood in that awful, dark, dang and creepy place with insects flying and crawling around me and realized that I might never get out. It was eleven in the morning and every neighbor who could move about without assistance or hear much of anything had gone to school or work. I never carry my cell phone with me when I'm working outside since the sun, dirt and water aren't particularly good for it.

In my state of disbelief, I sat down on that chair and asked my Heavenly Father what I could do to get out. This couldn't be the way I was supposed to die, alone and scared in a place with no water, no windows, heat beating down on the shingled roof, poisonous insects that would find their way to me in the dark, and the very real probability that no one would hear my calls, my pounding or even come looking for me in what could amount to several days or even a week. Never before had living alone seem to come with such a high cost. And I had barely begun exercises to strengthen the muscles in my right arm after having had shoulder surgery three months earlier.

But even in my fear I knew I couldn't just sit around waiting to die. If doing something I hoped would get me out of a seemingly impossible situation meant messing up my shoulder again it was far better preferable to being found dead, stung and dehydrated in a dilapidated shed. There was a tiny bit of light coming through the south corner where a sheet of pressed wood had pulled away to a height of about eighteen inches. I got off that chair and began looking for something I could use as a tool since I kept everything of that nature in the garage where it was more accessible. It didn't take long for me to find this large, claw hammer (like the one strong builders use) that I didn't even know I had. Nor do I remember where it came from but I must have left it there because it was too heavy for me to use on any household project I would ever encounter.

I began pounding on that door with all the strength my left arm could muster but all it did was send more dust into my face. After attacking the south wall with equally as much energy, I soon realized that four by eight sheets of pressed wood were not going to move with what I had to use. I found a pair of vice grips but they were too fat to reach through the narrow opening between the edge of the door and the wall, and they wouldn't do any good anyway because I had to get to that tiny circle in the latch and pull it upwards to free myself. Trying to pry the peg board off the wall where the twine had been was equally as useless without a ladder.

My stomach was churning and my head ached, but the adrenaline brought about by sheer fear had kicked in. That's when I began tearing at the two by fours that went around the inside edges of the door. I would use both hands to get the claws on that oversized hammer underneath the edge and then grip the two by four on the inside wall as hard as I could with my right hand, keeping my elbow as close to my side as I could and praying the hammer wouldn't slip. But my left arm wasn't strong enough to exert enough force to make much progress in a single attempt so it slipped over and over again as I worked and pleaded for help and strength. But instead of falling into the wall my arm would hit a stack of tomato cages that help soften the blow. 

Over the next two hours, I learned just how indestructible the human spirit really is and how much it yearns for the God-given freedoms so many evil people want to take away from us in the name of a modern globalized world. Each splinter of wood that was pulled from the board brought an added sliver of hope that I might be free to breathe in the crisp, clean air of the world I loved so much once again. But there was no guarantee that in my limited strength I would ever dislodge an entire board that had been fastened onto the pressed wood with dozens of metal staples. And even if I managed to pull all of them out, the brace that held the latch in place had been secured with four large screws and I was working from the back side.  

Just thinking about what my body and spirit went through during my captivity in that shed still makes my jaw quiver, but I learned a valuable lesson. God gives us strength to make it through whatever hardships we encounter as long as we don't give up. And give up, I didn't! I kept pulling and pounding until one end of the board started to move and I kept going upward until I reached that wooden brace. That's when God granted me an extra burst of energy and I was able to pull the two-by-four completely away. After reaching around for a broken leg of a tomato cage, I slid the metal stick through the crack in the edge of the door and into the hole in the latch.  

When that door swung open and I stepped out into a now cool breeze, the tears came hard and fast. I sat down on that turquoise bench you see in the picture and sobbed out my gratitude for being heard and loved and helped. There is no way I could have freed myself on my own. I feel that same way when I think about our country and the desperate situation we are in. We need divine intervention of some sort if we're going to survive as a free republic and continue being a light for freedom for the rest of the world. 

Perhaps that intervention will come in the form of dedicated patriots around the globe who refuse to be taken over by a world government that in the words of columnist, Dick Morris, "are the people and organizations who want us to surrender our national identity, change our lifestyles, provide reparations for what they view as our excesses, and surrender to a new order of international institutions that will tell us what to do, when to do it, and how much to pay for it. . . . Do we want to be in a global ruling partnership with Russia, China, or a collection of tiny, lightly populated, third world atrocities, riddled with corruption and dedicated to the enrichment of their leaders?" 

Doesn't sound pleasant to me! But then I'm a little old fashioned in wanting my liberty to continue. In addition to all the rioting on college campuses by antisemitic students who chant "Death to the US" and whose leaders are being funded by the same billionaire elites that supported the BLM terrorists before the last election, word is that Biden plans to cede US sovernty to the World Health Organization in a pandemic treaty on May 27. That's more than terrifying because laws can be repealed, but treaties can't. Any treaty signed by the US but not yet ratified by the Senate is still binding on our country until it is either rejected by the Senate or renounced by the president. There are only two ways to get out of them: if the 190 nations that signed them let us out, or by passing a constitutional amendment--neither of which has ever happened. 

Here are some of the things treaties have done or can do: control the Internet, subject the US to international rules on carbon emission, stipulate who can drill for oil or fish in any waters, take away the ability of the Navy to perform its historic mission of protection, sign arms trade deals and take away our personal weapons, supersede the US Supreme Court and make our entire judicial system subject to the rulings of an international court (as of 2012, 120 countries have signed onto the court and 32 have signed the treaty recognizing its jurisdiction with the US, Russia and China being the only holdouts), define global environmentalism under UNEP, and interfere with missile defense. 

Other nations use the treaty-making process primarily as a way to cut the US down to size so we will sign away our independent rights. James Malone, explains how it relates to the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty. "The treaty's provisions were intentionally designed to promote a new world order--a form of global collectivism . . . that seeks ultimately the redistribution of the world's wealth through a complex system of manipulative central economic and bureaucratic coercion." It does more than just increase the flow of wealth from developed nations to third world dictatorships. It confers on them the power to tax American property. 

Another example is The Global Warming Treaty and it's goal to control the US and assert regulatory jurisdiction over our power plants, factories and entire economy. My question is why would we ever subject ourselves to the jurisdiction of a third world-dominated body that hates us? And yet it's happened. Not fifty miles from my house is a UN building that no American citizen can enter without authorization. The men and women who work there have no loyalty to the United States and can make their own rules without any interference. 

In case you're not entirely clear about how the United Nations operates this might surprise you. It certainly did me, and I've been leery about them for years. There are 193 countries represented in the UN. Each nation, regardless of size or number of residents, gets ONE vote. The 97 least-populated UN members have a combined census of only 241 million inhabitants (2012) and comprise less than 4 percent of the World's 7 billion population, but together they can outvote the rest of the world. Then there's the Group 77 portion of it--a coalition of the poorer nations determined to use the UN as a vehicle to channel money from developed nations to meet their own needs.

Morris makes this enlightening statement. "To lump free and not-free countries into one world body and to assign each the same voting power mocks the very concept of democracy. The UN is very punctilious about preserving the idea of majority rule and its implication of democratic decision making in the General Assembly. But what kind of democracy is it when 55 percent of the delegates come from governments that do not represent the people who live there? . . . The world we face today is neither democratic nor honest. Neither respectful of human rights nor a guardian of individual liberty. It is dominated by corrupt dictators and one-party governments that do not speak for their people and keep power only by coercion, censorship, and repression. We dare not trust our liberty to them."

Ultimately, there are two political philosophy camps in the world: those who believe in free markets and individual liberty and those who believe in central planning and dictation from the elites who had to create a common enemy in hopes of uniting diverse people behind a world cause. I don't know about you but this push for a one-world order wrapped around saving the planet from the effects of global warming or carbon emissions is nothing more than a smoke screen. But who is there to stop them from achieving their diabolical dream other than free market democracies, the rule of sovereign electorates and individuals who are beginning to understand what they're really doing. 

Personally, I like living in a home and not some high rise building in the jungle of a big city where there isn't room to breathe, crime has taken over and no one is allowed to drive anywhere or own anything from cradle to grave. The idea of limiting our freedom, forcibly changing our lifestyles, emasculating our democratic institutions, redistributing our hard-earned personal assets and technological advances to poorer nations, having our borders destroyed and our identity as a nation taken away, along with subjecting us to an international rule of law imposed by the United Nations as envisioned by the liberals, socialists, globalists and radical environmentalists makes no sense to this country girl. 

I guess my plea for anyone reading this blog today is to pay attention to what is going on around them and if they see something amiss do something about it. The downfall of the United States of America has been going on for decades and the people behind it aren't about to stop just because we ask them to. But after my escape from that shed a few days ago, I know that I need more that just freedom of spirit. I need to be free the very way our Founding Fathers set up in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. May we be willing to fight to retain those rights is an ongoing prayer because without freedom there isn't much else that really matters.




Tuesday 16 April 2024

The Beacon of Hope Old Glory Brings

Three weeks ago we had a storm. It was filled with wind and rain and the usual dark skies that seem to sap every ounce of energy. I never complain too loudly since my home is in a high desert at the base of a majestic mountain range that speaks volumes about God's beautiful creations and fills me with awe every time I glance in its direction. But when I looked out of my bedroom window the morning after the clouds departed I saw something that caused a heavy feeling of dread to land in my heart. The flag that had blown so reassuringly on its pole in my neighbor's yard since the day of my arrival was gone.

I get chills even as I think back on it now because watching the stars and stripes waft through even the slightest breeze above my house brought a sense of peace, security and pride, and a real connection to our Founding Fathers. They were ordinary men from various walks of life according to man's standards, but they were given the task of creating the masterpiece we call our Constitution, along with it's accompanying Bill of Rights. There has been no other like it in the history of the world where men and women were assured that their God-given rights would not be taken from them - unless they turned against heaven as a nation.

How my heart ached when I saw that the heavy wind of the night before had snapped that sturdy metal flag pole in two and the top part lay helpless on the ground. Fortunately, that beautiful symbol known as Old Glory to those of us who are mature enough to respect what our flag truly stands for had already been retrieved. Had that priceless piece of fabric been lying on the ground I would have been forced to rush outside in my pajamas and slippers and bring it inside where it could be lovingly folded and returned to my neighbors.

It seemed like the remains of that pole lay helpless on the ground forever as sprigs of green grass grew up around it. I looked at it several times each day and thought about what it represented just as often. I had not really appreciated what it stood for until it was gone, but its sudden loss brought great clarity as to where we now stand as a country and how close we are to losing every right our ancestors fought so hard to give us, with the hope that we would value our freedom as mush as they did. 

The stars and stripes were flying again today, but the flag pole was not as tall and stately as before. It had been shortened by eight to twelve feet so it could better withstand the storms that would surely come as the years progressed. I could hardly catch my breath when I saw it, but how helpless and sad it looked flying so low to the ground as if all its glory and strength had be ripped away. But it would still bravely and proudly wave for those of us who were willing to look and remember what it stood for. 

I guess that's why I'm taking time from weeding flower beds and replacing strawberry plants that didn't survive the winter to write this. My heart is so heavy I can't stop the tears from forming because I am fully aware that there is a formidable and Godless movement making rapid gains towards a one-government world where a few wealthy elite rule with a vengeance that will completely enslave the rest of us. It goes by many names--some of which I have mentioned in previous posts. But make no mistake, the people involved are evil tyrants who can lie without a flicker of the eye and for them, the end will always justify the means. 

We may not want to believe it, but these global elites have their people installed in positions of power in every government around the globe. Ours is not exempt. A careful study of history from books published before 1960 will show how our downfall as a nation began and how every policy and cause the far left has taken on has one purpose only--to strip us of more freedom and turn us into sheeple who no longer think for ourselves. We simply react as mainstream news anchors read carefully crafted messages from the corporations who own them and pass more laws that few Americans are even aware of.

Case in point--last week Biden installed a new State Department Diversity Chairman, Zakiya Carr Johnson who believes the United States is a failed historical model and who demands the destruction of tradition "at every juncture" on the altar of anti-racism. She was repositioned after serving as Obama's first director of the Race, Ethnicity and Social Inclusion Unit.

And here's something else I learned last week that is enough to make the blood run cold. It concerns the "Oath of Office" each newly elected, or installed, official is supposed to take and sign. In the case of the following individuals those oaths do not exist, are incomplete or fraudulent. Janet Yellen, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; Lloyd Austin, U.S. Secretary of Defense; Merrick Garland, U.S. Attornet General; Antony Blinkin, U.S. Secretary of State; Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security; Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation; Xavier Becerra, Heath and Human Services; Rochelle Walenski, former director of the Center for Disease Control; Matthew Graves, Attorney for the District of Colombia and Kamala Harris, Vice- President of the U.S.

When all those names are put together it gives a clear picture as to why our country is on the brink of destruction when it comes to our being 35 trillion in debt, having our bridges sabotaged, our borders overrun with illegals who will become the foot soldiers in a looming civil war, President Trump's unprecedented and illegal court cases, the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, Covid and all the other threats of worldwide pandemics meant to corral us, the destruction of major cities, railroads, farm land, and 96 food processing plants since Biden took office. There's also the taking over of our society by various LBGTQ agendas, pro-Palestinian and reparation movements, and our nation going from being the world's greatest champion of freedom to the laughing stock of the world because we have such inept administration. Could it be that not signing their oaths of office is the way these individuals hope to keep from being prosecuted for the treason they have so obviously committed? It's definitely something to think about.

But like that brave flag outside my bedroom window, I intend to stand strong because our country is too great to lose, but I fear that could happen without divine intervention. I used to think that we were just too illformed or lazy to step up to the plate and let our voices be heard. But I have to add fear to that list because I've been feeling some of that lately myself. With all the innocent people who are being arrested and losing their homes, livelihoods and freedoms for speaking out against the policies the far left have been forcing on us, it takes more courage than I sometimes feel like I have to even a write a simple blog encouraging people who love our country to wake up to what is going on and take whatever stand for freedom and righteousness they can.

I was talking to some friends last week who are going through a rough time. The husband is former Air Force pilot and the wife was a stay-at-home mom. He received notice this month that his Social Security had been reduced to $200 a month with no explanation given. At the same time, his wife got a notice that she owed Medicare $800 because not enough had been deducted. That terrifies me because like so many of you I rely on Social Security to pay my mortgage--which is far less than renting a two-bedroom apartment. 

The day I learned that, I also read an article on Fox News where it was confirmed that every illegal who crosses the border--I'm assuming that's only adults since it wasn't specified--gets a renewable card from the United States Government for $2200 a month that comes out of our Social Security funds, in addition to free housing, medical care, schooling and food. And we're talking about 20 million illegals just since Biden took office. The very thought is mind-boggling and should give every legal American cause for worry because the people we supposedly elected to represent our wishes are knifing us in the back. How can they give non-existent money to people who are here illegally while claiming there is no money left in the Social Security funds for those who have paid into it?

This is hardly the America I grew up in, but it is still worth fighting for because it is the only country on earth where we stand a chance of living the rest of our lives under at least some of the freedoms we have taken for granted. Our Bill of Rights are being attacked on a daily bases and that shouldn't be okay with any any of us. I learned a few days ago that illegals have now been given the right to purchase guns and bring them over the border while the rest of us fight ever increasing regulations and roadblocks. How could that happen with no one knowing about it when new laws are supposed to go before both houses of congress for approval? The president can't arbitrarily make them and neither can the Supreme Court, but that's what happening.

On the news this morning there were three articles about Anti-Israel and Pro-Palestinian gangs blocking the road leading away from the O'Hare International airport in Chicago, barricading both lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC and stopping the complete flow of traffic over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco just so their ranting hatred for all Judeo-Christian beliefs could be heard. The saddest part is that uncivilized acts like this are only going to get worse because the police were told they couldn't arrest anyone. It defies logic, but without some kind of intervention the globalists indoctrination programs will continue and tax-paying Americans will pay the price in dollars, loss of life and stolen freedoms as they have always done.

What makes America so great is the same reason the far left and globalist elites want to destroy it. Michael Savage of The Savage Nation said, and I quite agree with him: "We are a nation populated with pioneers, dreamers, inventors, leaders, opportunity makers, builders, thinkers, poets, artists, musicians, doctors and scientists. I could go on and on. Is it any wonder, then, that today America has led the world in technology, medicine, science and space exploration? Our freedom, coupled with the entrepreneurial spirit and the incentive capitalism brings, has produced these many advances and breakthroughs. Not to mention that we enjoy the highest standard of living anywhere on the planet.

"Now, look at the other nations of the world. You won't find these advances and breakthroughs in socialist countries. You won't find people working hard to excel, to dream, and to build brighter futures in countries where the self-serving socialist government hands the people a loaf of bread and a blanket while telling them which government agency they must work in.  . . . . America has been richly blessed. America has a glorious past. America is now facing a cultural crossroads.

"We're a diverse people with a shared freedom. We represent a variety of nationalities but are one nation. We have a range of skills but a shared opportunity to excel. We have many voices but one tongue. We live in individual states but ultimately in one united country."

Of course that was written in 2002 before the leaders of our country decided that it would serve their purposes best to erase our borders, our culture that defines the heart and soul of America, our religions, our language, our desire to work and produce, our freedoms as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, and even our individuality. Progress stops when people can't, or won't, communicate with each other and when justice sides with the guilty and leaves the innocent to fend for themselves when some favored minority calls foul. 

But all those things aside, I believe God is in control and I trust in his timing and grace. As long as I am doing my best in following Christ's example of charity for others, compassion, understanding and forgiveness then I will be okay in the long run. This life is a test to see how committed we are to returning to our heavenly home and the challenges will be great. That's why I love spending time on my knees and knowing God is there to listen to and answer each of his children's prayers. May each of us feel his love and peace today. The world may be in commotion but we can make our homes a refuge. What a glorious blessing that is.








Monday 1 April 2024

Sad Day for Some of Us

I have never spent an Easter like this before and not because it was a cold, rainy day. We have them all the time where I live and are certainly grateful for the moisture since we've been in drought conditions for several years. Nor did it have anything to do with having been in charge of a family luncheon after a Celebration of Life the day before for a husband, father, grandfather and all around good man who served others and left a legacy of kindness behind. That opportunity gave me a chance to reach out and comfort people I had never met before but with whom I felt an immediate love and connection because I know the sorrow and pain they are experiencing. It is a tender blessing to be allowed into the lives of literal brothers and sisters - because we are all children of God - who are experiencing one of the most difficult trials of life. Hearts that have been hardened by many unknowns are suddenly open to a more spiritual realm. And what a blessing that can be to those who have wandered in darkness for any amount of time.

I cannot imagine having little or no knowledge of God, his beloved son, Jesus Christ, whose resurrection we celebrate on Easter, nor of the Holy Ghost who can protect, warn and guide if we are just willing to listen. I was a very small child during the 1950s. We were poor dirt farmers with only an old Army jeep for transportation. Our father had used his GI Bill to purchase 80 acres of farm ground, knowing he could never afford to attend medical school as he really wanted to do. The old clapboard house on the property burned to the ground before our parents could move in so they constructed a two-room concrete basement apartment without a kitchen or bathroom to live in until they earned enough money to put an addition above ground with running water and windows large enough to provide more than the tiniest amount of light. They used an outhouse and went to the pump to get water. I have a picture of me as a baby sitting in a pan of water on a table getting a bath. It's a humbling experience just looking at it.

Living as a child in what most people would consider abject poverty today, I never considered myself poor. We children were strong and healthy because there was no fast food and very little we could even afford to purchase at the store. We raised pigs, chickens and beef for meat, had apples and plumb trees in our orchard and spend our summers weeding a huge garden that was enclosed by the circular driveway that connected the house to the corrals, granaries and barn. We were only allowed to take a bath on Saturday night and had to share the water because it cost too much to heat. When one child contracted a childhood illness we all got it. And when we stepped on a nail, got cut by barbed wire or stung by some flying insect we got mercurochrome and a bandage and were told not to complain. 

Our chores were not just making our bed or washing the dishes as they so often are now. We didn't have private bedrooms or even closets in those days and a dishwasher was unheard of. We four girls slept in two beds in one room in the concrete basement, the two boys shared bunk beds in the hall and our parents look the slightly larger room on the other side of them. We all kept our small amount of clothing in one closet and a couple of dressers in what was known as the playroom upstairs that stood next to the smallest bathroom I have ever seen. We didn't get a washing machine and dryer until after my brother was hurt, and our first television was a small brown box where we could access two stations during the day. We only got that after I contracted Rheumatic Fever while I was in the third grade and had to lay on a chair and connecting footstool for over six months. Since I was left to take care of myself during the daylight hours when everyone else was away from home, my parents sacrificed a great deal to get it so I would not feel so completely alone. My father would come in from the fields at noon to make sure I had something to eat and had not moved from where I was supposed to be, except to use the bathroom. 

But when I was not confined to bed, I was kept too busy to even think about getting into trouble. We children had plenty of chores that were assigned by age. They included babysitting, churning butter, hanging clothes on the line, ironing everything that was washed except towels, moping floors since we had no carpet, running errands, chasing unruly animals, learning how to can, freeze and dry fruits and vegetables, bake bread, irrigate pastures, cut hay, pick potatoes out of the fields, feed chickens, pigs, cows, horses and an always angry bull who spewed forth huge globs of snot whenever he shook his head. We attended church twice on Sunday, read scriptures as a family and watched our parents help others who were even less fortunate than we were.

Looking back, those were the good old days that I wish I could return to. We knew what it meant to love God, family and country. Our hearts were totally into holidays like Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July. We stood up every time we saw our flag. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance, sang patriotic songs and even had prayer at school. It just made everything better because we shared the views of our forefathers who gave us a God-inspired Constitution and Bill of Rights. People were treated with respect and fairness regardless of differing beliefs, customs or nations of origin. But then that was before the coursework at school was rewritten and precious truths about our country's history were deleted in favor of the socialists agenda that promoted ideologies of men and women who wanted to rule the world.   

Those beliefs were instituted during the sixties while the Viet Nam War raged on. There was free love, massive amounts of drug use by hipsters everywhere, the so-called women's movement that included burning underwear and demanding full equality with men in the workforce. There was protesting against almost everything, the introduction of completely sexualized music and skirts too short to sit down in modestly. Even though I was teenager during those years, I missed most of that because I was raised in a conservative environment where skirts that covered the knee was a requirement until after I graduated from college. 

Perhaps that's why some of the events of Easter 2024 put me in such a sad mood. Church that morning was wonderful with talks about our Savior and the greatest gift the world has ever known, along with music about his life, death and resurrection that truly touched my heart. I will share one song in particular before closing this post. Had I stuck with reading my scriptures, listening to music I trusted and contacting family members and special friends and wishing them a Happy Easter for the rest of the day I might not have have felt such sorrow. But needing to know what was going on in the world since everything is in such commotion and the evil one is causing such chaos, I decided to check Fox News headlines on my phone. 

Here's some of what I found and the one at the top was a doozy. Biden signs edict proclaiming Easter as Transgender Day of Visibility. Talk about a direct assault on every Christian value this world has ever stood for and it was so unnecessary. The article went on to explain that the LGBTQ groups have already claimed three months and 28 holidays since Biden was installed. Among all the others, this special interest group, that represents such a small percentage of our population, has an International Asexual Day, an International Day of Pink, a day for Pansexual and Pararomantic Awareness and an International Drag day. The rest were not listed but I'm sure they wouldn't be hard to find since our tax dollars are helping to supporting them and the people involved want their message out. They've also claimed October as LGBT history month; November for Trans awareness and June for Pride month. 

Other headlines included a big trailer filled with Bibles that was burned in front of a church in Tennessee, a five-alarm fire at a Brooklyn church during Easter service, Anti-Israel activists interrupting an Easter Vigil at an iconic NYC church, a DC suspect trying to set fire on Union Station's Freedom Bell and AOC and her liberal cronies portraying Christ as a Palestinian and not a Jew. I'm sure there were many other incidents aimed at defaming Christian and Jewish beliefs but I was too sick to my stomach to read on. Fifty years ago 90 percent of Americans believed in Christ. In 2020 in was only three out of ten and with the far left attacking anyone who will not go along with their agenda, it is projected that Christianity will become extinct by 2050.

Benjamin Franklin, who was eighty years old, stood and challenged those gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 to hammer out the great document we call our Constitution along with its accompanying Bill of Rights to really think about what they were trying to do. His advice is equally applicable today since God is being cut out of our lives with lightening speed by minority special interest groups. "I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice [which I should point out, is a direct reference to the words of Jesus in Matthew 10] is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings, that 'except the Lord build a House, they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this . . . I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning." 

In America, our sense of decency, morality, and society's moral underpinnings are rooted in a Jueo-Christian heritage as expressed in the Bible. Prayers were offered every morning in the halls of congress for over two centuries, but in today's America  they have been obliterated to appease the outspoken and fearful far leftists who have no qualms about admitting their allegiance to Satan. It's more than a travesty that we can no longer observe a National Day of Prayer without being accosted but it's okay to kill thousands of babies on a daily basis and castrate hundreds of children all on taxpayer dollars. And no-one says a word about all the precious little ones who go missing everyday, the tons and tons of drugs coming across our borders and taking the lives of our citizens, or the fact that illegals can commit any crime they wish - including murder - and will get nothing more than a slap on the hand before being released to commit another crime. Our Founding Fathers must be horrified when they see how far we have fallen in such a short amount of time.

President Abraham Lincoln said this in his Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer on April 30, 1863:  "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us! It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offending Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."

And what do we get this year? A proclamation from our installed President Biden that honors transgenderism and mocks the resurrection of our Savior. The tears are tickling my nose again as I type this. Even President Dwight Eisenhower in his second inaugural address offered a true prayer for our nation with these words. "Give us the power to discern clearly right from wrong and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby and by the laws of this land, especially we pray that our concern shall be for all people regardless of station, race or calling. May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our constitution, hold to differing political faiths so that we may all work for the good of our beloved country and thy glory, Amen."

And prayer isn't even the real issue with the people who are determined to wipe out Judeo-Christianity. Their real goal is to scrub out all acknowledgement of God along with any trace of our real heritage. They are doing this by twisting our laws too suit their purposes while generating an atmosphere of hostility toward anyone and anything religious. A beautiful young woman I know on a very personal basis who is Christian, white and straight was viciously attacked at school a week ago by LGBTQ thugsters who told her she was ugly, racist and homophobic and should kill herself simply because she was trying to help a Mexican student in class who didn't understand the assignment. 

Some of these brainwashed teens of today don't even understand what the terms they so callously and vehemently throw around mean. And believing all the hype they have been fed about being more special than anyone else because they're gay, bi, trans or any of the dozens of other made up sexualities does not absolve them from acts of cruelty and demonization that destroy other student's lives. But that's the society we live in and it breaks my heart because it doesn't have to be that way. There are still enough individuals in our country who believe in God, country, faith and family to take back the freedoms we have lost, but we have to stand together to do it. 

"In Germany, they first came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist," said Rev. Martin Niemoller. "Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics. I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak up." Reverend Neimoller spent time in one of the concentration camps during World War II.

I made a commitment to myself last night and it's one I hope to keep for the rest of my life. It is to speak Christ's name more often and defend him regardless of any personal cost. He gave his life so all of us can live again. There is no greater gift, and all he asks in return is that we keep his commandments, have faith and hope and utilize the process known as repentance so we can someday return to his presence. It seems a very small price to pay but far too few people want to take advantage of it.

I leave you with the song the young women sang at church yesterday. The truths it teaches are both simple and beautiful. It's titled Risen and was written by Shawna Edwards. If this clip doesn't work it can easily be accessed on YouTube.



Wednesday 20 March 2024

Remembering Easter

Easter sort of snuck up on me this year. My mind said it should happen in April as it usually does, but my son assured me that every four years we celebrate this sacred and glorious day in March. I guess leap year is sort of like daylight savings time. We know it's going to happen but are never quite prepared to have our sleeping cycles or our thoughts and plans disturbed. I don't know about anyone else, but even small changes in my routine have an unsettling effect and cause me to rethink even the simplest things.

But with a few adjustments I think I will be ready to put my heart into the meaning of the season now that it is just a little over a week away. A small gift has been put in the mail for my grandson. He was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at three so all the seasonal candy is out of the question, but he's really smart and loves most anything he can build or rebuild and electronic gadgets are always a hit. I gave my granddaughter a new outfit last Sunday and the grand dogs a treat. For their parents I got solar-powered radios with a ton of different features and ways to charge them. I believe they will be important to have if the power outages that are raging across Europe hit our shores. I was even lucky enough to get a great deal on two generators so no one will lose everything in their freezers again. I've had it happen twice and my son once and having to throw out over a thousand dollars in frozen food without being able to salvage a single item is not something I want to experience again.

Since I have a new calling in my church, I'll be helping with an Easter party this Saturday. I've never attended one in my eight years of living here because I no longer have young children at home, but helping other families have a good breakfast and watching the little ones hunt for Easter eggs might be fun. It's certainly gotten me thinking about how my family of origin celebrated Easter when I was a child. While most of my memories have been severely limited due to the psychological trauma I received at the age of five, I know holidays had to be a special time when there were anywhere between one and seven children involved. 

I do remember the easter baskets with colorful strips of wood running around their circumferences and dying lots of eggs that were basically fresh from the henhouse. I say basically because they had to be a few days old or we couldn't peel the skins off without losing half of the egg. Daddy would hide them around the front yard and we would count the number found until all were accounted for. We would eat them with pepper and salt while mother turned at least a dozen of them into deviled eggs to eat with our Sunday meal. We would each get a large, hollow, chocolate easter bunny along with assorted jelly beans and the big, hard-shelled, marshmallow eggs that I dearly loved because of the way my mouth and tongue felt as the insides dissolved.

I tried to find them this year, only to discover that they were discontinued last summer because the cost of sugar made it prohibitive for the candy company to make them. How sad it is that skyrocketing inflation is making it impossible for people in the most free and prosperous nation on earth to no longer enjoy some of life's most simple pleasures. And even sadder is the fact that it wouldn't be this way if the people at the top of the food chain could see what their greed and lack of compassion and understanding has done to middle class Americans who are the true backbone of our nation. 

These hard-working individuals are forced to experience the demise of their personal American dream as they keep cutting back on needs, wants and desires while those pesky, unlawful taxes are increasing more rapidly than ever. But the funds basically stollen from us will never be enough to support the life styles of those who refuse to work, those who come over the border illegally and expect everything to be handed to them and those selfish and unethical millionaires and billionaires who will never have enough and are always finding loopholes so they can keep what they have and add to it at our expense. As far ahead as we can possibly look our descendants will never be able to repay the national debt as it expands a trillion dollars every one-hundred days on interest alone.

But that's something to discuss at another time. Prophesy is rapidly being fulfilled, and while it might not happen in my lifetime, I have every reason to believe that some of the people alive today might just be lucky enough to be here when the Savior makes his triumphant return. That's when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that he is our Savior, Redeemer and Son of the Living God. It gives me goosebumps and makes the tears form just thinking about how glorious that event will be regardless of our vantage point when it happens. The stage is certainly being set and we cannot allow our hearts to fail us. It is an exciting time to be alive, but it is also a time to pay attention to what is going on around us and throughout the world. It can be a scary sometimes because we have no idea who is telling the truth. But if we are as prepared as we can possibly be we have nothing to fear, even if our mortal life ends. There is an amazing eternity waiting for us if we put our faith and trust in our Heavily Father who created us.

I want to take just a few minutes and tell you some of the things I've learned this year about that calm and beautiful Easter Morning so many years ago. The story is not new to any real Christian and is one filled with betrayal, sorrow, unbelievable suffering, false rulings, degradation, fear and tough lessons learned, but it is also a testament to never-ending love, full compassion, complete understanding and an abundance of hope, light and eternal rejoicing. It is the most remarkable event that ever transpired, and righteous and wicked alike will receive eternal life because of it. 

W. Cleon Skousen has written a remarkable book titled Days of the Living Christ that offers a new insight into scriptural passages many of us have been raised reading. He has spend much time in Jerusalem and the surrounding area and is both knowledgeable about the culture and the Bible, along with being an amazing storyteller that makes seemingly complicated topics come alive. His writing is filled with understanding, fresh insight and a thoughtful approach as to how some of the more minor characters may have felt about the events unfolding around them. I just happened to be at the conclusion of the book last week and my heart was completely impacted by some of the tender things I read.

A week before Christ was crucified by his own people, he stood on a hilltop and looked across the valley at the city of Jerusalem and wept. These were his people about to crucify him, and it would only be a few days before they clamored for his death and chanted His blood be upon us, and on our children. That invocation would bring such a disaster to his people that never again would the Jews be united as a nation until the latter days. Never again would they be gathered together in freedom, peace and prosperity until they had drunk the very last dregs of the bitter cup they had asked for. But they were still his people, and it was no accident that they had been chosen in Heaven to help him get through this cruel yet necessary assignment of suffering on the cross. And as horrible as their actions were, they would do it without being robbed of their opportunity for Salvation when the right time arose.

The physical cross he was required to carry weighed between seventy-five and a hundred pounds and the Savior was in a weakened condition after his unbelievable suffering in Gethsemane, being scourged with a deadly weapon that could strip the ribcage of the offender to the bone, and having a crown with two to three inch thorns shoved down on his head. His heart must have been heavy indeed because along with his personal sacrifices he knew how much his remaining eleven apostles were suffering as they watched their hopes for a glorious kingdom slowly expire. They would not receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost as a constant companion and be able to understand that Christ's Kingdom was not of the earth until days after his resurrection. 

And once he stood upright on the cross where even breathing was nearly impossible, he continued to teach those around him. The Light of Christ that every human being is born with, and that exists with him or her until that gift is thrown away by disobedience and hardheartedness, was working overtime on one of the two thieves tied with ropes to crosses next to him. The more penitent one confessed Christ as the Lord and wanted to accept him as the Messiah. But with complete love Jesus taught him that confessing the Lord's existence is not an automatic assurance of salvation nor a passport into "paradise". It is an important first step, but it must be followed by repentance, baptism, complete reception of the Holy Ghost and then faithful endurance on a prolonged course that ascends upward until it reaches the presence of Christ and eventually the glory of the Father. Christ said: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

Part of the Savior's test on the cross was to have his Father's spirit fully withdraw from him; plunging him into that outer region of complete darkness where there is nothing but "weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth." This complete withdrawal of the strength that had previously sustained him must have come as a complete shock because it caused him to cry out in the ninth hour of his great suffering: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"   

We do not know how long Jesus was left suspended in that agonizing region of darkness, but certainly long enough to satisfy the stringent requirements for His role as the Messiah-Redeemer. When the Father's spirit returned, Jesus knew it was almost over. He had done it. He had drunk the bitter cup to the very dregs. Equally important, the Father's ordeal was over too. It could now be declared with heavenly choirs and trumpets that: "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

Jesus had the power to retain his life until he was willing to surrender it. When he said: "it is finished," it meant he knew he had fulfilled his manifest destiny. His last words were, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." Then he died. At that moment, Jesus became the Christ, the great Messiah-Redeemer. How gloriously unselfish, beautiful and divine his precious gift is.

The Savior's body was placed in the tomb of a wealthy man, Jospeh of Arimathaea, who had likely accepted his teachings. It was sealed and guards were placed to watch it because the rulers who had put him there were afraid what he claimed might actually happen or that some of his disciples would try to steal his body. What is ironic is that none of Jesus's followers were expecting him to be resurrected or even claiming that he would be. They were completely bewildered by what had happened and their faith had been shaken so badly they had retreated to the house where the Last Supper had been held to figure out what they were going to do next.

After three day the miracle happened. The ground shook, the stone rolled away of its own accord and an angel appeared before the guards who were watching the tomb. They were sufficiently frighted and hurried to tell the elders what had happened. However, they were not chastised but were given a large sum of money to tell anyone who asked that Jesus's disciples had come by night and stolen him away while they slept. 

Even the women who came to anoint his body early that Monday morning did not believe he would be resurrected on the third day. They simply had to wait until the holiday celebrations and Sabbath observance were over. The women were met by the same angel and given the same message as the guards, but they didn't understand the ramifications either and fled from the sepulchre with fear and trembling to find a quiet place to regain their composure.

Meanwhile, Mary Magdalene hurried to find the apostles to tell them what she thought the heavenly messenger had said. Nine of the eleven did not move after hearing her message, but Peter and John ran towards the garden. After seeing with their own eyes that Jesus's body was gone they slowly rejoined the other men. Mary must have reentered the garden after they left because this was when the Savior chose to make his presence known, but he withheld his glory. His only badge of identification were the marks in his hands, feet and side. So it did not appear to be a heavenly being - just an ordinary man - who called out to her and asked; "Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seeketh thou?"

When she suddenly recognized the voice, she cried out: "Rabboni!" which means "my master."

What an unbelievable moment that must have been. But one day each of us will have the same experience as we meet our Eldest Brother, Savior and Redeemer again. Will will see the wounds he bore for us, the love in his eyes and fall at his feet and cover them with tears of gratitude and joy. How beautiful this season of new birth is and how lucky we are to have knowledge of the greatest gift the world had ever known. May we rejoice for the blessings we daily receive and all that is eternally possible because of Christ's life and mission on earth. It truly is a most glorious time to live. 

Saturday 2 March 2024

Why the Attack on Christians?

Last Sunday I was asked to give a talk at church on "loving thy neighbor". It wasn't the easiest to prepare since the world is in such chaos and all we see or hear on the news is people spewing hatred about everything and every one, but I took a deep breath, looked deep inside, did some praying and sat down at my computer to compose thoughts that would fill at least twelve minutes. I had an idea of what I might say, but things changed dramatically when my mind and fingers began working together. This statement by Ian S. Arden seemed to take center stage. He said the it "is sufficient to give or to do what you are able and then allow Christ to magnify your efforts."

I suddenly realized that give and do are action verbs and regardless of our situation we can do something to brighten another person's day. Over the past couple of months as I've struggled through shoulder surgery and the accompanying therapy that quite often brings tears to my eyes because the pain is so intense, my thoughts have often focused on my younger brother who died in a nursing home at the height of the Covid epidemic. There was no funeral or viewing; just a few family and friends who gathered on a blistery November day for a brief graveside service to mourn his quiet passing. 

Our family had never been close, and I have always felt that my brother and I were the catalysts that drove what little light and laughter there was away. I was five and he was three one early spring morning when our mother sent us out play, with firm instructions that I keep my eyes on him. It didn't take long for us to grow bored with each other's company, and the next thing I remember is my father racing towards the house with Sandon's limp body in his arms and shouting for the keys to the old Army jeep - our only means of transportation. He said my brother was dead. Inadvertently, Daddy had run over him with the tandem disk that was used to break up the clods of soil in preparation for spring planting. Mother there them to him, but as he was pulling away she turned to me and said, "This never would have happened if you'd been watching him as I told you to."

I suppose many lessons about the right kind of parenting could be learned from that statement, especially when it comes to destroying a child's emotional stability and life in general, but suffice it too say that through God's grace my little brother survived. Nonetheless, he was in a coma for six weeks and when he awakened the right side of his body was paralyzed, along with some accompanying brain damage. It was a family's worst nightmare come true.

But one thing I can tell yo about my brother is that I have never seen a more Christlike person, despite a lifetime of insensitivity and downright cruelty. He had to learn how to do everything again, without the aid of rehabilitation therapy which was non-existent in those days, and he never regained any real use of his right arm. When he was finally allowed to go to school he would fall almost daily getting on and off the big, yellow school bus and his elbows and knees were always scraped and bleeding. He had to stay in at recess to work with his teachers so he wouldn't get so far behind. Kids pointed fingers, laughed at him and didn't want him to be part of their activities. If it hadn't been for three boys his age in our farming community, he would have no one to associate with other than his family. No girls wanted to date him so he took our younger sister to his senior ball.

But during all those years of unkindness and numerous additional surgeries to help improve his mobility, he never blamed anyone for what had happened to him and he always found someone to befriend who had gone through their own difficulty. He finally learned how to drive a car and eventually married and fathered six children. But he made a few mistakes like people, who just want to be loved and accepted for who they are, do and paid for them dearly by falling into a fire pit and not being able to get out. The people he was with left him there to die. But before he completely expired they loaded him into the back of his van without any identification and dropped him off outside the hospital emergency room doors.

When I was finally able to see him in the burn unit his entire body was so swollen I couldn't even recognize him. It was one of the most horrifying experiences of my life to watch the burned skin being pulled from his body, to know how much he was suffering again and not being able to do anything to help. He lived the remainder of his life in a nursing home where some of his burns never healed.

But true to his God-given nature of being a peacemaker and truly loving people, he spent a decade and a half encouraging and lifting the spirits of the other residents, many of whose families had abandoned them. His bear hugs were the greatest, there was always a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, and even when he was in pain he found something to laugh about. I don't know how he did it with all the strange smells, eery sounds, bland food, intense suffering and a near total lack of physical freedom, but he became friends with everyone capable of even knowing he was there. He would listen while they talked, take part in activities, and even though he couldn't rub two pennies together because he didn't have them, he would do whatever he could from his wheelchair to bring those around him a little joy.

I want to be more like him, but that's not so easy to do, especially since Covid. Whatever it's origins, it has distanced people in a profound way. As a society we no longer trust each other, our willingness to be kind, patient, understanding and helpful has eroded, and we're afraid of saying the politically wrong thing for fear of being ridiculed, persecuted or even prosecuted for exercising our First Amendment rights and expressing how we feel. There is certainly very little peace and brotherly love in the world today.

As Christians we knew this life would not be easy, but I doubt few of us really understood how bad things would get before the end of humanity as we know it came to an end. Like us, Christ was born into a politically and spiritually charged culture. His life was anything other than strife free and ended in a horrifically violent and unjust way. Still He honored his mission in showing us by example and teachings the way back to our Heavenly home. Each of us here today have a mission designed specifically for our eternal edification, and like Christ we have to face our own battles against the tactics of the evil one who only wants to destroy us. I know a big part of mine is standing true to the principles our Elder Brother taught, regardless of repercussions from those who don't want to believe in anything other than themselves and getting what they want. 

I suppose it helps knowing that the war between good and evil has already been won, but there are still many battles to be fought and we have to do that together. We have to quit hiding in our homes thinking we are too busy, too unimaginative, too frightened, too shy or too important to be bothered by someone else's needs.

We are our brother's and sister's keepers and we will be held accountable if we don't reach out in whatever meager way we can to those within our circle of influence. And we don't have to do it in a big way or put ourselves in any emotional, spiritual, or physical danger. There are toxic and evil people that need to be avoided because they have chosen a different path. But the majority of people we meet want to do what's right. I've had to turn to others for help more the past two months than I have in my entire life combined, but being on the needy end has shown me how much a little compassion, an unexpected dinner or treat, a short visit or even a phone call or text means when you're going through a difficult time.

Love for others has no bounds, not race, religion, political affiliation, social class, amount of money or personal issues we may never understand. Accepting people for who they are and trying to see into their hearts is required of us because every soul is equal in God's eyes - not worse or better - just equal. As members of His kingdom who want to return to where He is, we must come to see and love all of his children as He does. It's not any easy task, at least for me, but my actions here will determine where I spent eternity.

I want to leave you with one final thought from Christophe G. Giraud-Carrier. "Rather than seeing each other through the distorted lens of mortality, the gospel raises our sights and allows us to see each other through the flawless, unchanging lens of our sacred covenants. In doing so, we begin to eliminate our own natural prejudices and bias toward others, which in turn helps them minimize their prejudices and.bias towards us."

That's pretty much my talk, and I was feeling more peaceful than usual when I got home from church after giving it. But those feelings didn't last long.The next morning I read an article that presented findings of a Washington DC based Family Research Council project that brought me straight back to the reality of the America I love so much. It stated that there had been 436 hostile incidents against churches during 2023 - more than double those in 2020 and eight times as many as in 2018. These events include vandalism, gun-related incidents, arson, bomb threats and even a few deaths.

The article went on to state that Americans are increasingly comfortable lashing out against churches due in part to the hostility against Christians displayed by the Biden administration. You can take from that what you like but my Christian beliefs have been attacked unceasingly since his arrival in the White House. And the laws enacted against anyone who will not bow down to the far lefts ideology have increased exponentially to the point that I'm almost afraid to write a blog because I could end up in prison for expressing how I feel. I mean people who pray in front of an abortion clinic are put in prison while those who burn buildings used by pro-life persons and induce physical harm don't even get a slap on the wrist. And what about the veterans who are being thrown out of their homes in New York City, and elsewhere, to house illegal immigrants. The list of injustices in our two-tiered system of justice today would fill volumes.

That's not acceptable in any country, especially one that was founded on God-given freedoms in a Constitution and Bill of Rights, but far too many of us are afraid to take a stand. We think if we remain silent someone else will fight the battle and things will settle down once the election is over. But those who do not speak up are silently expressing their consent to any injustice that is being perpetrated amongst their fellow citizens. It took time for me to accept that, but once I got away from the lies mainstream media perpetuated I began see to see how completely those in charge have forced their ideologies on us unsuspecting, gullible and ill-informed citizens of what was once the freest, most admired and healthiest country in the world.

Not to leave this post on a dismal note because I know who is really in charge of this country and the people who inhabit it, but the bad news for American Christians only continues to get worse. Biden just declared Christian Nationalists - without defining what that term was supposed to mean - to be the greatest threat yet to democracy; far greater than any outside or inside terrorist groups among which there are many to choose from. Listen to Glenn Beck's story about journalist Steve Baker being arrested by the FBI yesterday (March 1, 2024) if you really want to know what that means for any American conservative. It's pretty chilling stuff.

This ongoing battle between good and evil is intensifying so rapidly that it's hard to keep up with all the assaults on our rights as Americans. Nothing about the principles our country was founded on is sacred any longer, and unless we unite as patriots and remove people from office who do not stand up for the things we value, the complete takeover of our nation by the global elites will be a reality none of us will be able to endure for long. I don't know about anyone else, but I believe freedom is not a guarantee even under a Constitution as great as ours. We must be willing to stand up and fight, if necessary, to retain what we have left. Right now it is a battle of ideologies, but it has every marking of escalating into another civil war that will be both bloody and costly to every American. I don't want that to happen. That's why I stand with our true unsung patriots who continue to fight for the freedoms we continue to undervalue. 

Another winter storm is here, but the gray skies, high winds and sheeting snow are a reminder that storms of any kind eventually end and the sky turns blue again. But the moments of quiet reflection during their passing can help get us reexamine what is truly important - life, liberty, God and family. Without even one of those things, we would never learn the meaning of true happiness.