Nov 052016
 

freedomFull Speed Ahead

While historically I haven’t gotten too excited about politics, I find myself rather obsessed as of late. Try as I might, I just can’t help being drawn back into a very opinionated position. Here’s why.

I care about my planet, my country, and even more about the people around me. I don’t want to see harm come to any. But I see its inevitability if we don’t alter our course quickly. The Titanic is about to hit the iceberg.

 

Divided We Stand

We’re at a pivotal moment in our country’s history. Yes, all moments are pivotal. But this are more the most in this generation. We are choosing a path affecting not only our own generation but subsequent generations as well. We are making choices for our children, and our children’s children, including those yet unborn. Even deciding whether some children will be born at all.

There is a biblical passage spoken by Jesus quoted by Abraham Lincoln in a speech given June 16, 1858 at what was the Illinois State Capital in Springfield. I’ve had the honor of standing where that speech was given.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”

We are a nation divided. Divided by ideologies. Divided by politics, aspirations, motivations, convictions, religions, and morals. We are divided by our words, unable to agree even on the meaning of many, or whether some are even tolerable and allowable. Freedom of speech has become even more precious as many seek to stifle it. It is precious because words convey ideas and concepts. If you control the words you also control the thoughts, leading people into mental slavery. Assimilating them into a fabricated society created by forces seeking to dominate for their own selfish ends. Freedom morphs into servitude. Liberty erodes into bondage. The three-class system becomes a class of only two — master and slave.

Do you want to be free? Or do you want to serve masters who will devalue then cast you aside in pursuit of their own greed and lust for power?

What do you desire for our country? Of the inevitable one thing or the other Mr. Lincoln so eloquently spoke of — slave or free — which do we become?

It’s your choice.

 

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry Out If I Want To

I’m a registered Independent, so I can praise or bash any party or candidate without remorse or responsibility to my professed political alignment. I can pick and choose what I consider the best choices across party lines. Although committed to many things, corrupted politicians are not included. If I were aligned to any particular parties, it would be to Common Sense and What Works factions, unfortunately, non-existent groups.

Historically, there have certainly been elections with poor candidates. But in the almost six decades of my life, I’ve never personally witnessed such a miserable selection. Still, we must decide. However, many in their ongoing rhetoric have urged others to make quite foolish choices.

Today’s political arena allows for multiple parties, but only two matter. If you are Libertarian, Green, Independent, or otherwise apart from Democrat or Republican you’ve the chance of a snowball in Satan’s hand of procuring the presidency. As appealing as it may be to consider these alternatives, it simply will not happen. At least not yet. Things will certainly change in the future. But for now, it’s status quo and these are the powers that be.

So the foolishness of the intelligent falls into two strategies: voting for a third party candidate, or voting for no one at all. Both actions throw away a perfectly good vote for no positive reason other than potential self-satisfaction by making a positional statement no one will hear or care about. It would be nice if the political elite would hear the voice of a nation fed up with crony-ism. But the quest for authority far outweighs the morality of serving the public good. The ears that should hear are deafened with wads of money and promises of power. If the voice of a disheartened people if heard for even a moment, the lure of corruption quells it to quick silence.

So vote for a presidential candidate other than Democrat or Republican if you want. But it will make no positive difference.

However, in some instances, I agree casting no vote indeed makes perfect sense. Voting is an American right, not a responsibility, and an uninformed voter knowing little about current issues, candidate positions, global realities, and historical perspectives is a quite dangerous thing. To be blunt, ignorant people should decline to vote because they risk the country’s future based upon media sway rather than informed opinion. Before the haters strike, every properly registered adult citizen certainly has the right to cast their ballot. But similar to one not exercising their driving privilege while drunk, please don’t exercise your voting right when you are intellectually incapable of making a knowledgeable decision. Just sayin’.

For the intelligently informed, come noon on January 20th, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will sit at the big desk in the Oval Office. Your third party or null vote will not change that. So voting for one or the other is the only effective strategy. You’ll have to decide which one. The presidential election is not like foregoing a night at the local movie theater because you don’t like what’s playing. One will definitely hit the big screen, and you’ll be in the audience whether you like it or not. (Unless, of course, you leave the country as many have sworn to do. And with some of those who have professed this, for the betterment of society, they hopefully make good on their threat.)

 

The Enemy of My Enemy

There is an axiom dating to the fourth century that can be summed as “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” suggesting that two opposing parties can or should work together against a common enemy. In this case, the advance of liberal immorality, unworkable economics, control of the masses, and the destruction of capitalism are enemies against which many of us fight. Not to mention corruption to the greatest degree. Unfortunately, there is a majority faction fighting for, rather than against, this as well.

While an enemy of your enemy is not necessarily the best of friends (or even a good one), a strategic alliance at least temporarily can potentially benefit both participants. When faced with the undeniable presence of a singular of two evils, the only possibility is to choose the least until conditions change and a better choice is presented. We saw this on a global scale in World War II as countries divided between Allies and Axis to bolster the military positions of each side. The world would be considerably different today if unity during that time had not taken place. Arguably, without our allegiance with Russia who by far suffered the most casualties in the effort, we would be speaking German today rather than English. And living under a Fascist regime rather than in a Democratic Republic.

 

Who Fights Against Us?

This enemy today in my estimation is the Democratic Left. While some of their ideas are palatable and workable, many are not. For example, the creation of a welfare state ruled by an ever-strengthening and ever-expanding controlling government is an antithesis to our country’s founding philosophy and is a stepping stone on the path to socialism and communism. While potentially good-intentioned, the Left’s errant agenda is paving the path to hell so well-described in the old and oft-quoted saying, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” And Ronald Reagan once quipped, “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

The liberal Democratic Left is majorly comprised of self-labeled Progressives. A term I consider to be a self-contained oxymoron since much of the change they urge is far from progress. At its core, it is simply Socialism, something the world has tried and failed to make work repeatedly, albeit now re-branded and preceded with the word Democratic. But it’s far from new and improved.

Democratic Socialism is still Socialism. Having democratically voted for it does not change what it is. I can go out with a group of friends and either vote we grab a pizza or be dragged along to the parlor. The round dough covered with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni on the table is still pizza. Socialism is Socialism regardless.

And the current advance of it in America is by no means new. It’s been pushed for since the 1800’s but is now once again touted as revolutionary in an attempt to present it as a new way of thinking to those ignorant of history and its lessons. Thankfully, so far it is a revolution fought by words and not by violence. But this is unfortunate as well. Violence would be quelled. This revolution is fought under the guise of cloaked intellectualism. And the ideas are indeed theoretically intelligent. But theoretical and applicable are not the same thing. And in many cases even when applicable still remains highly undesirable.

Consider that intelligent application of science led to the creation of atomic weapons which have the potential for destroying a significant percentage of our population and our planet’s ecosystem in minutes. Can you argue this is a good thing?

All change is not progress.

Intelligence not guided by wisdom is an incredibly dangerous thing.

So we must look not only toward what would be desired in perfection, but we must also consider what is reasonable and right. To do this we must examine moral imperatives and psychological realities. To attempt a perfect solution for imperfect people, although it would be wonderful if it were otherwise, will invariably fail.

People have the potential for doing extreme good. There is in the human heart the God-given ability for love, sacrifice, bravery, charity, and honor.

However, there is an enemy of our fallen souls giving the potential for evil. In that same heart resides the capacity for hatred, greed, cowardice, theft, and deception.

Only the naive and foolish believe otherwise.

But the Left does not recognize this and seeks to enslave the people under a controlling government there to give them sustenance, protection, and rights, all for their own good no doubt. The Left seems of the mindset that people cannot be self-directing without the guidance and support of strong rulers injected into their lived daily. This is perhaps no better illustrated than Hillary Clinton’s assertion that to raise a child requires a village.

This mindset carries the implication that while they espouse belief in the inherent human good, they really believe more strongly in inherent human evil and must, therefore, control the people as one would control sheep with a shepherd. The “sheeple” are unable to fend for themselves.

This is in effect slavery of the very worse kind. It is enslaving people while giving the illusion of freedom. It is convincing people they are free by camouflaging the very chains that shackle them as ropes they can use to pull themselves up.

 

I Went to the Enemy’s Camp

Democratic liberals seem to enjoy hurling explosive descriptions such as racist, bigot, sexist, anarchist, terrorist, and other epithets and pejoratives toward others who do not see the world as they do. I find it rather ironic that those who claim to be enemies of hate speech use such hateful speech against others. But, apparently, it becomes hate speech only when someone besides them is spewing it.

Why is it the party describing itself as champions of the people fighting against evil and corrupt Right-Wing Conservatives pit one group against the other instead of drawing them closer together? Why is it in their eyes gay vs. straight, rich vs. poor, black vs. white? These divisions enslave us all, creating factions that will each fight for dominant identity — and will eventually lead to a showdown.

History is not simple cause and effect, but a complex hybrid organism involving many components. Any seeking to simplify this will be spouting nonsense. But to aid in understanding we humans tend to categorize and organize events into a fathomable discourse. Pair with this humanity’s complexities in self-awareness, self-description, self-denial, and self-delusion, and we must conclude we are a race based as much on falsehood as on truth.

That stated, this is a blog post, not a research document. It’s by nature an opinion-editorial. Therefore, by necessity, much more is left out than what can be included. I would challenge you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions. But let’s examine a few slivers of history.

Note: This next section will be a bit lengthy, even in it’s abbreviated form. Feel free to jump past it if you just want the conclusions of the article without supporting historical events.

 

In the Beginning

With roots going back to the Democratic-Republican Party formed in the 1790s by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in opposition to the Federalist Party, many have forgotten or never knew the modern Democratic Party began with the election of President Andrew Jackson in 1828. Perhaps Jackson’s greatest contributions to American history were the owning of hundreds of mistreated black slaves at his Hermitage Plantation in Nashville (I’ve visited this location and while he lived quite well, his slaves lived only slightly better than animals), and his signing of the Indian Removal Act in 1830 to steal Native American ancestral homelands from southern tribes (Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations) and relocate them to western reservations in Oklahoma so the land could be grabbed by the states. Despite strong arguments against this, including protests by Davy Crockett, who was a National Republican, greed won out and Jackson’s quick signing of the act led to the Trail of Tears, a forced Native American relocation during which thousands perished due to exposure, starvation, and disease.

Racial inequality was a founding mindset of the Democratic party. They hated the fact that Lincoln’s Republican party had not only emancipated the slaves but even allowed them to be elected to public office.

Google the following names: Hiram Rhodes Revels (America’s first black senator), Benjamin Turner, Robert DeLarge, Josiah Walls, Jefferson Long, Joseph Hayne Rainey, and Robert Brown Elliot. I think you’ll be amazed and appalled at their stories of struggle, success, and oppression. These were all black men who rose above their shackles due to the liberation by the Republican party but were condemned by the Democrats.

By 1875, Republicans, black and white working together, had passed over two dozen civil rights bills. But their momentum screeched to a halt in 1876 when Democrats took control of Congress. Determined to prevent blacks from voting, Southern Democrats devised legal roadblocks like requiring literacy tests, misleading election procedures, redrawing election lines, changing polling locations, creating white-only primaries, and even rewriting state constitutions.

How do you think they gained Congressional control?

By the mid-1860s, the Republican Party’s alliance with blacks had caused a noticeable strain on the Democrats’ struggle for electoral significance in the post-Civil War era. This prompted development in 1866 of a new pseudo-secret political action group whose sole purpose was to help gain control of the electorate. This new group was known simply by their initials KKK (Ku Klux Klan) and worked as the strong arm of the party using acts of terrorism including murder, lynching, arson, rape, and bombing to oppose grant of civil rights to any who were not white, racially-pure, native-born, Protestant U.S. citizens. They wore white hooded costumes to represent the ghosts of Confederate dead to conceal their identities and to frighten their victims.

Though some historians disagree, most concur that Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former slave trader, Confederate general, and pledged delegate from Tennessee to the New York Democratic National Convention of July 4, 1868 was chosen as the first Grand Wizard and assumed control of the organization, turning it from a social group into a militaristic, hierarchical entity. One of Forrest’s most controversial actions as a field commander during the Civil War was the ruthless massacre of over 200 Union soldiers — many were formerly black slaves — after Fort Pillow had been captured in April 1864.

In an 1868 newspaper interview, Forrest stated the Klan’s primary opposition was to the Loyal Leagues, Republican state governments, people such as Tennessee governor William Gannaway Brownlow and other “carpetbaggers” (Northerners who move to the South after the Civil War) and “scalawags” (southern whites who supported the Reconstruction and the Republican Party).

Historian Eric Foner wrote, “In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired the restoration of white supremacy. Its purposes were political, but political in the broadest sense, for it sought to affect power relations, both public and private, throughout Southern society. It aimed to reverse the interlocking changes sweeping over the South during Reconstruction: to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.”

Forrest’s grandson wrote in the September 1928 issue of the Klan’s Kourier Magazine, “I have never voted for any man who was not a regular Democrat. My father … never voted for any man who was not a Democrat. My grandfather was…the head of the Ku Klux Klan in reconstruction days…. My great-grandfather was a life-long Democrat…. My great-great-grandfather was…one of the founders of the Democratic party.”

Under Forrest, the Klan’s violence grew almost uncontrollable. PBS’ American Experience reports, “In the time leading up to the 1868 presidential election, the Klan’s activities picked up in speed and brutality. The election, which pitted Republican Ulysses S. Grant against Democrat Horatio Seymour, was crucial. Republicans would continue programs that prevented Southern whites from gaining political control in their states. Klan members knew that given the chance, the blacks in their communities would vote Republican.

“Across the South, the Klan and other terrorist groups used brutal violence to intimidate Republican voters. In Kansas, over 2,000 murders were committed in connection with the election. In Georgia, the number of threats and beatings was even higher. And in Louisiana, 1000 blacks were killed as the election neared. In those three states, Democrats won decisive victories at the polls.”

According to the Archives at Tuskegee Institute (reported by the University of Missouri – Kansas City) 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States between 1882-1968, brutally taking the lives of 1,297 whites and 3,446 blacks.

If you’d like to learn more about the Democratic/KKK alliance, you can peruse the thirteen-volume set of Congressional investigations dating from 1872. The official documents, titled Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire Into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, proves beyond doubt the KKK’s prominent role in the Democratic Party.

Report of the Joint Select Committee

 

But the Republicans and Democrats Switched Sides

Many decry the fact that Republicans and Democrats swapped parties, but an effective study of circumstances lead to this being an unsupported conclusion. Quite the opposite actually. The more true statement may be that as society and circumstances changed they swapped strategies and people changed their minds. The Democratic Party was more conservative and agrarian from the onset and have evolved to become extremely liberal. The Republicans who were pro-business have become less classically liberal (a different stance from modern liberalism) and more conservative. But neither party swayed from their platforms. Republicans still fight against slavery to this days, seeking freedom for capitalistic ventures. Democrats still fight in favor of it with big government intervening in everyday life. The definitions merely changed.

The Republicans lost its ruling majorities during the Great Depression of 1929-1940 when Democrats formed the “New Deal” coalition under Franklin D. Roosevelt. Arguably this strategy was a power play to garner support of labor unions, liberals, religious, ethnic and racial minorities (Catholics, Jews, and Blacks), Southern whites, poor people and those on relief during a time in which economic factors focused on housing and hunger were used to gain political support. For good or for ill, this marked the beginning of America’s movement into a welfare state. And certainly many positive strides were made by the Democrats during that times (don’t mistake me as thinking they’re entirely bad), such as the creation of the National Labor Relations Board and implementation of the Social Security Act. Recovery was admittedly steady and strong until 1937 when generous policies fueled by rampant spending evidently caught up with themselves. Unemployment jumped from 14.3% in 1937 to 19% in 1938.

Sadly, entry into World War II in December 1941 allowed the U.S. to regain full employment. War mobilization and massive war spending doubled the GNP (Gross National Product). Military Keynesianism (increasing military spending to increase economic growth) brought full employment. Federal contracts were cost-plus. Instead of competitive bidding to get lower prices, the government gave out contracts that promised to pay all the expenses plus a good profit. (Democrats love high taxes and government overspending of money we don’t have.) Factories hired everyone they could find regardless of skills, simplifying work tasks and training the workers. And the Democratic federal government paid all the costs. Millions of farmers left the farms, students quit school, and housewives joined the labor force.

The emphasis was for war supplies as soon as possible, regardless of cost and inefficiencies. Industries quickly absorbed the slack in the labor force, and the tables turned such that employers needed to actively and aggressively recruit workers. As the military grew, new labor sources were needed to replace the 12 million men serving in the military. Propaganda campaigns pleaded for people to work in the war factories. The barriers for married women, the old, the unskilled — and (in the North and West) the barriers for racial minorities — were lowered.

Democrats leveled the playing field with munitions that leveled the battlefield. However, the National Dept skyrocketed, reaching almost 119% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1946. One must rightly question whether it would be different under Republican guidance. But unfortunately, when you strip away the cloak many are using to hide and finger-point current numbers, we are approaching that kind of number again under Democratic control with 104.17% being reported by trendingeconomics.com as of this writing. They try to lay blame to the Bush Administration. But much of this rise is reported during Obama’s second term.

But back to the slavery discussion. So how it re-defined? If you cannot subjugate by force, then subjugate by reliance. Democrats spearheading social reform and social justice urged impoverished Americans to rally behind them. However, the odd part was that for all this social sabre-rattling, the New Deal programs were racially segregated. The largest relief program, the WPA (Works Progress Administration), had 10,000 supervisors in the South. However, only 11 were black.

Thousands of blacks were thrown out of work and replaced by whites on jobs where they were paid less than the NRA’s (National Recovery Administrations) wage minimums because some white employers thought the NRA’s minimum wage “too much money for Negroes,” causing many blacks by 1933 to refer to the NRA as the “Negro Removal Act.” A study found this put 500,000 African Americans out of work.

But since blacks felt the sting of the Depression so severely, even more so than whites, they welcomed any help because they had no other choice. By 1936, nearly all African Americans (and many whites) shifted from the “Party of Lincoln” to the Democratic Party because of economic necessity — a sharp realignment from 1932, when most African Americans voted Republican. New Deal policies helped establish a political alliance between blacks and the Democratic Party that survives into the 21st century.

This strategy can be no better summed up than by the unproven quote by President Lyndon B. Johnson credited by Ronald Kessler’s in his book Inside the White House: The Hidden Lives of the Modern Presidents and the Secrets of the World’s Most Powerful Institution as remarking, “I’ll have them n*ggers voting Democratic for two hundred years.” Do I know whether he said it? No. Is it possible considering another one of JBJ’s racist quotes we know as factual? Yes.

“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days, and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before: the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this — we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

Oh, those white liberals looking out for minorities’ best interests… Wee bit pesky, aren’t they? In my estimation, evidence supports continued racist and other sub-group agendas used for personal and political gain as evidenced by the many remarks we’ve seen in Democratic emails released by WikiLeaks.

Let’s consider the Civil Right Act of 1964, something modern Democrats are quite eager to brag about. This was after the alleged Democratic reversal and the Republicans had already become the bad guys, correct? Well, maybe we should first consider this bill came about from the work of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower? Let’s also consider that Democrats filibustered the bill’s passage for 57 days. Leading the Democrats in their opposition to civil rights for African-Americans was Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV). Byrd, the longest-seated Senator in Congress (who got into politics as a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan) spoke against the bill for fourteen straight hours. Democrats called Robert Byrd “the conscience of the Senate.”

But what does the voting record for this bill show? A substantially greater proportion of “racist” Republicans supported it than did Democrats.

The original House version:

– Democratic Party: 152–96 (61–39%)

– Republican Party: 138–34 (80–20%)

Cloture in the Senate:

– Democratic Party: 44–23 (66–34%)

– Republican Party: 27–6 (82–18%)

The Senate version:

– Democratic Party: 46–21 (69–31%)

– Republican Party: 27–6 (82–18%)

The Senate version, voted on by the House:

– Democratic Party: 153–91 (63–37%)

– Republican Party: 136–35 (80–20%)

While Democrats fight tooth and nail to spin it otherwise, if one really wants to judge the liberal Democratic mindset based upon factual support, let’s consider this. If Republicans have become so racist in modern times, why do they still outvote them for equal rights under the law? And why do Democrats still vote in favor to such a lesser degree? So many more voting records reveal this same pattern. I’ll not take the time to discuss, but it will make terrifically valuable education if you’d care to do a bit of research.

 

The Modern Chant and Rant

The current Democratic Party has vocally sought to overturn, re-interpret, and re-write portions of our Constitution and to make enemies of those who would stand in their way, such as the National Rifle Associate (NRA) and Citizen’s United. Hillary Clinton has vowed to bolster the Supreme Court with those who will overturn, re-interpret, and advance the political agenda the Democrats desire, effectively removing one leg of the three power balances our founding fathers outlined in our establishing documents to keep government in check. If allowed to happen, it will at minimum unbalance our government for decades and perhaps at worst be a deciding factor in its fall.

An agenda of discrimination and hatred disguised as its opposite is being advanced. To hold one accountable for crimes neither committed nor condoned merely because of skin color is racism and vilification every bit as evil as that which liberals claim to war against. Yet they do not connect this in their thoughts clouded by emotion. They do not see this results in stirring up greater strife rather than alleviating it. They see this incorrectly instead as uniting our country rather than the truth that they are dividing it.

For example, even though I am a white man I have never owned a slave, nor would I. To do so would be one of the worst sins I can imagine. Conversely, there are very few if any blacks who had ever been enslaved in our country. Yet I am persecuted because of this. Blacks also carry the stigma of now centuries ago slavery of which they are constantly reminded of by liberals who continue the oppression. Is there racial inequality? Absolutely. Some minorities have been denied opportunities because of ethnicity. But also Affirmative Action has meant that many could not achieve things for which they were better qualified because the opportunity by law had to be given to one less qualified due to the amount of pigment in one’s skin. Both positions are racist and an unfair and unworkable solution.

The solution lies not in unfair advantage or disadvantage, but in equal opportunity for success while realizing the past is exactly what it is. The past. It cannot be changed. But it can be overcome. But not by reminding and dwelling upon it and hating others for what they did not do.

Let’s actually make the playing field level. Regardless of color, ethnicity, creed, or religion, each individual has been given by God (and is recognized in our Declaration of Independence) the right to the pursuit of happiness. Whether we attain it is up to us, not to some government entitlement program.

What liberals seem unwilling to admit is the natural human predilection of self this pursuit describes. If one is denied that of which they are deserving, frustration develops. And this frustration often reveals itself in violent anger. And oddly enough there is also a natural aversion to receiving things of which we are undeserving. When we are given that which we are not due we often feel offended and catered to. This is condescension, and we do not like it. The self is undermined and made to feel less than a real person. Again, frustration, anger and violence are often the results. Such is the Democratic way.

 

Who You Gonna Call?

Are Republicans any better? Not much, but a bit. Their support for Capitalism also breeds corruption and greed. But, until societal evolution allows a better choice, consider Democrats represent the pulling of limited resources into a pool of society that produces little in return. Republicans represent putting resources into a pool of society that can, in turn, become self-sufficient producers to give back.

The difference may be summed up as having an ear of corn. I can eat the corn as a meal and have nothing left after having eaten for a day. Or I can plant the corn and raise a crop over time to feed not only myself but also my neighbors.

I am not espousing enthusiasm for Trump. Far from it. I personally do not feel he will make a great president. His character flaws will prevent that. However, he is the most appropriate choice based upon my moral inability to allow the other choice to claim the most powerful position on the planet.

Remember we are not electing a personality, or even really a person for that matter. We are filling a position. While it’s great to work with nice people, even jerks can do a great job. And conversely, the nicest can fail when they don’t have the appropriate skillset. Or the appropriate convictions and motivations. We need to separate the question of who we would like to spend time with apart from who can do the best job. And who will pave the path toward the best future?

Another question when casting your ballot in November is not even really about who you want for president. The president is limited to two terms — eight years maximum. But the president sitting in office will appoint three or four people who will be there for potentially decades and set the course for generations. Do not think about this as merely electing a president, consider who are you “electing” to the Supreme Court. Do we ant to lose freedom? Do we murder those who would otherwise become part of our next generation? Do we lose our religious freedom and have it replaced by government sanctioned beliefs?

Yes, the pro-business stance of the Republican Party ensures they will steal from us. They want our money. But at least they are honest about it. Hundreds of times a day I’m assured of that by myriad advertisements declaring such. The Democratic agenda is much more insidious, declaring one thing in words and quite another in actions.

I will give this to the Democrats. Their desire for enslavement one limited to only blacks is not inclusive regardless of color, ethnicity, social class, economic class, sex, or gender. They now desire equal opportunity enslavement of all, with an elite ruling class overseeing all who knows so much more what is better for the individual that the individual ever could. In that, they have certainly changed from hating and enslaving a certain group.

Yes, we are choosing between two evils. One wants to steal your money and is in the open about it. The other wants to steal your very soul and assimilate you into their collective.

If I’m wrong, God forgive me and help me. If I’m right and, as a nation we vote wrong, may God forgive us and help us all.

Yes. Both candidates stink. But hold your nose and cast your vote. Which do you deem the lesser evil?

 

May 102013
 
Percy when still a puppy in the backyard on 8/31/2010.

Percy when still a puppy in the backyard on 8/31/2010.

I killed my dog today.

You can sugarcoat the words by saying he was put to sleep, euthanized, or that his suffering was ended mercifully, but it doesn’t change that even if not by my hand that by my decision a life given by God to one of His creatures ended away today at 12:10 PM, and the responsibility is 100% mine.

The sorrow rips through my soul like a dull knife tearing through my flesh. I’ve cried and cried and cried until I thought I could cry no more, and then yet more tears flowed.

Sir Percival — Percy — as we called him, was a worthless little mutt. At least that’s what I thought at first. He was a Maltese/Shihtzu cross, not even a purebred. And I told my wife Sylvia on many occasions she didn’t pick the sharpest puppy in the pack. He wasn’t overly smart, usually wouldn’t come when you called, didn’t like being held, wasn’t very affectionate, and his only real trick was to stand on his hind legs to beg a morsel of food. I often asked him if he was looking for another handout, and he always was.

But he did get pretty good at obeying simple commands. It didn’t take long for him to know the drill about “go to the grass” at potty time and “go to your room” at night-time. I guess he was smarter than I gave him credit for.

I grew up with animals. Cows, pigs, chickens, horses, dogs, and cats were a natural part of life. But they all served some purpose, whether for transportation, security, pest control, or food source. Animals were a commodity used for some practical result or sold for gain. So I really didn’t get the “purpose” of Percy. Way too small for security and since he barked at everything he could see out the front window or hear with his admittedly sharp ears you never knew whether it was something important or not. Since he did nothing of value, I considered him pretty worthless, other than the fact that Sylvia loved him.

But he kinda grew on me after a while.

Trying to untie his rope on 1/29/2012.

Trying to untie his rope on 1/29/2012.

I started coming up with nicknames for him. Names such as “Perc” — like the woman’s handbag — or “Perc-Perc”. Whenever my wife would ask if I’d seen her purse, I’d point to the dog. This expanded into “Percy McPupper”, Percy Pup”, “Puppers”, and “Doggers”. And he would often roll around on the carpet, laying on his back with his toys between his paws like an infant, chewing them and pulling the stuffing out that he would then leave trailed across the house. He had a habit of pulling his blankets out of his night-time kennel and dragging them into the living room to roll around on until he swaddled himself inside. His value was beginning to increase slightly. At least he was entertaining.

Percy and Kitty 8-31-2010

Percy and Kitty 8-31-2010

His best friend was a silver tabby cat, and they got along great. They would wrestle playfully in the family room, Percy circling and barking at her, both enjoying the romp and sharing the house well together.

We discovered he was a darn good little travel mutt when we took him on his first of many trips. Actually, that’s where he shined best. He became affectionate and even wanted us to hold him when he was in the car. Whenever my wife would pull out his fleece harness and retractable leash, he became so excited, standing on his hind legs just the same as when he was begging for food. In the car during city travel he would thrust his snout into the wind, sniffing and taking the world in through his nose and big brown eyes. On the freeway, he would be either on my wife’s lap or perched on my left leg, looking through the window, making the rounds back and forth many times throughout the journey.

Mom's furry boy looking out the window at Cayucos on 7/21/2011

Mom’s furry boy looking out the window at Cayucos on 7/21/2011

He enjoyed going everywhere, but he was a beach dog at heart. Since his first trip on September 4, 2010, the soft sand at Cayucos or Morro Bay was among his favorite things in life. My wife and I would stroll along the beach and Percy would be at the full extension of his leash, arcing back and forth from left to right, exploring the white to brown terrain as we moved along, checking out the sea gulls, pelicans, people, and especially the other dogs (since his “sister” was a cat and he didn’t see many other dogs). He enjoyed the water so long as it wasn’t too deep or too cold, and when the waves would wash against his feet he would wind up covered in sand, looking kind of soggy, and stare up at you with eyes that would melt your heart.

He was also a great conversation starter. Since he was actually rather cute, adults and children would always comment and want to pet him. We met and talked to many interesting people with which there would have been no opportunity if it hadn’t been for this little furball on the end of the leash.

Soggy Doggy at the beach 9/4/2010

Soggy Doggy at the beach 9/4/2010

I felt really bad for him a couple of years back when he started having trouble walking. You could tell his hips bothered him so we took him to the vet. The prognosis was that he probably dislocated his hip while bouncing around or up-and-down from the couch. The vet prescribed some pain medicine and in a few days he seemed in pretty good shape.

There was a time back in January of 2011 that Sylvia and I were having marital problems. Actually, she was the one with the problem — and his name was Rick. I wasn’t being a very good husband and she felt the need to move out of the house for a while. I’ve hopefully grown since then, and things are better now. We have a strong, loving, and committed marriage. But while she was gone, the house seemed awfully large and lonely.

Women, I’ve learned, have a way different way of communicating than men. As we were working toward resolving our differences, she asked if I would take care of Percy and move him back in. At first I was rather hesitant, still hurting and looking with male eyes at the fact here was a woman who ran out on me now wanting me to take care of her dog. Although I wasn’t really too keen on the idea, thankfully I did it anyway. But, yeah, now I get it.

Getting warm and dry in mommy's arms 9/4/2010

Getting warm and dry in mommy’s arms 9/4/2010

So it was Percy and me (plus the cat when she wasn’t roaming outside). And we got to know each other pretty well. He started sticking pretty close. And although still not really what you would call affectionate, he was there, an ever-present companion. If I was in the living room, he was there. If I went to the bedroom, he was patiently waiting outside the door. If I went into my office, he was about a foot away from my chair, flopped on the floor in a furry ivory semi-circle.

Even though I’d grown to kinda already like him, we became pretty close during that time. I still thought he was worthless, but in a good way.

Sylvia and I worked out our differences (meaning I wised up a tad) and the household became one again. Since the kids are mostly grown and doing their own thing, and the cat is — well, a cat and you know how they are — Percy became like the little furry kid running around the house.

Percy at Bass lake on 5/5/2012 embracing his inner wolf.

Percy at Bass lake on 5/5/2012 embracing his inner wolf.

One time my wife was at a woman’s church conference in a city a few hours away, so the day belonged to Percy and me. We decided to have a guy’s day out. I took him on a road trip through Coursegold and Oakhurst, up to Bass Lake, and just to the outskirts of Yosemite. I thought it would be a great place for a mountain dog like Percy to embrace his inner wolf. And it was. He loved the pines and the rocks, sniffing and enjoying everything we did. He was a great companion that day and we talked about a lot of stuff. He was a good listener, never interrupted, and I swear he agreed with everything I said. We became pretty good buddies.

He had another bout with his hip one weekend, and since we still had some of his medicine, we gave it to him and were planning to see the vet again if necessary the following Monday when they re-opened. It was clear he was uncomfortable, but by Sunday evening seemed his normal self.

As time went on, he engrained himself more and more into my life. I found out that he loved canned vienna sausages and hot dogs. and you wouldn’t believe how he would circle-dance for a piece of cheese, earning him yet another nickname of “Cheese Hound”. I started loving him as much as he loved the cheese.

Percy and Sylvia checking out Yosemite Valley 6/2/2012

Percy and Sylvia checking out Yosemite Valley 6/2/2012

I was also learning something from this dog. He had no practical value as I had always measured it, but I was loving him more all the time, and he loved us back in his own doggie way. I think he was likely abused or hurt before we got him and that was why he was a bit distant much of the time. I told Sylvia on several occasions that I thought he had “issues” and would probably benefit from “Puppy Prozac”. Guess that was just one more thing he and I had in common.

I determined that I was going to try to help nurture him back to emotional health. I made it a point to speak to him softly and handle him gently, paying close attention to his reactions and would always stroke him lovingly with kind words to try to soothe and comfort him. It worked to a great degree. He got where he would actually come when called and would jump on the recliner with me and sit in my lap wanting his petting more nights than not. His personality changed and he seemed to smile more. Yes, dogs do indeed smile if you’ve never noticed.

God taught me so much through this little animal. He gave me a glimpse through His eyes of how He must see us. We cannot possibly have any real practical value to God, yet He loves us regardless and unconditionally.

I learned that I was loving this little guy more and more even though I could see no practical reason. I just did because he was lovable, and I loved him so very much. It had nothing to do with what he could do. It was only about who he was. He was our dog, a part of our family, and an important part of our lives.

Three days ago, he started having trouble walking again. From the several bouts he’d had before we thought he’d bounce back by the next morning. But by the next morning he was still hurting and had lost the use of his back legs. He was moving only by dragging his hind-quarters with his front legs. He looked like a little white seal moving along and it broke my heart to see him that way. We knew something was seriously wrong this time.

Sylvia cared for him and coddled him as best she could and I could see the pain and the tears in her eyes.

I knew he loved vienna sausages, so I opened a can and broke them into very small pieces and put them in a small paper bowl. There were a couple of leftover barbecued hotdogs in the fridge, so I gave them a quick zap in the microwave to take the chill off and broke them as well. I sat on the kitchen floor and held the bowl near his mouth so he could eat. He sniffed a bit, not really interested, then gingerly started with one small bite and wound up eating nearly all of it. I then filled another bowl with a little water and held it for him to drink.

When he had his fill, he used his front paws to move himself toward my lap. It was obvious where he wanted, so I held him gently and cuddled with him, trying to comfort him and feeling completely helplessness. I prayed for that dog the first of many times, knowing that God loves all His creation and asking Him for mercy and healing of this dearly loved small creature. I cried the first of many times for Percy.

Finding a veterinarian in Porterville the week before the fair, since we are a very agricultural community, is much harder than I would have ever thought. Explaining the situation call after call, we heard the same thing. No available slots until after the fair and in most cases the doctor would not even be in the office. Finally we reached a caring person in a city 45 minutes away that unfortunately could not see us now but could work us in the following day.

It was so hard to see him in this condition. I took him to the back yard so he could relieve himself, but he had no control. I cleaned him up, being reminded of the experiences changing my daughter Amy’s diaper when she was a baby. Percy was my furry baby now. He had many accidents, and Sylvia and I cleaned them up.

Placing him on the floor in the living room, he still tried to get around as best he could. I would carry him and gently sit him in his favorite spots and it was obvious his pain and discomfort had grown worse. His small body quivered and he whimpered with every touch and move. He was in agony. I wish now I had held him up to the window, which he loved to see out of. But I just didn’t think of it at the time.

I was learning yet another lesson. With the pain that he endured, he still smiled while looking at me lovingly, and he licked my arm gently with his soft pink tongue. I must admit that I never usually let him do that, but this time seemed different. I had a sinking, gnawing, tightening feeling in my gut that he would not have many more opportunities to express affection. His attitude was the greatest I’ve ever seen. He endured, yet he loved. I could not help but wonder how much even the more that Jesus must have shown this type of strength on His way to the cross. It was yet another small glimpse the Holy Spirit has given me through this small dog.

I was planning for the future that night. I didn’t think I would ever see Percy walk again and went online to look at little doggie wheel chairs and figuring out which would likely be best for his needs. I mused that maybe his next nickname would be “Wheels”. I was thinking ahead about how we would best care for him.

Sylvia took time off from her job to take Percy to the vet, since it’s very hard for me to get time off. That morning I sat on the entryway landing with Percy on the carpet in front of me and talked to him before going to work. It’s amazing how much I’ve grown to love that little worthless dog. And now I also feel terrible, knowing how much he loved car rides, that I wasn’t with him for the last one he ever experienced.

As I sat in my work office, the clock moved slowly. I was anxious, yet also dreading the time to pass. I hoped so much that the answer from the doctor would be that he was going to be fine and that my prayers for him would be fully answered. But God’s plan isn’t always what we want, and when I received the call from Sylvia she was crying.

The doctor explained that Percy had a completely collapsed disc that had damaged his spinal column, that the other incidents leading up to it were just precursors and there was nothing that would have likely prevented it other than a very expensive surgery with slim chances of success. There was no feeling in his legs and there was no effective treatment that he would likely respond to. My heart sank. Percy would be paralyzed in his hindquarters, in constant pain in the rest of his body, and have no control over urination or bowel movement for the rest of his life.

Percy on the examination table his last day with us 5/10/2013

Percy on the examination table his last day with us 5/10/2013

That’s not much of a life…

Some may hate me for the decision that I made. And it was a struggle between head and heart. My head kept arguing that all life is precious and worthy of prolonging at any cost. But my heart said that sometimes death is a form of mercy. I decided I could not bear to see him in pain that would never end. Agony is not a good life.

Sylvia needed me there, and I wanted to be there also since it was my decision and my responsibility. I left work and took the agonizingly long drive, second-guessing and arguing my decision many times along the way while praying for strength and wisdom..

When I arrived, Sylvia was standing outside the office with Percy wrapped in a towel he’d had a few accidents in. He recognized me immediately and I could see the expectant smile on his face and the happiness in eyes. I took him gently in my arms and guilt flooded my mind. How could I do this to someone I love? This is not mercy, it’s murder….

I held him close, putting my cheek on his small head and talked to him, telling him how sorry I was and that I so very much wanted things to be different.

The time came so much quicker than I wanted, and I remembered a quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth who said, “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly.” He was also planning a murder when he spoke these ominous words. My heart was very heavy.

An assistanct led us into a nicely appointed examining room with a soft brown mat on the table and asked that we let Percy lay down there. The doctor came in, told me I had made the right decision and explained the procedure. He asked if I needed a few moments and I said yes.

Sylvia was in so much emotional pain, but I cannot relate what was in her heart, only what was in mine.

I hugged Percy and told him I knew he could not understand my words or what was happening, but I hoped that God would allow his animal spirit to understand what my spirit was saying. I told him again how sorry I was and how much I wanted something different. I wanted to simply wake from a bad dream and see him healthy and bouncing around again. I asked God to please forgive me if I made the wrong choice.

Percy at his favorite place 3/30/2013I broke down, sobbing and telling Percy how much I loved him and that I didn’t know if his spirit would live beyond his body as our soul lives beyond ours, but that I hoped with all my heart that it did and in few moments he would have a new body without pain and be running on warm glistening sand with radiant seagulls soaring overhead and cool sapphire waves lapping at his feet as he runs and plays on a heavenly beach for eternity. I told him I hope to join him there someday. I asked him to please forgive me and to know forever how much I love him.

The doctor returned to the room and when I looked around I did not see a doctor’s office, but an execution chamber. Although part of me understands, there is another part of me that wonders how it is that a person can deal with being a professional executioner, stealing the lives of other living things, even part of the time and under the guise of mercy.

The syringe filled with Pentobarbital would anesthetize Percy so he would not feel any pain. Then as he was in a drug-induced sleep his heart would stop. I hugged him close as the doctor gave guidance and the technician found a vein in his hind leg since it was already numb from the spinal damage. She inserted the needle and I watched horrified as the violet solution entered his body. Part of me wanted to cry out “NO!” but I remained silent, knowing in my heart that easing his suffering was the merciful thing to do.

But I was still killing someone I loved very dearly and it hurt.

Eternally sleeping 5/10/2013 @ 12:10PM. He who was alive now breathes no more. May you suffer no longer, my good and very loved friend...

Eternally sleeping 5/10/2013 @ 12:10PM. He who was alive now breathes no more. May you suffer no longer, my good and very loved friend…

I watched his body relax and his eyes droop. He was feeling the first effects and his pain was easing. The tension flowed from his body and he went limp – a third the syringe was injected. His eyes closed almost but not quite fully. He looked like he was going into a peaceful sleep. A quick check with the stethoscope revealed to the doctor that his heart was still beating, so the technician injected the rest of the drug and it was done. Percy, my beloved little dog, was dead because of my choice.

Sylvia and I both cried over him and the doctor and technician stepped out to give us a bit of privacy. Tears flowed and I lost count of how many tissues we used.

In a few moments, the technician returned and gave Sylvia a hug, touched me on the shoulder, and gave us both words of comfort and encouragement.

Now we wait to get the ashes of our loving companion in a wooden box with his name on a gold plate. But for now there’s now an empty kennel in the corner and an emptier hole in my heart.

As I write this, I keep looking down to the left of my office chair hoping to see him plopped down in the furry little circle where he would usually be. But he’s not there. And he never will be.

Percy was my friend, my travel buddy, my family member, and most importantly my mentor. He taught me so much. I miss him immensely, beyond words’ ability to describe. I want so much to feel his warm, furry body enveloped in my arms again, to see the happiness in his fuzzy face as he looks at me with large round eyes with his cute pink tongue sticking out. I would love to see his fluffy little tail wagging.

But never will that happen again in this lifetime.

I was so very wrong. Percy was not worthless at all. He was priceless.

My last moments with a priceless friend and mentor I will never forget.
Sir Percival (Percy)
Beloved Pet and Family Member
4/2010 – 5/10/2013

 

Apr 192013
 

broken_leg_kittenAt the Stanford Eye Clinic in Palo Alto, CA on August 29, 2011, a sight I will likely never forget passed through my eyes and into my heart.

A lovely Asian family – father, mother, and daughter – slowly crossed the waiting room floor, the aged father maneuvering one small, weak step at a time, his quivering hand gripping a cane for support while his daughter steadied his other arm. The mother, herself old and worn, shuffled alongside.

What touched me was the young woman had a cast on her left foot wrapped with a black support brace. It was clear she was also having a great deal of trouble walking, and her expression revealed it was quite painful. But she could still walk better than her father and was noticeably stronger, so as a loving daughter she supported him regardless of her personal difficulty and discomfort.

What a perfect model of Christian service…

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV)

As mentioned in my last post, I struggle with those inner voices saying I’m not good enough to serve, that I still have too many fleshly weaknesses to help others around me in their Christian walk, and that for such an imperfect person to speak of a perfect god God is the height of hypocrisy. But I’m discovering more each day the truth of how very weak we all really are when compared to the absolute strength of Christ that we are being perfected into and will attain not in this life but in the next life only. It is through our mortal weakness that God’s strength most fully manifests.

So rather than bemoaning our own shortcomings we should instead use the strength we are given to do the best we can wherever we are now. While we are not strong to the best degree, we have strength to some degree. The young woman could not lift her father and carry him across the floor, but she could certainly support him along the way.

Focusing on our weaknesses and comparing ourselves against others only further debilitates us. We then imagine what we cannot do and do not see what we can do.

Should I not swim since I’m not Michael Phelps? Should I not cook since I’m not Bobby Flay? Should I not invest for retirement since I’m not Warren Buffett?

Should I not sing praises to the Lord since I’m not TobyMac? Should I not evangelize since I’m not Billy Graham? Should I not give service since I’m not Mother Teresa?

None of us are truly strong. Yet none of us are truly weak. We are all somewhere in the middle and we are all a work in progress. And the wonderful reality is that when we admit and embrace our own frailty and instead focus on God’s strength He does amazing things through us. It is not our strength he requires. He provides that. It’s our obedience to His will and the love in our heart for Him and for His children that is important to God.

“…But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:44-45 ESV)

It is to the servant’s heart that God supplies strength. When we cast aside selfishness and replace it with selflessness we become that light on the hill through which glory shines. He then smiles and says this is my child in whom I am well-pleased. Through our weakness He makes us strong.

You do not have to be rich to help the poor. You do not have to be mighty to lend a helping hand. You do not have to be eloquent to say a kind word.

There are always those less fortunate than us, whether physically, financially, emotionally, or spiritually. When we become that servant who does not see himself or herself, but instead sees Christ living inside, the power of God is instantly there to do things we could never do on our own.

And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. (Hebrews 11:32-34 ESV)

What do all of these have in common? They took action not for themselves, but for the glory of God and for the benefit of others.

Like the loving daughter did for her father, in the strength of your own weakness whose arm can you support today to help them through this journey of life?

 

Aug 292012
 

Prophesy is one of the spiritual gifts of the new covenant church, and one that is perhaps not practiced as often as it should be. However, it must be done with proper guidance and caution. The prophesy of the New Testament is NOT the “Thus sayeth the Lord” of the prophets of old, but we’ll discuss that in-depth in a different post. For that reason, I seldom publicly share personal prophecies I receive, but after some things that happened yesterday this is the word I received after prayer this morning. Since God is no respecter of persons, I feel an urgency to share this one because there is perhaps something contained within that may edify, strengthen, and confirm promises to others at a time they really need this. May you be blessed… 

open-armsBe of good heart because I love you and I receive you as My own, yet you feel you are not good enough to be acceptable to Me. But I tell you that in you I am well-pleased. None are perfect in the Earth, but I have not called my children to be perfect – only to be perfected. And you, My son, are being perfected, and I love you.

You fall down often, yet you repent quickly. This is the true mark of My sons and daughters. Do not hold onto the sin, for this will only isolate you from Me. Not because I reject you, but because you reject yourself and then you pull away from Me in shame. Yet I am always willing to draw you near. You think that by repenting many times a week or even many times a day for your failings that it weighs heavy on me, and that I will soon tire of your failures. But this is not so. My holy scriptures say to forgive one another seven times seventy times each day. My beloved, if I can command My people to forgive, how much more can I forgive you? I see your failures and I forgive them as soon as you ask, never thinking of them again, but I see all the more your successes. When you fall am I not always there lifting you back up, setting you upright, and bringing you further up the slope of my holy mountain? Do I not with my own hand dress your mind with the armor and place within your heart the weapon you need for the battles you face? Have I not always been there to guide and protect you in even your most difficult trials?

You have sought My truth and I bless that. So many seek My hand and the promises of what I can do for them. But you have sought My face and have asked earnestly for My truth to be revealed to you, not for what it will gain you in this present world, but because it is indeed truth. You have sought relationship with Me rather than simply My blessings. You have asked to see My people as I see them, to look upon them with My eyes of grace, to hear them with My ears of understanding, and to accept them with My heart of love. Since you have sought My face and My truth, I will also extend my hand to you and grant what you ask and then multiply it exceedingly.

Your gifts will become stronger. You will prophesy My Word to many and will speak with the boldness of a lion, yet with the gentleness of My love. For My truth is sharper than the sharpest sword, and it will cut the sin from any who perceive it, leaving intact the good creature I originally created them to be. You will speak My words of knowledge and My words of wisdom that I place within you with holy authority, for I remember My promise that I will reveal to you the deeper mysteries. You will teach others and through your obedience they will receive My grace and the blessings I have for them. You will speak in yet other tongues, uttering the new words I place in your spirit, and you will know their meaning for you and for My people. It is from these new words that prophecies will arise as you build yourself up in stronger faith. For you have also prayed that your faith will increase greatly, and this thing I will do for you.

You will be witness to miracles that cannot be explained other than by the presence of My hand, and when you speak and touch people they will be healed in mind and in body according to their needs. And when this happens I will heal their spirit and draw them closer to Me. You will be My witness, and your hand will be My hands, and your voice will be My voice.

My son, you have long wandered in the wilderness, but I am now leading you into the land I have promised. To a place of abundance where you will drink the milk of My truth and eat the sweet honey of My blessing and healing. Doors that were shut are now opened and once you pass through the way back to your past is sealed. On the other side new adversaries await from which you have been protected until you have been strengthened to face them. But fear not, mighty man of valor, for I am forever with you, even unto the end of this age and beyond, and never will I leave you nor forsake you. These enemies will be slain by My hand as you face them in My name. These agents of the enemy are defeated by your standing boldly in the knowledge of I AM within you.

Arise, my son, and go forth in the promise that I give to you. Climb up My holy mountain and marvel at the things I am bringing forth in your life.

I love you forever, my son. In you I am well-pleased, and forever you will be in My presence. Your sins are forgiven. And forgotten.

Aug 222010
 

We don’t have an assurance from God that we’ll win every battle. After all, even Christ Jesus hung on the cross and died there. One could argue that the “cross” won the battle on that one. But there is so much more to the story. God could have never shown His glory and ultimate authority in all things by raising His son on the third day had He not allowed His son to be sacrificed at Calvary. Although the cross won the battle, God through Christ Jesus won the war against death and overcame it.

It’s that way in your life as well. There may be battles that you lose, but take confidence that ultimately God is in control of all things. The “defeat” you suffer today is perhaps the venue through which God will bring about your ultimate victory.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  (John 16:33 KJV)

May 232009
 

Meekness is not weakness – In fact, it’s just the opposite.

Modern English has lost the original meaning of the Greek word praus, which was used to describe a soothing medicine, a gentle breeze to sailors, and a broken colt to farmers. What do all these definitions describe?

Great power under control.

If we look at those in the bible who were described as meek, the list would include Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus. There was certainly no weakness in that group.

A.W. Tozer once wrote, “The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto.”

Thank God, He has made us meek.

It means we’re strong.