Saturday, January 31, 2015

America A Nation In Need Of Integrity

  Over the last few years my daughter has been given a special assignment at her school. She has been asked to write an essay on integrity. I have noticed that each time she composes a new essay on integrity her basic definition of integrity may stay the same but her concept of it's real meaning has changed greatly. She understands that integrity is personal honesty and a definite reflection of an individuals character an understanding that I find many in America lack.
  One must ask themselves this basic question. Do I do what is right because it is right or because I'll get into some sort of trouble if I don't? As I Christian I know I must ask this question in my life on an almost daily basis. If one wishes to know the level of their integrity all one need do is ask ones self this question is there is anything I would do if I knew for sure that I could get away with it? As I see it if there is anything a person would do if they were sure they could get away with it means the only reason they don't is because they haven't yet thought of a foolproof way to pull it off!
  Consider this Christian do you obey the law only because if your caught not obeying the law you could go to jail? A Christian should seek to do that which is because it is right. The only possible exception I can find is if a law made by men goes against a law made by God. I believe abortion may just be one such law yet even then Christians are expected to obey the law a Christian can however speak out about such a law and seek for ways to get a law they deem to be unjust changed.
  It goes almost without saying that government in many aspects is filled with corruption. It has been my experience that every time I hear any politician talk about putting more money in my pocket I find that the only pockets that get filled are there own! What we have in the country now is a lack of old fashioned integrity. As long as politicians are more concerned about the next election as opposed to what is best for the county not a whole lot will change in this country as far as the government is concerned and I can assure you right now the government is only concerned for its self. Our government seems to operate on a mind over matter principal they don't mind because we don't matter! Can we find a politician that will do what is best for the country and not what is best for them? I have to say for now I don't know but I certainly pray that there may be one or two and that they may by all means please step forward soon!
  Before integrity can be learned it must be taught and like many moral values personal integrity begins at home! Children need to see integrity in the character of there parents and for Christian parents this really shouldn't be an issue I know we don't live in a perfect world and no one is perfect but as a Christian I know I must make an honest effort to demonstrate real integrity many aspects of my daughter's future depend on that. and I dare say America's future as a country in general will be decided on the foundation of her integrity. As always my friends these thoughts remain just some words to think on.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Equal Justice Is Not Always Equal.

  Parents today face a lot different challenges. One of the greatest challenges that parents must deal with is the concept of being fair with their children. I remember when I was growing up as a young man it used to make me so mad when my sister and I would both be caught doing the same thing wrong but when it came time for our punishment it always seemed to me that my sister received a lighter punishment many times just because she was a girl.I was left feeling that my dad was playing favorites. I wanted both fair and equal justice. I realize now of course, that no human being can be fair all the time but let's face it no likes to be in a situation where it's more more than obvious that someone is playing favorites!
  America's laws and judicial system is supposed to be based on the concept that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. If a person then is found guilty they are to receive equal punishment under the law and supposedly, no one is above the law. As I watch news and see what goes on particularly in our government and how they deal with our military let's just say that the treatment is not always fair and the justice has a real potential to be anything but equal.
  Consider now the case of Bowe Bergdahl, here is a man in our military who by by all accounts clearly is guilty of desertion. I doubt very seriously however if he will be formally charged with this crime and even if he is I think the White House will either bury the whole outcome under the rug or see to it that Bergdahl receives some minor punishment that results in nothing more than a slap on the wrist. While it is true that no one for now can predict how this situation will finally play out when I consider Obama and the politics involved this is the  impression I am left with up to now.
  Turn your attention now to  four star general  and former directer of the CIA David Petraeus. Here is a man who is credited with turning things around in Iraq when many at thought that the cause in Iraq was all but lost. Indeed Petraeus's courage and ample military experience made the troop surge in Iraq work thus making Petraeus a military genius and a national war hero. Yet present Attorney General Eric Holder is considering bringing federal charges against Petreaus for giving classified documents to his biographer and yes former mistress Paula Broadwell. a charge even if found to be true I believe was done unintentionally by Petraeus..I further believe that in the case of  Petraeus his possible pending charges stem from a desire from the White House to silence him on the subject of Benghazi. I believe it is quite possible thatboth of these cases I've discussed may be politically swept under the rug to avoid potential embarrassment for Obama and the White House. The difference to me is Bergdahl I believe should have to face desertion charges but I believe Petraeus should notface charges at all. Bergdahl may well get a pass on desertion because his name has flooded the media and Obama made a terrible trade of five high level terrorist for Bergdahl and Obama and the White House doesn't want further embarrassment. It seems though that Obama has no problem further embarrassing nation war hero David Petraeus. Even if the charges against Petraeus are true they are a far cry from Bergdahl's desertion charges Brave men died searching for Bergdahl but who is going to speak for them if he doesn't face charges? Brave men died in Benghazi but if Petraeus is forced to remain silent on Benghazi where is their equal justice under the law?  No one should be above the law but in these two cases I suspect the justice will be anything but equal. As always my friends these thoughts remain just some words to think on.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Is Cheating The New Norm?

  A few months ago I over heard my daughter talking with a school classmate on the phone. I found my self inclined to listen as the conversation grew more intense. Suddenly, my daughter hung up the phone and exclaimed "I won't do it I won't!" You won't do what? I asked, She said," I won't give her the answer to the math problems that's cheating and I won't cheat!" I was proud of my daughter and I hugged her and told her she was right.
  I've noticed in the world of sports there seems to be a cloud of awkward suspicion around the New England Patriots and some deflated footballs which may or may not have given them some kind of advantage in the last win.Personally if it turns out to be true and it is proven that there was some kind of  known wrongdoing it is most unfortunate and it sends a very bad message to our youth. It goes almost without saying that athletes are often idolized and many young men and then seek to be like them. I have to wonder though are the setting a good example for our youth? I heard today on the news that disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong said that if he could go back to 1995 and was faced with the decision to cheat or not to cheat to win he said he would do it again. I now
  I now have to wonder has cheating become the norm in America? As a Christian I know it is wrong to knowingly cheat yet even Christians need to be careful with this issue. Here is what I mean. Suppose you decide to sell your house and some potential buyers come to look at it do you tell them the roof sometimes leaks or do you just happen to forget to mention it? Here is another example as a Christian I am to try to as honest as knowingly possible therefore, I can't tell my daughter to be honest and not cheat and then knowingly cheat on my taxes!
  There seems to be a type of thinking in this country even among some Christians that troubles me and it is expressed as it's only wrong if you get caught or the government cheats all the time therefore, I ought to be able to. As a Christian I can only speak for myself I personally could not tell anyone I was a Christian if I knew that I cheated in one way or another every chance I could and even if one supposedly, gets away with cheating in this life Christians should remember that we will face God one day and he knows every intent of our hearts.
  The fact that there is political corruption in government and thus cheating goes on all the time does not justify cheating in the eyes of God for a Christian. I find as a Christian I have to be careful because cheating can be so easy to do . Here is another example the speed limit is sixty but you notice that that all the cars are passing you and they're doing seventy so you do seventy to keep up with traffic but if you get pulled over I'm pretty the officer won't buy your explanation! The truth is cheating is more than an action of the will it is a measure of character. Make no mistake someone who will cheat will lie or steal or do most anything if they think there is a chance they can get away with it. I fear that cheating has becoming the norm in America if true all I can do is pray that this nation will remember the Christian principals she was built on and seek to change this trend and thus as a Christian I know that before I can pray for the nation I must make sure that cheating never becomes the norm in my life. As always my friends these thoughts remain just some words to think on.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Is It Time For Another American Revolution?

  The year is 1773 the country is England the king is King George The Third. He has just issued his latest tax on all tea produced by his English colonies. What King George does not yet know however is that this particular tax on tea is the last straw as far as the colonies are concerned.The colonist in Boston become so out raged that they dress as Indians and countless crates of British tea are thrown into the water of the Boston harbor. The event came to be know as the now familiar Boston Tea Party.
  The purpose of this blog however, is not necessarily to debate or discuss the merits or affects of the law itself but rather to examine why the colonist objected to the tax. Certainly, colonist understood that England had to tax them to a certain extent. The colonies were expected to be profitable and bring a certain amount of revenue for England.What the colonist objected to was not necessarily the tax on the tea itself but rather the passing of the tax without substantial representation in English Parliament. Indeed the rallying cry of the colonist was no taxation without representation. One can certainly suggest that King George could have avoided The American Revolution if he would have agreed to let the colonist select a representative to speak on their behalf and guard the economic interest in parliament. King George however was the king and he answered to no one a position he made quite clear to the colonies and the result of that position gave rise to The American Revolution.
  Fast forward to November of 2014 the Republican Party has gained control of both the House and Senate as a result of their impressive victory in the midterm elections. One might reason that now president Obama might listen to the will of the American people and a seek to work with the newly republican controlled congress but if anyone thought that they would soon learn they were sadly mistaken.
  In his recent State of the Union Address, Obama made it quite clear he had absolutely no intention of working with republicans. He went on to say that any bills passed by the congress that didn't further his tax laden agenda would be answered swiftly with a presidential veto. Which leads the composer of this particular to proclaim in disgust " All hail King Obama or King Veto if you prefer! Obama wants free college tuition for students. He wants free child care for working mothers. He wants an increase in minimum wage and we thought Santa Clause only came at Christmas! To accomplish these lofty goals Obama has proposed higher taxes including an increase in the inheritance tax an increase on the gasoline tax and a new tax on those who had the foresight to save for their children's college by setting up what the government calls a college 529 plan. At present college funds placed in such a plan are tax sheltered until families distribute them but Obama seeks to soon change that even if he has to do this by an executive order such actions are the actions of a king.
  Indeed Obama is acting as a king he has often said he has a pen and a phone the pen is his royal sceptre and his phone along with the Internet and much of the media is his Town Crier and with both he intends to be a royal pain in the neck! I don't remember anyone asking me or the American people in general how they feel about an increase in taxes let alone any new ones not that Obama would pay attention to anything any given poll might say on the subject. President Obama would do well to remember that the American people also have a phone and a pen and a computer which can be used to contact congressmen and senators to influence future votes and if congress and President Obama don't listen to the will of we the people it just may be time for another American Revolution! As always my friends these thoughts remain just some words to think on. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What Happens When Government Becomes God?

  As a Christian I find that I struggle with the biblical concept of living by faith. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only Christian to struggle with this aspect of the Christian life. Those who read my blog will notice that I've been away for quite awhile. The reasons are many it takes me a long time to compose a blog and I'm not a fast typist. As a father I have a daughter who needs me now more than ever and my health has been areal issue in the last few years.
  I was born with Cerebral Palsy and that has made things difficult  at various times in my life. Recently however, I discovered what it really means to live and walk by faith. I suffered a hernia in September of 2014. I went in for surgery to repair the hernia. The doctor for some unexplained reason decided to run a C T scan and that's when he then informed me that I had cancer in my right kidney and that I should have the cancer removed just as soon as possible.
  When the doctor said it was cancer, my whole world just stopped. I was 54 years old I had a 12 year old daughter to raise and a devoted loving and hard working wife who needed all the help and support I could give her. I knew the surgery had to be done right away but I had to heal and recover from the hernia surgery first. I will confess I don't handle pain very well and I wasn't looking forward to more surgery and the possibility of losing my right kidney to make matters worse I was disabled and I had no idea how I was going to pay the hospital bills I knew would surely come.
  I found myself asking God why all this had to happen to me now when I had a family that needed me to be there for them and I made sure to remind God of that when I prayed to him. I feared the pain I knew the surgery would bring but I knew I had to go through with it cancer waits for no one and it isn't something to be taken lightly.I prayed very hard the night before the surgery I wondered if they would the surgery be successful? Would they have to take my right kidney? Would the surgeon be able to get all the cancer? Would I live long enough to raise my precious daughter Cassandra and one day hold my first grandchild?
  I woke up in recovery The first thing the doctor said to me was I have good news and great news! I ask what the great news was first . The doctor said, the great news was that he was 95% sure he had gotten all of the cancer in my right kidney. That was great news.  I wondered then, what was the good news? The doctor went on to say that that the good news was he only had to take part of my right kidney and that meant that my kidneys in general could function much better.I was relieved to say the least but I still wondered how I would pay all the hospital bills. I decided I would trust God for those answers I reminded him that Philippians 4:19 says "But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory." I told God I needed some of those riches! I reminded God that Matthew 6"33 says 'But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." I will tell you the answers did not come in an instant I had to remember that God isn't Santa Clause and there is the matter of faith to consider when a Christian ask God to meet there needs. I waited I wondered and worried and just as my faith was about to waver I received word from the hospital that my health insurance would cover much of my bills and in addition because was was disabled and had a household of modest income the hospital decided to write off most of the remaining hospital bills. I bowed my head and thanked God for meeting my needs.
  Anyone reading this blog at this point would no doubt wonder why I would entitle it What Happens When Government Becomes God? The reason? It's very simple really, I have noticed an alarming trend in this country. as a society the American people have increasingly become more and more dependent on the government and not God to provide anything that they may want or need. think about if the government is expected to feed you, shelter you' educate you, provided for your medical care and even give you a free cell phone to boot the question then arises, What's left for God to provide? It seems then, that faith in God is no longer necessary since all faith is now placed in the government to provide anything Americans may need. I would caution those who favor this type of thinking. I have noticed that anything the government gives anyone usually requires some aspect of their personal freedom. Remember anything the government gives anyone  can at the will and good pleasure of the government be taken away without notice.Consider this if the government gives a person everything they need they can tell you how you should vote on an issue or how you should view any policy they may be handing down. The government is already telling churches what they can and can't sat about issues like gay marriage. The government is telling pastors they will be accused of hate speech or lose their tax exempt status if the don't walk the government line. That, doesn't sound like freedom to me that sounds like slavery to the government. Ben Franklin, said it best when he said, " Those who would trade freedom for security will soon find they have neither."
  This nation must return to the faith of our fathers if we are to survive. God has been systematically pushed out of nearly every aspect of American society. Second Chronicles 7:14 says, " If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways and pray then, will I hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land. This must begin with Christians in every home and church across this nation and as a Christian, I know it must begin with me in my heart. I pray daily for this nation. I pray that God will have mercy on this nation most of all I pray it is not too late to turn this nation back to God as always my friends these thoughts remain just some words to think on.