“Walking Amongst Shadows”

As I walk through soft green grass I make no sound,

I wonder at the sun’s beauty as birds sing and flutter,

Below my feet shadows are revealed on the ground.

A soft breeze awakens their voice to be heard,

Their voices carry me quickly to the past,

It is through their stories my heart is stirred.

Standing proud the shapes are never alone,

Their shadows touch each other as if a friend,

They will never leave the other as time has shown.

Their line is disciplined, just as once in the past,

All in their finest since the day they were formed,

A simple stone tells their story and forever will it last.

With my eyes now open, I can painfully see,

I am among my fallen brothers and sisters,

Their silence begs me to pass on their story.

They have given all to take away a nation’s fears,

The only words I am able to utter, are “Thank You”,

As I walk through the shadows and wipe away my tears.

D.E. Jones

Never should the sacrifices of those who gave all be forgotten.

“What Are You Kneeling For?”

Many are up in arms about professional athletes kneeling during the National Anthem, and I can understand why. There is a lot of tradition and culture behind what it all stands for, so the ensuing emotional reactions are actually predictable.

However; the emotional connection to our flag and the anthem must be respected. There are many who have given up their Constitutional rights in service to our country so that you can protest the things you think need overt attention.  There are many who are not able to come home and enjoy the same rights you have because they gave everything, up to and including their life.  So, before you kneel during the anthem or try to burn our flag, think about your ability to do so.  In some countries, you would be arrested or even worse, executed.

For many, including myself it represents the country, our rights and our laws that allow Americans to be free. This also means that we may not always agree with each other; this should be considered acceptable, not relative to or restrained by any belief as non-negotiable.

So as the athletes kneel during the anthem because they feel oppressed, I am left begging these questions; Do you really understand why you are kneeling? Are you doing this because the crowd around you is doing it and now you feel pressured to do the same?  What are you doing, other than kneeling to make things better?

At this point I am left to believe that this is nothing more than a fad brought about by those who think that their way is the only way and that if they “Squeak” enough they will get their way. What I am trying to figure out is, what is it exactly are your asking for?  If you want equal rights and freedom; you already have this and in many ways, are undermining it through your less than thought out actions.

At the end of the day I say that as Americans we need to get behind something that unites us, not divides us. We are better than this and must find a way to put our differences in our pocket and move forward by changing our attitudes towards each other first.

So instead of kneeling during the National Anthem, try getting on your knees and thanking God for the blessings you do have. Maybe start with thanking Him for the air you breathe every day that allows you to speak or kneel and work your way up from there.

In conclusion, I don’t really care if you kneel during the National Anthem and as a matter of fact, I am inclined to simply ignore you because I don’t see it as being an effective way to make positive change in our country. What I do think makes a difference are those people who act upon their beliefs by working to make positive changes in their community.  From there it is simply a ripple effect that causes positive changes and attitudes in our country.

If things are broke, lets fix them together. It is our own communities that make America great; not our government. It is and always has been, We the People, so let’s get back to that.

“Where is Your Bucket?”

In my response to those of any political party or any affiliation to a group or groups who desperately oppose one another after our much disputed Presidential Election, I would offer the words of Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Compromise Speech given in 1895 on September 18th.

His words were directed primarily at newly freed African American Slaves and the South which in some part included the white population, but in my opinion he was speaking to the America as a whole. The country had just gone through a devastating Civil War and healing was needed in every corner of the nation, regardless of the color of one’s skin.

Our faith in God will and should always be the most important aspect of who we are as a people, but more importantly we should also try to understand that we may not always be able to control the people or circumstances around us. However, what we can control are those things we are responsible for as citizens of a community.  The healing takes place in the smallest of them and begins with the hard work that is ours to do, a helping hand and a smile.

Mr. Washington was telling us then to put our differences aside and simply work together for the greater good, thereby, improving our own station in life. He never promised easy, nor has God for that matter when it comes to what He has called us to do for His Kingdom.  So I will leave you with the story and some words from Booker T. Washington that I hope will bring things into some sort of perspective for you if you are struggling to move on, forgive, befriend or simply get back to some sort of normal in your life.

A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal, “Water, water; we die of thirst!” The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back, “Cast down your bucket where you are.” A second time the signal, “Water, water; send us water!” ran up from the distressed vessel, and was answered, “Cast down your bucket where you are.” And a third and fourth signal for water was answered, “Cast down your bucket where you are.” The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket, and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River. To those of my race who depend on bettering their condition in a foreign land or who underestimate the importance of cultivating friendly relations with the Southern white man, who is their next-door neighbor, I would say: “Cast down your bucket where you are”— cast it down in making friends in every manly way of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded.

Cast it down in agriculture, mechanics, in commerce, in domestic service, and in the professions. And in this connection it is well to bear in mind that whatever other sins the South may be called to bear, when it comes to business, pure and simple, it is in the South that the Negro is given a man’s chance in the commercial world, and in nothing is this Exposition more eloquent than in emphasizing this chance. Our greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labour, and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life; shall prosper in proportion as we learn to draw the line between the superficial and the substantial, the ornamental gewgaws of life and the useful. No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top. Nor should we permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities.” (Harlen, 1974)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference:

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/39/

Louis R. Harlan, ed., The Booker T. Washington Papers, Vol. 3, (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1974), 583–587.

“To Be PC Or Not To Be PC?”

Can’t believe I turned to Shakespeare for this one, but when tough topics come up we have to be honest with ourselves and each other. In the news all we hear about is being politically correct. What does that mean anyway? Of course the answers some learned in their secular college course somewhere will come out, but to be honest, I think this is what got us into the mess we are in now.

My intent is not to pinpoint a college for a fault, but what I am referring to is the idea that political correctness was taken to levels unseen by everyone. Now, we are stuck with it regardless of how far it has come and I have an idea that many of those who raised banners for it are now stuck eating “Crow”, but in order to save face are unwilling to upset the status quo they find themselves in. Why? Because quite frankly it could mean losing jobs, friends and their livelihood.

It seems to me in my simple mind that if I am being honest, it is a better quality than lying to myself and everyone around me about my feelings and what I consider to be right or wrong. If I give up my beliefs and betray my feelings I have just handed who I am over to someone else; something I refuse to do regardless of the consequences. Anyway, I am not mine to give away as I belong to God.

For those who are struggling with choices they know they must make to save themselves; make the choice you know your heart is telling you.  God has put His Law on your heart and by this you will know that the choice you make is the right one. Do not let sin cloud your heart and repent.  Let God in so that you can honestly and clearly examine yourself; remember God have given you grace through Jesus Christ – He is your gift so honor and cherish it.

For those around you who claim there is no God or God’s Law does not apply or other absurd claims; they too know that God exists.  If they truly thought that God did not exist they would not fight so hard to prove otherwise. For those who would challenge you in this our foundation comes from the book of Romans 1: 18 – 25. Although you may come from a biblical world view it is simple. Do not let anyone be the judge over God and His word, but remember that our example is Christ and it is with Christian love we approach the lost; not free love as they might have you believe.

As Christians we are constantly told that we have to prove that God exists so I will simply reverse the table and use the same weighted balance; prove that He doesn’t.  Theory and hypothesis do not count as fact or truth. Remember that the Laws of Nature are used by science which also agrees with Laws of Logic, so just because I believe in something that cannot be considered tangible does not mean that I am the only one in the room that uses faith as my foundation.

Praise and Glory to God as He continues to use those who know Him and those who claim otherwise – All for His Glory!

“A Perspective of Salvation”

Today the world took another spin as we attempted to keep up with the momentum of time.  Each of us sees that rotation in many varying ways, which make us the unique species on this planet.

So are we that unique?  Well I think the answer is pretty obvious; we have a soul.  Even for those who say they don’t do and according to what we know in God’s Word to us, we are held responsible for the care and welfare of this planet. That should makes us qualified to carry out God’s wishes along with His ordnances.

This might be a point of disagreement and that is okay if it is, but our lives as Christians should not be to only wait patiently for Christ’s return or even death to carry us away to Heaven.  Actually we should be very busy to take care of Christ’s Kingdom here on earth as we were left as its caretakers until His return; whenever that may be.  Christ never tells us when; only to be ready.

So if we are to be busy prior to Christ’s return, then what exactly are we supposed to be doing?  We know that we are not saved by works, so then I must assume that we are “Saved for works” as stated by Dr. Joel McDurmon.  Knowing that Dr. McDurmon is a Theonomist makes my point more interesting.

Dr McDurmon comes from the idea that God’s Law must also be the civil law and we know that it is also the basis for our moral law.  This law also tells us that we are to care for God’s Kingdom along with its inhabitants.  We already know that the laws of God are just, but some may view them as “old”, “Jewish” or “no longer applicable”.  With the degraded society we live in that claims to be “modern”, “well-rounded” or even “fair”, for those descriptions I will simply disagree.

God’s Laws were and are fairly simple; yet difficult for even the best Jew to follow.  Considering the best and perfect Jew was Jesus Christ; perfection does not fall on any human being’s resume.  With this I am simply trying to understand how I as a Christian can be a better one and a proper steward of Christ’s Kingdom here on earth.

I greatly respect those whose knowledge of God far surpasses mine and for them I am grateful to God.  From these our faith is measured in how well we receive and discern their words concerning their interpretation of God’s Word, its meaning and symbolism.  Whatever God has wished me to glean from their teaching I will use it to strengthen my faith and my stance for Christ’s Kingdom.

As there are too many to mention I will thank Jeff Durbin, Dr Joel McDurmon and my current pastor for their teaching; they bring my soul the freshness and nearness of God each time I hear them speak.

“Question of the Day”

The question of the day is certainly a Christian one, but I am not sure if I can answer the specific question, but I can offer the perspective of a Christian voter if that helps.  Today we are pressed by the question given to Scott Walker concerning Obama’s religious preference of that as a Christian and former mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments about the POTUS and his love of America.

Being in the same position as Mr. Walker I find myself in a little bit of a quandary.  Since I do not have first hand access to the President I am not able to give an answer to the question, but I do have a perspective to share concerning Mr. Walker’s answer to the press.

As a Christian of course I would love to know the true answer to the question posed to Mr. Walker, but I think I am more concerned with his response to reporters when asked.  His answer seemed more like an attempt at skirting around what was really being asked.  I think what was really being asked is; “if you don’t know, then why aren’t you asking the same question or at least making an attempt to find out?”

When it regards the leader of a nation I am certainly hoping that this prospect can understand the question posed and that even though it might seem direct, it actually implies something greater than himself and that most people would understand that Mr. Walker may not have the answer, so just say that you don’t know and please don’t try to hide behind political answers when the questions are posed; just be honest.

For the former mayor of New York I would offer that a little more digging might be required to get the real answer to the idea of whether President Obama loves America.  From my perspective (seat) I would first like to focus on how the POTUS views America.  Does he see it the same way I do?  More than likely not, so then we have to look at his own history of being a citizen.  Now this subject in itself is a contentious one, but for this discussion I am avoiding it.

The focus of the view could be broken down into “My Home, My Land, My Country” or “My Stepping Stone”.  I think it would be quite easy to distribute many people into either choice, but now how do we think the POTUS sees it?  My personal opinion is that he sees it as “My Stepping Stone”.  The reason I say this is due to how he makes decisions from how I see them.  Looking into his past is a key here since America served as a stepping stone to get him where he is now and with that he has become very Socialist in his politics and his directions concerning government programs.

No, I do not agree with President Obama on many things and did not vote for him, but I would ask that we be fair in our observations and judgements when it comes to evaluating who he is as a person.  We all love our country for various reasons and because of the rights we are given under the Constitution we can verbalize our ideas of how that is all put together.  As a Christian I will always turn to God for answers, but sometimes the answers are plain and sometimes simple, but the most obvious is love which for some reason can also be the hardest.