VIDEO God Bless America, A Lesson Our Kids Need to be Taught

May 23, 2019 by David Jolly

Recently, on our local news, they showed commentary from a conservative and then rebuttal from a liberal. The contrast between the two were striking and revealed the blinded views of the liberal.

The conservative spoke about the importance of teaching students the importance of the phrase ‘God bless America’. He emphasized that our kids need to know about the millions of Americans who have sacrificed life and limbs to first win our countries freedom and then to preserve that freedom.  For nearly 250 years, many men and women have fought to defend the concept of God bless America.

The liberal countered with the typical defense of not wanting to offend anyone. She spoke of being sensitive of everyone’s feelings and the need to be all inclusive.

Hearing that makes one begin to yell at the television at the liberal and ask her what about offending the majority of Americans who still identify as Christians? What about including them?

What this liberal and every other liberal really means is that they want special rights and privileges for everyone who holds the same liberal views while at the same time, removing the rights and freedoms of everyone who disagrees with them. Folks, this is nothing more than pure socialism and/or political dictatorship.

This really hit home when I recently listened to Lee Greenwood sing his hit song, God Bless the USA. I listened to the lyrics and thinking about America today, it almost made me weep in despair. Take a few moments to listen to the song and follow along with the lyrics below:

If tomorrow all the things were gone
I worked for all my life
And I had to start again
With just my children and my wife

I thank my lucky stars
To be living here today
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom
And they can’t take that away

And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
And defend Her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt
I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota
To the hills of Tennessee
Across the plains of Texas
From sea to shining sea

From Detroit down to Houston
And New York to L.A.
Where’s pride in every American heart
And it’s time we stand and say

That I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
And defend Her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt
I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
And defend Her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt
I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

 

This is what students need to be taught, but sadly, they are taught the exact the opposite. They are not taught to be proud to be an American and they aren’t taught about the men and women who died to give them the rights they have.

Parents need to demand that their kids are taught the truth and not the socialist leftist lies that are being taught to them every single day. If parents value their kids, the future of their kids, grandkids and on, and if they value America, they need to start standing up and making demands of the public education system to start teaching the truth.

 

Original here


It’s very simple: Without God, there is no morality

Bill Federer remembers wisdom, writings from country’s 1st chief justice

 

John Jay

John Jay

The first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, being appointed by George Washington, was also President of the American Bible Society. Who was he? John Jay, who died May 17, 1829.

As president of the Continental Congress, John Jay approved the “Circular Letter from the Congress of the United States of America to their Constituents,” Sept. 13, 1779: “Friends and Fellow Citizens. … In governments raised on the generous principles of equal liberty … the rulers of the state are the servants of the people, and not the masters of those from whom they derive authority. … The ungrateful despotism and inordinate lust of domination, which marked the unnatural designs of the British king and his venal parliament, to enslave the people of America, reduced you to the necessity of either asserting your rights by arms, or ingloriously passing under the yoke. … Remember we are contending against a kingdom crumbling into pieces; a nation without public virtue … betrayed by their own representatives; against a Prince governed by his passions; … against a government by the most impious violations of the rights of religion, justice, humanity and mankind, courting the vengeance of Heaven and revolting from the protection of Providence. … And can there be any reason to apprehend that the Divine Disposer of human events, after having separated us from the house of bondage, and led us safe through a sea of blood, towards the land of liberty and promise will leave the work of our political redemption unfinished … or suffer us to be carried back in chains to that country of oppression from whose tyranny He hath mercifully delivered us with a outstretched arm?”

As chief justice of the state of New York, John Jay charged the grand jury of Ulster County, Sept. 8, 1777: “The infatuated sovereign of Britain, forgetful that kings were the servants, not the proprietors, and ought to be the fathers, not the incendiaries of their people. … What … can appear more unworthy of credit than … a prince should arise who, by the influence of corruption alone … to reduce three million of his most loyal and affectionate subjects to absolute slavery … binding them in all cases whatever, not even excepting cases of conscience and religion? … Will it not appear extraordinary that thirteen colonies … without funds … without disciplined troops, in the face of their enemies, unanimously determine to be free, and, undaunted by the power of Britain, refer their cause to the justice of the Almighty. …”

John Jay noted in 1777: “This glorious revolution … is distinguished by so many marks of the Divine favor and interposition … and I may say miraculous, that when future ages shall read its history they will be tempted to consider a great part of it as fabulous. … The many remarkable … events by which our wants have been supplied and our enemies repelled … are such strong and striking proofs of the interposition of Heaven, that our having been hitherto delivered from the threatened bondage of Britain ought, like the emancipation of the Jews from Egyptian servitude, to be forever ascribed to its true cause … and kindle in them a flame of gratitude and piety which may consume all remains of vice and irreligion. Blessed be God! The time will now never arrive when the prince of a country in another quarter of the globe will command your obedience, and hold you in vassalage. … Nor will you in future be subject to the imperious sway of rulers instructed to sacrifice your happiness whenever it might be inconsistent with the ambitious views of their royal master.”

John Jay signed the Treaty of Paris with Franklin and Adams which ended the Revolutionary War. The treaty began: “In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.”

Jay, together with Madison and Hamilton, helped ratify the Constitution by writing the Federalist Papers. John Jay wrote in 1777: “The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favored with an opportunity of … choosing the forms of government under which they should live. All other constitutions have derived their existence from violence or accidental circumstances. … Your lives, your liberties, your property, will be at the disposal only of your Creator and yourselves. You will know no power but such as you will create; no authority unless derived from your grant; no laws but such as acquire all their obligation from your consent. … Security is also given to the rights of conscience and private judgment. They are by nature subject to no control but that of the Deity … Every man is permitted to consider, to adore, and to worship his Creator in the manner most agreeable to his conscience. …”

John Jay wrote in Chisholm v. Georgia, 1793: “The people are the sovereign of this country.”

With the support of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, he negotiated the Jay Treaty which resulted in 10 years of peaceful trade with Britain while France was going through a bloody revolution.

When America’s currency was losing value, giving rise to the idiom “not worth a Continental,” John Jay, as president of the Continental Congress, wrote Sept. 13, 1779: “Depreciation of the currency has … swelled the prices of every necessary article. … Depreciation is to be removed only by lessening the quantity of money in circulation. … A distrust … by the mass of the people … in the ability … of the United States to redeem their bills, is the cause of it. … A bankrupt faithless republic would … appear among reputable nations like a common prostitute among chaste and respectable matrons. … It has been already observed, that in order to prevent the further natural depreciation of our bills, we have resolved to stop the press.”

John Jay stated in 1777: “The constitution, however, has wisely declared, that the ‘liberty of conscience thereby granted shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness.’ … The convention by whom that constitution was formed were of opinion that the gospel of Christ, like the ark of God, would not fall, though unsupported by the arm of flesh. … But let it be remembered that whatever marks of wisdom … may be in your constitution, yet like the … forms of our first parents before their Maker breathed into them the breath of life, it is yet to be animated. … From the people it must receive its spirit. … Vice, ignorance, and want of vigilance will be the only enemies able to destroy it … Every member of the State ought diligently to read and to study the constitution. … By knowing their rights, they will sooner perceive when they are violated, and be the better prepared to defend. … Hence it becomes the common duty … to unite in repressing the licentious … and thereby diffusing the blessings of peace.”

On April 15, 1818, John Jay wrote to his Quaker friend, John Murray: “Natural laws and morality are given by the Sovereign of the Universe to all mankind. … It is true that the law was given to Moses, not however in his individual or private capacity, but as the agent or instrument, and by the authority of the Almighty. The law demanded exact obedience, and proclaimed: ‘Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.’ The law … by requiring perfect obedience, under a penalty so inevitable and dreadful, operated as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ for mercy. Legal punishments are adjusted and inflicted by the law and magistrate, and not by unauthorized individuals. These and all other positive laws or ordinances established by Divine direction, must of necessity be consistent with the moral law. It certainly was not the design of the law … to encourage a spirit of personal or private revenge. On the contrary, there are express injunctions in the law of Moses which inculcate a very different spirit.”

Writing to John Bristed, April 23, 1811, John Jay recounted: “I was at a large party, of which … several … spoke freely and contemptuously of religion. … An atheist very abruptly remarked that there was no God, and he hoped the time would come when there would be no religion in the world. I very concisely remarked that if there was no God there could be no moral obligations, and I did not see how society could subsist without them.”

John Jay told the New York Convention, Dec. 23, 1776: “Let a general reformation of manners take place … united in preparing for a vigorous defense of your country. … When you have done all things, then rely upon the good Providence of Almighty God for success, in full confidence that without his blessings, all our efforts will inevitably fail. … The Holy Gospels are yet to be preached to these western regions, and we have the highest reason to believe that the Almighty will not suffer slavery and the gospel to go hand in hand. It cannot, it will not be.”

On April 15, 1794, John Jay wrote to his wife, Sally, from England: “If it should please God to make me an instrument to the continuation of peace, and in preventing the effusion of blood and other evils and miseries incident to war, we shall both have reason to rejoice. … Let us repose unlimited trust in our Maker; it is our business to adore and to obey.”

On May 28, 1802, John Jay wrote to his children after his wife’s death: “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? … Behold I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. … Death is swallowed up in victory. (I Corinthians 15)”

John Jay wrote to John Murray, a representative in the Pennsylvania House, Oct. 12, 1816: “Real Christians will abstain from violating the rights of others, and therefore will not provoke war. Almost all nations have peace or war at the will and pleasure of rulers whom they do not elect, and who are not always wise or virtuous. Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

On Jan. 1, 1813, John Jay penned a letter to Jedediah Morse: “Whether our Religion permits Christians to vote for infidel rulers is a question which merits more consideration than it seems yet to have generally received, either from the clergy or the laity. It appears to me that what the prophet said to Jehoshaphat about his attachments to Ahab (‘Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord?’ 2 Chron. 19:2) affords a salutary lesson. … Public measures may not be a proper subject for the pulpit, yet, in my opinion, it is the right and duty of our pastors to press the observance of all moral and religious duties.”

John Jay, at the age of 14, was admitted to King’s College in New York (Columbia University), which had as a requirement translating the first 10 chapters of the Gospel of John from Greek into Latin.

The American Bible Society was founded in 1816, with John Jay as the first vice president. In 1821, though in poor health, John Jay accepted the position as the president of the American Bible Society. He wrote: “They who regard these Societies as deriving their origin and success from the author and Giver of the Gospel, cannot forbear concluding it to be the duty of Christians, to promote the purposes for which they have been established; and that is particularly incumbent on their officers to be diligent in the business committed to them.”

John Jay is attributed with the statement: “No human society has ever been able to maintain both order and freedom, both cohesiveness and liberty apart from the moral precepts of the Christian Religion. Should our Republic ever forget this fundamental precept of governance, we will then, be surely doomed.”

On May 13, 1824, John Jay addressed the American Bible Society: “By conveying the Bible to people thus circumstanced, we certainly do them a most interesting kindness. We thereby enable them to learn that man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his posterity have since experienced. The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer, in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; that this Redeemer has made atonement ‘for the sins of the whole world,’ and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve.”

John Jay stated: “In forming and settling my belief relative to the doctrines of Christianity, I adopted no articles from creeds but such only as, on careful examination, I found to be confirmed by the Bible. … At a party in Paris, once, the question fell on religious matters. In the course of it, one of them asked me if I believed in Christ? I answered that I did, and that I thanked God that I did.”

John Jay wrote: “God is great, and therefore He will be sought: He is good, and therefore He will be found. If in the day of sorrow we own God’s presence in the cloud, we shall find Him also in the pillar of fire, brightening and cheering our way as the night comes on. In all His dispensations God is at work for our good: in prosperity, He tries our gratitude; in mediocrity, our contentment; in misfortune, our submission; in darkness, our faith; under temptation, our steadfastness, and at all times, our obedience and trust in Him. God governs the world, and we have only to do our duty wisely, and leave the issue to Him.”

John Jay was sent a letter from the Corporation of the City of New York, asking him to join with them in the celebration of America’s 50th anniversary. John Jay, at 82 years of age, replied on June 29, 1826: “Earnest hope that the peace, happiness, and prosperity enjoyed by our beloved country may induce those who direct her national counsels to recommend a general and public return of praise to Him from whose goodness these blessings descend. … The most effectual means of securing the continuance of our civil and religious liberties is, always to remember with reverence and gratitude the Source from which they flow.”

In his last will and testament, John Jay wrote: “Unto Him who is the Author and Giver of all good, I render sincere and humble thanks for His merciful and unmerited blessings, and especially for our redemption and salvation by his beloved Son. He has been pleased to bless me with excellent parents, with a virtuous wife, and with worthy children. His protection has accompanied me through many eventful years, faithfully employed in the service of my country; and his providence has not only conducted me to this tranquil situation, but also given me abundant reason to be contented and thankful. Blessed be His Holy Name. While my children lament my departure, let them recollect that in doing them good, I was only the agent of their Heavenly Father, and that He never withdraws His care and consolations from those who diligently seek Him.”

On May 17, 1829, John Jay was drawing near death after a life of serving his country. As recorded by his son, Judge William Jay, John Jay was asked if he had any words for his children, to which he responded: “They have the Book.”

Brought to you by AmericanMinute.com.

https://www.wnd.com/2019/05/its-very-simple-without-god-there-is-no-morality/


Equality Act Would Criminalize Christianity

By Robert Knight – May 22, 2019

Democrats in the House are celebrating Friday’s vote to pass The Equality Act, a misnamed legal jackhammer that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to federal civil rights law.

It goes far beyond allowing men into women’s sports and locker rooms, as bad as that is.  It provides the state with the power to persecute anyone who won’t celebrate any aspect of the LGBTQ agenda.

Far from merely expanding civil rights categories, it turns any recognition of the differences between the sexes or any preference for traditional sexual morality into actionable “hate,” creating fertile grounds for lawsuits.

“It is the most dangerous bill to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion that has ever been proposed on a national level,” says Houston Baptist University Prof. Robert Gagnon, an expert in Biblical sexual morality. “It will codify into law that you are a bigot, the moral equivalent of a racist, tantamount to being a member of the Klu Klux Klan, who must be shut out of society and, wherever possible, harassed and persecuted for your beliefs.”

In other words, it would criminalize Christianity, an ongoing process that got a big boost from the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on same-sex “marriage.”

This draconian bill passed by a vote of 236-173, with 8 Republicans joining 228 Democrats. Another 16 Republicans and 7 Democrats did not vote.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has actually endorsed it, too.  When did destroying the moral order and paving the way for more lawsuits against businesses become part of the chamber’s mission?  Pouring legal acid on a marriage-and-family-based culture will not lead to a more stable society of upwardly mobile consumers.  America is only as prosperous as its families are strong.

Many people are complacent because Republicans control the Senate and won’t allow it to become law – this time.  Also, the Trump Administration has announced its opposition.

But some weasel GOPers suggest a “carveout” for churches, leaving everyone else – tens of millions of Christians and observant Jews – at the mercy of a government run by LGBTQ activists who have no patience for resistance of any kind.  In any case, the bill specifically rules out religion-based defenses.

And what if the GOP loses the Senate or the White House in 2020?

It’s time to educate the public about this bill’s toxic blend of mad science and totalitarian intent, and it won’t be easy.

“All the principalities and powers will cooperate in giving this cudgel to Leviathan,” writes John Smirak at thestream.org. “And to litigious thugs like [Pennsylvania state] Rep. Brian Sims. Guys who hike their testosterone count by bullying women and kids. Ask [Masterpiece Cakeshop owner] Jack Phillips and other victims of Gay Sharia how it feels. That will be the fate of every faithful Christian if this unjust bill becomes law.”

Unless we reassert the primacy of natural marriage and natural sexuality, “our battle will be a losing one,” Mr. Smirak writes. “Our churches will end up essentially illegal. Sooner or later.”

MassResistance, a parents’ rights group, has compiled a list of likely outcomes. Here’s a tweaked version:

  1. It will undermine the civil rights movement that black Americans fought for.
  2. Churches will be sued or lose tax-exempt status if they don’t accept LGBTQ behaviors.
  3. Schoolchildren will be forced to learn how to engage in destructive LGBTQ behaviors [in California, it begins in kindergarten].
  4. Parents who oppose this will be charged with discrimination.
  5. Private colleges will lose funding, grants and scholarships.
  6. Public accommodations and small businesses will be forced to allow men into women’s bathrooms and vice versa.
  7. Business owners will be forced to violate their freedom of conscience.
  8. Hospitals, clinics and the armed forces will be forced to offer experimental and harmful transgender treatments – including surgeries.
  9. Foster and adoption agencies will be forced to close, as has already happened to Catholic Charities in several liberal cities.
  10. Men will displace women in sports events (already happening).

Scenarios like the following case would become common:  A Texas father has been charged in a divorce proceeding with child abuse for not “affirming” his six-year-old son as female. The mother renamed James as “Luna” and makes him wear dresses to school.  The father says James is all boy when he visits him, and goes by “James.”  The Equality Act would greatly enhance the mother’s insane quest to turn their son into a girl.

The mother also seeks to terminate the father’s visitations and to “require him to pay for the child’s visits to a transgender-affirming therapist and transgender medical alterations, which may include hormonal sterilization starting at age eight,” writes Walt Heyer, a former transsexual, in the Federalist.

Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, describes the pediatric community’s encouragement of sex change and hormones for children as “institutionalized child abuse.”

The Equality Act would federalize such abuse, and religious faith won’t be a shield.  Judges will see to that.

The bill is far more dangerous than most people know.  It’s about time they knew – and told everyone they can, especially lawmakers.

As seen here at Washington Times. Posted here with permission from author.

Robert Knight is a Washington Times contributor.

 

Original here

Why Character Is Making a Comeback

Character formation isn’t just an individual process, says Anne Snyder. It requires institutions.
INTERVIEW BY KATELYN BEATY| MAY 21, 2019

Why Character Is Making a Comeback

In a media landscape awash in flame wars and polarizing punditry, it’s a bit surprising that the topic of character formation is making a comeback. “Building character” is the stuff of childhood chores and onerous school projects, completed out of duty and little delight. Yet according to new research presented in the book The Fabric of Character, published by the DC-based Philanthropy Roundtable, character formation is a top concern among today’s leaders and charitable givers across the ideological spectrum. According to researcher Anne Snyder, anyone paying attention to social trends in the West recognizes that “the conditions under which good character is forged are in trouble—weakened as much by the decline of traditional institutions as by a culture that promotes ‘I’ before ‘we,’ pleasure before purpose, self-expression before submission to a source of moral wisdom beyond oneself.”

In the book, Snyder highlights several institutions—including schools, neighborhood renewal projects, and the Boy Scouts—as case studies of how organizations strengthen the moral fiber of their members. Snyder, the newly named editor-in-chief of Comment magazine, recently spoke with CT about why faith-based institutions are particularly good at teaching character.

When I hear the word “character,” I think of the dad in the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip who is always making Calvin shovel snow because it builds character. It’s not a sexy topic. Yet as you note, there seems to be a resurgence of interest in it. Why?

I started this particular project for the Philanthropy Roundtable in early 2016. I used to joke that Donald Trump and the Democrats  are a huge gift to my work because suddenly a lot of people who I never would have anticipated being interested in character, regardless of where they fell politically—even if they voted for them—began to say, “Actually, we really do care about it in our leaders.” When I began figuring out how to build a bridge between philanthropists and practice, a lot of people wanted to talk to me because they had a lot of worries about what was going on at the top of national leadership.

More broadly, as people look at social trends—everything from rising mental illness to widening and debilitating anxiety, particularly among young people, to what I would call hyper-emphasis on achievement alone as the only way to define what the good life is—a variety of those social trends have raised alarm bells about how we’re raising our kids and telling them what to value. Whether people would say there’s a moral vacuum, there’s definitely been a realization that we haven’t attended to the whole person. As a society, we’ve somehow not attended to the deeper, often invisible moral fiber of life.

Why did you focus your research on institutions that create the cultures necessary for character formation and not on individual character?

The donor community that I try to serve and cast a vision for, frankly, a lot of them are older, male, and white, ages 70 and above, and they lament the decline of the Boy Scouts years. Early on, when people heard that I was studying character, most of the donors said, “We want to fix the Boy Scouts and make it relevant again.” They were referring to these big, national institutions formed during the Progressive Era 100 years ago. We used to have a bevy of nationally scaled civic institutions that brought people together, that formed our young people in such a way that we had a shared American moral norm. Where have those institutions gone? And with the decline of religious institutions and trust in religious institutions, what are the fresh institutions to take their place that can serve in a more pluralistic era? That’s why what I ended up doing was so much more institutional and sociological than just looking at how an individual becomes more honest.

Character is such a surprise minefield in terms of how people want to define it. The tribalism of our age seems to strike this topic more than I was expecting. I didn’t think it would be politicized. I’m sensitive to the baggage that even the word character has—of cultural imperialism of a certain kind. People on the right think I’m being crazy when I say that, but people on the left kind of roll their eyes at the notion of “reviving the character-building institutions of yesteryear,” because they see that as a euphemism for middle-class values that are not taking a lot of other things into account.

Character is a word like truth or goodness; we all think we know what it means, but we probably have very different working definitions. How do you define characteras it applies to your research of various institutions?

So true! Part of the minefield of this work was realizing that different folks wanted to emphasize different aspects of character. My goal was to diffuse some of the alleged disagreements by emphasizing the practices of a character-filled life, and the often-invisible cultural and institutional forces that shape those practices. Here’s the definition I offer in the book:

Character is a set of dispositions to be and do good, engraved on a person in multiple ways: by strong family attachments that teach what to love and how to love well; by regular habits that ingrain small acts of self-control; by teachers and role models who personify excellence and inspire emulation; by religious instruction on honest, courageous, and compassionate living; through institutions that establish standards for good conduct and mentors who inculcate concrete ways to execute it; by the reading of great literature; through experiences of struggle, positions of responsibility, and the blessings and demands of enduring commitments.

In Case Study 2, you profile the Other Side Academy, which takes ex-convicts through a rigorous residency and moral boot camp of sorts to prepare them for re-entry. Their approach is strict and no-nonsense. Is there a way in which character development in general sounds a bit like “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps”? What is the role of grace in character formation?

The Other Side Academy was originally founded in Salt Lake City, so there is some Mormon influence in the underlying teleology. That played a role in how they designed accountability and even the initial interview, as they described it to me, when people apply and come in off the street or out of jail. I was a little shocked at how eviscerating those interviews are. It’s a test of, are you willing to hear some of the hardest, ugliest things about the way you’ve lived your life thus far? It’s really bracing. But I saw one of the graduating ceremonies, and the entire secular “sermon” given to the current students and the graduates was on grace. Grace was described as an active chiseling process that comes to us in the form of a friend who will be there for us no matter what but who will confront us when they see us making a moral infraction.

These ex-convicts are there to change who they are on the inside and completely shift their identity. And to do that, they have to face the worst things they’ve done to others. Grace in their view is very real, but there’s often pain involved.

If we’re going to give it a Christian corollary, it’s like the discipline of the Father toward those he loves. That’s the spirit behind it: Pain is purifying. I don’t think this could thrive in small group church situation [laughs], but I’ve never been so morally humbled in my life by these ex-offenders. I want some of these people leading companies now.

In all the examples in the book of healthy institutions, one doesn’t have to dig far to find a faith-based orientation, or at least an openness to faith. Do people of faith traditions, whether Christianity, Judaism, or Mormonism, create the best institutions for character formation?

I don’t think it’s necessary that any organization shaping lives has to have some kind of theological infusion. I did find that today, because a lot of our institutions are secular, the moral categories are very politicized categories—terms like “social justice” on the left, or on the right, the virtue of manifested, individualized courage. Our secular institutions have lost a thick moral framework. Your average “character program” that’s trying to exist in a public education environment—it’s not grounded in a clear definition of the good.

A lot of character work out there is “we just need to pull kids out of poverty and teach them some soft skills,” where character formation is a means to an end and all about getting them to a broader success ethic. By contrast, a lot of the religious institutions that we looked at tended to think in communal terms, tended to think in accountability terms, and tended to believe that humans are dependent on something beyond themselves. They have resources to draw from in their own traditions to address the moral life in a coherent way. Because religion has a transcendent orientation, it’s one of the best spheres to equip people to think about ultimate ends.

You recently took the helm of Comment magazine. How will your faith inform your vision for the magazine?

For whatever reason—whether by grace or God’s wink—since becoming a Christian, my faith has been the core engine driving my creativity. It’s the integrating pulse for my questions, ideation, laughter, skepticism. So therefore I believe in the arts, hospitality, relationship, paradox. The Beatitudes and 1 Corinthians 1 will be hitching posts, both for what this next season of Comment will seek to embody and for the sorts of voices I’ll be working to attract. In a time of deep division and gracelessness in our public square, I see a need to cohere a community of thought and action that is exploring today’s toughest issues with a kind of transcendent curiosity—a curiosity that will pour itself out in hope, faith, and love.

 

Original here

Being A Kid At The Grown Up Table

May 9, 2019 by Emilee

Sometimes I’m surrounded by all these grown up’s and think, “Wow, they are so wise. I hope when I grow up I have half their wisdom.” Then I get the harsh reality that I might be considered a grown up.

Is 37 a grown up???

I’ll have two teenagers next month. My oldest is taller than me. Making me feel even more like a child.

I struggle to feel qualified to share anything. The enemy has me right where he wants me. Scared, insecure and unqualified.

There’s this woman at my church who insists I use my God-given gifts!!! The nerve, right? She pushes me out of my comfort zone often and then tells me to knock it off when I’m filled with doubt. She sees something in me that I can’t see for myself. At times I’m convinced she’s crazy and other times I’m so grateful that God would put someone in my life who demands more out of me.

1 Timothy 4 says,

12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Okay, so maybe I’m going way too far with this whole “youth” thing because lets face it, 37 is practically 40 and the aching back and wrinkled eyes paint a different picture. But these verses still pierce my heart. “Do not neglect the gift that is in you…” I so want to neglect my gifts. I want to hide where I’m safe from ridicule. I want to stay in the safety of feeling like I’m soooo young and have plenty of time to share my amazing insights and lessons. But God is asking me to “give myself entirely to them, that my progress may be evident to all.”

So scary, right? But there’s good news! I can be unqualified and still obey because Christ is qualified and His Spirit resides in me. hallelujah!

I pray you all have someone in your life, who you try to avoid, so they won’t ask you out of your comfort zone.

God has great use for you and I am thankful for that.

 

Original here

Christianity, NC, the Mecklenburg Resolves and Freedom

By Dr. Mark Creech – May 19, 2019

Rev. Benjamin Morris was a Congregational minister, who lived from 1810 to 1867, pastored churches in Indiana and Ohio, and other places. When his health failed, he retired from ministry and moved to Washington, D.C.

Morris developed a deep concern that America was drifting from her spiritual moorings and spent a decade writing Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States. 

Morris’ book, which has been reprinted by American Vision, is 1060 pages of masterful documentation showing, as Archie P. Jones, says in the Forward, that:

“it was Christianity – not paganism, ‘religious neutrality,’ or secularism – which produced freedom and justice in the West and in America…He sought to give Christians and Americans a true vision of the hand of the Lord in our history and of the crucial, foundational place of Christianity in our civil government and public life…for the good of the people of the nation, for the cause of Christ, for the future, for Christian liberty and justice, and for the glory of God.”

One section of Morris’s work succinctly records the colonial history of North Carolina and the basis of her institutions on Christianity. He charts the movement of fugitives from Virginia seeking refuge from the “rigid, intolerant laws of that colony, which bore so heavily on all that could not conform to the ceremonies of the established Church” to the “Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, who formed so large a proportion of the people of North Carolina, and molded its religious and political character…”

Morris writes:

“The religious creed of these Christian immigrants formed a part of their politics so far as to lead them to decide that no law of human government ought to be tolerated in opposition to the expressed will of God. Their ideas of religious liberty have given a coloring to their political notions on all subjects – have been, indeed, the foundation of their political creed. The Bible was their text-book on all subjects of importance, and their resistance to tyrants was inspired by the free principles which it taught and enforced.”

Morris sites, as an example, the instructions given to the delegates of Mecklenburg County:

“which constituted the celebrated Mecklenburg Convention of North Carolina convened in 1775.”

The delegates were instructed to “assent and consent” to the Christian religion:

“as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament…to the exclusion forever of all and every other (falsely so-called) religion.”

Morris writes:

 “This political paper declares that the people of North Carolina believed the Bible, and from it drew their principles of morals, religion and polities. To abjure the Christian religion would have been, with them, to abjure freedom and immortality. They asserted in every political form the paramount authority of the Christian religion as the sole acknowledged religion of the state and community.”

During the Mecklenburg Convention, which met on the 15th of May, 1775, delegates also learned of the battle of Lexington, which precipitated the Mecklenburg Resolves five days later on May 20th.

The Mecklenburg Resolves would later become to be known as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Its claim to fame is that it was the first declaration of Independence made by the Thirteen American Colonies during the Revolutionary War period. It was written a year before the United States Declaration of Independence.

Its original copy having been lost in a fire, the existence of The Mecklenburg Declaration is contested by some. But in 1829, the state legislature ordered a select committee to investigate and settle any controversy surrounding it. The committee heard compelling testimony from eye-witnesses who were said to be men beyond reproach. Many of these men were decorated Revolutionary War heroes, and two were ordained, Presbyterian ministers.

Although not acclaimed as it was by earlier North Carolinians, the state still recognizes The Mecklenburg Declaration. Its date is on the state flag and state seal. Its story was at one time printed in elementary school books and taught in public schools. Moreover, in 1881, the North Carolina General Assembly made May 20th a legal holiday to commemorate the Mecklenburg Declaration. Presidents William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Gerald Ford visited Charlotte to participate in “Meck Dec Day” celebrations.

Morris contends that the Mecklenburg Resolves were:

“a noble monument of the patriotism and piety of the people of North Carolina.”

Morris writes:

“The colony of North Carolina is particularly distinguished for the large number of able and patriotic ministers who were diligent laborers in the fields of intellectual and Christian culture and in sowing broadcast the seeds of liberty and of future independence…These men were the pioneers of freedom and independence, and in all the measure preparatory to the coming revolution they were the foremost leaders.”

Monday, May 20th, marks a historic day for North Carolina. North Carolina was first in freedom. And is it any surprise that the religion of the Great Emancipator, Jesus Christ, would be at the heart of it?

As seen here at Christian Action League of North Carolina. Posted here with permission.

 

Original here


What Do Rape Victims Say About Their Pregnancies?

Women who faced the unspeakable horror of rape, with a resulting pregnancy, speak out on what that experience was like and why they chose life.

What Do Rape Victims Say About Their Pregnancies?

Ma 21, 2019

This article contains vivid descriptions of physical abuse of women and miscarriage.

“Abortion is needed in cases where women are pregnant from rape.”  Of all the justifications I have heard for abortion, that, by far, is the most common. It’s resurfaced again in the conversation in light of Alabama’s recent decision to ban abortions without this common exception.

Remembering my review of the book “A More Beautiful Question,” I’d like to address this claim with a series of questions. What is this support for abortion based on?  Is it based on rape victims who have gotten pregnant and parented their children?  Or is it based on rape victims who have either never gotten pregnant or who have had abortions? Is it possible to be pregnant from a much-hated sexual assault yet be grateful for the resulting child?

Listen to Real Stories, Not Conjecture

Consider the stories of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. These women were kidnapped (at the ages of 16, 14, and 21, respectively) and subjected to daily rapes and other horrifying torture by Ariel Castro. They survived more a decade of inhuman abuse in his home in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda became pregnant by Castro three years into her captivity. What was her reaction?

In the spring of 2006, Amanda learned from the news that her mother had died from a massive heart attack. Soon after, she discovered she was pregnant and wrote in her autobiography, “I think my mom sent this baby.  It’s her way of giving me an angel.  Someone to help pull me through, give me a reason to fight.”

Indeed, in the book “Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland” that she penned with fellow survivor DeJesus, they wrote about Amanda’s child conceived in rape: “We are inspired every day by Jocelyn Berry, who was born on a Christmas morning in the house on Seymour Avenue. She made a dark place brighter, and in many ways helped save us.”

Amanda also wrote of her daughter Jocelyn:

I used to worry that if I had the baby it would remind me of him [Castro] for the rest of my life. But I don’t anymore. This is my baby. I’m so close now. I am still pretty small, maybe a hundred and fifteen pounds, less than when I arrived here, but my stomach looks huge to me. I already feel more like ‘we’ than ‘I.’ Whenever I’m sadder or more depressed than usual, or when he does something especially mean and my hope starts slipping away, I rub my belly and talk to my baby.

After giving birth in the torture chamber, she wrote:

I crawl into bed with my new baby. As he fastens the chain around my ankle, I think about my daughter being born into this prison, and who her father is. But I try to focus on happier thoughts: She seems healthy and she’s beautiful. I am going to protect her, and the rest we will figure out as we go.

Does the Jury’s Decision Shed Light on Issues of Life?

The experience of fellow survivor Knight was very different. She became pregnant five times by Castro and he beat her each time, successfully killing her pre-born children. In fact, Castro was charged with four counts of aggravated murder for this.

The jury’s decision on these charges leads to important questions: Is killing wrong based on who does the killing or based on who is killed? If it was wrong for Castro to kill the children conceived in rape, wouldn’t it be wrong for anyone to kill the children conceived in rape? Is the human right to life grounded in being human, or grounded in the circumstances under which a human was conceived?

In her autobiography “Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed,” Michelle writes that when Castro attacked her with a barbell because she was pregnant, she screamed, “Stop it!  Please don’t kill my baby!”

On another occasion, after he kicked her in the stomach to kill another child she had conceived by him, she wrote: “I stood up and stared into the toilet. I reached down and scooped my baby out of the water. I stood there and sobbed … Death would have felt better than seeing my own child destroyed. I looked down at the fetus in my hands. ‘I’m so sorry this happened to you,’ I wailed. ‘I am so sorry.  You deserved better than this!’”

Or consider the story of Jaycee Dugard. She was kidnapped in California at 11 years old and held for 18 years by Phillip and Nancy Garrido. Also subjected to rapes and other unspeakable torture, she gave birth to her first child at 14 and a second at 17. In the book “A Stolen Life: A Memoir,” she writes of her daughters conceived in rape: “I had my girls to give me strength,” and “I am thankful for my daughters.” Of her first pregnancy, she said, “The connection I feel for this baby inside of me every time I feel it move is an incredible feeling.”

Jaycee also wrote, “How do you get through things you don’t want to do? You just do. I did it because that was the only thing I could do. I would do it all again. The most precious thing in the world came out of it … my daughters.”

Are Children Sources of Hope or Cruel Reminders?

Some might point out that because these women were still held captive while enduring rapes and pregnancies, that new life was a comfort and light in an environment of darkness and suffering, but for rape victims who are no longer enduring victimization, a child is an unnecessary reminder.

In response, consider my friend Lianna. She was kidnapped and raped at age 12 and found out she was pregnant after being released from the torture. When a doctor offered her an abortion, she asked whether it would help her forget the rape and ease her pain and suffering. She explains her thought process when he replied no: “If abortion wasn’t going to heal anything, I didn’t see the point.”

She carried through with the pregnancy and chose to parent her daughter, for whom she is so grateful. In fact, Lianna was so traumatized by the sexual assault that she considered suicide but didn’t kill herself because she didn’t want to kill her child. In effect, then, the child conceived in rape became her motivation to continue living, and she credits her daughter for saving her life.

There is no denying that not everyone will react the same way. Consider the Rwandan genocide where mass rapes occurred—one estimate being over 200,000 women raped and approximately 20,000 pregnancies as a result. One survivor, Jacqueline, was gang-raped and became pregnant with her daughter Angel as a result. Although she was initially so traumatized by the assault (as well as the murder of her husband and children) that she tried to poison herself and Angel when her daughter was a baby, she eventually entered counseling and “started to love her” and now feels Angel came from God.

The Horror of Hurting Innocents

With the right support and help, it is possible to distinguish the innocence of a child from the guilt of a father. After all, what does the test of time show us about the presence of children conceived in rape?

Another question to consider is this: Will abortion un-rape a rape victim? The answer to this is obvious. When I once remarked that whether a victim of rape gets pregnant or not, that the assault itself is a trauma that an abortion won’t take away, a child-molestation victim said in response, “Yeah, 10 years and counting.”

What is more difficult to come to terms with: Being an innocent who is hurt, or hurting an innocent?

My friend Nicole Cooley got pregnant from rape and had an abortion. Nicole said, “For me, having an abortion was like being raped again, only worse—because this time I had consented to the assault.”

Or consider Penny Ann Beernsten: In 1985 she was raped while running along Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, she incorrectly identified an innocent man, Steven Avery, as her attacker. He was imprisoned for 18 years until the actual rapist, Gregory Allen, was identified using DNA-testing technology. Penny wrote:

The day I learned of the exoneration was worse than the day I was assaulted. I really fought back when my attacker grabbed me. I scratched him, I kicked him. I did not go gently. After the DNA results came back, I just felt powerless. I can’t un-ring this bell. I can’t give Steve back the years that he’s lost.

While both these women went through horrifying traumas no human should ever have to endure, they acknowledged a worse pain when they realized their decisions hurt other people. Of course, there is no denying the impact their traumas had on their judgment, and the failure of those around them, who were more emotionally removed from the situations, to better guide them, but the point still stands that it is often more difficult to come to terms with hurting an innocent than in being an innocent who is hurt.

Since the child conceived from rape will ultimately need to come out of the rape victim’s body one way or another, which is better, to remove the child dead or alive?

In a survey done of 192 women who got pregnant from sexual assault, almost 80 percent of the women who had abortions reported that abortion had been the wrong solution, and of the women who gave birth to their children, none of them expressed regret and none said they wish they had aborted.

The documentary “Allowed to Live: A Look at the Hard Cases” shares powerful stories of people who regret abortions after rape, people who are grateful they carried their children to term, and people who are thankful their moms protected their lives.

This brings to mind my friend Ryan Bomberger. Ryan’s birth mom was raped and he was conceived. As it says in his biography: “He was adopted at 6 weeks of age and grew up in a loving, multi-racial Christian family of 15. With siblings of varying ethnicities, he grew up with a great appreciation for diversity. Ten of the thirteen children were adopted in this remarkable family. His life defies the myth of the ‘unwanted’ child as he was adopted, loved and has flourished.”

This article has been reprinted with permission. It was originally posted here.

Stephanie Gray is an author, international presenter, and president of Love Unleashes Life, based in Vancouver, Canada. In 2017, when she spoke on abortion at Google Headquarters for “Talks at Google,” the YouTube presentation went viral. To learn more about Stephanie, and for her in-depth moral analysis of IVF, go here.

When The Answer Is, “No”

May 5, 2019

Hello beloved readers!  I’m so happy and be grateful to God finally I have much time to write a post again. This time I will talk about (once again) waiting for God’s answer of our prayer. I deliberately chose this topic because honestly, I and my husband are continuing to pray earnestly and are waiting for God’s answer. We have been praying more than a year for our second child and we are keep praying until now.

It must be admitted that waiting for God’s answer often become a big problem and give a serious impact for us as believers. I have a friend who changed drastically to be very hateful to God. He felt God didn’t love him and never cared about all prayers he had sincerely offered. He prayed faithfully that we wanted to get married with his spouse. While he prays continuously, he made his wedding preparation. However, unfortunately, suddenly, something tragic happened. His future wife had a very bad accident, suffered severe injuries, and sadly, finally died. Since then, he really hated God.

Another story, there was a faithful mother who had been praying for 28 years for her son who became a drug addict and was in and out of jail. The days and years dragged on without any good changed in her son’s life. But one day, 28 years after his mother first prayed for her something happened incredibly! Terry Williams, her son finally repented, accepted Jesus as his savior, and changed his life drastically. God finally answered His mother prayer.

My beloved friends, based on philosophical truth, God always hear and answers our prayers and there are three forms of God’s answers; “Yes”, “No”, and “wait” But empirically, not all of our requests that conveyed through prayer will be granted by God. The question is why does God answer some of our prayers and doesn’t grant our other prayers? Well, once again, based on my own experience in praying, there are two reasons. Let’s take a look together.

Internal reason

Internal reason are reasons that come from the inside of ourselves. In the other words, there’s something inside us that makes God not willing to answer of fulfill our prayers. There’s something wrong in use and our prayers. Let’s take a look to James 4:2-3

You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

From the verses above, we know that there are two causes so we don’t get anything. First, we aren’t asking God (Praying), and the second is there is wrong motive behind our prayer. I will not discuss the first cause because I strongly believe every believer will always pray. I will focus on the second cause. It must be admitted that as Christian sometimes there are wrong things behind our prayer. I noted some of mistakes we often made in our prayers and this is what blocks the answer of our prayers. Let’s see together.

The Nature of prayer

When we pray ask something to God, have we thought about the basic of our request? Are our requests based on needs or wants? I give example of prayer based on need. In Our Father’s prayer, we say, “Give us our daily bread” This an example of need. There’s no one in this world doesn’t need bread. But if we pray, “Dear God, I want to have one more house with a bigger swimming pool” This not needs but wants! In fact, there’s a very essential difference between what we need and what we want. What we need must be what we want, but what we want is not necessarily we need. Needs are urgent, whereas wants is not. My dear friends, this is what makes God doesn’t want to answer our prayer and without us knowing, often the prayer we pray is dominated by wants rather than needs. God promises that He will answer our prayers, but the problem is whether what we ask for is our need or is it just a want? If our prayers haven’t been answered for a long time, let’s re-examine the nature of our prayer.

The prayer addresses/motivation

When we pray Our Father, we always said, “Our Father in Heaven” This means our prayer addressed to “Father in Heaven” And that is the right address. But wait! The problem isn’t what we say but what is your motivation when we pray. I give a small illustration. There’s a grandmother who getting senile and deaf. She promises to buy her grandson a bicycle. After a long wait, the grandson finally prayed (with a loud voice), “Father in heaven bless my food, and also please remind my grandmother of her promise to give me a bicycle” His mother when heard her son’s prayer then said, “Son, why you pray so loud? God is not deaf” then her son said, “Yes, mom. God is not deaf but grandma is deaf and senile” This illustration shows that sometimes the target or address our prayer isn’t to the Father in Heaven but to others. This illustration shows that sometimes the purpose of our prayer isn’t to the Father in heaven but to others. Sometimes our mouths say, “Father in Heaven…” but actually motivation of our heart is to insinuate, rebuke others or announce something.

My dear friends, the right prayer is a prayer submitted to the right address. Addressed to Father in Heaven from the deepest of our heart without wrong motivation. So, don’t be surprised if God doesn’t answer our prayer.  Have we address our prayer to the right address? Have we prayed with the right motivation?

The prayer times

Another reason why God doesn’t answer our prayer is about time. Time that I mean isn’t time like morning or evening but we pray for things at the wrong time or not at right time to pray for. Okay let me give an illustration like this; A ten years old beautiful girl prayed that God would give her a handsome boyfriend. Well, this’s a wrong prayer because it’s not the right time for a ten-year-old little girl thinking about dating. In this case doesn’t mean God isn’t able to give the little girl a boyfriend but God doesn’t want to give because the time isn’t right.

Another reason that is still related with time is, we often want God answer our prayer quickly. We forget that God has His own agenda and time. God’s time isn’t our time. In Isaiah 55:8 clearly God declares, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”

My beloved friends, if until know God doesn’t answer our prayers, let’s correct our prayers. Is there something wrong in our prayer? Is what we ask for through prayer already at the right time? Or we expect God answer our prayer as soon as possible?

Readers, the nature of prayer, the prayer addresses, and the prayer times are internal reasons why God doesn’t or hasn’t answered our prayers. Beside the internal reasons, there’s external reason that causes our prayer aren’t answered. This external reason comes from God Himself. What does it mean? It means God has His own reason to not answer our prayers. Let’s see together.

Faith test.

sometimes God is testing the strength of our faith, perseverance, and our sincerity to ask something to Him. Let’s take a look to the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28. A Canaanite woman came to Jesus and begging Jesus to heal her possessed daughter (Verse 22) What was Jesus’ reaction at the time? Jesus didn’t answer a word and His disciples urged Jesus to send the woman away. At that time, didn’t mean Jesus didn’t want to help the woman but he was testing her faith and sincerity. Even when Jesus said, “I was sent only to the lose sheep of Israel” (Verse 24) and said that “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs” (verse 26) this woman did not take offense and leave but she justified Jesus’ words by saying, “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Finally, because of her sincerity, faith, and perseverance, Jesus helped the woman and said, “Woman, you have great faith!” (Verse 28)

My dear friends, sometimes this kind of experience is what we experience in our prayers. We may have prayed and God just kept quiet. It seems that He doesn’t care about our prayers at all, but actually He is giving us a test of faith, perseverance and sincerity. God wants to see are we still ask to Him with full of faith, sincerity, and without despair even though it seems God doesn’t hear our prayers.

Train our maturity

Another reason that God doesn’t answer our prayers or He answer our prayer but need a very long period is because He wants to treat us as grown up in faith. God wants to train our faith to be more mature. Furthermore, by not answering our prayers, we learn that in prayer isn’t not our will that happen but God’s will that happen. God will be done, not our will be done. Isn’t God who must follow us but we must follow Him.

My dear beloved readers, I will close this post by inviting all of us to once again reflect our life prayer. Let’s see if there is something wrong in the prayer we pray. Whether there are certain things in our prayers that become an obstacle so God will not answer our prayer. Also, let’s bear in our heart and mind that God has his own reason why he doesn’t answer our prayer. When the answer is, “No” Please don’t be disappointed and discouraged, don’t think that God doesn’t love and care to us, don’t hate and leave Him. When God doesn’t answer our prayer, I encourage all of us to remember that God has a plan to give more beautiful than we ask and He will give according to His will and plan as He said,

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Amen!

 

Karina Lam – Living by faith

https://karinasussanto.wordpress.com/2019/05/05/when-the-answer-is-no/

VIDEO Making a Stand to Opposition – Healing the Wounds of War

May 15, 2019 by Mark Shields

The false teachers boasted about their knowledge and worldly success so they could convince the people that their way was best. Bragging to people is a foolish thing to do but to make a stand with courage to those who oppose God’s way is wise.

In 2 Corinthians 11:16-33, we read about Paul boasting but it is done to qualify him as a courageous servant for Christ and oppose those who were leading the people in the wrong direction. He writes about his sufferings. That he worked tirelessly as a servant for Christ. He was in prison, was flogged, exposed to death, been in danger, and gone without food or sleep (verses 23-29).

It takes courage to make a stand against those that oppose. Above is a picture my daughter took when she went to Washington D. C. on a class trip years ago. It’s a photo of the United States Marine Corps War Memorial inspired by the iconic photo of the soldiers raising the flag on Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945.

There are going to be hard times faced in life but making a stand against those who oppose our way of life is the right thing to do. Some people will let us down but what qualifies us as a member of God’s angel army is to allow His love into the situation. In prayer, ask for help in how to respond to the situation and the pressures faced.

This day with You Lord, help us to have confidence. We are never alone for You will go before us and never leave us. We ask for help in taking on our fears and face them head on knowing that You have our back. Give us the courage to be a little different and to stand up for You even when it may not be the popular thing to do. Amen

 

Original here


Healing the Wounds of War with Jack Gutman on Change It Up Radio with Paula Shaw

 

Jun 28, 2018
Today we speak in remembrance of those who have fallen in battle to serve their country and we discuss healing the painful wounds of war.

My father Jack Gutman, one of the last surviving veterans of the Invasion of Normandy, joins us today to share the story of his 66 year-long battle with PTSD and how he got the help he so desperately needed to regain control of his life.

We Discuss:
• Facts about Memorial Day that you may have never heard before
• What happens to many survivors that don’t fall in battle
• What PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) looks like
• How PTSD can affect anyone who’s experienced a significant traumatic event
• Some of the symptoms of someone suffering from PTSD
• Addictive habits and self-medicating methods that often develop from trauma
• Different types of treatment available today for PTSD
• The events of D-Day and the Battle of Okinawa that changed Jack Gutman’s life forever
• Why many people are afraid to talk about PTSD or may be unaware that they’re suffering


VIDEO On Oaths and God

By Dr. Jerry Newcombe – May 19, 2019

The attempt to remake our country into a secular wasteland continues unabated.

Even the U.S. House of Representatives has begun leaving God out when swearing in witnesses.

For example, a video of such an omission is beginning to make the rounds.

Graham Ledger, the host of “The Daily Ledger” on One America News Network, showed the video of this purposeful omission of God at a swearing in; and he commented, Democrats Delete God:

 

“So God is gone now. Poof. No more God in the people’s House. This is not about a religious test. This is about the founding of this republic. We are a country built on a core belief in God and Judeo-Christian values. Thus, the Declaration of Independence is now under de facto assault by this crew. One nation under God, divisible by one political party that seeks to attack liberty and justice for all.”

In the video, we see Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen from Tennessee, who is the chairman of this particular committee, swearing in guests. Cohen is perhaps best remembered as the congressman eating KFC on the Congressional floor in a publicity stunt recently.

Cohen asks some witnesses about to testify:

“Do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony you’re about to give is true and correct, to the best of your knowledge, information, and belief?”

Congressman Michael Johnson (R, LA) politely interrupts with a “parliamentary inquiry.” He states:

“I think we left out the phrase ‘so help me, God.’”

Cohen replies directly to Johnson, “We did.” Johnson asked if the witnesses could swear in again, but this time with the traditional phrase, “So help me God,” added. Chairman Cohen shakes his head and says, “No.” And he adds, “If they want to do it…but some of them don’t want to do it.”

Johnson states:

“Well, it goes back to our founding history. It’s been part of our tradition for more than two centuries, and I don’t know that we should abandon it now.”

Cohen looks at Johnson, and his face seems to communicate:

“What planet is this guy from?”

Johnson adds:

“Could I ask the witnesses if they would choose to use the phrase?”

Then Congressman Jerome Nadler (D-NY), shuts this discussion down, saying:

“We do not have religious tests for office or for anything else, and we should let it go at that.”

I once interviewed Michael Johnson for Christian television. As an attorney, he specialized in religious liberty. He told me:

“Can the government acknowledge the role of God in human affairs? Now we know that the founders have always done that since the beginning—the founding of the nation.”

So the answer is yes.

Johnson also added:

“Americans intuitively have an appreciation for absolute truth and justice.  We were programmed that way by our Creator, and that’s what the founders acknowledged from the very beginning….The enemies of the faith would have us remove all vestiges of Christianity, all vestiges of the God of the Bible from the public square; and that’s not what the Constitution says, and that’s not what we’re required to do.”

Another Republican Congressperson weighs in on this issue. Liz Cheney from Wyoming says:

“It is incredible, but not surprising, that the Democrats would try to remove God from committee proceedings in one of their first acts in the majority….They really have become the party of Karl Marx.”

When my brother-in-law saw this clip, he responded:

“If you think about it, our rights are inalienable because they are endowed by our Creator. If we no longer believe in a Creator, how soon will our rights no longer be inalienable?”

Exactly. That is what at stake in this debate on a seemingly arcane subject.

The founders followed the classic tradition of swearing in on the Holy Bible and in the name of God. Why are oaths taken that way? Because they recognized that we are accountable to God who sees all and who will one day judge us all.

I remember in seminary, one of my professors said:

“It’s not what we (professors) expect that matters. It’s what we inspect.”

Inspection means accountability. It means we have to do the assignments, which they will then inspect.

In his Farewell Address, George Washington said:

“Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?”

Take God out of oaths, and they have no real meaning.

Thomas Jefferson asked:

“Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”

Acknowledgment of God is another victim, it would seem, of today’s culture war. And with Him goes any assurance that the witness is telling the truth.

Swearing in without reference to God at a House Subcommittee (February 28, 2019)

 

Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is an on-air host/senior producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries. He has written/co-written 31 books, e.g., The Unstoppable Jesus Christ, American Amnesia: Is American Paying the Price for Forgetting God?, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (w/ D. James Kennedy) & the bestseller, George Washington’s Sacred Fire (w/ Peter Lillback)   djkm.org  @newcombejerry      www.jerrynewcombe.com

 

Original here