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Pastor's Commentary

Wednesday, March 31 2021

The Statement  

Do you realize it has been almost twenty years ago since Sept. 11, 2001? You would be right to think time is flying by, maybe even at warp speed. However fast time is going, this event has been indelibly etched in my mind, the events of that day, and perhaps most folks reading this article as well. Many great documentaries have been made highlighting the various peoples involved, the places that were struck by the planes and a host of other sub-titles too numerous to mention. I don’t intend to bring all these details up again in this article, but there is something that stands out that I don’t remember anyone ever mentioning during the course of events at that time, nor since. Actually; the way I see it, it may be as big event as the event itself, spiritually speaking.

In most battles isn’t it a military against a military that decides the outcome of the battle/war? Although many civilians are killed and wounded on both sides during any war, they are not the primary target according to what I have read about the protocols and ravages of war. As we know all too well; 911 brought a new type of enemy to the table, his method of operation would not be a war machine of sorts like a tank or some other battle armament necessarily. His methodology was terror; hence the word terrorist would become synonymous with these non-combatants. And from what we know all too well, it is a most effective weapon against any foe. A spirit of fear and dread immobilizes even the strongest of men; I’ve read you can be defeated before a shot is fired. How many know a huge jet-liner loaded with jet fuel makes a very formidable flying bomb? And who or what was the target; civilians, for all practical purposes and reasoning; innocent people. People just going to work as they do every day, basically minding their own business; have now become the new targets of aggression. So, the word is, terrorist; is that a new word just invented by these criminals or is there precedent for this type of behavior long before 911? You may be surprised to know that there was a group that lived seve

There was a group that would fit such a diabolical role as a terrorist that lived almost 3 thousand years ago, actually during the 8th Century BC. These people had a Capital City; you may have heard of it; Nineveh, not far from modern day Mosul, Iraq. These people were the Assyrians, a polytheistic bunch, as they worshipped just about everything. From the history of these people, you would think they were giants, but they were not, just fierce murderers. From research on these folks, the word terrorists may fit their methodology well. They instilled fear into the hearts of anyone that stood in their way. No one even wanted to battle these foes, it was bad enough to be killed by these people, but don’t let them capture you alive. They were known to skin people alive, cut off body parts, put out your eyes, impale captives on stakes outside a captured cities walls to instill fear on the folks in the city. Do I have to say that their tactics were most effective? By knowing a few of these facts concerning the Assyrians, you can see why Jonah didn’t want anything to do with them. As a matter of fact, they warred against Israel from time to time. It is also revealed in the written account of Jonah; that even the Lord would say; their wickedness has come up before me, (Jonah 1:2). The reason for Jonah going to Nineveh was to tell them; in forty days, God will overthrow you, “judgment”, (Jonah 3:4). I must say; what person is there among us that don’t think terrorists need to be eliminated or at least removed as a threat to society?

 

As Jonah finally heeds God’s instructions, he goes to that wicked City and “perhaps” gladly proclaims; your days are numbered, God will overthrow you in forty days. I find the number 40 interesting; Jesus was in the wilderness 40 days tempted of the devil, the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness 40 years, plus several more accounts. The number 40 has always alluded to a time a testing or trial. Perhaps this was Nineveh’s trial, to see what they would do with the message of Jonah. And what did they do? They heeded the words of the forthcoming judgment and repented. I’m talking about a real repentance, from the King down to the lowest animal in the stall, none were to eat or drink until the King gave the order. The King declared man and beast put on sackcloth and ashes as a sign of repentance. Obviously their repentance meant they were not to be terrorists anymore. We all know what happened, the Lord took note of their repentant heart and withdrew His judgment. In other words, they were spared. Did they not deserve judgment, stern judgment, yes, but God saw their repentant heart. Did I mention these people were considered the worst of the worst, murderers, and butchers?

            Let it be written down for all the world to see in the annuls of time, though these Assyrians deserved judgment by most any human standard, God shows mercy on them. Did God use these people to make a “Statement” to the world, then and forever? And what is that Statement? That Jesus Christ came to earth to save sinners, not “just” the nice people of the earth, but the up and outers, the down and outers, and yes the wicked as well. The Bible says; that God is not slack as men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that “all” should come to repentance, (II Peter 3:9). This should be the statement heard around the world; though we deserve judgment, God accepts the repentant heart. I can’t say I have read about this great news in the leading media outlets of the world. I would think, this should deflate the idea that God is a mean God, that He could care less for humanity. Far too many people feel that God can’t wait to cast people into hell, nothing could be further from the truth, as our Nineveh example reveals. If God would spare the worst of the worst; anyone can be spared, even me, and so can you. As we/many celebrate Easter this year, we would do well to reflect on the “Passion of the Christ”, His life, His shed blood, His death, in my place, His forgiveness, His mercy. Be sure to accept His pardon, Nineveh proves God is as good as His Word. And that is a statement that should be heard around the world.

Pastor Thomas Nosworthy

Light the Way Ministries.                                                  

lightthewayministries.org

 

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Special Guest Commentary

101 BODACIOUS QUOTATIONS

TO

INSPIRE PATRIOTISM

Introduction

You might be wondering what prompted the writing of this bodacious quotation book? What better time than now to be reminded of how both essential and fragile our country is. America is experiencing one of its darkest periods in recent history.  For over three years, we have witnessed some truly vicious and ugly political unrest.

          A ceaseless cacophony of accusations, innuendo, and intrigue have kept those in Washington and the media ever busy. Before the Coronavirus pandemic, to watch the daily news and social media, one would never know that the stock market had hit all-time highs numerous times in the last 54 months, or we’d had the lowest unemployment numbers in decades, and the lowest unemployment rate among blacks ever!  President Trump also renegotiated trade deals that  were fairer to America.

          Then, in January 2020, our nation was rocked when the Coronavirus landed on our shores and ended our way of life as we know it. Soon there were daily press briefings from the White House and various doctors. Each day virus information was plentiful, contradictory, and confusing. People were dying. We heard that hospitals were going to be overrun with COVID cases.

          The army set up hospital tents in various cities to handle the tens of thousands that were expected to land there. It didn’t happen. Hospitals were going to be inundated and unable to care for all of the sick. The army hospitals were never used – not one patient was seen in many of these. They were eventually dismantled. What happened? All non-essential surgeries and doctors’ visits were canceled. Hospitals were virtually emptied. And now? Many health care workers have been terminated or furloughed because the hospital's operating capital has vanished.    

           Now, thousands have died! Our elderly, who were not adequately protected in nursing homes, have had the most significant number of deaths. The actual numbers of COVID deaths cannot be relied upon because of highly questionable methodologies for assigning the cause of death. The rationale for this might be related to government funding to hospitals for each COVID case.     Time will tell as we compare data from previous years for various causes of deaths to see if the other numbers are in line with past years, OR if there's been a sharp decline in other categories, and they have been pushed into the COVID category.  And, suddenly, in the last several weeks, cases have begun to spike again. There is substantial debate on if it’s because many more people are getting tested. There is so much information out there – unreliable at best, that there’s no sense in discussing it at this point.

          Governors in many states issued draconian lock-down orders threatening people with arrests and the closure of businesses, or cancellation of necessary licenses if they didn’t abide by these rules. Masks and gloves were donned, not in hospitals, but stores and any public places. We even saw a parent handcuffed and arrested in front of his little girl because he dared to play ball with her in an empty field. A salon owner was arrested and jailed for opening her salon to pay her bills and put food on her table. Many other Gestapo tactics, such as these, were used to keep people in line. YES, I am talking about America!

            Americans have turned against one another. Some believe everything that the CDC, World Health Organization, and government say. Others believe there is a conspiracy to subjugate the people as a test to see how much they'll tolerate and for how long. It's been, in my opinion, a phenomenal success. People hate each other more than ever. Make no mistake; the various powers have observed very carefully to see how we've all responded. Unfortunately, it's been too much for many, and suicides have skyrocketed. Prescriptions for mood-altering drugs to cope with the crisis have also gone up dramatically (as if we didn't already have an opioid epidemic.)

          Younger Americans seem to be suffering more than most from deep depression, isolation, and loneliness.  I find this completely paradoxical since they are the generation that is so disconnected from one-on-one relationships, and so completely connected to their phones and other electronic devices. You can’t sit in the same room, or at the same table with them, without sharing their time with their hand-held devices! And yet, they are  the ones suffering from their own self-created lack of meaningful relationships with others.  

           The mainstream media, who now chooses to cherry-pick what they report, excluding vital details, has become an op-ed machine rather than a fair and unbiased media. What was once the actual news is now a daily dose of propaganda. And fear mongering. I once believed everything I heard on the evening news! I now question absolutely everything I hear on the evening news! I have no faith in the honesty, integrity, or intentions of what is being "reported." Who exactly can we turn to for the facts and not opinions? I don't know.

           Just when we were beginning to see the light, and the states were opening things back up, one rogue cop, caught in the horrendous act of murdering a black man by kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes, captured the country’s attention.  The anger and outrage at this injustice rocked every corner of our nation. But, within the black community, it ignited a firestorm of rage and anger. That moment symbolized, for many, both black and white, the brutality of a small percentage of police that has unfairly tarnished ALL police officers. To believe this of an entire segment of people is blatantly untrue and unfair.

           That was the tinderbox that erupted into the scenarios we are now witnessing, hour by hour, day after day, that could be right out of the movie “Escape from New York.”  Cities are burning. Businesses looted. People are being shot, and armed citizens are patrolling their neighborhoods to keep looters out and their areas safe with their weapons.

          A six-block area has been taken over by anarchists. Checkpoints have been established for entering and exiting, and there are check-points to allow people in or out. They are extorting business owners, and the Mayor of Seattle seems to think it’s a “summer block party.”  I guess she is not aware that a new country has been set up in a six-block area now known as CHAZ/CHOP – Capital Hill Autonomous Zone. You can’t make this stuff up!

          All across our country,  statues and monuments are being defaced and torn down – while those in charge sit on their hands and let the anarchists destroy America, insisting there is nothing they can do. Every day the frenzy continues as the calls for changing names of military bases, schools, colleges, sports teams, etc., escalates. It is complete insanity.

           Right on cue, the media and politicians have seized upon the opportunity to stoke the coals of division and hatred. I cry for our nation and what we have allowed ourselves to become.  I don't know the people seen on T.V. I don't come in contact with the level of black, or white,  Americans seen on there – they don't represent those with whom I daily interact.  People with thinking brains understand that these broad generalizations are not only untrue, but inherently harmful to us individually, and collectively as a nation.    

          Many officials of these large cities have refused to address the rioters and insist upon calling them, protesters. They seem to have limited knowledge of vocabulary for no one in their right mind would equate a protester and a rioter who burns, loots,  and harms people, as the same thing.        The very thing that the black community, what all communities need, are jobs and businesses. Now, thousands have seen their streets and businesses burned and destroyed, some of which will never return. Those jobs are permanently lost.  Those black communities will again know the pains of hopelessness and living in burned-out hulls of their former cities.

           But take hope. While all of this has happened, America's elite have raised over twenty million dollars – wait for it – not to help rebuild those cities, but to bail out the “protesters” who have destroyed those cities. Yes, this is where we are. There seems to be no help for those who work and play by the rules. No support is arriving from Hollywood elites and wealthy athletes for those people. One must question why?

           I’m watching this and feeling astounded, and at times utterly hopeless. The Washington leadership (can we call it that?) is still dividing us, still trying to rush through bills that are an atrocity, and I'm thinking to myself, has pandering and appeasement ever gotten anyone anywhere?'  Has that given people jobs and hope? Has that lifted them out of poverty? And, I feel, most importantly, has that increased their self-respect and self-reliance?  That I can answer with a resounding NO! To deny any human being the chance to work and produce, to feel a sense of accomplishment for a job well done, is to deny a basic human need – to feel valued.

          I don’t understand all of the machinations of politics (I couldn’t sleep at night if I did). I do know one thing as a person who loves their country – that we can’t, we must not give up on America. Too many people have given their lives for our America. We are in a fight for the very soul of this country. That might sound dramatic, but it is a fact. Many want to tear it apart – rebuild it into what they “envision” would be a better place. The founding fathers had a profoundly inciteful vision for the greatest country that the world has ever known. They knew history, and they sought to use their knowledge to create a more perfect union. (Where have we heard that before?)

            There are days when I question everything. At moments I give up hope and want to surrender. Times when I think if that is what THEY want, then they can have it. But it is not ours to give away! We owe a debt to our country to protect it from enemies, both foreign and domestic. That is our duty as a patriotic American who is willing to speak up and stop the insanity.

           I call upon my strong faith in God, knowing that whatever He has in store, He is with us. When America turned Him out of their schools, their homes, and their hearts, our decline began.  That is what happens when we shrugged our shoulders and said, “Oh well, what can you do?” Or, “Live and let live.” Now you can see the left doesn’t want people to live and let live. They want to control us. There seems to be no middle ground. This indeed is something new.

            I have seen the thousands of crosses marking graves of our soldiers who fought for democracy around the world and paid the ultimate sacrifice. I mourn with families who have known the pain of losing those heroes. I remind myself that I will do everything humanly possible to ensure that America is a country of citizens who deserve to live in peace and prosperity, fellowship, and understanding. Abraham Lincoln was well aware, as our country teetered on the brink of civil war, that "A house divided against itself cannot stand."  (Mark 3:25)

            America is equivalent to a marriage. Sometimes we see all the best she has to offer, and we're starry-eyed and optimistic. Other times, we see everything as irreconcilable and dark. Then, it's as though we would like a divorce.  But saving America is worth the fight. We have a lot of work ahead of us. A great deal of understanding and healing needs to be done.

          We need to commit to providing more opportunities for all. And, more of a commitment to make each person responsible for their actions. We must step up to the plate and take personal responsibility – stop pointing the finger and passing the buck. Even though it seems impossible through the lens of the current crisis, I do believe in miracles. It's going to take courage, strength, consistency, fairness, rules for all, and laws that everyone must follow - not just a few. It will also necessitate a commitment from those in Washington to come together and serve America – not themselves. I don’t believe they will do that willingly. Their strength lies in our discord!

            How could I express all of these thoughts and feelings in a small book? I've always been enamored with quotations! With just a few carefully chosen words strung together like a beautiful strand of pearls, they present a profound concept. These BODACIOUS quotations have been hand-picked for an important point or reminder about freedom, honesty, politicians, government, personal duty, economics, liberty, and above all else, man's responsibility to think for himself. History has gifted us with brilliant people, whose insightful reasoning and words of wisdom have proven ageless. They deserve to be heard once again as valuable reminders to each of us.

          It is my sincere hope that you will become even more bodacious in your patriotism. I hope that you will find meaningful ways to become a better, more involved citizen. I pray that this will stimulate conversation and inspire each of you to understand your unique "Power of One" and step into your new bodacious life! America is depending upon you.

 

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Wednesday, 31 March 2021
Sunday, 28 February 2021
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Saturday, 29 August 2020
Friday, 31 July 2020
Monday, 29 June 2020
Thursday, 28 May 2020
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