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Pastor's Commentary

Sunday, February 28 2021

We live in a day and time when many people think themselves very smart, well educated. And why not you might ask; after all, this generation has had the computer in operation for over thirty years now, anything and everything they ever wanted to know is but a few clicks away. Forget the old Encyclopedias of days gone by; you couldn’t give folks a set of those dinosaurs in our day and time. However good the computer has been for our learning, take note; it was created by a smart person/s, and “programmed” with the knowledge you receive as true. In the end, it and you will only be a smart as the ones who programmed it, and maybe programming you. We are smart enough to realize something as complex as a computer had a designer, someone came up with the idea to make such a mechanical marvel; of course that would go for the automobile, skyscrapers and bridges and everything in between. Lets’ be honest, these things didn’t create themselves, I know; we know that.

With the advent of the space telescopes and satellites, that roam the cosmos, you would think since mankind has a better look at science than any of its predecessors, and we do for the most part; I think. However, some bazaar statements have been made by the scientific community over the last several years that in my estimation have not served mankind well. One such comment from the science community some years ago; We have searched the cosmos, there is no God! If you were to view the pictures captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, you would quite fascinated at what they saw. Most people have heard of Darwin no doubt. He wrote a Book; Origin of the Species, it had to be a top sell back then, why? It had an answer to the God question, there is No God; Darwin proved it. The damage that book done is still being calculated. Now the very smart scientists of the world further add their two cents to prove there is no God, per them; we are a product of billions of years (8.5 billion per them) of genetic refinement.

Here is a word you can believe; The Heavens declare the Glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork, (Psalm 19:1). The word Glory refers to the exhibition of His Divine attributes and perfections. Anyone with any intelligence at all can see plainly there is vast design in the expanses of the Universe, not just here on earth, made by/with Intelligent Design. And where there is intelligent design, there is an Intelligent Designer, namely God. I saw a program on TV recently, where a famous Architect designed his own home. It was a lavish place, the home itself a mansion, the landscape, all beautiful, a homemade waterfall in the front yard, flowers and tree lined sidewalks, a work of art. All those that viewed the picture of the home could easily see a serious designer had done a masterful job by the detail of his work. However good the Architecture was, it didn’t really reveal anything much about the person himself. One could guess that he was meticulous, maybe a perfectionist, loved beauty, but nothing about him personally could be ascertained beyond that. However; it was noted that he had written an autobiography of himself, it could be obtained very reasonably. Within his autobiography you could find out all you ever wanted to know about him, his family and his various points of interest, it would be a good read. Concerning the Divine Designer already mentioned; The Lord; His handiwork can be read about as well, how is that? He too has written an Autobiography, it’s called the Bible; you can read all about Him.

So, what’s the deal, we can read about someone who builds a mansion and writes a book about himself, sell it for money and everyone who reads it says; what an incredible Architect, a veritable master builder. But when we look at the myriad of creatures, flowers, trees, bugs, and yes, humans, why is it that this great work doesn’t seem to give testimony to a Master Builder, a Creator, a Divine Creator to be exact?

Think about this, the human being has the potential to reason, right? You tell me, who hasn’t tried to imagine what God looks like; is He a gaseous cloud like I have heard some say, is He very old looking, have a body shaped like nothing we have ever seen? We can speculate forever on this subject, but herein lies what I believe is the real issue at hand. Many seem to try to make God in their/our image rather than acknowledge that we were made in His image. Identifying God is nothing new, consider these words; Depart hence and go into Judaea that Thy Disciples also may see the works that Thou doest. For there is no man that doeth anything in secret and He Himself seeketh to be known openly. If Thou do these things, show Thyself to the world, (John 7:3,4). That’s it right there; we want God to reveal Himself like we want Him to reveal Himself. You can be sure the world; ye, the scientific community; and just about everyone on the planet wants the Lord; God; to show up in Regal Form. In some type of craft not of this world, with an entourage of huge Angels, lightening radiating off Him, eyes that glow red like fire, you’re right; that’s what we are looking for. Did someone say God was going to build a Temple on the earth to personally dwell there, oh, that’s scheduled for a later date. The problem for many is; God just doesn’t cooperate, He wants to stay veiled; for an appointed time anyway, His timing; not ours. His silence is unacceptable to the masses; we have blasphemed His Name, removed His Ten Commandments, killed His people, and still no words from Him. Why doesn’t He blow a fuse, shake the planet like an over sized toy or something; that’s not God’s way of dealing with matters. There an appointed time for Judgment, it’s called the Great White Throne Judgment; that is when all things and people will be judged. However; he will at a point not too distant future remove the veil; Behold He cometh with clouds and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him, even so; Amen, (Revelation 1:7).

This takes me to where I really wanted to go in the beginning of this article. The people of this world, and now far too many in this Country, the U.S. have hearkened to the voice of another god, the world and scientific community more than the voice of God. They have believed a lie, the Bible said long ago they would, it’s happening right now before our eyes. There seems to be mass mayhem, the defying of authority, rampant sin and crime in a Country that once knew God and has now forsaken Him. Conversely; have you noticed what is going on in many of the impoverished Countries of the world concerning the Gospel message? These dear souls have not been polluted and bombarded with the lies that are being promoted concerning God from just about every venue; Schools to Universities, TV, just about everywhere. No, they are coming to Christ by the droves, receiving salvation, healing, and deliverance. These precious people come from miles away, walking, wearing their Sunday best, just to hear the Good News of the Gospel. With great signs of contrition and humbleness of heart, God is doing a great work in their midst, while many in the same world deem His non-existence, go figure. It seems almost vogue in our day and time to bash what God holds dear, bash the conservative voice, the righteous walk, a holy walk before God. I submit this world doesn’t really want to see or meet God right now. The first time Jesus came as a Saviour, the next time He comes, He will bring Judgment.

This is the time to consider where you are with the Lord, time is short, what should you do; rely upon the world system and science community of our day, or believe what the Lord says in His Word? If it were me; I would say; trust your heart, that’s where the Lord is speaking.

Pastor Thomas Nosworthy

Light the Way Ministries.                                                  

lightthewayministries.org

Sunday, January 31 2021

            I have had about enough political jargon to last me a lifetime, so; something different this time around. I consider myself a   part of the moral fabric of this great Country, with that thought I want to share some thoughts of what I believe to be, is a missing element in many people’s lives in this great land we call America. Obviously if one were to live in some of the more depressed or impoverished countries of the world their quality of life could be diminished greatly, but this should only serve as a reminder to us, that one should never take freedom and liberty for granted. It is true, we all don’t think alike, act the same or even live the same, but you would think we would all embrace life as a the great gift it is, to be lived out in appreciation of/for that gift. In this brief space I would like to share some thoughts and/or observations from personal and perhaps Biblical viewpoint of this miracle that is called life. 

I am a lover of life, I live life to the max each day, I enjoy each day, I see life as a great gift from the Creator. I don’t know how long I will get to live this life on earth, the Lord has said 70 to 80 years, but no matter; I will enjoy just about every moment of it. When I say live life to the max, that doesn’t mean I will jump off a mountain wearing a flying squirrel suit and dodge obstacles before touching down on terra firma for thrills. Nor does it mean swimming with great white sharks or hiding in a shark cage under the boat just for fun. No, it doesn’t have to be quite that dramatic to have a fulfilling life. My family; the children and grandchildren make up such a huge part of this wonderful life. The love they exude, giving me big hugs and/or a picture they drew just for me, it just touches your heart, yes; life is worth living. I think many folks get caught up thinking if they were to go on that “big” vacation, life would be good, (can’t say it wouldn’t be nice) or if I could afford some; huge new home, big boat, new 4x4 truck, some worldly “stuff”, life would somehow automatically be worth living, be more fulfilling, you get the point. Since I live in a rural part of our County, there is much wildlife to see and appreciate, I see deer, hogs, turkey, chicken hawks, rabbits; you name it. One of the things I find that enhances my quality of life is sitting under the oak trees on the edge of my field with coffee in hand and watching squirrels scurrying all about me looking for acorns, and the many birds that come to the feeder. It brings a sense of peace and serenity to one’s life. It doesn’t take huge things, constant entertainment, always have to do “something” to be quite happy I’ve found.

            I wish I could say that I have always been a lover of life, (my life) as life hasn’t always been enjoyable. There were reasons, yes, always reasons. When I was younger, I went through a period of time right after I got home from the Army, when life was terrible, or so I thought. I actually had got to a place where, if you can believe this, I hated life. I said, if this is all there is to life, you can keep it. How many know that type of thinking leads to other types of thoughts, most of them not very good. This is a path to be careful of, there should have been signs posted along this path; stay away; do not enter; surely someone has been down that path before. But no, if anyway had ever been down that road, they never warned me, so down that worthless stretch I went. You could have guessed it, misery has many friends, one of them was the alcohol parasite, its drugs for many others as well, which all of these are known to be quite a depressant all by its self, I was depressed enough already, I didn’t need more of that. You may already know that depression is a great tool of the dark side; many have fallen prey to that destructive weapon of his. Perhaps someone reading this would say; don’t forget about thoughts of; nobody likes me, I don’t like me, the world hates me, God hates me, yes it’s a deep hole and getting deeper all the time. At this; isolation begins to enter in, suicidal thoughts, just end it all, I can’t take it anymore. Once again, the dark side is there to help you with that thought. How I wished I could find a better path to take.

            I have noticed that many folks didn’t traverse the same path as I and a host of others had done, were haters of life as well. What was their problem, they hated the work load of life, the responsibility of life, the poverty in many cases, the mindlessness of going to work every day, coming home to the mundane life, the kids, what? The kids, the family, thinking it’s all just a stinking rut, why couldn’t I be rich, no work, and no worry; dream on. There is something wrong here, we love things that destroy and hate things that should be a joy, its a whacky world all right. Is there any hope for these folks, or is it more therapists, more drugs, more misery?

            Then something happened along the road that got my attention. I ran into a guy, actually two fellows. We had a chess tournament at work, many of us played a pretty mean game of chess, I actually won the tourney pot of money once. As we played chess and chatted along the way, I found these guys to be some of the most incredible lovers of life you’d ever find. One of the guys was a big dude, around 6’ 6”, well over three hundred pounds; he looked like a big mountain man, longer hair and beard, an imposing figure to say the least. At some point in our chess playing the conversation turned to the Lord. I had no qualms about hearing words about Jesus, not I knew Him back then; say on. The big guy shared how he was heavy into drugs much of his early life, bombed out of his mind, wasted, high on just about anything you could get your hands on. Then one day he was having a serious crash, (not sure how all that works), he may have got of glimpse of hell. I have had some of these guys tell of out of body experiences, seeing things in the spirit realm; that scared the “hell” out of them. They couldn’t wait to get right with the Lord after what they saw. These two brothers shared the Lord with me, answered all sorts of questions I had, and gave me a Bible to read, which I did. That was over forty years ago. Yes, I wanted what these guys had, a love for life, a peace that I had never had and not only a better road, but, the best road you’ll ever walk.

            As a Pastor, I have been blessed with the opportunity to point people in the right direction; you could say I have some insights on that. Yes, I have found so long ago that life is a gift from God. As a matter of fact, Jesus said exactly that; I (Jesus) have come to give you “Life” and that more abundantly (John 10:10b). I have seen so many people that look alive, they breathe, they talk, they walk and work, but they are dead inside. No real reason for the life they live, just another day, life -----; (you fill in) or lifelessness, if that’s you. It wasn’t until I found out that our life is gift of God and has value, purpose, a plan that I wanted all that life has to offer. I asked the Lord this question as a young Christian long ago; Lord, why was I born, what is my purpose for being? Guess what, He answered it; you were born to “Glorify Me”, that meaning God. Yes, I love it, (Math. 5:16). When people want life more than they do death, Jesus stands at the door ready for us to open it unto Him. If you are reading this and have said; man this guy is talking about me. Please understand this, I am not pushing religion, that stuff will get one a ticket in hell, I am talking about the One that came to earth, performed His mission to “rescue” mankind from the ravages of sin and death and the clutches of the devil, died on Calvary, rose from the dead and went back to Heaven, mission accomplished. When you find out that there really is a life to have, to hold, to cherish, to appreciate, that it is a gift of the highest order, it will change your life. It will not only change the way you live and perceive life, but you will have a deeper appreciation for the sanctity of life, people, things, creatures, and guess what; you’ll never want to go back to a meaningless life of death, bondage, insecurity, make no mistake about it; its supernatural. One more truth; Jesus said; I am the Way, The Truth and The Life, no man comes to the Father, but by ME, (John 14:6) and with that truth, life is within your grasp.

Pastor Thomas Nosworthy

Light the Way Ministries.                                                  

lightthewayministries.org

The 3 R's
Sunday, January 03 2021

            Happy New Year from LTWM, we are optimistic this year has to be better than the last one; however, factors remain to be seen as yet. A new year brings time to reflect upon the past, and to assess where we are heading in the up-coming year/s ahead. In navigation, a few degrees off course could take one many miles in a direction not intended. It is par for any course to make adjustments along the way; I hope the people of the good old U.S.A do just that. Assuming there is a course to take for a good and expected end, part of the discernment process has to be analyzing what it is that has altered our; as a Nation’s course. Many folks are no doubt wondering, how in the world did we end up “here”? It is with that thought I would like to present some thoughts that I believe have went a long ways to bring us as a Nation to this point in time. There is little doubt the spiritual side of this equation has much to with the over-all direction of any people, but there is another side to this issue I would like to present in this brief column that I think has played a major role in altering our over-all direction.

           

I admit I am old school, born in the forties and attended school in the 50’s and 60’s, many have called these the golden years of our Nation. This group of people has been referred to as the original baby boomers. We “war babies” (people born of returning WW II veterans) flooded the school system back in our day, and are now flooding the Social Security System nowadays. Yes; that means, we are the senior citizens of our day now. But the point I want to make is this, even though we maxed out or stretched the school system; we got a good education (the norm back then). There were basics to learn, not waste of time garbage one would never use or need. We not only learned what was needed to make a decent living after we graduated, but we learned how to think, process information. Many folks reading this would say, you have to be kidding, I didn’t get that in school. We had shop classes that taught us a trade; you didn’t have to pursue that trade if you decided later something else was more you’re calling. There was a slogan that I was given to place in my school/class notebook that I never forgot to this day; “He that hath a trade, hath an estate”. In other words, a trade you could always fall back on, something you learned; make a living doing etc. So what are the basics you may ask, what is the base line of information that opens doors to not only life’s opportunities in the work force, but opens doors to a world of information, no it’s not the cell phone, or the internet, though powerful tools for sure. It is the title of this article; the 3 R’s, reading, writing and arithmetic.

            The 1st one of the basics is the reading part, an amazing ability to absorb information. This great gift and or ability opens vast doors of knowledge to everyone, as you no longer have to take someone else’s word for truth or instruction, you can read it for yourself. I need not belabor the benefits of being able to read, as anyone reading this already has the knowledge of that. However, the point that I would like to make is that though the U.S. boasts of an 86% literacy rate, what has it done for our society? If you can read, what are you reading? I dare say that if people were more informed of world history and current events, they would surely not vote for a repressive rule of government. How can a Country of such a high literacy rate be so ignorant of things that are so vitally important? I submit, reading is not the ability to call out words, but the ability to discern what one is reading. People squander the gift of reading when they have no desire to read and discern from quality sources and materials that which not only benefits them personally but a society as well. A good example is the Bible; I dare say most kids nowadays know more about their cell phone and all the worthless apps than they know about their eternal existence. This will be our Nation’s undoing if people don’t wake up to what is important from the peddlers of untruth and garbage.

            Number 2 on the list of the 3 R’s is; writing, it goes hand in hand with reading. With the advent of the computer and the keyboard, it has transformed our society into a texting mode, an email mode but not an old fashioned snail mail mode. Even all occasion cards are taking a beating in sales. With the number of electronic cards that can be sent via email and the like, why pay 5 dollars for a card and a 50+ cent postage to send someone a greeting when all they will do is toss it in the trash anyway (except me) as I save every card. The ability to write opens many doors, and closes them just as fast if you can’t write. And once again, it is not ability to write words, but articulate information, write from the heart, not just read a quality book, but maybe write one as well. I for one am glad they invented the keyboard and computer; this has become an invaluable tool in communication for me, as I write a lot of materials on a regular basis. Take time to communicate, yes, it takes time to share, to care, to provoke to good words and works; it’s a good part of life.

            The 3rd on the list is arithmetic, the ability to crunch numbers. In school it was my favorite class. I guess I was just a natural when it comes to working with numbers, I still to this day remember many of the formulas for calculating measurements of objects and the like. It makes sense I guess, as I attended a Trade School, and the trade I chose was Machine Shop, per those in the know; a thinking man’s trade. Did I mention, it takes a lot of math to be able to work in this trade? Mathematics is like certain foods; it a staple of life. From being able to decipher your paycheck or checkbook to doing your taxes or a host of just about everything in life, math is part of the equation. Is it a required subject in school anymore? From what I have observed from the younger generation, and far too many middle aged peoples; I guess not. Why do I say that? It seems from my observation point, many have forgotten how to do basic math in calculating their check book, savings account etc. They seem to believe you can continue to write checks even if there is no money in your account. We live in an over spend society; never save for anything if you can charge it now. This has caused many to have spent their pay check long before they even see their paycheck. Thus enter the credit card, the maxing out of the card; then apply for another card to do the same. Then pay minimal payments, which causes thermal runaway of indebtedness, the unfortunate result in never being able to pay off the card. One would think this malady is just a personal level issue, but it isn’t. This endless money thinking has permeated our society to the extent that, far too many think our Government has money to burn, trillions of dollars just lying around awaiting distribution to the masses. Unfortunately our Government Leaders seem to think the same thing. Do people not realize that not only do people file for bankruptcy on a regular basis, but governments of the world have done the same? Can we figure it out that goods and services cost money and someone has to pay the bill? I remember these words of wisdom from my school years; math is the only subject where you can’t lie. So, do the numbers add up, unfortunately they do, and the numbers provide some disturbing facts. There is a payday coming, and we are not going to like our wages I’m afraid. It’s far past time to do the math, live within our/your means, quit thinking the government is God. I read this last year, that the U.S. Government sends out apprx. 50 million checks per month to it’s citizens, I’m not sure if that includes EBT cards as well. No Country can continue this course of irresponsibility without derailment. Please take note; what will you do when there is no more money for the Government to squander or give away? That means your EBT welfare card comes up with a 0 balance from now on, and it means that Government Social Checks are not sent out or deposited in your account. We are talking mass mayhem, no money to buy food, this will get ugly real fast. The list of ills is long, are we listening?

            So, there you have it, the 3 R’s, the basics, the doors to an enlightened life, people/s lives. What we do with it is up to us, empowered or the continued dumb-ing down of our/a society. It’s one thing to not be able to read and be illiterate, it’s quite another thing to be able to read and choose to be illiterate. I can help the one, but the latter is much more difficult to help. God help us!

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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