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Pastor's Commentary

Patterns of The Past
Thursday, May 28 2020

History books are filled with events and accounts of great interest and value that at the time were front page stories of a host of topics. Anything from natural disasters like earthquakes to human disasters, from World Wars, to inventions, all have filled the pages of time. With the aid of the internet; the history of such events are all but a few clicks away on a keyboard; and often with graphic pictures and details as well. Not everyone is a history buff like me; as I spend many hours researching things most people could care less about. With that thought and from experience (whatever that’s worth); I believe we may categorize people who process (ponder, care, consider, etc) historical or world changing events into three base categories or levels of importance to the average person. The 1st category would be an event that though big at the time, most people reflect on it for the short term at best. Many years down the road the event isn’t even mentioned much anymore, let alone details of it. The 2nd category I believe would be the level where it seems an event or catastrophe is permanently etched into one’s mind, and with it are details of exactly what they personally were doing at the time of the incident would be shared by many. Who wouldn’t remember (older folks) the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, or the day we landed on the moon in 1969? Or maybe the day the Challenger Space Shuttle blew up? Of course Sept 11, 2001, the Twin Towers were brought down. All these events are indelibly etched into the hard drives of our mind. However; I seem to think there is another category or 3rd level that I believe that could be considered here. It is what I would call a level, where-in a certain group of folks have an eye for hidden facts/truths, details or nuggets of great value. We not only look at the event as an historical happening, but we dig deeper, we sense the event may be bigger than the event itself. You might even see an event as a fore-shadow of a future something/event about to come. Have you ever had an occasion where you said to yourself; man I have seen this pattern or scenario before somewhere? If you were one of the people at the Zoo in Los Angeles, California some years ago, you would have noted as many did later that the animals were acting quite strange one particular day. As history would record, a massive earthquake was about to hit the area, the animals were picking up on it before the people of the area did. That’s what I‘m talking about here, an evaluation of evidence or events past that may hold a key for a future event.

            There was an event that happened over a hundred years ago that has been on my mind for over a year now. Last year I was going to write a Commentary about it, but just didn’t feel at the time it was the right fit for that time period. It was the account about the huge luxury liner the Titanic. This would be one of those events just about anyone would remember. There would be a host of movies made of this disaster; “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” of old and “The Titanic” of more recent years, all of which refresh ones memory of the event, perhaps circumventing the passing of time. I have watched all the movies, read much about the event and have often pondered, just how in the world could such a disaster have happened? Maybe you like me are part of my 3rd group that also has a critical eye for detail. Perhaps if you were a ship building Engineer you would be especially interested in designing a vessel that was more robust, perhaps a double hull of sorts. Better electronics to see the waters ahead and make onboard calculations to divert before contacting hidden structures. From what I have read and seen in Documentaries on TV, this vessel may not have been as impervious to disaster as they once believed. I used to think maybe hitting the iceberg head-on would have been a better alternative to having the side opened up. Upon further review that idea would not bode well either, the last thing you would want is to have the engine ripped from its mounts and being driven through the forward hull like a giant torpedo. Books have been written, new techniques are being adhered to, and always more could be said.

            I mentioned earlier about some people seeing through a different lens. I and others have taken note that the Titanic disaster has some interesting patterns that have been revealed, not necessarily steel and icebergs here. And if that is so, could these patterns be used as “models” in other scenarios, such as people’s lives, maybe the course of whole nations and countries? You can make your own judgment call on that. Remember; patterns transcend people, places, objects, time. Consider; the weather in the Mid-West is prone to tornadoes. We have seen these patterns many times; to use this knowledge is what we call forecasting. People that heed the warning of such weather patterns may live another day, those that don’t suffer the consequences.

As mentioned the Titanic exhibited many patterns that if not heeded could/may bring certain destruction. Could it be that the Titanic tragedy may mirror events that are taking place right now in our beloved Country, perhaps the world? Is it possible that physical facts and events may have moral implications? I say there can be no other way. The first of the many glaring examples was a term that was used by the shipping company; “This ship is so invincible, God couldn’t even sink it”; this speaks of a spirit of pride and arrogance. It is where many people are in their lives even now. Defiance in the face of God! Our Country was founded on God, based upon God and His Law, (big G). However over a period of years many have rose up in defiance to God, even to the removing of God. It is basically a placing of one’s trust; more in “things” you can’t trust, than in God who you can. Rhetorically saying; we can make it without you, or in spite of you, in my mind, bad move. If this Country were a ship, I would say; reverse course now, imminent danger ahead.

The next note of interest is the blindness to known danger. Incredible, the Captain and others in command had received warning prior of the danger ahead. This may be deemed a reckless and wanton abuse of power at work. Would there be a vote; should we break the Atlantic crossing at record speed while placing you in peril? The Lord would use the Church to speak His Word to our leaders/captains. Are they receptive, are they appreciative for the warnings being given to them to help all of us get through the ice berg infested water? I wish I could say they were, the Churches of the world are being marginalized across the world, even persecuted. Not only are Countries headed to disaster but the whole world as well. Is anyone listening?

In another take from the survivor record of events was, the band played on. I can’t imagine me playing on if I were in the band. What was the motivation behind this? Was it a distraction to get your mind off dying, a loss of mental faculties on the bands part, I can’t really say for sure. But I can say this, music seems to be everywhere in our day and time. So many people think they have to always be hearing something; I’m not talking about a good sermon here. Music, It can be a serious distraction to many folks, message music, pumping the head full of stuff, a; don’t think for yourself mentality, just play on. No concentration to or on real issues, little deep thought, just stay on top of all the hits. The things in life that really matter, don’t think about it, drown out the reality.

In yet another point a great lesson is gleaned. There were a lot of wealthy people on board, some of the wealthiest on the planet of that day. There were also many that were poor, hence the class system. There was 1st class and the rest class. They were to be separated, that is usually the case. Wealth is not evil; the Bible says; the “love” of money is root of all evil, not the money itself. If we make money our goal, it becomes our god. Here’s the point, even though there was class separation, tragedy and judgment knows no such boundaries in the end.

I think by now just about any person reading this could see some validity to the reasoning of patterns and to the ones listed so far. But there is one more interesting point to bring out of the many before we conclude our review. In Church there is usually a phrase that is used very often in referring to humanities spiritual condition. The phrase is “Saved or Lost”, referring to a departed soul. If they were right with God; saved, if not, lost/perished. I saw a sign in one of the movies of Titanic that had just those words on it concerning the people that were aboard that fateful ship. It even posted the names of the saved and those that were lost. That phrase sums up life, saved or perished, did you accept Jesus’ offer of salvation when you had the chance or did you put that off until it was too late? The theme song for the latest Titanic Movie was; “Our heart will go on”, true, but where? The Lord said in the last days it would be as in the days of Noah. The Lord’s statement reveals another pattern of the past; it’s going on right now; wickedness abounds. Is this Country on a collision course, ye the world, I think yes; will we heed the warnings before it’s too late? Blessings

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.

 

More Commentaries 

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Saturday, 29 August 2020
Friday, 31 July 2020
Monday, 29 June 2020
Thursday, 28 May 2020
Wednesday, 29 April 2020
Saturday, 28 March 2020
Sunday, 01 March 2020
Tuesday, 03 December 2019
Sunday, 15 September 2019
Monday, 02 September 2019
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