Friday, July 31 2020
We all have seen some tragic events make headlines over the past several years and wondered how in the world something like that could have happened in our day and time, among supposed civilized people no less. We have seen some deranged soul shoot up schools, night clubs, and concerts across the world, plus a host of other unimaginable mayhem and think, is there no end to the madness? Who would argue we live in the most illuminated generation of all time with the internet able to answer just about any question you can think of and still we see people act like barbarians in such a modern society.
A recent event has taken place that still has me stunned. In a small rural town in Central Florida; three young guys were going on an all night fishing trip at a local lake. The plan was to rendezvous at the lake with all the needed fishing supplies and go cat-fishing, (not the furry type) a great time envisioned; no partying, no alcohol, just fish and fun. Many a child has grown up fishing these Fla. lakes; mine included and have grown up to be good kids. Per the local Sherriff, one of the boys got there first to await the other two that would be there soon. This is where the tragedy begins; there were some guys already there at the lake. From the initial report the thugs that were there, murdered the first of the three fishing boys. Very soon the other two boys showed up in their truck not knowing what had happened, were violently murdered as well. As it turned out one of the boys that was shot was still barely alive and called his dad, who around midnight heard his phone ring and promptly drove to the lake. Among the mayhem he found his wounded son, who being barely alive told of what happened. This is the part that is hard to handle; while dad was holding his son, the boy died in his arms. My heart goes out to the families in this tragic event; I pray God will help them through this nightmare. The Sherriff would say on TV, it looked like the boys were “massacred”, and that all his years as a Sherriff, this was one of the worse scenes he ever saw. It wouldn’t be long before the perpetrators of this horrendous crime would be caught. Guess what; the trigger man was no stranger to jail, many altercations in his life with the Law.
What can we take away from this tragic event is a question that is being pondered by many no doubt. There may be many and various angles to consider while figuring out how to put an end to the madness. As a parent, Pastor, a fellow citizen of this great society, I too would like to see an end to these random acts of violence that is claiming the lives of far too many innocent people across, not only this land but the world as well. What should our recourse be; hide in our homes, bolt the doors, hire body guards for all the family. Many people advocate the confiscation of every weapon in the Country, would that work? Chicago is a gun free zone; guess what, they lead the Nation in violence with a weapon, just look at the number of murders that take place almost every weekend. No, taking a person’s defense system is not only a bad idea, but not Constitutional either. A question that has been brought up by many Nations of the world while considering the events leading up to WW II, can a Nation Legislate morality? To answer that question; what people think is moral, may not be moral anymore. Is there another angle to consider ridding the world of such violence and moral depravity?
The title of this article is “The Root”, and you might guess, it has something to do with the problem facing all of mankind. What does a Nation, a people do, how do we handle the moral decadence our society is mired in? Do we need more laws, build more jails, more Psychologists to tell us some poor soul has been abused, so now he just wants to abuse someone himself. How about some type of mind altering drugs to keep people with mental issues under control? I say a thousand times no; the problems cannot be fixed on the outside, the problem lies within, the root is where we need to deal with the problem. At the heart of everything, there is a root, its foundation, its beginning had a root, the family tree has an original root and down the road there are many roots. We didn’t just show up, we have roots, many people’s roots were/are in good ground, but many people’s roots are in bad ground. Society has tried to prune the trees of bad behavior, but the behavior isn’t just at the branch level, it is at the root level.
I’m sure many have heard this before, but here it is again, this needs to be told again and again, until we recognize the problem. In the beginning, yes, hard to believe for far too many folks nowadays; but there is God, He is the Creator, not of just everything, but also the original root stock of everything as well, and even God said it was good. That’s right, what God had initiated in the beginning was very good, but something happened to bring corruption to mankind. Many reading this up until now may consider this a valid read so far; but think; if only I hadn’t brought up the Lord. Make no mistake; If God isn’t part of the equation, He cannot be part of the answer. Something entered into the “root stock” of humanity long ago that has brought forth the problem, it is called sin, and it became the “nature” of mankind at all levels of depravity. In what seemed like no big deal to many alive in our day and time, is! When our original parents (Adam and Eve) partook of a tree they were forbidden to partake of, it changed everything. In that act of severe disobedience they obeyed the words of satan, more than the words of God, the/their Creator. It brought forth death, and sin entered the world, and satan became the god of this world. God’s Word says; In whom the “god of this world” hath blinded the minds of them which “believe not”, lest the Light of the Glorious Gospel of Christ, who the image of God should shine unto them (II Cor 4:4). I have to give satan credit for this, he is good at blinding people eyes, they can’t even see what the problem is. Once again the Word says this; And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years and begat a son “in his own likeness and image”. Mankind couldn’t blame God for this mess, so, like it or not we were all born after the similitude of Adam. We, every person born has this fallen nature within, some exhibit the fruit of this fallen nature more than others. How long did it take before this fallen nature exhibited itself in Adam’s family? Cain would be born to Adam, then Eve bare Abel, the first two to be born, would be a testament to the depravity of the fallen state of which came upon the earth. And Cain rose up against his brother and slew him (Gen. 4: 8). And it hasn’t stopped since. I know, there are some very nice people that don’t commit the atrocities that are so rampant in our day and time, but nonetheless, we are “all” born with this fallen nature, and that is the root of the problem.
That brings us to this question; how do we fix the problem? In the natural, if some malady exists within our body, on the inside, an operation would be expected by a highly trained individual, a Doctor, to remedy the situation. And one might expect with that, a total confidence in this person’s ability to rectify the situation. As is the case; great amounts of money is usually afforded for such an operation. And why not; the person has been made whole, well. But how do we deal with a spiritual heart problem. I dare say most professionals do not believe such an element exists. They deem we are like highly modified animals, way up the food chain on the life chart, that you still die like an animal, no spirit, no soul, no hell, no Heaven; no problem. You don’t have to be a trained professional to know something within needs to be addressed and fixed.
As you might well expect, the Bible has the answer. How do we deal with the fallen nature, our sin nature? The Bible says this; Except a man be “born again”, he cannot see the Kingdom of God, (John 3:3). There it is; we were born the first time (fleshly birth) under Adam’s fallen state, but we can be born again, just like a newborn baby, this time in Christ, who died to remove our sin nature and fallen state. Once again the Bible says; For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One (Christ) shall many be made righteous, (Romans 5:19). When Christ died upon the Cross, He literally took back what the devil stole, thus providing mankind a way out of his fallen state/nature. But you must be born again, there is no other way; Jesus made the way, actually He says; I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man comes to the Father but through me, (John 14:6).
The wrap; many folks that were hard core sinners at one time came to Christ for salvation, to be born again, to get a second chance. I have seen this personally thousands of time with over thirty years in Prison Ministry. Hard core criminals give their life to the Lord, (a great paradox of having gave their lives to the devil for too long) and sincerely repent, accepting God’s Pardon, I like that analogy. I say transformed by the power of His Resurrection Power, literally set free, from sin and degradation, a new heart, a new attitude, and new walk, talk, and a new direction. This is the answer; Christ and Christ alone, no worthless programs, mind altering drugs, shock therapy, endless days in jails with more criminals, just Christ; we become New Creatures in Christ. The root of the problem is fixed, no more murderer, rapist, felon, just lovers of God. Now you know the root of the problem, give it to the Lord; He’ll fix the root, the family tree, even our Nation.
Pastor Thomas Nosworthy
Light the Way Ministries.
Special Guest Commentary
101 BODACIOUS QUOTATIONS
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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