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Pastor's Commentary

Sunday, May 02 2021

            You no doubt have heard the statement that history has a way of repeating itself. Some time back a Documentary was aired on TV that highlighted the time of the Great Depression in the U.S. As we all know, it was a devastating time for the people of this great land to endure. My parents went through this era; yes the stories told could fill a book. However, the Documentary on TV not only highlighted the loss of jobs and resulting wages and livelihoods but another just as bad event would come as well; the Great Dust Bowl of the thirties, where the land was dry as pulp due to a lack of rain, a most severe draught. It was bad enough to lose your job; at least you could live off the land, but what if you could not grow the needed crops to feed your family? Yes, the pictures that showed lives in despair gave a very revealing view of the misery those poor folks had to endure. But there was a certain look upon the faces of those souls that still stands out to me this day; it was a look of hopelessness, a feeling of nowhere to turn, no help provided, at least not until way down the road through various Government help projects were activated. I mentioned all this to say that I believe much of the turmoil and malady we see in our day and time could be attributed to a lack of hope in our society and especially the younger people. It may not be a Dust Bowl this time or as yet a total monetary collapse, but events, foundations and truths that are being dissolved is eroding the foundation of hope for many in our day and time.

            So, what is hope anyway; the dictionary doesn’t do much justice to the word; but hope is essentially; not just an expectation and/or desire, but a trust and confidence. The Bible says; for we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man sees, what doth he yet hope for? (Romans 8:24) In other words, hope is not needed where the object of that hope is plainly seen already. These are good words. Hope is a necessary element for survival, hope is a sustaining power/force that says you can make it, a never give up attitude, the ability to believe for the seeming impossible. It gives us the strength to hold on to the rope a little longer, help is on the way. In the days of WW II, many prisoners were in death camps throughout Europe. They knew the chances of leaving such a place alive were slim to none, but hope in their deliverance was a sustaining force. I had read where toward the end of the war the prisoners could hear the American bombs raining down on areas close to camp, they knew their deliverance wasn’t far off, if they didn’t die starvation first, just hold on. In a Biography written by Elli Wiesel, a Death Camp attendee, he provided many accounts where Jewish fellow prisoners would have given up, but didn’t, he was one of the survivors. Where there is no hope, a fatalistic mindset creeps in; saying what’s the use, you might as well be dead.

            So, where are we as a people on hope right now?  From my point of observation; we are in a pitiful place. I see several issues where hope has declined drastically over the last few years especially. The 1st I see is the foundation of our society. Though much could be said, I will limit it to a few of the more important issues at hand. The moral structure of the family is huge, the father (yes, a man) and mother, (a real woman), the original and only recognized family unit by the Lord. In our day and time, not only is the man and woman union is cast aside, but trying to figure out what a man or woman is seems too hard for folks nowadays. So much for mom and dad hoping to hold the grandkids, neither, two guys or two women can produce anything much but misery. Even in school the poor kids are told to address fellow students by what gender they feel they are on that day, good grief, say this isn’t so. Here’s another one that disturbs just about anyone, in women’s sports, guys can (that think they are a girl) can participate/compete in any sports events with the girls, and as you might expect kick their but. After the meet, they get a nice trophy, good work guys, yeh, you are stronger than women. There’s more, they also get to use the same showers the girls do, and bathrooms as well; do I smell a rat here, that may have been the plot all along. So, where does all this lead, the youth primarily are frustrated, they see a world that has gone mad, and don’t see any way of changing it. One more hope killer being foisted upon the young folks, teach them how miserable their Country is; that America never was great. And that our founding fathers were as worthless as the Constitution and Bill of Rights they brought forth that govern our Country. Where is the no hope illustration here you may ask, in not being able to right the ship, this moral decadence is taking us down, where will it end? Do I need to tell you?

            The 2nd issue that is driving down hope (not listed in order of importance) is the future, or lack thereof. Many within the millennial group of people don’t see anything but wars and rumors of wars; it is taking a toll on them, all of us. Who doesn’t know that many Countries of the world have the nuclear bomb? They feel like they are living in the cross hairs of the next World War, (3 this time). If that isn’t enough, the constant harping on the planet dying, food depravation, a world population out of control, it’s enough to wipe out any thoughts for a bright future. I’m sure these poor youth are also being fed in schools daily across the land about the melting ice of the Polar Ice Caps, the oceans are rising, nowhere to live in the future, even the oceans are dying, this not only saps our hope, but one’s faith if they have any. I think the college kids have finally figured out why they get Government loans to go to school/college, there isn’t enough jobs for all those graduating, so it postpones the problem of/for employment. They have heard the grandparents talk about the “golden years” in this Country, man it sounds good, too bad, we’ll never see it lament many, the National Debt is fast approaching 30 Trillion dollars, an amount the kids and grandkids will never be able to repay, they know that. That means a financial meltdown is coming, the Great Depression will pale in comparison. The list is long concerning lamentations that are being voiced across the land.

The 3rd issue that stands tall among the many valid complaints is the way truth has been denigrated to almost a point of non-existence. Does anyone know or even care that there are truths and absolutes that govern not only a people/society, but the Universe itself. Truth is NOT situational; it is an absolute, a standard, equivalent to weights and balances, the weight in the scale must be the exact weight it says it is, or it corrupt. We live in a day and time when sworn testimony may be anything but, lies have permeated our society to the point, no one knows what is true, so all words are being cast aside, as nothing can corroborated as true. This can have fatal consequences, as there are many truths we need to adhere to, (The Bible) now and for our future. A good example is the evening news, social media and the like; much of what is shared is slighted to downright lying. It has the potential to cause class (culture) turmoil, maybe wars, leading to injury or loss of life, as we see happening right now. Here is a great truth; Jesus says He is the Way and Truth and the Life, (John 14:6a) a truth you can believe.

The 4th issue facing us that comes to mind is what I believe to be the most important issue of all, the God issue. Ok, let me see if I got this right up until this point, the foundations of our great society are messed up, OK, that’s bad enough. The future looks bleak, world upheaval, it’s bad all right, and truth is done, lying is the new norm; but I can weather it, you know why; because I have hope in a better future, that’s right, not on earth, a place where no one has been to mess it up; beam me up Lord; this place (earth) is falling apart under my feet. So, what’s the last issue? Here’s part of it; we are taught the earth is 8 billion plus years old, and that we evolved over time, it’s called “evolution”, and that’s your/our god, per the scientific community. A steady diet of this garbage goes a long way; the damage caused with this lie from hell is almost incalculable. To live a life that is devoid of God (biggest G), is a life that is on life support at best, walking dead, one’s hope is dashed, his future has no meaning, no value or values, we are all no different than a rat, a dog, for a period of time, then nothing beyond. And that my friend creates a society of zombies, no hope, no future, nothing.

What’s wrong with all this is that people are using what hope they have alright; but they are placing it in the wrong place, it’s called misplaced hope. The problem is, one should never place their/your hope, your faith, your much of anything in “man”. He is prone to fail; he can only see temporal things for the most part, and not too good at that. The evidence for the existence of God, far outweigh the evidence against Him. Just as surely as Jesus came the first time, He said He would come again. He came to be the Saviour in His 1st Coming, in His 2nd Coming, He will be our Judge. The time is far spent; the day is at hand, time to turn from hopelessness to Hope in Christ, you’ll be glad you did.

Pastor Thomas Nosworthy

Light the Way Ministries.                                                  

lightthewayministries.org

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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