Tag Archives: freedom

We Need Another Patrick Henry!

Patrick Henry said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  For this very reason peoples of other faith have been afforded asylum, prosperity, & freedom of worship here.”

Henry & our Founders believed in absolute morality, teaching that “the eternal difference between right & wrong does not fluctuate.”  Needless to say, much of Washington, D.C. is the antithesis of Patrick Henry!

No, we do not have Patrick Henry’s leading us today, in part because Christians have been careless.  Even though we may say “God Bless America!” with our lips, our lives are too often a rejection of God & His principles.  For too long we have elected men & women who have ousted Bible-reading & prayer  from our schools, who place a low value on human wife, and a growing disrespect for the law.

We have put in office those who adhere to the “right” to abort unborn babies—at the rate of one every 30 seconds, 24-7!  We have elected men & women who uphold lifestyles rejected by God’s Word & repulsive to Americans as a whole—that is until we began parading them on television and in movies as “normal” until they have become acceptable, even to some in the clergy-world.  It is still sin in God’s sight.

It’s easy to become discouraged by the moral trajectory of our nation today.  Marriage and gender have been redefined; gender has become a “choice” for those who can’t get enough attention.  Euthanasia is gaining momentum.  Genetic manipulation of human embryos has become a reality.  Jihadist terrorism dominates our news.  American politics is in shambles.

However, one great certainty today is this—God is still on His throne, folks!  Another certainty—God wants to use you to make a difference in the world.  The Old Testament writer gives us great hope when he penned 2 Chr 7:14.  While some may debate whether or not its application was for Israel alone, those who know God personally understand that the principle is applicable to America today:

(2 Chron 7:14 KJV) If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, & pray, & seek my face, & turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, & will forgive their sin, & will heal their land. 

Let me ask—what part of that verse is NOT applicable to us today?  Are you NOT one of His people, or do you NOT call yourself a Christian?  What Christian should NOT humble him or herself before God, especially given the condition of America today?  Who amongst us should NOT be seeking God’s face?  When God’s Spirit reveals to us our wickedness, who of us should NOT turn in repentance from that attitude or behavior?

With that said, which of us would audaciously proclaim God to be a liar—that He would NOT hear the prayer of a penitent, that He would NOT forgive our sin, or that He would NOT heal our land?!

In addition to our repentance & petitions, we must also pray that God will send again leaders like Patrick Henry, who will hold fearlessly to God’s hand while leading this nation.

BTW, do you pray?  If so, would you join me in praying for our nation like never before.  Since God’s Spirit will not always strive with man, it behooves us to seek Him today while He may be found.

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There Is Hope

For more years than I can remember, I’ve spoken somewhere on weekends surrounding America’s patriotic holidays.  Sunday, 03 July 2016 will be no exception, but will be one of those rare occasions when I will speak at the church that Debbie and I call “home”—North Auburn Hills Baptist Church.

Approaching America’s 240th birthday, reflecting on the current election cycle, and considering the condition of our country, I must confess grave concern for the country that has been my home base for 66 years and counting.  So as not to discourage you, let me quickly disclaim that I believe there is hope!

The Old Testament prophet Isaiah opens one of the Bible’s most horrific chapters with a ray of hope this way—Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save; neither is His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.  However, he then proceeds to describe the dark days in which America … er, Israel, was living.

Skipping from the opening verse, we find a summary description of America today—a parallel—that should arrest the attention of thinking citizens, sober our thoughts, and lead us to petition the God of Isaiah 59:1, as described in Isaiah 7:14!  Consider just four common characteristics between Israel of some 700 years before Christ and America today—highlighted in four critical words.

Justice

(Isa 59:14a HCSB)  Justice is turned back …  In the vernacular, we would say that justice has been turned on its head, upside down, everything is backwards.  America’s victims of crime watch a never-ending stream of criminals going free, restitution never paid.  Be strong and of good courage, my friend, for God the Righteous judge rules over all the earth.  Remember verse one—He hears and He can save!

Righteousness

(Isa 59:14b HCSB) … righteousness stands far off …  In a practical sense, righteousness is simply “morally good.”  A deep study is not necessary, when a casual glance at television, a movie screen, or newspaper reveals daily that America increasingly is anything but morally good, choosing rather to trust in vanity. Take hope my friend!  There’s still hope in verse one—only one call away!

Truth

(Isa 59:14c HCSB) … truth has stumbled in the street … (“fallen” in the KJV).  The meaning is the same—truth doesn’t matter in our culture today!  History is being rewritten.  Truth is being hidden, while falsehood is being paraded as though it was the truth, in order to accomplish someone’s agenda.

The truth is, God’s agenda will be accomplished in the end.  By the closing chapter of this world’s history, all liars (those who refused to live truthfully) will find the burning truth forever in the horrific abode of the father of lies, yet eternally separated from the truth, the way, and the life!  That is not something in which one should glory, but rather with broken heart, fear and trembling, choose to be a living sacrifice, that others might hear the truth while there is time!

However, if you are reading these words, be encouraged!  As long as we have breath, we have hope—and it still stands back in verse one!

Honesty

(Isa 59:14d HCSB) … and honesty (or equity) cannot enter …  At the end of the day, honesty is a proper dealing with the three aforementioned qualities—truth, righteousness, and justice.  You see, it is possible for one to know truth, but be dishonest and unjust, thus missing the boat on righteousness as well. That’s why in our courts of law, a witness swears an oath—hand on the Bible—to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  The purpose is to bring about justice, making something that was wrong right again.

That’s also why sinful man needs the hope back in verse one, a hope ultimately found in God alone.  All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, but He is near and willing to give to us His own righteousness.  Justice for our sin was served some 2000 years ago, when Jesus Christ willingly made an in-full payment for us.  His death was not about His own sin, but rather your sin and mine—which brings us back to the hope in verse one!

BTW, do you pray?  If so, would you join me in asking God to draw America back to Him, that we as a nation might become a country of justice, righteousness, truth, and honesty once again?  Or perhaps you feel like God is far, far away.  Not so, my friend—He is only one prayer away!  Call on Him today while He is near!

Finally, in spite of all the woes of our world and country, my fellow Americans, let’s celebrate the freedom that we enjoy and for which much of the world longs!  Happy 240th Birthday, America!

(2 Chron 7:14 HCSB)  (If) my people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. 

Celebrating Freedom with a Hero

Celebrating Freedom with a Hero

I Do Solemnly Swear …

Veterans Day is that one special day when all America pauses in gratitude for and honor of those living men and women who have taken an oath to ” … support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

veterans day 2015

While the young men and women who make this affirmation come from varied nationalities, differing socio-economic backgrounds, and religious experiences, but they all come together in this common oath.  The basic training provided by each branch of the United States military, the length of training, and certainly the MOS (military occupational service) training all vary, but all towards the fulfillment of a singular goal—the support and defense of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Although a growing number of politicians, from the president to congress, seems to have forgotten either the constitution or the oath they swore when taking office, the vast majority of the men and women of our armed forces—Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps—put their very lives on the line daily.  These who have so seriously taken their oaths deserve the utmost of respect from all Americans.

BTW, do you pray?  If so, here are a couple of things about which you can pray.  First, after thinking quietly about whom these men and women are and what they do to make our freedom possible, thank God for them—from the young recruits to the most elderly veterans.  Second, ask God to sustain these troops and their families.

And to my own veteran son, USMC Sgt. Joshua D Peterson—you will never know how proud you and your older brother USMC Capt. Justin D Peterson have made your father, even at great cost.  Semper Fidelis!  The same can be said of my son-in-law USN Lt. Brandon Geddes!

joshua 2006 iraq 1

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Celebrating Freedom with a Hero

Celebrating Freedom with a hero, Joe Hutchins 

veterans day 2015

MEMORIAL DAY 2015

Although caller ID showed the call as “restricted,” with two sons deployed with the United States Marine Corps in Iraq, I knew that I must take the call that Sunday morning, 01 October 2006.

Like any Marine Corps communicator, my youngest son Joshua’s voice was commanding and to-the-point—“Don’t talk, Dad, just listen.  We’re going on our first mission, and I need you to pray, because we have already had one Marine fall this morning somewhere in Anbar Province.  I love you, Dad!”

joshua 2006 iraq 1

“I will pray.  I love you, son!” That was all I had time to say.  The sat phone went dead.  Immediately, I sat down and prayed in the Association apartment where I was staying in southern Illinois.  A few minutes later, I finished dressing for the day, drove to the church, and spoke three times to the congregation in Sparta, Illinois.

With services ended, Pastor & Mrs. Bill Herald and I had just ordered our late evening meal when my phone vibrated once again.  When I saw that it was my daughter-in-law Patty who was calling, I excused myself from the table and took the call that would change my life forever.

“Dad, where are you?  Are you alone?  Are you driving?”  My heart seemed to stop when Patty continued, “Dad, LtCol Hermann just left the house.  Justin was killed this morning in Iraq.”

On this Memorial Day weekend, many Americans will celebrate freedom—understandably.  However, that is the purpose for the 4th of July.  Other American families will thank men and women in uniform or those veterans who have previously served in one of the five branches of our military.  That is all well and good; however, that is the purpose of Veterans Day, 11 November each year.  Unfortunately, a few of our citizens will become so engrossed in their long holiday weekend of activities; they may forget altogether the significance of Memorial Day.

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However, scattered across this nation and around the globe are families who will always remember—who can never forget—that the purpose of Memorial Day is to gratefully remember those brave men and women who paid the ultimate price while they served.  In remembering them, we also remember the countless numbers of parents, siblings, spouses, children, and friends who also pay a price—some who are seated in this audience today.

Neither our fallen nor their families want your pity or sympathy.  We want your respect, your remembrance, and your gratitude for the freedom, purchased by so few, to benefit so many, and at such great cost.  Parents have been deprived of their offspring to make that purchase for you.  Lonely spouses embrace soft pillows at night, rather than the rock-hard bodies of their life mate, crying themselves to fitful sleep.

Most gut-wrenching of all, infants and small children will never know anything more of a parent who gave them life than what they will see in old pictures or the stories they hear from friends and relatives who remember.

"On behalf of ... a grateful nation," my daughter-in-law Patty

“On behalf of … a grateful nation,” my daughter-in-law Patty

If there was ever a people who were grateful, who remember, who keep perspective and care, it should be believer-citizens—Americans who know Christ as Savior—and make full proof of occasions such as Memorial Day to do so.  Whether it is the liberties we enjoy as citizens of this great nation or the liberation of the soul for all eternity, our freedom has been purchased vicariously for us by someone else.  Let us never forget.

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BTW, do you pray?  If so, why not pause this Memorial Day, reflect on those have secured your freedom, pray for those left behind, and express your gratitude heavenward for those who paid the ultimate price for freedom?

Let us forever remember.

Veterans Day Thoughts

Normally on Veterans Day I reminisce and blog, often using the occasion to highlight family members who are veterans. I am extremely, and justifiably proud of my oldest son USMC Capt Justin Peterson, a Marine whose life was cut short in the sands of Iraq, my youngest son USMC Sgt Joshua Peterson, who was also deployed in Iraq at the time his brother was killed, and my oldest son-in-law USN Lt Brandon Geddes, who is still active and stationed in Norfolk.

However, today I want to highlight a rather quiet, unassuming veteran who calls San Diego home.  Two years ago, while in Chula Vista presenting the patriotic program A SALUTE TO AMERICA!, I was privileged to meet and spend almost an hour with Joe Hutchins at the real estate office owned by Joe and his wife Pat.

Celebrating Freedom with a Hero

Celebrating Freedom with a Hero

Joe spent most of his first career in the United States Navy as a SEAL.  We sat on a sofa in the reception area of Hutchins Realty on Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach, as Joe, a retired Air Force friend of Joe’s, and I talked.  I turned to this quiet tower of strength and said, “Joe, you know what’s different about your generation and today’s generation?”  Not sure where I was going with that question, he simply said, “Go on.”

“You have deeply buried stories of years of special ops—stories which have never been uttered, and probably never will be.  Today, guys go on a couple of missions and then write a book about it!”  Joe smiled, his USAF brother-in-arms chuckled, and I was satisfied that Joe’s smile was speaking volumes.

While I’ve seen many of Hollywood’s action movies and read several books each year written from the arena of combat experience, somehow—even unintentionally—they tend to glamourize the blood, sweat, tears, agony, and pain.  Conversely, many civilians seem to make every combat veteran a “victim” who suffers from PTSD.

Off all the possibilities that Veterans Day can bring to America, perhaps the one that should capture the imagination is this—let’s allow this annual day of remembrance remind us of the price that is being paid by approximately 1% of our nation’s citizens—men and women who are heroes merely because they stepped forward and serve or have served the other 99%.

BTW, do you pray?  If so, why not spend some quiet time alone sometime during this Veterans Day, contemplating our veterans, especially the ones you know personally, and pray for them, thanking God for these men and women of courage, honor, and commitment, and asking God to minister His goodness to them as they provide our nation safety and freedom?

And Justin, Joshua, and Brandon—thank you for your service to our nation, and for making your father very proud of you!

1385421_10151889694186558_1258647658_n JOSHUA PETERSON 2014 994817_10151705932916558_412695339_n

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Memorial Day 2014

The country music group Alabama, led by Randy from Fort Payne (AL), got it right in one of their old songs, “I’m in a Hurry.” Let me explain my meaning momentarily.

It’s still early morning on this Memorial Day 2014. My morning walk was quiet, sunny, and with no breeze to even stir the American flags hanging limply from several of the condominiums.

Adding to the solemnity of this day, was a small detail  to many people perhaps, but one that hits close to home to this guy—only a few of the colors were properly posted at half-mast. Yes, I understand this is a minute detail; however, I think it represents something larger, though subtle, in our current country and culture, that deserves consideration on this most solemn of American holidays.

Perhaps in the busy-ness of our lives, we take too little time to slow down (another song from another genre—“Slow down, you’re going too fast; we’ve got to make the morning last.”) and think—reflect on life–which leads me back to the Alabama song.

I’m in a hurry to get things done, Oh, I rush and rush until life’s no fun. All I really got to do is live and die, But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.

Please don’t misunderstand—I’ve lived the majority of my adult life in a hurry, so this essay isn’t about perfect writing, hoping that imperfection will get it together! Quite the contrary—it’s about each of us taking time whenever possible to actually reflect on life and the things that really will matter in the end.

Yesterday, Debbie and I were at CrossRoads Church in Columbus (OH), where I performed my patriotic show SALUTE! for their Memorial Day weekend service. The program includes another country song that draws one to reflection—“Little Folks,” by Charlie Daniels. After walking the listener through childhood, the song conclude with these words:

Little folks slip through our hands like so many grains of sand; We’d best enjoy them while we can—so soon they slip away.

In the show, SALUTE!, the closing visual of that song is a photo of my oldest son Justin and I, walking across a public lawn in Washington DC, with then-one-year-old Jayden (Justin’s second son) between us, holding his dad’s and Papa Pete’s hands. That photo is always a personal reminder that life is fleeting. According to the Bible, life is a vapor that vanishes ever so quickly.

I have no clue what your plans for the day might be for this Memorial Day 2014. However, I hope you will take a few quiet moments somewhere along the trail to think. Think about the countless numbers of lives img050sacrificed for your freedom. One of those lives was my son Justin, a career Marine, but also a husband to Patty and a father to Jared, Jayden, and Caitlin.

BTW, do you pray? If so, while you’re meditating on the price tag of freedom, why not offer your gratitude to God of the freedom and manifold blessing that are ours as Americans? Perhaps you could appeal to the Lord, asking Him, the God of all comfort, to provide a special measure of comfort to those families who observe this somber holiday with an empty seat at their table.

Although Justin Dale Peterson (or JDP2, as he is affectionately known in the family) is missed beyond description by his extended family, it’s safe to say that we understand to some extent that this is the price of freedom. Freedom is not free.

Debbie & Dale Peterson

Debbie & Dale Peterson

Pondering our Past, Present, & Future 9-11s

Dale on Coronado (CA)

Dale on Coronado (CA)

September 11 … has become one of those defining moment days for America. Most of us can share where we were and what we were doing on the morning of September 11, 2001, as America’s—yea, the world’s—attention turned to their radios and televisions to follow the unthinkable events unfolding in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania.

Yes, Americans’ lives were changed in moments, to be sure, but the ripple effect has changed the world … but not always for the better. For example, I much prefer the “good old days” when air travel was (for the most part) a pleasure rather than a hassle … when passengers’ spirits were somewhat carefree and their focus was on their destinations and the activities in which they would engage.

However, I sometimes wonder if the greatest impact has been lost in the shuffle for many people, and that is the impact on families who lost a loved one or friend. While busy travelers mutter and complain about luggage content restrictions (not to mention the insane charges) and security lines in airport terminals, scattered around the world are 3000 families with an empty seat at their tables and holes in their hearts. If America does anything each year on September 11, we in the land of the living should spend our day remembering those who lost their lives.

However, I am not convinced by the politicians, especially those inside the Beltway, that it is much more than a photo op for many of America’s politicians—and the higher to position, the more I believe that is true. “Why would you say such a thing?” you may be asking. I respond with two basic words—attitudes and actions.

When one is sincere, other perceive it from their attitudes—if not immediately, then certainly over a period of time. Further, sincerity is reflected in our actions. For example, on 9-11-01, I first heard the news on my truck radio as I drove to a meeting for ministers in Michigan. However, upon our arrival to hear 2-3 men speak to our organization, we instead followed the events on television for a little while, then spent the remainder of our conference time in prayer.

BTW, do you pray? If so, let me encourage you to consider how we pray … as individuals, as leaders, and as a nation.

America doesn’t need an encouragement from the White House lawn for a “moment of silence.” We need authentic prayers of repentance, and what better way to secure the future of America and Americans than by appealing passionately to the same God that William Bradford and the Pilgrims of the Mayflower knew, asking His provision and protection? We need God in America again—and that is more than a nice song by Carman!

Our nation has come a long way (and in the wrong direction) from our first president George Washington, who knelt in prayer with broken and contrite heart, to our current president who barely musters a moment of silence for political correctness! “Oh, but Dale, you can’t judge the president’s motives!” you may be thinking. I don’t have to—I can see his actions—the fruit of the decisions that he has been making since taking the highest office in our nation and bringing it to shame.

Since America is in trouble—academically, financially, morally, and spiritually—let’s come back to the signature question of my blog posts. BTW, do you pray? If so, are you praying for God’s Spirit to move mightily on our nation? Are you pleading … daily … with Him for a spiritual awakening in America?

All human attempts at freedom and security will falter and fail, while prostrating ourselves before God in repentance and petition leads to total freedom and eternal security (yes, play on words intended)! Cheers!

Independence Day 2013

For decades I have used certain days for reflection, goal-setting, and adjusting my attitudes and actions as necessary in order to achieve written objectives prescribed each year for me, my family, and ministry.  The fourth of July is one of the holidays on which I reflect concerning our country and my relationship as a believer-citizen.

Don’t let that hyphenated term throw you.  When I use believer-citizen, I am referencing legal American citizens who are Christ followers.  Definition of terms has never been more important in America, since we have morphed into a nation that is very different at the core than the one birthed 237 years ago.  To anyone knowledgeable of authentic (as opposed to revised-to-accommodate-modern-political-correctness-and-liberal-adgendas) American history, the contrast in character of national leaders then and now is nothing short of alarming.

The header which opened America’s Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, is only the beginning of the contrasts.  The unanimous of “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America” (emphasis mine) has become instead partisan gridlock amongst national leaders, with each of two primary parties blaming the other.  However, a lack of character on the part of those occupying seats of leadership has led to nothing short of dishonesty amongst the ruling elite and distrust by the citizenry who put them into office.

Further, the opening sentence of the Declaration highlights a second significant contrast in the line, “ … to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them … “  Finding it necessary to dissolve the political bands that once tied them to Great Britain, our founders focused on the principles of God’s Word as a compass to guide them and a light to direct them into the future of the greatest experiment of national freedom ever known.

However, the Word that was once a lamp lighting our pathway to righteous national life and freedom is either banned or scoffed at by political elitists whose lack of godly character breeds corruption in almost everything they touch.  When United States congressional delegates operate outside the bounds of honesty and integrity, we hear them bullying their peers with statements such as “You have to pass it (referring to ObamaCare) in order to find out what’s in it.”  That insanity is only superseded by the insanity of an electorate that would return either Nancy Pelosi or Barrack Hussein Obama to office for an additional term.

Almost every line in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights is being violated today.  However, there is still hope—if every believer-citizen will use this 237th Independence Day to reflect, reason, and resolve.  Our hope is in neither the Democratic nor the Republican parties.  More than a little leaven has leavened both lumps.

So, as we reflect on how far America has drifted from our founding moorings, we can better understand the negative repercussions that blare at us from every newscast.  Reason tells us that our abandonment of honesty and integrity has led to unprecedented corruption, but an about face—a return to the principles that once made us great—is our best hope.

However, to recognize our errors and to reason our way to a viable solution, will also require a third step—resolve to become once again people of honesty and integrity.  Where does that begin?  I would suggest 2 Chronicles 7:14.

BTW, do you pray?  If so, would you join me in the life application of that verse?  That will require praying from a broken and contrite heart.  “If my people … called by my name … humble themselves … and pray … and seek my face … and turn from their wicked ways … “  Each of those are steps of honesty, integrity, and repentance, and are our responsibilities as believer-citizens.

Then God’s part kicks into play!  “ … then I will hear from heaven … and will forgive their sin … and will heal their land.

I love America!  That does not make me blind to our problems.  The solution to our problems is not government, but rather God.  The same God on which our founders relied for guidance to greatness.

Dale on Coronado (CA)

Dale on Coronado (CA)

Memorial Day 2013

Memorial Day is one of my favorite patriotic holidays, along with July 4th and Veteran’s Day.  However, as I endeavor to focus my attention this weekend on the true meaning of Memorial Day, I find myself distracted.

Frankly, America has become a mess from the top down, beginning in Washington, D.C.  As a nation that has experienced freedom at levels unprecedented perhaps in human history, it is because from the beginning, we have been ruled by laws.  Early on, these laws were modeled after the Great Law-Giver.   However, modern political leadership apparently has little regard for law—and this in spite of the fact that many of them are lawyers!

No matter how many degreed attorneys may hold political and bureaucratic offices, they apparently lack good character at the very core of their being.  Modern America continually arrives at new lows where leadership without godly character has taken us.  I sometimes wonder if there are any men and women of honesty left inside the beltway, or many state houses, for that matter!

Before you disagree, consider what is at the core of the current scandals in our country’s capitol, oval office, and treasury department—each of them reverberating with dishonesty.  One does not need a law degree to understand that anyone sworn into these offices has taken an oath to uphold the laws of the land and the sovereignty of the United States of America.

When those elected deliberately vote contrary to our laws or best interest, it is a violation of their oaths and, in my opinion, treasonous.  One example of this—any senator voting in favor of a United Nations treaty that infringes on the Constitutional rights of American citizens, as Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow recently did.

When America is subjected to scandals like the IRS debacle, our citizens should expect a housecleaning, not excuses, buck-passing, pleading the fifth amendment, or token terminations of a few.  Is there anyone left in Washington who understands and exercises personal responsibility?

Then there is the colossal screw-up of Benghazi.  If grassroots America could know the truth about what happened surrounding that fiasco, the decisions, the events, and the motivations behind it all, I’m guessing there would be such outrage that all of Washington would be cleaned out.  (Hey! Not a bad idea!)  But when leaders are dishonest, they are never forthcoming with the facts and the truth.

But what should we expect from politicians and bureaucrats whose egos and insatiable appetites for power have rendered them little more than addicts of the same?  Many of them run dishonest campaigns to get into office, why should we think they will suddenly become honest once in office?

Perhaps the greater question is this—when will grassroots America stand in sufficient numbers and say enough is enough?  The Tea Party—you know, the movement that the dishonesty of the IRS is making famous—is trying to do this.  Then enter a lot of dishonesty from main stream media and the distortions they toss out in daily doses, and the confusion continues until many amongst grassroots citizens virtually throw their hands in the air and cry out in despair, “What’s the use?!”

Thankfully, a holiday like Memorial Day, properly used, becomes a valuable tool in the thinking and decision-making of those committed to maintaining a strong America—requiring our focus on important things.

Thankfully, our military has historically provided an example—of honor, or courage, and of commitment.  Focusing our minds and hearts on the true meaning of Memorial Day 2013, let’s ask, “For what have they all given their lives?”  Shall their deaths be made vain by our failure to be ever vigilant in defending the freedoms they secured for us?

Thankfully, thousands of airmen, sailors, soldiers, and Marines still do today.  Of my three sons, two are Marines—one works honorably in North Carolina for U.S. Cellular, while the other Marine rests in the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan.

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Of my two sons-in-law, one is currently deployed aboard the USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN 69).  Their character speaks well of our military.  Shall their service (and the sacrifice of their families) be made vain by the dereliction of duty of politicians of lesser character or by an ambivalent citizenry?

Thankfully, there is still a truth in this world that could rescue a faltering nation.  It is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14—If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  (NJK)

BTW, do you pray?  If so, shouldn’t the cares of our country concern us and compel us to pray?  But the appeal of that verse, which reflects the very heart of God for you, me, and our country, entails more than pray.  It entails turning from our wickedness and turning to Him in repentance—brokenness over our wickedness.

The scary part of that process may be this—we can’t pretend repentance before God.  So, while you’re flipping your burgers and brats this Memorial Day 2013, remember those who have paid the price for our freedom; reflect on personal responsibilities as American citizens; and resolve to be a man or woman of character and principle.

After listening to the State of the Union speech last night, I am more concerned than ever for my country.  There are numerous ways in which America is in serious trouble, but for this essay, I will limit my concern to primarily one item—gun control–which doesn’t seem very spiritual, I know.

The Second Amendment of America’s Bill of Rights is the controlling factor for the citizens of the United States of America regarding this general issue.  As an English minor in college, I understand words and phrases fairly well, including the phrase, “ … shall not be infringed.”  Our Founding Fathers understood the need for the citizenry to be protected from central and state governments running amok.

2013-01-09_17-34-22_545 SIG SAUER 1911

Over the last forty years or so, I have tracked—first out of curiosity, but now out of concern—the federal government’s infringement on the Second Amendment.  Beginning with the first-ever gun restrictions imposed by the federal government (an unconstitutional action on the part of those who are sworn to uphold that constitution, I might add) with the 1927 Mailing of Firearms Act, a dangerous and growing trend began.

In 1934, the Pied Piper of the Democratic Party, Franklin D. Roosevelt, signed into law (an unconstitutional infringement) the National Firearms Act, soon followed in 1938 with another infringement—the Federal Firearms Act.  After a thirty-year reprieve, Thomas J. Dodd sponsored The Gun Control Act of 1968 which was soon signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson, who boasted “Today we begin to disarm the criminal and the careless and the insane.”

Twenty years later, The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act, sponsored by Representative William Hughes, and The Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act, sponsored by Representative Mario Biaggi, further expanded the infringement.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, sponsored by Chuck Shumer came next, followed a year later by The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, originally sponsored by your colleague Senator Diane Feinstein.  And now, not only do I hear my president championing yet additional infringements but see the Senators who represent Michiganders applauding that infringement.

Let me draw attention to a few facts.  First, it is interesting to note that each of these infringements has been perpetrated by either a Democratic Representative or Senator.  Second fact—each of these “laws” in some way infringes upon the Second Amendment.  Third, for all the “good intentions” of protecting law enforcement and citizens, and reducing crime, these laws have been nothing but ineffective, and statistics bear this out.

However, if Congressional “leaders” don’t read the bills on which they are voting, they probably don’t bother to read the FBI statistics or Constitution either!  Finally, the dishonesty of our federal executive and legislative branches of government—borne out by Congress’s dismal approval ratings—has  reached an all-time high, meaning the character level has reached an all-time low!

If I am appalled that men and women who are sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States are failing to do so, I am equally appalled that citizens anywhere continue to return those same individuals to office—with one caveat.  I also understand that voters who are government dependent will almost always vote for those “leaders” (and I use the term loosely) who will keep their “benefits” coming in order to ensure their own re-election.

Contrary to what President Obama repeatedly stated last night with his “They deserve a vote” statements, no citizen of these United States deserves a vote that is in violation of our Constitution.  America’s elected officials at all levels desperately need to refresh their commitment to the Constitution, forget the deal-making and political correctness, go against the mainstream of liberalism, and take seriously the hard-working, honest, tax-paying citizens of Michigan for a change.  Please—urge your own representatives and senators to stand against any further infringement on our Bill of Rights, in particular (for purposes of this writing), our Second Amendment.

BTW, do you pray?  Perhaps now would be an excellent time to pray for those in authority at all levels of government.  If not now, how bad will America have to get before we do pray?