Taking a Break…

This showed up in my personal Facebook account this past week, and had to share it in lieu of the usual fare.  We all need to stop and reflect on what is really important.

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.

It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.. We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the Wal-Mart.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, ‘Mom let’s run through the rain,’ she said.

‘What?’ Mom asked.

‘Let’s run through the rain!’ She repeated.

‘No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,’ Mom replied.

This young child waited a minute and repeated: ‘Mom, let’s run through the rain..’

‘We’ll get soaked if we do,’ Mom said.

‘No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,’ the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm.

‘This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?’

‘Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘ If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!’

The entire crowd stopped dead silent.. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain.. We all stood silently. No one left. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.

Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

‘Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just need washing,’ Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked.

They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories…So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day.

I just cannot add to this message…I just can’t…

Easter Isn’t About Bunnies and Candy

“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” – 1 Cor 15:12-19, NIV

Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead, and is free from the shackles of death.  So shall we be if we also believe and declare Him as our Savior.

Citizen Control–Epilogue

“There are places in the world where it is hard to imagine that anything is wrong.  It’s merely an illusion, and only the foolish think otherwise. But even more foolish are the people that cling to that illusion as if it were reality.  They are the ones that stand to lose the most when the illusion fades like so many stars in the morning sky.” – “Broken – A Podcast Novel”, Episode 1

We, as Citizens of the United States, cannot be foolish enough to believe that our government will abide by the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and the Amendments to the Constitution without the oversight of the People.  Recent events have punctuated this statement with one if not more exclamation points.

Government overreach into the lives of the People of the United States is approaching Orwellian levels.  The doublespeak and outright lying by the politicians is surpassed only by the levels of hypocrisy exhibited by their words and actions.  And then there is this:

“In half a lifetime, many Americans has seen their God dethroned, their heroes defiled, their culture polluted, their values assaulted, their country invaded, and themselves demonized as extremists and bigots for holding on to beliefs Americans have held for generations.” – Pat Buchanan, “The Death of the West”

Throughout history, various governments have been pitted against the people of that country.  The government seeks control over the citizenry.  The citizenry seeks freedom from the government to carry out their lives as they see fit.  This is but one of the reasons that people came to this land before there was a United States.  And this idea, this concept, is embodied into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – The PEOPLE have the power over the government.

Somewhere along the line, this has been turned around.  Through a combination of inattentiveness, subversion by both the well-meaning and the power-hungry, and by a blind faith that our government via elected representatives would abide by the foundational documents of this country, the balance of power has shifted from the People to the government.  And government intends to keep that power.

“Governments don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking.  That is against their interests.

“They want obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork.  And just dumb enough to passively accept it.” – George Carlin

The first four parts of this series outlined that our government, our elected representatives, have slowly but surely put the People in a place where the power now rests with the government.  If one puts aside political convictions and objectively reviews the actions of the past two administrations, one would see that the freedoms of the People of the United States have been severely curtailed.  What remains of our freedoms is only…

An illusion…

“”For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12

Citizen Control–Part 4

“Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” – Ronald Reagan

“Man is not free unless government is limited.” – Ronald Reagan

The above two quotes from Ronald Reagan sum up the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  It is an absolute abomination that the current government violates both of these statements as well as the Founding Documents of this country.  The problem is that many people within this country are oblivious to the apparent disregard our government & politicians have for the principles of our Founding Documents.

This last statement follows up the previous post in this series with this question:  In your government and/or civics classes, did your curriculum include a study of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?  Or was it a footnote in the history of this country?  In my classes in the 70’s, the answer is “No.”  My son’s textbooks and classes definitely did not.

The Constitution of the United States is a very simple document that outlines the roles and responsibilities of the three branches of government.  The Bill of Rights (the first ten Amendments to the Constitution) are the Rights of the People have over the government.  Both documents are easy to read, and can be read in 15 minutes or less.  But the implications of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are far reaching.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” – Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

“THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.” Preamble to The Bill of Rights

When read together, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights state that the People have power over the Government, not the other way around.  Let’s take a few examples of where the Government is not following our Founding Documents.

The most recent example of a violation of the Founding Documents is the Federal mandating of the purchase of health insurance.  No where in the Constitution does it state that as a condition of citizenship a person must purchase a product offered by a private company.  Our Supreme Court has played it fast & loose by accepting (wrongly) that this act is a tax – the fact remains that a citizen must purchase this product or face a penalty.

Another issue that is facing the modern Citizen is privacy.  The Fourth Amendment states,

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The warrantless gatherings of emails, phone records, and other information by the NSA is a violation of the Fourth Amendment if not in practice, then in spirit.  Now I understand that the Patriot Act supposedly authorizes the gathering of such records, and if so, the Patriot Act violates the Fourth Amendment.

The Fifth Amendment states:

“…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

In 2005, the Supreme Court held that government, under eminent domain law, could transfer property from one private party to another if “just compensation” is given and the transfer is in the public good.  At issue was a person did not want to sell their property to a developer wanting to build a shopping mall.  For the sake of jobs and tax revenue, the government sued and won.  This ruling legalized the virtual theft of private assets on the whim of whoever is in power, and I believe in violation of the Fifth Amendment, no matter what the Supreme Court ruled.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – Ronald Reagan

It is now up to the average citizen to educate themselves as to the rights of a Citizen of the United States, and to what limitations that the government is legally to follow.  In today’s low-information voter, that isn’t likely to happen until government personally impacts that person.  Usually, it is then too late.

We must indeed be vigilant and vocal with our representatives, holding them accountable to their oaths to this country and to the People they represent.  Otherwise, we will indeed get the country we truly deserve.