"The nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes." ~ Ezekiel 36:23

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A bigger role

The recent violent weather affecting the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico, Bangladesh, and other global communities make clear that the human condition is so much bigger than any one of us, and that the brotherhood of man includes each and all of us.

Our individual worlds pale with in comparison to the combined needs of the world as a whole.  Our personal issues reflect a microcosmic perspective, one that each of us would do well to consider in the scope of global need.

As one man, I can do some things to affect good and good will toward my earthbound brothers and sisters.  I can give, I can lend a hand, I can reach out in time of need.

As a human community, we can do much, much more, together enjoined.

But before the hand reaches, the feet move forward, the purse reduces, we must each search our hearts, for compassion, mercy, kindness, peace, patience, gentleness, and self control.

With the right leaning heart, we'll find a way to ease the burden of others, and in kind, ease our own.

By nature, I am a selfish, self absorbed man; this is a daily struggle,  But, by consideration and by practice, I can be generous.  By a daily reflection, a purposeful act of seeing beyond myself, I can step out of my individual space and begin to make a difference beyond my four walls, both real and virtual.

At my age, at any age, change is difficult, but possible and a tangible, reachable goal.  It simply takes the will to want to see through the eyes of others.  It takes practice, and for me, it takes the real Love of God.

I believe, in each of us, there exists a place in our heart where love and mercy reside.  For some that place shines brightly through, for others it abides deeply recessed.  For each of us, it may flicker on and off as the wind.

Today, the world hurts, wet, cold, hungering for mercy, for shelter, for a bit of sunshine and hope.

Today, you can make a difference in the life of some who hurt.

Many of us are blessed beyond measure, others not as much, some with nothing but the breath in their lungs.

Today, if my message finds you, reach inside and discover or re-discover your heart.  If you have not contributed lately to alleviate the suffering of others, do so now, before another hour passes.

Set aside any malingering disjointed attitudes and preconceptions about your world, and enjoy a new or revisited role for yourself and for your family, that of a giver.  It is a contagious attitude that not only changes your world, it changes you.

Friday, September 08, 2017

I Pledge Allegiance

As a Sunday School teacher at Wayside Chapel, I began every class with a prayer and The Pledge of Allegiance To The United States.  I talked to my students regularly about our country and their role in it.  If we're not purposefully teaching our children about citizenship and allegiance, they'll not learn it.

It is shameful when any public institution denies, denigrates, or in other ways turn from the flag, our symbol of unity.  If this simple, yet profound symbol, doesn't serve as the visual glue that binds, as the one thing we can all agree on, what then will?  Our own Civil War, that so many want to hide from site and mind, an inescapable fact of history,  should serve as our greatest reminder of the possibilities that present themselves when we turn away from the American Flag, when we deny our common bond.  The horror that is now in the south that is Harvey, has served to demonstrate the might and heart of an American people united for a common cause.

I'm proud to be an American citizen and continue to believe that The United States is the greatest nation on earth.  The reason so many risk everything to come here from other countries is freedom and opportunity to live the life of their dreams.

Together we are strong, divided we are weak and ineffective.

Stand your ground for your beliefs, but let your mind be guided toward unity, not division.  If you protest, let your actions be firm, but peaceful.  These are your fellow Americans that you face in protest.  They have the same American right to their beliefs, as you do yours.  Shouting down a fellow American, visiting violence upon him because you disagree, is never the right thing to do.  Hatred always causes division, hatred is the face of evil, the one thing we should all be united to overcome.

The one thing we all must join to defend is the American right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  If not that, then why are we here, and where shall we go?i

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."


The flag of the United States of America flys as the symbol of that "self-evident", long  may she wave.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Erasing history

All things considered, I think I'll go ahead and survive the great water and gas shortages of San Antonio 2017.

In other news, the cowardly San Antonio City Council removed a monument of The Confederate Soldier under cover of darkness last night from Travis Park.  It's sad to see the folks who are supposed to be working for the betterment of San Antonio  reacting to a minor issue, spending taxpayer dollars, to get a bit of personal glory.  A minor controversy existed until our Mayor and Council expanded it.

This monument to the southern soldier does not glorify slavery, the Confederacy, or the rebellion.  It marks a place in history, of a time that our nation endured, passed through, and recovered from.  It gave pause for consideration and contemplation.

The South is a wonderful place, filled with a rich history, some good, some bad.  Our history makes us who we are and gives us a roadmap of improvement and positive change, where needed, for the future.

The causes and justification for the American Civil War of 1861 have been and will always be discussed and debated by those who view history with interest, and it would be wonderful if our educational institutions would teach history as fact instead of fiction.  We learn from our mistakes, but when the lessons omit the facts, the realities, we learn nothing.

Jan taught our children the truth (plug for homeschooling) and allowed them the opportunity to consider and develop their own opinions based on that truth.

Revisionist and erased history serves no one faithfully, and denigrates us as a people.

I encourage you to pick up a history book, preferably one written before the sixties (you can almost always find them in Library book sales ) and read a historical account of America not twisted by social frenzy.

I have to scratch my hairless head when I encounter those who claim to be offended at the mere sight of a historical marker.  I shake that same hairless head in sadness for them.  Life is far too short to spend it in destructive thought.

Our past, unchanging and unyielding, marks the passage of time.  Our energy will be better spent on thoughts of self, group, and community improvement.

Our nation needs healing, not continued divisiveness.  Tearing down history serves no one.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Disappointed

To say that I'm disappointed would be an understatement.  NEISD, our home for Rachel's high school career, has caved in to social media bias and are removing another vestige of history.

When educational institutions use their erasers on history, we all lose.  It's bad enough that revisionist history might be taught to our children, when, instead of using history as a lesson for future change, they just blot it out.

How will future generations learn to avoid the mistakes of the past, when the past history of our nation is not even presented to them, when simple discussion becomes "racist", when our predecessors become stamped as "evil"?  What false narrative will be given to our children and grand children twenty years from now when they aren't even presented with the opportunity to ask, "Who was that guy and what mark did he make on our nation?"?

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  George Santayana

The current wave of the destruction and removal of historical monuments amid the social frenzy inspired by our national media and various intolerant groups and politicians is disturbing and I cringe to think of the inspired ignorance that our future generations will endure.

Do these names and monuments glorify our slave owning past?  I say, to most of us, they do not.  They mark the passage of our nations turbulent history and give pause to question.  When these markers are erased, the questions will not be asked.

That so many, and I suspect that it is a marginal number, are "offended" by a statue, by a name, by a reference, is, to me, proof of ignorance, blind hatred , and a callous disregard for the truth.

In my own past, I have done "evil" acts.  Will my future generations blot me out, or will they use my failures as lessons, catalysts for positive change and avoidance of "evil" in their own lives?  I hope the latter holds true, but I have endured the label of "bigot" too many times from my own family, when simply stating my opinions on various issues.

Did America condone the slavery of human beings in the past?  Yes, she did.  Will the caterwauling of our citizenry change that inescapable fact?  No, it will not.

The irony of the current movement to erase the past is magnificent in its volume.  Giving in to the hate speech and actions of groups like Antifa, BLM, KKK,  divisionist politicians,  and the proliferation of "sound bite" journalism, continues to give rise to violence and the separatism that divided our country in 1861.

I cry that our nation must endure another civil war if we, as a people, continue on this course.  I will likely be gone before it happens, but I call out the possible inevitable, that if we continue to give in to hate, regardless of its source, we surely will fall as a nation, a nation founded on the very unity that so many seek to destroy.  My grandchildren will likely endure it, because we give in to it.

That's a lesson from our turbulent past.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Fractured America

We've got a new President, Donald J. Trump.

He defeated Hilary Clinton, the Democrat candidate by a fairly wide margin in the Electoral College, though losing the popular vote, mainly due to California voters.

The results clearly indicate the existent continuing need for the Electoral College, preventing few highly populated areas from deciding the election.

The country is divided on the results.

On the Left, liberals and independents, the opinion of many is that Donald Trump, a former liberal Democrat and non-politician, has far too many personal, and perhaps hidden agendas, that do not resonate with their thought processes and personal fears.  I can see that.

Donald Trump, a hugely successful business man, speaks his mind, without political filters.

In many ways he is "Joe Public".  His method of unfiltered speech is like "bar talk", the kind of outspoken and free expression that tends to energize listeners.  He is saying aloud to the public what he thinks.  While many of his ideas inflame, others sooth and resonate with a huge portion of America.

He is fed up with the governmental mentality, an out of touch power mad group in Washington that just do not represent the average American, and haven't in decades.

Enough is enough, and America responded by electing this loud, outspoken, brash, frequently rude and crude, businessman to the seat of power.  Many who voted for him are not pleased with him personally, myself included, but we've had enough of a Governing body that simply does not represent the Constitutional foundation in this country.

Our Presidents, especially Obama, have littered history with a disdain for the general public, primarily focused on representing only a closed circle of ideas and supporters.

We are on the verge of civil war in this nation, something that has been building and brewing during  the Presidencies of G.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.  We, the general public have not been represented by a Senate and Congress that have become  fixated on maintaining personal power, while communicating a false bigotry across the spectrum of ideas.  Intolerance, bigotry, racism, and a promotion of hatred across ideologies has become the norm, perhaps finally personalized in the "reign" of Obama.  His Presidency was divisive, and he promoted the separation of the lines between liberals and conservatives with frequent derision of anyone who did not follow his narrow view of how this country should be managed.  I think he was a close to a dictator as we have seen, and the conservative representatives in the Senate and Congress cowered to his penmanship and left the country divided.

In my opinion, we were one Supreme Court Justice away from a bloody revolution.  Had Obama, or an elected Clinton,  been able to fill the vacant open seat with a liberal in the Court, we would likely had erupted in armed revolution within a decade of probable suppression of the Constitution and freedom in America.

Now, withe a nation severely divided on ideologies, not only conservative and liberal, but many independents who have neither side that represents the new media morality in America.  The Media, largely liberal, have become storytellers, not fact reporters, and the public is overwhelmed with a media narrative that loudly misrepresents events, and we have few avenues, perhaps none, the we can turn to for truth.  A generation is poised to take power in America that has a fractured version of reality, brain fed by a 4 inch screen, picking and choosing which "facts" they cling to.  They are lost, confused, and shouting to be heard.  I dig it, I'm not happy either.

more to come