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Faith, Family, Friends and Firearms

“…resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves.”

Here’s another from the archives. It never ceases to amaze me how our nation went from men such as John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson to the soft, effeminate type that seems to be dominating our nation today.

“With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves.” –John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms, 1775

The period leading up to the American Revolution was a turbulent time. Men had been giving much thought to the issue of what it meant to be subjects of a power that was interested only in maintaining itself and not with their well being. Slowly, but surely, the movement to break ties with “Mother England” took shape and gained ground until there came a point of no return. But once that point was reached freedom was not yet ensured. First there was a long period of harsh battles, of labor, sweat, tears, danger and the terrible possibility of being once more forced to bow to a foreign power.

Our Christian life is much the same. We must carefully consider (count the cost, the Savior said) that which has claimed our life and forced us into subservience and obedience to a power that has not our best interests in mind. And once we break the bonds that bind us we are often STILL subject to a long and drawn out battle. Too many people downplay this and lead others into a false sense of security, assuring them that “Jesus won the war so you’ll have no problem at all.” They forget that we are in a life or death struggle against forces that would destroy us. Not flesh and blood but rather spiritual forces that for millennia have been fighting against God’s Kingdom of Light. The war was won at Calvary when satan’s head was crushed under the heel of God’s Son. But many battles are still being waged until Christ’s return. The serpent was killed but yet he wields a tremendous venom that can still bring lives to an end.

Consider carefully the words of the Apostle Paul as he wrote to the church in Ephesus: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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 6:10-12) These words were written TO THE CHURCH. They were written to people who had been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and whose names were written in the Book of Life. Yes, the war has been won – but many battles are yet to be fought.

Peter also warned us of possible dangers: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (I Peter 5:8-9) Again, these words were written to those who had been redeemed by Christ’s sacrifice.

Yes, as Christians we have written our Declaration of Independence from satan’s evil schemes. We have also founded our lives on a new Constitution – the Word of God. BUT we must also be constantly alert and ready to fight against our enemy’s schemes to drag us back into slavery. Truly the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Let us keep a jealous eye on our Christian freedom and be ready to repel satan’s attempts to drag us back into the slavery of sin. As the Apostle Paul wrote: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) These words were written as an admonishment to not be dragged back to living under the Mosaic law – but they ring true in regards to sin as well.

I Played With Matches

Another from the archives…

Yep, when I was a kid I wasn’t “Smokey’s Friend” – I played with matches. Never did we burn down a forest nor even a house or anything we shouldn’t. But we played with matches. And gun powder, fireworks, power tools, firearms, airguns, slingshots, bicycles, machetes, axes, lead based paint – etc.

And yet, we grew up. All our appendages were intact (in spite of that one incident where we re-enacted a knife fight from a Louis L’Amour novel and someone got their fingers cut) and our hearing wasn’t too badly damaged (I’m only deaf in one ear but can still sometimes hear out of the other – don’t tell my wife) and the only damage to our eye sight was genetic. We rode bicycles without helmets. We played soccer without pads. We played volleyball in the street. We paddled canoes without lifejackets. We climbed trees and chopped them down. OK – THEY climbed the tree and I chopped it down). Skinnydipping, fishing, bee hunting, wasp nest capturing, campfire building, lead smelting, gun building – all these and more were part of our lives. And we lived and grew up and became reasonably stable, sane, productive citizens.

We can kill our own dinner, as well as skin it and cook it. We can change a tire – or an engine. We can wire a house, run the plumbing, dig a well, build a wall. We can plant a garden, cook a meal, change a diaper, discipline a child, educate a child, train a dog, butcher a goat. We can find an egg, set a hen, castrate livestock, build a fence, change the oil, lube a bike, repair an innertube, load a cartridge. And all these things we learned as kids.

We also learned to say “Yes, ma’am.” “Yes, sir.” and call adults “Mr.” or “Mrs.” or “Uncle” or “Aunt”. We played “Kick the can” and “Hide and Seek” and “Red Rover, Red Rover” and “Barrage” (our own variation of “dodge ball”) Chores were done. School work also. God’s word was memorized and passed on to younger kids.

We sharpened knives. Killed, skinned and roasted birds (over the campfire). We chased bats, caught, cleaned and ate piranhas. Swam with piranhas. Played with snakes and tarantulas. Slingshot, knife and a sack of smooth pebbles were our daily companions. We wrestled. We fought. We stood up for each other. We competed with each other.

We lived free – safe in the guidelines set by our parents. No, it wasn’t a matter of “Don’t do this. Don’t do that.” It was a matter of “Remember who’s son you are.” and the knowledge that we should never cause harm to another nor another’s property. We were taught honor, love for God and respect for our fellow man. We were taught right from wrong. We were taught to think.

And I feel sorry for today’s children. Raised with a long list of “safety” equipment and “things not to do” because “someone might get hurt”. The scars on my body give testimony to “Stupid should hurt” and also to “bodies heal”. Our modern society tries to shield us from life. Why? I believe it’s because they believe that this life is all there is. They don’t believe in One Who is greater than us and One Who is preparing a place for those who love Him and obey His commandments. And thus they are bound by fear, tied down with chains of terror – terror of losing that which we all must lose someday. Our bodies WILL die. Life WILL kill you – sooner or later – it’s inevitable. HOW you live your life says a lot about who you are. Are you living life suffocated by fear? Or do you live life in the knowledge that if we seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness that He will provide for us and protect us along the way?

Love of God and His ways gives us freedom. Fear not those or that which can kill only your body. Fear Him Who has power over physical death and Who will either welcome us to a beautiful new home or Who will send us away from His Presence forever. That fear is healthy. It’s just like that admonishment of old – “Remember who’s son you are.” That sentence alone was enough to keep me on the right path, not from a morbid fear of some punishment but rather the fear of letting down my father.

Who’s child are you? Don’t forget. And it’s OK to play with matches – but use your head and play carefully.

Life Will Kill You

Below is something I posted years ago, and it popped up in my “Memories” on farcebook. I post it here as a reminder – life is dangerous, you won’t get out alive. How you live and learning to live to the fullest is the important thing.

The thoughts below were provoked by an accident in farming country. A well meaning friend responded to news of the accident in a “I’d NEVER let MY kid do that” way. He was raised in San Francisco, far from rural America. And has absorbed much of the overprotection culture inherent in that bed of socialistic “We’ll save you from life” society.

Life will kill you. That is something that a farmer tends to know as they are surrounded by raw reality. It is common for folks raised in the city to not understand the realities of life on the farm. Me? I’ve seen both. Give me a farm kid any day over a coddled, over protected, sheltered from life city kid.

Although we were raised in a small town and not on the farm, we had the run of the woods. We carried machetes and knives and guns and fishing line and hooks and slingshots and other ways to get ourselves into (and out) of trouble. We got stung, cut, bit, banged up and bruised – and learned that stupid hurts. We also learned that life is full of opportunities and risks – which essentially are the same thing. We saw life begin. We saw life end. We were not sheltered from the realities of life and I believe we are better for it.

The city has its own risks. They tend to mangle kids in different ways – often worse than getting run over by a tractor. After all, there are things worse than living free and dying young. Daily we deal with folks who have been harmed by well meaning parents who set them in front of a TV and let the idiot tube “educate” them. And yet folks still do the same thing – letting strangers program and teach their kids things which will harm them over the long haul. Instant gratification, borrow to the hilt, fast food nutrition and 30 minute (counting commercials) dramas in which everything gets wrapped up nice and neat in time for the next bit of fluff to air are the order of the day. At no time are they taught that one must plan for the long term, putting in daily effort so that the harvest will be sufficient to see them through the rest of the year.

Living on a farm one learns responsibility and sometimes one learns the hard way that mistakes are costly. The number of people injured by machinery or livestock is amazing. Folks in the city often don’t realize the amount of blood, sweat and tears that go into raising that Porterhouse steak or Idaho potato or Cesar salad.

I don’t mean this as a flame at you, my friend – not by a long shot. I do intend it as bit of parenting advice. Don’t let your kids grow up so sheltered from risk that they never learn to really live.

The moment that stands out in my mind most of all was the time just “the guys” went to the river. A swift, piranha filled Amazon basin river running over jagged rocks. The “old men” stayed in camp mostly while us kids ran up and down the river, shooting game, catching fish, doing somersaults off of cliffs into the water below, floating tubes down the rapids and generally putting ourselves at risk of life and limb. No mom’s around to scream “Be CAREFUL!” – just the freedom to run and explore and enjoy the sheer exhilaration of being in the beautiful outdoors. A few short years later a couple of young men were lost down stream from there in the Tocantins river – their canoe overturned and they didn’t make it to shore. It could have been us.

Life will kill you. It’s a matter of time. How we live life determines who we are and what we become, in this world and the next. On the farm you learn to get up, dust yourself off and get back on that horse. May the Lord grant peace to the family who’s suffering sparked this little essay. as they deal with the results of this accident. My prayer is that the costs of medical treatment will not drive them to bankruptcy. Most family farmers can not afford medical insurance. I know the community is behind them as well. Because that’s how it is in farming country. Folks know their neighbors and often share the burdens brought on by life. Thank God for farmers and their families who are unfortunately a rapidly shrinking part of our society.

Fear

Fear. It does bad things to people and societies. It causes people to be paralyzed or to act out irrationally. We’ve seen it demonstrated especially over the past year and a half. “The virus is going to WIPE US ALL OUT!” seems to be the thought that most in society have held on to. From the beginning of the “pandemic” we’ve been telling people – “It’s NOT about the virus.” A simple observation of the steps taken by governments around the world shows this to be true. Isolating healthy people is not about stopping the virus. Keeping people locked up in their homes where they are unable to get sunshine and thus their bodies are not able to produce vitamin D – which is important in preventing infection and/or combatting it – isn’t about the virus. Constant death counts while refusing to recognize the vast majority who survive with no ill effects isn’t about the virus. It’s about producing fear, because a fearful people will cling to anything that they deem might possibly prolong their life even by a tiny bit.

And there’s the problem. The vast majority of our society is afraid to die. So afraid to die that they refuse to live in freedom. Instead, they seek any glimmer of a possible extension of their life, no matter the cost.

Some of us, on the other hand, are not limited by that fear, we know Who holds our life in His hand. As the apostle John wrote, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.” (I John 4:18)

Fear leads to irrationality. People snatch at straws and criticize those who point out that a straw does not a flotation device make. A good example is the current “vaccination” drive. What people don’t realize is that the current “vaccination” is NOT an immunization like we’ve known for decades. Yes, the vaccines for Polio, Smallpox, Measles and TB and others have been responsible for saving the lives of millions. But they are vastly different from those things being promoted now as “vaccines”. We are seeing the current “vaccines” being injected into people before there have been clinical trials to show their efficacy and possible side effects and other issues that need addressed before being trotted out and used on the general population.

Yet fear leads people to give up their rational functions and reach out to grasp straws. The “vaccinated” can still catch the COVID-19 virus. The “vaccinated” can still pass on the COVID-19 virus. The “vaccinated” can still die from the effects of the COVID-19 virus. The only thing they hold out as a POSSIBLE benefit is a supposed reduction in severity of the symptoms once the person catches the COVID-19 virus. Supposed because there are no clinical trials showing the effects of the virus on vaccinated and non-vaccinated people. In fact, before all the drama started in 2020 there were many people who had already caught the virus and survived, some of them having very mild cases. Y

Yet fear – we can’t let people overcome it. We MUST keep them afraid and we MUST keep them from thinking for themselves. That is what seems to be driving the mandates and other governmental meddling around the globe, pretending to do something, but not doing anything that actually would help.

The state of Texas already had 80% immunity back in May of 2021. Without “vaccines”. (see video by Dr. McCulough ) Yes, there have been deaths, yes there have been severe cases – but there has also been a lot of negligence in getting out the message about ways to treat the virus nor has there been an effort at early treatment to help people overcome the virus BEFORE it gets to the critical stage.

Fear. There’s no reason for it if you truly trust in Jesus the Christ and if you truly understand that in Him there is nothing to fear, except fear itself.

Against “Community Standards”

The current political climate is such that attempting to post anything that goes against what ever narrative the major social media choose to foster leads to your content being flagged as “false news”, your account being censored or even closed down completely (as was done to President Trump). Yet trying to silence dissension merely ramps up resistance – especially among those who analyze and think for themselves based on information gleaned from a variety of sources.

So here are some links to some videos that give alternatives to the narrative that “the vaccination or damnation” are the only ways to face the medical crisis that has been fomented by those who seek to generate revenue instead of treating health threats in a logical way.

Dr. Peter McCullough, MD – Testimony before the Texas State Senate

Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, MD – COVID Early Treatment and Prevention

Dr. Peter McCullough, MD – Explains COVID-19 Treatment Protocol

I’m posting this for easy access and future reference. It may be expanded as other material comes to my attention.

Fascist Book Strikes Again

In 2014 someone who shares my skin posted a meme with a picture of an early to mid twentieth century dictator with a tiny mustache and the ambitious wife of a former president of the US. The former said: “Society’s needs come before the individual’s needs.” – A. H. (only the meme uses the full name). The latter said: “We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.” – H.C. (again, full name used in the original meme.) Note that this was published in 2014. Note that nothing was stated, but the obvious parallel in the though process of the two dangerous individuals was drawn. Skip forward seven years aaaaaannnnnddddd….. 30 day suspension from “going live” or advertising on fascist book. Then they wonder why we make fun of them and don’t take them seriously. Or is it that they think I was actually supporting H.C. instead of pointing out her dangerous thought patterns? Sure, THAT must be it. That’s why they are suspending the accounts of all of H.C.’s supporters, because she is a dangerous individual.

Well, today I get to add a bit to the story, not that it changes my views of Zuckerberg’s social media site and his steamroller approach to those who differ from him in political views. I contested the ruling they made and today was informed that the image was reinstated and did not actually violate community standards. Now, WHY are they going back so far into the past to check for conformity to their “community standards”? WHO really digs that far back on anyone’s profile? Out of the 2,000 or so “friends” on my list, I doubt if 0.001% would be interested in seeing what I posted way back when, even if I use the “Memories” function to bring it up and torment folks with it again today.

The trend shown by the major social media empires to silence opposition is troubling in a free society. We have become a fundamentally unserious people (love that phrase, Lewis!) who in general do now know how to confront differences in opinion in a rational manner. I see this from all sides of the political spectrum with “friends” who only listen to the right, the left or what ever other political preference they have. The ability to listen and analyze has apparently become atrophied by exposure to so many choices of entertainment that people no longer read or contemplate or meditate on the important questions in life.

Back to the point of this post – Fascist Book is about the best description of the major social media site, due to their suppression of views to which they disagree. I can’t help but wonder what they’ll suspend me for next.

And “Community Standards” strikes again

Recently it came to my attention that a page we manage was unable to do Live videos on the Zuckerberg book of faces. This created a difficult situation and there was no obvious reason WHY the account was unable to post. Until I got home and finally started digging into the WHY and WHEREFORE of the situation.

After checking for messages or notifications on the pages involved, nothing was obvious. It wasn’t until I took a look at my account that the tag “Account Restricted” came up. Clicking the “Why?” link brought this bit of humor to light, a bit of humor that shows that it was grounded in fact.

Created with GIMP

Well, there you have it. A post made TWO YEARS AGO in a private group, not visible to the general public, was deemed “inappropriate” by the censors that be. Pointing out the obvious that the place is run by Fascists who will do their best to destroy those who disagree with them is “against community standards”. You can criticize and even threaten the most recent ex-president all you want, but don’t make fun of the Chief Fascist in Charge of Community Standards – or they’ll shut you down.

“Community Standards”??

This year marks the 76th anniversary of the end of World War II. Few people today seem to remember how it started and the horrible policies of those who instigated the global conflict. Nor do they remember how the Allies scrambled to build a military capable of taking on and taking down the Axis war machine(s). As the allied soldiers moved through territory that was liberated from the Axis powers it was common for them to pose with trophies of their feats of arms. As they posed with the different flags, weapons and other materiel that had belonged to those who had implemented the concentration camps and forced the world into global conflict, they were celebrating the triumph of good over evil. No, our armies were not perfect and yes they, too, sometimes were caught up in reprehensible actions – but over all the Allies fought a just war against those who were bent on the enslavement and/or destruction of those they deemed “inferior races”.

Eight years ago the image posted below was placed on my “Facebook Wall” as a reminder of the gallantry of the men and women who stood up and fought the Axis powers to the end. It was (and continues to be) a reminder that sometimes one MUST respond to aggressor nations and MUST stand up for those who are being destroyed by evil forces.

Yet, for the second time, The Powers That Be at the world’s largest social media have deemed the content on my wall to “be against our Community Standards”. The first time was about the dangers of dehumanizing humans, and also used the issues outlined above as a means of emphasizing the dangers of so doing.

When “Community Standards” deny the ability to cite history as a reminder that we must CONTINUE to fight against tyranny, well let’s just say I won’t say they are right in their restrictions. Their ignorance of history and willingness to be triggered by a reference to it shows how badly twisted their standards are. So now they are saying that the Allied powers were dangerous individuals and organizations. You bet they were – dangerous to the Axis powers.

Setting Up Kings Without God’s Consent

They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval. With their silver and gold they make idols for themselves to their own destruction. I wrote for them the many things of my law, but they regarded them as something alien.

Hosea 8:4,12

As I was reading through Hosea recently, I came upon the verses above.  To say that they gave me food for thought is an understatement indeed.  The traditional way of thinking in our nation is that if we have a governor, president, congressman, senator or other public figure that it’s  “God’s fault”.  After all, He is the One Who sets up kings and rulers, is He not? Interestingly enough, at the time the words above were written, kings normally received their kingship by inheritance – there was little chance for public opinion to be expressed under normal circumstances.  And yet, although there was no “democratic process” such as we enjoy in modern times, they DID choose men to rule over them – and men who were not according to God’s plan or design. Today we are ruled by a constitution.  Within that constitution the means of selecting rulers is spelled out clearly and the responsibility and power of government is both spelled out and limited.  How much more responsible are we today for the rulers we choose than those who lived thousands of years ago!

The normal “christian” response to the installation of a godless, unholy person as president is say “It was God’s will.” or perhaps “It is God’s judgment for (fill in the blank).” But is this necessarily true? God accused the children of Israel of “setting up kings without My consent”. In other words, those kings were not “God’s judgment” – nor were they according to God’s will. They came about by direct disobedience by God’s people, by a refusal to live according to God’s dictates. Let’s say that you have before you a small child and you say “Don’t touch the stove, it is hot and you will burn yourself.” If that child disobeys and is burned – was that burn a result of your punishment? Of course not! The burn was a direct result of the child’s own choice and disobedience. The child was warned and the child suffered the consequences. And that is what happens in today’s world as well. God has told us to live a life that is pleasing to Him. And when we, as a nation, turn our backs on His instructions it is no wonder that we have godless men leading us down paths of destruction.

It is time for us to quit blaming God for the evils that are befalling us as a nation.  In the words of the prophet Joel, “12 Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God,for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14 Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God. 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. 16 Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. 17 Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, O LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ “ (Joel 2:12-17) Yes, it is time for us to turn back to God with a whole heart.  It is time for us to fall before His throne and allow Him to guide us.  It is time to implore Him to choose for us our leaders, for us to reject all those who do not exemplify a life dedicated to His Ways. No, it’s not time for us to seek a leader who trumpets his faith, it is time for us to seek leaders for our nation who show that they know not only our own constitution but also know The Way that leads to God.

No more should we be duped into choosing “the lesser evil”.  It is time for our voice to be heard loud and clear – “No more leaders chosen without God’s consent!!!”

The article above was first published on my blog on December 9, 2009. It was lost in a site defacement and I now present it for your consideration once more.

Meandering Reminisces on Language

Spanish is the alleged language of most Latin American countries, although the greatest number of Latin Americans actually speak a version of Portuguese. Yep, more Brazilians (Latin Americans from the largest country in the category) speaking Portuguese exist than there are members of the rest of the countries together. I say “alleged” due to the fact that “Spanish” as spoken in Latin America is actually comprised of a wide variety of local dialects that differ significantly one from the other.

Just in Colombia there is a wide variety of dialects. If one were to include the diverse dialects of the varying regions of the other countries in the category of Latin America, the variations boggle the mind.  Attempting to portray them in written format is daunting (to the point where I’ve never even attempted to do so).  Listening to them can lead one to assume they are speaking completely different languages. It’s similar to listening to an Indian allegedly speaking the Queens English in a YouTube video, only worse.

Years ago we were moving to the city of Barranquilla.  There they have the quaint custom of having some person with a one burner stove and a roll up mattress live in a house that’s being offered for rent. You see the sign, walk up, knock on the door (or ring the bell if the domicile is so equipped) and engage the person within in conversation in order to gain the pertinent information regarding the required documents and financial outlay necessary to rent the place.

So, I walked up to a likely looking place in a nice part of town and knocked.  The door was opened by a person of short stature and dark complexion who proceeded to vocalize some sort of greeting – I assumed, as it was like nothing I’d ever heard before.  I replied in my best Spantuguese – or was it Portish? (referring to my own dialect at the time that resulted from learning Colombian Spanish from the people around me as I transferred my communication ability from Brazil to Colombia) Neither of us really understood the other. She did allow me to enter and look around and so I could determine that the place was not up to what we were seeking. I thanked her and went on my merry way reflecting on this thing we call language. Although we were allegedly speaking the same language, she was from some interior area of Colombia’s Caribbean coast and I was from another country entirely and had learned my Spanish in the coffee growing interior of Colombia. We really needed an interpreter.

That reminds me of the time I traveled with my uncle and aunt from northern central Brazil to Santiago de Chile. Somewhere down in Minas Gerais or São Paulo we stopped for fuel and to pick up ice for the cooler.  As the vehicle was being topped off I inquired of the person in charge of the pumps as to where we might obtain some ice.  At that point in time my Portuguese was flawless, with only a trace of an accent that no Brazilian could really pin down. Up north they assumed I was from down south and vice versa.  But I came across this station employee who was apparently from the back of beyond and spoke Mineiro (the allegedly Portuguese dialect from the interior of Minas Gerais) and we ended up having to ask a Paulista (from the state of São Paulo) to translate for us.

In today’s connected society with people viewing videos on YouTube as well as movies and television programs produced in diverse places, the multitudinous dialects are shrinking in number of people who use them exclusively. I suspect this is true of about any large language group. It started with radio back in the early 20th Century and as we move deeper into the 21st Century we see it even more.

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