Tom in Iraq as a Military Observer

Tom in Iraq as a Military Observer
They sent me here just to watch...

Thursday, November 9, 2023

What did you do with the liberty you were given?

 10 November 2023

Address to Burns Flat – Dill City Students


Three times a year, we pause to consider those who serve or have served in the armed forces of the United States of America.

Armed Forces Day recognizes those who are now serving. It is typically celebrated on the third Saturday in May.  It is good to take a moment to recognize those who serve now.

Memorial Day is observed to remember those who gave what President Abraham Lincoln would call the last full measure of devotion.  It’s for those who didn’t get to come home like the rest of us.  They came home under a flag-draped coffin.

Memorial Day reminds us to remember the cost of liberty is high.  Freedom is not free. The price for your freedom was paid in the blood of American Servicemen and women. There is no higher price.

To take your liberty for granted is to disrespect the mothers and fathers, husbands and wives who gave someone from their family for your freedom.

These are things that we don’t think of much for to dwell on them too long brings sadness when there should be celebration.  We should know the price paid for our liberty but celebrate it all the same that there were those willing to pay the price.

And now we come to Veteran’s Day.  It originated with the armistice that brought an end to WWI and was signed in 1918.  It took effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of that year.  Since that time, 11 November has been special for all veterans.

It’s easy to remember for me.  The Marine Corps birthday was 10 November 1775. The Marines take over the internet with all sorts of off-center and sometimes off-color posts that only mean something to those who have worn the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, but on 11 November, all veterans get into the act.

Veterans Day is for all who serve and who have served. But just who is a veteran?

If you address the early morning hours as zero dark thirty, you might be a veteran.

If someone was about to disrespect your nation or your Corps or a family member and in one look, they started running for the hills, you might be a veteran.

If you have been told that your language is not politically correct, you might be a veteran.

If you don’t care that your language is not politically correct, you might be a veteran.

If your friends and family know not to put you on speakerphone, you might be a veteran.

If you have an entrenching tool in the garage or your storeroom, you might be a veteran, probably a grunt.

When passing a large open area, you automatically look overhead for power lines that could obstruct its use as a landing zone, you might be a veteran.

If you can make a sentence out of nothing but acronyms, you might be a veteran.

If you have busted your kids back to private at least once, you might be a veteran.

If you keep your valuable papers in an old ammo can, you might be a veteran.

If you think the words suck it up buttercup are appropriate for most counseling situations, you might be a veteran.

If you can’t make any sense out of the abbreviations on the New York Stock Exchange but know the trading value of everything in a C-Ration or MRE, you might be a veteran.

More like these…

Most of these were a little tongue-in-cheek.  It’s 2023, I have to add that disclaimer. People have to be told that you are being light-hearted or they might be offended.

If you don’t really care that your straightforward remarks might offend someone, you might be a veteran.

This one is not lighthearted.  If you have ever written a blank check to your country, you might be a veteran.

Some of you may serve in the armed forces one day.  Most won’t.  I think it’s about 3% who eventually serve.  It’s about 1% or less who become Marines.  Most don’t serve, but some will.

As today is the Marine Corps Birthday, I asked a question that only Marines can answer.  How long does it take for the average person to become a Marine?

The answer is that the average person will never become a Marine.  In fact, the average person will never become a veteran.  It is a calling reserved for only a few.  There may be a few of you who will answer that calling.

Some among us will continue to put their lives on the line for their country.  Some will. Few will, but there will be some.

For those who do—for those who will write that blank check, do you know who your boss will be?

Will it be your commanding officer? Some captain or colonel?

Will it be the Sergeant Major?

Will it be the President of the United States or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs?

The answer is “No” and it does not matter the service.  Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, active or reserve, you all serve the same boss. 


The Constitution of the United States of America.  Yes, that piece of paper from 234 years ago is your boss. That old document with 27 amendments is what you will be sworn to support and defend.

While the president may give you orders or the Sergeant Major will get your full attention; you are sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

Not a person…

Not a government…

Not a branch of service…

The Constitution of the United States of America!

Listen to an oath that I know well. 

I ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will 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; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

That’s the oath for officers.  The enlisted oath is like it, but adds that you will follow the orders of those appointed over you.

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will 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."

Should you serve, you serve by swearing to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

There are no other armed forces quite like us in the world. We are unique.

You heard that I am the pastor at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  Some of you already knew that.

It’s better than Christmas time for me over at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  Last week and this week both, I am preaching and teaching the Parable of the Talents.  It’s from Matthew 25:14-30 if you want to read it on your own.

Maybe, I should preach it here.  That might give the school board members a heart attack and upset the ACLU.

If you don’t mind upsetting the ACLU, you might be a veteran. 

But no preaching this morning.  You know where to find me on Sunday morning, and you are invited.

But there is a question that I always ask in the course of teaching or preaching this parable.

What did you do with what God gave you? It is a question that every God-believing person should ask themselves every day.

Now let’s put that concept into the context of today and ask:

What did you do with the liberty that you have been given by your country?

What did you do with the freedom that you have been given by the warriors who have gone before you?

Now put it in the first person.

What did I do with the liberty that I have been given?

Now let’s put it in the present and perfect tenses.

What am I doing with the freedom that I have been given?

Some of you are currently being held hostage by your adolescent minds and can’t see the liberty.  You might think that life is too restrictive, but you have more freedom than you know.

You have more liberty than you can comprehend at this time in your lives.

One day, you will have eyes to see the freedom that we enjoy in this nation. You are blessed so much to be born here, especially here in Oklahoma, not because the wind blows every day but because good moral values are still considered good.

You enjoy the blessings of liberty, but what are you going to do about that?

What will you do with the blessings of liberty that have been entrusted to you?

Some will make great achievements in the arts and sciences.

Some will contribute in the service of others in medicine or law enforcement.

Some will seek to represent many as an elected official.

Some will teach what you have learned to others.

Some will just say it’s all about me and what I can get for me and my own.

But some will serve in the armed forces and perhaps in armed combat in order to continue the blessings of liberty for another generation.

Some will write the blank check. 

Some will join the ranks of the faithful few who will put their right hands in the air and take an oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic.

What will you do with the liberty that those warriors before you have entrusted to you?

What will you do?


Friday, May 6, 2022

Carnival Debacle launches on 1 May 2022

 I have just returned from my latest cruise on the Carnival Debacle.  It said Carnival Breeze on the side of the ship, but debacle is better suited.

I had a back-to-back on the Breeze but had the first leg canceled due to dry dock.  That happens.  I contacted Carnival as to the vulnerability of the second leg and was assured that it was not in jeopardy, so I booked the Vista the week before.  It would arrive the same day as the Breeze would be back in service in Galveston, Texas.

It’s a trip for us to get to Galveston, so I either needed to cancel the second leg or find something to replace the canceled cruise that arrived the same day as the Breeze. Having received assurance that all confounding factors had been considered and the Breeze would be available for the second leg, the Vista was an easy choice—more expensive but workable.

Then the flurry of emails, texts, and phone calls began.  I was aboard the Vista and received none of them.  I usually just get the social package and make sure everything is covered at home.  Messenger works for emergencies, unless it’s a Carnival created emergency.

Eventually, I got a hotel room for the day I would be stranded ashore.  Carnival was reimbursing expenses for changes in air travel, but not for billeting requirements created out of their change. Carnival knows how to complicate the simple, so that one had to go to Christine Duffy.

I am not encouraged that she will do right by this as she was rather cavalier when confronted with ongoing fraud by Carnival aboard their Half Moon Cay island.  Back to the heart of this missive.

The 5-day cruise was now billed as a 4-day cruise and ended up being a shortened one at that. Instructions told Breeze cruisers to disregard their arrival times and come to the terminal between 3 and 5 pm on Sunday, 1 May 2022.

What usually is a 5-hour process would be reduced to 2 hours because someone in Miami just pencil whipped this instead of doing actual planning.

When a captain or cruise director is ignorant, someone up the line might just set them straight.  When the corporate staff is ignorant, everyone will pay.  A very senior vice president if not Christine Duffy herself had to sign off on this madness.

Why did it make a difference?  Some stood in line for 3 or 4 hours to get aboard.  Who thought that what took almost 5 hours in an organized system would be expedited to 2 hours by abandoning all organization?

Carnival did manage to get the Dream out of port a little early, but they informed each cruiser to arrive 30 minutes early.  Why did Carnival not tell those boarding the Breeze to add 4 and one-half hours to their arrival time?

Were there 2 different coordinators?  Was there no senior oversight? Was this a kindergarten project?  Was Shaq in charge?

Had this been a single instance and just an arduous process to get aboard, most could take it in stride as another Carnival SNAFU; however, the fun had only begun.

This is what the Navy and Marine Corps call a shakedown cruise.  A shakedown cruise is a short cruise of a couple weeks where the ship, its sailors, and embarked Marines work the bugs out.  The ship returns to port and a few days later sets sail for a 6 month or longer deployment.

The Breeze was on a shakedown cruise.

·       The theater sound system was down.

·       One public toilet in a high traffic area had the door hung wrong and it would not close. How does this not get inspected?

·       The Hub was down for half the cruise. When it works, it’s great.  When it doesn’t, not all areas of the ship are ready to operate in degraded mode. 

·       People who needed to check account balances used the kiosks so much that they broke down.

·       The Wi-Fi was down and the guest services folks tried to convince a line of 100 that never lessened that it was working because they had an email from IT that it was working. When the Diamond/Platinum line wraps around the atrium, be assured that passengers know what’s going on and won’t be fed a line.  There should have been a ship-wide announcement and eventually a full refund instead of pretending everything was working.

·       The Guest Services Desk Line was the most popular excursion of the cruise.

The list could go on, but it does not need to be recounted here.  So, is this guy just a complainer?  No, there is a possible silver lining here as there will likely be issues for all ships coming out of dry dock.

Why not offer a Shake Down Cruise for Diamond and Platinum members?  It would be a significantly reduced charge for the cruise stating upfront that it was a shake-down cruise.  Some stuff would still be worked out in the course of the cruise.  Safety, meals, and port times would be as certain as possible, but hub and internet issues would get put to the test, as well as other things that somehow were overlooked before setting sail.

See the process for what it is and adjust accordingly.  Don’t presume that everything works because the ship left dry dock.  This is as na├»ve as thinking that no organization would make a 5-hour process into a 2-hour process. 

Universal Studios has done this with some success.  Admission was free to a select group but the new theme park was still working out bugs.  If the ride or the special effects didn’t work right the first time, that was stated upfront.

A shakedown cruise offered for only Diamond and Platinum members would put the most experienced cruisers aboard and would set expectations that some things were still being worked out. Passengers would enjoy a less crowded ship and the crew would not have to support as many passengers.

Yes, revenue would be minimal, but the ship would be fully operational at the end of the cruise.  At least the bugs would be worked out and all passenger expectations would be met.

Think about it!  Risk launching the Carnival Debacle time and again or schedule a Shake Down Cruise at the end of each dry dock.

As a last note, the cruise director—Cookie—did a fantastic job to work with what he had.  He could not overcome the corporate ineptitude thrust upon him, but he did his best to try.  I love a man who does not back down from an impossible challenge.  Well done to Cookie.  The same attention to detail coupled with passion could have made the boarding process less of an ordeal. 

Consider the concept of a Shakedown Cruise.  It could be a win-win for your most loyal cruisers and for the corporate bottom line when the reviews going forward are fantastic.

Think win-win.  Think Shakedown Cruise.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Pipelines, politics, and Purpose--Going Green without destroying the nation


We need to transition to renewable energy.  Anyone with a sense of stewardship should be able to see this.  At some point we will exhaust our fossil fuels.  Using them until they are gone and going with Oops, we need something else is the worst of management.

Likewise, shutting down production and obstructing transport of fossil fuels or diverting it to more expensive modes of transport is likewise the worst of management.

Change management professionals know that when there is a forced change, there must be a safe landing area.  That landing area must be in the target area for the change.  There can be no safe landing going back.

The problem is that if the safe landing area is too far away or unreachable, chaos ensues.  No place is safe.

Let’s say we need to transition from fossil fuels (mainly oil and gas) to other forms of energy (solar, wind, nuclear, etc.).  A comfortable transition might take 50 years, and likely won’t happen within that time frame because it’s unforced and doing nothing different is comfortable.  Those 50 years will become 100 without some outside force acting upon the energy production system.

A super-fast transition would be 20 years, and such a short time frame (this is a short time on a national and governmental scale) would come with recurring disruptions.  The solution obviously is somewhere in between.

So, we would target 25 years and gauge success by most sources being converted in 35 years.  Considering the inefficiency and self-serving nature of government (ask ‘who profits’ by shutting down the pipeline), 40 years is the most likely target date that we might reasonably achieve without self-destruction.

What does that mean in practical terms?

Build the Keystone Pipeline.  It will have 20-30 years of service life before the transition to other energy forms is complete and will help us maintain energy independence.

Provide some government incentives for renewable energy.  Solar and wind have been with us enough that they stand or fall on their own.  Their subsidies should become less each year.

Reward the innovators not the scammers with government money for energy production that shows both promise and affordability. New energy sources that can transition to something that will prevail in the marketplace is essential.

If we really want to go green—and that wasn’t a bad thing until it was pushed to absurdity—then let’s set aggressive—not impossible—targets and have a compliance range that goes a little beyond the target.  In government, that 10 years. 

So, let’s target 2050 as a renewable energy source date and consider having 75% of our energy coming from renewable sources by 2060 a victory.

We don’t have to kill the nation to accomplish this.  The 2050-2060 decade as a safe landing area is doable and we can skip much of the chaos being imposed by this most recent administration.

We can go green and build the pipeline without dissonance.  The surgeon doesn’t stop the heart to do a kidney transplant so there will be less bleeding.  A successful transplant in a dead patient is ridiculous.

A representative government set upon the course of serving the nation and its people can make this transition.  A government set on retaining power, profiting at the expense of the electorate, and living high on the hog disconnected from the people they should represent, will continue to play the shell game with manufactured crises so you forget what you sent them to Washington to do in the first place.

We can get better without destroying ourselves but we may have to cut out the cancer in our government first.

Smart, dedicated, and unselfish public servants can accomplish this transition.  We should settle for nothing less.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

What is this packing the court business all about? Is it really a big deal?


Many have heard the term packing the court and think it’s just about evening up the left with the right or becoming a court that leans mainly to the left.  If that’s what you believe, then you have been duped as those planning this course of action hoped you would be.

It began almost 4 years ago in the attempted coup held in plain sight.  People don’t want to acknowledge this.  Those who present this case are labeled conspiracy nuts, racists, or just haters.  Logic need not follow accusation.

Please note the impeachment of Donald Trump was planned and, in the wings, since before his inauguration day.  This was plan B, a failsafe, or whatever name you want to give refusing to accept the legitimate election of Donald Trump.

You may not like Trump.  You may hate Trump, but his election was accomplished in accordance with the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the land. In centuries previous, if you lost, then you regrouped for the next round.  Over the past three-plus years, the country was torn asunder by those who defied the law of the land supplanting the will of the people with their own power schemes.

Here’s the thing.  Had those seeking to get rid of Trump been successful, the Constitution provided a replacement in the form of Mike Pence.  Emotional victories may have been ubiquitous, but power would not have been usurped.  An injustice would have been done, but the United States would have survived, albeit with the blood of patriots past on the hands of the conspirators.

What’s that got to do with packing the Supreme Court with however many justices it would take to have an overwhelming majority?

Packing the court would create a second and more powerful legislature.  The court could and likely would hear all manner of cases and use those cases to disassemble the Constitution.

If you don’t like guns and you know you will never get a Constitutional Amendment repealing the Second Amendment, don’t worry.  Just send any ole gun case to the packed court and the Amendment to the Constitution will be discharged as unconstitutional. 

How is that even possible?  It’s not even remotely possible if there are three distinct branches of government.  The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, but when power has been ceded to the one branch—the packed court which now can legislate at will and without the concurrence of the President, it simply does what it wants and brushes aside the parts of the Constitution that are so inconvenient to those in power.

The first coup attempt was to get rid of a man who was duly elected to office.

Packing the court is an attempt to remove the Constitutional protections that you have which have been paid for in the blood of patriots.

When the candidates will not commit to not packing the court, their noncommittal is their tacit approval of this next coup attempt.  This time, Trump will not be the target.  You will.

The Constitution will be dismantled before your very eyes and the only course of action left for any patriot is the exercise of the original intent of the Second Amendment—to overthrow a tyrant. 

Make no mistake, the court-packers are not coming for Trump.  They are coming for you.  The thinking, self-reliant, God-fearing American stands in the way of their illegitimate power grab.  The Constitution stands in their way of getting you out of their way.

There is another alternative.  Get used to the term ‘serf’ or ‘slave’ for that is exactly what you will be once the Constitution is a thing of the past.

Packing the court is less about being conservative or liberal.  It is about the unlawful seizing of power from the American people.

In the past the court has swung like a pendulum from left to right, somewhat in arrears of the executive and legislative branches, but there was some balance.

The pendulum comes to a full stop if the court is packed.  There will be no opportunity for the American people to express their desire to return to a previous ideology.  In fact, any ideology of the people will be considered rebellion.  You will be prosecuted and persecuted and will have no legal remedy available in the law.

Packing the court will bring America to a simple dichotomy:  Civil War or Serfdom?

So many are saying that they just want this election over with.  It is an understandable sentiment considering the state of acrimony and vitriol at play in our representative government, but this malaise contributes to the surrender to the present coup attempt.

This is not the time to just hope for the best.  Two candidates who refused to answer the packing the court question multiple times are indicative of two power-hungry souls who will discard your liberty in an instant.

Have eyes to see what is in front of you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Is BLM doing polling now?


Have you noticed that Black Lives Matter has been changing what it stands for again and again in concert with that for which there is popular support.  They hoped that you wouldn’t notice.

About 6 years ago, their message was Kill All Police.  That told me that I wanted nothing to do with them right away, but that it would be wise to keep an eye on them.

Over the years, they changed their message to promote—not accept but promote—the LGBT and a bunch of other letters that I don’t’ know what they mean.  This has been removed from the website as well.

They were against the nuclear family—one in which the Father would be a vital part.  I have worked with so many black men who had no real father in their lives.  I worked with them while they were in prison and not being a father to their children.

I can see why the BLM movement wanted an it takes a village approach over the nuclear family.  It got the dead-beat fathers off the hook.  Somebody else can bring up their children while they are free to make more elsewhere.

OBTW—nobody wants to talk about that.  This topic of the father in the family has never been present in the BLM movement.

Then there was their support of this cisgender garbage—letting the child pick his or her own gender when the time is right.  Again, this was not acceptance but pushing the agenda.  This one is absent from their present message.

The present site seems to promote less absurdity but still is opposed to the system in place to redress grievances.  It takes no responsibility for why some of its members are imprisoned.  It’s still illegal to riot and kill and destroy property, but the site does not denounce such practices.  It only objects when its followers are held accountable for criminal action.

What has happened is that this organization which could have been used for good but has become a terrorist organization has turned down its trying to bring in all factions rhetoric.  They want a kinder, gentler look as they riot and loot and don’t want to alienate those who might have great compassion for the plight of people of color but don’t want anything to do with denying the gender assigned by God.

They are a political faction set on the destruction of this nation and its core values but they pay attention to the polls.

They seek power and have eliminated some of their vitriolic and godless approaches from their statements of purpose.

They are a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  They have just upgraded their costumes.  Do not be deceived.

Do we need to improve race relations?  Absolutely.

Is BLM working to do this?  No!

In one of the few places on the planet where people can be involved in nonviolent change, the BLM movement seeks violence.  They are here to help no one but themselves.  They want power not reconciliation or better conditions for black people.

It’s a sad story in our country that people have leveraged the plight of black people to gain their votes and power.  Now we see BLM leveraging their own community to gain power, not for the good of anyone, but simply to gain power as so many before them have done.


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

America's Thermopylae


I think that a red wave in America is essential to our way of life, but not the answer.  It’s a hold at all costs until reinforcements arrive.  If we lose, then we have failed those in the womb who cannot defend themselves.

If we lose, we will either surrender our right to overthrow a tyrannical government or see the beginning of civil war when the Constitution is set aside.

If we lose, there will be lawlessness on a scale never seen before in this country.

If we lose, there will be no reasoned approach to immigration.  Over 3 years ago, the president proposed a very centrist—perhaps even left-leaning—solution to immigration.  It had more efficacy than anything proposed in my lifetime, but was rejected outright because of hatred of our president.

If we lose, the fear generated by the present pandemic will be continued to accomplish greater government control.  Will we be a living being created in the image of God or only a carrier of the contagion of the year?  Again, we will surrender our liberties without a whimper or see civil war attempting to reclaim what was paid for in blood time and time again for almost two and a half centuries.

If we lose, the taxes that provoked the Boston Tea Party will seem reasonable compared to what is to come.  We may still keep the title of Republic, but we will be taxed into socialism, and what little discretionary income you have will not be worth much.

If we lose, expect much of those taxes to be sent to those who hate America.  Appeasement is just the first sign of surrender.

If we lose, expect your freedom of religion to be revoked.  You will be assigned your religion.  For those Christians who truly seek God and his kingdom and his righteousness, you will truly know what it is to be a stranger in this world.

If we lose, expect history to be redacted at even a greater pace than we are now witnessing.  We will have nothing historical upon which to base our decisions.  We will have only what the Ministry of Truth sees fit to give us.

If we lose, expect that not only will some big-ticket items in our Constitution be ignored, but also the more subtle ones such as the prohibition on states and the federal government against bills of attainder and ex post facto laws.  If the government doesn’t like you, it can declare that you or your actions present or past are illegal and take everything from you, including your life.

If we lose, the lives of black people, brown people, or white people won’t matter.  The only lives that matter will be those in power and they will become royalty.  The promises made to people of color will fade quickly as they always have when the left promises to fix anything of value.  Sure, there will be a token act or speech or extra federal holiday, but the needs of people of color will be discarded quicker than a dirty diaper.

BLM and Antifa will continue to some extent.  They are terrorist organizations desiring to destroy this nation and our family values.  They will lose many of their allies on the left as they have served their purpose and are disposable.

I could go on.  There is much at stake here.  Normally, the election cycle that we have experienced every four years for our lifetimes, takes us a little left or a little right or leaves us gridlocked in the middle.  This time, it is about the life or death of our Republic.

It is about the liberty and legacy that we leave our children’s children.

I know that many have stopped reading long before this point.  We have lost the art of civil discourse.  I am sure that hateful remarks already abound.  I will leave them unanswered. We have surrendered the sound mind that God gave us for the simplistic meme that gratifies our emotions.

But for those who have made it this far, consider my opening statements.

I think that a red wave in America is essential to our way of life, but not the answer.  It’s a hold at all costs until reinforcements arrive. 

A red wave is essential but not the answer.  We must hold until reinforcement arrive. 

Well, just who are those reinforcements?

It’s not the Marines.  It’s not the cavalry.  It’s not even the militiamen.  It is the nation that repents of its godless ways at the individual and family level and returns to God.  Evil is assembling for a final assault, one that the forces of this world will not hold off for long.  Only revival will bring about the righteousness that God desires.

In that regard, we are the 300 at Thermopylae.  We must hold off for as long as we can for the reinforcements we need do not presently exist.   Only a nation that seeks God at the grassroots level can form such an army that comes to rescue this nation which though never perfect sought to become more perfect with each generation.

The only hope for this nation lies in the hearts of its citizens.  This election is the Thermopylae of American hope.  Without Thermopylae, there could have never been a Marathon.

The remnant that remains must help lead those who have abandoned the church because it hurt their feelings by sticking to the word of God to come home. 

The church which the gates of hell will not overcome must take words of life to the lost. 

Yeah, ok, but I can’t stand Trump.

This is less about a man who is often crude (though for some that is all that it is about) but who seeks the best for America or a gentle-looking grandfather figure who has trouble forming sentences but will do what he is told.  It’s about taking enough seats in our legislature to stop the insanity of trying to unseat a president who was properly elected and not owned by any party or lobby.

President Trump has disrupted the slow surrender to becoming a godless nation.  He has put everything on the table.  Many hate him for it because it was so easy for us to turn a blind eye to a little corruption here and there, and more here and there, and on and on.  It was easier to be lulled into mindless submission than face the truth about the course on which we had been on for decades.

Like him or hate him, he has forced us to put the essence of who we are on the table, and at the heart of the November election. 

Much of it is politics as usual, but much more is good versus evil.  A red wave in November is not victory.  It is a chance for victory.  It gives us a chance to stop much of the godlessness being woven into the fabric of our modern society by the twin gods of apathy and ambivalence, while the faithful few lead many to the Lord. 

Victory will only come in the Lordship of Jesus.  We must set aside our gods of emotion, pity, shame, hatred, insistence on our own way, and cowardice.

Yes, if you are deserting the church now, you worship the god of cowardice. You magnify the specks in the eyes of believers and ignore the lumber yard in your own eyes.  Those who comprise the church all far short of the glory of God but we do not desert God when things get tough or the meme of the day sounds much better than love one another, which requires action on our part.

Liking and sharing a meme gives our minds time off and has a narcotizing function on us so that we think we have accomplished something.  Occasionally, the meme is on the mark and a stopped analog watch is right twice a day.  Most of the time, the emotional like and share without considering what is proffered only serves the Father of Lies. 

We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and live out our faith. We turn to each other with an iron sharpens iron attitude seeking God’s will not emotional satisfaction.  That does not mean that you will not find peace in this process.

OK, let’s get back to November.  You may not like Trump, but you may need to tolerate him and his rough edges for 4 more years.  You may not like most Republicans, but you should pray they have control of both houses of the legislature for the next 4 years.

This is not a victory for the Republican party.  This is a chance for victory for American. 

Should we hold at Thermopylae long enough for revival in this nation, I see a revitalized Democratic Party in 4 years—one that is reconstituted as the party of the people.

Should we hold at Thermopylae long enough, I see a revitalized Republican party in 6 years—one that promotes smaller government and fiscal responsibility.

Should we not hold at Thermopylae, neither party will exist in 4 years.  We will either give in to the government knows best for everything in our lives or be in the middle of a civil war.  We will never have our Marathon.

Christians will be meeting in secret but still taking the good news to our neighbors for the world will have claimed them as their own and our mission and commission is unchanged.  In some ways the destruction of America may bring some to Christ, but it’s not the world we will want to live in.

So, is this a political article or a religious article?  The answer is it is an article about your grandchildren.  Will they live in an America that celebrates them worshiping God or tells them which god to worship and how?

We cannot legislate ourselves into becoming a Christian nation.  It doesn’t work that way, but through revival and courage among believers we could become a nation of Christians. 

That would be a victory.  That would be victory in Jesus.  That would be the best inheritance we could give our children’s children.

But first, we must hold long enough at Thermopylae. 


The Post Script…

I provided many links to many sources in this article, but not to those about Thermopylae, the 300, or Marathon.  I didn’t even use the word Nike!

For those who continued to the end, it’s likely that I didn’t need to include them.  For those who quit early, they likely would consider them irrelevant as they never came across them in the course of their education.  Imagine having $100,000 in student debt loans and not knowing the story of Thermopylae that most learned before graduating high school.

We don’t have to look nearly 2500 years into the past for our model.  One hundred years ago will suffice.  Consider the report of First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates to his commanding officer in WWI France.

"I am in an old abandoned French trench bordering on the road leading out of your P.C. and 350 yards from an old mill. I have only two men out of my company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try and get it here as we are swept by machine-gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I WILL HOLD.”

He couldn’t advance but he would hold.  That has to be our mindset in November.  We must have a red wave.  It’s not victory, but gives us a chance for real victory.

I will hold!

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Truth Matters


Saying that BLM supports helping black people is like saying that KKK is just a good inning for a pitcher.   BLM is by their own acknowledgments a Marxist organization intent on destroying the nuclear family, including promoting this pick your own gender business.

Their statement/stance is a moving target.  It has been softened over the past few years and does not currently include killing police.

The KKK is a racist organization even if I try to promote it as a baseball thing.

I’m glad to see some messages coming out that read “I believe that black lives matter “instead of blindly supporting the BLM that wants to create anarchy in the government and in the family.

Please use the sound mind that God gave you.  If you want to promote racial reconciliation, then do it, but don’t jump on the bandwagon of the month because it sounds good.  Envision the end state of BLM.  There will be no liberty.  There will be no racial equality.  The family unit will be defunct.  Someone other than God will help your child determine what gender they are and the government in whatever form it takes in post-democratic America will require its approval.

I don’t think I have to explain what the KKK wants.  I don’t know why it is necessary to reiterate what BLM promotes.

BLM and the KKK both emanate from evil intentions.  Don’t show your support for them in any fashion unless you truly support the evil behind them.

Try this exercise.  Name 3 people that BLM or KKK has helped in a tangible way, not by using them to promote hate or further the organizational cause or as a media showpiece, but by helping them get a better job or home or education. 

Truth matters.

Love matters.

Reconciliation matters.

Hope matters.

Service matters.

Life matters.  It is a gift of God and we must cherish it.