Friday, July 29, 2011

Genuine Or Counterfeit

From My Perspective - - -

As a child and during my youth, my Mother had a trite saying that she would use often – “be the best of whatever you are.” Her idea was that her children should be genuine – the real deal – to strive to be the best at whatever one attempted to do or achieve. There is a song lyric that contains that refrain and idea:
Refrain:    Be the best, you can be the best, be the best of what ever you are…
Verse 1:   If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill, 
             Be a bush by the side of the rill.
             If you can’t be the sturdy trunk of a tree, 
             Be a branch or a twig or a seed.
Verse 2:   If you can’t be a flower, then be the grass. 
             If you can’t be a muskie, be a bass.
             If you can’t be the sun, then be a star, 
             Just be the best of whatever you are.
Verse 3:   If you can’t be a highway, then be a trail. 
             If you can’t be a hammer, then be a nail.
     If you can’t be the head, then be the tail.
     If you can’t be the stairs, then be the rail.
Verse 4:   We can’t all be captains, there’s got to be crew.
             There’s something for everybody to do.
     If you are big, or if you are small,  
     Just do your best, and give your all.
             Be the best, you can be the best, 
             Be the best of whatever you are…

On July 29th, 2011, Peggy Noonan wrote a column entitled: “They’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” Her emphasis is on the political moment and how people feel and what they are thinking. A few snippets from her column illustrate this point: “I want to talk about something that started to become apparent to me during the debt negotiations. It's something I've never seen in national politics. It is that nobody loves Obama. This is amazing because every president has people who love him, who feel deep personal affection or connection, who have a stubborn, even beautiful refusal to let what they know are just criticisms affect their feelings of regard. At the height of Bill Clinton's troubles there were always people who'd say, "Look, I love the guy." They'd often be smiling—a wry smile, a shrugging smile. Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama. There were people who loved George W. Bush when he was at his most unpopular, and they meant it and would say it. But people aren't that way about Mr. Obama. He has supporters and bundlers and contributors, he has voters, he may win. But his support is grim support…Maybe the most important word that described Clinton and Bush but not Obama is genuine. He doesn't exude any feeling that what he says and does is genuine…A political veteran forwarded me a hiring notice from the Obama 2012 campaign. It read like politics as done by Martians. The Analytics Department is looking for predictive Modeling/Data Mining specialists to join the campaign's multi-disciplinary team of statisticians, which will use predictive modeling to anticipate the behavior of the electorate. We will analyze millions of interactions a day, learning from terabytes of historical data, running thousands of experiments, to inform campaign strategy and critical decisions. This wasn't the passionate, take-no-prisoners Clinton War Room of '92, it was high-tech and bloodless. Is that what politics is now? Or does the Obama re-election effort reflect the candidate and his flaws?"

What is it to be Genuine? It means  "one actually having the reputed or apparent qualities of character;free of forgery or counterfeiting.” In His ministry, Jesus Christ would often identify and rebuke the hypocrites – “a person who pretends to have virtues, moral and religious beliefs, principles that he or she does not actually possess.” In II Timothy 1:7, 13-14 (NKJV) – Paul reminds Timothy of the need and discipline regarding being genuine: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.” In The Message, verses 13-14 read: “ So keep at your work, this faith and love rooted in Christ…Guard this precious thing placed in your custody by the Holy Spirit who works in us.” Be genuine – the real deal! There are too many counterfeits and phonies in our society. The world needs to see and know the genuine! Is that what others see in you? Consider these things with me!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Fool and His Propensity

From My Perspective - - -


Many have recollections from his or her youth of proverbs and idioms that conveyed a practical lesson. One of the idioms was: “A fool and his money are easily (or soon) parted.” It simply means that one will quickly spend or squander what has been earned or received as a gift. One of the more popular and often used statements is: “Fool me once – shame on you; Fool me twice – Shame on Me!” An older version of this statement appeared in 1611 AD, “For Who deceives me once, God forgive him; if twice, God forgive him; but if thrice, God forgive him, but not me, because I could not beware.” See Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs for other references. A statement that was attributed to President Abraham Lincoln was, “You can fool some people some times but you can't full all the people all the time?” Those who researched such statements also found an attribution to P.T. Barnum (of Barnum and Bailey Circus notoriety).The inversion that statement is: "You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time" (elongated statement has also been attributed to Abraham Lincoln, amongst others).


Leadership Journal contains an excellent statement in terms of what is Fake versus what is Reality in a summary by John Ortburg on Redeeming Authority. His thrust is that “Teaching with genuine authority spurs growth and awakens desire for God,”  His introductory paragraphs state: “Authority can be faked. That's why impersonating a police officer is a crime. Sometimes the outward appearances of authority can be deceiving. Spiritual authority can also be faked. Sometimes the outward appearances are there—perhaps a person's bearing suggests gravitas, substance, and passion. But that can be merely the way a person carries himself or herself, the result of a natural gift but not necessarily true spiritual authority. Real spiritual authority has to do with the truth of the actual words being spoken, and the spirit of the person behind the words…”


In the culture of our day, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to discern Truth from Error – the Fake from the Real. Two of the more influential areas in human experience are Politics and Religion. Just a simple question: Who speaks with authority and Factualness today in either area. The Government representatives are more interested in preserving their “career/job” than they are of speaking and standing for Truth and Integrity. Religion promotes the “bigness’ of a ministry as a sign of “success/prosperity” – but – is that a valid sign? Many are gullible and think that identity with that ministry will meet their personal needs – but - your answer should be “No!” You are to be more concerned with a spiritual relationship to Jesus Christ than to any ministry because of its “bigness”!


Jesus spoke about a man who we might categorize as a “prosperity-oriented religionist” who based his eternal confidence in terms of what he had rather than the reality of a personal relationship to Jesus Christ. In Luke 18:18-23, the text states: “And a ruler asked him: Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?…You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother. And he said: All these I have kept from my youth. Jesus said to him, One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.” This man was more content and pleased with what he had rather than what he could become by placing his faith and confidence in Jesus Christ alone for his salvation. However, the ruler went away “very sad” because he was “very rich” and felt he could not run the risk of giving everything away to follow Jesus Christ. Do you believe Government and/or Religion is the answer to your need? The lesson to be learned is stated in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” The Message Translation is: "You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus." Consider these things with me!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bluffing and Bullying

From My Perspective - - -

It has often been said that the President of the United States has considerable leverage when it comes to initiating legislation or demanding and defending a desired result. It is called “The Bully Pulpit” because he can directly address an issue through the media and give his point of view to the American electorate. It is somewhat interesting that a suave and controlling individual, an excellent public speaker who has some mesmerizing qualities, loses his “cool” when things aren’t yet going his way. The media has often championed his causes and his manner. It makes it all the more interesting that the media discloses his human side and frustration.

The New York Daily News reported on July 14th, 2011: “A frustrated President Obama warned Republicans not to "call my bluff" before he stormed out on the latest stalled debt negotiation session, Republicans said. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) said the President became "agitated" before warning him not to "call my bluff" when Cantor said he would consider a short-term debt-limit hike, something Obama has said doesn't solve the problem. The meeting ended with the President abruptly walking out of the meeting, Cantor told reporters after the session. I know why he lost his temper. He's frustrated. We're all frustrated." In his column (Washington Post) of July 15, 2011, Charles Krauthammer’s column is entitled: “Call His Bluff.” In that column, he writes: “President Obama is demanding a big long-term budget deal. He won't sign anything less, he warns, asking, If not now, when? How about last December, when he ignored his own debt commission's recommendations? How about February, when he presented a budget that increases debt by $10 trillion over the next decade? How about April, when he sought a debt-ceiling increase with zero debt reduction attached? All of a sudden he's a born-again budget balancer prepared to bravely take on his own party by making deep cuts in entitlements. Really? Name one. He's been saying forever that he's prepared to discuss, engage, converse about entitlement cuts. But never once has he publicly proposed a single structural change to any entitlement. Hasn't the White House leaked that he's prepared to raise the Medicare age or change the cost-of-living calculation? Anonymous talk is cheap. Leaks are designed to manipulate. Offers are floated and disappear. Say it, Mr. President. Give us one single structural change in entitlements. In public. As part of the pose as the forward-looking grown-up rising above all the others who play politics, President Obama insists upon a long-term deal. And what is President Obama's definition of long-term? Surprise: An agreement that gets him past Nov. 6, 2012.”

What may be occurring here is an example of Cognitive Dissonance Reduction. It means: “Mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The concept was introduced by the psychologist Leon Festinger (1919–89) in the late 1950s. He…showed that, when confronted with challenging new information, most people seek to preserve their current understanding of the world by rejecting, explaining away, or avoiding the new information or by convincing themselves that no conflict really exists…” Cognitive Dissonance becomes reality when the unthinkable and unimaginable become factual. Biblical examples are Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12-15 where Lucifer has such lofty goals and opinions without realizing the end result for him in Verse 15, “But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.” Another instance is that of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:28-33 when he was at the zenith of his power and prestige. The word of the Lord was that he would be brought low and in Verse 33 we find: “Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven…” A reverse situation is seen in John 19 where Pilate allows himself to be bullied by an unruly mob. We read in Verse 12, “From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, "If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar." What is often missed of late is that God is in complete control of this world He has created. Anyone who ignores this truth does so at his own peril. Consider these things with me!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

How Dark Is The Darkness

From My Perspective - - -

One of the recollections I have from my youth centers in World War II. During the war, there were regular Blackouts held in major cities of the United States. Air Raid Wardens were assigned neighborhoods where the effort was put forth to make certain everyone complied. The impression was how suddenly everything became darkened. The darkness was everywhere. Other precautions taken were Black Shades on windows were common place; the upper half of headlights were painted black. Drills were held in the public schools so the children would be led to places of shelter in case of an attack. The Darkness was a reality because safety was foremost.

There is this brief statement in Matthew 4:16-17 that speaks of the reality of darkness from a completely different perspective – the spiritual darkness that prevailed. Note the words: “the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned. From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." This is similar to a declaration in Isaiah 59:8-12, “…The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We grope for the wall like the blind; we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigor we are like dead men. We all growl like bears; we moan and moan like doves; we hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us…”

There are many who are concerned over a report ( on June 02, 2011 that is headlined: “Call to Ban the Bible Troubles Pakistan’s Embattled Christians.” The body of the report states: “Pakistani Christians reacted with dismay Thursday to campaign by radical Muslim clerics to have the Bible declared blasphemous and banned, but some said the community should respond calmly, without fear, trusting God to protect His word.Muslims should not blame Pakistan’s Christian minority for the actions of one misguided pastor in Florida (Terry Jones), said one activist, who also noted that even Mohammed, the 7th century Muslim prophet, had not outlawed the Bible.A group of Muslim clerics has asked the Supreme Court of Pakistan to determine that certain passages of the Bible, violates the country’s blasphemy laws because they depict some biblical figures – whom Muslims revere as “Islamic prophets” – as flawed or immoral.If the court does not make the declaration, the campaigners said, they would lodge an formal application for the Bible to be banned in its entirety…Aqeel said JUI-S should remember that, even during the times of Mohammed and the subsequent caliphs and other Muslim rulers, the Bible was not banned despite the fact that all of them knew that the Bible had different viewpoint on several things…”

If such a demand becomes law, what does that mean in terms of Darkness and Light? Psalm 119:105 states: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” The Message translates verse 105, “By your words I can see where I'm going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.” In the spiritual application, removal of the Bible – God’s Holy Word – darkness is the inevitability. In the secular application, any nation that bans the Bible – especially the Gospel – is a nation that has lost its moral compass. Nothing is adequate as a substitute for God’s Word. II Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 1that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” We would do well to remember the refrain from an old Hymn: “The Bible stands though the hills may tumble,It will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble; I will plant my feet on its firm foundation, For the Bible stands.” Cherish and Treasure God’s Word!  Consider these things with me!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Refreshing Moment - Doing The Right Thing

From My Perspective - - -

The headlines announced that Derek Jeter became the first New York Yankee’s player to achieve 3,000 hits in his career – only the 28th player in the history of baseball to do so – and he did it in a dramatic way by getting five hits in the game on July 9th, 2011. The fifth – and 3,000th hit – was a home run. There is another part to this story – Christian Lopez – the young man who caught that home run ball in the left field stands. He had a choice to make. He could hold onto the ball and sell it to the highest bidder. As we know, Lopez decided to give the ball to Jeter. In return, Lopez got four suite tickets for every Yankees home game for the rest of the season and a collection of signed bats and balls. In some quarters, Lopez is being hailed as a selfless hero, a guy who did the right thing, a guy who turned away upwards of $250,000, as many a sports memorabilia pundit has indicated the ball would have sold for on the open market. Why did he do it? Why did he give up an instant treasure with no expectation of getting anything in return? Lopez, a Verizon customer service rep, said in post-game press conference that “money’s cool and all, but I’m only 23 years old. I have a lot of time to make that. His accomplishment is a milestone.”

There is usually an adverse response when someone tries to do the right thing. The news report included “…many people — namely the money-hungry, the selfish…some even used a Yiddish profanity regarding Lopez. To simply “give” the ball to Jeter is the mark of an insane person. After all, it’s not Jeter’s ball. If anything, it’s major league baseball’s ball, and once it goes into the stands, it’s been demonstrated over the years the ball then belongs to whoever ends up with it.” Lopez had seen the moment as special for Jeter and he was deserving of that ball and what it represented. Aside from the money-hungry, selfish and greedy – Lopez had the right to do whatever he wished with the ball and he chose to do the right thing by giving it to Jeter. There is something striking about the young man’s name – “Christian” – meaning: “a follower of Jesus…someone who believes Jesus is the Christ or Messiah.” We don’t know anything about this young man’s religious preferences but he demonstrated by what he did that he lived up to his name - what he did was a selfless “Christian” act.

It reminds one of another moment when an unknown and unheralded young man did the right thing. John 6:1-15 describes the occasion of 5,000 plus people who had gathered to hear Jesus. At the end of the evening, the people remained and were hungry. In John 6:5-6, “Jesus said to Philip, where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat? He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do…” meanwhile, in john 6:8-9, Andrew had gone through the crowd and reports to Jesus: "there is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?" the young man had surrendered what he had so that Jesus could do whatever he wanted to do with them – and Jesus did - all the multitude were fed from just five barley loaves and two fish. The young boy did the right thing for the right reason and Jesus Christ used it to demonstrate that “little is much when god is in it.” The boy could’ve been selfish and held onto it for himself – but he gave what he had freely and willingly – and it was used to bless and feed the multitude. What would you have done? Would you give up what you have to benefit others? Consider these things with me!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Crack In The Liberty Bell Is Widening

From My Perspective - - -

The Liberty Bell was cast for a particular purpose. “The Pennsylvania Assembly ordered the Bell in 1751 to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of William Penn's 1701 Charter of Privileges, Pennsylvania's original Constitution. It speaks of the rights and freedoms valued by people the world over. Particularly forward thinking were Penn's ideas on religious freedom, his liberal stance on Native American rights, and his inclusion of citizens in enacting laws…As the Bell was created to commemorate the golden anniversary of Penn's Charter, the quotation "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof," from Leviticus 25:10, was particularly apt. For the line in the Bible immediately preceding "proclaim liberty" is, "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year." What better way to pay homage to Penn and hallow the 50th year than with a bell proclaiming liberty?” (

Many may have forgotten the history behind the writing of The National Anthem. “In 1814, about a week after the city of Washington had been badly burned, British troops moved up to the primary port at Baltimore Harbor in Maryland. Francis Scott Key visited the British fleet in the Harbor on September 13th to secure the release of Dr. William Beanes who had been captured during the Washington raid. The two were detained on the ship so as not to warn the Americans while the Royal Navy attempted to bombard Fort McHenry. At dawn on the 14th, Key noted that the huge American flag, which now hangs in the Smithsonian's American History Museum, was still waving and had not been removed in defeat. The sight inspired him to write a poem titled Defense of Fort McHenry. The poem was eventually set to music that had originally been written by English composer John Stafford Smith for a song titled "The Anacreontic Song". The end result was the inspiring song now considered the national anthem of the United States of America. However, most do not even recall there are actually four stanzas to that Anthem. The fourth stanza is stirring and worthy to be remembered:
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand, 
Between their loved home and the war's desolation! 
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land 
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! 
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, 
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust" 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

The Mike Huckabee Newsletter for July 2011 includes: “The following statistics are not typographical errors: 75% of students in the survey could NOT name the first president of the United States; 72% could not identify the Constitution as the supreme law of the land; 97% could not answer six in ten questions from a basic citizenship test correctly!” The crack in the Liberty Bell is widening because of the casual approach to our history as a nation as well as the lack of attention given to the foundations that “…our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” (The Gettysburg Address).

What is true for this nation is also true for what is called “The Church” today. The crack has been widening in terms of The Gospel; The Sacraments; Worship; Church Government; etc. Take just two of these areas: (1) The Gospel – Galatians 1:6-7 – “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel, not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” and (2) Worship – John 4:22-24 – “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know…the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." Take heed and return to the foundations quickly. Consider these things with me.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Liberty and Freedom In Jeopardy

From My Perspective - - -

The Birth of a Nation – July 4th, 1776 – men of principle and courage addressed the thirteen colonies with these words: “…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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

The preserving of freedom and liberty was severely tested during the Civil War. After a costly battle at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln on November 19th, 1863 wrote and said: “…Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate…we cannot consecrate…we cannot hallow…this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Can we squander the liberty and freedom that was secured for us at such great commitment and sacrifice? Can we allow it to be in jeopardy? The answer is Yes! We are in the process of doing it now. It is not just in terms of politics and governments, but also in the more important spiritual arena. Paul expressed his concern in Galatians 5:1-3 (The Message) – “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. I am emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to…any other rule-keeping system, at that same moment Christ's hard-won gift of freedom is squandered. I repeat my warning: The person who accepts the ways of circumcision (legalism) trades all the advantages of the free life in Christ for the obligations of the slave life of the law.” In John 8:31-32, Jesus said to the Jews who believed in Him: “…If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Don’t squander your freedom and liberty in Christ! Cherish it! Consider these things with me!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Commitment - Do We Have It? Do We Need It?

From My Perspective - - -

 When the United States was being sought and founded, there were men of determination and fortitude who set out to establish strong and solid foundations upon which a nation would be established. In The Mayflower Compact by William Bradford, then following was written and agreed upon on November 11, 1620. The introductory comments are: “The Mayflower Compact was drawn up on the Mayflower, under these circumstances as described by Gov. William Bradford: "This day, before we came to harbor, observing some not well affected to unity and concord, but gave some appearance of faction, it was thought good there should be an association and agreement, that we should combine together in one body, and to submit to such government and governors as we should by common consent agree to make and choose, and set our hands to this that follows, word for word…" Then followed the words of commitment by all the signees: “IN THE name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc., having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.”

 It would be more than 150 years before the Declaration of Independence would be written and agreed upon. The birth of a nation and an enduring commitment will sometimes reach points of departure. For years, it has been acknowledged that there is a “dumbing down” in terms of what is taught to the children in our schools. The result is rather appalling when we read (From: The Blaze) – Americans, on the whole, should probably spend a little more time educating themselves about their homeland and a little less time barbecuing this weekend. According to a new poll released earlier today by Marist, a substantial portion of the nation appears confused about the most basic details of America’s founding. Marist reports: Only 58% of residents know that the United States declared its independence in 1776.  26% are unsure, and 16% mentioned another date. There are age differences on this question. 

Younger Americans are the least likely to know the correct answer. Only 31% of adults younger than 30 say that 1776 is the year in which the United States broke away from Great Britain. As for another question about the nation’s founding — which country patriots freed themselves from — 76 percent of respondents correctly stated Great Britain. While this majority figure sounds excellent (Americans were actually up two percentage points from the previous year), this means that one in four people have no idea which country citizens fought against to obtain our freedom. That 76 should certainly be 100! Surprisingly, nine percent of college graduates didn’t know that Great Britain was the correct answer. And, on both indicators there were significant disparities in correct answers between men and women: When it comes to gender, men - 65% are more likely to respond with 1776 than are women - 52%. Men - 83% - are more likely than women - 68% — to know that the United States declared its independence from Great Britain.”

Psalm 11:1-4 sets the tone of where we need to be in terms of commitment and what causes disarray when we fail to make the right choices and commitment. The Psalmist writes:In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, Flee like a bird to your mountain, for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart; if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord's throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.” Consider these things with me!