The Soldier’s Night Before Christmas

Santa addressing the troops

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give
And to see just who in this home did live.

I looked all about a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind
A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

I heard stories about them, I had to see more
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping silent alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.

His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

Continue reading “The Soldier’s Night Before Christmas” »

Principles are Immutable

“If a principle exists it must be immutable, for that is what a principle is – a truth standing apart from the mood of the times” Jeff Cooper, Principles of Personal Defense (1972)

I have been trying to express this concept in this blog for several months. It seems the world continues to push “new values” that have through time continued to fail. The traditional or Judeo-Christian values have been under fire since the 1960’s when drugs and free love, a reaction to WWII and the Korean War, became a cause celeb among the youth of America. While other powerful movement’s also happened during these years, few have caused so much trouble for our nation. The attack on values, morals, and religion has severely hurt our country. I know that some feel we are better off with less religion; which is funny since 89% of Americans say they believe in God. (1) Oh, not as many attend or affiliate with a church as we have in the past; however, when 9/11 landed in our face there was a brief revival and uptick in people attending church again.

We are immortal beings having a mortal experience and this life is a place of testing and trials to see if we will grow and overcome our weaknesses and faults. Church is not a place for the healthy, for in God’s eyes we are all sick. It is a hospital where we minster to each other. To often we let our mortal selves get in the way of our immortal selves since we are not perfect and we are constantly failing/sinning some way. Now, don’t get discouraged. I have been practicing and striving to improve for 20 years and I know that while I have made good progress I still have a long way to go to meet the standard that Jesus Christ set. Our problem, is that we want the perfection now … and it doesn’t come until the next life.

We do not join Christ in His glory until after we die and are judged. Heaven is the only “country” where one has to learn to live the “law of the land” before we can enter the kingdom. The beautiful thing about living a life of principles is that when we are making progress and improving; we are living those laws or commandments to the best of our ability … which is what we are being asked to do. Christ makes all the difference, He paid the price for our freedom and only by applying to Him can our balance be paid in full. While I am a firm believer that my faith is the correct one and the we have the most pure doctrine; I also know that everyone living to follow Christ is just as blessed and benefits by His divine intervention in their lives. He loves all of us, no matter who we are or what we do.

We show Him that we love him by living a life grounded in the traditional principles and values that are taught in many faiths. If you look and study you will find that many of the same doctrines and principles are shared among many faiths. I encourage you to live a life of principles for surely we will be able to stand before God one day and know that we have lived the best life possible.

Be your best self and then you will begin to see the difference between a principled life and an unprincipled one.

iron wil

1) U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious

The Star-Spangled Banner, a Hymn and Poem

 

Recently, my eldest son asked that I switch from singing Silent Night at bedtime to our National Anthem. No, I am not a wonderful singer, marginal at best. However, I have been singing to the boys since Number 1 was an infant. It is part of our bedtime routine, As I looked up the words and reviewed them I was again reminded that the first 3 generations of Americans really felt that America was a blessed and special land. Many believed that it was a land dedicated to the God of Heaven, this can be seen here:

“On April 18, 1775 John Adams and John Hancock were at the home of Rev. Jonas Clarke, a Lexington pastor and militia leader. That same night Paul Revere arrived to warn them of the approaching Redcoats. The next morning British Major Pitcairn shouted to an assembled regiment of Minutemen; “Disperse, ye villains, lay down your arms in the name of George the Sovereign King of England.” The immediate response of Rev. Jonas Clarke or one of his company was:

“We recognize no Sovereign but God and no King but Jesus.”

In this crucial hour of our nation’s history it is past time that the true saints of God give total allegiance to the Kingship of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. The crisis of the ages demands that we renew the historic battle-cry of our Christian Forefathers –

“WE HAVE NO KING BUT KING JESUS!”

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!” Patrick Henry

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty…of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” John Jay, First Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court” (1)

This nation, was founded by religious people who loved their faith and their God. It can still be seen in many places where law suits have not forced the removal of them from the public square. The reason that these first generations spoke in such terms and referred to God is because of those persecuted Christians that fled England. (2) We started as a nation with clear values and over time they have been eroded through bureaucracy, legislation, and law suits. These events sadden me because it has shifted our faith and our focus from “equality under the law” to equality for all. (3)

I hope that one day soon, our nation will turn back to the morals and values that have provided the prosperity and economic growth which has made the United States the most powerful nation in the world. Not because we are “better”, not because we have smarter people; it is because when we allow men to govern themselves with a clear understanding of the freedoms, values, and morals that drove our nation in it’s first century. No, I don’t claim that we are perfect. I do believe that we are a good and just nation when we act with the foundation with which were established.

iron wil

  1. No King But Jesus
  2. 4th of July Article
  3. Equal Protection Clause

Full Text:

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d 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.

Pain leads to Hope

The hope has turned to pain, tears fill my eyes;
the past is awash in mistakes;
enough to drown a man in sorrow,
hope for a better tomorrow seems like a candle in the wind.

No hope of staying bright, no hope of finding the light;
yet, there is One who shines in these times …
One who walks, whispers, and guides me.

My weaknesses He knows,
my heart He has held;
pain is retreating,
when His arms are around me.

Healing comes like the dawn after a storm;
bright and clear, clean and warm.
My heart heals and blessings are known;
with His blood all wounds are sown.

iron wil

Values and Ethics

A week ago I posted about Mission Statements. I felt that I needed to follow up with my personal values and ethics. “A bearing is useless without a rudder!” Here are my values and ethics:

Integrity, Patience, Honesty, Truth, Faith, Purity, Brotherly Kindness, Humility, Charity, Diligence, Knowledge, Temperance; and also things Virtuous, Lovely, and of Good Report. – Philippians 4:8, Doctrine and Covenants 4:6, and Articles of Faith # 13

Again, as a christian my life should be based on christian values and principles. I try to live my life based on these because they are core christian values and I have seen the good in my own life. My life isn’t perfect and I have my trials, however, I have felt and enjoyed the peace of Christ. I know that I am guided by a higher power and can be strengthened despite my weaknesses. Like I said, “A bearing is useless without a rudder”.

iron wil

In case you are wondering how I define the above values, here are some references.

  1. Integrity: Unknown, Integrity; Integrity, Part 1; and Integrity, Part 2
  2. Patience: n.
    1. the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain without complaint, loss of temper, or anger.
    2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
    3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence. [1175–1225; Middle English pacience < Old French < Latin patientia. See patient, -ence]
  3. Honesty: n., pl. -ties.
    1. uprightness; integrity; trustworthiness.
    2. truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness.
    3. freedom from deceit or fraud. [1300–50; Middle English honeste < Middle French < Latin honestās, irreg. derivative of honestus. See honest, -ty2]
  4. Truth: n
    1. the quality of being true, genuine, actual, or factual: the truth of his statement was attested.
    2. something that is true as opposed to false: you did not tell me the truth.
    3. a proven or verified principle or statement; fact: the truths of astronomy.
    4. (usually plural) a system of concepts purporting to represent some aspect of the world: the truths of ancient religions.
    5. fidelity to a required standard or law
    6. faithful reproduction or portrayal: the truth of a portrait.
    7. an obvious fact; truism; platitude
    8. honesty, reliability, or veracity: the truth of her nature.
    9. accuracy, as in the setting, adjustment, or position of something, such as a mechanical instrument
    10. the state or quality of being faithful; allegiance [Old English triewth; related to Old High German gitriuwida fidelity, Old Norse tryggr true]
  5. Faith: n.
    1. confidence or trust in a person or thing.
    2. belief that is not based on proof.
    3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion.
    4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics or standards of merit.
    5. a system of religious belief: the Jewish faith.
    6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.
    7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one’s promise, oath, allegiance, etc. [1200–50; Middle English feith < Anglo-French fed, Old French feid, feit < Latin fidem, acc. of fidēs trust, akin to fīdere to trust]
  6. Purity: n.
    1. the condition or quality of being pure; freedom from anything that contaminates, pollutes, etc.
    2. freedom from any admixture or modifying addition.
    3. cleanness.
    4. freedom from guilt or evil; innocence.
  7. Brotherly Kindness: As Moral Ideal: In the Revised Version (British and American), “love of the brethren” in all places, and so in the King James Version of 1 Peter 1:22, thus defining the disposition as love, and its objects as brethren. Since God is Father and men are His sons, they are therefore brethren of one another. As sonship is the most essential factor in man’s right relation to God, so is brotherhood in his relation to his fellow-man. Note: There are several paragraphs covering this topic at the above link.
  8. Humility: n.
    the quality or state of being humble; modest opinion of one’s own importance or rank; meekness. [1275–1325; Middle English humilite < Latin humilitās; see humble, -ty2]
  9. Charity: n., pl. -ties.
    1. donations or generous actions to aid the poor, ill, or helpless.
    2. a charitable act or work.
    3. a charitable fund, foundation, or institution.
    4. benevolent feeling, esp. toward those in need: to do something out of charity.
    5. leniency in judging others; forbearance.
    6. alms.
    7. Christian love; agape. [1125–75; Middle English charite < Old French < Latin cāritās=cār(us) dear + -itās -ity]
  10. Diligence: n.
    1. constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken.
    2. the degree of care and caution expected of a person. [1300–50; Middle English deligence (< Anglo-French) < Latin]
  11. Knowledge: n.
    1. acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles.
    2. familiarity or conversance, as by study or experience: a knowlege of human nature.
    3. the fact or state of knowing; clear and certain mental apprehension.
    4. awareness, as of a fact or circumstance.
    5. something that is or may be known; information.
    6. the body of truths or facts accumulated in the course of time.
    7. the sum of what is known: Knowledge of the situation is limited.
    8. Archaic. sexual intercourse. [1250–1300; Middle English knouleche=know(en) to know + -leche, perhaps akin to Old English -lāc suffix denoting action or practice, compare wedlock]
  12. Temperance: n.
    1. moderation or self-restraint; self-control.
    2. habitual moderation in any indulgence, appetite, etc.
  13. Virtuous: adj.
    1. conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright.
    2. chaste: a virtuous young person. [1300–50; vertuous < Anglo-French < Late Latin virtuōsus= Latin virtu(s) virtue + -ōsus -ous]
  14. Lovely: adj.
    1. Beautiful especially in a pleasing or charming way. See Synonyms at beautiful.
    2. Enjoyable; delightful: had a lovely weekend in the country.
    3. Archaic Inspiring love or affection.