Receiving Wise Council

Recently, a quote was shared with me that came from a man I greatly respect. He lived a life that was full of work and commitments. When asked, he always gave very wise council. He words can be trusted. The dilemma that I now face is a personal one. I know that you may be wondering what the quote is … which aside from my personal decision doesn’t really matter.

My life has been spent in the pursuit of wisdom and council from some very well known individuals and by some not known outside of my religious life. My desire to learn and grow and become a better person has challenged me in many ways. Most have dealt with changing my thinking and actions. Each time I select a quote is because in some way it spoke to my heart and soul. It gave me a glimmer of hope that I could change myself enough to become more like the ideal encapsulated in the quote. I could see the quote as a stepping stone to becoming the old man I desire to be. I know an old man! I say that because I see becoming a better person as a marathon not a sprint. A journey that will take my whole life. The life a christian is to be spent following Christ; in subjugating our will to His. He does not subjugate us, He provides the law by which we are to live and we are the one that must chose to walk the path or not.

Since the day I chose to walk this path and committed 100% to the cause of Christ; I strive to be a better man. As always, some days are better than others and the cost is one I do not count. I made the choice to give somethings up; not for any another reason, than I felt it would help me on my way.

Again, wisdom from a tried and true source can always be trusted and those values that have lasted for thousands of years … and see controversial today will stand you in good stead. A man can live a life with a clear conscience when he is right in his heart and if he be religious, he can stand before his god with a clear conscience. That is a feeling that gives the ultimate confidence in oneself and the journey he has been called to serve.

iron wil

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.

The Lost Fleet

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35981167

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, http://bit.ly/1VilHJs

I have been re-reading Jack Campbell‘s The Lost Fleet Series. I really enjoy these books a great deal! The story is compelling and action packed! It became a subject for this blog because one of the things the hero imparts to his fleet are values. Values that got left behind over the course of a century.

When Black Jack is revived from survival sleep a century of warfare has passed, a war that started with an attack on the convoy he was protecting. By a turn of events, Black Jack is made the fleet commander and despite his reluctance … he takes command.

As he leads the fleet, he leads it as if it was 100 years ago. While this causes consternation and frustration amongst some of his captains; while others take him as a living miracle. Black Jack, cancels unofficial orders, like the killing of POWs and civilians. He reminds the sailors and Marines of the Alliance fleet that they are supposed to be living a moral life. They should be treating their enemies according to their laws of war and fleet regulation. Black Jack finds some of those in his command relieved to be serving in accordance to the “old way” of doing things. As the story continues, the fleet reverts back to the moral way of doing things. We see how those we see most often are changed by the association with Black Jack and his leadership.

This resonated strongly this time around, because I have been writing and talking to you guys about values, morals, ethics, … etc. If you don’t know already, I strongly agree with living a life guided by the principles that have withstood the tests of time. Only since the 1960’s has the world really started to question those values and today it is even worse. I know what my life was like before December 1996 and I know what my life has been like since then.

No, my life isn’t perfect (if you could ask my wife) and I am still full of flaws. I make mistakes every day … however, I am still in pursuit of perfection.

iron wil