"HOW TO KEEP GOING...WHEN YOU WANT TO QUIT"
10:12 am cst
In this article I want to talk to you about the power of hope in the face of overwhelming odds.
I will also talk about "the breaking point" at which hope is lost and the end result is usually defeat and death.
Just like everything in life, humans have a point when intense pressure can become too much, crushing the very will to live
and survive...a place I pray none of my readers ever reach.
As I've stated before, suicide is the tenth leading
cause of death in America and suicide is usually the result of people who have reached their breaking point, viewing death
as the only alternative to end their enormous suffering. In these cases, it is hope that is lost.
is so important to keep because it is the power to believe in a positive outcome...regardless of the harsh and trying circumstances
we might find ourselves in. When hope is lost...life hangs in the very balance. I want
to use the following story to emphasize some of these points...
The other night I was watching a documentary on
the horrible fate of the USS Indianapolis in the closing days of World War II. For those of you who are not
history buffs, you may know little or even nothing of the event, but I want to share some of the details with you in order
to make the larger point...so bear with me.
The USS Indianapolis was a "Heavy Cruiser"
in the fleet of the United States Navy during World War II. It had participated in several key battles during the conflict
and had lost several men during some of these battles, including a direct hit from a Japanese "Kamikaze Plane,"
which flew into her...nearly destroying her.
After being repaired and sent back into action, the USS Indianapolis
would be called upon to perform a secret mission that would end in her being torpedoed by a Japanese Submarine and the loss
of most of her crew under extremely horrible conditions.
The mission was to travel (without escort, which was a
big mistake, leaving her vulnerable to submarine attack), from America to Guam to deliver the key components for the Atomic
Bombs that would shortly be dropped on Japan and ultimately lead to the end of World War II. After the successful delivery
of her cargo, she was to travel on from Guam, across the Philippine Sea and end up in Leyte in the Philippines.
first part of the mission was successful, but on her journey from Guam to Leyte, she was hit twice by Japanese torpedoes,
effectively sinking the huge ship in about twelve minutes.
The Indianapolis had 1,196 men on-board and about 300
men died in the initial attack. The rest were left in shark infested water, many badly burned and injured and awaiting
The problem was...because of the nature of the secret mission and very poor oversight by the "Brass"
at Naval Command, the ship was not reported missing and therefore no attempts were made to locate and rescue the survivors.
For four days the injured sailors floated in the water, many burned and covered in thick oil from the ship.
With no food or water...scorching days and frigid nights, many of the sailors began to go insane...and die. Many others
were the victims of shark attacks that came mercilessly and often. (This incident is referred to at length in a captivating
scene in the movie Jaws).
Finally, a low-flying plane spotted the oil-slick and then the floating men and radioed
for help. In the end...out of the 1,196 men aboard the Indianapolis...317 survived. It was and is...the worst
single at-sea loss of life in the history of the U.S. Navy.
One of those who survived...and the last man rescued, was
the ship's Captain, Charles Butler McVay III. Because of the large loss of life, the U.S. Navy brass needed a 'scapegoat,'
and McVay was their man. The Navy had ignored several "sub warnings" and had failed to provide an
escort (for detecting submarines) and now they needed to cover their own tracks. In a "mock trial" McVay was
given a Court-Martial and lost his rank...even though the Japanese submarine Captain testified that their was nothing McVay
could have done to prevent the attack.
Having witnessed the loss of his ship as well as hundreds of his men to
burns, injury and sharks...and having himself endured four days of the worst conditions imaginable...McVay was now officially
to blame. In the end, McVay would end his own life with his service revolver. He had finally reached his breaking
point...finally lost his hope.
Many years have passed since that horrible event, and after the efforts of countless
sailors and advocates...Captain McVay's name has finally been cleared of any wrong-doing or blame for the catastrophe.
Sadly, the exoneration comes to late.
Now here's my point...
...every human being has a breaking
point at which hope is lost and death seems the only way to end the suffering. For Captain McVay it was not the loss
of his ship, his horrible struggle in the waters of the Philippine Sea, but the loss of his reputation and being blamed for
the death of so many he had given his life to defend.
What I've noticed is that most of us handle
life's struggles pretty well...until they become personal. We all struggle at times with finances,
jobs, health and other such issues, but we tend to handle them pretty well, even if they are aggravating and stressful.
It's when we become the victim of personal attacks and ridicule that it can become too much to bear.
In a World
where it seems many will do anything to get attention, we often lose sight of the fact that our reputation is very important
to us. Jesus said, "When salt has lost it's savor, it is good for nothing except to be thrown on the ground
and walked upon by man." This is a reference to reputation. When someone loses their reputation, they
get abused, ridiculed and painfully and emotionally tormented by others. I believe this is what happened to Captain
McVay and countless others.
It is so sad to me that we live in a world that is so mean-spirited at times as to
continually attack the credibility and reputation of others...never realizing we may, in fact, be stealing their hope and
leading them down a path of utter devastation.
While it's true that some people have little regard for their
reputation and therefore bring the suffering upon themselves, there are others who become the victims of such things in a
evil and awful way.
I can personally say that of all the things I've suffered in my life...none has caused
me such enormous pain and emotional torment as being attacked personally and having my reputation called into question.
As a public figure, my life is often under a microscope and any failure can be quickly magnified. I understand this...but
at the end of the day, I'm only human.
I've seen great men and women ruined by a single mistake...sometimes
not of their own making...and this is a tragedy. Although their hearts were pure, their reputation was ruined through
personal attacks. I've watched as these great people slowly lost their hope and became a shell of their former selves.
Some even died early.
We live in a world that cheers a touchdown, but boo's an interception. It doesn't
matter how hard the person is trying...many will not accept anything short of perfection and it quickly gets personal.
What we must understand, however, is that even when everyone else is against us...God is for us. He understands
that we are weak and prone to failures...but he looks beyond that to see the intentions of our hearts. That is why...at
the end of the day...knowing that God loves us and accepts us...mistakes and all...is what gives us ultimate hope.
My friends...no matter what other people might think of you today...no matter how mean or venomous they've been toward
you...God knows the intentions of your heart. There is not a failure He can't forgive...or an accusation He won't
make right in the end. Don't lose that hope! Hang onto it with all the strength you have and know that "in
the End" God will reward you openly in the presense of your enemies.
I love you all,
"WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE CHURCH?"
7:07 am cst
Since I began this website, (at what I believe to be the leading of the Lord), I've received
a lot of e-mail. Many of them have been from friends and family who have known me for some time and others,
who have known me literally all my life.
Others come from precious people whom I've not met but who
often are inspired by something I've written. Others are "not so complimentary," while others are downright
confrontational in nature, which of course I understand and expect. I do my best to compassionately respond to each
one and will continue to do so.
In my recent website report, I discovered that this site has received numerous
visits from around the United States as well as some 9 different Countries including Poland, Britain, France,
Belgium and others in Europe. I've also had visits from Countries dominated by Islam or ruled by Communism.
It makes me realize how important it is for me to be as honest and heartfelt in my writing as possible and to be as respectful
of people as I can, without losing my convictions.
One e-mail I received was from a person who was greatly concerned
with what they viewed as the "mean-spirited" nature of some Christians towards anyone outside their ranks.
This person was not being blasphemous...but actually had some accurate and legitimate arguments concerning the current state
In my early years as a minister, I had a tendency to defend all Christians against what I perceived
as "outside threats," believing I was somehow disloyal if I agreed with the argument. However, time and
wisdom has led me to believe that some actions on the part of Christian's and some Christian organizations actually
deserve such ridicule and should use that ridicule to confront their own problems.
As an avid reader, observer and
researcher, I've come to realize that although the History of Christianity contains many great feats of love and action,
it also contains events that are not favorable and some that are downright atrocious. Any historian knows that there
have been times when Christianity has been used as a excuse to subdue people and land and to conquer and even
kill people in opposition. This is a part of the Christian past that no true Christian should be proud of, nor defend.
Anyone who truly knows Christ also knows He would not condone such actions in His name. We must remember
that Christianity is freely offered to "whosoever will," rather than something to be forced upon those who'd
This person also talked about the abuses that often come with "Organized
Religion," and how such power is often used to promote political or social agenda's that are not Biblical or that
are not compassionate and reek with self-righteousness. It's hard to defend against these charges when they are
Although I firmly believe that the majority of Christian people are loving and sincere...following
the example of Christ toward all people to the best of their ability...it is a fact that other's are mean-spirited, self-righteous,
judgmental and even verbally cruel, condemning and demeaning. It is these people who give Christianity a bad name in
our own society and also around the World.
Although I've been known to point out and criticize serious
issues with other religions, especially those who openly promote violence and the horrible treatment of women and others...I've
also been known to point out serious issues within elements of Christianity...when it is promoted as a mere religion.
I do this to point out that "hatred over love" defeats the inner needs of people, that true religion is meant
We as Christian's must be willing to take a long hard look at ourselves as a whole and
humbly realize that there are many areas where we have simply missed it and need correction. In my opinion,
we must start with a strong and quick return to "edifying" the life and simple teachings of Jesus Christ,
rather than working so hard to promote individual denominations or "self-growth." I say this in a desire to
Although I often find it hard to defend the actions of some of the ideologies of "Christianity
as a Religion," I NEVER FIND IT DIFFICULT TO DEFEND THE PERFECT LIFE AND LOVE portrayed in the life and sacrificial death
of our precious Savior, Jesus Christ. In short, it is when we stray from the overwhelming love of Jesus for people,
that Christianity can become offensive and a target for warranted ridicule.
While some Churches openly and
vehemently accuse others of sin and moral debauchery, (as though they themselves have no sin), we find that Jesus stood between
the "Sinner and the Stones," in order to save them, declaring to the self-righteous crowd, "He that is without
sin among you...cast the first stone." Condemn or reach out to save? One is an attribute of Christ, the other
is an attribute of Satan, the "Accuser of the Brethren."
While some Churches spend a majority of their
time promoting political agendas, picketing in the streets and attacking governments and various elements of society, we find
Jesus preaching the "Kingdom of God," rather than the destruction of the Roman Empire.
While some Churches
openly proclaim themselves to hold the "whole truth" and declare themselves as "The Church," and therefore
the only way to Heaven, we find Jesus saying: "Come unto Me ALL WHO ARE HEAVY LADEN AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST!"
This included both the Jews and Gentiles!
While some Churches hide themselves way within expensive Cathedrals for
fear of having their "holiness tainted" by the outside world, we hear Jesus saying, "Go into all the World
and preach the Gospel to every Creature." We as Christian's cannot be afraid of the World, if we are commanded
to "go" into it.
While some Churches openly loathe the tormented, deviant, confused, broken and distasteful
elements of society, we find Jesus reaching out and touching a leper!
While some Churches view themselves as righteous
and therefore "above the despicable sinner, and deviant masses" we find Jesus rejecting Himself as being called
"Good," saying, "There is no one good, but God." Now that is humility!
Our hope for healing
the reputation of the Church within the World lies on one word: Love. Jesus taught us that He didn't come into the
World to condemn it, but to save it. How? Sacrificial love.
When we as Christian's learn to imitate the
life and actions of Jesus Christ, forsaking all man-made doctrines and traditions... we will begin to see people drawn to
that love, which is the sole longing of the human heart.
I close by saying, that I love the Church of Jesus Christ
as much as anything I can think of. I say these things BECAUSE I love it, not because I'm embarrassed or ashamed
of it. It is my love for His Church that compels me to reach out to It by helping us see where we could use a personal
revival and change of attitude and heart toward others in the World. I realize my platform for that is small, but
it's worth a try. I also realize that I too have a long way to go and a lot of improvements yet to make in my own
life and ministry. For the sake of Christ...it is well worth it.
I love you all,
"THIS IS VERY UPSETTING"
There are few things that cause my blood to boil...as the old saying goes...like a misuse
of authority. As a minister I've personally witnessed the distrust, dishonor and suspicion that accompanies
ministry these days as a result of the abuses that have come to light in the last ten years.
6:08 am cst
were once looked upon as highly respected and honored members of the community, but sexual scandal, abusive clergy and hate-filled
political agendas have changed all that. Many people now view ministers as people to be very leery of. Sadly,
the actions of a very small percentage of ministers have nearly destroyed the ministry in the eyes of the mainstream. It
doesn't matter that thousands upon thousands of ministers give their lives and work very hard to carry out the
mission of service in the name of Christ...it's the bad apples that get the news.
This is also true of
politicians, lawyers, corporate executives...and now...law enforcement.
"You-tube" has become a favorite
place to "expose" the actions of Cops who have gone bad...giving the entire Law Enforcement system a bad name...and
making many within the general population dislike and even hate the cops. This is sad.
five particular videos that I've seen on "You-tube" that show cops doing things that are very upsetting to me
personally...and by reading the comments of others...I'm not alone.
The first involves a Baltimore policeman
who goes completely overboard on a 14 year old boy for riding his skateboard on a public sidewalk. The officer
is extremely demeaning verbally...puts the boy in a choke-hold and throws him to the ground...not once...but twice.
He continues to berate the young man until he finally discovers he is being videotaped.
video appeared on the internet, the officer was immediately placed on "Administrative Leave...with pay" pending
an "Internal Investigation." My opinion is that this guy needs to be off the streets period. In fact,
if this were one of my son's that he threw down...I'd probably sue big time. I believe it was a crime to throw
the boy to the ground, when the boy was posing absolutely no threat at all, nor was he resisting the officer. I also
believe this officer should be fired. Remember the creed "To Protect and Serve?" This was not it.
The second video involved a young woman working the "drive-through window" at Wendy's, when a policeman
drives through to pick up his order. He accuses the girl of "shorting him" on his change. The video
makes clear that he did not give the girl a twenty dollar bill, but rather a ten dollar bill. He swore he gave
her a twenty. Things escalate quickly. The manager checks the cash drawer and takes the side of his employee.
The officer is now out of his car and in the small cubicle shouting and accusing this under-aged girl. She becomes
insulted, frightened and irate at which time the officer is GOING TO ARREST HER. She tell's him she is going nowhere
without her mother at which point he sprays her with Pepper Spray. Now get this...the City awarded the girl $50,000.00
in damages, but the policeman was "cleared of any wrong-doing." Anyone watching this video can instantly see
this cop is out of line.
The third video is of a Quadriplegic man who is brought into a Sheriff's department
after being arrested on an outstanding traffic warrant. It is clear this man is crippled...but an officer asks
him to stand up so he can be frisked. Of course he can't comply and explains this to her three times. Soon,
she walks behind the wheelchair and dumps the man face-first out of the wheelchair and onto the ground. This woman
was fired and faces charges. The other officers standing by are also facing disciplinary actions. I applaud
the Sheriff for this action.
The fourth video is of a man who is stopped in Utah for a speeding violation.
He refuses to sign the ticket, because he doesn't believe he was speeding, prompting the officer to arrest him.
The officer could have simply wrote: "Refused to Sign," on the ticket and the guy would still be fined...instead,
the officer decides to arrest him and ends up "tazing" him shortly after. This video received so much
attention, the cop had to be taken off duty for his own safety...following multiple threats. By the way, he was
cleared of all charges.
The fifth...and most upsetting video to me was the one involving a young wife who
was assaulted by a cousin and called 911 seeking help. Instead, she ends up being arrested herself and then
illegally "strip-searched." Although this particular Department's policy is that if someone is strip-searched,
it can only be done by "same-sex" officer's, the video clearly shows two men helping in holding the woman
down as she screams in terror. As soon as her pants and underwear are pulled down, you can vividly see one
of the male officers continually looking down at her naked body. She eventually spent six hours naked in a
cell. Although the Sheriff is denying any wrongdoing by his office...the family is taking legal action.
Now...here's my point. Although life dealing with people can be tough, these instances caught on videotape
clearly show that some people are clearly not cut out to hold authoritative positions.
Why? They abuse it. I realize that dealing with people all day...everyday, can be trying and difficult.
I know it first-hand. Sometimes, it can even be harsh or violent. Nevertheless, people who are placed
in high authority are required to be leaders in every situation, not abusers.
I feel sorry for all the cops who
do such a wonderful job helping and serving in our communities against such big odds. They work hard, deserve their
authority and deserve our respect. Episodes like those mentioned here, however, ruin it for the good guys...and gals.
After watching these videos, it makes one wonder how wide-spread these types of incidences are. Without the
video evidence and "You-tube" as a platform, almost none of these officers would have been taken to task on their
behavior. That's very frightening to me. How many of these incidents happen without the video camera as witness???
We already live in a world where it is unsafe to go to work, (9/11), it's unsafe to go to school, (Columbine and
others) or University, (Virginia Tech and others), without fear of being randomly abused or shot and where any day
could end with innocent people being killed by a car bomb or a suicide bomber. The last thing we need is for our police
and other public officials to pose a threat as well. When the law breaks the law...we are in a barbarian
society sure to consume itself.
As I said, these incidents are very upsetting to me and I pray that
God will help us as a Nation to become a people of love, honor, respect and decency once again.
I love you
Below are the links to the videos I mentioned. I warn you they are not pleasant
to watch, so use your own discretion. They are in this order: 1: Strip Search, 2: Skater Incident, 3: Wheelchair Incident,
4: Tazer use, 5: Wendy's Arrest
"Hmm...Who Should I Vote For?" PART 2
4:48 am cst
Since my last article, Mitt Romney has dropped out of the race for President, leaving John
McCain the front-runner on the Republican side, with Mike Huckabee a distant second. Senator Obama has significantly
closed the lead on Hillary Clinton causing Clinton to reorganize her staff and double fund-raising efforts. Who will
win the nomination from either party and eventually the White House is still anybody's guess.
one of this article, I talked about a few of the issues discussed a lot in this campaign, but I also talked about things "inside"
the person that matter to me, individually as a voter. In my opinion there are a lot of people who have the ability
to get elected...but not everyone has the gift of true leadership...as witnessed by the mess we often see coming out of Washington.
With that being said, I'd like to talk about true leadership and what I believe makes a great leader. This
helps me as I search for the candidate that I believe might best lead this Nation. Here are some of the qualities
I believe are essential in great leadership...not just on the Presidential level...but all levels:
Vision. The Bible says, "Without vision, people perish." Vision is the ability to see beyond
the NOW and wisely prepare for the best possible future. A great leader has the ability to see beyond the
current issues and crisis of the day, unto a better tomorrow. This is why I get fed up with candidate's who constantly
criticize other candidate's "record," instead of putting forth a vision of their own that I can believe in!
Ridiculing someone else is often a way of disquising the fact that one has no vision of their own.
A great leader
is a visionary that excites the hopes of those following. For example: where one man might look at a field and see it
as a dry, tumbleweed infested piece of dirt...a farmer will look at it and see a future harvest. One will work the land...the
other will only complain. Dwelling only in the NOW causes us to feel hopeless, instead of full of faith and anticipation
for the future.
2. Integrity. As we all know well...nobody is perfect.
However, great leadership comes with a deep-rooted sense of integrity that guides a person's moral obligations to others.
A great leader should never knowingly lie...and never knowingly favor one person over another. Having integrity doesn't
mean a person will not make mistakes, missteps and have failures. It does mean that no matter what they do...they do
it with a sense of personal responsibility and conscience to those they serve...meaning every single American. In my
opinion...if any candidate wants to become President in order to force their personal agenda, or to stroke their own
ego...or to push for laws that benefit themselves and their friends financially...they have no right being President...ever!
3. The Ability to Listen. Being a great leader doesn't mean you have all the
answers...but it does mean you are searching for them by listening to the wisdom of others...regardless of which political
party you belong to. Being a great leader also means that you have the ability to "discern" which voices are
wise...and which ones are manipulative.
4. The Ability to Inspire. Because this life
is so difficult and the problems at times are overwhelming...we need great leaders who have the ability to inspire our Nation
on the attributes of hard work...everyone pulling their own load, when possible...and on working together as a Nation...not
forced through religion or laws...but through inspiration!!!
5. The Ability to Admit When They're
Wrong and Change Course. America is a Nation that doesn't like to admit when it's wrong.
This doesn't serve us too well. For a politician to admit they are wrong poses the danger of not being re-elected!
Oh well. I'd rather have a President who is humble enough to admit when he (or she) is wrong, without having to
be impeached to do so. I think most American's are big enough to forgive a President's mistakes if they willingly
admit them and quickly change course so as not to continue down a path that is destructive.
Ability to Know When to Play Hardball versus Softball. Many leader's are so egotistical that they cannot
see another person's point of view if it bit them on the hiney. They are unwilling to compromise on issues that
sometimes are best served on "middle ground." Likewise, we need a President who knows when to play "Hardball"
and not back down in the face of opposition or falling poll numbers. The best leader will know when to play hardball...and
when to play softball.
7. The Ability to Surround Themselves With Other Great Leaders.
Most of us are familiar with Jethro. He was the dumb cousin on the Beverly Hillbillies right? True, but I'm
talking about Jethro...the Father-in-law of Moses. Moses was a great leader, but he was failing because he tried to
do everything himself. On the advice of Jethro, Moses appointed other great leaders in Israel to help him. A great
leader will do the same.
8. Humility. In my own opinion, humility is the strongest
attribute of a great leader. A great leader will be as kind to the waitress bringing them coffee as they are the Prime
Minister of a foreign nation. I've heard some pretty unflattering stories about some of the candidate's in this
election and how they treat people "behind the scenes." These stories do not come from disgruntled employee's...but
people who witnessed them firsthand. That is not a humble leader...again, in my opinion.
Well, there you
have it folks...Reydon's thought's on the upcoming election! I'm sure it will "stop the presses,"
but if not...at least I answered some common questions I get from people who know me and respect me.
I love you
"HMM...WHO SHOULD I VOTE FOR?"
12:19 am cst
As a Pastor and Counselor I'm often asked for advice concerning a wide range of
issues. I realize that this is due to my influence and I'm humbled by that. I'm also very careful with
Due to my years of research and reading on various topics, I usually know a little bit about
most subjects and can usually offer at least a small amount of advice to assist the person. If I don't know the
answer to something, I'm certainly not afraid to say so.
However, some of the questions I get asked a
lot...and one's that (surprisingly) makes me pretty uncomfortable are about politics and candidates. The reason
for this discomfort, on my part, is that politics and religion are very important and serious issues with most people and
it's easy to offend them with your own views...so I try to stay out of that conversation as much as possible.
One of my objectives in life is to be as inoffensive as possible because offenses can be hurtful and I choose to be a healer,
not a source of pain.
Nevertheless, many people truly want to know what I think concerning the upcoming Presidential
elections and the current candidates. They also want to know my views on certain issues like: female President's,
Illegal Immigration, Race, the Economy and other issues that make the headlines.
With that being said, I feel like
I want to share my thoughts on some of these issues here in THE PASTOR'S JOURNAL for the sake of helping someone who might
be struggling with their own beliefs on these issues.
I will not, however, be endorsing any particular political
party or candidate...although they have each tirelessly sought my endorsement. (Just kidding about that).
My reason for that decision is simple. I believe that every American has the right and the ability to choose
a qualified candidate for themselves...based upon the information and "inner compass" that leads them. I don't
want to be guilty of using my influence in a way that is not proper...and I personally feel like, in this case, that would
not be proper.
I will say that my own vote comes down to the person whom I truly feel can lead this great Nation
the best, based upon my own research and "inner compass." It is also important to me that the candidate is
determined to be a leader for all Americans, not just for those in agreement or of their own Party. I'm also very
turned off by candidates who "sell their souls" to Special Interest Groups who finance their candidacy.
To me, this makes them a President of the Elite, (bought rather than elected), instead of being a President of the American
After my choice is made...I realize it's a gamble and might come back to haunt me later.
Such is life.
So...here are the questions I get asked alot...and my own humble thoughts on them:
a woman be a good President?" I think so...depending upon the woman. My mother raised five kids
and did a pretty good job of it. I've personally seen the power and leadership of a woman and have no doubt that
a qualified woman could lead this Nation. The Bible tells us that in God's kingdom there are no "males or females,
Jews or Greeks, Bond or Free, but all are One in Christ Jesus." This tells us that God looks beyond sex, race,
or social standing and that's good enough for me. Historically, Jesus also depended upon and allowed many women
to assist Him in His ministry. Again...it depends upon "who" the woman is. I don't think we should
elect anyone based simply upon their sex. That would be unwise.
"Should Race be an issue
in this campaign?" I personally think that Race should not play a role...or be an issue in any area
of life. The color of one's skin has very little to do with "who" they are and "what" they have
to offer...unless they themselves have made it an issue. If any person makes their Race an issue...I'd watch
out. It means they have mental and emotional baggage that would not help them in leadership...especially in a Nation
like ours, filled with several races.
"How do you feel about Illegal Immigration?"
As many of you know, I live in West Texas where our Hispanic population has grown enormously in the last 20 to 30 years.
I have many friends that are Hispanic and love them dearly...so, what I'm about to say has no reflection upon Race...please
believe me. My problem with Illegal Immigration is the word "illegal," regardless of where the Immigrant
comes from. It means that someone has broken the law in order to obtain something. I don't think illegal activity
is ever the right answer, regardless of the excuse. One could argue that people selling liquor during Prohibition were
just trying to make a better life for their families...but it was still illegal! Secondly, illegal practices almost
always result in the deaths of many. This was true during Prohibition and it's true of Illegal Immigration.
Many children and elderly die needlessly, trying to cross the desert into America. This is heartbreaking to me.
My understanding is that America has a policy of allowing Immigrants to enter our Country legally...so the answer is a simple
one. Enter legally...regardless of where you are entering from.
"Is a Candidate's Religion
Important?" Emphatically...yes! Why? Because a person's religion...or lack thereof...is
a bedrock of "who they are." While it's absolutely true that everyone has a right to believe or not believe
in the god of their choosing...as President...it matters. It matters because a person's beliefs serve as their "Inner
Compass," and will no doubt affect how they make decisions which affect all of us. Regardless of how loud they
proclaim that their religion doesn't matter...it matters. We need look no further in history than Adolf Hitler to
see that a person's belief system matters greatly when leading Nations.
"Does the Presidency
really matter?" Absolutely! It is a very important role in this Nation as history has recorded.
We must remember that the President we elect has the power to initiate Nuclear War, which would effectively end the human
race. That's how important the role is. The President plays a huge role in matters regarding the Economy,
National Security, the appointment of Judges and Foreign Relations. These issues affect all of us and so it is very
important that we elect the best person to meet these issues in a wise and equal way.
rely on the Media to inform us about the Candidates?" No. You don't have to be a rocket
scientist to realize that some media outlets are biased and therefore promote certain candidate's over others, based upon
that bias. It's hard to filter through all the pundits and their opinions to find the truth, but thankfully...the
Internet is a great place to research each candidate and come to a fairly accurate assessment of their beliefs and qualifications.
The mainstream media tends to think that the majority of Americans are illiterate and unable to think and make decisions for
themselves. They are wrong. Most American's have the ability to come to a learned and wise decision themselves
and don't need the "Experts" to decide for us.
"Can the Government keep us safe?"
My answer to that is...somewhat. All it takes however, is a 9/11 or a Hurricane Katrina to remind us that our government
is limited. I'm not a Christian, simply because I'm ignorant or disillusioned as some would claim. I learned
a long time ago that there are certain issues in life that demand a Higher Power than myself or government. It took
Christianity to remind me that a wise man builds his house upon a rock, while the foolish man builds his house upon the sand.
Interestingly, Oceanfront property is the highest priced property...go figure.
(Note: I try to keep these articles
fairly short, for the sake of your precious time. Therefore, I'll continue this article in a few days.)
I love you all,
RELATIONSHIP BARRIERS (PART 6)
2:27 am cst
The "Fruit of the Spirit" is: LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONG-SUFFERING, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH,
MEEKNESS AND TEMPERANCE.
This of course is a quotation from the Holy Bible, written by the Apostle Paul in the
5th chapter of Galatians. It defines the essential attributes of a wonderful, fulfilling and exciting relationship.
Imagine if everyone in the World lived by these fruits. This would truly be an incredible place filled with people of
In actuality...Paul is describing Jesus Christ with these attributes. Jesus demonstrates
all of these qualities throughout the Gospels.
The Churches in Galatia had begun to have serious problems because
false teachers had come in preaching various doctrines that were changing people's minds from the truth and causing great
division. The result was that "issues" were taking precedence over "relationships," destroying the
very essence of what Jesus had died to give them...the ability to love and be loved. Instead of a pure love that produced
joy and peace, they were suddenly at each other's throats. (Sounds like the problems that lots of Churches and families
This is one of the most dangerous barriers to healthy relationships...that is...becoming divided over
issues that steal our joy and our peace and can even steal our love for one another.
As a marriage counselor I've
seen so many relationships in serious trouble because "issues" began to take precedence over the "Fruit of
the Spirit." Disagreements over money, baby-sitting, house-cleaning and so on, have caused many people to
forget that they were once in love...where nothing else mattered as much as just being together.
are one's that embrace these "Fruits of the Spirit" as extremely valuable assets and will stop at nothing to
allow them to prevail over any issue.
Let's look at these "fruits" again, thinking about them in
terms of our most valued relationships.
Love. The Bible tells us that love covers a multitude of sins
and never fails. Imagine how powerful a relationship could be if sins were easily overlooked, because love simply covered
them. When we are not recognizing sins (faults or failures) in others...then issues that damage love do not have a chance
to take root.
This in turn produces peace. Peace is the result of feeling secure. When we know we're
loved, we never feel in danger of losing a relationship or being abandoned or rejected for something better or new.
Sadly, many people walk around on "egg-shells" in relationships because they fear being abandoned or ridiculed if
they make a simple (or big) mistake. There is no peace in these types of relationships and they are vulnerable to manipulation
and even cruelty.
Joy is also essential in great relationships. As you know, I spend a great deal of my time
trying to make people laugh. Joy is to life what a Spring Shower is to a thirsty desert. It restores life and
is so fulfilling. People who produce joy are such a pleasure to be around and have a powerful gift to lift others out
from under the tremendous burdens of life. Laughter is such a good medicine and can improve almost any situation.
It's no coincidence that Comedians are the most sought after...most well-paid entertainers on the Planet. People
are desperate to laugh!
Did Jesus have a sense of humor??? Oh yes! Remember when He turned the "Water
into Wine?" He used dirty bath water to do this...it was basically a practical joke between Him and the servants.
Seriously! While all the "righteous, relgious folks" were sipping this new and glorious wine...the servants
must have been laughing themselves silly. Joy is a dynamic quality for any relationship.
not giving up. As NASA says: "Failure is not an option!" There's not a one of us that doesn't
have problems that could be "picked on" if someone had a mind to. Longsuffering, however is willing to wait
as long as it takes for someone to become what they need to be. Besides, love means we care about someone because of
who they are...not how well they perform in life.
Gentleness and goodness are also essential ingredients for healthy
relationships. We live in a harsh world full of self-made critics who love to point out every fault and failure
around them. They drain people of their hope, their dreams, their joy and their peace. In other words...they are
rotten to the core. Although it may seem weak to be gentle and good in such a mean and cruel world...but if the truth
be told...there is only one way to overcome evil...good. That's Biblical. Therefore, if goodness has the power
to overcome evil, (when nothing else does), it is not weak at all.
Faith is also essential to healthy relationships
because faith is always positive. The opposite of faith is fear and fear is full of negative emotions and thoughts that
can ruin even the best relationships. In short...faith is the proper attitude for healthy relationships because it always
believes in the best.
Meekness is simply humility...something that is a rare commodity these days. Much too
often I witness relationships that have a dominant personality versus a submissive personality. This rarely results
in a happy union. Viewing others as equal is vital if we are to be in relationships that are full of respect.
Respect is always lost when someone feels belittled on the one hand...or "too good" for someone on the other.
Respect is a powerful tool in a relationship because it places the other person before ourselves, while not bowing to manipulation
Finally...there is temperance. Temperance means "self-control." Many relationships
suffer greatly because one or both people have little or no self-control. I'm trying...for example...to teach my
two sons that it is NOT ALRIGHT to say whatever is on their mind...simply because it's on their mind. Too often
people have no control over their thoughts and therefore say whatever they think...without thinking! The result is hurt
feelings, damaged emotions and therefore damaged relationships.
Self-control is also essential in area's
of finance, work ethic and so forth.
My prayer is that as we embrace these "Fruits of the Spirit" as
our tools for healthy relationships, it will help us to never focus on issues above our love, joy or peace. If we can
get these tools working for us...imagine how wonderful our future relationships will be!
I love you all,