Daily Archives: November 27, 2011

Excerpt from “What Really Ails America” By William J. Bennett

     There are things we need to realize as citizens of what has always been called the greatest country on earth.  The freedoms we enjoy have been fought for, and others have paid a price for them.  With freedom comes responsibility.  We have a responsibility to use our freedom to build, to make better, to improve, and to help and love people around us.  Our country is great because our people are great, but if our great people do not stand up for what they believe in; if they’re not willing to fight for what’s right, then our great people have ceased to be great, and our country will cease to be great.  You have a question to answer.  Will you be great?  Will you stand for what you believe in?  Will you fight for what’s right? 
     We can no longer afford to be a people who leave it to others to do what we should do ourselves.  You can make a difference.  You have the ability to touch someone with your life.  You can teach, You can inform, You can help, You can love.  You have no excuse.  Will you make the choice to be great?
     We must give voice, hands, and feet to our faith, to our beliefs, to our values every day that we live.  God does not call His people to stand aside, to lay down, to give way to evil without so much as a by your leave, and if you think He does then you had better ask yourself whether you truly know Him or not. 
     The following is an excerpt from a speech that really shows where our country is at.  A line in the sand is being drawn, and our country (Our Great Country) hangs in the balance.  Which side of that line are you going to be on?

Last year I compiled the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, a statistical portrait of American behavioral trends of the past three decades. Among the findings: Since 1960, while the gross domestic product has nearly tripled, violent crime has increased at least 560%. Divorces have more than doubled. The percentage of children in single-parent homes had tripled. And by the end of the decade 40% of all American births and 80% of minority births will occur out of wedlock. These are not good things to get used to.

In 1940 teachers identified the top problems in America’s schools as: Talking out of turn, chewing gum, making noise and running in the hall. In 1990, teachers listed drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, suicide, rape and assault. These are not good things to get used to, either.

There is a coarseness, a callousness and a cynicism to our era. The worst of it has to do with our children. Our culture seems almost dedicated to the corruption of the young. We have become inured to the cultural rot that is setting in. People are losing their capacity for shock, disgust and outrage…

The ancients called our problem acedia, an aversion to spiritual things and an undue concern for the external and the worldly. Acedia also is the seventh capital sin–sloth–but it does not mean mere laziness. The slothful heart is stepped in the worldly and carnal, hates the spiritual and wants to be free of its demands.

When the novelist Walker Percy was asked what concerned him most about America’s future, he answered, “Probably the fear of seeing America, with all its great strength and beauty and freedom…gradually subside into decay through default and be defeated, not by the communist movement, but from within, from weariness, boredom, cynicism, greed and in the end helplessness before its great problems.”

I realize this is a tough indictment. If my diagnosis is wrong, then why, amid our economic prosperity and military security, do almost 70% of the public say we are off track? I submit that only when we turn to the right things–enduring, noble, spiritual things–will life get better.

Most important, we must return religion to its proper place. Religion provides us with moral bearings, and the solution to our chief problem of spiritual impoverishment depends on spiritual renewal. The surrendering of strong beliefs, in our private and public lives, has demoralized society.

Today, much of society ridicules and mocks those who are serious about their faith. America’s only respectable form of bigotry is bigotry against religious people. And the only reason for hatred of religion is that it forces us to confront matters many would prefer to ignore.

Today we must carry on a new struggle for the country we love. We must push hard against an age that is pushing hard against us. If we have full employment and greater economic growth–if we have cities of gold and alabaster–but our children have not learned how to walk in goodness, justice and mercy, then the American experiment, no matter how gilded, will have failed.

Do not surrender. Get mad. Get in the fight.

Excerpts from What Really Ails America, condensed from a speech by William J. Bennett, delivered December 7, 1993 at the Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C., reprinted in Reader’s Digest, April, 1994.

“The Versatile Blogger” Award

    I want to thank Chooksta for the shout out about my blog.  I’m humbled and deeply honored by her thinking of me.  I started my blog as just a way to deal with my life.  To deal with pain, to deal with too much time on my hands, to give me something to focus on, and to use as an outlet to share my love for Christ.  I never really thought that someone might actually read it, so it’s been a very nice surprise that anyone actually would.

The rules of  “The Versatile Blogger” award are:

  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers.
  2. Inform the bloggers of their nomination.
  3. Share 7 random things about yourself.
  4. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  5. Add the “Versatile Blogger” award picture on your post.

7 random things about me:

  1. I don’t like movies or t.v. shows that use foul language and have nudity in them.
  2. I’ve watched every episode of Mash at least twice.
  3. “Shane” and “The Shawshank Redemption” are two of my favorite movies.
  4. I’ve read every single Louis L”Amour western he’s written.
  5. Watch NFL football
  6. Teach a Sunday School class
  7. Love Jesus Christ, the Bible, my wife and daughter more than anything else.

Twelve is the best I can do so my Nominations are:

  1. fromtheheartof http://throughhimwithhiminhim.wordpress.com/
  2. Drusilla Mott http://drusillamott/
  3. Megan http://foreverbeautiful.wordpress.com/
  4. joycedevivre http://joycedevivre.wordpress.com/
  5. Matt http://mattsmonthlymusings.wordpress.com/
  6. Fi (Wonderfully Wired Mum) http://wonderfullywired.wordpress.com/
  7. Deborah http://prayzhimtoday.wordpress.com/
  8. the arrested son http://christianongtangco.wordpress.com/
  9. stephaniemadrid http://stephaniemadrid.wordpress.com/
  10. fforhire http://fforhire.wordpress.com/
  11. RiverUnderWater http://riverunderwater.wordpress.com/
  12. stayleanandbuilt http://stayleanandbuilt.wordpress.com/

Belief in Action (Source Unknown)

     The following is something all of us should think about.  When do our beliefs begin to make a difference? 

The world is full of nominal Christians–but how many are Christians in deed? The Bible makes it clear that mere belief is not enough.

A United States Senator recently quoted a very moving, yet indicting poem, “Listen Christian!” (by Bob Rowland), which reads as follows:

I was hungry,
and you formed a humanities club
and discussed my hunger.
Thank you.
I was imprisoned
and you crept off quietly
to your chapel in the cellar
and prayed for my release.
I was naked
and in your mind
you debated the morality of
my appearance.
I was sick
and you knelt
and thanked God
for your health.
I was homeless
and you preached to me
about the spiritual shelter
of the love of God.
I was lonely
and you left me alone
to pray for me.
Christian,
you seem so holy;
so close to God.
But I am still very hungry,
and lonely,
and cold . . .

This poignant poem is an obvious modification of the words of Jesus Himself as recorded in Matthew 25:35, 36: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me.”

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

     This is what we have in Jesus.  A lively hope that cannot fail.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

1 Peter 1:3

TO be sensible of this amazing power in the soul is to be born again-to be raised from the grave of corruption-to live on earth a heavenly, a resurrection-life-to have the heart daily ascending in the sweet incense of love and prayer and praise, where its risen Treasure is. It possesses, too, a most comforting power. What but this sustained the disciples in the early struggles of Christianity, amid the storms of persecution, which else had swept them from the earth? They felt that their Master was alive. They needed no external proof of the fact. They possessed in their souls God’s witness. The truth authenticated itself. The three days of His entombment were to them days of sadness, desertion, and gloom. Their sun had set in darkness and in blood, and with it every ray of hope had vanished. All they loved, or cared to live for, had descended to the grave. They had now no arm to strengthen them in their weakness, no bosom to sympathize with them in sorrow, no eye to which they could unveil each hidden thought and struggling emotion. But the resurrection of their Lord was the resurrection of all their buried joys. They now traveled to him as to a living Savior, conscious of a power new-born within them, the power of their Lord’s resurrection. “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” But is this truth less vivifying and precious to us? Has it lost anything of its vitality to quicken, or its power to soothe? Oh, no! truth is eternal and immutable. Years impair not its strength, circumstances change not its character. The same truths which distilled as dew from the lips of Moses, which awoke the seraphic lyre of David, which winged the heaven-soaring spirit of Isaiah, which inspired the manly eloquence of Paul, which floated in visions of sublimity before the eye of John, and which in all ages have fed, animated, and sanctified the people of God, guiding their counsels, soothing their sorrows, and animating their hopes, still are vital and potent in the chequered experiences of the saints, hastening to swell the cloud of witnesses to their divinity and their might. Of such is the doctrine of Christ’s resurrection. Oh, what consolation flows to the Church of God from the truth of a living Savior-a Savior alive to know and to heal our sorrows-to inspire and sanctify our joys-to sympathize with and supply our need! Alive to every cloud that shades the mind, to every cross that chafes the spirit, to every grief that saddens the heart, to every evil that threatens our safety or imperils our happiness! What power, too, do the promises of the gospel derive from this truth! When Jesus speaks by these promises, we feel that there is life and spirit in His word, for it is the spoken word of the living Savior. And when He invites us to Himself for rest, and bids us look to His cross for peace, and asks us to deposit our burdens at His feet, and drink the words that flow from His lips, we feel a living influence stealing over the soul, inspiriting and soothing as that of which the trembling evangelist was conscious, when the glorified Savior gently laid His right hand upon him, and said, “Fear not: I am the first and last: I am he that lives, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Is Jesus alive? Then let what else die, our life, with all its supports, consolations, and hopes, is secure in Him. “Because I live, you shall live also.” A living spring is He. Seasons vary, circumstances change, feelings fluctuate, friendships cool, friends die, but Christ is ever the same. Oh, the blessedness of dealing with a risen, a living Redeemer! We take our needs to Him-they are instantly supplied. We take our sins to Him-they are immediately pardoned. We take our griefs to Him-they are in a moment assuaged.