Rise and Rise Again

Rise and rise again until lambs become lions.

I first heard this quote in Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe, a few years back and love what it symbolized.

It symbolizes perseverance, an indomitable spirit, a drive to succeed.

The one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Matthew 24:13

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

If we endure,
    we will also reign with him.

2 Timothy 2:12

It provides an insight into how we are to be on this Earth (it is truly amazing how Hollywood unknowingly spreads Christ’s Truth for Him).  Christ is our shepherd, but he is also our brother before God once we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.  Before we were saved, we needed to be tended to cared for like sheep.  We were foolish, stupid creatures who were more apt to harm ourselves in our endeavors.  After we are saved, we have been set free of our past as sheep.  We are called to be lions.  What better way to further Christ’s kingdom, not as sheep, but as lions – as kings.

This is what we were made to be – kings.  We were made in the image of God, the King.  Mankind was given dominion over the Earth, as kings and stewards, to care for it.

In heraldry, lambs symbolize gentleness.  They are harmless pack animals.  The common word to use here would be meek in it’s common understanding of being gentle, quiet, and easily imposed upon.

Contrast that with the lion.  In heraldry, lions symbolized bravery, valor, strength, and royalty.  Royalty – as in kingship.

Is that not what Christ calls us to do daily?  Lay down our submissive gentle past and claim the rightful place in His kingdom, as co-heirs and kings alongside The King of Kings?

Rise and rise again until lambs become lions.

 

 

 

 

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Abuse of Powers

When the US Constitution was adopted, it was with the understanding that a number of amendments would immediately be proposed, passed, and given to the states to approve in order to further enshrine a number of commonly understood rights and privileges of the individual citizens and of the states themselves. Very important point to remember in this is that the amendments themselves did not bestow any of these rights as written or understood today or even then.  The amendments handcuffed the government in light of them and should serve as a constant reminder where the true power lies in this country – with you and I, as individual actors and citizens, empowered by an Almighty God, not by the whims of a beneficent government.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

These rights were not passed to protect the citizen of that day from governmental encroachment, but to clarify for future generations what rights were held sacrosanct by the founders of this great nation.  They collectively requested a number of enumerated rights by codified to prevent any confusion in the future.  What is most interesting to this former political science student is how horribly they have been eroded.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  1. Social media is monitored and data-mined in order to gather intelligence.  This is done without a warrant, nor aimed specifically at a single terrorist/criminal, but rather society as an whole.
  2. Statements made freely and openly can lead to your arrest for political speech.
  3. The concept of separation of church and state is not found in this text, but it is enforced by legislative and judicial fiat as the law of the land.
  4. Peaceful assembly and collective freedom of speech/protest has been banned.
  5. The government has taken steps to censor the media through regulatory means, through threat of arrest, imprisonment, and fine, and through veto power over story publication.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  1. I have written a great deal about this particular amendment because of how important I hold it (above the rest as it is the guarantor of liberty and freedom).  Any attempts by the government to limit our rights in this regard (assault weapons bans, carry bans, ammunition bans, excessive fees/taxes, etc) I see as violations of the ending clause.  Thankfully, the courts are finally seeing cases that expose many of the more excessive laws for what they are… unconstitutional and in gross violation of the letter of the law as well as the intent of it.

Amendment III
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

  1. I’ll admit I had to dig for this one all the way back to World War Two.  On this amendment, the government’s track record is significantly better than the rest.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  1. Strip searches for minor infractions are permitted.
  2. Sense-enhancing search methods are permitted without more than an anonymous tip.
  3. Wireless communications are monitored by law enforcement and archived indefinitely.
  4. Government unmanned aerial vehicles (commonly called drones) are permitted to gather intelligence domestically and to monitor everyone in their general area in the interests of public safety.
  5. In order to use commercial transportation, you must consent to a search of your person (either through electronic means or physical search). More so, these sorts of intrusions are not limited to air travel, but have appeared and used in train stations, bus stations, and interstate highways.  And don’t bother trying to opt out or protest how thing are being handled or you could end up with a criminal record or being threatened by an entire agency of the government.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

  1. The 2012 NDAA gave the President the authority to detain American citizens without due process. “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield,” (ACLU).
  2. Held without charge and temporarily committed in a psychiatric facility.  He was released with no charges filed upon a judge’s order.
  3. People can now be compelled to provide passwords/passkeys to access your personal computer(s) in order to aide the prosecution of a crime in gathering evidence against you.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

  1. This is one of the amendments where I had a great deal of difficulty finding a concrete violation.  The track record on this one appears to be okay at least over the last few years.  The indefinite detentions in the NDAA fall under a violation of the 5th and 6th in my mind.

Amendment VII
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

  1. Again, concrete examples are hard to find.

Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

  1. The first 8th amendment case to reach the Supreme Court was decided in 1998.  There is little definition of excessive bails and fines so your definition of each may differ from mine.

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

  1. Vague and numerous examples abound.  I take this as more of a “don’t read into the language too much because it means what it says in plain language.”

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  1. Rainwater collection mandates by the EPA.
  2. Arizona’s immigration controls halted by the court.
  3. Obamacare, and all other nonenumerated departments, bureaus, and offices of the federal government.

The simple fact is that these collections of violations and observations are just a small fraction of the number of probable violations in existence or practice today.  My point in writing this is to point out the variety of violations that are happening all around us as we live our lives.  Some of them are for issues I care about, some aren’t, but for me to stand on my principles and demand Constitutional government, it must be an all or nothing stance.

This is why we need to think harder about child safety away from home. 

Crazy things happen everywhere.  What you think is safety is an illusion.  It is a veneer on the savage nature of this world and as men it is our job to see through that veneer for what it is and demand rational steps taken to prevent harm for those most precious to us.

I don’t want to offer solutions without knowing the whole story here as we don’t know who the shooter is or what preceded the incident.

Step number one – allow willing bus drivers to carry concealed handguns for their defense and for the defense of the children aboard.  The same logic applies to willing teachers, administrators, daycare workers, church volunteers, etc…

Once we can admit that evil exists in the world, we must deal with it, and remember, the police are second responders.

Men of courage act, they do not wait for permission.

 

Arrows

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.

Psalm 127:4-5

He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.

2 Samuel 22:15

arrow2

Children are like arrows.  Mine are young right now, but one day I will send them out into the world to do battle with it.  Will they be well-made – hewn from stout wood?  Bound strongly and tempered to flex, but not break?  Will I fletch them correctly to guide them on their flight?  Will their sharpened warheads pierce the evil they are sure to encounter?

Why We Have Guns

Why would politicians attempt to take away arms and surround themselves with armies of guards? To protect themselves against the crazy people, who have no fear for their lives and usually make it through, or to protect themselves against the sane people, who hope to keep their liberty and their lives? Image how much better our country would be if politicians still had to worry about getting shot, in addition to loosing elections, every time they consider a new flaming hoop for us to jump through; they might not make the hoop.”

Why We Have Guns.

 

 

Quotes of the Day: January 25

If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.

John Piper

Radical obedience to Christ is not easy… It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.

David Platt

Usurpation

“…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…”

Those words were penned by Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, nearly two-hundred and fifty years ago.

Today, according to The Hill, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) will introduce a new assault weapons ban bill.

I didn’t need to read much before I balked.

The bill will exempt firearms used for hunting and will grandfather in guns and magazines owned before the law’s potential enactment. However, the grandfathered weapons will be logged in a national registry.

Registration inevitably precedes confiscation.

Ready to cross that Rubicon Senator?

Warrior

What do you fight for?  What is so important to you that you would stand up, take arms and go to war?  That you would kill and destroy to preserve and protect it?  What is so important to you that you would give your life?  

Is it your family?

Is it your home?

Your way of life?

Your liberties and freedoms?

The growing clamor for the jackboot of tyranny in the form of gun control, assault weapons bans, magazine limitations, etc does not seem to be abating as it has in the past.  Sandy Hook changed something and it is still unclear what, but my personal theory is that it has emboldened the fools in love with centralized government to take a shot at your liberty.

But they just want to ban certain kinds of guns for the sake of our children.

I hate that argument because it is so short-sighted and foolish.  Let’s say you’re right and that’s what they want to do – what ELSE are you willing to surrender then for the sake of our children?  Are you willing to surrender freedom of the press because political turmoil and debate on the airwaves can confuse their adolescent minds?  Are you willing to accept inspections of your home to ensure that you have all of your toxic cleaning chemicals locked up and away from them?  Are you willing to submit to random roadblocks on the highways to search for drunk drivers, drugs, guns, kidnappers, thieves, and other wanted criminals as a way of life because it’s “for the kids?”

People in general get so foolish when they stop THINKING and they start FEELING because it’s “for the kids.”

Have you considered that even if the motives of those that want to pass these bans today are benign, that someone in the near future may follow with sinister motives?

Do you really believe that kindly asking a tyrant to stop being a tyrant really will work?

The only way to stop a tyrant is to strap on the tools of a warrior.  The founders of this country understood this.  The writers of the Magna Carta understood this.  Mao Tse Tsung understood this.  Gandhi understood this.  Jesus Christ Himself understood this when He spoke to the apostles Peter, John, Matthew, Judas Iscariot, and all the rest and instructed them to not only prepare for the journey, but to procure ARMS.  I have written recently, and it is well-understood, that everything He spoke had multiple meanings, but the crystal clear one on the surface was never to be forgotten.  He didn’t suggest that they procure arms, he commanded them to sell their outer garment and walk around effectively in their underwear in order to procure a means of defense.

Tyranny is upon us.  Should Congress or the President make an attempt at further gun control (and any of it would be unconstituional based on a first-grader’s reading of the second amendment, let alone a scholarly review of it as it is written in plain language) there are elements throughout society that are saying that enough is enough.

The Utah Sheriff’s Association, various county sheriffs from states ranging from Texas, Missouri, and Oregon, Oathkeeper groups, individuals within the military and police ranks, honored veterans, and run of the mill civilians like myself.

The struggle has been clearly defined.  Any attack on any of our free-born rights as men, those of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is an attack on all of our rights.  By threatening to take away our means to secure and defend those rights or to demonize them in this way only serves to clarify the intent of such a move as removing the tools and weapons which defend liberty will place EVERY OTHER RIGHT ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK.

The power-hungry and misguided in society fail to understand that arms, weapons of war held by the people as the chief safeguard of the hard-fought rights and liberties we now enjoy, is the RUBICON.  There can be no compromise with the tyrants once the ability to back up political will with force of arms is denied.  There is no middle ground.  There is no compromise that true patriots can accept.

In his inaugural address, the President said “we cannot afford to mistake absolutism for principle.”  For once, the man is right.  It is a fool that mistakes absolutism for principle.  As patriots, we must stand unified and not just shout, but ensure that we are not only heard, but observed standing ready to support our assertions that the Rubicon will not be crossed in order to prevent it from BEING crossed.

We must make it crystal clear to those in office that we are not just standing on principle, but believe firmly in the God-inspired words inked on that parchment from over two-hundred years ago and that the rights defined within are not within the power of government to constrain EVER, that they are God-given and they encroach upon those rights at the risk of calamity.

It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active.  The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.

John Philpot Curran

Eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.

Andrew Jackson

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.

Edmund Burke

The greatest tyrannies are always perpetuated in the name of the noblest causes.

Thomas Paine

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.  The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.  The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

John Stuart Mill

“Over the last fifty years, with only one single exception (Gabby Giffords), every single mass shooting event with more than four casualties has taken place in a place where guns were supposedly not allowed.”

Monster Hunter Nation

I didn’t want to post about this, because frankly, it is exhausting. I’ve been having this exact same argument for my entire adult life. It is not an exaggeration when I say that I know pretty much exactly every single thing an anti-gun person can say. I’ve heard it over and over, the same old tired stuff, trotted out every single time there is a tragedy on the news that can be milked. Yet, I got sucked in, and I’ve spent the last few days arguing with people who either mean well but are uninformed about gun laws and how guns actually work (who I don’t mind at all), or the willfully ignorant (who I do mind), or the obnoxiously stupid who are completely incapable of any critical thinking deeper than a Facebook meme (them, I can’t stand).

Today’s blog post is going to be aimed at the first group…

View original post 10,274 more words

Walk by the Light

Have you ever tried to navigate your house when it is pitch black inside?  I have and am able to do so by memory if I go slow enough, but I have grown reluctant since my children have begun to leave toys out.  Have you ever stepped on a die-cast car in bare feet?  Even if you don’t fall to the ground and hurt yourself that way, you stand a good chance of hurting your foot just from the little sharp corners pricking and cutting into your skin.  Imagine trying to move through your darkened house in a hurry – perhaps you heard the crash of glass, or the scream of one of your children.

In my haste, I try to rely on my memory, my good low light vision and my senses to keep me safe, but often find myself bumping into things, stepping on things that I had either failed to notice on the ground or had forgotten, or otherwise misjudging distances.  It is not that I don’t have flashlights or the ability to turn on the room lights or hall lights in order to see better, it’s that I choose not to do so either as a courtesy to my wife who is still asleep or to avoid waking up my other son.

There’s something else there as well though.  It’s a reliance on my own senses and recollection.  It’s an innate confidence that I can handle whatever I come across even in the dark of night.   It is in the many times I have slammed my head into something in the dark, stepped on a toy car, or kicked a door frame and broken a toe as I tried to pass through it that I have come to realize how foolish I am for trying to navigate the dark on my own.

Light and dark as an interplay within the Bible have been exhaustively examined.  My reliance on myself in navigating my house is a great example of how easy it is for us to trip up in life.  In the past, I have tried to navigate by faith, not in the Light, but in my own human senses and memory.  It would be much easier and less painful if I just reached over and grabbed my flashlight before I took the first step.

light-in-the-dark

The dark can be a frightening thing without a way to guide you through it.  It hides, conceals, dulls the senses in one aspect while elevating others to the point of hysteria even.  The imagination runs wild with all of the possibilities that can happen under cover of night.  It is no wonder to me that night is used as the metaphor for evil in the Bible as evil is easily recognized when exposed to the Light, but when darkness falls, it becomes much harder.  Psychologically, we all fear the night at some level and for good reason, danger lurks in the shadows at every turn waiting to trip us up and ruin us.

What are we to do?

Firstly, have faith in the Light of Christ.  Second, own the night.

So, a question to ponder – how can we come to own the night?

Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.

John 11:9-10

You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.

John 12:35-36

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

John 12:46

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:5

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.

Isaiah 9:2

God has delivered me from going down to the pit,
    and I shall live to enjoy the light of life.

Job 33:28

The sun will no more be your light by day,
    nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
    and your God will be your glory.

Isaiah 60:19

Put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Romans 13:12

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

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