Clear the Swamp

My community used to be part of the Great Black Swamp.  Early settlers avoided this area because it was uninhabitable. Many of us living in this community had ancestors that painstakingly cleared that swamp to make our community habitable. 

Today, we are faced with a swamp of a different nature.  As a psychologist and mental health counselor, I have frequently observed that what appear to be normal, nice people, when elected to public office, become power hungry and corrupt.  As Lord Acton famously stated, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Knowing what I know about human nature, this should not surprise me.  Yet it almost always still does. 

As voters, we often do what we think to be our duty by casting our vote on election day.  We then leave our elected officials to their own devices.  This creates a local swamp, making our community uninhabitable again.  That swamp begins to make decisions for itself and not for we the people.  That swamp can only be made habitable again when the voting public holds their elected officials accountable. 

It is time we started attending the meetings of our public officials.  If we can’t attend meetings, we need to start reading the meeting minutes.  We need to start asking our elected officials questions, sometimes tough questions.  We need to demand transparency. We need to find out what goes on behind the scenes.  What are their political and social connections, and why are those connections important?  What causes are they involved in?  We need to share what we discover with others. 

Our ancestors cleared a physical swamp.  We need to clear a political swamp.  It’s up to us.  It won’t get cleared up on its own.  We have to become informed and invested in the process beyond just a day in May and a day in November.  We need to hold our elected officials accountable for their decisions every day.  It’s time to make our community habitable again.  Tap into the strength of your ancestors.  Clear the swamp. 

Not Randomly Assigned at Birth

To Lilly, A Medicine Company, who has a inaccurate commercial claiming our bodies were randomly assigned at birth.  We were NOT randomly assigned bodies at birth.  God designed us to be who we are before we were born.  We are not here by chance.  God gave us our bodies on purpose, for a purpose. 

Psalm 139 (New International Version)

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

A Tale of Two Families

Nearly a year ago, entire people groups throughout the world experienced their governments telling them they could not leave their homes except for essentials.  Almost immediately, some saw that this was a huge power grab and began to fight back.  Others cowered in fear.  Welcome to the tale of two such families in the United States.

Initially, no one knew what to expect when the panic ensued.  Both the Gratis family and the Aislar family thought the government’s information about a deadly pandemic to be forthright and honest.  However, when “two weeks to stop the spread” did not pan out and everyone was being bombarded with fear narratives that did not seem logical or grounded in reality, the Gratis family began to question things.  Never before had the country experienced such intense government restriction.  The numbers did not seem to add up.  The information being disseminated kept changing, and it was discovered that what was used to cause panic in everyone were just projections and not reality.  This did not make sense.  Members of the Gratis family began extensive research into what was happening, and what they found revealed nothing but lies, smoke and mirrors, being regurgitated by the government.  It was a well-scripted narrative.

The Aislar family hung on every word the government said.  They hunkered down in their home.  Certainly, if the government was telling them how horrific it was going to be, it must be true!  There was no reason to question the government.  After all, the government is there to protect you, right?

The entire country was told not to celebrate Easter.  Although spring was coming, they were told to stay inside.  They were told to restrict their movement.  Businesses were shuddered.  Everything was shut down.  Life as they knew it ended.  They were told, and even often forbid, to see treasured loved ones.  They were warned not to be the one who caused grandma to die from a deadly virus.  Moving into the summer, they were told not to engage in athletic events, not to celebrate Independence day, and not to have weddings or graduation parties.  More restrictions followed as time passed.  No family gatherings, no holiday celebrations, no church.  Totalitarian reigns became the norm for many governors as entire state legislatures became impotent. 

The Aislar family bought it all hook, line, and sinker.  They completely avoided any person that was not in their immediate family.  They even avoided seeing their children, grandchildren, and other loved ones.  They avoided public places.  They isolated as they were told.  Family ties appeared all but severed.  Major life events were avoided or ignored.  After all, Grandma did not want to die of the deadly virus. 

The Gratis family was quite the opposite.  Grandma and Grandpa spent time with their children and grandchildren.  Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas were celebrated in grand style.  Not a life moment was missed.  In fact, because everything had been cut off and shut down, the family was able to spend a lot more quality time together in person.  Relationships grew and strengthened.  Memories were made.  Life was lived.  Not a moment was missed.

Here we are more than a year later.  Both the Aislar family and the Gratis family have not lost a single loved one to the virus.  Sure, most of them have had the virus, but all of them have recovered.  The virus did not turn out to be the monster the government had made of it and continues to make of it.  The only difference is that the Aislar family lost an entire year of their life while the Gratis family did not.  The Aislar family missed major life celebrations and events.   They missed spending time with their loved ones.  They missed seeing the smiles and experiencing the hugs of grandchildren.  An entire year of family…vanished. 

The Gratis family did not miss a thing. 

I ask the Aislar family, was it worth it?  Was it worth not living your life to continue to have life?  Was it worth living in fear and isolating yourself to miss out on an entire year of your family’s lives?  Yes, you may say, “But I’m still alive.”  So is the Gratis family, and they actually continued to live their lives.  They continued to make memories and spend time in the presence of their loved ones.  They continued to live, love, and laugh with their children and grandchildren in person and close enough for hugs. 

Many people have been played the fool by their government.  Many people have lost an entire year of living…I mean really living…because they bought into the fear.  Looking back over the past year, knowing what we know now, was it worth it? 

Isolated Panic

Just over a year ago, the lockdowns around the world began.  Just over a year ago, fear became the new normal.  Just over a year ago, a state of isolated panic ensued.  Isolated panic is just about the worst kind of panic one can experience.  In isolated panic, there are no voices of reason to combat the irrational thoughts inside one’s head. 

The forced isolation was not an accident.  There is no better way to train people’s brains to live in fear than to keep people from communicating with one another.  When there are no dissenting voices to be heard, there is only compliance.  As we see now, the lockdowns were just the start of a progressive cycle of shutting off voices of reason.   

The only way to combat the narrative is to be a voice of reason.  Come out of your isolation and speak out.  Has what you fear would happen to you happened?  Are you still alive to read these words?  Has the devastation been as vast as they claimed it would be?  Was it worth not being around your family for a year to be in the exact same place living in the exact same fear of something that either never happened or happened and you survived it? 

Stop giving in to the fear.  Fear is a liar.  Fear is used to control you, and it has worked marvelously. 

Come out of your isolated panic and live.      

The Lie Device

“I know the mask doesn’t work, but I will wear it anyway because I care.  I want others to feel safe.  I am trying to be nice.”

Is it caring to lie?

Is it right to give others a false sense of security?

Is it nice to propagate fear? 

I’m sorry.  I don’t believe the hype that wearing a mask is caring about others.  If you have done your research, and you understand what the real science says, it is nothing more than being completely and utterly deceitful to claim to wear a mask for others.  I’m not buying it. 

You are doing it for yourself. 

You are doing it because you are afraid of what others are going to think about you if you don’t wear a mask.

You are doing it because you are afraid of getting into trouble for not being compliant. 

You are wearing it for you because you care about what other people think of you.

It’s easier to hide under the mask. 

Quit lying to others.  Take the lie device off and speak the truth with your bare face. 

Masks: The Gateway

For those of you who think that it’s the considerate thing to do to wear a mask so you can protect other people’s health, I have a thought. 

I’m pretty stressed out most of the time because I have to work to support my family.  The CDC recommends that it is important to reduce stress to reduce the risk of serious physical and emotional problems.  In fact, I think my high blood pressure is related to my work stress, so if I continue on working, I might just have a heart attack, stroke, or even keel over dead.  So I think the best thing for me to do is to stop working.  However, in order for me to be able to do that, I need all these wonderful people who are willing to wear a mask out of consideration for the health of others, to take my health in this circumstance into consideration.  Therefore, I am asking that in consideration of my health—possibly even my life—that you forward a portion of your income to me.  Cash and checks are both acceptable.  After all, it’s the considerate thing to do!  Better yet, maybe the government should just mandate that those who work should send their money to those who can’t because it might be bad for their health and cause spikes in hospitalization or even deaths.  That way everyone is treated equally.  I mean, one size really does fit all, right?

Wait, you say?  That’s socialism?  Now you get why so many of us are concerned that mask mandates are the gateway to make socialism the new normal.  If they can get you to accept something small…social distancing; lockdowns to flatten the curve; wear a mask for four to six weeks to slow the spread; wear a mask while walking to your table in a restaurant but not while you’re at the table; wear a mask indefinitely because nothing is safe from the monster virus; here, take this questionable vaccination that did not go through lengthy testing processes for a virus that 99% of people survive; in order to socialize, you must have a vaccination card…then they know they got you hook, line, and sinker for the bigger things.   

Out of consideration for others, why don’t you not wear a mask to show them that you will not accept socialism?   They are watching to see how far you’ll go…with how much you will comply.  Now is the time to put the mask down before we lose everything!

Fear: Easier than Truth

Someday, you’re going to wake up and realize you’ve been duped.  You have believe the lies. It will be a hard pill to swallow.  No one likes to be lied to or played the fool.  Unfortunately, you won’t know what to do about it.  It will be too late.  You will realize what we’ve been warning you about all along has been true, yet you were too busy living in fear to believe it.  Somehow living in fear was easier than accepting the truth. 

But it’s too late.

Too many things have been taken away from you now.  People you love needlessly died because the almighty dollar was more important to those in charge.  They manipulated the data.  They spread propaganda.  You accepted what they said without question.  Critical thinking was overtaken by the fear and panic they intentionally invoked in you.  Because you were afraid, you believed what they told you.  You enabled them.  You complied.

And now your freedoms are gone.  You may not fully realize it yet, but they have been obliterated. 

It would have been wiser to ask questions.  It would have been wiser to consider what the people around you had been warning you about.  But you were told to fear them too.  And fear is the antithesis of truth and seeking truth. 

Now it’s too late.  You let fear rule you…misplaced fear.  You let fear snare you.  You let fear be your guide…and now we shall all suffer for it. 

A Prayer for America in Her Hour of Greatest Need

Dear Lord, We humbly ask for your intercession for our country.  Evil has arisen and is attacking the freedoms we hold dear in this country.  This evil seems insurmountable. Only you can save us! I pray that you “uncover the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light” (Job 12:22).  Lord, please act because your laws have been broken (Psalm 119:126).  The wicked have perverted justice in our country.  They have accepted bribes.  They have suppressed the truth by their wickedness (Romans 1:18). You hate robbery and wrong but love justice, O Lord (Isaiah 61:8).  Repay the wicked according to their deeds (Isaiah 59:18).  “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).  Let what is hidden be revealed in time to make a difference to preserve America and restore this nation to its Christian roots.  Open the eyes of those who have been blinded, so they will see the truth and act upon it.  Please do not forsake your children who call humbly upon you to let truth be revealed and justice be done.  We are crying to You for help.  Please hear and deliver us out of all our troubles.  Thank you for being near to the brokenhearted and saving the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:17-18).   “To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 16:27).

Determine to be free!

Freedom.  Liberty.  These are words you are familiar with.  You may use them in conversation.  You may even say you believe in the ideas represented by these words.  But do you really know what they mean?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines freedom as “the quality or state of being free: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action; liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another.”  Liberty is also defined as “the quality or state of being free: the power to do as one pleases; freedom from physical restraint; freedom from arbitrary or despotic control; the power of choice.  Thomas Paine (1792, Plan of a Declaration of Rights) famously stated, “Liberty is the power to do everything that does not interfere with the rights of others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of every individual has no limits save those that assure to other members of society the enjoyment of the same rights.”

You see: liberty and freedom go hand in hand.  They are synonyms. 

In the United States of America, we have enjoyed a level of freedom.  Our Founding Fathers established a government rooted in Biblical principles, designed to enable its citizens to chose or act without restraint by the government within reason.  I say “within reason” because boundaries were also established by nature of laws designed to uphold the basic principles of the Ten Commandments.  You see, you cannot have true freedom without having justice.  And you cannot understand justice without God’s moral law.  The Founders understood this, and they established a government designed to elicit the most possible opportunities for freedom that might exist based on an understanding of God’s law and God’s purpose for government.  John Adams said our right to freedom was derived from “our Maker”. 

Scripture says that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17 English Standard Version).  The people of the United States used to understand this principle.  Freedom comes from God.  Freedom is a gift of God (cf. Romans 8:15; 2 Timothy 1:7).  Freedom is the grace of God (cf. Romans 8; Galatians 5:1-26). 

The Founders had an understanding of freedom from a Biblical perspective.  This perspective is evident in our founding documents.  Unfortunately, today we have forgotten the timeless principles about the origin and nature of our freedom, and in so doing, we have become slaves to corruption.  Most do not even know it.     

I once heard a story about a pastor who began pastoring a new church.  He did not like where the piano was located, so one day, he moved the piano to the other side of the room.  The church members threw a fit, so he moved it back.  Thereafter, little by little, he began inching the piano back over to where he wanted it.  He moved the piano so slowly, that the church members did not even notice it was happening until one day, the piano was where he originally intended for it to be.  No one said anything.  They had gradually become used to the idea. 

Right now, we are living in a time where our freedom is being significantly restricted in our great country.  These restrictions have been coming upon us slowly over time in increasing number as our country has strayed further and further from the Biblical principles upon which we were founded.  Thomas Jefferson (1788, Letter to Colonel Edward Carrington) stated that, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”  We see the government gaining ground all around us.  The “piano” has been moved, and in the past week, we see that it has been moved completely and drastically in the last final steps to the intended takeover of America.   

In The Federalists Papers of 1788, James Madison stated, “Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power.”  Liberty is in danger.  Freedom is in danger.  The United States of America is in danger.

What can be done?  Is it too late?  Can the piano be moved back? 

John Adams (1765, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law) stated, “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right…and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers.” 

We need to wake up!  We need to learn and understand what it means to be free.  We need to understand what liberty means and where our liberty comes from.  Notice that the “piano” is being moved and resist the movement of the “piano”.  Do not allow another inch.  Move the “piano” back to where it started. 

If you value freedom, you will resist tyranny because tyranny is diametrically opposed to freedom.  Tyranny is the absence of grace.  It is the imposition of law after law, mandate after mandate, based on the whim of a despot.  “It behoves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case others” (Thomas Jefferson, 1803, Letter to Benjamin Rush).  You cannot be timid.  You must not be quiet.  You must take a stand now, or freedom will be lost.

“It is impossible to conquer a nation determined to be free” (Thomas Paine, 1792, Letter to the People of France).

Determine to be free!