The Last Word

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. — The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

First they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me. – Pastor Martin Niemöller

The First Amendment has been a bulwark of American society since its inception. It was established in 1791 because the citizens demanded a guarantee of their basic freedoms. If you have the desire, you can read through all of the battles the First Amendment has been through since it was established. I found it a fascinating read, much too detailed to go into here. You can find a great site, which highlights both the First Amendment’s gains and losses throughout the centuries here: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/first-amendment-timeline

I will be the first to say that I struggle with the First Amendment when I find myself disagreeing with the decision of the courts on certain issues. Are there things I wish to be outlawed because it is indecent or doesn’t coincide with my beliefs? The answer is yes.

Still, at the end of the conversation, I think that in order for the First Amendment to act without prejudice toward the issues I support, it also has to act without prejudice toward the issues I vehemently disagree with.

If you read through the timeline, you will see that the First Amendment has been molded and shaped in many different ways. It is definitely the case with regards to religion.

From the 1771 jailing of 50 Baptist worshipers for preaching the Gospel contrary to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer in the state of Virginia, to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a state-composed, non-denominational prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment in 1962, to the 2011 decision in Snyder v. Phelps, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Westboro Baptist Church’s protest at the funeral of slain Marine Matthew Snyder was protected by the First Amendment, religion has been a contentious issue since the formation of the United States of America.

So when I read an opinion piece by a professor at the University of Chicago Law School titled, “The World Doesn’t Love the First Amendment,” I pause to read and reflect on what the author has to say.

This is the summation of his opinion piece; “…Americans need to learn that the rest of the world—and not just Muslims—see no sense in the First Amendment. Even other Western nations take a more circumspect position on freedom of expression than we do, realizing that often free speech must yield to other values and the need for order.”

Ok. So let’s look at where yielding to other values have taken the rest of the world.

In regards to freedom of religion: a Pew study found that, ‘In the one-year period ending in mid-2010, 75 percent of the world’s population lived in a nation with high or very high restrictions on religious beliefs or practices.’ Unfortunately, the US found a 1% increase in the restriction of our own freedom.

If you look at this graph, you will find that religious persecution is a very serious issue. http://www2.macleans.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Religious-Freedoms-Graphic.png  Travel to a place like Afghanistan and you could find yourself hung for blasphemy. It is the same with Pakistan and others. It seems all too clear that a lack of freedom of speech and religion can lead to danger for those with opposing viewpoints.

The ultimate dilemma of negating the First Amendment is; who decides what truth is? Who decides what decent speech is, or what can and cannot be said?

This may sound harsh, but the rest of the world really does not have the right to dictate what the United States can say or do. The people clammoring for us to clamp down on our freedoms in reality want freedom from being offended, which isn’t possible. If we limit one groups’ right to free speech, then the door is swung wide for anyone to find offense with another’s speech or religion. No matter your argument, no one is safe from religious persecution or government interference. It would apply to books, television, films and on and on. There would be no arbitrary judge that would be able to define an invisible line.

You cannot argue that there can be clear guidelines for ‘civil discourse’ when censor laws are in place because what one person considers blasphemous another considers religious truth. Only a free arena of expression, including what one may find offensive, ensures people remain free to pursue truth. It is not the government’s role to determine that.

It is because of our freedom that groups like Muslim Background Believers have a place to meet and worship together. Take a look at this list of just some of the groups in the US that defend religious freedom: http://religiousfreedom.lib.virginia.edu/relfreeorg/ I cannot say that I agree with some of these organizations; American Atheists for instance, but I believe that our constitution and Bill of Rights guarantees them the freedom to exist.

If by the end of this, you are still sputtering about being civil and how tyrannical the United States is, then perhaps you may want to consider this quote from Noam Chomsky, who is known, among other things, for his political criticisms as well as for having anarchist tendencies; “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” – Noam Chomsky, linguist, political writer, 1992

Or this one, “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” – George Washington

And in the meantime;

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” – 2 Timothy 4:1-4

Spinning and spinning…

Image

Because I find the news reports so important for the battle of knowledge, I like to disseminate them here.  It’s interesting to see the disparity between what is really happening and what you read and hear every day.  Unless you really pull back the covers, you will miss what the media is trying to do.

I try very diligently not to be a conspiracy theorist, I really do.  But when I notice the media purposely slanted in one direction, I feel the need to point out the discrepancies. 

 The following is a partial list of what is actually in the news these days:

 -Reuters: Iran Using Iraqi Airspace Almost Daily to Fly Arms to Syria, Iraq Denies – Treasury Department sanctioned 117 Iranian aircraft it believes are ferrying weapons to Syria.

 -Disturbing Development: Greek Neo-Nazi Party Surges in Popularity –  One in five Greeks now support the Golden Dawn party

 -Report: Probe of Secret Service Prostitution Scandal May Implicate White House Staffers – “We knew early on that White House staffers were involved.”

-Govt Watchdog: Obamacare Tax Penalty to Hit Nearly 6 Million Uninsured People – Most people would be in the middle-class range.

 -China government’s hand seen in anti-Japan protests  – At the height of the violence, dozens of Japanese businesses were attacked

 Industry Group: 204 Coal Power Plants to Close in Next 5 Years – The devastating impact it is already having on coal mining communities and will, sooner rather than later, have on everyone who pays an electric bill.

And let’s take a look at what’s been going on with anti-American protests this week:

 *Free Speech That Mocks Islam Is National Security Threat for U.S., Prominent NJ Imam says

 *NY Post: Source Confirms Obama Admin’s Consideration of Blind Sheik Release

 *US Embassies Targeted in Protests Spanning 20 Countries

 *Rage over anti-Islamic video continues across Muslim world

 Al-Qa’ida urges attacks as protests widen

 And what is the media covering?

  – Schuette: Romney’s 47% gaffe was ‘not the best choice of words’

  – Romney’s 47%: Poor, retirees and military personnel

 – Republican candidates evacuate the Romney train

  – Another Clueless Romney Remark from Secret Video Gets Attention

  – Obama: “47 percent” shows Romney is out of touch

  – Mitt Romney’s ‘Invisible’ America

  – Reckless Romney’s strategy isn’t working

 They go on and on.  But you get the picture.  I’ve heard news report after news report about how Romney has dismissed half of the American people

 My issue isn’t whether Romney is right or wrong.  Statistics say he was actually incorrect.  The actual percentage of people not paying income taxes is 49%.  49% do indeed pay no taxes, and by default may not support Romney’s plan to provide tax cuts and incentives for the people who have businesses and actually hire people. 

 Here is a quick breakdown by the numbers (according to the Wall Street Journal):

 The Census Bureau broke the data down like this:

  • 26.4% of U.S. households had someone enrolled in Medicaid (the health-care program for low-income Americans)
  • 16.2% of households had at least one member receiving Social Security.
  • 15.8% lived in a household receiving food stamps
  • 14.9% had a member with Medicare benefits
  • 4.5% of households received assistance with their rent
  • 1.7% had a member receiving unemployment benefits.

Of course there is some overlapping in groups, but you get the idea.  The problem all stems from some of these benefits becoming life-time benefits when they were never meant to become a permanent fix to a temporary problem.  So all of these people off the tax-rolls leave less of us to provide the tax revenue to support them.

 By definition, most people will support the politician or the person who support their lifestyle.  If you are a conservative Christian, you will most likely attend a conservative Christian church.  If you get all of your money from the government, you will most likely support the politician who will keep giving it to you.  I have several family members who espouse that very mindset.

What bothers me most about this is that the media should not have the power to slant news and information to suit their desires.  There are massive, massive issues going on in the world right now, and the media is harping on Romney’s speech that was given to private donors. 

 They’re slanting the polls too.  News reporters from Huffington Post and MSNBC and others are reporting that Romney should pack up and go home, that this election is all but over.  Truth is, Romney and the President are neck in neck, and in some arenas Romney is up by one or two percentage points and it is far too close to call at this point.  How dare the media attempt to sway voters to stay home or give up their campaigning for a particular candidate?  Suppressing voters is not the American way.

 My desire is that all of you take the time to find out the truth for yourself.  On this fallen planet no one will measure up to Jesus and they’re not meant to.  But decisions shouldn’t be made for us by other people and we should be praying and seeking God’s direction for this country.  Combine that with the actual truth about what’s going on in this country and around the world and you may find yourself an answer that you can hang your hat on. 

 Proverbs 2:6-8 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.

Psalm 2:20-21 So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it.

…and I feel fine

I don’t know about any of you, but I am certainly not a financial analyst.  If someone explains very slowly and carefully about a particular area of finance and economics, I will understand.  However, I am not one to usually explain anything myself.

 It does not take me much critical thinking to realize that our financial ship cannot keep sailing as it has been.  With the news of Quantitative Easing III, the rising inflation and the roulette-wheel spinning at the gas pump, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out something is wrong.

 So I did some unpacking and I’m going to try and explain it best I can, in hopes that you realize the urgency of the situation and take some simple steps to help yourself and your family.

 First, a light smattering of stories in the news that reflect global financial issues:

 Economic stakes high in China-Japan islands dispute – Los Angeles Times

 China and Japan are in a huge dispute over some islands that both countries want to claim as their own.  Why is that a financial issue?  For Japan it is two-fold.  One, China is Japan’s biggest exporter, which could mean potential disaster for them.  Two, the US is required to go aid Japan if there were to be a war.  It’s trouble for China because their economy isn’t so hot these days, and they’re allowing the rioting to continue to appease their citizens.  China owns a lot of our debt and it would be a global disaster if they called their debt due.

 US Credit Rating Downgraded – The New American

 The rating firm Egan-Jones downgraded our credit rating to AA- citing Quantitative Easing and continued low interest rates will do nothing but damage in the long term economic health of our county.

 And speaking of Quantitative Easing…

 Bernanke and the Federal Reserve to begin ‘Quantitative Easing 3’ – The Examiner

 This is the big one.  If you dig deep and listen to economists, they will tell you this is a dangerous proposition by our Fed.  They plan on pumping $40 billion by buying our debt, each month until they feel enough has been done.  They do this by printing money, which incidentally should be illegal.  Of course each dollar printed makes each one of our dollars worth less.  Our stock market was artificially inflated for a few days but it is back down now.

 There are more, but you get the idea.  We are all connected in this world and when things get bumpy in one area there tends to be a ripple effect. 

 Due to inflation and the devaluing of our dollar; food prices are up 20% and climbing, gas prices are up 107%, gold prices are climbing daily and the U.S. global competitiveness has declined from #1 to #7.  Our income, when adjusted for inflation, is also down on an average of $4,300 per household.  In simple terms, we need to spend more money on essentials while earning less.

 One more quick thing, and it is incidental.  In the grand scheme of our spiraling national debt, which towers at $16 trillion, our foreign aid is a paltry $58 billion.  Still, why on earth would we give a dime to countries that not only won’t defend our people living in the country, but actually despise us?  I personally would rather keep most of the money and use it to support legitimate programs in countries that will allow us to care for their needs rather than giving the money to corrupt governments. 

 So, now you have more information than you wanted to hear about at one sitting, and what the heck should you do with it?  I feel that the time for blind ignorance to what is going on around us is over, and responsible people need to take some action to prepare their families for any crisis that may occur. 

 There are simple steps you can take to help yourself.  You can choose to go as superficial, or as in depth as you would like in your preparations, but everyone should do something.

 I do believe gold is a valuable commodity, but I don’t know how practical it is.  If you can afford it, perhaps have some at hand to trade or to buy with. If not, a few hundred dollars of cash in hand is a very good idea.

 What is most obvious, and most attainable, is food and water.  You don’t have to buy it all at once, but you should get some non-perishable food items and store them away for you and your family.  At the very least, food prices will continue to rise, thus making food storage a good investment already.  But if something worse happens, you will have food for your family.

 There are many more things that you should stock up on, some I don’t want to mention here.  I have assembled a list of websites you can go to and seek more direction on this issue.  Remember that there are people out there who are survivalists and have everything imaginable to survive after a collapse.  There are others of us who depend on the Lord, but still take precautions to care for the families we are given.  Neither way is wrong or right; it’s a matter of what you are comfortable with.  But I beg you, do something.  I believe these will be the times that try men’s’ souls. 

 http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/13/pf/doomsday-survival-list/index.htm

 http://wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/6111

 http://www.survivalblog.com/newbies.html

 This is my personal favorite.  It is a blog from James Wesley, Rawles, who is a survival expert.  He is a former Army intelligence officer, a great survival writer, a strong Christian, and he is crazy smart.  His lists are extremely extensive, so don’t be overwhelmed.  He lives off the grid and knows just how to do that.  With any list, take what you need and leave the rest.

 Here’s his blog, http://www.survivalblog.com/

  “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.”But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” – Luke 21:34-36

 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

 “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.” – 1Thessalonians 5:5-6

Why Israel

 

 

Israel.  For a country the size of New Jersey it sure makes a lot of headlines.  In the past 120 hours:

 

 Israel will be demolished if it attacks Iran – Tehran Times

Iran warns ‘nothing will remain’ of Israel if military action begins – NBC News

 

US-Israel divisions over Iran boil over – Reuters

Israel leader says US may not act against Iran – The Associated Press

 

 Israeli leader calls for ‘clear red line’ on Iran – USA Today

US, Israel still at odds over Iran “red line” – Reuters

 

 Netanyahu, Obama relations hit new low – Independent Online

Obama rejects meeting with Netanyahu but invites Muslim Brotherhood – The Examiner

Obama won’t meet Netanyahu over Iran row -Israeli official – Reuters

 

 All of those headlines and dozens more have been posted over the past week as tensions continue to mount higher and higher between Israel and the United States.  But why?  Why does this tiny country matter and why should we defend its right to exist?

 We have to back up a moment and look at the re-establishment of Israel.  Jews had been scattered all around the world (see the bible for details).  In 1901, Zionists (a Jewish movement who sought to reestablish a Jewish homeland in Israel) began to buy up land in the Middle East, where Israel was. At that time, the land was called Palestine.  The Zionists bought unusable land; barren wastelands.  They made the desert bloom, grew forests and cleared rock. 

 When Britain turned over control of Palestine to the United Nations, they set up a partition in which Palestine would remain on part of the land and Israel would be on the other.  Unfortunately, the Arabian people did not see this as a good plan.  Arabs were free to attack the Zionists who they saw as invaders.  As we know from history, the Zionists were victorious and Israel was re-born.  During the struggles, Jordan claimed some of the land of Palestine for their own, making the land for the Arabs of Palestine even smaller.  To this day there are no differences between the people living in Palestine and the people living in Jordan.  As far as the Palestinians go, they became a pawn for the Arab world to use against Israel. 

 That is a woefully inadequate retelling of history, but if you want to find the stories for yourself, I suggest you attempt to find the most unbiased story you can.  It’s not easy to do, but they’re out there. 

 Whether we like it or not, even from a secular standpoint; throughout history, governments have be born from conflict and conquest, including the one where this is being written; the U.S.  In that regard, Israel is one of the most non-violent immigrations in history. 

 But still the battle continues unabated.  Every day there are conflicts on the border.  Lebanon isn’t opposed to throwing a few rockets, Iran is threatening to blow them off the map and Egypt’s new government is increasingly hostile as well. 

 What is the United States’ roll in the history and future of Israel?  Well, the United States was the first to recognize the State of Israel in 1952, only 11 minutes after the proclamation was issued.  Every president until now has visited Israel during his presidency.  Israel has always looked to us for guidance and support, and the United States shares similar democratic and economic values and goals as Israel.  We also share a common struggle to triumph over those who would want to do us harm.

 That can’t be all, though that is a strong start.  There must be something more to this issue.  There must be some other reason that Israel is in the news every day.

 If you are an evangelical Christian, or even a biblical scholar, the answers become clearer almost immediately.

 The Lord said to Abraham , “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.“- Genesis 12:3

 “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” – Deuteronomy 7:6

 “For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.” – Romans 15:27b

 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure.’” – Psalm 122:6

 There are countless other scripture verses that maintain that Israel is the apple of God’s eye and that will always be.  However, that doesn’t give Israel a blanket approval of any action they choose.  That gives them the right to defend themselves against their enemies and to offer support.  Not necessarily military support, but support to know they’re not in this alone. 

 Speaking only for myself; when the president refuses a visit with the Israeli Prime Minister, he offends me.  Israel is facing some tough choices.  I can’t imagine what it’s like to be surrounded by enemies on all sides, but to have one that wants to go nuclear is even more daunting.

 When Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is overlooked in a political party’s platform, I am insulted again.  That’s no different than saying that Washington DC is not our nation’s capital. 

 I believe that God will one day judge how everyone treated Israel. I also believe that if we are to turn our back on her that we will all be affected by that decision.  As the world slips away from knowing right from wrong and the truth from a lie, prayers and support for the land and people of Israel must be an imperative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tolerance

It seems impossible to ignore what’s going on in the world today. It began on the 11th anniversary of 9-11. It was supposed to be a day for remembrance, paying respects, and for Christians; to refocus our attention on the sovereign Lord of all creation. After all, He is in control, no matter what the situation around us appears to look like.

Do you remember where you were on September 11th? I was napping; cuddling with my 1-year old son on my bed when I heard my husband yelling from the living room. At first I thought it was a horrific accident, but we soon learned otherwise.

I had to go to work that afternoon; I was a restaurant manager at a popular BBQ joint. It wasn’t popular that night however. There were few customers, and those that came in were serious and all took their orders home to eat in front of their televisions.

We were watching television in the restaurant as well. I vividly remember all of the immigrants that worked in our kitchen; they were as shocked and as angry as all of the rest of us. This country that was desecrated was their country as well. For the most part, we were all united that night.

Not this year. Under a turbulent election season, the unwelcome and violent attacks on our embassy were just one more injury and insult to heap upon a tired country. And the pretense that precluded the incident wasn’t true.

Whomever you want to blame; the media, the countries’ spokesmen, the claim was that the original attacks were because of an anti-Muslim movie that was released in America. The Muslims were outraged we were told. We insulted them we were told.

There were a few inconsistencies with those stories however. The first inconsistency was that this movie was released in July. The second inconsistency was that these attacks were coordinated well in advance; they were thought out and planned perfectly to correspond with the anniversary of our national sorrow. They used an excuse to brutally attack and kill our own.

What has stemmed from those original attacks in Egypt and Libya is a full-fledged assault in over 20 countries. Perhaps these people in other countries are rioting over their perceived notion that we are insulting their prophet and their religion.

I think about it and I think about it and I can’t help but come back to my original thought; what gives them the right?

I am a Christian. I did not become a Christian until my late 20s. Jesus Christ saved me from hell and quite truthfully He saved me from myself. I owe my life to Him. Millions of Christians love and worship Jesus.

That doesn’t stop people from attacking Christianity on a constant basis. A few examples:

Piss Christ – A crucifix floating in urine, considered a work of art.
Blasphemous art – an art exhibit mocking Jesus and Mary

I could list dozens of portrayals of Jesus in a variety of forms, positions and variations; but I will spare you the pain I felt while researching this subject. To say that these artists were being blasphemous would be putting it gently.

And yes, while you’re researching the subject you will find indignant Christians; ones that want the displays shut down, that react in horror to their Messiah treated in such a degrading manner. You will find that a print of Piss Christ was attacked with an icepick.

I didn’t find any in my search, but perhaps there are a few errant ‘Christians’ who decide to attack artists as well. But if there are, there are few. (We are sticking in this century by the way. I’m not interested in debating the Crusades)

There are no fatwas issued by angry Christians. Atheists aren’t dragged in the street and lit on fire or tortured. Buildings aren’t burned and police and military aren’t killed. We don’t demand the actual heads or perceived enemies and we don’t shut down cities in massive protests.

Instead we grumble to ourselves, lament society and if we’re really angry we boycott. The media doesn’t help us either. When those cartoons depicting Muhammad were released years ago, the media said, “We have standards about language, religious sensitivity, racial sensitivity and general good taste.” … But they don’t exhibit those same standards when it comes to showing ‘Chocolate Jesus’ at Easter time a few years ago.

British artist Grayson Perry, whose work has mercilessly mocked Christianity, is candid about why he has steered clear of Muslim themes: “The reason I haven’t gone all out attacking Islamism in my art is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.”

The point of all this is: This story is not about tolerance. Tolerance would be exhibited by all sides or it can exist for none at all.

Jesus told His followers that we would be hated because He was hated first. He told us, “Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” (John 15:20)

It’s not our fault that another group of people are insulted. We were founded on the belief that everyone could have their own beliefs. The false indignation of a group of people who have hated us since the beginning of time gives them no right to kill innocent people in the name of their god (again, I’m staying in this Century) anymore than insulting Jesus gives us the right to kill. Believe it or not, the Quran has rules against killing in it just like the Bible does.

As Christians, I believe our job right now is to pray for our nation to humble itself to God. We need to ask forgiveness of our own sins, and to pray for His divine protection and will to be done. After all, we know the end of this story.

Why September 12th

    

      I don’t think many of us were the same person on September 12th as we were on September 11th.  We were in shock, and after our initial horror, perhaps we stopped for a minute to reflect on what was important in our lives.  Some called family members, some held their children a little longer, and some ran to a church to seek solace in God. 

     We saw patriotic Americans snap into action right after the planes crashed into our buildings and into the field in Pennsylvania.  We saw pure heroics in the emergency personnel who put their lives on the line to save people who were trapped in what could only have been a living sulfur prison.  We saw the American flag flying everywhere and we heard ‘Proud to be an American’ more times than we ever heard when it first was released in the 1980s. 

     What happened in the eleven years since that day?  Are you a better person than you were when you saw our country’s wall breached?  Did you vow to do life a little differently?  Where are you now?

     This is my response to the call of September 12th.  Perhaps it’s late, but that’s the beauty of this life.  Until you’re just a memory you have a chance to try again. 

      I want to reveal the truth; the way I see the truth anyhow.  Where I see this country and the world are now and how the globe has changed since September 11th, 2001.  Of course it will all be in light of scripture, where I try and center my life. 

     I’ve never been a shrinking violet, especially with my words, and I don’t intend on being one now.  I don’t blindly follow anyone and I do my research on a subject before I comment on it.  I’m not opposed to hearing where I’m incorrect, and I am a firm believer in heated debate over getting angry and walking away.  I would like a conversation to start here.  Perhaps if we had more people talking we might be in a different place right now.

      I’ve named this blog Vine and Fig Tree Blessing from Micah 4:4, “Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.”  It was a promise to Israel of God’s eventual restoration and I believe that it can be a promise to us as well.  In the Lord’s Day there will no longer be nation against nation.  There will be peace that is not human-driven, but God-driven.  I am believing for that day and until then we can seek the truth together.