Friday, December 17, 2010

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas...

During Christmastime, my mind went to a favorite old song, and I drifted into the political…

Without providing you with a woeful audio rendition, I’ll merely supply the lyrics and let you sing it to yourself in the manner you are best suited.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my Country gave to me

(12) Hope for the future,

(11) An electorate with courage,

(10) States with more power,

(9) All judges faithful,

(8) Crooks out of office,

(7) Freedom of religion,

(6) Military healthy,

(5) Help from Above,

(4) Freedom of the press,

(3) Free market rules,

(2) More cash in hand,

(1) And more leaders with integrity.

We can have fun with a parody, but we must be serious about our Nation’s direction. November 2 provided evidence that many Americans are indeed serious about our country’s path, and that they wish to maintain many great, historical American distinctives.

May God bless each of us as we prayerfully seek to be better citizens, and therefore contribute to the building of a better country.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Satisfied with My Fence, My Side, and My Grass

“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

“…I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11

My fence--

A fence is restrictive. It prevents me from leaving a designated space. That space may change over time, and I may generally like or dislike my space. At times, I may view the fence as an enemy, a barrier that limits my freedom to explore and experience something within my sight but beyond my grasp.

But a fence is also protective. It prevents someone or something from coming too close to me. I may see, and I may wish, but there can be only certain forms of contact with the “outsider.” The outsider is a potential friend, but it may also be a potential enemy. For the time being, because of the fence, I am delayed in finding out which. I can choose to allow frustration to overtake me, or I can allow trust in my fence maker to calm me.

My side--

There is immediate security and comfort when I see the word “my.” That very word establishes a kind of fence. My side is my side, given to me by the one who places my fence, which early in life is usually a parent. I know that the area inside my fence is mine. Since the placer of my fence is good and has my good in mind, I can be assured that in my little world I will find comfort, nourishment, and protection. Ultimately, if I will remember the goodness of my authority, the one who placed the fence around me, I will also be contented, satisfied, and happy.

My grass--

I have seen grassy meadows, and as beautiful as they have appeared, they are not as safe as the grassy area I have within my fence. Within meadows are often found uneven spaces, mud, and rocks. From a distance, the meadow looks perfectly inviting and exciting for me, but I can not see what lies under the lush, lengthy, greenery. What lies below the beauty will slow me down and cause me inconvenience, insecurity, and perhaps injury.

My grass is safe. It has been prepared and maintained by the one who placed my fence. From time to time I think of the adventure of wandering into new meadows, but I always return to the predictability, security, and satisfaction of being home, home in my own little spot of the world. I have learned, most of the time, to be content with the delicious and safe grass on my side of the fence, plain and ordinary as it might be.

More than with any parent or teacher, I have learned to be content with God, the all-wise, Great Placer of my “fence.” He is good, and He loves me. I can trust Him to establish the boundaries and to supply the grass He knows are just right for me. “I have learned…therewith to be content.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy 235th Birthday, United States Marine Corps

My father-in-law was a Marine, a Korea vet. An old friend was one, having fought on Iwo Jima. You must know at least one Marine yourself. They are everywhere, and they have fought everywhere, "from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli."

Speaking of Tripoli, isn't it interesting that the United States faced a threat from Muslim (Ottoman) lands as early as Thomas Jefferson's administration in the early 1800’s? The pirates merely cut down a flag at an American consulate, but that was enough for the President to understand the significance of the attack. He dispatched troops to stop the uprising. How would the noble author of the Declaration of Independence be reported today for his decisive, protective response?

Regardless, today I am thankful for Jefferson and those first few Marines. And as history has repeated itself, I am also thankful for other Presidents and Marines who have acted decisively to protect the freedom and peace I enjoy today.

Happy Birthday, United States Marine Corps, November 10, 1775.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Make Each Day Your Masterpiece" - Happy 100th to John Wooden

On October 14, John Wooden, a former UCLA basketball coach whose teams won 10 NCAA titles in 12 years in the '60's and '70's, would have celebrated his 100th birthday.

I respected him when I was a teenager and young adult, and now that he is in heaven, I respect and miss him even more. I thank God for his influence for good and right, for God and the Bible.

If you want to know more, visit and enjoy your visit.

His work on earth continues, a reminder of my potential for God.

Friday, September 10, 2010

"SPARED" on 9/11

Part of my education work includes some visits to Washington, DC and Sacramento to educate our lawmakers on the importance of guarding our first-amendment rights; preserving parental rights; protecting human life; and keeping private, religious education free from government interference. One of my two annual DC trips occurs in mid-September, and my colleagues and I were checking in for a briefing in an office building just off the West Wing of the White House. Those who conduct business there are welcomed to the "White House," even though it is not part of the President's residence you see.

Just as we were nearing the completion of the screening process, I noticed some of my co-attendees coming out of the office, but they were accompanied by serious-faced White House staff. I heard that the White House was being evacuated, so we moved out to the sidewalk. Knowing what had happened in Moscow and in the US when private planes entered secure air space, I thought that someone on drugs had been careless and flown too close to the White House.

I was wrong.

White House security said we were too close to the White House; therefore, we had to move much farther away. It was then I realized something more than a harmless private plane was buzzing overhead. We still had no idea that America was under attack, but that quickly changed. Cell phones helped us learn of our situation.

When word spread among us that America was in trouble, we broke into small groups to pray on the street and sidewalk, asking God for His protection on our country and wisdom for our leaders. Two of my friends saw the Pentagon jet fly over our heads. Apparently, the terrorist pilot could not make the turn in time to hit the White House, so the poor, unsuspecting souls across the Potomac River were hit instead.

I'm not sure which of the two jets was truly intended to hit the White House, but that doesn't matter. For me, God's mercy on those of us at the White House that morning meant additional days for me to cherish life, love others, and focus more intently on living a life that would please God and help others.

Three of us from California rented a car from Reagan National Airport and drove home a couple days after the attack. No sleep, just food and comfort breaks. I took the first shift and drove the first half with just short breaks. Adrenaline, and God's strength.

The license plate on my car says to all who see it what I believe in my heart: That I was "SPARED" on 9/11 in order to continue my walk on this Earth on behalf of the God who saved my soul from sin and spared my life from an "early" death. God is good. Always. And I'd say the same even if I hadn't been spared. I can't explain why I was allowed to live, but I can explain my purpose in life: It's my dear Savior and Lord Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Voters and Values

The will of the people – 7 million of them – has been overturned.

Worse than that, the will of Almighty God has been rejected.

This August, Judge Vaughn Walker, another judicial activist and an open homosexual, ruled that there was no “rational basis” for the “yes” votes of California’s millions in the 2008 election. Supporters of Proposition 8 are impeded by their own prejudices and “stereotypes,” according to his opinion. Consequently, the judge righted what he concluded to be a grievous wrong committed by millions of illogical and irrational voters who unjustly deprived a vocal minority of equal status with heterosexual couples.

The major complaint we hear about the judge’s decision is based on a reversal or denial of the will of the people. However, the will of the people should not necessarily be the law or the primary reason for upholding or opposing a position. Common law, that which is derived from the experiences of the people, can have merit. Stronger, however, is constitutional law and law that can derived from biblical foundations. The pith of principles must always trump the power of the people.

The Bible provides sufficient examples of the error of the majority when they failed to uphold principles. Absolutes must absolutely be the primary basis for our convictions and actions. Since leaders can subvert laws, and deluded voters can ignore principles, those who seek to preserve good must ultimately base their stands on immutable truths.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Self Government and the USA

Self must be governed by morals that are consistent with America's founding documents in order for our government to work properly. A study of the Founders reveals the regard nearly all of them had for the Bible, and it was a largely biblical foundation that served as the basis for America's early documents. Other written sources were cited by key Founders, but not surprisingly, the ultimate origin for America's founding principles was the Bible.

Not everyone who had a part in America's birth was a Christian. However, the overwhelming majority were educated to respect the moral standards of the Bible, and some major "players" in those early days were Christians. Those who built America were well aware of the other major religions of the world, but they concluded that Bible Christianity and good government were essential to one another.

Those who favor the form of government given to us by our Founders must also determine to favor the Book they frequently quoted and to follow the God generally honored by the men who crafted our great Nation with the Divine Aid of the Supreme Being they mentioned. That Supreme Being governs best when He governs from the inside of citizens, thus producing the best in self government and resulting in the finest in human government.

Friday, June 18, 2010

NBA Finals 2010: Aftermath Applications & Life Lessons

So often sports can be used to illustrate principles necessary for success in life. Here are a few quick observations after this year's NBA Finals:

1. Tenacity trumps talent. Talent is attractive and glamorous, but tenacity is that which causes a person to persist in what he is doing, regardless of the circumstances. A mind can become lax when times are good, and a mind can become distant during discouragement. Both teams are talented, but their dogged determination impressed me more than their natural abilities

2. Effort eclipses effervescence. The flashy, bubbly person may turn out to be a temporary leader. More dependable is the diligent one who faithfully follows the demands of the current task. In the end, hard work is more valuable than flashy displays.

3. Humility honors the whole. Kobe is not a favorite of many, but when he was asked about his poor shooting in Game 7, he gave an honest reason: he wanted it too much and it got away from him. He then credited his teammates and didn't go into a long excuse. Kobe recognized others as being the ones who enabled him to be sitting at a microphone as a winner.

There's more, but I think I have all I can handle for today. In fact, these three mouthfuls could consume a lifetime. For some really good insights, go to

Monday, May 31, 2010

Today I am wondering on Memorial Day…

Why I am so blessed to live in America

Why I missed Viet Nam by a year

Why there was so much hate in the 60’s

Why there is so much hate today

Why soldiers have been attacked during conflicts

Why soldiers have been attacked after conflicts

Why Jennie Wade died at Gettysburg

Why a friend didn’t die on Iwo Jima

Why a friend lost a brother in Viet Nam

Why a friend lost a son in Iraq

Why my family lost none --

Today I am wondering on Memorial Day…

Why people remove liberty for some while giving “liberty” to others

Why people deny lives to the unborn so adults can “enjoy” theirs

Why people favor lifestyles that have destroyed civilizations

Why marriage is no longer “till death do us part”

Why people term the unnatural natural

Why making a profit has become evil

Why people rewrite the history that made us great

Why education is more social than academic

Why schools can teach the morals of John Dewey, Charles Darwin, and Karl Marx, but not the morals of George Washington, William McGuffey, and Abraham Lincoln

Why a reference to the God respected by our Founders is now a breach of the First Amendment

Why people resist references to the Founding Fathers

Why people misrepresent the Document that gave people representation

Why most lawmakers think they know better than the people

Why judges twist like wax the great laws meant to stand like stone

Why some despise the qualities that once distinguished America

Why some hate our National Anthem’s words “In God is our trust”

Why the Book, the Bible, once revered is now scoffed

Why politicians have succumbed to greed

Why religious leaders have sought ease

Why citizens have grown soft

Why soldiers die for such insanity

Why I have the privilege of making a noble difference --

So that today’s soldiers will take heart as they risk their all for me.