Never Forget!

Like most people, I can remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing when I first saw that first plane hit the first tower.

Disbelief, shock, fear, anger, helplessness, compassion… all those things that consumed my very being, overtake me every time I see those images again.  Fifteen years and those pictures still leave me feeling shattered.  I can not begin to imagine what they do to the survivors, and the loved ones of those who were murdered, and those who gave their lives for their fellow-men and women.

Our country is so divided right now.  I guess election year politics will always do that to some degree.  But I feel this is so much more than that.  It seems to me that tolerance, and political correctness, have taken the place of old-fashioned reason and common sense.

We are still in the middle of a war on terror.  Radical Islamists have told us they are going to continue attacking us and they plan on doing that “from within.” They have told us they will be coming in with the refugees our country is bringing in by the thousands.  Why are we not only allowing this, but so many cheering this flood of danger through our borders?

It has been fifteen years, so maybe some have forgotten, or have become desensitized by so many smaller attacks; I just don’t know.

I remember.  I will never forget.  I hope you remember also.  Feel free to share if you do!

Never Forget!

 Towers, planes, smoke, and ash

visions burned deep in my mind,

our Pentagon, Flight 93,

fear and faith became intertwined.

Hearts of rage, minds taught to hate,

cowards of evil design

failed to destroy the US of A,

that’s founded on His word divine.

Policemen, firemen, service men, medics,

ordinary men who just cared,

risked their own lives to help those in need

with emotions and hearts torn and bared.

Fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives,

children and loved ones distraught,

Pain felt by us all as we witnessed the day,

and the images that still can haunt.

Heroes, and faith, and stories of hope,

of goodness, and selfless love,

of sacrifice, the eternal kind,

and miraculous help from above.

Remember the picture of men with a flag,

amid the rubble now called Ground Zero.

Never forget the evil of hate,

the sacrifice, love and each hero.

Sheryl Craig Russell

Call It What It Is!

Election time can bring out the worst in people; including me.  Time is short.  A decision will be made in a few months that will determine to a great extent what direction our country, the USA, will take.  That fact stirs up passion in people.  We want the path we see as right, to be the path that will be followed.

Unfortunately that passion is often used in a negative forum.  It slanders the other party’s candidate, and even other candidates in our own chosen party.  Some of that negativity needs to be brought to light.  We as citizens need to make informed decisions as to who is best to lead our country.  We are all human and we all make mistakes.  But if there is a pattern of mistakes, a pattern of bad choices that go against what we believe is right, that needs to be a consideration for who we choose to vote for.

I am one of those people who believe there are good and descent people on both sides, as well as people who are corrupt on both sides.  So for me I’ve chosen to vote for the  party platform that best stands for what my  personal beliefs are.

I am a Christian, so I am voting for the principles that best follow the teachings of Christ.

I also love my country, so I am voting for who I believe will best protect my country.

I don’t believe in The Women’s Right To Choose.  I don’t believe in it because I believe that an unborn child is just that..an unborn child.  After a child is born, a mother has  the right to give it up for adoption if she doesn’t believe she can, or wants to raise it.  She does not have the right to kill it.  I think almost all people would agree with that.  I have a hard time understanding why it is the women’s right to kill that same child before it is born.

I don’t condemn those who have had abortions. I know there can be some very difficult situations in their lives that bring them to believe they have no other choice.  I also believe a lot of them would make a different choice if they could watch a video that shows what really happens in an abortion.  I believe they need compassion and education, not condemnation.

I do not believe in same-sex marriage.  I don’t believe in it because God in his word, the Bible, tells us very plainly in black and white, that it is wrong, it is a sin.  He even goes so far as to call it an abomination unto the Lord.  I do not condone their lifestyle for that reason.  That does not mean I dislike all people who live a gay lifestyle.  I do know some and like them as people.  I also know some people who have committed adultery, another sexual sin against God.  I don’t condone what they did, but I can still like them as individuals.

It is God’s place to judge, not ours.  However, God does call us to have discernment, to know the difference between right and wrong.  For that reason I believe it is wrong for our nation, which was founded on the principles of God, to pass a law legalizing anything that God tells us is a sin.  As the people that he created, God gives us the choice to follow his ways or not.  If we choose not, there will be consequences, judgement from God, that will come against us.  As a nation, if we choose not, there will be the same consequences and judgements on our nation as a whole.

I love America.  I love our way of life.  I love the freedoms we have that have made us the great country we are.  I don’t want to see that way of life slipping away.  But sadly, I can see it starting to.

I believe that is in a great part due to a few words, or ideologies, that have started sweeping our nation.  Those words are “Political correctness”, and “Tolerance.”

I looked up those terms to make sure I wasn’t just stating my own understanding of them.

As it turned out I was right on.

Political correctness:

1.  languages, policies, measures, which are intended not to offend or disadvantage any particular group

2. to avoid irritating anyone

Tolerance

  1.  the ability or willingness to tolerate something, opinions, or behaviors, that one does not necessarily agree with

I do not intentionally try to irritate anyone, an individual, or group of people with my language, or my beliefs.  I believe in America we have the right to pursue happiness, wealth, of free speech, to worship the way we choose, to bear arms to defend ourselves.  We have the right to live according to our conscience as long as it harms no one else.

I can tolerate those who wish to live differently than I do.  I can tolerate someone whose religious beliefs are different from mine.  I can do that because God gave us that choice, our nation gives us that choice.

But there is a limit to political correctness and tolerance.  Freedom of speech gives us the right to speak our minds. If in speaking my mind, giving my opinion, offends you, if it is against what you believe, I’m sorry.  You have the right to disagree with me.  You do not have the right to tell me I can not pray in my school, I can not mention God because it might offend you.

We have a right to stand up for the things we believe.  We don’t have to “tolerate” illegal immigrants pouring into our country.  That does not make us prejudice bigots.  We are a nation of immigrants.  But those who wish to come here to live, should abide by our laws . They should want to become Americans and be grateful for the opportunities this country can provide them.  They should go through the process of becoming legal immigrants, the same way our ancestors and so many today have done.

We do not have to tolerate the mass of Syrian refugees into our country.  It does not make us  uncompassionate to want them vetted, to know if they have  Islamic terrorist connections.   We have a right to protect our nation from terrorists.

We do not have to tolerate a religion that vows to kill all Jews, Christians, and Americans! When they act on their beliefs, we have a right to stand up to them.

Jesus told us the commandments can be summed up in these two things, to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Our sermon in church yesterday was on the book of Romans.  The message was to basically “wake up from our slumber”, to recognize the times in which we live, that Jesus is coming back soon, to live in the light of Christ.  We are to come out of sin, darkness, not to be politically correct, but to call it what it is.

As a nation we need to turn back to God,  to love and follow him foremost.  We need to love our neighbors.  We need to wake up from our slumber, recognize the times in which we live.  We need to be considerate of each other yes, but we need to forget all this political correctness and tolerance, to not be afraid to offend someone who might disagree with us.  We need to stand up for what we believe in and just “call it what it is”!

Feel free to share if you agree!

 

 

 

 

America The Beautiful

We had the privilege today to worship God in our favorite little country church in Nye, Montana.

Being that it is the Fourth of July weekend, just before our meet and greet your neighbor, our pastor led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  The morning music worship was all old patriotic songs, like America The Beautiful, and The Battle Hymn of The Republic.

Pastor Paul always has a way of helping me see how old Bible stories are applicable to my present life .  It was a great sermon, as always.

That being said, what I left church with this morning is how far our country, our nation, has drifted from God just since I was a child.

We always started the school day with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Now so many schools consider it “offensive” to some, so they are banning it.  There are schools across our nation who refuse to let students sing Christmas carols that have any mention of Jesus.  Prayers are not allowed at graduation ceremonies, let alone at the start of the school day.

When I was in grade school we sang America The Beautiful in our music class.  Singing it this morning in church, I wonder how many school children across our nation have ever sang that great song.  It is a patriotic song about our country; a nation that boldly thanks God for the beauty he created for us, that asks God to shed His grace on us. It asks us to remember those who fought for our liberty, who loved it more than life itself. It asks God to heal our every flaw.

My hope is that you all google “America The Beautiful”.  Read the lyrics. Sing it to your children.  Take pride in our country, our flag, our God.  Ask Him once again to shed His grace on us, heal our every flaw, ( we have many) and to crown our good, with brotherhood, from sea, to shining sea!

 

Let Her Fly!

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Let her fly!

It is just a flag, right?  It’s just a piece of cloth with red and white stripes, a blue rectangle, and some stars.  Why do so many people in the United States get upset when they see people burning a piece of cloth, stepping on it, spitting on it?  Why do they feel offended when they see people refusing to stand up and show respect for it when the National Anthem is played?

After all, we wipe our dirty faces with a piece of cloth.  We wipe our dirty shoes on rag rugs made out of strips of old cloth.  What is the big deal?

The big deal is what that flag stands for!  It stands for America, home of the brave, and land of the free!

Were we always home of the brave?  Yes. Land of the free?  No.  We started out as thirteen colonies under British Rule.  Thirteen colonies fought for independence from the powerful nation of Britain.  They wanted a nation free from the rule of an earthly king.  They fought for a nation to be founded on the principles of the King Of Heaven.  They wanted a nation where they could have the freedom to protect themselves, govern themselves, and worship God in accordance with their conscience.

Many men…and women, have suffered and died over the years to give us that flag.  They continue to fight, suffer, and die for our right to live a life with the freedoms it represents.

Yes, as a proud American, I get upset when I see people dishonoring our flag.  I do get offended when I see people refusing to stand and show it respect when the National Anthem is played.  And I feel more than offended; I feel angered, and ashamed when I watch a video of our First Lady, whispering to the President, as they are standing at the playing of the Anthem and saying, “All of this fuss for a flag!

Yes, all of this fuss for this flag!  All of this respect, all of this honor, all of this glory, for a piece of cloth which represents this great country of ours!  I say ….. “LET HER FLY!”

Old Glory

Thirteen stripes unfurl before me,

thirteen colonies for which they stand,

fought to give us independence,

and thus founded this great land.

Red is for her valor,

White for hope and purity,

Blue is for God’s heaven,

justice, truth, sincerity.

The star, for aspirations,

one for each and every state,

join together as a nation,

yet can govern their own fate.

Men have died to give me freedom.

Let me hold their memory high.

Let me feel their pride and honor,

every time Old Glory flies!

Sheryl Craig Russell

I Am Standing Up

Well, we’ve had another terror attack in the US, thanks to Radical Islam!  ISIS, that’s what they call themselves.  Fifty dead, fifty plus injured; most critically.  And what does our President say?   We need more gun control!

I am respectfully standing up and choose to openly disagree with him.  I know what our nation needs.  It needs to turn back to God….and we need more border control, NOT gun control!

I’ve been reading comments on facebook today.  Some calling this a “hate” crime because it occurred in a gay bar.  Some saying it’s time to take away all our guns, some saying these crimes are done by people with mental illness and we just need to stop them from being able to buy guns.

I agree with part of what they are saying. This is a “hate” crime.  It is hate against Christians, and Americans in general.  Why do they hate us?  Jesus said, “If they hate me, they will hate you.”

These people are not mentally ill.  They are evil.  There is a difference.  You can not reason with them.  They are out to bring the world under Sharia Law.

Take away our guns and you take away our self-defense.  You will not stop them from getting guns, or making explosives, or going on stabbing frenzies with knives.

But close our borders to them and you will greatly decrease their access to our people.

I am standing up for God.  I am standing up for America.  I am keeping my bible…..and my gun, thank you!

Any body with me?

Proud To Be An American

It’s Memorial Day and we’ve been watching old war movies this weekend.  Friday we watched Shenandoah, about the civil war.  Today we watched The Green Berets, about the Viet Nam War,  and Midway; World War II.

Too many times we think of Memorial Day as a 3 day weekend to go camping, boating, and perhaps a little party time.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the holiday, but this day was established to give honor to those who gave their lives for our freedom; to remember their sacrifice for our benefit.

“I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free, and I won’t forget the men who died, to give that right to me.”  I have always loved that song, and it speaks for my heart.

I am proud to say that I have many veterans in my family.  They were all good honest men, who proudly served and fought for our country. My husband also has many family members who have served and fought.  We are the lucky ones.  I don’t believe either of our families lost anyone during those wars, but we both have a few who were wounded.

Despite the atrocities they must have witnessed, I never heard any of them talk very much about their war experiences.  They came home with physical wounds, but I fear the mental wounds were the deepest.

We have young men and women today who are dying in the War on Terror we are engaged in. We have mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, and children who are grieving.

I hope you have all had a great weekend, but please, before you go to bed tonight, bow your head, bend your knee, and ask prayers for protection for those who are still serving our great country.  Give praise for the those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for me and you.  Lastly, always be proud to be an American, where at least we know we’re free, and never forget why we are free.

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Faith Of Our Fathers

I was going through some of my writings to come up with new posts when I came across this article.  I wrote this in July of 2009.

 Faith of our Fathers

We recently had our 40th High School Class Reunion.  We had a wonderful time at the local park and Community Hall.  We enjoyed a pitch fork fondue, square dancing, old memories, laughs, and each other’s company.

We also had a few join us that were in the class beneath us.  We were looking at old pictures from that class, and I asked someone, “What ever happened to Sonje?”  Her answer about blew me away, “The last I heard she was in prison; I believe in Thailand or somewhere for distributing Bibles.”

Sonje’s father was a minister and the influence of God that he left on her must have been very great.  Sonje was a very sweet, kind, girl, and it was always nice to be around her.  I’m not surprised that she followed in her father’s footsteps, and I will keep her in my prayers.  I hope by now she has been released, if not, I hope all who read this will also pray for her.

I came home from the reunion and one of the first things I saw was a picture of my youngest grandson, Logan, praying.  We all take for granted the freedoms we have in this country that allows me to even have a picture like that sitting in my living room.

Our country was founded on God’s principles.  His commandments are etched in the walls of our government buildings and memorials.  Our Pledge of Allegiance confirms his presence with us, “One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

And yet we have allowed a few to take prayer out of our schools, and now they are trying to remove all traces of God from government.  They want to remove all reference of God from statues, walls, memorials, even our money that says, “In God We Trust.”  The saddest of all to me was a quote I saw in the news of our President telling a foreign leader he was meeting with, that our nation, The United States of America, was NOT a Judean-Christian nation!

Say what?  Does he live in the same country I do?  But then I began to wonder why we let those few keep doing what they are doing.  We don’t really want to get involved fighting for our rights.  It is easier to complain about what they are doing than to actually write letters to our leaders or go before them with our concerns.  And I am as guilty as any.  But maybe it’s time we change.  If we don’t, how long do you think it will be before we..yes, you and me, in the good old US, are thrown into a prison cell for trying to give a Bible to someone who wants to hear and learn about God?  Thank you, Sonje, for opening my eyes.  May God bless and keep you!

Wow!  Almost seven years later and look what is happening in our country.  Our government has legalized same-sex marriage.  Bruce Jenner is being honored as “Woman of the Year.”  God continues to be banned from our schools and country.  We are forced to remove Nativity scenes from our local towns. Schools are told they can’t  pray as part of their graduation ceremonies.  School Christmas programs are being banned from singing Christmas carrols that reference God in any form. Gideon Bibles are being removed from motel rooms.

But….school districts in Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, California, and other states are implementing curriculum where students are given classes in Islam where they have to  write and then recite the Islam conversion creed; “Allah is the only God, Mohammad is his prophet.”  One school in St. Paul, Minnesota has banned Valentines Day along with other so-called dominant holidays,” (i.e. Thanksgiving, and Christmas) because the “dominant view could suppress someone else’s view.”

Oh, America! Don’t let President Obama convince you we are not a Judean-Christian Nation!  We are!  Let’s start acting like it and return to God.  Let us etch His laws not only on the walls of our government buildings, but let us etch them in our hearts.  Let us fight to restore the right to have Him guide our nation, as our forefathers did.  Pray that the leaders elected in our next election will seek God and stand up for our core values.

Please God; Bless Us In This New Year

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I am not making any New Year’s resolutions this year.  I never fulfill any I’ve ever made anyway.  That perhaps is because I try to make changes on my own power instead of leaning on the power of the Holy Spirit.  This year instead of a resolution, I am making a petition of prayer to God.

Please God, this year:

  1.  Give our leaders wisdom.  Guide them to make decisions pleasing to you regarding the leadership and direction of our country.
  2. Help us reverse legislature that is against your will.  Help us change the legalization of abortion and save the lives of innocent babies.
  3. Prosper us.  Let no one in our country go to bed hungry. Bring an end to the homeless situation in our country.  Let no one have to sleep on the streets this year.  Prosper us that we may help other countries as well.
  4. Protect us Lord, from those who wish to do us harm
  5. Protect our service men and women.  Help us provide for those in need when they return home.  Let no one who has fought for our freedoms have to struggle with medical, financial, or rehabilitation issues.  Give us a heart to honor them..
  6. Draw our citizens near you.  Give us a desire to seek you and walk in your ways.  Turn our hearts to you, that we may be ready for your second coming.
  7. Thank you Lord for all you bless us with everyday.  We may have problems in our country, but America, founded on your principles, is the most blessed country in the world.  Help us stay that way.
  8. In Jesus name, Amen.

Terror in our Country

The recent terrorist attack in California has left me with a heavy heart.  More senseless deaths by people filled with evil should fill me with “terror”.  I’m sure that is what they are wanting and expecting.  Seeing fear on innocent faces gives them a rush, it is what fuels their sickness.

But surprisingly, fear and terror is not what I am feeling.  I am angry!  I am flat mad!  I am tired of hearing people say how we should open our arms as a nation and welcome 10,000 refugees into our country when we are at war….and we are at war!  I am angered when I hear people who are supposed to be leading our country blaming every cowardly attack like this on not strong enough gun control.  We need to start teaching people how to defend themselves…not take away their means of defense.

I am also a Christian.  I have true compassion for those who are  innocent victims among those refugees.  I don’t have the answers for them.  I pray for them as I do the victims and families of those who have been attacked in Paris and now California.  That does not mean we should endanger the lives of our citizens by allowing a mass influx of them into our country, because we know that there are ISIS terrorists that will be sliding in with them.

I also get mad when I hear politicians, and liberals,  say you can’t really be a Christian or good American if you don’t believe in gun control.

I am a Christian.  I believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  I believe the Son is coming back soon.  Until He does, I plan on defending my family and my countrymen if I am able and if need be.  I can do that because I DO believe in gun control ; as my country’s founding fathers did.  I believe every American has the right to have control of his own guns.  I believe in the right to bear arms.

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving…a day to gather with friends and family, eat turkey and all the trimmings until you are too full to move. We just got home from such a feast hosted by my daughter’s Mother and Father-in-law. It was a great day spent with great people.

I looked up the first official American Thanksgiving and thought I’d share. In 1789 George Washington proclaimed an official celebratory day of thanksgiving and prayer. It did not become an annual event until 1863. President Lincoln proclaimed America’s first official Thanksgiving Day after the Union’s victory at Gettysburg.

A few of the things I am grateful for:

God, who sent his Son to die on the cross for my sins.

My parents who gave me the childhood every kid dreams of.

My husband, my best friend, who is there for me in good times and bad.

My children who have all grown into amazing thoughtful, kind people.

My grandchildren who fill my heart with joy untold.

My country, America: one country under God.

My prayer this Thanksgiving Day is that we as Americans remember that last one.  So many have taken Him out of their lives, their families, our schools, and now are doing their best to take Him out of our government.  Please pray with me that we remain America; one nation under God.  Happy Thanksgiving.