Monday 1 April 2024

Sad Day for Some of Us

I have never spent an Easter like this before and not because it was a cold, rainy day. We have them all the time where I live and are certainly grateful for the moisture since we've been in drought conditions for several years. Nor did it have anything to do with having been in charge of a family luncheon after a Celebration of Life the day before for a husband, father, grandfather and all around good man who served others and left a legacy of kindness behind. That opportunity gave me a chance to reach out and comfort people I had never met before but with whom I felt an immediate love and connection because I know the sorrow and pain they are experiencing. It is a tender blessing to be allowed into the lives of literal brothers and sisters - because we are all children of God - who are experiencing one of the most difficult trials of life. Hearts that have been hardened by many unknowns are suddenly open to a more spiritual realm. And what a blessing that can be to those who have wandered in darkness for any amount of time.

I cannot imagine having little or no knowledge of God, his beloved son, Jesus Christ, whose resurrection we celebrate on Easter, nor of the Holy Ghost who can protect, warn and guide if we are just willing to listen. I was a very small child during the 1950s. We were poor dirt farmers with only an old Army jeep for transportation. Our father had used his GI Bill to purchase 80 acres of farm ground, knowing he could never afford to attend medical school as he really wanted to do. The old clapboard house on the property burned to the ground before our parents could move in so they constructed a two-room concrete basement apartment without a kitchen or bathroom to live in until they earned enough money to put an addition above ground with running water and windows large enough to provide more than the tiniest amount of light. They used an outhouse and went to the pump to get water. I have a picture of me as a baby sitting in a pan of water on a table getting a bath. It's a humbling experience just looking at it.

Living as a child in what most people would consider abject poverty today, I never considered myself poor. We children were strong and healthy because there was no fast food and very little we could even afford to purchase at the store. We raised pigs, chickens and beef for meat, had apples and plumb trees in our orchard and spend our summers weeding a huge garden that was enclosed by the circular driveway that connected the house to the corrals, granaries and barn. We were only allowed to take a bath on Saturday night and had to share the water because it cost too much to heat. When one child contracted a childhood illness we all got it. And when we stepped on a nail, got cut by barbed wire or stung by some flying insect we got mercurochrome and a bandage and were told not to complain. 

Our chores were not just making our bed or washing the dishes as they so often are now. We didn't have private bedrooms or even closets in those days and a dishwasher was unheard of. We four girls slept in two beds in one room in the concrete basement, the two boys shared bunk beds in the hall and our parents look the slightly larger room on the other side of them. We all kept our small amount of clothing in one closet and a couple of dressers in what was known as the playroom upstairs that stood next to the smallest bathroom I have ever seen. We didn't get a washing machine and dryer until after my brother was hurt, and our first television was a small brown box where we could access two stations during the day. We only got that after I contracted Rheumatic Fever while I was in the third grade and had to lay on a chair and connecting footstool for over six months. Since I was left to take care of myself during the daylight hours when everyone else was away from home, my parents sacrificed a great deal to get it so I would not feel so completely alone. My father would come in from the fields at noon to make sure I had something to eat and had not moved from where I was supposed to be, except to use the bathroom. 

But when I was not confined to bed, I was kept too busy to even think about getting into trouble. We children had plenty of chores that were assigned by age. They included babysitting, churning butter, hanging clothes on the line, ironing everything that was washed except towels, moping floors since we had no carpet, running errands, chasing unruly animals, learning how to can, freeze and dry fruits and vegetables, bake bread, irrigate pastures, cut hay, pick potatoes out of the fields, feed chickens, pigs, cows, horses and an always angry bull who spewed forth huge globs of snot whenever he shook his head. We attended church twice on Sunday, read scriptures as a family and watched our parents help others who were even less fortunate than we were.

Looking back, those were the good old days that I wish I could return to. We knew what it meant to love God, family and country. Our hearts were totally into holidays like Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July. We stood up every time we saw our flag. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance, sang patriotic songs and even had prayer at school. It just made everything better because we shared the views of our forefathers who gave us a God-inspired Constitution and Bill of Rights. People were treated with respect and fairness regardless of differing beliefs, customs or nations of origin. But then that was before the coursework at school was rewritten and precious truths about our country's history were deleted in favor of the socialists agenda that promoted ideologies of men and women who wanted to rule the world.   

Those beliefs were instituted during the sixties while the Viet Nam War raged on. There was free love, massive amounts of drug use by hipsters everywhere, the so-called women's movement that included burning underwear and demanding full equality with men in the workforce. There was protesting against almost everything, the introduction of completely sexualized music and skirts too short to sit down in modestly. Even though I was teenager during those years, I missed most of that because I was raised in a conservative environment where skirts that covered the knee was a requirement until after I graduated from college. 

Perhaps that's why some of the events of Easter 2024 put me in such a sad mood. Church that morning was wonderful with talks about our Savior and the greatest gift the world has ever known, along with music about his life, death and resurrection that truly touched my heart. I will share one song in particular before closing this post. Had I stuck with reading my scriptures, listening to music I trusted and contacting family members and special friends and wishing them a Happy Easter for the rest of the day I might not have have felt such sorrow. But needing to know what was going on in the world since everything is in such commotion and the evil one is causing such chaos, I decided to check Fox News headlines on my phone. 

Here's some of what I found and the one at the top was a doozy. Biden signs edict proclaiming Easter as Transgender Day of Visibility. Talk about a direct assault on every Christian value this world has ever stood for and it was so unnecessary. The article went on to explain that the LGBTQ groups have already claimed three months and 28 holidays since Biden was installed. Among all the others, this special interest group, that represents such a small percentage of our population, has an International Asexual Day, an International Day of Pink, a day for Pansexual and Pararomantic Awareness and an International Drag day. The rest were not listed but I'm sure they wouldn't be hard to find since our tax dollars are helping to supporting them and the people involved want their message out. They've also claimed October as LGBT history month; November for Trans awareness and June for Pride month. 

Other headlines included a big trailer filled with Bibles that was burned in front of a church in Tennessee, a five-alarm fire at a Brooklyn church during Easter service, Anti-Israel activists interrupting an Easter Vigil at an iconic NYC church, a DC suspect trying to set fire on Union Station's Freedom Bell and AOC and her liberal cronies portraying Christ as a Palestinian and not a Jew. I'm sure there were many other incidents aimed at defaming Christian and Jewish beliefs but I was too sick to my stomach to read on. Fifty years ago 90 percent of Americans believed in Christ. In 2020 in was only three out of ten and with the far left attacking anyone who will not go along with their agenda, it is projected that Christianity will become extinct by 2050.

Benjamin Franklin, who was eighty years old, stood and challenged those gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 to hammer out the great document we call our Constitution along with its accompanying Bill of Rights to really think about what they were trying to do. His advice is equally applicable today since God is being cut out of our lives with lightening speed by minority special interest groups. "I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice [which I should point out, is a direct reference to the words of Jesus in Matthew 10] is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings, that 'except the Lord build a House, they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this . . . I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning." 

In America, our sense of decency, morality, and society's moral underpinnings are rooted in a Jueo-Christian heritage as expressed in the Bible. Prayers were offered every morning in the halls of congress for over two centuries, but in today's America  they have been obliterated to appease the outspoken and fearful far leftists who have no qualms about admitting their allegiance to Satan. It's more than a travesty that we can no longer observe a National Day of Prayer without being accosted but it's okay to kill thousands of babies on a daily basis and castrate hundreds of children all on taxpayer dollars. And no-one says a word about all the precious little ones who go missing everyday, the tons and tons of drugs coming across our borders and taking the lives of our citizens, or the fact that illegals can commit any crime they wish - including murder - and will get nothing more than a slap on the hand before being released to commit another crime. Our Founding Fathers must be horrified when they see how far we have fallen in such a short amount of time.

President Abraham Lincoln said this in his Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer on April 30, 1863:  "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us! It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offending Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."

And what do we get this year? A proclamation from our installed President Biden that honors transgenderism and mocks the resurrection of our Savior. The tears are tickling my nose again as I type this. Even President Dwight Eisenhower in his second inaugural address offered a true prayer for our nation with these words. "Give us the power to discern clearly right from wrong and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby and by the laws of this land, especially we pray that our concern shall be for all people regardless of station, race or calling. May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our constitution, hold to differing political faiths so that we may all work for the good of our beloved country and thy glory, Amen."

And prayer isn't even the real issue with the people who are determined to wipe out Judeo-Christianity. Their real goal is to scrub out all acknowledgement of God along with any trace of our real heritage. They are doing this by twisting our laws too suit their purposes while generating an atmosphere of hostility toward anyone and anything religious. A beautiful young woman I know on a very personal basis who is Christian, white and straight was viciously attacked at school a week ago by LGBTQ thugsters who told her she was ugly, racist and homophobic and should kill herself simply because she was trying to help a Mexican student in class who didn't understand the assignment. 

Some of these brainwashed teens of today don't even understand what the terms they so callously and vehemently throw around mean. And believing all the hype they have been fed about being more special than anyone else because they're gay, bi, trans or any of the dozens of other made up sexualities does not absolve them from acts of cruelty and demonization that destroy other student's lives. But that's the society we live in and it breaks my heart because it doesn't have to be that way. There are still enough individuals in our country who believe in God, country, faith and family to take back the freedoms we have lost, but we have to stand together to do it. 

"In Germany, they first came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist," said Rev. Martin Niemoller. "Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics. I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak up." Reverend Neimoller spent time in one of the concentration camps during World War II.

I made a commitment to myself last night and it's one I hope to keep for the rest of my life. It is to speak Christ's name more often and defend him regardless of any personal cost. He gave his life so all of us can live again. There is no greater gift, and all he asks in return is that we keep his commandments, have faith and hope and utilize the process known as repentance so we can someday return to his presence. It seems a very small price to pay but far too few people want to take advantage of it.

I leave you with the song the young women sang at church yesterday. The truths it teaches are both simple and beautiful. It's titled Risen and was written by Shawna Edwards. If this clip doesn't work it can easily be accessed on YouTube.

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