Friday, September 23, 2016

History Is Happening Right Before Our Eyes

By Pastor Ed Evans

With all we see going on in America today, those of my generation decry the college crowd with buttercup brains and butterfly hearts, and wonder about the future of America as they come of age. 
I submit we are watching, in our own time, the disintegration akin to that of the Roman Empire. Same criminal graft, same selfish guilt, same meltdown of male and female roles, same paucity of discipline in the military armed forces. Our enemies simply bide their time. If you read Revelations in your Bible, you will see that America is not there when Christ returns. We are watching the reason.
Of course, for those who already have a relationship with Jesus Christ, this is all the more reason to constantly share the Good News of Jesus Christ at every opportunity, For 2nd Timothy 4:3 tells us, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions..." Oh wait, it's here and once again we see it happening right now, don't we. History continues to ramble on right before our eyes. Ethical and moral walls fall, "understood" rules of behavior crumble before social depravity and ravenous hungers of strange types.
Everything of which the prophets of old warned us is coming into being as mankind reveres and fawns before the fleshly creation, rather than the Creator. Right before our eyes. With all the modern advances and such industrial wisdom and intelligence being displayed for the betterment of mankind, who would have thought the moral and ethical ground upon which society stands would begin to disintegrate so easily, and so soon. Who would have thought it. God did. And He told us so.
There is a remedy, an answer, and we've known it all along. But then, the truth of 2nd Tiothy 4:3 is in motion, and the axe is falling.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Born in a Barn? Close the Door to Evil!

By Pastor Ed Evans

As America draws closer to the November 8th Presidential election, many forces for and against the two leading candidates are becoming more active, more accusatory, more divisive.
Among the voting population there are those who say they will vote for Hillary Clinton, those who say they will vote for Donald Trump, and those who say they cannot vote for either so they will vote for one of the several lesser known candidates.
You, as an American voter, have every right to vote for whom you wish. I and many others have and most probably would again, fight to guarantee you that right. In the same spirit that it has been said that the U.S. Constitution is fit only for governing a God-fearing people -- yes, I am aware not all Americans are going to be God-fearing people – the action of performing as a responsible voter rests only with those concerned, as I am at this critical juncture in our nation's history, with the future of our nation.
Any due diligence applied, any critical thinking, will reveal that only Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump have a reasonable chance at becoming President. I am not nearly as concerned about what Trump says as I am about what Clinton has not only done, but promises to do once imbued with the power of the Oval Office. There can be no compromise, there is no alternative choice. The nation-saving choice rests in keeping evil out of the Oval Office, away from the power of the Presidency, completely away from the nuclear football, or codes. Evil must also not be allowed to pack the Supreme Court over the next eight years; must be kept from continuing to strip the U.S. military of not only new weaponry but also necessary maintenance programs (F-18s are "falling out of the air" due to lack of required maintenance); cease coming up with more PC social experiments in our military that merely degrade the most effective military in the world; stop teaching the next generation that how to make more money is better than learning productive ethics and morals.

As with the rest of life that I have lived and observed in my 75 years on this earth, I have no doubt about the sovereignty of Almighty God; God will do what God intends to do. And while His Son's Sermon on the Mount provides excellent guidance for how we should live into His vision, at no time does God instruct us to open the doors for evil. But as with most everything else, opening those doors or closing them is an individual choice. Choose well. The future of your children and my grandchildren depend upon keeping evil out.  I urge you not to allow them to be caught on the wrong side of evil.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Strangeness in a Strange World

Seems to be a strange wave of anti-voting going on. I keep running into posts by people who claim they are not voting for Hillary, and by not voting at all, they claim that will be a vote for Trump. It's nonsense, of course. Doesn't work that way. But that is their story and they are sticking to it, along with the claims Hillary will never be convicted of anything. Like they thought she was royalty.
I have to believe this is all coming from the Democrat's traditional bag of dirty tricks. Otherwise, why the sudden surge of "not voting is a vote for Trump"?
One poster brushed aside all logical arguments ending with a graphic which declared: "The only people I owe my loyalty to are those who never made me question their's." This was my response:
"...owe loyalty...? That would include all those wonderful young men who paid with their lives and futures for your freedom and mine. I know many of their names firsthand, some who died on the four battlefields on which I served, while I survived. And I owe them and their surviving families a better America, which is why I will not roll over and go along to get along. Trump has been helping and assisting military veterans long before he began running for President. Hillary has consistently disrespected and demeaned military members, not to mention the now available email evidence of her deadly involvement in the death of the Benghazi four. If you are free, if you are in this nation speaking English, having access to all the hopes and dreams of any other American, then you owe posterity the same diligence of purpose in protecting freedom that those who came before you sacrificed to provide to you and your family. "Opting out", like the bended knee before royalty, is not the American way.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Life is a Contest

               Life is a contest; sink or swim, succeed or fail, be rewarded or lose out.
               If you are not aborted, you have a chance.  If you are born in America, you have a chance.  If you are born to loving, supportive parents, you have a chance.  Not everyone is.
               At least in our day and age we no longer have to be on the lookout for saber-toothed tigers, deadly raptors and other dinosaurs.   Today most of our dangers come instead from mankind and its machinations.  So yes, sometimes staying alive is a contest that requires focus and concentration.
               The world has been watching the 31st Olympics this past week, and rarely has focus and concentration been more on display.  31-year-old Michael Phelps winning 22 Olympic medals; Simone Manuel celebrated as the first black person to win an Olympic swimming gold medal, followed by a host of exciting stories of Olympic medal wins.
Unlike the other competition that has dominated the world-wide news media this past year – no, not the American political campaigns – the war against terrorism, we have witnessed many poignant moments where battling teams switched in an instant from intense competitors to hugging, hand-shaking congratulatory fans of the winners.
               Maybe it’s just the sports environment that encourages such clean, healthy competition without the base, go-for-the-jugular attacks.  No revenge, no vengeance.  As veteran volleyball champ Kerry Walsh Jennings and her partner battled the Italians for the gold medal, the TV cameras zoomed in on Walsh Jennings left hand, where she had written the word “JOY” to remind her why she played so hard to win.  Competition, yes, but not for blood.  And winners were congratulated and celebrated, not plotted against sniped at.
               Sports does seem to bring out the best in human beings.
               A Little League baseball game comes to mind, where the boys from Warner Robbins, Ga., defeated a team of young boys from Japan.  Even as the winners jumped about with back-slapping congratulations, they noticed that the Japanese boys had broken down in tears.  Without a word the victory celebration stopped and the winning team moved to console the losers.
               Said pitcher Kendall Scott, “I just hated to see them cry, and I just wanted to let them know that I care.  Youthful sportsmanship at its best.
               Some may remember a similar moment that was caught on video at a Special Olympics race a few years ago.  As the mentally and physically challenged children raced down their lanes, one boy stumbled and went down.  One girl stopped, turned around and went back to help him.  The others, as they approached the finish line, stopped, turned and went back to boy being helped to his feet.  All together, they crossed the finished line, winners all.
               Heartwarming moments all, but pointing out that sports – even at its best – is an imperfect metaphor for Christianity.  For in sports, someone always loses.  But when someone is won to Christ, the only loser is Satan.

               The difference is that for Christians, true teamwork is not about defeating someone, it’s about making them part of the team, God’s own team.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Who Is This Crazy Old Lady ..... And Does She Really Know?

Hillary Clinton recently called for raising taxes on the “middle class” while campaigning in Omaha, Nebraska.  She was joined on stage by left-wing Democrat billionaire Warren Buffett, and they both received applause from those in attendance.

“Because while Warren is standing up for a fairer tax code, Trump wants to cut taxes for the super-rich,” said Clinton. “Well, we’re not going there, my friends. I’m telling you, right now — we’re going to write fairer rules for the middle class and we are going to raise taxes on the middle class!”  And unaccountably, the audience cheered and applauded!
I don’t know which is stranger, Hillary’s words or her audience’s approval!
In another speaking engagement, it was reported that as Hillary was speaking someone in the audience held up a banner about not killing animals.  Hillary stopped speaking.  Apparently it was as if she was stunned; or confused.  One of her Secret Service agents was observed coming alongside of her saying, “Keep talking.”  And she did.  She began to talk about how former President George Bush and his friends like to kill animals.  What?
Now, much earlier I had read one of those tell-all stories from someone who had apparently been on Hillary’s staff, was let go, and was “telling all” as one who had been close to her.  What she was telling was about Hillary’s inability to focus and stay on target.  How she had to be constantly reminded what to do, where to be, what to say.  The implication was a lack of short-term memory.  At the time I filed that away as election-year fluff.  Now I wonder.
If you go to Google and search “Hillary Clinton Seizures”, you find 583,000 results.  Many of those are YouTube videos of her apparently suffering on-camera seizures, and yet beyond what you see, no credible evidence has been addressed or released. and others discuss Hillary Clinton as a sociopath who may have brain damage, but again, no real evidence one way or the other.
Here’s the thing.  At this point in the election year, no one is going to state with any competency that the lady is ill or in any state that would remove her from running for President.  Just not going to happen, even were it true.
We all are probably familiar with stories about the old boxing champion or other aging sports figure who has lost their edge, maybe even suffered brain damage, but who won’t quit.  And they are surrounded by a coterie of close supporters who continue to urge that person on.  After all, this is their golden goose.  Without this person they have no money, no job, no future.  Doesn’t matter that the longer this person goes without competent treatment the less grow their chances for a good quality of life, or even survival.
If this were true of Hillary Clinton, could those who have closed ranks around her ensure this nation the leadership it deserves, that it needs?  They would surely answer in the affirmative, behind closed doors.  Others would coach, coax, act for, and keep up appearances for as long as possible; unless the money and rewards ran out.  But no chance of that, by all accounts. 
Still, brain damage or not, disaster looms and the question presents itself, will Hillary be able to cope?  While Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea will do everything in their power to “protect” their cash cow, their golden goose, it doesn’t take even a good detective to see that the Clinton Empire is beginning to fray, crack, and rot around the edges. 
Now new evidence is being investigated about the claimed suicide of close Democratic supporter Vince Foster.  Two others who authorities say were about to testify against the Clintons have also died this year.  News commentators are abandoning their practice of “protecting” the Clintons as “American royalty” and ugly facts about the Clinton Foundation are finding their way into print and TV news, such as how the Foundation benefits the Clintons alone as a “slush fund” but no one else, for example.
The descriptive phrase “house of cards” comes to mind, and again the question, can Hillary cope?
And at the center of it is a now-delightful, now-furiously angry, now-silly grinning elderly lady who has had a good run in politics and now wants her brass ring on the merry-go-round.  And it is to the benefit of many that she gets it, so they are hiding and sliding and helping her.  Possibly.  How will we know?  Camouflage and misdirection are the hallmarks of an election year.  And the bottom line comes down to the question of how that helps the nation.  Should a pity-support vote put her into the White House and we simply hope for the best?  Can we trust those around her to carry on if it all turns out badly?
Still and all, we who have grown up as Americans still retain enough of the remaining true American character to ask the question that is even more bottom line to that.  And that question is how does any of it really help this human being we know as Hillary Rodham Clinton?  What about what is best for this possibly “crazy old lady”?  What about what is best for her?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Darker, Sterner Days of America's Tomorrows

by Pastor Ed Evans

Many of us, whether supporters of Donald Trump, cautious admirers, or die-hard non-supporters, have been watching the TV coverage of the Republican National Convention.  As one who has spent more than 50 years dealing with the American and international news media, I have perhaps paid attention to different aspects of that coverage than have others, and I find great disappointment.
CBS in particular has done a wretched, deliberately I suspect, wretched job.  At a high point in the early convention CBS broke for a several days old interview with Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton.  Here they are promoting gavel-to-gavel coverage of a Republican convention and they switch to a Democratic opponent who is castigating and savaging her opponent, Republican Donald Trump. 

I was so disgusted I switched to C-Span and there I stayed.  Even-handed coverage.
But it was when I switched that I believe I discovered the reason CBS went to a Hillary Clinton interview.  For at the convention, at that very point, conventioneers were hearing from the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, former LtGen. Michael Flynn, on the disastrous amount of damage Hillary Clinton had done with her injudicious handling of her email and classified documents on an unofficial email system she had set up for herself.  And it is disastrous.  For not only are our classified secrets now in the hands of our enemies and detractors, but so are her private emails.  This sets her up for a monumental amount of blackmail, if our enemies wish.  How can one operate in the Oval Office on behalf of America under those circumstances?
So much of the past four years under the Obama administration needs to be corrected.  Operating outside the bounds of Constitutional authority, without Congress holding his feet to the fire, President Obama and his administration have created racial, economic, and national security havoc.  Even the social assistance program dubbed “Obamacare”, intended to meet the needs of so many people, is coming apart and leaving those who need it most in economic and medical jeopardy.  There is so much that needs to be corrected.
And so it is with a cautiously hopeful heart that many Americans, politically affiliated or not, are watching the events play out at the Republican National Convention, placing Donald Trump and Governor Pence in the spotlight of history.  All the while the CBS reporters go on camera discussing the size of the hall, the empty seats, seeking out delegates who will have a targeted bad word to say about Trump.  CBS has studiously abandoned their responsibility to the American people to provide all the facts unfettered with personal agendas.  The CBS reportage team embarrassed themselves when they went onto the Convention floor seeking the Convientioneers’ comments about the similarities between Melania Trump’s speech and an old one of First Lady Michelle Obama.  Responded the delegates on the floor: “We don’t care.”
All of this sadness has sent my mind reeling back to another era, when world leaders were world leaders and the rest of us were glad of it.  And Winston Churchill, he who once termed himself merely the lion given the gift of being the British nation’s roar in victory over World War II, Churchill appeared at the Harrow boys’ school in England to give a speech.  The words still ring out with the bronze bell sound of freedom and dedication to that freedom, today.
A sermon illustration from Pastor Lee Eclov of Vernon Hills, Illinois, best recalls the event, as follows.
There is a widespread myth about a famous short speech supposedly delivered by Winston Churchill. Most versions go something like the one I found in a Christian book:
There's this famous story about Sir Winston Churchill, who near the end of his distinguished career was asked to return and speak at his old school, Harrow (where as a boy he'd almost flunked out)…
The great day finally arrived, and after the school's fanfare and acclamation Sir Winston stood to his feet, acknowledged the introduction, and gave the following address, which is quoted in full: 'Young men, never give up. Never give up! Never give up!! Never, never, never-never-never-never!'"
According to Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, the speech was not delivered near the end of Churchill's career (he died in 1965), but on October 29, 1941. And he wasn't Sir Winston till 1953. And what he really said was, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."
In addition, this familiar speech was not 29 words long, but rather two pages. The famous quote was neither at the beginning nor the end, but hidden away in a long paragraph recounting Great Britain's progress during the first 10 months of World War II. The full speech reads:
Almost a year has passed since I came down here at your Head Master's kind invitation in order to cheer myself and cheer the hearts of a few of my friends by singing some of our own songs. The 10 months that have passed have seen very terrible catastrophic events in the world—ups and downs, misfortunes—but can anyone sitting here this afternoon, this October afternoon, not feel deeply thankful for what has happened in the time that has passed and for the very great improvement in the position of our country and of our home? Why, when I was here last time we were quite alone, desperately alone, and we had been so for five or six months. We were poorly armed. We are not so poorly armed today; but then we were very poorly armed. We had the unmeasured menace of the enemy and their air attack still beating upon us, and you yourselves had had experience of this attack; and I expect you are beginning to feel impatient that there has been this long lull with nothing particular turning up!
But we must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough. It is generally said that the British are often better at the last. They do not expect to move from crisis to crisis; they do not always expect that each day will bring up some noble chance of war; but when they very slowly make up their minds that the thing has to be done and the job put through and finished, then, even if it takes months—if it takes years—they do it.
Eclov, in his remembrance of the event, goes on to say, “Another lesson I think we may take ….. is that appearances are often very deceptive, and as Kipling well says, we must "…meet with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same."

God alone knows how the November election will turn out.  Many of us hope Trump will be the victor and he will keep his promises to America to lead this nation back to greatness, out of a mire of ethical, moral, economic and legal bad decisions.  Out of the darkness, into the sunlight, without failure or obfuscation.  Against that we must never give in.  Never, never, never.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Behind Every Blade of Grass -- An American

By Pastor Ed Evans
          Righteous anger and indignation has its limits, and at some point caring people must speak up -- or explode.  We’ve seen some explosions recently, AKA violence.
          I just watched the CBS Evening news for July 11th, 2016, and the limit has been reached in this quarter.  
          This essay will probably lose me friends, but what I am about to say cries out to be said, and I see no one else saying it.  If you need to defriend me, cross me off your Christmas card list, tell others “I told you so,” go for it.  In the greater scheme of things I, and my opinions, are of little importance.  I would wish that those with more importance, greater audiences, and more power to impact American society and our cultural ethics would speak up about these issues.  But I’m not seeing it, so while I am only one, I am one American.  I am one proud to be an American, honored that I had the opportunity, on four battlefields, to defend the freedoms of this nation; honored that my wife and I have launched four adult sons and one adult daughter into the American nation who have no desire to do harm to others, who believe in integrity and personal responsibility.
          The righteous anger and indignation of which I speak has been building for some time.  It is partly borne of watching elected officials fawn like schoolchildren seeking favors, avoiding responsible action, indulging in petulant finger-pointing when they should be leading the way to seeking and supporting real answers to real problems affecting real people.  That is why they were elected.  Instead they chain dance behind their chosen political party, engage in smearing the efforts and candidates from opposing political parties, merely muddying the water and driving away creative solutions.
          What finally drove me to set down in black and white the indignation I am feeling was the CBS Evening news coverage showing testimony by the Director of the FBI and “explanations” by Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton about the FBI Director’s decision not to recommend prosecution regarding her use of unprotected, unofficial emails while Secretary of State.  It does not seem to matter that people of lesser social rank, who also mishandled classified information, regardless of intent, have lost their jobs, been fined, and have been jailed.
          It should not be lost on us that Hillary Clinton initially claimed her emails had not included any classified information.  This was proven to be a lie when the FBI Director disclosed her emails included 23,035 pieces of classified information, data which we can safely assume is now in the hands of other nations to America’s disadvantage.  And if that were not bad enough, the same people now have access to all those emails between Hillary Clinton and others, which should provide a rich field for blackmail on a national and international scale of the candidate should she become President.
          But my real question is why are we even still discussing this?
          We know from Congressional hearings the part this woman, and others, played in the horrible abandonment and deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.  Beyond that, the Internet has been alive with a long list of deaths, legal infractions, and scandalous peccadillos that makes the Clinton family look like a ripe target for RICO charges of organized gang activity.
          As an American, as a military veteran and patriot, as a father, a husband, and an ordained minister of Jesus Christ, I strenuously object to being played for a fool, object to the supposition I cannot discern good and evil, truth and lie for what they are; object beyond measure to the criminal treatment besieging my beloved country.
          Nevertheless, the offensive political atmosphere is only a portion of my complaint about the current attempt to dumb down this nation and malign the integrity of its citizens.  Alphabetically, my complaints would run the gamut from abortion as the murder of disenfranchised infants – if Black Lives truly Matter, they need to begin at the abortion clinics! – to blatant lies by America’s political elite, to foolhardy economics being approved at the highest levels of government to support nations foreign to our interests, build Islam mosques, and purchase weapons for other nations which will one day be turned on us, as history has shown. 
          This is what I want:
          All those who consider yourselves a member of a race before you consider yourselves Americans -- stand down.  The equality spoken of in the U.S. Constitution (14th Amendment) and all ten amendments of the Bill of Rights means everyone has the opportunity to be equal.  No one is more equal than anyone else.  If you don’t feel you have equal opportunities, then work to change that.  Violence is not the answer.  Stomping your food and demanding others give you what you will not work for to attain for yourself, won’t work.
          If you have immigrated to this nation illegally, go home.  Go home and work to change your home country into what you want it to be, as Americans have done, shedding their blood, committing their lives, their fortunes and their futures to achieve what we have.  We did not do it so those not familiar with how we got here can come in and change America back to a third world banana republic.  “Illegal” means you committed a crime in sneaking in here.  You are welcome to come in legally, work for a season, and then return home.  If you want to stay here, go home and immigrate legally, as many others have done.
          If you have immigrated to this nation legally, something about this nation must have impressed you.  With all respect to your prior experiences, learn what it means to be an American, and be an American, not some hyphenated halfway American.  If you are not happy with America as your home, go home.  To all others, welcome aboard.  Glad you are here.
          Presidents, Congressmen, Senators, you need to re-read your oath of office, and note that you are accepting responsibility for the protection and betterment of the nation and its people.  There is nothing in the oath of office about your elected office being a career choice, about feathering your own nest and building a war chest for the next election, about decision-making being based upon the precepts of your political party, or about being re-elected.  We the People come first.  If that makes no sense to you, offends you, doesn’t work for you, turn the lights out and go home.  Demonstrate some self respect.
          Integrity, dedication, truthfulness must be restored to those in federal service, whether elected, appointed, or just hired.  The ship of state is continually running aground because of underhanded dealings, scams, chicanery, illegal and personal deals by those in public office.  When wrong-doing is uncovered, responsible people take action, and there are consequences, not cover-ups.
          The world remains an unsafe and often ugly place, and the state of a nation’s security forces is critical.  Using those armed forces as replacements for hard-fought diplomacy, as bargaining chips at budget time, and as social experiments to check-off political points is not only unbelievably foolish, but sets the nation at a risk level which may not be restored.  The world changes, opportunities change, the nature and power and intent of once-allies change.  The U.S. Military has a purpose.  Fund it properly, leave it alone, and get out of its way.
          Finally, while there is a coterie of those who would argue America’s Christian beginnings, nevertheless, our history and the intents of our forefathers rest upon the search for liberty to worship in freedom, and the early predominance was for the Christian religion.  Over our 240 years, Americans have learned to share that freedom perhaps beyond even what our forefathers envisioned.  As a people we make room for those who wish to worship within the framework of their upbringing, and according to their conscience.  That said, the unparalleled violence associated with the Islamic religion requires a closer look at what it is.  Islam, historically, is not a pure religion, but a religious oligarchy, that is, an organization forever seeking conquest through religion.  Under this organizational definition, borne out by the growth and conquest of Islam itself, Islam does not qualify as a “religion” meriting the protection of religion through the U.S. Constitution.  For acceptance of Islam within the United States means protection of a force seeking the overthrow of the government of the United States.  The adherents to Islam need to step back from their support of jihad, renounce violence and their religion’s stated purpose of conquest.  If that is not acceptable, Islam must be banned, as it was originally by the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act.. H.R.13342; Pub.L. 414;182 Stat.66, which in Section 212, Chapter 2, prohibits entry into America any immigrants belonging to an organization seeking the unlawful overthrow of the federal government of the United States by force, violence and other unconstitutional means.  Islam has already been banned in Japan, Angola, and China, and declared a non-religion in Italy.
          So the message is that if you come to America to live, whatever your skin color, original nationality or religion, come to be an American, not to change us to your ways.  Or, if you can’t or won’t do this, stay home.  Choice is yours.
          For the rest of you involved in un-American activities, knock it off, or leave.  If you don’t know what it means to be an American, find out and adjust.  Or leave.
          Face it, for those of us who were born here, grew up here, studied American history and civics, and have grandchildren and great-grandchildren to whom we want to bequeath this great country, we have nothing to lose and a nation to gain; a nation we love. 
          I close this with the words of two of America’s presidents.  First, George W. Bush: “"There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom." 
          And secondly, John F. Kennedy: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.  This much we pledge--and more.” 
Behind every blade of beautiful American grass, an American.