Can We Get Back to Being an Honorable Country Again?

In an ESPN interview at Texas Motor Speedway September 21, 2008, drag racer John Force commenting about his upcoming first round race with competitor Cruz Pedregon, said:

“Cruz is a great competitor and on his game, he’s got a great hotrod, but I’ve got a great hotrod too, so it will be up to me. My legs are fixed [they were damaged from a horrific accident at the same speedway the year before], no more excuses. I’m going to give it all I have and if Cruz beats me then I just get whooped. But Cruzer, we’re gonna dance today! He will try to beat me and I will try to beat him…that is what we do.”

[checkout my article. “Force Honesty”]

As it turned out, John did beat Cruz that first round by 7/100ths of a second, only to meet up with his daughter, Ashley in round two. Ashley beat her dad off the line but disqualified by crossing the centerline, allowing John to go on to the third round. Tim Wilkerson beat John in round three and then beat Cruz’s brother Tony in the finals.

So, what’s the point you say?…what?…you don’t care about drag racing? That’s un-American! Just kidding…The point is this: We [the world] are dying in a state of “no responsibility” and the idiotic blame game! Just as spoiled children, if you don’t have what you want, you whine about it. You blame others for your situation, or blame the dog that ate your homework, the teacher yelled at you, you don’t have a father, and your sister hates you, and besides, it is too windy and cold out there! Businesses complain about competition, saying we need regulations, and then they complain about government regulations. The mother blames the father, the father blames the mother, and the child blames who ever is left standing. Families disintegrate, break up, and find themselves in even worse difficulty drowning in the quagmire of the whole multiple extended family fiasco. I suppose this stupid “blame game” started in the Garden of Eden as Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake; it has been going on ever since. God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden before they could eat of the Tree of Life, thus being condemned for eternity in their sinful state. This was an act of salvation by God, not anger but the desire for a loving relationship with His created.

Today, there is no patience, no “staying power”, and certainly no sense of humor. People expect perfection when it is clearly impossible; it is a world clearly unsustainable. One minor failure and people cry foul; is there an Edison out there willing to fail 6,000 times for a new idea? Frivolous lawsuits “steal” money from insurance companies who say it is cheaper to pay off the bandits rather than fight them; meanwhile the businesses pay the higher insurance price and pass it along to consumers. Higher education institutions sit on massive endowment accounts, pay salaries for non-teaching tenured professors, and whine to bureaucrats for tuition hikes that shut more and more people out of getting educations, thus adding to the dumbing-down of America.

I am trying to compare two sides here…what is wrong with America against what made America great. Is it idealism to think it possible to find our way back to be a strong honorable country again?

What do YOU produce and who do YOU try to please?

Staying with the tree metaphor, now that I have been transplanted in the fertile soil of Jesus Christ, nourished by the Holy Spirit, I have become a new creation…a new tree if you will. The question then becomes, what will I produce as this new tree? Will I produce fruit or thorns? Of course, by definition, there is only one correct answer here; you cannot be a new creation and produce anything but fruit because it is not “you” doing the producing but the Spirit within you. Jesus once said that many will call Him LORD and He will say I don’t know you (Matt. 7:21-23); these folk, sadly, are not new creations, though they may wish it so. Some may sit in church pews their whole life and know who Jesus is (have knowledge of Him) yet have never had a personal encounter with the risen LORD.

I believe that I am producing fruit now. I am orthodox. I am still teaching an adult Sunday School Class nonstop for over 35 years. I have written accurate articles on the Trinity, Holy Communion, death, sin, and hope. My first book, entitled “I Am, the Great Creator God”, published in 2010 by Muskrat Books. The book is aimed for those seeking real answers about who God is and why they exist. The book deals with theology and cosmology; and hits head-on such light-weight subjects as evolution verses creationism, the Big Bang, and the concept of time as a dimension in the universe. In addition to writing, I have preached sermons, conducted a funeral. I am an Elder in the Disciples of Christ Christian Church and have even served on the Regional Church Board. I am a tree with good roots. I still do and will always seek out good nourishment for I am still growing in Christ. For as Paul said:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (Philippians 3:12 ESV)

While I believe there is such a thing as a “just war” to remove evil and protect the innocent, I don’t hate any group, race or religion. I was not always bearing fruit. I have produced a vast number of thorns in my earlier years, but people can change. I think by anyone’s definition, I am now producing fruit, but my main drive is only to hear my God say, “well done my good and faithful servant”, for it is the LORD’s will and not my own that I strive for. I give God the glory.

My thorns have been mainly in the way I have treated my family. I have always treated others with respect and tried to be honorable. In business, I have treated my clients and contractors openly, “on top of the table”, not hiding any agendas or planning any maneuvers. I am definitely not good at the ugly world of politics or the art of the manipulation of others. I treat everybody as an honorable man should. If I make a mistake, I admit it and fix it. I have always said that the mark of a true professional was not whether or not you ever made a mistake (because everybody does), the mark of a true professional is revealed in how you recovered from the mistake. This sadly for the business world, leaves you vulnerable, taken advantage of, and people can and will “pile on” in this litigious society of ours. As a Christian, you can not act any differently however, so make your choice: fruit or thorns, which will it be?

I actually had people say, “you’re too nice, Haven”; I never liked hearing that, because shouldn’t everybody try to treat others as you would like to be treated? In business, maybe it is true that good guys finish last, though there are many exceptions, but my contention is this: I’m not working for other people’s glory; I’m working for the glory of God. Given the choice that we all have, ask which is the better path to take? Are we searching for earthly rewards that will soon turn to dust or do we strive for eternal rewards that never fall away? For me, I chose the path less traveled; it is the footsteps of Christ I chose to follow. A person will always bear fruit when connected to Jesus Christ. Jesus said:

“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (John 6:27-29 ESV)

Truth, integrity, honor…are these words pas-se these days?

Truth, integrity, honor…are these words pas-se these days? They may be to all of us earthlings, but they are not to God. People lie so often these days, it almost seems normal to do so. School teachers have been caught lying about and altering test results to make their efforts look better; sending the obvious though wrong student reaction: “if they do it, so can we”…and so the students cheat in great numbers. The media lies about and conveniently leave out their undesirable facts within their stories just to suit their political agendas. Honesty anyone?

Teachers, not knowing themselves about US history, teach revisionist untruthful lesson plans to fit a constructed liberal doctrine. Don’t believe me? …check out the new history books. Borne out of “inclusive language”, political correctness has now become censorship of free-speech. “Zero tolerance” in schools only proves to our students that teachers, administrators and adults at large, are unable to think, reason and solve problems. There is no integrity in lumping all action into one set of responses. Lacking the past integrity of a firm handshake, business contracts don’t mean anything today unless reinforced in a courtroom; assuming your insurance company allows you to even go to court in lieu of simply paying-off a frivolous lawsuit; thus adding gasoline to the frivolous lawsuit bonfires started by hoards of un-honorable people. Politicians call each other “honorable” and yet prove themselves to be the most corrupt, dishonest, liars of the bunch!

Friends, we are not in a good position in this country; we must get back to speaking the truth by disavowing liberal “relativism” and accepting that there is indeed an absolute truth. We must demand integrity in our leaders. We must expect honor again, and call it out when it goes missing. Apathy kills!

In the Book of Acts, chapter 5, we can read about Ananias and Sapphira. They sold a piece of property which was perfectly fine to do. They gave a portion to the Church which was perfectly fine to do. So, why did they die that every day? They died because they lied to the Holy Spirit and to the Church. They claimed that the money given to the Church was the money received from the sale of the property; if only they had simply told the truth…how easy that would have been!

God expects His disciples to be truthful. John 8:31-32…So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” It is interesting that if you simply tell the truth, you never have to worry about what you said years earlier. It actually produces freedom and peace in your heart. How right the Biblical text is in Zechariah 8:16…These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace. Certainly, you do not like people lying to you; don’t you long for honestly from others? Then, why don’t you act first? We are one family of earthlings; let truth begin with you. Ephesians 4:25… Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Truth, integrity, honor…are words that are NOT pas-se to God.

Where is the truth and honor?

There has been a lot in the news lately of the Obama “sequester”. Many have shouted “doom & gloom” from the roof tops. There are already hard working people being laid off and families hurt for no reason. Why is that happening? Are we really that far out of control?

The both sides of government are irresponsibily spending $10 billion dollars PER DAY of money we don’t have! It is our children’s future we are spending and it is sinful to do so! We must get it under control or we will die as a nation! Back to this so-called sequester…the “Chicken Little – the sky is falling” is all about scaring people; there is NO truth and NO honor in it. If there are any cuts, they are only 2% of our overly wasteful spending…hardly enough to cause the problems being reported on the national news. In fact, most of the sequester are not even cuts at all, but are reductions in future growth. We will still be spending more this year than last. So, why is our government attacking all these fine hard-working people, alying off people for no reason and hurting families?

So the point of this blog post is what? The point is, we are a compassionate nation, but both sides of our leadership are hurting our citizens and we are being lied to by our mainstream media…we are a better nation than this! I ask again, where has truth and honor gone? Can we not expect to be better, to do the right thing, to have some honor, and not be so grossly selfish? We MUST look within and each individual seek to be “Different Kind of Trees” than the direction our culture is sliding.

What are we doing to our children?

May be you saw published in United Press International on July 17, 2011 where police in Midway, Ga. shut down a lemonade stand in the front yard of the home of 3 girls. Reason? Oh, the young girls didn’t have a business license, a peddler’s permit, and a food permit. The 3 girls wanted to go to a water park…can you say “heat wave” in the south? They weren’t stealing from their parents, but were working for the money! Who wouldn’t think that is a responsible lesson for these girls? You know they would have appreciated the value of the money having had to actually work for it instead of so many sticking a hand out to Mom and Dad.

At a time when our public schools give out condoms to minors without parental permission, when elementary kids are having oral sex on school buses, and when massive cheating rings are taking place with not only the students, but the teachers; I ask you, which lesson is teaching the kids the best most honorable thing to do? I pick selling lemonade! Can we simply ask for a little…just a little…common sense, please!