America, Look Up

The importance of America returning to Christian principles and Traditional Family Values


May 2014

Embarrassing Moments

It’s just a part of our human nature to become embarrassed occasionally.  Probably my most embarrassing moment transpired on a mission trip about 15 years ago.

I was serving as a bi-vocational music and youth pastor at the time, and my wife, my pastor, and I chaperoned a group of teenagers to Houston, Texas, spending a week in the inner city ministering to kids.  In a joint effort with other teenagers from our Church’s Association, we conducted a morning VBS in an area of Houston primarily populated by Hispanics.  My second language is pig Latin, so I enjoyed learning a new Spanish word or phrase each day, and the kids seemed to get a kick out of me trying to speak their language.

One day, as we wrapped up Vacation Bible School, all of the kids gathered in the sanctuary for a departing puppet show.  I thought it might be appropriate to learn the word for puppets, so I inquired of a small child.  As the kids streamed in to the worship center, I screamed at the top of my lungs,

“We’re getting ready to have a puppet show!”

substituting the English word “puppet” with its Spanish equivalent….

Or so I thought.

At the conclusion of the puppet performance, and as the kids filed out to load up on the church vans, a young girl tugged on my arm and said,

“I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”

She scampered off to ask her mom.  She came back with a shy smile and informed me I had been yelling for a “topless ladies show.”

I was mortified.

I’ll never live that down.

Recently, comedian Sarah Silverman shared something that embarrasses her.  As a pro-choice woman she’s embarrassed that she hasn’t had an abortion.

You read correctly.

In an interview with Bill Maher she said,

“…I don’t like to admit this…I’ve never had an abortion….”

As a staunch defender of the pro-choice movement, she felt guilty about championing a procedure, she herself had never experienced.

Our society’s so screwed up.  It used to be taboo to admit our downfalls publicly, to share about those moments of caving to temptation for fear of people shunning us or branding us with a scarlet letter.  Now it appears to be in vogue to express apologies for being moral.

People wonder why kids go on shooting rampages, blaming guns, the NRA, and now mental health.  In most cases of violence or in the choice of a woman to discard, like trash, the baby growing in her womb, the issue isn’t a mental one…but a matter of the heart.  America’s moral compass has broken, and we’re guilty of doing that, which God warned us against,

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”  Isaiah 5:20

Our Country’s push to be tolerant only shoves us closer to the precipice of God’s judgment.  Our Country’s insistence on being politically correct only drives a deeper wedge between the propagation of Liberal ideologies and Conservative family values.  America’s banned the Bible from the public sphere and embraced a “feel good” religion known as moral relativism.  It’s not a new invention of modern time; in fact the book of Judges ends in this manner,

“In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” Judges 21:25

There’s a problem with that philosophy.  Our own eyes deceive us.  And where those around us occasionally express an “evolved” view about behaviors once universally categorized as sin, God’s Word does no such thing.  How His heart must break when a woman apologizes for NOT having an abortion.  America’s in a mess of its own making.

America needs revival.

The Real Meaning of Memorial Day

This weekend, millions of Americans take to the nation’s highways.  Three day weekends send people in pursuit of a little rest and relaxation.  Memorial Day weekenders flock to the lakes, the campgrounds, or lounge in the backyard, sweating over a sizzling grill of bratwurst and burgers.  Ah yes, the familial traditions of Memorial Day weekend.  Boating, brats, and burgers…but is there more?

Originally named Decoration Day, Memorial Day’s founding took place a short time after the Civil War.  General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic proclaimed on May 5, 1868,

“The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of the comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.  In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.”

Though several states vie for the origination of Memorial Day, Lyndon Johnson designated Waterloo, NY as the birthplace for this honorable day of tribute.  In 1866, Waterloo established an annual observance, closing businesses and setting aside a day to drape flowers over the graves of fallen soldiers.

Arlington Cemetery hosted the first official Decoration Day on a warm spring day in May of 1868.  President Ulysses S. Grant presided over the five thousand gathered to remember those who sacrificed their lives in the great conflict between the North and South.  Future President, James Garfield delivered the keynote address, and after a stirring ceremony of speakers and music, those congregated decorated the burial plots of both Union and Confederate soldiers.

Sadly, the noble nature of Memorial Day’s specific founding remains widely unknown.  According to a Gallup poll, only 28% of Americans knew that Memorial Day existed to honor the lives of those lost in war.  Others responded Memorial Day honored veterans, and some answered Memorial Day is set aside to honor all deceased.  To encourage recognition of our war fallen, Congress established the National Monument of Remembrance in 2002.  According to the White House Commission on Remembrance, the idea for the Moment was born when children touring the Nation’s Capital were asked by the Commission’s Director the meaning of Memorial Day.  They responded,

“That’s the day the pool opens.”

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to take a break from their festivities on Memorial Day at 3:00 pm, and for sixty seconds observe a moment of silence, honoring all service men and women who have died for our freedom.

Before dusting off the grill or the inaugural swan dive into the public pool, remember.  This Memorial Day, pause to honor our fallen heroes, thanking God for their sacrifice and for allowing us to live in the greatest nation on the earth.

The Bible and Same Sex Marriage- Part One

Most of my blog readership includes fellow Christian bloggers, family and friends.  So, when I posted an entry entitled “Does God’s View of Sin Evolve?” I knew my thoughts would mostly be preaching to the choir.  However, since joining the realm of Twitter, the posts sometimes end up reaching a much more diverse audience, especially with the option to Retweet.  Recently, an individual chose to open a link to my blog an responded to my view on homosexuality and same sex marriage.  Here’s the comment I discovered in my box:

None of you know what it’s like to be gay; if you were, you would drop this “hate the sin, love the sinner” crap.  I’m seriously sick of it.  My relationship is not a sin, in fact, it’s a lot stronger than many heterosexual relationships out there.  Sorry if you can’t handle the truth.  Goodbye.

Over the next few days, I hope to occasionally address some of the issues raised in this message, compassionately detailing the Bible’s teaching on same sex marriage.

“None of you know what it’s like to be gay”

I can’t speak for everyone, but that statement applies to me.  No, I do not know what it’s like to be gay or to be tempted with homosexual desires.  However, I know what it is to be a sinner.  The Bible states,

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

As humans we tend to classify sins, labeling them as big and little offenses.  Murder garners the classification of a big sin; a little white lie lives up to its name…at least in our minds.  However, our categorizations of sin mock God’s holiness.  In God’s eyes, sin’s sin.  I think the reason we fall into the trap of transgression allocation is we base our opinion of sin upon the visible consequences and our own personal distaste of the behavior.  But the truth of the matter remains, sin separates us from God.

Here’s the good news.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

An old hymn reads,

“Jesus knows all about our struggles, He will guide till the day is done.”

Since Jesus knows and understands our struggles and temptations, He provides the right amount of grace and strength to withstand the deceptions hurled at us by the enemy.  And when the Enemy launches an attack, God promises,

“I will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, I will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”  (I Corinthians 10:13)

So, whether you battle homosexual tendencies, lust, or sticking to the truth, God stands ready to help us overcome those sinful choices.  Whenever a temptation arises and beads of sweat pool on our forehead as we waver between right and wrong, scan the horizon for God’s escape hatch.  And know this, occasionally (and some more than occasionally…Christians included) we fail miserably in our walk with Christ.  In those instances He stands with His arms open, waiting for the wayward child to repent and come home.

Amazing Grace…..

The Prodigal America

America reminds me of the Prodigal Son.

Remember the story Jesus shared about the way ward child?  The younger of two sons decided he needed a change of scenery and an early escape from the rules and regulations of his father’s household.  After receiving his portion of the inheritance early, the young son high-tailed it out of town to chase his wanton desires.  Long story short, things spiraled out of control quickly.  He frivolously spent his money on wild living and he ended up destitute, craving the food of swine.

Today, America’s the Prodigal.

Founding Father John Adams said,

“Our constitution is only fit for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly unsuited to the governance of any other kind.”

The Constitution of the United States guaranteed people of all faiths the right to come to our shores and worship according to their own conscious.  Their forefathers fled to the New World to be free from having any particular religion forced upon them.  Not wanting to revert to the customs of the Old Country, the Founders promised the American people the “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” including the rights of the citizens to worship according to the dictates of their heart.  Sadly, much has changed in two centuries.

Our Country, once inclined to the Word of God, now flounders as atheists, radical environmentalists and homosexual activists control the conversation.  Christians, once courageous, now sit idly by fearing the label of intolerance for Biblical stances taken.  Our Country, the Prodigal, has turned a deaf ear to the Father and now squanders away its wealth in riotous living.  Certainly in the parable, the young man’s choice of “loose living” implies a plethora of moral indiscretions.  America rivals the transgressions of the younger son in similar fashion.  But how?  What sin do we sanction as a nation?

Abortion, a legal holocaust plagues our nation.  The innocent blood of over 50 million babies rests squarely on our hands.  Homosexual activists demand benefits  and the same rights as the traditionally married.  Instead of standing strong against the immoral agenda, announcements of states caving to vocal minorities dominate the headlines.  Our government insists the globe faces an environmental crisis perpetuated by men and cattle.  When leaders address the nation and sign-off with “and God bless the United States of America,” it’s nothing more than an effort to assuage the minds of those who “cling bitterly to their guns and religion.”

And we expect God to bless America?

I hate to admit it, but maybe the President was right when he said,

“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation.”

When the President chose to deliver these remarks, several Conservative Christians were up in arms.  Hold the outrage for a moment, he’s right.  Some who study church trends claim only about 20% of those claiming Christianity actively participate in the life of a local church.  Church doesn’t save anyone, but church attendance is a good indicator that a person has truly accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.  With dismal numbers like this, no wonder we see the Hollywood elite controlling the moral talking points and the Church’s influence dwindling.

George Washington once said,

“The propitious smile of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself hath ordained.”

For the time being, our nation ignores God and speeds down the road of “loose living” failing to realize the slop that lies ahead.  Thankfully, the Father waits patiently for us to return.   In the story of the Prodigal, Jesus shares the young man “came to his senses” after hitting rock bottom.   Now that the Country’s wallowing around with the swine, hopefully we corporately come to our senses and once again seek the God  who established,

“America as a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere. ”  Ronald Reagan

My Response to a YouTube Abortion Video

My wife and I have five children.  At each birth, I nervously sat by my wife’s side and coached her through the most difficult moments of labor.  Though these moments etch indelible memories in our minds…those births are just that, memories for my wife and I to treasure.  We never considered videotaping the throes of labor, even though some more adventurous souls do.  I’m not settled on the fact that family and friends want to watch the “crowning” moment of our little ones.  That being said, a news report broke recently announcing an abortion advocate uploaded a video to YouTube to document her own abortion.  She stated her goal was to show women abortions can be a positive experience.

In the video, Emily Letts announces she’s pregnant but not ready to be a mother.  Instead of offering her baby up for adoption, she chose to abort her baby, filming it for the world to see.  Ms. Letts records another video one month after the procedure.  She assures women she feels no remorse or guilt; she’s not sad or haunted by the decision.  Instead she says,

“I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a baby. I can make a life. I knew what I was going to do was right, because it was right for me and no one else.  I just want to tell my story.”

Cosmopolitan magazine interviewed Ms. Letts after she won the Abortion Care Network’s Stigma Busting video competition with her YouTube entry.  In the article she informs readers, she didn’t include the father in the decision and concerning the procedure she said,

“I remember breathing and humming through it like I was giving birth. I know that sounds weird, but to me, this was as birth-like as it could be. It will always be a special memory for me. I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I’d grab.”

A special memory?  Killing your own baby?

Some champions of abortion squirm when calling the conceived life a baby.  So, to minimize guilt, the words “fetus” and “clump of tissue” categorize the womb dwelling organism.  However, God sees life much differently.  Psalm 139 shares,

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,     I know that full well.  15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.   Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Though Ms. Lett assumes credit for “making a baby,” God is the Author of life.  In fact, the life God creates, He classifies as a masterpiece.  Imagine for a moment an artist of renowned gifting a friend with a beautiful painting suitable for display in any world class gallery.  Instead of treasuring the artwork, the person tosses it in the dumpster, grateful for the artist’s talent, but not yet ready to hang the gem on the living room wall.  Ridiculous, right?  But not as absurd as being in awe of life, but not awestruck enough to consider the life a treasure to be valued, appreciated, and nurtured.

We wonder why violence against humanity rages around us.  The answer’s really quite simple.  From the moment of conception, some refuse to embrace the miracle of life, instead choosing parenthood only if it’s convenient.  If we refuse to challenge people to respect the life of the most innocent, why should we expect people to esteem life at any stage?  But, what difference does it make?  We can replace people, right? How do I know?  Well, according to Emily Lett, the main point is that we can “make babies” and she has her sonogram to prove it.  Sadly, this valued souvenir documents another life sacrificed at the Altar of Convenience.

And some wonder why America’s going to hell in a hand basket…


A Closer Look at the Life of a Young Conservative, Lindsey Kolb

A few weeks ago, I discovered I enjoyed interviewing people and posting answers about their lives on my blog. I started with some of the primary actors/actresses from “God’s Not Dead.” Now I hope to share several entries from Conservatives who work diligently to wheel America back to the Right.  Please take a moment to become more acquainted with Lindsey Kolb.

I don’t know much more about you than your Twitter Bio which reads, “Missouri College Republicans State Vice Chair, MSU CRs Chair, SGA Chief of Staff, Vineyard Vines Campus Rep., Political Communication major. Campaigner. ΑΔΠ ” 

Could you tell us a bit more about yourself?  For starters, where are you from?

I currently live in Springfield, MO.  I grew up in Cape Girardeau, MO.

Where are you attending college and what degree are your pursuing?

In a student at Missouri State University and I am majoring in Socio-Political Communication with a Press Politics certificate. Basically this combines Sociology, Political Science, and Communication courses into one. I study people with Sociology; I study politics and how it affects people in Political Science, and I study how to effectively communicate with people through politics in Communication courses.

What are some of your interests outside of politics?

Outside of politics I’m a pretty involved student. I do a lot of volunteering at the local food bank, Ozark Food Harvest, and I also am a volunteer coach for the Glendale High School speech and debate team.  Overall this semester, I volunteered over 120 hours.

I love design and digital media.  I use Photoshop and InDesign to create different posters etc. for people.

I’m a fan of classical literature and biographies.  I spent a lot of time studying early American and European authors.  My favorite is Henry David Thoreau’s book “Walden.”

Your Twitter Bio shares, “Missouri Republicans State Vice Chair.”  Tell us more about this position.

I currently serve as the State Vice Chair of the Missouri College Republicans state board. With this position I am in charge of the chapters and all the members of College Republicans in the state of Missouri.  We have over 26 chapters with thousands of members in the state.  I’m able to represent the College Republicans at many events and I get to travel all over the US.  The state board is the official voice of the College students who are Republican in Missouri.  We strive to empower young people to get involved with politics, volunteering, being engaged citizens, and reaching out to them to help in whatever needs they may have.

What exactly is “Vineyard Vines” and what is your role as Campus Representative?

Vineyard Vines is a clothing brand that specializes in preppy men’s and women’s clothing. As a campus representative  I promote and market their items to the students at my college.  I don’t sell anything–I just wear the clothes and promote the label on campus.  I get to host events where students get free promotional items to promote the brand.  It’s a great job and a fantastic company to work for.

Do you see signs that there could be a Conservative resurgence in America, and if so, what do you consider to be some of those sign posts?

I think there could be a Conservative resurgence.  I think young people are starting to realize that the failed polices of the left don’t actually benefit them.  More young people have started to lean Libertarian rather than being full on Democrat.   That’s closer to Conservatism than before.  Generally, I think Americans are tired of the Democrats’ lies and failed programs.  They just need to get it through their heads that it’s caused by the Democrats and not all the Republicans.  The social issues are what really drive us apart.  I think America is leaning definitely more left and progressive on almost all social issues.  I’m not sure if social issues are a winnable debate anymore.  This doesn’t mean that our position on the issue has lost or that they are wrong.  It simply means that there are more people that think differently than us.  I think we have a better chance at winning people over with economic, state vs national rights issues, and foreign affairs than we do with people and social issues.

How does your faith impact your political views?

A lot of the morals and standards in my life come from having a strong Christian background.  Christ was the ultimate example of living a pure and spotless life and we should try to live up to that standard even though we may fail.  I believe that politics give us a great avenue to show our true colors to people. When the bible says that you should love your neighbor and respect your authority, does this apply to those people who despise you because of your beliefs and who attack you at every chance?   Yes, it does. Just because I don’t agree with democrats or other people based off their political views doesn’t mean they are less person than I am.  It doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love them.  I believe that if I show Christ’s life through my actions that it will win others over to our side whether they are Democrat, Conservative, etc.

My faith is the foundation for all my political beliefs.  Before making a decision of whether something is legal or not, I look at the standard of morality that was set forth in the bible.

Looking down the road, what political aspirations do you have for the next several years? 

Once I graduate college in a couple years I plan to work on political campaigns professionally.  I would love to be a campaign manager for a statewide race or a U.S. Senate or Congressional race.  I plan on eventually running for public office in the state of Missouri.  I would love to serve the incredible people of my state and be their voice in the government.  I believe we need more people that want to serve the people as political leaders than authoritarian and pompous leaders that we have in government today.  It would be incredible to serve in that capacity.


I want to offer a special thanks to Lindsey Kolb for allowing us a closer look into her life.  Obviously, this Country needs more young Conservatives like her.  You can follow Lindsey on Twitter @Lindsey_Kolb and be sure to check out her website

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