We the People

Many of my friends may wonder  how I can post things about Christ, love, peace, and hope and also the things I do about weapons and defense and politics.

First and foremost I am a follower of Christ.  As such I accept the bible and its teaching as the way to learn who God is and what He wants from and for me. In the bible I find distinctions between how God expects me to act as an individual and the responsibilities of government.

I am told to forgive offenses. I am told to not seek vengeance or punishment. I am told to care for and defend those who are powerless to help themselves (including my family). Implicit in that command is the ability to defend myself if necessary; for how can I help others if I’m not there?

Government is ordained by God to protect the people, administer justice (including punishment), and maintain peace and order. While the values and the methods of the person and the government overlap, they are in no way identical.

Second, I am an American and in our system of government, I and my fellow citizens ARE the government.  We deed our authority to our leaders only so far as they govern within set limits and in the best interest of the people.

We the people absolutely retain the right abolish any given administration given just cause to do so. By vote if possible, by force if necessary.

The problem in our country currently is that we the people seem to be evenly split between (among other things) a side who sees the government as the main cure for our problems and a side who sees the government as the main cause of our problems.

If we could agree to disagree then maybe we could work through to a solution to our problems.

But when either side uses the bully stick of government to force others to accept, condone, and especially support and finance actions and lifestyles with which they vehemently disagree there will inevitably be pushback and confrontation.

I hope and pray that the people of this country take a step back,  start using reason and discussion to effect change around us and stop running to the bully stick of the courts, the legislature, and the executive pen to enforce change.

I see a similarity between our time and the times leading up to our revolution and our civil war.  Both times were marked by groups who felt the status quo was fine and groups who felt change was needed. Both times were marked by an increasing tension between the groups and an inability or unwillingness to negotiate.  Both times were marked by an increasing use of governmental power.

We are on that road. God help us.

Loneliness and the Love Bank


One of the most heartbreaking feelings there is.  It’s different than just being alone,  I’m used to that, even thrive on it at times.  No, I mean the emotional hole when the person most important to you doesn’t seem to be interested right now.  When all communication is either one way or perfunctory or both. When every interaction feels to be an interruption.

What makes it worse is the knowledge that it is your own doing. And, at least for the moment, it seems there’s nothing you can do to change the situation.

We all have a Love Bank in us where we keep accounts for every relationship we have. Some accounts are very high and we feel very good about that person.  Some accounts are somewhat low and we don’t much care for that person. Some accounts are negative and we actively avoid those people. All of our accounts are in constant change. They rise.  They fall.  They rise again. Some get closed out.  New ones get opened. Closed ones gets reopened.

Every interaction we have tends to produce either a positive deposit into the account or a negative withdrawal from the account. Some things have very small impact while others have huge ones.  For example,  a simple dinner date may have a small deposit, while an elaborately planned weekend getaway may be huge (assuming it’s something she likes and it is in the budget). Conversely,  a minor grumble or cross word may have a small withdrawal, while uncontrolled anger or a betrayal may do major damage.

When one of your major relationship accounts that has been high suddenly takes a huge withdrawal it leaves an emptiness inside that begs to be filled. Some seek to fill it with addictions, be it drugs, porn, spending, etc. The lie here is that while addictions promise relief,  they NEVER satisfy, they only destroy in the end. Some seek to fill the hole with another relationship,  but that doesn’t work either, for the hole is still there.

The only lasting way to fill the hole is to make more good deposits and keep from making more withdrawals.  Yes, it may be a long time until the hole is filled, and depending on how badly trust was broken it may be difficult to get through her defenses, but it IS possible and definitely worth the struggle.

So what to do with the loneliness while waiting for the hole to be filled again?

First and foremost,  seek God and His comfort and companionship.

Second, spend time working on and letting God fix the parts in you that brought you to this place.

Third, fill your time with good and godly things, reading, hearing the Word,  prayer and meditation.

Fourth, just keep on keeping on.  Don’t fall for the lies of the quick fix.  Stay the course God has set for you.

This Too Shall Pass.


I was recently reminded of Paul’s words in Romans when I failed miserably at home.  I thought I had my temper controlled,   tightly packed away, unable to escape.


It’s there, just waiting an opportunity to escape.  And when it does, like all sin,  it causes pain and damage.

I won’t go into the details, for they don’t matter.  I won’t try to justify my actions,  for I was wrong. I won’t swear it will never happen again, but I will commit to let God continue to work in me.

I WILL ask forgiveness.  From God, for ignoring Him in those moments.  From those I wounded,  for those I love most.  From myself,  and resolve to stay on the right path.

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.  So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.  For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,  but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 7:15 – 8:4

One Point Alone

Our entire message of faith and hope and love hinges on one point and one alone: Were the gospel writers and the early church correct in their claim that Jesus, this itinerant preacher who was killed for claiming to be God, actually rose from the dead never to die again? If it is true then the entire message is true and must be accepted or rejected in total. If it is false then the entire message is suspect at best and a damnable lie at worst.

The message is so simple that even a child can grasp it, yet so deep that scholars can spend their entire life understanding it.

The message of Good News

1 God loves you! He created you to love Him and live right.

2 BUT, we have ALL rebelled against Him. We are bent and broken people, unwilling and unable to love Him.

3 YET,  He still loves us so much that He sent His own Son (Jesus) to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our rebellion.

4 If you:
BELIEVE in Jesus,
ACCEPT His forgiveness,
REPENT (turn away) from your rebellion, and
CONFESS Him as Lord (in control).

5 He will;
a) set you on the path of life eternal.
b) give you a new heart , able to love Him and live right.
c) adopt you as His forever child.

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.  We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

1 Cor 15:14-19


Seasons are a part of life. Good times.  Slumps.  Mountaintop experiences. Valley dryness. Celebrations. Blahs. They’re all common to our world.

I’ve struggled with the effects of Bipolar all my life,  although I’ve only been aware of the cause for a couple years. The effects tend to exaggerate whatever I’m going through at the time, so the good is the best and the blah is the worst.

Over the years I have learned a few ways to help me overcome the effects of my down and depressed periods.

1. Many years ago I attended a police academy. The course included physical training, primarily running. My body hates running. During the weeks we trained, I was invariably the last runner and not even close to the minimum requirements.  One day as we ran I was so far behind, I couldn’t see anyone else.  My body ached.  My mind was numb. I was ready to quit, even though I was near the top of the class in all other respects. That was when I noticed the instructor,  a leutenant in the local PD, had circled back to me. I expected him to upbraid me or harass me for being so slow.  Instead, he matched my pace and gave me a phrase to dwell on when I felt I couldn’t keep going:

NEVER GIVE UP.  DO NOT QUIT.  Just another minute, you can hear the sirens, HELP IS ON THE WAY.

2. In the movie ‘the Patriot’ Benjamin Martin (played by Mel Gibson) is a peaceful plantation owner drawn into the Revolutionary war by the murder of his second son. After losing his eldest son, he is defeated, disheartened, and ready to quit and go back to his farm.  His friend challenges him to Stay the Course,  to remember what he is fighting for and trying to accomplish.  His reply, borne out of despair is ‘I have run my course’. But as he packs his son’s effects, he finds the war torn battle flag that his son has painstakingly resewn. Finding that token restores his resolve.

When I am in the dark days I find that looking to the past and finding the highlights helps me to remember what I am striving toward,  even if it doesn’t seem I’m making any progress at the present.  It strengthens my resolve to


3. I honestly don’t remember where I learned this phrase, but the idea is that just as in winter, as the cold gets so bad another day seems unbearable the sun comes out and warms things up, at least for a day or two.  Or in summer when it feels like a furnace, it rains and cools things down.  All we have to do is hold out a few more days.  We know it’s coming, we just don’t know when. As surely as spring follows winter and autumn follows summer;


Whatever dry spell I’m going through, whether job related, relationship, or spiritual, I’ve learned to hunker down, focus on the goal, and wait for God to work things out in His time.


As I’m sitting here scrolling through my Facebook feed and scanning the news, I’m thinking, why is it that we all disagree so much? Can’t we ever come to some consensus? What makes tempers flare and blood boil so fast?  In the words of a person from the recent past, ‘can’t we all just get along? ‘

The short answer is no, we can’t.

Well why not? In a word, WORLDVIEW.

Worldview is the way we understand what reality is. It’s how we see everything around us. Worldview forms the foundation for everything we hold dear, believe, and how we think and act. Our worldview drives who we are.

There are many pillars that make up the foundation of our worldview.  Let me describe a few:

Truth – Is it absolute or relative? Is there an objective reality or is everything just my perspective?

God – Is there a god? What is the nature of god?

Mankind – Were we created or have we evolved? Do we exist for just this lifetime or is there something after this life? Are we basically good or bad or neither?

Morality – Are ethics and morality absolute and permanent or relative and situational?

Personality and Identity – Are they inherent or learned,  nature or nurture, fixed or changeable?

I’m sure there are many, many others and some I don’t even see because of my worldview.

Most of these pillars are so closely entertwined that the answer to one necessarily influences the other,  i.e. if the is no God, mankind can’t be created nor do we owe any allegiance to Him. Or if there is no absolute truth then there can be no absolute morality.

Society’s varied, sometimes antithetical, answers to these questions helps to explain why it seems we’re always fighting about what seems patently obvious to us. Obviously,  if we are products of natural evolution, then to speak of a God who has made us and expects something from us is nonsensical.  Likewise obviously,  if there is an absolute true reality expressed as God, then to ignore and deny Him is utter folly.

If our worldview does form the foundation through which we see everything, it follows that anything that does not fit into that worldview is nonsensical, silly, even wrong and dangerous.

Can our worldview change? Yes. When we come face to face with a situation that our current worldview has no answer for,  we either deny the evidence before us or modify our worldview.  As an example, many of us grew up with the worldview that our dad was perfect,  a shining knight,  superman, and batman all rolled into one. But as we got older, we saw the chinks in his armor, and his cape got torn. Our worldview changed. We saw him for who he really was, good and bad, warts and all.

So what can we do when we encounter a worldview that is radically, even diametrically opposed to ours?

I see five options:

1. We can CONQUER, verbally, politically, or even physically, to ‘prove’ the truth of our position.
Unsatisfactory, for that just proves which one is stronger, not which one is right.

Ideally, we will use REASON and DISCOURSE to reach one of the other solutions.

Unsatisfactory, the side that gives in will resent the other, while the side that ‘wins’ will despise the other.

Somewhat better but still not great.  Both sides must give something that is dear to them. They will still be looking to win.

4. We can COOPERATE.
Best option, when we look for ways that all sides are honored and included.

If we have exhausted reason and discourse, we can’t reach options two through four, and we avoid option one,  perhaps the only thing left, at least for the present is option five:

5. Agree to disagree. Leave each other alone. You go your way and I’ll go mine.  The temptation here is that while we agree to disagree, we really are just preparing for option one.

Perhaps the best we can do has best been expressed by the Apostle Peter:

“always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect….”
1Pe 3:15

And always remembering what the Apostle Paul said:

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ….”
Eph 4:15