We are not much different than burdened travelers, are we? We roll in the mud of self-pity in the very shadow of the cross. We piously ask for his will and then have the audacity to pout if everything doesn’t go our way. If we would just remember the heavenly body that awaits us, we’d stop complaining that he hasn’t healed this earthly one.
Our problem is not so much that God doesn’t give us what we hope for as it is that we don’t know the right thing for which to hope. (You may want to read that sentence again.)
The gist: don't sit down all day.
I like LaCie's line of USB keys as the sort of flash drive I'd always have on my person.
Andrew Peterson’s latest single. Great song.
"This shirt is a tribute to the thousands of patriots serving the Empire that died on the Death Star."
A collection of some of ThinkGeek's catalog covers as desktop wallpapers, featuring their mascot, Timmy. (More for my own future reference than anything else.)
The Siena College presidential poll–a ranking of 44 presidents by 200 historians–put Franklin Roosevelt in first place. In other words, the man who, during his first two terms, gave us nonstop double digit unemployment–and 20 percent unemployment toward the end of his second term, is ranked ahead of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and all other American presidents.
And that may not be the worst indiscretion. These historians also ranked Barack Obama ahead of Ronald Reagan. In other words, if you start your presidency with 8 percent unemployment and run it to 10 percent (all the while going further in debt by more than $1,000,000,000,000) you are greater than the president who sharply reduced unemployment and inflation during his first term and then ended the Cold War in his second term.
Some people are dismayed by our historians’ peculiar judging standards. And it’s true that such wildly indefensible rankings are outrageous. But they help inform us that most historians can’t be trusted to make sound judgments about the past. That is useful to know, as parents prepare their 18 year olds to go off to college and be tutored by FDR loyalists.
My friend Dave created a fun typeface on his iPad.
"Gunkanjima – every urban explorer’s dream. A deserted island of concrete ruins slowly crumbling away off the West coast of Japan. Travellers have long been forbidden to land there and view the secrets within its walls. But with an awesome guide and a little luck, I was able to do just that."
Wonderful photojournalistic post by Michael "Gakuran". I love the idea of exploring deserted urban places.
The Marina Bay Sands resort features an infinity swimming pool: 56 floors above ground!
“The Declaration of Independence [is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man.” –Thomas Jefferson
The principle author of our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, understood that, though Liberty is “endowed by our Creator,” it is difficult to maintain among men. “The natural progress of things,” he wrote, “is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”
Indeed it is. We boldly threw off a monarchy in the American Revolution, but today countless bureaucrats under the command of a pack of hardcore Socialists have assumed the throne.
Jefferson also understood the consequences of Socialism: “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” But 234 years after the signing of our Declaration of Independence, Beltway politicos, most of the “Democrat” variety, insist that we must conduct ourselves, in matters large and small, according to their will — and would have us believe they know better than we. Indeed, they have so effectively institutionalized this deceit that their electoral lemmings fall in behind them in lock step.
That subservience is an affront to our hard-won heritage of Liberty, and an insult to those generations who have defended it.
On July 4th of 1776, our Founders, assembled as representatives to the Second Continental Congress, issued a declaration stating most notably: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. … That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”
In other words, the Founders rightly affirmed that because our rights are inherent by Natural Law as granted from our Creator, as such they can’t be arbitrarily alienated by those who believed that the rights of men are gifts of government.
Our Founders publicly declared their intentions to defend these rights by attaching their signatures to the Declaration between July 4th and August 2nd of 1776. They and their fellow Patriots pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor as they set about to defend the Natural Rights of man.
At the conclusion of the American War for Independence in 1783, our Founders determined that the new nation needed a more suitable alliance among the states than the Articles of Confederation. After much deliberation, they proposed a Constitution, which authorized a very limited central governing authority and reserved all other rights to the states or the people. Our Constitution was adopted in 1787, ratified in 1788, and implemented in 1789 as subordinate guidance to our Declaration of Independence.
Since that time, generations of American Patriots have laid down their lives “to support and defend” the Essential Liberty enshrined in our Constitution. I would note here that their sacred oath, the same one I have taken many times in the service of our country, is not in support and defense of a so-called “living Constitution,” an adulterated version of our authentic Constitution. It is under such perversion that Socialists in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches have advanced their statist political agenda.
Statism, or Progressivism as promoted by contemporary American Leftists, has as its objective the establishment of an omnipotent central government authorized to be the arbiter of all that is “good” for “the people.” Statism also confers upon the state ultimate control over the most significant social manifestation of individual rights, that of economic enterprise. Witness our current government’s efforts to assert ever-greater control over heretofore private enterprises such as the automotive, health care, financial and energy industries.
Socialists endeavor to undermine our nation’s founding principles in order to achieve their statist objectives, under which all associations between individuals ultimately augment the power and control of the state. The final expression and inevitable terminus of such power and control, if allowed to progress unabated, is tyranny.
The word “tyranny” is derived from the Latin “tyrannus,” which translates to “illegitimate ruler.”
Leftists in all levels of government, who, by definition, have deserted their oaths to support and defend our bona fide Constitution, are thus as illegitimate as the rules they implement.
Thank God there is a strong resurgence of demand for Essential Liberty and the Rule of Law across the Fruited Plain; a rebirth of the understanding that limited government is essential to Liberty; and a resounding call to take control of our national destiny and reset its course for the shores of freedom.
So how should we observe this 4th of July, the 234th celebration of our Declaration of Independence?
On July 3, 1776, Founding Patriot John Adams wrote to his beloved wife, Abigail, on this very topic:
Yesterday, the greatest question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was or will be decided among men. You will see in a few days a Declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution, and the reasons which will justify it in the sight of God and man. … It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Day’s Transaction.
Today, we face ominous threats to our American heritage of Liberty, unfortunately more so from enemies within than without, and I would offer that we should commemorate this Independence Day, first and foremost, with “solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty,” and with a rededication to the principles of Essential Liberty and restoration of the Rule of Law.
On December 19th of 1776, with the American Revolution well underway, Thomas Paine wrote, “Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, we came forth to meet and to repulse it. … I call not upon a few, but upon all: not on this state or that state, but on every state; up and help us; lay your shoulders to the wheel; better have too much force than too little, when so great an object is at stake.”
And so it must be, today.
Reflecting on the Declaration shortly before his death on July 4th, 1826, the 50th anniversary of our founding, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take.”
It is entirely fitting that Jefferson’s fellow Patriot and longtime correspondent would also draw his last breath on that very day. But before he passed, John Adams offered these words of reflection: “[W]hat do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations. … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”
And Adams’s last public words serve as an inspiration to us all, a toast to Liberty: “Independence forever!”
Libertas! And let us all say, Amen.
Reprinted with permission from The Patriot Post.
Andrew Farley, The Naked Gospel:
Sometimes we see ourselves as sinners in the loving arms of a God who is pretending not to see us as we really are. In our minds, maybe God is wearing a pair of “Jesus glasses” that hides our true state from his vision. We find it difficult to grasp the idea that God calls us righteous because we actually are righteous. It feels more humble to believe that we’re filthy worms awaiting a future change into beautiful butterflies.
Jesus stated it best. He said that our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees in order to enter the kingdom (Matthew 5:20). So if we Christians don’t claim to possess perfect righteousness, we’re lowering God’s standard. We’re watering down the gospel. We insinuate that Jesus can unite himself with sin. And we insult the perfection of God.
Only perfection will do. This is precisely why God had to make us perfectly righteous in our human spirits through our own death, burial, and resurrection. With its apparent humility, this filthy worm theology appeals to the flesh. But God certainly doesn’t condone our wallowing in poor self-image.
The risen Christ doesn’t join himself to filthy worms. The Holy Spirit doesn’t dwell in dirty sinners. Christ only unites himself with those who are like him in spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn’t reside in someone who remains even 1 percent flawed by sin.
But we’ve been perfectly cleansed. And we’ve been made perfectly righteous at our core through spiritual surgery. This is the only way we can enjoy even a moment of relationship with Jesus Christ.
I have often used the same analogy Farley mentions above, of God looking at us through “Jesus-colored glasses,” and I realize I may have been incomplete in my explanation in the past.
Not to be repetitive with Farley’s own elaboration, but my meaning has always been that when God sees a believer, he sees perfection, as when he sees Jesus. As when he sees himself.
This is who we are, fellow Christians. We have no need to add to it. It’s impossible for us to do so. There is no magic checklist we can look at to see how our perfecting is going. At the same time it is ongoing, it’s also already done. Why can we not accept that? What are we afraid of?
Knowing who we are, righteous before a perfect and holy God, should fill us with hope. A hope we should be passing on to our fellow man.
Know who you are. Be who you are. Not to lord it over others, as the Church has too often been wont to do for years, but to show God’s love to the world. He has chosen to work through us, and we should joyfully allow Him to do so.