Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In "Other" Words - Tuesdays at CWO

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lie [lahy] /noun, verb, lied, ly•ing.
1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
2. something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture: His flashy car was a lie that deceived no one.
3. an inaccurate or false statement.
4. the charge or accusation of lying: He flung the lie back at his accusers.
–verb (used without object)
5. to speak falsely or utter untruth knowingly, as with intent to deceive.
6. to express what is false; convey a false impression.
–verb (used with object)
7. to bring about or affect by lying (often used reflexively): to lie oneself out of a difficulty; accustomed to lying his way out of difficulties.
8. give the lie to,
a. to accuse of lying; contradict.
b. to prove or imply the falsity of; belie: His poor work gives the lie to his claims of experience.
9. lie in one's throat or teeth, to lie grossly or maliciously: If she told you exactly the opposite of what she told me, she must be lying in her teeth. Also, lie through one's teeth.

truth [ trooth]
–noun, plural truths
1. the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
2. conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.
4. the state or character of being true.
5. actuality or actual existence.
6. an obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude.
7. honesty; integrity; truthfulness.
8. (often initial capital letter) ideal or fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience: the basic truths of life.
9. agreement with a standard or original.
10. accuracy, as of position or adjustment.
11. Archaic . fidelity or constancy.
12. in truth, in reality; in fact; actually: In truth, moral decay hastened the decline of the Roman Empire.
—Synonyms fact, veracity, sincerity, candor, frankness, precision, exactness.
—Antonyms falsehood, falsity.

bond•age [ bon-dij ]
1. slavery or involuntary servitude; serfdom.
2. the state of being bound by or subjected to some external power or control.
3. the state or practice of being physically restrained, as by being tied up, chained, or put in handcuffs, for -- gratification.
4. Early English Law . personal subjection to the control of a superior; villeinage.
—Synonyms 1. captivity, restraint; prison. See SLAVERY. 2. thralldom, captivity, confinement, imprisonment.

There is a saying that goes Satan's greatest achievement was convincing the world that he doesn't exist.

George Barna is a well-known Christian researcher and takes numerous polls regarding Christian living, beliefs and worldviews, among other things. Here are some results that might really shock you that were taken of those who claim to be "some kind" of Christian between 2002 and 2006:

  • "There are no absolute standards for morals and ethics." Seven out of 10 people surveyed in two different surveys said they agreed with it! That means, in a room of 10 people, seven of them would deny that there are any objective moral rules that should govern their behavior! (Less than one out of three "born again" Christians adopt the notion of absolute moral truth. The surveys also found that few Americans turn to their faith as the primary guide for their moral and ethical decisions.)
  • Nine out of ten Americans affiliate themselves with a congregation, denomination, or other religious group. In fact, less than 5% of Americans claim a faith outside of the Judeo-Christian mainstream. However, among those who would label themselves as mainline Protestants, 22% believe the Bible is an ancient book of history and legends, another 22% never read the Bible, 12% never pray, and 14% never attend a weekly service and only 4% of American adults have a biblical worldview as the basis of their decision-making.
  • 71% of Americans, 64% of "born-agains," and 40% of "evangelicals" reject absolute truth
  • 67% of Americans say there is no such thing as right and wrong. A Barna Group report showed that the generation leading the way toward moral relativism is Generation X. Born between 1965 and 1983, this generation rejected absolute truth by a staggering 78%!
  • "Only three out of ten born-again parents included the salvation of their child in the list of critical parental emphases."
  • More than two out of every five adults (41%) believe that when Jesus Christ lived on earth He committed sins. (2006)
  • 28% of born agains agree that "while he lived on earth, Jesus committed sins, like other people".
  • In 2006 more than half of adult born again Christians say that the devil, or Satan, is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.
  • In 2006 45% of born again Christians deny Satan's existence at all.
  • Based on interviews with 601 Senior Pastors nationwide, representing a random cross-section of Protestant churches, only half of the country's Protestant pastors - 51% - have a biblical worldview. Defining such a worldview as believing that absolute moral truth exists, that it is based upon the Bible, and having a biblical view on six core beliefs (the accuracy of biblical teaching, the sinless nature of Jesus, the literal existence of Satan, the omnipotence and omniscience of God, salvation by grace alone, and the personal responsibility to evangelize).

    If you look at that list again, taken among supposedly "born again" Christians, it might shock you a little bit (ok, a lot) to know that those who supposedly have given their lives over to Christ, believe as they do. Satan has done such a good job of convincing people that he doesn't truly exist that even almost HALF of so-called Christians have bought into that lie and believe that they are "safe".

    Many people prefer to live their lives by believing that they are in control, that they make the rules governing their lives and that there are no real consequences to their actions. They prefer to live the lie that they are the gods of their life instead of understanding that there is only One God and that He is in control and always will be. Nothing happens to us that God does not allow.

    Many people prefer to go through life with blinders on so that they can pretend that there is nobody higher than themselves in their own little world.

    There is a reason why vanity (pride) is one of the seven deadly sins. In reality, it is vanity that is the source for the other sins as well. In the movie, The Devil's Advocate, Satan, as played by Al Pachino (et al) says at the end "Vanity...it is my favorite sin". Ecclesiastes 1:2 says "...Vanity of vanities! All is vanity." God has given us a little piece of eternity through our souls so that we yearn for it, for immortality, and instead of looking to God to fulfill that need the devil has twisted that desire to make many believe that they are their own god - that they need to look no further than themselves to take care of their problems, that they do not to lean on anyone but their own selves, that they and only they can "fix" their own problems without help or guidance from an "invisible God", that they are "entitled" to big houses, big money jobs, fast cars and trophy spouses to enhance their standing in the world. So therefore they live life as though they need nothing or nobody but their own self-reliance to make it through life. Satan preys upon their natural vanity.

    How lonely of a life is that? How unfulfilling and empty of a life does one lead when all they have to rely on to get them through the tough times is their own selves?

    For those who are truly Christians, this earth is the only hell they will ever know. For those who are without Christ, this earth is the only heaven they will ever know. In reality, it's all about where you spend eternity and Satan knows where he is headed in the end and is all about trying to bring as many people with him as possible. You know the other saying: Misery loves company.
  • Saturday, January 27, 2007

    A Conservative Mom Speaks Her Mind

    My open letter to those at the pinnacle of power in Washington, DC.

    As most of you who read me know, I support our troups and I support our administration, even though I am not happy with the way that the President has conducted some business, nor am I happy with some of the decisions that have been made since his re-election. That being said, he is the President of the United States and he has my support, though it is not a blind support.

    So, why am I writing, you ask? Well, it seems that I, regrettably, actually agree with something that a member of the liberatzi left has said about the arrogance and huberous of those in power thinking that they knew better than the people who lived there how to solve the problems and instead ended up creating the current problem in Iraq. I hang my head to admit it, but they were right. However, I would like to expand upon my reasonings.

    It is NOT just the administration, it is those in power as a whole that voted to go to war. Democrats and Republicans. When we went to war in Iraq, there was a reason, a good one. To topple the sadistic regime in power. Many Dems and Republicans are now saying "If I had only known then what I know now..." Well, the fact is, you didn't and you voted anyway. Suck it up and move on. Stop placing the blame. You voted so you are just as guilty as the next person. Stop trying to assuage your guilt by pointing fingers at the person across the aisle. I think that our reason to go to war was a legitimate one, however, I also have come to believe that we were so gungho to get in there that we never thought all the ramifications through of what could happen once we were in there. And THAT was not just the Administration, it was everyone in power who cast their vote to go.

    I am NOT naive enough to believe that wars are quick and bloodless things. The loss of life is so regrettable and I believe that if we would have had a concrete plan to go in and kick butt without having the PC police tar and feather our troups for doing their job, then we could have been out of there by now with significantly reduced loss of life. Wars in the Middle East have lasted for millenia. So who were we to think that we could just waltz in and solve their problems in a couple of years? By going in to this war without a concrete plan of withdrawl and without the forethought of ALL the possible ramifications, we have found ourselves in a conundrumic quagmire.

    "If we would have known then what we know now..." How I am sick and tired of that phrase. Yet, in that phrase lies the catch 22. Nobody can predict the future outcome of their actions and decisions. EVERYONE WHO VOTED to go to war, could not have predicted what has come to be. Even so, we never would have known had we not taken this route. Iraq has become a learning lesson for future decision makers.

    So STOP saying "If I would have known then..." because that will NEVER happen. Hindsight is 20/20. Give our troups the materials, men and money to get the job done once and for all so that they can come home sooner. Don't sell them short and don't pull them out immediately. To do so will only guarantee that things will be made worse for all involved in the long run. Support our troups fully by allowing them to do their job and by giving them the means to do it and to ensure that this will not happen again, there or anywhere. Stop catering to the PC Police and let the military might of the US get down to business.

    Most people over there may want peace, but they only understand force and power. To them "negotiations" are only a means to stall, regroup and wait for another day to come back stronger. It makes us look weak. Personally, I could care less if they feared us if it guaranteed our safety instead of wondering when the next attack will come. Make no mistake, the way that the current government (ALL OF IT) is going, it is now a matter of WHEN and not IF of the next attack on our soil. Suck it up and stop playing nice. Let the military do its job and don't shortchange them on needed items. Only then will we be able to get them out and keep us safe here at home too.

    Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    In "Other" Words - Tuesdays at CWO

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    in·flu·ence /ĭn'flōō-əns/ [in-floo-uhns] noun, verb, -enced, -enc·ing.
    1. the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others: He used family influence to get the contract.
    2. the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others: Her mother's influence made her stay.
    3. a person or thing that exerts influence: He is an influence for the good.
    4. Astrology. a. the radiation of an ethereal fluid from the stars, regarded as affecting human actions and destinies.
    b. the exercise of occult power by the stars, or such power as exercised.
    5. the exercise of similar power by human beings.
    6. Obsolete. influx.
    –verb (used with object)
    7. to exercise influence on; affect; sway: to influence a person.
    8. to move or impel (a person) to some action: Outside factors influenced her to resign.
    9. under the influence, Law. less than drunk but with one's nervous system impaired: He was driving while under the influence. Also, under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

    It’s easy to be a Christian around other Christians. That’s the simple truth. It’s easy to remember “how to act” and to say the “right” words and catchphrases. It’s easy to be outspoken about your faith and relationship with God. It’s easy to DO THE RIGHT THING.

    But what about out in the real world?

    Do others who see you at the grocery store, in traffic – rush hour no less, at work or even out with non-Christian friends know you are a Christian by your actions, by your words, by your behavior? Or do they see just another frustrated, angry, gossiping or drunk person? If they were to observe you would they know you are different?

    At work are you the person everyone can trust for good advice or are you the one that is the office gossip? If someone comes to you with something “juicy” about someone else, do you listen or do you say something like “I haven’t heard it directly from the source so I don’t want to hear it second hand”? Are you the trustworthy person or are you the one that abuses others trust by running your mouth or taking a couple pens here, a stack of post-its there, etc.?

    In traffic, do others see you sitting there cursing and yelling at the car in front of you, shooting them the 2nd half of the peace sign or do they see you calm and in control of your emotions and appendages?

    What about out with your friends for an evening? Do people look at your group and see you order your 4th drink and be just as foul mouthed and obnoxious as the other people at the table? Do they hear you telling a joke of “questionable” taste or laughing at a “dirty” joke that is told?

    I have non-Christian friends that I do go out with, who ask me questions about my faith. I’d like to think that I help tone them down a little when we are out to dinner or dancing. They certainly seem to be less ribald and risqué in their behavior and actions if I am in the group and we certainly have had some rather in-depth discussions about Christianity and what I believe in places such as restaurants, outside of restaurants, cars and even the odd dance place.

    Being a Christian doesn’t mean giving up fun, but it does mean setting the example for others to see. It’s NOT easy being the Christian in a group of non-Christians, but the example and influence could last a lifetime and God-willing even an eternity. Most of the time we are the only example that others see of what a Christian is (or should be). What kind of example do you want others to see?

    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    It's PEEVE Time

    Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence? I mean TRULY ever read the whole thing? I'll bet that most of you who read my blog have never read it in it's entirety. It's fascinating. It makes me wonder how we got so far in our government today from what the original Founders put in place. Today it's all about greed. About who can make the next big buck and an "I'll wash your back if you wash mine" mentality. No longer does the government work for the people, they work for the lobbyists, for the drug companies, for big business - for the continuation of the money poured into their pockets.

    Both parties are corrupt - that is not to say that every person in both parties are corrupt. There are some genuine members who go in to public service full of good intentions and integrity who end up getting that squashed out of them once they realize that integrity and honor and honesty get them nowhere in Washington. They learn to play the game, to give people what they want to hear and never follow through and it is not a problem with one party, it is a problem with both.

    America has come so far from the intent of what the Founding Fathers had hoped for it. A place where everyone is equal, where everyone has a chance for the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These days abortion takes lives in the most brutal of ways - not just the lives of the unborn children but the suicide rate of those who have had abortions are higher as well. There are talks of making euthanasia legal for the elderly, for the disabled b/c it will make our lives easier. Since when did we become a society who couldn't care for the less fortunate and the less able among us? We are the most wealthy country in the WORLD - and yet we still have become a society for the "haves" as we ignore the "have nots" b/c we don't want to be bothered with viewing other's suffering as we keep in our glass houses and crystal palaces. The "haves" don't want to be bothered with anything unpleasant.

    Our liberties are being silenced by the minority voice because the majority voice has allowed themselves to be bullied into silence instead of rising up and saying "WE WILL NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE!" What about the freedoms we enjoy that are given to us by those who are in the military - those men and women in uniform who give their very lives - who leave their families and friends to make sure we are safe when we go to bed at night. Who take it upon themselves to make sure that we keep our liberties and are not taken over from other countries and people who "martyr" themselves to try and take our freedoms, our liberties, our lives our rights. We ought to be thanking them EVERY chance we get. We ought to honor their sacrifices - it's the least we can do when they lay down their lives for us willingly to keep us safe. instead - the majority of the liberal left out there try and vilify them every chance they get - try to dishonor them. It's a shame is what it is. It's a horrifying shame that they are cursed, their families are threatened by those who call them baby-killers, vicious, without conscience, etc. SHAME ON YOU who do that. Shame. These men and women fighting know you do that to them and yet they fight on - they still protect you and do it willingly - to make sure you still have the right to say whatever you want to about them.

    And we? We blindly give up our rights, just hand them over to those who are part of the PC Patrol. Heaven forbid a child bring their Bible to school to read during break or lunch! They get punished while those who bring the Koran to do the same thing get a pass. That's BS and we know it. What if I were offended by someone reading the Koran? My complaints would most likely be brushed under the rug in the pursuit of "appeasement" whereas if someone were offended by me reading the Bible, you can bet I would be the one to be vilified for being "insensitive" or breaking some separation of church and state crap rule. Speaking of the separation of church and state issue - I'm going to give you a little history lesson right now.

    Did you know that the separation of church and state is NOWHERE to be found in the Constitution? It was a sentence in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists. When he was President, he received in late 1801 a letter from the Association of Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut. They were concerned about the newly formed federal government. This leviathan that had been created could, they feared, become a great danger to their Christian faith and to their churches.

    Jefferson was out of the country when the Constitution was written and when the Bill of Rights was proposed and passed, and he had nothing to do with it. He said that he was greatly impressed that the American people, through their representatives and through the First Amendment, had, in effect, erected a "wall of separation" between the church and the state, so they need have no fear that the federal government was going to intrude upon their religion or in any way disturb their faith.

    His purpose was to assuage the fears of the Danbury Connecticut Baptists; He told them that by the First Amendment this wall had been erected to protect them. He took the language, actually, from Roger Williams, the founder of the Baptist church in America, who talked about a wall being erected around the garden of the Church to protect it.

    So Jefferson took that same phrase and said that this wall protected the Church not against hostile Indians or worldly things, but against the Federal government that had been appointed. However, liberals have taken that phrase and turned it around completely.

    It is an unfortunate metaphor, because it can be used two different ways. The First Amendment completely controls the government only and not the churches. It states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." A wall can work against people on both sides. People on either side of the wall are inhibited.

    The phrase "separation of church and state" has now been turned around 360 degrees. The only time you ever hear it used today is not talking about what Congress can do; it's talking about what you can't do, what I can't do, what the Church can't do, what any religious people cannot do. So it has been turned completely around.

    That is not what Jefferson meant. It is not what his friend James Madison meant, who, by the way introduced the Bill of Rights into the Congress, which stated very explicitly that the purpose of this was to interdict the federal government from interfering with the religion of the people.

    But it was Jefferson's view during his whole public life that the government should not interfere with religion. In fact, as you may know, the Constitution ends with the phrase, "In the year of our Lord, 1787." And so it was throughout the presidency of Washington. For eight years, all of his presidential papers ended "In the year of our Lord 18..." whatever. When Adams came to the presidency, for the next four years he again followed suit: "In the year of our Lord . . ."

    However, when Jefferson came to the presidency, he changed that. Many of the documents he signed while President says, "In the year of our Lord Christ 1804." Here is Jefferson, the "anti-Christian, irreligious infidel," saying that it is Christ who is our Lord and no one else, lest anyone have any false ideas about that.

    So, the letter to the Danbury Baptists has been greatly perverted and distorted. The ACLU today says that phrase means there should be no religion of any sort in any public building. Is that what Jefferson meant? That is what the liberal left has indeed pushed upon the minds of the American people.

    On Friday, January 1, 1802, Jefferson's letter was sent to the Danbury Baptists. On that Sunday, two days later, Thomas Jefferson went to church. He said that he was going to throw the influence of his position as chief magistrate, President of the United States, in favor of the public display and support of the Christian religion. How did he do that? He went to church.

    Where did he go? He went to the largest church in America. Do you know what that was? Do you know where that was? It was held at first in the chambers of the House of Representatives in Washington. Then later, when the complete building was finished, it was held in the Capitol Rotunda, the most visible public building in America, bar none. There, every week for seven years, during the rest of his presidency, Thomas Jefferson was there. He sat in the front row. He wasn't pleased with the music, and so he ordered that the Marine Band, under his control, come to church on Sunday and play to support the singing of hymns and psalms in the church. (By the way, they were paid out of the Federal Treasury.)

    I guess Thomas Jefferson didn't know what he had written when he talked about the separation of church and state. Some say, "But that was in the Congress, and he didn't directly control the Congress." Well, that's about as feeble an argument I guess you could have. But let's take a look at it. He did control the War Office. That is part of the Executive Department. He did control the Treasury Department, and another church was holding services in the War Department and yet another in the Treasury building. Who was in the Treasury Department? Well, you see these Scotsmen that came over here and started the Presbyterian Church knew a good place to start a church . . . right in the Treasury building.

    That may be allowed by the Congress and the Executive Office, but what about the Supreme Court? They would never allow anything like that. Well, as a matter of fact, the Chief Justice then of the Supreme Court, one of the most famous of them all, Chief Justice John Marshall, ordered that the facilities of the Supreme Court be turned over every Sabbath Day to another church to hold Christian worship, which included not only prayers and songs and hymns, but also the preaching of the Word of God. No religious activities in public buildings? Jefferson never even dreamt of such a thing.

    This is a total distortion that has been used by the ACLU and their ilk to try to suppress and demolish Christianity and remove it altogether from the public square. In fact, one of the justices in recent times, taking the separation of church and state metaphor, said, "The wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach." Well, I guess you could say that Thomas Jefferson had a few slight breaches in his wall-you could drive a truck through it. In fact, you could drive a whole company of tanks through the walls. That is not what he intended at all.

    In fact, Madison, who introduced the Bill of Rights, said that the government was forbidden from establishing a national religion. The First Amendment was given, as all of the testimony indicates, to do two things: to prevent the Congress from establishing a state church (like the Anglican Church in England, from which they had mostly fled), and second, from interfering with the free exercise of religion. That has been grossly distorted in our day. I hope that we will begin to understand that we have been deceived, that this whole separation thing of Thomas Jefferson has been turned into a total distortion and perversion, and it is a lie.

    Do you wonder what an authority on the matter says? How about this:

    There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the framers intended to build a wall of separation [between church and State] . . . the "wall of separation between church and State" is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned. -William Rehnquist.

    In case you do not know who Rehnquist is, let me say that he is the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

    I hope that maybe America will wake up to the realization that they have been deceived, that the Thomas Jefferson presented to them is a myth and a lie, and that he never intentioned anything like what the ACLU and others today say he intended.

    There ends the history lesson. And here is another lesson - though not one from history:

    You can't please everyone. You can't appease everyone. If we did that, pretty soon we have given up all of our rights and are forever silenced.

    Let's not forget the last one shall we? The pursuit of happiness. How many of you can say that you are truly happy? Most people base their lives on getting a leg up, on chasing the almighty dollar instead of pursuing a relationship with the Almighty God. I guarantee you that if people's minds were in the right place, if their hearts were in the right place instead of being materialistic minded, there would be a lot more happiness to be found.

    I am an American, I love my country but I am not happy with what She has become - with what we have become.

    The Bible says "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof . . ." (2nd Timothy 3:1-5) Gosh, that sounds a lot like America doesn't it?

    I leave you with the Declaration of Independence - in its entirety. Read it through. It's time to get our government back into the hands of the people instead of the hands of the fat cats who have taken over - before it's too late. May God Bless America once again and forgive us for turning our backs on Him.

    My thanks to Dr. D. James Kennedy for the information regarding Thomas Jefferson.

    This is not a criticism of Bush, but rather the American Government in its entirety - the partisan BS that is and has been going on for at least the last three to four decades. As you can tell I am rather disenchanted today and have decided to let it out.

    IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    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 to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — 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, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

    For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

    Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    — John Hancock

    New Hampshire:
    Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

    John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

    Rhode Island:
    Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

    Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

    New York:
    William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

    New Jersey:
    Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

    Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

    Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

    Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

    George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

    North Carolina:
    William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

    South Carolina:
    Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

    Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    Friday's Feast

    UGH! I've been up for the past, well, over an hour coughing up a storm and I am so freaking tired. I may not be waiting until next week to see the doctor. On the plus side - we might have an ice storm on Monday (please, please, please) so I might be able to stay home then.

    What comes to mind when you see the color orange?

    The smell of citrus oil, a dreamsicle (vanilla ice cream with an orange sherbert cover), a summer sunset.

    Did you ever get in trouble while you were in school? If so, what was it for?

    Yes, for skipping school on Senior Skip Day with my boyfriend - who was a Senior, while I was a lowly Sophomore. I got 3 days of ISS.

    Which topping(s) make up your perfect pizza?

    Extra cheese, easy sauce, canadian bacon, pineapple, mushrooms and black olives.

    Main Course
    Do you believe in UFOs/aliens/etc.? Why or why not?

    Not really but I do believe that people see things that can't be explained. I find it interesting that the description of the Living Creatures in the Bible as described by Ezekiel seems to fit the description of what a lot of people say that most UFO's look like and a book was even written about it by NASA engineer Josef F. Blumrich entitled The Spaceships of Ezekiel. I also believe that "alien encounters" are in reality direct demonic contact. But really, regardless of the argument for or against the actual existance of UFO's, what I do believe is that all the New Age fruits and nuts will use the "case" of UFO's or the "Shambala" force or whatever they call it to try and explain the disappearance of Christians in the Rapture. Most likely they will say that the "Shambala force" ejected the unenlightened from the earth in order to allow the rest of the "collective conscious" to work together to finaly create world peace or some crap like that while some of the "New apostles" will claim God ejected some resistance from the earth to help usher in the Kingdom.

    What color is your bedspread/comforter/quilt?

    I have several different sheets/quilts so I can't pick just one. It depends on how cold or warm it is as to which one I will use. Most of them are not a single color though so to say just one color, I can't, so I won't.

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    One Thousand Gifts and Thankful Thursday

    I haven't been too talkative lately. The hits just keep on coming it seems and I think I'm coming down with pneumonia again but I'm not sure. I'm going to wait and see how the weekend fares and if it gets worse I'm going in to the doctor again next week. I haven't felt much like writing but today I think I need to focus on the positives b/c there have been so many negatives lately.

    I am meeting a friend from work that I have never met before but we are in contact almost every day. She is coming in and a bunch of us are going out for dinner after work so this should be a nice break in the way things have been going lately.

    ~1 Thessalonians 5:18~ Give thanks to God in all circumstances (no matter what they may be), for this is God's will for you (who are) in Christ Jesus.

    My Peace I Leave With You

    Thankful Thursday: What Nic is thankful for this week

    Having a job even though the outcome is uncertain after the company lost the big contract. Several people have left and have "left" already. Even without receiving the child support I'm supposed to be I am making ends meet (barely) by staying on a very strict budget right now.
    Friends who care.
    Unexpected moments of laughter that can brighten the soul.
    The basics of life food, shelter, clothing, living in a peaceful country, freedom.
    Family without whom I would be lost right now.
    Being alive and spending time with my daughter - she is the biggest earthly part of what makes this life worthwhile. I live for her smiles, her hugs, her kisses, just her sweet self. Everything, every choice, every decision I make has her in mind.

    (If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below; or, you can post in the comments)

    Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

    Click here for Chrixean's blog

    Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!

    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    In "Other" Words - Tuesdays at CWO

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    em·brace [em-breys] -braced, -brac·ing, noun
    –verb (used with object)
    1. to take or clasp in the arms; press to the bosom; hug.
    2. to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly: to embrace an idea.
    3. to avail oneself of: to embrace an opportunity.
    4. to adopt (a profession, a religion, etc.): to embrace Christianity.
    5. to take in with the eye or the mind.
    6. to encircle; surround; enclose.
    7. to include or contain: An encyclopedia embraces a great number of subjects.
    –verb (used without object)
    8. to join in an embrace.
    9. an act or instance of embracing.

    How can you mend a broken heart?
    ~ The Bee Gees

    Oh how well I know this quote, you see, I live it daily right now. It seems like spiritually I am struggling with the waiting period in my life for something I have asked God about. Emotionally, it seems like I am a wreck.

    It started back in December when I had to go back to court to get my divorce decree finalized "in abesntia" after months of my ex refusing to sign the paperwork or even pay the court-ordered child support the last couple months he still had a job. Imagine my surprise when the docket judge stated that there were no notes pertaining to the original divorce case in April in their system so, in the eyes of the court, it was like we had never gotten divorced. If we could find the original judge who had tried the case and get him to sign it then the original divorce would be recognized and final, but...if we couldn't, then basically the divorce case would have to be done over again – re-tried.

    The whole drama of that really threw me threw me for a loop and made me really have to take a step back and reassess my life - a lot and I started pulling away from some people in my life. Most notably the person I had been dating. I realized that I had so much baggage in my life and in reassessing myself and my life I found that I don't know myself as well as I should and that really kind of threw me even further. I've been tired lately just mentally and emotionally and I sadly realized that I needed to just concentrate on figuring out who I am and where my life is headed and I should have done that before I started a relationship so soon after my divorce.

    The most difficult thing about making the decision to end that relationship is that he is by far the most decent, respectful man I have known in a very, very long time but at this time I knew that I didn't have it in me to sustain a relationship beyond friendship. It really hurt to do it but I didn't want to string things out any further knowing that I couldn't commit to something that I am not personally ready for. He deserved better than that.

    So here I am emotionally exhausted and spiritually limping along but I take comfort that what I am experiencing, God feels too. I know that there is one refuge that I can count on, one place of peace where I can turn to whenever, wherever I am. God promises that He will never leave me or forsake me.

    In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

    I've been feeling weary and burdened and weighed you down by stress, confusion, sorrow and loneliness. I have to keep remembering that Jesus is my burden-bearer and that I need to allow Him to take the burdens from my shoulders. He dealt with everything on the cross and He wants me to come to Him, give Him my burdens, and let Him take the worries and the fears.

    When Jesus says, "I will give you rest," He means "I will refresh you" for further activity. Jesus calls all those who are weary and over-burdened so that they may be strengthened and refreshed and be relieved of our anxieties and sorrows.

    His arms are the resting place, His shoulder the crying place, His heart the healing place. Even though sometimes I feel alone - He's already there. He's always been there and He's not going anywhere.

    Sunday, January 07, 2007

    Alphabet Meme

    I picked up this gem from my dear blogfriend Captain Picard. As you know I enjoy memes and this is the first one I've done this year.

    A - Available/Single or Taken? Single and available
    B - Best Friend? MC - the best friend anyone could ever have. Has been my best friend for over 10 years.
    C - Cake or Pie? It depends on what mood I'm in. Lemon or Yellow Cake or Rhubarb or Cherry Pie
    D - Drink Of Choice? Alcoholic: Italian Margarita or Guinness; Non-alcoholic: Milk
    E – Essential Item You Use Everyday? Cell Phone
    F - Favourite Color? Sunflower yellow
    G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Both
    H - Hometown? Austin, Texas
    I - Indulgence? Bubble Baths
    J - January Or February? Whichever one is colder
    K - Kids & Their Names? One - Emily
    L - Life Is Incomplete Without? Love
    M - Marriage date? None upcoming anytime soon
    N - Number Of Siblings? Zero
    O - Oranges Or Apples? Apples - Braeburn or Honey Crisp
    P - Phobias/Fears? Depths (as in ocean where I can't see what is below me) and a minor arachniphobia.
    Q - Favourite Quote? Can't choose
    R - Reason to Smile? My daughter
    S - Season? Spring or Fall? FALL! Hands down - fall colors, cooler weather, bonfires and FOOTBALL!
    T - Tag 3 or 4 people? Actually none
    U - Unknown Fact About Me? I get stage fright pretty bad when everyone's attention is on me
    V - Vegetable you don’t like? Lima beans, brussel sprouts, beets, collard greens - oh wait, that was singular wasn't it?
    W - Worst Habit? Procrastination
    X - X-rays You’ve Had? Teeth, sinuses, lungs, feet/ankles (multiple times)
    Y - Your Favorite Food? Medium buffalo or beef tenderloin with my mashed potatoes
    Z – Zodiac sign? Cancer (July 5)

    If you wish to borrow this meme, please let me know so that I can check out your answers.

    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    HDQ: Exercises, exercises, we must do our exercises

    I soooooo hurt today and I'm exhausted – I woke up at 4:30 and couldn't shut my brain off until about 5 minutes before my alarm went off. . .I hit the snooze 3 times. I worked out with weights last night for the first time in about 10-11 years and though I was only there for about 45 minutes, I woke up this morning really sore when I tried to get out of bed – especially from rear to knees – but it was a good sore. It has only gotten worse as the day wears on but I am determined to attack that weight room again tonight and see if I can work some of it out. I'm sure doing several flights of stairs in high heels didn't help out any (which is why I quit doing that and used the elevator this afternoon – after the 6th Charlie horse I decided it was time to stop sucking it up and do the easy thing) My body is protesting fairly strenuously but I'm telling it to shut up. This is something that I have to do for me – and Em. I want to be around for her for a very long time.

    I also can't stand "diet" food. As my long time readers know, I like my stuff tasty and I like to eat good food and that really started to creep up on me over the past 5 years after Em was born. The beginning of the year is as good of a time as any to start getting in shape again. Now if only I can stick to it.

    I signed up at this little rec center b/c it's really close to my house, it's affordable – really all I need are weights and a track – and I don't want to pay for things I won't have time to use and, I feel awful saying this, but this rec center is not ghetto-ish like the other rec centers in my area of town.

    I figure I'll be going on average about 3 days a week but not on weekends – seeing as how they're not open on the weekends, which is fine by me b/c the weekends are for Em anyway and are off limits for any strenuous kind of exercise.

    My time during the week is fairly limited but I figure if I get there directly after work (depending on the traffic – like today which SUCKED with the cold rain) I can get anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour in on the days that I do go there before Em gets home from her school/time with her dad. Something is better than nothing and, regardless of what I said above, I am determined to stick to it.

    Working the Trail of Lights this year was the first time in about 9 years that I've done any exercise other than chasing Em around and even though the first 3 nights I came home exhausted and really sore I felt really good. I liked the way that the exercise made me feel and I had forgotten that. It's been too long and I have some really cute dresses I need to get back in to. (See resolution # 8 in the post below).

    I'm optimistic that I'll go from this:
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    To this:

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    HDQ: What is the one resolution you made for this year that will be fairly painful (physically or emotionally) but will be more than worth it in the long run?