Monday, July 28, 2008

Help!

And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. (Psalm 50:15)


O Lord! O Lord! O Lord!

To the child of God who truly knows the Lord and fears, loves, and trusts in Him above all things, this is a true prayer.

There have been times where I have found myself praying:

The Lord is my Shepherd.
The Lord is my Shepherd!
The Lord is my Shepherd!!


For me, one who has been baptized into Christ Jesus and into His death and resurrection, one who knows and communes in the Holy Communion of Christ’s body, one who knows what it truly means that the Lord is my Shepherd, this is a true and complete prayer.

I have prayed this way at various times when my heart was troubled and I could not attain peace. My spirit was overwhelmed by the many troubles popping up around me. My heart felt as though it was racing toward the point of exploding. My mind could not focus. I was in trouble.

With those five words, all of the Twenty-third Psalm was at my heart’s assistance. All of the doctrine of the Holy Scriptures was flowing through my heart, mind, and soul. The confidence of a good conscience was restored in connection with the name of the Lord, the name given to me, as God’s baptized child. All of the assurance and comfort of the Holy Communion surrounded me as these words reminded me of God’s promise that for Christ’s sake I am a true and worthy partaker of His body and blood and of all that these heavenly gifts convey.

This is why the true faith is of absolute necessity in the Church. This is why compromise of doctrine and practice are forbidden by Our God and Father, the Good Shepherd. We need to be free of doubt concerning our relationship to God, the relationship that exists purely by the reconciliation that is worked through the pure administration of the means of grace. When we know that we are truly members of Christ’s body, when we have rightly discerned the body of the Lord so that we commune in the confidence of His body and blood regularly, then in moments of weakness and fear our hearts know instinctively where to turn, just as a frightened child instinctively cries out, “Daddy. Daddy! Daddy!!”

Anyone can cry out. Anyone can cry out, “O Lord, help me!”

However, when the person has not feasted upon the steady and pure diet of the pure and unadulterated Gospel, the prayer is not a cry of true faith. It is a prayer mixed with doubt, which is a prayer that has no power, no effect. For such a prayer is not truly in the name and power of Jesus. Rather, it is in the confusion of the person’s jumbled beliefs. It is a prayer based upon the person’s own faith and feelings. The person’s own faith and feelings have already failed. That is why the desperate cry for help is needed in the first place. Turning back again to one’s own faith and feelings has no power to help.

But the prayer of faith, true faith, the faith that comes from hearing the pure Gospel, this prayer is powerful in its effect. Such a prayer is called the prayer of the righteous man, for it is in the name and by the faith of the one true Man of righteousness. Therefore this prayer cannot fail, even as Jesus cannot fail.

The true faith can be known with absolute certainty and this faith never fails, for it is not produced by one’s own reason and strength and is not worked by oneself, but it is the gift of God by His grace. This is why we can pray without doubting. This is why our prayers are effective. God’s faithfulness is the source of our confidence. God’s faithfulness is our hope.

This is why the Lord Jesus teaches us to pray with petitions that are statements of what God has declared rather than with petitions that flow from our own perspective and desires and thoughts. Recite the Our Father and try to find a question or a request. You won’t find one. What you will find is what God has already promised in Christ Jesus. This is why we are commanded to pray believing that we WILL receive what we ask in the name of Jesus. We are to pray according to what God has declared is His will. If we pray according to what He has already declared to be His will, where is there any room for doubt?

The Lord is my Shepherd.
I shall not want!


This is not wishful thinking. This is a statement of fact. If we truly understand all that this declares to us, it is all that we need in our times of trouble.

God’s peace to you all in Christ Jesus, the Lord!



Friday, July 18, 2008

Postcard Virus Warning

Today I received an E-mail from a dear friend wherein a warning is posted regarding a virus that is being spread cloaked in the form of E-mail Postcards from family and friends. The warning has some important errors, however, and this information should be corrected.

While Snopes lists this as a real virus, they also correct the misinformation. Below is a quote from the end of the Snopes article.


Although the Postcard virus is real, it isn't a "BIG VIRUS COMING" (it's already been around in multiple forms for a long time now), it will not "burn the whole hard disc" of your computer, CNN didn't classify it as the "worst virus" ever, and it doesn't arrive in messages bearing a subject line of 'Invitation.'



To read the full article, which is a very good idea: Snopes Postcard Virus Article. The article was updated on May 14, 2008.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Leadership Moment

Saturday I heard on the radio a very disturbing message. It hurt my spirit to hear it. It made my heart ache.

The message was a very brief comment called “Leadership Moment” offered through a company called Equip. Since I was driving I only had the ability to stop momentarily to write down the URL for the Leadership Moment web site, and was not able to jot down a direct quote of what was presented. However, what was presented was a “Leadership Moment” reflection of the leadership demonstrated by St. Peter and the apostles in Acts 6.

The host of Leadership Moment, John Hull, gave a brief synopsis of the situation described in Acts 6, and proceeded to explain that the apostles realized that the situation would hurt the “momentum” of the Church’s growth unless action was taken.

This is a most disturbing statement.

The motives of the apostles were not based upon a concern for the “momentum” of the Church’s growth, but upon loving concern for the saints. Their concern is clearly recorded as concern for the Word of God and the ordained administration of the means of grace.

Luke records that the Lord was the leader of the Church and that all of the “leadership moments” were by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and NOT by the wisdom of the apostles or other men. The actions of the apostles and what they presented for the Church to do were based PURELY upon the right administration of the Word. They simply directed the people to follow what the Word declares, and the people responded in faith.

Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. (Acts 6:3-6)


This most certainly was not a decision to “keep the momentum going.”

Luke explains in verse 7: “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

The Word produced the increase as the Word increased among the disciples. This increase was the work of the Lord. The Holy Spirit made this happen. This was not on account of some clever leadership tactics on the part of the apostles. The apostles merely adhered to the office entrusted to them, the office of Christ, the office of the Gospel. They continued in the words of Christ, believing that the Word rules the Church and produces whatever God wills for the Church.

And God’s will was done. In this instance great increase in the numbers of disciples was what God sent His Word to accomplish.

But this is not always what is to be, as is addressed in this week’s sermon from Jeremiah 15.

The point that St. Luke records is that the Word is to be the only provider of leadership in the Church, and those who would be true leaders under God will not forget this. Those who turn the office of Christ, the office of the Word, into applications of human decision and human wisdom, misrepresent the Word and do injury to those who turn to them for leadership.

Rather, the Collect for the Eighth Sunday after Trinity sets our hearts to observe the truth and to trust in the One who works mighty signs and miracles for His Church.

Grant to us, Lord, we beseech Thee, the Spirit to think and do always such things as are right, that we, who cannot do anything that is good without Thee; may by Thee be enabled to live according to Thy will; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Growing and Declining in Faith

In today’s “Faith & Values” section of the Wichita Eagle the following question was presented to Billy Graham along with his answer. It is a regular feature included in the paper.

The question is a very common question, one that every “person of faith” encounters. The Reverend Graham’s answer is quite typical, and it falls far short for reasons that will be presented later in this post. First the question and the Reverend Graham’s answer:


MY ANSWER/BILLY GRAHAM



DEAR REV. GRAHAM: A year ago I accepted Jesus into my life, and for a time I really felt He was with me. But now I find myself wondering sometimes if God even exists. Why has this happened? Is the devil trying to turn me away from God? --Q.S.

DEAR Q.S.: The devil will always try to turn us away from God; after all, this is the main thing he wants to accomplish in our lives. And one way he does this is by probing for our weak spots and trying to take advantage of them.

But don't blame everything on the devil; he doesn't deserve all the credit! The real problem, I suspect, is that after you gave your life to Jesus you thought this was the end, and it was all you needed to do. You knew your sins were forgiven.

But afterward you never did anything to strengthen yourself spiritually -- and over time you became spiritually weak. In order to survive and grow, you need spiritual food and warmth -- the "food" of the Bible and prayer, and the "warmth" of fellowship with other believers. If these were missing, your spiritual life inevitably suffered.

God has not abandoned you; He loves you and yearns for you to grow stronger in your faith. Confess your weakness to Him, and then take time each day to be alone with God in His Word and in prayer. In addition, ask Him to lead you to a church where Christ is central, and where you can grow in your faith.



The Q&A is also available here.

This question is a very common question. I doubt whether any Christian has lived in this world without facing this challenging question. It is a very disconcerting question. If left without the true answer to this question a person will despair of all hope of everlasting life or will spend a lifetime groping after what cannot be found.

Sadly, the answer given by the Reverend Graham falls short.

It falls short for a reason. That reason is actually given in the title chosen for this regularly offered column in the daily paper.

Did you catch the reason in the title?

The title is: MY ANSWER/BILLY GRAHAM.

This is the reason that the hurting individual is troubled by this dreadful question in the first place. The answer that is needed is not a pastor’s answer. The answer that is needed is not a church body’s answer. The answer that is needed is not the Reverend Graham’s answer.

God’s answer is the one that is needed.

The Reverend Graham’s answer sounds very solid to a undiscerning heart. It sounds very Biblical and godly and Christian. His answer to the hurting and troubled person is: “. . . you never did anything to strengthen yourself spiritually -- and over time you became spiritually weak.”

This is a typical response from those who count themselves as spiritual and “more spiritual” than others. This is the response that people typically expect and even seek to hear.

But is this really the answer? Upon whom does this answer direct the individual to depend?

Consider the rest of the Reverend Graham’s answer:

In order to survive and grow, you need spiritual food and warmth -- the "food" of the Bible and prayer, and the "warmth" of fellowship with other believers. If these were missing, your spiritual life inevitably suffered.


To the undiscerning heart this sounds like a very helpful answer. But upon whom does this answer direct the person to depend?

First and foremost this answer directs the person to depend on self. It directs the person to what actions the person takes to strengthen self.

Is this what the Scriptures teach?

And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
(John 5:37-40)


Is the “food” by which one’s spirit is fed the “Bible and prayer”?

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
(John 6:28-35)


The food or bread of life is not the Bible and it is not prayer. Jesus, the Christ, is the bread of life by which the spirit is regenerated and kept alive.

The Bible does not have the power to impart faith. The Bible is the written record that declares the Word. JESUS is the Word.

The question presented by Q.S. betrays the cause of the doubts and fears and pains that this dear soul is experiencing. Q.S. says, “A year ago I accepted Jesus into my life, . . .”

This is a lie. This person is hurting because of a major misunderstanding regarding the way of faith.

No one accepts Jesus into his life.

Jesus comes into the person’s life and then that person acknowledges the presence of the Savior and rejoices in this knowledge..

This sounds trivial until a person understands the fullness of the distinction.

The Scriptures teach that kingdom of God does not come by observation. The Scriptures teach that faith does not come by an act of the human will. The Scriptures teach that a person receives Jesus and is thereby given the power or authority to be born as a son of God.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)


This reception Jesus calls a rebirth or regeneration when He explains to Nicodemus the way of life in John chapter 3. He tells the confused preacher and teacher of Israel that no one can even perceive or see the kingdom of God unless that person be regenerated. Then He further explains that no one can enter into the kingdom of God unless that person be regenerated by water and the Spirit.

St. Paul writes to Pastor Titus:

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)


Again the apostle writes to the saints in Ephesus:

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10)


By these we learn that faith is not a work that is done by ourselves but a work that God works in us. It is by the hearing of the Word that the Holy Spirit comes to us and works the miracle of faith in us. This faith is a gift of God. He gives it freely. By this faith He regenerates us. Jesus Christ, the Word, is the one through whom the Holy Spirit is given. The Holy Spirit creates faith in us and that faith changes us from unbelievers to believers.

This is truly good news to anyone who has doubts and fears about the strength of his faith. Our faith is weak on account of it being counted as our own. According to our own faith, we do not truly trust God to be merciful and forgiving. According to our own faith we are full of doubt and fear and weakness.

But according to the faith of Jesus, the faith by which He came to the world and lived without sin and then took our sin in His own body to die on the cross and be buried, according to this faith, which is preached in accord with the pure Gospel and administered in the pure Sacraments, no doubt or fear or weakness remains. This is the faith that God works. It is everlasting and it cannot fail. It is a done deed. Therefore we may rely upon it without doubt or fear, and then no weakness of faith remains.

It is essential that we know where this faith lives. It lives in the body of Christ, which is the pure and holy Church that abides in His words and works. The Lord Jesus established His Church of the New Testament in His blood. He commanded that His Gospel be preached without compromise so that all doubts would be dispersed. He commanded that disciples be made through the means of the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, that is, Baptism. He commanded that these regenerated saint/sinners be kept in His grace, mercy, and peace through the Holy Communion of His body and blood.

The Bread of Life is Jesus. The warmth that we need flows from being connected with His body through Baptism and the Holy Communion. This “warmth” is not the sense of comradery or fellowship that people often mistake for the holy koinonia. This warmth is the life that is in Christ’s blood, poured out for the forgiveness of many. This warmth is the life that is received through Baptism and renewed through the Holy Communion.

Contrary to what the Reverend Graham and most Christians imagine, Christ is not the center of life and faith for the Church. Christ is the life and faith of the Church.

When this is understood, people no longer seek to make Christ the center of their lives. Rather, they live in Christ, trusting that He is their life and their all. With this understanding, doubts and fears are washed away, for then the person no longer looks to his own faith for hope and peace and assurance, but simply lives by the faith that God gives. The person simply trusts that Jesus really is the answer, and having received Jesus through the faith that the Holy Spirit works, that person continues in the great Eucharist or Thanksgiving, partaking of the Bread of Life and being strengthened and renewed in His blood of life.

The answer really is this wonderfully simple.

Friday, July 11, 2008

What’s your life worth?

Did you know that the government agencies of the United States of America evaluate the value of a human life and use these bureaucratic calculations in determining laws and regulations?

On the front page of today’s Wichita Eagle an article appears with the headline What's your life worth? A lot less to EPA.

According to the report, the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as other agencies, use various criteria to calculate a so called value of a statistical life.

What exactly is a statistical life?

Well, YOUR life is a statistical life. Every human being has a life, and that life is treated as a numerical datum. This is the view that results from loving money and making mammon one’s god.

The Scriptures explain this very plainly.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (1 Timothy 6:9-11)


The Lord Jesus declared:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
(Matthew 6:21-25)


When money becomes the basis for deciding what is right and wrong, when cost is the factor by which decisions of life and death are determined, mercy disintegrates. The love of money turns all decisions away from mercy and away from compassion and away from caring and away from goodness. The love of money turns all decisions to selfishness and to the maintenance and preservation of one’s own money and possessions and power.

This is why St. Paul admonishes:

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:3-5)

This way of looking upon others does not develop in a person on its own. It is not even possible to have this mindset by one’s own choice. No, as St. Paul declares, this is the mind of Christ, which is made to be the mind of those who are in Christ.

Thus we will observe certain imitations of this in the world, such as the facade of caring that is presented by the Environmental Protection Agency. But we will never see in the activities of the world and of the world’s agents the real caring that is not limited by monetary considerations. This real caring, this limitless caring, comes from God, who is love.

This is why the larger headline on the same page is: Casinos make pitch to state.

It is about the money!

A person who counts the things of others as just as important and even more important than one’s own things does not seek to use people’s greediness against them. That is, after all, the basis for gambling. Those who gamble and promote gambling are hoping to profit from the greediness and gullibility of others. People do not gamble with the good of others in mind.

The Casino owners want to make profit from others, regardless of how others are injured. The government wants to make profit from the profits of the casinos so that more money can be squandered on various programs that have the false appearance of caring for the people. People want to get something for nothing, knowing full well that someone has to lose heavily in order for this gain for self to occur.

In other words, the lives of others are counted as of less value than the personal or communal or corporate monetary gains.

So what is your life really worth?

To God, it is worth everything. To God, your life is worth His own life. To God, your life is worth the cost of humbling Himself to take on the form of Man, even more, to take the sin of the world and to be made to be sin in the place of Man, to be falsely condemned, to be persecuted and betrayed, and to be tortured to death. This is the mind of Christ, the God who is also Man, the Creator who loves the world so much that He is willing to humble Himself to take into Himself and to continue with the form of the creature for the sake of the creature.

Such value of life is found only in the heart and mind of Christ and of those who through Baptism are made to be one with Christ.

What is your life worth? Do you really know?

If you really know the worth of your life, then will it not show in the way that you value the lives of others? Is it possible to know the mind of Christ and not to have that mind toward others?

What is your life really worth? Do you know? Do you know what value God places upon you? Do you know what power God has for you and how He desires for you to be made to be like Him? Do you know that He has reserved a place for you in His kingdom, to be a coheir with Christ, to inherit all that is of God? Do you know that in Baptism God places His own name upon you and bestows all that is His along with His holy name?

Knowing one’s value changes a person.

Do you really know the value that has been declared concerning your life?

Click here to see your true value.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Windows Update Problems

Last night Microsoft’s automatic update forced upon me many hours of grief. In case your computer suddenly became unable to access the Internet and E-mail, here is what happened.

The latest security update for Windows XP caused a lockup of Security Suites, in my case, Zone Labs.

After many frustrating attempts to receive help from a service technician in India, the problem was finally located.

Here is the solution, if you would prefer not to spend an hour or more on the phone with someone who is very dedicated but does not understand English well enough to be dealing with such issues.

1. Open “Control Panel”.
2. Open “Add or Remove Programs”.
3. Click on the check box for “Show Updates” in the header region.
4. Scroll down to Security Update for Windows XP (KB951748).
5. Click on “Remove”.

The gentleman from Microsoft assured me that Zone Labs had the necessary information to upgrade their Security software and that a new upgrade was to be available by the next day.

We’ll see. Nevertheless, such irresponsible action on the part of Microsoft is reprehensible. Their first solution was that I should turn off my Security software until the issue would be resolved! Microsoft obviously does not care about its customers and their loss of time. Leaving my computer open to attack for a day or more is not acceptable.

Anyway, if you find this helpful, great!


= = =

By the way, here is the Microsoft link regarding this update, including Microsoft’s disclaimer, denying any responsibility for whatever problems and costs that the update will cause its customers.


= = =

I also contacted Zone Labs through their forum and chat line. They suggest the above procedure. They also suggest temporarily changing the Internet setting in the security suite to "Medium" until they manage to find a solution to the problems that Microsoft caused. This will allow using the new update rather than removing it through the Control Panel. The computer will not be "hidden" in the medium setting, but they assure that it will still be protected from hackers.

For what it may be worth.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Old Glory



Independence day will be a day of displays of the American Flag and of fireworks, which lit the sky so that Francis Scott Key could see the Flag during the dark hours of battle.

When I was in grade school, I was permitted to help take down the flag that was flown on our flag pole. I was instructed as to the proper lowering and folding of the flag. Part of those instructions included the warning that if the flag should be permitted to touch the ground that it would have to be burned, for the flag was never to be dishonored by letting it touch the ground.

To me this was terrifying!

The thought of having to burn my nation’s flag was a terrifying thought. I had been taught to know what this flag represents. Such a precious symbol should be held in the highest regard.

After all, my grandfather left Germany and became a naturalized citizen, devoted to all that the United States of America was founded to be. He told his household, “We speak English in this house, for it is the language of this country!”

When Old Glory flies, it shows that the bounties of God are still upon this nation. Not only is it beautiful in design, but glorious in the standard that it represents.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Both this pledge and the Flag have come under attack by those who do not love this nation nor the standards under which it was founded. This pledge makes clear what the United States of America is and what it means to those who flee to her from all over the world. Men and women have bled and died for these precious gifts in order to help insure them to our posterity.

Consider the words of this pledge.

“I pledge allegiance.”

This is a voluntary pledge that flows from being taught to understand what the Flag and Nation are. It flows from a love of others, one’s fellow countrymen, and even for those who will benefit worldwide from the existence of a nation that stands for the things declared in our Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution. It is a pledge to stand firmly upon and unmoved from those principles that place the liberty and justice above even one’s own life and rights and freedoms. It is a pledge that moves one to sacrifice on behalf of others. It is a pledge that flows from a shared faith in what is right and good.

“. . . and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, . . .”

This flag stands for a united republic with a clear definition and identity. This republic is united in understanding the basis for the blessings and privileges and rights and security that its citizens enjoy. It is a nation that is founded upon the confident faith that the God of love who created and redeemed the world has established His goodness for all to enjoy, goodness that the founders of this nation did their best to secure in the founding documents. They realized that such goodness does not generate from the hearts of men but must come from above and then flows from a people grounded in this knowledge.

Such a nation is truly indivisible, as history clearly shows. But as history is also showing, when a nation loses this grounding, it becomes deeply divided.

“. . . with liberty and justice for all.

Clearly, liberty and justice must be for All, or else it crumbles. Liberty and justice flow from one source, from the One who IS Love and is just.

This is the source of the liberty and justice which have been enjoyed for generations. Any nation that recognizes this and abides by it enjoys the same freedom and beneficence.

Truly this is a pledge worthy of those who would live in unity and harmony together for the benefit of all. This is what the Flag of the United States of America represents.

Yes! I love this flag and I love this nation! God preserve us from seeing either being dragged down to the ground to be defamed or destroyed.

God bless America and cause her to continue as a blessing to all!


In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Baldwin/Castle ’08




A different message,
a message unlike what we hear
day after day in the media.

Baldwin/Castle ’08