It Isn’t ‘Selfish’ to Advocate Against the Lockdowns [Video]

It Isn’t ‘Selfish’ to Advocate Against the Lockdowns [Video]There has been a rash of protests erupting against continuing the foolishness of “lockdown” in various states across America. In turn, there has also been a different bunch of people attempting to fearmonger and shame those who are engaged in such protests.

The battle has been waged across social media between the ‘pro-lockdown’ and ‘end the lockdown’ camps, and within the Leftmedia the universal opinion is that these draconian tyrannical ‘lockdowns’ must continue until “we” who know better, aka the Leftist elites, say they can end. In the turbulent sea of this battle, one phone call in particular to the Mark Levin radio show on May 22, 2020, sparked this author’s response/article.

The woman on the call was upset because she was being forced to remain unemployed as the authorities in California wouldn’t let her employer open. She decided this wasn’t right (after being locked down for a month) and became active in a movement to open up the state.

She was soon set upon by the pro-‘lockdown’ crowd especially via social media who accused her of being “selfish” because she wanted to go back to work and reclaim the liberty to which we as Americans are entitled by God, and that are secured by the Constitution. Not only is the claim she is “selfish” incorrect, the precise opposite is actually true.

It Is More than Selfish to Demand that Lockdowns Continue

Lock downs, coronavirus responseThe pro-lockdown Left doesn’t always use the word “selfish” to characterize those who wish to end living in our pandemic-panic-penitentiary. Sometimes one might read that we “don’t care” about anyone else, or more commonly that “you just want people to die!” in various social media and Leftmedia rants.

Either way, the Leftist claim is an impure and ‘selfish’ motive on the part of those who oppose the ‘lockdowns.’ So, let’s begin by examining the definition of the word itself. Dictionary.com gives what is a commonly accepted definition of the word ‘selfish.’

devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

The claim from the pro-lockdown folks is that wanting the lockdown to end and wanting to go back to making a living is really “caring only for oneself.” That sentiment is ignorant of the fact that these ‘lockdowns’ have demonstrably failed and done far more harm than good in every area.

Moreover, a few days ago over 600 physicians sent a letter to President Trump pleading that he take steps to end the ‘lockdowns’ now. They presented solid evidence that the negative health effects of the ‘lockdowns’ far outweigh those created by the Chinese Communist facilitated coronavirus.

“Millions of Americans are already [in critical condition],” the letter argued. “These include 150,000 Americans per month who would have had a new cancer detected through routine screening that hasn’t happened, millions who have missed routine dental care to fix problems strongly linked to heart disease/death, and preventable cases of stroke, heart attack, and child abuse. Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%. “We are alarmed at what appears to be the lack of consideration for the future health of our patients,” the doctors added, noting real-life examples they have witnessed in their practices. “The downstream health effects … are being massively under-estimated and under-reported. This is an order of magnitude error.”

These facts make it clear that the ‘pro-lockdown’ Left isn’t concerned about over 100,000 small businesses that have gone under permanently, as well as the other millions of people who have lost their jobs. They are the ones who don’t care about the enormous health risks pointed out by the physicians in the letter above and exhibit a complete “lack of consideration for the future health” of millions of Americans.

However, the push to keep extending the ‘lockdowns’ is much more than simply selfish. It is also a political tactic designed to virtually ruin America economically and help to stop the re-election of President Trump.

This is apparent by the absolute terror high-level Democratic operatives are showing at the prospect of a rapid economic recovery should the nation be freed from the Leftist’s pandemic prison. An analysis and prediction by a former Obama economic advisor, Jason Furman, triggered the fears of Democrats that America’s rebound could boost the President to a runaway win in November.

Furman’s prediction highlights the possibility that the economic recovery could resemble a “V” shaped upward direction which would produce astonishingly good results for America. However, the Left is afraid of this possibility because of the political implications.

Furman’s counterintuitive pitch has caused some Democrats, especially Obama alumni, around Washington to panic. “This is my big worry,” said a former Obama White House official who is still close to the former president. Asked about the level of concern among top party officials, he said, “It’s high — high, high, high, high.”

It Is More than Selfish to Demand that People Wear Masks Everywhere

pandemic panic, masksThe case for wearing masks is not that they protect the wearer, rather they are supposed to protect others in case you have the virus. Demanding that everyone wear masks everywhere means that you are asking everyone else to do something that you want to save you from a disease with a 99.8% survivability rate!

Moreover, wearing masks is of extremely limited benefit. They are far less effective than most people give them credit for.

An excellent piece in The Federalist points this out, as well as adding an ominous tidbit.

Last week, a doctor in the Wall Street Journal pointed out that cloth masks—the type worn by the overwhelming majority of the population—are not very effective, echoing Fauci’s earlier admission. The WSJ author noted that even the N95 masks fall short: “They’re considered effective at blocking coronavirus particles only when they’re form fitted and tested to make sure there isn’t any leakage.” In short, cloth masks are largely symbolic. The science hasn’t changed, but the agenda has.

The author of this piece, Molly McCann, begins by discussing the new Mandatory Masking edict being put into place in Virginia on May 29th. Under that “order,” no one will be allowed outside of their home without wearing a mask.

Given the fact that we know masks are marginally effective at best, why would anyone in authority give this kind of order? McCann correctly identifies the motive behind it.

 To take our freedom from us, people with anti-American agendas have to mobilize some initial quorum of consent from the population. …Mandatory masking seeks to build that consent. In addition to extending the fiction that we are in an emergency sufficient to trigger the extra-constitutional authority of local and state executives, mandatory masking acts as a peer pressure-fueled signal that encourages conformity to our coming “new normal.”

This motive is what makes the requirement of mask-wearing much more than selfish. It is a Leftist attempt to gain control and make others conform to a culture that is alien to liberty.

Moreover, Virginia is not the only state with such executive mandates, in fact, they are late on the scene. As far back as April 8, 2020, New Jersey had a stringent policy in place requiring mask-wearing in public and authorizing denial of entry to any ‘essential’ business without wearing a face mask.

By April 20th, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Hawaii, Maryland, and Pennsylvania all had some form of mandatory mask-wearing order in operation. This indeed signals an effort to reshape American culture and render the populace easier to mold for Socialism to be accepted.

Incidentally, this strategy is putting pressure on many in the general public. This is confirmed by the various “mask-shaming” incidents recorded on video, including one where Leftist network MSNBC was caught in blatant hypocrisy on Memorial Day weekend.

Deana921@Deana921

@edhenry Full video my husband, Andy, took of @CalNBC at Lake Geneva on Memorial Day! Hypocrites on full display! @MSNBC Cameraman and other crew NOT wearing masks while shaming others exercising their freedom not to! @IngrahamAngle @DonaldJTrumpJr @scrowder @greggutfeld

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It Is More than Selfish to Demand that Churches Remain Closed

The egregious demands of the government ‘lockdowns’ have included orders for the closing of religious gatherings in many places around America. This is a blatant denial of 1st Amendment rights as the vast majority of faiths in the nation require such gatherings on a regular basis, as well as during special celebrations each year.

churches reopening, coronavirus, lock downsRisking life and limb to secure religious freedom was what brought settlers such as the Pilgrims to America at the beginning. It was what drove those ministers who became known as the “black-robed regiment” to join in the battle against British tyranny during the Revolutionary War.

The sacrifices of people such as these were finally validated by victory in the war, and later by the adoption of the Bill of Rights as the first 10 amendments to the Constitution in 1787. As a result, American citizens have enjoyed the greatest period of freedom and prosperity in human history.

It is therefore rather remarkable that one of the prime targets for closure during these ‘lockdowns’ has been religious gatherings for worship. It is astounding that such gatherings in places of worship were determined to be “non-essential” activities in many states in over-reaction to the threat of the Chinese Communist Party facilitated pandemic.

That over-reactionary bent has been supported by over-zealous enforcement in more than one case when churches have defied the state overlords. One of the most recent examples is also one of the most extreme and comes courtesy of Chicago’s Mayor, Lori Lightfoot.

The following is from an official “Letter of Grievance” concerning an incident epitomizing the tyrannical mindset of the Left in this era of pandemic panic.

Dear US Attorney John Lausch,
Mayor Lightfoot today sent armed police officers to our small church (45 attendees today) to shut our services down today. They came with 3 squad cars two unmarked Durango’s and a Mayor representative’s car. Like the Soviet styled KGB they knocked on our locked doors; the only thing she hasn’t done “yet” is beat the doors down and arrest our members.
Thankfully our doors were locked as a normal safety precaution we take each service to protect our members from the escalating gun violence in Chicago. Mayor Lightfoot is defiant of the US Constitution and our freedom to worship. …She is one of few former US Prosecutors in the US to be censured by the 7th Circuit Judge Rovner and the entire 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for defying their order.
Our church has gone out of its way to follow CDC Guidelines and we have cooperated fully having online services, outdoor services, and practicing all social distancing requirements. We are even taking members temperatures on the way in our church doors.
We are not allowing our elderly to attend services.
We are trying to follow the laws of man as much as reasonably possible but when the laws of man conflict with the laws of God I as a Pastor have a duty to follow the laws of God. We will not be intimidated by this overhanded government bully but we are requesting the assistance of our President and our justice department in correcting the grave miscarriage of the law. If it were not for a Chicago church practicing and reaching others I personally would be one of the people perpetuating the violence on the streets of Chicago as I grew up on the streets of Chicago until I was reached for Christ through a church meeting together not an online service.
Please contact me as soon as you can at 219-871-9255. Please help!
Sincerely,
Courtney Lewis
Pastor

President Trump understands that these are clear violations of freedom of religion, as well as harmful for America as a society, and has acted by putting the states on notice concerning the status of religious activities.

Trump on Friday (May 22) stressed the importance of churches in many communities and took issue with some of the businesses that had been allowed to reopen. “Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential” but not churches, he said. “It’s not right. So I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential.” “These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united. The people are demanding to go to church and synagogue, go to their mosque,” he said.

The President also declared that if the states refuse his request he will “override them.” Some might question whether or not he could do this, however, several avenues exist to possibly accomplish that result, including the Federal Courts.

The American people have graciously accepted the ‘lockdowns’ until now in a very selfless manner. The public must be allowed to work and live and play and worship again before there is no nation or liberty left to reclaim and it is terribly selfish to demand that we all stay caged in our homes to satiate the fears and feed the ambition of the Left.

It is past time to end these tyrannical practices and embrace these words from God’s Word that we may do what is right in His sight.

You recently repented and did what was right in my eyes by proclaiming liberty, each to his neighbor, and you made a covenant before me in the house that is called by my name  Jeremiah 34:15 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Sam Stockton’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Chris Richmond’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of the_alien_experience’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Hank James’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

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Are You a Church?

On this damp early morning, I go to my Father in prayer and ask what can I do to make the world a better place. The answer is always the same… “write My words.” Today, God speaks to me about Christians versus a church and its disciples. We have the purpose of serving the Lord, but in what capacity? As the church and a disciple, or just a Christian?

A great misconception is one may not be a good practicing Christian if they do not attend church. I’m sure glad Jesus never taught this theory in His ministry, or God would condemn many believers for life! In this blog, I do not want to discuss the downfalls of present-day churches, but how the house of prayer should appear to all Christians.

According to Britannica, “a church is the Christian religious community as a whole, or a body or organization of Christian believers.” My interpretation is it’s not just about going to church, but being a church. Why? Because if we are disciples, we ARE the church! Must we worship the Lord in the presence of others, and only within the four walls of a commercial structure, to be a Christian? Jesus taught that prayer and personal reflections were to be done in solitude. He rarely preached behind any four walls of a temple, but instead He witnessed to others.

Image copyright by LUMO Project (Big Book Media). Distributed by FreeBibleImages.org

So, what are the responsibilities of Christians and/or the church? I found some Bible verses that discuss the obligations:

1) Defend others in need.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:8-9

2) In God’s grace, do what is good.

“Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarrelling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But when God our Saviour revealed His kindness and love, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy…” Titus 3:1-7

3) Help other believers get back on the right path.

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” Galatians 6:1-3

4) Love God before self and others.

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second commandment is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40

5) Preach the gospel to everyone.

“And then [Jesus] told [His disciples](NOT CHRISTIANS), “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” Mark 16:15

None of these responsibilities allude to the confines of a building. I find number (5), above, though to be the most important principle. It emphatically states we are to do God’s work, not just in a church building on Sundays, but every day. Many attend services and bible study classes and believe they’ve fulfilled their obligation as a Christian. This is a misconception! So, are you a church and discipling others? There are many good Christians who attend church, but fail to be disciples. Remember, a Christian is to preach the gospel to everyone.

Our occupations and other life activities are God’s blessings. Why not use it to preach the gospel to others? Spreading the Good News could encompass talking to the fallen regularly, or sharing godly social media posts and interacting with those who respond. How about blogging about your religion, visiting the ill and praying for them, or moreover becoming involved with a community’s less fortunate citizens?

Despite cultural challenges, I believe this era is the greatest opportunity for believers to witness since the time of Jesus and the apostles. All Christians, whether active or inactive in worship, represent a church as a whole. It isn’t about your sect of religion or that you attend church services. It’s about evangelizing the love of God as a church in the form of a disciple. Our highest and holy calling is to BE the church, not go to church.


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The Fear of God

The Bible reveals that the beginning of wisdom and knowledge is the fear of God. But this phrase, “fear of God,” has become a bit of a misnomer. The word fear denotes afraid of or threatening. So many unbelievers, today, view acknowledging a higher power is a threat to their freedom. As a result, they live in darkness with the shades drawn, blinded to the evil surrounding them. Christians understand the fear of God means standing in awesome respect of His power and majesty.

In Exodus 19:17-19, God wanted the Israelites to understand He was real and powerful. So, He asked Moses to lead them to the foot of Mount Sinai, and this event occurred…

“Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.  Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.”

If we read the scriptures just before Exodus’ verse 17, we discover the Israelites knew several days in advance they would experience God. Most of the people laughed it off and thought Moses was a joke. But as predicted, God terrified them when they witnessed His presence on Mount Sinai. The Lord speaks of fearing Him in the Bible to stop sinning, not because He is a cruel god. He wants us to understand we should run to Him when our enemies approach us.

Image attribute by Sweet Publishing/FreeBibleImages.org

Moving ahead thousands of years later, what attitudes have changed today about God since Mount Sinai? Did mankind learn anything from the Israelites? My opinion is the world’s lack of faith has steeply declined, and the fear of God is nonexistent. People are unbalanced in their understanding of the Lord. They’re naïve, or perhaps uneducated, so they follow the weakest link on earth – Satan.

God is sending many signals to the world today of His power – pandemics, earthquakes, and other catastrophes. Still, many continue to ignore His signs. Just as the Israelites, they, too, will cower in fear when He returns and it will be too late.

Mentioned 365 times in the Bible, one would say the fear of God proves a point: it is time to adhere to God’s commands and not your own decisions. Take delight in fearing the Lord so you can walk in obedience and have the joy of a clean heart. It builds confidence for the judgment day, arriving soon. Fear of discipline helps us not to make mistakes. As we obey Christ, we remain in His love, and His joy will be forever in us.

The fear of God, and respecting His almighty presence, will build your eternal salvation. God bless you!

“They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.”  Jeremiah 32:38-40

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Futuregate Is Here

COVID-19, tyranny, SocialismThe following account is fictional but unfortunately is not as far-fetched as it might seem. There are already proposals for similar actions by the Democratic Governor of the state of Washington, Jay Inslee. This could migrate to national status should something akin to the ridiculous “Heroes Act,” aka H.R. 6666 [yes, that is the number] be passed into law.

Sometime in the not-so-distant future:

“Today’s the day, isn’t it?” Margaret Claybourne asked across the kitchen table to her husband, Henry.

Henry nodded and replied, “Yes, it is. Don’t worry Maggie, it’s all going to be ok.”

Those words meant to reassure his wife were as much to bolster Henry’s courage as well. He pretty-much knew that things were definitely not going to be “ok” in the foreseeable future, but he couldn’t think about that right now.

“I hope you’re right, Henry, but I’m still not convinced. They’re probably on their way here right now!”

Yes, Henry thought, They are on their way. ‘They’ won’t be placated by talking, we already know that. He was reminded of his co-worker and buddy Pete who initially tried to resist the authorities with his protestations. He remembered that Monday morning Pete wasn’t at work. He never returned to work and no real explanation was given. His supervisors told Henry that Pete had quit, but that wasn’t the friend he had known for the last 15 years. Pete had a wife and two kids and he walks away from his largest means of support?!  

“Yes babe, they are probably on their way, but we have a little time. So, we’re going to pray, and then we’re going to run.”

Maggie trusted her husband implicitly. She knew he had been planning something like this for a while but Henry hadn’t given her many details. Whenever she asked he would always say, “It’s better if you don’t know in case something happens and one of us gets caught.” But now that it was real, she wanted to know. Maggie looked Henry straight in the eyes and then bowed her head as he began praying aloud.

Coronavirus, lockdowns, tyranny“Lord, we come humbly to You, knowing that all things are in Your hands and nothing can take You by surprise. We rest our hope in You and believe You will lead us through this trial. Give us guidance, wisdom, and courage for what lies before us now. We love You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Henry stood up from their kitchen table and started toward their bedroom. Before he could get three steps, Maggie said, “Ok Henry, it’s time I knew a little more about this. I know we’re running, and I know why we’re running. But where are we going? C’mon baby, fess up.”

Henry turned and gazed at his wife of 25 years. To him, she seemed hardly changed from their wedding day, though she often complained of carrying a few more pounds and the few wisps of gray that intermingled her raven hair.

He walked around the table and gently clasped her small hands as she stood. Her dark brown eyes stared up at him and Henry gave her a wry grin.

“Have I told you lately how beautiful you are?” He asked.

“Don’t try and charm me with compliments Henry Claybourne,” she shot back with a slight grin of her own. She wanted to sound firmer but in spite of herself inside she felt a flutter as his rugged face looked down on her. How can he still do this to me after all these years? 

“For now,” Henry replied, “We’re going to Dave and June’s place. I don’t know how long we can stay, but so far, that’s the next step. So go get our case and make sure to take your ‘dead’ phone and put it in the safe sleeve. I’ll take care of my phone here. Then meet me in the basement”

Maggie knew this part pretty much by heart. They had gone over the routine for “bugging out” many times. They had known months ago that they might have to escape both pursuit and detection. The only things she hadn’t known was when, where, and how it was going to happen.

9163272008_ed8c049ee6_wThey found out the “when” two days ago. Messages from the state authorities appeared on their computer and both cell phones. Since all phones and computers were now legally compliant, the state had access to them at any time.

Monday they were directed to, “appear at State Testing Center No. 64 in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 7th at 2:00 pm. Failure to appear will result in a warrant for your arrest and law enforcement will take you into custody and bring you to the Testing Center.”

Last month new laws went into effect that established a ‘Mandatory Test Protocol’ or MTP for the entire nation. Everyone was subject to random testing at any time so as to ensure ‘fairness.’ Tests were to be administered to the entire populace and would be repeated for all every month thereafter.

At the first testing, each person would also be “tagged” for tracking. Their movements were to be followed, recorded, and reported to the authorities on a regular basis.

Before the passage of the nationwide law, various states across the country had been using similar systems, including New York and the close neighbor of Nevada, California. The small group of ranchers and others, mostly from their church, that the Claybournes associated with was prescient enough to begin preparing to disobey the new laws many months ago.

Henry remembered just when he committed to that same course of action. Pastor Jim preached on the text of Galatians 5:1

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery  Galatians 5:1 [NASB]

Pastor Jim spoke of how this spirit of freedom moved the early Americans to shake off British tyranny. How because of the biblical truth that all people are equal in the eyes of God the new nation endured a horrific Civil War to free our brothers and sisters from bondage and that we must not let our freedom be ravaged now.

Henry and Maggie owned a small ranch that was about 200 miles north of Vegas. It used to be that the closest law enforcement would have come from Tonapah, but it went under two years ago and was basically a ghost town. Henry thought.

Henry figured that any law enforcement officers would have to come from Vegas or Reno. Since the Testing Center was in Vegas, that’s where the LE would be sent from to find him and Maggie.

If his truck hadn’t left home by 9 am, Henry knew that LE wouldn’t wait till 2 pm to dispatch some officers. Almost all vehicles were tracked by the state, as well as phones, so they would be heading toward his place by 9:15 am at the latest.

Henry checked the time. It was 9 am, so they should get a 4 to 5-hour headstart on any LE.

tyranny, lockdowns, COVID-19Just then Maggie came down the stairs holding their ‘bug-out’ case. The case was slightly larger than a typical ‘carry-on’ bag for an airline, with a dull grey finish of burnished aluminum on the outer skin.

The case contained a change of clothes and some toiletries for each of them, a first-aid kit, some emergency rations, and various short-term survival basics. Maggie walked up to Henry and handed him the case.

“Last chance to back out babe. If you decide it’s too great a risk, I’ll stay here with you and we’ll face the music together.”

Maggie gently placed her hands on either side of her husband’s face. “We’ve already had this conversation. You know I couldn’t stay with any measure of good conscience. We’ve prayed about this more than once, and we know this is risky, but it is the right thing to do.”

Henry kissed her lightly on the lips. “Ok then. Now let me show you how we’re getting out of here.”

He strode toward the north wall of the basement. Maggie looked at the old plaster wall bordered by two concrete support beams and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. She saw Henry produce a small device similar to a laser pointer and aim it at the beam on the left.

A small vertical line began to form in the center of the wall. To her amazement, Maggie then saw the wall separate in the middle and slide open like an elevator door revealing an opening shrouded in darkness.

Henry pushed a second button on his ‘pointer’ and a row of overhead lights came to life. The lights receded back along the now visible tunnel until they faded from view.

Maggie’s jaw went slack as she looked at Henry with astonishment. “I know this didn’t come with the house, so…how?”

“This is what Dave, Pastor Jim, and I have been working on for three months. Well, mostly Dave and Pastor Jim, though I helped out a little with these doors and the connection of the tunnel to the mine shaft.”

“What…the mine shaft?!,” Maggie exclaimed.

“Dave discovered an old mine shaft vent a few months ago just inside his property line. He explored it and saw that it ran under our ranch and we managed to connect the shaft to the basement by boring an escape tunnel and here we are.”

“This is amazing!” shot Maggie as she stared wide-eyed into the lit underground space headed north.

“How far do we go inside this?”

“About half a mile straight north and descending 100 feet along the way and then into the abandoned mine for 5 miles and we come up and out just inside Dave and June’s fence. It’s lit like this all the way.”

They looked at each other and Henry took Maggie’s hand and stepped toward the entrance. He froze after a step and looked upward at the basement door.

“What’s wrong?”

Henry replied with his finger to his lips. “I heard something outside,” he whispered. He crept up the stairs and put his ear to the door.

Henry heard the sound of a firm and calm voice amplified with a bullhorn. “Mr. and Mrs. Claybourne, this is CDC Enforcement. We are here to take you into custody and escort you to the Testing Center for mandatory testing procedures. Please come with us peacefully or we will be forced to enter and obtain compliance with or without your cooperation.”

What?! How did they get here already? 

“Let’s go, babe, now!” Henry said as he grabbed her hand and they raced inside the doors. He pushed another button on his ‘pointer’ and the doors closed behind them as they began to run.

*  *  *

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The New American Standard Bible: Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, AMG International, 1990

The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, Fleming H. Revell Publishing, 1977

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Etan Liam’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of playability_de’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Quotes Everlasting’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Giant Sloth’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

 

Send in the Doves

I took a reprieve from yard manicuring and sipped on a glass of tea. Without warning, three doves flew down to join me and fed on the seed my love scattered about the ground the previous day. They were only a few feet from my chair. Amazed and with exuberance, I surmised there must be a message in their trusting action. Am I being watched, I wondered? Is my every move being noted and written down for judgment day?

In scriptures, the dove is often used to represent aspects of God’s spirit, instructing our lives. It is a symbol of peace, but it held much more significance, for it affirmed Jesus as the Messiah. As John baptized Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in bodily form like a dove – the anointing of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, other heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; Matthew 3:16

Also, Noah experienced a connection with these birds. Following the Flood, he sent out a dove. It flew out over the sea but then returned to the ark. Noah waited a week before he left it go again. This time…

“…the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.” Genesis 8:11

The third time Noah sent out a dove, it did not return, revealing the dove had found a new home on the land of the earth. The message here? God had made peace with the earth and mankind.

Image courtesy of FreeBibleImages.org

The Lord held doves in greatness. One biblical event describes Jesus angrily driving out all the merchants from the Temple, including “those who sold doves” to worshipers (John 2:16). The happiest of birds, it identifies and represents divinity and purity, as Jesus acknowledged by His anger.

So, do you think God sends in the doves to confirm our faithfulness or as a subliminal sign He is near? It’s easy to comprehend because, after all,  signs from God are clear as the day is long.

I want to share a personal event in my life. I married my wife on a beach in Destin, Florida. Standing on a platform next to the tall grasses and sand dunes, we recited our sacred vows. At the exact moment the Justice of Peace declared us man and wife, three doves flew out of the grass and over our heads. We will never forget it!

At first, we believed it was our deceased parents showing their approval, but now we view it differently – it was the Lord! To this day, His abundant blessings affect our life.

So, Lord, send in the doves! I built my sanctuary in honor of You. It gives me the strength for all things of which I can do to serve You better. I keep one eye on my blessings and the other on Your arrival. Standing like a soldier, I shall remain in prayer and feeding the doves You sent to watch over me this morning.

I love the days I can share Christ with all my readers. So many seeks the Lord, but He joins me in my daily thoughts. Call on our Lord, and He will send doves your way if you just have faith and pray.  What a merciful Father, don’t you agree?

Send in the doves, Lord, and baptize us with powerful wings and life ever after.

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God’s Glorious Creation

Women are God’s glorious creation who fit perfectly into His grand plan. She expands His temple by giving birth and training her family to live adult, productive lives. How incredibly valuable mothers are to the Lord! But this nurturing reality didn’t exist for women in biblical times.

When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them equal reign of the earth. But as the forbidden fruit was eaten, so too, was the woman’s rights to help dominate the land. As the Judaism religion developed, they overplayed this scene – women had no rights. Their primary purpose in life was to give birth, raise children in the Jewish faith, and attend to all the needs within the home and for her husband. She was never to be seen outside socializing with others, nor within the temple walls.

However, under Mosaic Law, Israeli women enjoyed an honorable status, and men recognized their rights. Though husbands were head of the household, the wife could freely express her religion and work a job.

So, who made the world change their view of women? Jesus loved the female genus, and He highly respected them. He healed their ailments, allowed them to travel with Him, and made disciples of a few. To express their importance to Jesus, He even chose a woman to bear witness to his resurrection (Mary Magdalene).

Proverbs 31: 25-30 expresses God’s deep love for mothers:

God also gave guidelines to husbands and children:

“Honor your marriage; keep it pure by remaining true to your wife in every way.” Hebrews 13:4

“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect…” 1 Peter 3:7

“My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.” Proverbs 6:20

Mothers mold their offspring with love and integrity. In moments of illness, strife, or despair, their children remain foremost in their thoughts. They adorn their families with our lasting memories. Mothers, the Lord chose YOU to rear His creations and to love them as you love His Word. You are truly a gift.

To all the mothers who grow God’s kingdom, may you have a blessed and Happy Mother’s Day! Know you are so special and loved!

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A Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer. The United States Congress asks people “to turn to God in prayer and meditation.” Though praying should be an everyday occurrence in our homes, on this day, many faiths will take part in the annual event. Rev. Billy Graham initiated this day in 1952, so please join me in prayer.

Dear Lord,

Our Father in Heaven, we come together in humility, asking you to bring salvation to all those who are in prayer today.

Please guide our clergy, missionaries, and others blessed to spread Your Word. Comfort the souls with broken spirits and cast out the germs that try to infiltrate their hearts. Many walk our land with little or no faith, and they desperately need led to Your spiritual being before leaving this life.

Lord, lead us to the still waters and green ferns during this tumultuous time of upheavals around the world. We pray for the safety, and immeasurable responsibilities of our leader, President Donald Trump. Father, please endow him with Your wisdom and comforting arms. Speak to all the members of our congress and other political positions. Guide them to make better decisions based on the country’s needs and not their own. Help America to once again come together in unity.

Many families have suffered job losses and deaths because of COVID-19. Lord bless them with Your peace and reassure their souls. Keep us healthy and shield us from harm, Lord.

We pray, Father, for the churches in America to unify under Jesus Christ’s name. Help us see all religions in the cross’s light. We pray to be more humble, gentle, and patient with one another. Bless us, Lord, with the unity of the Holy Spirit through the bond of peace.

Lord, please be our shepherd! Jesus Christ is the Only Savior, and our only hope in this world.

Amen

Further Considerations for The Coming ‘New Normal’ [Video]

Chinese Communist Party, COVID-19, liberty,faith

In the previous article, we examined some of the changes that may await us as the cloud of pandemic panic and lockdown slowly lifts from the global atmosphere. We have seen that the reactions to the pandemic, such as the ‘lockdown’ are even more perilous than anything the Chinese Communist Party has inflicted upon the world with the coronavirus.

The colossal failure of the certified government ‘experts’ and the faulty policy of ‘lockdown or else disaster,’ are becoming more evident each day. However, those concerns are not the only thoughts that should be considered as this radical realignment of society forced upon most of us concludes, hopefully very soon.

Considerations for the National Election

Leftist, COVID-19, economy, electionsDespite the recent imaginings of former Vice President Joe Biden, the election in November of this year will happen and President Trump is not going to cancel the election. This national election is of paramount importance and the COVID-19 panic is already having an effect on what the shape of the voting will look like.

The Left is not letting this newest opportunity for election manipulation to fade into the ether. The largest push now from the Democrats is for “mail-in voting” as a way to vote and not be endangered by the CCP coronavirus.

The huge problem with voting by mail is that while it may be both convenient and safe for the voter, it is rife with fraud that makes the election results untrustworthy at best. What makes this more troubling is there is almost no way to prove that such election fraud is occurring even under the most suspicious of conditions.

Elections officials from all political stripes acknowledge that mail-in ballots are far more vulnerable to fraud. Stories of political operatives who routinely scam senior citizens out of their absentee ballots are so widespread that the term “granny farming” was coined.  Even the New York Times, when reporting on suspicions of election fraud in North Carolina last year, noted that “absentee ballots are especially susceptible to manipulation.”

One of the premier private organizations involved in assuring that our elections are ‘clean,’ is Judicial Watch. A very worrisome area JW discovered even before the Chinese Communist Party caused Coronavirus pandemic appeared was how many states had not cleaned up their voter rolls.

This wonderful organization has taken it upon themselves to do the work of the Department of Justice by pressuring states to abide by the legal requirement to update and clean voter rolls on a regular basis. Moreover, JW has even had to take some states to court over their refusal to obey the law.

The fight to keep voter rolls within states and counties honest continues to this day and has expanded to a nationwide battle for election integrity.

Judicial Watch announced in January that we found at least another 2.5 million extra names on voter rolls across the country. A Judicial Watch analysis of data released by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission found that there are 378 counties in the U.S. that have more voter registrations than citizens old enough to vote. The 378 counties had a combined 2.5 million extra registrants over the 100%-registered mark. We’ve notified 19 counties in five states—California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Colorado, and Virginia—that we intended to sue unless they take steps to clean up their voter rolls. Stay tuned.

The Democratic Left has been using these tactics for many years. In the midst of this pandemic panic, they are sure to attempt election fraud with renewed vigor. The fact is that despite JW’s efforts, many of the lawsuits will not be acted on until after November of 2020 and extra vigilance will be needed at the polls for this crucial election.

Possibilities for the Future of Education

Leftist, COVID-19, economy, SocialismTwo particular education arenas in the public and private sectors have had some revealing light shed upon them during the national lockdown in America. One is the arena of education at home aka ‘homeschooling.’

The necessity to educate children at home during the primary through high school years because of the closure of public schools has enlightened many to just how difficult that task can prove to be. However, it may have also opened some parent’s eyes concerning what their children are learning, or not as the case may be, in the public school system.

The unintended benefit of this factor might be that more parents embrace the concept of school choice, including choosing homeschooling as an option. At the least, it should render them more willing to be involved at a greater level in their local public school system.

The second education arena has been at the level of the university, or “higher” education in America. One revelation for all to see has been the shameless greed of prestigious institutions like Harvard who clamored for ‘stimulus bailout’ money while holding a 40+ billion dollar endowment!

Of course, most of these high-dollar education establishments presumably provided video lessons for the students. However, I haven’t heard of any who have said they will offer a discount on tuition instead of keeping the full amount while their professors and administrators continue to receive their paychecks without a reduction.

However, perhaps a more lasting development might be some growth in online college-level courses that many students have no doubt taken advantage of during the lockdown. Some should discover that many of their in-person classes not measurably better than those online and that they can also get much more real education for a fraction of the cost by using the resources already available through the internet outside of the university system.

Prepare for More Encroachments Upon Freedom

COVID-19, freedom, economy, LeftismAs the shackles of lockdown are loosened, one would expect that politicians and government authorities at all levels would also loosen their grip upon the movements and freedom of their citizens. Yet, for the most part, this doesn’t appear to be the case.

In fact, the appearance being put forth by various state and local authorities reeks of tyranny and strongly implies these particular people desire permanent dictatorial power for themselves. Perhaps the most infamous to date has been Michigan Gov. Gretchen Witmer who has extended her lockdown orders until the end of May in direct response to protests against her earlier orders from on high.

A lesser-known star in the tyranny club of governors is Gov. J.B. Pritzker [D] of Illinois. A recording of his response to an important question reveals the Leftist attitude toward liberty for individuals.

He responded to a question from a reporter about his wife being allowed to engage in “non-essential” travel to Florida despite a mandatory ‘stay-at-home’ order that he had issued.

First of all, I want to say that in politics it used to be that we kept our families out of it. My official duties have nothing to do with my family. So, I’m just not going to answer that question. It’s inappropriate and I find it reprehensible, honestly, that uhh, that reporter wrote a story about it.

This is a very disturbing statement. Gov. Pritzker is demonstrating a dictatorial level of abuse of power, which is typical of the power-hungry Left in America. If anyone thinks that these tyrants are going to give back power to the electorate without a battle, you are seriously mistaken.

Witness the recent statement by failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. She pined for government-run universal health care in light of the pandemic panic that would only extend the tyrannical claws of Socialism further thus gutting individual freedom.

it [the response to COVID-19] needs to be part of a much larger system that eventually — and quickly, I hope — gets us to universal health care. …So I can only say, “Amen,” to everything you’re saying, but also to, again, enlist people that this would be a terrible crisis to waste, as the old saying goes.

A crisis such as this pandemic is fodder for Leftist’s dreams of power and implementing Socialism as the means to obtain that power. Of course, true Socialism is incompatible with true faith, thus the most practiced faith in America is being attacked with new fervor in the name of helping people stay ‘safe’ from the virus.

Watch as this pastor is placed under house arrest for refusing to not preach to his congregation at church services in a clear violation of the 1st Amendment.

This targeting of Christianity, in particular, has one aim. It is to destroy any hope of deliverance from any crisis unless that deliverance comes from the government authorities.

Should that goal be reached, then the ultimate Leftist fantasy of a completely Socialist government will be at hand, and tyranny will soon follow. For only if the idol of the state is put in place of God can any kind of Socialism come to pass.

President Trump has repeatedly and rightly stated that in America, “We worship God, not government.” The Left wants to use the coming ‘new normal,’ as a way to turn that statement backward.

We must deliver the same answer to that effort that Peter and other apostles gave when punished and ordered not to speak the gospel in public by the government authorities of the time,

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”  Acts 5:29 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featrued and Top Image courtesy of Dickson Phua’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of kgroovy’s Flickrpage – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Steve Evans’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Kursat ve 39arkadasi’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

 

Like a Fragile Flower

Quietly the sun rises through the woods, giving me time to reflect on the world. Looking off into the branches of time, I wonder where life has quickly gone. I remember my childhood days of climbing the hills and running into the valley of flowers. What I wouldn’t do to return to a world where Shwinns was the fastest way to find our friends!

I often sit alone with my coffee and reminisce over the smell of its grounds. I would love to see the neighbors who undoubtedly have gone to be with Jesus in heaven. Oh, the younger years I took for granted! They can never be replaced, but in my solitude of living color are the names of the smiles I so profoundly remember.

But, I understand, now, it is our Father who grants us the privilege of recollecting memories. I guess everyone has that incurable desire to go back in time and recall our beginnings. I know some may not agree with me, but it’s okay to disagree, for we’ve all conquered our own adolescence.

Our powerful and almighty God, in all His awesomeness, handles us like a fragile flower. It is written in 1 Peter 1:24, “For “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,” So we sit in our own little world, cecum to the fact we are here because of His higher plan. And so God says we are to be born and live as prescribed by our heavenly Father.

We are part of His magnificent imagery. Where there was once a seed in the fertile soil, there is a blossom because of Christ. He comforts His fragile flowers thriving amongst the splintered branches. Even in the blowing winds and stressful times, He quenches His chosen ones.

In the circle of life, the petals eventually fade, and God cuts some lives shorter than others. Mourning the delicate flower which once stood tall for all to admire, we hold on to the cherished remembrances.

“For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.”  Psalm 103:14-15

Like a fragile flower, the beauty of Christ and His Word bestows upon us the hope for a better future in heaven. View your memories through the gospel, and you will surely witness God’s grace at work. The experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for our future work with the heavenly Father.



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Strength of Faith

Shall I send you a card with best regards, or should I pray for Christ to defeat your battles in life? This world is our enemy, but God warns us not to cecum to the evil spirits lurking at every threshold. The Bible tells us God’s eternal power is the only strength to ward off those who offend us. Fighting battles on different fronts allow us the privilege of knowing Jesus Christ is our strength of faith.

During insurmountable battlefronts, Jesus protects us by being our shelter and protector. Psalm 91:4 tells us, “Under His wings, shall you trust and find refuge.” No matter the circumstances, He makes us inaccessible to the enemy. Many people walk unharmed through all kinds of dangerous situations today. Here are some biblical examples, too:

  • Paul, the Apostle, was brutally beaten and jailed, yet he could walk fifteen thousand miles to spread the word of Christ.
  • Daniel survived the lion’s den by his strength of faith in God.
  • When Moses was born, his mother set him afloat down the Nile river to stop the Pharaoh from killing him. God protected his life because He had higher plans for the infant.
  • God saved Noah and the ark from the greatest flood on earth. Noah’s strength of faith was rewarded with many future generations.

Often, I’ve struggled in a bitter war as enemies tried to impede my ability to move forward in life. The almighty Lord came to my rescue every time! Believers are temples of the living God. He goes everywhere we go when we are filled with His strength of faith. Your shield must be the Word of God – this is your part to receive His protection.

Ask God to direct your path each day, and in all circumstances, not just in the bad times. Let the joy of the Lord be your power of faith, for the only way to win life’s wars is by the strength of Jesus. Trample down the gates of evil and watch God take over the battle. His power is higher than any man who walks amongst us!

Let us pray –

Dear Father, I pray You will save me by Your precious grace so I may have everlasting life with You. Give me the fortitude to conquer the evil of everyone who seeks to harm me. I pray Your strength will be my fortress. Let me walk in Your footprints before me, so as not to falter or be misled into devilish corners. Bless me with a greater strength of faith, Your armor, so I am not held captive by the enemy. Thank you, Lord, for the battles Your awesome power has seen me through in life. Let my love in You now be my strength in faith and my forever fortress. Amen.