What is God’s Name and What does it Mean?

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:13-14

I recently read an author remark that, “I AM becomes the ultimate statement of self-sufficiency, self-existence, and immediate presence”.

Here is what I Know about God:

  • God’s existence is not contingent upon anyone else.
  • God’s plans are not contingent upon any circumstances.

Pastors and Professors have always taught me, “God Never Changes. He will be the eternally constant God. He is ever-present and unchangeable, God is completely sufficient in Himself to do what He wills to do and to accomplish what He wills to accomplish”.

I am nervous around people who have a low view of God or are too casual about God. Personally I don’t use terms like:  

  • The Man Up Stairs
  • The Man with a Plan
  • The Dude in the Sky.

I believe there is much in a name: I AM!

Dr. Smiley is the senior pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2,600-member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is engaged locally, regionally and globally.  He is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries.” His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his thoughts about God, faith,current events and Islam are available on his blog at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His books, “Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents,” “Angels All Around,” and“Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered on his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact him at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Dr. Smiley is an often requested speaker a numerous types of gatherings  Inquire about him speaking at your event by emailing tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

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The Relational God from Lakewood Baptist Church on Vimeo.

45 Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. 46 They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God. Exodus 29:45-46

God is a God who lives with us…Immanuel

The word “tabernacle” is a translation of the Hebrew mishkan, which means “dwelling-place.”

21st Century Take Away: Emmanuel

God seeks to dwell with us.

God’s dwelling is in the midst of the people.

He has always wanted to be the God who dwells with his people. In Eden he walked with man in the cool of the day.

He is a relational God.

“I want to dwell with you.”

 “They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.   John 1:14 NASB

He is a relational God.

Dr. Smiley is the senior pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2,600-member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is engaged locally, regionally and globally.  He is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries.” His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his thoughts about God, faith,current events and Islam are available on his blog at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His books, “Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents,” “Angels All Around,” and“Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered on his TomSmileyMinistries website. You may contact him at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Dr. Smiley is an often requested speaker a numerous types of gatherings  Inquire about him speaking at your event by emailing tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

(Video: Lakewood Baptist Church Worship Team / Video Production: Chris Hargrove)

The reason that the resurrection of Jesus is so often attacked is that it validates the claims Jesus Christ made about Himself.

For centuries, relentless efforts by agnostics and atheists have sought to dismiss the resurrection of Jesus. Skeptics try to avoid it or explain it away; doubters seek to dismantle the resurrection of Jesus, but throughout the centuries, the truth of Jesus and the truth of the Jesus’ resurrection continue to change lives in every tribe and nation, among every people group, within every culture.

No other truth in history has the ability to change our lives and affect our future like the Truth of Jesus’ Resurrection.

Teach your children the truth about Jesus.  If you don’t teach your children to trust and believe Jesus, the world will teach them not to.

Dr. Smiley is the senior pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2,600-member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is engaged locally, regionally and globally.  He is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries.” His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his thoughts about God, faith,current events and Islam are available on his blog at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His books, “Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents,” “Angels All Around,” and“Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered on his TomSmileyMinistries website. You may contact him at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Dr. Smiley is an often requested speaker a numerous types of gatherings  Inquire about him speaking at your event by emailing tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Synopsis:  J.I. Packer, scholar and theologian, said, “Asking God to sanctify sin by blessing what he condemns is irresponsible, irreverent, and blasphemous. It is completely unacceptable as church policy. I will not do it.:” 

Here’s a thought, Instead of searching our corrupt, flawed “inner selves” for answers and believing we have received new and special knowledge apart from God’s revealed Word, we should instead TEST everything against the revealed Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

In the end, it is God’s truth alone that can be trusted.

 *****************

Above all the chatter and clamor today about the church and questions about sexuality, there really is a more basic question that must be answered:

Will the Church lose her biblical conviction and courage and morph into an unrecognized entity of the current age?

Same-sex marriage is back in the news as the United Methodist Church debates the ordination of openly gay and lesbian pastors and affirming same-sex relationships.

Will the Church today (and those professing to love the Church) forsake biblical conviction and courage only to morph into an unrecognized entity of this current age that God will NOT bless?

Current events lead one to ponder, “How can some churches affirm same-sex marriage and same-sex relationships and others NOT affirm same-sex marriage and same-sex relationships? Aren’t they both reading the same Book?

Some local clergy and lay volunteers who affirm same-sex marriage and homosexual lifestyle use such reasons as, “Isn’t God Love,” “God is BIG,” “Love is Love,” “Love is good.” The list goes on.

Those clichés may sound and feel good, but such reasoning can’t be grounds for abandoning the very clear truth of God’s Word.

Actually, such clergy and lay volunteers, by their actions of forsaking the scripture, are implying that they have some “new knowledge” that the Church did not possess 2000 years ago.

Yes, they are reading the same Book. But they believe they have been enlightened with “new knowledge” that essentially means: The Bible NOW does not mean what it says.

The Truth is that many people are being fundamentally deceived by a very real and active Adversary.  He began with Eve, with the words, “Did God Really Say….”

I am saddened that many 21st Century Christ followers don’t recognize that Satan’s deception has engulfed them.

What really makes this frustrating for those who hold a biblical worldview is that we who follow and affirm 2,000 years of consistent biblical orthodoxy now are being called intolerant and divisive.

The truth, however, is this: We follow God’s clear word on marriage and sexuality, and we affirm over 2000 years of biblical orthodoxy.

How can those of us who hold to 2000 years of biblical orthodoxy be labeled as divisive and intolerant?

The clear bottom line—for anyone who has even a hint of intellectual integrity—is that people who deny biblical authority on ANY subject by claiming “special knowledge” are really 21st century Gnostics.

Yes, we are reading the same Book, but Gnostic thinking claims that deeper truth can be found apart from and In Addition to God Word.

However, Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Instead of searching our corrupt, flawed “inner selves” for answers and believing we have received new and special knowledge, we should instead test everything against the revealed Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

In the end, it is God’s truth alone that can be trusted.  Dr. Albert Mohler coined it best, “Theological fidelity cannot mix with cultural capitulation. One must give way to the other.”  I like to say, “truth can never contradict itself.” 

So, when the Bible affirms marriage as being between a man and a woman or lists homosexuality (and other activity, as well) as sin, it is the modern day Gnostic who says, “No, you are wrong. We have special knowledge and the Bible NOW does not mean what it says.”

This is what happens when churches abandon Scripture and strive for the applause of man rather than the applause of God.

It is sad that the 21st Century Church has to fight Gnostic heresy of the 1st Century all over again!

Yes, we are reading the same Book, but some now think that deeper Truth, different Truth, can be found apart from God’s Word. They choose to believe, at their own peril, that the Bible now does not mean what it says.

We were warned of this in Jude, which says:

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ, our only Sovereign and Lord.

N.T. Wright, Anglican bishop of Durham and noted scholar and theologian, has indicated that it is NOT intellectually honest to remove the biblical admonition to refrain from same-sex activity or promote marriage as something other than between a male and female.

Please hear again the words from Anglican scholar and author J.I. Packer when he was asked about the affirming or blessing of same-sex marriage. He said:

“Asking God to sanctify sin by blessing what he condemns is irresponsible, irreverent, and blasphemous. It is completely unacceptable as church policy. I will not do it.”

Given that many Christians around the globe are standing against raised fists as they seek to honor God, at least I should stand against the raised eyebrows in my own community regarding God’s clear Truth on the issue of same-sex marriage.

I am Called to affirm the truthfulness of God’s Word.  I will continue to Speak the the Truth in Love.  I care deeply about those who are “being deceived’.  My intention is to unashamedly speak Truth, always in a Spirit of Love and Concern for those being deceived by The Adversary.

Affirming Scriptures:

Mark 10:6-9

6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh. ‘So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Timothy 1:8-11

8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

Romans 1:26-28

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

Dr. Smiley is the senior pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2,600-member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is engaged locally, regionally and globally.  He is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries.” His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his thoughts about God, faith,current events and Islam are available on his blog at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His books, “Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents,” “Angels All Around,” and“Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered on his TomSmileyMinistries website. You may contact him at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Dr. Smiley is an often requested speaker a numerous types of gatherings  Inquire about him speaking at your event by emailing tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

This past Monday the Senate voted to block consideration of a measure that would punish any doctor who fails to provide medical care to a child born alive after an attempted abortion.

Given that all but three Democrats voted against the procedural motion on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, the vote fell short of the needed 60 votes to move forward.

AGAIN!  ALL BUT 3 Democrats voted against a measure to protect a baby OUTSIDE the mother’s womb.

Opponents gave as reason to vote no, that this bill “represented an unjustified attack on abortion rights”.

How sad that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Women’s Association and the American Public Health Association, all opposed the bill.  The reasoning it “represents a dangerous government intrusion into private health-care decisions.”

No mention of the RIGHT TO LIFE of a baby outside the mother’s womb.

Here it is in a NUTSHELL:  The Procedural vote was really offering the Question offered by the Bill’s supporter,  “Are we a country that protects babies that are alive, born outside the womb after having survived a botched abortion?”

This vote that put in Jeopardy the LIFE of a BABY outside the mom’s womb clearly illustrates how vile Party POLITICS has become.

This Vote demonstrates what happens when PARTY is chosen over POLICY.

Are the Democrats who voted against this Bill, so PROGRAMMED that they would blindly choose to forgo protecting a Baby in order to WALK LOCK IN STEP with Party ORDERS?

I would love to see and hear some Lay Democrat non-elected supporters say to their political leaders, “You are on the wrong side of this one”.

God Forbid that I would ever So Blindly follow party Leaders or Party Orders that I would forfeit my Responsibly to Protect a NEW BORN BABY.

This was one opportunity that RIGHT MINDED Democrats had to Walk in truth, and yet they Chose PARTY over RIGHT.

What a Shame that most Elected Democrats will take marching orders on such moral questions that even the Democrat lay supporters reject.

No doubt it shows who most Democrat elected leaders are “beholding too”.

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The over 2500 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, nationally and globally engaged.  He is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”.  His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  He has written three books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” each can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website or by contacting him at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Dr. Smiley is an often requested speaker a numerous types of gatherings  Inquire about him speaking at your event by emailing tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

There are a lot of enjoyable involvements in the life of a Pastor.  Engaging in the hearts and lives of people experiencing a wide range of emotions and circumstances is very rewarding while at the same time often extremely difficult.

Over the last almost 4 decades, I have had the opportunity to lead in a memorial service celebrating the life of a Friend, Church Member, Ministry Supporter, Confidant, Brother or Sister in Christ.

Many of the ones I have had the honor to speak LAST Words over I’ve referred to as “A Pastor’s Prize”.  These have been Men and Women and Children who, as I remembered and surveyed their lives I could only best summarize as being a “Pastor’s Prize”

A Pastor’s Prize given they demonstrated a serious love and Commitment First  to the TRUTH about Jesus Christ, to His Church and to Me, their Pastor.

Today, I spoke final words over one such Pastor’s Prize.

Eric Loren Saxton

Like many over my decades in ministry,  Eric was an example of a Christian Man, A man’s Man who never wavered in his FAITH of TRUSTING JESUS and NEVER DOUBTED God’s Provision,  Care and Healing.

I can tell you as Eric’s Pastor, that HIS FAITH got Stronger  even as his Body got weaker.

On Numerous occasions as I visited Eric, He NEVER FAILED to say,

“Dr. Tom, I would be honored if you would speak at my service and if  you would share the Truth about Jesus.   I have some family, friends and colleagues that might be present, and more than anything else I want them to know the Truth.”

I was always inspired by Eric’s  desire to both Know the TRUTH about Jesus and to Share the Truth about Jesus.

We had many conversations about JESUS.

He,  like me, was convinced that according to the Authority of God’s WORD…

Jesus was GOD in the FLESH, Who Stepped into our world and while we were yet sinners, DIED FOR OUR SINS.

Eric did not compromise on his knowledge about Jesus being God, even in the face of extreme pressure that many Christians won’t ever realize.   This may be why He endeared himself to this Pastor.

Eric knew Jesus had said,  “I and the Father are one.”  He knew that the Jews who first heard that understood that Jesus was claiming to be God.

Eric had revelation understanding the words of John 1:1 says “the Word was God” and the words of  John 1:14 “the Word became flesh.”

Both clearly indicating that Jesus is God in the flesh.

For my  Dear BROTHER, ERIC, it mattered that JESUS was GOD because  Eric understood that if Jesus is NOT God;

His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).  Only God could pay such an infinite penalty (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt.  Jesus had to be man so He could die.

Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ deity is why He is the only way of salvation.  Jesus’ deity is why He proclaimed, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

It was Important  to Eric that I share this TRUTH about JESUS as I spoke Last Words at his Memorial Service.

I am hoping that on this day, some came to finally acknowledge and personally accept, the Truth about JESUS.

I was hopeful that Eric’s health improved enough that he could join our Deacon Ministry Body.  He would have been a leader for sure.

My Deacon Ministers  have my back and encourage me to always speak the truth about Doctrine, especially about the Nature of Jesus, the Trinity and the authority of God’s Word.

This is, by the way a rarity in today’s church where many men have become  weak in standing for truth against the desire to “please people”.  Not my men.  The Deacons at Lakewood have stood with me to NEVER BACK UP ON JESUS or on the Authority of HIS WORD.

Eric would have been a strong supporting voice for speaking the Truth in Love.

This Pastor’s Prize inspires me keeping speaking Truth about JESUS whether it is under the challenge of a Raised Fist or Raised Eyebrow.

I will Miss my Friend.

 

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The over 2500 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, nationally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”.  His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  He has written three books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” each can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website or by contacting him at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Dr. Smiley is an often requested speaker a numerous types of gatherings  Inquire about him speaking at your event by emailing tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe that the attitude of intolerance is very dangerous for our nation.   We must get back to civility in our conversation with one another.

I’ve been consistent in my view that  what some call “conscience Cases” which come into our courtrooms must result in Fairness to all parties.

Regarding a well known “conscience Case” involving former Atlanta Fire Chief Cochran,  David French, suggest that government officials demonstrated (and Many continue to demonstrate)………

substantial intolerance in the name of ‘inclusion’ and rather than seeking solutions that allowed each member of the community to exercise their liberty (to enjoy rights to cakes and conscience, for example), they took sides against Christians, using their power to send a clear message: Traditional Christianity is incompatible with the progressive state.”

We should Thank God that we live in a Country under a Constitution that does not allow for the discrimination of ANY Group, including Traditional Christians.

David French continues, Chief Cochran’s case illustrates an emerging First Amendment truth.  “The personal cost of state bigotry is high, and justice demands that the government pay for its sins.”

I am hopeful that the “tide” will Turn and EVERYONE can be treated FAIRLY and with RESPECT while everyone’s Constitutional Rights are honored.

This is AMERICA. We are granted the Right to  HOLD Different Opinions and not be penalized for them.

I commend to the reader, David French’s Article  found at  https://www.nationalreview.com/…/kelvin-cochran-religious-…/

it was very helpful to me in organizing my thoughts on this topic.

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

 

People often ask, What is WRONG with America?  

Many pastors, bloggers, experts have all written on this Question.  Lots of commentary and many speakers offer Analysis.  Three Points seem to emerge. Pray Fervently.  Live Righteously.  Witness Urgently.

Why the hatred, discord, and division?

Our Worship Pastor Bill Risinger and I talking about that just this week.  I believe his observation is correct. Too many people, too many Citizens believe that Personal FREEDOM is the HIGHEST ETHIC.

Many people today believe MORE than Anything that they have the Freedom to do whatever they WANT and if you Don’t like it, then it is acceptable to insult,  harass ,  disparage, assault and/or shut a businesses down.

Therefore when there is disagreement over such issues as The Sanctity of Life, Marriage, Sexuality, Abortion, Immigration, Legalizing of  drugs, Gun Rights and such, the focus is on individual desires.

But Individual Freedom is NOT the HIGHEST Ethic…..Love is!

The bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I believe if we could Love like Jesus, if  we could interject a concern, interest and open dialogue with whom we disagree there would be less division, discord and hatred in our national discussions. (Such Civil discourse  would not, in my estimation, diminish what I Know as Truth)

If this is going to happen then Good Citizens Must…….

PRAY FERVENTLY

Do you pray for our country?  

Dick Halverson, the former chaplain of the United States senate wrote;

“Intercession Prayer is the truly universal work for the Christian. No place is closed to intercessory prayer, no continent, no nation, no organization, no city, no office. There is no power on earth that can keep intercession out. What an incredible opportunity intercessory prayer affords the one who takes prayer seriously”.

Pray for our President;  pray for our nation’s leaders,  pray for those in authority over us.

Perhaps you have heard, “The battle for godly government is best won on Humble Knees in Pray not with Raised fists against each other.”

LIVE SOBERLY

Even Though the tide of public opinion often turns against Christ-followers, we must strive to live worthy unto Christ, our Lord, Peaceful, holy, quite Lives.

Faithful Christians make good citizens.  The New Testament makes the case that the most diligent and most honest citizens should be dedicated Christians.  We ought to be the ones that our government can count on to be honest, law abiding and Peaceful citizens.

WITNESS URGENTLY

Our Country needs to hear and abide  the powerful, transforming message of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus must be Proclaimed and the Scriptures of the Bible must be Affirmed if America is going to flourish for all.

In his Book, “Why the Cross Can Do What Politics Can’t”  Erwin Lutzer writes,

“It is tempting to wrap the cross of Christ in the flag, to equate the American dream with God’s dream for this nation. We have attached a myriad of agendas to the cross of Christ, often clouding the one message that the world needs to hear with clarity and power. Incredibly, the church has, for the most part, abandoned the very message that is most desperately needed at this critical hour of history.”

I add……The Message Needed is– Jesus is the only hope for our country.

I read once:  Nature forms us.  Sin deforms us, Education informs us; but only Christ transforms us.”

The great Empire of Rome fell NOT from the outside, she fell FROM the inside.  Rome fell because its Government and it People had become  rotten and corrupted.

We will fall just like Rome unless we allow Jesus to Transform our hearts and minds.

You want to do something great for your country? Be  faithful to the gospel message found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Realize the truth of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

I would be honored to share more with you about HOW you could come to be Transformed by the Power of Jesus.

What do Good Citizens do?  Pray Fervently.  Live Righteously. Witness Urgently.

 

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

All across our lovely land in many towns and Cities;  Dedicated folks will place American flags on Veteran’s graves and will honor fallen soldiers from conflicts and wars.

My father was a Korean Combat Veteran he received the Combat Infantry Badge, the Korean service Medal with 2 bronze service stars, the UN Service medal and an overseas service Bar.

Fortunately, my father wasn’t killed or wounded, but as a Combat veteran Awarded for Performing duties while under fire, either could have been his experience.

I am proud of my dad’s courage and dedication to do what he was called upon to do.

He, like many veterans, didn’t talk much about his experiences in Korea, but I could tell it certainly had an impact on his life.

I  don’t presume that I can add  anything of much consequence with my WORDS in  light of the silent Testimony of those we honor on Memorial Day—– those who gave the Ultimate sacrifice in honorable service.

But We Must ATTEMPT to honor them — not for their sake alone, but for the sake of our Representative Democracy.

Let’s HONOR THEM Not only with our Words and Flags and Flowers….BUT let’s honor them With our actions and dedication to Keep AMERICA Strong.  Let’s honor our Fallen Veterans by doing our best to preserve freedom and liberty for ALL!

Each fallen Veteran reminds us that Freedom Cost and each fallen Veteran stands as a memorial to our  commitment to keep America strong and prosperous.

Whenever I hear some  say, “There are no more Heroes” today, I recall what former President Ronald Reagan,—-  You Just don’t know where to look.  He Said,

I see Heroes in the shadow of the White Crosses of Arlington

I see Heroes at Heartbreak Ridge

I see Heroes at the Battle for White Horse Mountain

I see Heroes in rice patties of Vietnam

OUR Former President is Correct when he said, “The willingness of some to give their lives so others might live never fails to evoke in us a sense of wonder and mystery”.  

He went on to say about our nation’s fallen soldiers,

“As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation. And let us also pledge to do our utmost to carry out what must have been their wish: that no other generation of young men will every have to share their experiences and repeat their sacrifice.”

Memorial Day is more the unofficial kickoff to summer It is a DAY TO remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

In the Words of Longfellow,

“They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast, And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.”

God Bless the Families of our Fallen Patriots and God Bless AMERICA.

 

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

As a Grandfather, my heart is so sad. I can’t believe the pain that this most recent school shooting has caused, pain which will last way pass the news cycle.  I must say that I am really upset because we all know what we can expect from those who “supposedly lead us–the “same ol, same ol”.  No real ideas, no real action, no inclusion of real life saving changes (which I will discuss in a moment).

Empty Commentary

Expect hollow and empty commentary from “ talking heads “ lecturing on the need for more restrictions on guns.

Few will mention the REAL causes of Gun Violence, i.e.,  a heart problem, a culture of death and violence and drug abuse.

The fiber of our nation’s soul and our homes are being destroyed by  TV & video games that glorify death,  the breakdown and breakup of the family,  a political environment that has our nation divided and, NOT TO MENTION, the cultural acceptance of a major news network (ABC), who allows an employee to refer to as “MENTAL” any Christian who claims to speak with Jesus.

How long must we endure these empty, hollow speaking heads lecturing us on matters they have neither the mental capacity or moral integrity to discuss?

Politicians

I have respect for many of the men and women who serve us in government.  However, I am sick and tired of those politicians who hate guns so much, who want to remove my guns, who insist on restricting law abiding citizens from owning Guns…….WAIT FOR IT….WHILE at the same time being  protected by their ARMED personal security details for every shopping trip, family vacation trip or travel to and from work.  

Here is an idea:  NO ARMED Security Detail for you Mr./Mrs. Congressperson; Governor, Senator,  UNTIL You fix the problem of School Shootings by using sensible, practical workable solutions, .  Enough of Political Hypocrisy.

Courtroom Shootings

When was the last Courtroom Shooting reported?  Haven’t seen many judges, jurors, or bailiffs shot in a courtroom?

We can protect judges in courtrooms ( and we should) but not providing the same level of protection for kids in school is wrong.

To speak about the need to restrict gun laws is just empty talk. Courtrooms operate in the world of our exact same gun laws yet NO SHOOTINGS THERE.  Why?  Obviously it is not a “gun law” issue.

Courtrooms have taken practical steps to addressing the danger and so should our  Schools.

Ideas

Metal Detectors In Every School.  It’s unbelievable that this is not already being done.  I believe this is big failure.   How do the largest schools in our nation (Stoneman Douglas is one of the largest at over 3,000 students) not have access points controlled through a metal detector? Our courts, government buildings, airports, sports stadiums, conventions, and plenty of other public gatherings demand them.

Enhanced school campus security at major entrance points.  We know how to do this.  Fort Stewart has a major public highway running through it; yet, the military has in place protections from intruders who drive through the installation.

Install Camera and Video resources in schools  and use trained volunteers to staff them.  A trained “eye” can detect an issue before it becomes one.  (Many local churches are using this technique now.)

Increase school security details both–paid and volunteer.  Consider:  There are many Veterans who have the desire AND ability to provide armed security at our schools.  These men and women have had extensive weapons training and if the call went out they would step up in volunteering to help protect our children and administrators in our schools.

Allow for the training and arming of teachers and administrators who want to participate.

Reinforce Doors, Windows, Buses, Locks:  At the Stoneman Douglas high school, the shooter attempted to shoot through the reinforced glass of the classrooms in an attempt to shoot victims outside the building, but was unable to because of the technology of the glass. That piece of hardened, thickened glass saved lives.

Yes, I’m ready to be called “mental” by the elites and Nay Sayers.

BUT Wait, most of THEM have implemented many of these security measures in their children’s private schools and certainly in their walled personal home compounds which are staffed by their security details paid for by my tax dollars.

These are but a few ideas.  There are many more.   GET TO WORK.  Our children deserve it!

*Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

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