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All across this beautiful land in many towns and Cities and villages;  Dedicated folks will place American flags on Veteran’s graves and we 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 sakes alone, but for the sake of our Democracy—This Notable Experiment we call AMERICA.

Let’s HONOR THEM Not only with our WORDS and Flags and Flowers….BUT let’s honor them With our Actions and dedication as we STRIVE to KEEP AMERICA STRONG.

We can honor our Fallen Veterans by doing our best to preserve freedom and liberty for ALL!

Each fallen Veteran stands as a memorial to cost and pursuit of keeping America strong and prosperous—— Their deaths remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply.

In light of their sacrifice we MUST Not GROW WEARY or FAINT in our Commitment to Keeping America as that bright shinning “LIGHT ON THE HILL”.

Some may say, “There are no more Heroes”.

I agree with former President Ronald Reagan,—-  You Just don’t know where to look.

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 than America’s 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

 

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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, drug abuse that is destroying homes, TV & video games that glorify death, family breakdown, a broken political system that has our nation fractured and, NOT TO MENTION, the cultural acceptance of a major news network (ABC), who supports and encourages its employees in calling “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:  Until you, Mr./Mrs. Congressperson; Governor, Senator,  fix the problem of School Shootings using sensible, practical workable solutions, NO ARMED Security Detail for you as you travel about.  Enough of Political Hypocrisy.

Courtroom Shootings

When was the last Courtroom Shooting reported?  When was the last judge, juror, bailiff or recorder 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 restricting 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.

No, the answer is courtrooms have taken practical steps to addressing the danger.  Schools have more options that are not being utilized. We owe our teachers and students more!

Ideas

Metal Detectors In Every School.  This maintains such common sense it’s impossible to believe that it doesn’t already happen. This is a bigger failure in the era of post-Columbine than the popularity of the AR-15. 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 daily? Our courts, government buildings, airports, sports stadiums, conventions, and plenty of other public gatherings demand them.

Implement enhanced school campus security at major entrance points to the campus.  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: Though these things left to themselves were installed and still did not stop the shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, they are able to stop some of the carnage. 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

 

Just read where North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has banned Christmas; INSTEAD He Commands the People to Celebrate The birth of his Grandmother….Well here is a news Flash for Kim Jong Un.

“for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” ….. {P.S. HE is KING of KINGS; Lord of Lords}.

Don’t fear, don’t be dismayed;

Unjust Rulers {Herod} may have their day.

Tyrants  {Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein} may run roughshod over people unable to do anything about it.

Evil  Dictators {Kim Il Sung, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin} may think themselves invincible,

But Jesus’ birth announcement PROCLAIMS…JESUS IS KING OF KINGS.

It is by the Clear and True Word of God that I say to Kim Jong Un and all the Despots like Him;

“…AT the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

Pray for the Opposed and Persecuted church.

Given that so many of our Brothers and Sisters in Christ are living under the Threat of a “Raised FIST” at LEAST let us resolve to proclaim Jesus in the threat of a “Raised Eyebrow”!

Please don’t be ashamed of Jesus, Don’t ever back up on Who JESUS is.

Remember the words of Jude, “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”. 

Peace and Merry Christmas!

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

 

The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed what my dad told me years ago -defend yourself and those weaker around you.

My dad was a quiet man who, as much as possible, sought to avoid conflict or physical altercation.  I remember my dad taking very specific personal stances on matters with others who disagreed, but I never saw or heard him use physical force or verbal abuse to make his point.

While he did not promote fighting or verbal assault, my dad taught me and expected me to never sidestep defending myself or the weaker ones around me.  It is a character trait that is very much part of my being.

I remember my dad and mom supported me regarding an incident on a school bus on my first day at a new school.  I was on the bus for the first time as a new student and knew no one.  Sitting alone on the back seat, I noticed an older boy picking on, threatening and physically hitting a much younger student. My mom learned later that this was a common occurrence on that bus.  I went to the defense of the younger student and stopped the altercation.  The pledge of an after-school “settling up” with the bully never materialized as the bully failed to show.

Now, when all the “zero tolerance” propaganda started on school campuses, I gravely disagreed. Such ideas and rules such as: “Don’t eat a sandwich in such a way that it might look like a gun.”, “Don’t wear a shirt with Christian scripture on it.”, “Don’t bring a 2-inch pocket knife onto school grounds.”, and “Don’t defend yourself or the weaker ones around you” NEVER MADE SENSE TO ME.

Hard to Believe:

Recently I read and saw a video of a bully hitting and abusing a special needs child.  A high school junior coming up on the scene immediately rush over, and with one blow, he ended the altercation, rescuing the special needs child.

The odd thing was the school suspended the rescuer along with the bully.  Notice that those enticing and encouraging the fight were not suspended, those who filmed it were not suspended, those who stood by and did nothing were not suspended, but the rescuer was suspended.

When I read and saw this incident, I remarked to myself, “My dad would not have stood for that!”  He would have approved of my rescue attempt and would have stood for me in my defense.

Recently, a parent did just that.

When his daughter was expelled for defending herself in a physical altercation, her parent went all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court to get the daughter cleared and reinstated.

In its first decision in a school discipline case, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled zero tolerance policies on school fighting cannot deny students the right to assert they were defending themselves. The court said Georgia law gives students the legal right to argue self-defense as a justification.

Georgia Code states, “A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when…he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force.”

In essence, the State’s highest court ruled that Georgia’s laws on self-defense and defending the weak prevails over school zero tolerance policies on fighting.

I am so weary of some school administrators and school board members who are so very blinded by their own pseudo-intellect that they have little or no common sense.

The Court got this one right!

Read more about it:

State Supreme Court: Georgia students can argue self-defense to justify school fights

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. 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 Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

As I watched and observed the behavior of those in Charlottesville and in Seattle, I can’t help but think of Captain Woodrow F. Call of “Lonesome Dove” fame.

Following an ugly incident when he had to take up for a young boy being abused by an angry adult, he said, “I hate rudeness in a man, won’t tolerate it.”

The violent events last week in Charlottesville and Seattle are at their core rude, ugly, hateful and mean-spirited.  There is NO PLACE for such behavior, especially in the name of God.

I unapologetically proclaim that those who demonstrated or fueled hatefulness, racism, discrimination and violence do NOT represent God in any form or fashion.  They are wrong and deceived.

It would appear, too many people have forgotten or choose to ignore…..that there is only one race—the human race.

Caucasians, Africans, Asians, Indians, Arabs, and Jews are really not different races. Rather, they are different ethnicities of the human race.

More importantly, all human beings are equally created in the image and likeness of God.

God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to lay down His life for us.   The “world” obviously includes all ethnic groups and all human beings.

It is important to understand and to proclaim, “God does not show partiality or favoritism and neither should we.  We are to love our neighbors as ourselves.”

What makes all forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination so ugly is that such opinions are an affront to the work of Christ on the cross; Christ Died for all.  Since God’s Love is impartial we need to set that as our standard.

Stop mistreating any person created in God’s image; we are hurting somebody whom God loves and for whom Jesus died.

Final Thoughts:

Those who practice racism, prejudice and discrimination need to repent.

Victims of racism, prejudice and discrimination need to forgive just as in Christ God forgave you. While racists may not deserve your forgiveness, we deserved God’s forgiveness far less.

I pray that Galatians 3:28 would be more fully realized in our association with one another: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Please let’s all try turning off the television and begin to love our neighbor.

 

Addendum August 16, 2017

Let me be very Clear….as I was about Jim Jones, a deceiver, and David Koresh a false teacher…..I renounce anyone who professes to be Christian, who professes to know God that seeks to use GOD’s Word to advocate that one part of the HUMAN RACE is Better than another Part of the Human Race, I renounce anyone who would insinuate that God’s Word or HIS Character shows partiality to any Race, group, or Nation of people. I Denounce any Group who misapplies, misinterprets or misrepresents what God says in His Word about the Value, Worth and Dignity of all people. I can’t speak for Others, But I Do Speak for Lakewood Baptist, we will Proclaim the TRUTH about Jesus and we will affirm the Truthful Teaching of God’s Perfect Word. See ME if you need additional enlightenment on this matter.

 

 

Let the debate begin……President Trump has announced his Tax Reform.

I’m sure he will be Criticized by the opposition.  I’m just getting familiar with the Tax Reform recommendations but so far I say “GO”! (I do reserve the Right to amend my thinking as I Learn more and talk to professional tax folks whose opinion I respect).

Here are the POINTS I LIKE:

  • Reduce the Current 7 Tax Brackets to 3:  10%, 25% and 35% respectfully.
  • Double the Standard Family Deduction
  • Repeal the Death Tax
  • Keep TWO Deductions; Charity and Home Mortgage Interest (good comment from a friend regarding those with paid off mortgages. I could support a couple more deductions but I hope the reduction in taxes paid will offset the deductions we presently receive.)
  • Reduce Business tax from 35% to 15

Beware of the Smoke Screens

You will hear “How can we pay for it”?  That isn’t even a legit Question.  We Don’t have to “Pay for it”.  IT IS OUR MONEY.  We should be able to KEEP MORE of our income especially if our Representatives will Cut Waste, Fraud and Out of Control Spending.

Second, What about the Deficit?  First is my belief that this kind of Tax Reform will create more Taxable Revenue.  Second, Interesting how those asking about the Deficit didn’t “BLINK” when Obama Ran the Deficit up from 10 Trillion Dollars to TWENTY Trillion DOLLARS in 8 years.

The plan would eliminate the federal tax deduction for state and local income tax. If you are in a State where taxes are high, like New York or California, you would lose a valuable deduction. The simple answer to this Smoke Screen…Reduce Your State and Local Tax Burden.  Why should every tax payer fund deductions for another State’s out of control Spending?

Will President Trump reveal his Tax Returns?  WHO CARES.  We have more than enough information regarding the President’s Tax Return.  I am not interest in HIS Tax Return; I am interest in REDUCING MY TAXES.

Finally, we will hear……”This only helps the Rich”.  Not TRUE.  Tax Reform and Tax Relief will help us All.

I am hopeful we can see Good Tax Reform and Tax Relief PASSED.  GET TO WORK.

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. 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 Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

The Backstory to the U. S. House Prayer:

Congressman Doug Collins of the 9th District was gracious to invite me to open Congress in prayer on March 22, 2017.  I shall always be indebted to Congressman Collins for his confidence and support in inviting me.  I can not express enough how professional and gracious Congressman Collins’ staff was in handling all the details. Each one of the Congressman’s staff is so talented and gifted; just meeting them was an added joy to the the whole experience.

Once I cleared the date and accepted the opportunity the House Chaplain’s office began corresponding with me about working out the details. Karen Bronson, Chaplain’s Liaison to Staff, was extremely professional.

A couple of interesting “rules” included no opening comments before my prayer and the request to keep the prayer to 150 words.   The first was no problem; however, the second was more difficult….I asked for and received permission to have a total of 167 words for my prayer.

I began reading and researching previous prayers used to open Congress and reviewed prayers from previous Congressional and Senate Chaplains.

Realizing that my prayer would become a matter of Congressional record, I determined that I would leave NO DOUBT as to Whom I was praying  and what I was requesting.

I divided my prayer into 2 segments–Part One: To Whom I was Praying and Part Two:  What I was asking.

Upon arrival to the Longworth House Office Building,  Terri and I and our dear friends Mike and Jane Weaver, who accompanied us to D. C. , met in Congressman Collin’s office and visited with his tremendous staff.  Final instructions were offered. The Four of us were escorted via underground to the Capital.

Prior to offering the prayer I was given a walk through in the House Chamber and was directed where to stand before and during the prayer and how to exit.

Terri , Jane and Mike were escorted to the gallery.

Right before I entered the House Chamber, Speaker Ryan came to the receiving room. He welcomed me and we visited for a few minutes.  I followed him to the House Chamber, he called the session to order, introduced me and I prayed.

Following the prayer Congressman Collins gave a warm and welcoming introduction of me to his colleagues from the Floor of The House.

Our day concluded with lunch in the Congressional dining room and a tour of the Capital. ( The  U.S. House white bean soup and cornbread are both as good as you have heard AND the fried chicken was exceptional.)

Here is the text of my Congressional Prayer, March 22, 2017:

In the Name that is Above Every Name,

In the Name of the One by whom all things were created and by whom all things created are sustained,

In the Name of the One who was crucified for the sins of all people, raised on the third day and who, upon HIS return, EVERY knee will bow and every tongue confess is LORD,

In the Name of JESUS, my Savior and my Lord, today, I ask….

 *Draw near unto Thyself the heart of any in this body who still remain far from You.

*Give confidence and courage to all who govern from this House, to be unashamed of the judo-Christian ethic, which has lead this nation to prominence and prosperity above all other nations.

*Remind all who by faith trust You that Your love wants what is best for us, Your wisdom knows what is best for us, and Your power will accomplish what Is best for us.

In Jesus’ Name, And God’s People Said, Amen.

 

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics 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 Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at  tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

Americans have just celebrated another “Presidents’ Day” honoring all who served in our highest office.

One of the most notable and relevant Presidential messages is from President Franklin Roosevelt’s first inaugural address during the depth of the great Depression in 1933.

He said, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”

Well, as Yogi Berra said, “Deja vu over again”.  Today, We find ourselves living in unsettling times.  Especially with regard to how our nation seems so divided and fearful.  While I’m sure there are many reasons we could cite for all the protests, unrest or disharmony, one reason remains clear: FEAR.

Fear is a dangerous and deadly undercurrent of life.  It will rob us of vitality, enthusiasm, anticipation and progress.

The Proverb writer is accurate when he writes, “I am worn out by my worries” — fear.

Think about the “fruit” of fear.

Fear ruins relationships because it prevents honesty.  When we deny our feelings and refuse to tell the truth we destroy those closest to us.

Fear hinders genuine happiness. Think about it; one cannot be happy and fearful at the same time.

Additionally, fear will sabotage success. The way we tend to think is the way we tend to react in life.  I am reminded that Job said to his friends, “Everything I fear and dread comes true.”

So what is the antidote to overcoming fearful living?

First for me, fear’s best antidote is filling my mind with God’s truth.  The Gospel writer John penned the words, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Living free from fear will come as you build your life on truth.

Secondly, I have discovered as I fill my heart with God’s love, I tend to be less fearful.  Anytime you replace bitterness, anger and resentment with God’s love and compassion, fear is expelled.

A contemporary translation of a biblical text reads, “Love fully developed, expels every particle of fear.”

Finally, an antidote to fear is to replace fear with faith — faith to acknowledge Jesus as your Savior and Lord.  Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus and said, “Above all, be sure to take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile that the enemy hurls at you.”

Our adversary, Satan, seeks to put fear in our hearts and minds.  He suggests all kinds of things for which to be fearful.

The shield against such an attack is faith. Where do you need faith today?

Faith to accept Jesus as Savior?

Faith to join a community of believers?

Faith to change a career?

Faith to make a commitment in marriage?

Overcome your fear!  Fill your mind with God’s truth.  Fill your heart with God’s love. Fill your life with faith in Jesus.

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics 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 Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at  tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

It isn’t often that I find myself “looking for words” but I have to admit that on the Eve of the 2016 Presidential Election I am struggling to express how I am feeling.

There a few presuppositions that I hold which inform my heart and desires.

First, I hold an uncompromising Biblical World View.  This of course is opposed to a Humanist World View or even a “Christian World View”.  (The problem with a “Christian” World View is that the word Christian has been so misused and abused that in many cases I am not sure what some people even mean when they speak about a Christian World View.)

In addition I love this Country.  I see the good, the positive and the generosity of this Nation and its people.  Two grandfathers and my Dad were combat veterans and I have a strong respect for those who serve this nation.

Moreover, I believe that the Sanctity of Life, a Supreme Court whose Justices revere the Constitution, a fair and balanced tax code, smaller government, personal accountability and an immigration policy that seeks to assimilate new Citizens who will love America are ALL Critical to the survival of AMERICA.

I also believe that a strong America is important to the Global Mission of the Great Commission.  A strong America can be that “beacon on the hill” that spreads the life giving message of The Gospel.

Given all that I feel, my heart hurts.  My heart hurts that there are so many who don’t respect the rule of Law, who don’t have a love for all Life, every color, every age and every social standing.

My heart hurts because I see current policies that creates vast government bureaucracies , policies that don’t promote self reliance and personal accountability and policies that penalize the hard working class of our nation.

My heart hurts because there is a sense of “entitlement” expressed by many in this nation who have contributed so very little to the greatness of this nation.

I don’t know what Tuesday, November 8th will reveal but I know Who is my King.  I know that above EVERYTHING Else I will trust, proclaim and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I KNOW  God’s sovereignty is defined as His complete and total independent control over every creature, event, and circumstance at every moment in history.

I KNOW God is subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent, God does what He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases.

I KNOW that God, the One True God, is Unlimited in HIS power, unrivaled in HIS majesty, and not thwarted by anything outside Himself, our God is in complete control of all circumstances, causing or allowing them for His own good purposes and plans to be fulfilled exactly as He has foreordained.

I hope you KNOW this God, the One True God, by acknowledging the Gift of Jesus. (I would be honored to share more about how You could be assured of  eternal life at death and purposeful life here while you wait).

I don’t know how I will feel on November 9th, but am confident in KNOWING God really does care about us and I can rejoice in our God’s sovereignty, because it is overshadowed by His goodness, His love, His mercy, His compassion, His faithfulness, and His holiness.

I believe God’s Love wants what is Best for me; I believe God’s Wisdom knows what is Best for me; I believe God’s Power will accomplish what is Best for me.

I hope God Blesses America!

 

Discouragement is a powerful tool of the “accuser,” our adversary; and this discouragement can lead us into a state of doubt and fear.

Remember how the Hebrews became so discouraged by their circumstances that THEY HAD LOST HOPE.

Numbers 14:2ff records a very dark and discouraging moment for Moses and his leadership:

Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the  people wept that night. All the Israelites complained about  Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died   in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land   to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to  Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader   and go back to Egypt.”  Numbers 14:1-4

Notice the question, “Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”.

You may recall that this passage speaks to the time right after 10 spies filed a very negative analysis of possessing Canaan, the Land of Promise.

The people worked themselves into such a state of despair and discouragement that they demanded “slavery as their NEW VISION.”

Today, discouragement is still a powerful tool of the “accuser,” our adversary; and he seeks to create in our hearts and attitudes a state of doubt and fear.

For many years and during the most recent months we have seen situations all across this country that point to how divided and fractured our nation is. Nightly news casts, internet blogs, opinions of “experts” all seem to point to a nation that is being ravaged by racial, economic, and social class unrest and mistrust.

The adversary is sowing the same mistrust, hatred and division today, which is creating a spirit of discouragement and fear in the lives of those who claim to KNOW and TRUST God.

WE MUST NOT FALL into a state of fear and distress.

The question is HOW do we LIVE ABOVE fear and distress.

Here is Truth from God’s Word:

Remember what God has promised.

Remember when we experience hardship, it’s part of the process, not a sign that God isn’t working on our behalf.

We are experiencing trouble on every side, but are not  crushed; we are perplexed, but not driven to despair; we  are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down,      but not destroyed, always carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our body.   2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Remember God will finish what He started. He doesn’t leave us behind.

I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you[a]     will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.      Philippians 1:6 (HCSB)

Bottom Line:  Don’t Despair!  REMEMBER:

God’s Love WANTS what is Best for me;

God’s Wisdom KNOWS what is Best for me; and

God’s Power WILL ACCOMPLISH what is Best for me!

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics 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 Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at  tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

 

 

 

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