Attention Span: Our National Education Crisis Part 1

Re-Posted by Dr. Shanon Brooks on August 29, 2013

On October 16, 1854, in Peoria, Illinois, Stephen Douglas finished his 3-hour address and sat down. Abraham Lincoln stood.
He “reminded the audience that it was already 5 pm,” and then told them that it would take him at least as long as Mr. Douglas to refute his speech point by point, and that Mr. Douglas would require at least an hour of rebuttal [1].
He recommended that everyone take a one-hour dinner break, and then return for the four additional hours of lecture. The audience amiably agreed, and matters proceeded as Lincoln had outlined.
“What kind of audience was this? Who were these people who could so cheerfully accommodate themselves to seven hours of oratory?”[2]

Prosperity verses Adversity

“In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” Ecclesiastes 7:14

The use of the word “day” tells us that the time of prosperity and adversity is short in the grand scheme of things.  In the day of prosperity, when everything seems to be going well… health, money to pay bills, no conflict, good relationships, peace…  be joyful for this is the gift of God for you to enjoy.  But there will also be a day of adversity… sickness, sorrow, trouble, debt, strained relationships, conflicts and great wars.  Consider… God is the author of both, and has set them one against the other so we will not be able to find true satisfaction in anything but God Himself!  Consider prosperity and adversity for what they really are… vanity!  The only truly satisfying thing there is, is being in Christ and beholding His face.  May we find nothing in anything else!

-          Todd Nibert (Todd’s Road Grace Church Lexington, KY)

Book Review - Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell

In this classic work, Thomas Sowell analyzes the two competing visions that shape our debates about the nature of reason, justice, equality, and power: the “constrained” vision, which sees human nature as unchanging and selfish, and the “unconstrained” vision, in which human nature is malleable and perfectible. He describes how these two radically opposed views have manifested themselves in the political controversies of the past two centuries, including such contemporary issues as welfare reform, social justice, and crime. Updated to include sweeping political changes since its first publication in 1987, this revised edition of A Conflict of Visions offers a convincing case that ethical and policy disputes circle around the disparity between both outlooks.

"Our Price: Vigilance"

Posted by Don Pinson on August 14, 2014

Thomas Jefferson taught us the principle that “Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty”. Watchfulness over their government by the citizens of a Republic is the only way to make sure liberty is preserved. And only if liberty is preserved will the Gospel go to the next generation by public means.
And yet, in my upbringing, I was not taught that we should be present to watch over local government meetings- and local government is where most seeds are planted that grow into state and national laws. Consequently, though I was a committed Christian and minister of the Gospel of Christ, I set no time aside to be at local government meetings until I was in my fifties. I simply didn’t see the need for civil government being given any of my time, except to pray for government servants and to try to vote for moral candidates. What’s wrong with this picture?

Directives for Avoiding Dissension in the Home

by Richard Baxter (12 November 1615 – 8 December 1691) English Puritan church leader
It is a great duty of husbands and wives to live in quietness and peace, and avoid all occasions of wrath and discord. Because this is a duty of so great importance, I shall first open to you the great NECESSITY of it, and then give you more particular directions to perform it.

(1) Your discord will be your pain, and the vexation of our lives. Like a disease, or wound, or fracture in your own bodies, which will pain you until it is cured; you will hardly keep peace in your minds, when peace is broken so near you in your family. As you would take heed of hurting yourselves, and as you would hasten the cure when you are hurt; so should you take heed of any breach of peace, and quickly seek to heal it when it is broken.

Book Review - The Fourth Turning by Howe & Straus

The Fourth Turning, by Howe & Straus

Strauss and Howe will change the way you see the world--and your place in it. In The Fourth Turning, they apply their generational theories to the cycles of history and locate America in the middle of an unraveling period, on the brink of a crisis. How you prepare for this crisis--the Fourth Turning--is intimately connected to the mood and attitude of your particular generation. Are you one of the can-do "GI generation," who triumphed in the last crisis? Do you belong to the mediating "Silent Majority," who enjoyed the 1950s High? Do you fall into the "awakened" Boomer category of the 1970s and 1980s, or are you a Gen-Xer struggling to adapt to our splintering world? Whatever your stage of life, The Fourth Turning offers bold predictions about how all of us can prepare, individually and collectively, for America's next rendezvous with destiny.

“Self-government: The Only True Foundation”

Posted by Don Pinson on July 12, 2014

When America’s Founders wrote and approved our Declaration of Independence they understood something most of us were never taught. That is, only a people who walk byinternal self-government are qualified to maintain external civil government. Because they had been reared in the Biblical thinking of the Great Awakening, they understood that governing one’s self by the power of the Holy Spirit within was the only foundation of good civil government. A people who are not controlled by their own principles of morality will have to be controlled by a large civil government. And a large civil government means less liberty for the individual, the family, the church, and society as a whole.
Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in the mid-1800’s stated it precisely when he said,
“All societies of men must be governed in some way or other. The less they have of stringent State Government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint.
“Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them, or a power without them; either by the word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
(Winthrop, Robert Charles. May 28, 1849, in an address, entitled “Either by the Bible or the Bayonet,” at the Annual Meeting of the Mass. Bible Society in Boston. Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1852), p. 172. Marshall Foster and Mary-Elaine Swanson, The American Covenant - The Untold Story (Roseburg, OR: Fd. for Christian Self-Government, 1981; Thousand Oaks, CA: The Mayflower Institute, 1992), p. 7.)

Independents Declaration of Mutiny

Eric Wilson - 2014

The two-party system of American politics is already dead. No matter whose side you think is here to save you, one thing is for certain – neither party is about ideology or principle but instead the maintaining of power. Under the Democrats, government and influence will grow for social reengineering and redistribution. Under the Republicans, it will grow to promote global empires, be the social police, and prop up corporations. Regardless of which is in power, one set of people will be taking advantage of another set of people. The elections just determine which side is which.
A new nobility is running both sides of the debate, and – no matter who seems to win – we keep getting screwed. Judging from the talking heads, they are all stuck in this paradigm. Judging from the recent elections, so are the voters. We no longer live in a representative republic but a democratic aristocracy. One ruled by the status quo with each of us as its willing servants. Our only hope against it stands in the form of the fading concept of independence.
We must get rid of career politicians like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Charles Rangel; but we must also purge our aristocracy of people like John Boehner, Orrin Hatch, and Mitch McConnell.

Book Review - One Second After, by William R. Forstchen

One Second After, by William R. Forstchen

New York Times bestselling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real.. Months before publication, One Second After had already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future...and our end.

Killing Alexander Tytler

Eric Wilson - 2014

Self-determination is fleeting for any culture.  It follows a historically well-established cycle of rise and fall.  Looking at the Alexander Tytler he believed the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years and all of them move from bondage to freedom and affluence and back to bondage again. 
 The concept from Alexander Tytler is an intriguing one. Understanding that there are cycles that do seem to repeat, the Tytler Cycle as an explanation of civilizations is plausible.  Second placing our current situation and understanding of current events into perspective to our known history of our society it does give rational for what we are experiencing and explanations for parts of our past.
In his cycle societies starts out in bondage, meaning no or very limited freedoms. Now faced with a very difficult situation (bondage), they turn to religion and religious faith (awakening). Through this they achieve the (courage) they need to fight for and win their freedom (Liberty). Next, through the benefits of freedom they achieve (abundance) in material things.  With abundance we get (selfishness) and laziness setting in. Then we get (apathy) and finally (dependence). Then we arrive back up at the top with (bondage) again.
 It is easy to fall into the trap of looking at this cycle and comparing it to the current headlines and placing us somewhere at the time this was written between dependence and bondage.  We see a record amount of debt, fundamental rights being taken away, and we just topped a majority of citizens receiving more from the government than they contribute.  We register our cars, land, boats, and even need to get a marriage license so technically we register our spouse as well. If this is not bondage at minimum we are heading there from apathy allowing this to occur.