Be not dismayed

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous!
Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated),
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

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(jellyfish on the beach / Santa Rosa, Fla / Julie Cook / 2016)

We are currently living in a boiling tempestuous sea.
A time of grave moral unrest.
A troubling time…

Some merely observe that it’s been bad before and it’ll be bad again…
Others note that it’s just a part of life…
an ebbing and flowing…
a swinging of the proverbial pendulum…

And it is true…
In my lifetime I have seen, as well as experienced first hand,
the upheaval of perilous unrest in this brave Nation of ours…

I have seen the continued growth and birthing pains of an ever evolving democracy.
I have seen the colliding of old verses new.
Young verses the elderly

I have lived under the dread and worry of nuclear annihilation for all my life…
beginning with the tuck and cover drills of elementary school…

I have sadly seen…
flags being burned
draft cards being burned
bras being burned
and politicians burned in effigy

I have seen protests…
sit ins
die ins
marches
hunger strikes
picket lines

I have seen clashes of ideologies, religions and beliefs…

Yet I cannot recall such a dangerously contemptuous time in my near 60 years.

We are perched on the precipice of what seems to be the death of life as we once knew it.
As a delusional group of “politicians” vie for control and power…of my life and of your life,
and of the life which we have known.

This Nation, united under the benevolent eye of the very God our pilgrim settlers and founding fathers each paid homage to,
is transforming and morphing under the cloak of a sinister shape shifting blanket,
that is barley detectable to the naked eye…

Some believe this is all for the good…
While other believe this is all for the bad.

Throwing the baby out with the bath water is never a good idea…
and yet that is what is slowing taking place.

Those of us of a certain age watch, as a deer in headlights, the daily news feeds…
wondering if there is anything left that is recognizable…
While others simply ignore the melee as they reach for another cocktail or numbing agent of choice.

The moral Judaeo/ Christian sector of this Nation has idly watched a slow yet deadly erosion…
an erosion of such catastrophic proportions, that shoring things up…is now nearly impossible…
As the very traditional family nucleus, the core center which has served as the lynchpin and underpinning of the history of humankind, is now ominously ready to cascade into a dark abyss.

So is it any wonder that so many of those who cleave to the belief in an Omnipotent God,
stand jumbled up and cast off to the side, in udder bewilderment and dismay….
as they are left wondering and shuddering at the strangeness now taking hold to all that they have known….

‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not rejected you
[even though you are exiled].

‘Do not fear [anything],
for I am with you;
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you;
I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand
[a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’
Isaiah 41:9-10

The great big lie

“If it is necessary sometimes to lie to others,
it is always despicable to lie to oneself.”

W. Somerset Maugham

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(Red spotted purple butterfly / Julie Cook / 2016)

I want it all,
I want it all,
I want it all,
and I want it now…

Queen

Somewhere, on some playlist, television commercial or throwback album
Freddie Mercury and Queen are belting out
“I want it all”
And if the truth be told, Freddie Mercury was certainly under the assumption that he could,
truly, have it all.
Sadly, tragically, he could not.
Mr Mercury was one of the first big names of the lime light,
big time entertainers of the 70’s and 80’s,
to die of AIDS….

A larger than life personality living larger than life itself.
Excessiveness giving in to every wonton, lewd, perverse desire and want that came down the pike.
I think it is safe to conclude that Mr. Mercury bought in to the notion
that one could have one’s cake, eating it all,
only to then ask for more…

Our entertainers, our politicians, our leaders, even our friends, all seem to tout the notion
that we live in a society that allows, affords, begs for all of us to in turn…
have it all.
The job, the family, the cars, the clothes, the education, the beach house, the lake house, the younger woman, the younger man, the fame the fortune…you name, you want it, it’s yours…all you have to do is name the “it”…

Seems that somewhere along the line, the land of opportunity become the land of having it all.

Those who don’t or can’t seem to have it all, yet who in turn want it all, have been known to resort to hoodwinks, shenanigans as well as hook and crook to join those already basking in the allness of having it all….

But…
And it’s a big but…
What we all need to understand is that whoever said “you can have it all” was a liar.
A liar of epic proportions….

Woman were told, sometime right after Ozzie and Harriet, that they could have it all—forget staying at home to be a mere housewife left raising the kids….
Corporate American is calling, Hollywood is calling, Politics is calling, heck,
the priesthood is calling… anything other than staying home is calling…
there are jobs if you so choose,
husbands if you so choose,
families if you so choose…
and don’t forget the the nannys, the au pairs, the country clubs, the prestige….the all…

Men were lead to believe that they could have it all and then some.
Wives, as in plural… forget the ’till death do us part’ business…
the girlfriends,
the younger girlfriends,
the endless travel,
time spent with the boys at the club, the bar, the course…
the office with the corner window…
more fun and less responsibility…

Then one day, we don’t exactly remember when, something happened…
Something catastrophic…
Something devastating…

Something happened to the nuclear family.

It was no longer cohesive or bound together.

That which God mandated…
that husbands were to represent Christ–head of their homes as Christ is head of the Church,
loving their wives as Christ loves the collective “Church”..
cleansing her, washing her, adoring her, loving her….
Something happened….

Wives were to love their husbands, children were to love their parents…

But something happened…

Husbands left
Wives left
Children left

Self esteems crumbled
Drugs helped deaden the pain
Suicide rates skyrocketed
Hearts turned cold

Kids began raising kids.
Grandparents were raising grandkids
Dads came around maybe every other weekend…if at all.
Dads started marrying dads as moms were marrying moms…
things were turned upside down.

The big lie of being able to have it all….
gave way to the reality of having, in the end,
nothing at all….

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

“But this is what I commanded them, saying,
‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people;
and you will walk in all the way which I command you,
that it may be well with you.’

Jeremiah 7:23