The American Patriot’s Almanac (book review)

The American Patriot’s AlmanacI feel so blessed to live in the United States of America! With the blessing of living in this great country comes the responsibility of knowing as much as I can about our country’s founding and guiding principles. A wonderful help on this journey of discovery is The American Patriot’s Almanac: Daily readings on America by William Bennett and John Cribb.

I am now on my second time through this book, and I’m still discovering how much there is to love about the USA. Each day Bennett and Cribb present a snapshot of a notable event in our nation’s history, that makes me so proud of our heritage all over again. There are cool stories about both the well-known and little-known folks who sacrificed and invested to make this country what it is.

At only a page a day, there’s no excuse for American patriots not to read this book through over the course of a year, and re-discover what a privilege it is to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We all owe it to our future generations to keep these memories alive, so that no one forgets our amazing heritage.

11 Quotes From “Abolishing Abortion”

Abolishing AbortionIf you are as concerned about the devastation abortion is causing in our country as I am, you will find Father Frank Pavone’s book, Abolishing Abortion, as helpful as I did. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are the first set of quotes I wanted to share with you from this book. Unless otherwise noted, the quotes are from Father Pavone.

“First among the ‘unalienable rights’ the signers pledged to protect was ‘life.’ Legalized abortion clearly violates the principles they risked all for. It is not simply a ‘bad policy’ or an ‘unjust law,’ but rather, it marks the dissolution of this nation’s most fundamental contract with its citizens.”

“I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not caused for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen—but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—and I will be heard. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.” —William Lloyd Garrison, speaking of slavery

“We do not look for a utopia. We look for Christ to come again. But while looking for Him to come again, we do not wait passively. We wait actively. … As we wait actively, we must also remind ourselves to act judiciously. Passion does not preclude good judgment and a measure of reserve.”

“Democracy cannot be value-neutral. It cannot fail to ascertain that there are certain things that are good, certain things that are right. … A fundamental right is a human right without which we cannot express our humanity. … To deprive a person of life is to deprive that person of liberty. It stands to reason, literally, that the very right to life has to be respected and protected. Life is an even more fundamental right then freedom. The Declaration of Independence confirmed the same—‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’ in that order. The state reinforces what the Church teaches. To hold the state accountable for protecting those fundamental rights has nothing to do with imposing religious beliefs and everything to do with reason.”

“We always start with the dignity of the human person, realizing that human rights and dignity don’t come from government and can’t be taken away by government. If elected officials were the ones who decided whether people have their human rights, those wouldn’t be human rights anymore. Human rights belong to humans because they are human, not because Congress decided to grant those rights. Therefore, we can rightly exclude no one from our service, our care, our protection.” 

“When a government says that some people don’t have to be protected, that is the stuff of which genocides are made. So when you hear a citizen or a candidate or a public servant or a congressman or a senator or a president or anybody say, ‘I think Roe was a good idea,’ he is not just telling you what he thinks about a medical procedure. He is telling you what he thinks about the authority of government: what kind of government he believes we have, and what kind of government he believes we ought to have.”

“The root of modern totalitarianism is to be found in the denial of the transcendent dignity of the human person who, as the visible image of the invisible God, is therefore by his very nature the subject of rights which no one may violate—no individual, group, class, nation or State. Not even the majority of a social body may violate these rights, by going against the minority, by isolating, oppressing, or exploiting it, or by attempting to annihilate it.” —Pope John Paul II, The Splendor Of Truth (1993) 

“Human rights are not granted by political systems. They are ‘pre-political.’ They exist before government and, in fact, must be honored, served, and secured by government, not because the leaders of government say so, but because all failure to do so undermines the very purpose of government.”

“Many people are very, very concerned with children in India, with the children in Africa where quite a number die, maybe of malnutrition, of hunger, and so on, but millions are dying deliberately by the will of the mother. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child—what is left for me to kill you and you kill me—there is nothing between.” —Mother Theresa, in her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech of December 11, 1979

“Many friends asked me, ‘What is our first spiritual duty regarding the abortion issue?’ They think I’m going to answer, ‘Prayer.’ But actually, the answer is repentance. The first step in abolishing abortion is to examine our own hearts and to repent of the role we each have played in allowing this holocaust to happen.”

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” —Elie Weisel

More quotes from this outstanding book coming soon….

Is Capitalism Moral?

Morality of capitalismThis is an absolutely brilliant description by Professor Walter Williams of the morality and viability of free-market capitalism. Please take just 5 minutes to get educated on this.

Links & Quotes

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Jackie Hill Perry on how the church can reach those who are LGBT—

Was the Constitution written in a way that was designed to protect freedom and limit the government’s size? Here is how Robert George answers that—

Voddie Baucham talks about how to fight pornography—

Re. Trent Franks makes a passionate appeal for Planned Parenthood to be defunded—

Bobby Conway talks with J. Warner Wallace, a cold case detective, about how he uses his investigative skills to examine the existence of God—

 

Reconnecting the Disconnection

DisconnectThere is a disconnection problem in the United States of America. Consider this:

  • John Adams, one of our nation’s founding fathers said, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.”
  • Every president from George Washington to Barak Obama has invoked the name of God in his inaugural address.
  • 96% of Americans say they believe in God.
  • 80% of Americans call themselves Christians.

And yet:

  • Our grade schools make no mention of “God”, some even to the point of not reciting the pledge of allegiance.
  • Higher education is openly antagonistic toward God and Christians.
  • The entertainment industry normalizes lifestyles that are openly unbiblical.
  • Even our US government has done things like legalizing murder in the form of abortion, and sanctioning homosexuality by calling their unions “marriage.”

The Bible calls Christians “aliens and strangers in the world.” Perhaps the term “aliens” is not so much for what we say we believe, but how we live what we believe. 

So Peter opens his letter to “strangers in the world” by telling Christians how to live in a way that can reconnect this disconnection.

  • Humble—because we sinners have been chosen (v. 2a) to become citizens of Heaven.
  • Confident—because of the foreknowledge of God the Father (v. 2b) that can never be thwarted.
  • Teachable—because the process of the sanctifying work of the Spirit and obedience to Jesus Christ (v. 2c) requires us to be humbly-confident, teachable servants.
  • Graceful and peaceful (v. 2d)—because what we believe about God’s invitation to come to Him, Christ’s payment that makes that possible, and the Holy Spirit’s sanctification should be lived out in graceful and peaceful lives.

Would your Earthling family members say you are graceful and peaceful? 

Would your Earthling coworkers say you promote grace and peace on the job? 

Would your Earthling neighbors say you make the neighborhood graceful and peaceful? 

Would the Earthling business owners you frequent say your gracefulness and peacefulness is more evident than in the citizens of Earth?

Search me, God, and know my heart test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is ANY offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24).

We will be continuing our Aliens and Strangers series this Sunday. If you are in the Cedar Springs area, and don’t have a home church, please join us. If you cannot join us in person, you can tune in via Periscope (search for @craigtowens).

10 Quotes To Help Celebrate Independence Day

DSC_0015I love the United States of America! As we celebrate our country’s birthday, here are 10 quotes from my files about America.

“Throughout our history Americans have put their faith in God and no one can doubt that we have been blessed for it. The earliest settlers of this land came in search of religious freedom. Landing on a desolate shoreline, they established a spiritual foundation that has served us ever since.” —Ronald Reagan

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” ―Harry Truman

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” —Edward Abbey

“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” —Samuel Adams

“If American democracy is to remain the greatest hope of humanity, it must continue abundantly in the faith of the Bible.” —Calvin Coolidge 

“The strength of a country is the strength of its religious convictions.” —Calvin Coolidge

“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favors. … The Hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.” —George Washington 

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all thee blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!” —Abraham Lincoln

“We’ve staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government. Far from it. We have staked the future upon the capacity of each and every one of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” —James Madison

“There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire.” —John Witherspoon

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire.” —John Witherspoon

Religious persecution alert: ISIS is eliminating Christians in Iraq.

“It is a serious fault if a believer is in want, and thou knowest it, or if thou knowest that he is without means, that he is hungry, that he suffer distress, especially if he is ashamed of his need…. If he is in prison, and—upright though he is—has to suffer pain and punishment for some debt (for though we ought to show mercy to all, yet we ought to show it especially to an upright man); if in the time of his trouble he obtains nothing from thee; if in time of danger, when he is carried off to die, thy money seems more to thee than the life of a dying man; what a sin is that to thee!” —Ambrose

[VIDEO] Detroit Tigers radio announcer Ernie Harwell broadcasting his last game.

Interesting: Why The First Hospital To Do Sex-Reassignment Surgeries No Longer Do Them.

“When the Middle East is fragmented in this horrible war, this savage, savage war between militant Shiites and militant Sunnis … the only place where you have freedom, tolerance, protection of minorities, protection of gays, protection of Christians and all other faiths is Israel,” said Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister. Read more about the wrong-headed decision of the Presbyterian (USA) Church to divest in Israel.

More young adults are having kids outside of marriage, and that is creating a dangerous environment for the kids.

“Kind words are the music of the world. They have a power which seems to be beyond natural causes, as if they were some angel’s song which had lost its way and come on earth. It seems as if they could almost do what in reality God alone can do—soften the hard and angry hearts of men. No one was ever corrected by a sarcasm—crushed, perhaps, if the sarcasm was clever enough, but drawn nearer to God, never.” —Frederick William Faber

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