Aug 19, 2017

The Key to Understanding Why the Left is Melting Down

Abigail and Dolley readers I was thoroughly confused over the uproar over the President's initial statements about the violence in Charlottesville last weekend. I thought the statements were dignified, appropriate, and diplomatic and just could not understand the hysteria around them. Until I realized that there is a fundamental difference in how both sides view the moral role of the Presidency and Government, everything fell into place, this revelation is the key to understanding what has happened in our current polarized political landscape.

Liberals (who are reasonable rational people that I can discuss things with and enjoy talking with) and their extreme counterparts Progressive Leftist (who are now rapidly evolving into violence) fundamentally believe that the government is a force for good. Thus, the head of the government, the President is the moral head of the nation. The President must be above reproach and as long as he/she is a liberal can do no wrong in their eyes because their motives come from a place of purity, the ends justify the means. Thus, examples of lawlessness by Obama or the Clintons are excused by them (and their media). Like Greek gods, their failings are seen as part of their charms but make them no less worthy of reverence.

Saint Obama depicted with Halo
Conservatives fundamentally believe government is a necessary evil. It should be small and contained. They distrust politicians and power and do not look to political figures to be a moral compass of the Nation. In general, they look to God to serve that role in their lives and the lives of the Nation.  They elect politicians they believe will be effective in making government more effective in the limited role they want it to play.  As long as a candidate seems capable of fixing issues that are important to them, conservatives will overlook personal faults.  Based on these criteria, conservatives will vote for a person they would not personally want to be friends with if they feel they are the best person for the job.

Consider the "thrill up my leg" worship the leftist media had for Obama and why they were completely unconcerned with Hillary Clinton's misdeeds.  Think about the visceral hatred the left had for George W Bush who governed along the same lines as Bill Clinton.  Obama's hectoring lecturing style always made me want to vomit and the Holy Spirit inside of me recoiled at him, yet millions of people nearly worshipped him.  In their eyes, he could do no wrong.  Those same eyes view everything Trump does as evil.

Trump Election Night
So in a moment of crisis, after the Charlottesville violence, the Left wants Obama, their moral leader, who will condemn the things they hate.  What they got was a law and order and equal protection under the law statement from a President who never campaigned or wanted to be the Nation's moral leader, and they completely fall apart. While the Right is scratching their heads and wondering what the heck is going on with the lunatic on TV tearing down statues and crying and wailing about Trump being a Nazi. It all makes sense if you consider how they view the Presidency.

It truly now all makes sense to me! The whole, "Not my President" thing. The hero worship of Obama. The violence, the wailing, and the angst all come from a place of disillusionment and fear so the false narratives have begun! First, it was the Fake News sites created a racist environment that made all the Trump voters come to the polls because we were anti-women and the "fake news" had told lies about virtuous Hillary Clinton. Then, it was the Russians who installed their puppet and stole the election. Now, were are back to Trump being a racist. It is fascinating.  They are living in a mass delusion.

Men are made to worship and adore God, when they reject the true and living God, they will find a false substitute.

There is only one true moral person, only one who lived a perfect life, only one to which to put your faith. He loves you, He died for you, He waits for you to put your faith in Him. Jesus Christ is the moral leader of the world. Don't look to anyone else, ground yourself in this truth and everything else falls into place.
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Jun 10, 2017

Laws or Men - Who Do You Want to Be Ruled By?

It is the very foundation of our Republic, that we are a nation governed by laws and not ruled by men. 

This is also at the very heart of the issue we see played out before us on the nightly news because one side of the political spectrum embraces this and the other side uses it as a shield to hide the fact that they actually believe the opposite.  Let me explain.  

In the US, equal justice under the law means that all men are held to the same standards and judged and prosecuted under the same laws.  Being popular or being loved has no bearing on the application of the law, social status or position has no deterrent to the equal treatment under the law.

In a society ruled by Men, leaders are above the law.  The laws apply to others.  These leaders can break the laws if they choose to.  If these leaders are beloved, well, if they break the laws they must have a good reason.  Their fans and the power bases that they hold - Law Enforcement, Judges, Media, Academics, Religious Leaders all excuse the behavior of the benevolent leaders and will seek to bury and hide the story, cover it up, or deflect it.  

What about if in a society ruled by Men, if the leader is wicked?  Well then, if he breaks the law there is no one to hold him to account.  He is free to do whatever he wants.  There is no difference between the wicked and righteous man in a society ruled by man, for the judgment of such things in the setting of a civil government are flawed and subject to interpretation.  I might think that Mike Pence is a righteous man but my Muslim neighbor would prefer the Ayatollah Khomeini.  

This is the most dangerous type of rule on the planet, billions have been murdered, robbed, raped, tortured, and starved to death under the Rule of Man.

The Modern Left longs to be ruled by Men.  They were perfectly happy to be ruled by the perceived ultra cool Obama.  They excused every scandal, every blatant violation of the law perpetrated by his administration from Fast and Furious to the illegal ransom payment of cash to Iranians.  The list of outrageous acts that came out of the White House was vast and met with a collective yawn from his supporters and the media.  

Iranian Sanctions and Laws Against Ransom Made this Highly Illegal

Using the same logic, of being ruled by Men, the Modern Left has become absolutely unhinged over the election of Donald Trump.  Their visceral hatred of the man and their confusion over our system of government has led them to the conclusion that he is so wicked that he must have committed a crime for which they can get rid of him.  Thus, while they operate under their belief that we are ruled by Men they try to apply the rules of law to anyone that disagrees with them.  They are manufacturing crimes that never occurred to feed a narrative that he will be gone soon.  It is insane.

All the while, those who maintain that we are still a nation ruled by laws and not men, continue to stew over the abuses we have seen in the last eight years.  So many crimes have gone unpunished, so many people have abused their power and broken the law for their own political gain with impunity that the right has within it a pressure valve that is building daily as they are assaulted with 24 hour news coverage of crimes that never occurred while actual crimes are shrugged off and ignored.  It is a volatile situation indeed.

May 13, 2017

Shocking Cure for My Mystery Fibromyalgia Muscle Pain

I have been in pain for years!  My Dad called it being "Muscle Bound".  The muscle soreness symptoms fit all the markers for Fibromyalgia.  Sports journals identify it as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).  My natural doctor said my body was inherently tight and suggested that I increase my yoga, we also identified several foods that were increasing inflammation (nightshades and wheat) and causing pain.  The physical therapist said the surgery scars and scar tissue were impeding natural movement and that was creating imbalances throughout the body.

They were probably all right but none of the above totally captured what was going on and neither did a single article on the internet (that I could find), so I here is the story and the surprising way I've received relief.

I begin at the beginning for a couple of reasons, first to demonstrate that this goes back a very long time, second because my Father and Grandfather had the same symptoms so no one thought this was out of the ordinary, finally in all of the possible causes above most of them are adult onset, so we had a mystery.  This aspect is particularly troubling because both of these fine men died in their early 60's of heart failure, could there be a link?  This study raises the troubling possibility.

At about 5 years old, I began having terrible pain in my legs at night.  My Dad called them shin splints and growing pains, he'd rub me down with Ben Gay and put a heating pad in the bed so I could go to sleep.  When I was about 8 years old, I had a particularly hard gymnastics workout.  Two days later I could not straighten my legs and could barely walk.  My Dad put me in a super hot bath and then made me "jog it out".

Exercise regimes were difficult because they caused disproportionate muscle stiffness and soreness that lasted upwards of a week and required massive doses of ibuprofen to function.  The older I got the worse it became.  An hour of light weeding in the garden = one week of pain.  Five Sun Salutations = three days of back pain.  It is almost impossible to motivate yourself to exercise when the result is such agony.

Was it hormonal?  I began looking at "relaxin" the hormone produced largely to relax muscles while you are pregnant.  One researcher has focused on this in relation fibromyalgia pain but his results have been inconclusive.  Hormone research is in infancy so breakthroughs on that front are still to be discovered.

Years ago, Bill Phillips developed a product called Phosphagen Elite and it worked amazingly well for me, but alas Bill sold his company and the product is no longer available.

Was it allergies?  Avoiding nightshades and wheat certainly, plays a role.  This is especially true for a body at rest but it was not the full story.

How about lactic acid?  Most experts think this is the cause of DOMS.  I made an off-hand comment to my natural doctor, "Is there some vitamin that you can give me to make the mosquitoes stop eating me alive?"  He said, well, there actually is a product that will control the lactic acid which is what they are attracted to. Takesumi Supreme.  I took it prior to going into my garden and noticed that not only did the mosquitoes leave me alone but the debilitating muscle soreness seemed to be reduced.  I mentioned it to him on the next visit and he confirmed he saw a decrease in his muscle soreness.  This offered some relief but it wasn't the ultimate answer.

Vitamins and suppliments - there is no doubt in my mind that three years of loving care by my natural doctor helped to bring my body into balance.  Of note, two suppliments seemed to make the biggest difference - Magnesium Citrate and CoQ10.  Those are integral parts of my daily regime but neithere were they the magic element.

At the end of the day, the solution and the "cure" or at least the symptom manager came from the most unlikely place, amphetamines.  Given to my Mother while she was pregnant with me to keep her weight down.  Yes, dear friends, many of your Moms and Grandmothers were given speed to help them keep their weight gain to a minimum in the 1950's to the 1970's (read here).  The implications of this go well beyond what tradition science tells you - it goes deep into the epigenome.  As I began my weight loss journey and my medicine regime I noticed immediately that I could exercise like a normal person.  A small dose of phentermine changed everything.

Gone was the debilitating muscle pain, gone was the post work out stiffness, gone was the need for dozens of ibuprofen pills after a simple work out.  Perhaps it is my specific biology, my specific situation, maybe it is just an answer to years of prayer but since I was never able to find anything online to help me, I thought it was worth a post.  Peace and Love, Friends.

May 8, 2017

The Day the Lutheran Preacher Stunned His Congregation

When I was about 14, my Lutheran Pastor preached a sermon.

That is a statement because most of the time, he gave little inspirational sermonettes.  A softly spoken, feel good, 15-minute talk designed to tell me how much God loved me and how secure I was in my position in Christ.  It was a comfortable and affirming message; promptly forgotten over Sunday lunch at the Ryan's all you can eat salad bar.  This message was different; decades later his words still ring true.

Our mild-mannered servant Pastor from the Mid-West lit into his complacent suburban congregation like a sweaty tent preacher.  Stunned and wide-eyed, nobody moved.  He convicted us for leaving the work of the church to him and to him alone.  He visited the sick, he led the Bible study, he organized the food drives, he did the counseling, he did it all and we let him.  

Being 14, I felt sorry for what he was going through, but I was a kid, I was not supposed to do those things.  That was for the adults to do, then he hit me right between the eyes with this question:

"When was the last time you told someone about Christ?"

I squirmed, I shifted - I could not recall ever directly witnessing to anyone.  Apparently, I was not alone.  Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, estimates that only 2% of Christians actively share their faith.  There are a myriad of reasons why and each believer needs to examine their own heart but at 14, I was afraid of rejection by my peers.  I was afraid to be labeled as a crazy Christian, I was not brave enough.

Over the years, I began to understand that witnessing to someone is the most sacred and loving thing you can do for them.  It takes courage.  The alternative though is to leave hurting people without hope.  To let people grieve without Christ, to face an uncertain future without eternal salvation, to risk tomorrow without the protection of the cross.  How much of a coward do you have to be to let someone you love face eternal damnation in Hell and not tell them?

Praying with the Hurting
Every encounter is different, each circumstance calls for a Holy Spirit inspired approach.  Sometimes evangelism is logical and fact based, others times it may call for discussions that are reasoned and scientific.  Some simply need to hear that there is hope in Jesus Christ and hear of His love, some need to know there is a cleansing from their sin.  Others need comfort when a loved one has died, some need to be shocked by the reality of hell. 

Cowards and fools think that all Evangelism is street corner preachers screaming at people that they are going to hell.  Do not let the judgment of cowards and fools keep you from telling others about Christ.  Be the 2%.

May 7, 2017

Defining Yourself

In a perfect world, we operate in complete understanding and self-knowledge.  We understand our motivations, we are rational in our decision making, and we do not allow emotions to override what we know to be an evidentiary truth.  In this Utopia, we are grounded in the reality of who we are and focus not on our failures but the lessons we learned from the tough times and the positive results that were achieved by rising above.  We are strong and self-confident, we accept praise from those we love and believe the good things they say about us.  Critics, while they exist here, are to cause us to examine ourselves, to course correct where necessary but never to let them determine how we feel about who we are.  Likewise, those who reject us - employers, lovers, family, and friends are shrugged off as not worthy of us, not a good match, or unsuitable for long term companionship.

Unfortunately, in reality, the critic and the rejectors are often the very people we allow to define us to ourselves in our internal thought life.

We can allow the most hurtful insults, the most painful rejection, the lowest points of our lives to become the defining moments and characteristics that play over and over again like a broken record that refuses to stop.  The rational part of the brain knows that this is not the truth, the people that love us and encourage us, assure us that this is not reality but there is something broken inside of us.  Something that clings to the terrible.  Deep inside, we believe the critic and the rejector.

As Christians, we recognize this is the sinful fallen nature, the flesh and the blackness of who we really are without Christ.  Perhaps it is our way of punishing ourselves, definitely, it is a way for the enemy to keep us in condemnation, or at the very least it is something we do that is so buried that we do not really recognize that we are doing it at all.

There are studies that say that 80% of self-talk is negative.  How much of that comes from letting the critics and the rejectors define who we think we are?  How do these phrases that loop through your head at regular intervals frame your life?

Have you been fired from a job?  Do you hear the words, "I'm sorry but we are going to have to let you go." over and over again?

Rejected by a lover, "I just don't love you anymore.  You used to be fun, now you are so serious."

A false friend, "Sorry I haven't called, I've just been so busy.  We'll get together soon, I promise."  All the while posting picture after picture of themselves and other friends at events where you were not included or invited.

"Why aren't you more successful like your Brother Harry?"  The cruel and judgemental parent asks.

Overheard whisper at the family reunion, "Yeah, the youngest one over there, nothing but trouble.  In an out of rehab, drugs... I always knew that one..."

The exasperated teacher, "I just don't think you are going to be able to succeed in this class, Roland.  I've made arrangements with the Special Education Teacher for her to come and get you and take you to her class from now on."

These events, phrases, and times can be decades old yet they still haunt our psyches.  They still play over and over like a bad commercial, they still define who we think that we are.  Only when we recognize the pattern can we be free of it.

Consider for a moment, that we take rejectors and critics so personally because they often reject the very thing that makes us unique - that makes us who we are!  If we try to remake ourselves into something we are not, we are not being true to ourselves, the rejector and the critic will never take back their hurtful words, and new relationships we might form are stymied because we are not being honest with anyone!

I have done this several times!  I was fired from a General Managers job and given a list of reasons why they let me go, mainly that I was not sales oriented enough, that I was too operations-centric.  My next job?  You guessed it, full-time sales.  Several years later, I took another General Manager's job and was determined to do everything right - all the criticism the last company had levied at me, I made sure I did not do.  In the end?  You guessed it, they fired me for not being operations-centric enough and being too sales-focused!  It was bizarre.  I reeled.

In the end, we can not allow those who reject us to define who we are to ourselves.  That inner self, the inner dialogue should be defined by those who love us.  It should be filled with affirmations and love, not condemnation and regret.