Regaining Focus

Unbelievably, once again I find myself sitting in front of my old faithful Compaq Presario, that relic of antiquity that still houses Windows 98 software! And without which, at this point, I would be computer-less…so, no complaints here…! It seems my netbook got infected with a nasty little virus that prevented me from accessing any information through Bing. Supposedly for my ‘security’. Hah. Yeah, right…I will not be forced into using Google, which I suspect may’ve been the motivation here. Attempting a System Restore resulted in a black-out! So, while waiting for a recovery disc to arrive in the mail, I’ve managed to resurrect this baby, and am glad for it!
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Christmas is over now, and I’m starting to feel myself kicking back into gear. Feels good! I have found a renewed focus & commitment. Or maybe it found me…
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“…Jefferson followed the lodestar of freedom.”

(Robert Schmuhl, Introduction, Thomas Jefferson: America’s Philosopher-King)

Be still, my heart!

…something about that phrase…if one was not familiar with who Thomas Jefferson is, an image of someone with his head in the clouds, who is probably no earthly good! might be conjured up. But we know better…

Having recently passed through a sudden & deeply impacting family crisis, as well as having gone through a number of my own personal valleys of darkness, I am finding on the other side flawless clarity of vision. Count it all joy, right?! (James 1:2) (Which, btw, I constantly forget to do…) This morning, re-reading portions of the very books with which I began my glorious venture into the Revolutionary past, I knew certainty. There was no struggle to concentrate, or grasp an idea. I was THERE! More than ever, my heart & mind align with our Founders, and as I’ve always suspected, I am a kindred spirit with Thomas Jefferson. I worship Jesus, am forever in awe of George Washington, but I recognize myself in Jefferson.

I will be reiterating, here & there along the way, sentiments previously expressed in other posts. But they bear repeating.

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I have been horribly able, lately, to imagine being a dhimmi. For those of you who may not be familiar with this term, it is the label applied by Muslim teaching to those who do not believe in their Allah, nor practice Islam. ALL Christians, ALL Jewish believers, and probably most of you reading this, would fall into this category. It is not good, ever, to be living in a state of, or even to merely imagine living in a state of dhimmitude. It is everything that America is not. Living as a dhimmi, in a Muslim society, isn’t just a matter of having a label pinned on you. It is a matter of the loss of your freedom.

As I grow in my knowledge of the ideals of our Founders, I am also growing in a piercing awareness of the preciousness of our liberty. I am aware as well, of the hugeness of my own previous naivete in this matter. Reading ‘The Shack’ (Wm. Paul Young) a month or so ago, I came across the term ‘the wastefulness of grace’, I think it was…God lavishes us with such abundance, in so many ways – we simply aren’t even aware of the worth, the value – because we are so used to having this abundance. It’s a matter of course. We take it for granted. Daily. And I don’t point this out with the intention of provoking guilt. Not at all. But rather to suggest that a deadly result of the constant availability of our American life style fosters the belief that we could not lose it. Ever.

So some of us who need to recognize the signs, don’t.

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Ever since my blog-writing shifted from primarily Washington & Revolutionary War-related topics to more current events, world-related issues, such as the war in Afghanistan and terrorism, I’ve been strongly & inexplicably drawn to, well – terrorist issues. It seems black and horrendous, but nonetheless…piecing together increasing knowledge of facts & new information, working on this puzzle, I am getting a much clearer picture now. I had thought, along the way, that I was unhealthily obsessed. Yet no matter what issues of national/international importance arose, for me, fighting terrorism trumped all. I also had thought, why are so few even mentioning this reality these days? Why are American citizens so resistant to US troops involvement in these Middle East conflicts, when it is in fact this very involvement in these conflicts that will produce the results needed to keep America safe? And, in keeping America safe, we safeguard freedom as well. And not for our nation only, but for the world. How can people not realize this?
During this last Sunday’s airing of ’Meet the Press’, Peggy Noonan, columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Pulitzer Prize winning author & Presidential historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin underscored this very issue. Discussing the projected troops pull-out in Afghanistan with Bob Woodward and Tom Brokaw, host David Gregory raised the concern that ‘we are still fighting an existential threat in Afghanistan’. Ms. Goodwin pointed out that ‘6 out of 10 people don’t think this is a war worth fighting’. Yet, she says“…the threat of al-Qaeda still remains the strongest question.” And somehow, it seems that much of the American public has become oblivious to that fact. Probably because, according to Tom Brokaw, “less than one percent of the country is fighting the war. I mean, and 99 percent of the country nothing is asked of us.” Consequently, it is not discussed. Peggy Noonan expressed amazement that “It’s just accepted as a fact that one doesn’t comment on”, throughout our everyday activities.

We can’t be thinking about, dreading, or living in anxiety over the possibility of a terrorist attack at any moment, every moment! You just can’t live that way, and thank God, at this point, these aren’t our constant physical circumstances. This isn’t Pakistan, or the Gaza strip…it’s still America. But we can’t be forgetting that this possibility does exist. “…it’s an obligation of all of us as well as the political leadership of this country to make sure that it’s on the table, not just in forums like this, but on a, on a regular basis.” states Tom Brokaw.

And while this is not Pakistan or Afghanistan, Mr. Brokaw reminds us, as mentioned earlier, of the ‘existential threat’ nature of this battle. “…it goes beyond the borders of Afghanistan. We’re talking about Islamic rage.”

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I rejoiced to hear these words spoken, for in doing so, they highlighted, as well as confirmed, the priority that terrorism awareness needs to have in our country, but does not. The need for our economic recovery is a sorely pressing one, I know. But if our homeland security is not zealously and ceaselessly guarded, if the invasion of the ideology of radical Islam is not stopped – if the forces that threaten our freedoms are not relentlessly turned back & kept out – having a job will be the least of your worries.
May God continue to bless America, keep her safe, and guide her leaders, present & future, with His perfect wisdom.

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