Archive | Culture

What Does It Mean To Wish Someone a Happy New Year

Posted on 01 January 2016 by Scott Cooper

Mercies 2

I have been thinking – what does IT REALLY MEAN to wish someone a Happy New Year, or that they would be blessed in the coming year? 


At this point, I have decided that true happiness comes from a life centered on something bigger than oneself; therefore, wishing someone a Happy New Year means wishing them a life focused on something bigger than themselves.


The question then, at least in my mind, is raised: when searching for something bigger than oneself, where does one turn?  Some places include, but are not limited to, faith, family, charitable work, activism in civil governance, and some turn to work.  For some, it would be a combination of all this, and possibly even more.


For me, it is a combination of each of those things.  Suzy frequently teases me for saying, “it’s all connected!”


Simply analyzing time usage, the majority of folks will / should invest close to 38 – 40 % of their waking hours at work.


With the labor force participation rate at historic lows, I personally have been thinking a lot about the impact of work on our culture.  Stated another way, about how millions of individuals not being engaged in labor is having a massive negative impact on our country and culture.  With each new year, the effects of this is having a compounded effect on our country and culture, in my opinion. For those who are Christians, this should be of even greater concern.


So this new year, I wanted to share with you a message (linked), which I believe provides us with a paradigm shift on work.  I mentioned this message, by my former pastor Dr. Drew Landry, when I wrote about work as something to be thankful for, during Thanksgiving 2014.  If you choose to listen to it, I hope it blesses you as it has me.


In closing, this year – I wish you a year focused on something bigger than yourself!






P.S.  The above picture was posted on Facebook one year ago today, on January 1, 2015 with some comments about how God works over time, and how He creates diamonds through great pressure.  If YOU have felt great pressure during the course of 2015, which could be for a wide range of reasons, there is at least a 50 % chance that ultimately a diamond will be formed!  Feel free to add your thoughts.


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I Am Thankful For The Next Generation!

Posted on 30 November 2015 by Scott Cooper

The Next Generation

As we close out our Thanksgiving Weekend Celebrations this year, I am particularly thankful for the next generation.  You know, often at Thanksgiving time, we look backward – to generations which came before us.  In particular we look to the early colonial era and the Pilgrims.  Their thankfulness was always God-Centered, for the provisions He had provided.

I am not saying we shouldn’t continue to look to the past, or that we shouldn’t be thankful for our current provisions – but I am saying we also need to look forward – to the next generation, and find things in their generation we can be thankful for!  There are great things happening with the next generation, often called millennials and Generations X, Y & Z, which we need to highlight & be thankful for!

I want to share four points.

First, without the next generation, there really is no future.  Everything in our society, whether it is faith based or secular depends upon our following the first commandment, “to be fruitful and multiply” and then successfully passing the baton to the next generation.

Second, when I speak to individuals in this demographic – millennials, Generation X, Y or Z, and ask them open ended questions then take time to listen to them, and their idea’s – most have thought through tough issues.  In all honesty, many in my generation and past generations have made the issues they face tougher!  For many, their idealism may have not yet received the dose of reality older generations already comprehend.  For others, their reality is extremely harsh, and they already have a lot to be negative about.  I have found that if you show a genuine interest in them, actually listen to and try and understand what they have to say – they are happy to talk.  Listening to this generation is rewarding – and I am thankful not only for them, but for the older folks who are willing to invest the time to do so!

Third, I don’t believe the line that the majority of the younger generation doesn’t want to work.  I believe a large percentage of the next generation lack adequate leadership, which has modeled proper behavior for them – helping them to identify their gifts and talents, and how they are best to be utilized in a productive society.  I am thankful for the next generation that is diligently working to find their role of productivity and service in our world – and I am thankful for the older generation which is helping these folks accomplish this task!

Finally, this past weekend I had the privilege of attending a wedding where I have known a large percentage of the wedding party for over a decade, at least on the groom and groomsmen side.  While all of these young men now in their mid-20’s grew up together, they have each taken vastly different paths.  One is getting an advanced degree in higher education, one is in sales, one is in graphic design, one is part of a family small business and another one has started his own small business.  Each one of them is working hard in their chosen field.  While I only personally know one of the ladies in the party – I know each of them are also working, and both the groomsmen and the ladies are striving to serve God in their lives.  This wedding, which was entirely planned by the next generation was God honoring, and forward looking with hope.  It gave me great encouragement and hope – and I am thankful for each of those who helped make it so.

I simply wanted to share these thoughts, because as we get older – often times we look to the past with rose colored glasses, and either are not as optimistic about the future or sometimes are downright fearful of the future.

I believe there is nothing is new under the sun.  Generations have always struggled at times getting along and passing the baton to the next generation.  But I have great hope in the next generation, and I am thankful for them!  May my generation be diligent in working with them, passing the baton to them with a smooth transition!  We, after all, are dependent upon their success!

In an effort to show how important I think looking to the past is, I want to share two Thanksgiving greetings from other organizations, which I believe do an excellent job in their fields, and have highlighted our past.   The first is from American Minute, written by my friend William J. Federer.  The second is from High Frontier, written by my father, Henry F. Cooper.  I too have written about the importance of understanding our past.

I sincerely hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend, and are looking forwards to the next year with hope for the future!

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This week I travelled through Paradise……

Posted on 04 July 2015 by Scott Cooper

Paradise II


It’s true, this week I travelled through Paradise.

I travelled to Michigan for business, as well as to take time to visit several dear friends along the way.  Midweek I found myself at the very top of the Upper Peninsula, having several hours to myself, which I had not planned.  Initially I thought I would simply go to a library to study, but after thinking I might never make it to that part of the country again, I decided to travel the scenic route to Whitefish Point to visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.  To get there, you travel North Whitefish Point Road, which actually ends at the lighthouse and museum.

My destination was the museum, however I had not adequately studied the map – I had just keyed what I thought was the museum into my GPS.  When my GPS told me I was there, I wasn’t.  I was actually still 11 miles away, but I was in Paradise!  Unsure exactly where the museum was, I pulled into a small driveway of a home, which had a sign by the driveway stating there was a gift shop that was “Open for Business.”

After parking, I followed the cute signs back to a small building beside the adorable small home, which was on the edge of Lake Superior and Whitefish Bay.  When I walked in the woman at the counter said “Welcome to my little piece of Paradise!”

The woman was most pleasant and had a great selection of gifts.  She was extremely helpful in getting me back on the path toward my destination.  She said, which if I had studied a map what would have been obvious, “just keep taking this road to the very end – it dead ends at the lighthouse and the museum.  There is no way you can miss it!”

I spent the rest of the week thinking about that incident, the journey I was on, and today, Independence Day.

Greatlakes Shipwreck Museum

That day I was on the road to learn about shipwrecks, and found myself in Paradise.  For some reason my mind took me back several days prior to arriving in Paradise, when I had decided to drive through Detroit to see the devastation which I had read, seen pictures of, and watched videos on YouTube about. (If you click on link, you can see pictures, and once there, you can click on the video button to see videos).  For some reason, I had wanted to see with my own eyes what many claim to be the result of flawed policies.  It’s true, there are blocks and blocks and blocks of devastation, just like the picture below.  I spent time looking at it myself – and I spent a large portion of the week grieving about it, in particular the lives of countless families represented and impacted by the devastation…….a week when I wanted to be thinking about the glories of Independence – and all that we are celebrating today.

Detroit II

The most famous of shipwrecks on the Great Lakes in our lifetime is the Edmund Fitzgerald, made famous by Gordon Lightfoot’s song.  What I did not know prior to this week is that The Edmund Fitzgerald is but one of 240 ships lost in Whitefish Bay alone, and some 6,000 ships and 30,000 lives have been lost on the Great Lakes.  What impressed me about the museum was not only the history of the devastation of the wrecks, but the history of constantly improving not only the industry of shipping, but the technology of recovering and studying shipwrecks.  Later that afternoon I took a boat tour of the Soo Locks, which opened in 1837, and still today some 10,000 ships per year pass through the locks, which connects Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes.

Soo Locks II

As I journeyed home yesterday to celebrate Independence Day with family and friends – I reflected on my week.  Not only did I accomplish my business and visit with friends, I witnessed a devastated city, which 100 years ago was the pride of our nation.  I studied shipwrecks.  I travelled country roads and marveled at the number of old farm homes which were in disrepair, with outbuildings surrounding them, which were in extreme disrepair, and quite honestly needed to be razed.

But you know what else I noticed – I passed countless farms which were thriving and had grass which my cows would love!  I saw modern farm buildings sitting beside old farm homes, as well as new farm homes.  I passed numerous old homes which had been restored to the glories of their by-gone era.  I spoke with a man who spends time in Detroit, who shared with me stories of the effort to revitalize Detroit, and families who maintain their little piece of Detroit (their paradise), despite the chaos which surrounds them.

I passed through 9 states this week, and at each stop, I made a point to try and speak with folks, to look in their eyes as I spoke with them or watched them as they went about their business.  Whether it was the individual working in the coffee shop I ate breakfast in, in Wheaton, IL, the good folks I attended church with in downtown Columbus, OH, the truck driver I spoke with at the rest area in Kentucky, the black woman who needed a jump start at a gas station outside of Chicago, or folks on the tour with me in the UP of Michigan and even the individuals who were leaving the baseball stadium in Detroit, headed back to their cars – just a couple blocks from the devastation so many write about in Detroit.

There are things going on in our country which grieve our hearts.  But the potential ingenuity and compassion of the human heart is no different today than at any other point in the history of man.  While I did witness devastation and shipwrecks this week – I truly believe our country is about the closest we can get to paradise.

As we celebrate Independence Day, many may choose to write about the growing dependency in our nation – and how it is the exact opposite of the liberty our founders were brave enough to pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to bequeath to us.  Many point out that it is going to lead to shipwreck and devastation.  That may be true.

As we celebrate our birthday – I hope each of us will think about the lighthouse our founders provided for us – the tool required to keep our inheritance.  And that is the Constitution.  If we follow that path, we can restore our republic to its founding principles of Liberty and Independence which were birthed this day, 239 years ago.  Kind of’ like the woman at the gift shop told me on Wednesday – it is the dead end, and “there is no way we can miss it!”

Lighthouse With American Flag

The Constitution



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Reflections on The Response: A Call to Prayer For Our Nation

Posted on 15 June 2015 by Scott Cooper

The Response II

This weekend I travelled to Charleston, SC to attend The Response: A Call to Prayer for our Nation. Somewhere between 4,000 – 7,000 individuals (my guestimate) from all denominations, all races, all socio-economic status and all age groups gathered to simply petition our heavenly father to work His plan in our nation.

The six hour event was divided into five specific areas, where the crowd individually and corporately prayed for each of these items to take place in our individual lives, the lives of our families, our local communities and our country:

  • Repentance
  • Reconciliation
  • Revival
  • Reformation
  • Refreshing belief in Jesus Christ

South Carolina is now the third state where such a large, diverse group has gathered specifically for the purpose of prayer and fasting has taken place.  The first was in Texas and the second was in Louisiana.

While there were two Governors who spoke, this event was NOT political.  The event was free to the public and there was no indication of who sponsored this event, which certainly wasn’t inexpensive, as the Charleston Coliseum was rented out for the entire day.  With the exception of the two Governors, I am not sure any names or organizations were even mentioned, and dozens of individuals participated on stage.

At the outset, the leader said (I am paraphrasing), “Heaven is going to look like this – a coat of many colors: all races will be present, all ages will be present, and all socio-economic statuses we experience on earth will be present.  We are asking everyone to come into this place in a spirit of worship – to leave your titles, your accomplishments, your organizations, and your agenda’s outside this place.  Today we are simply here to see what God has for us, as we divide the day up into these five categories (listed above).”

To this point, I have been unable to find many videos of Saturday’s event.  It is possible to see a few short clips, as well as pictures by reviewing The Response Facebook Page.

It should be noted that the audience was 15 – 20 % black, and those who participated on stage were 35 – 40 % Black.  There were numerious hispanics, as well as other ethnic groups present as well.  I simply give that estimation (mine) of the statistics, so you know it was a diverse setting, which is required for the five goals to honestly be attained.  Also, some of the most poignant prayers came from the youth and young adults, ages 15 – 25, who were honoring to the older generations but also recognizing how much work is ahead of their generation.  Out of the mouth of babes often comes the greatest wisdom – as they have not yet been conformed to the things which hold us back.

I am going to try and summarize each point in just a few sentences:

  • Repentance: Today our society celebrates that which is evil, and condemns that which is virtuous and we humbly seek forgiveness for allowing this to take place in our culture, on our watch.
  • Reconciliation: Today we have allowed our society to become more divided than ever – by age groups, by socio-economic class and by race. We recognize that God created each of us as individuals, with specific gifts and talents to be used to benefit all in society – and we pray for the walls between the generations, between the classes and between the races to be broken.
  • Revival: Revival does not happen for unbelievers. It happens within the hearts and communities of those who already call on the name of Jesus Christ.  Our nation is filled with dry bones, and we humbly pray for God to blow a mighty wind on the dry bones of The American Church – to wake us up so that we might be faithful to His calling on our lives, in our families, in our communities, our state and our nation.
  • Reformation: We don’t seek the reformation of others – we seek the reformation of our own hearts, families, churches communities, states, and nation – that we might place virtue above all else. Without fixing our own lives, families, and churches first – we cannot have the impact which is required on our culture.
  • Refreshing: This was simply a time of praise and worship. Many went to the “mosh pit,” or the front of the room to lift hands, and dance before the Lord.  It truly was a coat of many colors – where the things which divide were not present.

The Response Mosh Pit

Because of the work I have been engaged in, both through the Social Conservative movement, and specifically helping to put on The National Security Summits, which are being conducted in many of the early primary states, I had the privilege to be asked to participate in the prayers from the stage, specifically to pray for the National Security of our Country.  Honestly, because I had not personally met any of the organizers before, I chose to simply go and participate as an individual.  Observation before participation has become something I have learned, sometimes the hard way, in the last four years.  After attending the event, there is no question in my heart, mind or spirit that this effort is Spirit led, and it gives me great hope – because the numbers of those whose hearts are pure, and are praying for our country – both inside our borders and outside our borders are growing.  I believe the growth is becoming exponential.  When The Response comes to your state – I would highly recommend not only attending, but doing all you can to help promote it, and get people there.

What this means for our future may not be what we expect or even desire.  God’s ways, actions and timetables are generally not ours.  He is however at work, and we have a lot to look forward to in the future.

In closing, I want to share two things:

  • Another area of hope I have – but also a sliver of disappointment. I have had the privilege of traveling South Carolina quite a bit in the last 2 years, as a result of both High Frontier, and helping on a U.S. Senate Campaign.  As a result – rarely do I go to such a large event where I do not see several people I already know.  On Saturday, in such a large crowd, I spent the day with a good friend of mine, who also relocated to South Carolina from Virginia.  He drove from Myrtle Beach, where he now resides, to invest his day at The Response.  He was the only other individual who I personally know who I saw there.  In a way, it saddened me that I did not see more of my evangelical brothers and sisters, who I already know, who desire to see these five points achieved in our culture, in our lifetimes, invest a day in this effort.  Obviously, it could be simply because there was an unawareness.  This leads me to think of one of the points of the day – the need for our individual churches to stop being territorial, to get outside of our boxes, and unite with other believers outside of the four walls of our own church.  United, we can impact culture but divided we will not.  On the flip side – it also gives me great hope – because the pool of individuals who The Holy Spirit is working on is far larger than we know, or likely can even imagine!
  • Governor Bobby Jindal shared his testimony, and it was phenomenal. I was hoping that I would be able to find it on YouTube, and while I couldn’t find Saturday’s – I did find the testimony he gave at The Response in Baton Rouge.  It is very similar – and I would encourage everyone to invest the time to watch it.  You can watch Bobby Jindal’s testimony by clicking here.

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Something to Do With Your Family, as You Celebrate Memorial Day

Posted on 25 May 2015 by Scott Cooper


As we celebrate Memorial Day, a day rightly set aside to honor the fallen from past wars, those men and women from the military services who gave all to provide liberty to us, are on the forefront of my mind.

But the way my mind works – I also can’t help but think about the tests to religious liberty we have experienced in just the last couple years and then reflect on the men and women who fell during the first winter at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts.  While they were not serving in the military, they laid down their lives to begin a foundation for what 150 years later would become The United States of America.

In history class we learn about Pilgrims who escaped not only the tyranny of high taxes and high government debt, but most importantly came to the new world to start a new life seeking religious liberty, and forming a new government which originated with the Mayflower Compact.

45 of the 102, or 44 %, of those who came on the first ship died that first winter – including the wife of their leader, William Bradford.  Despite that horrific percentage, when given the opportunity to return to The Old World the following spring, not one of the remaining 57 choose to give up on the generational inheritance they had committed in their hearts and minds to provide for us.

On March 2, 2012 I shared with those who follow my blog, and are on my e-mail list about Kirk Cameron’s one night Simulcast of the movie Monumental.

This weekend I shared with a very good friend the importance of that movie – and after spending yesterday evening reflecting on it – I decided I want to encourage you to not only enjoy the BBQ’s, Parades, Beer, Wine and Soda’s as we celebrate those who gave all – but to invest a little time with your family either today or in the coming week to learn about this amazing group, who gave 44 % of their population some 395 years ago, that we may “stand on their backs,” and enjoy the fruit of their investment to the cause of liberty.

For those who subscribe to Amazon Prime, the movie is available via streaming.  To those who do not, you can enjoy a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime in order to watch this film.

In order to pass the baton of Liberty on to our children and grandchildren, we truly need to understand the lives of those who came before us – and investing the time in this movie, with our families, I believe, will help us understand this inter-generational baton race each of us are a part of.

May God Bless you and you family on this beautiful holiday weekend – and may we both individually and collectively bless God, in order that He may choose to bless our very much loved republic.

Scott Cooper

P.S.  In addition to the encouragement to watch the movie – I want to provide you with three things –

1.  Glenn Beck in February 2012 interviewed Kirk Cameron about Monumental.  It is a good explanation of the “why” behind the movie.  I would encourage you to watch it!

  1. One of my favorite video’s from Michael W. Smith – reflecting on our Flag –

  1. To those who served – but are still with us – Thank you!

Once a Soldir

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All Hallow’s Eve

Posted on 31 October 2014 by Scott Cooper

All Saits Day

I trust this finds you well as we prepare for “All Hallowed Eve.”  Whether you will be having your house door open to “Trick or Treaters,” doing “Trunk or Treat” at a church parking lot, going to a fall festival, or not doing anything this evening – I wanted to share with you a great editorial which is now 7 years old, by the late Chuck Colson.  I hope you will take time to read and listen to his 4 minute explanation of “All Hollow’s Eve.”

Click here to read Chuck’s Editorial and Listen to his explanation!

Chuck Colson

You know – when we look at our culture, it is easy to become cynical about the influence our Christian Faith has on our culture.  For example – just go to the Google IMAGE page and do a search for pictures on “All Hallow’s Eve.” Not much comes up as it relates to the true meaning of this night.

The exciting thing is, WE CAN REVERSE THIS TREND!  Let us take time tonight to share with those who grace our doors, or those we spend the evening with, the hope that is within us!  We have a lot to live for – and as those we celebrate tonight demonstrated – we have a lot to die for as well.  May our salt be salty – and may our light dispel darkness.

Blessings to you and yours.  May WE Bless God – so that HE may CHOOSE to bless US again!

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10/31/14 – 28 Days to Thanksgiving

Posted on 31 October 2014 by Scott Cooper

Work Hard, Have Fun, Make a Difference

We are 28 days away from Thanksgiving – and in that vein, yesterday I decided to post something I am thankful for each day of the 28 days leading up to Thanksgiving.  They are not placed in any order – like priority, relevance to anything specific – just random thankfulness that is on my heart at the beginning of each of these days.

This morning I am thankful for work.  That’s right – work.

When I reflect on creation, one of the things we often don’t think about is one of the first things God did with man, after creating man, was to give him a job – “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it” Genesis 2:15.  Furthermore, we see in verses 19 and 20, God gave Adam the task of naming the animals God had created. 

The point being, the Garden of Eden wasn’t some hedonistic vacation that God simply placed Adam into – Adam and his heirs were given the task of cultivating and maintaining – “working” God’s creation.  It is later, after the fall that work became “frustrating.”  We should not confuse the result of sin causing work to be frustrating with the false belief that work BEGAN as a result of sin.

One of the best sermons I ever heard on the importance of work was by Dr. Drew Landry, Senior Pastor of Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg Virginia during Spotswood’s annual “Stewardship Month” in February 2008.  I have gone back multiple times throughout the years to review this message – and I share it with you, because it really does provide a paradigm shift, in my opinion, on how we should think about work – especially those in the Christian faith based community.  Please click here to listen.  (BTW – when Dr. Landry makes the comment about NASCAR, please know – I consider myself a redneck, now more than ever!)

When I call that a paradigm shift, what I mean is how the world typically views work.  Often we hear work described as “a necessary evil,” or “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go,” or “Everybody’s working for the weekend,” as became popular via the 80’s band Loverboy.  In other words, work is something we are forced to drudge through in order to get to the real purpose of life – which is leisure.

Since the majority of us will invest 24 % of our lives in the work that we do, and a far less percentage on leisure – that seems like a depressing worldview to me.

In an earlier post, I referred to the founders of our republic and their worldview of work which they referred to in the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence.  They referred to it as the pursuit of happiness, which I inferred really meant being productive –

“The men who represented the 13 colonies at the time of The Declaration of Independence thought so highly of the importance of being productive, they referenced it in the very first sentence of the preamble of the Declaration. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The word Happiness was originally property.  In other words – in the first sentence, they encouraged all individuals, to use their GOD GIVEN life and liberty, TO BE PRODUCTIVE and pursue property / happiness.  Nowhere did they guarantee property / happiness – but they encouraged all individuals to be PRODUCTIVE in their pursuit of such things.”

Click here if you want to read that entire post.

In closing, for me, I am thankful for a combination of these things.  I appreciate our founders highlighting the importance of individuals using their God given gifts and talents to pursue property / happiness.  While there is nothing wrong with pursuing happiness or property – that should not be the sole purpose of work.  Colossians 3:17 states “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to the Father.”  In other words – our work is to be done for the glory of Jesus Christ; therefore we are to do it to the best of our ability, at all times – even when it is frustrating.

When we look at the society we see so many opportunities and so many challenges – the sky really is the limit, if we are simply willing to put our hands to the plow – and go to work!

Proverbs 16:27 – “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

Yes, it’s true – I am thankful for work!

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How Paul Used His Liberty

Posted on 28 October 2014 by Scott Cooper

Paul - Free belonging to no man II

I have given a lot of thought to this recently –

Paul’s Use of His Freedom

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

I Corinthians 9:19-23

Paul had Freedom.  Paul had Liberty. Paul stated he was free to live his life as he saw fit – the same freedom bestowed upon us by our triune God: God the Father, God the son – Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit.

Interesting – sounds like a form of government conservatives in The United States are very, very proud of and we seek passionately to defend.

Those in the conservative movement, myself included, talk a lot about Freedom and Liberty.  Paul’s letter to the Corinthians gives us pause to think about what our intentions should be with this God given / God ordained liberty.

There are those within our movement who have the “co-exist” mentality, otherwise known as the “live and let live” mentality – our liberty, our freedom is provided for us so that everything under the sun is permissible.  And it is, but Paul clearly states that while everything may be permissible, not everything is beneficial.  Paul, actually writes about that earlier in the same letter – I Corinthians 6:12-20.  He wraps up that section with vs. 20: “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

If you want to read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians in its entirety, you may do so by clicking here.

At the end of the day – I think this is what separates the two factions of the Conservative movement – those who want to make everything permissible for the purpose to live and let live, to simply live our lives to the absolute fullest, enjoying all that we possibly can before going to the grave, and those who recognize that our liberty, our freedom was purchased with blood.  It was purchased at a great price.  And ultimately, that price requires a lifestyle that goes beyond simply living life to the fullest and getting all we possibly can prior to death.

Our National Independence was purchased with the blood of our Patriot forefathers.  But they indeed recognized the blood that ultimately purchased all of humanities liberty – and they were not ashamed to proclaim it.  (Romans 1:16).

Our founders wrote extensively on the importance of virtue and it being a required ingredient to the success of our republic.  Looking to their writings, I am convinced that without a resurgence of virtue – or what some are praying for, a spiritual awakening, we will never again enjoy the liberty and Independence our republic was founded upon – and for so long enjoyed.

I encourage you to review some of the writings of our early and past leaders on the importance of virtue in our society.  You may do so by clicking here!

May you and yours have a blessed week!

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Quotes on Liberty and Virtue

Posted on 28 October 2014 by Scott Cooper

Benjamin Rush - Liberty Without Virtue


Compiled and Edited by J. David Gowdy, President
The Washington, Jefferson & Madison Institute

lib-er-ty\ ‘lib-er-te` \ n [ME, fr. MF liberte’, fr. L libertat, libertas, fr. liber free]

vir-tue\ ‘ver-(,)chu: \ n [ME virtu, fr. OF, L virtut-, virtus strength, virtue]


“[V]irtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.”
George Washington

“Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? ”
George Washington

“[T]here is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists . . . an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness.”
George Washington

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness — these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.”
George Washington

“The aggregate happiness of the society, which is best promoted by the practice of a virtuous policy, is, or ought to be, the end of all government . . . .”
George Washington

“Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people. The general government . . . can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, an oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any despotic or oppresive form so long as there is any virtue in the body of the people.”
George Washington

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Laws without morals are in vain.”
Benjamin Franklin (Motto of the University of Pennsylvania)

“Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.”
Benjamin Franklin

“A nation as a society forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society.”
Thomas Jefferson

“No government can continue good but under the control of the people; and . . . . their minds are to be informed by education what is right and what wrong; to be encouraged in habits of virtue and to be deterred from those of vice . . . . These are the inculcations necessary to render the people a sure basis for the structure and order of government.”
Thomas Jefferson

“It is in the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigour. . . . degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats into the heart of its laws and constitution.”
Thomas Jefferson

“[In a republic, according to Montesquieu in Spirit of the Laws, IV,ch.5,] ‘virtue may be defined as the love of the laws and of our country. As such love requires a constant preference of public to private interest, it is the source of all private virtue; for they are nothing more than this very preference itself… Now a government is like everything else: to preserve it we must love it . . . Everything, therefore, depends on establishing this love in a republic; and to inspire it ought to be the principal business of education; but the surest way of instilling it into children is for parents to set them an example.'”
Thomas Jefferson: copied into his Commonplace Book.

“When virtue is banished, ambition invades the minds of those who are disposed to receive it, and avarice possesses the whole community.”
Montesquieu (written by Thomas Jefferson in his Common Place Book).

“Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Liberty . . . is the great parent of science and of virtue; and . . . a nation will be great in both always in proportion as it is free.”
Thomas Jefferson

“The order of nature [is] that individual happiness shall be inseparable from the practice of virtue.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Without virtue, happiness cannot be.”
Thomas Jefferson

“The institution of delegated power implies that there is a portion of virtue and honor among mankind which may be a reasonable foundation of confidence.”
Alexander Hamilton

“To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.”
James Madison

“The aim of every political Constitution, is or ought to be first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.”
James Madison

“. . . Virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone that renders us invincible. These are the tactics we should study. If we lose these, we are conquered, fallen indeed . . . so long as our manners and principles remain sound, there is no danger.”
Patrick Henry

“Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”
Patrick Henry

“The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now. They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.
John Adams

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our constitution as a whale goes through a net.”
John Adams

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
John Adams

“Liberty can no more exist without virtue and independence than the body can live and move without a soul.”
John Adams

“Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics.”
John Adams

“[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.”
John Adams

“The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.”
John Adams

“Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.”
John Adams

“Honor is truly sacred, but holds a lower rank in the scale of moral excellence than virtue. Indeed the former is part of the latter, and consequently has not equal pretensions to support a frame of government productive of human happiness.”
John Adams

“Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the “latent spark”… If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?”
John Adams

“Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits . . . it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers.”
Fisher Ames

“It is certainly true that a popular government cannot flourish without virtue in the people.”
Richard Henry Lee

“Whenever we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.”
Thomas Paine

“[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend of the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen onto any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.”
Samuel Adams

“The diminution of public virtue is usually attended with that of public happiness, and the public liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals.”
Samuel Adams

“[M]en will be free no longer then while they remain virtuous.”
Samuel Adams

“If virtue & knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslav’d. This will be their great security.”
Samuel Adams

“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”
Samuel Adams

“A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy…. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…. If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.”
Samuel Adams

“No people can be great who have ceased to be virtuous.”
Samuel Johnson

“No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”
George Mason

“[A] free government . . . cannot be supported without Virtue.”
Samuel Williams

“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look at his character. It is alleged by men of loose principles, or defective views of the subject, that religion and morality are not necessary or important qualifications for political stations. But the scriptures teach a different doctrine. They direct that rulers should be men who rule in the fear of God, men of truth, hating covetousness. It is to the neglect of this rule that we must ascribe the multiplied frauds, breaches of trust, speculations and embezzlements of public property which astonish even ourselves; which tarnish the character of our country and which disgrace our government. When a citizen gives his vote to a man of known immorality, he abuses his civic responsibility; he not only sacrifices his own responsibility; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country.”
Noah Webster

“…if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded.”
Noah Webster

“Let a man’s zeal, profession, or even principles as to political measures be what they will, if he is without personal integrity and private virtue, as a man he is not to be trusted.”
John Witherspoon

“… the manners of the people in general are of the utmost moment to the stability of any civil society. When the body of a people are altogether corrupt in their manners, the government is ripe for dissolution.”
John Witherspoon

“So true is this, that civil liberty cannot be long preserved without virtue.”
John Witherspoon

“… but a republic once equally poised, must either preserve its virtue or lose its liberty, and by some tumultuous revolution, either return to its first principles, or assume a more unhappy form.”
John Witherspoon

“A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.”
Jean Jacques Rousseau

“Machiavel, discoursing on these matters, finds virtue to be so essentially necessary to the establishment and preservation of liberty, that he thinks it impossible for a corrupted people to set up a good government, or for a tyranny to be introduced if they be virtuous; and makes this conclusion, ‘That where the matter (that is, the body of the people) is not corrupted, tumults and disorders do not hurt; and where it is corrupted, good laws do no good:’ which being confirmed by reason and experience, I think no wise man has ever contradicted him.”
Algernon Sidney

“[L]iberty cannot be preserved, if the manners of the people are corrupted . . .”
Algernon Sidney

“[A]ll popular and well-mixed governments [republics] . . . are ever established by wise and good men, and can never be upheld otherwise than by virtue: The worst men always conspiring against them, they must fall, if the best have not power to preserve them. . . . [and] unless they be preserved in a great measure free from vices . . . .”
Algernon Sidney

“Fruits are always of the same nature with the seeds and roots from which they come, and trees are known by the fruits they bear: as a man begets a man, and a beast a beast, that society of men which constitutes a government upon the foundation of justice, virtue, and the common good, will always have men to promote those ends; and that which intends the advancement of one man’s desire and vanity, will abound in those that will foment them.”
Algernon Sidney

“[I]f vice and corruption prevail, liberty cannot subsist; but if virtue have the advantage, arbitrary power cannot be established.”
Algernon Sidney

“If the public safety be provided, liberty and propriety secured, justice administered, virtue encouraged, vice suppressed, and the true interest of the nation advanced, the ends of government are accomplished . . .”
Algernon Sidney

“[L]iberty without virtue would be no blessing to us.”
Benjamin Rush

“Without virtue there can be no liberty.”
Benjamin Rush

“The only foundation for… a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”
Benjamin Rush

“No free government can stand without virtue in the people, and a lofty spirit of partiotism.”
Andrew Jackson

“Lastly, our ancestors established their system of government on morality and religious sentiment. Moral habits, they believed, cannot safely be on any other foundation than religious principle, nor any government be secure which is not supported by moral habits.”
Daniel Webster

“[I]f we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”
Daniel Webster

“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
Horace Greely

“What is liberty without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.”
Edmund Burke

“Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.”
Edmund Burke

“Manners are of more importance than laws. Upon them in great measure the laws depend. The law touches us but here and there, and now and then. Manners are what vex and smooth, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in. They give their whole form and color to our lives. According to their quality, they aid morals, they support them, or they totally destroy them.”
Edmund Burke

“It is better to cherish virtue and humanity, by leaving much to free will, even with some loss of the object , than to attempt to make men mere machines and instruments of political benevolence. The world on the whole will gain by a liberty, without which virtue cannot exist.”
Edmund Burke

“Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their appetites; in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity; in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsel of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
Edmund Burke

“Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.”
Edmund Burke

“[T]he very best forms of government are vain without public virtue . . . .”
William A. Cocke

“No polity can be devised which shall perpetuate freedom among a people that are dead to honor and integrity. Liberty and virtue are twin sisters, and the best fabric in the world . . . .”
James H. Thornwell

“[P]erfect freedom consists in obeying the dictates of right reason, and submitting to natural law. When a man goes beyond or contrary to the law of nature and reason, he . . . introduces confusion and disorder into society . . . [thus] where licentiousness begins, liberty ends.”
Samuel West

“When was public virtue to be found when private was not?”
William Cowper

“The laws by which the Divine Ruler of the universe has decreed an indissoluble connection between public happiness and private virtue, whatever apparent exceptions may delude our short-sighted judgments, never fail to vindicate their supremacy and immutability.”
William Cabell Rives

“Unless virtue guide us our choice must be wrong.”
William Penn

“If men be good, government cannot be bad.”
William Penn

“Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.”
Joseph Story

“The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous.”
Frederick Douglas

“[R]eligion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged.”
Northwest Ordinance of 1787

“I consider the domestic virtue of the Americans as the principle source of all their other qualities. It acts as a promoter of industry, as a stimulus to enterprise and as the most powerful restraint of public vice. . . . No government could be established on the same principle as that of the United States with a different code of morals.”
Francis Grund

“The American Constitution is remarkable for its simplicity; but it can only suffice a people habitually correct in their actions, and would be utterly inadequate to the wants of a different nation. Change the domestic habits of the Americans, their religious devotion, and their high respect for morality, and it will not be necessary to change a single letter in the Constitution in order to vary the whole form of their government.”
Francis Grund

“History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”
Douglas MacArthur

“[Liberty] considers religion as the safeguard of morality, and morality as the best security of law and the surest pledge of the duration of freedom.”
Alexis de Tocqueville

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her comodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies; and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast commerce, and it was not there. Not until I visited the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
An old adage attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville

“Somehow strangely the vice of men gets well represented and protected but their virtue has none to plead its cause — nor any charter of immunities and rights.”
Henry David Thoreau

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”
Theodore Roosevelt

“We have never stopped sin by passing laws; and in the same way, we are not going to take a great moral ideal and achieve it merely by law.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

“No government at any level, or at any price, can afford, on the crime side, the police necessary to assure our safety unless the overwhelming majority of us are guided by an inner, personal code of morality. And you will not get that inner, personal code of morality unless children are brought up in a family — a family that gives them the affection they seek, that makes them feel they belong, that guides them to the future, and that will build continuity in future generations. . . . the greatest inequality today is not inequality of wealth or income. It is the inequality between the child brought up in a loving, supportive family and one who has been denied that birthright.”
Lady Margaret Thatcher

“A state is nothing more than a reflection of its citizens; the more decent the citizens, the more decent the state.”
Ronald Reagan

“Today it would be progress if everyone would stop talking about values. Instead, let us talk, as the Founders did, about virtues.”
George Will

“The ultimate success of this government and the stability of its institutions, its progress in all that can make a nation honored, depend upon its adherence to the principles of truth and righteousness.”
John Lord

“Righteousness exalteth a nation.”
Proverbs 14:34

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Will Our Current Leaders Face Evil?

Posted on 24 October 2014 by Scott Cooper




My thoughts on this fine Friday morning –

The Problem of Evil

Many Americans are headed off to work, or whatever they have planned for the day, sad because their income is down, discouraged because as a result they can’t go out to eat or go see a movie this weekend. Perhaps there are couples discouraged because they don’t have the funds to send their kids to college, like they had hoped and planned.

Yesterday, I spent quite a bit of time with a dear friend of close to three decades who is losing his business, going bankrupt and has moved back into his parent’s home with his wife and child (in his mid-40’s) – and plans on being there for several years while rebuilding his life.

Well – all of that is happening in America. Even that last sentence is happening on a far larger scale than most recognize, especially those within the beltway region recognize.

In America, people start over financially all the time.

Both poverty and wealth are not respecters of persons. Their laws SHOULD apply to all people, regardless of race, creed or gender, EQUALLY. Individuals go up and down the ladder all the time – and while we are called to be productive – and our founders believed in the pursuit of property / happiness – THIS IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING – even though many have chosen to make it so. Before moving on to my most important concerns of the morning – I want to reflect for a minute on the difference between the leaders at our founding, and the leaders today as it relates to acquiring wealth.

The men who represented the 13 colonies at the time of The Declaration of Independence thought so highly of the importance of being productive, they referenced it in the very first sentence of the preamble of the Declaration. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


The word Happiness was originally property. In other words – in the first sentence, they encouraged all individuals, to use their GOD GIVEN life and liberty, TO BE PRODUCTIVE and pursue property / happiness. Nowhere did they guarantee property / happiness – but they encouraged all individuals TO BE PRODUCTIVE in their pursuit of such things.

Today’s leaders are prolific with words, (referring to the productive) such as “you didn’t build that,” and we need to ensure those who have acquired the very thing our founders encouraged individuals to pursue, that they “pay their fair share,” to pay for things (birth control for example) which really shouldn’t be paid for out of federal funds. In other worlds – our current leaders are promoting a worldview that is in diametric opposition to the worldview of our founders.

There is so much I could write about this, but let me say this reversal – this breeding of covetousness – has become THE PRIMARY FOCUS of much of our elected leadership today. The focus is on class envy and strife vs. what is best for humanity – ensuring all principles/laws – including the principles/laws of poverty and wealth creation are executed equally among all individuals in the republic.

Because this is where the focus of our leadership is – breeding covetousness – we cannot as a country focus on the truly important thing – specifically the rise of evil in our world. THE RISE OF EVIL IN OUR WORLD, AND ITS IMPACT ON WESTERN CIVILIZATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

And while the economics hits close to home for me, as it does all Americans at this moment in history – it is this rise of evil in our world that most grips my heart – and infuriates me about the lack of leadership we have – that while they are breeding class warfare, they should be educating Americans on the evil that is transpiring to our friends – and that is inevitably coming our way.

My thoughts this morning are with the Kurdish people, who have been our friends, are staring evil in the face, and are being slaughtered. Not just those who are Christians, but our Muslim friends there too – slaughtered by an evil ideology that is not based on the individual, but is based on the Political System, The Financial System, The Judicial System, The Military System AND THE FAITH System that is called Islam. It is a five part system, and the last, and honestly least ranked of the five that is being used against us here in our country and in the west to undermine our future security.

Whether it is the beheading we saw last month in Oklahoma, the shooting in Ottawa this week, the “workplace violence” we witnessed at Fort Hood by Major Nidal Hasan in 2009, the three American Girls who were en route to fight for Jihad in Syria that were stopped in Germany just this week, the prayer rugs and Quran’s that are being found on our Southern Border, or the dozens and dozens of other examples that could be listed – it should be extremely obvious to our leaders – “Houston, we have a problem!” Yet our leaders choose to refuse to act in a significant way to protect our friends, the Kurds, who are being slaughtered.

Closer to home, the inheritance we desire to leave our children and grandchildren is at risk as the same enemies staring down the Kurds over there are gaining strength inside our borders, and they continue to be inside The Trojan Horse of the 21st Century, Political Correctness.

Many of “We the People” see the Trojan Horse – and continue to beg our leaders to act – knowing that eventually those inside that Horse will be coming out with their 7th Century worldview, the five “systems” of Islam and their machetes. Just like the beheading in Oklahoma last month – they will act, not with random solo exhibits like Oklahoma, but with well executed masterpieces, like we witnessed the 19 individuals execute on 9/11/01. Yes, in the event you forgot, 9/11 was executed by simply 19 Individuals.

Just do a study of one Mosque, the Boston Mosque, where the Boston Marathon bombers came out of, and you will see there are thousands of American’s (home grown) who are being radicalized, and yet, it only took 19 on 9/11.

Evil exists. It is not the lack of birth control. It is not the lack of healthcare. It is not the lack of opportunity. It is not the evils of slavery, which still exists in North Africa, as the U.S. fought a war and settled it in our country 150 years ago. It is the slaughter of Christians and Muslim’s in the Middle East who are infidels. It is the silent jihad that is being waged on the west – that is still masked by political correctness. It is a Spiritual war – and now more than ever, we should recognize – those on the side of evil do not subscribe to the “Co-Exist” bumper sticker worldview.

With Jay SekulowLast week I had the privilege to meet Jay Sekulow at The Crisis Pregnancy Center annual dinner in Augusta, Georgia. He is the author of a new book titled “The Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore.” He eloquently stated: “The same force involved with abortion is the same force involved with ISIS, a complete disregard for human life.” He went on to say, “We are looking at what could be a 30 year war…..we are in the battle of battles.”

I am praying for new leadership for our country. Leaders who will focus on the evil which truly exists. Leaders who will help lead “We The People” to overcome what is coming our way. Leaders who will stop focusing on covetousness in an effort to control the electorate – which itself is evil.

I am praying for new leadership. Will you join me?

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