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Fatherhood, Part One – EA June 15, 2016

Posted on 17 June 2016 by Scott Cooper

HandsI have the privilege of sitting on a porch my great-grandfather sat on as our republic prepared for WWI. The same porch my grandfather sat on as he lived through the depression and our republic prepared for WWII.  The same porch my father sat on as he worked through the issues of the Cold War.

Today, I sit on that same porch as my generation, and the generation of my sons try to figure out a way to pay off the existing debt and unfunded liabilities our elected leaders have created for us since WWII.

With the crumbling infrastructure we face at the same time as the out of control and mis-prioritized spending – combined with the global insecurity we face, the road ahead can seem daunting.

I am, however encouraged. My son and his entrepreneurial spirit encourages me. His friends who are also entrepreneurs encourage me. His friends, and other young family members who are serving or have served in the armed services, in addition to the countless others who are serving in the armed services, also encourage me. Technology and the ability / opportunity to self-educate also encourages me. The young man I met this past Saturday in Columbia, SC who will be a junior in high school this year, who is organizing conservative groups in high schools all through-out our state encourages me.

I believe the next greatest generation is being assembled – and with the right mentorship from the middle-aged, of which I consider myself a part, and older generation, my father’s generation – I have great hope for our republic.

I also was with some folks this past weekend who were saying, “God is coming back soon,” almost as if we should take our hands off the steering wheel He charged us to steward. To those folks I say – “Let us live as if He is returning tomorrow, but work as if He isn’t returning for a thousand years!”

This is the first part of a four-part series surrounding the issue of fatherhood, which I believe is one of the most pressing issues of our day, and appropriate since this month we celebrate Fatherhood on June 19th.

I do find it interesting I wrote this on Saturday night, the night before the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida.  In this editorial, I referenced both my grandfather and my great-grandfather sitting on the porch thinking through the issues surrounding the World Wars they lived through.  There are some who believe World War III has already begun, we simply have not had our Pearl Harbor moment, yet.

I hope you have a blessed week.

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P.S.  As we reflect on this inter-generational baton race we are in, you may be interested in the article I wrote last week, as we remember the Allied invasion of Normandy.  Click Here to read that!  If you find it interesting, please leave a comment!

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Discouragement – EA May 11, 2016

Posted on 11 May 2016 by Scott Cooper

Road

I want to continue my theme that most of life’s issues are “non-respecter of person issues.

One afternoon this week I travelled down an incomplete road. Indeed, this time three years ago, this road did not even exist – except in my head!

Back then, when it was still just in my head, the road was about 150 feet to the right, down the slight slope. After speaking with someone more knowledgeable than myself, I altered the plan for the road a bit, then we went to work!

As I observe the foliage coming in, honestly I am a bit discouraged, because I am not as far along in the productive use of this land as I would like to be.

I am however encouraged because God has still provided me breath and strength to press on toward the goal. Press on, I will.

I can’t help but think of the millions of people discouraged right now, for one reason or another. It could be health, finances, concern over a loved one, a business, a marriage – or heaven forbid, civil governance!

Whatever discouragement YOU may face right now; I encourage you to press on. God has a perfect road for each of us. Sometimes it moves a little bit from what WE think it should be, and often HIS pace is not our pace. The point is – keep on keeping on!

Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

I hope you have a blessed week!

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The Importance of Attiude – EA May 4, 2016

Posted on 04 May 2016 by Scott Cooper

Attitude is Everything

This week I want to continue the theme that the laws of life are “non-respecter of person issues.”  Last week I wrote about the Laws of Wealth Creation and Poverty, which I felt was an appropriate follow up to writing about Tax Day for two weeks, both Tax Day 1986 and Tax Day 2016 and how both of those days, separated by 30 years, remind me of two critical issues facing our republic, National Security and Economics.  It’s funny how the more things change, the more they really stay the same.

It doesn’t matter who you speak with these days, both issues: National Security and Economics, bring a lot of emotions to the conversation.  Some emotions consist of fear, trepidation, anger and bitterness.  I also mentioned how we have leaders who accentuate covetousness and greed to obtain followers – attitudes which breed discontent as well as other negative emotions and actions.

I believe we are reaching critical mass in our republic on both of these issues. In both of the Tax Day messages I stated that when addressing the problems, we need to be focused on facts, not emotions.

“Facts are stubborn things.” John Adams

However, when it comes to emotions, I believe the most important emotion any individual can have when addressing these, or any other issue is that of attitude.  With the right attitude, any problem or challenge can be overcome.  With a bad attitude, chances are great that things will not only not get better, they will progressively get worse.

One of my favorite authors is John Maxwell.  I am going to share some bullet points from his small book Attitude 101:

  1. Attitudes have the power to lift up, or tear down a team.
  2. An attitude compounds when exposed to others.
  3. Bad attitudes compound faster than good ones.
  4. Attitudes are subjective, so Identifying a wrong one can be difficult.
  5. Rotten attitudes, left alone, ruin everything.

The question is, if we find ourselves with a rotten attitude, can we change it?  Here are some additional points from Mr. Maxwell:

  1. Choice 1: Evaluate Your Present Attitude
  2. Choice 2: Realize That Faith Is Stronger Than Fear
  3. Choice 3: Write A Statement of Purpose
  4. Choice 4: Have The Desire to Change
  5. Choice 5: Live One Day at A Time
  6. Choice 6: Change Your Thought Patterns
  7. Choice 7: Develop Good Habits
  8. Choice 8: Continually Choose to Have a Right Attitude.

When it comes to attitude, I am pro-choice.  We each get to choose the emotion that will lift ourselves up, or drag us, and others down.  It is a non-respecter of person issue.  Attending International School in Switzerland, I saw both good and bad attitudes in each of the 90 + nationalities represented at the school.

What are you going to choose?

I hope you have a blessed week!

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Things Preventing America from Becoming Great Again – EA April 6, 2016

Posted on 08 April 2016 by Scott Cooper

Make America Great Again

In the course of my writing for The Edgefield Advertiser, I have shared that I believe many of the issues facing us today are “non-respecter of person issues.”  I stated I would at times be returning back to this theme.

This week, while working on the farm my index finger got caught in a piece of equipment and ripped out a decent piece of skin, measuring about an inch in length, a quarter of an inch in width and a significant depth – enough to hurt like the dickens, but thankfully not deep enough to catch a vein.

That experience got me to thinking about two non-respecter of person issues: work ethic and intergenerational dependence / training. It got me thinking about both of my grandfathers, and their hands!

I remember thinking both of my grandfathers were extremely smart, hard working men. Neither man went to college; however, both men showed up for work daily, one seven days a week on a dairy farm.  Both provided well – not only for their immediate family, but for extended family during times of need.  I could tell multiple stories of both men meeting needs of others beyond their immediate family.

One died just before I was a decade old and the other died before my sixteenth birthday.  Both men had strong hands.  Honestly, I remember looking at both men’s hands at their viewings just before their funerals and marveling at how used they looked, and how strong at the same time.  I was fortunate to spend time with both men. One, on his farm, which I now have the privilege to work and the other in his multiple gardens.  Both men demonstrated extremely strong work ethic, even in their latter years. In addition, both men demonstrated an ability to have fun with their grandkids.

We are currently in an election year hearing about all government should do, and some say must do for us – but I don’t hear our leaders speaking about the importance of work-ethic, encouraging elders to demonstrate it for the next generation – and perhaps even for the generation following that.  I don’t hear our candidates speaking about the travesty of fatherlessness in our culture, which invariably leads to a lack of grandfathers, and the devastating impact that is having on our nation.

As I reminisced on my grandfathers this week, and the profound impact they had on my life, I realized how blessed I am.  I also realized how deprived of leadership many young boys and girls are today.  This year’s election isn’t going to repair this void in leadership – but if repaired, would have the greatest impact on the next generation(s).

Inter-generational training, the issue of fatherlessness and the improvement of our nations work-ethic are areas, which if improved, could have the greatest impact on making America great again.

Would you consider joining me in prayer for the issue of fatherlessness and work-ethic in our nation?

I hope you have a blessed week!

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Make America Great Again

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Something Great Happening in Washington DC! – EA March 30, 2016

Posted on 30 March 2016 by Scott Cooper

I hope each of you had an amazing Resurrection Sunday Celebration, otherwise known as Easter.  If you happen to be among the percentage of American’s who don’t celebrate any portion of the Judeo-Christian history celebrated this past week, I at least hope you had a great day of rest!

Both of our church services were overflowing with people.  It literally was standing room only all the way back in the atrium, outside the sanctuary, likely with many folks who attend services twice a year – Christmas and Resurrection Sunday.  That is a great thing!

That got me to thinking – each of my writings thus far has talked about virtues. Most of my writings have said critical things about Washington, DC.  Indeed, my March 2 editorial referred to Washington as Rome, being under massive construction – while burning at the same time!  My March 9 editorial shared my belief that the most critical issues we face are “non-respecter of person” issues, which I would be writing more about in the future.

This week, I want to share with you a building under construction in Washington, scheduled to open in November 2017, which I believe will have a profound impact on our republic, indeed our world.  The Museum of the Bible will be located two blocks south of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and 4 blocks SW of our Nations’ Capitol Building.

Coopers at Top Deck Museum of Bible - March 15, 2016

Through a series of events, on March 15, 2016 I had the privilege of touring the construction site of this incredible undertaking.  Pictured above, after climbing to the future top floor is my oldest son Robert, his new bride Brittany, my parents Hank and Bobbye and me.  You can see the proximity of the future Museum to the capitol in the photo.  The top floor will be glass enclosed, providing amazing views of our nations’ capitol.

500 words is not enough to explain why I am sharing this, so let me just share a couple quotes:

“The Bible ought to be a part of our education, because of its literary culture. There are countless phrases in our culture, that come from this book.” Richard Dawkins, world famous atheist, and author of the book The God Delusion.

“We just want to be honest brokers of the information. We’re just wanting to present the facts and let the people make their own decisions. We don’t want to embellish anything; we don’t want to be negative either.” Steve Green, President of Hobby Lobby and Chairman of the Museum of the Bible.

Personally – I believe this book points to the virtues required for a civil society, regardless of one’s faith tradition.  Today we are likely the least educated generation in our nation’s history on its subject matter, and this museum will help improve that situation.

For more information, I recommend listening to the interview conducted by Family Life Today, and Steve Green, Chairman of The Museum of the Bible.  That interview can be found at http://familylifetoday.com/program/the-bible-a-story-worth-telling/.  The museum website is https://www.museumofthebible.org/.

I hope you have a blessed week!

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Remembering First Lady Nancy Reagan – EA March 16, 2016

Posted on 16 March 2016 by Scott Cooper

Nancy Reagan

With the passing of First Lady Nancy Reagan, I have been thinking about Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan.

President Reagan was 41 when he married Nancy, and they shared 52 incredible years together. She married him at a low point in his life, and helped him achieve amazing things.

To me, as I reflect on Nancy Reagan – I am thinking about the value of marriage. I am thinking about the importance of working as a team. I am contemplating about the amount of work it takes to become such a team, and the fact that it is accomplished not with emotions and feelings only – but by a steadfast commitment. A lifelong commitment.

The work I do with High Frontier, we reflect often on Reagan’s peace through strength strategy and his willingness to call evil, well – evil. We are thankful for his willingness to speak truth to power – and how that changed the course of nations – literally.

I think of Lech Walesa, an imprisoned electrician in Poland, due to his efforts in the labor movement, who later in life, after becoming President of Poland, shared how Ronald Reagan’s optimism and speaking truth to power inspired him, as he studied in prison, and listened to the American President on the radio.

Yes – Ronald Reagan impacted countless people – and the course of nations. This side of the veil, we will likely never know his full impact.

But we know one thing for certain – Nancy was at his side all the way and I believe God worked through Ronald in a greater way, causing him to be the effective leader he was in large part to Nancy being his side.

Thank you Nancy – for your service to our country. We greatly appreciate you!

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This was the fourth week I was published in The Edgefield Advertiser, the longest running continues paper in South Carolina, published March 16, 2016.

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Week Three – EA March 9, 2016

Posted on 09 March 2016 by Scott Cooper

Week Three

Each week, I will share a little more about myself, while discussing some topic or topics of the day.  I feel that’s important because it will help you understand how my views have been shaped.  My writing will include my efforts to “get outside the box,” which hasn’t led to a change in my principles, but has helped me understand other’s viewpoints, and think hard about ways to reconcile the divisions our national leadership like to accentuate.

In last week’s edition I mentioned my belief that national leadership in both parties encourage the American people being divided as it enhances their ability to control us.  I believe we’ve evolved into a one party system in Washington, and both parties are leading us in the same direction, simply at different paces.  Divided, we cannot unite against the corrupt and sometime treasonous activities taking place in the faraway land, Washington, DC.  Thus, the hyphenation of America continues.

Since Ms. Derrick asked me to contribute to the Edgefield Advertiser, I’ve outlined a calendar for the remainder of the year.  There are forty-three weeks left in 2016!  I believe if you participate in these weekly editorials, you will begin to see recurring themes in my thought process.  I hope these will eventually be placed online, where discussion can take place.  I hope you will join the discussion, as the topics discussed will be broad indeed.

Also last week, I shared that I was in branch banking in the Washington DC market when in 2008 President George W. Bush decided “to abandon free market principles, in order to save the free market system,” and how that angered me, causing me to engage in the civic arena at the local and state level.  To put it bluntly, the bailouts pissed me off.  I can’t describe in less than 500 words everything I witnessed in the banking world, the correlating real estate bubble, as well as multitude of other issues that caused my blood to boil!

I stayed active until just after the 2012 Presidential election, an election where conservatives were forced to work for a man who really was just “The Lite Version” of the Democratic ticket.

Following that election, combined with a Virginia U.S. Senate Primary defeat in June, which was far more important to me, I needed to take a break from politics.

Over the course of the next year I began something I would encourage everyone who struggles with anger directed toward our civil magistrates to do.  I committed to read one Proverb and five Psalms a day.  I repeated monthly for over 24 months. remaining faithful 65 % of the time!

The process of reading King David and King Solomon’s words each day for over two years re-confirmed for me that there is “nothing new under the sun.”  It also reconfirmed for me that the majority of our issues are “non-respecter of person” issues, which should unite us, not divide us.  More on that next week.

Have a blessed week!

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This was the third week I was published in The Edgefield Advertiser, the longest running continues paper in South Carolina, published March 9, 2016.

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My Hope Does Not Lie in The Presidential Primary – EA March 2, 2016

Posted on 02 March 2016 by Scott Cooper

where-are-you-placing-your-hope

Watching the Presidential Primaries in South Carolina these past two weeks, quite honestly has left me sad.

I’ve worked a large portion of my adult life in the Washington DC area.  My career has been spent working for medium to large sized private companies in operational management in the service industry.  In these settings, every dime was scrutinized.  Payroll and expenses were managed in a way that owners or investors received the largest return on investment possible.  Our compensation was set up in a fashion that if we performed well, we would also financially benefit. During turbulent times, we learned to “do more with less.”  When we performed poorly, there were always consequences.

I was in branch banking when President George W. Bush famously stated “I have decided to abandon free market principles, in order to save the free market system.”  That is when I became so angry I got involved in the civic arena at the local and state level.

As Edgefieldonians, we now live in a small, rural county, where the first piece of advice I received when I moved here was, “Scott, this is a small town.  Never forget, people know more about you than you know about yourself!”  I thought that was a hilarious piece of advice – and I have reflected back on it numerous times as I have gotten to know my new neighbors and combined that advice with my own view, that perception is not always reality.

This being only my second week doing this weekly column I hope folks who have pre-conceived ideas about me will re-read the paragraph two paragraphs above. A Republican President abandoning principles is what made me angry enough to get involved in the civic arena, not a Democrat.

Since then I’ve had the privilege of driving across the 14th street bridge into Washington DC multiple times to attend meetings. Each time, I simply marvel at the number of construction cranes you can count in the skyline.  Rome is under massive construction, while at the same time burning.

Stated another way, since the bailouts, initiated by a Republican President 8 years ago, our nation continues to borrow 40 cents of every dollar it spends, mostly from enemies who want nothing more than to kill us.  Today, Washington is bigger and more corrupt than ever and our two leading Presidential contenders prior to Super Tuesday are: a man who knows how to pay off elected leaders from both sides of the aisle, and a political insider who runs a foundation receiving contributions from foreign enemies, as well as involvement in numerous other corruption allegations.

Perhaps when this is published, the results of Super Tuesday will change the outlook, and an outsider will be leading.

Either way, my hope is not in Washington, where leadership seeks to divide us for control and personal gain. My hope lies first in faith in God and through His intervention we will see a revival of virtue in the American people. When the majority finds that type of revival, I believe we will find there is more that unites us than divides us.

I hope you have a blessed week.

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This was the second week I was published in The Edgefield Advertiser, the longest running continues paper in South Carolina, published March 2, 2016.

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Today is The Lord’s Day – EA Feb 24, 2016

Posted on 24 February 2016 by Scott Cooper

Sabbath Rest

I feel privileged to have received the call by Suzanne Gile Mims Derrick to submit editorials to the oldest paper in South Carolina, The Edgefield Advertiser.  Overtime, those who don’t know me yet, will get to know me, but let me begin this journey by saying I am passionate about several things, to include, but not limited to: engagement in the civic arena AND ensuring we honor our Lord each week by honoring His fourth commandment to have a day of rest!

Therefore, I will start this journey with the Edgefield Advertiser by sharing something I wrote and posted to my Facebook page on Sunday February 21, the day following the Republican Presidential Primary here in South Carolina.

Today is the Lord’s Day!

Today is the day immediately following the South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary – and many will be focused on those results today.  Truthfully, I would like to dig down into the county and precinct level, to see where certain candidates were the strongest – especially as we consider more important races – local, county and state wide races.

I say that, because ultimately I believe the leadership of our nation rests with the people – not the President.  And even in the counties with the largest voter turnout yesterday – some 70 % or more of eligible voters exercised their pro-choice stance by choosing NOT to participate in our electoral process for the top leadership position in our land.  So, we have a long way to go to engage the true leadership, the people. with an articulate message that will encourage majority participation in the process so many before us fought and died to bequeath to us.

Again – today is the Lord’s Day – a day of rest.
I have so many friends, good friends – friends who voted for someone other than I did yesterday – who will dive right back into politics today.  I would like to encourage each of us to take the day off.  Spend time in church.  Spend time with family.  Build the relationships that truly will get you through any storms that might be coming your way.

This morning, while reading Day 18 in Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” I read “When it comes to fellowship, size matters: “Smaller is better.”  The point was, authentic relationships take place in small groups.  I hope each of us will spend some time resting, sometime reflecting on the Lord, and some time building the relationships where we can be most authentic.

In closing, for The Edgefield Advertiser, through my own journey in Social Media, I have been talking about the importance of being strategic with our “Day of Rest” for a long time. Having spent over 20 years in Operational Management, much in 24/7 type operations, I recognize many are required to work on Sunday. I believe The Lord understands this, and is ok if you strategically pick another day!

Wishing you a fantastic #DayOfRest

May you have a blessed week!

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This was the first week I was published in The Edgefield Advertiser, the longest running continues paper in South Carolina, published February 22, 2016.

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