Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Morning Rant 81

“THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”

These words, delivered in the opening paragraph of “The Crisis” by Thomas Paine and dated December 23, 1775 are as apropos today as they were during that awful winter. Re-read that first paragraph and see if you agree. Reflect upon it; and if you feel led, read the rest of the pamphlet on this website.

Although not an anarchist, one has the sense when reading his works that he had a general suspicion of most governments existing during his lifetime. His celebration of individualism encouraged by subdued regulation and control brought a large following among the general public at the time. They were also drawn to the easily understood interpretation of complex issues in his writing.

Paine was a near constant resident of the United States during the formative years of the new republic but was drawn to France during their revolution. In 1802 he was invited to return to the US by President Jefferson and remained until his death on June 8, 1809 at his home in New Rochelle, New York.

It is both ironic and prescient that Thomas Paine's words were quoted by President Barack Obama in his inaugural address: “Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it.” Had we listened carefully we might have seen a predictor of the current crisis which has fomented during the “depth of winter.”

A Trillion Dollars

From a “b” to a “t” and suddenly Americans have a number in their minds which they have little use for in daily life. Unless you are counting the grains of sand on a beach or contemplating subjects of a celestial nature, this is a useless number. If, and it’s a big “if”, you could count at the rate of a hundred numbers a minute every day for twenty four hours it would take 318 years to count to 1,000,000,000,000.

The huge editorial staff (that would be Jan and I) here at ZB have located a website which has come up with a very clear representation of exactly what 1 trillion dollars looks like. It loads fast so click and enjoy scaring yourself to death.

Just a question

Why did America decide to fight Iraqis to steal their oil?
Because, it was easier than fighting environmentalists to drill for it.

Tomorrow’s Post

Tuesday morning we will be posting a commentary from Apologetics Press. For those who seek a spiritual connection to the current events in our lives; this may have some answers for you. Depending on your relationship with the Lord, you may greet this analysis with either joy or despair.

We constantly pray for “God’s will” to be done but we should keep in mind that it may not be in concert with our interpretation of what “His will” should be. With this noted, an attempt should be made by all of us to remember that he has promised to deliver nothing which we are unprepared to handle. Read the post tomorrow for a comprehensive look at what may well be the future—or the present.

A Word of Explanation

Sometimes I feel a measure of guilt because of the direction our commentary has taken. It was the original purpose of the blog to examine the ramifications of changes taking place in the church.. We did cover this until I became convinced that God would have His way with or without my commentary. It also became apparent that I was probably ruffling some feathers; in some cases unnecessarily. Meanwhile, about a year ago, I determined that we were faced as a people with a secular threat that was dire and decided to rise to the opportunity to point out some of the foibles of the major players in the upcoming election. I have no regrets for that decision.. You have patiently tolerated what I have offered and almost completely without negative comment. For that, I am grateful and thank each of you readers.

I shall continue to mix the spiritual with the secular in our essays because I believe given the seriousness of the current political situation, it is reaching biblical proportions. This is an extremely serious epoch in American history. Many of the issues have a place at both a political rally and from the pulpit. Since current tax law restricts the speech of the clergy; those of us with no financial stake--but a viable faith--need to ramp up our efforts to monitor moral developments. I am probably more optimistic than most and see our citizens rising above these events better informed and preparing to take a stronger role in the formation of our government. The current rash of “Tea Parties” is an indicator of rising national awareness. Since we are a “government of the people….” We must restore our important role in the process. ZB will make every effort to keep you informed.

And finally

With extremely moderate temperatures, our Ozark hide-a-way is showing definite signs of spring. The volunteer daffodil next to front steps greeted us with a beautiful showy flower this morning. Shoots of a wide variety of flora are striving for the welcome sun. The red-bud tree has full buds, the magnolia is at its richest green and the dogwood sprinkled liberally through the forest will not be far behind. The woodland critters are taking care of their new crop of young and we are entering a time of renewal. This has indeed been the winter of our discontent but we see the signs of relief. God is good.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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