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TEN THINGS WE BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW
March 15, 2014

At Christian Patriot, we are always trying to find ways to improve our communication with one another. We are constantly looking for those traits and understandings we have in common, as well as debunking current myths, correcting misinformation, eschewing labels and exposing the euphemisms which separate us.

On the lighter side, how many times do we use phrases and sayings, earnestly believing we know what they really mean, but later discover we were absolutely wrong? Consider some of the following:

1. “God Willing and the Creek Don't Rise.”
The phrase "God willing and the Creek don't rise" has been traced back to the late 18th century as being written by Benjamin Hawkins, a politician and Indian diplomat. While in the south, Hawkins was requested by the President of the U.S. to return to Washington. In his response, he wrote, "God willing and the Creek don't rise. Since he capitalized the word "Creek," historians have concluded he was referring to the Creek Indian tribe, and not a body of water.

2. “It Will Cost You an Arm and a Leg”
Before there were cameras, images were either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington show him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back, while others show both legs and both arms. Every artist knew hands and arms are difficult to paint. Prices charged by painters, therefore, were not based upon how many people were going to be in the picture, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are “limbs.” Painting limbs cost the buyer more than if the limbs were not painted. Eventually the expression “Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg” began being used to convey the idea that something is expensive.

3. “Big Wig”
There was a time when men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October). Women kept their heads covered. Because of concerns regarding lice and bugs, men shaved their heads and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs, often made from wool. The wigs couldn't be washed, so to clean them, the wig owners would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the bread-crust shell, and then bake everything together for 30 minutes. While baking, the heat would make the wig big and fluffy. Today we often use the term “big wig” to reference someone who appears to be powerful and wealthy.

4. “Chairman”
In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with a single chair. To dine, a long wide board folded down from the wall. At meal times, the 'head of the household' always sat in the chair, while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. The individual sitting in the chair was appropriately called the “chair man.” Today in business, we use the title “Chairman” and “Chairman of the Board.”

5. “Mind Your Own Bee's Wax”
Prior to the proliferation of dermatology, many women and men developed acne scars by adulthood. In early England and America, women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When women were speaking to each other, if one of the women began to stare at the other woman's face, she was promptly told to “mind your own bee's wax.” If a woman smiled, her wax could break, hence the term “crack a smile.” Even worse, when a woman sat too close to a fire, her wax could melt, prompting the expression “losing face.”

6. “Straight Laced”
There was a time when ladies wore a garment known as a corset. These garments laced up in the front. A woman who was proper and dignified wore a tightly tied, “straight laced” garment.

7. “Playing With a Full Deck”
Card games have always been a common form of entertainment. To raise revenue, many American jurisdictions levied a tax on the purchase price of a deck of playing cards. This tax, however, was only applicable to a single card...the Ace of Spades. To avoid paying the tax, people began purchasing 51-card decks, which did not include the Ace of Spades. Since most card games, however, still required 52 cards, people who bought these less expensive 51-card decks were thought to be stupid or dumb. Ultimately, anyone who did something that seemed slightly irrational was often referred to as “not playing with a full deck.”

8. “Gossip”
Politicians require feedback from the public to determine what issues their constituents believe are important. In the days before telephones, TV's or radios, politicians used to send their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars to associate with the patrons. These assistants were told to “go sip” some ale, while listening to people's conversations and political concerns. Politicians would dispatch several assistants, instructing them “You go sip here” and “You go sip there.” The two words “go sip” were eventually compacted together when referring to local opinions, thus creating the term “gossip.”

9. “Minding Your 'P's and 'Q's
At early local taverns, pubs, and bars, people generally drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's primary job was to keep an eye on her customers, so she could keep the drinks flowing. It was important for her to note and remember who was drinking from “pint” containers, and who was drinking from “quarts.” Hence the expression was created “minding your 'P's and Q's.”

10. “Cold Enough to Freeze the Balls Off a Brass Monkey” (It's Not What You're Thinking)
At one time, all war ships and many freighters were fitted with iron cannons, which fired round, iron cannon balls. A typical problem, however, was how to keep a good supply of cannon balls near the cannons, without those balls rolling all over the deck. Cannon balls were generally stacked in a square-based pyramid, with 1 ball on top, which was resting on 4 balls, which in turn were resting on 9 balls, which rested on 16 balls on the bottom layer of the pyramid of balls. Using this pattern, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area, right next to the cannon.

In order to prevent the bottom layer of 16 cannon balls from sliding around, and collapsing the entire pyramid, a metal plate called a “monkey” was devised. A monkey had 16 round indentations in it, to contain each of the 16 balls comprising the bottom layer of the 30 cannon ball pyramid. Unfortunately, if the cannon ball monkey was made of iron, the iron balls would rust to it, making the cannon balls unusable in times of battle.
The solution was to make the monkeys from brass. When chilled, however, brass contracts much more than iron. Consequently, when temperatures dropped too low, the indentations on the monkeys made of brass would shrink so significantly, the iron cannon balls would no longer fit in the indentations. Without the stability of the bottom cannon balls being held by the monkey indentations, the pyramid would collapse and send all the cannon balls rolling about the deck. Thus, the low temperature was quite literally “Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.”
...and now you know.

January 19, 2014
Life: No One Said It Would Be Easy

“Life is difficult” That is the first line of M. Scott Peck's classic book “The Road Less Traveled.” Dr. Peck warns us, if we do not fully accept this truth, we will remain convinced the difficulties in our own life represent a unique affliction, especially visited upon only us. Once we accept this truth however, that life is difficult for everyone, we have the ability to transcend it. We stop feeling our life is unfair or we have been unduly single out for hardship. We understand it is not always apparent when someone else's life is not going well. Life's difficulties manifest themselves at different times in different ways for each of us. We constantly make the mistake of comparing what we know about the “inside” of our life with what we see on the “outside” of someone else's life.

Most of us earnestly believe things are “supposed” to go right in our life. When something is not going right, we feel the need to blame someone, usually ourselves. We believe we are not supposed to suffer. When we are in emotional or physical pain, we don't view it as just a part of the natural human condition. Instead we stuggle, and try to resist it. We refuse to accept the simple premise that we are not guaranteed a good life. In fact, if we choose to spend our days engaged in meaningless activities, we will live a meaningless life. If you want your life to have meaning, then you must work to give it meaning.

Abraham Lincoln is unquestionably a revered historical icon. There is a huge momument in Washington, D.C. memorializing him. His face is on the penny, the five dollar bill and numerous postage stamps. Countless books and movies have portrayed various aspects of his life. It is reasonably safe to conclude that Abraham Lincoln's life had meaning. But what road did he travel to obtain such a meaningful life? Did he ever suffer the way you or I suffer? Did he ever have to overcome obstacles of the type that confound the rest of us? In short, was his life difficult?

At age 22, Abraham Lincoln lost his job because his father wanted to move the family. At age 23, he ran for the Illinois state legislature. He lost. At age 25, he started a store in New Salem, Illinois. He had a partner in this business venture. His partner died and the business failed. When creditors came after Lincoln, he was forced to declare bankruptcy (he spent the next 17 years paying off the whole debt for the failed business).

At age 26, Lincoln ran again for the Illinois state legislature. This time he won. The following year, his fiance Ann Ruttledge died. At age 29, he was nominated to be the Illinois House Speaker. He lost. At age 31, and again at age 33, he was re-elected to the Illinois state legislature.

At age 37, Lincoln was elected to the United States Congress. That same year, however, his 3-year-old son Eddie died of tuberculosis. When Lincoln's Congressional term was up, he did not run for re-election. Instead, he unsucessfully sought an appointment as Commisioner of the General Land Office, in Washington, D.C. At age 45, Lincoln was re-elected to the Illinois state legislature. He declined the seat, however, in order to run for the United States Senate. He lost.

At age 47, Lincoln unsuccesfully sought the Republican nomination for Vice President of the United States. At age 49, Lincoln ran again for the United States Senate. Although he won the popular vote, the Illinois state legislature chose his rival, incumbent senator Stephen Douglas, to retain his senatorial seat. At the age of 51, Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States. Three years later, his 11-year-old son Willie died of typhoid fever.

During Lincoln's presidency, the nation fought a civil war in which more than 600,000 people died. At the age of 56, on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, just 5 days after the surrender of the Confederate army, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

Life is difficult, even for the most venerated amongst us. If we want to have a meaningful life, we must do the work and take the chances that give our life meaning. The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. We don't choose to stay in our “comfort zone” because it's actually comfortable. We stay there because it's familiar. It feels safe. Comfort, however, is the enemy of achievement. We need to forget all the reasons why something won’t work, and believe the one reason why it will.

We need to ask ourselves what makes us sad or anxious or fearful? Are our feelings grounded in reality, or are they simply the product of the constant chatter that goes on in our mind? Over our lifetime, we develope certain core beliefs about ourselves. We become fearful when we challenge those core beliefs, and try to step outside of our comfort zone.

The present is not just a stepping stone to your future. Your whole life takes place in the present. Only your thoughts can dwell in the past or in the future. We must challenge the core belief that our identity comes from our past, and our fulfillment is all in the future. Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday.

Be mindful of the present. Stay in the moment. Challenge your core beliefs, and get out of your comfort zone. Trust your own personal experience, and not your judgmental mind. Life always offers you a second chance. It’s called tomorrow. Don’t waste it.

“Every man dies, but not every man truly lives.” ~ William Wallace

January 3, 2014

The 5 Biggest Misconceptions About “ObamaCare” (The Affordable Care Act)

Everybody's talking about “ObamaCare.” According to a recent Washington Post study, however, nearly 68 percent of us claim we do not understand the new health care changes. The disconnect and confusion becomes even more apparent when, in a separate poll, a majority of Americans stated they are in favor of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), but they are opposed to the same act when it is referred to as “ObamaCare.”
 
Let's see if we can't help shed some light on this very important topic by addressing some of the most glaring misunderstandings regarding the ACA/ObamaCare:
 
1. Is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) a death panel?
The ACA provides for an Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) made up of 15 experts, including doctors and patient advocates, who are nominated by the President and then confirmed by the Senate. IPAB was created to help implement lower health care costs, improve care and to strengthen Medicare.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the IPAB is estimated to create $28 billion of savings in Medicare spending. Some individuals, such as former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, voiced her concern these savings will come from denying needed health care to patients. In fact, she sparked a national debate by referring to the IPAB as a “death panel.”
 
The IPAB’s sole job is to recommend policies to Congress to help provide better health care at lower costs. The IPAB is specifically prohibited by law from recommending any policies that ration care, raise taxes, increase premiums, restrict benefits or modify who is eligible for Medicare. The ACA does not provide for any panels to make health care decisions regarding actual patients.
 
2. Is the Affordable Care Act destroying jobs?
As a part of the new health care system, employers with 50 or more full-time employees (those working at least 30 hours per week), are required to provide health insurance, or pay a fine. Many Americans fear that employers will begin reducing their number of full-time employees, thereby creating a nation of part-time workers. Others fear some companies will simply close their doors, unable to afford the additional costs of health care coverage.
 
House Speaker John Behner stated, because of ObamaCare, millions of full-time workers can now only have part-time work. There is, however, no actual data yet that shows a dramatic decrease in full or even part-time available jobs. To date, some low-wage employers (such as retail stores and restaurants) have merely reported they are unsure of the effects the new health care system will have on their business, and they may cut hours or the number of employees, if necessary.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that the Affordable Care Act will also create a significant number of jobs. Career positions such as management consultants, insurance sales agents, customer service representatives, navigators (a new class of job created by the health care law), as well as lawyers and IT professionals, are all expected to experience an increase demand, leading to new job opportunities.
 
 
3. Did President Obama lie to the American public when he stated: “If you like your plan you can keep your plan.”
This quote from President Obama, voted Politifact’s lie of the year for 2013, has sparked a national controversy. Can Americans really keep their current health care plan if they like it? If so, why are more than 4.2 million Americans seeing their health insurance policies canceled due to the new regulations. The answer is complicated.
 
Americans can keep their existing health care plans, but only if their plan survives the ACA grandfather provisions. If you are covered by an individual health insurance policy, or a job-based policy, your insurance plan may be considered a “grandfathered” plan if it was established prior to March 23, 2010 (the day the ACA was enacted), as long as the insurance carrier has not made any significant changes that reduce benefits or increase costs to the owners of those plans. Unfortunately, the majority of insurance plans frequently experience changes in coverage, benefits, and costs in an effort to compete in the health care market. As a result, many plans have lost their grandfathered status, thereby causing many insurance customers to receive insurance plan cancellation notices.
 
4. Are the State insurance exchanges created under the ACA better than the federal exchange?
Under the ACA, states had the option of being part of a federal insurance exchange covering many states, or setting up their own state exchange. The difference between a state and the federal insurance exchanges is primarily whether the federal government or an individual state is determining the details of the health coverage. A state insurance exchange provides the opportunity for each state to determine the specific criteria for plan certification and participation within broad federal regulations, as opposed to a federal exchange where the federal government decides the criteria.
 
While some states set up their own insurance exchanges, others refused and are instead included in the federal exchange. A total of 17 states opted to build their own, individual state-wide insurance market places, leaving 33 states to participate in a single, federally-facilitated marketplace.
 
The difference between the two forms of exchanges are subtle, as they are both intended to work in accordance with the provisions of the ACA. For example, states that build their own exchanges can choose to decide which health care insurers may participate in the state exchange, and can choose to require insurers to provide benefits beyond those mandated by the ACA.
 
5. Should Young People (ages 18 to 35) Opt Out of Applying for Insurance?
Forty-three percent (43%) of all uninsured Americans are young adults between the ages of 18 and 35. That is approximately18 million people who need health insurance. While the ACA permits young adults to remain covered until they are 26 on their parents' insurance plan, many of the parents of young adults don't have insurance coverage. Consequently, the ACA also offers young people the opportunity to purchase affordable insurance on their own.
 
The bulk of health care is provided to the elderly. Most young adults are healthy, and expect to remain healthy for many years. An insurance risk pool, however, cannot consist of just elderly people. The risk pool needs to be balanced by younger people who are paying premiums, but not likely to need as much health care as elderly premium payers. Young adults are analysing their decision to purchase health insurance by comparing the cost of insurance premiums to the fines they will pay if they don't purchase insurance. This is the wrong comparison.
 
All insurance involves a form of risk shifting. For a fixed amount of money, in the form of an insurance premium, we shift uncertain, and arguably unmanageable financial risks, to an insurance company. In other words, we pay a known, fixed affordable amount, rather than risk an unknown and potentially significantly larger amount. In order to choose between paying insurance premiums or paying a fine, young adults actually need to evaluate the risk to their financial future and stability if they should become sick, or more likely injured, and incurr catostrophic medical bills without health insurance to cover those expenses.
 
Christian Patriot believes all Americans should have access to affordable health care. Nobody knows yet how well the ACA is going to work. As Christians and patriots, let's give “ObamaCare” a fair chance before we judge it. Affordable health care for everyone is a goal worthy of our support.

Sources:
The Facts About the Independent Advisory Board/2011/ Independent Advisory Board Facts/ http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/04/20/facts-about-independent-payment-advisory-board
Politifact/December 2013/ Lie of the year Facts/
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/dec/20/president-gets-asked-about-winning-politifacts-lie/
Fox News-Insider/November 2013/ American health plans dropped Facts/ http://foxnewsinsider.com/2013/11/07/how-many-americans-have-lost-their-health-insurance-under-obamacare
News Max/ Sept. 2013/Americans who do not understand Obama Care Statistics/ http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/obamacare-changes-healthcare-reform/2013/09/20/id/526874
The Affordable Care Act “Grandfathered” Health Plans”/ Information on Grandfathered plans/http://www.dmhc.ca.gov/library/reports/news/fsghp.pdf
Obama Care by Numbers”/ August 2013/Jobs Facts/ http://www.factcheck.org/2013/08/obamacare-by-the-numbers/
State Decisions For Creating Health Insurance Marketplaces”/2013/ Insurance market place facts/ http://kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/health-insurance-exchanges/
Considerations for a State-Based vs. Federally-Facilitated Health Insurance Exchange”/ State & federal exchange facts/ http://gov.idaho.gov/pdf/SBE%20v%20FFE.pdf
“Obama Care Young Adults”/ Facts about health care program and young adults/ http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-young-adults.php

December 19, 2013
The American Flag: “It's Complicated”

As Americans, we often underestimate our capacity to engage in behavior that defines and binds us together as a group, such as singing the national anthem and reciting the pledge of allegiance. We proclaim, for instance, we were “born under the flag.” Our national flag derives its meaning and emotional significance from a system of protocol and gestures of reverence and deference we have designated and accepted as proper flag practice.

As a symbol, the flag has become an allegory for the nation’s ideals. We speak in terms of “disloyalty” to the flag, even though the flag is an inanimate object that is incapable of understanding reverence or disrespect. Our nation’s flag code, however, personifies the flag and indicates that it is considered a living thing.

On June 22, 1942, the United States Congress passed the United States “Flag Code.” The Code itself does not impose any civil or criminal penalties for violation of the Flag Code, but instead leaves punishment to the federal government and to each state to determine. The official Flag Code, as well as traditional flag practice, rules, etiquette and doctrine, includes the following protocol:

On Memorial Day, the flag should be flown at half-staff from dawn until noon. At noon the flag is then hoisted to the peak of the staff. On Memorial Day people also decorate the graves of loved ones with flags and flowers. For this reason, Memorial Day is also sometimes called Decoration Day.

If a military serviceman or woman dies, a flag is draped over his or her coffin. The flag is the only proper covering for a coffin during military funerals. The flag should be placed on the coffin so that the blue field of stars is covering the deceased veteran’s head and left shoulder. The flag should not, however, be lowered into the grave. When removed from the coffin, the flag is held waist high and folded into a specific triangular pattern, with the stars facing outward, and then given to the veteran’s family.

The flag must not touch the ground, nor should the flag even brush up against any other objects. The flag should also never touch anything beneath it.

When displayed with other flags, the American flag must not be hung lower than any other flag, and the American flag must appear in the “place of honor” on the right.

The flag should always be raised and lowered by hand, not by a mechanical device. The flag should also not be raised while it is still furled (folded). When raising or hoisting the flag, it should be done briskly (quickly). When lowering the flag, however, it should be done slowly and ceremoniously.

There are numerous different rules regarding how the American flag should be displayed, depending upon whether the flag is being displayed (i) over a street or a sidewalk, (ii) with other flags either side by side, with crossed staffs or on the same halyard, (iii) with flags from other nations or with individual state flags, (iv) on a wall, or (v) is carried in a procession with another flag.

If flying a flag at half-mast, the flag should be raised first to the peak of the staff for an instant and then lowered to half-mast. Before lowering a flag flying at half-mast, the flag should again be raised to the peak for an instant and then lowered.

The flag should never be displayed with the union (the blue field with white stars) down, except as a signal of dire distress.

The flag should not be used as part of a costume or uniform, embroidered on cushions or handkerchiefs, or imprinted on paper napkins or boxes.

When the flag is being used as part of the unveiling ceremony for a statue or a monument, the flag should never be used to cover the object being unveiled.

The flag should never be “dipped” to any person or any thing, except that American navy vessels must return the compliment upon receiving a salute of this type from a vessel of a nation formally recognized by the United States. Even during the opening ceremonies of the international Olympics, where excessive amounts of nationalism by the individual participating countries is discouraged, the flag of the United States cannot be dipped, even out of respect for the Olympics’ host country.

When carried, the flag cannot lie flat or be carried horizontally.

The flag should never have placed upon it or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture or drawing of any nature.

No other flag may be flown higher than the American flag, except the United Nations flag at its headquarters, and a church pennant during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea.

The flag should be displayed outside from a building or a stationary flagstaff only from sunrise to sunset. The flag may be flown at night when a patriotic effect is desired, if the flag is properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

The flag can be flown on all days that the weather permits. The flag can also be flown during inclement weather if an all-weather flag is displayed.

The fringe sometimes found on flags has absolutely no significance, but is considered within the guidelines of proper flag etiquette.

When the flag is in such condition, through wear or damage, that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade, except from a staff.

The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or draperies.

During the playing of the National Anthem (“The Star Spangled Banner”) and when the flag is displayed, all present should stand at attention facing the flag with their right hand over their heart. When the flag is not displayed, those present should face the music source and act in the same manner they would act as if the flag were displayed there.

The flag should never be draped over the hood, top, sides or back of a vehicle, railroad train or a boat.

When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the flag shall be on a staff affixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.

The flag should never be drawn back nor up in folds, but should always be allowed to fall free.

The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything.

Advertising should not be fastened or attached to the same staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

The flag should be saluted when it is in motion, such as passing by in a parade. The flag is also considered to be in motion, and therefore should be saluted, when it is being raised in the morning and when it is being lowered again at night. A flag is not considered to be in motion, however, when it is covering a coffin, even if the coffin is moved. Small flags carried by individuals, such as those carried by civilian spectators at a parade, are not saluted.

It is improper to salute the flag with any object in the right hand. It is also improper to salute the flag with a cigarette, cigar or pipe in the mouth.

There is so much protocol and tradition regarding the proper treatment of the flag, it is very easy to accuse even the truest patriot of disrespecting the flag. The more difficult question, however, is whether the perceived flag insult was intentional or was merely a result of simple flag practice ignorance.

Like I said: “It's complicated.”

December 18, 2013

Put the Reason Back Into
the Season...Before It's Too Late

While the Christmas season is in full array, with families decking the halls, wrapping gifts, and hanging ornaments on a lit Christmas tree, many are still missing the true meaning of the merriest time of the year. Are you one of them?

According to a 2010 LifeWay Research study, 9 out of every 10 Americans responded they personally celebrate Christmas. But while 91 percent of Americans actively celebrate this national holiday, only 62 percent of them state they strongly agree with the statement, “Jesus is the reason for the season”. That means nearly one third of the Americans purchasing Christmas trees and baking sugar cookies, are doing so for reasons having little, if anything, to do with Jesus.

Before being hijacked and Hallmarked by the now more popular symbols of Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the red-nosed-reindeer, Christmas was a faith-based holiday, built on the celebration of our Savior’s baby jesus and angelsbirth. Apparently many Americans still continue to celebrate Christmas, but without celebrating Christ.

If we are not more vigilante, Christ may soon be completely absent from Christmas, much the same way prayer has disappeared from public schools, and the Ten Commandments have been eradicated from the public square.

The Lifeway Research study further revealed, of the 62 percent who claim Jesus is foremost in their reasons for celebrating Christmas, only 28 percent celebrate Christmas by telling or reading the Biblical account of Christmas. So, how many good Christians, while maintaining that Jesus is their primary reason for celebrating Christmas, find themselves in the 34 percent who forget, or are too busy, to relate the circumstances surrounding His birth?

Excuse the pun, but it's easy to get wrapped up in all the Christmas glitz and glamour. Christmas is intended to be a celebration. While carrying on family traditions, enjoying both giving and receiving gifts, and decorating your home are not bad things, as Christians it is also important to remember the “why” behind it all. When is the last time you were invited to a birthday party, and you were so overwhelmed by the food, the decorations and the music, that you forgot to say, “Happy Birthday” to the guest of honor?

As Christians, let's make an early “New Years' Resolution.” This Christmas season, no matter our usual family traditions, we will resolve to take the time and to make the conscious effort to put Christ back in Christmas. We will tell the Christmas story to our children and grandchildren. We will hang ornaments that remind us of our faith. We will remind others of the true meaning of Christmas by simply praying at a family dinner before eating. We will send Christmas cards featuring a manger, rather than Santa's workshop.

Christmas might also be the single most appropriate time to ask ourselves “What would Jesus do?” With thousands of soup kitchens, shelters, and church’s heavily dependent on volunteers, donating our time to help others may be a new Christmas tradition our families can do together, in an effort to center our Christmas celebrations around Christ.

This year, and every year hereafter, resolve not to be one of the 34 percent who know that Jesus is the reason for the season, but never quite get around to mentioning it. God and Jesus are slowing disappearing from the public forum. As Christians, we need to get into the battle, before we read in the paper “The War is Over”...and we lost.

Sources:
LifeWay Research / “American’s Christmas” 2010 / Celebrating Christmas Stats / http://www.lifewayresearch.com/files/2010/12/DOC_AmericansChristmas.pdf

December 17, 2013
God Is Not A Democrat
or a Republican

God is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. He's non-partisan, and arguably has no interest in our politics, except as it applies to making life better for everyone. God embraces all religions, unconcerned about which particular denomination or sect we personally follow. It is not our choice of religion that gets us into god Heaven, but rather our love, empathy, inclusion, passion and compassion, and open-mindedness. God made all humans, and he is well aware that we come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, creeds and orientations.

We have to stop making God in our image to suit our own agenda. Be wary of those among us who claim to know so well what God wants us to do, because so often their interpretation of God's will seems to coincide with their own desires.

Our faith should never provide the rationale to rule, restrict, coerce, discriminate, conquer, judge, limit or exclude. God inspired the Golden Rule, which states ”Love thy neighbor as thyself and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

It really is that simple.

December 10, 2013
Blessed are the children

Psalm 112:1-10
"Praise the Lord! ...... His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever."

sandy hook note
This is one of the messages sent by children to the kids in Sandy Hook, Conn. Photo: Casey McNerthney

The first anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting is just a few days away and there will not be a dry eye here at Christian Patriot. The tragedy still overwhelms us and our hearts ache for the parents, family and friends who lost their children and family members to such a senseless godless act. Say a prayer on December 14th for those blessed children we all as a nation lost that day.

December 4, 2013
‘Tis the Season

 volunteers          

Thanksgiving has come and gone, paving the way for what is said to be the merriest time of the year, the Christmas season.

With weekends spent at Christmas parties, surrounded by family and friends, presents being exchanged and carols being sung, it’s easy for many of us to dive into the holiday traditions and celebrate the birth of our Savior.  But not all.

For many across the nation, the Christmas season will bring loneliness and depression, and sad reminders of the family and friends they no longer have.   For others, while they watch others celebrate with seasonal excess and overindulgence, Christmas is a glaring spotlight on the harsh reality that they lack even the barest necessities of life.

As Christians, we are called upon to share the love of Christ with others.  At Christian Patriot, we cannot think of a better time to do so than the Christmas season.  This season, no matter what your station in life, we challenge you to share what you have.  It doesn’t have to be in the form of money or gifts. 

Share yourself.  In every city of every state across this nation, there are shelters, food drives, soup kitchens and churches looking for volunteers to donate their time, in an effort to spread a little bit of Christmas spirit to those less fortunate.

If you don’t have an organization near you seeking volunteers, that’s okay. You can still help many people who are struggling this season by simply reaching out.  Invite someone who would otherwise be alone over Christmas, to a festive dinner at your home.  Bake some cookies for your neighbors, or walk the streets of your town or city passing out hot chocolate.  Even something as simple as a sympathetic hug can be a blessing to someone who feels like the world has forgotten them.  

However you choose to serve, the important thing is that you spread Christ’s love and the Christmas spirit this holiday season.  You not only will make a big difference in someone else’s life, but the feeling you get from giving to others is the best Christmas gift you will ever receive.

November 26, 2013
The Turkey as National Bird

""""For my own part I wish the Eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead tree near the river, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

......."I am on this account not displeased that the figure is not known as a Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the truth the Turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on.""

turkeys

Who said that? Benjamin Franklin in a letter to his daughter.

November 25, 2013
Our First Patriots

pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock

A special remembrance this Thanksgiving....


A pilgrim is a person who goes on a long journey often with a religious or moral purpose, and especially to a foreign land. When did the Pilgrims who landed in 1620 become our first patriots?

They were first known as the Puritans. Since they did not have the financial means to make the journey to America, they contracted with investors to gather natural resources such as fish, timber and furs which would be shipped back to England. So they were also extraordinary entrepreneurs as well as a diverse group of Christians seeking to worship as they pleased without the pressures of both the Church of England or the Catholic Church.

The first few years of their pilgrimage were rife with disease, death, starvation and finding an uneasy peace with the native Americans who alternately tried to aid them but also engaged them in battle. Their ability to endure such hardships and build a community that grew into our mighty nation, we think, indeed makes them our first American patriots!
I Need Thee O I Need Thee
What he can do is simply stunning.This young man sang all 9 voiceovers to get this a cappella harmony.


October 27, 2012
Spirit Renewed!

When we look around us we see people who look a lot like us, seem to have it all together and seem "just fine", if you ask. But the recession and continuing economic problems are making it very tough on millions of people. You and I can help!

Just take a look around. Graham had noticed that our neighbor Mary, a widow of five years, has had her garage door up now for several months. He asked her yesterday if she needed help with it. She admitted that it had been broken, but she was putting off repairs because money was so tight.

Graham offered to fix it for her, so he came home, grabbed his toolbox, went back to her garage and went to work. He not only fixed it but also fixed both garage doors and got them running smoothly. He needed some extra tools to do the job and found them in her basement shop, but noticed several light fixtures were out. He replaced the fluorescent tubes and, voila! The basement was bright again.

Mary was so happy Graham thought she was going to cry. She asked Graham what she could do for him in return and he said, "Mary, just show up tomorrow at church. We'd love to see you more often!" She thanked him again and said she would be there today.

So don't wait to join a group or charity to help those who are in need. They are all around us and when we extend ourselves to our neighbors, we grow a stronger community and together renew our spirit!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


October 15, 2012
Please, Let's Think of America's Kids

We at Christian Patriot believe that regardless of who is at fault for this terrible economic abyss we are facing, the children of America should NOT suffer. The impact of the last month will resonate through our economy and certainly through the next few months as Americans struggle with adjusting to this "new normal", because we do not believe there will be a solid resolution for awhile to come.

So given that possible scenario, please think of America's children and how they should not be victimized. Consider making a donation to any of the children's charities below, as recommended by Parent.com, or the charity of your choice.

Newborns in Need
Clothing for the tiniest children

Four years ago, single mom Sue T. delivered her son Daron 14 weeks early. She was poor, alone, and by her own admission, "jaded and cynical." After searching everywhere for affordable clothing that would fit her preemie, she learned about Newborns in Need, which provides clothing and blankets for poor and premature babies.

"When the boxes arrived with the supplies I needed, it restored my faith in humanity," Sue recalls. Her situation improved, and today, she is a volunteer with the organization, helping other women and infants.

Last year, Newborns in Need volunteers distributed more than 350,000 pieces of clothing and baby gear to 2,000 hospitals, shelters, and families across the country. The organization is looking for donations of blankets, sleepers, gowns, all-in-ones, hats, booties, bottles, pacifiers, and disposable diapers. Contact: 417-967-9441 or www.newbornsinneed.org.

www.newbornsinneed.org >>


Share Our Strength
More than food for hungry kids

We've all seen the images on the television news: starving children in faraway places like the Congo, Ethiopia, and Liberia. But the fact is, kids in America are starving too. Close to 13 million children in our own country are at serious risk of being undernourished.

Share Our Strength supports food banks and emergency-relief organizations, and works to address hunger's root causes. It teaches low-income families about nutrition and budgeting, helps enroll poor children in federal nutrition programs, and funds groups that teach job and life skills to impoverished families. One of its programs encourages people to donate one hour's wage to battle childhood hunger. Another initiative helps communities hold fund-raisers to benefit hungry kids. Contact: 800-969-4767 or www.strength.org.

www.strength.org. >>

KABOOM!
Safe playgrounds for everyone

When 3-year-old Faith Tinoco was starting school back in 2002, her parents were worried that their daughter, born with Down syndrome, wouldn't be able to play along with the other kids at Melody Park Christian School, in Salinas, California. A year earlier, there would have been cause for concern: The school's playground equipment was outdated and inappropriate for Faith's needs.

But thanks to an organization called Kaboom!, Faith's school had just acquired a new playground -- one that was completely safe and handicapped-accessible. Since 1995, Kaboom! has teamed up with corporate partners to create 546 playgrounds in cities and towns across the country at an average cost of $55,000 each. It has also improved 1,500 existing playgrounds to make them safer. Contact: 202-659-0215 x225 or www.kaboom.org.

October 8, 2013

A Doctor Speaks Out on Obamacare

We loved this article and interview with the blessed Dr. Shepherd of Lewisville,Texas that the Heritage Foundation published today.

Family Doctor: I want to take care of my patients!


More physicians need to come forward with the actual real effects of the Affordable Healthcare Act! We rely on our doctors to be the guardians of our health and well-being and if this isn't looking out for us in the overall sense of the word, then we don't know what is! God bless Dr. Tim Shepherd!

September 18, 2013

Hannity Stays on Fox!

We were so happy to see today that Sean Hannity is not losing his spot on Fox News. According to this info he will be on at 9:00pm:

"""According to Deadline.com, the lineup will change on October 7 to:
6p ‘On The Record’ with Greta Van Susteren
7p The O’Reilly Factor with Bill O’Reilly
8p The Kelly File with Megyn Kelly
9p Hannity with Sean Hannity
10p-1a O’Reilly, Kelly & Hannity re-airs

Right now, Shepard Smith hosts two hours each weekday on FOX News. No word on if he will pick up a new hour after the October 7th changes.

Back in May of 2012, Sean Hannity signed a new multi-year contract with FOX News. He has been a personality on the cable channel since 1996. Hannity’s radio show with Premiere Radio Networks remains unchanged and you can listen to The Sean Hannity Show, weekdays 2p-5p on KFYO."""

 

September 17, 2013

Defund Obamacare

We at Christian Patriot have carefully weighed the benefits and the liabilities of the Affordable Healthcare Act. It is with a heavy heart that we have to say we agree with Crossroads GPS in their premise and course of action:

Crossroads GPS supports:
"H.R. 2, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. All good health care reform depends on this law being stricken from the books so that the nation has an opportunity to enact new laws that focus first on lowering health care costs, preserving families’ and seniors’ relationships with their doctors, and improving the quality of care."

I say a heavy heart because as Christians we believe that all who seek care should receive it, and we hope that Crossroads GPS has created the best path to achieve this goal.

August 23, 2013

Christopher Lane

It is with an extremely heavy heart that we read the headlines from Australia today in reference to the senseless killing of Christopher Lane: "US gun culture is 'corrupting the world,' Australia ex-deputy PM says after Okla. slaying".

As fiercely proud Patriots we must condemn the actions of those who abuse our 2nd Amendment rights. Christian Patriot asks every gun owner in America to secure your arms, keep them safe and keep innocents such as Christopher Lane safer.

August 22, 2013

TroopsDirect.org needs our help!

We were very interested in Sean Hannity's radio segment yesterday about this very fine organization, TroopsDirect. We immediately logged on to their website and learned about what they do:

"TroopsDirect supports our front line troops exclusively at larger unit levels with the objective of making them the healthiest, most energized and highest spirited Marines, soldiers, aircrew and sailors that we can. We function as a non-profit ‘back line’ of supply for units based in Afghanistan, Africa, at sea and other in other ‘hot spots’. We communicate with the front lines daily and provide -in bulk- detailed hygiene, nutrition, gear and K9 support."

Go to http://www.troopsdirect.org to learn more.

August 6, 2013

Welcome to Christian Patriot!

As human beings, we are all special. Like snowflakes, there are no two of us who are exactly the same. Have you ever felt so unique, however, that you begin to feel like there is no one else to whom you can relate? Do you ever have a sense there is no one else with whom you have anything in common?

As a country, we are becoming so divided that we can barely communicate with one another. Our culture, ideologies and personal philosophies are constantly being formed by our individual experiences. We are bombarded and inundated every minute of every day by consumer, social and political influences that want to label us based upon our differences. Some of these differences may be real, but many are contrived by those who believe they can profit or gain power by convincing us that we need to constantly make choices between competing alternatives.

So what's wrong with making choices from among different possibilities? In moderation, it is harmless enough. But what if everything we think, do or say is the result of some choice we feel compelled to make? Every time we select one alternative over another, we separate ourselves slightly from those among us who selected the other option. Every time we make a choice, take a side or reject a point of view, we isolate ourselves a little bit more from our fellows. Soon there isn't anyone with whom we don't share at least one difference of opinion.

But what if we started to spend an equal amount of time concentrating on those things we have in common with one another, rather than constantly making choices that separate us? What if we spend as much time trying to find common ground on which we can come together, as we do in building walls that isolate us? What if we simply start rejecting the labels that describe us in over-simplistic, contrasting terms such as conservatives-liberals, Republicans-Democrats, red states-blue states, sectarians-seculars or traditionalists-progressives?

The question then becomes “What do we still have in common”? After so many generations of concentrating on matters that divide us, what is left to unite us? How about our faith? We don't need to argue amongst ourselves any more regarding whether or not we were founded as a Christian nation. We are still a nation of Christians. Do we have different sects and denominations of Christianity in this country? Of course we do, but we need not concern ourselves with those differences. The basic Christian tenets are still the same.

What else do we have in common? How about our patriotism? If you're an American, you share a common heritage with every other American. Our common heritage has nothing to do with where we or our ancestors were born, the color of our skin or our native language. If you are an American, you share the same Founding Fathers, Declaration of Independence and Constitution as every other American. Our collective love of that heritage makes us all patriots.

Christian Patriot was founded for the express purpose of trying to counter-balance all of those choices we are told every day we must make that serve only to divide us from one other. It is Christian Patriot's singular mission to try to constantly encourage each of us to discover, reinforce and remind our relatives, friends and neighbors of all those things that unite us, and enable each of us, and all of us, to renew our spirit.

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