As a retired Army General, I am absolutely amazed at the amount of time we have dedicated lately to addressing the NFL and a handful of football players who are “taking a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem. We are a Nation at risk. We have active, external threats from Russia, North Korea, Iran and ISIS. We also have internal threats: from domestic terrorists, from a general lack of respect for law enforcement personnel, and from what seems to be an epidemic of divisive people trying to pit Americans against one another. With all of these problems affecting the Nation we love, why in the heck would we give so much of our attention to a few peaceful protesters?
I can only come to one conclusion: We have lost our focus as a Nation.
So how do we begin to regain that focus?
I would recommend that we forget about
That seems to be the overwhelming sentiment of the day, and rightfully so. Our Nation is at risk. We are concerned, justifiably, about North Korea, Russia, Iran, ISIS, and many other external threats that are amplified hourly by the national media. In addition, we face the internal threats of domestic terrorists, divisive people trying to divide our nation, and sometimes shocking lack of respect for our nation’s first responders.
But none of that is what worries me most right now. What worries me most is the way our nation’s leaders are behaving in the face of all of these threats.
Every day we see examples of our nation’s leaders acting less than humble, and as a longtime leader myself, that is what worries me. I know from experience—bolstered by the great lessons of history, and of my faith—that great leaders, strong leaders, leaders who actually accomplish positive things in the
I find myself amazed every day with how our National leadership is engaging with a “war of words” on the international stage. I don’t think that is useful or productive.
I learned many years ago that two things happen when you wrestle with pigs: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it. Unfortunately that is what is happening now in our dialogue with the North Korean leadership. We are knee deep in the muck wrestling with him.
Our National leaders must show restraint in how they respond to his bellicose statements. We must “rise above the fray”. We must be careful with our words. Words matter, and have serious consequences.
Just because he makes some silly statement doesn’t mean that we have to respond kind. As always, we should consider the source prior to responding.
I have also learned that the higher up you go in an organizations the more carefully you must
We are finite, but God is infinite. We must always remember that. There are things that have happened, and will happen, that we just don’t understand. That is OK. We should just trust God and know that everything is happening for a reason. God has a plan, we just don’t know what that plan is.
Philippians 4:6-7 tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
That is the essence of inner peace. Just “Let go, Let God”. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Turn it over to God and trust Him, knowing that He will make sure things happen the way he intends them to.
When I was in Iraq, I had a picture under the plexiglass
As it says in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. “ We all have sinned, are sinning, and will continue to sin. Paul laments in Romans 7:15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do”. I find myself thinking those same thoughts everyday.
I am convinced that no one is perfect, and we all have our frailties and shortcomings. I myself hate being around the “holier than thou” crowd. They pretend that they are righteous and always without sin. That is just not true. 1 John 1:8 tells us “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
Why do we sin when we don’t want to and know that we shouldn’t. The answer is obvious. It is our very
Humility is a virtue that we should all have, and practice everyday. I like both kinds of music……both country and western. Tim McGraw’s song says it best…..always be humble and kind. I wish we all did that. Just imagine what a wonderful world this would be.
The line in Tim McGraw’s song sticks with me “When you get where you’re going, don’t forget- turn back around and help the next one in line”. Our role is to ensure that we always focus on helping others. Their success is our success.
Humility is mentioned 33 times in the Bible. God tells us, many times, the importance of being humble. Here’s a couple of examples: Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility values others above yourselves.” In Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
But my favorite verse is
The world is a scary place. Our Nation is at risk. There are external threats (Russia, Iran, North Korean, ISIS……) and internal threats (domestic terrorism, divisive people, lack of respect for law enforcement personnel…..) It would be easy to spend each day cowered in fear, just waiting for something bad to happen. I can’t imagine living a life like that. Everyday I turn to my source of courage which is my personal relationship with God. I pray to God for the strength, courage and wisdom to do the things that He wants me to do. And He grants me that. He never lets me down.
God tells us in Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” I think about that everyday. And as it says in
I enjoy watching Clint Eastwood movies. One of my favorites is Dirty Harry. At one point, Eastwood’s character Harry Callahan looks at the camera and says “A man’s got to know his limitations.” I believe that is so very true.
I know that I have many, many limitations. Everyday when I look in the mirror (the most important piece of furniture in your house) I remind myself of those limitations. Then, I drop to my knees and ask God to give me the strength, courage and wisdom to do the things that He wants me to do that particular day. I know that God will help me overcome my limitations.
I always turn to the Bible for insights and wisdom. In Mark 10:27: “Jesus looked at them and said, with man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” I know that, because of my
There is so much anxiety across our nation, and our world, these days. Everyone appears to be unbelievably anxious and concerned. The results of our national elections caused many folks to be happy, and many much less happy. These days there are protests in the street on a daily basis. Every time you turn on the TV, or read a newspaper, there is something going on that causes us all to be even more anxious. We need inner peace, individually and as a nation. Where can we find it?
Many folks turn to exercise, meditation, food or drink to attain some level of inner peace. Those things work to some extent. Some folks even deny that there is any anxiety at all. They think they are living a stress free life. Interestingly, sometimes in life we are so consumed by things that we aren’t even aware of.
I find my inner
The Future of our Nation
I just completed watching the inauguration ceremony for President Trump. I was very impressed by the event itself, as well as the comments made by our new President. I was particularly happy with the number of times that he asked God to help him, and all of us, as we move forward.
We as a Nation are very anxious. We are concerned (as we should be) about our Nation’s security, about our economy, about our borders and about our children’s education. As I was told by one of my mentors “You can’t roll up your sleeves while you are wringing your hands”. We as Americans must put aside our differences and work together for the common good. We must emphasize the fact that we are Americans first…..and then Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals etc after that. Let’s do what is right for America. As President Trump said,