Welcome to
FAITH FRONTIER





A new frontier, not far away over mountains and rivers,
but directly under our feet.

_________________________________________________________________


CONTENT

            
PATH OF FAITH

THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE

THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY

COME TOGETHER

KNOW THE LOCALITY OF REALITY

CULTIVATE FREEDOM

CULTIVATE RESPECT

HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

LIVE IN PEACE

WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR



My horse Reba, dog Jill, and I traveling in rural Kansas.

________________________________


PATH OF FAITH


Would you venture into the unknown of a promising new frontier? Would you risk your life for an opportunity to build a better life in a newly discovered land? If you believe that, with faith, there is always a way to a better life, this booklet is written for you.

My name is James, I traveled by foot, horse, and canoe, for 5,000 miles though America, from farm to farm, town to town, and city to city, without doors to lock or walls to sleep behind - it was as real as it gets - and I hope to share the perspective God has given me for the sake of helping you gain what is good for your soul and right for your world, not by following me, but by following God, for He alone holds your best interest at heart.

There is always a way to a better life, and it always begins in the same place; your heart. Your happiness and fulfillment begin in you, independent from the outer world, and now as much as ever before, the outer world is dependent on you. Cultural division (and the power struggle that goes with it) has all but destroyed the unity that once held our great Nation together. Simultaneously, we are suffering a health crisis of historic proportion (including rampant drug abuse throughout the land). And, as if there could not be a worse time for it, our government is woefully deep in debt. But most dangerous of all, we seem willing to settle for seats on a "sinking ship."


Which would you rather have; the path that our Nation is currently going down, or do you want a new path? Below are real examples, not utopian concepts or ideological ideals, but real examples of real people that opened up new paths, and because they won against insurmountable odds, we know it can be done today:


In their hearts, the Pilgrims received God’s Holy Spirit, and they boarded the Mayflower, and within a year, half were dead and the other half had suffered terribly. But they were not fools, they understood their dream to be an “impossible” one. And still they went forward, and such is the power of faith that, nearly four-hundred years later; their dream still lives. (Their dream was of freedom, to live as they believed God saw fit, not as others saw fit [others that judge and hate them to this day even while enjoying the freedom created by their sacrifice]).

There was something special in the hearts of the Pioneers who arrived at the shore of the Columbia River, having already come thousands of miles through mountain-ranges, deserts, and plains on the Oregon Trail. The Columbia River made up the final leg of their journey. Trail weary men, women, and children, they loaded their wagons and dreams on wooden rafts, then set out to run two-hundred miles of the most dangerous water anywhere on earth. It was an incredibly perilous thing to do, but then it took such faith and courage to build “the home of the brave and land of the free.”

🌻

Columbus had no map or guidebook to the new world, and to a large extent, neither did the Pilgrims and Pioneers. But they did have great faith in God, and they went forward through hardship and danger, and built something greater than their ability to imagine. They did not build a perfect world, but I am old enough to remember what they built; the strong farms and towns with thriving local economies, happy healthy people out and about, and streets so safe that children could run and play without a fear in the world. We were building a better world, and it seemed that with hard work and dedication, we could accomplish anything, even go to the moon! But no more had we reached the heights than we lost our fear of God. And then, how quickly we got lost. We packaged and sold sex. We idolized money. We trusted in our own power, and in our weakness; we left the gate open to evil forces that attacked our God-given right to feel good about where we come from, what we’re made of, and who we are (children of God). Our Pilgrim and Pioneer forebearers were vilified. God was declared “dead.” And the void created in our hearts and culture was filled with garbage from Hollywood, Fifth Avenue, and others in a race for power, money, and control.

Do you want a better way? Everyone wants a better way when the future turns dark, but who will actually muster the faith to light the way? Below is a quote from the American scholar, Will Durant:

“There is no greater drama in human record than the sight of a few Christians, scorned or oppressed by a succession of emperors, bearing all trials with fierce tenacity, multiplying quietly, building order while their enemies generated chaos, fighting the sword with the word, brutality with hope, and at last defeating [Rome] the strongest state that history has known. Caesar and Christ had met in the arena, and Christ had won.”


THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE

Can you imagine a Nation so removed from the truth that, its people surrender their ability to make shoes, and then dance in foreign-made shoes to celebrate their independence? Do you want to accept this lie, and become a prisoner to its folly, or would you rather be free to do something better? In order to get big and stay big, big government and big business must make you dependent on them in a big way - and this can be bad for your independence in a big way. For if they become all important to your survival, like air and water, what happens to your system of values when you must chose between the truth and the worldly securities they offer? The good news is, you only need to put yourself in God’s hands to enter a realm of truth, a new frontier where freedom is as real as you are, where the path is as difficult as it is full of promise, trod by hard-working individuals, bound together as a people with a common belief, each pulling their weight, trusting not in themselves but in God.

Nothing can stop God’s truth from setting us free. The only thing that can stop His truth from shining through is a closed heart, wherein the soul, surrounded by walls of bitterness, pride, self-deceit, envy, lust, sloth, greed, or any sin; wastes away in a dark dungeon, never to know what freedom looks like because it never allows it to shine in. But when we open our hearts and let God’s light shine in, there will be, in a very real manner of speaking, dawn on a virgin realm with mountains, plains, and rivers - and like a jigsaw puzzle, only God knows where the pieces go, but it is our steps, taken in faith, upon the difficult path, that make the pieces fall into place, and the beautiful picture that comes together in our soul is a treasure larger than this world has space to hold.

If you decide to trust God, then probably not very far up the trail of life, you will realize your freedom, and when it happens, don’t be surprised if you lift your arms to Heaven and cry out, “OH LORD, THANK YOU!” It is true. If you show faith, don’t be surprised if, long before you reach your “Promised Land,” God sets you free. And you will know it! It will become the most valuable thing you possess, for it will be nothing less than the freeing of your soul. And with it comes peace where peace must always begin, in your heart. You will have peace of mind. You will enter into the realm of true freedom, without which no earthly freedom is possible. You will no longer look to the world for freedom, but will have found that, because of Him, freedom begins in you (and what more would you expect from the One that gave you the miraculous gift of life). It will be as Jesus said about putting on his yoke, it makes the difficult path easy. And with the chains that bound you broken, you'll be free to pursue a better life. A better life, not in the eyes of a sinful world, but in the eyes of a loving God that holds your best interest at heart.


THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY

The way to a better life begins when you let God into your heart, and by His light, see the way out of your inner entanglements. Then you will see the way forward, you will have the faith to go forward, and you will have both the inner peace and the fire to brave the waters before you.


How many people thought Columbus crazy for setting off into the unknown? How many people thought the Pilgrims crazy for the same reason? And after the unknown had been opened so that it could be entered with a degree of safety, how many hopeful hearts flooded into the New World!

The pioneers had faith, but they also had the promise of free land on which to build a better life. Today, no more free land exists, no more frontier by which to leave a corrupt world behind and start anew. Therefore, how much more full of promise will be that frontier existing wholly on faith in God, a frontier created not by building on free land, but by building on God's everlasting truth – for is His truth not free!

When we go forward to build a better life, we take the good of the past with us. And there are people still living that remember what independence looked like under God; they made their own bread and butter, and shoes too. Their farms and towns were built to last because their parents and grandparents found fulfillment in emulating God’s love of making things (of course in a system built on truth, people build long-lasting things). But today, under the trees they planted, fruit lies rotting while we eat from the hands of shortsighted people that put power and money before God and country. We can continue eating from their hands and lose our blessings, or we can put God first and return to greatness. When a people put God first, great things happen, and there is overwhelming proof of it, for such living lead men and women to fight for self-governance, that all people might pursue their God given right to a better life, and the American story was born. A great multitude rolled up their sleeves and the potential of building on God’s truth was released. In God's hands, they built something greater than their ability to imagine, they built a nation that became a beacon of hope around the world. Today, it is a giant leap from a dying world into the everlasting hands of God, but God makes it easy. If you want more than a short-sighted world can offer, then give God more than a nod. Step onto His narrow path of truth, keep putting one foot before the other, and He will lead you to a broad spiritual plane where, looking back, you will know, He saved the one thing you keep forever - your soul - and of course, that made your life great!


COME TOGETHER

To keep from falling apart, a nation must come together. And when its people cannot come together due to divisions caused by sin-based decisions; it is good that smaller groups of people come together and unite in a faith-based decision to build a better way.

Come together, in the understanding that, until we let God in our hearts, we cannot work our way though problems that keep us from happiness because true happiness comes before solving problems. True happiness (godly fulfillment) fosters positive action, even in the face of difficulty.

Coming together does not mean we are against other peoples anymore than it means we accept the ways of those that rebel against God. God makes room for us to maintain our individual cultures, and at the same time, to all be part of one family as His children building on His everlasting truth.

Come together, acknowledging that none of us can right ourselves without God, but with God in our hearts, we can build on His truth, and He will set foundation stones in our hearts that support peace and happiness in our communities; foundation stones of love, like a sense of gratitude for what we have, and of belonging to it, and wanting the best for it, and a willingness to sacrifice for it.

In a system built on God’s truth, we learn Bible lessons from childhood about right and wrong, about when to be kind and when to be tough, timeless values that nourish our souls, guide our actions, and preserve peace and harmony in our communities. In a Christian culture, we learn the value of hard work - God's first commandment to man as a knowledgeable being. In a Christian culture, we have inspirational stories of our forefathers and mothers, and we emulate them, and even pretend to be them in childhood play. Together, these God-given things feed our gift of life, and as we grow, transcend words and lessons to become a cultural bond of love and loyalty.

A lot has been made about "tribalism" and "racism" in America. It is not tribalistic or raciest to exercise common sense and know that a strong cultural bond goes a long way towards community peace and harmony. Jesus did not save the world by being a worldly man, but rather, by being a man of his people (and what else would one expect when love without loyalty is a lie).


KNOW THE LOCALITY OF REALITY

My people, for example, live in rural and small town America. We are a humble people as proven by the way in which we have so quietly dwindled and disappeared. Our little towns and farms are dying in a world that is too far removed to see how a life-sustaining bushel of grain is grown in the land of the free. For a golden bushel of grain sprouts not only from good soil and hard work, but from social stability, itself sprouted from the unity of a people bound by love and loyalty. It is a beautiful thing, and it feeds the world. But it is crumbling under the pressure of a big world with worldly values, crumbling away, and like anything, it can only crumble for so long before it disappears unless my people take action to save it by turning away from the systems (ways) of the godless, and return to God.

Stay with me on this one: As a young man, I moved to a thriving city and started a small business from scratch. Success required a ton of hard work and sacrifice. Then, during a move to a brand new facility, I received a call from city hall telling me I had to shut my operation down because the new bushes along my new driveway were not spaced correctly (in fact the bushes were well placed). The detached bureaucrats at city hall, who were always blowing their horns about "community," had no concept of my reality. Years of hard work and sacrifice was on the line for me and I had a handful of employees, some with children to feed. I refused to shut down, the Fire Chief had to intervene, and  thanks to him, the bushes remained where they were (along with my small business). I have long since moved from city to country and changed my business from stationary to mobile. To make the change, I purchased an antique church bus and restored it’s outer appearance (white with bold black Christian insignias). I added stained glass windows, and I re-fitted the interior as a mobile workshop. But before I could get on the road, I was told I needed to take a child management course because my mobile workshop had originally been a school bus. I told the State there would be no children in the bus, it only had a driver's seat and the rest was full of tool cabinets, work benches, grinders, vices, welders, etc… For two days I plead my case to different bureaucrats over the phone with no success. Finally I got to speak with a high-up (in the State's Department of Motor Vehicles). I was courteous but insistent. He got very frustrated and told me it didn’t matter what I was using the vehicle for but rather what mattered was what it had originally been manufactured for; it had been a school bus, and therefore I had to take a course, pass a test, and get certified in child management. Unbelievably ridiculous, but true. Thank goodness the ladies at my local small town county courthouse helped me around it. Big government is not the only entity susceptible to detachment resulting in harmful behavior; I have firsthand stories of equally bad behavior in big corporations and unions too. But I have to believe the worst cases can only be told by frontline soldiers subject to rules from bureaucrats whose lives are not on the line. Detachment however is not necessarily determined by a lack of proximity. In my little town of 400 people, there was a woman that lived with her two children in a house that she utterly and completely trashed over the course of a year. I saw her in the gas-station/convenience-store, she was belittling her two little children and asking strangers if they wanted to buy her kids. She was a mess, and she was messing up those kids! And probably she had been messed up as a kid. I wanted to take action, and I’m sure I was not alone. But I knew the State would not allow it. Big government says it will take care of the problem, and the problem grows bigger. The problem gets bigger, and the government gets bigger. But what would I have done if I was free to act? I would have rounded up a handful of go-getter type neighbors who wanted to take action but previously couldn’t. I would propose that the woman spend 3 hours in a set of stocks at the center of town (this would draw out much of the town on a Saturday), during which time it would be explained to her and her children that her behavior had been unacceptable, and what changes were expected of her. She would then be set free under the condition that she change, and we people of the community would take turns checking on her and helping her along. If she accepted the deal, good! If she didn’t, back into the stocks, or get out of town. And what about the war on drugs, if we were free to fight it, we could win it! We could apprehend the head drug dealer in our area, put him in the stocks, and give him some lashes for good measure. And if after his release, he went back to pushing drugs, we could hang him with a placard that read, “This is what happens to those that poison our children.” And I can almost hear a collective gasp coming from those that support the status quo, being a system that grows with the problem, increases taxes to support an army of bureaucrats, and binds our hands so that we cannot fix the problems 
that threaten to destroy our communities. Figuratively speaking in a very real way; God wears a velvet glove on one hand, and an iron gauntlet on the other, and if we are to be good servants, we need to know when to be the velvet and when to be the iron. A leper is not an enemy of God, and an enemy of God is not a leper (remember what Jesus said about two-legged swine). We have to know when to be kind and when to be tough, it's a balance in which we take all of God's word into account. Likewise, the concept that locality (local control) makes for what's best is not always right because, if we are spiritually detached from ourselves, we cannot have a healthy attachment to others, and therefore, detachment can occur across oceans or within a home between parent and child.

In the purest locality, only God has the power to be in all our hearts at the same time. And in the purest reality, God alone holds our best interest at heart. Obviously then, only God can bring us into the light together, and the possibilities of what we can achieve together when we listen to Him as a people are limitless. For while He gives us different assignments, our tasks fit together to create something greater than our ability to imagine. 


CULTIVATE FREEDOM

The children of the Pioneers helped their parents build the home of the brave and land of the free, and in the process, their characters developed to be brave and free. The last generation in which a majority was raised in this manner was called, “The Great Generation.” They were not perfect, but they did save the world from tyranny, and went to the moon. Today, our mission must not be one of preparing our children to succeed by way of a corrupt world that their forebears risked all to deliver them from, but rather, we must employ them in our mission to rebuild on God’s truth. When we raise our children not for this world but for eternity, it makes for the best possible life in both worlds. The following example is close to our pioneer forefathers and mothers, and is written in the hope of giving you added perspective and inspiration:

I spent time with the Amish, and saw many things reminiscent of my own pioneer heritage. One thing that took me by surprise was the sight of an Amish woman driving a wagon, not just any wagon, but a large freight wagon. It had an expansive wooden bed with no sideboards and no seat. She was standing on the bed, holding the reins to a team of four Percheron draft horses that were trucking down a gravel road. On the bed behind her was a very large construct of wood and metal (some kind of Amish-made equipment). The young woman was neither large nor burly, but simply an average looking woman in a pioneer dress with three small children gathered close around her legs. Yeah, it blew my mind! A huge wagon, with a huge freight load, pulled by four huge draft horses is a fairly impressive if not downright frightening sight to see when it trucks by up close. But, add to that a young mother standing atop it all, driving four horses while tending three children! Wow! Now, let’s look at another example that can help us understand why the Amish woman and her children were able to be superheros: Once, while working a horse in a round pen on an Amish farm, I noticed a procession of six or seven Amish girls, dressed like pioneers, walking the country lane. The oldest looked to be twelve, leading the way with direction, but not at all severe. The youngest was about five, and brought up the rear. To my surprise, they turned up the driveway of the farm where I worked. I didn’t know what to think but figured it an Amish thing. I watched as they continued without adult supervision, but each knowing their task, fetched a stocky miniature horse, then a miniature covered wagon. They harnessed the horse, hitched it to wagon, boarded one by one, and as they drove away, they smiled and waved at me. Astonished, I went in the barn to ask my Amish friend what I had seen. He said the girls had stopped that morning and left the horse to be shod before continuing on foot to the one room schoolhouse up the lane. They were not all sisters but children of the community. I’d seen a miniature school transportation system operated by children, working together without adult supervision; efficient, safe, clean, healthy, happy, and yes of course, independent!

Now let us imagine a parent strapping their child into a car safety seat, for a ride to school. The parent is taking measures to protect their child from physical harm, and that's good. However, the line between good and evil blurs when protective laws are passed by legislatures lobbied by special interest groups; activist groups, insurance companies, car seat manufacturers, government bureaucracies and the like. In such a system, laws meant to keep us safe can becomes a web that grows and grows until our freedom is restricted to such a degree, we unwittingly strap our children into something that stunts their growth. It is not that seatbelts are bad, I always wear my seatbelt. It is not that car insurance is bad. If I drive a car, I want insurance as a moral issue so if I accidentally hurt someone, I can pay for their care. It is not that car seat manufacturers are bad. It is not that technology is bad. It is about what to do when, as the people of a nation, we find ourselves overwhelmed by the collective power of sin, like trying to drive across a road that has water flowing over it, we get in deeper and deeper until, on the verge of being swept away, we find ourselves helpless in the midst of a system corrupted one sin at a time for the sake of power, money, and control. And because a sytem that comes to rely on the wrong values will in turn rely on the wrong skills, skills required to paint bad as good and good as bad, a multitude will be deceived and the flood waters will drag them under. We don't need a plan to free ourselves from a sinking system, what we need is the faith and courage to proclaim God as King, proclaim Him Lord and Savior, not in the safety of the church house but right in the midst of the rising waters, for His truth is solid ground, and if enough stand together, a new frontier will open, and hopeful hearts will flood into His yoke, pull together as a people, and realize the potential of building on His truth.


CULTIVATE RESPONSIBILITY

Big and small, rich and poor, left and right, children of God and sinners all; the Great Generation grew up saying the Lord’s Prayer in church, and the Pledge of Allegiance in school. They were not bussed to big conglomerate schools, but self-gathered in small, often one room school houses where they learned inspirational stories about their forefathers and mothers - stories that gave them a positive sense of what they were capable of. They were not psychoanalyzed and drugged when they misbehaved, but rather, swiftly and effectively corrected with a strap. They cleaned the blackboard, brought in firewood and well water, swept the floor, cleaned ashes from the stove, and other chores before they could go home. It was their first experience functioning outside the home, and not all that different. They were learning to be responsible in a work-based culture of faith. In their communities and across the nation, they were as Jesus said, seeds in fertile soil. And when the time came and they were called to stand against those that sought to put the world in darkness, they were up to the task. They defeated the godless followers of Hitler, the godless followers of the Emperor of Japan, and the godless Soviet Union. They did not liberate the world for supreme leaders, ideological ideals, money, power, or control. Their power and greatness was not from the world, but from the One that blessed them with unity, and made them a beacon of hope for all the world to see.

Eternally more important than reading, writing, and arithmetic, are Bible stories, Sunday School teachers, and everything that gives children a sense of gratitude to God for what they have (starting with their lives), and a sense of love and loyalty for their people and history (and thus their communities and Nation), and a desire to work hard, to be honest, and a sense of hope and optimism for the future.


The souls of God's children should never be trusted to godless "educators" that have an ax to grind disguised as justice. Nor should God's children be exposed to educators that mitigate their own inner entanglements of guilt and self-loathing by confusing such inner entanglements for universal morality to be superimposed on their students:

My people have a responsibility to reject anyone that makes our children feel they come from evil-doing by telling them that their forefathers and mothers got this land by way of theft and genocide. Our forefathers and mothers were imperfect like ALL humans, but they had the courage to follow their dreams into unknown territory, they endured tremendous hardships and made great sacrifices, and because they put themselves in God hands, they built something greater than their ability to imagine - they built a Nation that became a beacon of hope around the world.

My people have a responsibility to reject anyone that makes our children feel ashamed about themselves because their forefathers may have owned slaves. A war was fought over this, hundreds of thousands died, followed by more than a hundred years of national effort and sacrifice to right things. And, under God, sure and steady progress was made. But the godless, in their struggle for power, see the splinter and miss the plank - they seek to rise through a whirlpool called the "blame game," and it takes them deeper and deeper into resentment and anger.
 We escape this whirlpool of destruction when we turn to God with gratitude for our lives, and use our gift of commonsense to understand that all cultures are open to attack for the simple reason that ALL people are sinners. I once heard a pastor speak these words from the pulpit, "We are all wonderful, and we are all pathetic," and I thought to myself, "Brother, ain't that the truth."

My people have a duty to reject those that proclaim manmade systems as cures for human sin, and thus as social cures. Social peace and harmony begin and  grow in the heart with personal gratitude to God for one's life, and to Jesus Christ for showing the way to spiritual salvation. Capitslism and Socialism may sound good in theory but in the reality of a sinful world; one sanctions the golden calf, the other usurps God, and men fight wars over which is better.

My people have a responsibility to reject anyone that tells our children they are bigots and haters for refusing to accept the homosexual lifestyle. We follow the God of love, not hate, we believe in His teachings, and because we do, we are the most safe people to live among in the world.


My people have a duty to stand against false religions. Muhammad led a group that robbed, pillaged, and murdered - then rich with ill gotten booty - retired to a life of luxury (self pleasure) as proven by the fact that he had a harem (which included a child-bride). Jesus lead a group of men and women from village to village preaching peace and love. Jesus gave His life for His people. There is no question as to who set the good example and who set the bad example. There is no question as to which example is good and which is evil.

My people have a duty to protect our children from anything that would rob them of the one thing they get to keep forever - their soul. (We have a duty to reject any science that claims there is no God
).

Regarding “evolution,” I see the slow and methodic mechanism of nature as evidence to that which manifests itself in craftsmanship, being a love of making things, which comes from God who [being The Ultimate Craftsman] is forever about by means that men cannot comprehend beyond the level of their own finite limitations. For example, scientists give the universe a size and age, but in self-evident truth, the universe is infinite (meaning it is unknowable, mysterious, and fantastic).Therefore the origin of man is beyond the reach of science. And yet, the origin of the species is within man’s reach, as proven by countless souls that have reached out for The Ultimate Craftsman, and, in the labor of His love, evolved in that most ultimate way.


HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

A godless nation will reflect its love and loyalty for the wrong things, and will poison its people and land. But a nation that puts God first will reflect His goodness in its people and land.

Traveling 5,000 miles by foot, horse, and canoe in today’s America did not involve much wilderness. Today, America is a land of farms, towns, and cities. But there was some wilderness devoid of people, including a 500 mile canoe trek across the northern tier of Montana. And in that wilderness, I ran out of many supplies and learned lessons that changed the way I live today. Too much of what we consider essential today is in reality detrimental to our health and happiness. Upon coming out of the wilderness, I had no trouble finding a convenience-store filled with junk from floor to ceiling - potato chips, candy bars, pop, and cigarettes. I courteously asked where the dried rice and beans were even though I knew there was none. The young lady behind the counter looked perplexed, so I explained that my jest was based on the sign outside, which read, “… General Store.” She laughed, but then, roaming over the store with her eyes, she took on a sincere expression while saying, “There really is just about all we need in here.” She was sweet girl, but in an appalling state of physical health, grown up in a world that could not exist by telling her the truth. And she was not alone, we live in a world that succeeds wildly at selling false elixirs to young and old alike. From junk food to household cleaners, we buy what poisons us, and modern plagues like diabetes and cancer will not relent until we reject the lies. Far more important than our bodies is our souls. It is not hard to see why civil society is breaking down when for the sake of power, money, and control, man manipulates everything, even horrific tragedies like school shootings get packaged and piped into our homes with multi-color digital drum rolls via a high profit media industry that itself is only one example in a system that relies on a lie, being that we go along with a system that's priority is power, money, and control even as we pretend to hold ourselves above it. And our dishonestly allows it to take over to such a degree; our ability to make a living comes to rely on it like air and water. The good news is, it is not air and water, and we don't need it even a little, and God is only waiting for us to make Him our priority, and to rely on Him, because it is not our system but His system that leads to true health and happiness, both in this world and the next.


LIVE IN PEACE


In the agrarian world of the Middle Ages; tribal warfare, plague, and pestilence were deadly problems. Likewise, problems of the Industrial Age have no industrial solution. However, a commonsense combination of the two might produce a way forward, not a utopia, but a better way that combines the best of old and new.

While traveling in rural America by horse and wagon, I met a Christian widower of 70 who was a Vietnam Veteran and retired Navy Seal. He lived alone, but in an excellent country neighborhood where folks loved and cared for one another. His only fiscal income was a small monthly Social Security check. He grew and processed his own food and had so much more than he could eat, he gave much of it away to his neighbors. He never accepted money, so his neighbors repaid him with favors not because he asked, but because they felt obliged to, which in turn brought the community closer together. His garden flourished on a combination of old and new; including animal manure to fertilize, no chemical pesticides, bird houses for insect control. His chickens produced eggs and meat. He cut his own wood for winter heat, dead wood, which helped prevent fire hazard in surrounding woods. He had 4 acres on a shady hilltop in rural Kansas; an old farmstead built back in the days of independent living. In spring and summertime the mulberry trees produced their fruit, then the plum trees, apple trees, pear tree, walnuts, and pecans. He had delicious recipes for them all. In autumn the persimmons ripened and remained hanging on the tree into winter where, with a blanket of snow on the ground, they could be plucked and eaten like sugar bombs in God’s natural candy store. I know because I wintered there, and with that fresh country air, and incredible star dome over the old homestead; God got a message through: If your so called “big picture” is manmade, then you have not yet come to see that your thinking is itsy-bitsy. And if you’re depending on a manmade system, you’re depending on an infinitely inferior system. It is not for me to judge how far we can get from our attachment to reality that God provides though the land (Creation) and keep our collective sanity as a people. I know the parable about the wheat and the weeds growing together until harvest time when one is taken up and the other is cast into the fire. But does God's grace mean we Christians are to tolerate the devil as a middleman? Without loyalty, is not our trust in God a lie? We cannot make deals with the devil, lest we partake in a system of food production hijacked by those who hunger for the wrong things, like power, money, and control, and because their sort of hunger knows no end, we help them devour the very land and culture from which our food is grown. We cannot make deals with the devil, for if we do, we aid and abet a system in which love is pushed to the back while, at the same time, sex sells so well it becomes a social obsession, and murdering the unborn becomes a “necessary evil.” We cannot make deals with the devil, lest we turn to science for salvation only to discover that the miracle of modern medicine goes hand-in-hand with a national health crisis of biblical proportion. We cannot make deals with the devil, lest we rely on worldly leaders that promise to provide peace through disarmament while, at the same time, increasing their own security with barricades and machine-guns. We cannot make deals with the devil, lest we become so confused that, we celebrate sodomy as a special expression of love. For love of the wrong things, godless men and women poison our land, our way of life, and our very souls. And all the while, they tell us their way is best. They would replace God’s plan with their own infinitely inferior plan.
 We have gotten ourselves boxed into supporting their godless system, pretending not to, even as we depend it like air and water, just as their dark master would have it. We need a path out into the light, we need the faith and courage to escape a lie, we need a new frontier built on truth. And as always, God is standing directly before us, holding the door open.

Will I stand for God’s truth even if it means losing my worldly securities? I must stand for God, for I cannot support their plan and keep peace in my heart, peace in my soul, peace between myself and God.

On a broad general scale, what does it mean to put God and country before power and money? For example, a music industry executive might make a "killing" promoting music that breeds cultural decay through indecency, but he chooses not to because he puts God and country first. A politician might gain a lot of money for himself and his party by "helping people," but instead he works to return power to the people so they can help themselves. The "little guy" might stretch his dollar farther on cheep foreign-made products, but doesn't because of his love for God and country. Putting God and country first is the hard path for all, but God is graceful, and as His children, we would do well to remember that, although good things are not easily achieved, the easy path is the way of a cutthroat world.



WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR

Perhaps if we could travel back in time and be disciples, following God on foot for countless miles from farm to farm and village to village, doing the all-consuming work that old-fashioned travel demands; we would better understand why God tells us in the Bible that men who talk too much are fools. A man can talk all day about doing the hard thing, and at the end of the day, not be one step closer to getting it done. Better to step blindly forward in faith, and leave the talking to God.

Jesus brought me out of the dark and into the light where I might learn from Him. With my heart on fire, I set out on a journey of faith, and although I knew not what it meant or what the outcome would be; I did know beyond any doubt that I only needed to keep putting one foot before the other in faith, and God would bring good from my effort. I had no map of where I was going, I had done no research, I had no backup person or crew, and I had no phone. I was not a mature Christian, but a newborn. On arriving at my starting point; the danger of what I’d come to attempt appeared as deadly as I was ignorant. My heart was in my throat, but rather than turn back, I kept putting one foot before the other in faith, and praise be to God, it was as if a gate had opened, from which a steady stream of strangers came forward like angels out of the blue. Unsolicited, they offered whatever was needed, they drew me maps, cooked me meals, brought me water, washed my cloths, provided places to sleep, helped me to repair my equipment, and gave me their enthusiasm. This is not to say my path was easy. More than once, I nearly lost my life to a combination of Nature’s fury and my own ignorance or stupidity. But always, God was there, and it certainly seemed that His favorite way of doing business was through His children, bringing them forward to such an extent as to be deemed impossible by the world we are told we live in today. So much so, that by the end of the trail, at every small town, at every farm, in every city, in everyplace that was anywhere; I could not help but expect to see a person holding a sign with my name on it like at an airport, but there was no sign, no airport, and they didn’t know I was coming, they were just there, stepping forward, and I was laughing up to heaven with joy and gratitude – for the lesson had been learned – for there I was with no plan, no map, no cell phone, no GPS, no anything except faith in God.



 The people that stepped forward did so by way of gifts that God had given, gifts too important to ever be forgotten. It was the 200 anniversary of Lewis and Clark, and all along the trail, people knew it. And so, when I came along with a canoe, there was a built in connection to something we all shared, our story, the story of how we came to be, the story of who we are as a people. It is a gift from God, it is a bond that holds us together, and other than God’s truth which is the same for all His children, there is no greater gift to build on than the bond we share as a people.

All people have a story of who they are, and with faith in God, by putting themselves in His hands, can build something greater than their ability to imagine. The way before us may appear impossible, but the story of who we are proves otherwise. It is nothing less than God’s way, one of His infinite ways, of telling us that we can overcome insurmountable odds.


POSTSCRIPT

I wrote this booklet in 2014 -2015, with some polishing work in 2016. It is now just a week into 2017, and there is reason to have hope for the future, but it is dependent on us, it starts in our hearts, we can continue doing what the godless would have us do, or we can step out in faith and build on God’s truth.

My life experience is outside the home, beyond your front door. Think of me as a scout (like in the old cowboy and Indian movies [I’m 90% European SETTLER, and 10% Mongol NOMADIC which gives me shovel shaped teeth, relatively smooth skin, and very dark hair and eyes]). How did I become a scout? My father died suddenly of a heart attack when I was one, but even as God closed that big door, He opened another door that was just as big, a door to the big world, a door that suited His plan for me. He did not leave me unprotected, but made sure I had a good Christian mother who encouraged me to go out into the world from an early age. Without conscious intent, I learned a great deal about my people. I also learned about other people. In friendship, I ate at the same tables and slept under the same roofs with Whites, Blacks, American Indians, Hispanics, and Asians, not through school or work, but as a man drifting though the world in search of himself. And there was also school and work, and rich and poor, right and left, and always my great need to fill the emptiness inside, which was never satisfied until I allowed God back into my heart. Then able to see, I was able to understand my experience in the world. Today I live in rural America where some are rich, and others poor, some right, some left. I am somewhat poor but blessed to have kind neighbors who are rich, meaning they have farms or ranches. We don’t worry about who-has-what as long as we all work hard and, as a community, we take care of one another. We are not without problems (and it would be tremendously helpful if we could have control of our communities, instead of having one hand tied behind our back), but we have hope, for although half-boarded up, we are still standing, still working to save what we love, rural and small town Americans, republicans and democrats, closer to each other than the radically divisive media narrative would have anyone believe. No worldly price can buy our bond, and there is no greater gift to build on.

Whomever your people may be, wherever you are, why not give your considerable efforts to the potential of building on God’s truth instead of wasting your life on a dishonest world? Join the ragtag army of the true King, not to conquer, but simply to build a place called home where streets are safe and streams are clean. It will not be an easy job, but life is not easy. Trying to change the world with words alone is like yelling at a blind person for being blind… they will still be blind when you are done. You have to show faith, you have to be a walking example of faith, because only a miracle can give sight to the blind.

Finally, I have no doubt that my so called “scouting report” falls short in many ways, but of this I am certain: There is a new frontier for those that have the faith and courage to enter it.

Thank you for taking time to read this booklet. And may God bless you!

James Sheldon


PS: I wrote this booklet for Christians. If you are not a Christian and you wish to know the God I speak of, I recommend you start with Sunday School. Then read the Bible on your own from cover to cover. Then read the New Testament again, and again. It may take years, but if you seek God, you will find Him. Begin a personal relationship with Him. Walk with Him on the narrow and difficult path. Be patient, and He will lead you to a broad spiritual plain where, looking back, you will know that your decision to find God was nothing less than a decision between eternal death and eternal life, and your feelings of good fortune will be so great and so deep, this world does not have words good enough to describe them.




























No comments:

Post a Comment