Category Archives: george washington

Monday Morning Prayer

George Washington’s Prayer Journal

From William J. Johnson, George Washington, The Christian (New York: The Abingdon Press, 1919).

Monday Morning Prayer:

O eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul.

Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life.

Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the Gospel. Give me repentance from dead works. Pardon my wanderings,  and direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation. Teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments. Make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber. But daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life. Bless my family, friends and kindred unite us all in praising  and glorifying thee in all our works begun, continued, and ended, when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed Saviour, who hath taught us thus to pray, our Father.

World history collided with American history today in class, as my seventh graders reached the birth of the United States in their studies.  I read this prayer to them before class and as they bowed their heads, they listened intently to the words penned by George Washington in his journal.  Coming to the final words, I quietly said, “…who hath taught us thus to pray, our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name….” and continued on, with a chorus of voices joining me in reciting the Lord’s Prayer.  It was one of those moments in time that God “is”.    God collided with our World history class today and it was a glorious moment.


George Washington v. Barack Obama, the Jury is Out

Obama

The life that counts must toil and fight,

Must hate the wrong and love the right:

Must stand for truth, by day, by night-

This is the life that counts.  – Anonymous

There are two phrases repetitively used in regard to the kings of the nation Isreal as found in the Biblical records.  It is black and white when dealing with their morality and character.  “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” or “He did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord”.  The narrative included the king’s acts and political decisions as they lined up with his obedience to the law of God.  What the king did affected the nation and the people followed his lead.  Good kings encouraged moral behavior in the people and evil kings lead the people in the ways of the heathen nations surrounding them.

I was reading a section in II Chronicles 24:17-20 this morning, causing me to reflect on the kings of Israel and the “kings” of America.

After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king and he listened to them.  They abandoned the temple of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and worshiped Asherrah poles and idols.  Because of their guilt, God’s anger came upon Judah and Jerusalem.  Although the Lord sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen.  Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest.  He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands?  You will not prosper.  Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.'”.

I realize that this was specifically written about this kingdom and this specific king, yet does not history repeat itself and shouldn’t we learn what we can from the mistakes of those who lived before?

I wonder what the God of Israel would say about the “kings” of America?  How would He label each man that has “ruled” from the Oval Office?  Should George Washington be the archetype for all successive Presidents as King David was for the kings of Israel?  And if so, how should we rate the leaders of the past 200 years?  Is is too offensive today, too intolerant, to say that a leader does “right” or “evil” in the eyes of the Lord?  Or perhaps, we will just remove the eyes of the Lord all together and pretend He doesn’t exist.

to-kill-a-mockingbird-first-editionAtticus Finch, the lawyer in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird lived in a small town in the segregated South during the 1930’s. He takes on a case to represents an innocent black man against two deceitful white men.  Finch knew he would face hate and prejudice from the community as well as the jury, but he was compelled to speak and act on this man’s behalf because it was the moral thing to do.  He spoke the truth boldly in the face of opposition.

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. – spoken by Atticus Finch, by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

In our Nation’s history, many have been like Finch and have spoken the truth in the face of opposition.  As I write this post, I think about the courageous prophets mentioned in the Bible who spoke out against immorality and called the kings of Israel to repentance.  I ponder whether my pen is mighty enough to effect change in my country and if my courage will waver should the “king and his officials” come against my freedom of conscience and speech.

The direction that America is heading is far more complicated than just liberal and conservative politics.  Political thought stems from a deeper understanding of right and wrong, truth and evil.  Proverbs 27:19 says, “As  water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”  One’s political thought reflects what is in one’s heart.  If the basis of our Nation’s political thought has been guided by hearts that are far from the Truth of the Bible, and I submit that it is, then our Nation is in no better shape than Judah and Jerusalem was in the Scripture. “You will not prosper.  Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.” II Chronicles 24:20

My fellow bloggers, why do you blog?  Is is to make a name for yourself in the vast community of type and thought?  Is it to push to elect a different man or woman?  Or is there a passion to spark a fire of real repentance and change in America?  It begins with us, the individuals, to be willing to be what we require our leaders to be and to hold them accountable to a standard that has been placed so low, that anyone can slither their way into political office if they have enough money and power behind them.  Is this the America we want, or do we demand an America that requires its leaders to lead wearing the same honest shoes that George Washington wore?  Our first President, the archetype to what a President should be said,  “I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” His honesty however wasn’t based on a human standard, for one person’s white lie is another man’s vice; but his standard was the Bible.   We as individuals should live by that standard of honesty and in doing so, require our leaders, from the PTA to the President of the United States to live and lead by such a virtue.

It is better to declare the truth and be rejected, than to withhold the truth just to be accepted.

george-washington-prayer


Harvey Milk a Hero?

What does Harvey Milk have in common with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.?  Absolutely nothing!  Yet his supporters in California desire to elevate him to the same position that these great men hold in history by honoring him with his own “special” day.  What did Harvey Milk ever do that places him on equal footing with Presidents, Veterans and Independence Day?  Absolutely nothing!   He was a vocal, flamboyant politician with an agenda, able to use his charisma and connection to make legislation happen.  How is that much different from any of the politicians today?  Perhaps instead of a Harvey Milk Day in the Public Schools of California, we should make it “fair” for all politicians and call it “Politicians Who Push Their Agenda Day”.  If Harvey Milk had not been murdered by a fellow politician, he wouldn’t be getting a day, but because of his death, he has been raised to iconic status, for being an effective community leader.  What I ask should be the criteria of such an honor?  What gives an individual “hero” status deserving of singular attention by a school board, state or nation?

noah_webster_dictionary_1828HE’RO, n. [L. heros; Gr. a demigod.]

1. A man of distinguished valor, intrepidity or enterprise in danger; as a hero in arms.

2. A great, illustrious or extraordinary person; as a hero in learning. [Little used.]

3. In a poem, or romance, the principal personage, or the person who has the principal share in the transactions related; as Achilles in the Iliad, Ulysses in the Odyssey, and Aeneas in the Aeneid.

4. In pagan mythology, a hero was an illustrious person, mortal indeed, but supposed by the populace to partake of immortality, and after his death to be placed among the gods.

America has lowered the bar for what defines a hero and because of this mis-definition, anyone can claim the title without doing anything for his or her fellow man.   Harvey Milk is not a hero, he is not a man distinguished by valor, intrepidity or enterprise in danger.  He may have served in the armed forces and we thank him for that service, but this does not deem him hero status and worthy of a day named in his honor.  He lived a lifestyle that he chose to promote through the political process, rising up through the ranks and fighting for his homosexual community.  But that doesn’t elevate him to hero status either, as most politicians fight for what he or she believes in, passionately and persistently. This is the just part of the job and Harvey Milk did his job.  Give him a shiny gold star for his star chart and an “Atta boy”, but don’t give him a day of honor!

To place Harvey Milk on the level with great American’s who in fact hold hero status because of their lives, their personal integrity and character is to negate the very actions that have made these individuals great and worthy of honor.  We place hero status on athletes, actors, musicians and politicians, for what?  What have most of these people done that can be deemed worthy of honorable mention?  Most have gained popularity at best and infamy at worst, without a hint of serving their fellow man.  Yet even in following the golden rule, one should never seek recognition, as this should be part of a civil society, not a heroic deed!

The firemen who saved people from the Twin Towers melting frame are heroes, because though it was their job, they continued to work around the clock for the love of their fellow man. Where is their calendar day?  Why doesn’t the California School Board have a day for heroic 911 volunteers?jason

What about the men and women who have paid the most extravagant price, serving our countryand giving up their lives to protect our rights to even have this conversation?  What about Cpl. Jason L. Dunham of Scio, New York, who posthumously received America’s highest military decoration two years and nine months after succumbing to a mortal brain injury while fighting in Iraq? What about the soldiers who have given it all and their families who have sacrificed their loved ones for America.  Perhaps they could have a day named in their honor for the California Public School system.

The mothers and fatherswho care for their cancer ridden child, living in and out of hospitals and fighting for every second of their belovelauren cancerd child’s life is worthy of hero status.  Where is their day California?  What about the heroism of the child who undergoes chemotherapy and radiation, fighting to live, longing to play again?  Do not these real life heroes deserve more recognition than Harvey Milk?

SchwarzeneggerSigning

The Harvey Milk Day SB 572 is now lying on the desk of Governor Schwarzenegger. He has vetoed similar legislation, but is under much pressure to sign it into law this time.  If signed, according to an email that is circulating, SB 572 would pressure every California public school to have an official Harvey Milk Day promoting the homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual agenda to children as young as kindergarten. The bill is written so broadly, that SB 572 would allow schools to determine what it considers suitable commemorative exercises.

State Senator Mark Leno reintroduced the bill and had Sean Penn the actor who played Harvey Milk at his side.  Leno said that Penn’s Oscar demonstrates to Schwarzenegger that Harvey Milk now has “provincial interest” and therefore the Governor should sign it into law.

harvey milk

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.   Keller, Helen

Let our voices be the tiny pushes of honest Americans speaking loudly to Sacramento and to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger letting him know that Harvey Milk should not have hero status or a day on the calendar. Call Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at 916-445-2841 and let your opinion be known.