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Three questions…

For those who read my thoughts on being the UNITED States of America, and then shared theirs, I have 3 questions:

1st question: Can you give me an example of Christ “caving”, “shying away from the truth” or not standing boldly for what he believed in? Seems to me he was stronger than ALL others, including Barabbas who was indeed calling for Revolution, who was actually killing those who sided with Rome. The people wanted blood. They wanted revolution. They wanted Rome, justifiably I might add here, to pay for what they had done to the Jews and their religion. They even put the Roman eagle on the front of the temple. Do you think they had a right to scream for revolution! More or less than we have?

One reason Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver because he “betrayed the revolution.” They expected the Messiah to be a warrior king. Jesus wasn’t going to give it to them. In fact AFTER the resurrection just before the gift of the spirit, the apostles ask him again! “Now, now is it time?” Did Jesus cave or did Jesus have a better way?

How about Gandhi? Or Martin Luther King? Do you have more injustice today than blacks in the 1950′s? Was not our Constitution made to protect them too? Did it? Was America their country as well? Did they feel like their country was taken from them? Imagine the promise of America being offered with Lincoln only to have it ripped away during Reconstruction! So when the hoses were knocking blacks down to the ground and dogs were unleashed and the Governor of a state says “segregation now and forever”, when the freedom riders were physically pulled out of their busses and beaten on the way to a peaceful march – was Martin Luther King a coward? A sell out? Were Malcolm X AND the Weather Underground right?

Which side was on the side of Christ? Ayers or King?

I contend that this job is so hard and such a no win that there is a reason the men who do it are flawed. MLK was not the best man for the job. He was not good to his wife. He was not a total man of honor, yet, he was used by God. Why? HOW MANY PEOPLE TURNED GOD DOWN OUT OF FEAR OR RAGE?

2nd question: Why do you assume that because you love, care for, comfort and refuse to call for vengeance, blood, or violence, that you are also not standing for the truth? Why is it either or?

3rd question: Who does Christ DEMAND, not ask, but demand us to love? When he was dying, what was the thing The Lord asked of his Father? Forgive them. Yeah okay but that is Christ. “I’m not Jesus”. Great. How about Stephan? The rage of the crowd was so intense, BECAUSE HE SPOKE THE TRUTH, that they grabbed him and began to literally bite him and tear at his flesh with their teeth. They took him out of the city walls, and Saul at the zenith of evil held the men’s cloaks so they wouldn’t get blood on them while they stoned him to death. What was his request? “Please Lord, do not add this to their sins. Forgive them”

Was Stephan a wuss? Did he cave? No. In the end I can think of no better way to die. Praising God, seeing Him literally come to you and asking for forgiveness of your killers.

Do you or me or anyone in America have it worse than Stephan? Or any of the apostles? Do we have a more righteous cause?

I know many in my audience and beyond will not agree or want to walk with me. I am okay with that. I am okay with losing everything. But I am not okay with losing who The Lord has asked me to be. I will never stop speaking out or standing up. I will always speak my mind and demand a return to the Constitution. But it is a wholly inadequate system for an unrighteousness and immoral people. Let us turn to Him. Beg him to heal our nation and our land and prove to him that we are indeed worthy because we will obey the commandments. The greatest being love thy neighbor.

Many things can be said about Jesus, but Jesus being a coward is not one of them. I will do my best to follow His example. I will stumble and fall as I am not Him, but I will die trying.

I love you. I really do. I have the greatest audience I really believe in all of Global media. I know who you are. You are much better than the few that are crying for revolution. Be careful what you hope for. When our founders declared independence none of them did it with rage, it was sober and prayerful. Washington knew divine providence was the only way to beat the all powerful British. Do you believe we even understand divine providence?

We will win in the end. Beyond what you even imagine now. This is for a global win. Man has never been as free as he will be if we do ONLY as The Lord commands. LOVE is the answer, softer hearts not harder, and kindness not vengeance.

I will be the Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan did not love the Jew who was lying beaten and half dead on the road. The Samaritans hated Jews. But this particular Samaritan rose above the valid reasons to walk on by and became a part of the solution.

I invite you to walk with me. I will stand with anyone else that refuses to hate, and I will hold up everyone who stands in The Truth and chooses love. I do not worship the Constitution, I worship The Author of the Rights.

We must become the UNITED States of America again

His portrait fades and his memory is gone.
An earthquake cracked his tower of stone
but his voice still cries “Charge on, Charge on!”

No surrender and no retreat,
First in war and first in peace,
A father, soldier and citizen,
He gave his soul to God, and his heart to his countrymen.

From Lady liberty to the California sun,
We keep looking for another one.
We will find our hope where we started from,
May God bless America with another George Washington!

When you give your soul to God and your heart to your countrymen.
-Lyrics from Tom Douglas’ “Washington”, Restoring Love – Cowboy Stadium 2012

Last night my family attended “Freedom Fire” with about 8000 Americans in a small town called Logan City. The little ones, having been raised too long in New York City and never been exposed to Kansas “City” didn’t understand how Logan was a “City”. I didn’t know how to answer other than saying, “size doesn’t define a city – the people do”. Pretty good for being as distracted as I was. I should have thought more deeply of the full meaning of that statement. It is true about a family or a country as well.

The “city”, upon learning that was going to be in attendance, had asked me, the day before the event, to say a few words. I agreed. The next morning, I saw story that I was going to “say something” on the front page of the local paper. Above the fold! Not something that would happen in that local New York “City” paper. That I was going to speak was not the point of the story, the point it seems was that I was going to “say something”.

As I read the story, I was struck by the fact that even though I had only agreed to speak around 4 pm the afternoon before, not only was it in the paper, but the reporter had found the time to learn of the “outrage” of some that had already called the Mayor and the University where the event would be held.

The local reporter asked for an interview as did the local radio station. In seeing that the radio station would air it live, so no edits or spin would be possible, I chose the radio station, which was not an affiliate of mine.

It was hosted by three really smart, fair and talented men. One left, one right and a libertarian. They were honest and frank. Two told me up front, they did not like me. The guy on the left and the conservative. I was so glad that I had chosen the radio station. It was a chance at honesty and real dialogue. In the end, I left a fan and with three new friends.

I spent forty minutes with them but only ten with the audience in the stadium where I was to ‘say something’. I know the hosts heard the message, but because I didn’t get the one on one with the audience along with another important reason, I am not sure I was able to make myself clear to those in the stadium.

I also wasn’t able to speak with you on this holiday, so let me share with you the words that were on my heart that I think are important for me to say. Whether they are important to hear is up to you.

I know what I have said in the past was controversial. Some of it foolish, some of it wrong, some of it poorly worded. But on the same page, some of it right and some of it needed to be said. For those things that were said by me that caused needless division, I am deeply sorry. For those things that drew sharp lines around truth and deceit that were spoken out of a love of God, country, and a plea to return to common values - I do not regret that I said them. I do, however, regret that I had to be the one to say them.

The truth does set you free. But what, all too often, we overlook is that, many times, the truth will make you miserable first. It usually makes the messenger the most miserable first, because he knows that far too often he will be the one blamed. A messenger, loyal to the message, accepts that risk and relies on the hope that the message will at some point be heard.

Today I have another message that I regret having to deliver.

I believe we are a nation at, in or very near civil war.

The first shot hasn’t been fired yet. “Fondly do I hope and fervently do I pray – that this ‘mighty scourge’ might speedily pass away”, Lincoln said.

But if we are to reverse this course maybe we should look at his words again.

“Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looks to read the same bible, and pray to the same God and each invokes His aid against each other. … but let us not judge lest we be judged. As it was said three thousand years ago, so it must be said, ‘the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.’”

The first civil war pitted the North and South against each other and thousands died. But the fact is, that division still exists in many ways. It doesn’t seem to matter that “for every drop of blood drawn by the lash, was paid by another drawn with the sword.” The battle still rages, the wounds are not allowed to heal.

That was a civil war fought in the 1860s. It was over something that had to be stopped the scourge of slavery. If indeed I am correct in my assessment that we are in a cold civil war, not north vs. south, but neighbor against neighbor, let me ask: What is this conflict over?

I would answer: The Truth. There really is only one truth. We can disagree on healthcare and taxes. But the truth is not subjective in cases like the VA. Are there secret waiting lists so workers gain bonuses? Yes. Are we killing US citizens with drones without a trial? Yes. Is the NSA spying on you, me, members of Congress and terrorists? Yes. Are we enforcing the rule of law equally and blindly? No.

But if I asked the average person in the street what is this conflict over – what would they say? In the end, it would boil down to our ‘uniforms’. Republicans vs. Democrats.

“He started it!”
“oh yeah, well you were the one…”

It is at this point the adult in the room is supposed to say firmly;

“Knock it off!”

Where are the responsible adults? We agree on the truth. At least the Left voted against these things under Bush, while the Republicans defended them. Now, in this never ending game of musical chairs the roles are reversed.

This was my point last night and will be my point and message going forward in clearer and specific examples: I will take responsibility for my actions. I will tell you that I was wrong on the war in Iraq, the PATRIOT Act, drones and in many ways, the Republican Party. The Left was right.

Will you join me? Put your sword and shield down. Don’t worry about the splinter in the others eye, but instead take the beam out of yours. I don’t have a beam by the way, I believe I have an entire forest to remove from my eyes so I will be very busy for quite awhile.

We must again become the UNITED States of America again. It may be our last chance to save the Union that has indeed changed the world.

We have so much in common. More than any of us want to even admit. But the biggest is our heritage. At some point someone in our family came to these shores because the Constitution offered an opportunity for a better life. Even though those whose ancestors were brought here for the most evil of all of man’s desires, have a life is better than it would have been if they were born anywhere else on the planet. For all of our problems, that is not a fact that can be disputed. It does not justify the act, but it allows one to make sense of the senseless and move forward and build a positive life.

But, we have an even greater heritage, our common ancestry to a Heavenly Father. We indeed are brothers and sisters whether we like it or not. We are family, and just like family we are not required to agree or even always like each other. But as our Eternal Father commands, we must “love each other”. My earthly dad put it this way, “When all is said and done, we are still family and that never changes. In the end, family is all that matters and all that we’ve got.”

Let me say again, I am not just sorry for ‘how you may have interpreted’ the things that I have said in the past. I am actually deeply sorry for things I have said and done that have helped drive the wedge between us deeper. I ask for your forgiveness. I do not expect you to forget.

But I do ask you to understand a man cannot change overnight, he can only try to be better everyday. I will make mistakes again, I will say things that are stupid again. I live 4 out of every 24 hours live on air. I challenge you to not look for my mistakes, but perhaps spend time working on where you may be in error.

No matter if I am a perfect man from here on out, or if I were even hit by a bus today, the story will never be written: “Glenn Beck changes his life, or killed in freak bus accident – America heals”.

For America to heal, we must actively “bind up this nations wounds – to care for those who have fought this great battle, their widows and orphans.” We must be the good Samaritan. We must bind the wounds, care for and actually love those we supposedly hate or hate us.

Let us begin this Independence weekend by embracing each other on the bigger principles. Let us declare ourselves independent of the “old world”, full of old stereotypes and thoughts. Let us, let go of people telling us who we are, what to think or what to do. Let us view our problems as “liberating strife” and begin the long process of being better men and women than we were even five minutes before.

Let it be sung of us:
“who more than self, their country loved –
And mercy more than life”

We have no King but a Heavenly King. He commands us to love one another while the kings of this earth tell us to hate one another. We, each, need to ask ourselves: which King will I serve?

Let us unite at the feet of our American Father Abraham. Abraham Lincoln. Let us BEGIN to “bind up the wounds of this nation with malice toward none and charity toward all.”

It is my prayer that I may look back on this coming year and say quietly and meekly to myself that I did the best I could to live worthy of the stewardship of those rights and responsibilities that God has seen fit to graciously shed on me.”

I wonder if the “city” paper reported above the fold that I have now “said something?” If they actually heard me, they did. If they didn’t, perhaps it was because I didn’t state it as clearly as I did here. I hope they understand and forgive my reasons. Last night, I didn’t want to say anything overtly political at the ceremony marking our political birth.

I will continue to attempt to find my way in the days to come so in the end all success will be nobleness and every gain divine.

Glenn: I’m becoming my grandfather

A couple of years ago, I built a home nestled in a canyon between two mountains on the edge of a national forest.

It is where I go to rest, reflect and center my family and myself. It is a small house and none of the doors match. The architects and builders who worked on it didn’t understand what I was doing at first. The plans had called for these beautiful doors and matching cabinetry throughout. Instead, we went to old yard sales and second hand stores and bought old dressers and vanities and made them into sinks for the bathrooms. We said no to the heavy $1500 doors and purchased 10 or twelve old used doors for no more than a 100 bucks each. None of them matched in either size or color. We had them installed as almost all shook their heads.

“Why would this family that could have the best, use these doors and cabinets?” They all wondered. What they figured out once it was finished, was – we had a different definition of “best”. We wanted something real. Authentic. Something that felt like the house my grandfather built.

Grandpa Janssen was a jack-of-all-trades. A man who never made it to the fourth grade, yet could speak or understand at least four languages. He couldn’t read and he made sure no one knew that, as he was the top machinist at Boeing in Seattle. Little did his bosses know he couldn’t read any of the blue prints. He didn’t need to, he could figure it out.

My grandfather never had a lot of money and so everything he built was from scrap and nothing matched and yet strangely in the end, just like our small home in the mountains, everything matched.

Last night, I think I became my grandfather.

In the summer, back on his tiny farm we would come to visit and work all summer, feeding the chickens, cleaning out the coupes and gathering the eggs. I don’t think we ever got “paid” – it was just what we did. The summer nights were hot and there wasn’t an air-conditioned house on the entire street. I would always sleep in the attic. It was hotter up there, but without the attic it was a one-bedroom house. My sisters would sleep with my grandma downstairs where it was cooler and my grandfather would open the door smaller than the rest and climb the impossibly steep steps to the attic where the two of us would try to sleep. We rarely fell to sleep rapidly. It wasn’t just the heat or lack of breeze. Rather, it was my grandfather’s stories of his childhood and life, be them made up or true.

It was hot last night at the base of “my mountain”.

Tania and Cheyenne slept in the kid’s room while Raphe and I opened up the windows in my room and tried to get to sleep. We didn’t try very hard and it wasn’t the heat or lack of breeze.

First we talked about the events of the day, the hard work rounding up the cows, mending a fence, looking for badgers and my sons first time “loping” with his horse. Suddenly I felt my grandfather’s life merging with mine. I smiled and told my son some of the tales that my grandfather told me as we tried to get to sleep. We laughed, shushed each other as to not wake the others in the house. And before long, I had pulled out the flashlight next to the bed stand.

I, just as my grandfather had done, propped it on my pillow and we began to make shadow puppets on the wall. Cops and robbers quickly followed birds and bears. It was in the middle of a bear vs. Godzilla fight when my wife suddenly appeared and simple said, “Boys, knock it off and go to sleep.”

We both sheepishly grinned and said that we were sorry and that she was right.

I kissed my son good night as he snuggled close by my side, safe, content and sleepy. As I lay there smiling, I reflected on just how much I love and miss my grandfather. It was at that moment that I remembered my summers in the attic as with the help of the moonlight I could just make out my mismatched door.

The poetry of small towns

I have been in our small town in Idaho for the last ten days. Simple. Farmers. Salt of the earth.

People who rely on God for their crops. Pray when to plant, pray for rain, pray not too much, pray for heat, not too much, pray on when to cut the fields, pray that there is no rain until you can bale it (three days), pray for thanks and begin again.

Most farmers are broke financially. Yet spiritually they are the richest people I know. Two reasons:

1. You must remain a partner with God and trust He knows what He is doing because at best you are still guessing when to plant and cut.

2. Because someone around your farm is going to fail even if you don’t and if you succeed this year, you may be the one that fails next year. Thus: You have a reason to help your neighbor. You all know that “there by the grace of God go I.”

As I watch these people and see how they live I see the solutions. Nations forget as they become industrialized. They move into cities and no longer even see the canvas of the master painter. The full expanse of the sky. It seems as we grow rich financially, the more arrogant and spiritually bankrupt we become. We no longer see ourselves as partners with The Eternal, we begin to see life as dog eat dog and our problems become bigger as our neighbors become invisible.

What a simple answer to our problems. Yet, how difficult, possibly impossible, to actually do without a farm.

As I was in church today I listened to the choir. For a while we attended church right at Lincoln Center in NYC. I remember one Sunday, as we all began to sing, that somehow, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was visiting and all sitting all around me in the pews. No, it was just a place on earth where some of the most talented performers happened to attend church. Today, my neighbors stood to sing. The farmers, the guy who works at the car lot, a few retired heroes, their wives and children. What I heard was not what those at Lincoln Center would describe a technically flawless, but the music I heard was more perfect than I ever heard in any of the great concert halls.

I have carried that sound in my head all day and tried to understand why it effected me the way it did. There was something more to it than just lyrics, notes and singers. As I picked up John Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ to read this afternoon it hit me. Almost every word in that book is poetry. Beautifully written. But, at first, you are left with the impression that he as a writer, is almost mocking who and everything these Okies are. I don’t know Steinbeck’s history well enough to know his motivation but in his writing I found the answer I was looking for. What I heard today was the original.

It was authentic. It was real.

In the big city it is easy to find things and talented people that can paint, act, write or sing songs that make your heart swell with that warm, sweet feeling of something bigger than you, me or the piece of art. But, most times, what you are finding is what I found in Steinbeck: a mere reflection or echo of the authentic art that those simple people in the small no name towns live everyday. All of the great art of America was composed to reflect the people I listened to in this small church on the edge of a town that only has maybe two stop lights.

What we are looking for to uplift, inspire, and model is found here in the small town at the base of a mountain in Idaho. Real people who rely on something bigger than themselves and in the end each other.

The world mocks these people and the way they live. The children, including in my case as a teenager race to leave these towns to head to the cities. People will say, there is “nothing to do or see there” or that these towns “don’t have any culture.” They are right if you believe that art hangs on a wall.

There aren’t any museums, concert halls or poetry corners in America’s small towns, because the music is in the peoples spirit love and charity, the art is in their weathered faces and calloused hands and the poetry is in the way they live their lives.

The kids and I making banana boats by the fire

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Cheyenne making banana boats. Sliced banana, chocolate and marshmallows, wrapped in foil and cooked over the open fire.

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Raphe consuming one and dad through the smoke at the fire having sliced apples in coconut palm sugar.

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Yum.

We are reading by the fire every night.  The Work and the Glory by Lund (classic for our faith) and tonight we begin Michael Vey 4.   Final edits are due Monday so I am trying it out on the kids this week for one final tweak.

I am also reading Psalms 91 and as a family we are re-reading Acts.  Tonight we finished Acts 5.

WATCH: Glenn and family riding horses out West

Glenn and his family are at their ranch this week. They go out there to get away from the hustle and bustle of Dallas, taking advantage of their time out West to bond as a family. On Friday, they went out as a family to ride horses.

Here’s a brief video from their adventure:

Glenn wrote:

I am wearing bandanas like some train robber from allergies. On so much my Benadryl I am half asleep in the saddle. Any suggestions beside a wet handkerchief like my grandfather used to do? When I get back excuse the strange tan lines. I know what a farmers tan is, and already have one of those but now I have a Jessie James tan with the line running from ear to ear. :)

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There’s something about the guy in this video you won’t believe

I have a tattoo. I know a ton of people who have them. I love mine. I am torn. I shouldn’t have defaced God’s work, but I was young. No one can see my tattoo as it is around my ankle. I learned this from my father, he got a tattoo on his arm while serving. He hated it and always wore long sleeves to cover it. I like mine.

So why am I telling you this? Watch this video:

Tania and I think this is sad. I don’t judge him. I would love to talk to him. Why? Why this tattoo? Who was he before, who is he now? Why did he want to stop being who he was born to be? Has he thought about looking in the mirror at 80?

Why would he pick the biological weapon symbol for his heart? I think this is an amazing conversation starter. To each his own but this, to me, is sad. But then again, many people find me sad. :)

Lessons and musings from the ranch

Horses.

I love them.

I am highly allergic to them.

We have three at the ranch: Snowflake, Belle and Napoleon. Guess which one I like? For people that have listened for a long time or know me personally, they would guess Snowflake or Belle. (I can here the jokes even up here in the mountains – Stu and Pat!)

Napoleon is a huge black horse, he has a bit of quarter horse in him I am told, but I don’t know anything about horses except they aren’t that different from people. Last year, when Snowflake almost bucked one of us off, we thought, at first, she had seen a snake. Nope. Then as she began to walk funny we thought she had a rock caught in her hoof. Nope. She was just done with the ride. To put it kindly, she is “spirited.” I call her El Diablo and I think Napoleon does as well. This morning I went in to the corral and found bite marks on Napoleon. Some horses are just mean, just like people. Sometimes they are mistreated or neglected while other times they just develop bad habits over time and feel the need to ‘show you who’s boss”.

I took Napoleon to another corral on the other side of the barns.

I love him and I like to think he loves me.

Today, I went into his new corral and he followed me around. Rubbed his face on my chest and we stood eye to eye. He actually had to bend down quite a bit as he towers over me. He is my buddy and I would do anything for him. It is weird how quickly you can become attached to an animal. When we went for a ride up into the mountains Monday, we knew we had each other’s back. We knew it again this morning. As the hives began to form on my hands and arms and my throat began to close just a bit again today, I ignored it for as long as I could.

I fed him a couple of apples while we talked about the state of the country. He looked at me and spoke through his big brown eyes. “the answers are not easy, but they are simple”, I imagined him saying to me. “Kindness, gentleness, compassion and love.”

It isn’t the wisdom of a big black horse who has never seen the world, read a book or traveled farther from his home than maybe the state fair. It is the wisdom of the universe that is encoded in all of life. We can all hear it, if we just can find a way to slow down and listen to the whispering of the eternities.

How does chewing gum change your appearance?

This shows us how little things that don’t matter, matter. I may never not chew gum again.

From ScienceDump.com:

An age-old social stigma says that chewing gum gives a bad impression. But is that true? Beldent debunks this myth and offers proof using a real-life experiment, in a new and unique campaign conceived by Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi.

WATCH: