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Monday, November 18, 2013

The Litigators

The LitigatorsThe Litigators by John Grisham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Like all of Grisham's books this was an excellent read. He is such a great story teller. I have not one of his books that I have not throughly enjoyed.


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Undeniably Yours

Undeniably Yours (A Porter Family Novel, #1)Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Excellent read! I personally did not like all of the romanic stuff, the story line was very good. I highly recommend this book for those would enjoy a good Christian fiction romanic novel.  I won this book from faithful reader.com.


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America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great

America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation GreatAmerica the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great by Ben Carson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book outlines Dr. Carson's political views. He is definitely a conservative. If you not know Dr. Ben Carson, then you need to google his name and listen to a few of his speeches. He grew up in a single parent (Mom) home and they struggled. He and his brother both learned valuable lessons from their Mom. She taught both of them the value of hard work. I'm hoping Dr. carson will run for President. I will surely support him.


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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Walking With Giants: An Ordinary Man With Extraordinary Experiences

Walking With Giants: An Ordinary Man With Extraordinary ExperiencesWalking With Giants: An Ordinary Man With Extraordinary Experiences by Elmer L. Towns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Walking With Giants" in the story of Elmer Towns. What life life he has lived. I never knew how many different churches and schools he has been involved with through the years. He is currently on the staff at Liberty University which he help found with Jerry Falwell. He also was the person who found the Baptist University Of America. If you are interested in reading an inspiring biography of a great man of God then this is a book for you!


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Charlotte, North Carolina: A Brief History

Charlotte, North Carolina: A Brief HistoryCharlotte, North Carolina: A Brief History by Mary Norton Kratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful book about the history of Charlotte, NC. I have lived in Charlotte now for over 30 years. A lot of the information in the book I already knew, but many facts I did not know. The following quote from the book I thought was fascinating:

As soon as the predominantly Scots-Irish settlers built their early one-room cabins, they moved their modest goods from the wagons, where they had camped in the interim. Their next concern was always a church. Until the families had a building, they convened in an agreed-upon central spot for preaching - a home, a grove of trees or beneath a large, patriarchal oak, their horses hitched to saplings and their lunches tucked under the wagon seats.

The Scots-Irish brought with them the very serious conviction that education makes the man and the family. To that end, a spiritual leader was sought to teach them. Families often settled within several miles of one another in order to attract a preacher. When, and if, he came (for preachers were scarce), he was the exhorter, the academic and catechistic teacher of children and youth, as well as adults; a one-man cultural resource - no small task even for this era of extraordinary men and women. The community fed on interminable sermons, read Scripture as literature and used the Bible to teach reading and writing. In the "Colonial Records of North Carolina," Governor Dobbs reported seeing a group of settlers at Rocky River. "I set out the 17th of June to view my lands," he wrote. He saw between thirty and forty families and

"except two or three was not less than 5 or 6 to ten children in each family, each going barefooted in their shifts in the warm weather, no woman wearing more than a shift and one thin petticoat. They are a colony from Ireland removed from Pennsylvania of what we call Scotch-Irish Presbyterians who with others in the neighboring Tracts settled together in order to have a teacher of their opinion and choice."

To such eager, serious souls as these at Rocky River came Presbyterian Alexander Craighead, a lightning bolt of a man. He was a revivalist (a "Newsider" as they were called), and by preaching civil liberty, he altered the early county as no one else. Some call him the area's "father of independence."


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Unwritten

UnwrittenUnwritten by Charles Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the best novel I have read this year and maybe the best in years. Charles Martin is a great writer. Even the "Reading Group Guide" which I usually do not enjoy was top notch. The book examines the subject of forgiveness like I have never seen. The "question and answer" section with the author at the end of the book is very interesting. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys novels.  Below find one quote from the book that I trust will encourage you to read the book:

Of the six million species on the planet, only man makes language. Words. What's more - in evidence of the Divine - we string these symbols together and then write them down, where they take on a life of their own and breathe outside of us. Story is the bandage of the broken. Students of the shattered. The tapestry upon which we write our lives. Upon which we lay the bodies of the dying and the about-to-come-to-life. And if it's honest, true, hiding nothing, revealing all, then it is a raging river and those who ride it find they have something to give - that they are not yet empty.


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One Nation Under God: Ten Things Every Christian Should Know About the Founding of America

One Nation Under God: Ten Things Every Christian Should Know About the Founding of AmericaOne Nation Under God: Ten Things Every Christian Should Know About the Founding of America by David C. Gibbs Jr.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you love America and want to learn about how our country was founded on Godly principles, then this book is for you. The author has practiced law for many, many years. I trust you will enjoy the quotes from this book:

… those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.  ~Abraham Lincoln

In a very real way, North America began in 1620 “in the name of God,” as the Mayflower Compact, our very first self-governing document clearly proclaims.  ~David Gibbs, Jr.

In the early 1830’s, a Frenchman came to America to investigate how our nation dealt with prisoners. Instead, he expanded his study and wrote a two-part book about his general observations entitled Democracy in America. Amazingly, after some 170 years, Alexis de Tocqueville’s book is still in print. In the opening of his second volume, de Tocqueville reminds us: “It must never be forgotten that religion gave birth to Anglo-American society.”

G. K. Chesterton was a popular writer who lived in the early part of the 20th century in England. In an essay entitled, “What I Saw in America,” he made this observation: “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence.”

The Bible “is the rock on which our Republic rests.”  ~Andrew Jackson

Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.  ~Daniel Webster

In 1681, William Penn provided a haven in Pennsylvania for Quakers and for all those professing Jesus as the Christ and Savior. He established a community based on both political and religious freedom that would be an example to the nations. Viewing his colony as a “Holy Experiment,” Penn wanted to establish a society that was both Godly and virtuous and to bring “the savage natives by gentle and just manners to the Love of Civil Societ[y] and Christian religion.”

One of the goals of the Georgia Trustees under James Oglethorpe in 1733 was to provide for the conversion of the Indians through the colony’s good discipline and example of just, moral, and religious behavior. Oglethorpe’s first official act as a Trustee in Savannah was to kneel with his company to offer thanksgiving and prayer to God. ~David Gibbs, Jr.

My hope in the One who created us all sustains me: He is an ever present help in trouble …  ~Christopher Columbus

The Pledge of Allegiance was created to honor the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America. The Pledge was written by a Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy (1856-1931) of Boston.   ~David Gibbs, Jr.

Some people now find the Pledge offensive, particularly because of the phrase “under God” which was added by Congress in 1954. President Dwight D. Eisenhower said at the time he signed the law: “FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty. To anyone who truly loves America, nothing could be more inspiring than to contemplate this rededication of our youth, on each school morning, to our country’s true meaning.”

In 1955, President Eisenhower said, “Without God, there could be no American form of Government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first – the most basic – expression of Americanism. Thus the founding fathers of America saw it, and thus with God’s help, it will continue to be.”

Columbus portrayed as a devout and sincere Christian who rejoiced in the souls that would be saved in this new land.  He wrote: “Therefore let the king and queen, the princes and their most fortunate kingdoms, and all other countries of Christendom give thanks to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has bestowed upon us so great a victory and gift. Let religious processions be solemnized; let sacred festivals be given; let the churches be covered with festive garlands. Let Christ rejoice on earth, as He rejoices in heaven, when He foresees coming to salvation so many souls of people hitherto lost.”

No one should be afraid to take on any enterprise in the name of our Savior, if it is right and if the purpose is purely for His holy service.  ~Christopher Columbus

Columbus felt an urgency from the Lord, not merely to open a new trade route, but also to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. His purpose was twofold. First, of course, he wanted to reach Asia. Secondly, in the words of the World Book Encyclopedia, he wanted to use the proceeds from his expedition to “recapture Jerusalem from the Muslims. There, he said, he would rebuild the Jews’ holy Temple and bring on a new ‘Age of the Holy Spirit.’” He wanted to liberate Christ’s holy sepulcher from Muslim ownership back to Christian control. Because of all this, George Grant calls him “the last crusader.”  ~David Gibbs, Jr.

I forbade that they [the Indians] should be given things so worthless as pieces of broken crockery and broken glass, and lace points. … I gave them a thousand good, pleasing things which I had bought, in order that they might be fond of us, and furthermore might become Christians and be inclined to the love and service of Their Highnesses and the whole Castilian nation [Spain], and try to help us to give us of the things which they have in abundance and which are necessary to us.   ~Columbus in a letter to the King and Queen of Spain written on February 15, 1493

Columbus himself tells of the Christian motivation for his voyage in his Book of Prophecies, a volume he wrote in 1505, so named because he quotes many Biblical prophecies:

It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) to sail to the Indies and wonderful things for the earth, and the signs are that the Lord is hastening the. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures.

Columbus elaborates further:

For the execution of the journey to the Indies I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics, or maps. It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah prophesied … These are great end. The fact that [the] gospel must still be preached to so many lands in such a short time – this is what convinces me.

Columbus erected a cross on the landing site, symbolizing the claim of Christ on a land that had not previously been exposed to the Gospel. He named the first island on which they landed “San Salvador,” which translated means “Holy Savior.” Other lands he later named included “Trinidad” (meaning “Trinity”), “Vera Cruz” (meaning “True Cross”), and “Navidad” (similar to our word “Nativity,” meaning Christmas). These Christian names remain to this day.  ~David Gibbs, Jr.

In the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, our nation’s spiritual heritage id honored even today among eight large paintings depicting important moments in American history. About half of these paintings have a direct reference in one way or another to Christ, including the Christian baptism of Pocahontas. One of these paintings depicts Rev. Robinson’s prayer meeting with the Pilgrims on board ship before they departed for America. In the picture, Robinson is holding a large open Bible. The name of Jesus Christ can clearly be seen (upside down) on the open page of the Scriptures. Visitors to Washington, D.C., can visit this very large painting. The picture stands as a beacon of our nation’s true history.   ~David Gibbs, Jr.

What was remarkable about this particular contract [the Mayflower Compact] was that it was not between a servant and a master, or a people and a king, but between a group of like-minded individuals and each other, with God as a witness and symbolic co-signatory.   ~Paul Johnson

The Mayflower Compact begins by recognizing the hand of God who had been leading all along: “In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James. … Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid. …”

Soon after the first Puritans arrived in Salem they called for a day of fasting and prayer in August 1629. Their goal, according to Cotton Mather’s early history of New England, was to settle “a Church State among them, and for making a Confession of their Faith, and entering into an holy Covenant, whereby that Church State was formed. “ ~David Gibbs, Jr.

In a sense, the clergy were the first elected officials of the new American society, a society which to that extent had a democratic element from the start …    ~Paul Johnson

The Bible did not merely govern their [The Puritans] spiritual lives. It also formed the basis for their political views.    ~David Gibbs, Jr.

God alone is Lord of the conscience …  Chapter 21 of “The American Church Manual” written September 30, 1648

The ultimate source of political power, as the Puritans saw it, was God Himself. Human rulers must rule under His dominion.  ~David Gibbs, Jr.

The Puritans did not view politics as a dirty business, as has sometimes been the case for modern Christians. For them, politics was a Biblical undertaking.   ~David Gibbs, Jr.

Rhode Island was a sanctuary for religious dissidents. Roger Williams called his new settlement Providence to honor God for miraculously sparing his life during his winter flight to the colony and also to honor God’s sovereignty over the affairs of man.    ~David Gibbs, Jr.

There is one great God and Power that hath made the world and all things therein, to whom you and I and all people owe their being and well-being, and to whom you and I must one day given an account, for all that we do in the world.    William Penn, in a letter to Indians

The social experiment in a rankles community, where the right of self-determination of every individual was sacred, where God was the final source of authority, succeeded and prospered, and it did so on the simple formula: love-industry-integrity.  Catherine Owens Peare, William Penn’s biographer, reflecting upon the success of the colony and its government based upon Biblical principles.

Liberty without obedience is confusion, and obedience without liberty is slavery.  ~William Penn

This great God hath written His law in our hearts by which we are taught and commanded to love and help and do good to one another and not to do harm and mischief one unto another.   ~William Penn


Religion and government are so intertwined in this document [William Penn’s “Frame of Government” for Pennsylvania] that it is impossible to separate them. To hold public office, one had to be a Christian, but there were no restrictions on denominational affiliation. Furthermore, like Roger William’s colony in Rhode Island, no one could be “molested or prejudiced for their religious persuasion, or practice, in matters of faith and worship, nor shall they be compelled, at any time, to frequent or maintain any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever.”     ~David Gibbs, Jr.

It is very clear that what Penn envisioned for his colony was not freedom from religion, but freedom of religion – not a separation of government from all religion, but a government that respected the religious consciences of all its citizens. He envisioned a place where every man was free, not to live an ungodly life, but to practice his religion in peace, to have the right to rule his own estate, and to participate in making laws and enforcing them. Individual freedom could only work if the people were self-governed and industrious. That statement is as true today as it was in 1680.   ~David Gibbs, Jr.

Any government is only good as its people.  ~David Gibbs, Jr.

William Penn turned down a great deal of money to betray the Indians and declared the following: “I will not abuse the love of God … nor act unworthy of His Providence, by defiling what came to me clean. No; let the Lord guide me by His wisdom to honor His name and serve His truth and people, that an example and a standard may be set up to the nations.”

The whole inspiration of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.  ~Herbert Hoover

The Son is not to be excluded from anything. You cannot point to any natural realm or star or comet or even descend into the depth of the earth, but it is related to Christ, not in some unimportant tangential way, but directly. There is no force in nature, no laws that control those forces that do not have their origin in that eternal Word. For this reason, it is totally false to restrict Christ to spiritual affairs and to assert that there is no point of contact between Him and the natural sciences. ~Abraham Kuyper

During the Revolutionary War, the British Prime Minister, Horace Walpole, remarked to Parliament, “Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson.” That Presbyterian “parson” was Rev. John Witherspoon, the president of Princeton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey.

The little colonial student in early America marched off to his one-room schoolhouse and opened his new reading primer, but instead of reading about Jane and Spot, our little colonial friend was taught to read using magnificent truths based on the Word of God. Here is on example:
An Alphabet of Lessons for Youth
A wise son maketh a glad father, but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure & trouble therewith.
Come unto Christ all ye that labor and are heavy laden and He will give you rest.


It being one chief project of that old deluder; Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures, as in former times by keeping them in an unknown tongue … It is therefore ordered that every township in this jurisdiction, after the Lord hath increased them to fifty households shall forthwith appoint one within their town to teach all such children …  ~The Old Deluder Act, 1647

The “New England Primer,” the book used to teach colonial children to read, included the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostle’s Creed, and the text of many hymns and prayers by Isaac Watts. John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Elbridge Gerry (from whom we get the word gerrymandering), and hundreds of thousands of other colonists learned their ABC’s from this powerful, tiny book. Here is one lesson from the “New England Primer” entitled “A Lesson for Children:”
Pray to God
Love God
Fear God
Serve God
Take not God’s Name in Vain
Do not Swear
Do not Steal
Cheat not in your play
Mind your Book
Call no ill names
Use no ill words
Tell no lies
Hate Lies
Speak the Truth
Spend your Time well
Love your School
Strive to learn

When colonial children learned the alphabet, they also learned key messages from the Bible. There was more Biblical truth imparted in the “New England Primer” for early American school children than is probably preached in the average American church pulpit today. Here is another example of how these children learned the alphabet:
A
In ADAM’S Fall we sinned all.
B
Heaven to find; the Bible Mind.
C
Christ crucify’d for sinners dy’d.

I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth.  ~Martin Luther

One provision included in the Northwest Ordinance states, “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.  ~James Madison

We can learn a lot about Harvard by looking at some of its earliest rules, such as the Laws and Statutes for Students of Harvard College, 1643, which begins by stating: “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3).”

Where there is no religion, there is no morality … With the loss of religion … the ultimate foundation of confidence is blown up; and the security of life, liberty and property are buried in ruins.  Timothy Dwight, President of Yale, 1798

In the early years of Yale, the Word of God was preeminent. Consider, for example, the regulations for Yale College in its new charter in 1745. Here are two of the requirements listed: “All scholars shall live religious, godly, and blameless lives according to the rules of God’s Word, diligently reading the Holy Scriptures, the foundation of light and truth; and constantly attend all the duties of religion, both in public and secret.”

An early advertisement for King’s College (Columbia University) read: “The chief thing that is aimed at in this college is to teach and engage children to know God in Jesus Christ.”

Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.  ~Benjamin Rush, Signer of Declaration of Independence

Under God’s Power She Flourishers  ~Princeton University’s official motto

One early Ivy League school was founded entirely to raise up ministers and missionaries to the Indians.  That school was Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire.

You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.  ~George Washington to the Delaware Indian chiefs

Jonathan Edwards was the third president of Princeton, which at the time was still known as the College of New Jersey.

Jonathan Edwards and his wife Sara (Sara Pierrepont, whom he married in 1727) had eleven children who were all raised to be Godly people. William J. Federer notes:

Their success as parents was revealed in a study done in 1990, showing that their descendants included 13 college presidents, 65 professors, 30 judges, 100 lawyers, a dean of a prestigious law school, 80 public office holders, nearly 100 missionaries, 3 mayors of large cities, 3 governors, 3 United States Senators, 1 comptroller of the United States Treasury, and 1 Vice-Presidents of the United States.

Paul Johnson points out that this Great Awakening “sounded the death-knell of British colonialism.

The Great Awakening helped to forge all sections of the country together.

As John Adams was to put it, long afterwards: “The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the mind and hearts of the people: and change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations.” … The Revolution could not have taken place without this religious background. The essential difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution is that the American Revolution, in its origins, was a religious event, whereas the French Revolution was an anti-religious event.”

Both before and during the Revolutionary War, at least twice a year, and always around the time of local election days, the clergy would preach an election sermon on the state of political affairs.

Rev. Mayhew knew that the power of government was invested in the people. He also knew that the consent of the governed was more important than the petty whims of magistrates who lose their authority to rule over the


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The Family

The Family
Braves Game 2012