Pondering and meandering

Hopefully by now everyone has power restored. The only thing I have a problem with when power goes out, is not being able to take a bath.
Though many say the quote “cleanliness is next to Godliness” as being in the Bible, it is not. There is one verse, and probably others as well, that could be construed as advocating that idea. Psalm 19:9.
I can handle it for about a day and a half, but that’s about all. Thank the Lord, we didn’t have to worry about it this time around. If so, I would have been knocking on a friend’s house asking to use the shower.
We get so used to modern conveniences and begin taking them for granted.
I wish our furbaby felt the same way about baths. But, alas, she doesn’t. She doesn’t like them at all. We have to physically pick her up and put her in the tub for a bath and then hold her there until done. She acts happy once it’s over but bathing her is anything but fun.
We’ve tried many things, including the hose outside which she likes drinking out of, but that didn’t work. She loves running and playing in the pond, at least on the edge, and loves the edge of the beach water, but anything over her knees and she freaks out.
As a puppy we envisioned getting her a lifejacket and taking her on a boat ride with us and having her play in the pool with us. Nope, nada, she’s not having anything to do with that kind of fun.
She doesn’t like going out in the rain, either but will out of necessity at times. She doesn’t want to wear any type of garment either, so there’s no use me thinking about getting her a doggie raincoat.
We can’t figure out why she is this way about water, but after five years, we’ve realized this is just who she is and we have to accept it and deal with it.
With Boxers, it’s kind of mixed bag anyway. Most don’t like water, but there are some which do. My previous Boxer, Rhett, loved the water. When he came down with arthritis, it seemed to relieve it some by him getting in the pond.
It’s the same with cats, though cats who like the water are really a rarity. I have had one, Benjamin, who loved the water. He would walk into the shower while you were bathing and get under the water. If you took a bath, he wanted to get in with you. He loved walking in the rain. Such personality.
He also loved riding in the car and would get in every time a car door opened, which was unusual. So when he went missing one day, I am sure he got into someone’s car and they didn’t know it. Benjamin was always up for an adventure and I could even get him to ride on one of the horses with me from time to time. He was very affectionate and not persnickety like some cats. He never turned down attention and never failed to give you plenty. I haven’t had a cat with that much personality since. In fact, David is allergic to cats so we don’t have one at all since Cally married and took hers with her.
I cannot believe the number of cats and dogs that were abandoned during the two hurricanes. Our pets are like part of the family. Roxie is the child David and I couldn’t have so we would never just up and leave her. She wouldn’t know what was going on and would be scared to death. Dogs and cats do have feelings. If we ever have to evacuate, you can bet she will be with us.
We recently had to leave her for my daughter to take care of when we attended a funeral in Texas and it was not only hard to do, she hasn’t settled down from it quite yet. She is even more clingy than before and looks worried when we leave the house.
I’m hoping that this will eventually change and she will feel more secure.
Pets are like children in that there are just some things they can’t do for themselves and when we bring one into our family, we should be responsible enough to take care of them for the duration of their lives.
I can’t imagine our lives without our furbaby. She makes us laugh, provides comfort and love. I can tell her anything knowing she will never repeat a word of it to anyone else and she listens as if she understands every word.
There’s nothing like coming home after an exhausting and hard day to a loving dog who is glad to see you no matter what. It’s the kind of behavior humans should exhibit toward other people all the time.
Pastor Myke Harbuck recently did a sermon on how we are treating people who were created in the image of God. It spoke volumes to my heart when I look around at all that is happening in the world today with people. God created man in His own image. The Bible clearly tells us that fact. So every person on earth was created in His image and we should treat them accordingly whether we think they deserve to be treated well or not. Certainly something to think about in our interactions with people. Blessings.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Lessons to learn from storm

Hurricanes have devastated portions of our country and it will take years to restore some of the things lost. We must remember if we have our lives, the rest is just stuff. Yes, tragically lives were lost as well and those losses will be felt forevermore.

There are some lessons we can take away from the Hurricanes. As Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are to be prepared at all times, we should be as well. Of course you don’t want to stockpile bread unless you freeze it and in the event of a power outage, it could defrost. But flashlights, batteries, candles, canned goods, etc. can be purchased way ahead of time and kept on hand for such emergencies.
For those who cannot possibly survive without their cell phones, they make special chargers that will hold a charge when power is out. Personally, I can survive without mine and there are days I wish they had never been invented. Then, I see a touching photo or an encouraging word and I appreciate it for those times.
One huge lesson, is that it can happen to any of us at any time. We just never know so have your affairs in order at all times. The Bible also tells us to be prepared. We should be looking for Jesus to return at any moment and live accordingly.
What is great to me is that everyone steps up to help each other during times of tragedy. Each of us can do something even when we are going through things. Whether it’s provide a meal, water, necessities or a shelter. Sometimes it might only be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on or just to provide a hug. We need each other and should always be kind to each other and help when and where we can.
I am so thankful that we did not lose power during this storm. We have lattice stripped off the deck, damage to our fireplace chimney and trees down in back which destroyed the back fence, debris everywhere, but we are unharmed and all that stuff is just minor in comparison.
We’ve got to start thinking differently and if these recent storms don’t push us in that direction, then I’m not sure what will. Too many people want to gripe and complain and we have lots for which to be thankful.
Life is too short and we make it about stuff when it isn’t at all. We take so much for granted.
Some people were complaining about power not being back on but it’s something you don’t really think about until you don’t have it. Instead of complaining about not having power, we should be thankful when it comes back on. There are going to be people in Florida where it will be weeks before power is restored. So we are truly blessed here if we are only without power for a few hours or even a day or so.
At the office, the power went off during the storm but was back on Tuesday morning when we came in the office. However, it went off shortly after and I was contemplating alternate plans of where to go to get the paper published on time. Though we have power at my house, we do not have internet service and it will be 24 hours or more before it’s fixed they say.
Judd Publishing, where we are printed, was also without power so that was not a possibility. Thank the good Lord, prayers were answered and power came back on before we had to go elsewhere. One employee was saying we needed another keyboard for one of the computers because the space bar was not working correctly. However, when the power went out and then came back on, we were just grateful we had a keyboard at all.
Some folks were complaining about being bored. We’ve forgotten how to entertain ourselves and rely too much on TV. What about playing games by candlelight , reading by flashlight or having good old conversations? It is my prayer that we rethink what we do and figure out way to be content even in storms like Irma.
Another lesson we should already know is that the weather people cannot predict hurricanes or other weather occurrences really. Hurricanes are too unpredictable and meteorologists and others in the science of weather are not in control. It’s actually kind of amusing to me when the storms do the opposite of what they predict. Just shows me whose in control and it’s not us. Knowing that and realizing we can’t control anything, should give us peace and not anxiety. It does for me.
It’s not good to listen to the weather 24/7 in a storm anyway, because it only pushes up levels of anxiety. I’m not saying don’t stay abreast of developments but it’s not really necessary for you to sit glued to the weather channel for the duration.
When possible, check on neighbors, relatives and others. It helps keep your mind off what’s going on around you.
Storms in our life will come and go and one thing I know for sure, is that we are not in them alone. God is right there with us, carrying us, protecting us and comforting us. We may not always feel Him, but He is there. He calms those storms for us, sometimes before we even know there was a storm.
Prayers continue for all those affected by these storms, for our country and for those people who have hardened hearts. Blessings. ©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Home sweet, home

Not to be negative, but we were all born to die. Ecclesiates 3 tells us there is a time for everything, including being born and to die. Someone once said we do things the opposite in that we should cry when they are born into this cruel world and celebrate when they die if we know they are going to heaven. I agree, however, it is really hard not to celebrate when you have that baby or grandbaby.
While we do miss the person who dies, it is a comfort to know if they are in heaven and that we will see them again in heaven. I’m thankful I haven’t lost anyone who we didn’t know where they were going.
We just had to make a quick trip to Texas — yes during the hurricane — because David’s stepmother died. She was pretty much the only mother he knew because his birth mother died when he was about four or five.
It’s been three years since we visited relatives in Texas so even though this was a sad occasion, it is like a family reunion. Tyler is north of where Hurricane Harvey hit so we didn’t get a whole lot of rain, though it did rain the day of Vivian’s funeral. We came back Sunday, leaving early and driving straight through which is tough the older I get. With the reports on Monday though it was a blessing we did come home when we did, because Shreveport, which we drive through, was going to be hit with some heavy rains and flash flooding. However, some family members live in Houston and other areas affected by the hurricane. Some were having to evacuate. If you have never experienced it, you just can’t imagine the devastation and how overwhelming the situation becomes. I was in Hawkinsville during the flood of 1994 and while it came within a half mile of our house, we were spared. But, I saw the devastation first hand of people being uprooted from their homes and losing everything. It was nowhere near the proportion of what is happening in Texas so I can’t even imagine the scope. So please pray for Texas.
David’s family has accepted me with open arms from day one and I’m very appreciative of that fact. I have always felt like one of the family.
I don’t know anything about Vivian except what I have been told and what I gleaned from meeting her on several occasions. She always treated me graciously and would send me cards on my birthday every year. In fact, she was known for her cards she sent to not only relatives but to friends.
She was also known as a prayer warrior and we have prayed for each other on numerous occasions. She once told me that I was what the ultimate Proverbs 31 woman. It was quite a compliment to me. She also loved to laugh and had many adventures all around the world including being baptized in the Jordan River.
One of the things I love about David’s family is they all have a sense of humor. It took a little while to get used to it and understand it with David, but once I did, I really appreciate it most of the time. It is a little like my dad’s in that he had a dry sense of humor at times. They like to tease and joke. So, there is never a short supply of laughter when they are together. Laughter is the best medicine they say and I believe it.
In fact, I think that in tough discussions and situations, you should have to laugh first before you talk. Laughter changes your whole demeanor and attitude.
With the hurricane situation, hotel rooms were becoming scarce, but David’s sister, Kathey, graciously let us use her little bungalow which is located on a lake. It was perfect. We even got to love on her furbaby, Sam, so we wouldn’t miss ours so much. We decided it would just be too much and there wouldn’t be anyone to let her out when needed so my daughter house and dog sat for us. It was the first time we have ever left her because we always take her on trips. But she loves Cally and Jeff and is used to them so it was a little easier to not stress about leaving her.
While visiting with relatives you haven’t seen in a while is great, there is nothing like walking into the door or your home once the trip is over. We were greeted by a furbaby who wanted to make up for the lost time of not getting her usual amount of petting and attention. Of course, she had to sit in my lap. She was wound up and didn’t want to settle down for the night. We walk every morning and so Monday she was impatient to get out and walk. She kept trying to get me to hurry up by whining and trying to talk. And, she wanted her treat. Quite the con-artist she usually manages to get one from David and then one from me.
Coming home I realized how much we had left undone before we left. We left on the spur of the moment after getting the news about Vivian and didn’t have a lot of time to do anything but pack.
You really aren’t focusing when you receive that kind of news. I had left dishes in the dishwasher without turning it on and clothes in the washing machine which needed to be put in the dryer. Of course, all of that can be caught up and doesn’t seem like such a chore in the scheme of things. While it was good to be home, the truth is this world is not our home. We are just visitors here and one day those of us who accepted Christ will go to our heavenly home. Then we really will feel like it’s home, sweet home. Vivian is there now. Blessings.©2017
VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Facts vs. Opinion

There is so much negative stuff going on around us and because of it, I’ve decided not to comment on recent events. I’ve read and read differing viewpoints and, of course, have my own opinion.
I used to think we just need to sit down and have an intelligent conversation about some of the things but with the death of common sense and our social media frenzy, I no longer think that. It seems the more we talk, the worse things get and believe it or not, they could get much worse.
Everyone has an opinion and each is entitled to that opinion. But when we want to force our opinion on others, or can’t have a healthy debate on both sides, there is a problem. That’s where we are these days.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a healthy debate but notice the operative word here is “healthy”. Almost not possible anymore. Since my days on the debate team, I love to get my point across, but a long time ago, I had to remind myself I am not trying to win a debate. Sometimes I catch myself wanting to press too hard about a subject and say to myself, you’re not still on the debate team. So, I let it go.
Too many people can’t let it go anymore. They just have to keep on and on and on about their opinion, as if doing so will bring the other person around to their way of thinking. Not going to happen.
I once had a reporter, who was a history professor with a political science background, who would come into my office and make a statement and want my opinion. Jerry would always take the opposite opinion. It was challenging, yet healthy. He did it on purpose and I miss the days of the debates we had. It made me think. Neither of us ever got mad, it was just one of those things he enjoyed doing and I rose to the challenge.
Having an opinion does not mean that you are right, or wrong for that matter. It just means you have an opinion.
National media has contributed to our current my opinion is right society. They have blurred the lines between facts and opinion.
Editorial opinions in newspapers are important. It helps spark public debate which is essential to our free society. The page where my column appears, is an editorial page. The header “Viewpoints” should give that away but with those lines blurred, not everyone gets that. This is where opinions belong, not in news stories. Sometimes we might even get so caught up we want to cross that line, but we certainly try hard not to include our opinions in news stories. If someone states an opinion in an open meeting and we report it, that is the person making the statement’s opinion, but it is still a fact since they said it in a public meeting.
The term “alternate fact” has surfaced with the national media and I’m here to tell you there is no such thing. It is either a fact or it’s not. Reporting or writing news stories is about facts, not opinions. Facts can be supported by evidence.
Opinions are beliefs based on the person’s perspective, sometimes based on emotions and the individual’s understanding of the subject. The word “opinion” comes from the Latin word “opinio” which has numerous meanings. These include something imagined, a conjecture, a rumor and expectations. Many of today’s opinions could fall into one of the Latin definitions, that’s for sure!
Society today sometimes quotes opinions as fact because we are losing the power to ascertain the difference.
We let social media tell us what’s going on instead of investigating and reasoning for ourselves.
When tragic events happen, it is even harder to separate the fact from the opinions because of all readily available “opinions” which start floating around the internet. Unless you were involved and on the scene, you just really don’t know for sure anymore.
If you still aren’t sure about the differences, if you believe cats are better than dogs, that is just your opinion and based on your preference. There is no real way to prove it and it is neither right or wrong.
Just because many, many people agree with your opinion, does not make it right or wrong either.
I’d like to share with you some quotes about opinions and/or facts, which I like.
“But facts are facts and flinch not,” – Robert Browning.
“Never allow the thoughts and opinions or rants and raves of another to become the measure of your self worth. Ignore them entirely – you’ll be a better person for it,” – William E. Lewis, Jr.
“I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself. If people don’t like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don’t solicit their opinions or votes,” – William T. Sherman.
“People have a right to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight,” George Zimmerman.
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of the facts and evidence,” – John Adams. ©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Life is an adventure

It doesn’t take long to get back to reality after taking some time off because you are having to play catch-up on the things you didn’t do during your time off. While normally, we head to the beach, it’s been a few years since we went north so the mountains was our place of choice.
Though it rained practically the whole time, we were able to get out and do some hiking in search of several waterfalls. Hiking mountain trails showed me just how out of shape I am even though I walk and exercise every day. We were not able to do some of the things we had planned, but just getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life was a blessing. Seeing the beauty God created in nature up close and personal, is a great reminder of how blessed we are and how awesome the land we live on is and that we should always be counting blessings.
Of course, our four-legged child went with us. Roxie is the reason we have a camper. We couldn’t bear leaving her behind when we went somewhere and hotels who accept dogs charge a lot for that privilege. So, it was cheaper to get a camper.
She loves to go with us and whenever she sees David getting the camper ready, she watches him like a hawk and as soon as he opens the door to his truck, she is inside before you can blink. You can’t get her out without physically removing her.
She enjoyed seeing the waterfalls, even though she doesn’t want to play in the water. She will walk on the edge of it though. I say she smiles when she is happy and to me she does look like she’s grinning. David is not quite convinced of that yet. He is convinced, however, that when she really wants me to get up, she tries to say “mama” which comes out more like “maw-maw”.
On a mile hike into Hemlock Falls, there was a bridge with rushing water underneath. David went first and Roxie hesitantly followed and I pulled up the rear as is usually the case since my gait is a little slower these days. We spent some time at the falls, even taking our shoes off to put our feet in the water for a while before making the trek back to the truck.
On the way back, David crossed the bridge, but Roxie would not. No amount of coaxing, or trying to get her to walk beside me would budge her. Apparently she wasn’t noticing the rushing water as much on the way over but coming back, she kept looking at the water in between the cracks of the bridge. Finally, David just had to pick up all 60 pounds of her and carry her over the bridge. Once over she started smiling and wanted to keep going back to tell David thank you.
On one of our trips, in between the rain, there was a tree across the road on the way back. It had fallen sometime after we had passed. A FedEx truck was on the other side with the driver scratching his head. He finally backed up and decided not to deliver his package that day, because that road was the only way in or out.
Thank the good Lord, David had a hatchet and a rope in his truck. Sometimes he carried an ax for chopping wood, but that was not the case this time. We both took turns with the hatchet trying to chop the tree in half so we could move it out of the way and continue on our journey. Fortunately, it wasn’t a huge tree, just probably about 10 inches around. Once we had about chopped through, we tried standing on it to get it the rest of the way, which didn’t work. We ended up tying the rope to the tree and pulling it apart with the truck so it could be moved out of the way.
Because of all the rain, I guess, there were lots of downed trees all over every place we went. On one of the trips down a long mountain road, I expected to hear “Dueling Banjos at any time! On one road, there were no ‘four wheel drive only’ signs posted, but there should have been. David actually ended up backing into a tree when he backed up to try to get more speed to get up the hill. Damage is only minor, thank goodness.
Another camper gave us insight into a great swimming hole. The road there was rough and while he said it was only 100 feet off the road, it was more like 750 feet and the path was rocky, muddy and steep. We had not worn the correct shoes for the journey because we thought it not that far off the road. There was a sandy beach area which was secluded and we were the only ones there. Only problem was the water was much too cold to attempt to swim. We will hopefully remember this place on the next trip though.
It’s always good to get away for a while but it’s also good to get back home. Roxie seemed really glad to be home. The only problem is, after being with us almost 24/7 for several days, once we get home, she wants us to go out with her every time she goes out. That is not always possible and sometimes you just don’t want to run outside every few minutes with her. After a couple of days being home, she will settle down some.
I still say she needs a four-legged buddy who would pal around with her but David still won’t have any of it. I’m not pushing the issue because, we don’t have enough room in the bed for one dog as it is, much less two. Life is always an adventure and when you have a four-legged baby in your life, it’s even better.

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Be in the world, but not of it

There are some days when I think I just can not take anymore of the nonsense going on around us. Then I remember that I am a child of the King and I straighten my crown and keep on trucking forward.
If you are a Christian, you have to remember that you are a child of God and God doesn’t like ugly. It’s no wonder we have church after church with 10 or less people in attendance each week.
Those of us who call ourselves Christians have turned off a lot of people because we don’t look or act any different from the rest of the world. And some of those churches were started because someone didn’t like the color of carpet chosen, or they didn’t like the fact that so-and-so was given a specific duty in the church. Those are just examples of course, but that’s how senseless things have become in today’s world.
Social media has become a place to air dirty laundry and carry on arguments, even between family members. It also has become more a place for everyone to sell whatever they are selling. We need to get off social media and spend more one-on-one time with each other.
I see people posting that we shouldn’t be judging each other. Really, we shouldn’t but the Bible does say Christians can rebuke another in a spirit of gentleness, who is going the wrong way and needs correction. That’s not what many do though. They berate them, without even looking in the mirror and seeing their own wrong deeds.
Christians have taken to bashing politicians to an extreme. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be involved in politics because we need Godly leaders. We can still have an opinion but sometimes we should keep it to ourselves. In discussion with others about politics, we shouldn’t get angry if they don’t see things our way and vice versa. If only that was the way it was, but it’s not. People go off the deep end when people don’t agree with their political opinions. They bring up every thing that they didn’t like from the past of the person. Doesn’t matter if the person has changed since then or not to most of these people.
Instead of bashing them constantly and getting into arguments, we should be praying for them regularly. And what about forgiveness. God loves us unconditionally and He forgives when we ask Him.
Whether or not you like the President and/or his policies, he is the president and thus deserves respect. Things he did before he became a Christian, God has forgiven him for if he asked forgiveness, so we should as well. President Trump has been prayed for and prayer is a regular occurrence in the White House. That is something we should be glad about.
God is in control and He knows what He’s doing. He has a plan that will go just as He wishes and He wanted Trump to be president for a reason. Perhaps it’s our last chance to try and get things right and to not only make America great again but to put God back into His rightful place. In case you haven’t read the back of the Bible, Christ wins and every knee will bough to Him. So, all the nonsense about what’s going on around us shouldn’t have us shaking in our boots.
Christians should be encouraging each other and helping out when we can and have the chance. We should be showing compassion, giving a pat on the back and a hand up when we can. We should be doing all the good that we can, not to gain any favor but because it’s the right thing to do.
If you want people to know you are a Christian, then your actions should reflect Christ’s. People should be treated with respect, whether you like them or not. And whether you like them or not, you should love them. Stop acting as if you are defeated daily. Quit complaining about every little thing not going your way. People are always watching and if you call yourself a Christian, you are representing Christ and should act like it.
Overlook people’s faults. If you don’t know how a Christian should act, then you need to read your Bible and see what Jesus did and how He treated people. He put His words into action — He practiced what He preached and people knew there was something different about Him. That’s not the case in a lot of instances today.
Christ didn’t come to condemn sinners and we shouldn’t either. He showed them compassion and love. We should follow His example.
Just going to church, does not make you a Christian or show people you are a Christian. The Bible says we should make every effort to live in peace with each other. Peace comes from knowing without a shadow of a doubt, that God’s teachings are true and certain and we have hope in life eternal. This should show on the outside. We shouldn’t let people, satan or anything else steal our joy.
Christians are also to be humble. Posting a selfie every few hours certainly is not humility. To me, it actually seems like insanity. Start treating people like you want to be treated. Reach out in friendship and love. Pray for everyone you know and meet. Reflect the light of Christ and that light will come back to you in ways you never imagined. Stop being like the rest of the world.

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Too much government

Government intervention. Little by little, an ordinance here, one there and before you know it the government is controlling our lives.
It was never intended to be this way. I’m sure our forefathers would be appalled at where we are today with the government. They are involved in every area of our life one way or another. Whether it’s the medicines we take or the physicians we see, the food we eat, our schools and our homes if we want to add a room on to our home. The government tells us the mix of fuel we put in the cars, the type of light bulbs to use and now it is becoming popular for local governments to tell citizens how many pets they can have in their home.
We call ourselves living in the land of the free, but in reality we are becoming slaves to the government. It is supposed to be government for and by the people but as we can see daily in Washington, that is not the reality of what is happening.
To have a fully functioning society, there must be some government and we have to have some rules. I think we all can agree about that fact, but our government of today, has become so excessive that it limits individual freedoms, stifles entrepreneurial creativity, keeps hard working Americans from enjoying upward mobility and has incentives to lock the poor and lazy into a dependency on government that can last a lifetime and keeps them in poverty.
Policies passed by the government, stifle domestic energy production and affects our health services. Some policies are virtually taking from the rich to give to the poor, whether they made it honestly or not. Where traditionally the states could decide on education, transportation, health care, welfare and law enforcement, the federal government now dominates those areas and issues federal mandates which states must find a way to pay or be fined. Many times that means increased property taxes.
The government should not be telling us how to live our lives. We pay taxes to support services like transit, water, electricity, trash pickup, etc. Yes, government should ensure basic rights, such as the ones given in the Constitution – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When government takes more power than given by the Constitution, our life choices become meaningless. Government cannot legislate morality.
We do need  laws but not to the point where you can’t decide for yourself whether you can afford or need more than one pet. Byron City Council is about to pass an ordinance limiting the number of dogs and cats residents can have per lot. I understand why with so many irresponsible pet owners these days, but such an ordinance will not change the person. Only God can do that.
Many people adopt animals in pairs and as long as they are being responsible owners, why should the city tell them, they can’t have five or six if they so choose. Most people are not going to adopt more than they can handle or afford
Regulations should be passed to limit government, not its citizens. As we become a nation with no self-responsibility from citizens, the government intrusion goes a little deeper.
Unlimited government becomes tyrannical which crushes the independent spirit of the people. The federal government was never meant to be the most important institution in America. But the powers that be in Washington, DC believe they are.
Our forefathers created a government that couldn’t be dominated by a single faction and had checks and balances intended to curb the ambition of the powerful. The Constitution ensured government would promote the”general welfare” of its people.
What has happened in America is why the silent majority spoke up and elected a President whose motto was “Make America Great Again”. That’s what we want which includes less government intrusion into our lives. While the government must provide for defense, regulate relations with foreign entities, maintain safety and maintain order, it should respect its citizens right to enjoy the fruits of hard work without being overly taxed. Double taxation was something our forefathers forbade, however, it is a fact today. We are double taxed and over taxed and the government wants more and more money from its citizenry.
If government continues to grow and expand its reach into the private lives of citizens, we could find ourselves in an Orwellian society. That would mean every move would be monitored by someone in the government to make sure we stayed in line with what the government wants from us. Don’t think it could happen? Think again about what has already happened and what is happening daily and you’ll understand that it could very well become a reality.
Each of us as citizens and human beings, hold personal responsibility for our well being. When we rely on the government to take care of us and provide for us, not only do we become slaves to the hand that feeds us, we lose freedom and the right to decide for ourselves what’s best for us.
As family values and what we learned in church fall to the wayside, virtue goes out the window. Without virtue, government cannot be both limited and free.
Each of us needs to make our voice heard when government intrudes more into our lives. If you don’t want the number of animals you own limited, then let your voice be heard at a council meeting and get like-minded citizens to do the same. We can stop the onslaught of government intrusion, but it will take working at it and being compassionate about stopping the intrusion.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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