Transparency essential

We’ve had a lot of rain this year and it has been raining as I’m writing. This week, however, in the newspaper world, is about sunshine. It’s Sunshine Week in Georgia which is about transparency in government and open records.
Government entities run on taxpayer monies and therefore, the public (taxpayers) have a right to know exactly how their money is being spent and what those governmental bodies are doing. Ultimately, most everything those bodies do, concern the taxpayer, including ordinances, applying for grants and everything in-between.
Not all bodies are forthcoming when it comes to transparency. Some will give a little information but they aren’t too keen on giving the public every detail. On the other hand, there are some who are totally transparent. At the newspaper, we judge that on how much information we receive, how they respond to questions and requests for information and the quickness of their responses. The law governs how long they have to respond if you do an open records request. We don’t always do these because we prefer to try and work with each entity on a more personal basis. But sometimes it doesn’t happen unless we get tough.
It’s pretty good in Crawford County, but could be better. Roberta City Council has seen quite an improvement in that area under the new administration. We’d give them an A for transparency.
The Crawford County School Board also gets an A and has seen improvement as well. Crawford County Board of Commissioners would get a B-. They have gone down in this area in last few years. Used to be we received pretty much what we needed without asking and if we didn’t, we got it when asked for. We don’t get a package with the agenda like in the past and though we did request that more than once, we decided it was falling on deaf ears and you do get tired of asking.
The Peach County School Board has improved under the new administration and also gets an A, as does the Peach County Board of Commissioners. Peach County BOC always goes above and beyond and there has been a dramatic improvement at the school board. Thank you Dr. Brown.
Byron City Council also gets a B- and that is pretty much how it has been for a long time there. They do send us a package with the agenda and we love the ladies at city hall who give us what they are allowed to give. City Council, however, has too many committee meetings held away from the public eye and backroom deals. Too many things are discussed by the committees that only come up for a vote without much discussion at the meetings. That means the public doesn’t know the background behind decisions which can sometimes go a long way in convincing the public it is what’s in their best interest. Requests for information are not always answered in a timely manner. As I said earlier, we usually don’t send a formal open records request and if we did they would be in violation of the law sometimes concerning time it takes to respond. But we keep working on that area. The last committee meeting we attended, the reporter was questioned as to why they were there by one councilman. That should not even be a question that is asked. We are there to protect the public’s interest and let them know what is going on with their money. We have a right to be there and shouldn’t be berated when we are able to attend the committee meetings. They are usually held on days and times when we can’t attend. We operate on a tight budget and small staff so someone to attend is not always available either, but we do what we can.
Government is to be for the people and of the people and in order for it to be and stay that way, government must be out in front of the people with transparency. Transparency should not be something where you can pick and choose which items are transparent, as all should be, but that is not always the case. If it were, I don’t think we would hear so many people complain about the various entities. The law does allow them to hold closed sessions without the public, called executive sessions, on three areas — personnel, litigation and future land acquisition. Sometimes the boards push this though and discuss other items which should be discussed in public. They think we don’t know but ultimately, somehow it gets out and back to us.
Government transparency is a battle I’ve fought for as long as I’ve been in newspaper. I’m sure it will continue to be in the years ahead. But it is your right to know and that is why we pursue it so vigilantly and you should demand it as well.
Because newspapers fight for your right to know, some entities will try and punish them in various ways, like withholding advertising. That is just foolishness but what can we say.
Just as the public has a right to know about government entities, the public has a right to know when the newspaper makes a mistake. We should own up to it and here we do when made aware of it. Mistakes do happen. I am thankful that in over 40 years I have never made a mistake which costs the community money, as happened in a nearby community.
An E-SPLOST election had to be postponed because the legal organ in another county did not publish the required notices. Not only did the paper in question not run a news story about it, the notice of what happened was run on the legal page in small type. To me, that is not being responsible and while I do not like taking another newspaper to task, when they fail to do what’s right, we must because it can in the end, effect all newspapers.
If we want to hold the government accountable, we must be accountable as well and be forthcoming to the public about our mistakes. The national mainstream media mistakes have the most effect, although, we should not be compared with them as you are not really comparing apples to apples.
Accountability is a two-way street. I pray that here we never forget that fact. Let the sun shine and support your local newspaper.©2019

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

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spoiled but fun and comforting

Life with a four-legged child is so much better and certainly never boring. Our Roxie girl will be seven in May and what a ride it has been.
I keep saying she can not get any more spoiled than she already is, but every day she proves me wrong on that point. She has determined that she gets a treat every time she comes back in from outside. Now she will ask to go outside, walk out on the porch and turn right around and come back in and sit in her appointed place for her treat. Of course, we oblige her as who could ignore that beautiful face of hers.
Lately, she has decided that we must go to bed when she gets ready. She will come and put her face on our lap and look sad and then turn around to the bedroom. She will also whine if it seems we are ignoring her. She has determined her bedtime around 9:30 p.m. I usually stay up a little later but David doesn’t mind the early bed time.
We must also be on her morning schedule. After we let her out in the mornings, usually around 6:30, on weekends, we may want to not get up yet, but she insists. Even if one of us gets up, she will keep nagging the other one until you are forced to get up. She will not only whine but will paw at you or sit on you.
Once you are up and she has gotten a dose of attention, she will then usually go back to bed! We aren’t allowed to, however.
Because we are doing some work in the family room, we have rearranged the living room upstairs to accommodate the downstairs couch and moved other furniture out of the room. That has not set very well with her. For a while, she would not come upstairs but finally decided if she wanted to be around her humans, that’s where she would need to go.
We had to get a king-size bed because she was taking up most of the queen size and it has worked out a lot better, but she still tries to hog the bed at times. She has to sleep in the middle and there are times she wants to get under the cover which means she will get too hot and then want to be out of the cover.
We never intended her to sleep with us and even had her a big, nice bed of her own in our room but she would whine and carry on until we just finally gave up and gave in to her. She is a real snuggle bug at times though she weighs around 55 pounds. She also thinks she is a lap dog and will insist on getting into our lap while we are sitting in a chair or on the sofa. Even if the chair is too small, there’s no stopping her. She is going to get in your lap one way or the other.
When she wants attention, she will keep on until she gets it. If you happen to pick up your phone for a minute and she is not done with getting attention, she is going to slap your phone out of your hand. It’s actually funny to us and not aggravating, so far anyway.
Though she may be spoiled rotten, she brings us much joy. She loves to go riding and especially going out to the cabin to the woods. You can tell that she is smiling because it’s like a big, goofy-wide grin.
She is really a goof ball though. We don’t understand why she is scared of some things and not other things like most dogs, but that’s okay because she’s our goof ball.
She will spend hours barking and trying to climb the tree to get to a squirrel. She hates baths, at least in the house. She loves it when you wash her with the water hose during the summer outside. She also loves the beach and running up and down in the waves.
She refuses to get in the pool but will run through the pond several times a day. She doesn’t like going out in the rain either. She prefers that when she does go outside, her humans go with her but she will eventually relent and go out by herself.
When it’s warmer we walk in the mornings and she gets so used to it that she will pitch a tantrum if you decide you are not going to walk one day. Her tantrums are more like whine parties and being mopey. She lights up soon as you give in and say let’s go.
It’s hard to imagine our lives without her though and you can always count on her to greet you at the door and be glad to see you. Too bad, everyone is not more like that. We can certainly learn a lot from our fur-babies.
Don’t forget the Peaches to the Beaches Yard sale this Friday and Saturday. You never know what you might find.
Congratulations to the award winners at the Chamber annual meeting last week. Two of our nominees won and we are proud for them all.
Prayers for all those effected by the storms on Sunday. Fortunately, in Georgia no lives were lost but that was not the case in Alabama and we pray for those families. Things and stuff can be replaced but lives cannot. Do what you can to help and remember to be a blessing to someone today.©2019

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We need more sitting and talking

Because of who I am and my upbringing, it is a struggle for me trying to balance my writing, especially when it comes to topics. I don’t want them all to be political and actually prefer the role of encourager. But my journalistic instincts react to the political things which are happening in our world. I’m not worried about what people think of my politics, because I’m entitled to my opinion, just like we all are, in spite of some people not thinking that is the case.
My daily schedule used to be getting up and immediately spending time in God’s word, reading a devotional and prayer. Then I would turn on the TV to a news channel. It became very frustrating as on some channels, I knew what they were saying was not true because I had researched. Or I recognized they were trying to spin things a certain way. So I’d search for another channel. It became impossible to find unbiased news and it was making me frustrated. A lot of things reported were for, lack of a better word, idiotic.
But the ink in my blood and journalistic background, makes me crave news. Watching the news in the morning, however, was stealing my peace. I started noticing that on the way to work, I was stewing about something I saw on the news. Arriving at work, my attitude was not what I wanted it to be and I determined to not watch the news in the mornings anymore but still wanted to get the news.
Therefore, I had to start researching to find trusted news sources. It was a long, tedious process. Finding a source, then reading some things from them and then actually researching them as much as possible. There were some who disguised themselves as news sources, that aren’t really and you have to filter through those. I have found several and now my mornings are once again peaceful. I have changed from news in the morning though and wait until the afternoon or evening, just in case there is something that threatens my peace. I’m determined not to let it though.
I am in the process of getting a book together on previous columns, not just mine but from other folks as well, and I have never reran a column ever. I have written on the same subject more than once but never used the same column about it. It’s not that I haven’t felt burn-out because I have and there have been days I didn’t really feel like writing about anything. Some days, I would stare at the blank computer for an hour before I started typing. I just have always felt like rerunning a column would be doing a disservice to my readers. I know lots of columnists who do rerun them and that’s their decision, I just can’t do it.

During my 40 plus years, I have written at least 2500 columns. That number made me pause. Of course, I can’t get them all in one book, I’m just picking and choosing and that has turned out to be harder than I imagined. Publishing a book in the first place is not as easy as some folks would have you to believe. At least, it hasn’t been for me.
When my mother-in-law was alive before her son died, she would make me a scrapbook of my columns every year which meant the world to me. Those stopped in 2004 so the last 14 years are archived at various places. I did start a blog in 2014 which I can go into the archives and copy. But the years prior I have to retype them from the newspaper copy. I’ve actually enjoyed it though, reminiscing through those columns. Especially the ones talking about different people and people on my staff at the time. I used to write about people in my columns more and am thinking about getting back to doing that.
When the kids were little or while they were still at home, they were fair game for column material. But there were people in the communities who I wrote about as well.
I have met some really wonderful people over the years. In various places, the newspaper editor was put on a pedestal and people were always bringing you things like cakes or flowers or coming into your office just to chat or say hello. There’s not much of that anymore and I kind of miss it because it helped keep you connected. I never got used to being put on a pedestal or really understood that aspect but people coming in to talk was something I really enjoyed. No one ever stayed too long that it kept you from getting your job done.
So many things have changed over the years, especially people. We need to get back to being more compassionate, kinder and interacting with people. Several columns from various years talked about a person who had been kind or had done something for someone else in the community, or for me here and there.
People actually really helped people when they needed it, many times without evIf you have personal interaction with people, you know when something is needed or something isn’t quite right with people.
One day last week, I had a couple of appointments and had several errands to run. It seemed everywhere I went people would start up a conversation with me. One lady and I even began talking at the gas pump. It was great and I thoroughly enjoyed it. No one stopped to look at their phones or check messages, we just had real conversations. I actually think some people crave having conversations with people face to face. I know I do.
We need to spend more time having those conversations and less time on the phone and texting. It’s just not the same. I’m going to try and start up more conversations with the people I see out places. Maybe it will reverse the current trend. Won’t you join me? ©2019

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Borders should be protected

I’m writing as the President is getting ready to declare a national emergency to build the wall. Some people are going into overdrive about it. It’s not the first time presidents have declared national emergencies. In fact, we are still under some from the Obama administration. Most of us lock our doors and to gain entry you knock and we open the door and decide whether to ask you in or not. I guess some people disagree with that as well since there is a state of disagreement on everything these days. Most of the people who were once for securing our border but are now against it because it was Trump’s idea, have gates around their homes. Don’t see the difference. It’s a double standard.
If you really know all that is going on, you will realize that Trump had no other recourse, than to declare the national emergency, thanks to the Democratic control. They would not compromise one iota on it. I’m kind of disappointed that he signed the funding bill because there are some scary and questionable things included. I was expected some line item vetoes, but oh well.
I realize he got a lot of flack for the government shutdown, but why aren’t people up in arms about the Democrats not wanting to compromise, is what I don’t understand.
My husband, David’s, family lives in Texas. They can tell you stories about illegals.
I ran across some facts from a trusted source I wanted to share. Twenty years ago the border could be controlled with 5,000 agents. It now takes 35,000 agents and even our troops are needed to help.
Countries from where these immigrants come from, do not want them back because they are usually from the impoverished or criminal class.
One of the areas, Mount Cristo Rey has been identified as a place of danger. There is a sign posted there that says you should contact the police before you tour the area. This happens to be a corridor for drug and human trafficking between the two countries. There is the possibility you could be raped, robbed or that you could even disappear.
The holding centers were the migrants are taken, are designed for 80 to 90 but now hold 200 to 250. Cramped is an understatement. Agents do not even have to seek them out as they go to the agents and surrender because they know they will be taken care of and released into the general population. They do receive a notice to appear before a judge but 90% do not appear as they know they will be sent home for not meeting the requirements.
But by this time they are in our country. They play hide and seek until Trump is removed from office and a path to full citizenship will then be forced by the powers that be. Believe what you may but it is the Mexican cartels not the Mexican government that controls entry into the United States.
Migrants cannot get into the United States without paying at least $100 per person to the controlling cartel at the location they will be entering. As you can imagine, the cartel enforces those rules.
Even the border agents agree with building the wall. It is sad that in America today we have to fight to protect our borders. If you lock our doors at night, then you should understand the need for a wall. Yes, it is really that simple but more dangerous and some are calling it a humanitarian need.
Ranchers in the areas live in constant fear their lives and livelihoods are under attack by the hordes of individuals and drug cartels trudging through their property.
Even data from the FBI show that because of all the hoopla and the caravans, even terrorists are sneaking into our country through Mexico. Yes, it has become a matter of national security.
Since 2016 Mexico has been the second deadliest country in the world. These illegals have siphoned more than $54 billion out of America and that is rising daily.
America’s safety of its citizens should come before illegals. Just look at other countries where they had open borders. Even socialists in Europe have realized it doesn’t make sense. The European Union reversed its open-borders policy and agreed to spend billions bribing Turkey to take back of the thousands of refugees that poured into Europe. Member countries are building fences and walls protected by armed guards to prevent inundation.
If it doesn’t infuriate everyone who works hard for a living that they are helping to support these illegals with their tax money, I don’t know what else will.
The wall, however, is only one component. The rule of law must be restored on both sides of the border. Legal immigrants can have an above-board relationship with employees. While legal entrance into our country can still be applied for, many won’t go through the process. Those who don’t should demand that their own government reform the current system that perpetuates not only poverty but violence and crime. I believe that if you are unhappy in your own country, you need to work with others to enact changes for the better.
Many of the politicians on the other side of the fence, now wanting open borders, were once in favor of the wall. It is only because of Donald Trump that they are against it now, because they hate anything he does. It’s time they got over themselves. There needs to be a call for term limits all across our land because you can’t expect those who guard the hen house to enact limits for themselves. These same politicians won’t protect the unborn but care more about the illegals than they do about citizens in the United States.
The consequences of open borders will be devastating on so many levels there is not enough space to detail them here. We need the wall.© 2019

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It could work, if we try

Some people say, we will never defeat racism until we are able to talk about it without anyone getting their dander up. Others say we need to quit talking about it so much. I’m not sure which is right, but the truth of the matter is probably somewhere in the middle of both of those beliefs.
It’s a tough subject to tackle, even tougher to talk about, depending on the parties involved. I won’t pretend to know the answers or solutions and I’m not sure which direction we need to go in but I do know we can’t continue down the same path.
Because “racism” has become the catch phrase of the day; because it incites so many people; some have taken to calling everything they encounter, racism. It’s not so. It’s really hard to say that we aren’t racist, either. If you’ve ever been in a situation where you are the minority and felt fear or uneasiness, that could be considered racist.
Wanting to preserve history is not racist. It happened, whether good, bad, indifferent or embarrassing and trying to get rid of everything that reminds you of it, is not the answer. Those who fail to remember the past (history) are condemned to repeat it. I do believe that to be true.
To me racism is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. If you perceive something to be that way, in other words, it usually becomes so. Racism and discrimination are two different things, but some people confuse the two.
At another newspaper I worked for, a woman in the community came by my office every week to inform me that week I only had a certain number of a particular ethnic group in a photo. This went on for about a month and she would not stop long enough for me to have a conversation with her about it. Just run in, say the number and leave.
I was floored. I never took a picture of any kind purposely including or excluding anyone or staging it to look a certain way. I wasn’t going to stop and count because doing so I felt would have been racist. One day she came in and I followed her out to the car, insisting she hear me out. I told her my perspective and how she was making me think negatively and that I did not want to do that at all. She was trying to get in her car but I was leaning against the door. She finally listened. We hugged and she never came back into my office with numbers of certain people in photos.
You can’t make a determination about anything without hearing both or all sides. In today’s world people want to have their say, but don’t care and don’t want to listen to what anyone else has to say unless it happens to agree with their way of thinking. That my friend, is not the way freedom works.
Politicians use the word “racism” more and more to divide and conquer us. It’s a volatile subject and they know it and know using it can evoke hate. Unfortunately, the mainstream media has jumped on that bandwagon and we need to wake up before it’s too late.
The wall the president is wanting to build is not racist, as some claim. He is not wanting to keep a certain race out, he is wanting to keep illegals out regardless of their race. What part of illegal people don’t get, I don’t understand.
We’ve got to start thinking for ourselves and quit listening to politicians and the mainstream media. We have to determine in our hearts and minds that we will not be divided by them and the untruths put forth.
God tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. We’ve got to start loving people.
We are forced to declare what race we are on countless forms and other paperwork. Supposedly for the sake of statistics, etc. The one take away from my college statistics class was that statistics can say whatever point you want to prove. Therefore, I don’t put any confidence in any of them.
Why can’t we all just state that we are human beings. We are you know. No matter the color of our skin, we all bleed the same, we all are born and we all are going to die one day. I believe we also just need to become “Americans” without any hyphenation indicating ethnicity. We are diverse nation and should be celebrating our differences instead of fighting about them but to become united in that, we need to all just be Americans.
If we are to overcome racism, everyone must quit playing the victim in all situations and quit blaming other people. It’s the 21st century for goodness sake and each of us are to blame for the choices we make and we suffer the consequences of bad or unhealthy choices. My great grandparents were Indians and my grandmother was a very poor farmer. She had to work hard every day of her life and I have not had it easy myself, so there is no “privilege” at all there.
We need to quit making everything racist and if you see things that way, perhaps you need to examine your heart. We have also got to quit voting for candidates because of skin color or gender. It has gotten us into messes we may never be able to get over. Vote for morals and those candidates who best reflect your values. Their skin color or gender has nothing to do with that whatsoever and doesn’t indicate whether they will be a good leader or not.. All people, regardless of skin color, can also be racist. It’s not just relegated to one race.
Let’s all just be humans and become pro-human. Quit letting politicians or the press divide us. We need to deconstruct the words black and white and forget about what either means. Let’s just be Americans, treating each other with love and respect and if we do so, I believe one day we will see racism go away. ©2019
VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We must face the truth

We say we want to be told the truth and say we stand for truth, but as in the lines of the movie A Few Good Men, I wonder if we could really handle the truth if we knew it in totality.
Americans, true Americans — those who love our country and respect our freedoms and willing to fight for them and Christians — need to wake up. We need to seek the truth and not be afraid of it when we find it. If we don’t and start effecting change, our grandchildren don’t have a chance.
Make America Great Again, has somehow been turned into a racist idea by people who see everything as racist and are actually perpetrating it. Some want to say America is still great and I would agree, but America is not the country it once was in terms of values and ideals. Saying we want to make America great again, means we want to go back to that way of life where we weren’t offended by everything and everyone and we didn’t riot and point fingers or celebrate killing babies. It means we want a world where everyone can live in peace and have their individual rights without them being paraded across social media or on other media outlets in an “in your face” method.
We want an America where politicians don’t promote hate speech and they love as well as support whoever is in the office of the presidency because it is the respectful thing to do.
Our republic cannot permanently exist unless we change the mindset of voters who have discovered they can vote themselves handouts from the public treasury. Because of that fact, some now vote for the candidates promising the most benefits without costing voters. Democracies always fall over loose fiscal policies. Douglas MacArthur once said he was concerned for the security of our Nation because of the “insidious forces working from within”.
At that time, the communists had gained massive control over the media in our country. His statement was pretty much passed over and ignored just in case anyone would take heed of it and begin looking at their own government. While we were fighting fascist regimes threatening to take over the world, Marxist socialists were not only infiltrating our government, but were implanting themselves. Joseph McCarthy tried pointing this out but was labeled a lunatic. Years later, though it was discovered he was correct and FDR had communists in his administration. Of course, it was too late by then and thanks to the media controlled by them, they shunned the title of Marxist/Socialist Communists and became known as Liberals. Don’t misunderstand here: Marxists are not the same as liberals but Marxists knew liberals could be guided into any direction desired just by promising free stuff.
Liberals seem to have mental conditions which keeps them from embracing any true logic. Don’t believe me, just strike up a conversation with one and you’ll be convinced. Just look at Pelosi and a few others.
Liberals were also guided down the path of legalizing abortion which has prevented the birth of close to 60 million potential taxpayers. To top it off, taxpayers are paying for it. Not what I want my tax money to fund.
Liberals also birthed entitlement programs. Social Security is not an entitlement but it was forced upon us and then liberals got access to that money deposited into SS and used it for their own purposes. This was a way to open the door to destroy our country through programs like welfare, food stamps and many other entitlement programs which were designed to eventually totally drain the U. S. Treasury.
If you want to get down to it, the only people in our country owed anything are our Veterans.
Entitlement programs were created for no other reason than to make people dependent upon them. There are so many of these programs that with the present tax structure there is no way to fund them all so money has to be borrowed. No one should be getting money from the people who work for it day in and day out.
Relying on these programs strips people of their pride and takes away the desire to make something of themselves or be productive citizens. Why should you when you can make money by just sitting at home. Such programs in effect, make slaves of the people who have come to depend and demand them. Because they want to continue to receive this money from the sweat of others, they continue to vote for those who promise to keep handing it out.
Such programs make you totally dependent on the government. The Democratic party uses these programs for political gain by reminding people they could lose them if they don’t vote for them and say people are “entitled” to them. Thus has evolved the “entitlement mentality”.
We the people have actually caved in to the “whiners” of today, if for no other reason but to get them to shut up. But America is waking up and it’s past time. If we want change, we have to start working toward that change ourselves. If you haven’t written your Congressmen, do so. Don’t be swayed because the response is just a standard letter. If we bombard them, eventually they will take notice, even if only for a second. It’s time to quit being the silent majority and face the truth.©2019

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time to stand up and be counted

Darkness seems to be closing in around us with all the craziness in the world today. Concrete proof has been given that the mainstream media can’t be trusted and manipulates the news.
Congressmen and women won’t compromise and won’t approve anything that our president proposes. New York lights the Trade Center up in pink and representatives celebrate the abortion bill. Hate speech everywhere, including from our elected representatives in Washington, DC.
We just went through a partial government shutdown and the news in Washington is frustrating. In fact, if you start dwelling on it too much, you too will become very frustrated. We are in a battle of good vs. evil and I’m sorry but many in Washington, have sold their souls to the devil. Their actions shout it loud and clear.
Christianity is being attacked and the vice president’s wife was attacked because she works in a Christian school. Christians aren’t allowed to have their beliefs and live in peace. We are being attacked. Yet, the opposite side injects their beliefs into our society without repercussions and won’t allow us to say anything. We just have to accept it, take it and smile. Ugh no!
Believe it or not, I’m not a confrontational person. I’d much rather have a debate and part as friends in a disagreement. I’d choose peace any day of the week over drama and arguments.
We need a revival in our land and Christians need to get on their knees and face seeking God. We need to pray for our country and our leaders, even those we do not like. We also need to start speaking out and taking our rights back. There is a time to be still and quiet and a time to stand up and speak. That time is now, unless you are prepared to lose our country and our voice. Christians have been silent way too long.
We seem to think we aren’t supposed to stand up and say anything. Jesus took a lot of things, but there were times when He spoke up and put people in their places. There were times His words stung those to whom he was replying. There were even times when His words seem harsh to us. As Ecclesiastes tells us, there is a time for everything and that means a time to raise our voice and speak out against those attacking us.
Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and whether we realize it or not, we are always in a fight. We have to fight for our marriages, our children, to eat right, to be heard by our doctor, sometimes to keep our jobs and pay our bills. A spiritual battle is going on around us daily. Life as a Christian is not easy and we shouldn’t just be sitting around passively waiting for Christ to return.
Just as we fight for all the other things, there comes a time when Christians need to fight for our faith; a time to stand up and join in the battle between good and evil, truth and lies, light and darkness.
In the book of Jude, he appeals to Christians to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. (Jude 1:3). Contend means fight. That doesn’t mean we should go around looking for a fight. However, when godless ideas and agendas distort the truth of God and proclaim themselves “champions” for their cause, Christians should speak up and address the untruths.
Paul put is this way in 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God.”
Just like any good fighter who steps into the boxing ring, we have to be prepared for such a battle. We have to know what we are talking about when confronting evil and lies. The way we do that is reading God’s word, praying and seeking his guidance. We need to be strong in our faith and our fighting spirit should come from the love of God and others. You see when love pushes us to fight we are fighting against those ideas, not the individuals. 1 Timothy 6:12 also tells us to fight the good fight of faith.
Yes, where possible we need to live in peace but as Paul says, we should put on the whole armor of God and fight those battles that we must concerning our faith. Prayer is a good first step in our fight. It’s something each of us can do. When called upon to speak up against evil, we should. As it has been said, evil happens when good people do nothing. Now is not the time to be lazy about our prayer life or our relationship with God.
Shortly before Jesus was arrested He instructed his disciples to defend themselves (Luke 22:36). He indicated to defend with swords if it came to that. For too long we have been held back because we are told to keep silent. When silence brings slaughtering the innocent, it’s time to end the silence. It is possible to be engaged in the fight without compromising our convictions. The Bible tells us to resist evil. That sometimes means taking a stand in order to preserve our freedoms, to defend innocent people and to keep evil from spreading. The day for taking a stand has come. ©2019

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment