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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The health care debacle

Health care has become the buzz words of the day. Talks, gallons of ink, sweat and tears have all been employed to work on the issue. But, there is yet to be any satisfactory result.
It was one reason the country elected Donald Trump president. Most were unhappy with the Affordable Health Care Act and wanted it repealed and replaced. It was placing a burden on many citizens, yours truly included. There are some stories here and there, of people who were helped but those are few and far in between. The majority were negatively impacted.
One reason Congress can’t get it together, is they do not have to use the AHCA insurance. If they were required to do so, we would be seeing a different scenario and may even already have had a new system in place. Another problem is we have too many special interest goats who could care less about the actual people who get the health care and more so about how much money it will put in their pocket and who else they can get to scratch their backs. Republicans and Democrats have made it into a “party” thing and are against anything the other party proposes. Therefore, getting anything done has turned into a complicated nightmare.
It doesn’t have to be that way if everyone would take off their boxing gloves and determine they are going to do what’s good for the whole and it doesn’t matter what happened in the past or who got what, but just do what’s in the best interest of the people who elected them as a whole.
First of all health care should be patient centered. What we have today is more pharmaceutical, doctor and insurance centered. Neither of those are the ones who are sick and seeking treatment.
It should not be mandated for everyone either. Not everyone wants the government, nor their insurance company to dictate their health care choice.
Let’s face it. Health care costs too much and those costs are out of control. I’ve heard nothing so far that would decrease those costs.
As a nation based on freedom, we should be free to choose which doctor we see, even if he or she is not on some insurance plan list.
I believe in treating the patient as a whole and trying to find the cause of a health problem, not just throwing drugs at it which only treat the symptom and sometimes even make the person sicker in other areas. Therefore, I want to see an integrative health care doctor who treats the cause, not the symptoms. My insurance, however, will not pay for such doctors, nor the tests that are needed to get to the root cause of health issues.
We are paying exorbitant health insurance costs and therefore I feel it should be my choice on doctors, regardless of the specialty. You see, I want to be in charge of my health care not some bureaucracy.
Patients need to be informed and be able to communicate with a doctor who will listen. They need to understand that most medicines will never cure their health issues, only treat the symptoms and that they will have to be on them the rest of their lives. Doctors need to be more proactive in getting their patients to take better care of themselves and to explore health care options. Many patients don’t understand they have options and aren’t told they do and so they don’t ask questions. Patients should have as much information about health care as consumers they have about the products they buy.
There is not one size fits all when it comes to health care. Health issues for men and women as well as people of different nationalities, is different for each person. Those differences need to be recognized in health care and treatment pursued accordingly.
There should be a unified team approach to health care. You are sent to different specialty doctors for various ailments and most of the time there is no coordination between them at all from start to finish of an illness or treatment. Care delivery should treat the whole patient and not just the disease.
A patient’s health care data should belong to them, not monetized by the hospital. When a doctor feels a test is warranted but has to go through several tests because of insurance requirements and ends up costing more in the end, something is wrong. Why just not go to the test the doctor feels is the best for the patient to get a desired result?
Health care value should be maximized for patients — in other words achieving the best outcome at the lowest cost possible.
All of this will require that everyone work together beginning with the patient being armed with knowledge and doctors who want patients to get better not sicker from only treating symptoms. It also means dropping the mindset that profits are more important than the health of the patient. When you do not improve the quality of life for a patient, to me that is a failure. Access to health care that is below standard is not acceptable. A single fee for service may help in reducing costs but does not necessarily improve the value of that service to the patient.
We should reward those doctors who strive to educate patients and work toward improving the quality of their patients lives as well as fixing the problem, not just treating symptoms.
The voters have spoken — they want AHCA repealed and replaced. Congress needs to quit the name calling and back biting and get serious about giving the American people what they need — lower health care costs with quality care.
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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Making right food choices

We take so many things for granted and often don’t realize how blessed we really are in the scheme of things. As most know, I have to eat gluten free and have managed it for five years now.
What I would give to be able to eat a KK doughnut or a DD doughnut but I can’t. If I happen to give in to that craving, I end up regretting it for several days as it makes me sick. Sometimes very sick. So it’s something I have to forgo and at times of stress, cravings kick in which can almost be overwhelming. It’s not worth the pain and sickness and as time passes it does get a little easier. But there are those days, especially when someone else is eating something and you smell it, that you really want it.
Gluten-free foods have gotten a little better than five years ago. With some experimentation, I can now pretty much substitute flours with gluten free versions and you can’t really tell the difference. But it hasn’t been easy and there have been some failures along the way.
David and I are still working on a homemade pizza crust recipe that works for us but haven’t found it yet. My husband does a lot of the cooking at times — yes, I’m blessed — and he always makes sure it’s gluten free for me. Having seen me get sick from it, he’s happy to help me avoid it.
I have to admit though, there are those times when I do cave in and have a piece of bread that is not gluten-free. Sometimes it bites me, other times not. Sourdough bread doesn’t seem to bother me like other breads. No yeast rolls for sure. But I don’t indulge all the time, just once in a blue moon.
Now that my youngest daughter is also eating gluten free, I have had to experiment a little more. When she wants something fried, I always get a call. My fried okra, mushrooms and fried green tomatoes taste just like the ones everyone else makes. As does my fried chicken fingers and mac and cheese and other pasta dishes.
Fortunately, many restaurants also now offer gluten free versions of some dishes. I have found though, that some things I thought were gluten free, aren’t and if I eat them at a restaurant, there could be repercussions. So, when in doubt I opt for other choices.
Haven’t found a gluten-free hamburger bun that doesn’t taste like cardboard though. Have found sandwich bread. I also have found some gluten-free doughnuts and while they are good, they are not the same as the gooey KK ones. A carrot cake I found at an Atlanta bakery, is actually better to me than the gluten-loaded version. When we make that trip, we try to stop there and bring home several items you can’t get anywhere else.
Even some chocolate items have gluten in them and since I love chocolate, I have to watch those items as well. You would think after a while, I would not be as sensitive to it, but I have found, the longer I am off it, the more sensitive I have become to gluten.
I have also been working on cutting my sugar consumption. I believe sugar is one of the worst things you can eat. It also becomes addictive. I have been experimenting with other natural sugars like coconut and stevia. David has a reaction to Zylitol so I can’t use it. In an effort to make a 14-layer chocolate cake recently, which actually turned out to only be eight layers, I discovered that you cannot use stevia in an icing recipe that has to be cooked. It tasted awful and I’m just glad I tasted it before I tried putting it on the cake. The gluten-free layers were okay, not wonderful like I was hoping and the cake didn’t look that great but I tried and it was the first attempt. Since I never attempted to make a regular 14-layer chocolate cake, I give myself an A for effort.
Coconut sugar works for most things but not all. If gluten and sugar reduction weren’t enough I am also supposed to work on reducing dairy. It hasn’t been that hard except when it comes to ice cream. You can use coconut and almond milk for substitutions in most things but for icings it does give it the flavor of whatever milk you are using. I also do not like it for ice cream and the non-dairy store versions leave a little to be desired.
Being gluten-free has become a lifestyle choice and it’s not always easy but I think my health is at least better for it and my Hashimoto’s stays in check. My daughter also says she can tell a difference in how she feels after eliminating gluten. She is not intolerant like me, so she has cheat days without the sickness I experience at times if I try to cheat.
We are the food we eat and the food we eat these days is not as healthy as it was in our grandparents’ day. Too many chemicals are used as well as genetically modified seeds are used. If we really knew what they did to our food and what was in it, we’d all probably starve because we wouldn’t eat anything from the store or a restaurant. The fact that I love to garden, is another reason to grow your own food and to support local farmers who don’t use GMOs. I’ve enjoyed sharing foods from my garden this year. I’m hoping we can get a neighborhood garden started which could be bigger next year. We’ll see.
Being conscious of the food you eat,  is just another of those choices we are faced with in our lives and I choose to eat healthier and pay attention to what’s in the food. Blessings to you.©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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With freedom comes responsibility

July 4th has come and gone but we need to think about what freedom really means. The Fourth of July holiday is not just an extra day off. It should mean much more to us.

If you look up the word freedom in the dictionary, it will give you several definitions:
•the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
• absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.
• the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
• the state of being physically unrestricted and able to move easily.
• (freedom from) the state of not being subject to or affected by (a particular undesirable thing).
• the power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.
• unrestricted use of something.
• archaic familiarity or openness in speech or behavior.
What it doesn’t tell you, is that freedom comes with a price and is not actually “free”. It also will not say that with freedom comes responsibility.
While we do have free speech, we shouldn’t automatically shoot off our mouths without thinking about what we are saying. Doing so, sometimes has consequences. If our speech is of hate or will detrimentally harm another human being, we need to find a way to keep our mouth shut. How many friendships are lost because someone wasn’t responsible enough about what they said. That doesn’t mean you don’t speak truth. Just because we are guaranteed freedom of speech does not give us a carte blank check to spew out hate. Having real freedom of speech, means being responsible for what you say.
In today’s world we are slaves to our cell phones and to technology. When you look at it in those terms, it doesn’t seem so good. While we may not be able to totally be free of our cell phones, we do not have to be chained to them so much. If you can’t put it down long enough for a conversation, there is a problem.
Our men and women in uniform serve on battlefields around the world to help keep us a nation free from tyranny and government oppression. That doesn’t give us the right to do anything we want to do. We must be responsible for our actions.
Our forefathers escaped tyranny and oppression and that’s why they wanted to form a sovereign nation. They painstakingly penned the Declaration of Independence. We would do well when we celebrate July 4th to reflect on these words from the document and what they really mean and ask that our government leaders take it to heart and make changes. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Our country is not perfect and right now we are in a transformation period. But what we have here is still better than any other place on earth. Things in Washington have gotten out of control and our forefathers would want it to be restructured back to the way it was originally meant to be: “Government by and for the people”.
Freedom doesn’t mean we do not have responsibility to our government or that we don’t give it what it is due (give Caesar what Caesar is due).
Freedom doesn’t mean that you should just sit and do nothing. When God freed the children of Israel it wasn’t so they could relax by the pool and drink iced tea for the rest of their lives. He set them free so they could fulfill their mission to become a “light to the nations”. They had a responsibility and though they were free, God was teaching them to be His servant. Freedom has responsibility and for the Israelites it was to serve God.
Yes, freedom is not only my right and your right but the right and privilege of every human being on earth. However, we must not forget with it comes great responsibility. Not just for ourselves but for our fellow humans as well.
Technology has freed up some of our time, but are we using it wisely and being responsible with our time. Just as the children of Israel had a responsibility, we have the responsibility to use our freedom appropriately.
Hopefully, you enjoyed some time off for Fourth of July activities. Some military men and women paid with their lives so you could still enjoy yours. If you didn’t reflect on what Independence Day really means over the July 4th holiday, stop and do so now. It’s important we remember and that we don’t take our freedoms for granted or let them be trampled.©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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Lord, we need help

I never thought that I would see so much hatred in the world. The Bible does tell us it will happen and it gets worse every day, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. It strikes at the very core of my soul in disbelief.
No matter what happens or what is said, someone has to spew some kind of hate talk. It’s unnecessary. I was taught if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Seems today all anybody can think to say is something hate filled.
I have not always agreed with Newt Gingrich, but he recently said that hate has become accepted because it has been spouted from those in authority and those people put on pedestals such as the Hollywood elite. It has even come from the mouth of a former president.
But, even if that is the reason it is accepted by society, it’s still not acceptable in my book. We should know right from wrong and when we think it’s okay to depict someone being decapitated or assassinated as a joke, something is very wrong. I have always said, some things you just don’t joke about. I still feel that way.
We can point fingers and blame everywhere but it all comes down to each of us being responsible for our actions, our thoughts and our words. Yes, the internet has been a big influence, especially social media. But we can unplug from that and we don’t have to let it influence us. We even see it on some television shows. In fact, in today’s society, it’s even hard to get away from a TV, as every restaurant and many stores have them blaring. But we don’t have to watch those shows or be influenced by them.
Don’t like our past history? Well, let’s change it by taking down monuments and pretending it didn’t happen. It doesn’t work that way, folks.
Video games depict shooting someone and them dying, as coming back to life. That’s not real. We’ve lost the ability to live in reality and have become immune to truth. In trying to correct any of this, we like traditional modern medicine, we treat the symptoms, not the cause or real problem. Kind of like putting a band-aid on an artery that is bleeding profusely in hopes it will stop it.
We think the answer lies in building more prisons, hiring more law enforcement, using metal detectors and the list goes on and on for treatments which do not get to the root of our society’s problems.
It is a heart problem. We have become selfish, not caring about anyone else and caught up in the fad of the day. The Bible tells us in Jeremiah 17:9, that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can fathom it?”
In spite of what many may claim or say, our founding forefathers accepted the principles in the Bible and the truth as found in the Bible. Upon that foundation, our country was based. Even our constitution is based upon the basic principles found in the Bible.
I’m not saying all of the founding Fathers were all Christians, they weren’t. But they were all familiar with the principles of the Bible and they agreed with them. These principles were reinforced in children, not only by citizens, but by the church, the schools and our families. If you misbehaved at school, you got in trouble at home. Bad behavior was dealt with immediately and strictly. Neighbors would help keep any unruly children in line. If you didn’t follow the Bible, you followed the Golden Rule. Because of the reinforcements from all encounters, previous generations were people of high principles, whether they were Christians or not.
Not so today. Parents are more to blame the teacher than the child acting up and heaven forbid if you try to correct a child that is misbehaving.
If the reinforcement of good behavior, following the Golden Rule and/or the Bible was still demanded by society, we would not see all the hatred going on that we see today.
But then, we took God out of our schools and while the slide into the sewer had already begun, it became even more slippery and continued at a faster pace. Universities became more liberal in their thinking and even began to discount the teachings of the Bible. Churches began to teach a more social Bible than truth from the Word of God. These impacted our future teachers and leaders and altered previous ways of thinking which did not allow God’s teachings in our schools.
The catchword of the day became tolerance. Tolerance for everything, whether it was right or wrong, even evil. And we began to let feelings and emotions, which are fickle, rule.
I daresay our Constitution is all that is holding our country together though it gets trampled upon and many would like to just ignore it and use it only to hide behind it when it benefits them and their selfishness.
The structure of the family has changed. Parents try to be friends to their children before they are parents to them. And they let them make decisions toddlers have no right to make or the experience. You can be friends to your children when they are grown, but until that time, they need parenting and direction.
Home is no longer a place of security but only a place to eat and sleep. Parents feel they have to keep their children involved in one thing or another and video games have taken the place of reading. Imagination is stifled with today’s technology and children grow up way too fast. There is a constant desire for more and more, but more doesn’t seem to satisfy. Parents are too busy trying to make a life, they fail to actually live and they pass this on to their children. Living is more than a constant state of doing things and activities.
We complain about everything instead of being grateful. If we are inconvenienced in any way, we complain. If things don’t go our way, we complain. If it rains we complain and if it doesn’t we complain. We complain about our jobs, our children, our spouses and everything in between. We aren’t thankful for anything because we are too selfish and didn’t get our way.
To rectify our current situation in society, it will take a concerted effort. It will take a lot of prayer from everyone and standing on II Chronicles 7:14. It will take returning to the basic Biblical principles and teaching them to our children — kindness, love, compassion for the less fortunate, helping those in need, slowing down and really smelling the roses and being thankful for what we have instead of striving for more and more material things. It will take not accepting what is wrong as right and not complaining about everything constantly. Pray harder than ever; pray without ceasing. If everyone would do this, we would see a difference in our society. 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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