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ALL HEADS BOWED AND NO LOOKING AROUND

Are you a Christian?  Simplest question ever asked, regardless of any complications one allows to stifle the answer.

 

If so, the time has arrived when there can be no question as to whether or not you will respond to the duty you are being called to act upon.

 

You must cast your vote for the President of your United States.

 

I challenge every breathing person to look around and name the force in control of the world.  And for any complicators, that force is biblically stated.

 

Until recently, I, like many others, saw the selection of one candidate over the other as a choice between the lesser of two evils.

 

Then it was called to my attention that there is one difference that gives a bottom line answer.

 

To any of us who believe we are more than the evolution of a primate, the choice is clear.

 

We choose life, in every sense of the word.  And all the troubles of the world become bearable.  And in that choice there is no senseless killing of unborn babies.

 

Only one candidate makes this same choice.

 

Your failure to vote on November 8 is your vote for the biblically named enemy.

 

May a shudder travel up your spine.

 

 

My United Hometown

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I reflected earlier this summer – on our 4th of July holiday to be exact – on how the celebration termed as our ‘Independence’ Day seems to be lost at times to those of us that live in this great country we call home.  Lost in the sense that we may take for granted that freedom is not an entitlement.

As the news stories played out across our televisions this past Sunday, many of us recalled where we were on that fateful morning fifteen years ago.  Where we were, what we were doing when shock took over as we watched and felt the horror take residence in the heart of every American, young and old.

As I watched on Sunday, I thought again of our men and women stationed in countries across oceans, far away from loved ones, who are there for the sole reason of defending this county we move freely in.  Where we, at any time of the day or night, can choose to live our lives with the comfort of not having to worry of such things as missile strikes, combat zones or constant bombings.  Those soldiers are working and laying down their lives to ensure that freedom that all of us cocooned in safety can so easily relay into a ‘right’.

On Monday, in my mind and heart, those soldiers overseas became joint partners with soldiers of a different uniform.  Those wearing the badges of city and county police officers.

As the hours ticked by throughout the day, I kept watch for emails updating the condition of a police officer from my hometown who was shot while serving a warrant over the weekend.  Late Monday afternoon, we learned he had succumbed to the injuries.

And my hometown is united like it hasn’t been since 9/11.

Office Brackeen’s patrol car is standing guard at the police station, covered in flowers.  Our picturesque courtsquare is adorned in blue ribbons.  Restaurants are selling blue lapel pins to raise money for the family.  Students at schools throughout the county will be wearing blue in honor on Friday.  Off duty officers in full uniform are seen standing talking in groups all over town.  Facebook is filled with beautiful tributes.  Just to give you a visual.  Our hearts are broken for his wife and four year old daughter.  For all his friends and fellow officers.

We’ve all heard the news reports of officers killed in the line of duty.  And I am ashamed to admit it to be so, but until this tragedy hit ‘home’,  I had mainly been only aware of officers as my foot got heavy on the gas pedal and feared being caught.  Personally speaking, that is. Also, I remember telling my granddaughter that they are there for us to call if we’re in danger and need their help.

My, how things have changed.

In the volatile currents that are wrecking our society, these officers are truly soldiers on the battlefields of home.  Just as the soldiers overseas are defending our nation as a whole, these brave men and women step out each day into situations that can take their lives just as easily as those in the war zones of our world.  They are officers because of a heart’s desire to serve and protect – an oath they make to each of us.

I urge everyone reading this to examine your thoughts.  Have you, like myself, failed to give due respect to those who have sworn this oath?  I can say without a doubt that if I had to tally them into a column, the column would be headed as “Protection I’m Entitled To”.  The last forty-eight or so hours have opened my eyes.

This morning I actually saluted an officer driving in the lane beside me on the way to work. I realize as a civilian a salute may not be proper, but as each of us here struggle to come to terms with this happening in our own backyards, a salute summed it up for me in the space of moments I had in his eyesight.  I have awakened to a  great respect and appreciation for the protection they fight daily to blanket us with.  My heart goes out to them in a way like never before.  And now, with my granddaughter having been a part of the prayer vigil on the courtsquare Monday evening, I have a feeling she may be giving me a lesson on the freedoms they protect and not just there if we need them.

Please join me in searching out ways to let these protectors in our midst know that we stand with them, that we appreciate more than words can express the many ways they cloak our days in protection.  Chances are very high that we know very little of the actual dangers they have experienced in any given day.   I will seek ways to express this appreciation, but in the meantime, I will continue to salute.

My prayers and gratitude are with each of our soldiers.  Everywhere…

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At Every Bridge Bringing Officer Brackeen Home

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Saluted All Along the 45 Mile Ride

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To Protect And Serve

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United at Every Mile

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Standing Guard

 

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IPNNC

ian watkins

I read a post today by a fellow blogger who said she was considering giving up writing posts.  She presented the dilemma that it seems many of us are faced with today.  That being that if we express our feelings regarding what’s going on in our society , and those feelings don’t line up with popular opinion,  that we can be ostracized, basically cast out from society.

I was pondering on how I would write this post on the drive to work this morning.  That pondering went something like this:

Years ago, my daughter was awarded the Aloha Award at a luau she and I attended in Oahu for having the brightest ‘aloha spirit’ for the evening.  This was at the end of the evening, after she had gone onstage with many others to ‘learn the hula’.  The emcee went down the line speaking with each person and when he came to my daughter, he did a double-take and asked her question after silly question just to put her heavy Southern drawl out there for all to hear. We will be in Maui next month and my granddaughter is looking forward to her time on stage as well.  Now, instead of their wonderful spirits being the highlight, I cringe to think of the silence that may ensue when they learn from where they reside – North Carolina.

So let me just put it out there and not hemhaw around the bush.  I’m proud of reigning from North Carolina, now more so than ever.  NOT because our state is leading a fight against the LGBT and transgender communities.  That is propaganda that leads news stories.  I just saw a story on GMA where a man was ranting through the aisles at a Target store telling them they would all be judged by God.  Yeah, he will too.

I am terribly ashamed for those types of representations that North Carolina is receiving.  But that is not what is fueling our governor and state lawmakers to pursue the upholding of the HB2 law.  It is in no way a discrimination of the LGBT and transgenders. The opponents, and even now the federal government, have created that to be the issue.

The general public is unaware of the number of cases of sexual abuse commited against the children in this country.  Local law enforcement agencies operate under a cloak of silence in order to protect those innocent victims.

But if you wonder whether or not this is true, let me challenge you.  Ask someone who works in such an agency, and ask them quick.  The general comment you will receive will either be yay or nay.  If it’s no, thank God.  If it’s yes, that this is true in your county, then stop and ask yourself if what the opponents of this law are saying is a scare tactic holds any truth whatsover.  If even one child is put at risk, then how can we face ourselves to not support North Carolina in this pursuit?

The picture at the top of this post is a man named Ian Watkins – look him up.  He claimed to actually procreate children so he’d have them to molest.  I sicken myself even writing that.  But these people are out there, people!

Governor Pat McCrory is doing what no one in the past has done before.  In the face of any and all opposition, he is not backing down. He holds firm to protecting our children.  It is not a protection from the LGBT and transgender community.  This has nothing to do with them – and I cringe to say ‘them’ because that signifies an ‘Us vs Them’ mentality – this nothing other than the fact that people who identify themselves as such are raising the demands that they be noticed by using this platform. Which restroom have they been using prior to this debate?  The one they identify with.  Why pass a law allowing them to do what they’ve been doing all along?   Why create this issue?    If I have any discrimination whatsoever against them, it is that they are denying the safety of our children in order to be recognized.  And that recognition is self-imposed.  And ‘them’ includes ANYONE who puts our children in harms way – regardless of sex, gender, race, nationality, or any other facet of humanity.

This all started forty miles east of my home, in Charlotte.  I don’t know the details of how and why it all started other than the city passed an ordinance that would allow anyone to use any restroom based on gender identity. Governor McCrory stepped in at once and the rest is becoming history.  McCrory, I’m sure, has access to the records to back up his strong opposition.

Please do not discredit North Carolina as a whole by the rantings of misguided individuals who put themselves in the judgment seat.  I can still see the wagging finger of my grandmother as she pointed to her Bible and said “love the sinner, hate the sin.”  And who is the sinner?  I am.  You are.  Your children are.  Your parents are.  Each and every person on either side of this problem is a sinner. To me, it doesn’t matter who you are – I believe the Bible.  And the Bible says ALL are sinners and only by the grace of God are we saved.  No one can pass judgment but God.  We each answer for our own selves.  And I don’t want to have to answer for bigotry, hatred, violence.  But neither do I want to answer for playing a part in the misguided failure to protect our children in any way possible from this sickened world we live in.

May God bless Governor McCrory as he fights this battle for not only North Carolina but the United States.  May God bless ALL of our lawmakers.  May God bless each of us who see ‘them’ as being any different than ‘us’ – we are all His children – whether we acknowledge that or not. May God bless each and every one of you reading this.  And may God bless and protect our precious children.