January 26, 2010

Hope and Change



ave you noticed how turbulent the storms of life can be?  Okay—that was rhetorical. Of course you have. Life can seem like a never-ending transition from one hurricane to the next, with a tornado or flood thrown in every now and then to keep things interesting.

Life’s continual changes present us with a very difficult terrain to navigate. We don’t know where to turn; we don’t know when we’ll step into a tar-pit; we don’t know when a wild beast will come roaring out of the woods. These changes are not pleasant and they have the potential to produce great fear of the unknown.


But we need not fear those changes because we have an eternal hope.

Isaiah 26:3–4 says:

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

The current economic situation and surrounding issues involving employment, housing, insurance, etc., have produced loads of storms in my life recently. And I have felt fear lurking at the door.

But I am encouraged with the promise that I will be kept “in perfect peace” if I anchor my hope in the Lord, not on the winds of promised change. The Lord is a rock in the storm. And not just a rock—an everlasting rock. And this rock will provide a sure footing that I can count on even through the storms’ turbulence.



  1. Hi Rich!
    I just want to encouragy you to be of good heart! The things of the Earth are fleeting and mean nothing in the cosmos. God is forever and expects us to sight him in the storm. I know it can be very difficult especially when the things of life are knocking at the door. It's the big picture we need to seek. I hope things turn around for you soon.
    Heather P.

  2. Thank you, Heather. You're absolutely right. I just need to keep that foremost in my mind. God is in control and my little aches and pains of life are not all that important in the grand scheme of things.

  3. Richard:

    I wonder if you have had the opportunity to read the secession documents from the various states in 1861? I think that many people wrongfully mix up Southern Ideals with the Confederate Ideology. Southerners had a way of living, Confederate Leaders perpetuated a tyrannical rule. Here are some Confederate quotes:

    Alexander Stephens VP of the Confederates-Cornerstone Speech:
    “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery -- subordination to the superior race -- is his natural and normal condition…”

    Texas Secession Document:
    ...the servitude of the African race… is mutually beneficial to both bond and free…justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator...

    Mississippi Secession Document:
    "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world…"

    Alabama Secession Document:
    No slave in this State shall be emancipated by any act done to take effect in this State, or any other country…"

    Georgia Secession Document:
    "The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees it its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers…
    We refuse to submit to that judgment…"

    I am a Conservative, Republican and a man of color but I wonder why many southerners don't move away from the tyrannical image of the Confederate and maintain the strong values, family first image of the traditional south?

    Frantz Kebreau
    National Director
    National Association for the Advancement of Conservative People of All Colors.

  4. Frantz - Thank you for visiting my blog and for leaving this comment. I do understand the strong emotional responses many folks have to the Confederacy and I agree that Southern culture and the Confederacy are two different, albeit overlapping, things.

    Whenever we look at history we need to consider societal cultural context as well as the context of the events in question. As blatantly terrible as slavery is and as blatantly terrible as ethnic racism is, it was a part of the mid-1800s societal culture. Abraham Lincoln (the first Republican president) is on record as saying blatantly racist pro-slavery things similar in nature to the secession documents you cited here. As an example, in 1858 Lincoln said in one of his public speeches: "I am not now, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social or political equality of the white and black races. I am not now nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor of intermarriages with white people. There is a physical difference between the white and the black races which will forever forbid the two races living together on social or political equality. There must be a position of superior and inferior, and I am in favor of assigning the superior position to the white man."

    The context of the final states rights issue that caused the war between the southern and northern states was the Federal government's usurpation of the rights of the states to govern themselves with respect to slavery. So that is the reason it was mentioned so much in primary documents of the time. It should not be seen as an indication of a unique character flaw among the Confederates, but it should be seen in its unique historical context, which shows clearly that the same racism was rampant throughout the world and characterized both sides of the war.

    I do identify with the Confederacy in addition to holding southern culture dear. I do so because I believe the participants in the union between the various states should hold to their contractual agreements as laid out in the founding documents of these united states. The Constitution of the United States specifically limits the powers of the Federal government and grants most of the governing powers to the individual states. We are still fighting this battle today.

    You have aligned yourself with the Republican Party, which I believe is the better of the two major parties at attempting to follow those founding documents. I think that's great. I align more closely with some of the third-party independents, especially the Libertarian Party. My reason for doing so, even though I tend to vote Republican, is that they seem to have a better understanding and concern for following the Constitution than the two major parties.

    I oppose strongly any form of ethnic racism and believe slavery in any form is evil. My son has an African ethnic heritage and through him we have seen the terrible nature of ethnic racism and it is appalling. I don't excuse our founding fathers or the principals in the War Between the States for their views regarding slavery, but neither will I throw out the entirety of what any of them stood for simply because they followed their cultural and societal times and held to a reprehensible position on one issue or another.


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