Rock Climbing and Discipleship

This past Friday when I arrived home from work, my wife was packed and car was loaded up and she and her girlfriends were on their way to a weekend trip with just themselves (no kids nor husbands in tow).  She was excited and I was excited for her.  She was curious to what I had planned all weekend for my three kids and I, but I would not budge in telling her and relying on pure social media for her to figure out as the time progressed through this weekend.  For each of my kids I had planned on giving them a date, event or time to plan the event and they all performed beautifully in their assignments.  I had each of them pinky swear that they would not tell their mother or each other.

So after Mom left, we changed and drove the movie theater for surprise #1:  The Movie:  Planes.  Afterwards, surprise #2 was dinner at the choice of my son.  We had a great time of fellowship and talking about their life issues and dad even got a chance to talk to both of my girls about when they date what they should expect from their dates and how the male should be expected to treat them while dating.   It was a good conversation and a great dinner choice by my son.

climbThe next morning was surprise #3 by my youngest who chose a different breakfast then the kids were used to (and all 3 loved it).  I have to be honest in saying that I was remiss for missing my weekly men’s bible study, but soon quickly enjoyed the moment and how much fun my kids were having during this wonderful weekend.  Afterwards, we drove to the nearest Ace Hardware as dad had a few items to repair around the house and had to cross off some of my own “to-do” lists – they were completed (oh yeah!).  We then drove to our previous hometown as I had to pick up a clock for my dad (Antique).  We then got some coffee and then I surprised them with my #4 event for the weekend – Rock Climbing.

The best part about this was that it had been a very long while since all of them climbed and after the first climb (they reached the top every time they climbed), but I was reminding them to make sure that at all times that they had 3 points of contact (unless they were taking a break and relying on the spotter for rest).  I told them also to use their legs more then their arm strength and told them to think about each of their next moves up the wall.  The following climbs, thereafter, became more and more difficult but each of them found their own niche on not only completing the task, but also learned that even when doubt creeps in that they could still do it as God had provided them with the mental and physical talent to complete each climb.

This got me thinking about this post and how rock climbing can relate to being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

So here it goes:  How Rock Climbing relates to being an effective disciple

Rock Climbing (relating to being a disciple of Jesus):

You need the proper gears (shoes, harness, rope, helmet, Caribiners, Belay device):  <you need your Bible, Prayer, the Body of Christ, and to rely on the Holy Spirit to lead you>

You need someone to Belay you <you need to do ministry with someone else – at least two by two and in community you need the entire body of Christ>

You need faith to trust the equipment that you have been given -without Faith and trust in what you have, it would be an effective Climber <you need faith to be an effective disciple of Jesus Christ

You need to look up to see where you are going and what is the best course of life <you need to look to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for guidance>

Some Safety Tips along the way:

Saftety Tips <related to discipleship>

  • Be careful and alert. <be careful and alert>
  • Use the right kind of equipment. <read the Bible, learn it, memorize it and pray with it>
  • Seek professional instruction. <seek the Lord’s instruction>
  • Take a class, hire a guide or go with an experienced climber. <get involved in a mini-church, men’s group and accountability>
  • Don’t overexert yourself. Stay within your limits. <learn to rest, God taught us to rest on the Sabbath – we need margin in our lives>
  • If you’re injured, wait until you’re healed before climbing again. <if injured, give yourself time to heal>
  • Avoid areas where there is a lot of loose rock. <avoid areas where sin is prevalent>
  • If you displace a rock or drop a piece of equipment, yell “Rock!” to warn others. <if you encounter sin or temptation, yell for help, sing praise and worship and call a friend>
  • If someone else yells “rock,” don’t look up. You don’t want to get smacked in the face. <if someone else yells at you to avoid sin, don’t keep going don’t go that way>
  • Test foot and handholds before using them. <test everything and examine yourself along the way>
  • Don’t climb in bad weather. <don’t climb and reach in story seasons – know your limits>
  • Watch out for birds, snakes or other critters residing in handholds. <watch out for old sin habits, demons and spiritual warfare>
  • Always safety-check your harness, rope, belay device and knots before climbing. <always safety check your disciple equipment:  The Word, Prayer, Accountability and so on>
  • Wear a helmet when climbing outdoors. <wear the helmet of Salvation in daily spiritual warfare>
  • Know and trust your belayer. <know and trust your Savior>

What are some of your life lessons?

Be Blessed,

D

Sons & Daughters

blogger-image-1930830084Romans 8:14  (NIV) 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

2 Corinthians 6:18  (ESV) 18 and I will be a father to you,  and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

When you really think about the two verses listed above, it is really hard to grasp.  Think about it.  If you are like me, then you have kids and no matter how much they screw up, cause rifts and just like to whine – they are still my children and I will love them no matter what.  I would die for each one of them (including my wife) if I had to.  I love them, they are my family.

I think Christians sometimes have a really hard time grasping exactly what God did for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.  He sent His Son to die for us and to be the perfect sin-offering for our trespasses.  He loves us and did, in fact, die for us!  That being said, there is no more that is needed to be said – through His death and resurrection, we are made new and are righteous and counted as sons and daughters because we have been engrafted into God’s family – AWESOME!

There is nothing we can do to earn this – God chooses us!

There is nothing that we can do to lose this – Once Saved – Always Saved!

Scripture tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling – this is for our pathway to sanctification through humility.

For some of us, the word family (or for that matter, Sons and Daughters) can be very painful.  Divorce, death, singleness, fill-in your blank, some of our definitions for family and or God may be painful memories.  I cannot fix this now do I challenge that this blog can do that – it can’t.   What I can do for you is turn you to the source that can (God’s word – the Bible and Prayer and His Son – Jesus Christ) – Get to know them – they will never let you down.

What are some of the things that you have taken from this?  What would you add?

Let me hear from you (what do you want to read about),

Blessings,

D

The Disciples Code (borrowing from the Navy SEALs code)

I continually am impressed and deeply moved when I look at the soldiers who put their needs behind the needs of others and give selflessly toward others (toward country) believing in freedom and what their mission is.  After watching Lone Survivor (for the second time) I am completely speechless at the sacrifice that these men put out everyday that they serve from this shore or to foreign shores to serve our God and country.  I can only hope (and find it my civic duty) to make sure that the politicians who put them at risk deeply consider their decisions and that they MAKE SURE that wherever and whenever they put our troops at risk that they make sure that they have the full support and wrath of our support troops, equipment, armor and air support to protect these mighty warriors, regardless of image or what other countries may think.  When we are at war, may public image be damned in order to support these soldiers who die for our needs and way of life (FREEDOMS given to us by our forefathers who put God and Country in the same sentence).

downloadThat being said, I re-worked the SEAL’s code to write a proposed Disciples Code (thoughts?):

The Disciple’s Code

  • Loyalty to God, Jesus and Holy Spirit
  • Serve with Honor and Integrity On and Off the Spiritual Battlefield
  • Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit
  • Take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your teammates
  • Excel as Spiritual Warriors through Discipline and Innovation
  • Train for Spiritual Warfare, Fight to Win, Defeat our Savior’s Enemies
  •  Earn your crown of life everyday

Disciple of Jesus Christ

 

In times of spiritual warfare or uncertainty there is a special breed of disciple ready to answer our Savior’s call. A common Christian with uncommon desire to succeed.

 

Forged by adversity, he stands alongside our Savior’s finest special brothers and sisters to serve God,  His church, and protect our way of life.

 

I am that man.

 

My Bible is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By reading the Bible I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.

 

My loyalty to God and family is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Christians always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.

 

I serve with honor on and off the spiritual battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men.

 

Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

 

We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of senior leaders I will take charge, lead other disciples and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.

 

I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Savior expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my disciples and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.

 

We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my disciples and the success of our mission depend on me – my spiritual skill, biblical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.

 

We train for spiritual warfare and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of God’s Spirit power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my Savior. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.

 

Brave disciples have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of God’s Disciples steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.

——

When it is all said and done questions to ask ourselves:

  • Why are we here?
  • Who put us here?
  • What does God want from me?
  • What does God require from me (of my time, talent and treasure)?
  • If I am saved (freed from sin and death) then how can I thank Him by best leading my life here forward?

What do you think?

Blessings,
D

 

Paul to Timothy: Life lessons for Jesus’ Disciples

2 Timothy 2:1-5 New International Version (NIV) The Appeal Renewed

timothyYou then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach othersJoin with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.

What are some of the things that Paul has taught Timothy?

  • Teach other men to teach (not to teach false doctrines)
  • Teach them the command to love, command of a pure heart, command of a good conscience and the command of sheer faith
  • Teach men to lift up holy hands in prayer (without anger or disunity)
  • Teach men the qualifications of Elder and Deacons
  • Train yourself and others to be godly
  • Devote yourselves to public reading of Scripture
  • Teach yourself to be watchful (of your life and doctrine)
  • Provide for widows and your families
  • Learn godliness with contentment
  • Teach those who are rich to give generously and to be rich in good deeds, in this way they will lay treasure up in heaven for themselves
  • To avoid godless (also fruitless) chatter
  • To grow up and flee the evil desires of our youth
  • Teach these men not to quarrel, be kind to everyone, and for those who oppose these men (and us) to gently instruct them in the hope that God will grant them repentance.
  • Teach them truth in that every man that chooses to live a godly life will be persecuted
  • Teach them that all Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • Preach and teach the word, correct and rebuke and encourage (all with great patience and careful instruction)

Other Scriptures:  Galatians 6:1-2, 2 Corinthians 13:5-10; James 5:19-20

This past Tuesday, I met with 16 other men and we did this devotion and discussed what Paul had instructed Timothy.  We read the four scriptures listed above and then discussed all the points that Paul instructed Timothy with in reaching Jesus’s disciples.  I am amazed at the gifts of the Spirit and how He equips each member of his body.  It was a great discussion and we talked about how we, as leaders, are doing with this list.  We talked about how our church was doing.  We gleaned a lot from this study and I think all of us were blessed as a result of it.

The more and more that I read, pray and watch God reveal His plan for all of us, the more wonderful and secure I feel about being a part of His Kingdom.  If God is with us then who can stand against us?

Some takeaways from this devotion:

  • Why does this matter to us?
  • If not us, then who?
  • Are we making a difference?
  • We need  to hone our listening skills and let the Holy Spirit do His work.

Blessings,

Dante

Top 10 ways to be more efficient with your time

isolated 3d golden text "TOP 10"In every day jaunts of life, we find work, friends, family, commitments becoming more taxing as we get older.  The demands of sports and leisure activities seems to be speeding up instead of slowing down.  For some of us, we like this kind of pressure and for others we become quickly overwhelmed.  As for me, in my house, it depends on the subject:  Things that I love to do are easy for me to be fully active and things that I have to do or may be required to do for family sake may have a different approach (just being honest here).  That being said, I find myself sometimes letting my life lead me instead of me leading my life.

One of our pastors put this quote up on Facebook today,

“A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.” Charles Spurgeon

 

This got me thinking about leaving your legacy.  So here it goes:

My top 10 ways to be more efficient with your time:

  1. Make a priority list – mine (a daily battle) is to put God, Family, Church, Work and community in that order and to understand what my role is as Husband, Father, Elder and Leader means
  2. Make a to do list – each day make a list of things that have to be done, would like to be done, and little things that would be the gravy (note:  The key here is if it doesn’t get done – don’t panic)
  3. Follow through – follow through on what you say you are going to do (and do it)
  4. Limit your Media – limit the TV, social media and computer time (this is one area where i realize that a lot of time is wasted
  5. Encourage others – put positive people, influences (the word of God and Prayer), habits in your life.  The old adage of what goes in comes out (aka Garbage in = Garbage Out) having negativity around you and negative people can be draining.  You might have a better chance by hanging a 500 pound weight around your neck and trying to swim to shore from 5 miles out.
  6. Set Goals – Set goals for yourself, for you and your wife (work together on vision, dreams aspirations and make them realities) Short term goals are now to 1 year, medium term goals are 1 to 5 years and long term goals are 5 to 10 years.  Revisit these goals and tweak them as necessary and as life’s circumstances evolve.
  7. Read the Word daily – there is so much truth in this Bible and by doing such we yield to the Holy Spirit who molds us into what God wants us to be
  8. Exercise – this is key and critical to efficiency.  When the Pharisees and religious leaders of Jesus’s day tried to trap him, they asked him, “Rabbi, what is the greatest commandment”  Jesus simply responded to love the Lord God with all your heart, mind, body soul and strength and the second is just like the first:  Love your neighbor as yourself.  By being emotionally, spiritually and physically fit – you can pave the way to better efficiency with your life.
  9. Pray continuously – I have already listed this, but let me say it again, pray continuously by asking the Lord to reveal to you the things which you need to do, to let go of and to rid yourself daily of in order to be the man (or woman if you are reading this) that God wants you to become.
  10. Comfort, Urge and Encourage – comfort, urge and encourage others around you to live a life worthy of God.  By creating a positive and Godly community around you, love will shine and efficiency will be one of its fruits.

What are some of your top 10?  And why?

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

 

Proud to be free

I saw this post and had to re-post it here (for a reason).  Click here for this post.

SEAL CODE:  A Warriors Creed

Warrior creeds, such as the Ranger’s famous creed, have been around for over a century to guide the actions of operators on and off the battlefield. The creed is a code of conduct and inspirational daily reminder of the “reason we train and fight” for the men and women of these units. Many outside observers point to the mission of the units and preparation of the teams when describing who these people are. Warriors know better. It is the Warrior Ethos that best describes who they are, an ethos that has been shared, albeit with different words, with the Samurai, the Spartans, the Marines and other Special Operations forces around the world.

The SEAL Code was created just two years ago. Prior to this, the SEALs had an unspoken code defined by the culture, historical experience and training. “Leave no man behind” and “failure is not an option” are examples of cultural mantras that evolved as the unwritten “SEAL code” from the Teams battlefield experiences in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere. We have held to this code, never leaving a teammate in the field, dead or alive. Recent experience in Afghanistan with Medal of Honor winner LT Murphy and his teammates exemplifies this code of conduct.

The SEAL code, however, was not recorded or “written in stone” and as the community grew, it needed some grounding. Would it be more powerful if it were more than a few mantras like “leave no man behind” and “Failure is not an option?” It became clear to the SEALs that they needed a more comprehensive creed that was not subject to interpretation and erosion over time. In 2005 a cross-functional team from all ranks was brought together to ponder the issue and come up with a durable, written, code. The team took input from all quarters, and did some serious community soul searching to penetrate the essence of what it meant to be a SEAL. The results are nothing short of extraordinary.

How do you think the SEAL Code stands up? Will it be powerful and durable enough to guide Naval Special Warfare operators into a chaotic future, much as the Ranger Creed has done for the Rangers?

We at NavySEALs.com feel that the SEAL Code stands tall with the greatest creeds of martial history and is one of the most succinct articulations of how a warrior culture is to conduct themselves in war and peace. Read for yourself and decide:

The SEAL Code

  •  • Loyalty to Country, Team and Teammate
  • • Serve with Honor and Integrity On and Off the Battlefield
  • • Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit
  • • Take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your teammates
  • • Excel as Warriors through Discipline and Innovation
  • • Train for War, Fight to Win, Defeat our Nation’s Enemies
  • • Earn your Trident everyday

United States Navy SEAL

In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed.

Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life.

I am that man.

My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.

My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.

I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men.

Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.

I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.

We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me – my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.

We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.

Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.

Bravo! Let’s all try to live up to this wonderful code of conduct in our daily pursuit of excellence. I believe you would see some serious results.

Mark Divine- NavySEALs.com founder

———–

This begs the next question:  What is the Christian Disciples Code of Honor….?  Thoughts?

Happy Fourth of July!

Thanks for serving to all of our troops:  Past, Present and Future!

May God bless the USA!

Blessings,

Dante & Lance

Are you a good listener?

The old adage of, “I know you can hear me, but are you really listening to me….” seems to be a recurring theme among men that I talk to both in life and in ministry.  The real problem here is that when you strip back the layers it really isn’t just one-sided – rather, it takes two sides.

downloadCountless relationships find communication problems that start out small but end up monumental.  Others seem to let the little things pass them by and then realize over several years that these “minor problems” have become major and in some cases even ending relationships.

Why?  What is the root cause and how does it happen so quickly (look at the previous blog post and realize that we all have an enemy who roams the earth looking to devour – especially those who walk with God.

How to be a good listener:

  • Step 1:  Be a good friend and listen to what the person (wife/husband/friend) is saying without interrupting or hearing what you want to hear and interjecting along the way
  • Step 2:  Remember that God gave us 2 ears and only 1 mouth – I really think that this was for a reason:  Don’t just hear, but listen to what is being said.
  • Step 3:  Do not be quick to judge.  Be slow to speak and slow to become angry
  • Step 4:  When you decide to work on being a good listener, then put down the phone, the texts, and turn your eyes upon the one who is talking to you.  This instantly shows them that they have your attention and respect.
  • Step 5:  If you have distractions that you cannot control (phone, tv, computers, etc.,) remove them or mute them.
  • Step 6:  Body language – make sure that you are giving them every sign and body movement that you are engaged and that the world (at this current juncture) could end and that the only thing that matters is them.
  • Step 7:  Along the way, without being rude, cocky, ignorant or whatever could be deemed negative, ask the person to clarify when in doubt, or say something along the line of, “If I am listening to you correctly, I believe that you are saying…., or that you mean…. – and then ask them to clarify and then continue.
  • Step 8:  Be intentional with your new-found listening skills and ask relevant and insightful questions in regards to the person, the situation and the subject.  This will have positive impacts for both you and the talker as both are feeling validated.
  • Step 9:  Don’t force the conversation.  Even if you know that they are holding back or not ready to fully open (and even if you know what could be said next – Don’t say anything)  by listening and being a good listener, then you will show that you can be trusted (with listening) and that sooner or later that person may decide to open fully up to you.
  • Step 10:  Regardless of the level of conversation, do not devalue it or make it seem like it is not relevant.  Whatever the topic or the issue or the conversation show the person (spouse or friend) that they matter, they are relevant and you do care about what they are saying
  • Step 11:  Do not make light of it.  Do not discard it and do not blow it off.  If it is important to them, no matter what the subject, then value that person by valuing what is important to them regardless of your own feelings or knowledge
  • Step 12: Pray before you talk, during and after for God to lead you the way that you should go.  Listen for the Spirit to guide you to either encouragement, comfort or urging of that person.

top-activelisteningMen, whether we like it or not, God has intended us to be the Spiritual leaders.  That is a big necessity that is lacking in a lot of cultures.  Where are the men with integrity, honor, valor and the like?  Imagine if we all worked on being a better listener at home, school, work and community (and church) – what would that look like to those around us?  How do you think people would respond?

What are some of your steps?

Let’s hear from you,

Dante

When we get this, the rest makes sense

In John Chapter 8, we read about Jesus talking to leader of their time, those who did not know Him and accept Him as Messiah, and we understand Jesus’ very point in what is wrong in society today:   Galatians 5:

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy,[d] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

John 8:42-4

English Standard Version (ESV)

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Understand this:

  • The Devil is a liar
  • The Devil is a murderer
  • The Devil does not understand truth
  • When he lies he is speaking his native tongue
  • The Devil is a liar
  • The Devil is the father of all lies

No matter what we think, say or do, we have to convince ourselves that Jesus truly means what he says about one of His Angels – the fallen Angel Lucifer – he is a liar.  Therefore, anything that is of God’s plan, Satan wants to destroy.  God said to us in Genesis – Be fruitful and multiply!  The devil says divorce, quite, hate (murder) those that you know you should really love.  God says that we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul, body and strength and the second is like the first:  Love our neighbor as ourselves.  The Devil says that we are to love self and hate others.  He wants us to gossip, slander, malign and be captured by our very lusts and pleasures in life (after all society tells us so greatly how much we need it).

Sometimes we hear people say things like:

  • I cannot wait to die and go to hell and be with my friends who love the world
  • You Christians are boring, what do you know about pleasure
  • Don’t be so rigid, live a little
  • How can a God of love cast people into Hell and the Lake of Fire?  I don’t want to serve a God like that…

Sometimes we hear and see Christians shrink behind God’s truth and our freedoms that our forefathers understood what is so important to us in this Country of ours the United States of America:

THE BILL OF RIGHTS

 

The first ten amendments to the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights, set forth the priceless rights or freedoms that all Americans may enjoy. A brief summary of these great freedoms is given here.

 

FREEDOM OF RELIGION

 

The first right, or freedom, guaranteed in the Bill of Rights is freedom of religion. This right is guaranteed in the First Amendment. Freedom of religion guarantees to all Americans the right to practice any religion they choose, or to practice no religion at all.

 

Congress is forbidden to establish any religion as our nation’s official religion. Congress cannot favor any one religion over others or tax citizens in order to support any one religion.

 

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

 

The right to express your ideas and opinions when you speak is called freedom of speech. Freedom of speech also means the right to listen to the thoughts and opinions of others. This freedom guarantees that Americans are free to express their thoughts and ideas about anything. They may talk freely to their friends and neighbours or speak in public to a group of people. Of course, no one may use his freedom of speech to injure others. If a person knowingly says things that are false about another, he may be sued in court by the person or persons who believe they have been harmed by what he said.

 

Americans are free to express opinions about their government or anything else. They are free to criticize the actions of the government and of government officials. In a dictatorship, where the nation’s government has all the powers, the people have no right to speak like this. They do not dare to criticize the actions of the government. If they do, they may be imprisoned. But all Americans enjoy the freedom of speech, which is guaranteed in the First Amendment.

 

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

 

The freedom to express your ideas and opinions in writing is known as freedom of the press. This freedom is closely related to freedom of speech and is also guaranteed by the First Amendment.

 

Freedom of the press gives all Americans the right to express their ideas and thoughts freely in writing. This writing may be in newspapers, books, magazines, or any other printed or written form. Americans are also free to read what others write. They may read any newspaper, book or magazine they want. Because they are free to read a variety of facts and opinions, Americans can become better-informed citizens.

 

FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY

 

Another priceless freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment is freedom of assembly, or freedom to hold meetings. Americans are free to meet together to discuss problems and to plan their actions. Of course, such meetings must be carried on in a peaceful way.

 

FREEDOM OF PETITION

 

The freedom of petition is the right to ask your government to do something or to refrain from doing something. The First Amendment contains this guarantee, also. The freedom of petition gives you the right to write to your Congressman and request him to work for the passage of laws you favor. You are free to ask him to change laws that you do not like. The right of petition also helps government officials to know what Americans think and what actions they want the government to take.

 

THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS

 

The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to bear arms. In the early years of our nation, Americans needed weapons in order to serve in the militia, or volunteer armies, that were established to defend our states. The militia provided protection during emergencies, too. Many Americans also believed that without weapons they would be powerless if the government tried to overstep its powers and rule by force.

 

“NO-QUARTERING” RIGHT

 

The Third Amendment states, “No soldier shall, in times of peace, be quartered in any house. . . .” Under British rule, the colonists sometimes had to feed and house British soldiers against their will. As a result, Americans wanted this practice forbidden under the Bill of Rights.

 

THE RIGHT TO EQUAL JUSTICE

 

The Bill of Rights contains many rights that are guaranteed to persons accused of a crime. Amendments Five, Six, Seven, and Eight are all concerned with these rights. Our nation places great importance on these rights in order to guarantee equal justice for all Americans.

 

A person must be indicted, or formally accused of a crime, by a group of citizens called a “grand jury” before he can be brought into court for trial.

A person accused of a crime is guaranteed the right to know what law he is accused of breaking.

A person accused of a crime has a right to a prompt public trial by a jury of his fellow citizens.

An accused person cannot be put into prison and kept there for weeks or months while awaiting a trial. He has the right to leave jail, in most cases, if he can raise a certain sum of money, or bail, as a pledge that he will appear at his trial.

An accused person has a right to a lawyer to represent him in court.

All the testimony and evidence against an accused person must be presented publicly in court.

The accused person has the right to call any witnesses to appear if their testimony will help him.

The accused person cannot be forced to testify or give evidence against himself.

If the accused person is found guilty, he cannot be given cruel or unusual punishment. If the accused person is found not guilty of a serious crime, he cannot be tried a second time for this same crime.

THE RIGHT TO OWN PRIVATE PROPERTY

 

The Fifth Amendment guarantees Americans the right to own private property. No person may take away anything that we own. Nor can the government seize our land, money, or other forms of property without cause, or without paying for it. The right to own private property is one of America’s basic freedoms. Our free economic system is based upon this right.

 

THE RIGHT TO ENJOY MANY OTHER FREEDOMS

 

To make doubly sure that Americans should enjoy every right and freedom possible, Amendment Nine was added to the Constitution. This amendment states that the list of rights contained in the Bill of Rights is not complete. There are many other rights that all Americans have and will continue to have even though they are not mentioned in the Bill of Rights. Among them are the following.

 

Freedom to live or travel anywhere in our nation

Freedom to work at any job for which we can qualify

Freedom to marry and raise a family

Freedom to receive a free education in good public schools

Freedom to join a political party, a union, and other legal groups

As a final guarantee of our rights, the Tenth Amendment set aside many powers of government for the states. This Amendment says that all powers not given to the federal government by the Constitution, nor forbidden to the states, are set aside for the states, or for the people. This provision leaves with the states the power to act in many ways to guarantee the rights of their citizens.

 

SUMMARY

 

Government is the authority or power that people establish to help them run their affairs.

Governments serve many important purposes, but the most important one is that government makes it possible for people to live and work together. Government provides us with rules of conduct we can follow. Government makes it possible for people to live by known laws, and helps provide many services that citizens acting alone could not perform themselves.

Our nation’s government is based on the American Constitution. This Constitution, together with its Bill of Rights and other amendments, provides us with a workable plan of government. The Constitution also guarantees to all Americans many priceless rights and freedoms.

Our nation’s government is based upon the approval, or consent, of the people who are governed. It is a federal system in which certain powers are given to the national government and other powers are left to the states and to the people. Certain powers are shared by both federal and state governments. In both federal and state governments, powers are separated and balanced among three branches of government.

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Understand this:  The Devil wants to destroy the very essence of God’s will for our lives – to have an abundant life and to be saved by His Son – Jesus Christ.

  • Love the Lord
  • Let Go and Let God
  • Repent, turn and serve God
  • Seek first the Kingdom of God
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Don’t forget, the devil wants to destroy every good and righteous things in your life.

Blessings,

D