A New Year Awaits


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on December 31, 2021 | Sundance | 184 Comments

… “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

~ Robert Frost

2021 has again been a tumultuous year for most of us.  As the eve winds down, we are given to considering everything that has taken place.

Perhaps we have new challenges, perhaps our center is askew, perhaps our faith holds a new perspective, or perhaps our exhaustion weighs heavy as we rush turning to the next chapter…. hoping, praying for a better tomorrow.

It is easy to lose our sense of optimism.  Retaining a joyful perspective while everything around us seems mad isn’t easy.  However, if you accept that you can create something just a little bit better by making a choice, then you have accomplished a great deal.  Regardless of what tomorrow brings, we always have choices.  A new year’s perspective:

I have long felt that life is like a series of links in a chain. You might be driving down the road and you hear a song on the radio, or see a picture, and you feel a memory….

Something triggers within you that reminds of a different time and place than where you are right now.

You reflect.

The memories you consider remind you of a totally different time in your life.

Perhaps you lived in a different place.  Perhaps you were surrounded by different people. Perhaps a different job or completely different friends. You recognize those memories were constructed like frozen moments in time.  They became individual links in the chain in your life.

We never actually realize, in the immediate moment, when one link closes and another link begins. But when we look back, we can clearly see distinct points where things changed, the link closed, and a new link began.

You see, the links are only visible in reflection.

As we reflect, we find parts of the chain in our life where each link closes and connects with the other. A beginning, and an end. At the point where the links are joined, we carry parts of the previous link forward to the next.

For many people those connections are bonded by family, or very strong lifelong relationships. Connections which continue beyond our geographic moments, jobs or temporary acquaintances.

But for everyone, the primary bonding agent brought forward from one link to the next is us, our center, our values and core principles. Our beliefs.

The strength of the steel which comprises the links of our life is forged in the fire of adversity, weakness, challenge, pain, loss, and painful growth. The steel is then cooled with the tears of triumph, hurdles overcome and resolve.

The forging makes the steel stronger and able to withstand the pressures that accompany the additional length. Slowly the chain becomes wiser as it lengthens. Able to reach further, form more significant benefits and become more useful.

Hope replaces fear. Love replaces loneliness. Success replaces adversity. These are successful links began and finished while contributing to the whole.

At times we may manipulate the links with avoidance. We hide from -or choose to avoid- an issue in our effort to begin a new link before the old one was naturally, and spiritually, prepared to be closed.

Eventually, as life continues and the chain lengthens, the weak link can fracture, and we are forced to revisit/repair what we originally chose to avoid.

You see, in life we cannot control the universal laws that guide us. So, if we manipulate circumstances to avoid confronting our own weakness, we cannot fully strengthen our life of links. Eventually, the weakness of our past will impact our future.

So, what principles do we carry from link to link? What core values and beliefs stay with us throughout the journey of our lives? The answers to these questions are what makes us human spiritual beings.

We possess freewill able to make choices about what we do, and how we define our individual humanity; but can we then define ’right’ and ‘wrong’ according to our individual principles? Or are there principles that exceed our influence and definition?

Are there natural laws of right and wrong, good and bad, that cannot be subjected to the determination of man?

These are the bigger questions, perhaps the more important questions; and yet, perhaps the ones we reflect upon the least.

Consider the example of the ‘Law of the farm’ vs. the ‘Law of the School’. Natural principles vs. those made by man.

A student can skip class, take few notes, pay only half attention, then stay up all night cramming for a test and manage a decent grade. It depends on the student’s goal: grades or learning.

The student can choose to manipulate the education, by avoiding the learning and capturing the grade. This is possible in the ‘Law of the School’.

However, a farmer cannot take short cuts. A farmer cannot avoid tending to the soil, preparing the seed, fertilizing and nurturing the crop, and still gain the benefit of an abundant harvest.

The farmer must necessarily do all of the appropriate work in order to benefit from it. Such is the ‘Law of the Farm’, the natural law.

When one considers the weakness remaining within a poorly constructed and manipulated link, perhaps established by selfish choices and driven by avoidance and fear, one can be faithfully assured those who have dealt dishonestly with us will have to visit the issues of their association again.

Conversely, no amount of manipulation or avoidance on our own behalf is going to improve the frailty of any link without first resolving the lack of character which created the weakness.

So, we have choices in our lives. Decisions we each make regarding how we interact and participate in the lives and links of others, as well as how we choose to construct the links that comprise our own lives.

Do we base our sense of purpose around natural principles? Principles based on natural laws of right and wrong, good and bad, truth and lies.  Do we forge strong links by following our heart, our values?

If we can interact with others absent of a prideful self-driven agenda, or manipulative intent, we can then apply such principles and strength to our endeavors.

If we protect the integrity of the soil upon which we build the foundation of our lives, we can live without regret.

If we fertilize and cherish our crop, and the crop of our neighbor, with honesty and sincere appreciation for the souls we meet along our chosen path, we will live a life of abundance.

If we tend carefully to the consideration of everyone, yet holding true to our values and principles, we can strengthen ourselves amid the face of adversity and disenchantment.

If we do not hide from, nor ignore our individual and collective faults, we can build the chain of our life with strength, humility, and purpose.

I wish for each of you a long chain of bold, strong, beautiful links, polished with the reflective brilliance of Love, and the very happiest of blessings for a brand-New Year.

Abiding love to all.

Steadfast,

Sundance

…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

A Christmas Message from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on December 25, 2021 | Sundance | 30 Comments

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has risen in profile due to his strong leadership in the sunshine state during COVID.   Here’s Ron DeSantis’ Christmas message:

Rejoice in this Special day


Remember what this day is about, the birth of the Son of God Jesus Christ sent here to save us from our dark side. Today we have forgotten that, to our determent, and now our social fabric is unwinding as a direct result. If we don’t turn back to believing in our God the Republic will not stand so its up to us. Stop listening to those that desire our submission for any reason.

The solution to our current problems are simple and in our power to do — just do as Christ would and love your neighbor as if he were your brother! and If you can do that simple act we will be OK!

It’s Christmas – Let Us Rejoice and Reject This Human Created Foreboding


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on December 24, 2021 | sundance | 189 Comments

I first wrote about the great purposeful foreboding last year.  I never thought it would apply to a second advent.  Essentially, this foreboding narrative stems from a political message promoted this year by a godless joy-sucking White House: “A winter of death” awaits the unvaccinated.  Seriously?

Seriously!  Stop for a minute. Just stop.

Stop and think about the purpose of that narrative, and then ask yourself, are you succumbing to it?

This is the day of great joy, the greatest joy of all.  A day when we celebrate a loving and purposeful blessing provided to us by our Creator.  The universal truth. The pure perfection of a loving Child born in the most ordinary fashion for us, to us, to guide and share the most blessed and purposeful message that could ever be delivered to mankind:  You are Loved.

Pause amid the human distractions.  That message of love is pure.

Stop and sit in peace, and join together in the joy.

Yes, it is true, all around us is this great sense of foreboding ugh, and it’s not just connected to a virus; it’s everything before and everything since.  Everything being created around us is weird, everything created around us is less comfortable, everything created around us is intended to project less joy – and as a consequence, it requires an intensity of thought just to carry on ordinary events.

Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is tonight and tomorrow. Yet, almost everything created around us seems purposefully placed to distract from that joy – and focus our attention on what joy we are missing. At the heart of that effort is an anxiety, a sense of foreboding. A sense of fear and worry, and a sense of trepidation.

In our daily lives, we encounter ordinary disconnects now. Masked faces are disconnecting our sense of interaction, our human connection. Unfortunately, and as a natural outcome of these challenges, we are accepting disconnect and creating a void inside ourselves. At the same time, COVID is physically disconnecting people from their families.

Many families will not gather this year to celebrate the joyous event of Christ’s birth. Many parents and grandparents will not see their adult children for the first time in years, perhaps ever.  Many destabilized families are disconnecting as they succumb to fractures, instructions, created by people who appointed themselves as leaders.

It is almost unbelievable when you contemplate the damage.   Politicians, yes P.O.L.I.T.I.C.I.A.N.S, have created terms and conditions, instructions for you and me, with the expectation that somehow we will adhere to their fiats or accept their aspersions.

I reject this.

I reject this effort with every fiber of my being.

Division, regardless of intent, is not a term or condition that I will accept.  However, amid all of this bombardment, flux and ugh, even simple tasks like decorating the Christmas tree feel somehow   senseless, seem less joyful.

Perhaps financial worry, again driven by the outcomes of man, stems the joy in shopping for family and friends. Perhaps the shine within the cheer is slightly dimmed, because all around us is something we cannot quite describe, yet we feel it.

Perhaps tears flow at times, and we struggle to understand what this unusual anxiety is all about. Then, we begin to struggle with the feelings of shame or guilt for being weak and allowing our humanity to pour out of our human selves. Then, at the worst possible time in the year, our faith organizations are slow to understand the importance of fellowship and community amid an upheaval that has taken our center from under our feet.

The insufferable lack of regional leaders standing tall only makes the anxiety worse.  Where are the brave?

Where are the purposeful few who know the benefit of larger messages?  I do not fault their absence, because their void reminds me to stop, look at that face I see while brushing my teeth, and remember the greatest strength of all is from within.  Nothing has the capacity to remove the strength provided by a loving God unless we allow it to; unless we allow them to.

As our grip on our familiar surroundings becomes more tenuous, we are faced with dictates and mandates that only exacerbate the issues our community faces.  Meanwhile, this ridiculous media drumbeats an incessant noise intent on  destabilizing us.  Perhaps we cannot quite put our finger on why the impact is worse now…. but it is.  This effort of theirs is more impactful.  It is all ugh. It is all just ugh.

If you find the assembly of these simple words familiar to your current sense, first understand YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  Second, understand there is nothing wrong with you. This blanket of anxiety is laying across our entire nation, indeed the entire world, and no matter where we stand – we are all sensing a various level of this ‘ugh’ with some familiarity. However, that said, it is important to know this is transitional. We will not be in this place long. This too shall pass.

How do we shake these destabilizing feelings and emotions?

How do we reconnect to the core-spirit we carry in our lives?

These are the questions we should use to leverage ourselves back to a center of peace and hope. These are the questions that empower us to recharge our sense of purpose and life within the lives of others, including our community, family and friends.

♦ The first way we shake this ‘ugh’, is to give to others without reservation. Giving with purpose is the true spirit of human contact. The giving is not related to money or wealth, the giving is related to our human purpose. Perhaps we give a smile. Perhaps we give a kind word. Perhaps we give a compliment, or perhaps we just give time to another.

You could give a more valuable gift this year to anyone simply by reaching them.  Perhaps send an email; or better yet, write a letter to a dear friend or family member, or just pick up the phone.  Reach out and tell them they matter and express why their place in this life of yours is important. Remind them of your specific thankfulness, and connect to the purpose of why we endeavor in this thing we call life.

Years from now, it is unlikely anyone will remember that thing they unwrapped.  What they will remember, what will have much greater impact, is a message from YOU to THEM that they matter, that they are loved.  That moment, perhaps those moments, provided by you, will NEVER be forgotten.  That look in your eye or sound of your voice that reached into them and emphasized their value, their worth, their importance.  That is the gift they will remember in great detail, forever.

The important thing is to give, and to do it without any other intent or purpose than to fill your own heart.

♦ Within the giving, remind yourself what this journey is all about, and look around to recognize how fortunate we are to have this life. Choose to cherish the ultimate gift from a loving God who wants joy and hope to permeate our human sense.

Hope is the one necessary human element beyond all other facets of life. Give the gift of hope and light to those you love by first reminding yourself of the gift that a loving God has given us all. It is too easy in our human sense to forget the biggest gift we have been granted, the gift of life. The ability to live and choose how we engage in the lives of others.

Remind yourself of the kind of purposeful HOPE that would leave the most glorious throne to be born into a manger as a baby, only to grow into a Man willing to lay down His everything for the flawed people amid humanity.  Why?  Because that hope is pure.  That love is perfect.

No politics or false sense of security can overwhelm the message of HOPE that a loving God has provided. No effort of man or human disposition can surmount the greatest love of all. The message of Christ’s birth is bigger and greater than any virus or legislative battle.

“No power of hell, nor scheme of man” can come close to the purpose of God’s intent and love for you as a unique person qualified to receive that love.

Wrap yourself in the blanket of that unconditional love.  Stop what you are doing.

Pause in the peace of this moment… set down your troubles, LISTEN and FEEL.https://www.youtube.com/embed/17kiIIxSdC0?feature=oembed

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining, til He appeared and the souls felt its worth. A thrill of HOPE; the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn…”

Let the tears flow, and with them release the foreboding. Engage in the next moment with a loving purpose filled with the HOPE that He provides. Fall forward to the centered purpose of your life, a very special life, and reflect on the gift we are too quick to diminish.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.”

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭21:1-6‬

Abiding love to all.

Steadfast,

~ Sundance

Gloria In Excelsis Deo


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on December 24, 2021 | Menagerie | 31 Comments

The People Who Walked In Darkness Have Seen A Great Light


Posted originally on the Conservative tree house on December 25, 2021 | Menagerie | 27 Comments

IS 9:1-6

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing,
as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
as people make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
and the rod of their taskmaster
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle,
every cloak rolled in blood,
will be burned as fuel for flames.
For a child is born to us, a son is given us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
His dominion is vast
and forever peaceful,
from David’s throne, and over his kingdom,
which he confirms and sustains
by judgment and justice,
both now and forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

GospelLK 2:1-14

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment,
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth
to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem,
because he was of the house and family of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there,
the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Merry Christmas


Armstrong Economics Blog/Uncategorized Re-Posted Dec 25, 2021 by Martin Armstrong

We would like to wish our readers a very Merry Christmas!

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Fourth Sunday of Advent


Posted originally on the conservative house on December 19, 2021 | Menagerie | 6 Comments

Mi 5:1-4a

    Thus says the LORD:
You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah
too small to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel;
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient times.
Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time
when she who is to give birth has borne,
and the rest of his kindred shall return
to the children of Israel.
He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock
by the strength of the LORD,
in the majestic name of the LORD, his God;
and they shall remain, for now his greatness
shall reach to the ends of the earth;
he shall be peace.

Gospel

Lk 1:39-45

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

Second Sunday of Advent


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on December 5, 2021 | Menagerie 

Lk 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
Posted in Uncategorized

First Sunday of Advent


Posted originally on the conservative Tree house on November 28, 2021 | Menagerie | 4 Comments

Jer 33:14-16

The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will fulfill the promise
I made to the house of Israel and Judah.
In those days, in that time,
I will raise up for David a just shoot ;
he shall do what is right and just in the land.
In those days Judah shall be safe
and Jerusalem shall dwell secure;
this is what they shall call her:
“The LORD our justice.”