If the truth be told, I did not expect to still be writing these posts into 2017. It was probably last September that I had vowed I'd cease to publish my weekly ramblings if it all came to be as we were told it must. I was prepared to pull the plug...flip off the lights and shut 'er down and mosey on in search of another adventure. In all reality, I was physicked. The demise of the Rusty Goat, the passing of yet another failed author seemed to be in the hands of fate. I had said all I had to say with what could be said, and rather than continue with meaningless and hollow platitudes, I'd just quit.
But as I write this, I find myself determined to forge onward for the winds have shifted direction. No longer is it taboo to speak of patriotism. No longer does one have to fear the label of insurgent for taking a stand for the morals and values of our country. No longer do we have to bite our tongues, clench our teeth in forced silence, and indeed, shirk into the shadows as the armies of a few batter us with their socially misguided banter. No longer do I feel the need to draw my curtains before I pray or cast a nervous glance as I walk across a church parking lot. The shifting winds carry me forward.
An earthly wanderer for decades, my beliefs in a God Almighty suppressed somewhere deep inside me, I lived my life as I pleased, asking for help from no one, not even my Creator. In my mind we had an understanding...I'd live my life as I wished...and He'd let me. Then things happened, big things and I began to see the need for spiritual guidance. For I began to realize there was a whole other world that I'd been missing and somewhere around eight years ago, I ventured into that world.
It was at that exact time that the forces of evil...yes, you read that right...began to rise throughout our great country. As these forces grew in power and in popularity, I found myself drawn even further into that other world. As 'morals' and 'values' became dirty words and patriots and Christians were declared to be renegades and agitators, I determinedly pressed onward in my quest to find the meaning of it all. And I shared it with anyone who would read of my revelations.
But as time passed, there was talk...behind closed doors, fears nervously shared in church pews, whispers of persecution. Yes, in our land, persecution, and retaliation for our beliefs. Quite suddenly, as I remember, an ominous and sinister cloud fell across the land. Our fears were genuine. We feared for our children, for our neighbors, and for those who shared our beliefs. Perhaps we all handled it differently. Some brave souls plodded onward, some kept a low profile. Me...I quit writing about this new spiritual world I had recently reconnected with, deciding instead to pen meaningless and empty stories, space filler basically. And it grew tiresome and monotonous. I found no satisfaction and had reached a point of despair. I wished to bring it to an end. With an almost certainty that this assault on our morals and beliefs was destined to continue with an upcoming presidential election, I had vowed that my writing would come to a halt.
But I'm here to proclaim to all that will listen that it is COOL TO BE A CHRISTIAN TODAY! The winds have shifted and the clouds have passed. Eyes have been opened and ears are hearing a strange new message. Think about it! There are children who are eight, ten, twelve years old who have never heard a president utter the name 'God' or mention prayer in their entire lives until just days ago, much less see one inside a church building. They've never heard of a vice-president marching in a 'Right to Life' parade. These kids may actually be given the opportunity to learn the Pledge of Allegiance and even...yes, say a prayer in class if they wish to do so.
No, politicians did not bring about this change...we did. Beneath the suppression of our basic freedoms, a revolution was born. Silently and stealthily it formed and grew into an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. Those who fell asleep at the helm lost their footing, floundered, and fell, crashing on the reefs. More will follow.
Ponder this: The founder of your favorite social network no longer calls himself an atheist and in fact has set out to discover what drives Christians in their faith. Two iconic country music performers have veered from a familiar path and recently released gospel albums. Perhaps most amazing, probably the least likely person you'd ever imagine in our country has called upon God to help him direct our nation onto the road to becoming 'Great Again!' Are these all just fluke coincidences? I think not.
Last Sunday as I sat in church, tears came to my eyes as I gazed around the crowded sanctuary wondering if I had ventured into the wrong church. People like me raised their voices in songs of praise. When the pastor delivered his message, 'Amen's' echoed through the room. I'd not heard many in recent times. As we filed out we hugged each other and exchanged hearty handshakes. The congregation meandered out into the sunlight filled with joy and peace, a refreshing wind of change greeting us.
There are those of you who don't want to hear what I have to say. Just move along if you are one of them. My space and my dime here...I'll speak my mind as I please. It's been a long time coming!