About Me

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Jim Killebrew has 40 years of clinical psychological work for people with intellectual disabilities, and experience teaching, administration, consulting, writing with multiple publications. Dr. Killebrew has attended four Universities and received advanced degrees. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Educational Psychology; University of Illinois at Springfield, Counseling Education; M.A., Human Development Counseling; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, B.A., Psychology and Sociology. Dr. Killebrew attended Lincoln Christian Seminary (Now Lincoln Christian University). Writing contributions have been accepted and published in several journals: Hospital & Community Psychiatry, The Lookout, and Christian Standard (multiple articles). He may be reached at Killebrewjb@aol.com.

Welcome to my Opinion Pages

Thanks for stopping by and reading some of my thoughts. I hope you will find an enjoyable adventure here on my pages.

The articles are only my opinion and are never meant to hurt anyone nor to downgrade any other person's ideas or opinions.

Scroll through the page and stop to read any of the articles you wish. If you like what you see leave a comment, then tell someone where they can find this site. If you don't like what you read then leave a comment reflecting your thoughts and I will read them when I visit the site from time to time.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wisdom is better than gold

God’s Wisdom is the most profitable thing we can encounter. As the world races toward an economy that lifts high the value of gold and wealth, we have an offering from God to partake of the most valuable thing available to us…the Wisdom of God and His saving Grace. There is nothing more valuable than our relationship with Him. To know and understand the moral knowledge that only God can bring is something that exceeds the value of silver and gold. To enter into the relationship with God and experience His Wisdom is to gain experiences that can only come through that relationship.

Solomon, the great King of Israel was given the Wisdom that God wanted him to have. Solomon counted that wisdom the greatest thing he could possibly have. The value that Solomon placed on God’s Wisdom is recorded in part in the Proverbs that King Solomon wrote. In Chapter 3 Solomon wrote about God’s Wisdom using the feminine pronoun:

“For her benefit is more profitable than silver, and her gain is better than gold.” (Proverbs 3:14)

Relationship with God brings the power of His Spirit into our own experience. We find energy that was never present before. We think we seek the “good life” by attaining more salary, a greater number of “things”, more status, higher recognition, great wealth and celebrity, but it pales by comparison to being in the Spirit of God and experiencing His Wisdom. The gain is salvation, forgiveness, blessed hope and continued joy. That gain of salvation is much more profitable than the riches of this world. Jesus asked us to consider what it will gain for us to acquire the entire world, but lose our own soul. The answer is obvious; without Him we are nothing.

There are benefits to relationship with God that far outweigh any benefit that can be obtained by pursuing wealth without submitting to God’s Wisdom. Once having become the most successful, the most outstanding, obtained all the degrees, wealth and fame, the end of it is buried in a small, ornate box with a few words of inscription on a headstone. Gaining life’s greatest treasures but giving up God’s Wisdom will count the person nothing but a fool.

In the final analysis all accomplishments plus a lost relationship with God including rejecting His Wisdom will result in nothing.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Presidential wisdom

Friday, July 23, 2010

Blessings of God’s Wisdom

When we have finally reached the bottom of hopelessness and despair, we have looked everywhere to find some hope, the only place we have to look is up. As we examine our lives and rehearse all we have been through, remember all those who have promised to stay with us, but drifted away at the beginning of the roughest times, we look for some stability in life and a reason for staying.

Our body, our soul, our spirit is created by God to seek Him, worship Him and yield to Him by accepting His grace and total forgiveness. We raise our hands and our hearts to reach out to Him and His blessings; we seek His comfort and forgiveness by yielding to Him and accepting Him. Only then can we find rest in our own selves as we forgive ourselves from within His mercy and grace. We find forgiveness and deep joy in King Solomon’s message in Proverbs chapter three:

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” (Proverbs 3:13 KJV)

Finally, we find deep joy and contentment when we commit ourselves to God and His Wisdom. When we finally yield ourselves over to God and submit to His Spirit to lead us throughout our lives, we find a deep satisfaction that cannot be obtained from anywhere else. We are more than happy; we are filled with a deeply-rooted joy through a washing of our spirit that returns a fulfillment that feels almost like it is heaven-filled. We walk in step with God, pleasing Him as we have yielded to Him; He rewards us with knowing we are at last right with Him. It brings a lasting reward that opens our eyes to understanding that goes beyond anything we have ever experienced.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We Are All Americans

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ten Commandments in American culture

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Discipline of the Lord

For the most part no one likes to be disciplined. In fact if discipline takes any form of punishment it is rare to find someone who enjoys that. Whether or not we know it or understand it, we are constantly receiving discipline every day of our lives. The environment in which we live delivers discipline on a steady basis. Believe it or not, discipline is needed for growth and maturity. Perhaps another name for discipline is learning.

To establish a common ground for this article, discipline is defined as an application of stimuli to the person, either on a naturally occurring basis, or in a systematic application designed to affect the person’s actions. The person receives this stimulation through any number of ways: All of their senses, or any combination of senses. That stimulation can also come in a cognitive form through the thought process.

A stimulus received through a naturally occurring event might be the proverbial apple that fell on Sir Isaac Newton’s head. Within the context of our earthly environment we are subject to the “Law” of gravity. Consequently when the apple “goes up, it must come down”; even if it took several months to grow so far up in the tree. When it matured, the stem disconnected from the branch and the apple fell to earth and hit poor old Newton on the head. So, in the most foundational sense, Newton was disciplined in the sense of “learning” about something. We understand now about the rotation of the earth on its axis and the centripetal force that tends to move everything to the center of the earth through that movement; we call it gravity.

A systematic application of a stimulus could be something like a Teacher’s lesson plan in a reading class. The teacher places the paragraph for reading in front of the child, has the child read out loud, and then guides the child with her voice of approval or disapproval on the correctness or incorrectness of the pronunciation of the words in the paragraph. The Teacher’s voice serves as a stimulus to give the child feedback for right or wrong. Through the process the child learns not only how to pronounce the word in that paragraph, but everywhere else that word appears in other readings. Believe it or not, during this process the child was being disciplined.

The Behavioral school of thought has outlined four different types of things that can be done to a person for learning. Those four things include,

1. Giving the person something they really like;

2. Giving the person something they really do not like;

3. Take away from the person something they really like; and,

4. Take away from the person something they really do not like.

Now, other than the degree to which these four things can be applied, when you think of it there really is not much else you can do to or for a person. The stimulus being applied moves from extremely pleasant to the person all the way to extremely painful or aversive to the person. Therefore, the application of any of these four stimuli has some kind of effect on the person.

The effects of those four things mentioned above include either an increase of certain behaviors, or a decrease of certain behavior. Think of your own behavior. If you do something and you receive what you consider a big reward for it, you tend to keep repeating that same behavior hoping to get another big reward. If you do something and you get a big slap in the face for it, you tend to not do that so often anymore. The same thing happens when something is taken away. If you do something and something you really like (money for example) is taken away from you for it, then you tend not to do that behavior again. If you do something and something you really hate (like a migraine) is taken away from you for it, then the likelihood of repeating that behavior is increased (like taking pain medicine). All of those forces or stimulation is part of discipline, or learning.

Anyone who has taken a three-year-old into a grocery store certainly understands the need for discipline. As we grow and mature into adulthood we sometimes fail to recognize our own personal need for discipline. The Bible, however, tells us that it is not only needed, but it comes about because of love, with an aim to save us from a calamity of pain.

King Solomon of old wrote through the inspiration from God in the Proverbs an interesting insight about discipline. In Chapter 3 Solomon says,

“11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Proverbs 3:11-12 KJV)

When we are “chastened” by the LORD there is a note of pain and suffering that comes with it. As we move away from His leading and the love He gives us, our conscience sears our heart and we feel the anxiety, emotion and pain associated with our rejecting His nearness. When that suffering is being felt we may or may not immediately associate it with God’s dealing with us. As we continue down that path of resistance and rebellion we continue to feel the tug, but it gets easier to ignore as time passes. As our spirit disengages from God’s Spirit we may recognize our gradual movement away from His love and mercy, but fail to recognize that it is we who are moving away, while He remains stable.

God will start to provide corrective actions in our lives. Even though we hate the correction, if we continue to feel the pain there remains hope for us to return to Him. The Bible says that God is not willing that any of us should perish, but that we should all come back to Him. Even if we get tired of His correction in our rejection, He will continue to send those corrective measures; He will never give up.

There is a parallelism in this passage that has both a father loving his son enough to provide correction, and God as our Heavenly Father loving us so much that He too will provide correction when we are in need of it.

So our being chastened may be painful at the time we are in rebellion, but when we turn again to face the LORD and refrain from doing evil, He welcomes us back with open arms, puts a ring on our finger, a robe on our shoulders and rejoices in our returning home where He accepts us as His child.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Redistribution of wealth

Over the past year or two we have heard a lot about redistribution of wealth. On the political scene of the American landscape the President has talked about those who have wealth sharing it with those who do not have it. The talking points have focused on those whose wealth has been earned or furnished through other means and the life of privilege it brings. The promise has been to tap into that “upper” percentage of people with means and “return” it to its “rightful” owners; those in working America who have carried the heavy load.

On a political note one can argue the merits of a “Robin Hood” type of government that will “take” from the rich and “give” to the poor, but in reality even the so-called “poor” in America are wealthy by comparison to billions of others in countries around the world.

Nevertheless, our relativity in America allows us to compare ourselves with our neighbor. We can look at our “things” and then look at his “things” and compare what we have with what he has. So we surmise, relative to others we have less than some and more than others. We argue as to who is wealthy and who is not. Most Americans can count themselves as “poor” when compared to Corporate giants like Bill Gates, George Soros or even a professional ball player with a one-hundred million dollar contract over four or five years. But in reality most Americans have enough. Not as much as they want, but usually enough.

My Dad used to tell me the story of Standard Oil Baron, John D. Rockefeller, who would toss a dime to the paper boy on the street and admonish him to “Save your dimes boy, they make dollars.” For sure, Mr. Rockefeller had plenty of dimes, and dollars too. But as poor as we were when I was growing up, without a car, walking where we went; Grandmother, Sister and me in the same bedroom of a two-bedroom house, with Mom, Dad and Sister in the second bedroom, with Brother on a cot in the dining room; but as I remember, we still had enough.

The Bible gives us a different vantage from our current tax-and-overspend viewpoint. Solomon wrote in Proverbs,

“9 Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10 NKJV)

When God breathed into Solomon’s heart the inspiration to write these words, the word “Honor” was written. This is an imperative that actually functions as a command. We can think of this not just as words written by Solomon, but the very word of God that speaks to us in the form of a command to Honor the LORD.

Why would we want to honor God anyway? God is all-powerful, all-loving and full of Grace. The Bible records that God loves us so much that He gave His one and only Son, Jesus, so that anyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting live. (John 3:16) So our response to God’s great love for us is that we honor Him. Solomon said in Proverbs that one way we honor Him is with our possessions.

In our society we have been taught that we give money when we “go to church.” For sure a collection is taken and our local congregations usually live according to some sort of budget so that property can be maintained and bills can be paid. But when we are standing in the full shadow of God’s Grace, we realize that everything we have; including our own lives, belong to God the Creator. To honor God with our possessions is to take stock of everything we have and consecrate it to God with His blessing and use it for our neighbor (fellow man) and then give God all the glory and praise.

It really does not stop with that either. When we work every day or accumulate money or possessions as each month and year passes, the process of yielding ourselves to God and honoring Him with our possessions is a constant thing. Solomon used the word that is translated “firstfruits” as a means for informing us that giving merely of our possessions is not enough; we are to honor God with the “best” of what we have, our “first” earnings. We take from the top of our possessions, not from what we have left over. By taking the first part of all we have and giving it over to the honor of God by helping others who are truly in need, we truly love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Now, as is usually the case, God gives us a command to honor Him with the very best of our possessions, and with it comes a promise that He will do something too. In our society we grow callous with so-called televangelists sometimes acting as carnival barkers trying to lure us into sending them money to receive the blessings of God. God calls us to a higher order, however. When God says to Honor Him with our possessions it is not because he needs to add an addition to His mansion in heaven, or make another payment on a celestial Rolls Royce. It is because He wants us to yield to Him completely and to willingly honor Him and worship Him so that He can bestow upon us the richest blessings without measure. By yielding to Him and allowing Him to work through us He feeds the hungry world through us; He lifts the downtrodden through us, He shares His love for the lost through us.

There is something that I think the “religious” world does not understand. That is no amount of work we do will “earn” anything for us from God. God has already given us everything we need; and in Him, everything we desire. When we give our best possessions to honor Him we are allowing Him to work His power through us in such a way as to redistribute the wealth to those who are in need.

God’s promise to us is to replenish our wealth. When we yield ourselves and our possessions to His honor, His miraculous power is ignited and He regenerates our wealth not for us to accumulate, but to replenish so we can continue to give.

If our nation would turn to the command that God has given us to honor Him with our possessions so they can be used by Him through us to help those in need, there would never be any need for the President or anyone else to establish policies or make speeches about our need to “Redistribute wealth in America.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Narcissistic wisdom

Narcissism can be characterized as a personal self-admiration. The person with this condition will gaze in the mirror at his reflection and fail to understand why all who see him would not want to stop and gaze at his beauty and grace. This person is completely self-centered and sees the entire universe revolving around him. In the field of psychiatry this person is thought to have a personality disorder that reflects that person’s overestimation of his personal attributes, both physical appearance and abilities. This person craves attention and has an excessive need to be admired by others.

People with narcissistic tendencies may be seen excessively holding a camera at arm’s length snapping their own picture…then posting it on social web sites for all their friends to see and admire. They will crave the constant feedback of how superior they are by comparison with others who might surround them.

The Bible proclaims in Proverbs 3:7-8,

“7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

8It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Proverbs 3:7-8 KJV)

Solomon, being inspired by God, wrote these words for us to know and understand our relationship with God. We are admonished to not think of ourselves more highly than others, and not be so impressed with our own wisdom. Our wisdom is faulty and sometimes leads to conclusions that are different from truth and reality. I once knew a man who was boisterous and loud; always wanting to inject himself into others’ conversations. He would join himself to their conversations and begin talking over others, all the while looking around to see who might be watching. When he saw another he knew he would shout out to them even if they were across the street. He thought he was admired and sought after as a conversation partner, but the truth was most people dreaded to see him heading their way.

Each of us of course possesses a certain amount of insight into situations and happenings around us. Most are intuitive and able to discern implications and conclusions from the information we receive. But there is a higher source of insight that is beyond the insight of even the most learned men and women. When we begin to walk the path that leads to fearing God through respect, reverence and worship, we begin to learn insights that come from a much higher source than our own. In fact, our own self-centered insight is deemed as evil when it refuses to honor God through respect and worship. Perhaps a better understanding of Solomon’s intent in this passage would be something like

“It is evil to think of yourself as being so wise that you are rejecting the Wisdom of God, therefore, you must stop thinking in this self-centered way. Instead, turn to God and have respect and reverence for Him, and turn away from your own evil intent.”

Once having turned from that evil, we can look for the blessings that will come from God. There is a promise that is linked to fearing (respecting) God and tuning into His Wisdom. As we worship Him and seek His will for our lives, we shed ourselves of that self-centeredness that is a hindrance that keeps us from Him. When we completely yield ourselves to Him something miraculous happens: He sends His Spirit to dwell in our heart so that we can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. We can never completely rid ourselves of our narcissistic self-centeredness that weighs us down; we must yield to Him so that His power can strengthen us, and help bring us closer to Him.

When that happens, the navel (as a figure of our body) responds to healing. Just as water to a person dying in a desert becoming dehydrated with a loss of consciousness brings renewal and freshness to the physical body, the turning from evil narcissistic self-centeredness and turning toward God brings a Spiritual renewal and refreshment. As we continue to yield ourselves to God and accept His Spiritual renewal, that freshness grows into a Wisdom that comes directly from Him and it sinks deeply into our inner being right to the bones.

From that vantage our narcissistic behaviors are replaced by God-given Spiritual renewal. Instead of rising to receive all the glory for ourselves, we willingly and passionately back away from the spotlight and give all the glory and honor to God Almighty.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Trust in the Lord

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6 to

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

In a society where lying is the norm, sell-outs of friends are common, secrecy is ever-present, big brother is watching, loss of jobs, huge government debts, politicians seemingly drifting away from actually representing the people in their districts to vote for special projects to increase their own standing or circumstance, and the tragic consequences of global terror, trusting in someone or something is at the same time scarce and yet pervasive. To have trust is to have faith; and faith is something that is sometimes scoffed at in our sophisticated society.

In the Bible’s Old Testament, Solomon recognized that we cannot stand alone. In our culture we value individualization and the ability to work for what we have and “pull ourselves up by our own boot straps.” But when God nudged Solomon to write the words in Proverbs, He shared His vision that we simply cannot go it alone in life. As much as we take pride in our “rugged individualism” we are more likely to flounder and fall under the pressures of “going it alone” than we are if we find something or someone to “lean” onto for support. Solomon “leaned” on God for the wisdom to write the Proverbs, and God says, “Trust in the Lord” and “lean” on Him.

Trust is a heavy-duty responsibility. Every day I drive a car I trust other drivers to be as good at driving as I want to be myself. When I am in heavy traffic on the interstate highway moving at 70 miles per hour and begin to pass the person in front moving at a slower speed, I trust the driver in the other car to continue to do what he is doing. Once I have ventured into the passing lane I trust the other driver not to swerve into that lane to push me off the road; I trust the other driver not to speed up and force me to increase my speed. At the time I am in the passing lane moving that fast I have placed myself in a precarious position of imminent danger and am relying on the strength and skill of that other driver to see me through that pass…I have placed my trust in the other driver’s ability to provide support for me.

In a very real sense my survival in life depends not as much on the sharpness of my own skills, as it does to the accuracy of the skills that countless other people have each time I place my trust in them to complete my path. When I step into a plane for flight I place my life in the skill of a pilot; when I step into an elevator I place my life into the hands of a myriad of people from mechanical engineers to those who have worked on the production line to produce the cables or hydraulics that operate the elevator. Each time I survive the action of a choice I have made it is because I have placed my trust in the hands of others.

The admonition from Solomon to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart” takes a new perspective. If I can place my faith (trust) in others, how can I not all the more place my faith in the Lord? Trusting God is not just acknowledging Him verbally, but totally immersing myself with mind, emotions and will to trust him “with all my heart.”

In “all my ways” I should acknowledge God because His skills and abilities surpass all the combined total skills and abilities of each person collectively I have ever trusted in my life. Trusting Him, being obedient to Him is the only choice I have if I want to survive. In everything; when I place the key in the lock on my front door, when I change my baby’s diaper, when I lick the ice cream off the cone, when I board the cruise ship to vacation…in everything I will “trust in the Lord with all my heart.”

Being totally secured by willful obedience in yielding to God by trusting Him in everything; now God provides a promise. Obstacles are in our path for everything we do. An obstacle can be that person in whom I must place my trust in order to complete my task. But God can make that path straight; He can make that task light, or make the burden light. With God all things are possible and life in a complicated twenty-first century world that include relationships, responsibilities, relentless pursuit of life can be made straight by trusting in the Lord.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Seek Wisdom

King Solomon, the wise King of Israel wrote in his Proverbs (1:7)

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge….”

The person who wants to start his or her adventure in true worship of the Creator and gain a deep reverence and respect for Him will begin their journey by seeking and acquiring knowledge from Him. That knowledge is not just an academic or cognitive knowledge, but an experiential knowledge that links the spirit with His Spirit to fill the empty space created in the heart with fulfilling love through an understanding of Wisdom.

Solomon later wrote,

“1My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

2For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” (Proverbs 3:1-2)

Our hearts reach out for fulfillment, nurturing and contentment. We seek to fill that desire with something, anything to cover the pain. Some seek fulfillment by drink or drugs; some by wild living or materialism. In the Bible the heart is the center of emotion and conscience. We are told in Proverbs 3:5 to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.” God has created us with a place that needs to be filled with His wisdom and understanding. People live their lives trying to stuff all sorts of things into that space that He has created for Himself. But our efforts to fill our hearts with “things” to bring happiness only leave us empty and looking for more. Even relationships not truly grounded in God’s love and purpose will leave us seeking more.

To find joy to fill that empty place is to Worship Him and yield to Him our heart of hearts to be filled with His love and His Spirit so that we may experience the wildest ride of our lives. Only by inviting His Spirit into ourselves will we be able to find true peace.

Once finding that peace through yielding to God’s Spirit it provides a life worthwhile and perhaps even a long life of contentment and spiritual blessings.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Immigration quandary

I guess I am just a bit confused. I am reading so much about the issue of illegal immigration and the pros and cons about what the country should do about it, I am conflicted.

On the one hand people from Mexico are coming into the United States by the tens of thousands each year. Boarder states are having trouble with resources and those resources are being sucked up by people coming into the respective states illegally and claiming the benefits. On the other hand with the Mexican government apparently not able to curb their own ineptness and/or keep their corruption in check, the infrastructure of the nation continues to lag behind almost as a third-world economy preventing its citizens from attaining and maintaining an acceptable standard of living. Consequently the Mexican people are forced to travel north to seek a living for themselves and their families just to exist.

In the United States it is not like a person in Nebraska or Iowa would have to travel across the border to Canada or to Mexico to seek meaningful work. If work cannot be found in their local area, they might move to another city or state. The infrastructure of the US is such as to accommodate most people in finding work, or at least continue to help with unemployment compensation when they have been laid off from work. For those who cannot work due to illness or disability, the US government at the federal and state levels has established any number of support systems to help people through their need. In the US it would not be a common thought for people to immediately take flight to cross the Mexican border to seek work.

Therein lies part of the issue. The United States is seen as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It is the “land of milk and honey” for those who are hungry; it is the “City on a hill” where the lights of plenty are calling for those less fortunate to come and be a part of the dream. Some would have us believe that America is hated universally; but that is not true for those thousands, perhaps millions, who seek to migrate to America. The majority of those folks just want to move to America and work to make a living for their family and themselves.

So, on the other hand, with the majority of Americans claiming to be Christian, it is to America’s advantage to have people from Mexico and all over the world to come to America to see how a country founded on the Judeo-Christian principles of life now live; and perhaps by chance hear the Gospel of Christ preached from the pulpits of America and the lives of those claiming to be Christian. Churches from across America send out missionaries across the world each year to “proclaim the good news” and share the love of God with other people groups.

This “turnaround” of other people groups wanting to come to America by the tens of thousands will form a “double-edged” sword, with the sword representing the Bible, we may need to send less to a dying world to present Jesus, but let the dying world come to the Church of America to see Jesus.

Therefore, from a Christian perspective and from a patriotic, American citizen’s perspective, and one who believes in the foundational principles of our nation to receive refugees from all parts of the world with the assimilation of those people groups into our culture to live out the freedoms and pursuit of happiness as we all know them, I want people to come to America and become a part of the American family.

Enter legally

The first requisite for anyone wanting to come to America is to enter legally. That means that all of the laws that have been established in the United States that relate to people coming here must be observed and obeyed. It seems like a first grader could understand that requisite. If you want to come to my house to visit me you knock on the front door, wait for me to answer and then enter at my invitation. You are then welcome for a visit. If you wait until midnight, break open the back window, crawl through it and then hurt me on your way to the kitchen to take my food, you are not welcome for a visit under those circumstances.

For generations people have come to America to seek a new life. America is a country that was founded on the principle and practice of freedom. Freedom is God-created within the heart of each person in the world and that voyage of seeking freedom is burning deep inside those living on every continent on earth. America’s individualism and entrepreneurial spirit has always created an environment where people who are exercising their freedoms can grow to heights never before achieved. People from all over the world have recognized that for the past two-hundred and fifty years. For the most part those people have come through the front door and have been invited in to partake of the wonderful riches of freedom, hard work and the entrepreneurial advantages this country offers. For those who insist on breaking the back windows, we must ask them to step around to the front and join those who are waiting in line to be invited in through the front door.

Learn the Language

Unification of any people group begins with language. Jokingly we pass off the difficulty of learning a new language by referring to the children who live in the country whose language we want to learn, “If a child could learn it so easily, how difficult could it be?” We recognize that learning a new language is not an easy task. It takes study, practice, many mistakes in pronunciation, odd phraseology and patient persistence. But it also takes assimilation with the indigenous peoples of that language’s region or country. That is a first step in building relationship and culture.

We read in the tenth chapter of Genesis that Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth spread out across the earth and formed nations after the flood. When those three had sons, nations were formed and settlement occurred. We read the account of Japheth’s line,

“From these the coast lands of the nations were separated into their lands, every one according to its language, according to their families, by their nations.” (Genesis 10:5) “These are the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, and by their nations.” (Genesis 10:20) “These are the sons of Shem according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, and according to their nations.” (Genesis 10:31)

From the eleventh chapter of Genesis, however, we read about the dispersion of the nations at Babel. The entire human population spoke the same language and recognized the tremendous power that unity and concentration had. They were going to build a city to exceed the heights of heaven “to make a name for ourselves.” But God had wanted them to spread across the earth to populate it, so He “confused” their common language and gave them different languages. On the basis of that language they grouped themselves and formed their own communities and only then became obedient to spread out across the entire globe.

America is a nation that is formed from immigrants from all over the world. It is a nation that has risen from remnants of other nations scattered across the globe. To be a strong nation it must share in the commonality of a language that is known and understood by each citizen. The culture is varied and rich in diversity, therefore, language is the remaining constant that provides the thread of distinction.

Study the History

Someone has said that if we are unaware of our history, we are doomed to repeat it. Perhaps because we have established our founding on the Judeo-Christian heritage we are constantly seeking a study of where we have been.

For fear that future generations would forget, Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 4:9 that,

"Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;”

Surly it is important to teach the power and majesty of God. His power and role in history for the "sons' sons" was so important that one generation should not pass without each of the sons being taught of the very source of salvation.

By contrast, without re-teaching one generation after another that there is a history that is rich in our country, is to watch succeeding generations of "sons" grow weary and faint and lose all perspective of where America has come.

The outgrowth of that generation will be to perceive with blinded eyes, turn the truth to a lie, and revise events to see wrong in place of right, accept current, perverted things as good things, and become the very ally of the true source of revisionist history. As each succeeding generation follows along that path, the truth from having lived and experienced past accomplishments and noble events becomes less challenged and people begin to relegate those past events of history as simply a harmless fairy tale of allegory. People need to be awakened to the importance of learning the history of America!

Accept the Founding Principles

Regardless of what some people are saying in more current times about the thoughts of America’s founding statesmen that they were “secular” or “deist” or worse, “atheist,” their actions and writings seemed to indicate that they believed in God and the strength of His influence on the affairs of people and governments. Indeed, even the Declaration of Independence declares,

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." --Declaration of Independence as originally written by Thomas Jefferson, 1776. ME 1:29, Papers 1:315

In his farewell address George Washington, the first President of the United States told the people:

"Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions (sic) with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

Obey the Constitution

At the time of his inauguration the President of the United States of America takes an oath.

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." (Article II, Section 1, of the US Constitution)

If the President of the United States swears or affirms to “preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States” is not it just as important for each citizen of the United States to obey the US Constitution as well?

When an immigrant is ready for citizenship of the United States he or she takes an oath to obey the US Constitution. In fact, that person is not a citizen of the US until they take the Oath of Allegiance. An officer reads out each part of the oath and the person is asked to repeat his/her words. To become a citizen, one must take the oath of allegiance.

By doing so, an applicant swears to:

• Support the Constitution and obey the laws of the U.S.;

• Renounce any foreign allegiance and/or foreign title; and

• Bear arms for the Armed Forces of the U.S. or perform services for the government of the U.S. when required.

If a person is in the United States illegally, they have already demonstrated their contempt for the US Constitution as the foundational law of the country into which they have illegally entered. By remaining outside of the legal status of the requirements of entry, each person not only does not take the oath of allegiance, but denies the support of the Constitution and obedience of the laws of the U.S.; Remains allegiance to their own country of origin; and refuses to bear arms for the Armed Forces of the U.S. or perform services for the government of the U.S. when required.

Integrate into the Culture

A person who seeks residence in the United States and wants to complete the legal process for doing so should strongly consider becoming a part of the culture of the United States. For sure America is “Multi-cultural” because of its “Melting Pot” status of generations of people immigrating from other cultures. But America has become a strong nation through integrating cultures and customs into an identifiable “American Culture” that is known around the world. It is a land of freedom, laws and justice; a land that celebrates every religion, every creed, every culture and every custom from proud people everywhere that represent their “old country” but still embrace the culture of their newly adopted homeland.

It is truly a culture that embraces assimilation, yet distinct cultures, that build on the foundation of a national motto that emblazes each of our coins, e pluribus Unum, from many, one.