Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The God Who Saves

Once again the Christmas season is upon us.  The Sunday before Thanksgiving, my family and I went to Plano to watch the Christmas Tree lighting at the Shops at Legacy.  As we waited for the lighting ceremony, I could not help noticing how many people were in the square just to have somewhere to be.  A number of Muslim families were present to enjoy the parade and the lights and to see Santa Clause--doubtless there were countless other people who were raised Christian but who have long since forgotten what Christianity is who were there as well.  It was an interesting comment on a society that is surrounded by Christmas from before Thanksgiving until January 3 but that has forgotten the meaning behind the celebration.

The story of Christmas is not the story of a refugee family fleeing Palestine, nor is it the story of a struggling single mother.  The Christmas story is the story of how God fulfilled His promise to save a fallen world by being born as a human, living among us and dying on a cross.  Without Easter, Christmas has no meaning and without Christmas, Easter has no victory.

We live increasingly in a world of brutal violence and fear where people long for salvation.  The Psalmist tells us that salvation belongs to God (Psalm 3:8).  Salvation is proprietary--He owns it.  If we don't find it in Him, we don't find it all.

Christmas reminds us that salvation is not far away or out of reach.  Christmas reminds us that God so loved the world that He came to live as one of us.  The name Jesus, Yeshua, is the Hebrew word for salvation.  It is in this name that God has revealed Himself as the savior of the world.  If we don't experience salvation through Jesus, we don't find it all.

I invite each of you this Christmas to experience the God who saves.  He is strong enough to deliver you out of whatever circumstances you are facing.  And He is the only hope for this lost and fallen world.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Give Thanks

Every Thanksgiving for as many years as I can remember, my mother had a tradition at Thanksgiving dinner. After my father prayed over the food, my mother asked each of us to name one thing that had happened in the last year that we were thankful for. As I got older, knowing that I would have to state what I was grateful for, I started thinking about the year a couple of weeks in advance of the holiday, and I found that even in difficult years, I had a lot to be thankful for. My mother's tradition, which she continues to this day, has helped me to really think about the meaning of Thanksgiving each year.

As I look back on the changes since I wrote the Thanksgiving post last, year 2015 has been a mixed bag.  Dallas is on a rapid growth track and that brings both opportunities and challenges for those of us who live here.  Frontier 2000 Media Group is now five and a half years old, has published a dozen titles and we are now launching our most exciting project yet--more on that in the upcoming weeks. Nationally, the elections last year which gave conservatives the Senate did not prove to be the victory I had hoped as the GOP did not swerve from its amazing ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  In Texas, however, Greg Abbott has not disappointed and has done an amazing job as governor.  All in all, we are better off than we were. So in that spirit, I record a few things that we can be thankful for this year.

1.  The Tea Party is alive and well (along with the desire for freedom and liberty that gave birth to it.)  The interest in the GOP debates--along with the absolute boredom with the Democrat frontrunners, shows me that there is real interest in the party.  We have a chance to make a difference in 2016 like never before.

Although the media has long tried to pretend that the Tea Party is nothing more than a phony "astro-turf" movement, the mid-term elections show something quite different.  Americans who care about the size and growth of government are making their voices heard and we are making a difference.

2. Although there is much horror in the world--and we saw it clearly last week in Paris--there is also still a strong desire for freedom.  In America people ARE waking up to real threats from ISIS and other terrorists and saying "no more".  While we pray for the victims of the shooting last week, we also recognize that a good offense is always the best defense.

3. The GOP field continues to narrow and as it does, the cream is rising. Ted Cruz is an amazing candidate.  I have heard him speak twice in person now and I am always amazed by how compelling he is.  For those of you who have not heard him, please go listen in person.  You need to hear him make a case for freedom himself.

4. We have a little less than fifteen months left in the Obama Administration.  To those of us who have struggled every day of the last seven years, this alone is cause for celebration.  2016 is our chance for a national do-over and we need to make sure we elect a candidate who respects and defends the Constitution.  Our individual futures and our future as a nation depends on it.

5. Wherever we are in this country and in our lives, we are still alive, and we are not alone! "Don't worry about things--food, drink and clothes. For you already have life and a body--and they are more important than what to eat and what to wear. Look at the birds! They don't worry about what to eat--they don't need to sow or reap or store up food--for your heavenly Father feeds them...And why worry about your clothes? Look at the field lilies! They don't worry about theirs. Yet King Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as beautifully as they. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't He more surely care for you....So don't be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time." (Matthew 6: 25-34 TLB)

Now that's something we can be thankful for every day! Happy Thanksgiving.

Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015

Never Forget is Not Enough--On 09/11 We Need to Pledge Never Again

Our country is in trouble--no question about it.  As I write this post on the 14th anniversary of 09/11, I am both troubled by the sadness of this day and horrified by the world events that are taking place around us.  This week, as we commemorate the worst attack on U.S. soil in the history of our nation, we are also racing toward our own self-made Armageddon.  On the eve of 09/11, Democrats in the Senate successfully blocked an attempt to stop Obama's disastrous deal with Iran.  This deal unleashes hundreds of billions of dollars to a nation that has been a continuous source of problems since 1979 when radicals there stormed the American embassy and took American citizens hostage.

Ironically, we abandoned Americans in Iran with this deal. The deal virtually guarantees that the four Americans being held in Iran, including Pastor Saeed Abedini, will die in prison.  This is disgraceful and inexcusable.  It is a failure by our nation to protect its citizens and it is a failure of every single branch of government.

It is amazing to me how many Americans have conveniently forgotten that the Iranian government has been promising death to America and calling us the Great Satan  from that day to this one.  I actually saw a tweet this morning mocking conservatives who oppose this deal asking why we are against it when 09/11 was carried by out by Shia Muslims and the Iranians are Sunnis--sworn enemies of the terrorists.  Really?   The Iranians are the sworn enemies of the U.S. and Israel and that's about it.  This Shia-Sunni in-fighting will go on forever, but it pales in comparison to the hatred they have for us and the nation of Israel.  But, never-the-less, we want them to have a nuclear weapon.

My tweet from this morning summarized how I am feeling today:

"On the eve of the 14th anniversary Obama gives Iran nuclear weapons and gives amnesty to 10,000 budding jihadists. #tcot".   Apparently it's not enough to arm our sworn enemy with a nuclear weapon--we also need to turn loose tens of thousands of potential ISIS fighters on our soil.  Yesterday Obama promised that the U.S. will give amnesty to 10,000--tomorrow that figure will go up substantially.  With approximately four million refugees at the Syrian border, and with Israel and at least 4 EU countries demonstrating the good sense to refuse these people entry to our nation, it is only logical that we are going to be over run.  The irony is that, according to the U.N, these refugees are not families with children as the news would like us to believe.  Over 70% of these "refugees" are young men.  We saw one of these interviewed on the evening news this week.  He was a well dressed young man in his late teens or early twenties with braces on his teeth.  He had remarkable proficiency in English and spoke with very little accent.  This young man and the thousands like him don't look much like war refugees--they look a lot more like ISIS fighters in the making. And although many Muslims are converting to Christianity as soon as they get to Europe, Islam allows conversions to other religions for the purposes of survival.  These conversions do not mean that they have changed any of their allegiances, or any of their ideals. 

Chicks on the Right illustrated this point really effectively earlier this week when they sent a reporter to Minnesota to interview the residents of a U.S. city that is exporting a lot of young people to go fight for ISIS.  I am attaching the link to this video.  It is only about 5 minutes long but it is MUST SEE for anyone who still really believes that our new refugee neighbors are going to be either grateful or loyal to the U.S.  Watch here and draw your own conclusions.

http://chicksontheright.com/blog/item/30795-this-infuriates-me-these-people-need-to-gtfo-and-i-m-not-apologizing-for-saying-that
 ChicksontheRight.com

As we continue to commemorate the day, many Americans are praying and fasting.  We need to pray--we need to ask for guidance about what to do about a government that is taking "love your enemies" to unforeseen levels.  But we also need to ask for resolve.  Today we say Never Forget.  But  it is not enough to never forget.  It is not enough to look at the burning buildings and hear the stories of loss and sadness unless we can also commit to ensure Never Again.  How many MORE American lives are we willing to lose--both here and overseas--before we understand that Islam is not a beautiful religion of peace, that terrorists don't just need increased economic opportunity and better wages. How much further are we going to carry this national groveling in the face of evil before we stand up as a nation and say Never Again. 

If today you are praying for the nation, pray for peace and protection but also courage and conviction and fortitude. The word Islam does not mean "peace"; it means submission.  It is a religion that is horrifically brutal in the face of weakness.  We have shown extreme weakness in this negotiation and in allowing in these refugees.  We should expect brutality in return.  Pray that we have the wisdom to change course, the strength to show courage and the resolve to stand against the aggression that is coming so that we can defend what is left of this country while we still have a chance.





Saturday, July 4, 2015

Big Government Wins--From E.L. James to Pope Francis our Culture is Obliterating Our Desire for Freedom

Today is July 4, 2015.  Tonight, skies across the U.S. will light up with fireworks as we celebrate this nation's 239th birthday.  Against the backdrop of these celebrations, we will see increased law enforcement presence as a reminder that there is a violent segment of the globe that wants to see liberty completely annihilated in the world's foremost example of the power of freedom--the USA.  But for many Americans, tonight is basically just a great light show and a time with family and friends; they no longer have any real interest in the freedom we celebrate. The real threat to freedom in this country is not coming from ISIS--it is coming from our own culture which is chipping away at our desire to be free.  And that is the real war we are fighting in our country--once desire is gone, the rest is easy.

If you don't believe me take a look at three examples from the last thirty days.  The most compelling is, of course, last week's Supreme Court rulings legalizing gay marriage in all fifty states and shoring up the failing debacle that is Obamacare.  Advocates of Obamacare don't care that the system is a disaster--they just want to keep the subsidies of big welfare going. The recipients of these subsidies--estimates range from over 6 million to over 8 million of those who have signed up who receive an average of $277.00 a month--also don't care that Obamacare is ruining the medical system. Like all other beneficiaries of government welfare programs they just want their handout--no matter what the overall cost.  None of these people cares that judges are ignoring the Constitution and legislating from the bench.

The same goes for the gay marriage ruling last week.  In all the giddy excitement of the White House bathed in rainbow-colored lights and #LoveWins hashtags everywhere, it was hard to hear the few voices who pointed out that the Supreme Court stripped the rights of voters in the fourteen dissenting states to choose for themselves whether they supported gay marriage. While in states like Texas, our governor Greg Abbott and our AG Ken Paxton immediately released press releases supporting the religious rights of people to oppose gay marriage, the religious rights of clerks and judiciary to refuse to perform gay weddings and the rights of churches to speak out against gay marriages, few mentioned the millions of voters who had their voices taken away from them by the Court. When 50% of the people support gay marriage in polls, that conversely means that about 50%--half the society, oppose it.  What about our rights?  And why should roughly 96% of the society change its collective thinking to fit the desires of 3-4% of the society?  But in a world where Twitter will add a rainbow heart to any Tweets hashtagged #Lovewins  these bigger issues are lost in the excitement of celebrating one gain for the gay community.  So what if democracy lost?  Isn't love more important than freedom?

A couple of weeks ago, I was working on Twitter and quotes from E.L. James' new book in the Fifty Shades of Grey series were trending at the same time as Pope Francis' Encyclical.  I could not help thinking how ironic it is that while on the surface these two works appear to be diametrically opposed, they share one very important similarity--they both encourage renunciation of freedom.  James' pornographic BDSM romp is famously badly written--in fact, specifically what was trending was the worst lines from the new book.  Yet, it is has been devoured by hundreds of millions of women--many of whom are successful and make good incomes.  Here in Dallas, one of the business development officers arranged a Fifty Shades of Grey lunch and movie date for Realtors.  When I suggested to this woman that this might be seen as offensive since the books and the movie have been denounced by organizations that work to stop violence against women, she stared at me like I was speaking Swahili.  These women who flock to the books and films are being indoctrinated with the idea that submission is preferable to freedom, and that bondage and slavery are sexy and exciting--much more exciting than their lives of work and independence and individual responsibility.  I think it is appropriate that this series skyrocketed to the top of the bestseller lists in 2012--the same year that Americans chose to re-elect Barack Obama and go further into socialism.

For the more religious who might correctly identify Fifty Shades as vile porn, there is the Pope's Encyclical.  This is short and very much worth reading.  In his long awaited environmental treatise, Francis references the 1992 Earth Summit which launched Agenda 21 and calls openly and clearly for its goals to be realized.  He is calling for restrictions in the power of media, which he says distract people from thinking clearly, an end to fossil fuels, a return to manual labor for most of the world's population, a curbing of technology, and a  global government to enforce the goals of Agenda 21 and its follow-up conference from 2012 Rio + 20.  These actions will lead to a new global poverty which Francis tells us will actually be liberating for mankind.  His words remind me a little of Nancy Pelosi's delighted exclamation that Obamacare would free Americans from "job lock" and give them time to pursue hobbies such as art and music.

This is how the Pope expresses that same concept: "In reality, those who enjoy more and live better each moment are those who have given up dipping here and there, always on the look-out for what they do not have. They experience what it means to appreciate each person and each thing, learning familiarity with the simplest things and how to enjoy them. So they are able to shed unsatisfied needs, reducing their obsessiveness and weariness. Even living on little, they can live a lot, above all when they cultivate other pleasures and find satisfaction in fraternal encounters, in service, in developing their gifts, in music and art, in contact with nature, in prayer. Happiness means knowing how to limit some needs which only diminish us, and being open to the many different possibilities which life can offer."  (Laudato Si)

In other words, the Pope is expressing the Communist ideal that the happiest people on earth are the poor and oppressed.  While Catholic clergy do take vows of poverty, this is a personal choice-- a very unpopular one in our 21st century world that has made it ever more difficult to recruit new priests.  From his opulent office in the Vatican, the Pope conveniently ignores the truth that as the middle class and the poor become increasingly destitute, the wealth and power of the upper classes grows proportionately so that at the end there is a handful of people ruling with an iron hand over the masses.  Nothing could be further from Biblical truth. 

Unfortunately, Biblical truth (and objective truth in general) is what is missing from all of these debates and from our society in general and our new national love affair with all forms of bondage including Socialism and Islam (incidentally, the word "Islam" literally translates to "submission") is filling the void.  Our society does not want truth--of any kind. Women do not want to hear the truth that violent men do not normally reform--they normally escalate and become increasingly dangerous or that in cultures where women are property their lives are ghastly and they are not pampered princesses--they are slaves.  We do not want to hear the truth that a government big enough to give us everything we want is also big enough to take away everything we have.  We certainly do not want to hear the truth that marriage is ordained by God between one man and one woman for life--no court can dissolve it and no one can redefine it. Finally, we don't want to hear the truth that freedom is a gift that God has given to us but it is ours only as long as we protect and defend it.

Freedom is a lot work.  It is costly.  It requires blood and sacrifice and sweat.  The millions of Americans who died in the World Wars and the various wars before and after gave their lives defending freedom.  The men and women who legally immigrated to America had a long, difficult road ahead of them in building a new country.  Most of them never saw the fruits of their efforts in their own generation.  It was a difficult life.  Choosing the freedom of America meant choosing difficulty.  They made the choice because the desire for freedom was stronger than their fear of obstacles.  Desire to protect America and our way of life was stronger than fear of death for the men going ashore on D-Day.  As long as the desire for freedom was strong, no obstacle could stand in our way.

Today we are losing that desire.  A life of bondage is easy--miserable, but easy.  Slavery takes everything from the enslaved and requires nothing.  In a culture that tells us that bondage is sexy, bondage is righteous, poverty is a greater good, and democracy is self destructive, how long will we be willing to stand for freedom?  Not long.

For those patriots who want to change this country, we need to be addressing the culture.  Margaret Thatcher famously said that we have to win the argument before we can win the election.  If we want our country to remain free, we are going to have to show why freedom still has value.

Happy Independence Day!

Alexandra Swann's novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website athttp://www.frontier2000.net.  


Friday, June 26, 2015

The Freedom Prayer

In light of what has happened over the last two days, I have been asked to repost this prayer.  Our country needs revival desperately.  We all need to remember that our freedom is a gift from God and it is only through returning to Him that we will be allowed to hold on to it. In that spirit, today I repost The Freedom Prayer:

“Lord we come to You tonight to ask for Your forgiveness. The Bible promises that when we seek You, we will find You, if we search with all our hearts.

"Lord we confess that we have not followed Your commands. We have not loved You with our whole hearts--we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not stood for the truth of Your Gospel. We have sat by and said nothing when Your name was blasphemed and mocked. We did not take a stand when we saw Your laws despised.

“We know that many times we ourselves have been among the worst offenders. We have lived sinful lives that are contrary to the word of God. Like Esau, we have traded away our birthright for a little convenience; we have despised this incredible gift of freedom that You provided for us and allowed all of the liberty that our country offered to be trampled down. We have forgotten the words of King David who said that it is better to fall into the hands of God than to be at the mercy of men, and so we now find ourselves living under the rule of a cruel and despotic government who has stolen everything from us and shows us no mercy.

“We know that everything that is happening to us is a result of our bad choices, both individually and as a nation. You gave us the gift of being born into a free nation—the greatest nation the world has ever seen. You gave us a form of government unlike any other that had ever been known by any other people, and we did not value it enough to defend it.

“For all of these things, Lord, we ask Your forgiveness. We pray tonight that You will change our hearts so that each of us will begin to love what You love, to hate what You hate and to want what You want. We ask You to save our nation, for we know that the Bible teaches that salvation belongs to our God—no political party, no ideology, no government can save us. If we don’t find salvation in You, we won’t find it at all.

“Please turn Your face to us again, and give us back our freedom, and restore our country so that we can truly be one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. We ask all these things in the name of Your son, Jesus. Amen.”


Alexandra Swann's novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

What Did They Die For?

I write this post the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend thinking much more about our freedoms than I have in several years. This weekend we honor the millions of men and women who have died to protect and defend this country over a little more than two centuries even as collectively, we are abandoning our Constitutional freedoms to an increasingly greater degree.

We saw this most recently in the shootings in Garland about two weeks ago, when ISIS followers decided to kill Pamela Geller for sponsoring a cartoon contest depicting Mohammed.  While the only people who died in that attack were the would-be murderers, the media's response was decisive--Geller was the one in the wrong for "inciting the violence" by doing things that would alienate Muslims.  All of the "freedom of speech and expression" arguments evaporated in the face of a potential violent threat by a small minority of our society.

This spring we have also seen arguments at the Supreme Court to nationally legalize gay marriage.  Under the current laws, if same-sex marriage is federally legalized, then same sex marriage becomes a civil rights issue.  Under the precedent set by past SCOTUS rulings, any church or church school or non profit who discriminates against a same sex couple--by refusing to perform marriage ceremonies or admit children from these households into schools or even by teaching that this lifestyle is morally wrong--risks losing their tax exempt status.  So the granting of new rights to a small minority of the U.S. population (according to a new survey less than 3% of Americans still identify themselves as "gay") can lead to the loss of rights for those who criticize them for their lifestyles. The right to marry of the few trumps the right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech and expression of others.  SCOTUS could leave this alone and say that marriage is a states' rights issue and that each state needs to decide this matter for themselves--but they probably won't.  Regardless, though, of any particular federal or state laws permitting or denying same-sex marriage, no state or institution or government should have the right to bully, fine, imprison or destroy any person for speaking out against same-sex marriage or refusing to provide services connected to same-sex marriages. Our country has always made provisions for "conscientious objectors" for all situations, including going to war, because as a country we have recognized that the strongly held religious beliefs and values of a few must be respected and protected, even if the majority of Americans does not share those beliefs.  We do not compel people to behave in a way that violates their conscience and we cannot begin to do so now, or we will destroy what America has been and turn instead down a road to real tyranny.

Last, but certainly not least, we saw this week Rand Paul's filibuster against the NSA surveillance program and "metadata" collection.  Paul stood for thirteen hours and argued compellingly that information that can be used to kill people is not just neutral data being stored by the government.  The Patriot Act has given the federal government broad powers to surveille the American people in clear violation of the spirit of the fourth amendment to the bill of rights  And the NDAA gives the government broad powers to detain, indefinitely, Americans accused of terrorism without trial, in clear violation of the spirit of the fifth and sixth amendments.

This year, over this holiday weekend as many of us contemplate cookouts and barbeques and gatherings with family and friends and sales at the malls, we need to also remember the cemeteries where our soldiers are buried.  Our country has lost millions who died in the prime of their lives fighting to defend this nation. They fought for our freedoms of speech, religion, expression, freedom from unlawful search and seizure, and freedom from imprisonment without due process.  They were willing to die to defend the freedoms of people they would never meet, so that we and our children could live in peace and safety.  Now is the time to look the mirror and to ask ourselves, "What Did They Die For?"  When we refuse to defend those freedoms, we dishonor their sacrifices. 

We have a moral obligation and duty to protect the Constitution in this country and to defend it against all enemies--foreign and domestic.  We owe that to the ones who have gone before us.  Happy Memorial Day.

Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net