Change the World

Before Christ, “In all of history, only one culture had prohibited [abortion and infanticide]–that of the Jews” (42)

I remember my mother telling me where she was and what she was doing when she learned that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. She was sweeping the basement floor and listening to the radio. When the news came, she shut off the radio. Denial is our first response to unfathomable news.

Eventually the event becomes memory. But if we lose our awareness of the past, we neglect the help it offers. Few people alive today remember the horror of hearing that news.

We’ve reached the point in our nation when no school age students remember the events of September 11, 2001. They have only heard about the day 19 terrorists killed more than 3,000 Americans on US soil.

Since the fall of Roe v. Wade more than a year ago, however, we realize American’s have not come to terms with legal abortion. We still argue over it. A voice still proclaims the sanctity of human life. A voice still declares the holiness of the traditional family–the community designed to welcome and nurture new sacred lives.

Before Christ, aside from the Jews, every society practiced abortion, infancticide, pedophilia, and adultery without internal controversy. In their book Seven Revolutions: How Christianity Changed the World and Can Change It Again, Mike Aquilina and James L. Papandrea explain that human rights, equality, and compassion for the needy and weak have been nonexistent throughout history except for the influence of the Judeo-Christian God.

In the Roman Empire, charity was unheard of.  “A woman had no legal existence apart from the men who controlled her.” Roman fathers could execute their children, if they “judged them guilty of a crime, even into adulthood” (69). Abortion and infanticide, especially of girls, were common. Not rare, but common.

Aquilina and Papandrea cite census reports from Delphi that show that out of 600 families, “only six raised more than one daughter” (authors’ emphasis, 48).

Jewish communities treasured their children. But nobody else in the world thought twice about throwing away girls or disabled boys, any “inconvenient” child, like trash.

Until Christ.

Christ and His messengers changed the world so that human rights and equality became norms in Western Civilization. Most families in societies the Church influenced understood the nature of their holy trust to nurture sacred lives.

Today some of us are like my mother at the moment she learned of tragedy in the South Pacific. We have turned off the radio. Voices still argue. Some children and families survive; some thrive. Many are wounded or worse.

In the decadent world–before and beyond the Roman Empire, Christians spoke.

“To affirm the universal dignity of human life requires the strong to speak up for and defend the weak, those who can’t speak for themselves” (29).

Christians are the voice to renew regard for human life. We hold the revolutionary ideas that changed the world once.

And those ideas can change it again.


 
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
Psalm 139:16.

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Cultivating Community, Cultivating Life

“[T]here were times, . . . mainly during the . . . harvest, when we would all be together. The men would go early to have the benefit of the cool of the morning. The women would finish their housework and then gather, sometimes bringing dishes already cooked, to lay on a big feed at dinnertime; and then after the dishes were done, they would go out to help in the field or the barn for the rest of the day. . . . This was our membership.” (Hannah Coulter 92)

Through most of America’s history, people grew up in small towns. They knew each other and helped each other. Most people were part of a community.

Modern people have accused these forebears of sexual division, relegating women to the kitchen. But women worked in the fields too. Men and women grew food and other crops.

Often the division of labor meant he worked harder than she did growing the food. And she worked harder than he did to bring to put it on the table. Children grew up learning a good measure of hard work.

It wasn’t about who did what work. It was about making sure the work got done.  Everyone had a part to play, a contribution to make, a purpose to serve.

People worked hard, some just to survive–others, to thrive. They grew old, perhaps at a faster rate than we do. They were tired. But they were not lonely.

Today, loneliness is an American epidemic. We might expect that among the elderly–especially those who live alone–but that isn’t the case. In fact, older people have done the best job of keeping themselves from being isolated.

The loneliest among us are the young.

The situation was bad before COVID. It’s worse now.

The problem is bigger than social isolation. Loneliness is a health problem–as harmful as smoking–making some more prone to heart disease. Loneliness is costly in many ways.

And social loss happens in more than dollars. Lonely people are more prone to substance abuse. Loneliness has become a social crisis.

Author of Hannah CoulterWendell Berry sums up our problem this way: “We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other.”

An exodus back to the farming life doesn’t seem reasonable. Much of the available farmland has been consolidated or subdivided. But there are things we can do.

Many of these things came more easily to farm folks. Working together, eating together.

We can do those things too. But we have to be more intentional than they had to be.

We can grow some of our own food. Some of us already grow tomatoes–even in pots–even in apartments. What better way to show the young that food doesn’t originate in a store?

What better way to explain the concept of cultivation?

We cultivate plants. We cultivate purpose. We cultivate our souls.

When we as a society left the farm for the town or the suburbs, we thought we were moving to a better place, an easier life. Ease has shown itself to be a false promise for peace in our hearts.

With purpose, we find that peace. And that is something we can pass along.

“It is not good for the man to be alone.” Genesis 2:18

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Man, The Horse, The Wolf

“A horse having a wolf as a powerful and dangerous enemy lived in constant fear of his life. Being driven to desperation, it occurred to him to seek a strong ally. Whereupon he approached a man, and offered an alliance, pointing out that the wolf was likewise an enemy of the man. The man accepted the partnership at once and offered to kill the wolf immediately, if his new partner would only co-operate by placing his greater speed at the man’s disposal. The horse was willing, and allowed the man to place bridle and saddle upon him. The man mounted, hunted down the wolf, and killed him.

“The horse, joyful and relieved, thanked the man, and said: ‘Now that our enemy is dead, remove your bridle and saddle and restore my freedom.’ “Whereupon the man laughed loudly and replied, ‘Never!’ and applied the spurs with a will.” Isaac Asimov~

A slow process takes us from freedom to tyranny. Identifying the influence of multiple elements helps us track the descent.

In our culture that once encouraged self-control, personal morality used to be just that, personal. No more.

Behavior shifted from publicly accepted mores to license, and on to the despotism of an imposed moral code. The culture that asked restraint of young and old became one that embraced “free” sex among the unmarried, including unlimited abortion, and no-fault divorce among the previously committed. From there emerged LGB, then T, and now to an assortment of alphabetical self-identities limited only by one’s imagination.

The new moral code arising from the “freedom” era requires us to embrace and approve of any sexual choice, and apparently now the push is on for any choice at any age.

Not until Bud Light and Target aimed at the young did a significant reaction occur–as if the frog in the slowly heating pot had suddenly awakened. The end result of that reaction remains to be seen.

Do not be mistaken: the young are the goal and have always been.

Eleven states require a positive classroom presentation of “LGBTQ+ history.” Only four of those allow students to opt out. Five others prohibit such teaching, but Florida for example, limits the prohibition to the early grades.

Some call for a return to basics in the public classroom. Gillian Richards says those making such assertions miss the mark.

“For years, some conservatives have responded to morally toxic content in schools by implying that proper education should be morally neutral. The left has a campaign to “teach the whole child.” These critics counter by saying, ‘No, teach just a part.'”

Richards goes on to quote C.S. Lewis: “We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

Lewis would be shocked to find his geldings metaphor to have become so literal today.

Rochards continues, “It is a bitter irony that some Americans on the right now invoke the very thing Lewis critiqued as the cure to the ideologies that have replaced progressivism—critical theory, gender ideology, and the like.” 

An education without moral formation is, it seems, no education at all.

Richards looks back for the answer. “The Founders and early Americans saw a core part of education as cultivating virtues, morality, and religion—all of which sustain a free and prosperous society.”

Where do we find such virtues?

Primarily in history and books.

As a college instructor, I was astonished at what my students did not know. Too many didn’t know a simple timeline of America’s “big wars,” the War for Independence, the Civil War, World Wars I and II. They seemed unaware of which century, not to mention which decade important events occurred.

Here’s part of why that’s the case.

Last fall, I attended a teachers’ conference. I participated in this conference for English teachers twice before but had been absent for more than a decade. The transformation was astonishing.

I’ll paraphrase my main takeaway. “The world has changed. We can no longer teach old books.”

The world has changed indeed. But students in too many schools (not all) today are sentenced to a life of ignorance about its various transformations, both from a technological and a literary perspective.

They read books about the world today. Books focused on the issues they see, their depression, their sexual confusion, their lack of understanding mirrored back to them in a resolution of false wisdom.

We have a long way to go to get back to the basics. The journey to wisdom and virtue is further yet.

In order for our society to teach virtue, we must first embrace it ourselves. Selfishness was the seed that produced the fruit we live in today.

Asimov: The fall of Empire . . . is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity—a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop.”

In order to rescue our nation, we must become the horse that can throw off its own bridle.

Difficult, yes.

Impossible?

Asimov thought so, but he did not know that only One who could stop the decline into desolation.

With God, all things are possible. Let’s look to Him.

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Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduIce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

How Should We then Live–If Predicted Food Shortages Are Real?

I happened to be at the grocery store the same Friday afternoon in 2020 when our governor announced he was closing our schools because of COVID. The joyous mood in the large number of people (lots of kids) who crowded into this public place astonished me.

Bare shelves in the canned vegetable aisle also astonished me.

What was supposed to be two weeks turned into months and showed us a new way of living. Life has returned to normal for most of us. We hope that’s for good, but maybe not.

This summer has brought drought and failed crops to many locations. Inflation rages worldwide. At least one ministry that supports children overseas is asking donors to up their contributions to meet increasing food costs.

While a visit to a local food pantry assures me that excess food is plentiful in our community, it would take only a few weeks, maybe less, of widespread crisis to clear those shelves too.

We are on the edge of a crisis that may disappear in the next season or may worsen if rain doesn’t come in the right amount over the next year.

What should we do? We can do what people did in the past.

Conserve.

When I was young, my parents assured me that “a starving child in China” would love to eat the food I didn’t want. Of course, their logic didn’t resonate with me. They had grown up during the Great Depression and remembered the rationing during World War II.

I couldn’t imagine not having enough to eat.

Estimates show that Americans waste the equivalent of 30-40 percent of our own food supply every year. That waste produces CO2 at significant levels.

After Jesus fed the 5,000, he instructed his followers not to waste the leftovers: “And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.’” John 6:12~

If we can’t eat it all, let’s consider other options.

Preserve.

We can preserve what we buy or grow but can’t consume as fresh. It’s time-consuming and old-fashioned to boil jars of fruit jam or tomatoes or use a pressure cooker to put home-canned vegetables on a pantry shelf. It’s also gratifying to take ripe produce and make it last on a shelf. Home-preserved foods make great gifts as well.

In a pinch, there’s always the freezer, which runs more efficiently if you keep it full. Consider a generator if your area is prone to power outages.

Give extra food away.

Sharing with a neighbor gives us an opportunity for fellowship. You can help someone in need save face by asking them to do you the favor of accepting your excess.

Sharing with a local pantry also helps our neighbors in need. (Remember, food provision ministries cannot accept food past the stated date on the product).

“Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.” Ezekiel 16:49~

Responsibly increase your supply.

It isn’t time to clear the shelves of all canned veggies in the supermarket. Buying an extra few cans every week leaves some for others.

Rotate your own stock.

In More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity, Jeff Shinabarger recounts a time he and his wife spent too much on Christmas. To make up their financial shortfall, they decided to avoid going to the grocery store for four weeks and eat out of their supplies.

As they ate their way through their pantry and freezer, they realized how much food they actually had on hand. Four weeks turned into seven as they (two adults, no kids at the time) wanted to see how long they could last without going to the store.

In the end, they endured an entire day of pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and topped the project off by ingesting some freezer-burned dinners that had sunk to the bottom of their appliance.

They consumed the no longer perfect food rather than throwing it away.

Finally, be thankful.

Whether it’s food that isn’t our favorite or something that’s seen better days but is still edible and nutritious, we can be grateful to have it.

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. I Timothy 4:4-5~

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Rules to Free Us

“Sin is the failure to live freedom excellently.” George Weigel

When we were children, we told ourselves that, when we grew up, we would do what we want. We would stay up late, drive a car, and watch whatever we want on television.

But then we grew up and wished we could go to bed earlier. We wondered how we’d pay for car repairs. And we wanted to find some time to watch TV. Or when we did have the time, we wished there’d be something on worth watching.

We didn’t realize as children that our extra sleep helped us function and learn. Our parents chauffeured us around while bearing the burdens of car ownership and maintenance. And we enjoyed an innocence about how the world worked–or failed to work well.

We still don’t realize–and often don’t like to admit–rules are good for us.

The Ten Commandments are not just a list of what not to do–the “Thou shalt not’s”–not idolizing, misusing God’s name, stealing, lying, murdering, coveting, and adultering–or something like that.

They also list what to do. The “Thou shalt’s”–honor God, the Sabbath, our parents.

Those three seem less obvious to us. They don’t seem to carry the weight of immediate consequence, at least when we’re older. But they are perhaps even more important than the others. They keep us from the others. The “Thou shalt’s” help us avoid the “Thou shalt not’s.”

Yet every day, we are free to choose. In fact, our ability to choose our actions, according to George Weigel “is what distinguishes the human person from the rest of the natural world[;] freedom is the great organizing principle of a life lived in a truly human way.”

Life is hard. But when we live our freedom excellently we are most free.

Someone pointed out to me that God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites after they left the bondage of Egypt.

I had never thought of that before. I had never pondered why God didn’t give a set of rules written in stone to Adam and Eve upon their departure from the Garden. Or to Noah 120 years before the flood. Or to Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob.

God waited until His own people would be setting up their own society–a newfound society of free people coming out of bondage. He gave them guideposts, like road signs. Go this way. Don’t go that way. Avoid the bondage of sin.

They aren’t rules to limit us. They’re rules to free us.

“Had your law not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.” Psalm 119:92.

It’s something every generation must learn on its own. I confess that I learned many life lessons the hard way. When we learn that way, we come to see the rules as protective.
God wrote those rules in stone. They serve or are disregarded by everyone throughout history.

As children, we resented our parents’ rules while they formed a hedge of protection around us.

The wise delight in the rules and in the One who gave them to us as a gift.

Only then are we truly free.

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonies.”

Praying the Pledge

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen for His own inheritance
(Psalm 33:12 NASB).

On January 7, 2021, I was leading eight 10th graders in the Pledge of Allegiance. Not only could I not finish, I had begun to weep. I felt awful for crying in front of my students and upsetting them.

“What happened?” one of them asked.

I composed myself and explained as best I could. A few of them were aware of what happened the day before, what some call insurrection and others called a large protest, a portion of which became a riot.

I’m not here to argue the terms of that day (and won’t approve argumentative comments about it). I write to propose a way to say the Pledge without hesitation in these days of division.

Over the summer, I mentioned my difficulty to a friend. I told her I was having trouble saying, among other phrases, “One nation, under God, indivisible.”

She gave a simple reply. “Say it as a prayer.”

Oh.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United State of America,

and to the republic for which it stands,

one nation, under God,

indivisible,

with liberty and justice for all.

I add a phrase inspired by a friend. For her, it was a statement, spoken from her heart, from conviction. For me, it’s a tribute to her, still a prayer, spoken softly, not for the ears of those around me.

Born and preborn.

As January 6, 2021, showed us, the United States has divisions that go deeper than issues like abortion. But abortion is part of our bleeding wound of strife and separation.

Say the pledge. Say it as a prayer. Silently pray about the divisions God lays on your heart.

Pray for our nation to honor God and be indivisible in that quest. Pray for the babies, their parents, their families whom we will remember this week as we mark the 49th anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion in all 50 states until birth.

Pray those decisions will be overturned soon. Pray America will indivisibly turn to the Creator who blessed us to be here in this time.

Pray for liberty. For justice. For all. For America.

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Love or Lust: How We’ve Turned Covenant into Commodity

Covenant: “a formal agreement or contract, between God and humans or between two human parties to do or refrain from doing something. Sometimes only one party was responsible to carry out the terms (a unilateral covenant, which was essentially a promise). At other times both parties had terms to carry out (a bilateral covenant).”

Commodify: “to turn (something, such as an intrinsic value or a work of art) into a commodity–a good interchangeable with other goods.”

We were unhappy with our cell phone carrier. The pricing was erratic, sometimes shocking. “Customer service” was a frustrating, time-sucking vortex.

When our contract was up, we jumped.

We’d ended the relationship with a business that didn’t seem so interested in serving our needs. We found a business that would serve us better. Much better.

So we begin and end business relationships.

And so, as Dr. Tim Keller explains, do we often treat our romantic interactions today, making them more accurate reflections of business dealings rather than lifetime commitments.

In his sermon/podcast “Love and Lust,” he draws a distinction between the virtue of love as seen in covenant relationships, and the vice of lust–manifested in a business-like approach to romance.

Committed love is a covenant relationship. “Sex is supposed to be a symbol of what you’ve done with your life,” Keller says–that you have fully committed to another person, way beyond a physical relationship.

“You must not do with your body what you’re not willing to do with your whole life.” The language sounds limiting, binding. It is. Yet living love this way provides amazing benefits.

“In a covenant, when you have made a promise, sex becomes like a sacrament . . . . an external, visible sign of an invisible reality. . . . That’s why it’s so meaningful. “

In this way, sex reflects the intimate love God has for our souls.

“When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine.” (Ezekiel 16:8, ESV).

Covenant, Keller says, provides a “zone of safety where you can be yourself.”

Covenant produces deeper feelings. “When you are committed to a person in spite of your feelings, deeper feelings grow,” Keller says. As in parenthood, covenant marriage requires giving without regard to receiving, thereby producing “a deeper, richer kind of feeling.”

“Covenantal relationships bring freedom.” He references Kierkegaard who claimed non-covenantal relationships make us slaves. Commitment brings freedom. Freedom from commitment is oppressive. That can seem counter-intuitive in these days, but it’s true.

Lust, however, is a transaction. Sex outside of marriage is “marketing.” Marketing is anything but meaningful.

Keller says couples who live together outside of marriage are trying to figure out “whether this person is good enough to marry or whether I can do better . . . It’s not trusting. It’s not resting. It’s not giving.”

People who live together before marriage are learning how to live together as consumers.

As we’ve moved further down the highway of consumer/transactional sex, we see the results of sexual self-seeking instead of sexual (and otherwise) self-giving.

Our culture has almost completely abandoned any sign of covenantal love. We are becoming a strictly commodified society. Therefore, fewer are buying into marriage.

Edward Davies in “Forget Race or Class, Marriage is the Big Social Divide,” writes that marriage rates in the UK have “been steadily collapsing since the 1970s. Not just declining but falling off a cliff. Even at the height of the second world war, one of its previous lowest points, the male marriage rate was almost triple what it is today.”

America’s rates show a big drop too.

As my mother so aptly put it many years ago: “Why buy the cow when you’re getting the milk for free?”

Especially when the metaphorical cow you’re renting is trying harder to close the deal.

Many of us have been that metaphor. We sold ourselves short.

In Western society, we’ve commoditized human beings in more ways than one. Fewer Americans of marriage age are buying. Too many relationships are more like mine was with our cell phone company.

And sadly, more often than not, just as unfulfilling.

This post is part one of a two-part series. (Link to Part Two)

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A Pillar of Iron: A Picture of Our Times?

It’s a book I read when I was about 16. I decided to reread it when I was in my 30s. And at the end of 2020, I determined to make my way through the 700 pages a third time.

Taylor Caldwell’s A Pillar of Iron depicts the life of Cicero–who saved Rome once but was unable to protect the republic from its eventual fall. Cicero wavered between hopelessness for his nation and wonder about the Jewish prophesy of the coming Messiah.

Caldwell presents a pessimistic prediction of the inevitable descent of all republics into democracy, more accurately, mobocracy, the oppressive manipulation of the crowd to garner power for the greedy.

Her views are consistently conservative, a bit less compassionate than those of G.W. Bush in 2000, with Cicero’s acknowledgment that some within the mobs had reason to protest. And, as with many predictors of history, (see also Francis Schaeffer’s A Christian Manifesto) Caldwell’s accounting of Cicero’s Rome comes more closely to resemble our nation as time goes by.

A blurb on the cover of the 1965 edition (first edition) states, “Were Cicero alive in the America of today, he would be aghast and appalled.”

That’s what she thought in 1965. At the time, we had yet to go through the sexual revolution. JFK had already been assassinated, but we had not yet suffered the riots and other violence, including more assassinations, of the late ’60s. And remember the hyper-inflation and terrorism of the ’70s?

Caldwell’s Cicero is a complex character torn between his love for his childhood friend Julius Caesar and his disdain for Caesar’s quest to be the absolute power broker of Rome. Current readers will find parallels in her mentions of Caesar expanding the courts to ensure rulings would go his way as well as the cancel culture Cicero endured before, during, and after his exile.

An important feature of the book is that Caldwell flew from America to Rome and translated Cicero’s letters (to and from others) and his speeches herself. What she includes from Cicero’s own words is the result of her own work.

Despite her pessimism about our nation’s future, she finishes the work on an optimistic note.

Rome fell into tyranny. But before she shattered, the Messiah would come.

And He remains our hope today.

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Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Who Are We?

Are we a stiff-necked people? Are we refusing to repent?

Are we on the edge of losing our freedom?

To worship?

To maintain our consciences?

To educate children, ourselves in faith?

Do we see a connection between the state of our hearts and the state of our nation? That connection is real. We miss it to the peril of judgment.

I see more prayer efforts than I’ve seen during other election years. But who are we in our hearts?

Is our praying repentance or just begging favor?

Lord, forgive our sins. Convict us to turn from them. Hear our prayer.

Heal our land.

Image Credit: Pinterest

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I Am David: A Review

“Simply put, the very essence of our sin nature causes us to want to do things our way–not God’s way or anybody else’s way. . . . But think about the ultimate outcome of that approach to life. Any society that would function according to that principle would quickly descend into chaos because humans have a sin nature.” Jimmy Evans~

What we see happening around us is exactly the world that Jimmy Evans points to in his book, I Am David: 10 Lessons in Greatness from Israel’s Most Famous King.

Large segments of America have fallen into chaos, and we wonder how we can–if we can, turn it around.

Certainly, if America is to turn around, this turning away from chaos must begin in the Church.

And Jimmy Evans leads us to a place we can begin.

Evans invites us into the struggle. But the way to first incite change is for each of us to look into the story of King David–the man after God’s heart.

David killed a giant, spent years eluding an enemy who wanted to kill him, became king, sinned, repented, and dealt with the aftermath of sin and his failings as a father.

My favorite part of the book is when Evans discusses the shortcomings of David’s upbringing and how his failure to deal with the pain of his past led to agony later in life.

We, just like David, carry the wounds of our past. Those wounds affect our relationships, our desires, our thoughts and fears, and how susceptible we are to addiction and other sins.

This book is suitable for individuals and groups and contains a study guide and leader guide.

We turn America from chaos to God one person at a time. And the turning begins with each one of us.

Photo Credit: marriagetoday.com

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”