20 January 2009

Oath of Citizenship

I, Jennifer, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully fulfill the duties and responsibilities of being a citizen of the United States of America.

In my own community, I will work to the best of my ability to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; exterior and interior, seen and unseen.

I will use my voice, my talents, my time, my treasure, and my life to work for peace, for justice, for higher morality, for truthfulness, and freedom for all.

I will take responsibility for my life, my choices, my actions and their consequences. I will not seek to shift the blame or the burden to anyone else.

I will act with dignity in public and in private. I will keep the vows I have made to my family. I will set an upright example for the next generation.

I will seek out ways to love, help and serve my neighbor – the unborn, the poor, the disabled, the outcast, the hopeless, the sick, the elderly, the forgotten. They are all my fellow citizens, and their rights are not less than my own.

I will defend the true foundation of America, which is the family. Husband and wife, father and mother. Both are crucial to the future stability of our nation. I will not forget that God created us male and female for divine purposes, and our strength comes from the unique gifts we give each other.

I will demand protection and rights for every unborn child, my fellow citizens. When the fire of life is allowed to be extinguished in its tiniest flame, the heart of our country grows ever colder, until we cannot feel the warmth of Love at all.

I will proclaim the truth that our founding fathers recognized – that our true liberty comes not from ourselves or our government, but from Almighty God. He who created us also gives us our freedom and our very lives.

I will require the leaders I elect to serve the nation, not their own interests. I will require them to act without deceit or greed, and to keep the vows they have taken personally and publicly.

I will teach my children the values of honesty, integrity, patience, kindness, respect, humility and diligent work. I will demonstrate through my actions how to behave with dignity and love, even when others do not treat me the same.

I will strive to repay indifference and hatred with love and generosity.

I will be thankful for each day, each moment I am blessed to live in this abundant nation, with all the freedoms I enjoy, and I will ask God to increase my gratitude every morning.

I will remember the extraordinary sacrifice of the United States military men and women, as well as the sacrifice of their families, and I will honor them in my heart and in my actions. I will pray for their protection and safe return home.

I will pray for our President and all our leaders and ask God to guide them and protect them and give them courage to do what is right.

I will pray without ceasing for the blessings of God to rest on my country, and beg His mercy for our sins and failures.

So help me God.

©2009 Jennifer Hartline

17 January 2009

January 18, 2009
National Sanctity of Human Life Day
by Presidential Proclamation.

Thank you, President Bush, for declaring this day for the sanctity of human life.

It's not too late to speak out against FOCA...I urge everyone to send letters, postcards, and emails to their representatives in Washington and tell them to oppose this horrible legislation. We must act quickly to defeat this evil. There could be a vote on FOCA during this coming week, so please, SPEAK UP NOW.

Please continue to pray for our soon-to-be new President...pray for his eyes to be opened to the truth and his heart to be changed.

God have mercy on the USA.

09 January 2009

The Epic Story Continues...

Truth be told, I’ve been down lately. Blah. Tired. Low. Blue….I have the post-Christmas blues. My New Year’s energy has evaporated and left me dull and sad. (Sigh)

I want Christmas back!! The days ahead now seem so…ORDINARY.

This Advent and Christmas season was the richest, most joyful, most meaningful I have ever known, and I so desperately didn’t want it to end. I don't want to lose it. I crave perpetual Advent and endless Christmas.

I just want to continue marveling at Mary’s trust and faithfulness, Joseph’s gentleness and obedience. I want to go on rejoicing over the unspeakable gift of ALMIGHTY GOD in a sweet-smelling, chubby-cheeked, sleepy baby I could almost feel in my arms when I closed my eyes in prayer.

I long to keep the excited skip in my heartbeat just thinking about a sky glowing with heavenly angels singing praises to God.

I want to always be humbled and amazed by this miracle called Emmanuel. GOD is WITH US!

Lately I have felt as though I’m waking up from a blissful dream and I’m fighting tooth and nail to drift off again and reenter that dream. Oh please – can’t I just stay there at the manger? Can’t I just lay on the hillside hearing all of heaven singing? Can’t I just live forever in this joyful phenomenon?

Well, yes and no.

The calendar says the days set aside to celebrate and remember Christmas are over, and “normal” life has been making an unwelcome comeback for many days now. It’s dragging me (kicking and screaming) back into the usual crazy routine.

But surely I can live each day of the year with that miraculous joy in my heart, can’t I?

It doesn’t have to fade away at the start of a new year, does it?

Emmanuel is still with us…still with me…so why shouldn’t the awe and wonder remain? They can, they should, and they will as long as I continue doing what I did this Advent – making room each day in my heart for the infant King.

I can still behold this wondrous Child and cradle Him in my heart. I can still turn my mind each day toward the knowledge that GOD stooped toward a sinful world with love and became like us so that He could save us.

That’s the point. He came to save us, and that’s why I can’t exactly have perpetual Advent and endless Christmas. The manger was only the beginning; the means to the end. Without that end, it might be reduced to just a lovely story or a fairytale.

But remember, even fairytales have dragons,

and ours had to be slain and destroyed forever.

The baby in Mary’s arms made the dragon tremble with fear;

the Man would vanquish the fiery beast for all eternity.

It is no fairytale. It is our miraculous victory.

It is our salvation…the true story of Love.

I can’t just sit dreamily beneath my Christmas tree all year because this Love story doesn’t end there. And thank God for it!

Emmanuel came, He grew, He lived and loved and healed and taught and laughed and cried. And finally, He died. For you. For me. I need to keep turning the pages of this epic in order to see my own character become who I was written to be. I see the first glimpse of my own becoming at His crib; I see it more wholly at the cross. I have to follow Him to the cross.

Yet I still long for the purer heart I experienced this Christmas to remain with me, even as I see the joyful season fading. The tree must now come down, the lights put away, the decorations back in their boxes, and the remnants of the holiday swept up.

Except, I think, for my nativity scene.

This year I think I may keep it up. (Visual aids!)

These ordinary days can seem so uninspired. Thus I intend to keep starting at the beginning. Purposefully and decisively, my heart’s aim will be to carry the infant Jesus within me, with all the joy and awe and wonder that surrounds Him,

even as I continue walking through the rest of the amazing story. It may not be easy, but I want to keep Christmas in my heart.

What about you?




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