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Why I Stand

Flag 2

With all of the controversy surrounding the NFL, the National Anthem, and Old Glory, I just wanted to share a few thoughts why I, personally, choose to stand.

I stand…

… because our flag, Old Glory, is the symbol of the United States of America, the land I love and the nation of which I am proud to be a citizen. To do otherwise, for me, would be to not only disrespect our nation, but to dishonor God by showing a lack of appreciation for His good and perfect gifts that He has afforded me because I am an American.

I stand… when The Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem, plays because that is a show of respect for the flag that it so eloquently describes, and a show of unity with my fellow citizens. Even when we may disagree about sports, politics, religion, etc., when the words “O say can you see…” are heard, we become silent and unified in our mutual respect for the flag, the anthem, and all that it symbolizes.

I stand… because of fifty-six men from all walks of life who, in putting their signatures on a parchment known as The Declaration of Independence, knew they were putting their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line in the name of freedom. These men were as flawed and imperfect as the rest of us, but found the courage to stand for an ideal greater than themselves.

I stand… because I want to be an example to future generations that we are more than a collection of individuals, each going their own direction.

Flag FoldedI stand… because from the streets of Lexington and Concord to the mountains of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq, for over 240 years, brave men and women have given their last full measure of devotion to secure the freedom the rest of us enjoy on a daily basis. I stand, saluting an unfurled flag because of all of the wives, mothers, fathers, husbands, and family members who have been handed a folded one.

I stand… because standing is a universal sign of honor and respect.

I stand… because I believe that our battle is not against flesh and blood, and that we can accomplish more through the power of prayer than through hollow protests.

I stand… because we are better when we operate in unity, as “one nation under God, indivisible…” As a Christian, I believe the truth expressed by the psalmist who said,

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity! ~ Psalm 133:1

I stand… because our flag and national anthem symbolize what is right with our country, not what is wrong with it.

I stand… because there are other countries where people are poor and oppressed beyond measure, and are looking to America to be an example — The shining city on a hill.

I stand… because I am the recipient of a grace that has been granted to me in the form of a life in a free country called America.

I stand… not because we are perfect and have it all together, but as a sign that I am willing to take my place — standing beside you — working together to make America a better place.

I stand… to show that I am up on my feet and ready to go; to be a part of the solution, not a symptom of the problem.

I stand… because I am grateful.

Flag 3O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

                                                      ~ Katharine Lee Bates

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A Word and a Warning

Our world is becoming increasingly perilous. While our attention is diverted to places like North Korea and the halls of Congress, things are happening in the Middle East that the world at large is ignoring.

I invite YOU…

Watch this word, The Rebirth of the House of Togarmah Part 1 now…


See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what
the will of the Lord is. ~ Ephesians 5:15-17

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Recognizing the Fragrance of God

Through the Looking Glass

While serving in Korea during the Korean War, Pvt. James S. Bumgarner found himself being saved by, of all things, his nose.

Pvt. Bumgarner had a violent reaction when it came to the taste or smell of garlic. Even the slightest taste of garlic had the potential to send him into a state of nausea and vomiting. As it turned out, the North Koreans subsisted on a diet of fish heads, rice, and…


One night while standing guard, Pvt. Bumgarner got a faint whiff garlic coming from the direction of the enemy positions. Although it was dark, and he could not see the enemy, once he smelled them, his ears tuned into the surroundings, and he began to hear them as well. He alerted his men that there was an enemy on the other side of the rise in front of them. As it turned out, it was, in fact, an enemy patrol headed straight toward their position. Bumgarner and his men were prepared when the enemy showed up, and stopped them in their tracks.

As Christians, we should be so in-tune with the “fragrance of God” that we can instantly recognize the repulsive scent of anything that tries to pass itself off as “Godly”. We should have His word so ingrained in us that anything but the truth is instantly recognized and rejected as the deceitful counterfeit that it is. The Psalmist said…

I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. ~ Psalm 119:11

They say when people who handle money are trained to recognize phony money, they do not spend their time examining counterfeits… the study the real thing. They learn what real currency looks like, and study it to the point that, when faced with a counterfeit, they instantly recognize it. As followers of Christ, we should be able to instantly recognize anything that is not of Him.

Pvt. Bumgarner’s hyper-sensitive nose saved the lives of he and his men that night. His ability to smell trouble coming helped keep him alive through the war, and brought him home to a successful civilian career, living to the ripe old age of 86.

While his fellow soldiers knew him as Pvt. Bumgarner, for the rest of us, he had several aliases… Brett Maverick, Jason McCullough, and Jim Rockford.

James Scott Bumgarner — aka — James Garner.