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Joseph V Fagundes Sr

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JUST SOME THOUGHTS on Feb. 17, 2011
by Joseph V Fagundes Sr   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, February 27, 2011
Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2011

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Joseph V Fagundes Sr

A long, hard look
The Canvas
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I took a few moments today to reflect on where we are in this country. Sometimes all we have to do is pick up the morning paper or listen to a news broadcast to see how far we’ve gone off the path that was originally set for us by our founding fathers. It never ceases to amaze me how people, myself included, are constantly wanting for more, while a man or woman in a remote part of the world is just trying to make it through the day not knowing if they will be a victim of a terrorist attack.

Our refrigerators are full of food, half of which we probably don’t need, while a family down the street is wondering where their next meal will come from. A mother in a foreign country follows a food truck picking up scraps that fall off the back for her children’s next meal. Yet in America our elementary school age children are already considered obese.

We drive around in brand new shiny SUV’s and luxury cars that we take better care of than we do our relationships, while somewhere in the world a man or woman is riding a bicycle or walking miles to get to work or school.

We come to work and complain about the situation, but never bother to look at the statistics with regards to how many people in this country are unemployed and uninsured, never mind the rest of the world. We need to be grateful we have a job and health insurance.

We don’t like our relationships and have the highest divorce rate around, but we keep searching for that “perfect” person who doesn’t exist. In some countries struggle and adversity make a family stronger, here a little stress and we’ve had it with the other person.

We complain about aches and pains and keep the pharmaceutical companies in profits because we are to busy and we don’t like to exercise, to rest and to eat properly.

We’re never content. It’s always too hot, or too cold, too much or too little, not fast enough or too fast. For us nothing is ever right. We’ve become a nation of whiners. Sometimes I think back a generation or two when life was not as high tech, and yet there seemed to be a stronger spirit of gratitude, closeness, love of country and family and just an acceptance that the simple life was good enough. There wasn’t this excessive striving to keep up with the Joneses. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t want to improve our lives and have goals; I’m just wondering what price we as a nation and as individuals are willing to pay to get there. Do we sacrifice our marriages and families, our integrity and character and our beliefs so we can make more money to buy more things?

Something else that bothers me the most is how we idolize politicians
athletes and entertainers. It’s sad to think that so few of these individuals who have the power to influence so many lack the character and backbone to take a stand for the values that shaped this country and even if they do there’s always some sort of personal benefit for them to gain.

In a country that’s home to some of the most distinguished institutions of higher learning it is hard to see that education has taken a back seat. We no longer take priority to introduce our students to culture and the arts. We’ve removed any form of religious practices from schools that helped to teach discipline and build character. Our school athletic programs are based on how much pain we can inflict on the opponent instead of sportsmanship and this is happening in all levels of competition from the pee wee division to the professional level. Our teachers are fighting an uphill battle with students who could care less about opening a book or writing a term paper. They would rather be texting their friends during class time and disrupting the flow of the class making it harder for our educators to instruct those who still want to learn. What a terrible price we are going to pay in this country in the next generation when these individuals have to vote and make decisions that will affect you and me and our grandchildren.

Even our houses of worship seemed to have loosened their grip on reverence for God with a relaxed worship environment. I’ve attended churches where food and beverages are allowed into the service. Where cell phones can be heard ringing while a pastor is trying to convey a message that God has laid on his heart for his congregation. People can be seen texting their friends during the service as well. Altar calls are no longer a priority, because we have too many announcements of “activities” to inform everyone of. We spend more time on announcements then we do in pastoral prayer time. God’s house is now a haven for activities instead of a place of prayer and worship as it was originally intended. I understand the times are changing and we have to adjust with them but let us not lose sight of the concept of reverence and respect for the things of God.

For America to succeed and regain the respect it once had on a global scale we need a return to basic values of right and wrong, to applying justice when needed, and to a morality that will once again create an environment where the most important unit in society, the family, can flourish. We need to protect this land not only from terrorism, but from decay right within our borders. My friends, don’t worry about any foreign invasions on our soil, worry about us destroying ourselves from within.

I once heard a great Christian leader at a Promise Keepers gathering state the following: “It takes strong families, to create strong neighborhoods that will produce strong cities that will generate strong states that will erect a strong country that will build a strong world.” It is families that built this country and its families that will remake America, one household at a time. Remember what happens outside your four walls doesn’t have to happen inside them



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