Lessons in Victory

Musings of a young Christian and Conservative

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Giving Thanks

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Every year at this time, we gather together with loved ones and celebrate the most important things in life.  We remember that we are a blessed nation, and that our families have shaped us, loved us, and endured both hardship and joy with us.  We start looking forward to the holiday season and the cooling of the weather.  It is a time for family, reflection, and relaxation.

We can say that we are thankful about plenty of things, but we sometimes overlook the people who have had a tremendous impact on our lives.  My life has been enriched by many different people, and I can say with confidence that these people have been the most positive forces in my life.   This Thanksgiving, I need to take the initiative to thank those who have helped shape who I am.  Remember in this holiday season that it can never hurt to say “thank you.”  You may never know how much it means to someone to hear those simple words.

I’m not just thankful for these wonderful people though.  I’m thankful for a country where I can espouse my political and religious beliefs without fear of censorship or punishment.  I’m thankful for the men and women who put their lives on the line in dangerous places across the globe to protect my freedom and the freedom of others.  I’m even thankful for those in office right now who seek to oppose freedom, for without them, I’m not sure if I could burn as passionately about the issues I feel are of utmost importance for the American people.  May these leaders remember all of these things–the sacrifices our forefathers have made so that we may live the way we do today; may they continue to fight for freedom and justice in an unjust world.

May God bless you all this Thanksgiving, and may you remember all of the important things (and people) that have shaped your life.

Written by jakehutchison

November 26, 2009 at 12:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

A Noble Decision

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Finally, our President is considering to support our troops.  According to The New York Times (read about it here), he wishes to add about 30,000 more troops to the efforts in Afghanistan so that we may “finish the job.”  I applaud the President on this choice.  America has never done anything halfway, and we must either back out completely or press forward with all our might.  This decision certainly drew fire from his own party, and going against his political allies is something we haven’t seen the President do all that often.  I think the President does realize the importance of the task at hand in Afghanistan, and I am proud that he is finally taking action.  Just like the surge in Iraq, these fresh  troops will strengthen the region, take some pressure off our 68,000 men and women already over there, and allow America to do her job and do it well.

Our House Speaker wasn’t exactly thrilled with Obama’s decision.  She expressed her concerns in the same article: “Before a meeting with Mr. Obama on Tuesday afternoon, Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, said during a conference call of economists and bloggers that there was ‘serious unrest in our caucus about can we afford this war.'”  Pelosi et. al. are trying to push through record-breaking legislation that will forever change the economic landscape of our country in the form of both healthcare and environmental reform, yet they are concerned with the costs of efforts to keep America safe?  I smell a hypocrite!  I guess it depends on where your priorities lie, but in my opinion, keeping America safe is our number one concern: if we do not protect America, we will no longer have the right to make our own laws (or even elect leaders to make them for us).  Sure, in this current political climate it doesn’t seem that way, but come 2010 and 2012 I have every confidence that the American people will stand up and erase this horrible string of miserable failures as we sweep out the elitist scoundrels in Congress and replace them with those worthy of leading America.

Speaking of debt, our national debt has topped 12 trillion dollars.  I read some interesting facts about our national debt and the interest we pay on it annually from the Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell, a free daily email newsletter.  Within this article was an excerpt from another article from The New York Times (hooray sound, unbiased journalism! yay!) concerning the interest we’re paying on the national debt:

“With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher.  In concrete terms, an additional $500 billion a year in interest expense would total more than the combined federal budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

That’s not chump change.  This spending needs to stop now.  With the economy still in dire straits, we cannot place even more of a burden on the American people to finance this outrageous spending spree; our elected leaders must be good stewards of our precious tax dollars, or they will be held accountable.  If we can return to our priorities, with keeping America safe number one on the list, we will not fail.  We cannot fail.

Written by jakehutchison

November 25, 2009 at 2:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Finding Victory in the Simple

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It’s a beautiful day in central Indiana: an incredibly mild 55 degrees, sparkling sunshine, and the soft crunch of leaves underneath your feet.  On clear mornings like this, the sun peeks over the horizon about the time I’m walking to my 8 o’clock class, and fields to the east begin to glisten as the dew reflects the morning’s first warm rays of sunlight.  You take a deep breath, and the crisp air clears your lungs before you exhale slowly, the visible vapor of your breath quickly dissipating.

It’s easy for me on mornings like this to thank God for waking me.  Whatever dark moments I have experienced recently seem so distant from the current condition; it’s a quick moment of invincibility.  Sometimes we are brought to our knees by life’s circumstances, yet we are refreshed and rejuvenated often by the most simple of events; we, in a sense, achieve victory over our present sufferings.  We talk with friends, emphasize the good in life, and count our blessings which, though they may seem somewhat diminished, are certainly not lacking in significance.

I’m guilty of it too, but our society has been so preoccupied with being stimulated; there is no time to do nothing.  If we are not doing something, we are wasting time, and time is money.  I think our obsession with doing things has forced out our once-instinctive desire for silence.  We even get upset when someone takes more than a few seconds to respond to something we say or ask.  I believe silence is imperative in conversation.  It allows the two parties to compose their thoughts, filter out any abusive or inappropriate ideas, and respond in   News outlets and entertainers seek to “shock” you and get a reaction from you; they want either pure ecstasy or unbridled rage.  This has become how we react even to our closest friends and family. I have based my procedure for communicating and listening on reacting and not responding.  It helps me to take a deep breath, and count until at least 3 before I even prepare to utter words.  I often take longer than that to compose myself, because I want to derive the best possible way to explain my feelings.

Perhaps listening is our most dire problem.  Our leaders in Washington seem to have trouble listening; perhaps they need to stop reacting and start responding, but I don’t want to delve into that very deeply today.  I want to talk about importance of finding a few minutes of silence every day.  These moments should be times of reverence–offering to God what is due to him, and appreciating His creation.  If we can do this, we are well on our way to becoming better listeners, because we  are practicing with the one we should listen to the most.

I’m not sure what you might hear, but I hear that we are going to be all right.  The Church will endure, America will endure, and I am quite positive that I shall as well.   All of this is possible with my firm foundation of friends and family, including my rock, the love of my life, the beautiful Nicole.

 

Written by jakehutchison

November 23, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

America the Beautiful?

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Where has the pioneering American Spirit gone?  How come we no longer are the leaders of the free world, setting the example for the rest?  We have always been the best, and we have always brought out the best in other nations; Americans make the world a better place.

Yet our leadership in Washington feels like they have to apologize to the world and act like a submissive puppy to his new master.  Where are the Theodore Roosevelt types?  Roosevelt once said, “There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100% Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.”  I see a lot of fifty-fifty Americanism in Washington.  The other fifty percent, in my opinion, is cowardice.  Our leaders seem that a politically palatable solution is more important than one that is faithful and just to the American people.  The ideology of backscratching and compromise only leads to serious fissures in the integrity of not only our Constitution, but the well-being of our great nation.

I strongly believe that our leaders in Washington do not believe in the same America we do.  I believe in liberty, duty to God and to Country, free markets, an honest day’s work, charity, faith, and a firm moral foundation.  Our President and his followers believe in power, control, influence, eliminating dissent, no respect for a higher power, a shallow faith of apathy and blatant disrespect for the Constitution and the history of this great country.

If you don’t believe in the ideals our Constitution; the ideals our founding fathers fought against; the ideals that millions of Americans across many generations have died for, you don’t belong in this country.  There are plenty of places in our world today that devalue individual self-worth, level the playing field, and cripple innovation and freedom.  If these are ideas you hold close to your heart, go practice them where they are welcomed!  Don’t burden us who wish to be free from government regulation and taxation without representation.  Don’t defile our sacred documents and tread on our faith and our principles and try to impose your oppressive doctrines on us.  We will rise up, and we will displace you from your lofty perches built upon mountains of lies and dirty money, dripping with American sweat and blood.  You will learn the meaning of the American resolve, and you will feel the unstoppable force of the will of the American people.  You have been warned.  Now it’s your move.  Your cushy public life depends on it.

Written by jakehutchison

November 23, 2009 at 5:18 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Early Morning Musings

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We live in an age of specialization.  We categorize things, and then subcategorize them before putting them into even further dichotomized groups.  What of us who are good at a lot of things, but not great at anything?  The gap between good and great is ever-widening, and an emphasis on specialization in our society has taken full control of every one of our lives.  There is no longer a niche for “Renaissance Men;” people of many talents who enjoy delving into many different areas.  I would consider myself one of these people.  Being forced to choose is an uncomfortable, and even disheartening thought.

I feel like I have to choose; medicine or business, journalism or education.  I could of course teach a class on hospital administration while contributing to the field’s peer-reviewed journal, but it all seems very shallow after all that divvying up of the soul.  It makes it hard for one such as myself to discover purpose.

Being in a state of challenged faith and spiritual apathy doesn’t help.  A sort of spiritual static seems to cloud the soul of many a college student; whether it be the overwhelming sense of independence, the new ideas we are exposed to, or simply the passage of time.  I’ve noticed it is especially difficult for students who have been involved in a faith tradition from the cradle; we are challenged to continue to live in faith exactly as we have for the first 18 years of our lives, but when we are suddenly forced to do so on our own, we fail.  I still yearn for spiritual “grooming” from my mentors I’ve had growing up; wonderful people who expressed a plethora of diverse ideas which helped me create a solid faith foundation upon which I would go about the rest of my life.  I have since learned that even when you have a firm foundation, it’s difficult getting the building off the ground sometimes.

I continue to struggle to find significance.  I am sickened with the actions of our current government yet feel utterly powerless in the facilitation of change.  I could sit here and wax eloquent about America and how her people are strong and her days numbered, but it wouldn’t do anything; I could write a poem about the love of my life, but the words only inspire memories; fire synapses like fireworks bursting in the reflection of your eyes.  I feel like words, though my greatest weapon; my one true vessel for expressing my very being, are limited by my own frustrations of purpose.  In a nod to Fight Club, we have moved on from a society of listeners to a society of those who simply wait for their turn to speak.

Call me a cynic, but I am, by definition, by creation, the eternal optimist; one who sees the world through rose-colored glasses.  I am guided by the Spirit, though not always incredibly apparent even to myself.  While I have not found specific purpose, I believe that it is waiting for me, cloaked in the ever-present, yet rarely obvious glory of God.  There are parades in heaven whenever someone says something like that, and I intend to keep it that way.  I believe tough times like this bring out the best in everyone, and we all return to our roots; we cling dearly to the people we care about most, and we further define who we are.  It is my sincere hope I can come to terms with whatever definition for myself that I develop.

Written by jakehutchison

November 22, 2009 at 8:44 am

Posted in Uncategorized