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Ron's Reflections
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"I’m sitting here staring at a blank piece of paper, my mind filled with thoughts and my heart troubled. Like many of you, I’ve been trying to make sense of the racial tension that has our nation in its grip, and I’ve been dismayed by the tone and tenor of the conversation on social media, even among my friends and acquaintances. Calls for understanding are being met with resistance, requests for prayer are being ridiculed as inaction, and some are even predicting God’s coming judgment on one race over another.

"Those of us who strive to follow the whole counsel of God are left to wonder if we are alone in trying to honor our common heritage as image-bearers of God, all of whom are worthy, yet all of whom have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. All I know with absolute certainty is that God’s thoughts and ways are not ours, and I want to think, feel and act as He does, as much as I am able." ~ Ron Miller

I doubt my post will satisfy everyone as the definitive word on racial reconciliation. To those who are offended by anything I've written, please know that I am doing my best to follow the Word of God, and if I've said something that would grieve Him, then I beg His forgiveness and yours.

This is a long piece, so grab a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of lemonade or water, and read on!
I’m sitting here staring at a blank piece of paper, my mind filled with thoughts and my heart troubled. Like many of you, I’ve been trying to make sense of the racial tension that has our nation in its grip, and I’ve been dismayed by the tone and tenor of the conversation on social media, even among my friends and acquaintances. Calls for understanding are being met with resistance, requests for prayer are being ridiculed as inaction, a...
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I awoke this morning a free man, and it had nothing to do with Independence Day.
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"Certainly, religion should be measured against the principles it espouses and, where it is found wanting, it should be held accountable. Our culture, however, in its rejection of the corruption and hatred found often in religion, has thrown out the baby with the bath water and removed the restraints a robust religious culture places on human thought and action.

"We are taught not that we are connected and accountable to one another, but that we are individuals free from limits, and we have the license to act on our feelings and desires, regardless of others. We have substituted the 'we' of most religious instruction with the 'me' of individualism, and who's to say that my feelings or how I act upon them must be subordinated to a standard other than my own? Why should I be concerned about how my words and actions affect others when all that matters is how I feel?

"There are 7.4 billion people in the world; imagine what the world would be like if every one of them did whatever made them feel good, regardless of its impact on other people?" ~ Ron Miller
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. ~ Benjamin Franklin As I was contemplating the implications of a weekend of horror in the city of Orlando, Florida, the home of the Magic Kingdom and the hub of a region of Florida we called home for a total of 10 years, my oldest daughter sent me a text message, which read as follows: I think this s...
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On Memorial Day, my thoughts turn to Ray Vitkus, one of the finest Air Force officers I've known and a truly good man. He didn't die in battle, but he devoted his life to his God, his family and his country, and cancer took from him the chance to enjoy the fruits of his service and sacrifice while on this side of eternity. He was my leader, my model, and my friend, and I miss him. I try to honor him and his wonderful family every Memorial Day.
I have been to Arlington National Cemetery only three times that I can recall, twice as a tourist. I cringe at the word “tourist” because each time I visited in that capacity, I felt like I was dishonoring holy ground, as were my fellow tourists. Please don’t get me wrong; it is absolutely vital that as many Americans as possible visit Arlington National Cemetery to pay their respects to the men and women who dedicated themselves to the...
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"I have come to realize there is real tragedy in the lives of these people, who feel that the political elites in both parties have left them to die." ~ Ron Miller, "The Dilemma of 'Trumpsplaining'"

Let's see if we can cut through the politics to learn more about the people behind the Trump phenomenon. Maybe we will rediscover our common humanity in the process. It's worth a shot.
Unlike many political observers, I have spent the bulk of this campaign season focused not on Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican Party nomination for president, but on the people who are supporting him, seeking to understand what is motivating them to essentially turn the political establishment, especially the Republican Party, on its head.
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David French attempts, perhaps in vain, to bring calm to the roiling waters in which we're drowning. I fear that, in his attempts to find balance, he will not please those who are passionately invested in one narrative or the other. Nonetheless, I commend my friend for his courage in trying to pull us back from the brink.
If we don’t all take a deep breath, our unrest will only get worse.
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The market seems awash in dystopian novels and movies, especially in the young adult genre, reflecting the cynicism and hopelessness of millennials as they look upon the world we've left to them. I don't know if any of these stories have staying power, but the classic dystopian novels of the 20th century, George Orwell's "1984" and Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" still set the standard, in my humble opinion. In fact, I found the latter to be quite prescient, and I shared my observations to that effect three years ago.

Since I wrote this piece, the trends I observed have shown no signs of diminishing. The erasure of sex and gender roles and definitions has greatly accelerated, and the self-medication of American society has devolved into a full-blown opioid and heroin health crisis. Consumerism, information overload and entertainment as distraction continue apace.

In his book, "Fate of Empires", Sir John Bagot Glubb posited that most empires last about 250 years, and he calls the last stage before the end "The Age of Decadence". His descriptions of that stage are eerily reflective of modern day America, and by his timeline, we have about a decade left.

All of this can be argued, of course, but whatever the current state of affairs or the outcome, I can honestly echo the mindset of the apostle Paul, who said, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation" (Philippians 4:12).

My oldest daughter, who is blessed with extraordinary intelligence, inquisitiveness, and awareness but suffers for it because the condition of the world brings her to a near-constant state of depression and anxiety, paid me the greatest compliment yesterday.

When trying to divine the mystery of why I never seem to be bothered by current events, personal slights perceived or real, or the vitriol that permeates modern discourse, she said to me, and I'm recalling this from memory, "You say that God is the source of your self-worth, but you really live it." That means God has done an incredible work in me over time, and I'm grateful to Him for where He has brought me.

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).
“O brave new world, That has such people in't!” ~ Miranda, Act 5, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. I made a comment recently on Twitter that, lately, I feel like an alien observing a strange world not of my previous acquaintance, and I cited Philippians 3:20 which reads, in part, “But our citizenship is in heaven…” I know I’m not alone in that disquieting observation, as the world seems hell-bent on discarding every restrain...
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Great lesson, +Ron's Reflections . May God do the same kind of work in all of us.
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June 6, 1944. Never forget the price they paid for us to live free
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“If you seek the removal of freedom from an opponent simply because they have offended you, you have crossed the line to stand alongside tyrants who imprison, torture and kill with exactly the same justification.” ~ J.K. Rowling, author of the "Harry Potter" series
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I don't claim to be a seer, but as I survey the news today, much of what I wrote about two months ago is coming to pass.
As I write this, the Republican primary in my home state of Virginia is in the books, and Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul who has flipped the political establishment on its head with his improbable run for the presidency, has won. His performance on "Super Tuesday" was not as dominating as perhaps Mr. Trump and his supporters had hoped, but it did make the path to the nomination much more difficult for his opponents. It ...
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I walked away from the church in my early 20s, not because I no longer believed, but because I was focused more on the behavior of Christians than on Christ. As I tell people, I was looking side to side when I should have been looking up. Over the years, I became more or less a deist, and I was no longer attending church or participating in the disciplines of the faith.

It wasn't until a decade later, when my grandfather passed away unexpectedly, that I was forced to reexamine my faith. This time, I decided to investigate the claims of Christianity and take personal ownership of my conclusions, rather than accept what I was raised to believe without question. I began where any logical investigation of Christianity should begin, with the Resurrection.

Once I was persuaded that the Resurrection was an historical fact, my life changed forever. My faith flows from that one event in time; if Jesus did what He said he would do, which is die and rise again after three days, then He is who He says He is - the way, the truth and the life. To me, that means everything He and his disciples said matters.

The lives of the ordinary men who followed him were also irrevocably changed, and they made extraordinary sacrifices, including martyrdom, because of what they witnessed. It was their changed lives, and the impossible growth of this small Messianic Jewish sect beyond the borders of Israel to the four corners of the earth, that persuaded my wife of the veracity of Christianity, and she, too, became a believer.

“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.” ~ Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

"And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." ~ 1 Corinthians 15:14
Earlier this week, humorist Ricky Gervais presented his arguments for atheism and why he thought he was a better Christian than many Christians. In this follow-up, writer Lee Strobel offers his defense of Easter.
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Introduction

"Ron's Reflections" is the Google+ Page for  Ron Miller of Lynchburg, Virginia, an associate dean and assistant professor with the Helms School of Government at Liberty University. Ron is a commentator and author of SELLOUT: Musings From Uncle Tom’s Porch. The nine-year plus veteran of the U.S. Air Force and married father of three writes columns for numerous online sites and print publications.