Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The American Dream

It's that time again. Cool breezes refreshing us. Football season. And ah yes, another election. And this time it's a biggy. Actually, I would say this is the most significant one yet. There's so much at stake, so much emotion. I've never cared for politics, finding them uninteresting and distasteful. But this year, as each one of you knows, we've been bombarded with the presidential campaigns. I have never in my days seen an election year with more controversial issues and drama. If all of this were in a movie script, we would probably say it is too fantastic and overdone. Well, I have to make a confession: I've gotten pretty captivated by the whole thing. During the past couple of weeks I've been to many news sites, many blogs, and bookmarked many candidates' sites. I've learned much, and quite a bit of what I've learned hasn't been pleasant, I must say. Having the busy life that I do, it's been necessary for me to "steal" moments to do this, taking some time between various activities of homeschooling and homemaking, after the evening family devotions, or during lunch break. I've listened to news broadcasts and talk radio while tackling some needed fall cleaning projects.

As time has gone on with this, I've gone to bed quite a few times feeling unsettled and disturbed. There have been some inward stirrings that are really difficult to explain. Somewhere in the midst of all this, after prayer about it, I've decided to start my own series related to this election. Treading into this territory with a little fear , I have to say that I'm trying hard to stay away from the usual bitterness and hard feelings that so often come with political issues. It's a sure way to lose friends, you know. But I have these strong urgings in my own heart and conscience to have at least a little input, but hopefully in a positive way. So this series, which I'm calling "The American Dream," will be posts containing reflections, links, articles, quotes, news clips, whatever seems appropriate to me to accomplish what I'm attempting to do. You'll better understand this as it goes along.

Let me say at the outset that I'm not impartial. I'm not in the center. I'm not moderate. I'm conservative. This is something I'm neither embarrassed nor proud about. It's a statement about who I am in my views and political beliefs. I see most issues from that perspective. It has always had bearing on what I post and say here and this series is no exception. But what impacts my life and this blog the most is that I am a Christian. Sorrowfully, people have different meanings when they say they're Christians. My meaning (which I wholly believe is biblical) is that I'm a blood-bought child of God, through Jesus my Savior. I believe that the Bible is clear that there is no other Savior. The Scriptures are my rule for life--the whole Bible. I may not understand it all perfectly, but I try as best I can to follow its teachings. This is all said to let you know where I stand and what guides me in whatever I do in life, including this blog.

That being said, please bear in mind that this series is not being written to endorse any particular party or candidate(s). You'll probably be able to figure out where I stand on this, but that's not the point. Who cares what I think about any candidate? I really want this to be a series that makes all of us think--about the ideology behind what we do and about our country. I hope we'll all think not about what's "in this for me," but what's in this for America as a whole. You see, I have two children and two grandchildren, one who's still in the womb. What is the America that I want to see for them? You probably have children/grandchildren or maybe someday will have them. What is the America that you want for them?

It's hard to sort through it all, isn't it? You go to MoveOn. org and they're making their charges in one direction and then you go to Rush Limbaugh.com and they have a set of charges going back the other way. That's why we have to dig deep and check out everything, as best we can, as to how each side - all the sides - measure up in leading us to the nation we hope to have for our posterity. The stakes are as high as they've ever been, folks. BUT, more than anything, we need to dig deep in our own hearts and determine, as I heard someone say on the radio, just what are the fundamental building blocks in our lives--is it our faith or something else? These impact the choices we make.

So here's how I want to get this series going. Let's start out by thinking about "The American Dream." You've heard of it, I'm sure. So as not to take up too much space here (this post is already long), I'm linking to the Wikipedia article on it. We all know this term has evolved to encompass various meanings, somewhat different than the original one. But this is what I'm asking you to do--I'm asking you to answer this question: What is the "American Dream" that you have for yourself and your children? What is it that you want to see for our country? Actually, I'm not asking you to define what the original term means, but that you redefine it so that it is an expression of your hope and desire for America. It can be in just a few words or a paragraph. Years ago, Dr. King voiced his dream for this nation and it wasn't all about financial prosperity. It was about something intangible. So, what's your dream? Would you help me out in starting this series by writing a comment which conveys your hope and desire to the rest of us? And may I ask that you not mention a party or candidate in this particular comment? I definitely believe that if you do think seriously about this and commit your dream to prayer, it will help you in making your choice for the next President of this country that we all love.

Note: As I begin this series, I think there should be some ground rules about comments. I'm going to have to insist that all thoughts expressed maintain the spirit of courtesy and respect that has always been my desire for this blog. I cannot and will not allow any comments that violate this requirement. The following are examples of the types of comments that will be deleted:

  • Any containing profanity.

  • Sarcasm and distasteful jokes or unkind remarks about a person or group. (Of course, we all may have concerns about the practices of those with opposing views. We can express those views without being belligerent or disrespectful.)

  • Unsubsantiated accusations. Actually, this isn't the place to make any accusations, even if you think your claims are substantiated.

Would you join in with this little series of blog posts by this insignificant housewife, who has limited knowledge of the subject, but a love for her country and God? Please do! Please start by telling us all your American dream!

[Btw, do you like Cinnabon? I have a ten dollar Cinnabon gift card which I've been waiting for the opportunity to give it to someone. This seems like a good time. A week from today, we'll draw a name from the people who comment (so you don't want to put "Anonymous", which won't count) and announce the winning comment and what was said. Then the winner can email me so they can claim their prize and we can hook up with the address, etc.etc. Needless to say, in this case each person will only be making one comment--one "dream."]



Dear Maxine, sometimes I am so amazed when I come to your blog. When you speak, it could be things that I would say. Oh, maybe not with the same words but with the same meaning. I think that it is our "sister" realationship in the Lord that causes us to think so much alike.

I am anxious to read every sentence that you write. I think that I will learn much and understand even maybe more. So, I will pray for you as you do this series. May God give you the Words and the wisdom to know exactly what to write. Looking forward with great antisicipation.

Thank you for all the prayers that you prayed for me and my family and friends and especially the birth of our new Great Grandbaby during the hurricane. God is so very good to us and I thank Him with all my heart. For friends like you especially. connie

Barbara said...

Maxine, to me the American Dream for me and my children would be to live in a country that again had a love for God like no other time in history. I would love to be able to say we no longer had to lock our doors like it was when I was young, that your neighbors acted like neighbors and would come over for a cup of tea/coffee and small talk. I would like for it to be a country of which my grandchildren would say 'it gets no better than this' - they would be getting the needed high education, the ability to have a great job with good pay, the ability to have a nice home, and their lives would have been enriched by the people they have met throughout their lives.

The American Dream is not about prosperity, but about posterity - that we leave to our children a world in which they are safe, loved, nurtured, inspired, and above all, not ashamed to say "I am a child of God."

Cathy said...

Goodness, Maxine, you have worked very hard on this.

I want us to live in our peaceful, blessed country "under God." It is my hope for America to return to God and the foundations of our fathers, not to abandon Him, leaving Him out of everything. Psalm 33:2 - Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

I believe we need to pray.

2 Chronicles 7:14 -
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Kathy at Sumballo said...

Maxine, what an excellent discussion starter: what is the American dream for me? I have been struck, especially since visiting foreign countries this summer, how much we take our freedom for granted in this country. That freedom requires me to allow a Muslim or Hindu to worship in a public place, if I want to have the same privilege. And that freedom allows me to teach a Bible study in a nursing home, to pray at a hospital bed, to share an insight from my devotional time.
I want that freedom for my children and grandchildren. I believe that I must teach my children to be thoughtful, discerning people who do not need a nanny to carry them through their days. I believe freedom comes as they (and I) accept responsibility.
I am anxious to watch your series this fall. We need to take this election seriously, and proceed thoughtfully and with prayer. Thanks for tackling this!

Penless Thoughts said...

Maxine, what a wonderful, and I am sure, God inspired concept. I agree with others this will help each of us to put down in words what our hearts are really thinking.

The American Dream for me is for this country to return to the God fearing foundation on which it was built. One cannot visit D.C. without coming away knowing this for a fact when God's word is inscribed on all the buildings and in the writings of our forefathers.
I want my country to be like it was when I was growing up: a man's word was important, his reputation and standing in the community mattered, most everyone I knew attended Church and worshiped God, the schools actually taught us, not only the basics of education but respect and responsibility. People were willing to give a days labor for a days pay, without a boss looking over their shoulder, etc.

Most of all I long to see revival in our land and men and woman who put God first and always in every decision they make when voting and passing legislation. I long for true values and contentment with what we have and not always striving for the next dollar no matter what.

I've said a lot, but I guess to sum it up......get back to basics of the Golden Rule.

Neesie said...

A country that will fear, honor, and worship their true Creator. A fair country. A free and safe country from all outside evils.

This is my "dream" although I am sure I could name quite a few more things that I would want in this "dream" as well!

~~Deby said...

My American dream would be to live in a country that is a Christian country using the Bible as their rule book for life. That being and having rock solid convictions would be the norm. If that could not be had, that I would have the freedom to be what the Word of God would want me to be without ridicule. I would want a country where living right and clean would be the norm...that kindness would reign and that I felt my vote would count. I would live in a land that would consider the child in the womb as a child, not a fetus....I guess I could go on forever. I am glued way to much to FOX news and some talk radio these days too Maxine.
blessings to you as you start this series.

Beverly said...

My American Dream is that we would live in a country that recognizes God as our Father, that we would TRULY be a nation "under God." I wish my kids to grow up in an environment that doesn't hate and spurn the things that are true, right, noble, just and of good report. I would like to live in a nation that is less politically correct and more spiritually aware.

Penless Thoughts said...

Maxine, I wanted to let you know I linked to this post on my blog today.

Sara said...

My American Dream is, as many have already stated, that America would acknowledge that we are one nation under God. I also would love to see more tolerance for Christians. It scares me to think how others would never even think of speaking against different religions except Christianity.

We are not being persecuted like our brothers in sisters in foreign countries, but our country could be headed in that direction if the mocking and hateful attitudes against Christians do not change. So I would really love to see "libery and justice for all".

Thank you for writing this post Mrs. R. I can tell you put a lot of thought and time into it. Two thumbs up!

Love in Christ,

Mimi said...

America was founded on freedom
They say America has lost her way!
America has not lost Her way..but Christians have failed..we are no longer allowed to read the Bible, pray, or pledge to the flag in school...

We have allowed an entire generation to be lost through abortion.

My dream for America is that we as Christians will hold firm to our beliefs...
We should study the platforms of the political candidates this year...and pray before we vote

My Hope and desire is that America could once again be brought back to the position of being "One Nation Under God, With Liberty and Justice for all"
Thank you for posting this Maxine and allowing us to really Think about what our Country means to us.

Momma Roar said...

What an amazing idea!!

The American Dream - I think that I would love to see my children grow up (they're 6, 3 and 1) to live where they can worship God as they feel led without fear of rejection or ridicule. That they will not be persecuted for their beliefs, but that people will be drawn to them and the Lord they serve. And, that people will be less selfish and self-serving and want to meet the needs of those less fortunate.

Elise said...

Hello, friend!

Thank you for coming by and letting me know about this... I must confess, I tend to worry more than I should, but in the midst of times like these, it is too heart-wrenching to do so as I look into the eyes of my husband and little ones, rest my hand on a belly ripe for giving birth, and wonder what I'm bringing these children into...

I will ponder for a bit and try to come by again... my mind is a jumble with what I've read here- your words and others- I want to make sure what I say is my own!

Thank you, Maxine, for prodding us so gently...

diana said...

i think you have a wonderful idea here and i hope it brings bloggers to a new level of understanding and respect for each other and opposing political parties, as we enter into the election, instead of judging each other and making the gap between us even wider.

my idea of the american dream is to continue to live in a country that is based on freedom and diversity. i want to be respected as a christian but i want those who don't have my same beliefs to be respected in the same way. i'd like to live in a country where people have integrity, show respect, and know the meaning of responsibility.

i want the generations that follow me to have the opportunity to receive the best in education and then to have a job that uses that education.

i want my son to go through 4-8 years of higher education without the fear or reality of being drafted to go to war.

i want to live where love, kindness, and compassion is the norm, not the exception.

thank you maxine for giving us a voice to express our feelings.

kris said...

Hi Maxine-
What is the American dream for me? Freedom - freedom to worship: freedom to talk about God, pray in public, choose which church I want to go to, to talk with others about God; freedom to work at the job of my choice, to be able to spend/give my money as I wish - not give it to the government to be used as others dictate; freedom to teach my grandchildren my values.
I look forward to reading your series,Maxine. Thanks for visiting my blog! Kris

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

My vision of The American Dream is to bring back to this great country of the United States of America something that we as a nation have lost: God Consciousness. In this way, the Holy Spirit can do His work and the Father's eternal purpose will prevail which is expressed to us through the truth of the Bible and through the example and loving sacrifice of God the Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Also, here's that link to my son's blog I talked about. He had to do a school assignment about the American Dream.


Thanks Maxine for posting these thought-provoking posts!