Why We Should Pray In Public

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

Although many would disagree, I believe we should all pray in public.

It is our right as American citizens of this great country.  We do have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion as most would try to have you believe.

The founding fathers were very explicit in their belief that we should practice our spiritual beliefs in public as was done almost automatically in our country until just a few short years ago.

Out of respect for others who may not believe as we do, we do need to practice restraint and not try to force our beliefs on others or pray in such a way as to make it appear as if we are trying to convert the whole world.

You see many proclaiming their beliefs to the world every day, and that will turn many people off to the whole religion thing, it is their right to do so and my opinion is to just let them do their thing, it is their right and it interferes with my rights in not even the slightest.

If we do not express our beliefs in public, how does anyone know how we feel, if enough people fail to express themselves, then a false narrative is portrayed and people begin to believe that no one believes in God anymore.

That opens the door for all sorts of negative philosophies to stumble in.

To survive long term, a nation needs a moral compass. There isn’t a perfect person on the planet, and many will stumble on their walk through life, but we all need a guide and moral compass to inspire us to live a better life, without it, we will most certainly stumble more than we do now.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

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The Farmer and the Dog

photo fo two people, a child and an adult looking at a sunset over the ocean

Life was a lot slower and simpler in the fifties and sixties.

The Farmer and his Dog

A farmer named Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside except for a pet dog he doted on. The dog finally died and Muldoon went to the parish priest, saying “Father, the dog is dead. Could you possibly be saying a mass for the poor creature?”

Father Patrick told the farmer “No, we can’t have services for an animal in the church, but I’ll tell you what, there’s a new denomination down the road apiece, and no telling what they believe in, but maybe they’ll do something for the animal.”

Muldoon said “I’ll go right now. By the way, do you think $50,000 is enough to donate for the service?”

Father Patrick replied, “Why didn’t you tell me the dog was Catholic.”

Photography Prints

 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

The Future Is Now

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

I remember standing out in my front yard as a child one evening, I was probably about five or six years old.

At the time I lived in southern Indiana and looking towards the east, I saw Washington D.C. going up in flames. I hardly knew what Washington D.C. was, I had heard it was our nation’s capital, but being as young as I was I didn’t realize what the city stood for.

I just knew our government was in trouble and it seemed as if it was a few years after the turn of the 21st century. It seemed to be really troubling times.

This was about 1950, so it seemed really far off, and I pretty much forgot about it.

Several years later, in the late 80s, I had an opportunity to speak with a very knowledgeable and intuitive lady. Someone who should have been famous, but wasn’t.

She gave me the same information about the coming turmoil, repeating what I had heard in my youth.

I listened to what she had said, but it never really registered how bad it could get, we had just survived the protests of the sixties, how much worse could it be?

She said there would be much rioting and discontent, but it would be confined to the major cities and if we stayed out of them we would be fine.

She said the problems would come from the way the majority of our children had been raised after the sixties, the permissiveness and lack of control many parents had over their kids, and the way American society had forgotten what had made us great.

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Soon after that, I went to a motivational seminar, where Zig Ziglar was speaking, he said the same things, I still didn’t heed the warnings.

Most of us were raised in a different world, we were busier than a one-armed monkey at a flea festival. We raised our kids in that world, but somehow things changed and people forgot or didn’t think it was important to remember any more.

This is how most cultures decline and finally disappear, being taken over by a more barbaric society, until they no longer exist.

I took it with a grain of salt and went about my way as many others had done who had heard the same warnings, after all, our parents and grandparents had been saying the same thing for years, the world was going to hell in a handbasket.

Soon it was the turn of the century, and suddenly, the things I had seen and was told about began coming true.

It seemed chaos was everywhere, no self-control or discipline, no respect for the law, or others, profanity, everything that was right was wrong, and everything that was wrong was right.

Bad behavior became condoned and accepted, anyone who disagreed and remembered the values taught them at a younger age, were condemned and ridiculed.

Suddenly changing things back seemed about as difficult as scratching your ear with your elbow.

The world had been turned upside down, and all the problems of the world somehow seemed to be the fault of the United States.

You hear constantly on the media and from some politicians how horrible a place the United States is, how cruel we are to minorities, the disabled, etc.

I found during my travels, this is not the way the average person across the globe feels, that is only media and political rhetoric, designed to sell ads and garner votes by pandering to humanity’s basic trait, fear.

While in the outback of Australia, I got into a conversation with a nineteen-year-old girl from Switzerland, she couldn’t understand why I would travel somewhere besides America, she made the statement that if she lived in America, she would never leave, in her words,”America has everything a person could ever want or need.”

A few days later, we entered the tiny town of Daly Waters in the Northern Territory. They were celebrating the 4th of July, being appreciative of how the yanks saved them from the Japanese during WW2.

I’ve been on an Italian cruise ship with about 4000 passengers and only about 20% Americans, they sang our national anthem and everyone stood up placed their hands over their heart and sang, giving us a two-minute standing ovation when the song was completed.

Art Prints

Most thinking people appreciate and respect what America has done over the last 200 hundred plus years.

America has endured a lot, and I believe it has a manifest destiny. We would have never become a nation or survived without what George Washington would call, Divine Providence and Divine Intervention.

Fighting against impossible odds, he often gave credit to Divine Intervention for his successes.

Adhering to the basic tenets of our country, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and the Ten Commandments we have weathered the many storms that have befallen us.

Now we face a new challenge, maybe the most critical challenge in our history.

Before, the threat to our country has come from without, now it comes from within.

Many have forgotten what made us great as a country or no longer seem to think it is important.

They seem to believe they can do and think as they please, without regard to anyone or anything else.

We have lost our way.

As I soon discovered in my travels, everyone worships God in their own way, that is what our founders wanted, we have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

We have the God-given right to express our religious beliefs in public or anywhere we chose, not to force them on anyone, but to express them as we see fit, as long as it doesn’t harm someone else, and we respect what others feel, and not infringe on their space.

The Maya, Egyptians, and Aborigines of Australia were more in tune with their creator than we are today.

Many of the aborigines still are, even though some of them have become radicalized and developed an entitlement attitude because of what the Australian government has done to try and help them.

All three cultures have regressed, the Egyptians went from calling their leaders, Gods, To Pharaohs, then kings, and now presidents.

The Maya have all but disappeared as a culture, and the aborigines are slowly dying off and trying to adapt, in the process turning to drugs and alcohol.

I see the same thing in the United States, many here are also turning to drugs and alcohol because they no longer have a spiritual foundation to rely on.

We have a drug epidemic stretching from Times Square to the cornfields of Indiana.

In an area where the Friday night entertainment was a basketball game, now several people wind up in the hospital from a drug overdose. It happens weekly.

It doesn’t even make the news anymore, it’s not uncommon for the emts to run out of narcon.

Earlier this year, the morgue in Dayton Ohio ran out of room, an airline pilot for a major airline overdosed with his wife while their young child watched.

The list goes on and on, there seems to be no end to it.

The bad behavior, lack of respect, a sense of entitlement, profanity, and people sit at home watching mindless TV while ignoring their churches, social, fraternal and civic organizations.

In spite of it all, I still believe there are many good people out there, I think the majority of Americans still have their heads on straight, their voices get silenced and their cause doesn’t get good TV ratings or sell ads in your local paper.

Many are worried, they see what is going on and feel as helpless as a cow in quicksand.

Over the last several years, America has been fundamentally changed, because of negative influences from many politicians and the media, we have forgotten where we came from and what America once stood for.

But we really can’t blame anyone but ourselves, we could not have been fundamentally transformed if we hadn’t let it happen.

We stood by silently as our country was changed from within, no one or not many even said a word, and few noticed.

Some thought it was wonderful, thinking the world has changed and we need to just go along with the flow.

Many no longer adhere to the Wisdom of Our Ancestors, that knowledge that was once passed down from generation to generation, from time immemorial.

The very things we got so tired of hearing and we swore to never repeat to our descendants, we never wanted to sound like our parents, how wrong we were.

This is how great cultures rise and fall, they become great through their deeds and beliefs, they then reach a pinnacle and begin enjoying the fruits of their labor, allowing decadence to overcome their common sense, becoming a victim of and falling to their own success.

They forget about God and become focused on their own self-importance, until they once again fall into subjugation and poverty, completing the cycle, waiting for someone to save them while forgetting no one will save them if they don’t save themselves.

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

They forget the spirit of self-sufficiency and self-reliance that enabled them to become successful.

It came upon us slowly, most never even noticed, the stark reality came back to me just a few days ago when a high school friend I hadn’t seen in years remarked that he had noticed it several years ago.

He joined to Air Force out of high school, after he was discharged military service, when at one time it was an honor to serve in the military, and rightfully so, having military experience opened many employment doors and opportunities, he found it hard to get a job in the post Vietnam era if you had served in the military, and once they found you had been to Vietnam, the door closed permanently.

For many, this was the final straw, after having valiantly served and being spit on when coming home, they could now not find a job, our country did a great disservice.

Having finally found employment in the DC area, he began to notice the same people who had lead all the protests in the 60s were now getting high positions in the federal government.

And so it goes today, where once, a military background provided good training, respect, and many essential job skills, they are now looked upon as a detriment, and those in our nation’s government are the very ones who not only then, but now continue to try and bring down our nation.

Today, many have it all wrong, they continuously work to bring down a great nation who has done so much for so many. They continuously look for the negatives brought on by their own personal bad attitudes and a chip on their shoulders.

Many are so mad they could swallow a horned toad backward, but they have no idea what they are mad about.

If you ask them what they are protesting, they can’t tell you. They are just protesting.

Many are looking for personal gain and wealth, siding with those of like mind with an attitude they will somehow rule the world or change things for the better. Little do they realize, that if they form the world and our nation into what they deem a perfect world, they will be the first ones to be killed, and if they live, the world will not be what they had envisioned.

We all know how to fix this, regardless of what we have been told by the media and the left, this is still the greatest nation to have existed on the planet. Americans are still great caring people. Most of us still have a remembrance of the common sense and core values we grew up with, those values taught to us by our parents and elders.

Those values that are despised by those in the media and extremist groups.

If you have forgotten, all you need to do to remember is to read the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the writings of our founding fathers.

Then look deep inside you, past all the things you have been lead to believe by others, look into your heart and you find your answer as to what you need to do,

All knowledge comes from within.

The future is now, it’s your decision as to how this all turns out.

Remember in 1960, Nikita Khrushchev stood before the UN, took off his shoe and beat it on the podium as he stated, ” your grandchildren will be raised as a communist. “

photo of nikita khrushchev at the United Nations

Nikita Khrushchev at the UN

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

Life Is All About Seventeen Inches

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

I found this somewhere, it’s a good read.

In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who the heck is John Scolinos, I wondered. Well, in 1996 Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948.  No matter, I was just happy to be there.

He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.  Pointed side down.

Seriously, I wondered, who in the hell is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.

Then, finally …

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.

“No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches,” more question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”

Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?”came a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.

“And what do they do with a a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over these seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Bobby. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of throwing the ball over it.  If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”

Pause.

“Coaches …”

Pause.

” … what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? What do we do if he violates curfew? What if he uses drugs? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.

Then he turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.

“This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful….to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside.

“… dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.

His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.

Photography Prints

Lets Keep Politics Out of Important Issues

Where did common sense go?

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

Often times matters of extreme importance are clouded by politics and once that process begins, regardless of the issue and it’s importance, half of the population will be against any change only because it has been taken up as a banner of a political party.

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Climate change or global warming is a prime example.

Before the year 2000, everyone was on board, and still are about our concerns about the environment. In fact many strides had been made making our environment cleaner than it has been for years.

But, once it became a political football in the year 2000, and if you disagreed with the prognosis of certain politicians you were automatically deemed ignorant, ill informed and politically incorrect, it instantaneously annihilated half the population of the United States, once that half becam indignant, the other half followed suit. 

Since that period of time, almost nothing has been done except hurl brickbats at those with an opposing view.

How much better it was before this came about.

So it is with many of our other social issues, when the people decide for themselves, without the interference of political parties, much better results can be obtained.

The American people are intelligent enough, both sides of the political spectrum, to decide right from wrong. Once politicians and the media gets involved, all bets are off.

The same goes for all our other issues, racial, sexual, economic, etc.

Unless  politicians have been involved in the private sector, the only skill they have is getting reelected.

They know nothing concerning how the world operates.

It’s time they begin assuming the roles they were destined to follow,  the roles designed by our founding fathers.

They are our representatives in government, not our leaders.

We, the people, in America, are our own leaders.

We can be quite good at it if left alone by big brother.

get out of our way, we got this.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

The Lincoln Memorial

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865.

 

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 to April 15, 1865) was the 16th president of the United States and is often regarded as one of America’s greatest heroes because of his role as leader of the Union during on of it’s most difficult times.  He issued the Emancipation Proclamation which abolished slavery.

He rose from humble beginnings to achieving the highest office in the land . He was  tragically assassinated at a time when his country needed him to complete the great task remaining before the nation.

His eloquence of democracy and insistence that the Union was worth saving embody the ideals of self-government that all nations strive to achieve. Lincoln’s distinctively human and humane personality led to an incredible impact on the nation which endowed him with an enduring legacy.

 

The Three Boxes of Freedom

Sell Art Online

 

Written by Gary Wonning

Our freedom is the result of a five thousand year march through history. From the earliest times, man has held a desire to be free from tyranny. 

It took thousands of years for civilization to reach the level where they were able to govern themselves. 

Freedom isn’t for the weak of heart or uninformed. Today our freedom is guaranteed and preserved by the three boxes of freedom. 

The ballot box enables us to vote for our representatives in government , we must remember, they are representatives, they are not our leaders. 

The jury box enables each citizen to hand out justice to those who wrong others.

The cartilage box enables us to defend freedom where ever it is needed, both internationally and domestically. 

Art Prints

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome