Saturday, June 16, 2018

POLITICAL SHENANIGANS

Finally, I’ve found two words which, in my opinion, aptly describe modern day politics—actually it may have always been this way...POLITICAL SHENANIGANS.

I have two friends, one an attorney and the other a mortgage broker, who are constantly sparring when it comes to politics.  One is a Democrat the other a Republican.  Of course, I’ll let a half a dozen or more emails go by and add my three cents—the instigator that I am.  LOL!  The Fed says the economy is very healthy and will raise interest rates by one full point by the end of 2018.)  So ‘two cents’ is now three cents.  LOL!

After following politics rather closely for the past 32 years, I’ve come to this conclusion—here’s my email to the sparring duo. 

Hey Guys,

IMO here is the reality: When it comes to politics just like when it comes to attorneys and the law (I'd like to believe, Mr A, you are the exception, and I would like to believe there are exceptions in every profession) however, with that said the reality is we are now seeing that the Clintons were utterly corrupt, the Obamas administration was corrupt on nearly every front, the FBI was corrupt, and I suspect that at the top and almost all government positions from the President to the local police and government there is corruption because it is the nature of man.  The Bible says, "The heart of man is the deceitfully wicked above all else who can know it."  It’s also true of business, the church, family; there are no exceptions—believe me I see it when I officiate funerals—greed and the love of money corrupts a person’s righteousness.

That's why I have made a decision to not vote “the man” because I don't know his/her heart.  Look at the disappointments we have found in Bill Cosby and for those who were Weinstein friends, him too.  Then there's Nixon, JFK ... and ... .  Hey!  Here’s the reality: I look at my own heart and at times it's scary and disappointing—so I'm not judging anybody.  Just making a point.

Therefore, I must vote policy; the policies, which best align with what I believe the word of God holds up, and trust the man/woman to God.  Nobody gets over on God.  So, if the man is crooked God will take care of the man.  Look, even God’s “model of perfection,” Lucifer, when pride was found in his heart corrupted his wisdom and became utterly evil.

Only one man lived a perfect life that could be trusted on every front and that was Jesus.  He doesn't walk the face of this earth today, but He does live in the hearts of believers and we do see Him at work for those who are willing to surrender and submit to His voice.  Yet, if we’re transparently honest, even with His help, what we do will be done with many imperfections. 

That's my three cents.

PB

Monday, May 28, 2018

THE NFL & THE NATIONAL ANTHEM - THE CONTROVERSY CONTINUES


What I'm about to say I speak from my heart, from deep within my gut as a father, husband, pastor and hard working citizen of the greatest country on earth, the USA.

My father's parents migrated to America from Sicily.  My father and his siblings were not allowed to speak Italian in the home because they were "Americans."  (Not saying that was right or wise, just want you to see the picture.)  Pop was a veteran serving in the US Army.  My mother’s parents were English and Pennsylvania Dutch.  I received Christ as a child with my mother while living in Glassboro.  My parents moved to Cross Keys when I was seven; I am the 2nd graduating class from Washington Township High School.  Every student, there were no exceptions, stood and saluted the flag pledging our alliance to "ONE nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.” 

Therefore, when the Pittsburgh Steelers coach, and other NFL coaches and owners wrongfully sided with players staying in the locker room or refusing to put their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem, I was deeply dismayed.  To me, it showed utter contempt and disrespect for our 'men in blue' and all military branches.  To me they insulted the intelligence of every American who understands that NFL owners, players and coaches make millions BECAUSE the police and military have secured their liberty to not only play a sport they love, but make millions while doing it.  

Why would an American not stand for the National Anthem, with hand over heart, in acknowledgment of those who have paid for their freedom, many with their lives?  I know this sounds acerbic, but if they don't like it let them play ball in North Korea, Russia or Cuba.

This is not about black, white, brown, red or yellow; it's about respect for the Country and its flag, which symbolizes we are “’one’ nation under God.”  The National Anthem speaks of oneness and not division; it speaks of hope and unity, of poverty to wealth, from the ghetto to the Presidency.  To protest during its salute is to corrupt the very thing it stands for.  Some argue it’s the only way African-Americans can be heard.  I disagree.  There is a right way and there are proper channels to voice our grievances.  Take the case of Richard and Mildred Loving; it was a long battle making its way to the SCOTUS.  But, justice was done using the proper channels (movie release 2016).

As believers there's a right and wrong way to do things. e.g.: How do we right the wrong of illegitimate children, which become the property of the state and every citizen's tax burden?  We foster and adopt.  We don't protest on football field ... or wherever.  I'm sure you've seen the movie Mutiny on the Bounty with Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins. Brilliant movie by the way!  Well, if this hatred, spurred on by the media and press, doesn't stop we're going to have Mutiny in America.  

It's frightening what America is becoming.  We are divided on nearly every front—economically, religiously, racially, morally, and the list goes on.  I know you, Joe, and I believe you and I want the same thing; we love the same God, and we want, truly, to be "One Nation Under God."  However, the Biblical principle of sowing and reaping is in effect here.  Sow discord and we’ll reap discord.  Oppression is a horrible thing, and needs to be taken on head-on, but take it to the town hall or courts or social media … but, in my opinion, using the National Anthem during a football game draws a line in the wrong sand.

Let's pray we’ll see the day, and live in the beauty of being “One Nation Under God.”

J. Bruce Sofia


Thursday, May 3, 2018

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER - BRIEF HISTORY

HISTORY OF NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER


The National Day of Prayer first commenced in 1775 when our forefathers called the then unborn nation to pray for its formation. In 1952 NDOP was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.  NDOPputs an emphasis on repentance and prayer on a personal level, while, at the same time, placing national focus on those in governmental power. These areas are called the seven centers of power.  They are leaders in: government, military, media, business, education, church, andfamily

NDOP may sound political, but the NDOP Task Force is designed to mobilize all people to prayer regardless of political party or stance. 

This year, 2018, our theme is UNITY.  In my humble opinion certainly fitting for a nation divided on so many fronts: economic, religious, political, moral and racial just to name a few.  

Thank you for joining us on this momentous occasion when thousands of churches and organizations, concerned about America’s future, have gathered today/tonight to pray for our healing.

Please remain standing, as the Mayor of Washington Township, Joann Gattinelli, will lead us in the flag salute.

NDOP/WELCOME&PURPOSE/2018

Saturday, November 11, 2017

HISTORY OF VETERANS DAY


Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day–a common misunder-standing, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May) honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans–living or dead–but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.


Monday, July 3, 2017

HISTORY OF THE 4TH OF JULY & FIVE FACTS WORTH NOTING

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE 4TH OF JULY

Taxation without representation!"  That was the battle cry of the 13 colonies in America that were forced to pay taxes to England's King George III with no representation in Parliament.  As dissatisfaction grew, British troops were sent in to quell any signs of rebellion, and repeated attempts by the colonists to resolve the crisis without war proved fruitless.

On June 11, 1776, the colonies' Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia formed a committee with the express purpose of drafting a document that would formally sever their ties with Great Britain.  The committee included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston.  The document was crafted by Jefferson, who was considered the strongest and most eloquent writer.  (Nevertheless, a total of 86 changes were made to his draft.)  The final version was officially adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4.

The following day, copies of the Declaration of Independence were distributed and, on July 6, The Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first newspaper to print the extraordinary document.  The Declaration of Independence has since become our nation's most cherished symbol of liberty.
 
On July 8, 1776, the first public readings of the Declaration were held in Philadelphia's Independence Square to the ringing of bells and band music.  One year later, on July 4, 1777, Philadelphia marked Independence Day by adjourning Congress and celebrating with bonfires, bells and fireworks.

Congress established Independence Day as a holiday in 1870, and in 1938 Congress reaffirmed it as a holiday, but with full pay for federal employees.  Today, communities across the nation mark this major midsummer holiday with parades, fireworks, picnics and the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner" and marches by John Philip Sousa.


FIVE FACTS WORTH NOTING


1. It is America’s biggest non-religious holiday.

2. America celebrates July 4 as Independence Day because it was July 4, 1776 that the members of the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.

3. In 1777, Philadelphians remembered the 4th of July by ringing bells, firing guns, lighting candles and setting off firecrackers.

4. When the War of Independence ended in 1783, July 4th became a holiday in some places – Boston being one of them.  Speeches, military events, parades and fireworks marked the day.

5. In 1941 Congress declared July 4th a Federal Holiday.  Today it is celebrated throughout America in every State.