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Mark A. Goldman                                                                          7/14/2011


By three methods we may learn wisdom;
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third, by experience, which is bitterest.

                                                       -- Confusius

Trouble!  We got trouble, my friends, right here in River City!  Trouble, trouble… trouble. 

Politicians these days seem to end every address they make with the prayer… “… and God Bless America!”   God hears.

Trouble.  We got trouble. 

Well anyway, that’s how George W. Bush always ended his speeches:  “God bless America.” 

Let me share with you something about God in my understanding:  If God were a person, He1 would be the most honorable, kind, and compassionate person you’ve ever met.  He would also have patience beyond what you would have found in anyone you ever knew.  He would love you without question or doubt.  He would be understanding to the degree that it would move you deeply every time you were with him.  You would feel and correctly so, that he knew your heart.  He would be your best friend.  And he would be smarter than you can imagine.  Amazingly so.  And He would always be willing to answer your deepest questions, and teach you what you needed to know… and at the same time be appropriate to you in every circumstance.  And it would make you cry just to hear him speak. 

Trouble.  Trouble, my friend.

You know one day a Republican Congressman was complaining to George W. Bush about one of the more “onerous” portions of the Patriot Act… 

“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief.  Do it my way.” 

“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”

“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!” 2

Oooooo.  It’s just a goddamned piece of paper?  Is that so…?  Is that so?

Trouble.  We got trouble my friends…

Where do you think that goddamn piece of paper came from?  How do you think it came to be… this goddamned piece of paper?  You know what I think?  I think SOMEONE went to a lot of TROUBLE to get us that piece of paper, that’s what I think.  A lot of trouble...  You know what else I think.  SOMEONE went to a lot of TROUBLE to get us the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, on December 10, 1948.  How much trouble do you think it was to get every representative from almost every nation on the planet to sign that document?  Oooo.  I bet you never thought about that… but I bet someone went to a lot of trouble to get that done.  A LOT OF TROUBLE.

I think God did bless America and does bless you.  But you know what?  Like I said, God is appropriate.  No matter what you’ve been told, I don’t believe He gets angry, but I do think He is appropriate in how He responds to what we do, to what He sees and hears.  What we do tells him how we think, what’s in our heart… what we need to learn that we haven’t quite learned to grasp yet… the gaps in our understanding that would be in our best interest to know … and what lessons are up next for us to learn… about Him... about ourselves…  what we still need to understand about compassion and responsibility; what we still need to understand about honor and respect for those who go to a lot of trouble trying to help us be free, happy, and successful.

Trouble my friend…………  right here in River City.  Right here.

God is real and not a myth.  Maybe you didn’t know that.  Maybe you haven’t thought about that, all that much.  Something you might want to think about.


1 I experience God as “He,” but I don’t take offense if others refer to God as “She.”

2 Bush quote reported by Doug Thompson, Capitol Hill Blue, 12-9-5  

3 Link to The Constitution

4 Link to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights







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