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PoP's Southern American: Are You Poor in Spirit or Overflowing with Pride? by Eileen Parker Zoellner

5/21/2013

Are You Poor in Spirit or Overflowing with Pride? by Eileen Parker Zoellner

Are you poor in spirit or over flowing with pride?

After a whirlwind trip up to Tennessee and back....I spent A LOT of hours and miles in my car. Seldom do I get to sit that still at any given time, so I always use those opportunities to think about things that are near and dear to my heart. Thoughts of my absolutely two favorite men of all time, Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson, continually came to mind. Both men were stalwarths of their Christian faith and defenders of their land, country, fellow man and the Constitution. The caliber of these men has not been seen since they took their last breaths.

In 1853, Robert E. Lee joined the Episcopal Church and remained there the rest of his life. He lived his entire life as a humble and devoted Christian and stated: "My chief concern is to try to be an humble, earnest Christian." This motive was at the bottom of all that Lee did in his life. In response to a pastor he once talked to, General Lee said "..I can only say that I am a poor sinner, trusting in Christ alone for salvation and that I need all the prayers you can offer for me." With Lee, this was genuine, heartfelt concern, and not political verbiage.

"Stonewall" Jackson was from what is now West Virginia. He was not born into wealth by any stretch of the imagination and his early years were extremely difficult. He first served in the Mexican War and was later sent home and stationed at Fort Hamilton, about 7 miles from New York City. Author Mary Williamson wrote of him: "While there, he was baptized and began to live his life for the glory of Christ. God had changed the heart of this brave soldier and gave him wisdom to see that life should be lived for the glory of God--not for the glory of self."

The Beatitudes come to mind when I think of these men and how we must follow their example. The Beatitudes come from the opening verses of the famous "Sermon on the Mount" delivered by Jesus and recorded in Matthew 5:2-12. Here Jesus states several blessings, each beginning with the phrase, "Blessed are ..." Each saying speaks of a blessing or "divine favor" bestowed upon a person resulting from the possession of a certain character quality.

Jesus said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

The first Beatitude, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," is one in particular that I feel we all need to improve on. While we all should be proud of our Southron Heritage and Culture, it is also pride that causes us to fail. Pride, when extreme, causes us to become egotistical, unforgiving, arrogant, feeling of superiority, destructive, antagonistic, scornful and sometimes, downright dangerous to our cause. To be "poor in spirit" means to look at another's excellencies and at your own infirmities. The more grace we have, the more humble we are, because we now see ourselves as a greater debtor to God. If we can do any duty, we acknowledge that it is Christ's strength more than our own. In all things that Lee and Jackson did, they gave God all the glory and remained humble.

How often do we see the words, "Deo Vindice?" It translates to simply "God will vindicate." I understand that not all Southroners are Christian and perhaps will find fault with what I am saying, but I ask each of you to read my words, step back and think about them before making a comment. How are each of us failing the Southron cause? How many times are we not following Lee and Jackson's example by living for the glory of God? Maybe it's at differing degrees, but we all fail and fall short. Because of that, we are disorganized, argumentative, and without common ground. We don't need to worry about the obvious 'enemy.' We are our own worst enemy and will self destruct if we don't stop immediately and pull together as one people. Like Lee and Jackson, we need to be humble. That doesn't mean we shouldn't protect what is rightfully ours, our Southron Heritage and Culture. We do need to remember that while ours is the most important to us, there are others who have heritage and culture equally important to them. If we want others to respect ours, we should show respect for theirs too. It's taken 150 years to get where we are today, and positive change will not happen overnight. BUT, we must not ever give up or give in. We can't change the past, but together, we can be more than we ever dreamed of or thought possible. United together, along with God's help, we can do and accomplish anything. When our emotions get the better of us, we must not cave in to those emotions. If you feel like throwing the towel in, DON'T!! If you feel like you are going to lose your temper, DON'T!! If you feel you aren't making a difference and want to stop, DON'T!! If you get invited to an argument and really want to fall into their trap, DON'T!! Whatever it is that causes your emotions to get the upper hand, outlast your emotions and do not cave into them. Like Lee and Jackson, in the face of adversity, overcome, perservere and speak the truth. We have more impact united together, then alone and scattered in different directions. We all have different abilities and need each of your talents. The greatest asset each of us can give, is our time.

Almighty God, You have given us such rich grounds for our Southern heritage. We humbly ask You that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Your favor and glad to do Your will. Bless our magnificent southern land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners.

Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and configure into one united people the assemblage brought here out of many lineages and languages. Endow with Your spirit of wisdom those to whom in Your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Your law, we may show forth Your praise among the nations of the earth. In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, our trust in You will not fail.

Our Confederate ancestors leave us a strong and great heritage. They had an abundance of things that really count in life, things such as character, integrity, honesty, honor, courage, and a great love for God, family, and country. Their memory is cherished and is a blessing to us. May we, with your help, teach our children and those who follow to draw inspiration from their lives, and keep the sacred memory of our Southern ancestors who faithfully fought for a just cause. General Robert E. Lee said, "Let prayer be our passion, let prayer be our practice."

Lord, we give you praise for allowing us to have such a rich Southern heritage! Thank you for those that have gone before us that have preserved the truth for us! Encourage us as we face the lies and mistruths set forth by the father of lies and those afraid of the truth! Enable us to stand firm in you. May our actions give glory to you and honour to our our Southern ancestors. It's in the holy name of Jesus Christ that we pray these things ~ Amen ~

One lesson we can take from the dead, is if we don't come together and become united as one , we too will soon die.

Deo Vindice ~ Eileen Parker Zoellner ~
Are you poor in spirit or over flowing with pride?
 
After a whirlwind trip up to Tennessee and back....I spent A LOT of hours and miles in my car.  Seldom do I get to sit that still at any given time, so I always use those opportunities to think about things that are near and dear to my heart.  Thoughts of my absolutely two favorite men of all time, Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson, continually came to mind.  Both men were stalwarths of their Christian faith and defenders of their land, country, fellow man and the Constitution.  The caliber of these men has not been seen since they took their last breaths.
 
In 1853, Robert E. Lee joined the Episcopal Church and remained there the rest of his life. He lived his entire life as a humble and devoted Christian and stated: "My chief concern is to try to be an humble, earnest Christian." This motive was at the bottom of all that Lee did in his life. In response to a pastor he once talked to, General Lee said "..I can only say that I am a poor sinner, trusting in Christ alone for salvation and that I need all the prayers you can offer for me." With Lee, this was genuine, heartfelt concern, and not political verbiage.
 
"Stonewall" Jackson was from what is now West Virginia. He was not born into wealth by any stretch of the imagination and his early years were extremely difficult. He first served in the Mexican War and was later sent home and stationed at Fort Hamilton, about 7 miles from New York City.  Author Mary Williamson wrote of him: "While there, he was baptized and began to live his life for the glory of Christ. God had changed the heart of this brave soldier and gave him wisdom to see that life should be lived for the glory of God--not for the glory of self."
 
The Beatitudes come to mind when I think of these men and how we must follow their example. The Beatitudes come from the opening verses of the famous "Sermon on the Mount" delivered by Jesus and recorded in Matthew 5:2-12.  Here Jesus states several blessings, each beginning with the phrase, "Blessed are ..."  Each saying speaks of a blessing or "divine favor" bestowed upon a person resulting from the possession of a certain character quality.
 
Jesus said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
 
The first Beatitude, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," is one in particular that I feel we all need to improve on.  While we all should be proud of our Southron Heritage and Culture, it is also pride that causes us to fail.  Pride, when extreme, causes us to become egotistical, unforgiving, arrogant, feeling of superiority, destructive, antagonistic, scornful and sometimes, downright dangerous to our cause.  To be "poor in spirit" means to look at another's excellencies and at your own infirmities. The more grace we have, the more humble we are, because we now see ourselves as a greater debtor to God. If we can do any duty, we acknowledge that it is Christ's strength more than our own.  In all things that Lee and Jackson did, they gave God all the glory and remained humble.
 
How often do we see the words, "Deo Vindice?"  It translates to simply "God will vindicate."  I understand that not all Southroners are Christian and perhaps will find fault with what I am saying, but I ask each of you to read my words, step back and think about them before making a comment.  How are each of us failing the Southron cause?   How many times are we not following Lee and Jackson's example by living for the glory of God?  Maybe it's at differing degrees, but we all fail and fall short. Because of that, we are disorganized, argumentative, and without common ground. We don't need to worry about the obvious 'enemy.'  We are our own worst enemy and will self destruct if we don't stop immediately and pull together as one people.  Like Lee and Jackson, we need to be humble.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't protect what is rightfully ours, our Southron Heritage and Culture. We do need to remember that while ours is the most important to us, there are others who have heritage and culture equally important to them.  If we want others to respect ours, we should show respect for theirs too.  It's taken 150 years to get where we are today, and positive change will not happen overnight.  BUT, we must not ever give up or give in.  We can't change the past, but together, we can be more than we ever dreamed of or thought possible.  United together, along with God's help, we can do and accomplish anything.  When our emotions get the better of us, we must not cave in to those emotions.  If you feel like throwing the towel in, DON'T!!  If you feel like you are going to lose your temper, DON'T!!  If you feel you aren't making a difference and want to stop, DON'T!!  If you get invited to an argument and really want to fall into their trap, DON'T!!  Whatever it is that causes your emotions to get the upper hand, outlast your emotions and do not cave into them.  Like Lee and Jackson, in the face of adversity, overcome, perservere and speak the truth.  We have more impact united together, then alone and scattered in different directions.  We all have different abilities and need each of your talents. The greatest asset each of us can give, is our time.
 
Almighty God, You have given us such rich grounds for our Southern heritage.  We humbly ask You that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Your favor and glad to do Your will.  Bless our magnificent southern land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners.
 
Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and configure into one united people the assemblage brought here out of many lineages and languages. Endow with Your spirit of wisdom those to whom in Your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Your law, we may show forth Your praise among the nations of the earth. In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, our trust in You will not fail. 
 
Our Confederate ancestors leave us a strong and great heritage. They had an abundance of things that really count in life, things such as character, integrity, honesty, honor, courage, and a great love for God, family, and country. Their memory is cherished and is a blessing to us. May we, with your help, teach our children and those who follow to draw inspiration from their lives, and keep the sacred memory of our Southern ancestors who faithfully fought for a just cause. General Robert E. Lee said, "Let prayer be our passion, let prayer be our practice." 
 
Lord, we give you praise for allowing us to have such a rich Southern heritage! Thank you for those that have gone before us that have preserved the truth for us! Encourage us as we face the lies and mistruths set forth by the father of lies and those afraid of the truth! Enable us to stand firm in you. May our actions give glory to you and honour to our our Southern ancestors. It's in the holy name of Jesus Christ that we pray these things ~ Amen ~
 
One lesson we can take from the dead, is if we don't come together and become united as one , we too will soon die. 
 
Deo Vindice ~ Eileen Parker Zoellner ~


 
     

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