Category Archives: The Future

I’m done.

I don’t weigh in much on politics.  For the most part, politics is a tar baby.  Especially in my extended family.  Best to avoid the conversation.

Generally, I have had the same stance with Islam.

But, after the attacks in London, and especially after the attack during the Arianna Grande concert in Manchester, I am done.  Can you identify another religion who targets a bunch of little girls at a concert?

Neither can I.

I have shifted my position.  Islam is the enemy.  This needs to be said by more people and it needs to be said more often.

I am with Bruce Bawer.  I refuse to ignore the truth any longer.  I also refuse to lie about Islam.  I am not going rouge.  I am simply joining the sane chorus of voices who dare to speak the truth.

Deceive yourself if you like.  I’m done.

https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/06/05/why-i-refuse-to-lie-about-islam/

I majored in History in college.  I never heard any of the following.  Did you hear any of this when you were in college?  I doubt it.

Author Douglas Wilson comments on this same subject in a post from 2011 entitled, Seven Memes for Keeping Christians in their Place.

“The Crusades were actually a long overdue defensive reaction to many years of Muslim belligerence, militarism, agressiveness, and provocation. If a “crusade” is an unprovoked military attack on religious grounds, then we need to start speaking of the Muslim Crusades. One could, however, criticize Christian Europe for being so slow to respond.”

Dr. Bill Warner throws down the gauntlet.  I am paraphrasing. “Don’t like what I am saying?  Disagree?  Do your own research.  This is not hate.  This is history.”

Here are some sobering statistics:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_slave_trade#7th_century_to_20th_century

Personally, I believe Islam is nervous.  Here is why:

Like it or not, Christianity will spread until it conquers the globe.

Christianity is not shrinking.  It is not diminishing.  It is not retreating.

On the contrary, it is a wildfire.

Read The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, by Philip Jenkins.

American and European Christians need to stop apologizing.   Like it or not, Christianity wins.

Don’t take life for granted.

By now, most of you know that my son was recently involved in a serious car accident.

He has now been in ICU at Aurora Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado for over a week.

My wife, my girls, and I received the news while we were in Athens, Greece.  We quickly shut down all our affairs there and flew home.

Since then, we have been living in a hotel across the street from the hospital.  My son needs 24-hour attention.   My wife is taking days, and I am taking nights.

Jackson and a friend were in the car.  His friend suffered a few minor scratches.  My son, Jackson, suffered severely.  Broken upper left arm, shattered left hand, a severe laceration to the head, broken ribs, a punctured lung, and fractured vertebrae.

My wife, my girls and I drove out to see the van he was driving at the time of the accident.  It is demolished.  By all accounts, he should not have survived.

We spoke to him by Skype the night before the accident.  We had a good conversation.

My tip this week?

Don’t take life for granted.

Life can end in an instant.  Drop the grudges.  Grant forgiveness.  Call an old friend.  Tell your kids that you love them.

Have a happy Saturday!
Dwane Thomas

P.S.  The hotel wifi is terrible.  Classes will likely be canceled this week as well.  I hate that.  I am searching for a solution.  Either way, I will make it up to you.  Either I will pre-record classes for this week, or we will just meet a few times this summer.  Somehow, I will make it up to you.

And, finally, if you are waiting for a response from me, hang in there.  Doing my best to catch up.

Thanks, School.

According to Voddie Baucham, school does a great job teaching at least one skill.  School teaches children to stand in line.

My wife and I homeschool our children.  We do it for many reasons.  Reason #1?  Freedom.

I pay my taxes.  I understand that, as an American, I owe taxes to the American government.  I understand that I must render to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar.

The images of U.S. presidents reside on my dollars.  They smirk at me with the constant reminder that, ultimately, they belong to the U.S. government.  The image of Caesar is stamped on my money.

Read this.  Pay attention to the bold words (pun intended) of Jesus from Luke 20.

 So they watched him and sent spies who pretended to be honest, in order to trap him by what he said, so as to hand him over to the jurisdiction and authority of the governor. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you are right in what you say and teach, and you show deference to no one, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” 23 But he perceived their craftiness and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose head and whose title does it bear?” They said, “The emperor’s.” 25 He said to them, “Then give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people to trap him by what he said; and being amazed by his answer, they became silent.

Whose image is on my money?  Caesar’s.  Whose image is on my children?  God’s.  My children are made in the image of God.  The state cannot have my children.  The state cannot educate my children.  The state cannot train my children.  The state cannot use bread and circuses (football) to seduce my children into submission.

On Tuesday nights, my family and I are attending Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  My children are learning to manage money.  They are learning to budget.  They are learning to avoid debt.

By the way, debt is slavery.  According to Proverbs 22:7 (NIV), “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” When Dave Ramsey was confronted with this Scripture, he had to really consider who was right—his broke finance professor, who taught that debt is a tool, or God, who never has anything good to say about debt.  You can read more about that here: http://www.daveramsey.com/blog/the-truth-about-debt

During this class, I’ve been thinking about school.   What is school forgetting to teach us?  Worse, what is school teaching us?

Here is what school is forgetting to teach us:

  1. We are created in the image of our creator.
  2. How to get along with people of all ages.  Classrooms are segregated by age.
  3. How to learn for yourself.
  4. How to get and keep a job.
  5. How to stay out of debt.
  6. How to save money.
  7. How to file taxes.
  8. How to sell something.
  9. How to advertise.
  10. How to manage time.
  11. How to set and live by goals.

I could go on, but, you get the point.

Here is what school does teach us.

  1. Obey the teacher.
  2. Obey the authorities.
  3. Stand in line.
  4. Do as you are told without question.
  5. Memorize.
  6. Repeat what you memorized.
  7. Pledge allegiance to the state.
  8. Conform.
  9. Conform intellectually.
  10. Conform socially.
  11. Go to college so that you can extend this training by four more years.
  12. Go into debt so that you can go to college.

(Nervous yet?  You should be.)

According to Dave Ramsey, college debt is now the number one reason students drop out of college.

Let me explain.  No.  There is too much.  Let me sum up.

School teaches us to obey.  Debt is slavery.

Go to school.  Go into debt.  Obey your master.  Welcome to slavery.

I have a better idea.  Fight for your freedom.  Graduate from high school.  Learn some skills.  Start your own business.  Serve your customers.  Make their lives easier.  They will reward you with money.  Save your money.  Spend it on college if you want to.

I am not anti-college.  In fact, I am thinking of going back to college to get a master’s degree in Greek and Latin.

I am not anti-college.  I am anti-debt.  I am anti-slavery.

Find out if a local church is offering a Financial Peace University class.  Get in.  Break your chains.  Fight for your freedom.

Find our more here: https://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/

 

We get one shot at this.

On Thursday, I drove to Birmingham, Alabama.  There, my cousins and I carried my 92-year-old grandfather to his grave.

This week was crazy busy.   Visitors, travel, and a funeral.  I am ridiculously behind in my work.

But, I haven’t been thinking about work this week.

I can’t stop thinking about the end.  This week, the end came for my grandfather.  He got 92 years.  I hope I get 92 years.   If I get 92 years, then I’ve got about 50 years to go.

Here is what I keep asking myself.  What am I going to do with 50 more years?

The truth is, I’ve already got plans for the next 50.  But, this week forced me to re-focus and re-evaluate.

In America, we are given a strange script.  It goes something like this:

  • Stay in school.
  • Buy a car.  (Go into debt.)
  • Go to college.  (More debt.)
  • Get married.
  • Buy a house. (More debt.)
  • Get a job.  (Start paying off the debt.)
  • Stay at a job you don’t like. (Keep paying off the debt.)
  • Retire from the job you didn’t really like.  (Hopefully, you are out of debt.)
  • Buy a condo.
  • Watch the Price is Right and Wheel of Fortune
  • Die.

As I said, it goes something like this.  You will have your own variations, I am sure.

I love my grandfather.  I mean absolutely no disrespect.  He fought for his country.  He took good care of his family.

But, he basically followed the script above.

I suggest a different script.

  • Get out of school.  Homeschool, if you can.  You will free unbelievable amounts of time.  (This is why so many Olympic athletes homeschool.)  Use the extra time to learn a skill.
  • Skip college… unless you are going into engineering or the medical field.  (For crying out loud, do NOT go to college to learn Latin!) Remember that skill you learned in high school?  Use it to start earning a living.
  • If your skill is not paying you, get a job.  Try to get a job related to the skill you love, a skill you want to learn, or a passion you have.  For example, I wanted to learn Latin, so I volunteered to teach Latin.  (I did NOT study Latin in college.  In fact, I should have skipped college.)
  • Buy a used car.  Pay cash.
  • Buy a small house, or condo close to your work.  (You will probably have to go into debt for this.) Walk, or ride a bike to work.  On rainy days, drive your used car.
  • Get married.  Be careful here.  Don’t rush.  Be realistic.  The divorce rate in America is high.  Divorce is unbelievably destructive.  Wait.  Better to be single and miserable than married and miserable.
  • Become a “chicken” entrepreneur.  Work on your side business, or develop your skills before work, after work, and on Saturdays.
  • As soon as the income from your side business passes the income from your job, quit your job.  Continue building your business.
  • Buy another small house, or condo.  Rent it out.
  • Keep building your business.
  • Buy a third small house, or condo.  Rent it out.
  • Keep building your business.
  • Buy a fourth small house, or condo.  Rent it out.
  • Keep building your business.
  • Buy your dream home.
  • Retire, if you want to.

Actually, I see no reason to retire.  The longer you do what you do, the better you will become at that skill.

Are you a writer? Keep writing.  You will improve.   Are you a teacher? Keep teaching.  You will improve.    Are you a photographer? Keep shooting.  You will improve.   I could go on.

Are you behind?  Are you older?  Again, don’t listen to the scriptwriters.   Don’t sit down to watch T.V.   You can re-invent yourself.

Col. Sanders knew he wasn’t going to make it far on a Social Security income.   So, he started Kentucky Fried Chicken when he was 62 years old.

Remember Tony Horton?  He is the guy in the P90x videos.  He is 58 years old.  He launched the famous fitness videos when he was 44 years old.  By the way… he still looks like that.  At 58.

At the age of 56, Dr. Mary Hobson started studying Russian. She became an award-winning translator.  She received her doctorate in Russian when she was 74 years old.

Jacques Barzun is my favorite.  In 2000, he published his magnum opus: From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life: 1500 to the Present.  In 2000, Jacques Barzun was 92.

To sum it up.  Ignore the standard script-writers.  Stay small.  Stay lean.  Stay out of debt.  Stay free.

We have one life to live.  It is a gift God has given us.  Don’t let others write the script for you.

 

Not yet.

Tomorrow, I’m heading to Birmingham Alabama.  My family and I will be saying our final goodbyes to my grandfather.  He died Sunday.

I am sad.  I am very sad.  But, I don’t see tomorrow as an overwhelmingly sad day.  He lived a good, long, and happy life.   He lived 92 years.  92 years is a good stretch on this planet. I hope I get 92.

Death is a good reminder.  It reminds us that we really do only have one life.  It reminds us that we should take care of the people around us.  We should spend time with the people we love.  We should do the things we’ve always wanted to do.

I have a lot of fond memories of my grandfather.  He was a pretty funny guy, although I don’t think he was always trying to be funny.

A couple of years ago, though, he said something to me that I’ve never forgotten.  He said, “I heard once that there was a train you could ride all the way across Canada.  I always wanted to do that.  I never did.”

I didn’t really know what to say.

That statement by my grandfather reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Mark Twain.  He said:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.   Explore.  Dream.  Discover. “

We don’t like to think about much, but we all have an expiration date.  There’s nothing we can do to stop it.

If you have a dream, go for it.  Even if you fail, at least you can say that you tried.

I’m proud of my grandfather.  He fought for this country in World War II.  Guadalcanal.  He stayed married to the same woman all of his life.  He worked hard, built his own house, and built his own life with his own hands.

Tomorrow my cousins and I will carry him out into a field and put him in the ground.

I will you again, Papaw.  But not yet.  Not yet.