The Assassination of Accountability

It doesn’t take much digging into the news headlines over the past several months, to see a growing trend here in America. A scary trend, that if followed, I believe will kill the concept of accountability. In fact, it didn’t just start within the past few months, but rather recent years. It’s a trend, that when I think about it’s consequences and repercussions on the way we live, makes my stomach turn. Maybe you have noticed them as well. If not, let’s just take a look at some of the things I’ve noticed.

Accountability can be simply defined by saying responsibility. Webster’s defines it as, “especially an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” 

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accountability

Where do you see a lack of accountability in your world today? Well, you can do a simple Google search for “lack of accountability in America,” and you’ll be given a wide variety of news articles, opinion articles (like this one), and sources that range from credible political sources, all the way to conspiracy theory websites. I dug into some of them and it started giving me a headache. If you’d like to see them all, feel free to research the topic on your own and draw your own conclusions from what you find. What you will find however, is a growing lack of responsibility within our nation.

I started noticing this downward spiral a few years ago. Seems as though we like to shift the blame for our issues onto someone else, or place the blame on a disease. Are you an addict? Alcoholic? Gambling problem? It’s not your fault some say. You have a disease!

I’ve recently heard about the sick and twisted agenda of having pedophilia listed as a gender identification. It’s mind blowing, and a lie straight from the pit of hell, to think an adult sexually attracted to a child is okay; that it is just how a person is designed. No, it is not okay folks. It is wicked, and we are being spoon-fed these lies straight from the father of lies, Satan himself.

We have a growing number of marriages ending in divorce, ripping families apart, and having a disastrous rippling effect on future generations. Has your husband let you down? It’s okay, it’s not your fault. Not attracted to your wife anymore? It’s okay man, have that affair! It’s not your fault. Children left at home without a Mommy or a Daddy, all for the sake of selfishness. It’s sad people! And somehow we expect these children to grow up without any emotional or behavioral problems.

We are focusing on this COVID-19 pandemic, while we have a bigger problem here in America. We have this growing “cancel” culture thing happening, and there’s more and more being chipped away every single day. That’s an entirely different post to dive into, but it’s a problem. Why? We are accountable to the present and the future generations, to not repeat the mistakes of the past. If you erase the past, you just might repeat the past. Nothing to look back on when there’s a blank slate!

We have some radicals in America that want to defund law enforcement. I’m not talking about Smalltown, USA. No, we are talking major cities like New York and Los Angeles. What happens when you get rid of law enforcement? Who then enforces the law? What rules are there to follow? You know what you lose? Besides protection, you lose accountability! Less than twenty years later, and we have people who want to defund the very men and women who raced into the World Trade Center towers on 9/11/2001.

We have a culture that not only wants to get rid of police, but they would love nothing more than to get rid of God from our culture. Why? Get rid of God and you no longer are accountable to a higher power. Without good, there is no evil. Well to all those radicals who think that’s a good idea, I will tell you this. God’s Word is very clear that while this earth may pass away, His Word will never pass away. Try and destroy it, get rid of it, silence it, or suppress it, but the gates of hell itself will not prevail against God’s Word. The attack on the institutions of marriage and law, will eventually lead to an attack against God’s people. If you don’t believe me, why did the Black Lives Matter protesters burn Bibles recently?

Well, I’m going to stop right there for today. In closing, we need to return to a day when we were accountable; to our spouses, our parents, our children and their children, to law, to our community, and to God. Take away all of that and remove accountability, and you remove truth. Remove truth and all you have is lies.

It’s time to stand up and stand out.

Leaving the Ninety-Nine

Seems like the “Black Lives Matter” or “BLM” movement is all people are writing about nowadays. Seems like the saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” is truer now than ever. Lately there has been a post circulating throughout social media, in which the parable of the lost sheep in the Bible, is quoted (out of context I might add), and used by the BLM followers to further support their agenda. Have you seen it?

If you haven’t seen the post, it is basically slamming anyone who calls themselves a Christian, but doesn’t get behind the BLM movement. It takes the story of the lost sheep in Luke 15, and compares it to the racism we see today in America. Let’s take a look at the passage.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?” Luke 15:4. The post that is circulating typically stops right there. That right there is the first part of my complaint. The individuals using this verse from the Bible, aren’t going on to tell readers what it then goes on to say; how the lost sheep is like the kingdom of God, and there is rejoicing over even one single sheep rescued! They don’t tell you that this parable, an illustration Christ used oftentimes to speak to those listening, was also followed by two other parables, “The Lost Son,” and “The Lost Coin.” These three parables, each describing something precious that was lost, had only one thing to do with race. The human race. What do they all mean? Each parable was used to illustrate sin, our human nature to run towards it, the cost of it, and the lengths in which the Holy Spirit will go to in order to rescue us from the depths of that sin. That’s it!

I’m all for people quoting Scripture. But it needs to be quoted in context. I used to believe a saying, that I would’ve sworn came from the Book of Proverbs. It went something like, “God helps those who help themselves.” You know what? Such a verse doesn’t exist! In fact, that thought right there goes against every single teaching of Christ, because we know that man can do nothing of himself, apart from God.

Well that’s all for this one folks. I really felt the need to clear that up, because I’ve been seeing the verse used over and over, out of context and only partially quoted, and they are wrong.

Stay safe, do great things, and feel free to comment with your own thoughts!

Nine Miles of Memories

Just outside of the world famous city of Saratoga Springs, NY, known for the inventions of the club sandwich and potato chips, the oldest horse racing track in the United States, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), the mineral springs, and the famous mineral baths that used to attract royalty and celebrities alike, lies a stretch of road nine miles long.

If you drive this nine mile stretch of road, you’ll pass through fields, over and along streams, and through wooded areas that seem to come alive with a past two centuries old. You won’t pass any convenience stores, but you’ll certainly see your share of wildlife; rabbits and deer call this place “Home.”

When you finish your drive through this landscape, you will be able to say you have driven through nine miles of the most historic pieces of land in America. You’ll step on some of the same grounds that helped shape our nation, breathed life into our independence from Great Britain, and where the turning point of the American Revolution took place.

I am talking about the Saratoga National Historical Park and the Battles of Saratoga. It was here where American patriots fought the British, defeating them and bringing the largest military force in the world closer to surrender. It was here where Benedict Arnold fought and was wounded. Yes, it’s along this road, that I not only relive history from colonial America, but also memories from my youth.

These grounds are not only home to deer, rabbits, and other wildlife. They’re not only home to centuries old trees that speak to you as you walk amongst them. They’re not only the burial sites of thousands of Continental Army and British soldiers. These grounds are home to some of my greatest memories in life.

It was along this road that I remember bike riding as a child. It was always a treat for us growing up, to load the bikes into the car and head to “the battlefield,” as we call it around here.

It was along this road that we used to come for a quiet drive, windows down (no matter how hot it was), radio off, and driving below the 25 mph speed limit on the one-way tour road. Even when I drive it today, I still turn off the radio and roll the windows down. It’s a land that although once soiled with blood, now demands peace; a land that once echoed with cannon and musket fire, now demands quietness. A land which was once filled with the battle cries of freedom, now asks for only whispers.

It was along this road that I learned to drive. My Dad once had a Ford Bronco stick-shift, and it was along these nine miles that I stalled and jerked the engine over and over. It was along this road that I learned how to push in the clutch, shift, stop on a hill, and come to a stop. It was also here that I learned the patience of a father.

Along this road I learned how to cross country ski, how to approach a deer from upwind, downwind, and everywhere in between. Along this same road is where I began to train and condition my body before joining the Air Force; running and walking the miles of pavement on cold March days in 2001.

Along these roads is where I returned in 2017 when I retired from the military. No longer a boy on a BMX bicycle, no longer a teenager learning to drive, and no longer a young man seeing how fast he could run a couple miles. I returned as an older man, weathered and experienced from life and death, war and peace, joy and sorrow. I returned to these grounds for one simple reason, and it’s the reason I keep going back.

From the very first day I rode my bike there, to the days I learned to drive, to the days my feet pounded the pavement, until now, the grounds remain the same. I return and can go to the same exact spot I went three decades ago, and it remains untouched. I can tell stories, or I can remain silent and just remember a day from years past come alive in the moment.

Nine miles of road. History shaped. Memories made. A life transformed.

For more information about this area, visit the Town of Saratoga Historian’s blog.

“Social Separation” – A Beautiful Day!

We have all seen on social media, television, and maybe our rare interactions with others during these extraordinary times, just how much of a toll social separation has taken. Not just on the economy, small businesses, family dynamics, but also on our social lives. Oh my goodness, what would we have done if COVID-19 happened pre-Facebook? Many would be devastated even more than they already are.

Each of us have developed our own coping mechanisms to deal with this newfound isolation. Me personally, I have spent more time outdoors and on trails than I ever have before. I have enjoyed it! I’ve enjoyed a simpler life; seeing people return to the basic things in life and have no choice but to slow down and just cherish the moment.

While I do yearn for a life of normalcy and seeing things return to normal, I am hoping that we never forget these days that have caused us to stop our daily routine as we knew it. When everything gets back to normal, I hope there are many lessons learned, and people will approach life in a more humble way.

One place I’ve been visiting more than ever, is Moreau Lake State Park, located in South Glens Falls/Gansevoort, NY. Not only does it have a lake that people typically frequent during the summer months, but there are plenty of cabins, rustic campsites, picnic areas, and a lot of hiking trails varying in length.

Just off the highway, it provides a sanctuary for birds and wildlife, as well as a place to center and feed the soul.



Take advantage of the time you have right now, to decide who you will be when all this is over. It’s a perfect time to hit the RESET button!

Stay safe everyone!

Who Am I? Part 2

Wow! What a week in world news it has been. Once again, as I have written in other blog entries, we are a nation divided and one doesn’t have to look very far to see it. Open up your Facebook newsfeed, and if you have a diverse mixture of friends, you’ll see the debating back and forth over the bombing and killing of an Iranian general.

I’m not here to talk about that however. I want to continue and conclude on a top I started at the very end of 2019. I want to answer the question that I and so many are faced with at different times in our lives. Who are we? Who am I? How do I want to start this new year? Who do I want to be in 2020?

Like I wrote in the first part of this discussion, I am not big into New Year’s resolutions. I think they tend to fizzle out after a couple of weeks when we realize they just aren’t fun anymore. The beginning of a new year is good though because it sometimes forces us to recognize areas within ourselves that need improvement. Some people create goals for health reasons, while others create goals to try and better themselves in another way. Some just use January 1st as a benchmark for something. For example, I shaved what facial hair I had left on December 31st, and started growing my beard fresh the following morning. It’s a benchmark for me to look back on and see growth over time. There are other things I am using January 1st as a benchmark for however, to see growth over time.

While I don’t have a resolution for 2020, I do have a goal in mind. Overall, I want to be a better me than I was in 2019. I want to look back at the end of this year, and besides having a glorious beard to gaze upon in the mirror, I want to see personal growth. I want to take more time this year to reflect on life, to spend time with family and friends, grow as a person, and take the time be by myself and rejuvenate personally. As a photographer, and it’s probably weird to read this, but I want to hold the camera less. I want to see less through the lens and more through my eyes at the moment. I want to embrace each moment of 2020, whatever it brings, and use those moments as stepping stones to a better me.

For all of you reading this, and myself as well, 2020 will bring many things. There will be victories and defeat, life and death, happiness and sadness, as well as laughter and sorrow. It’s inevitable these things will exist, just as it is inevitable that we will look back on the last day of this year and reflect once again. So who am I? I am not the version of myself I would like to tomorrow, but I am grateful I am not the same person I was yesterday. I am who I am today, striving each day to be a better version.

Happy New Year to all those who read this, and may this year bring many lessons and blessings to each of you!