sunshineawardI don’t usually win many awards. To some extent, that is because I have done the right thing, but the primary reason is that I am not capable enough.

What have I done right? I have tried to compete at a fairly high level — for me anyway. That is, I compete with plenty of people who are more able than I. That makes for fun and interesting work, but not many awards.  Hence, even though blogging awards have no material value, I still enjoy the novelty of getting such recognition from someone I respect. In this case, semper-fidelis-award Biltrix (James Stone) nominated Citizen Tom for both the Sunshine Award and the Semper Fidelis Award. Thank you!

Of course, when we are nominated for an award, there are requirements that must be met to receive the award.

The Rules.

  1. Use the logo in the post.  Check
  2. Link to whoever nominated you.  Check
  3. Write 10 pieces of information about yourself.  Check
  4. Nominate ten fellow bloggers. For the Sunshine Award, that means bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” For the Semper Fidelis Award, that means bloggers who are “always faithful.” Check
  5. Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them of the award.  Check

For military buffs, here is the origin of “Semper Fi.”

Customs and Traditions


“Semper Fidelis” (“Always Faithful”) is the motto of the Corps. That Marines have lived up to this motto is proved by the fact that there has never been a mutiny, or even the thought of one, among U.S. Marines.

Semper Fidelis was adopted about 1883 as the motto of the Corps. Before that, there had been three mottoes, all traditional rather than official. The first, antedating the War of 1812, was “Fortitudine” (“With Fortitude”). The second, “By Sea and by Land,” was obviously a translation of the Royal Marine’s “Per Mare, Per Terram.” Until 1848, the third motto was “To the Shores of Tripoli,” in commemoration of O’Bannon’s capture of Derna in 1805. In 1848, after the return to Washington of the Marine battalion that took part in the capture of Mexico City, this motto was revised to: “From the Halls of the Montezumas to the Shores of Tripoli” – a line now familiar to all Americans. This revision of the Corps motto in Mexico has encouraged speculation that the first stanza of “The Marines’ Hymn” was composed by members of the Marine battalion who stormed Chapultepec Castle.

It may be added that the Marine Corps shares its motto with England’s Devonshire Regiment, the 11th Foot, one of the senior infantry regiments of the British Army, whose sobriquet is “the Bloody Eleventh” and whose motto is also Semper Fidelis.

Reference Branch
USMC History Division

Note that the link does not have a certificate. So your browser will complain.

Ten Pieces of Information About Myself/Ten Nominees

Since the criteria are similar I have combined my  response for the awards.  Since the object of this blog advocate what I believe about politics and religion.

  1. God will win! Good will reign supreme.  Check out When the Light Shows Up (John 1:5) at The River Walk.
  2. We suffer because we have a choice. We can choose whether we will love and obey God.  In C. S. Lewis & Omnipotent God, With All I Am considers how C. S. Lewis explained human suffering.
  3. The best way to defend the Bible is with the Bible.  Instead of trying to defend the Bible, Settled In Heaven focuses on Bible exposition. See The Call To Separation: The Standard at Settled In Heaven for an example.
  4. God wants a relationship with us. What does that mean? See God Hates Religion at Defining the Narrative.
  5. We cannot know what God understands. altruistico explains in What does it mean that God is infinite?
  6. A man can change for the better.

    One of Nelson Mandela’s famous quotes was also an expression of a deeply Christian idea – “until I changed myself, I could not change others”. That expression of being born again, the need for internal revival before one can lead others to their own change, was just one of many expressions of faith Nelson Mandela shared throughout his life. (continued here)

    What happened to Nelson Mandela? Did Mandela change himself, or was he reborn in Christ?  Here in Mixed Mandela Level-headed discussion of politics and science records the change, but how Mandela became a man of peace we can only guess.

  7. What people believe makes a difference in how they live.  In Evangelii Gaudium and the Rule of Law, nebraskaenergyobserver observes how misguided we can be about the purpose of government and the definition of charity. Even those we deem wise do not know everything they should know.
  8. To have a free society, we must protect the free exercise of religion.  DOJ to SCOTUS: Nuns Must Violate Faith or Pay Fines at pumabydesign001′s blog provides an example of what it means to fight for the free exercise of religion.
  9. Before we believe what a man says, we need to investigate.  Even when a territory applies for statehood, we cannot believe what politicians say. Check out Alaska Statehood Buildup at aurorawatcherak.
  10. To protect all our other rights, we need the right of self-defense. See A ray of sanity in Detroit: Police Chief says legal gun owners can deter crime at

challenged his Sunshine Award a nominees to name some sunshine song. I am not much of a music fan, but I did think of this one.


I must admit delusions of grandeur come too easily to me. Because I daydream so much about my great accomplishments to be, I enjoy Calvin and Hobbes. Even though I do not especially enjoy laughing at myself, I have no trouble laughing at a make-believe character that so well displays my own sins.


Anyway, it seems that God has contrived Creation to keep our egos from exploding. I suspect that’s why any honor award comes with strings attached. Therefore, Teresa Rice at Catholibertarian included THE RULES (see The Most Influential Blogger Award).rules

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you

3. Answer 7 questions

4. Nominate ( no limit of nominations ) other bloggers for this award and link back to them.

5. Notify those bloggers of the award requirements.

Here are my answers to the questions.

1. If you could create your own planet what would it look like? 

When God created the He said it was good. We messed it up (Genesis 3:14-21). With God’s help, I will live in a world where I do not sin.

2. If you could visit one nation you have never visited before, what nation would that be? 

I have been to Alaska and Canada. To see a wild place, one that humans have not trashed, is an amazing experience. We see then what cannot survive our intrusions.

I suspect visiting a remote island in tropical Indonesia would be even more amazing.

God made us to tend His Garden, but we have not done too well.

3. Who is your favorite saint? 

Saint Patrick. My father was of Irish descent, and the priests at our church were from Ireland.

4. What is your favorite animal?  

The dog. The Bible does not speak well of the dog. Why? The dog is an unclean animal. Moreover, ancient people had enough trouble raising their children; they did not have the resources to designate any of their critters pets. The ancient Jews apparently regarded dogs as opportunistic beasts, much like a sinful man.

Fortunately, God did not burden Christians with the distinction between clean and unclean animals, and we have the wealth to enjoy the company of dogs as pets.

5. What is your favorite song?

Psalm 22. The origin of the word psalm comes from a Greek word that refers to playing on a stringed instrument and singing.  And the psalms in the Bible were originally sung, but the music is now long lost.

When David played his music, it must have been beautiful. We know it soothed one man’s soul (see 1 Samuel 16:14-23).


6. If you could meet one person who is still alive who would you choose to meet?

Christ Jesus.

7. What book, other than the Bible, has influenced your life? How?  

After I read The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, for a long time I drifted. THOMAS
 explains how I recovered my faith in Christ Jesus.

Here are my nominations: 

Although I would enjoy reading what they post, note that I do not necessarily expect the blogs I nominate to post anything. That’s because some of them are highly focused. My goal is simply to direct what traffic I can to seven great blogs.

  • Settled In Heaven focuses principally on Bible exposition. That’s not to say that Rob Barkman does not survey what the Bible has to say about certain subjects. He does, and his latest post, The Human Conscience Series: “Summary Of Our Study”, provides such an example. Why does Barkman do that. I would imagine he understands we must try to understand the Bible as a whole work. If we just look at individual passages in isolation, we miss part of the meaning.
  • NooneOfAnyImport’s Blog belongs to a homeschooling mom. Thus, although this blog posts on a wide variety of topics, there is a certain focus on education. Check on Yuck, The Movie. It’s hilariously funny!
  • The River Walk is a religious blog. Instead of Bible exposition, BJ concentrates on making the Bible relevant. So even a post that touches upon politics, A Broken System (7/27/13), really isn’t about politics. It’s about our own brokenness.
  • We do not want to see our government as the enemy. Nonetheless, because we have so little regard for our Constitution, our leaders also regard the Constitution with contempt. Therefore, when aurorawatcherak posts an item such Plundering & Ravishing, we have to take her seriously.
  • If you want to get to know, understand, and appreciate the great philosophers, ‘s blog, With All I Am, is a great place to start.  Daniel approaches Christian apologetics with an uniquely philosophical bent. Read Nietzsche and Two Unpleasant Implications of Darwinism, and you too will be hooked.
  • is a blog that mixes Christian devotion with Biblical prophecy, world news and other assorted topics. Obeying God When It Makes No Sense is a great read. The articles on topics that could be related to Biblical prophecy will leave you scratching your head. As Christ Jesus said, no one knows the hour, but we live in bewildering times. So today is the time to be about the Lord’s business. Today we should be spreading the Good News.
  • Thinking in Christ examines current events with a Biblical perspective.  Why should you be afraid of the government spying on you, me, and every other American? Check out It’s not the Data.

Just as Teresa  did, I have changed only three of the questions. So your seven questions will include questions 1, 3, 4, and 7 from above plus…

2.  Why do you think you exist?

5.  What gives meaning to your life?

6.  What do you think will happen to you when you die?


Imagine as it once was. The air was crisp and clean. The trees were huge and filled with the colorful leaves of autumn. You lived in a dangerous land at the edge of the sea and at edge of a wilderness.  Half your number had already died from hunger, cold, and disease. Yet you praised and thanked your Creator. And this autumn He had rewarded your struggles with friendly Indians and a bountiful harvest.

You had hope you would make it through the hard winter to come.

What is this post about?  Prayer Works Cafe kindly nominated me for the award below.

Since I have already posted on THE FOOD FOR THOUGHT AWARD, I decided the lovely lady at Prayer Works Cafe just wanted to see seven more Bible verses (She did.). Given that it is Thanksgiving Day and that I would like to see what others have posted, let’s investigate what others have posted that gives thanks and praise to our Lord.

1. From here at  Prayer Works Cafe

Lamentations 3:23 (NLT) — “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. “They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

I pick this verse because every moment I am reminded of his mercies and his faithfulness.  The reason behind writing and sharing is the gift of salvation.

Lamentations is aptly named. Nevertheless, even as he cried over the destruction of Jerusalem, Jeremiah acknowledged the grace and mercy of God.

2. From here at  New Life — Chris Jordan

Psalm 63:1 – “A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.”

Same as the first Scripture, this is my heart’s cry. This Scripture catapulted me into a season of seeking and soaking in God’s presence many years ago that I will never forget.

Ordinarily, when we think of God teaching us to pray, we think of the Lord’s Prayer. But God knew of our thirst. So even before Jesus came among us, he provided us the Book of Psalms.

3. From here at  theraineyview

Micah 6:8 –You have been told, O Man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.

Good for the days when all this religious morality seems too complicated and exhausting. Did I eat too much? Is this the most devout outfit I have, or should I wear something less showy?  Why didn’t I finish my Bible reading? Should I do more church activities during the week? Am I getting lazy? etc. It’s a reminder that it doesn’t have to be that complicated.

We are His creations. Whatever He wishes of us, He can require of us. He requires nothing. Read the words that surround Micah 6:8 (Micah 6:6-!6). He would have us accept an invaluable gift, the gift of His love.

4. From here at Shalom Mystic Wind by Sharon Bennit, Jefferson

Job 1: 21 — Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away: as it has pleased the Lord, so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord.

This Bible verse frames my trust and attitude towards God. It helps me to accept the diverse realities of life with its mysteries if Joy and Suffering. a great motivating factor in my day to day life.

When he spoke these words, Job had just lost all his children and all his property. Yet even as he mourned, he gave thanks and praise to God. Because our Lord will not allow Satan to burden us with more than we can bear (I Corinthians 10:13), we can do the same.

5. From here at Catholic By Choice by paulinecauton

Ecclesiastes 3:11 — All that He does is apt for its time; but although He has given us an awareness of the passage of time, we can grasp neither the beginning nor the end of what God does.

In another version, “He has put the timeless in our hearts.” I love to be reminded that though I operate in days and hours, God, and His ways, don’t. How I wish to teach my heart to desire and wait on God timelessly.

Of all the books of the Bible, Ecclesiastes seems to speak most directly to me. Solomon learned humility from bitter experience. As life humbled him, what he wrote humbles me. What he wrote seems so simple. I think I understand. Then I realize I do not, and I am forced to study further. Then I begin to grasp what Solomon eventually accepted. God is God, and I am not.

6. From here at 8kidsandabusiness

Joshua 24:15 — “as for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord.”

The most important role of Christian parents is to teach our children about God. To do that, God must be central to our home life so that one day, when they make decisions about their future, their vocation, they will be equipped to listen to His voice.

It is with great wisdom   cites this passage as her first choice. Because the Bible is a complex and difficult work, we can be easily tempted to set it aside and busy our lives with so many other things, things of this world. It is then we leave those most precious to us unprotected.

1 Peter 5:8 Good News Translation (GNT)

Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

7. From here at Biltrix

Luke 19:41-42 –As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.”

On my pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2006, I had my strongest epiphany moment at the Church of Dominus Flevit on the Mount of Olives. I will need to write a separate post on this when proper the occasion arises (see Jesus Wept).

Because so many neglect the Old Testament, all but the last of the passages above is from the Old Testament. Why is this one from the New Testament? Jesus knows how we suffer. He regrets the necessity, but He gave us hope and a glimmer of what is to come. Some day what makes for peace will not be hidden from our eyes (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Thanks be to God!

Blog-A-Thon Award Time — I’m It

You think I would learn, but I don’t. I procrastinate. Been doing it all my life. So I got nominated twice for:

 What to do? Well, here are the rules.

1. Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.

2. They must also answer the 11 questions the “tagger” has set for them.

3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.

4. They must then choose 11 bloggers and tag them in their post.

5. These “lucky” bloggers must then be told.

6. No tag backs.

Since two people were kind enough to nominated me, am I going to answer 22 questions? No, I don’t think the answers would be all that interesting. Besides, this blog is not about me.  So I will go with the first six of the first tagger and the last five from the second tagger.

The first six are from Catholibertarian Teresa Rice (posted here).

1. What’s your favorite, cats or dogs? — dogs

2. Have you traveled outside of the U.S.? — yes

3. If the answer to #2 is yes name one place that you’ve visited outside of U.S.  If your answer is no then name one country that you would like to visit. — Japan

4. What is your favorite Christmas movie? — Have not watched a movie in years, but I still remember enjoying It’s a Wonderful Life.

5. Who is your favorite music group or singer? — Don’t have one.

6. What do you think is the most boring to watch on T.V., golf, basketball or Nascar racing? — Since I don’t watch spectator sports, I have no idea. Why do most people want to watch other people play? I have never figured that out.

The last five are from theraineyview.

7. Does the electoral college system inherently constitute gerrymandering, and if so, is it worthwhile anyway? — No.

8. Do you like energy drinks, coffee or tea best? — Tea is my favorite.

9. Do you have pets? — Not any longer. Had a Cocker for years.

10. Do you have children? — Grown.

11. Do you think it’s healthy to treat pets as children?  — No. We should not confuse the two. It works both ways. When we start treating pets as people, we also start treating people as pets.

Here are the questions for the people I tag to answer. Since this is a blog that mixes politics and religion I will alternate between the two. When you answer, feel free to elaborate.

  1. What is your favorite Bible story?
  2. Who is your favorite president?
  3. What is your favorite book in the Bible?
  4. What is your favorite person in history? Does not have to be a political leader.
  5. Which of parables that Jesus told has had the most significance in your life?
  6. What type of government do you think works best?
  7. Which character in the Bible do you identify with the most?
  8. Have you read a book about politics?
  9. Have you read a book about religion?
  10. If you answered “yes” to question 8, please name the book and the author.
  11. If you answered “yes” to question 9, please name the book and the author.

Here are the blogs I tagged. Why did I pick these blogs? Why did I pick you? Your blog discusses either (or both) politics and religion. So I felt you would enjoy answering the questions.

  1. Deo Vindice
  2. pumabydesign001′s blog
  3. A Catholic Notebook
  4. SWAC Girl
  5. Crystal Clear Conservative
  6. The Twilight’s Last Gleaming
  7. Stealth Magnolia
  8. blogsense-by-barb
  9. That Mr. G Guy’s Blog
  11. sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue