On the Power of One Lone Light, Silver Linings, and the Importance of All Who Serve

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

The Power of One Lone Light

As is the case in any time of struggle, whether it be mental, emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual, societal, or the multi-faceted chaos and mayhem happening so far in this fateful year of 2020 (arguably a combination of all of the above), there are inspirational “lights,” like candles in the darkness, that help keep spirits, minds, and hearts raised and focused on, now, how we might resist and, hopefully, counter that darkness. At least while we still may, as prophecy also plays an important part in everything that was, is, and will be.

Of course few are called to and equipped for big platform resistance efforts, but all can do something*.

And equally as uplifting is to step back from the fray for a bit to stop and appreciate the “silver linings” in all the mayhem and fear. Because there are always silver linings. I offer just a few, below.

So may I encourage you to consider the following bits of good news so often shouted down, blocked, censored, or simply overlooked, and see what you think.

Be encouraged especially if you might be feeling it’s useless to resist the ragers, haters, and power-mad politicians, and please remember that the most powerful ordnance in the stores of darkness is fear and any sense of hopelessness fear can muster.

The piece of news that prompted this post, from The Voice of the Martyrs organization, revealed the fact that in China, where it is very risky to be a Christian, even to preach or teach the faith, there has been an upsurge in the success of doing so due to–face masks that make it hard to trace people who participate in this activity!

I almost laughed out loud.

Ah, the splendid, divine irony in that!

Silver Linings

It occurred to me I could look for other inspirational lights, aka “silver linings,” too, to boost my own sometimes flagging spirit and perhaps yours as well. Here is a randomly compiled list beginning with a few observations through a believer’s lens:

  • Like the people mentioned above, millions more around the world are accessing the Bible,  particularly prophecy, many for the first time…
  • …due to the virus and the, now, blatant anti-Christian rage abroad on the streets and resulting in vandalism damaging church buildings (along with other cultural artifacts) Christians are doing what they’ve always done during persecution: meeting “underground,”as it were, in small groups where most of the real work in the Body of Christ has always taken place, anyway. Historically, the church has flourished during such times.
  • Many in this country are, as the expression goes, becoming “red pilled,” as with so much time off due to COVID-19 and unemployment, there is a lot more time to watch the news (the real news) and see what is really going on.
  • Ordinary citizen journalists armed with iphones are recording the reality and posting it. So far, corporate censorship by big tech has not been able to erase them all.
  • Alternate news sites still allowing our First Amendment right of free speech are cropping up all over.
  • The origin of the (Marxist) ideology behind the militant arm of the Black Lives Matter and AntiFa movements has been disclosed for all still possessing eyes to see and ears to hear due, due in part, again, to so much time off of normal activities.
  • The ideologies and motivations of many U.S. government leaders who are allowing the chaos and criminal activities in their states and cities are now out in the open for voters to observe.
  • If, indeed, the U.S. election this fall will have to be impeded in any way due to the virus, that will mean a continuation of the same administration we have currently (a little something for both sides to ponder).
  • With fewer entertainment distractions such as movies, sports, large family outings, travel, etc., there is more time to focus on the issues and activities of the subversive, socialist/communist groups such as  the new Democrat Socialists of America movement, naked Marxism, and just the rank anti-Americanism fueled by certain corporate interests both on and off shore (it’s very easy to “search engine” a list of same).
  • Millions more now understand or remember the terms “irony” and “hypocrisy” due to recent events “sponsored” by the Marxists and their useful pawns in government and on the streets.
  • The vast difference between legal (thanks to the Constitution and Bill of Rights), peaceful protesters and, on the other hand, the criminal rioters attempting to exploit and co-opt the protests is also being clearly revealed perhaps for the first time.
  • People are less cynical about what the “prepper movement” is all about–and how it might well apply to the near future.
  • Gun and ammunition purchases (thanks also to our Constitution and Bill of Rights) have been skyrocketing–by consumers of all political stripes–due to people realizing the need for personal and community protection as certain politicians openly permit rioting, vandalism, looting, the takeover of publicly–and some privately–owned land and who disallow local policing agents to come to the aid of innocent citizens.
  • And here’s a big silver lining for the college-bound. Along with negotiating for refunds, an effort that began several months ago due to less-than full class time and content, according to recent news colleges have been hit so hard by all of the ramifications of the coronavirus, prospective students can expect to be able to negotiate and petition for big discounts in tuition in the future, as well. Not to mention a new kind of exposure of the arguably socialist/communist influences in certain academic courses that are observable outside the classroom, now, by not only students but also others.
  • Next time a new brand of flu comes along, we will all know exactly what to do to mitigate and flatten the curve.

But, of course, two questions remain:

Is it too late?

What can you and I and millions of others still do?

NOTE: sometimes it all starts with just one person’s courageous idea or action, no matter how small or just symbolic, to get the ball (singular and plural) going.

In the meantime, there is a lot left to say, write, share, organize, and pray for, and/or to take some form of political action for or against, not to mention peacefully advocating for the causes on one’s own mind and heart.

The Importance of All Who Serve

My encouragement today is: let’s each of us be that person in the context of our own lives, for there are many silver linings in an age of “panic, panic, everywhere,” or so it seems the “news” would have us believe so that we cower in fear, isolate ourselves, hide away, keep our mouths shut and just go along.

There is a lot each of us, no matter what our “station” is, can do.

I am reminded here of a very powerful statement from one of our founders for such as time as this, too:

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.-Benjamin Franklin 

If what we are only able to do is on the “quiet front lines”–in homes, very small groups, prayer closets–people and places often overlooked or disregarded by the powers that be who understand strength to be only youth, health, fame, riches, and power.

I would add they overlook such those who are sometimes called the “silent majority,” or perhaps “flyover people” (here in the States), aka, those who don’t really matter for one reason or another (unless it’s during an election year).

But if you think about it, of such comprise the potentially largest, most dedicated, most powerful “stealth operation” of all in any struggle against evil.

Power mongers of all stripes overlook us to their peril.

Our motivation and strength is not necessarily dependent on the visible forms of strength and support, but includes the “invisible,” that which inspires, enlightens, affirms, strengthens, and motivates at the deepest levels.

Because they, we,  also serve who use critical thinking, resist fear, go about the important business of everyday life, while also in myriad ways supporting the “visible front-liners,” on the big platforms and stages of greater influence.

For there is something for everyone to do: young and old, strong and frail, outlier and “influencer”.

THAT’S the real legacy of this great nation under unprecedented siege just now, indeed, the legacy of all places in all eras where even just one, lone, light can begin righting wrongs–lights that seem to be in peril as in no other time in the United States, just now–if that were possible.

I would also encourage thus:

*ON NOVEMBER 3RD, IF NOT BEFORE WHERE PERMITTED, VOTE.

And as best you can, wherever you are, by whatever means you can, carry on.

~~~~~

Image of burning candle from Wikimedia Commons.

Posted in 2020, Commentaries, encouragement in hard times, GUEST and EMBEDDED FEATURES, most recent posts | Leave a comment

Guest Feature: “Living Without Justice,” by Deana Chadwell

On the ground in Oregon and in the heart of America. Consider…                                               -PBN

LIVING WITHOUT JUSTICE

Published at asinglewindow.com October 21, 2020,  Dee Chadwell

Continue reading

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Achieving Peace in a Time of Existential War: On Ethos, Logos, Pathos, and RHEMA

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)

Two people are arguing – conceptual illustration drawn freehand

Ever find yourself entering a political conversation these days with plenty of empirical evidence and yet it is as if whomever you may be speaking with of an opposing view, instead of having a rational conversation, holds their hands over their ears and shuts their eyes, as it were,  refusing any of your information?

Or their response seems to be a series of protest-poster memes, some perhaps not even related to the topic at hand?

I know. Continue reading

Posted in 2020, encouragement in hard times, most recent posts, ON THE STATE OF POLITICAL RAGE, spiritual survival, survival tools | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Thoughts from Then for Today Before Veteran’s Day, 11/11/20, and Election Day 11/3 (Redux, Memorial Day, 2019)

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

I recently had occasion to revisit the history of the destroyer escort my father served on in the U.S. Navy during the last two years of World War ll in the Pacific Theater (the reference specs are included in the post from May 27, 2019, below, including a few updates).

And I found something new. Continue reading

Posted in 2020, Commentaries, encouragement in hard times, GUEST and EMBEDDED FEATURES, most recent posts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Little Fall Respite

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

If, these days, you sometimes feel like the world is teetering on a tightrope (know what I mean?) a little respite is always a good thing if even just a short walk outdoors or perhaps a meander down memory lane. (It’s especially nice when the two coincide.)

Here’s where I was yesterday.

 

Autumn Eves  

An acrid burst

kicks up some dust

from a pile of calico leaves

as a late, sharp shaft

of ochre sun

surprises

a bed of these.

 

And I am barely six

again

in another

pungent scene

crunching leaves

beneath my feet

while shadows

dance in trees.

 

But ‘fore the dark

tucks in the days

and owls

“Who-Who” (are these?)

a chilly gust

hints winter’s night

draws close 

from north and east.

 

Enjoy a little respite yourself, today. You never know what it might bring to mind–eyes, ears, nose–and imagination.

~~~~~

Image of fall leaves along fence from publicdomainpictures.net

Posted in Christian poetry, most recent posts | Tagged , | 2 Comments

“Live Not By Lies, A Manual for Christian Dissidents” (Book Review)–on “Soft Totalitarianism,” Testimonies and Words to the Wise from Then for Today

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

There always is this fallacious belief: “It would not be the same here; here such things are impossible.” Alas, all the evil of the twentieth century is possible everywhere on earth.–Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

BOOK REVIEW

I am reading Rod Dreher’s new book, Live Not By Lies, A Manual for Christian Dissidents (Random House, 2020) in which Dreher discusses what he calls “soft totalitarianism,” comparing the rise of this modern brand of authoritarianism that has been snaking up through  the institutions and culture here in the United States* (before, if not stopped, the inevitable guns come out) with the “hard totalitarianism” of Germany and Soviet Russia in the last century. It is both a timely and necessary read.

What strikes me as a student and observer of both the history of the old-school regimes and the modern iteration as described by Dreher is the power of words that bookend them all, i.e., they all begin with propaganda and end with obituaries–both literal and figurative for both dissidents and nations. Continue reading

Posted in 2020, Bible/literary themes, elements, Commentaries, end times news, end times spiritual survival, GUEST and EMBEDDED FEATURES, most recent posts, spiritual survival, survival tools | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

It Ain’t Your Grandmother’s Leftist Protests, and Is Biden a Modern-Day Paul von Hindenburg (?) Guest Video by Jacob Prasch

Knowledge is power.

See what you think. And do your own research.

The salient points concerning the modern and very different left with strong parallels to historic totalitarian regimes begin at about the 51 minute mark. Prior to that there is additional spiritual application–and encouragement.-PBN

Refuse violence.

Resist propaganda.

Pray.

Prepare.

Vote.

Posted in 2020, Commentaries, encouragement in hard times, GUEST and EMBEDDED FEATURES, most recent posts, prophecy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs Chapter 3 for A World On Fire (Step Back; Take a Minute)

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the scroll until the end of time. Many will go back and forth and search anxiously [through the scroll], and knowledge [of the purpose of God as revealed by His prophets] will [greatly] increase.” (Daniel 12:4, Amplified Bible)

A World On Fire

This seems to be an unprecedented time of disclosures both big and small, secular and prophetic.

If anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear is bored,  he or she is likely off in some somnambulant nether-world either by choice, chemicals, or by inability to, well, see and hear.

But this is understandably so Continue reading

Posted in 2020, encouragement in hard times, GUEST and EMBEDDED FEATURES, most recent posts, spiritual survival, spiritual transformation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A “Colour Revolution” in the USA? See What You Think…

Knowledge is power.

Refuse violence.

Resist propaganda.

Pray.

Prepare.

Vote.

Posted in 2020, GUEST and EMBEDDED FEATURES, radical left Alinsky tactics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ultimate. Stealth. Weapon. Part 2: For the Rioters and Ragers with Love (Guest Feature)

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Access series.

Posted in encouragement in hard times, GUEST and EMBEDDED FEATURES, most recent posts, salvation by grace, spiritual survival, spiritual transformation, Ultimate. Stealth. Weapon. | Leave a comment