Moderation, the last Value

1. the quality of being moderate; restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance.
2. the act of moderating.

in moderation, without excess; moderately; temperately: to drink in moderation.

In this journey throughout the year of reviewing the 12 values that our group is based on, we are hoping to better ourselves in the process as well as to find quality people to represent us that also adhere to the values of South Florida 912.

Moderation, as the last of the Values, is a really tough one. To live temperately is a very hard task for most; to spend moderately or eat moderately or even drink moderately, may be a very difficult task. I personally have been working this year on spending moderately: Learning to save, pay off debts and recover from many past bad financial decisions. It has been one journey of epic proportions to say the least,and may possibly be fodder for a book some day. However my family and I took this challenge on at the beginning of the year and as the end of the year approaches, we still have so much farther to go.  But we are living moderation every day in order to make the changes needed.

We need moderation by our Congress and Tallahassee and our County Commission.  They need moderation in spending of our money; and at times they need to be able to choose to not spend it at all.

Moderation in behavior, for example, how a person dresses or how a person acts, represents them and their family at all times. I talk to my children about this all the time:  when they leave the house, even if  electronically (e.g. Facebook etc…) they represent our family.  It is a quality that is important when trying to find someone to represent us in the political realm as well.

Moderation in the use of electronics and watching TV is important too. We must during this Christmas season be careful to use moderation with our purchases and to be sure to spend quality time with our families, such as playing games, playing catch, going on hikes or sitting by a campfire or just talking. We can get consumed without moderation by the electronics, the spending, the drinking, the socializing and not be focused on what is truly important:  our family, our friends, and our relationship with God. Once these are focused and in line, then we can then be sure to help out and volunteer in our community as well as monitor the news and participate as much as we can.

We need representatives who use moderation in their personal and physical behaviours,  however not necessarily, in their politics.  We seek a true conservative to lead us in 2012. It is true that our choices for 2012 may not be what we had originally hoped for, however we need to seek the best candidate that is a true conservative and lives by the values of our group.

Merry Christmas and be safe and well.

God Bless You,

The Armstrong Family

November Value – Courage – Do you live it?

This months value is Courage.

In Joshua 1:9 it says … Be strong and courageous do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

It takes great courage to stand up for what you believe.  Our value this month is Courage.

The definition from Websters Dictionary states courage as
: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

Examples of courage are all around me as a friend fights brain cancer, a friend recuperates from a bad car accident, people even in our own country struggle to speak the truth about their belief in God, and a belief that our country is being hijacked by a group of people who do not care about our country as we do. Children seek to pray at school before a football game or a school graduation and it takes such courage to stand up, speak out, and to be able to do these things.

My father taught me the value of courage by my observing his actions and listening to his story. As a young boy he joined the Marines before he was 18 years old and he graduated from boot camp on his 18th birthday. Later my dad worked construction on the side of the road while he put himself through college. To this day my dad has his construction helmet on display, not for any one else, but to remind himself where he came from. My husband suffered a horrible car accident when he was just a kid and his cousin a passenger died and my husband showed great courage in facing the memories of that horrible day, the circumstances and the fears. I felt courage as I faced an ambulance as it took my little baby away from me to a hospital far away. I knew that she was in God’s hands. My husband held my hand and as we traveled through that dark night and when I saw the glowing cross from a afar I felt Courage. I knew God was with us and her and that small seed of courage grew as we enter through those doors together. Courage is what Nana and Papa had when they traveled to the United States and later became US citizens.

Courage gets you up in the morning to face the day. Courage allows you when you make a mistake, to admit it. Courage allows you stand on truth and principle. Courage is a trait so few people who run our country have.  To admit a mistake takes courage, to tell the truth even when it’s bad news takes courage. Our soldiers each and every day have courage, the loved ones left behind have courage.

Recently I saw an incredible movie called Courageous.  It was an amazing movie and it called for people as a community to draw closer together,  for parents to be courageous examples to their children,  to have a resolution and then follow it through and live it out. Speak words of encouragement to each other and your family and friends. Praying for wisdom and strength to live a courageous life honors God.  We must seek courageous people for our leaders, our role models, our heroes.  Within ourselves, we must find the courage to be strong, and to be an example to our children, our family and our friends.

October Value: Hard Work

This months value is Hard Work.

What does the value of Hard Work mean? How does it tie in with the other values of honesty, reverence, hope, thrift, humility, charity, sincerity, moderation, courage, personal responsibility and friendship? I believe we need to work hard to keep these values in our lives. We have many distractions that can pull us in an opposite direction. So, yes to work hard means to have the determination to go beyond the easy thing to do.

Many of us have worked hard to provide for our families, to give our time, talent and treasure to our churches and our favorite charities. We work hard because these things have a value worth working hard for.

Being a member of the 9/12 Group has inspired me to get more involved in the political process. I see the value of working hard to ensure that we keep our Constitution as the law of the land and thereby enjoying those unalienable rights given by our Creator…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe we need to step out of our comfort zones and work hard just as our founding fathers did. In May of 1787, our founders gathered for the first Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. They worked many long hours over one of the hottest summers that Philadelphia had experienced in over thirty years. Think, no air conditioning and the windows were shut for privacy. They had the determination to give it their all to have this nation succeed. The Convention ended on September 15th. Four long months and yes their hard work paid off.

As members of 9/12, we have a lot of hard work ahead of us in this upcoming election year. Our time, talent and treasure will be needed to support those candidates that do uphold the principles and values we subscribe to.

In closing let us remember the words of John Quincy Adams who worked so hard against slavery in this country and yet never saw the fruit of his labor. He said “Duty is ours, the results are Gods”. As citizens of this great county we must also do our duty and trust that the results are in God’s providence over us.

September Value: Friendship

This months value is Friendship.

Funny but most would think this is the easiest of values. Our group is based on 9 Principles and 12 Values and each value is an important aspect for each of us to work on within ourselves. As we journey each month contemplating each value. I hope that each of you are striving to implement these values in your daily life. These are also traits that we want to see in our elected officials and candidates as well.

This month Friendship is the value of the month. Take a look around you. Jot down the 5 people you have spoken to yesterday that you would consider friends. Who are they? What is their character? Are they involved in their community? Do they care about what is going on in the world or more concerned with the latest fashion or football game. Look around your life, the people you have dinner with and go to church with, call on the phone on a Saturday afternoon. The people you surround yourself with should complement you. Help you be an even better you. Not tear you down or get you off track.

Friendship on the personal level is something I have been thinking about a lot. I am very loyal but I have learned that my time is also very limited and precious and when I have “free” time I want to spend it with like minded people and people I love. I will do anything for a friend if needed and I always follow thru no matter how hard it may be. However I am honest enough that if I can’t do it I will let you know. This I think comes with age and time 🙂 Friendships are also give and take. Will that person be there for you if you are ill or need a ride? Will they follow thru on commitments?

This month let us try to strengthen the friendships with those people around us. We will need them as much as they will need us as times get more difficult. Share with these friends your books, news clips and knowledge. Help lift them up as they should also lift you up. Be strong in your faith, your beliefs and in your love. These all will help you be a better friend. My step mom used to tell me you have to be a friend to get one… I wasn’t sure what she meant but as I get older I understand. Reach out to those in need around you. Create lasting friendships along the way.

When you look at an individual who is an elected official and or candidate you need to know who they “hang out with”, who their mentors are. It is usually a great indicator of the kind of person they “really” are.

Friendship is an important step in implementing our 12 values to our lives. Friendship is a key to who someone running for office “really” is. Please think about this important value this month and put it to action in your vetting of candidates and your daily life.

Personal Responsibility – The August Value

This months value is Personal Responsibility.

This is a great value that we each need to take a moment to make sure that we are taking ownership for our failures as well as our successes. We also need to take ownership of our communities  locally, and at the state and national level. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said “Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”

Websters Dictionary defines RESPONSIBILITY as…

1: the quality or state of being responsible: as
a : moral, legal, or mental accountability
b : reliability, trustworthiness
2: something for which one is responsible : burden
the quality of being dependable

We must be motivated to accept our mistakes and learn from them. I believe if we take the time for a personal review of our lives most of us need to realize that the problems that we are seeing in our country are a result of our inactivity, our inaction in the past. I know for me personally I was very involved at different points in my life mostly when I was young and idealistic and then when the family came along I stepped away from it all. I tuned out. I realize now my error. We all need to take responsibility for the path our country is on and once we do that,… each of us individually, we can learn to change the course. On this journey we recognize our errors. Now we need to change. Talk to others, sign up to work on a campaign or an issue that you think is important. Attend a 912 meeting with 3 of your neighbors. Go to a county commission meeting or call your Congressman. Take responsibility. Do not rely on others. Do not expect others to make those calls or attend those meetings. I used to believe I voted for the right person and that was enough.They made it to office and then I did not follow how they did or call them to voice my opinion. That is where we need to make the change. If we all take Personal Responsibility seriously and ingrain it into our lives  we can change our selves, our families and our Country.

Take ownership…Self, Family, Your Community, Your State and Nation, get informed, and get involved.

Sincerity: July’s Value – To say what you mean and mean what you say

The value for the month of July is sincerity. As we continue to educate ourselves and search for quality candidates or even consider ourselves as a candidate, or just as an American… sincerity is key. People can tell if someone is truly sincere. I believe most of us are “over it” with politicians and are tired of the word games. Simply just live what you believe.

The Websters Dictionary: the quality or state of being sincere: honesty of mind, freedom from hypocrisy

The American Dictionary: honest and genuine

People are more sensitive to this value now. I think in the past people allowed this to be overlooked, however no more. Just share with us where you truly stand. Share with us what you really believe. We may not always agree but it is better to be honest and sincere then to lie to us to tell us what you think we want to hear. Or worse say things to get elected and then not stand by it.

We have all been burned by politicians who have stated they believed in something and they did something else once in office. Examples: immigration reform, a balanced budget, medicare and social security reform. Regular folks also lack sincerity when they say they want to get involved with a community action group like a tea party, 912, Christian Coalition etc…  Then they attend meetings but never actually take ACTION, an important key to the term “community action group

Be Sincere!  Get Involved!  Be Honest where you stand! Take Action.

Charity – Our 912 Value for June

Each month we have been focusing on a 912 value of the month. In doing so we are trying make ourselves better people. Taking each value and learning its meaning and applying it to our lives in small bits and pieces is a great way to improve ourselves and give us a road map for what we are looking for in people that will represent us. This month’s value is one our 912 group has embraced early on and something my family has always tried to be involved with.

To lose our focus on ourselves,  and to focus on others, that is the goal with Charity.

In the bible the translations are

International Standard Version (©2008)
Right now three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
So these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the best one of these is love.

King James Bible
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

American King James Version
And now stays faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

What is neat about Charity as you can see above is that it is used interchangeably with the word love. It is also the greatest value of all.

To give or do something for others is a great expression of love. It is important as times continue to get harder and more difficult that we reach out to others in need. If we cannot financially, maybe by giving of your time, organizing a food drive or visiting a hospital. There is so much we can do to help each other up by sharing a smile, donating your time or opening your wallet. The South Florida 912 has participated in a number of charity events and organized a number of our own. So please let us know your ideas for future needs in our community as we will continue to show LOVE to our neighbors whether they are from Palm Beach County, Haiti, Tennessee, in the military or somewhere else.

There are many more – but never enough so please keep your ideas coming and volunteer
yourself at your church or a local shelter and or donate.

Humility Value for the Month of May

“Humility” – One of the featured values of the 912 Project for the month of May. It is a value that we must look to in our steps to improving ourselves and a value that it is important to find in a leader or potential candidate for office.

Ben Franklin once said…
“To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.”

Mahatma Ghandi also said…
“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”

Humility is a value that we may have experienced in our own lives. It is humbling to me to know that Jesus died on the cross for me. It is humbling to watch a friend going thru cancer, and watch the strength he shows while going through it. It is humbling to me that God has given all of us the ability to be better people and know that He has equipped us to be able share His Word and participate in our community, locally and nationally.

So humility is an important value for ourselves and a quality that we should want and need in a candidate. Please keep this value in mind when you vet a candidate along with our other basic values and principles of our group, add some of your own. However the next superstar may NOT be the best representative you are looking for. Look for a person with values and principles you can believe in.

Thrift – the April value

Each month I have been writing about the 12 values… one each month as there are 12 months. These values are an integral part of who we are as a group. If you missed the previous blogs on the values just go to the 912 Blog tab and Shannon’s Corner and you can read my thoughts on the other values I have written about so far.

Thrift –
This value is a hard one. However I am taking it personally to focus on this month.
From the free online Dictionary
thrift (thrft)
1. Wise economy in the management of money and other resources; frugality.

Whew…. Thrift … this is one I am personally working on. It is a real “value” as part of our “12” and I believe it is important. We as a family are trying to use coupons more, monitor our money better and basically downsize where possible. Some suggestions may be to change your bank for a bank with less fees, cancel cable, or considering changing companies. Another option is to stop getting the paper delivered, or pay bills online instead of buying stamps. You can even shop at discount stores and buy in bulk when you can.

I also have been working on using coupons where we try not to eat out unless there is a special like the kids eat free or its an early bird deal or we have a buy one get one coupon. Thrift also means to try and live within our means. This means use cash and leave the credit cards at home. This is a wise way to live any way. These are tenets that I have known, read about and have a hard time living by however as parents we are honor bound to correct our errors and to teach our children to be more responsible.

I am making an effort to be more thrifty… we as a family are. This month maybe you can join us in this important value. Share with us ideas to save, if you have them as well.

Hope – Our Value for March

Each month I have a pretty easy time writing up a blog, the hardest part usually is the time to just sit down and write my blog. However this month it was a little hard to put on the brave face with all the turmoil in the world and pen these words. Hope… that is an interesting value. With out hope how do we go on. However we have heard of hope before. Hope with out definition what is that? If you say we need hope but don’t explain what kind of hope, then are you really defining hope at all? Hope to me is to look ahead and feel that the sun will rise tomorrow. That the people of our great nation will recognize the urgency to get involved in their community, their children’s lives, the church and in our political system. Hope comes from knowing that there will be a brighter tomorrow. What are you doing to bring hope for the future? Get involved –  team up with others, educate yourself.

Hope as a believer in God is how I get thru the day. Implement hope and share it with others around you. Thru hope we can make things better and our Country a better place to live.

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