One is only poor, only if they choose to be.

Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

I’m sure you have felt it by now. It’s cooler and less humid; fall is in the air. We are blessed to live in the best part of the country with four distinct seasons. By the time you get tired of one, the next season rolls around.

I am a big fan of Dolly Parton and country music. She is the real deal, like Pat Head Summitt whom I recently quoted. Actually, I like all types of music with the exception of gangster rap, mindless elevator music or the often dreadful noise one is forced to endure while on hold.

I like many of Dolly’s songs including “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You,” but especially, “Coat of Many Colors.” The lyrics capture the awkwardness and pain of youth where it’s often hard to find your place. I might dream of being young again, but not at the price of having to relearn all those tough lessons.

Growing up, I was an academic underachiever. I was interested in sports, and later girls and sports. I became more bookish in college.

Robert Fulgham wrote a wonderful book about the social skills he learned in kindergarten. Actually, I believe social lessons continue throughout life. Education is the same. We learn the basics in school, and then begin a lifetime of learning.

I didn’t read Fulgham’s book until I was grown, so my excuse is that I learned about bullies and about settling arguments with guys on the schoolyard. The rule: if you are forced to fight, throw the first punch, and, like Randy in “A Christmas Story,” don’t let up until it’s over. Guys quickly get over our differences, even a busted lip. On the other hand, girls get even. And these days, tragically, many young girls are savagely bullied on social media and contribute to the rising suicide epidemic.

I was never taught farming, and it shows. I have learned to pay attention to the weather and rainfall. Actually, as a farmer, I couldn’t feed myself, let alone my family. I imagine myself more of a gentleman farmer like Mr. Douglas of Green Acres. Fortunately, my son-in-law is handy, keeps our tractor running and does our plowing so I have more time to think and write.

I learned in school that each fall and spring the hours of day and night become equal. You may not have been aware of the autumnal equinox on September 23rd, but by now we’ve all felt the season change. However, I’m sensing more. I’m sensing winds of change across America.

In her biographical song, Dolly described the persecution of a little girl with a multi-colored coat. The dictionary defines persecution as harassing or oppressing someone because of religious, racial, social or political beliefs. Jesus was persecuted by the religious establishment of his day. Dolly described a poor kid’s persecution. And President Trump is being persecuted by the Washington establishment, Democrats and those driven to insane hatred by evil’s malevolent force.

A neighbor on our street has one of those virtue-signaling yard signs that lists liberal platitudes and ends with “vote woke.” Given the objective realities of progressive wokeness, I stand amazed that someone could be so detached and ignore the destructive consequences of wokeness.

I’m a big fan of noted scholar and writer, Victor Davis Hanson. He recently published an essay entitled “Post-postmodern America” where he objectively described the destruction wrought by Progressive Democrats and their woke policies. I pray for those who are lost, but being a teacher at heart, I put a copy of Professor Hanson’s essay in my neighbor’s mailbox.

I wish I could send Professor Hanson’s essay to Corporate America. They apparently have not learned from the Bud Light imbroglio because the Dove soap company just hired a morbidly obese, BLM activist to promote the woke “body positivity” movement and rail against fat shaming. Perhaps Dove thinks they’ll sell more soap with this garbage, but anyone with brains knows that obesity is a terrible health risk. Actually, I find the BLM activist gross and refuse to kowtow to her woke agenda and gaslighting. And, hey, Dove: your soap has just been added to the Ferguson family’s boycott list. If you “go woke, you go broke.” Be courageous people and “just say No,” to wokesters on Wall Street and those next door on Main Street. They don’t deserve our sympathy, respect or money.

The Progressive-Democrat leadership is not stupid, they are just ideologically driven to increase their power by destroying freedom, capitalism and Americanism. It is their sycophant followers who are stupidly naive. Joseph Stalin is credited with the applicable term, “useful idiot.”

The Progressive-Democrat hurricane of open borders, crime, homelessness, police defunding, faltering economy and gender lunacy is raging across America. At the same time, we find ourselves again embroiled in a European war and Christians are being persecuted in America and Canada. However, my Christian brothers and sisters around the world are not only being persecuted, they are being killed in India, Nigeria, China, Ethiopia and Sudan. Jesus predicted this in his Olivet Discourse in what has become known as the Little Apocalypse. If you are unfamiliar with the prophetic message, read Matthew 24 and reflect upon postmodern America.

I am not an “end of days’’ harbinger, nor am I a Biblical literalist. Down through the ages, people have been preaching about the end time, but Jesus himself said, “only the Father knows the future.” However, I find Matthew 24:14 especially challenging in light of the Internet which has allowed the Gospel to be “preached in the whole world.”

Food for thought…