Month: December 2015

2015-12-31 A straw

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


December 31, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

A straw

Did you ever enjoy a refreshing milkshake then say, “Wow! That was a great straw.”

In just seven days, we begin the next online course, “Principles of American Government”. (PAG)

I have seen the gleam of comprehension in adults and teens as they realize the significance of what they have learned. I have been rated, “Master Teacher”, but I am only the straw. God has seen fit to impart these principles to me through His teachers. I number among them, Verna Hall and Rosalie Slater of FACE, Winkie Pratney, Gordon Olson, Harry Conn, Joy Dawson, James Rose, and Loren Cunningham.

Most of these world-changers are unknown to young adults and teens. A google lookup will support my admiration. Stir all these teachers up with a passion for history (God loves history!), and a lot of thought and prayer. I am only the straw. God is the Mixmaster!

There has been a steady dumbing down of Americans for at least four generations. Who has not marveled at the street interviews of “Watters’ World”? What grand-parent has not sighed over, “I’m just too dumb to understand.” They are not “dumb”. I need teenagers to set the clock on my computer! Neither they – nor their parents – have ever been taught critical thinking, true history, or sound principle.

“Prin’ciple — . In a general sense, the cause, source or origin of any thing; that from which a thing proceeds; as the principle of motion; the principles of action.” [Webster’s 1828]

Have you ever paused to see if you have a set of tried and proven principles by which to evaluate your choices? “Well – I try to use the Bible.” or, “My mom taught me right from wrong.” Sorry, those are generalities. If you cannot use sound principle, you are left with your opinion. Who is to say your opinion is any better than the next guy’s opinion?

“Individuality” is a fundamental principle. I know of no precise duplicates. God only makes one of a kind! Anyone who fails to honor the individuality of a thing is not going to have the best results.

The principle of “self-government” is a law of nature. Stand in the middle of a see-saw. Label one end “Internal self-government” and label the other end “External government of self”. As either side decreases, the other side increases proportionately. If you will not govern yourself – internally, others will – externally!

Principles of American Government” is NOT a course in “nationalism”. These principles of self-, family-, church-, and civil-government are universal. God chose to illustrate these principles in North America! Their roots go all the way back to the Garden of Eden.

If principles that have been illustrated in America are not to be lost to the world, there must be a remnant that has learned them. Mine is among those voices shouting from the housetops, “Discover what you don’t know that you don’t know, while there is yet time!

If this speaks to you of your teen, grand-teen, or yourself (half the classes are usually adults), then phone me. Yes, there is a tuition (skin in the game), but we can work that out. See the ACH web site for lots of details.

2015-12-21 A Christmas Story

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


December 21, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

A Christmas Story

It was a bitter cold winter in Boston. The year was 1958. Our son Guy, was 18 months old. We had moved from Dallas to attend graduate school. Fran landed a job with an agency that operated a home for abused boys. The third floor was our home. Money was tight. School was intense.

Christmas was approaching. Fran, her sister and brother had established a wonderful tradition of making it home to grandma’s for Christmas. Each year added new stories to the event, as life developed with marriages, military assignments, and the like. Somehow everyone managed to synchronize and add one more year to the tradition.

We had saved enough gas money to drive our Plymouth station wagon to Dallas and back. Mattresses, blankets and food for the trip were carefully packed into the car. There was ample room to sleep comfortably and save on motel expenses. The evening had arrived and the three of us began our 1800 mile adventure with just enough time to arrive at grandma’s on Christmas eve.

It was dark and stormy, but thankfully the roads were clear. It was bitter cold. We passed New York City and were passing through New Jersey when our trusty vehicle decided to stop running. We contacted AAA road service. The tow truck driver asked where he could drop is off. We had no money for a motel. The driver parked our car inside the repair shop. We were grateful for a warm place to spend the night in the car inside the shop.

Next morning, we received the grand news that our engine was dead and must be replaced! It would take better than a week because of the holidays. No Christmas at Grandma’s this year! I don’t know which hurt more: That we would miss being there Christmas morning; or that the grandparents would miss Christmas with their first grand-child. What to do next?

Fran had introduced nursing student Eddie, to her cousin Bob. Bob and I were fellow Airforce pilots in Korea. Bob was stationed in Washington, D.C. They invited us to spend Christmas with them. The car shop dropped us at Newark Airport and we used our gas money to fly to Washington, D.C.

The phone call from Washington to Dallas was emotional! Lots of tears. The rest of the day was sad and gloomy. Bob mentioned something I had not heard, Diner’s Club had just begun offering airline tickets on credit. I had a little used Diner’s Club card! What the heck! We are going to be a year getting out of all this debt. Why not go all the way!

A late afternoon phone call informed us there were two flights that would get us to Dallas for Christmas morning. Both were booked full. We were on standby. Bob drove us to the airport. The first flight left without us. We were boarded on the second! No time for calls to Dallas.

We arrived at Love Field (DFW was not even dreamed of in ’58.) Rented a car – why not! It’s Christmas and we’re head over heels in debt now anyway! Fran’s folks’ house was unlocked when we arrived at two in the morning. We quietly made pallets on the floor under the Christmas tree.

Next morning before the house was awake, Fran’s brother and his wife arrived from across town. Whispered astonishment and greetings. They took baby Guy, tiptoed into the folks’ bedroom and put the sleeping baby between them. Minutes later, an explosion of joy! Fran’s sister Norma and husband Bob arrived and another Christmas at Grandma’s was complete!

We arrived in Boston, happy, driving a like new Plymouth. Sure enough we managed to pay off our credit card. The tradition continued for years until the folks’ passing. Our own family traditions were born. Now our kids are building theirs.

Christmas memories are made of things like this.

2015-12-02 Handicapping the candidates

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


December 2, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

Handicapping the candidates

With 50 years of political involvement, I am often asked about candidates. Here are my thoughts this fall.

Trump – As president, I believe he would be very good at getting things done. His following would stay with him with popular support for a time. This would make him a powerful leader. On the other hand – Nothing exists without a set of rules to govern it. Trump appears to me to lack a depth of understanding about the rules that will “make America great again”. I believe he would not respect private property, or the limits on the president by the legislature and courts. We would have exchanged a traitorous-tyrant for a patriotic-tyrant. A tyrant nonetheless. Tyranny is unstable.

Carson – A man of principle. As president, he would quickly reestablish respect for America. His clear thought and unbending devotion to sound principle would help him navigate the dangerous waters of international politics and domestic economy. His native humility makes it easy to surround himself with the right people. Carson, I believe would be a great president.

Cruz – Also a man of principle. Like Carson, an outstanding intellect with sound principles for guidance. Unlike Carson, Cruz has demonstrated great political skills. Memory is short, but the Cruz resume is full of examples where he faced down powerful opposition. There will be confusion over his Canadian birth (as an American citizen). Because of his proven background, I would vote Cruz over Carson.

Rubio – A likeable person, but nowhere near as strong in principle as Carson and Cruz. I believe Washington’s power politics would swallow him up. I note that much of that power is leaning toward Rubio. In my opinion, a weak president.

Bush – At this point an, “also ran”. Trump has successfully taken out the “establishment” candidates. It appears to me that the public’s vote will overwhelm traditional campaign financing. If elected, Bush would try hard. I believe he would fail.

Each of the others – Have their strong and weak points. I see little possibility that any of them can sustain a race to the nominating convention next summer. On the other hand, there is a possibility that some or all of the 5 above will still be campaigning at the nominating convention. That presents the public with a problem.

The Republican party has lost credibility – with the public. Grass roots activists would do well to take a page from the Pauls’ campaigns and become active locally in order to trickle-up their authority at the convention. A contested convention would be exciting, but sound principles are vulnerable to a politicized convention floor.

The ultimate decision – is in God’s hands. I believe America will not fail. Granted: America deserves the most severe justice. We have earned our place upon the ash-heap of failed nations.

Many today have lost sight of, or never discovered, the exceptionalism of this Nation. God’s hand in human history is a 6000 year story of His teaching men how to love Him and how to get along with one another. That story climaxed with the creation of the first nation in human history to establish itself upon Godly principles. If this experiment in Christian self-government fails, it will appear that God’s principles do not work. The world will be swept with hopelessness.

America, I believe, will survive. Not indeed for our sakes, but for God’s sake, and for what it means to the world He loves! I can envision God sitting on the edge of His throne, anxiously watching to see if there are enough of us in prayer and action to justify His mercy over justice.

Scroll to Top