Posted by: cindybythesea | January 30, 2011

To Live Pono

Hawaii's state quarter with state motto - click to see all state quartersHawaii State Quarter

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Aina i ka Pono – the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness

Adopted as the state motto in 1959, these wise words  “the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness”  date back to King Kamehameha III in a speech given at Kawaiahao Church in Honolulu   following the return of the kingdom to the Hawaiians from the British in 1843.

“Pono”  is a great word.  It’s one of those words which just by saying it, everyone knows what you mean.  PONO  –  “that which is right, to act rightly or in righteousness, with honor, morality, justice, virtue, goodness.”   And by virtue of these things, things are kept in balance, thus, “the life of the land is perpetuated in righteoussness” –  in other words, without righteousness the life of the land cannot be sustained.

I bring this up today because of  recent decisions by the elected officials of this great and beautiful state.  As a transplant from Colorado over ten years ago, I have come to love the people and the state deeply and the issues that face the state have become near and dear to me. For myself and many others, the beauty of the islands, its history and the spirit of the people here is something special and unique; almost tangible.  Truly God has poured out his blessing on these islands. Centered at the crossroads of the Pacific, Hawaii by God’s design, has become strategically and spiritually important not only to the peoples of  this great state, but, to the peoples of the entire Pacific rim.

It’s thought that the first immigrants to the islands arrived by canoe from the Marquesas in the southern Pacific in approximately 400 AD.  With a religious system that centered on nature and idol worship, human sacrifice, fear and bondage, the islands of Hawaii would remain in spiritual darkness until the arrival of the first Christian missionaries from England on the ship Thaddeus on April 4, 1820.   It was by the arrival of fourteen men and women (seven couples) that God would begin to re-shape the people and culture of the island bringing an end to the Kapu system of worship by the love and message of Jesus Christ. 

 The faith and devotion of these early Christians is still visible today in the heritage they left and in the words on the stones that mark some of their graves  in the small cemetary behind Kawaiahao church and next to the Mission Houses Museum in Honolulu.  *For those of you who might find it of interest, you can read through a compilation of these markers, many of which contain scripture and interesting information regarding the people who are buried there at this website –

This past week, the Hawaii State Senate became the first in the nation to abolish prayer before the opening of its legislative sessions.  I guess in their collective wisdom, Hawaii is no longer in need of God’s blessing or guidance. A decision which is in my opinion is decidedly not pono.  And, who also (the State Senate)  moved recently to push  forward a bill to approve civil unions in the state of Hawaii overturning the will of the people, who when put to a vote, overwhelmingly voted in favor of traditional marriage and family.  Another act, which in my opinion was decidedly not pono.

According to wikipedia, the name Thaddeus means braveheart an appropriate name for the vessel which first brought the good news of Jesus Christ to the islands via fourteen brave men and women who sacrificed everything to bring hope and light to a people walking in darkness in the uttermost parts of the earth.  And, for all the supposed good intentions of the current elected officials of this great state, what they have done in reality is betrayed the trust and heritage of the people of the islands they represent by failing to keep the state motto; by failing to act in righteousness – to act pono.

There is a verse in Revelation which states that in the last days all the islands will be removed from their places (Revelation 6:14).  Might the decision of Hawaii’s leadership at this crucial juncture in history contribute to this mighty judgment from God?  I don’t know – but, what I do know is this – with a braveheart God is calling all of us, wherever we live, to live pono – to live and act in righteoussness, to be holy as He is holy and to be salt and light in a world that is becoming increasingly dark.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper who love thee”  Psalm 122:6      Waiting and watching with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!    Cindy


  1. Very nice post Cindy. Sad to watch the seemingly unrestrained multiplication of wickedness where God’s grace and peace once was.



    [ Thanks William, it truly is sad and is happening not just in Hawaii but, all over. After I finished my post this verse from Micah 6:8 came to mind – “He has shown you O man what is good. What does the Lord require of you but, to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”. Easily summarized in Hawaiian as living pono. The challenge for us as Christians is in walking in God’s righteousness without slipping in to self-righteousness – something we must daily be on our knees before God about in order to know the difference. Blessings, C ]

    • “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness… O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up… whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.”

      This is truly not a battle just between good men and bad men, or evil evil men. This is the playing out of spiritual wickedness in the hearts of those who have deceived and manipulated by powers of darkness into casting God’s words behind them and yet say we have no sin. Logic has no real place in this battle, nor is the power of the vote turn men back to godliness . . . only love for the truth and the Author thereof. God’s word is the sword of the Spirit and His people need to pray that God train them quickly to be master swordsmen and great-hearts capable of penetrating the enemies camp and rescuing “them that would be saved.”

      The time has come were those called to be holy watchmen must stand up and cry out that the long-suffering of God is nearing it end and the time of His visitation is at hand. Now more than ever we need to humble ourselves and let God make us witnesses by filling us with His presence. We need to shout from experience and true spiritual authority for men to repent; because we ourselves have surrendered all.

      Peace Sister Cindy, be blessed.

      P.S. Thanks for linking us 🙂

      [ You’re quite welcome! I’m more than happy to add you to my blogroll and was pleased to see that my friend Art at NewWineskins quoted from your blog today on his post. C ]

  2. Cindy,

    I believe the frustration factor is over the top with most true— trying to be pono—Christians around the country. They watch as our local, state and federal governments do the most un-godly things as if they can’t get to a Sodom and Gomorra culture fast enough. And as you mentioned they pass legislation which goes directly against the wishes of the vast majority of the populous. Every time I become burdened with the conduct of these elected officials I dwell on Ephesians 6:12 and then at least at some level I understand.
    Ephesians 6:12
    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

    It’s not only our elected officials that have taken over these high places but also the main stream media, the entertainment companies and worst of all our own churches. Churches that won’t speak the true gospel but only a watered down, feel good, don’t upset anyone, rock music infused, prosperity message—– that has to leave a smile on their faces or they won’t be back next week.
    2 Timothy 4:4
    And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    It’s becoming extremely difficult trying to find a church that holds true to God’s Holy biblical instructions. A church that doesn’t condone homosexuality, doesn’t preach a grace plus works message, or one that isn’t badly compromising God’s words in order to pay the bills and keep the seats full. I read last month that the organization (Council of Churches) that oversees most of the Christian churches in the Southeastern part of the country—in the bible belt– elected an openly homosexual person to head up that organization. This to me speaks volumes as to how far we have digressed from the narrow path that leads to salvation God spoke of.

    But do not despair a benevolent dictator is poised to arrive on scene. He will separate these tares from the wheat. There will not be any rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness controlling this earth any more—-just complete pono and peace.

    Grace and pono to you Cindy,
    John B

    [ Thank you John for a very good comment. There is a frustration especially when it seems the people are double minded. On one hand, we (the people of Hawaii) voted overwhelmingly in favor of the family and tradtional marriage, but, then voted in officials who would not uphold the will of the people. Doesn’t make sense! Often what we say we want and what we really want are two different things. The Bible has a lot to say about being doube-minded; something which should give us all pause for thought I’d say. Blessings! C ]

  3. […] is in that context that I was delighted to find, via a comment on Cindy-by-the-Sea’s blog, a new two-person blog called “Gates of the City” and a post by one of its proprietors, […]

  4. Cindy,
    I was born in Hawaii and have lived in this state for most of my life. Hawaii became the first state in the union to legalize abortion on demand in 1970–three years before Roe v. Wade. Colorado legalized abortion in 1967, but only in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother. Given our recent history, the liberal democratic legislature and newly elected liberal Governor, it is not surprising that we are headed in the direction of legalizing civil unions.
    I have observed the church speak out against civil unions to no avail, as it seems to fall on the deaf ears of the populace and the government. Letter writing, sign waving, rallies at the Capitol building have fallen short. My observation is that there has been no spiritual power in our witness. Without that power, our message goes unheeded. The Spirit convicts, brings repentance, and is sometimes accompanied by signs & wonders. Today, the church is largely impotent and sadly in most people’s eyes, irrelevant. Ironically, at one time during the 1800’s, Hawaii may have been the most Christian nation of the face of the earth especially when considering its small population. You may want to read more about Rev. Titus Coan and the revival that swept through the islands during that time. He is buried here in Hilo at the Haili Church which at that time was reputed to be the largest congregation in the United States. A biographical book of his life is available at the local library.

    [ Aloha Stuart! Thank you for taking the time to write. It’s truly a pleasure to receive a comment from someone here in the islands. I really appreciate your insight and your heart. I have never heard of Rev. Titus Coan but, will certainly look for the biography you mentioned or see what I can find out about him on line. He must have been a wonderful man of God – how we need a man like him today! Blessings from Oahu to the Big Island! C ]

  5. Hi Cindy. It seems like every time I read your articles, it reminds me of something else I read on another forum. May God continue to bless you.

  6. God bless you and your ministry here. I do however believe your history is skewed. The original kanaka maoli knew the true and living god. They called him I ‘o. They left their homelands for here following a star called the hokule’a. Sound familiar? They were led here by god like the pilgrims from england. Later, more men came and conquered and instituded the kapu system. NOT the will of the people like today. Just like the enemy to destroy all good. But many kept their true god in their hearts . They knew the whole story of salvation from the stars. So thats why there was huge evangelism when the missionaries arrived. The missionaries brought the good news. The manaka just connected the dots. So to say. Read perpetuated in righteousness. I think by gavin dawes. A MUST read for everyone who lives in this blessed land!

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