Hoosier Army Mom’s Weblog

Conservative Views

Long Time, No Posts.

Well, here I sit, wondering if I really want to post anything today.  It’s been a long time since I did this.  Life has been going by at a quick pace.  Thinking maybe it’s time to post again.

Hope your day is going well!

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October 24, 2013 Posted by | Commentaries | | 2 Comments

The Lion of Fallujah and Memorial Day

In honor of our troops  and all who serve or have served, I would like to thank Vice President Biden for the excellent speech he gave at Arlington today.  It was the most profound words I ever heard come from him, and much better than one could have asked for.  In his speech VP Biden mentioned a fallen warrior, Major Douglas Zembiec, who was also called “The Lion of Fallujah”.  I am posting this in his honor, but also in honor of all who serve.  This young man held the highest standards of the Corps and our Military and to all who have given their all on our behalf, I give my undying gratitude.


You can find the profile / bio about this great American Hero here. I think for all intents and purposes, I will stick to citing the words from his journal that were read by his best friend at his funeral service. They speak for him and his character and the character of America’s warriors best.  The following was taken from a memorial publication in pdf format that you can download from this link.

The Marine had compiled such axioms and exhortations in notebooks, excerpts of which were read aloud by a close friend, Eric L. Kapitulik, who also recounted this story:

While Zembiec was stationed at Camp Pendleton after the Fallujah campaign, his parents visited.  Zembiec and his father, Don, drove onto the base to shoot skeet and were stopped at the gate by a young Marine. Are you Captain Zembiec’s father? the Marine asked. Yes, his father said. “I was with your son in Fallujah,” the Marine said. “He was my company commander. If we had to go back in there, I would follow him with a spoon.”

Kapitulik read heavily from Zembiec’s notebooks.   One of the quotes was particularly long, amounting to what Kapitulik said was a summary of Zembiec himself.

“Be a man of principle.  Fight for what you believe in.  Keep your word.  Live with integrity.  Be brave.  Believe in something bigger than yourself.  Serve your country.

“Teach.  Mentor.  Give something back to society.  Lead from the front.  Conquer your fears.  Be a good friend.  Be humble and be self-confident.

“Appreciate your friends and family.  Be a leader and not a follower.  Be valorous on the field of battle.  And take responsibility for your actions.”

Kapitulik said the creed came from the man who knew Zembiec the longest, as indicated by the major’s written description: “Principles my father taught me.”

We were truly blest to have such men in our armed forces.  Thank you and God Bless you Major Zembiec.


May 31, 2010 Posted by | Commentaries, Our Military | , , , , , | 5 Comments

To all my Veteran friends…

It is always and honor to give thanks to all who serve and have served our Country.  Happy Veteran’s Day!!!!

vetsday

And especially for Veterans and active duty military:

Applebee’s Free Food on Veterans Day

In recognition of your service to our country, all veterans and active duty military personnel are invited to eat free at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar Restaurants this Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov.11, 2009. As you may recall, Applebee’s launched a pilot program last year on Veterans Day offering free entrees to military service personnel and veterans. Because the response was so overwhelmingly positive, Applebee’s is extending the invitation throughout the country this year. We would appreciate your help in spreading the word.  Please help us share details across your various communication channels. All U.S. veterans and active duty military with proof of current or former military service will eat free at all Applebee’s nationwide on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009.

Valid Veteran and Active Duty Identification to Obtain Free Entree:
· U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card
· U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card
· Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)
· Veterans Organization Card (i.e., American Legion and VFW)
· Photograph in uniform
· Wearing uniform

November 11, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, Our Military | , , | 7 Comments

From the High Calling.org – Sunday Devotional

Daily Reflection and Prayer
by Mark D. Roberts
Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence

God’s Perspective on Human Goodness

READ Psalm 53:1-6

God looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.
But no, all have turned away;
all have become corrupt.
No one does good,
not a single one!

[Psalm 53:2-3]
If you have a sense of déjà vu when reading Psalm 53,  it’s because this psalm is virtually identical to Psalm 14.  Those who collected the psalms must have believed that the message contained in these ancient poems was so important that it was worth repeating, almost verbatim.

Psalm 53 begins by criticizing fools who deny God’s relevance to their lives and therefore commit all measure of evil. From our perspective, it would be easy to begin to think of people we know who fit this mold, people other than ourselves, of course.  But then we get to verses 2 and 3.  Here, God looks down upon all people and sees all of us to be lacking in goodness.  The divine conclusion: “No one does good, not a single one” (53:3).  With hyperbolic rhetoric and poetic intensity, the psalmist underscores the truth that all of us, to one extent or another, share in the folly of those who reject God and do what’s wrong.  Thus we mustn’t let the fact that some “fools” are more foolish than we are become an excuse for us to ignore our own failure to live according to God’s wisdom.

In Romans 3,  the Apostle Paul quotes this passage from Psalm 53 (or 14, see Rom. 3:10-12).  He concludes that all people have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (3:23).  This bad news of human folly sets up the good news of the Gospel:  “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins” (3:24).   Thus we must not boast of our right-standing with God, since it’s nothing that we have earned.  Rather, we humbly and gratefully receive God’s grace and seek to share it with those who are still caught in their folly.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
Do you ever look upon others in their folly as a way of building yourself up? How might Psalm 53 alter your perspective and practice?

PRAYER: O Lord, you know how easy it is for me to look upon the folly and evil of others in order to build myself up. I can think, “At least I’m better than them!” But this psalm reminds me of my own folly, even in thinking that somehow I am categorically better than others. Today I’m reminded of the fact that all have sinned, including me. Left to my own devices, there is no way I can cleanse myself of sin or be righteous in your sight.

Yet you have done what I cannot do. Through Christ, you have declared that I am righteous. You have drawn me into a right relationship with you, so that I might live in a new way, set free from folly. Help me, dear Lord, to live each day for you and by your power. Though I will continue to sin, may sin’s hold on my life diminish. May I flourish in goodness because of my relationship with you.

All praise be to you, gracious God, because, having seen the evil of humankind, you reach out in love to save us . . . including me! Amen.

Visit them online at http://www.TheHighCalling.org

I found in reading Mustang’s wonderful story about the natural bravery and selflessness of children, drove this devotional home for me.  You can read the short Sunday Reflection here on Social Sense – Giving When It Counts.

July 12, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | , , | 3 Comments

From Major Dick Winters’ WWII Memoirs

I personally think that this should be “required reading” along with the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and  Bill of Rights, for our House of Representatives and Senate.  In my opinion, they have continually demonstrated that most of them do not possess a modicum of spinal fortitude or leadership skills.

capt_richard_winters_506e

Leadership at the Point of the Bayonet

Ten Principals for Success

1. Strive to be a leader of character, competence, and courage.

2. Lead from the front.  Say, “Follow me!” and then lead the way.

3. Stay in top physical shape—physical stamina is the root of mental toughness.

4. Develop your team.  If you know your people, are fair in setting realistic goals and expectations, and lead by example, you will develop teamwork.

5. Delegate responsibility to your subordinates and let them do their jobs.  You can’t do a good job if you don’t have a chance to use your imagination and your creativity.

6. Anticipate problems and prepare to overcome obstacles.  Don’t wait until you get to the top of the ridge and then make up your mind.

7. Remain humble.  Don’t worry about who recieves the credit.  Never let power or authority go to your head.

8. Take a moment of self-reflection.  Look at yourself in the mirror every night and ask yourself if you did your best.

9. True satisfaction comes from getting the job done.  The key to a successful leader is to earn respect—not because of rank or position, but because you are a leader of character.

10. Hang Tough!—Never, ever, give up.


Major Dick Winters
Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
“Band of Brothers”

From:  “Beyond Band of Brothers, The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters”

July 3, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, Our Military | , , , , | 2 Comments

U.S. Marines launch major offensive in Afghanistan

This post is in support of our troops going in harm’s way in Afghanistan right now.  They are my heroes, and are on the top of my prayer list as they go forward to try to make a difference.

U.S. Marines launch major offensive in Afghanistan

From the article:

Officials described the offensive — dubbed Khanjar or “Strike of the Sword” — as the largest and fastest-moving of the war’s new phase and the biggest Marine offensive since the one in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. It involves nearly 4,000 newly arrived Marines plus 650 Afghan forces. British forces last week led similar, but smaller, missions to clear out insurgents in Helmand and neighboring Kandahar province.

“Where we go we will stay, and where we stay, we will hold, build and work toward transition of all security responsibilities to Afghan forces,” Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson said in a statement.

You can read the entire news article by clicking on the title link above.

US-marines-in-Main-Poshte-001

U.S. Marines launch key operation in Afghanistan

By Peter Graff — Reuter’s UK reporter

SORKHDOZ, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Thousands of U.S. Marines stormed deep into Taliban territory in an Afghan valley on Thursday, marking the start of a major new effort by the Obama administration to regain the initiative in the war.

The Marines met little resistance on day one of Operation Khanjar, or Strike of the Sword, to seize almost all the lower Helmand River valley, heartland of the Taliban insurgency and the world’s biggest opium poppy producing region.

One U.S. Marine was killed and several others were wounded during the day, the Marines said in a statement, adding that they had not received any confirmed reports of civilian casualties or damage to property.

Article continues…

Other news from Afghanistan:

Taliban nabs US soldier in Afghanistan

However the offensive was overshadowed by news of what the military said is the first capture of an American soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan in two to three years.

“A US soldier who has been missing since June 30 from his assigned unit is believed to have been captured by militant forces,” said US military spokeswoman Captain Elizabeth Mathias. “We are using all of our available resources to find him and provide for his safe return.”

A commander of the Taliban’s Haqqani faction, named Bahram, said his militia had captured the soldier in Paktika province, along with three Afghan guards.

He said the soldier had been taken to “a safe place” and demands would likely be made for his release.

“Our leaders have not decided on the fate of this soldier. They will decide on his fate and soon we will present video tapes of the coalition soldier and our demand to media,” he said.

The US military has described the al-Qa’ida-linked Haqqani network as one of the “most lethal Taliban organisations”.

The missing soldier was captured outside his base and was not part of the new US-led operation, in which about 4000 US marines and 650 Afghan troops mobilised yesterday with orders to clear the southern region of militants and restore government services.

The entire news article can be accessed by clicking on the title link above.

All who love America and our troops, please remember these brave men and women who are fighting, pray for the families of the fallen and wounded, and pray that the soldier being held captive, is safely released.  We cannot love and support our military enough right now.

July 3, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, In the News, Our Military | , , , | 6 Comments

Sunday Reflection 6-21-09

serving_fathers

Having received the latest newsletter from Cat Moy, Executive Director of Move America Forward, that has become first and foremost, on my mind for this Sunday.  It goes like this:

We can’t Forget American Father’s in Iraq and Afghanistan

While we are enjoying our families during this Father’s Day, sharing time with our children, we have close to 100,000 father’s who are in Iraq and Afghanistan without the joy and pleasure of being home.  They are lonely as they heroically do their duty of protecting America by defeating the terrorist threat in the Middle East.

Move America Forward is trying to send care packages of goodies that our military men and women want.  We are sending their favorite Oreo cookies, jelly beans, Gatorade, premium beef jerky and coffee.  In addition, small comfort items that are sometimes hard to come by, like lip balm, baby wipes, deodorant and bug repellent.

Won’t you honor a father away in Iraq or Afghanistan by sponsoring a care package today?  Click on the Move America Forward icon to go arrange to send a package to a troop.  It is so easy to do.

maf_email_icon
I was going to post some scripture here, but I think this reflects so much of what “serving is about”. After all, the American serviceman and woman risks life and limb to insure our freedom and Christ died to insure our salvation. We owe them both much.

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, Our Military | , | 6 Comments

The Significance of D-Day, 65 Years Ago Today.

For those of us who grew up with parents who were living during WWII, America’s role in joining the fight to free the oppressed people of Europe was never “played down”.  We heard stories from our parents, relatives and even the numerous people who immigrated here from Europe after the war.  There was never any question about what our participation was about.  It was about insuring the freedom of our allies from a tyrant who waged war against neighboring nations and murdered those who did not “fit into the mold of the master race”.  We were part of securing the greater good of humanity against one of the most heinous tyrants of our time, Adolf Hitler.

No one summed up D-Day and it’s significance better than President Ronald Reagan in his 40th anniversary speech at Normandy.

Yesterday, the man elected President of my country stood before the people of Cairo Egypt and told a story of America that quite frankly was an outright lie!  What this clearly demonstrates is because the American public is so easily brainwashed by campaign tactics via their television sets and don’t research or demand facts during the primary elections, our nation elected a man who is inexperienced and clearly ignorant of what America is.  He is a failed community planner (just ask the people of Chicago who were living in the “project housing” that he and his cronies built!) who does not care about the American people, the Constitution or our history.  No Mr. Obama, there were NO Islamic people on the Mayflower!

During WWII there were of course people that felt we had no stake in what was going on in Europe.  But as time progressed it became impossible for the isolationist to prevent reality from setting in “that there are and always will be those people in power that will try to impose their will over others and do great harm to innocents in the process.”  Enter the “Greatest Generation”, the recognition that what happens to other good people in the world does and always will affect us and this country.  You can’t drink the Koolaid, sing Kumbayah and hope for the best.  Fortunately for the world in 1941 we were not overwhelmed by the wishful thinking apologists who would try to make peace at any cost to freedom, like we have now.  Of course England had such a man in Chamberlain.  He tried the Obama approach to peacemaking with tyrants and ended up vilified because it almost destroyed England.   By the time D-Day came, as Mustang showed on his memorial post quote, then General Eisenhower summed it up very nicely.

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world….

Read the rest of the quote on Social Sense.  It is the truest celebration of what our parents and grandparents did for the people of Europe, our legacy and freedom worldwide.  No one can ever say the words of gratitude to those who gave their lives on a battlefield, many of which had young and promising futures at stake, but they CAN refuse to forget the precious gift given by these souls to preserve our freedom and defend the Constitution and all it means to the numerous people who live here.  I say Thank You to all who served and give my undying gratitude to all the heroes who gave their all for my freedom.

And on another note, please view this You Tube presentation from the Mark Levin radio show.  A young military wife called in to give her thoughts and feelings on President Obama’s speech in Cairo, Egypt.  It will make you think twice about the man in the White House.

Always remember those who have served and sacrificed and support those who are on the home front supporting them in their mission.

Invasion of NormandyNormandy Landings

This picture communicates much more than any number of words; for the dead lie peacefully, and the living continues to remember the horror of war, and the pain of brothers lost.

Normandy Cemetery

(Photo: der Spiegel via Mr. Z)

June 6, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, Leftism, Our Military, Politics | , , , | 13 Comments

Saturday Open Thread – Linda Ronstadt

Since I was much younger, I have always liked Linda Ronstadt. I chose a few youtube’s of performances I am particularly fond of . Hope you enjoy.

Long, Long Time

Desparado

Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris (I love Emmylou Harris… so this performance in mho is wonderful.)

I Can’t if I’m Still in Love With You


May 31, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries | , , , | Leave a comment

Arlington Cemetery – the story behind the story.

This is my Memorial Day post.  It has to do with the “original pain” that is behind Arlington National Cemetery.  It starts with  the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, Mary Anne Randolph Custis Lee, her father being Washington Custis, the adopted son of George Washington.  The estate of Arlington was left to Mary Custis Lee’s father and passed on to her and her husband, Robert E. Lee.   It was her beloved ancestral home.  The outbreak of the American Civil War created the necessity for her to leave Arlington House, as her husband had chose, as men on both sides had to choose, to fight for Virginia.  Prior to the civil war, people were prone to swear alligence and loyalty to their home states, so this was not an isolated event.  This is how Arlington House probably looked (without grave stones and tour buses of course) when Mrs. Lee was forced to leave and locate herself and her children in Richmond, VA.

arlington-house-picture

Enter Quartermaster/Brigadier General Montgomery Meigs.  You can read about this honorable soldier’s stellar career here. Now the Army Quartermaster history page states in it’s bio how the cemetery came into being as:

General Meigs recommended that property in Arlington, Virginia owned by Mary Custis Lee, the wife of Robert E. Lee, be used as a military burial ground. Based on this recommendation, Arlington National Cemetery was created in 1864.  In October of that same year, his son, First Lieutenant John Rodgers Meigs was killed at Swift Run Gap in Virginia. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery.

Now the story, behind the story is the fact the General Meigs so deeplly resented Robert E. Lee’s decision to resign his commission as an officer in the U.S. Army to join the Confederate cause, upon Mrs. Lee’s departure, the embers in the fireplace of Arlington House were still hot when he moved to make the house a headquarters for Union officers. General Meigs blamed Lee’s refusal to stick with service to the Union for prolonging the war, so when his beloved son was killed at Swift Run Gap, he ordered that his body be laid to rest in “Mrs. Lee’s Rose Garden”. It is the very human part of interaction during challenging times. Meig’s personal pain is forever enshrined at Arlington.

At the close of the American Civil War, Mrs. Lee not only lost her beloved ancestral home and left to bear the injustice of it (it was one of many unconstitutional actions taken by Lincoln and the Union).   Also, her health had deteriorated and her beloved husband returned a broken man in spirit and in health as well.  The war had taken a toll and the sacrifice had shortened lives and destroyed fortunes.   Robert E. Lee eventually was offered the presidency of the struggling Washington College (now Washington and Lee University)  in Lexington, VA. During his few years before his death, he brought it back to a viable institution of higher learning, and his son took up the mantle after his death in 1871.   Mrs. Lee passed away two years later, still holding bitterness over the loss of her home and birthright.  Her losses and grief being felt for the last few years of her life.

Knowing this story behind the honored resting place of so many of our fallen warriors, is to understand the grief and pain that those who lose their loved ones in any war,  must endure.  From it’s beginning, Arlington has been about pride in our nation and those who serve, but also about personal loss, suffering and grief.  One of the most moving photos I’ve seen from Arlington is the photo of Mary McHugh who lost her fiance, Sgt. James J. Regan in Iraq.  Mary has joined league with the honored loved ones who, as Lincoln so eloquently described, “laid down such a precious sacrifice on the alter of freedom”.   In my mind Arlington Cemetery has become the symbol of the honored sacrifices made by Americans for hundreds of years, and so we must honor them and never forget what it means.  God bless America and all our warriors who swear the oath to defend it at all costs.

griefatArlington

May 25, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, Our Military | , , | 8 Comments

A salute to a Soldier and Pink Boxers

What does a soldier do when he is in sleeping quarters and his base comes under attack?  Well it turns into a “come as you are” fight featureing “pink boxers, body armour and flip flops”.  A huge Memorial Day Salute to Army Specialist Zachary Boyd, 19, of Fort Worth, Texas!APTOPIX US AFGHANISTAN

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday praised an Army soldier in eastern Afghanistan who drew media attention this month after rushing to defend his post from attack while wearing pink boxer shorts and flip-flops.

In fact, Gates said he wants to meet the soldier and shake his hand the next time he visits Afghanistan.

“Any soldier who goes into battle against the Taliban in pink boxers and flip-flops has a special kind of courage,” Gates said in remarks prepared for a speech in New York.

“I can only wonder about the impact on the Taliban. Just imagine seeing that: a guy in pink boxers and flip-flops has you in his cross-hairs. What an incredible innovation in psychological warfare,” he said.

Read the rest of the story here.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Amusing Funnies, Commentaries, In the News, Our Military | , , , | 6 Comments

Memorial Day 2009

Honoring the memory of every single man and woman who made the supreme sacrifice for our freedom and defending the Constitution of the United States of America.  God bless them all in glory and may we never forget them or take for granted what they have all done for us... HoosierArmyMom

Image of Iwo

Memorial Day

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, In the News, Our Military | , | 10 Comments

Rachel Alexandra wins Preakness Stakes

It’s been 85 years since “a filly” won the Preakness Stakes, and in it’s history, now, only 5 fillys have won the second leg of the Triple Crown.  Rachel Alexandra became the 5th today.  What a beautiful girl she is!  Congratulations to this filly and her proud owner and jockey!
RachelAlexandra

BALTIMORE — Rachel Alexandra became the first filly to win the Preakness since 1924, holding off a late charge by Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird to capture the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.

The only filly in the race, Rachel Alexandra went off as the 9-5 favourite. She moved to the front from the No. 13 post and took a big lead before Mine That Bird tested the filly in the stretch.

Musket Man finished third.

Rachel Alexandra, with jockey Calvin Borel on board, won in 1:55.08.

She paid $5.60, $4.60 and $3.60.

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/story.html?id=1604312

May 16, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, In the News | , , | 2 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day!

To all my readers of all stripes, may you have a wonderful Mother’s Day and thank you for all you do and everything you have done.

Mother's Day

May 10, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries | , | 4 Comments

An Affectionate Good-Bye for Lu

Last night I was notified by my dear PGR brother, that his beloved wife of 45 years has passed away in Arkansas.  She was 84.  This is my tribute to her memory.

Lucille (Lucy) Katherine Harris Olds
(January 23, 1928 – April 21, 2009)

angel

Through my affiliation with the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR),  I have got to know some incredible people.  For those who are not familiar with the organization, it was started by a group that belonged to the American Legion Riders (a club for Veterans who like to ride!); in response to an evil group of people who masquarade as a “church” in Topeka, KS.  They were protesting fallen American heroes at their funerals.  They did so with offensive signs such as “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”, etc, and shouting insults at the families and mourners.  In response, the veterans would show up on motorcycles, form a line between the “protesters” with American flags and bikes and when they started shrilling their insanity, they would “reve up their bikes”, sing patriotic songs or play patriotic music to drown the offending parties out.  There is nothing more sacred than a family’s abilitity to say “good-bye” to a loved one who has sacrificed a young and promising life, in service to their country in time of war.  I was drawn to the organization due to my desire to help sheild these families and show respect for their precious sacrifice.

Bob and Lu Olds are part of the wonderful circle of friends I have made in the PGR.  Here is a man and woman who have dedicated a lifetime of service to our country. Bob served in the military and then as career law enforcement officer in California, and Lu as a Civil Air Patrol member, and as the support system for her husband and children over his career of service.  I don’t think you will find a military, active duty or vet or law enforcement professional who won’t agree, they are only as good as the life-partner who supports them on the homefront.  This couple had 45 years together in support of each other, retired and then proceeded to show us that retirement doesn’t mean you stop living and giving.

Last night I found out that Bob’s precious wife Lu had passed on to our Savior.  I remembered what my father went through when my mother passed on.  My feelings at losing my mother were self-pity and celebration, a mixed bag, but Dad’s feelings were even deeper.  As a Christian, I knew she was with our Lord and no longer was suffering with cancer, but I was not ready to lose my mother, as Dad was not ready to lose his beloved wife.  I learned the meaning of love from my father during those days proceeding and after her death.  So to my dear friend, Bob, I give heartfilled condolences at his time of loss, but also gratitude for the wonderful example their life has been for so many good people like myself.  His precious Lu has now gone on to Glory and will be waiting for him when his time comes, and what a glorious reunion it will be.  As his friend, PGR sister, fellow Christian and American, I pledge love and support always for this good man and the woman who served us all for a lifetime.  I give them both a debt of gratitude for their service and friendship.  Thank you both and God Bless.

God Will Always Love Us

It’s amazing and incredible,
But it’s as true as it can be
God loves and understands us all
And that means you and me.

His grace is all-sufficient
For both the young and old,
For the lonely and the timid,
For the brash and for the bold.

His love knows no exceptions,
So never feel excluded,
No matter who or what you are
Your name has been included.
And no matter what your past has been,
Trust God to understand,

And no matter what your problem is
Just place it in His Hand.
For in all of our unloveliness
This great God loves us still,
He loved us since the world began
And what’s more, He always will!

Written By:
© Helen Steiner Rice

April 24, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries | , , | 7 Comments

My Easter Post

I have been wondering what I would like to post in honor of the Easter Sunday holiday.  Breaking news has given me my inspiration.

To my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ I wish to give my deepest thanks for all he gave to give my life the richness of hope, salvation and his perfect love.  And  I would like to give Him thanks for delivering Captain Richard Phillips from the pirates who were holding him hostage.  Much love and joy to his family and loved ones on this glorious day!  What a wonderful Easter we have been witness to.  Thanks to this brave man for all he’s done to save his ship, crew and stand for what is right.   He has honored our country and the spirit of America.  Special thanks to the US Navy for their perserverance and action in saving this brave man.

US Piracy

Much to be grateful for on this Easter Sunday!   Captain Phillips is Free and Safe!!!

April 12, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, In the News, Our Military | , , , | 3 Comments

Important Tax information to be aware of.

An accountant (posted under the name Heidi) on a forum I was reading, posted this information about the stimulus money that we are now seeing on our paychecks.  On your 2009 return, if you either individually or as a couple make more than $30,000 a year, you really need to be aware of this, and may want to adjust your withholding (W-4) accordingly.  Contractors who work 1099 may also benefit from this knowledge and adjust (depending on the rate change magic the IRS has done).  Not being an accountant myself or being familiar with the tax laws per se, I’m not sure.  Please comment if you understand the 1099 effect, if there is one at all. Knowing the IRS code and rate changes that will effect income taxes for 2009 and tips on avoiding penalties and fees that could result, is in my opinion, very important.  I am grateful to this accountant for this information. I am posting this as a service to my readers.

Comment follows:

sigh… so, for those of you who still have jobs… I don’t know how many people noticed, but in mid-December, the IRS issued a new withholding tax table dropping the withholding tax by approximately $2/exemption claimed on your W-4 form (you saw an additional roughly $13/paycheck in your pocket)… on January 1st they raised the income tax by 2% across the board (for 2008 tax filing) and then gave an additional $1000 of exemption (gee thanks!)… if you made $30,000 or less you saw more money back on your return, otherwise this probably hurt you.  Now they have finished the adjustment for 2009 Stimulus Package  (“Making Work Pay Credit”)  and ALL companies must have it online in your check by 4/15/09.  This credit is $400/person ($800/married joint) and is payable on your 2009 1040 form even if you have no tax due. However, they are giving it out as a reduction in withholding tax. The credit is approximately $2/exemption claimed (again) payable each week for the remaining 40+ weeks of the year. Your paycheck will show (depending on what your W-4 says now) an additional $5-$20 more in your pocket because that same money is no longer going to your withholding tax.  THE PROBLEMS  (yes, there is more than 1):1) If you are claiming married 4 dependents it will be approximately $20/paycheck credit. It will not stop coming to you once it reaches the $800 limit. I repeat – it will NOT stop coming to you once it reaches the $800 limit. And the taxtable WILL NOT take into account whether or not your spouse’s check IS ALSO GETTING THE CREDIT. This credit is designed to FORCE YOU to double dip the credit and have to pay it back next year in April. With penalties and interest. The penalty is 25%. Interest rate for IRS is set at 5%… your double dipped $800 just turned into $1200 that you have to pay back… ouch.2) I received an email from a friend in IRS office in DC… they are raising the tax tables for next year by 4% across the board and raising the bar another $1500 dollars. Again, if you make less than $30,000 this will not affect you – you will probably get more back. If however, you are making more, or COMBINED you are making more, you will be screwed.3) If you have more than 1 job, the credit will be given ON ALL YOUR JOBS. So, if you have a full time job, it will be given there. If you have a part time job, IT WILL BE GIVEN THERE. Both at FULL CREDIT. Again, can you say ‘penalties and interest’?

I know we are ALL hurting for money right now. However, I strongly urge everyone to go in and file a new W-4 form requesting that the additional tax be withheld to negate this new ‘credit’. If the planned raise in rate does not occur, you will get an additional $400/$800 come April next year. But if it does, at least you won’t owe penalties and interest on money you don’t have in the first place… increasing your debt will NOT save you.

I’m sorry if no-one wants to hear this, but as an accountant, I feel a need to pass along the warning… I see the federal government creating a trap to pay for the stimulus and I don’t want to see the unwary walk into that trap blindfolded under the guise of ‘we’re helping you’… friendly fire IS NOT friendly.

An interesting post can be found at GM’s Place!

Hat Tip to Heidi for publicly sharing this information.

April 5, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, Government, Politics | , , | 9 Comments

Everything the average person doesn’t know about The Federal Reserve.

The origins of the Federal Reserve goes back to England and the Monarchy, this is a fastenating article so I am posting it in it’s entirety.  HoosierArmyMom

The Federal Reserve – Its Origins, History & Current Strategy

— Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2004  on GoldSeek by Wayne N. Krautkramer —

Few perceive the truth about the Federal Reserve.  Rare are those who know its origins.  It is right in front of us, but our relative ignorance of economics and history is their protection.  A quick history lesson is in order.

On October 14, 1066, AD.,  King William I  (the Conqueror)  founded the English monarchy.  The Corporation was created by William in 1067 AD. to facilitate trade, and assure the continuation of the wealth of the monarchy.  The City of London’s legal name is The Corporation of the City of London.  The City of London has unique political and economic privileges that do not apply to Greater London, or anywhere else in the British realm. The “City” even has its own police force that is sovereign.

The Bank of England was granted a royal charter on July 27, 1694, by William III to regularize the monarchy’s finances.  This scheme was invented by a Scot promoter named William Paterson.   The scheme was to create a bank with a “fund for perpetual interest”.  Fractional reserve banking was created, along with the radical monetary concept of a “monopoly” bank which would create money for loans that would never be repaid. A perpetual money machine for the monarchy was born.  The permanent National Debt was born.   The Bank of England would finance the emerging empire from its headquarters in the City of London.   Never again would the lack of money, or liquidity, hamper the British empire under normal economic conditions.   Conveniently, the monarchy also controls the City of London.  This assures that the heart of the economic machine will always be protected.

The United States fought a hard and expensive war against England in 1776 to achieve sovereignty.  That included the right to have her own currency, control her own tax policies, and the avoidance of involvement in the affairs of other nations.

HistoryCentral.com > > War of 1812> United States Declares War on Great Britain: The United States declared War on Great Britain on June 12, 1812.   The war was declared as a result of long simmering disputes with Great Britian.  The central dispute surrounded the impressment of American soldiers by the British.  The British had previously attacked the USS Chesapeake and nearly caused a war two year earlier.   In addition, disputes continued with Great Britain over the Northwest Territories and the border with Canada.  Finally, the attempts of Great Britain to impose a blockade on France during the Napoleonic Wars was a constant source of conflict with the United States.

The US did everything in their power to remove British influence and control from this continent.  Again and again we defeated all attempts to allow our money to be controlled by a National (Central) bank.   When Central banks were established, we abolished them.  Times changed, and Thomas Woodrow Wilson was elected.  The intellectual who wanted the League of Nations (the progenitor of the United Nations) was elected. Under his leadership, we received the Federal Reserve, and the Sixteenth Amendment (Income Tax) shackling us into slavery to the British Crown forever.   In 1917, Wilson made the world safe for democracy by plunging the US into World War I.

On December 23, 1913, the Federal Reserve Act, also known as the Glass-Owen Bill, was passed.   The Republican controlled Senate rammed the bill through when many members of the US Congress were home for the holiday. The President,  Dr. Thomas Woodrow Wilson,  signed it into law one hour after being passed by the Congress! Somebody very powerful really wanted this law passed.   The Federal Reserve System is an independent central bank.   Although the President of the United States appoints the chairman of the Fed,  and this appointment is approved by the United States Senate, the decisions of the Fed do not have to be ratified by the President, or anyone else in the executive branch of the United States governmentBuried in the legislation was the granting of total power over the monetary policies of all US banks.   A very curious statement is found in the original 1913 law. SEC. 30.   The right to amend, alter, or repeal this Act is hereby expressly reserved Reserved expressly to whom, or what? No definition is provided.   This is the entire Section 30 statement! ”   Curiouser and curiouser, cried Alice”.

Stock not held by member banks shall not be entitled to voting power.   This clause guarantees that no outsider can justify buying shares in the Federal Reserve.  “But wait!   There’s more!”

Sec. 341 Second. To have succession for a period of twenty years from its organization unless it is sooner dissolved by an Act of Congress,  or unless its franchise becomes forfeited by some violation of law.   The Federal Reserve was only given a corporate life of 20 years!   Their time was up in 1933!   Who was President at that time? Franklin. D. Roosevelt, of course.   Somehow, the Federal Reserve’s termination did not occur.   Reader, do I have your attention yet?   My research failed to find any reauthorization of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913,  other than the tacit approval given by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

No Senator or Representative in Congress shall be a member of the Federal Reserve Board or an officer or a director of a Federal reserve bank.   No member of Congress is have access to the inner sanctum!   Hello, what is this?   Are they afraid that an American might come upon something untoward? 12 USC 3019:   Federal reserve banks, including the capital stock and surplus therein, and the Income derived there from shall be exempt from Federal, State, and local taxation, except taxes upon real estate.   People, I think we are a roll now.

SEC. 25. Any national banking association possessing a capital and surplus of 1,000,000 dollars or more may file application with the Federal Reserve Board, upon such conditions and under such regulations as may be prescribed by the said board, for the purpose of securing authority to establish branches in foreign countries or dependencies of theUnited States for the furtherance of the foreign commerce of the United States, and to act,  if required to do so,  as fiscal agents of the United States. Such application shall specify, in addition to the name and capital of the banking association filing it, the place or places where the banking operations proposed are to be carried on,  and the amount of capital set aside for the conduct of its foreign business.  The Federal Reserve Board shall have power to approve or to reject such application if, in its judgment, the amount of capital proposed to be set aside for the conduct of foreign business is inadequate, or  if  for other reasons the granting of such application is deemed inexpedient.   Wow, the US government has no formal control over the foreign operations of the Federal reserve banks! The Federal reserve banks are exempt from all taxation.   These people are very independent. Independent of audits,  independent of congressional supervision,  and independent of the American voter.

The Federal Reserve claims that nobody owns it – that it is an “independent entity within the  government.”   The Federal Reserve is subject to laws such as the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act which cover Federal agencies but not private corporations;   yet Congress gave the Federal Reserve the autonomy to carry out its responsibilities insulated from political pressure.   Each of the Fed’s three parts – the Board of Governors, the regional Reserve banks, and the Federal Open Market Committee – operates independently of the federal government to carry out the Fed’s core responsibilities.   Once a member of the Board of Governors is appointed, he or she can be as independent as a U.S. Supreme Court judge, though the term is shorter.   As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the U.S. Congress.   It is considered an independent central bank because its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government,  it does not receive funding appropriated by the Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms. The Fed’s financial independence arises because it is hugely profitable due to its ownership of government bonds. (It gives the government billions of dollars each year.)   However,  the Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by the Congress, which periodically reviews its activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute.  Also, the Federal Reserve must work within the framework of the overall objectives of economic and financial policy established by the government.  Note:  No mention of the Constitution here.

The only statements of ownership made by the Federal Reserve Board is an allusion to the twelve Federal district banks. This circle puts us back at the beginning, for no information is provided regarding the ownership of the twelve Federal district banks.   However, a 1976 government study commissioned by the Federal Reserve Directors revealed the following:

OWNERSHIP OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE:   Most Americans, if they know anything at all about the Federal Reserve, believe it is an agency of the United States Government.   This article charts the true nature of the “National Bank.”   Chart 1 Source:  ** Federal Reserve Directors: A Study of Corporate and Banking Influence ** – – Published 1976    Chart 1 reveals the linear connection between the Rothschilds and the Bank of England, and the London banking houses which ultimately control the Federal Reserve Banks through their stockholdings of bank stock and their subsidiary firms in New York.   The two principal Rothschild representatives in New York, J. P. Morgan Co., and Kuhn, Loeb & Co. were the firms which set up the Jekyll Island Conference at which the Federal Reserve Act was drafted,  who directed the subsequent successful campaign to have the plan enacted into law by Congress, and who purchased the controlling amounts of stock in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1914.   These firms had their principal officers appointed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Advisory Council in 1914.   In 1914 a few families  (blood or business related)  owning controlling stock in existing banks (such as in New York City) caused those banks to purchase controlling shares in the Federal Reserve regional banks.   Examination of the charts and text in the House Banking Committee Staff  Report of August, 1976 and the current stockholders list of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks show this same family control.

George Bush presided over a minor change in the Federal Reserve Act.   The Sarbanes-OxleyAct was passed in 2002.   The American Congress failed again to deal with the Federal Reserve.   Bush managed to keep all discussion and changes confined to some reporting requirements for financial institutions.   Bush knows very well who he serves, and he really serves his master well.   It’s amazing how few grasped the significance of Alan Greenspan being knighted by the Queen of England! Greenspan was knighted on September 26, 2002.   An obvious reward for preventing any real discussion, or change, of the Federal Reserve during the Sarbanes-Oxley Act debates.   Had an American President been knighted, serious questions would have arisen.   It was so much easier to reward her manager, Alan!   Do you still believe that Alan Greenspan has the power of Dearth Vader?   He is only a little man, faithfully serving his queen.

The British Crown, or the British monarchy is the owner of the Federal Reserve.  This is their real secret.   The strategy of the Federal Reserve is their other secret.   Again, it is right of front of us, but no one sees the obvious.   The strategy of the Federal Reserve is to accumulate all the wealth through the very slow, but effective, technique of currency debasement.   The monarchs of old used to shave or clip the coins as they passed through their treasuries.   Now the process is more sanitary (no more clipping and scraping all those dirty coins).   John Maynard Keynes clearly stated that at there is no more effective method of destroying a society than through currency debasement.

The primary reason for its success is the inability of most people to understand that more is not necessarily better.   A recent conversation highlighted Kenyes’s observation.   There is some agitation to raise the minimum wage in my state.   I listened to a proponent of a higher minimum wage.   I attempted to point out that an increase in a large number of people’s income would only result in prices going up, along with the obvious tax increases.   “What was I talking about?” was the response.   I explained that some percentage of people might wind up dealing with tax bracket creep (increases),  and all will have with the obligatory tax increases that follow from any price increase.   If nothing else, the sales tax must go up because the prices have gone up.   I was immediately informed that I was the most negative person they had ever talked to. [If you haven’t read Stogie’s piece I  posted, please do.  It will help you understand this.]

The Federal Reserve will always debase the currency to take its cut, and guarantee that the government has a tax base available to feed its bureaucratic family. The government is a total slave of the Federal Reserve.   For example,  analyze the latest real estate boom.   There will be a major boost in property taxes based on the new valuations.   Many people will be surprised when they receive their new tax bill.   This will guarantee more money for the government coffers.   They know that people will do almost anything to keep their homes.   What’s another job or two per family?   Besides, the extra job will provide more tax revenue for the government.   This will require more day care, or baby-sitting services for many families, which create more income for the government.   This will cause more meals to be eaten out, which creates more revenue for the government.    Meanwhile, prices will continue to go up,  which creates more sales tax revenue for the government. Are you getting the point yet? Deflation is end of the government.   The local, state, and federal government will all fail!  [Remember… this was written in 2004… gives the writer credibility in my book!]

This is the strategy of the Federal Reserve.   The majority of the people will always believe that more is better.  Knowing that, and now having a democracy ensconced in the US,  it was time to feed and breed.   Prices always go up, and everything is “Wunnerful, Wunnerful”   Bring on the Champagne Lady.   Alan runs the bubble machine.   The illusion of money has destroyed most people since society (goverment) developed socialism.   Democracy feeds on the illusion of something for nothing.    As each demagogue promises more than his competition, the tax burden becomes oppressive.   The monetary illusion serves to conceal the costs through currency debasement.   This assures the complete destruction of the society that embraces this perversion. Any attempt to introduce logic into a dialogue will be defeated by claiming you’re an elitist devoid of compassion. Envy, hate, and manipulated passions are the hallmark of democracies. While all this destruction is occurring, money diverted by the mechanism of currency debasement is constantly being transferred to the British Crown in the City of London.

Any questions, gang?

Note:  While all this distruction is occurring….   it is happening right under our noses.  Currency debasement… the devaluating of the American dollar is happening now!!!  While we have watched the “AIG Outrage Show” in Congress, The Fed has moved forward with printing a Trillion dollars as a loan and our massive debt is the collatteral!!!!  They are playing Russian Roulette with the dollar!  In the weeks and months to come, it will be a miracle if we don’t see “hyperinflation” and the value of the dollar sink to the lowest value ever!!!  Only those who want to see the fall of our nation and society would do such a thing as this.  Even with a limited understanding of economics, it isn’t hard to see that this is utterly insane and destructive.  HAM.

Free Markets For Free Men Wayne N. Krautkramer

More commentary at http://onlypill.tripod.com

The Corporation of the City of London:http://www.fact-index.com/c/ci/city_of_london.html
The Bank of England:http://www.fact-index.com/b/ba/bank_of_england.html#History
The Sixteenth Amendment:http://www.lovetolearnplace.com/SpecialDays/IncomeTax/
Federal Reserve Act of 1913:http://aor.cat4.net/federalreserveact1913/
Federal Reserve: 2002 Amendment:http://www.frbdiscountwindow.org/federalreserveact.html
Federal Reserve ownership:http://land.netonecom.net/tlp/ref/federal_reserve.shtml

March 25, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, Government, Politics | , , , , , | 4 Comments

To the families and loved ones of the 4 officers killed in Oakland, CA

3 officers dead, suspect killed in Oakland, Calif. –  (Update as of 11:00 Eastern… 4 officers have died)

OAKLAND, Calif. – Police say three officers and a suspect are dead and another officer is in grave condition after two related shootings, the first after a traffic stop and the second after a massive manhunt ended in gunfire.

Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason says two officers were shot just after 1 p.m. Saturday after they stopped the suspect’s vehicle in east Oakland. One officer was killed and another badly wounded.

The suspect fled the scene on foot into a nearby neighborhood, leading to an intense manhunt by dozens of officers.  Thomason says officers acting on an anonymous tip found the suspect around 3:30 p.m. barricaded inside a building.    Shots were fired and two members of the SWAT team and the suspect was killed.

Condolences to the families and loved ones of these 4  heroic, fallen  officers.  Rest in Peace.  HAM

March 22, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, In the News | , , | 4 Comments

Music and memories…on a TGIF morning

OK, today I am working on the details of life and thought I’d share some music that is fitting with my mood.  My favorite blues/rock musician of all time, who is no longer with us, but lives on through his awesome music, is  Stevie Ray Vaughn.  “Little Sister”  and  “Pride and Joy”.

And who better to bring out the old memories of carefree nights cruising your favorite places and talking about hopes and dreams with your friends than Bob Seger!  “Against the Wind”  and  “Still the Same”.

Enjoy!

January 30, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries | , , | 3 Comments

Native American version of Amazing Grace – In Cherokee

One of my dear friends in Texas, a PGR brother, Navy veteran and Christian with a proud Mexican/American heritage,  knows of my Cherokee heritage and blessed me with this this morning, so I decided to share it here with a few facts.  My blog contributor shares the same heritage (Cherokee) and is going through some diffucult issues right now, so I would like to share this with him, as a departure from my usual devotions;  a unique look at faith and honoring God in America.

Certain facts about those of us who have Cherokee blood:  The Cherokee were monotheistic long before the European’s ever stepped on American soil.  They lived in dwellings built in a cabin style, hunted and farmed and their roles were determined by which of the seven clans they were born into.  The Clan was determined by their mothers clan, rather than their fathers clan.  They had a central form of government, a council house in each community where the leaders of each clan met to determine tribal policy and laws.  They were the only native American tribe to have a written language and published their own newspaper.  As far as I have been able to ascertain in my limited reading, they also were the only monotheistic tribe.

In this video, though the art is beautiful, it mostly reflects the appearance and traditions of the plains indians, but the words are in Cherokee.  It is a peaceful and enjoyable way to start the morning, and I say, Gracias por compartir el amor mi amigo Miguel.

January 27, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | , | 15 Comments

41 Years Ago Today – The Battle of Khe Sanh began

This post is in honor of the Marines, (Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen as well) who fought in, and the many who died, during the part of the Tet Offensive known as the battle of Khe Sanh. Reading about the battle sends shivers of pride through me as our brave Military honored their code and gave their best, in this battle. No one at that time knew that the North Vietnamese had the resources to mount such a huge offensive, so our troops were caught completely by surprise. Those who fought had to rise to a huge challenge and give everything they had to push the enemy back. My compliments to all our Viet Nam veterans who fought this battle, and thanks be to God for all who survived. Please feel free to comment here, and speak your mind and reflect. God Bless the US Military and all our military heros, past, present and future. Thanks and Welcome Home to all.

marines-at-khe-sanh Links to the detailed story and sites dedicated to telling the facts about this battle, challenges, memories and the heroism as told by those who were there:

The Battle of Khe Sanh – 1968 by Peter Brush source Vanderbilt University Library

Khe Sanh Veteran’s Homepage

Mahalo Answers info sheet

A quote from the KS Vets HP that caught my attention, as it gives the truth that still applies today:

“Let us understand: North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.”

Richard M. Nixon, television broadcast, 3 Nov. 1969.

Khe Sanh video documentary via YouTube:

Warning: Anyone posting anything disrespectful to any Veteran who comments here will be humiliated or deleted. That’s a promise.

January 22, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, In the News | , , , | 25 Comments

From the Higher Calling this week – by L. L. Barket

It never ceases to amaze me how little understanding of exactly what faith is about,  is demonstrated by the non-believers who seem to feel so threatened by it, that they have to insult and persecute the believers.   It’s as if they believe the only way to not be labeled hypocrites is to totally remove the part of man’s nature that makes a man or woman human.   Being made a “new creature” does not mean you wake up perfect like Jesus,  you just have the connection, grace and hope.   But also the passion to get closer to God and his will.   I cannot tell you with scientific factoids and certainty why I have faith.   Faith is not based on things found on our worldly plain of existence, but rather on a personal inner experience.   Faith is believing in something you cannot prove with science, but your personal experience tells you it is there.   Jesus never said we would be perfect in our pursuit, only blessed with grace and forgiveness when we fall down or make mistakes in our chosen path to him.   This article written by Mr. Barket makes the point in a very special way, so I am posting it here to help further the understanding.

Just Plane Faith

1.18.09 BY L. L. Barkat

I despise flying. Sorry for the strong word, but it’s true. From the moment I step on a plane, I get this queasy feeling. When the aircraft rushes down the runway and shudders into the sky, I feel faint. The whole time we’re airborne, I feel weightless, but not in a good way. More like I’m being dangled over a pit of tigers—and the air between my toes and their teeth is far too thin for my liking.

Imagine the torture it is for me to fly to my annual business conferences. New York to Chicago is bad. New York to California? Unspeakable. All those hours suspended over the tiger pit. If only I could sleep, I could ignore my fears. But no. I fidget. I snack. I get up and go to the bathroom too many times. It’s all enough to make me want to stay on the ground.

That’s all in a year’s work. But there are days, weeks, even months when my faith also feels like a flight to California. I hurtle down some theological runway, and I’m sure this time I’ll crash. I fuss and fidget and worry that everyone is going to know I really can’t do this faith thing . . . I’ve got insurmountable spiritual problems, too many doubts to qualify as a Christian.

This is one reason I love the Bible so much. I love the honesty of the people who wrote about faith giants who seemed likely to be disqualified. This honesty makes it possible for me to go to Moses and hear him say, with chutzpah, “Enough already, God. You birthed this people. I don’t want to lead them anymore.” Or I can listen to Abraham accuse, “Are you really going to destroy the good people of Sodom and let everyone think you’re just a bully in the sky?” I can get out of the boat with Peter, having trusted Jesus, only to realize that in fact I’m about to drown. I love the Bible for giving me permission to be afraid or angry or doubtful about faith.

I say the Bible gives me permission, because it’s not silent on these matters. Rather it speaks plainly about people who didn’t want to get airborne, were afraid of tigers (both real and hypothetical), didn’t have enough courage to sit in the exit row and open the door in case of emergency. And I see that faith is not the complicated business I sometimes make it out to be. Instead, it simply requires that I take the trip, step in, stay on, listen for instructions.

Fidgeting is allowed.

Find the whole article and The High Calling Website here.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Commentaries, Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | , , , | Leave a comment

A Baby’s Hug

I know this has made the rounds a few times, but I think it serves as a reminder to leave judgement to God and defines why the scriptures say we must be “as little children” to enter Heaven.

baby-hug


~ A Baby’s Hug ~

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, ‘Hi.’ He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed.  We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments. 

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. ‘Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,’ I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s ‘pick-me-up’ position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, ‘You take care of this baby. ‘ Somehow I managed, ‘I will,’ from a throat that contained a stone.  He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly as though he were in pain.  I received my baby, and the man said,  ‘God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.’  I said nothing more than a muttered thanks.

With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car.  My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding  Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, ‘My God, my God, forgive me.’

I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.  I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not.  I felt it was God asking, ‘Are you willing to share your son for a moment?’; when He shared His for all eternity. How did God feel when he put his baby in our arms 2000 years ago.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, ‘To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.’

If this has blessed you, please bless others by sharing it. Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all;  it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.

‘It is better to be liked for the true you, than to be loved for who people think you are…….’

December 29, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | , , | Leave a comment

Donors to the Presidential Inaugural Committee

My friend Bob sent me this link this morning with the following comment:

“You’d think these liberals would rather use all this money for the homeless, hungry, and ailing rather than for a party. But maybe it’s more important to TALK about helping people than actually doing it.”

Donors to the Presidential Inaugural Committee

With so many American citizens facing job loss and the rape of their retirement dreams with the economic issues, Bob’s comment poses a valid question.  Was the liberal agenda to help those who have the least in our society for real?  With all the talk about Hope and Change, what ever happened to setting an example first in the White House?  Just a logical question seeing that these organiztions and benefactors aren’t contributing these excessive dollars to green energy research or charities.  There seems to be a problem with what they claim to be the number one priority and what the agenda truly is.

December 27, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, Government, In the News, Politics | , , | 4 Comments

New Years Angel!

angel16

To all my readers and friends:

I hope this New Year’s Angel will watch over and guide you throughout the New Year. May she bless and point you in all the right directions…May God bless your life in the coming year and crown you with success and happiness.

God Bless All Throughout the New Year!

December 27, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries | , , | Leave a comment

A little enjoyment on Christmas Day!

Who doesn’t remember hearing this one as a child?  In fact one Christmas I wore out a 45 on my little record player.  My parents were overjoyed, I’m sure, when it was OVER!  LOL!!!

And for the contempory touch:

Those who know me well… the Johnny Depp photos in the selection did influence my choice!

From Andie’s Isle: “The First Christmas Gift”

December 25, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries | , | 1 Comment

Cutting your teeth in battle – then getting them kicked out at home.

The Wall

Not to long ago, my son asked me a question. It got me thinking about every conversation I ever had with a Viet Nam Veteran over the years, in as much detail as I could remember. He wanted to know why so many of the Viet Nam era vets were so angry and frustrated, so son, I am dedicating this post to you.

My first experience with a Nam vet was my former brother-in-law, and the father of my nieces. He never spoke of any of his experiences, but I instinctively knew they were difficult, as his emotional lockdown in life truly bore the evidence. He mostly talked about his bitter hatred for Jane Fonda and the way the government had ignored the needs of the vets, after they returned home again.

Then at nineteen, when I married my first husband and my first neighbor turned out to be a drafted, Army vet, who spoke some, but only about the better aspects, such as his friendships with others who shared the experience. Dave was a wonderful friend, but over the years I saw him descend into drug and alcohol abuse, the symptoms of what has happened to so many who were never given the help dealing with the mindset and memories of an ugly war.

Dave was a good man, he did his “duty”, did not shirk from it, and he returned to a society that was not only ungrateful, but totally unprecedented in its expression of hatred and loathing for those who served.  I have heard many a veteran talk about returning home to strangers and even people they knew well, and being spit on at airports and being called “baby killers”.

Remembering VietNam

Our government many times left the “wounded vets”, who were physically and mentally scarred, to their own devices to  recover on their own.  The numbers of vets returning that were allowed to “self destruct” is a statistic we will never know exactly and mostly because of all the ways and means that the destruction of their lives occurred.   But I know of two cases where one vet died running his motorcycle into an embankment and it was called an accident, and another who broke his wife’s neck while sleeping (he had a nightmare / flashback) and ended up dying in a prison/ mental hospital, probably from a broken heart and spirit.  Those are the casualties of war that are never reported as such.

One thing I do know is that many of these vets were left alone to deal with the post-traumatic stress disorder, the severe depression, and the ordeal of constantly living with the physical pain from their wounds, without any rehabilitative aide available for their minds and bodies. We were the “mental health and therapy for awareness” generation, and yet, we could not see that these vets were struggling, just to get back into being able to live and work normally?  I think their struggles were infinitely more important than someone coming to grips with their “inner child, dysfunctional upbringing or sexuality”.

And thus, the “Me and I Generation” marched on over the bleeding souls of our vets, in my humble opinion.

VietNam Vet

While spending time with many of these vets, during my time with the PGR, I came to understand that many have found their own healing in making sure our military today knows that they are supported and honored here at home. The largest amount of support organizations for troops today have come from and been inspired by, our very same socially shamed, Viet Nam Veterans, as well as the family members of those currently serving and families of fallen troops in the War on Terror. The mantra I hear and see acted upon by my honored Nam Vet friends is “Never Again”.

Overall, there has been a great healing brought on by these hero’s of old by seeing to it that no returning vet today will feel what they felt or be treated the way they were treated, just because they answered their country’s call to duty and served selflessly and with honor. To these troops of the past, I salute you and vow to honor you and your service to my dying breath. Thank you all and Welcome Home to every soldier, sailor, marine and airman who ever served this country!

In the coming months, you will probably see a swing in my blog posts. It is all well and fine to debate politics, but for the most part, there are plenty of good reads on the web, done by people who know their facts and present them intelligently, and in some cases, on the extreme level. This is not where my heart is leading me.

VietNam Memorial

One of my dear blog friends, GM Roper has served, is from a military family, and has also been involved with psychiatry and counselling  for most of his adult life.   He has brought to my attention a service organization that is trying to fill in the gaps in mental health care for returning vets, by lining up professional volunteers to help,  by donating one hour a month to veterans returning today, and I want to get involved.

The Wounded Warriors Project, as well as,  other troop support organizations, have long been near and dear to my heart.  The only “Real Change” comes from work and dedication, not from arguing, insulting, and whining about things you are not empowered to alter. I will continue to honor my Savior here as well, since all I do and all that I’m capable of accomplishing in this life, I owe to Him, who gives me the resolve to get it done.

Coming from an environment where service to your country is honored and if one disagrees with a war, the blame is firmly placed where it belongs, with our leaders, not our troops, I’m sure my son had a hard time understanding this part of our history. I hope this post answers that question for him and many who were born after all this happened.

God bless this country and unite us all in peace and freedom always.

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, God / Jesus Christ, Government, Our Military | , , | 10 Comments

The danger of taking things out of context.

All things being fair, I am going to explain why these people, in accordance with the Bible, are simply wrong.  This is from my perspective and I will go through the story and add my little notes and then comment at the end.  Forgive the color coding, but you are dealing with an ADHD blogger.  It’s the only way I could “disect” the story.  And note this is my humble opinion, and I’m open to other thoughts on the subject.

Woman Says Church Threatening To Make Sins Public

POSTED: Monday, December 15, 2008 – Source:  Jacksonville News

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A divorced Jacksonville woman said her former church has threatened to “go public with her sins” and tell the congregation about her sexual relationship with her new boyfriend.

Let’s look at Matthew 18:12

12″What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.  14  In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

How happy do you think Jesus would be about a church “persecuting the lamb that wandered off” rather than doing something to help her see the light and return restored?

Rebecca Hancock said harassment from Grace Community Church in Mandarin over her sex life caused her to leave, but she said that didn’t put an end to the problem. She said she received a letter from the church’s elders telling her the church plans to make her personal life very public.  “I’m basically run out.  I’m the church harlot,”  Hancock said.

1 Corinthians 5:11
But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

1 Corinthians 7:2
But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.

Ephesians 5:3
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these
are improper for God’s holy people.

Hebrews 13:4
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

These scriptures, and there are many more, refer to what Christ taught about how Christians are supposed to behave sexually.  God’s design is that sex should be part of marriage.  If you are having sex, even with someone you love, you are sinning.  Suck it up Rebecca, you are acting as a harlot and not a Christian when you engage in sex with a man who is not your husband.  But, I believe your sin is between you and God.

The 49-year-old said she has been dating a man for a while and she said members of the congregation at Grace Community Church haven’t been happy about the relationship.  “Because I have a boyfriend that I’m involved with … to not be married to that person is a sin,” Hancock said.

She said the issue caused her to leave the church. However, she said the church has not let go of her.  The letter Hancock received from the church states that because she has refused to end her sexual relationship with her boyfriend, “you leave us with no other choice but to carry out the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ” … “In accordance with Matthew 18:17 we intend to ‘tell it to the church.'”

“On January 4, my sins will be told to the church, publicly, with my children sitting in the church and my friends,” Hancock said.  The pastor of Grace Community Church, Dr. T. Scott Christmas, told Channel 4 he had no comment.

Pastors with whom Channel 4 spoke on Monday said announcing a sin to a congregation is not abnormal. They said it’s written in the Bible to punish sinners who continue to sin.  The difference in Hancock’s case is that she has left the church, and the pastors said that’s is usually where punishment ends.

Despite the church’s letter stating its biblical backing, Hancock said she has backed out of the church and they should leave her alone because she is no longer a member.  “I am a Christian, and that will never change.  My relationship with Jesus has to do with me and Jesus, and he knows my heart,”  Hancock said.

Yes Rebecca, he knows your heart, but you are engaging in sin.  You can’t be “Christlike” (Please note, I’m not saying a Christ clone, I am saying Christlike, which is what a Christian should strive for)  and break the fundamental rules of the God.  To Rebecca’s credit, she left the church in question and this is where I have issue with what this Church is doing.

The book of Matthew does have three steps that the church talked about in taking action against a member who is in sin.  Hancock said she is now attending a different church, and said she is planning to send a letter to Grace Community Church to make sure it’s understood that she no longer a member.

This is the passage in question:

A Brother Who Sins Against You

15″If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'[c] 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.18″I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be[d]bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.19″Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Please note that is says “if a brother sins against you”.  This is important, because it is not saying “if a member of the church sins against God”.  The entire passage is about public sin that hurts the body of Christ (members of the Church).  If she was having sex with a  man in the church who was married to someone else, that would be a public sin that would hurt the entire church once it was known.  Or members that engage in gossip about one another would be committing a public sin.  Those sort of sins are the petty bickering  and immoral behaviors that can destroy a church.  In this passage, Matthew is trying to give Christ’s instruction on how to defuse these situations so healing and forgiveness can take place or the offending sinner can be called out.  When this woman left the church, she is no longer a member, but more importantly, the nature of her sin is between her and God.  What she does in her own home is not a “sin against any person but herself”.  By not following God’s  plan and the laws he has given us through Christ, she drives a wedge between her and God.

The people in this church are taking this passage out of context to justify abusing a lost soul.  If she remained in the church, was participating in active roles and refused to repent and turn away from her sin, they would have the right to call her out on it, but that is not the case.  This is the kind of fundamentalism I have never cared for.  Having been a Christian in a state of sin for many years myself, I know how long it takes sometimes, for a some people to “get it”.  Running them out of the assembly is not the way to enlighten them and help them grow in faith.  This kind of treatment of people, even if they are “weak brothers/sisters”, is not part of the love our Savior exemplified.  We don’t become all knowing or mature in our faith within 24 hours of the commitment to the Lord, it takes time to grow in faith and mistakes sometimes have to be made to bring us where the Lord wants us. This is my personal opinion and I welcome any comment or thoughts on this.  God Bless.

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, God / Jesus Christ, In the News | , , | 2 Comments

Congratulations Grandpa George!

The world is a better place due to the arrival of Cullen Gabriel Roper.  The much loved first grandchild of our dear friend and fellow blogger, GM Roper of GM’s Place arrived on December 13, 2008 at 9:14 pm in Austin, TX to a packed house!  May your grandson and you have many happy hours teaching each other all kinds of cool stuff.  Congratulations to GM and his entire family on their wonderful little blessing.

cullen-gabriel-roper2

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries | , , | 1 Comment

Gates: More brigades to Afghanistan by Summer

 I got a call from my soldier this morning… he didn’t want me to be surprised, but he has been reassigned from being with the XVIII Airborne Corps (his original unit) to being assigned as an auxillary to the 82nd Airborne.  What this means is the chances are pretty high he will be deployed as part of the 20,000 troops.  I asked him long ago about what “parachute riggers” do when on deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan?  Convoy Security… they man the guns on trucks and armored vehicles.  I am as proud of him as I can be, but that is not to say I won’t be sending up some serious prayers along with sending out care packages when and if he deploys.  Time to prepare myself mentally for this one.  And my youngest son is talking Air Force… there really is never any comfort zone for a Mom. 

 

Gen. McKiernan sits in his office at ISAF headquarters in Kabul. "I don't like to use the word 'surge' here because if we put these additional forces in here, it's going to be for the next few years," he said. "It's not a temporary increase of combat strength."

Gen. McKiernan sits in his office at ISAF headquarters in Kabul. "I don't like to use the word 'surge' here because if we put these additional forces in here, it's going to be for the next few years," he said. "It's not a temporary increase of combat strength."

Commander sees ‘tough fight’ in Afghan war

 

By Tom Vanden Brook USATODAY

KABUL — The top commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan said Sunday that 2009 will be a “tough fight” in Afghanistan and the United States will need nearly twice as many troops for up to four years to stabilize the country.

 

In an interview with USA TODAY at the International Security Assistance Force headquarters, Gen. David McKiernan said increasing U.S. troop levels from about 32,000 to 55,000 or 60,000 is “needed until we get to this tipping point where the Afghan army and the Afghan police have both the capacity and capability to provide security for their people.”  “That is at least three or four more years away,” he added.  The Afghan army has 78,000 troops and is building to 134,000.

McKiernan said he has asked the Pentagon for more than 20,000 soldiers, Marines and airmen. He also called on NATO nations to increase their commitment of troops to Afghanistan and to remove restrictions on how and when they can fight. There are about 31,000 troops from other nations in Afghanistan.

 

U.S. troop levels probably will need to remain at elevated levels for “several years at a minimum,” depending on the stability of the Afghan government, the training of its troops, and cooperation from tribal leaders and neighboring Pakistan, according to Andrew Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

 

McKiernan said his request for more troops differs from the escalation in Iraq last year. The addition of more than 30,000 troops there, combined with a new strategy, helped improve security.

“I don’t like to use the word ‘surge’ here because if we put these additional forces in here, it’s going to be for the next few years,” he said. “It’s not a temporary increase of combat strength.”

McKiernan declined to say whether he expected next year to be more deadly for U.S. troops. Through October, 129 U.S. servicemembers were killed in Afghanistan this year, compared with 83 combat deaths in all of 2007.

 

He acknowledged the Pentagon’s ability to field more troops depends on reducing its forces in Iraq. There are 148,000 U.S. troops there. “There’s certainly a linkage,” he said. “The availability of the forces that we’ve asked for here — that’s directly connected to force flow in Iraq.”

 

Despite the challenges, McKiernan said he remained optimistic.

 

“I believe that over time, with the support of the international community, Afghan institutions will grow and develop and this insurgency will be contained and defeated,” he said. “I am firmly of the belief that the vast majority of the people in Afghanistan … don’t support the Taliban. They don’t support the other radical insurgent groups.”

December 11, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, Government, In the News, Our Military | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

9/11 brought to you by… Abraham???

By Hoosier Army Mom – October 16, 2008

I have a friend here at work that is approximately in his late fifties and a lifetime autistic whom I like to talk with at break time. He is a sweet man who not only has never been married, but has never been on a date! Just a few years ago, he wasn’t able to engage in conversation but God has blessed him and you can take it from me, he does speak now, and he has two college degrees. I find him pretty fascinating. We discuss politics as he is a staunch Republican, and loves to discuss the Bible.

Today we were discussing how God sometimes gets sneaky about using us to do His Will, like in the book of Esther. Here she was living a lie to be with the man she loved, (nobody knew she was a Jew, which was Taboo) who happened to be the King. How she must have lived in mortal fear of “being found out”. But unknown to her, God put her there to save her own people. He knew her heart and she was virtually a “plant”. When the time came, she risked her life to save her people from being exterminated.  Score 1 for God,  0 for Satan and a hat tip to Esther!

Next on the itinerary… People God loved that would not Trust Him. Abraham was so loved by God that he created a nation from him. When God told Abraham that he would create a great nation from him, by giving him a child with his wife Sarah (who was well past child bearing age!), you would think that a man God chose to speak to and bless on a regular basis would take God at his word. But nooooo… Abraham got really hung up on His Idea of what was feasible and what was not, so he took it upon himself to do it Abraham’s Way instead of trusting and believing in God’s Will. He decided to have a child with the Egyptian maidservant Hagar. Ishmael was born from that brainstorm. But God, according to His Will and promise did what he said and Sarah conceived Isaac. It was from Isaac that the twelve tribes of Israel came and what about Ishmael? After Sarah demanded Hagar and her son be “sent away” (Ishmael had a bad attitude after Isaac was born!) God promised he would make a great nation from him… the Arab nations and Islam came from him. So if you think about it, the events of 9/11 might not have happened if Abraham had just TRUSTED GOD and believed in his plan instead of working Abraham’s will in the matter. Yes, we can blame Islamic extremism on good ole Abraham and his unwillingness to trust God!

God has made His promises, He has the Power and the Will, and still we refuse to trust him and go about the business of doing His job for him. Eventually we get down enough from doing it our way, with not so great results, and put things in His To Do Basket, then as soon as things start working again, we try to grab them back! The long term effect of working our imperfect will as opposed to trusting God can be pretty devastating. Next time you try to grab the steering wheel back, THINK Abraham> Ishmael> 9/11!!!! God always has a better plan!

God the Project Manager:

Psalm 25:14
The Lord shares his plans with those who have respect for him. He makes his covenant known to them.

Proverbs 19:21
A man may have many plans in his heart. But the Lord’s purpose wins out in the end.

Jeremiah 29:11
“I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord. “I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come.

God Wants you to Trust Him and His perfect will:

Proverbs 30:5
“Every word of God is perfect. He is like a shield to those who trust in him. He keeps them safe.”

Job 4:6
Shouldn’t you worship God and trust in him? Shouldn’t your honest life give you hope?

Psalm 14:2
The Lord looks down from heaven on all people. He wants to see if there are any who understand. He wants to see if there are any who trust in God.

Micah 7:7
I will look to the Lord. I’ll put my trust in God my Savior. He will hear me.<

John 14:1
[ Jesus Comforts His Disciples ] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust in me also.

It’s His Will, not our Will or the World’s Will that works:

Romans 12:2
Don’t live any longer the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect.

1 Corinthians 3:18
Don’t fool yourselves. Suppose some of you think you are wise by the standards of the world. Then you should become a “fool” so that you can become wise.

James 4: 3-5
When you do ask for something, you don’t receive it. Why? It’s because you ask for the wrong reason. You want to spend your money on your sinful pleasures.

James 4: 3-5
3 When you do ask for something, you don’t receive it. Why? It’s because you ask for the wrong reason. You want to spend your money on your sinful pleasures.

4 You are not faithful to God. Don’t you know that to be a friend of the world is to hate God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Don’t you know what Scripture says? The spirit that God caused to live in us wants us to belong only to God. Don’t you think Scripture has a reason for saying that?

1 John 2:15-16

15 Do not love the world or anything in it. If you love the world, love for the Father is not in you.

16 Here is what people who belong to this world do. They try to satisfy what their sinful natures want to do. They long for what their sinful eyes look at. They brag about what they have and what they do. All of this comes from the world. It doesn’t come from the Father.

Just thought it might be a bit refreshing to blame someone besides Bush!

October 16, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, God / Jesus Christ | Leave a comment

God’s Daily Reflection and Prayer.

Whose Honor Matters?

by Mark D. Roberts

READ Isaiah 22:1-25

This is what the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, said to me: “Confront Shebna, the palace administrator, and give him this message:

“Who do you think you are,
and what are you doing here,
building a beautiful tomb for yourself—
a monument high up in the rock?”

[Isaiah 22:15-16]

Shebna was a “palace administrator” in Jerusalem whom the Lord singled out for rebuke through Isaiah.  We don’t know all of Shebna’s faults, though they must have been many, given the fact that he was “a disgrace to [his] master” (v. 18). In particular, Shebna was preoccupied with his own legacy and honor, building for himself a lavish and prominent tomb. Apparently he had used his position in the government to become wealthy so that he might promote himself, both in life and in death. For such self-centeredness, God promised to take away his position of authority, thus ending Shebna’s career in disgrace.

Shebna serves as a powerful reminder of the folly of seeking our own honor above that of the Lord. It’s natural for us to want others to think well of us, and to an extent this is consistent with our Christian discipleship (for example, 1 Tim. 3:2). But if we become preoccupied with our own glory, we dishonor the Lord and risk our own demotion. As Prov. 16:18 reminds us, “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” Shebna’s sad life illustrates this proverb perfectly.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Are you ever tempted to put your honor above God’s glory?  When?  Why? Are you ever preoccupied with your legacy, rather than being preoccupied with the work of God’s kingdom?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, the story of Shebna encourages me to examine my motivations and desires.  Am I like Shebna? Am I more eager to ensure my good reputation than to advance your kingdom?  Does my passion for your glory exceed my desire for people to think I’m good? Am I building a “tomb” for myself, rather than offering myself as a living sacrifice to you?

Help me, dear Lord, to care so much about you, your work, and your glory that my
self-centeredness dwindles.  May I live my life in the freedom that comes from
serving you completely.  At the end of my days, may you be the one who receives the glory for my life. May it be obvious to all that you did a great work in me, not
that I was great. Amen.

October 4, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | Leave a comment

Decisions, decisions…

I am always amazed about where my energized faith has lead me.  Decision making is something that human nature leads people to do as a part of our normal, daily functions.  Some people are better at it than others.  All my life,  all of my critical decisions have been made by me and according to “my will” and knowledge.   Quite frankly, not very many have worked out extremely well,  especially when it comes to trying to change the direction of my personal life.  I honestly believe that the ones that have worked out well, were more of a case of God interveining on my behalf, rather than anything I cooked up or did for myself.  He must really feel sorry for us at times when you are out there with the “deer in the headlights look”, kind of like the pity your parents take on you after watching you make a really stupid move,  with disasterous consequences.  So what has God taught me about decision making (you know that’s where I’m leading)???

When you surrender all to God, it is a process.  We are all born with many strengths and weaknesses by God’s own design.  Add to that the baggage that comes with being raised around mere mortals, we become quite into “trying to fix it ourselves”.  When you hand all your problems and issues over to God,  he fills you with the knowledge that with Him, all things are truly possible, along with the desire to know Him and His will and purpose for you.  You read His book (seeking knowledge), you go to him in prayer (connectivity to God), you seek out communion and knowledge from other Christians (fellowship) and his plan starts coming together.   So when you go to him seeking His Will, fill yourself with the knowledge and wisdom you need and connect, and if you have faith, the answers and healing definately come.   Along with those answers you are filled with peace and confidence that the outcome will be the very best, because God’s Will is perfect.  Moving past the pride of wanting to do it yourself and leaning on Him brings you closer to God and makes your life full of blessings, movement, true growth and joy.  When you put your needs and challenges in “God’s to do box”, read His Word, and take your decision making to him in prayer, the outcome truly changes your life and heart for the better, so trust in Him.

I will end this post with the greatest prayer of comfort I can think of.

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures,  he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.   Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,  for you are with me;  your rod and your staff,  they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

October 3, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, God / Jesus Christ | Leave a comment

God, Women and Self-Esteem

Probably the single worst torture that men and women deal with in their daily lives is dealing with all the personal beliefs they hold about who they are and what’s wrong with their lives.  If we are all completely honest, all those doubts and negative messages we grow up with affect us all our lives.  It determines why we make choices about who we partner with, what we do to make a living, whether or not we get education and whether we put up with abuse either from family, friends or mates. It is the nagging self-doubt or negative belief system about ourselves that leads to much of our sin, bad choices and sorrow in life.

No one will have love to give someone else, if they don’t first learn to love and appreciate themselves.  Anyone running on empty in this department of human spirit can’t give what they themselves desparately need.  It is a never ending cycle, much like the person who can never get enough to eat, they will come to the table anytime it is spread, but will have nothing to contribute because they ate it all on the way to the meal.

Women and men alike, suffer from the same emptiness, but this is from a woman’s viewpoint I write.  We live in a society that doesn’t gear women to have a true idea of their worth.  All our worth was measured in things outside of ourselves.  Whether or not we won a beauty contest, was a prom queen, or was a cheerleader comes to mind.  Whether we had a date for an important function at school.  Whether we could cook, whether or not we had a husband by a specific age, whether we had children, and so on.

So many women have grown up thinking their worth is measured by the approval of others, men in particular.  Whether or not they could offer great sex or whether they could take a “man with issues” and fix him, all meant they had value.  Divorcees, as they were called, were looked upon as “failures” and “bad women nobody really wanted for more than a good time” when I was growing up, but divorced men were always men who just needed the “right woman”.  Then there are the negative messages women get that start at a young age… “Oh honey, you can’t do that… you’re a girl”!!!  Anyway, this is about what I have discovered that God offers women.

God, if you reach the point of trusting him, hand over control to him, will fill you with the Holy Spirit and with his Word. He changes everything and does indeed fill those holes in your heart with the truth… the truth being that you have real value in his eyes, he sent his Son to die for us all and he will reveal to you what you can do with your value to glorify Him.   He purges out all the negative messages that you have believed since childhood… that love has to be earned by superhuman acts on your part, that you are not worthy of unconditional love.  This is Satan’s message and therefore it’s a lie.  He heals the hurts and pain, and makes us whole and ready to recieve his blessings.

Pro 31:10-31

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [c] A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

That verse is the standard God sets and inspires me in my walk of faith.  This is how God fills us all, through reading His Word and trusting him to take care of all our needs.When He promises to make us “New Creatures”, rebuilding the self-esteem, healing our pain and giving us an understanding of our value, is all part of it.  He frees us to trust and live for him without fear.  Praise Him, and may God bless you as he has blest me.

September 28, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, God / Jesus Christ | 1 Comment