The Black Wreaths are symbolically hung on the doors of this blog today as I honor the life of a wonderful man, husband and father, Mr. Z, and pay my respects to his family and friends.
Sunday, October 18, 2009: Today, at 2:00 pm (Pacific) I will be joining with Mrs. Z and the family of Mr. Z in prayer and silence as they lay the mortal husk of this awesome man to rest. I will include a prayer for my dear mother who was herself laid to rest on this same day in 1997. Being a Christian in my beliefs, I know that they have gone ahead of us to join with the Savior and we will all be with them in spirit someday. God determines when our work here is done and I shall always trust Jesus to keep his promises. I have felt the love and blessings enough in my lifetime to know that as it is written about my savior, so shall it be done. Mr. Z is now keeping company with the angels until we all meet again in our promised kingdom. All my love and prayers go out to Mrs. Z and her family as they grieve their loss in this life. May the love and precious memories sustain you.
Today, a very dear friend lost her beloved husband. I am overwhelmed with sadness and wish to express my deepest condolences and love. May God be with her in her time of loss.
My heart is reaching out to you,
For what you’re going through;
I’m thinking of you frequently
And praying for you, too. If there’s something I can do,
Anything at all,
Think of me thinking of you,
And don’t hesitate to call.
By Joanna Fuchs
Update: The most beautiful tribute to this wonderful couple, Z and Mr. Z of the Geeez Blog, has been posted by Defiant Infidels Blog. They have also posted a beautiful video in tribute.
“We do not choose the time of transition to God’s Kingdom. It is not for us to choose. And so sadly it came for the dearly loved, devoted husband of “Z” of Geeez weblog. “Mr. Z” passed quietly in his sleep on Saturday, October 10th.”
You can read this beautiful tribute to Z and her beloved Mr Z here.
If you go to Mrs. Z site afterward, please exercise good taste and kindness when posting to the family condolences.
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.
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.
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.
Other news from 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.
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
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – boxer shorts and flip-flops.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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
Much to be grateful for on this Easter Sunday! Captain Phillips is Free and Safe!!!
In my effort to help keep my readers informed of new virus threats on the web, here’s another one to watch out for, (courtesy of Info Packets):
by Bill Lindner
Filed Under: Security
A new type of worm has been reported to infect 55 different home-based
routers and DSL/cable modems has been discovered. Originating in Australia,
Psyb0t, is the first worm capable of infecting residential routers and
modems, including common brands like Linksys and Netgear. A blog post from
DroneBL researchers says that Psyb0t (also known as Bluepill) is suspected
of infecting at least 100,000 …
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
Subscribe via web: http://www.gdwm.org/subscribe.htm
Conficker Time Bomb Targets Southwest Airlines, Others This March
Sophos Security is warning that the Conficker/Downadup worm (“Conficker worm”) is targeting multiple domains — including Southwest airlines — that could end up causing Denial of Service (DoS) attacks and temporary disruptions. The Conficker worm has been kicking around since last year and usually spreads via a) removable storage devices such as USB drives and b) network sharing. It exploits a Windows vulnerability that was patched by Microsoft last year.According to a blog entry by Mike Wood of SophosLabs Canada, those computers infected with the Conficker worm are programmed to contact wnsux.com, which will redirect visitors to the main Southwest.com site on March 13. (Source: sophos.com) Conficker and Southwest: Why Tango?
The problem with a legitimate site like Southwest.com making it onto Conficker’s radar? Wood gives two reasons: without proper investigation, Southwest may end up on a blocklist, and users will be prevented from accessing their services. In addition, millions of infected machines contacting the domain on the 13th may overload the site and shut it down. (Source: cnet.com). Wood says the worm is targeting about 7,750 domains of which nearly 3,900 are active, but only resolve to 42 unique IP addresses. Of those, only 28 are involved in a covert operation of ISPs and others trying to thwart Conficker/Downadup by pre-registering domains. The vast majority of those 28 domains are currently up for sale.Key Sites Targeted By Conficker/DownadupKey sites listed by Wood whose visitors may see a disruption in service include: jogli.com — Big Web Great Music — March 8wnsux.com — Southwest Airlines — March 13qhflh.com — Women’s Net in Qinghai Province — March 18
praat.org — Doing phonetics by computer — March 31
Other less frequented sites of interest that appeared on the list include ‘The Tennesse Dogue De Bordeaux’ dog breeders site (tnddb.com — March 14) and the ‘Double Super Secret Message Board’ site (dssmb.com — March 11). (Source: sophos.com). Other less frequented sites of interest that appeared on the list include ‘The Tennesse Dogue De Bordeaux’ dog breeders site (tnddb.com — March 14) and the ‘Double Super Secret Message Board’ site (dssmb.com — March 11). (Source: sophos.com).
Wood contacted the owners of the domains to draw their attention to the problem, and thankfully Southwest Airlines has already taken action to prevent the attacks. Solutions for network administrators to combat the problem were offered in the post by Wood from SophosLabs Canada.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure you apply the patch from Microsoft to prevent your computer from being exploited. See “Cleaning Systems of Conficker” at the bottom of the page.Visit Bill’s Links and More for more great tips, just like this one!This entire article and links is available at the Info Packs Newsletter site.
Koobface, Other Worms Target Facebook Friends (NewsFactor)
Posted on Thu Mar 5, 2009 11:31AM EST
Beware, a nasty bug is already at work on Facebook!
As Facebook works to make itself more relevant and timely for its growing member base with a profile page makeover, attackers seem to be working overtime to steal the identities of the friends, fans and brands that connect though the social-networking site.Indeed, Facebook has seen five different security threats in the past week. According to Trend Micro, four new hoax applications are attempting to trick members into divulging their usernames and passwords. And a new variant of the Koobface worm is running wild on the site, installing malware on the computers of victims who click on a link to a fake YouTube video.The Koobface worm is dangerous. It can be dropped by other malware and downloaded unknowingly by a user when visiting malicious Web sites, Trend Micro reports. When attackers execute the malware, it searches for cookies created by online social networks. The latest variant is targeting Facebook, but earlier variants have also plagued MySpace.Koobface’s Wicked AgendaOnce Koobface finds the social-networking cookies, it makes a DNS query to check IP addresses that correspond to remote domains. Trend Micro explains that those servers can send and receive information about the affected machine. Once connected, the malicious user can remotely perform commands on the victim’s machine.
“Once cookies related to the monitored social-networking Web sites are located, it connects to these Web sites using the user log-in session stored in the cookies. It then navigates through pages to search for the user’s friends. If a friend has been located, it sends an HTTP POST request to the server,” Trend Micro reports.
Ultimately, the worm’s agenda is to transform the victim’s computer into a zombie and form botnets for malicious purposes. Koobface attempts to do this by composing a message and sending it to the user’s friends. The message contains a link to a Web site where a copy of the worm can be downloaded by unsuspecting friends. And the cycle repeats itself.
Read up on how to protect yourself by accessing the rest of this article on Yahoo Tech.
– Very IMPORTANT UPDATE on March 11, 2009 –
by Bill Lindner on 20090311 @ 12:37AM ESTThe frightening Conficker worm is just getting bigger and meaner all the time. W32.Downadup.C, a third variant of the Conficker/Downadup worm, is reportedly being pushed out to systems that are already infected.Analysis of the third variant of the worm by Symantec is still in the early stages, but their initial research found a couple of new attributes — one of which includes targeting antivirus software and security tools with the intention of disabling them. (Source: symantec.com)
Shocked Obama Considering Bringing 9/11 Mastermind to the U.S.
I’m Lorraine Arias-Beliveau, and my wonderful brother, Adam Arias, was taken from us in the horrendous attack on the World Trade Center by murderous Islamic terrorists.
On the morning of September 11th, I was driving to the dentist’s office in New York City when I saw the shadow of a plane pass over very quickly. It was flying dangerously low and was extremely loud. It wasn’t but a few minutes later that I heard through the radio that the first World Trade Center tower had been hit.
Later, sitting in the dentist’s chair, I heard over the radio about the second tower being hit. I had that terrible feeling because my brother worked in that building! The phone lines were down, I could not call anyone, so I drove to my parent’s house a few blocks away to tell them not to go out.
I heard later that Adam had been seen running all over his office urging and pleading his co-workers to get out of the building and get as far away as possible. Our other brother, Lt. Col Don Arias who worked for the Air Force, had called Adam, VP of Operations for Euro Brokers on the 84th floor, and told him “get out, it is a hijacking!”
There were reports that he even forced some people out to safety, and many people today credit Adam with saving their lives. Reports say he was last seen outside the towers helping the firefighters leading people to safety. Adam stayed to the very last minute, trying to get as many people out as he could, but he did not make it away from the towers before they collapsed. We were notified on the 8th day that Adam’s remains had been found.
Our family has been waiting for seven years to get justice for our little brother Adam. When our family was invited down to Gitmo late last year to attend the trial of the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, we thought justice would come soon. What we saw was heartbreaking; it was like a circus! There he was, this monster who engineered the murder of my brother, and he was so smug, laughing at us, boasting about his terrible actions.
We were then startled earlier this year to learn that President Obama had called all the trials to halt, and issued an order to close Guantanamo Bay. Honestly I cannot think of a worse way to honor Adam and bring justice to his killers. They do not deserve to leave Gitmo; they do not deserve a trial in our federal court system. And, they sure don’t deserve the constitutional rights that will enable them to escape prosecution.
Too many Americans are unaware of the important role Guantanamo Bay plays in not only holding these murderous terrorists, but also providing a source of new intelligence to help our military men and women win the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That is why Move America Forward has prepared a TV advertisement to awaken people to the issues involved with bringing these terrorists into the United States. But, we need your financial support if we are going to get the TV spot on the air.
Please Make a Contribution here, so Move America Forward can run this AD on TV.
Thomas Jefferson could be called a prophet.
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe .
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
Very Interesting Quote
In light of the present financial crisis, it’s interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802 :
‘I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.
“The essential principles of our Government… form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety.” –1st Inaugural Address, 1801.
Hat tip to a dear lady in Arizona.
Alert to all my readers because knowledge is power.
This bug is what one would call a very sophisticated, smart virus. Read on.
From Infopackets Newsletter:
by Bill Lindner
Filed Under: Security
A new strain of malware that can spread rapidly from machine to machine
using a variety of infection techniques, including the poisoning of web
servers which then go on to contaminate visitors, has reportedly been
identified by Security Researchers. (Source: theregister.co.uk) The
malware, dubbed VIRUX by security researchers at Trend Micro, is spreading
around the globe, but seems to be …… Click to read the rest of the article (and our most recent articles)
Do you suffer from *paraskavedekatriaphobia?*
Yes, that’s really a word! It is “the fear of Friday 13th” — a fateful date which has come round once again!
So there you have it, your Word of the Day!!!
During a snow storm 3 days ago, 2 young men ages 27 and 28, were killed on the interstate, in a pileup of about 60 vehicles. This got personal for me when I realized, my very best and dearest friend of 30 some years was the aunt of the 27 year old, and I had watched his father grow up (my friend oldest younger brother!) and him as well. He had grown up and married a wonderful young woman who happened to be the niece of a wonderful friend I had known since high school. So, the tragedy has reached out and touched my heart in may ways and I am not in much of a mood to post anything. Life kind of goes in these cycles where one must cling to the lessons in life, figure out what is truly of value and take time to reach within to rest the restless soul and allow it to heal. Needless to say, I have had way too much going on and will take a break for a few days.
May God comfort Dusty’s family and loved ones with the memory of how terrific he really was, may his children always have the wonderful memory of him and his boundless love for them, and may his memory help give them all the strength for get through this time and move on till the time comes for them all to be together again in the kingdom. May the smiling, blue-eyed boy turned wonderful father, husband and man, find his way to heaven and God’s comfort and may he never be forgotton.
I read this in my email and had to laugh. It reminded me of the way my father was when I prematurely, at age 11, evolved into full fledged physical womanhood. My father had a great heart and a legendary sense of humor that unfortunately for many unaware young men at the time, did not extend itself to his “baby girl”. I laughed myself silly as I read this one. Thanks Tailgunner, I needed a good laugh and the memories of my youth this morning. What a rich legacy of memories and joy we have to reflect on when we take the time to do it.
Rules For Dating a soldier’s Daughter
(or Marine’s, Airman’s, or Sailor’s daughter for that matter!)
If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.
You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.
I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open- minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, In order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.
I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing a “barrier method” of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.
In order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is “early.”
I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?
The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T- shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which features chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.
Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless master of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy outside of Chu Lai. When my Agent Orange or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car. There is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine, and I am not afraid to go to Leavenworth.
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.
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:
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.
Some time ago, when I was feeling down and dealing with many of life’s trials, one of my very best friends sent me this Steve Troxel devotional that lifted my spirit and imprinted in my heart. Now my friend is travelling a rocky and difficult road, and so I’m “regifting” this wonderful devotion back to him in hopes it keeps the chain of truth and Christ’s love moving forward. God Blesses us with our Final Victory.
The Final Victory
Today, all over the world, there are people facing situations which threaten to send everything they hold dear crashing to the ground. It may be the result of bad decisions or circumstances out of their control; but either way, they awoke in the middle of a whirlwind and cannot determine which direction to turn. There are many others who awoke tired and discouraged, and don’t even know why. Today is much the same as any other, but they are questioning the usefulness of continuing.
I can make this bold prediction about today, not because I have any insight into this particular day or period of history, but because that is the nature of life. We live in an imperfect world filled with imperfect people. The result is a bunch of imperfect circumstances! Even when we begin to walk with Jesus we struggle with these imperfections which distract us and steal our joy.
Why begin a message on such a depressing note? First, we need to understand we’re not alone. Many more people are struggling than we can possibly imagine. The need for encouragement is huge and will increase as the time of our Lord’s return draws near. Next, we need to know how we can live a life of peace and how we can pass this peace to others.
When we place our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we don’t receive the promise of a trouble free life – we receive the promise of an Eternal Life in the presence of God. Many of our troubles here on earth will remain. But an understanding of our eternal promise should encourage us as we shift our focus from life in terms of days and years, to life in terms of eternity; “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Jesus saw these same struggles in His disciples. He wanted them to live a life of peace and contentment, but He also knew they would face many difficulties. After a night of teaching His disciples about their relationship with the Father through faith in His Son, Jesus gave these words of encouragement:
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus came to conquer sin and death through His sacrifice on the cross: the battle with the true enemy has already been won! When we come to Him in faith and receive the transforming gift of His Spirit, we ought to keep this life changing truth at the front of ALL our thoughts. As we climb into the ring day after day – even as we grow weary, lose a few rounds and want to quit – let’s always remember that through our risen Lord we have an eternal hope. Let’s continue with the peace and assurance that in Christ we have been granted the final victory.
I would like to express my deepest sympathy and condolences over the loss of John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s oldest child Jett. I cannot imagine how diffucult it would be to deal with this kind of loss. May Jett take repose in the arms of angels until his family is together again. God Bless you and your family during this sad time.
To All Parents
Written By: Edgar A. Guest
(from “All In a Lifetime”–Copyright, 1938)
“I’ll lend you for a little time a child of Mine,” He said,
“For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he’s dead,
It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for Me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and shall his stay be brief
You’ll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.
“I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call to take him back again?”
I fancied that I heard them say, “Dear Lord, Thy will be done.”
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may
And for the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay;
But shall the angels call for him much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Every time I read a post on a military blog I feel so much pride that we have such fine young men and women serving our great country, I could burst. This is an excerpt from a post that was written this month by devildog6771 and I recomend you click this link and read the entire post. It does America proud!
Our military is not just an instrument of war — Blogpost From: Hello Iraq
Since the early days when the first settlers came to America and founded our great nation, brave men and women have defended our nation from enemies, both foreign and domestic. When enemies attacked the early settlers men and women stood toe to toe, side by side, fighting off the attackers. Later, militias were formed. Though there were no women in the militias as far as I can determine, the women still looked after the home front while their men defended them in battle. They established undergrounds and performed many great deeds of courage.
From the very inception of our nation, we Americans, a hodge podge nation of European poor, indentured, wealthy, educated, and uneducated, all walks of social and economic life, came to America; and, did what Europe and no single nation previously could, united as a single body of people under one flag, one constitution, and one common ideal, democracy, and became the great nation we are today.
by devildog6771 from the heart on 11/12/08
A quote from Mohandmas Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.
I think that quote best describes what happens when our young people enter the military!
Update: 12/22/08 – Just a reminder, it is not too late to give a gift of love and support for our troops. Please log on and give a troop in harms way the gift of hearing the voices they love on Christmas Day! No gift can fill more hearts with joy for just $18!!!
Now that “Black Friday Sales” are happening, I would like to suggest how to put “the spirit of Christ” back into Christmas.
As we all know, with a tough economy it is going to be a rough time this Christmas Season. So this is my plan.
The AAFES (Online Military Exchange Store) is making it possible to buy phone cards for deployed troops at the PX discount rate and tax free!!! You can go here and look at all the great things you can do for our troops at the website. www.aafes.org
So, what is my plan? Every gift I buy will come accompanied with a card telling the recipient that a soldier, sailor, airmen or marine will be recieving $20 worth of gift minutes on their behalf to talk to their loved ones over the holiday season! My Christmas gift to me will be as many minutes as I can afford and as many prayers as I can offer to families who are waiting for their trooper to come home safe and sound. What better way to say thank you to our troops and their families who support them. I think I may well get excited this holiday season. Thanks to our Dept. of Defense for making the discount, tax free minutes so easy to get over the holiday!
Merry Christmas to our Troops!
The song you are about to listen to is from a standing ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform it!. They received an immediate resounding
Everyone who loves America should be thrilled to hear this song! Although,
But sadly, major radio stations wouldn’t play it, because it was considered ‘politically incorrect’ … consequently, the song was never released to the public.
So America , see what you think, and grab the youtube link and share with everyone you know. It is a beautiful and meaningful song.
Thank you all who have served and all who are serving our country. May God always bless each and every one of you for your selfless service and sacrifice and bless your families and loved ones for supporting your service. You are all Great Americans and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Thank you American Military and Veterans!!!
This is last years post, but it had some good information about the Marines and I thought I’d stick it at the top and wish the United States Marine Corps a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!!
BRIEF: Marine Corps Plans Birthday Celebrations
Publication date: 2008-11-06
By Journal-World, Lawrence, Kan.
Nov. 6–Lawrence area Marines and former Marines will gather on Monday to celebrate their corps’ 233rd birthday.
The annual Marine Corps birthday party will start at 10:30 a.m. in Kansas University’s Dole Institute of Politics. Those attending will see a video recording of a speech by Marine Commandant Gen. James T. Conway.
The guest speaker attending the event will be retired Maj. Gen. David A. Richwine, a 1965 KU graduate.
He is a Vietnam veteran who went on to hold a variety of positions and commands throughout his career.
When he retired, he was serving at Marine headquarters in Washington, D.C., as first chief information officer, the assistant chief of staff, command, control, communications, computer and intelligence and the director of intelligence.
The Lawrence High School a capella choir also will perform at the party.
Happy Birthday Marines!
Happy Birthday to the Marine Corps
Source: Greensboro News Record
Publication date: 2008-11-09
Arrival time: 2008-11-10
By HARRY THEFORD
Marines gather around the world to commemorate their 233rd birthday on Nov. 10 by “calling to mind the glories of a long and illustrious history.”
The Marine Corps Commandant’s birthday message will unnecessarily remind some Marines that they “have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and every corner of the seven seas.” “Marine has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue,” Marines 13th Commandant, Gen. John Archer Lejeune, said in 1921.
Older Marines will appreciate that recognition, younger Marines will accept the challenge to carry on. And just before the oldest Marine and youngest Marine are issued the first pieces of birthday cake, the commandant reminds them by paraphrase, “So long as this esprit de corps’ flourishes, Marines will be found equal to every emergency — as they have in the past.”
The namesake of the North Carolina Camp, Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune, was often said to be “the greatest of all leathernecks.” He was Marine Corps Commandant from 1920 through 1929. Camp Lejeune, comprising 156,000 acres along the Atlantic Ocean, is the largest Marine base in the world.
Lejeune was born in Pointe Coupee Parish, La., on the Mississippi River. He received a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and graduated from the Naval Academy. He chose to accept his commission as a Marine second lieutenant and began a 40-year career.
Interestingly, Pointe Coupee’s French-Creole plantation area was first scouted by a party of explorers sailing from Brest, France, in 1698. Keep that point in mind. Lejeune served in the Spanish-American War and in skirmishes in Panama, Philippine Islands, Cuba and Vera Cruz. In 1918, Brig. Gen. Lejeune sailed for Brest, France, completing the cycle begun when his French-Canadian explorer antecedents sailed from Brest in 1698 to explore Pointe Coupee, La. The French were probably happier to have America’s help in World War I than the Pointe Coupee folks were to see French explorers coming up the Mississippi River.
U.S. Army Gen. Pershing wasn’t all that happy, however, and first relegated Lejeune and his Marines to less than front-line duties. But Lejeune was quickly promoted to major general in July 1918 and took over the U.S. Army Second Division, the first Marine to command an Army Division. In 1919, Gen. Lejeune marched his men into Germany and became Marine Corps Commandant the following year.
Not surprisingly, Lejeune chose Nov. 10 as his Marine Corps retirement date in 1929, at which time he became superintendent of Virginia Military Academy. In retirement, he was advanced to lieutenant general in February 1942 but died in November of that same year.
Not only did Lejeune inspire Marines over the ages, he must have influenced his family as well. Buried with him in Arlington National Cemetery are a grandson, Col. James Blair Glennon, USMC, and a daughter, Maj. Eugenia P. Lejeune USMCR. Ellie Murdaugh Lejeune must have had quite a career herself as a Marine spouse, mother and grandmother. She died on the Marine Corps Birthday in 1953 and is interred at Arlington as well.
Now, for the rest of the story.
Lejeune founded the Marine Corps League in 1923, and the League’s National Convention has never been in North Carolina. That will change Aug. 8-14, 2010, at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. Would you venture a guess as to whose memory and service we will offer tribute? Great guess. Lt. Gen. John Archer Lejeune, “the greatest of all leathernecks.”
Who would have thought he would have been so big on birthdays?
By order of the commandant: Happy birthday, Marines!!!
I cannot let the passing of this brave, selfless American hero go without offering my Condolences and Gratitude to his family and loved ones and expressing the debt of Gratitude owed to him by the Nation and Corps of men he selflessly served. Heaven today is joyously recieving another fine, proud Marine and great citizen of our country. Rest in Peace Retired Marine Col. John Ripley, your duty is done and it is time for your rich reward in heaven. Thank God for men such as this one. Thank you!
Vietnam War Hero Dies at Home at 69
Source: Virginian – Pilot
Publication date: 2008-11-04
The Associated Press
Retired Marine Col. John Ripley, who was credited with stopping a column of North Vietnamese tanks by blowing up a pair of bridges during the 1972 Easter Offensive of the Vietnam War, died at home at age 69, friends and relatives said Sunday.
Ripley’s son Stephen Ripley said his father was found at his Annapolis home Saturday after missing a speaking engagement on Friday. The son said the cause of death had not been determined but it appeared his father died in his sleep.
In a videotaped interview with the U.S. Naval Institute for its Americans at War program, Ripley said he and about 600 South Vietnamese were ordered to “hold and die” against 20,000 North Vietnamese soldiers with about 200 tanks.
“I’ll never forget that order, ‘hold and die,’
” Ripley said. The only way to stop the enormous force with their tiny force was to destroy the bridge, he said. “The idea that I would be able to even finish the job before the enemy got me was ludicrous,” Ripley said. “When you know you’re not going to make it, a wonderful thing happens: You stop being cluttered by the feeling that you’re going to save your butt.”
Ripley crawled under the bridge under heavy gunfire, rigging 500 pounds of explosives
that brought the twin spans down, said John Grider Miller, a former Marine adviser in
Vietnam and the author of “The Bridge at Dong Ha ,” which details the battle.
Miller said the North Vietnamese advance was slowed considerably by Ripley. “A lot of people think South Vietnam would have gone under in ’72 had he not stopped them,” Miller said.
Ray Madonna, president of the U.S. Naval Academy’s 1962 graduating class, served in Vietnam as a Marine at the same time and said his classmate saved countless U.S. and South Vietnamese troops.
“They would have been wrecked” if the tanks had crossed, Madonna said. He said Ripley also coordinated naval gunfire that stopped the tanks from crossing at a shallower point downstream.
“He was a Marine’s Marine, respected, highly respected by enlisted men, by his peers and by his seniors,” Madonna said.
Miller said Ripley, who was born in Radford, Va., descended from a long line of veterans going back to the Revolutionary War. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1962, after enlisting in the Marines out of high school and spending a year in naval school in Newport, R.I.
He earned the “Quad Body” distinction for making it through four of the toughest military training programs in the world: the Army Rangers, Marine reconnaissance, Army Airborne and Britain’s Royal Marines, Miller said. He was also the only Marine to be inducted in the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame. Ripley earned the Navy Cross and Silver Star for his service in Vietnam. He later served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was regimental commander at Camp Lejeune, N.C., among other postings.
After retiring from the Marines, he was president and chancellor of Southern Virginia College in Lexington. Stephen Ripley said his father had a deep and tenacious love for his country, the Marine Corps and his family. “My Dad never quit anything and never went halfway on anything in his life,” he said. “He just was a full-throttle kind of person and those people that he cared about, he really cared about.”
Ripley is survived by his wife, Moline B. Ripley ; sons Stephen,Thomas and John; a daughter, Mary Ripley ; and eight grandchildren. Funeral arrangements were pending.
Update: Nov. 17,2008
EDITORIAL: John Ripley
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch
Publication date: 2008-11-17
By Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.
Nov. 17–A child of Radford, John Ripley enlisted in the Marines after high school and attended the Naval Academy. He graduated in 1962, was commissioned a second lieutenant, and in 1965 went to Vietnam. His career forms the stuff of legend.
If the nation had not grown anemic, he would have been as well known as the heroes of ancient wars. Ripley never sought fame — he scorned mere celebrity — so the condition did not bother him. A roll-call of his medals suggests the nobility of his person. Navy Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit (twice), Bronze Star (twice), Purple Heart. We could continue. Modesty defined the man.
During the Easter season of 1972 the Vietnamese communists descended in full force upon the South. Village after village fell as troops pressed ever on. Saigon itself seemed under threat. Capt. Ripley and his unit, which included about 600 South Vietnamese, received an order to halt an advance of 20,000 North Vietnamese, who were supported by 200 tanks. The bridge at Dong Ha was designated Ripley’s Alamo.
Amid enemy fire, he swung under the bridge to plant the explosives that brought down the span; the attack stalled as the fragments splashed into the waters and were strewn upon the ground. Historians believe that if the defense at Dong Ha had failed, South Vietnam might have collapsed there and then. The North eventually won the war, yet while the Vietnamese endured great sufferings an abject defeat in 1972 likely would have proved more costly not only to Vietnam but to the United States. A questionable involvement pursued by a dubious strategy by often ignominious leaders and undermined in the streets at home detracts not a bit from the courage of individuals such as Ripley.
Ripley’s post-service years included stints as president and chancellor of Southern Virginia College in Buena Vista and as president of Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham. As director of the Marine Corps’ History and Museums Division, he played a crucial role in the development of the National Museum of the Marine Corps that opened in 2006 in Quantico. The site is his shrine.
Last month Ripley died in Annapolis at 69. “O Judge of all nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy.” A Marine is always a Marine, and for generations hence Col. John Ripley will live in the remnant’s fond memory.
To see more of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.timesdispatch.com.
Copyright (c) 2008, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
A successful Christian business man was growing old and knew it was timeto choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.
He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you. “The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued.” I am going to give each one of you a SEED today – one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO”
One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.
After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.
Six months went by–still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – He so wanted the seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick at his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful–in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!” All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”
When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed – Jim told him the whole entire story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!” Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO the others said?
Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But, I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers.
When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!”
If you plant honesty, you will reap trust,
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends,
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness,
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective,
If you plant hard work, you will reap success,
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation,
If you plant faith in Christ, you will reap a harvest,
So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.
Two thousand years ago Paul wrote to the church at Galatia the same story but with fewer words, “What you sow, so shall you reap”. (Gal. 6:7)
We are grass that will wither and die but the incorruptible seed of Gods Word will live forever – sow it daily into the life of your family! (1 Peter 1: 23 – 25)
I cannot even fathom the intense grief so much senseless loss could cause this family, but my heart and prayers go out to them. May God bless and comfort them all during this time of such intense sadness.
FBI says body found is that of Hudson’s nephew, 7
CHICAGO – A top FBI official said Monday that a body found in an SUV is believed to be that of Jennifer Hudson‘s missing 7-year-old nephew, the focus of a desperate search since the Oscar winner’s mother and brother were found shot to death in their home three days earlier.
While the body has not been positively identified, FBI Deputy Director John S. Pistole said authorities believe it to be that of Julian King, who also lived in the home.
The rest of the AP story is here.
This was sent to me by a friend over a year ago. I don’t know it’s source, but I can understand it’s meaning more than when I first read it. Lovingly give thanks to God for the doors of opportunity and His perfect will.
“Pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message.”
God will never lead you into something that you can’t handle in His strength. God is equipped for anything out there, and you are also equipped with this earth-shaking power. God has promised to walk with you through everything.
So why would He lead you somewhere, and then just drop you? The old saying goes that God will never close a door without opening another, and that’s invariably true. When you keep running into closed doors, keep pushing through because, if you faithfully follow wherever God leads, you will find your open door. Each time you fall short, just get back up with ever greater determination to accomplish the dream that God has planted in your heart.
A Prayer for Today
God, it’s exciting to know that You go ahead of me to open doors of opportunity and service. Give me the faith and perseverance to keep following You wherever You lead me.
In Jesus’ Name … Amen.
A perspective from a Marine and family that lived through the anxious days of tragedy and horror.
On Marines’ Dark Day, a Town Feared for Him
Source: Virginian – Pilot
Publication date: 2008-10-23
By MATTHEW JONES
ELIZABETH CITY,NC – On a Sunday morning 25 years ago today, Lance Cpl. Scott Perry was standing in a drained concrete moat in Lebanon, making a cup of coffee with his Marine buddy when a distant blast sent a shock wave that knocked them into each other.
The pair looked to the northern horizon, where a large mushroom cloud was rising from the direction of the Beirut International Airport. The news spread quickly, via radio and word of mouth: The Marine barracks there had been destroyed.
Perry and his fellow Marines were miles away, surrounded by Muslim militia drawing ever closer. So as they mourned their colleagues, they wondered if this was the beginning of an offensive that would spell their own demise. “You think: How do I survive now?” Perry said.
Nearly 6,000 miles away, Clifford and Becky Perry sat pinned to the television in their Hertford, N.C., home, praying for their eldest child and only son to walk across the screen. “Anxiety, anxiety,” Clifford Perry remembered. “We didn’t know where he was.”
The Marines had been in Lebanon since August 1982, as part of an international force responding to the Lebanese civil war. The U.S. Embassy in Beirut had been attacked by a suicide bomber the following April, killing dozens and leading to a U.S. bombing campaign. At about 6:20 a.m. on Oct. 23, 1983, a truck laden with explosives circled in front of the Marines’ airport barracks, picking up speed before tearing through the barbed-wire security fence, crashing into the four-story building’s lobby and detonating. The blast flattened the structure with what the FBI later called the largest non-nuclear explosion since World War II. The attack killed 241 U.S. service members, including 220 Marines, in the Marine Corps’ worst single-day loss since Iwo Jima. Several minutes later and several miles away, another explosion leveled a building housing French paratroopers, killing 58.
Among the U.S. dead were a handful of service members from Virginia and North Carolina, some from Hampton Roads. It would take some time before his parents would know that Scott Perry wasn’t among them. He was several miles to the south, hunkered down in a compound at the base of the Chouf Mountains with the rest of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. They’d been there for several months, exchanging fire with Muslim militia. When the bombing happened and the enemy stepped up its attacks, the Marines hunkered down for what they thought was the beginning of a major battle.”You do just like you do in any other war. You have to resign yourself to the possibility of death,” Perry said. “You just hit a comfort level with that.” There was no time to digest the news of his colleagues’ deaths, he added, and while he knew his parents were worried about him, “my main concern was how to survive, how to get my fellow Marines to survive.”
At home in Hertford, Scott’s family and friends stared at their telephones and televisions in an excruciating limbo, unable to rejoice in his survival or grieve over his passing. Becky Perry rationalized that Scott must be alive because they hadn’t heard otherwise. Her husband theorized that Scott’s mission would have kept him away from the barracks.
“The probability of him being there was slim and none,” Clifford Perry recalled. “I told the wife at the time that he should not be in those barracks unless he was temporarily assigned or had been put in the brig. But when you don’t hear, you don’t know.” The Perrys spent that Sunday watching television footage of bodies being hauled from the rubble as the death toll grew. They jumped every time the phone rang. The next day, they returned to work – he as a power company lineman, she as a bank cashier – because they saw no point in brooding at home.
On Tuesday, they called a Washington number to see if anyone had word of Scott. They were told that his company was supposed to be elsewhere, but offered no guarantee. Becky Perry’s mother, meanwhile, heard a news report that some of Scott’s company had been stationed at the airport. Family, friends, neighbors and fellow church members in their town of less than 2,000 watched different television channels and pored over stories and photos in different newspapers for any clue. The elder Perrys had each grown up in the town, as had Becky Perry’s parents. Everyone knew Scott, everyone bore the worry. He’d wanted to join the Marines to see the world. If he had died, he’d done so doing what he loved. And so the thinking went.
The good news came in the middle of the night. At 4:40 a.m. that Friday, the phone rang. “He said, ‘Hi, I finally got through.’ ” Clifford Perry recalled. “We knew he was OK right then.” Scott had boarded a truck and traveled to an adjacent British- Lebanese position, where he was able to make a brief call before heading back to the fighting. They spoke for about two minutes, but that was enough.
By 7 a.m., the Perrys were spreading the word, calling everybody they could think of, who then called everybody else. Clifford Perry stopped by his friend’s hardware store to tell him the news. The friend then told the town via his outdoor sign: SCOTT PERRY IS OK THANK GOD! “He would post his specials out there,” Clifford Perry said. “When we found out, he posted his new special.”
Scott Perry stayed on active duty for two more years, then spent the next 17 years in the reserves. He went to college and worked for a while as a probation officer. He now works in debt collection and teaches self-defense and firearms to state correctional officers. He stays in touch with his former squad leader and has attended the annual Beirut memorial service at Camp Lejeune, N.C. “It’s like anything else that happens in your life. It’s a seminal event – then other things happen and, in time, it recedes,” he said. “You have to compartmentalize the experience, or you won’t survive the transition to the civilian world.”
Having become an informal student of the war that sent him to battle 25 years ago, Perry has pondered what many consider an opening chapter in the steady march of terrorist attacks leading to 9/11. He, however, sees the classic East-West battle going back much further, all the way to the Crusades. Soon after the barracks bombing, President Reagan condemned the attack, saying the United States would not bow to terrorism. The following February, however, he ordered the Marines home. Clifford Perry, himself a Marine veteran, has pondered that decision. “I often wonder if Ronald Reagan had made some more definite moves after the bombing, if he hadn’t pulled back. … It’s hindsight, but I often wonder where we would be,” he said. “If we had gone in and squooshed somebody then and there, we might not have lost all those people in the Twin Towers.”
In retrospect, I think Mr. Perry was correct. I can’t think of any active duty military personnel who didn’t want to go in right then and clean up the garbage that did this act of cowardice. I think the decision to “pull out the Marines”, after this occurred, was one of Ronald Reagan’s big mistakes. Withdrawl, to these extremists, always seems to embolden them more. God Bless our fallen troops and may their families be comforted each day by our amazing God.
A word of warning from Yahoo News – Be on the lookout and don’t get duped!!!
What’s wrong with the screenshot to the right? Ignoring those red boxes added for emphasis, it looks identical to the Windows Security Center… only it’s not. In fact it’s a spyware hoax designed to mimic the Security Center almost identically, not to mention trick you into purchasing WinDefender 2008 software, a phony security app which will clear up only the phony security alerts its malware component creates.
WinDefender is just the latest in a series of malware attacks designed to look like legitimate Windows components. But people have finally started to wise up to those smallish “alert” pop-ups, so malware creators are upping the ante with full-blown knockoffs of real security apps. Computer Associates has the details.
In addition to the fake Security Center, WinDefender nags you further by blocking web pages from opening (blaming the blockage on “adware/spyware on your PC”). It adds a yellow drop-down box to Internet Explorer like you get when you try to download something from the web, again with text urging you to install WinDefender 2008 in order to unblock the sites. Just $40 of extortion money makes it all go away…
Most anti-malware software ought to be able to scrub WinDefender 2008 off your machine, but the more important lesson is that you pay close attention to the interface of anything security-related on your PC to ensure that you aren’t being scammed while you’re actually trying to address any security problems. Anything you see in Windows that recommends a specific program to solve any sort of problem should immediately be considered suspect.
Our True Worth
Markets Tumble Again! Global Meltdown! Panic Grips The Market!
Everyday for the last week we have seen these kind of headlines. And for the last several weeks there has been an uncertainty with the world financial system which has probably not been seen in our lifetime. Most of the news has been about the percentage decline (20, 30, 40%) and about major companies failing. However, something the headlines have perhaps neglected is that the real story involves millions of individuals all over the world.
It’s true that many of our friends in rural Africa without running water or electricity are functioning pretty much the same today as they were last month, or last year…or for that matter a few generations ago. But for many people around the world there is a sense of great anxiety today which was not present this time last year.
No, I’m not going to write about how Jesus told us not to worry, but He did (Matthew 6::25). The anxiety we are feeling is very real. I’ve been there. I know the turning knot in the stomach – and it won’t go away by my telling it to stop. And I’m also not going to write about how Jesus told us to store up . Sure this is an opportunity to check our heart and value system, but watching years of sacrifice fade away so fast is still going to be painful. , about where our treasure is, there our heart will be also…but He did (Matthew 6:19-21)
I guess what I’m really challenged to write about is how we really measure our worth. I mean, according to the news many of us are worth much less today than we were last week – even less than last year. But are we?
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your valuable than they?” feeds them. Are you not much more.
We are worth more than any other created thing in the Universe! And that will NEVER change. After He had created everything else, “God created man in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). And though man rebelled and became separated from God, He pursued us time and time again, “as you lay there in your blood I said to you, ‘Live!'” (Ezekiel 16:6). And though we continued in our disobedience and rebellion, God sent His Son to die and bring us home, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). This is a great love poured out for those He greatly values!
So what does your account say today? Down a little? Down a lot? Plans may need to be changed, goals adjusted, desires set aside. These decisions will need to be made with great thought and MUCH prayer. Yes, this is a time to trust God like never before. And this is also a time to better understand our true worth.
I think it’s about time our elected leaders prosecuted all the criminal CEOs and management who think nothing about stealing large sums of cash from investors, employees and now the taxpayers while bankrupting the economy of our country! Barney Frank & Co should be made to answer for their part in the Fannie Mae debaucle as well. I thought their job was to protect their constituants, not dip in the till.
By ANDREW TAYLOR – Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Days after it got a federal bailout, American International Group Inc. spent $440,000 on a posh California retreat for its executives, complete with spa treatments, banquets and golf outings, according to lawmakers investigating the company’s meltdown.
AIG sent its executives to the coastal St. Regis resort south of Los Angeles even as the company tapped into an $85 billion loan from the government it needed to stave off bankruptcy. The resort tab included $23,380 worth of spa treatments for AIG employees, according to invoices the resort turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The retreat didn’t include anyone from the financial products division that nearly drove AIG under, but lawmakers still were enraged over thousands of dollars spent on outing for executives of AIG’s main U.S. life insurance subsidiary.
“Average Americans are suffering economically. They’re losing their jobs, their homes and their health insurance,” the committee’s chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., scolded the company during a lengthy opening statement at a hearing Tuesday. “Yet less than one week after the taxpayers rescued AIG, company executives could be found wining and dining at one of the most exclusive resorts in the nation.”
Former AIG CEO Robert Willumstad, who lost his job a day after the Federal Reserve put up the $85 billion on Sept. 16, said he was not familiar with the conference and would not have gone along with it.
“It seems very inappropriate,” Willumstad said in response to questioning from Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.
“Those executives should be fired,” Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama said at a debate with Sen. John McCain on Tuesday, referring to the retreat participants. Obama also said AIG should give the Treasury $440,000 to cover the costs of the retreat.
But Eric Dinallo, superintendent of the New York State Insurance Department, said he could see the value of such a retreat under the circumstances.
“Having been at large global companies and knowing what condition AIG was in … the absolute worst thing that could have happened” would have been for employees and underwriters in its life insurance subsidiary to flee the company.
“I do agree there is some profligate spending there, but the concept of bringing all the major employees together … to ensure that the $85 billion could be as greatly as possible paid back would have been not a crazy corporate decision,” Dinallo told the House committee.
The hearing disclosed that AIG executives hid the full range of its risky financial products from auditors as losses mounted, according to documents released by the committee, which is examining the chain of events that forced the government to bail out the conglomerate.
The rest of the story is here.