This is a continuation of my previous post. As it was getting late and the post was getting a wee bit too long, I cut it short and published. This post will be the last one for 2007 so I'd like to wish you all a Happy New Year in '08. Watch this space in January for more Biblical insight into today's news.
Being a Watchman Ain't Easy, but Somebody's Gotta Do It - Part II
Bloody 'ell, they're at it again. Shoddy, sounds-nice-feels-good theology divorced from Biblical truth is a constant thorn in the side for those who love Him. In Palestine, churches are resuscitating 'liberation theology', thereby reducing Christianity to some cheap political creed. The Biblical command to not forsake Israel should be in the heart of every Christian. By demonizing Israel as some kind of neo-Roman Empire is to stand on shaky ground. You'd also have to ignore half of the OT and much of the NT to come up with this wacky doctrine.
So are the Jews really that powerful? Yes they are. But not through deviousness or malice as the anti-semites love to tell it (or sell it if you prefer). All Jews with very few exceptions are literate and educated. Hard work and faith in a living God completes the three-legged stool of success.
You'd think this would somehow rub off on the Palestinians living beside the most dynamic people in the world. And of course you'd also be wrong in that assessment. The Palestinian economy is in shambles and human rights violations persist with the bloody infighting between Fatah and Hamas. This despite the fact that 'Palestine' is one of the biggest international welfare cases in the world.
Bono Vox, the Irish Idiot
I love Bono's voice and the music of U2. And there's nothing sexier than a woman's voice with an Irish accent. I'd be putty in her hands. So why am I harsh on Mr. Paul Hewens (his real name)? Two words: Foreign Aid. Understand I'm not against foreign aid per se, but it can also be a detriment. Without security, accountability and transparency, foreign aid is wasted and grossly distorts the local economy. Having good people in the right places is crucial as well. The problem is of course, the places where foreign aid goes to has little in the way of security, accountability, transparency and moral leaders in high places. Foreign aid minus the proper oversight entrenches the corrupt and decreases the chance for a lasting peace. The worst thing we can do for Israel is to give the Palestinians hope that victory is imminent. By denying them aid and defeating the intifadah, Palestinians will get down to the mundane business of building a peaceful state for themselves. So Bono, please think about the unintended consequences of your socialist policies. Sometimes the best aid is no aid at all.
The Last Odds and Ends for 2007
Here are two top ten lists, one from K-House and one from Rapture Ready on the prophetic trends that we saw this year. With the Bhutto assassination this week, 2008 looks like a year for accelerated progress for Bible prophecy.
From economics to politics, and from politics to military collaboration, China and India are putting aside past grievances in a dual security exercise. While the number of the troops is small, that's generally where large-scale military co-operation starts. With oil pipelines being laid east-west across Eurasia, the path of the Kings of the East is made clearer every day.
Lastly from the GFA, a photo show on the advances being made for the Kingdom of God and the everyday challenges that a growing church in India faces during the holiday season.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
This is a continuation of my previous post. As it was getting late and the post was getting a wee bit too long, I cut it short and published. This post will be the last one for 2007 so I'd like to wish you all a Happy New Year in '08. Watch this space in January for more Biblical insight into today's news.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
By now you've already heard the news out of Pakistan. As all the major news outlets have reported on the carnage, there's little point here in rehashing old news. Benazir Bhutto knew full well the dangers associated with her campaign. She also had many admirers as well. I sort of have to laugh at some of the over-the-top rhetoric being lauded on her. Bhutto was never going to be the 'bright shining light' of Pakistan, despite claims to the contrary. The Bhutto family was corrupt, made it policy to empower the Taliban and were key players in Pakistan's nuclear ambitions. She may have represented a new hope for Pakistan, but Benazir Bhutto was forever a flawed and imperfect ally.
Being a Watchman Ain't Easy, but Somebody's Gotta Do It
The pay stinks and the working conditions suck. So why do it? I suppose the answer is the eternal price of freedom is vigilance. The first group we have to watch for is the loony left. I've commented on their perfect record of failure before and it looks like there'll be no shorage of silliness to report on. As I see it, the left have two major talents that us conservative thinkers simply lack. Namely:
1) The uncanny ability to predict catastrophe after its already occurred and,
2) Giving a detailed, in-depth analysis of non-existent events.
Honestly, I'm jealous. Gifts like these aren't handed out like candy y'know. Take noted feminist and wild-eyed conspiracy theorist Naomi Wolf. The Bush years have not been good to Naomi I'm afraid.
As you may well know, I have a deep love for Israel and all those that choose to live peaceably within its borders. So when David Landau - the editor of Ha'aretz - told Condi Rice recently that he wanted to see Israel 'raped' for the cause of peace (at any cost apparently), I get a little worried. As Daniel Pipes notes:
(1) This appeal to an outside agency to pressure their own government is profoundly undemocratic.
(2) It is hard to imagine the intellectuals of any other state acting in like fashion.
When its Israel's sovereignty at stake, who cares right? It's all for the greater good we're told. Daniel (9:27) prophecied that Israel would make a covenant with death, an agreement with Hell (Isaiah 28:15). While the signatures on that future document will be distinctly Jewish, I doubt Israel will have a truly free choice in the matter.
Take a look at Mike Huckabee who was in Des Moines, Iowa recently:
A man of the people, even if Ann Coulter doesn't think so. Mike is a former pastor, and has used his easygoing oratory to charm friends and foes alike. Huckamania has caught on in Texas, earning the endorsement of the Dallas Morning News. Democracy in action, right? Well, not so fast. It appears that Huck is getting hostile attention from two groups, the godless secularists in the liberal media and the higher-ups in the Republican party. Both forces are anti-God and anti-America. Nor is there anything wrong with making the right kinds of enemies. Can a candidate who openly expresses his Christian faith and who's an outsider to Washington make it to the Oval Office? If Mike can't do it, John McCain is the next best choice. Both are mavericks in their own right and are bona fide threats to the establishment. Pray that God will protect these two men (along with all the other candidates) and guide America in its fateful decision.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Bet you didn't know the Christian origins of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'. Though there is some controversy within the church over this, at the very least I found it interesting.
The original link can be found here.
The First Day of Christmas: A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge in question is none other than Jesus Christ.
The Second Day of Christmas: Two Turtledoves
Turtledoves were used as animal sacrifices for the Jewish Temple. They represent the Old and New Testaments.
The Third Day of Christmas: Three French Hens
The three virtues of faith, hope and love (1 Cor 13:13)
The Fourth Day of Christmas: Four Calling Birds
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the four gospels of the NT.
The Fifth Day of Christmas: Five Gold Rings
From the New Testament back to the Old, these are the first five books of the Bible, also referred to as the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
The Sixth Day of Christmas: Six Geese A-laying
The first six days of Creation. (Gen 1)
The Seventh Day of Christmas: Seven Swans A-swimming
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, and compassion (Romans 12:6-8)
The Eighth Day of Christmas: Eight Maids A-milking
The eight beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10)
The Ninth Day of Christmas: Nine Ladies Dancing
The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
The Tenth Day of Christmas: Ten Lords A-leaping
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17)
The Eleventh Day of Christmas: Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven faithful apostles who loved Jesus.
The Twelveth Day of Christmas: Twelve Drummers Drumming
These are the twelve points of doctrine found in the Apostles Creed.
Hope that enlightens you some. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
What's up with the superherophobia? I'd take the Batmobile Tumbler over Santa's sleigh any day. Anyhoo, here's a cool Christmas pic to add to your folder:
Actually, scratch that. Poor old St. Nick has collided with a PLA jet whilst over the South China Sea. As a result, Christmas is cancelled this year. Hope that doesn't inconvenience your family too much.
Gog and Magog
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him. Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet. Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. (Ezekiel 38:2-6)
This has been a little nugget of Bible prophecy that continues to fascinate me. It tells of a war launched against Israel won by God Himself. Libya and Ethiopia are self-explanatory. Persia is modern-day Iran. But who is the 'house of Togarmah of the north quarters'? Turkey and Russia seem to be the most logical choices. With the recent National Intelligience Estimate (NIE), Bible prophecy has just taken a quantum leap.
Iran (Persia) and Iraq
Here's my pet theory: America has made its mind up that diplomacy with Iran is over. Knowing recent Iran-Iraq relations have not been stellar, especially in the 1980's, the Bush administration has cut a deal: Either co-operate with us on Iraq with the eventual U.S. troop withdrawal or we will arm Iraq (and possibly the KSA as well) to the teeth. An Iranian pledge of non-interference in Iraq's internal affairs gives them a reprieve wrt their nuclear ambitions. With a year left in power, Dubya wants his vindication and he wants it now. Determined to carve out a legacy at any price, the groundwork has been laid for a destructive confrontation, endangering both Jewish and Arab lives. Thus, whomever inherits the Oval Office in Jan '09 will have a ticking time bomb to deal with as soon as they assume command.
Israel: We Are Not Amused
Naturally, the Israelis are mortified. America, Israel's biggest ally and supporter, has abandoned the Jewish state. While that may or may not be the official case, I think the end result is still the same. It certainly has made for sober reading in the Israeli newspapers of late. Israel once more stands alone against its enemies.
The Russian Bear Awakes
There's no way to know for sure what role (if any) Russia will play in Ezekiel's prophecy. What we do know (and it ain't pretty) is this:
The precedent of Russian MiGs over Israeli airspace has already been set. Russian complicity in the Six-Day War of 1967 was much more significant (and sinister) than originally believed.
While the Yeltsin years hardly represented a nadir for Russia, things have deteriorated under Vladimir Putin. Vlad the Impaler has throttled the opposition and stifled what was left of a free press. Time magazine can call it 'stability' all it wants, but former chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov isn't fooled: It's the old reconstituted Soviet system in all its evil glory.
U.S-Russian foreign relations have taken a nosedive as well. The recent decision by the Bush administration to put a missile defence system in Poland has upped the ante. While the U.S. continues to engage Iran over Iraq (see above) the Americans fundamentally distrust the Iranians (with good reason) and Russian attempts to enable them.
Saving Man from the Wreckage of Civilization
The Gospel was never given to save civilization from wreckage. It was given to save man from the wreckage of civilization. Above all, there is a God who loves us very much. A man living in a cave in India was given a new life in Jesus Christ thanks to a GFA missionary. It is through faith, by receiving The One Who Was Sent, Jesus the Messiah, the same shall be saved. That to me is the heart and soul of the gospel message. If you understand that, then you've grasped the true meaning of Christianity.
Found this blog by glorious accident. You can check out this post about the self-defeating jihad that the West finds itself in. The link to his homepage can be found under 'Israeli Bloggers'.
Merry Freakin' Christmas!
I would like to take this time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. As I have this week off, I do intend to post again before the year is over. BTW, Santa is very much alive and in one piece, despite China's best military efforts. Stay safe, have fun and please don't drink and drive!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It's about time somebody unapologetically said 'Merry Christmas'! This is a wonderful little plug by Mike Huckabee. As I've stated previously, I've endorsed Huck to be America's new president in 2008. Mike's 'Fair Tax' plan will empower the poor and the middle class. As it turns out, even I made a mistake: This guy is for real. While Rudy is still the GOP frontrunner, Huck has surged forward by as much as 18 points! This is huge. Politics is really all about momentum. Who had it but lost it, who didn't have it before but do now and those who never had momentum in the first place. Rudy and Romney are in the first category whilst Huckabee is clearly in the second. Thompson, McCain and Ron Paul fall into that unfortunate third slot. Now we must remember that November '08 is still a ways off and a lot can happen between now and then.
The Great Communicator - Part II
Huckabee understands the American heart just like Ronald Reagan did. I believe it's that simple. Huck doesn't have secret mutant powers as some have tongue-in-cheek suggested. What he does have is an ability to engage men and women directly while putting them at ease. He's that 'family friend', someone who always gets an invite to Christmas dinner.
Capturing the Female Vote
Mike is not what you would call model material. Nor will he ever be mistaken for James Bond. As men tend to vote conservative irrespective of who's running, the ultimate swing vote ends up in the hands of women. It's the women in a democracy who are the king makers. So if good looks aren't the be all and end all (nor are they entirely irrelevant), what drives women away from a particular candidate? In a word: Anger. Women (and more than a few men) don't like angry candidates. Guys, listen to me: It's not just what you say, it's how you say it that matters to women. Overly aggressive body language turns women off. A masculine leader that is confident and self-assured with a hint of mischief in their eyes will melt most women's hearts. Huck has got that whole mojo thing going with his body language. How do you think Bill Clinton avoided impeachment? The worst twentieth century U.S. president who never 'got it' as far as body language was concerned has to be Richard Nixon. Look how history judges them now! Looking at the current GOP slate, Mitt looks stiff and Rudy looks like a deer caught in the headlights. Not good for them, that's for sure!
Haven't had a post in over a week so I'd like to thank you for your patience. I've also included Mike's own website for your leisure.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
As the political picture here in Canada has cooled significantly we have to look south to get our political fix. Let's keep in mind that in the '08 election that neither a sitting president or vice-president is running. It certainly makes for a very topsy-turvy campaign. Despite the fact that there are only two established parties, there's no lack of characters dotting the political landscape.
I've already said my piece about Giuliani and have endorsed Mike Huckabee. Yet the GOP still intrigues me. In particular, Mormon Mitt Romney. As Jonah Goldberg notes, outside of the evangelicals, few Americans care that Mr. Romney is a Mormon. While his faith is obviously a big part of Mitt's life, what matters most to Americans in considering a president is someone who is good and has faith in something that is bigger than themselves. I am not endorsing Mormonism here. Indeed there are many valid theological questions swirling around Joseph Smith and Mormon doctrines. But as Mr. Goldberg opines, people will judge you by what you do, not by what you say.
Hillary is still 'The Man' (pardon the expression) as far as the Dems are concerned. I believe that the GOP want Mrs. Clinton to get the Democrat nomination. The Republicans are making a huge mistake in overlooking Barack Obama. Personable, handsome, charismatic and above all Obama's got Oprah Winfrey in his corner. All assets that Democrats secretly wish Hillary Clinton had. Which she doesn't.
I think our boys are doing yeoman's work in Afghanistan. With that being said, things have deteriorated in the south since 2005. Since 2007, many aid workers have left. See the two maps below:
Afghanistan in 2005
Afghanistan in 2007
Obviously these are objective judgements being made but the negative trend is clear. The main culprit is the drug trade and widespread corruption. The Taliban, despite propaganda claims to the contrary, are heavily involved in the opium drug trade. It is truly disheartening that NATO soldiers are dying to defend drug routes for 'untouchable' drug lords. All failed states have one thing in common: corruption. It steals from the poor and gives to the rich. In Afghanistan the only thing they have in abundance is poor people. It's a crying shame and there seems to be little in the way of resolution.
With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?
Is Turkey still a reliable Western asset? I don't think so. While Turkey may have been a friend of the U.S. in the past, its current status is more like that of a rival. It isn't exactly friendly but it isn't hostile either. Given what is happening with the Kurds in northern Iraq, you get the impression that the Turks were quite happy with Saddam in power prior to his forceful removal in 2003. In the Daniel Pipes article it states:
Anti-Americanism has prospered exuberantly in the five years of AKP rule, to the point that Turks regularly poll as the population most hostile to America in the world. In 2000, polls show, 52 percent of them looking favorably on the United States; just 9 percent do so in 2007.
Naturally the leftists are rejoicing over this America (and Bush) hatred. I don't think these trends that we're seeing in Afghanistan and Turkey is due to American strength, I believe these are the results of American weakness. So while Mr. Bush does not escape the blame, the left-wing critics have got it bass-ackwards as usual.
Everybody's Favorite Fifth Column
The Council of American- Islamic Relations seems to have a serious problem. Many of the upper echelons of CAIR have a penchant for law-breaking and saying stupid things. To quote U.S. Rep Sue Myrick (D-NC),
"Groups like CAIR have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the United States,"
Sue Myrick is also the co-founder of the House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus.
These malcontents also seem to suffer from foot-in-mouth disease:
"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant,"
"The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."
So said Omar Ahmad, the founder of CAIR to interviewer Lisa Gardiner. Naturally this weasel is denying he ever said such a thing. As of yet, no retraction has been offered by the Fremont Argus in California.
I hope you enjoyed this post as much as my last one. I'm actually rather proud of my previous post. I must continually remind myself that there are many out there who are not familiar with these well-worn Biblical passages. Some who visit my blog may be reading these prophetic passages for the first time. Praise God!
Giving Him The Glory Always,
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Here are three main points which for me prove God is still interested in our well-being and that He still loves us.
Many atheists scoff at this notion. Say a believer is sick and his (or her) church is praying for a healing. Later on however that person dies. 'See!', the scoffer would say, 'Your prayers weren't answered!'. That may be true if we rely on human experience to solve the problem. God doesn't answer prayer when, where, or how WE think He should answer our prayer. The death of a beloved member of a church will never be fully explainable using our fallible and mortal logic. So it is when we see little or no progress in a prayer that is consistent with God's will. God is just and forgiving and is sovereign above all. Just because it doesn't make sense to you does in no way imply God doesn't know or care. He DOES know and He DOES care!
God is still in the business of reclaiming lost souls. Indeed, He has not changed one bit! This is wonderful news for those that knew Him when they were young but fell away or those that have never heard God's plan of salvation before. Whether it be daredevil Robert 'Evel' Knievel who came to faith late in life before passing away or Franklin Graham preaching in Hong Kong, people are coming to faith in Christ in record numbers. In the above article it states:
American evangelist Franklin Graham held his largest evangelistic event to date this past weekend with 423,335 people overflowing seven separate venues in Hong Kong and in neighboring Macau.
By the final night, 33,464 people had responded to the invitation to accept Jesus Christ as their savior.
In one day nearly half a million people heard the message of salvation and some thirty-three thousand responded. Peter gave a sermon on Pentacost and 3,000 souls were added to the Book of Life. Mr. Graham has now superseded that miracle event eleven times over. Do not believe the secular humanist media who say that Islam is the world's fastest growing religion. It isn't. Muslim women may be winning the 'War of the Womb' but in terms of adult converts the contest isn't even close.
I could fill a hundred pages if I had the time and money to show you that God's plan of redemption is still on track. Fortunately for you I will not attempt to do this right now. Precept upon precept and line upon line is the only way to show the veracity of this position. Here are seven reasons why Christ's return is far closer than what we think:
The regathering of the Jews in Israel (Ezekiel 37): Despite the odds and its formidable foes (see below), Israel continues to flourish amidst a sea of hostility.
Israel is made a nation in one day (Isaiah 66:8):
Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labour than she gives birth to her children.
Yet the impossible happens and Israel is reborn on May 15, 1948. Is this a disaster or 'al-Naqba'? For Satan and all those who follow him it is!
Jerusalem Becomes The World's Burdensome Stone (Zechariah 12:2-3):
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. In that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
Throw the Jews under the bus and peace will surely follow! What folly. Sadly we have learned NOTHING from history.
The Rise of Russia (Ezekiel 38-39):
The recent reversal by the Bush administration regarding Iranian nuke capabilities takes the heat off of Iran as far as the rest of the world (namely the EU and UN) is concerned. With Iran no longer under the microscope Israel is placed in even greater peril than before.
The Call For Global Gov't (Daniel 7:7):
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
I'm of the firm belief that along with the ME conflict and economic integration, climate change will be a big enabler of global government.
Increase in Knowledge, Power and Speed of Travel (Daniel 12:4):
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
This one is really personal. I cannot help but think of my two nephews Huey and Duey (not their real names obviously) who are growing up in this modern age. The technological gap between when my sister and I were born and when Huey and Duey were born is like none other. Thanks to air travel I've visited all four provinces of Western Canada (BC, AB, SK, MB), as well as Quebec and the Maritimes (NS and NB). Mom and Dad visited England (again) this year and have journeyed as far as Australia! No other generation previous to this one is more travelled.
The Rise of Immorality (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
OK, so I know this sounds old. While every generation has had its share of cads and bounders, can any other generation boast of such sensuality as ours? I don't think so. We have forgotten how to blush. Shame is just another word in the dictionary. Know this: all this bad behaviour we see doesn't prove the Bible false, it proves it to be true.
So there you have it. You can argue if you wish but all my points are valid. It takes more faith to be an atheist than a Christian. Be one less of them and one more of us and join the adventure!
Saturday, December 01, 2007
It appears 2007 still has one month left to go. Time sure flies, does it not? Despite the passage of time however, there are more than a few things that remain constant. The battle for the hearts and minds of men and women are still being waged. The enemies of truth (and therefore God) are still active.
A Lump Of Coal To The Times
The New York Times has given up on any kind of credibility and have resorted to fairy tales. Most Americans are appalled at the amnesty that the Bush administration is offering to illegal immigrants. Yet to hear the liberal press caterwaul you'd think that this debate was very much touch and go. It isn't. Not even close. I'm not immigrant-bashing (though they don't get off scot free either) but the thing that should truly appall us how out of touch the Times have become. The MSM and the GOP may have stopped believing but most Americans still hold true to conservative principles.
Peace In Our Time? Not With These Jokers
Ah yes, the Annapolis conference. I mean, why do we bother? Only the naive and foolish place any hope in these confabs. I'm not referring to the average citizen. I'm referring to Condi Rice and a weak Ehud Olmert playing the fools. Islam cannot, nor will it ever accept a Jewish state in its midst. Israel is still allowed to exist mind you (no problem there), so long as its Jewish character is eliminated. Ooooh, how exciting! Throw the Jew under the bus and ME 'peace' will ensue! This will not do and should not be acceptable to any freedom-loving person.
Three Obstacles To Peace
The first casualty of war is truth. Indeed, making war whilst lying to the enemy go hand in hand. That principle has not changed today. The Islamic form of misinformation, called 'al-taqiyya', is still in tactical use. And make no mistake, WE are the enemy as far as Islam is concerned.
Too many useful idiots shilling for that 'Religion of Peace'. We need more apologists for terror like we need a knee to the groin. In other words, no thanks!
Upside-Down History Lessons: I wish that it was just the New York Times that was the only paper out of touch with the people and history. Sadly, that's not the case. Aren't you supposed to do some research or something before you write? Do you think I type out impulsively whatever pops into my head at any given moment? No! By my own admission I am a perfectionist. Links are read from top to bottom and all words are carefully considered. Yet these basic principles of journalism seem to evade us when dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The fact that deadlines have to be met is no excuse for shoddy reporting.
So much data yet so few facts. It is a supreme irony in this modern age. No wonder people have turned to the internet (and bloggers) for their daily dose of geopolitics!
Iran, Iran So Far Away!
Should it surprise you that I find the people and country of Iran fascinating? It is Iran, and not Iraq, which has the greatest potential for democracy in the region. A fact which no doubt has not escaped the attention of the mad mullahs who rule. Why is there so little compassion and intellectual advancement in totalitarian societies? Because the people are afraid. Remove that fear and compassion and freedom will flow like a river. One of the toughest jobs in Iran is to be a journalist or a blogger critical of the regime. And a regime it is in every sense of the word. Calling Iran's leaders a 'government' is being far too kind.
The Red Horse of the Apocalypse
Which nicely segues into the next question: What would happen in an Iran-Israeli nuclear exchange? It would likely be Iran, and not Israel, that would be the worst off in such a nightmare scenario. Consider the following:
1) Israeli first responders are second to none. They have a wealth of experience to draw from when dealing with mass casualty attacks. I doubt the Iranians have the same capabilities.
2) Iran's maximum yield would be 100 kilotons (possibly by 2010), whereas Israel's current yield is in the one megaton range. The radiation fallout from an airburst of a one megaton bomb can kill unsheltered people up to 80 miles within 18 hours from the radiation plume drifts.
3) Iran would have 30 nuclear warheads by 2010 and would aim for the main population centers of Tel Aviv and Haifa. Israel has more than 200 warheads at its disposal and far better delivery systems, including cruise missiles launched from its 3 Dolphin-class submarines.
4) Iran's capital Tehran is home to 15 million people. Located in a topographic basin surrounded by mountain reflectors, it represents a nearly perfect nuclear killing ground.
5) Lastly, not only would Jordan receive fallout from a strike on Tel Aviv, the Israelis would also retain a reserve nuclear strike capability. Say goodbye to Syria and Egypt!
God: The Same Yesterday, Today and Forever
Yet there is still hope. I'm what you would call a cynical optimist. My cynicism is based on what Man can do. My optimism is based on what God can do. Seeing as God is greater, what have I to fear? Thankfully my optimism outweighs my cynicism. As I like to leave my post on a positive note, here are three items to lift the burdened soul:
On September the 11th, 2007 something miraculous happened in China. The Amity Printing Company in Nanjing printed its 50,000,000th Bible. You read correctly. FIFTY MILLION. And that's only since 1987. Six years after America's worst terrorist attack God is still in the business of changing lives.
Not only in China, but the ME as well. The number of new Christians in the world each year surpasses that of new Muslims, with the major growth for Protestants coming through conversion. It is Christianity, and not Islam, that is the world's fastest growing religion. The battle is surely being won. Praise God!
Let he who is thirsty come and drink freely the water of life: In India, a 'Jesus well' is bringing tremendous growth to a local ministry.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Some prophetic warnings about the latter days:
They shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and kill you: you will be hated of all nations for my name's sake. Then shall many be offended, and betray one another, and hate one another. Many false prophets shall rise and deceive many. Iniquity shall abound and the love of many shall wax cold. But he that endures unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Check this picture out:
Your eyes are not deceiving you. This upside-down Christmas tree (Sorry, didn't mean to use the 'C' word) is apparently being offered at Lowe's Hardware stores. Actually, Lowe's sells only 'Family Trees' and all references to Christmas (save two instances) in their catalogue have been removed. As Warner Todd Huston points out:
Christmas is still under attack if not by direct, anti-Christian design, then by the cultural neglect born of the legal department by many of our corporations. The fact that they are merely doing it for their own protection does not make it any less an erosion of our culture and traditions.
We should see this kind of attacks against Christmas traditions for what they are: Malicious and frivilous. What will be required to resist this cultural jihad? Leaders in the corporate world that have courage, fortitude, and a backbone for one. Judges who are more interested in upholding the law than 'judicial activism'. Finally, politicians (gulp!) who will fight for our Christian heritage. Participation in the Christmas season is optional and is left up to the individual. This is as it should be in a free and open society. But do not trample my right to participate in the holiday season because of your intolerance.
Do check out Faith Girl's latest post. I posted the same day so many of you might have missed it. See? Even the most devout amongst us get sidetracked by all the hustle and bustle. Sometimes it takes a child to remind us of God's great gift to humanity. You can also view my Christmas rant here.
I hope you enjoyed my endorsement of Mike Huckabee and his call for a 'Fair Tax'. I highly recommend Ian's comment that he left behind on my post. Thank you sir for your insight. Here's an update (pdf format only) answering some of the questions that've been raised.
God's warning to us still rings true today. From the GFA, a story about anti-Christian extremists attacking two GFA missionaries in Haryana, India. I'm deeply moved by the fact that all this suffering that these missionairies endure is counted as 'privilege'.
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Not gonna happen. No way. I shudder at the thought of either Rudy or Hillary taking the helm of the world's most powerful country. Huckabee on the other hand is Chuck Norris approved. You got a problem with that?
Found this gem of an article at political mavens. You can view the original Fair Tax proposal in text form or in pdf format. Or be lazy and read the thumbnail sketch pasted below. It's so bloody simple it might actually work. This I do know: 'The Powers That Be' are terrified of this. That must be a good thing. Go get 'em Mike!
A comprehensive plan to replace income and payroll taxes
The FairTax proposal is a comprehensive plan to replace federal income and payroll taxes, including personal, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security/Medicare, self-employment, and corporate taxes. The FairTax proposal integrates such features as a progressive national retail sales tax, dollar-for-dollar revenue replacement, and a rebate to ensure that no American pays such federal taxes up to the poverty level. Included in the FairTax Plan is the repeal of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. The FairTax allows Americans to keep 100 percent of their paychecks (minus any state income taxes), ends corporate taxes and compliance costs hidden in the retail cost of goods and services, and fully funds the federal government while fulfilling the promise of Social Security and Medicare.
Americans take home their whole paychecks.
Not only do more Americans have jobs, but they also take home 100 percent of their paychecks (except where state income taxes apply). No federal income taxes or payroll taxes are withheld from paychecks, pensions, or Social Security checks.
The prebate makes the FairTax progressive.
To ensure no American pays tax on necessities, the FairTax Plan provides a prepaid, monthly rebate (prebate) for every registered household to cover the consumption tax spent on necessities up to the federal poverty level. This, along with several other features, is how the FairTax completely untaxes the poor, lowers the tax burden on most, while making the overall rate progressive. However, the FairTax is progressive based on lifestyle/spending choices, rather than simply punishing those taxpayers who are successful. Do you see how much freer life is with the FairTax instead of the income tax?
No tax on used goods. The amount you pay to fund the government is totally visible.
With the FairTax you are only taxed once on any good or service. If you choose to buy used goods − used car, used home, used appliances − you do not pay the FairTax. If, as a business owner or farmer, you buy something for strictly business purposes (not for personal consumption), you pay no consumption tax. The FairTax is charged just as state sales taxes are today. When you decide what to buy and how much to spend, you see exactly how much you are contributing to the government with each purchase.
Retail prices no longer hide corporate taxes or their compliance costs, which drive up costs for those who can least afford to pay.
Did you know that income taxes and the cost of complying with them currently make up 20 percent or more of all retail prices? It’s true. According to Dr. Dale Jorgenson of Harvard University, hidden income taxes are passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices for everything you buy. If competition does not allow prices to rise, corporations lower labor costs, again hurting those who can least afford to lose their jobs. Finally, if prices are as high as competition allows and labor costs are as low as practical, profits/dividends to shareholders are driven down, thereby hurting retirement savings for moms-and-pops and pension funds invested in Corporate America. With the FairTax, the sham of corporate taxation ends, competition drives prices down, more people in America have jobs, and retirement/pension funds see improved performance.
The income tax exports our jobs, rather than our products. The FairTax brings jobs home.
Most importantly, the FairTax does not burden U.S. exports the way the current income tax system does. The FairTax removes the cost of corporate taxes and compliance costs from the cost of U.S. exports, putting U.S. exports on a level playing field with foreign competitors. Lower prices sharply increase demand for U.S. exports, thereby increasing job creation in U.S. manufacturing sectors. At home, imports are subject to the same FairTax rate as domestically produced goods. Not only does the FairTax put U.S. products sold here on the same tax footing as foreign imports, but the dramatic lowering of compliance costs in comparison to other countries’ value-added taxes also gives U.S. products a definitive pricing advantage which foreign tax systems cannot match.
The FairTax strategy is revenue neutrality: Neither raise nor lower taxes so consumer costs remain stable.
The FairTax pays for all current government operations, including Social Security and Medicare. Government revenues are more stable and predictable than with the federal income tax because consumption is a more constant revenue base than is income.
If you were in a 23-percent income tax bracket, the federal government would take $23 out of your paycheck for every $100 you made. With the FairTax, if the federal government gets $23 out of every $100 spent in America, the same total revenue is delivered to the federal government. This is revenue neutrality. So, instead of paycheck-earning Americans paying 7.65 percent of their paychecks in Social Security/Medicare payroll taxes, plus an average of 18 percent of their paychecks in federal income tax, for a total of about 25.65 percent, consumers in America pay only $23 out of every $100. Or about 30 percent at the cash register when they elect to spend on new goods or services for their own personal consumption. And this tax is collected only on spending above the federal poverty level, providing important progressivity.
Tax criminals – don’t make criminals out of honest taxpayers.
Today, the IRS will admit to 16 percent noncompliance with the code. FairTax.org will be generous and simply take the position that this is likely a conservative estimate of the underground economy. However, this does not take into account the criminal/drug/porn economy, which equally conservative estimates put at one trillion dollars of untaxed activity. The FairTax does tax this – criminals love to flash that cash at retail – while continuing to provide the federal penalties so effective in bringing such miscreants to justice. The substantial decrease in points of compliance – from every wage earner, investor, and retiree, down to only retailers – also allows enforcement to concentrate on following the money to criminal activity, rather than making potential criminals out of every taxpayer struggling to decipher the current code.
What is the FairTax Plan?
The FairTax Plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue replacement, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment. This nonpartisan legislation (HR 25/S 1025) abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax – administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities. The IRS is disbanded and defunded. The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.
What is Americans For Fair Taxation (FairTax.org)?
FairTax.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots organization solely dedicated to replacing the current tax system. The organization has hundreds of thousands of members and volunteers nationwide. Its plan supports sound economic research, education of citizens and community leaders, and grassroots mobilization efforts. For more information visit the Web page: FairTax.org or call 1-800-FAIRTAX.
I sat at my desk at 9:30 in my PJs (the joys of a stay-at -home mom) with my second cup of coffee and pulled out the good old fashioned phone book. My attack plan was to look up all the numbers of stores that may sell the system.
By 9:45 I had about 20 different numbers. I made the first call, "Yes, good morning. I'm calling to see if you have any Nintendo Wiis in stock." The kid on the other end of the line informed me that they'd received a shipment on Saturday but were sold out in a couple of hours. They didn't know when the next shipment was coming in. They couldn't hold any. They couldn't put me on a call or waiting list. During the next 15 minutes I ran through all my numbers with the same results. The best advice they could give me: Call every day and be prepared to jump in the car and get down to the store before they sold out.
I hung up the phone with one number left to try. To be honest, I really expected the same response from the last place, but I dialed anyways. "Good morning, I was wondering if there was even a remote possibility that you might have a Nintendo Wii in stock." A lady with a wonderful southern accent answered, "As a matter of fact we just got a shipment of 12." I nearly fell off my chair. "Can you hold one for me?" I asked. "No, I'm sorry we can't do that." She replied. "I can give you my VISA number." I offered. "I'm sorry ma'am. It's strictly first come first served." She replied.
Well, in a panic I dressed, skipped the teeth brushing and the hair brushing and the make-up and tore off in the car. I was a half hour drive from the store... I made it in fifteen minutes. The whole time I was driving I had this vision of me running into the store just as the last Wii was being packaged for someone who was two minutes ahead of me. I swung into a parking spot and ran full tilt into the store - I nearly bowled a sales associate over in my haste- ran up to the lady at the counter and panted, "I called. Do you still have any left?" They had eight left. She kindly agreed to put one aside for me (I wasn't allowed to put it into my cart until I payed for it) while I picked up extra nun chucks and Wiimotes so all three kids could play. Ten minutes later - with the crazy panic madman glint starting to leave my eye - I was being checked out. There was one Wii left. The man behind me asked for it, but he needed a nun chuck and the shelves were empty. "I'll just run upstairs and get you one." the sales girl said and ran off.
As I was paying for mine, a second man came in and asked for a Wii. The lady behind the counter took the last one out of the box and began to ring it through just as the sales girl came back with the nun chuck. "Excuse me." the first man said to the second one, rather aggressively, "But that Wii is mine, I was just waiting for a nun chuck." The lady behind the counter jumped in, "I'm sorry sir, but we can't hold Wiis." Then the sales girl tried to explain that he was just waiting for her to come back before he paid for it.
Well, I paid for my Wii and left as the argument got worse. I walked away from a couple of grown men who looked ready step over their own mother to get their hands on a gaming system. As I stepped out into the fresh air I had a paranoid moment where I pictured someone tackling me from behind and running off with my Wii.
I smiled to myself as I settled into the car as I thought about how crazy people can get during the holiday season. The smile didn't last as I drove home and my thoughts changed. How sad that we are willing to go so crazy for material things. I was suddenly embarrassed by my desperation. I preach to my children, "Christmas isn't about what you get under the tree. Jesus was the best gift of all." But I had to admit, that Monday morning, the only thing on my mind was getting a hold of a Wii. At that moment, a Wii seemed like the most important thing on Christmas morning. I felt like without it, Christmas would have been a disappointment.
That afternoon when my kids got off the bus, they saw the list I'd left on my desk with the list of stores and a note next to each saying 'Wii sold out' . My youngest came up to me and slipped her little hand in mine. She looked up at me with her big brown eyes full of love and she smiled. "Don't worry Mommy. I saw your note and I know you tried your best." She assured me. My eyes filled with tears as I swept her up into a big bear hug. I laughed to myself as I realized I had put more importance on the Wii than they had. I came first in their hearts. People before things. "Besides, the best gift ever was from God. He gave us Jesus." She finished. The wisdom of a child.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Alaska, Yellowstone and an Extreme Weather Quiz
Alaska, a sensitive area to our north, is warming up at a rate five times faster than the rest of the world. This has proven to be a boon to ecotourism as park personnel have to be retrained to answer visitor's questions. Glaciers are indeed melting and signs of warming appear everywhere. This old earth has gone through many cycles of warming and cooling. The fact that we are indeed going through one of these warming cycles is no reason for hysteria.
Did you know that Yellowstone Park is one of the most active geothermal places in the world? The entire place is a huge ancient supervolcano. Here are some interesting facts about this unique place:
1) The caldera floor is rising three inches (7 centimeters) per year over the past three years — more than three times faster since observations began in 1923.
2) The magma pushing up on the caldera is likely about 38 miles long and 13 miles wide, approximately the size of Los Angeles.
Here's an interesting Bible passage from Revelation 6:12-14
I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. The heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Does this not sound like a massive eruption is taking place? 'The heaven departing as a scroll' sounds very much a major explosion is taking place. An argument could be made that it could be a nuclear blast but from this description volcanic activity cannot be ruled out. The sun becoming black as a sackcloth of hair and the moon became as blood would frighten anyone. The amount of detritus in the atmosphere would block out the sunlight and discolor the sight of the moon. The 'stars of heaven falling to the earth' and being 'shaken of a mighty wind' sounds like pyroclastic flow. As well, earthquakes (and lightning) often accompany eruptions. Mountains and islands would be moved out of their places if the earthquake was large enough (though the actual displacement measured wouldn't have to be that large to fulfill this prophecy). Consider the Boxing Day tsunami of '04. A 9.0 earthquake that struck the Indian Ocean literally rang the earth like a bell for days afterward. And this wasn't even the largest earthquake ever recorded! A 9.5 was recorded at Chile on May 22, 1960.
So am I off track here? Only time will tell. If there is one point I'd like to make is this: The Bible is an unfailing prophetic lens through which we can see the future. It is both literal and trustworthy. Until this comes to pass, we'll have to wait and see. Mind you, I have no intention of actually being here when it happens. Hope that's true for you too.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I've just updated my Yahoo toolbar and it sure looks spiffy. I would highly recommend the upgrade. I'm always finding ways to improve the X-Def and I've added a graphic link to thereligionofpeace.com blog. Under 'Anti-Jihad Leaders' the hyperlink to the TROP is gone as is the 'Cox and Forkum' link. The blogrankings.com link under my RSS button has been removed as well. It's nice to clean up the clutter without feeling you're losing anything. Hard work this blog business.
On a personal note I'm staying put (hopefully) at my current address as of 2008. I remember the aggravation of my four years at McMaster moving to Hamilton every September only to reverse course in April when I finished my final exams. I'm very fond of this whole stability and independence thing. All I need is a raise at work and I'm set.
Wouldn't Mo be so proud with today's success stories? The legal jihad being waged in U.S. courts continues to disappoint those whom it is supposed to protect.
At the University of California (Irvine), a Muslim Student Union is showing its overt support for Hamas. What dhimmitude this is! Where's the leadership?
While Egypt does its part to support terrorism against Israel, the U.S. sees it fit to reward bad behaviour by selling the Egyptians over a billion dollars worth of arms. Egypt, much like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, are 'allies' in the WOT in name only.
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like The Winter Solstice
Can't say the 'C' word. Would offend all those fun-loving secularists out there. No doubt the Anti-Christ Legion of Unbelievers (aka the ACLU) will be out in full force, sucking the joy out of the Christmas season. I really do hate the Christmas season. I mean I do actually like it, but all the PC being deployed strangles the life out of it, hence the reason I 'hate' it. I'm convinced that the correct interpretation of 'separation of church and state' will never be properly understood (and applied) by our courts. 'Separation of church and state' is not meant to be used as a sledgehammer against the Christian faith. Nor will you find the term anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of Independence. It is meant to protect religious liberty from encroaching statism. Does that logic deter the likes of the ACLU? Of course not. Merrily they go about obliterating any evidence of America's Christian heritage come every December. Well, I'm not afraid of saying 'Merry Christmas' despite all this PC nonsense. Even when it offends.
Paging Dr. Frankenstein!
I'm sure you've heard about stem cell research and the controversy surrounding it. As far as embryonic stem cells goes, 20 years of research and billions of dollars have not produced one successful treatment. Lab rats injected with these unstable tissues have either developed tumours or been rejected by the host. Adult stem cells (which do not require the destruction of a human embryo) have shown far greater promise. How's this for a list of diseases that adult stem cells may soon yet conquer:
Cancer, leukemia, arthritis, anemia, liver and cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries and macular degeneration (one of the leading causes of blindness).
How could you not get excited about that? Yet politics, and not common sense, are gloriously leading us the way towards divine judgement. 'Embyronic stem cell research will save us all because we said so' is hardly the stuff of science. Sounds more like fanaticism to me.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
It would be nothing short of criminal if I didn't mention Remembrance Day. 30,000 people gathered in Ottawa today to honor Canada's fallen heroes. That's a pretty impressive turn-out. It helps when the weather co-operates. Been real mild for a November just recently.
On almost every Remembrance Day parade I've been on scripture was read aloud. The most obvious (and recognizable) passage is Micah 4:1-3:
But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Still can't believe my luck in finding this cartoon. I do miss Cox and Forkum. Sadly they have finished their testimony and have gone onto other things. John Bolton, whom I think would have a great deal in common with Glenn Beck, is a master of plain speaking. If Hillary was still serious about this whole 'I wanna be president' thing she'd do well in taking advice from Mr. Bolton. Of course you and I know that'll never happen.
I've solved my internet issues by disconnecting the wireless router and working directly off the modem. Seems to work like a charm so I'll continue merrily along.
But We're Canadians!
Aren't we supposed to be just so nice? Seems we're doing a nice job of arming the world too, climbing to number six in the world (as of 2006). That's not even the worst part: Both the Conservatives and the Liberals are doing an excellent job hiding this information from ordinary Canadian citizens. Not since 2002 has a white paper on defence been produced and read in Parliament. Nothing to see here, move along people! The silence from the Harper gov't is deafening. Why the cold feet Prime Minister? What are you afraid of?
Murphy's Golden Rule Or Why We Ought To Resist A 'Paperless Economy'
Let's review, shall we? In a democracy, true power rests with the people. Not the police or the army. Not the political and economic elite and the bankers who finance them. You see, governments are terrified of the idea of citizens holding gold (and possibly silver) and therefore having real buying power. Gold erodes global government. It's the same reason why gov'ts won't even entertain the idea of flat-rate taxation: It gives the poor incentive to work and forces the rich to pay their fair share. Hey, what a concept!
A Classic Model In Microcosm
A casino must have the cash on the premises to cover every chip on the tables. Otherwise, those high-rollers will be left holding a bunch of colorful plastic (and worthless) chips. In the same way, the government should have enough gold in its reserves to cover the paper money being circulated. All that paper in your wallet or purse is nothing more than a sexy IOU printed by your government. It is no accident that the United States has not had a gold audit in years. To do so would invite open revolution. A couple of history lessons are in order here. The French Revolution began when the poor couldn't buy bread. Adolf Hitler ascended to power due to the mark's spiralling devaluation. It is amoral and irresponsible currency manipulation which create conflict and war.
Here's My Point (And I Do Have One!)
Gov't issued bills, notes or bonds can be inflated, debased, devalued and manipulated. No need for a bank robber with a gun and a mask! Some suit with top-level clearance can steal more money in one hour than any career criminal could ever hope to achieve in a lifetime. Let me put it to you this way: The government is more afraid of average citizens holding gold and silver in reserve than an assassin's bullet. The move towards a paperless economy represents a silent coup d'tat where all the political and economic power rests with the elite and not the people.
Turns out I'm not such a dummy when it comes to money after all. I had some other stuff but that'll do for now.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
There is perhaps nothing more irritating than the 'Yes, but ...' crowd, a point Mr. Beck made in my previous post. Either lead, follow or get out of the way! But do not give me a 'Yes, but' when debating a point. Your actions and words should be consistent at all times. Better to take a stand and catch hell for it than to waffle all over the place. All that fence-sitting tends to get uncomfortable and hurts your backside. Which leads us nicely to the main thrust of this post.
'Yes I'm a Christian, But:
1) I don't believe in regular church attendance.
2) I don't believe everthing the Bible says.
3) Prayer is not a regular part of my day.
4) I believe other religions are just as helpful in my spiritual walk.
Which one is it? Time to fish or cut bait as the saying goes. Those individuals who are truly Spirit-filled would be mortified if a fellow believer made any of the above statements. What is truly disheartening is that some Christians who are pastors and church elders have fallen for these lies. Here then are my attempts at refuting these childish statements.
The church is not a social club, it is a place where we worship God in fellowship with one another. While I miss the occasional service, I'm at my church pretty much every Sunday morning. If Christians feared God more than Man the church would be advancing even more rapidly than what it is now.
The Bible's authenticity is non-negotionable as well. This is not meant to be tyrannical or heavy-handed, it is to guard ourselves against shoddy theology divorced from Biblical truth. Did you know that people who are trained to spot counterfeit money only study the real thing? They know exactly what to look for so a fake bill can be spotted right away. The opposite of truth isn't error, it's death. We ought to be just as diligent when Satan tries to pull a fast one on us.
Prayer is another big one. This is where Christians fail the most in their spiritual journey. Why do we pray? Why do we study the Bible? So that we may discern God's perfect will and His love for us. If you truly believe that God exists, hears our prayers and answers them, why then do we flub our lines when in conversation with Him? If you believe that God delivers the righteous from the wicked why are we so afraid of what Man can do to us? Understand we are not 'bothering' God when we pray to Him. Just as a loving parent receives a phone call from their child, our Heavenly Father loves to hear from us. So go ahead and 'bug' God. You may be surprised when He asks, 'Hey, where've you been? I was looking for you all day!'.
Which brings us to our final point. I'm fortunate to live in a free country where I can read whatever silly book I want. If I want to read about other religions than I can do so without someone looking over my shoulder. Given this freedom, why is there so much confusion out there? Much of the universalism being preached today has given us two fatally flawed schools of thought: Practical Atheism and Demonism. Practical atheism burdens and weighs people down. A belief system that says 'Play nice with others' certainly sounds wonderful. Unfortunately religion that is not driven by the Holy Spirit of God is just clever philosophy. Then there's the second point which is actual demonic influence. Should it surprise you that Satan loves religion and religious people in particular? After all, what better way is there to lead someone to their eternal damnation than through false religion? NONE! It is belief in the One Who Was Sent, Jesus Christ the Messiah which gives eternal life, not mere religion. If you really want to study other world religions, than feel free to do so. But to spend time reading something that is useless at best and dangerous at worst strikes me as foolish.
Let us govern ourselves accordingly then. If we call ourselves 'Christian' we'd better damn well mean it. This world will test your faith. I'll guarantee it. Will you be ready when called upon to give a defence for the cross? I hope so for your sake. Let none of us ever be ashamed of who we are in Jesus Christ.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Glenn Beck is a bull in a china shop. But in a good way! Here's Glenn talking about some beauty queen's nonsense about Islamic radicalism. It's all our fault apparently. It's never their fault, you see. It's our meanness which enables radicalism, not Islam itself. Mr. Beck's pedophile analogy is a bit clumsy but does prove his point.
Sorry about this shoddy post. I've having some internet issues so I'm just going to post this as is. Enjoy the video!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I'm not a sensationalist. I like to keep things short, sweet, simple and to the point. So when I use such terms as 'fascist' or 'the new totalitarianism', I'm not exaggerating. Here are some examples that has recently got my attention:
When An Acquittal Isn't Really An Acquittal
Anarchy is in the courts. It is a sure sign that we are in trouble when the rule of law effectively breaks down. I certainly got the chills after reading this CFP article. How's this for a legalese tongue twister: 'Acquitted Conduct Sentencing Enhancement'. Here's how it works. Let's say a defendent is charged with both possession of stolen property and theft. The jury convicts on the lesser charge of possession but acquits on the second. The judge can still use the acquittal to 'enhance' a harsher sentence than what would normally be reserved for the lesser charge. What it boils down to is this: A defendant can find themselves facing a lengthy prison sentence (or hefty fine) based on hearsay and innuendo. When politics, and not the rule of law, are used to sledgehammer anyone unfortunate enough to stand in the way of an unscrupulous lawyer we should all be worried. Is it any wonder I hold lawyers with such little regard?
Driving While Under the Influence of Blackness
A right that citizens of a democracy surely enjoy is the protection against unsubstantiated and unwarranted search and seizure by the police. And guess who gets the short end of this stick? Blacks of course. No, not all cops are racist as irresponsible bomb-throwing leftists love to attest to. However, the simple fact is this: Young black men are far more likely to stopped by the police, be they on foot or at the wheel of a vehicle than their white counterparts. Do racist attitudes blindly convict? You bet it does.
What Kind of 'Academic Freedom' Is This?
Universities have increasingly become a hotspot for anti-Americanism and seditious behaviour. Miscreants at Emory U effectively shut down David Horowitz as he was attempting to deliver a speech hosted by Emory's Chapter of College Republicans. I have just seen a vision of the future and it apparently doesn't include conservative speakers. At one point Mr. Horowitz challenged the protesters with this statement:
'How can you learn if you can’t see the arguments?'
And that's exactly the point. They don't want to see the arguments. That would require honesty, maturity and patience, three attributes that are in short supply. Everybody loses when these kind of 'brownshirt' tactics are deployed. Jews and Christians lose out. Muslims lose out. Even agnostics and atheists lose out. Free speech is not yet extinct but it is most definitely on the 'endangered' list. Also from FPM are the testimonies of two brave women: Donna Hughes and Nonie Darwish and the hostility they faced at our institutions of 'higher learning'.
Vladimir Putin, Meet Hillary Clinton
Putin and Hillary as natural ideological allies? You don't say! Superficially these two appear to be like night and day. A closer look reveals they're very much cut from the same cloth. And I'm not referring to silk or satin material either. In Russia, the heavy-handed tactics of the Kremlin make it next to impossible for opposition parties to prosper while Bob Tyrell gives Americans seven reasons not to vote for Clinton #2.
The Axis of Eeeeevil!
Go ahead. You know you want to point your right pinky to your mouth. Maybe I'll take Mini-Me to Iran, a place that continues to fascinate me. Aside from Israel (and perhaps Jordan) it is a ME country I'd love to visit if I had the time and money. Stupid reality! Dr. Assad Homayoun warns American foreign policy makers about possible war with Iran. America is not at war with the Iranian people, who are mostly young and have ambitions to move to the West. Nor should we lend any legitimacy to the regime's mullahs who want to hold onto power at all costs. Thank goodness our politicians don't believe in that. Oh wait, never mind.
Mr. Putin was in Iran recently. Now there's a conversation I'd love to overhear! Puin made two statements of note. Firstly, Russia would continue to support Iran's nuclear program. Not surprising since much of the funding, materiel and expertise undergirding Tehran's nuclear ambitions has Russian origins. Secondly, and more importantly, Russia's 'near abroad' will not be used as a land base for any military action against Iran. I'm guessing the likes of Azerbaijan heard Putin loud and clear.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
You judge a society by the way it treats its women. No wonder Pakistan's generals are in a state of fear and loathing about the return of Benazir Bhutto. From the David Horowitz Freedom Centre comes a YouTube video about the dehumanization women endure under that 'Religion of Peace'. Not for the faint hearted or easily offended. Runs 9:03.
In Pakistan they call this the 'welcoming party'. Given the multi-cultural madness gripping us, who are we to criticize? Seriously though, it takes a cruel heartless bastard to explode two bombs in the midst of a big crowd. The first victims in the frontlines of jihad are almost always Muslims, a point I've made countless times before. From the BBC comes a cool picture of Karachi and the harrowing testimonies of the carnage that took place.
A picture is worth a thousand words. When I say 'multi-culti' madness I mean it. Witness the search of this poor nun in Detroit.
Concede and Bleed Dep't: Throw the Jews under the bus! If it's for the greater good then why not? That seems to be the approach Condi and Bush are taking wrt the ME 'peace process'.
God is still hard at work changing hearts and minds. A Palestinian diplomat named Khaled Ghazal recently visited Poland's Auschwitz-Birkenau with his Israeli counter-part. If this kind of thinking caught on we might actually have a chance for peace in the ME.
Another GFA story about the notorious Sumitr who came to faith in Christ. God is still in the reclamation business, saving hell-bound souls through His undeserved grace.
I leave you with a warning: Islamic leaders mean what they say and say what they mean when it comes to Islam's true intentions. You just have to look past the political correctness and the wilfull blindness of the MSM in order to find it.
A Quickie X-Def Update: I've added two links to my sidebar. In 'I Love Israel' you'll find the link for 'Strong Israel'. Please sign the petition and add your name to the list of people that support the Jewish claim to the Holy Land. I've also added 'Illustrated P.I.G' (Politically Incorrect Guide) and 'Political Mavens' to my Scallywags list. Do pay these sites a visit as they are well researched and presented.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Another great article from Stratfor. I have stated before that America's problem with its southern border is our problem as well. Cocaine made in the jungles of Columbia can reach Canadian cities in a matter of days. Yikes! Thankfully there are cops out there willing to put their lives on the line so as to keep us safe. Let's keep them in our prayers.
Canada and the Transcontinental Drug Links
Canadian police conducted several simultaneous raids on suspected drug traffickers in Newfoundland and Quebec provinces Oct. 11, arresting two dozen people and seizing marijuana, cocaine, weapons, cash and property. The drug-trafficking ring, which Canadian authorities believe was operated by the Quebec-based Hell's Angels motorcycle/crime gang, could have smuggled the cocaine into Canada from South America via Mexico and the United States.
More than 70 members of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and Quebec's Provincial Biker Enforcement Unit carried out the raids, which represented the culmination of an 18-monthlong investigation dubbed Operation Roadrunner. The arrests were made near St. John's in Newfoundland and near the towns of Laval and La Tuque in Quebec. In Newfoundland, authorities seized $300,000 in cash, 51 pounds of marijuana and 19 pounds of cocaine, as well as vehicles, weapons and computers. In Quebec, $170,000 and four houses were seized.
The marijuana seized in the raids could have been cultivated in Canada itself, in Mexico or the United States. However, most of the cocaine consumed in North America originates in South America, mainly in Colombia, where the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrilla group -- among other organizations -- traffics in drugs in order to finance itself. Bolivia and Peru are other sources of South American cocaine.
Although much of the cocaine seized in Canada is transported from South America via Jamaica and Haiti, a good portion also comes through Mexico and the United States -- demonstrating that the problems associated with Mexico's drug cartels and the porous U.S.-Mexican border affect Canada as well as the United States. Approximately 25 percent of the seized cocaine destined for Canadian markets either transits or is intended to transit the United States, according to a 2004 Canada-U.S. Border Drug Threat Assessment.
In order to use the Mexican-U.S. route, producers in South America deliver the cocaine to a Mexican drug-trafficking organization, which then transports it over its network to points on the U.S.-Mexican border known as plazas. The plazas stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to roughly Arizona are controlled by the Gulf cartel, while the plazas in Arizona are dominated by a group of cartels based out of the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Drug trafficking around Tijuana is largely controlled by the Arellano-Felix organization. From these plazas, the cocaine enters the United States and is moved north via the Interstate highway system to distribution points in the United States, most often major cities along the Interstate, such as Houston and Los Angeles. From these points, the drugs are further distributed to other criminal/militant groups, shipped to the Canadian border and turned over to Quebec's Hell's Angels or other drug-trafficking organizations.
The links between criminal/militant gangs from South America to Canada and the ease of smuggling drugs across the U.S.-Mexican border are of concern to Canadian intelligence and law enforcement for another reason as well. They also see this vast network as a way for militants to enter Canada. Once inside the United States, they note, it is relatively easy to get into Canada over the same smuggling routes that are used to move contraband such as drugs, cigarettes and stolen cargo -- despite Canada's own ambitious efforts to control its borders. Although the flow of militants traditionally has been more of a problem for the United States, the arrest in 1993 of five Jamaat al-Fuqra operatives at the border at Niagara Falls underscores this concern. They allegedly were planning to conduct attacks in Toronto.
The jungles of South America, where cocaine is produced, seem a long way from the St. Lawrence River. Using a sophisticated shipment and distribution network, however, criminal and militant organizations can cover the distance in a few days.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I want to continue where I left off in my last two posts. Whether it be the secular-progressives or jihad-committed Muslims, there is a strong move towards despotism today. Genuine free speech, one that allows a conservative and a Bible-believing viewpoint is dead in the water. The art of academic debate is dead, buried and eulogized as well. 9/11 represents a turning point to be sure, but does it really matter exactly when anti-Americanism came into vogue? If there's one thing we must do, we must get rid of this incessant navel-gazing and self-loathing. We need to get our groove back! America and the West has had her share of enemies. Always have and always will. The key difference between now and then is that Americans believed in themselves. Not only did they believe that America was good for Americans, but good for the world. To be sure, Americans know full well their country isn't perfect. God knows it isn't. But this nonsense about '9/11 was an inside job' and 'Bush started this war' has to go. It is not adding one iota of good to our fight to remain free. Indeed, it is sapping our morale while aiding and abetting the enemy.
The greatest danger we face right now is Islam, in particular the violent imposition of a world-wide caliphate under Sharia law. In other words, say goodbye to the Constitution and British-based law. Let there be no mistake, there will be no place for Christians in this anti-utopia. In places where Islam is already predominant the situation will deteriorate. In Israel, Arab Christians are at the forefront of this vicious persecution. It already may be too late for this religious minority under siege. The UN gives Palestinian Christians the 'Darfur' treatment as do the feminists and other human rights groups. They are persona non grata as far as these 'progressives' are concerned. Be it a deliberate act of blindness, ignorance or hypocrisy, the new totalitarians are very much in the PC camp.
Old Habits Die Hard Dep't: Putin being relieved of the Russian presidency will matter little. As Prime Minister, Mr. Putin will still be very much 'The Man' in Mother Russia.
So do we give up? No! So long as the church is still here we can work for good. While missionaries in India face persecution, many are still finding hope in it's slums.