Friday, April 15, 2011

Pro-Palestinian Activist Killed

It will be interesting to see what happens with this case. A pro-Palestinian activist from Italy who went to help them in the Gaza Strip was murdered by a terrorist group that thinks Hamas is too moderate. So, while the Jews have their factions, it is clear the Palestinians do as well.

BBC News - Italian activist found dead in Gaza after abduction

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's Next for Israel and Hamas?

A great report from STRATFOR.

The Arab Risings, Israel and Hamas | STRATFOR



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The Big Story About Facebook. This Legal Case May Succeed.

Lots of details for all you Facebook fans out there. This could get exciting still.

THE FACEBOOK LAWSUIT: What Happens Next?


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Wait, I Thought We Had A Deal Last Week. Maybe not. U.S. Could Still Shut Down.

This one speaks for itself. It's about the vote. The one they never really had but will need to this week. Take a look.

The Budget Deal May Fall Apart


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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

When Your Heart Is Not In It . . . You Will Fail NATO.

Need I say much more.

NATO's united front over Libya crumbles - World - CBC News


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Monday, April 11, 2011

Washington Examiner: "Dems. will yield on everything but abortion." Now, That's Really Sad.

A fairly well written article by a liberal no less, but still interesting. Take a look and catch the whole story behind the story, abortion, and the budget.

Democrats will yield on everything but abortion | Timothy P. Carney | Politics | Washington Examiner


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Christiane Amanpour -- A Liberal Reporter Shows Her Colors Pretending She Has None and Loses.

Okay, I'm no soothsayer but about a year ago, I decided that one of my favorite reporters was indeed a liberal stooge. I went ahead and predicted she will ruin her own credibility. Finally, another blogger in The Washington Post agrees. But Jennifer Rubin says it much better and with greater authority. Take a look and stop listening or watching Christine Amanpour -- her travels have impacted her ability to present anything fairly and without a hidden agenda in my opinion -- unless of course you're looking for an excellent example of bias reporting when it pretends not to be. At least, I'm telling my readers I'm bias towards the right.

Christiane Amanpour: Her latest inanity - Right Turn - The Washington Post


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48% Disapproval of B.O., Only 47% Approval. The Undecided Count.

Yes, I know this fluctuates but overall it's getting worse and worse.  Catch it now before it changes.  America is waking up -- they just don't like to admit they've been asleep.  

RealClearPolitics - Election Other - President Obama Job Approval

 
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You Think Religion & State Should Be Separate. Fine. What About Religion and Major League Sports?

Okay, I didn't see this coming, but obviously it is. Take a look at this recent USA Today night. The Oakland A's baseball franchise wants to get more fans out and the Jewish community approached them with an idea to do so. As a result, they're having a Jewish Heritage night. Take a look.

But the Muslims say that's not kosher. They must either cancel it or give them a night as well. Okay, so the Muslims ask for a night and one of two things happens. Either they get one -- and we'll see who shows up. Or they don't get one -- and the Muslims sue. Let me save you the trouble and the wait -- if that happens and providing all else is equal, the Muslims will win. And then no one will have a special religious theme night. Ball game over.

Take a look.

Finding their religion: Oakland A's plan first Jewish Heritage night - Game On!: Covering the Latest Sports News


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And How Would You React To This Threat? Just Who Is In Charge of the Enemy?

This war has many parties!  And they're all against Israel.

Here is an interesting short news item on the Middle East from the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA). Basically, it informs the world that The Plaestinian Islamic Jihad movement says that truce betweeen Israel and Hamas means nothing to them. They'll attack in full force if they believe the situation warrants it.

Okay, fine and dandy. But could somebody in the West, or perhaps the W.H. tell me exactly how Israel is to protect itself in light of comments like these from this group, comments that say 'we want to wipe Israel off the map' from Iran, and then the off-again, on-again, tit for tat approach to peace and attacks from some of those Palestinians in Israel territory itself? That's a tall order without any help. But you be the judge. Here's the link. Well worth it.

http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2159069&Language=en



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Decision on Arizona Immigration Law Appeal Will Hurt, Not Help B.O. in 2012.

When a president goes against the will of a state that is feeling the majority of the weight in a situation and ignores the majority of Americans -- they won't forget -- no matter what liberal federal judges may have to say. Keep on fighting the battle Arizona. You have every right to do so.

US stay against illegal immigrants law upheld - Americas - Al Jazeera English


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Did Anyone Really Think the Rebels Would Accept A Deal That Included Gaddafi?

Nice try African Union but no cigar. You never consulted the Rebels who are fighting with and for their lives and their future. You must have gotten your ideas from some members of NATO. And by the way, where is B.O. these days on this issue? Awfully quiet, I think. It will be interesting to see what he says now that the so called AU Deal is off.

This a great article and some very interesting video.

Libyan rebels reject African Union roadmap - Africa - Al Jazeera English


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Christians and Our Attitude to Physical Healing . . .

I believe many Christians struggle with the issue of "healing".  Why do some get healed and others do not?  Why am I sick and he is not?  Or vice-versa.  Why do some get better and no one seems to have prayed for them while another person dies after a whole church prayed for them?  And the list of questions can go on.

I had occasion recently to reread the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3 and I came upon these words in verses 17 and 18 that the three young Hebrew men uttered to king Nebuchadnezzar.  They said them just before he cast them into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire as he had promised he would do to any who were caught not worshiping a golden image:
"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
"But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."
As I read these words, I thought -- isn't this exactly how God wants us to react to the matter of physical healing?  I believe it is.  Take a look at what advice we can apply to physical healing from Daniel's writing:
  1. A belief that God can heal.  "Our God . . . IS ABLE to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire," or the infirmity we are praying about.
  2. A requirement that our faith be in "Our God, whom WE SERVE. . . "  The delivery, or in our case, the response to a request for physical healing of our own or on behalf of someone else seems to come best when the request is made by one who 'serves' God and knows God intimately.
  3. Although God is able, He may choose not to deliver us from this condition, but in any case, He definitely "WILL deliver us out of your hand, O king" or out of the hand of the Enemy in our case -- or maybe, out of the hand of spiritual death.  God may not heal, although He is able to heal, but He will deliver us from the Enemy -- whether it be that He will be with us through the rest of our lives with this infirmity or whether He takes us home to be free of it.
  4. "BUT even if He does not (deliver us from the fire or heal us in our case)," we will continue to serve Him and not give in to atheism or idolatry.  We will accept what He chooses to do as being best for us.
As I have struggled with the questions that I raised above, I see that only by this approach as practiced by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego with respect to being thrown into the fiery furnace, can we deal with them.  I have that kind of confidence in my God -- He will deliver me out of the hands of the Enemy.  I pray you do as well.  But I'd like to hear of your experiences and thoughts on this topic.  Just go to the comments section at the bottom of this blog and share them with us.


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Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm No Fan of George Soros, but the Current President of the U.S. and his Dems Have Been Buddy-Buddy. Now Read This.

I don't make this stuff up folks. But we all need to know the truth. If you know anything about George Soros -- you'll know he's a big supporter of B.O. and B.O. has lots of time for him. When you read this article, you'll see how some of B.O.'s stances on various issues, especially Israel and the Middle East fit together. If you've read much on B.O. you know that his goal is to bring about fundamental change to America and the world -- one step at a time and he thinks he's got at least eight years in total to do it.

He reminds me of the new pastor who came to the church at th beginning of January. He wanted to move the piano from the left side of the platform to the right side. He was informed by the elders of his church that the congregation would run him out of town the very next week if he tried that. So, he thought it over, and decided to move the piano around a foot each week. No one noticed. By Christmas time, the piano was exactly where the pastor wanted it and no one said anything.

B.O. and guys like Soros think we're all frogs in a pot of water they're boiling. They know we'll scream if they put the element on 'high' but if they put it on low to medium, we'll all enjoy being cooked.

Take a close look at who your president hangs out with and remember this when you vote in November 2012.

George Soros Says He Feels No Remorse For Collaborating With Nazis During WWII to Send His Fellow Jews to the Death Camps, Steal Their Property


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The Look of 2000 Faces Could Change in France Starting Monday.

This is a detailed article on the new law that comes into effect in France effective April 11th, basically banning people from covering their faces in public space including streets, public transportation an government premises. For all intent and purposes the law is aimed "indirectly" at Muslim women and their niqab's.

The only exceptions are fencing masks, balaclavas (??), an motorcycle helmets. Interesting. So women can be detained if found in violation of the law (watch for that tomorrow) and fined up to $206, or be required to take a citizenship course (really?). If someone forces a woman to wear a facial veil, he/she can face up to one year in jail and a fined up to 30,000 Euros (or close to $40,000 in round figures). Wow.

But police aren't sure of how they can enforce it. If a woman refuses to obey them, she'll need to be handcuffed. Now watch the Muslim men go wild. So some police are not making it a priority. Good job boys; maybe we should make your pay a lower priority as well.

Being careful not to impede freedom to worship, the police have been told to go easier when violation occurs near a place of worship. At the rate mosques are going up in France, that should be easier and easier. There are also not exceptions for visitors to France -- the same law applies. But we don't know how they'll treat the masked millionaires who come to buy expensive diamonds in France.

Interesting, some Muslim women have welcomed the law as "a victory for women" freeing them from those that force them to wear them. And keep in mind that schoolgirls and female teachers already have an "in school" law that bans the covering of one's face.

Here are the details:

It’s curtains for veils as France rolls out anti-niqab law - The Globe and Mail

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African Union Comes to Gaddafi's Rescue With A Plan That Thwarts NATO and B.O. w.r.t. Gaddafi Himself.

The CBC reports that Gaddafi has accepted the plan put forward by the African Union. As long as he does not have to give up power and leave -- did anyone think he would not?

The issue now is what does this mean for the rebels, NATO's plans, and as importantly B.O. with respect to what he wanted -- remember, "Gaddafi must go!" What are the implications for B.O.'s election campaign and his influence in the world? What happens next now that he likely is not going? Stay tuned.

Gadhafi said to agree to ceasefire plan - World - CBC News

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This May Back Up B.O.'s Birthplace, BUT . . .

Okay, this is now coming out of 'msnbc' and we know where they stand. Still there are some good points made in the argument in favor of B.O. being born in Hawaii. The article adds new information indicating that what B.O. has and what he showed is all that anyone gets. It goes on to state that no one gets the original birth certificate, only information from it. B.O. can go and see it but he can't have it, and I assume he can take others with him to see it (but he hasn't taken any challengers with him).

But here are some questions of my own, assuming that he was born in Hawaii:
  1. The official says she knows the doctor's name, but no one has released it.  Is the doctor still alive?
  2. The article says it's against the law to release one's original birth certificate as it's a department of health record.  That's stupid, isn't it -- why call it a "birth certificate" then?  A certificate is something that the owner uses to prove something.  Like as in I have a 65 wpm certificate in typing.   And don't tell me the President of the U.S. could not find ways to release it if he really wanted to.
  3. If all this is true, why is it that B.O. has spent about $2m defending his right not to show it or produce it?
Sorry, but as true as it may be -- it doesn't smell or taste or look like "truth" and nothing that this article has added, makes it "truth".   The "truth" in this case, now that B.O. has made such a fuss about hiding it, will only be known when the real original "birth certificate" is made pubic if not to everyone, at least to the media that questions it -- including FoxNews and WND.

Ex-Hawaii official denounces 'ludicrous' birther claims - Politics - More politics - msnbc.com








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Hunger Forecast -- from several sources.

The E.D. of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger says the situation is "miserable" with 1.4 million New Yorkers who cannot afford enough food. Food demand is going up, riots are increasing, prices are increasing, weather is causing lower supply levels, and we're only one serious drought away from a calamity. Read the material in the attached link for all the details.

But you know, we were warned. Revelations 18:8 says this about Babylon (symbolic of the ungodly world or nations today): "Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her."

Thank goodness, those of us that have faith in Christ have this other verse, Romans 8:35, which says, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"  No, nothing will separate us from CHRIST'S love for us.  He will see those that are His through it all. Maybe it's time we consider this real seriously. The signs are all here.

And as Christians, this is no excuse to do nothing. We are called to do all we can to help others in need -- including feeding their stomachs or more importantly helping them learn how to do it themselves through sustainable farming and other skills we can pass on.  What are you doing?

Hunger forecast to become global reality



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Confused About Gender Now? Stay Out of Jail.

This is a sign of the times. The world is confused, badly confused about many things. They have lost their moral compass for sure and thus they get into some incredible messes. Let's hope you and I will not need to spend any time in jails. Take a look at how the transgender agenda is currently playing out.

Jail to house transgender men with women inmates



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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Time for Jews To Rely On Their God-given Biblical Right To Israel.

Micahel Freund, in this piece, argues that Israel should stop relying solely on military, geopolitical and historical arguments when making their case abroad. It's time they used their "faith-based" diplomacy. Most interesting read. Take a look.

Time for faith-based diplomacy :: Michael Freund


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Finally, Some Saturday Night Visual Entertainment

Don't get too hot under the collar when you see this.

Circo Roncalli - videos de humor - humor variado | elRellano.com


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Official White House Position (B.O.'s) on What They Agreed To in "The Deal".

Worth a read. But don't miss the "partisan" views of a "bi-partisan" deal. Enjoy.


Details of the Bipartisan Budget Deal | The White House



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With Friends Like Oprah, Does B.O. Need Any Other Fair-Weather Acquaintances?

This is unbelievable. Oprah putting money ahead of true friendship and philosophy. She (according to a 'source') won't be endorsing the B.O. in 2012 because she doesn't want to alienate even one viewer that she has, and she needs every one of them to survive. Interesting priorities Oprah. Tell me again why anyone should trust anything you say, especially when it comes to true faith?

Source: Oprah Winfrey Will Not Endorse Obama in 2012


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Two of the Smartest Young Women I've Heard. . .

Make that three . . . listen to this interview involving three women that have B.O. pegged perfectly. This video among young people could help sink the man.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axcbgrvCY3M


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I Think B.O. Has Stopped Listening To George Soros, But I Can't Say For Sure.

This is easy for Soros to say. And many of his Dem. friends who want to see America sink believe him. It's possible B.O. is listening to him only with caution. Time will tell as we move into the negotiations for the 2012 budget soon.

George Soros Says The US Should Take On More Debt And Not Be Obsessed With Budget Cuts


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This Woman Is Sounding More Like a Viable Presidential Opponent to B.O. Evey Day.

You have to love Michelle. Watch her closely as she makes the big decision soon.

Here's The Real Reason The GOP Caved On NPR And Planned Parenthood



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Don't Pay "Premium" for the Starbucks Book.

Recently on one of the social media I asked if anyone had read the new book by Starbucks' CEO Hoard Schultz. Well, someone has and a great write-up is the result. Bottom line. Read the article in the link and save your money for another Latte. One lesson Schultz does not seem to have learned is this -- "stick to what you do best!"

An Act for a New Global Morality | Consume | SPLICETODAY.com



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What's Ahead For the U.S. Budget Battle & More Details As To Why the GOP Won This Week.

Here's more details of what was in that deal last night. Take a look and see why GOP is feeling good about what happened and what lies ahead.

Who Won the Shutdown Showdown? It Wasn't Even Close - FoxNews.com



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The "Donald" Responds and He Does It With Flair . . .

The man is not just a . . .  well, skip that part. . .  but he is smarter than most of us would have given him credit.  And he's not doing too badly in the GOP polls either.   Keep on eye on him and Michelle Bachmann for 2012 leadership race for the Republicans.

Donald Trump Responds - NYTimes.com


 
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What CNN Didn't Tell Me: Abortion Rider (for D.C. at least) Was In the Deal Struck to Avoid Shutdown.

I didn't hear this on CNN (maybe I missed it) but thanks to the Washington Post, I learned that an Abortion Rider did find its way into the deal struck on April 8th. Take a look at what that means for the future and how this one will be applied.

Budget deal includes D.C. abortion rider, money for school vouchers - D.C. Wire - The Washington Post


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U.S. Averts Shutdown Over Budget As It Funds $20M for Remake of Pakistani Sesame Street.

Sorry, but the timing stinks and so does the goal. This is absurd. The world is going to hell in a hand-basket. Sesame Street has gone the way of the dodo bird for most Americans. Millions of us survived childhood without it. And now the U.S. (almost financially bankrupt itself) is funding a Pakistani version or remake of the show. Nice, very nice. Yes, that's exactly what the children of Pakistan need.

BBC News - US to fund $20m remake of Sesame Street for Pakistan



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Is the Palestinian Authority Really Ready To Run A State?

I find it amazing that what seems to really matter is what the IMF thinks of a body's ability to be fiscally viable as a key criteria for statehood. The IMF says the P.A. is ready, but is it really? Take a look at some things the Israel press is bringing out since no one else seems to be willing to do it for them.

How not to build a state



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If God Is Upset With America, What Is(are) the Real Cause(s)? I Suggest Four Possibilities.

Let's get something out of the way right off the bat:  I do not for a moment propose that I have the corner on God's current thinking ever, and I certainly don't have the audacity to ever think that I should have it, or that anyone can have such a corner.  God is much bigger than an 'entity' that can be 'figured out' by any mere mortal, even if they have theological training, or worse still, their amazing followings, let alone someone like your humble servant.   No, what I propose to offer in this short blog is simply this idea. . .  Perhaps, if God is upset with America, then I submit that it may not be just about its stance on homosexuality as some independent southern preacher may argue.   There's more that could be the cause of God's displeasure.

Let me suggest three other areas where America may be failing to please God.  It may have to do with God's "foreign policy" as found in Genesis 12:3 and as spoken to Abram, "And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse."  That sounds pretty clear to me.  God is saying to all nations, "Stick with Israel or be cursed."  I'm not too sure how anyone can successfully argue with that clarity or intent.  The only thing that may be up for debate is whether or not, the United States as currently led by B.O. is in actual fact "cursing Israel".  We know it's not "blessing it" or otherwise they would take a much stronger position than they do with respect to Israel's goals for the region currently being fought over.  Instead the U.S., while not agreeing to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian State by the United Nations, is still calling for a "Two-State Solution" to the conflict.

 And therein lies the problem.  The Bible does not suggest or even make room for a "two-state" solution.  Take a look at Jeremiah 12:14-17.
Thus says the Lord concerning all My wicked neighbors who strike at the inheritance (land of Israel) with which I have endowed My people Israel, "Behold I am about to uproot them from their land . . . Then it will come about that  if they will really learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, 'As the Lord lives,' even as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they will be built up in the midst of My people.  But if they will not listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it," declares the Lord.
 Clearly Jeremiah's writing prescribes that God has in mind a "one-state solution" for Israel with others living inside its borders, provided they learn and accept the way of God's people Israel.  That seems to be the only option God has offered and it applies individually to each of those currently 'wicked neighbor' nations.  If they don't take up the offer, God says they will be uprooted and destroyed.

And that is why all this current upheaval in the Middle East is so critical to what may happen down the road, as each country has a chance to pursue true democracy versus radical Islam for its chosen path.  It's interesting also to note that God is still a little ticked off at the way His people were led astray by those who taught them to worship Baal.

Bill Salus writing recently in Prophecypoints out that earlier in the chapter, in verse 6, God has also a stern warning for modern-day Israel with respect to the descendants of their ancestral brothers.  God says in verse 6, "For even your brothers and the household of your father, Even they have dealt treacherously with you, Even they have cried aloud after you, Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you."  And I believe Israel is finding that out in spades these days.  It must be careful not to be suckered in by sweet words of promise. 

So, her position with respect to Israel, and the support that America's liberal constituencies (some politicians, most of the media, almost all of the educational system, and slowly now it seems all its judicial system) communicates and delivers towards Israel's enemies may well be another reason God is not amused or pleased with the United States of America these days.

 But I believe there are still at least two more causes for God's likely displeasure.  I'll mention one in passing only because it has received a lot, yet at the same time, not quite sufficient, exposure recently.  And the is America's attitude towards the taking of life from the womb.  American women and some politicians and certainly many left-wing liberals are consumed with the maddening and intoxicating desire to "play God" with respect to human life.  (Their subconscious hatred for Jesus and his claims is so strong that they take on the killing of babies in response.)   For years, the world has complained that America has done that (play God that is) with its aggressive military actions around the globe.  Since that no longer works as well (due to liberalism own pursuits), they seem to have taken up the war cry against innocent fetuses that have no voice of their own, and certainly can't throw back hand grenades.  And the world has fallen silent, for the most part.  The fact that God most likely has an eternal life escape for each of these babies who get aborted is no reason for anyone to continue this slaughter for which God, who knows each of us from before we were in our mother's womb, is totally against.  Isaiah 49:1 says, "Listen to me, all of you in far-off lands! The LORD called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name." (NLT)   If God does that, calls us before we're born, certainly He expects and wants us to be born.  The GOP may have given up its social concern about abortions recently in order to keep America from being shut-down and opted simply for budget cuts to do so.  But God is not as easily persuaded to forget.

And finally, there's one more area of America's behavior that may very well be the straw that breaks America's back as far as God is concerned.  It certainly was for Sodom and Gomorrah -- and no, it's not about homosexuality (I've already covered that above.)  Here's what Ezekiel 16:49 had to say about Sodom's sin that caused God to come down and deal with her and her daughter cities: "Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."(NKJV)  Like Sodom of old, America is neglecting its poor and needy, both at home and around the world -- while she lives with pride in what she owns, what she eats, and in her pleasure.  Just look around you when you go to church next time -- look at what people wear, what they drive, what they talk about, where they go to vacation when they miss church, and where they're going to eat after church.  And then generally quadruple that lifestyle for those outside the church.  I think God could very well be ticked off at America for this.

Or anyone of the above.  We cannot be blessed by God individually, as a family, as a church, as a nation unless we seriously and boldly address our behaviors in the areas that God has clearly stated His expectations.  Until our Christian leaders boldly come out with "faith-based diplomacy" telling the truth until it's accepted or until Christ returns, our path to self-destruction will continue.



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Friday, April 08, 2011

If U.S. Doesn't Reverse the Deficit Now, It Will End Up Worse Than Greece and Portugal.

The U.S. is going down the same path as Portugal and Greece -- the names of the players are different. Take a look what the chief economist of Wells Fargo has to say.

US Deficit Spending: US Going Same Route as Greece, Portugal: Economist - CNBC



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Don't Forget, B.O. Missed HIs Chance At A Budget Last Year.

The writer of the blog in the link below is no friend of the Republicans, but he tells it like it is when it comes to who will be at fault if the government shuts down in less than five hours. Take a look and remember this even if there's no shutdown.

Hey Obama, You Do Realize That You're Responsible for the Shutdown if it Happens, Dontcha? - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine


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Senate Chaplain Has It Right In His Prayer . . .

Only God can save America from itself. Take a listen . . .

RealClearPolitics - Video - Senate Chaplain: "Lord, Save Us From Ourselves"



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Now Here's A Book I May Just Read! (But I hate the title)

This author attacks a big elephant in the room. He certainly talks well. But in time, we'll have to read the book. Check out this video.

YouTube - Why do Leftists hypocritically side with tyrants & terrorists? United in Hate author Jamie Glazov



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Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

U.S. General On Libya Stalemate?

This plot thickens every day. NOW, a long stalemate is likely as Gaddafi gets smart. But that's not good enough for many. Take a look. And what does the B.O. do now?

The Associated Press: US General: Libya stalemate more likely now

 
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Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Order and Decorum, Yet Favoritism - Genesis 43:33-34

Now they were seated before him, the first-born according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment.  And he took portions to them from his own table; but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs.  So they feasted and drank freely with him.

The text tells us that all of Joseph’s brothers were seated before him, but at a separate table.  They were seated in the order of their age and their birthright – from Reuben (born to Leah) down to Benjamin (born to Rachel and Joseph’s only full-brother).  It is not clear whether the servants asked them to sit that way or not.  Maybe even Joseph did.  We do not know.  It is more likely given the reference to their “birthrights” that they normally used this pecking order every time they ate or met together as a group.  Perhaps that was the way things were done in those days.  Even today, although with a lot more flexibility, we sometimes try to do the same thing, but it is not the end of the world if it does not work out.  (Believe me I know.  Just be at our house when five grandchildren jostle for their desired seating location when guests are with us or on a special occasion.) And as they sat there, they continued to look at each other in bewilderment, not knowing what happened, was happening, or what was going to happen.  And when you come to think of it, you and I sitting there under those circumstances would likely be feeling the same way and wondering all the same things.

The last verse of this chapter (verse 34) is one where Joseph’s hand starts to show.  Now there is no doubt that the brothers had ample food at their table brought to them by the servants.  It is, however, possible that they did not have all the things on it that Joseph’s table had; after all he was the second most important ruler in Egypt, next to the Pharaoh.  So what did Joseph do?  He took either from his table’s abundance and refilled his brothers’ table or he took from his table’s wider variety of foods and shared them with his brothers.  There is no doubt he was trying to be both a gracious Egyptian host as well as bridge the “decorum or societal” gap that was expected between his position and these mere Hebrew guests.  His own native Hebrew instinct of being one with his brothers and family exhibited itself in his actions.

In taking these steps, however, he commenced showing his favoritism for his own ‘full-brother’ Benjamin.  The Bible says as he took portions to them, he managed to give Benjamin what appeared to be five times more than each of the others.  The Bible’s authenticity does not stand or fall on whether or not it was exactly “five times as much” for the phrase here is strictly used with ‘literary license’ to get across the idea that regardless, it was much more than the others got.  We can also assume that he likely did it himself as the gracious host rather than have his servants do it for how else would they know to favor Benjamin as he did.

Interestingly, Scripture makes no mention of how the brothers reacted to what they obviously would notice.  So we have no indication if they were bothered by it or not.  Perhaps they just thought it normal that their youngest brother was growing and needed lots of food to help him with that.  Some Bible scholars believe that Benjamin was at least seven years younger than Joseph and he was at least seventeen years younger than the next youngest brother (Zebulun).  So, for the brothers that thought Joseph was dead, that seventeen-year spread and up, between Benjamin and his brothers was enough to let him get away with the favoritism that Joseph was bestowing on him.

Perhaps another reason for this was, as the last sentence of this chapter indicates, they were too busy having a great feast themselves and probably getting to the point where they were well influenced by the wine that they were “drinking freely” with Joseph. 
And after all, who would want to challenge the host and a top leader of Egypt with respect to his preferences?

As I consider these verses today, I am reminded to be aware of how I apply and adhere to various customs and expectations, and at the same time how I may favor some in so doing.  If you have more than one child or several grandchildren of various ages, you can easily identify with how easy it is fall into this kind of practice.  Many of us probably do it subconsciously at church events too.  Let us pray that we will be conscious of our traditions while being careful to apply them fairly to the best of our abilities and to the glory of God.




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Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

This Family Is All for a Law-and-Order Agenda

Canoe.ca | Tories make major law-and-order push | Canada Election 2011



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Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

As B.O.'s Support Among Blacks and Hispanics Decreases, Can White Support Be Far Behind The Exodus?

The Los Angeles Times reports the worse news for B.O. since he said he was running again in 2012. Take a look.

Obama's support among blacks slips unexpectedly, Hispanics too | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times



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Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

John Piper On The Qur'an vs. Christ

I touched on this in an earlier post on Epistoli but I wanted to share this with you again -- this time in the words of John Piper that many of you may be familiar with. The issue here is not what is fair, or what is true. What is important is that we understand how supposedly Muslims feel about their book. If we accept that, then we can learn how better to face them with the Truth. At the same time, we need to be ready for the consequences that some of our actions may bring. In no way, am I condoning anything that has gone on, on either side, in this whole affair.

John Piper Compares Quran Burning to Crucifying Christ, Christian News, The Christian Post


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Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Does Anybody Know the Score Between israel & the Palestinians?

If you read the account attached to the link below you will, if you're at all like me, come to the conclusion that this is getting a bit ridiculous. Palestinians in Gaza fire on a bus and Israel strikes back killing four and injuring 35. The Palestinians said they acted in response to the killing of three of their Hamas members earlier in the week. And so it goes.

Tell me this. If two men, now in their 60's are still throwing rocks at each other from across the street, will anyone let alone one of them realy remember a) who started it forty years earlier when they were in their 20's, or b) who started it each time they stopped it for a while? The correct answers are: no, no one can and if they could, it doesn't matter at this point.

The whole thing is driven by a severe hatred for each other -- social, historical, and religious. Personally, I do not believe this will end until either God intervenes and blows us all our minds with His solution or until a truly neutral third party comes in with military power to keep the peace as best it can. Good luck finding such a third party these days (if Libya is any example).

So, we're left (thank goodness) with the option of God's intervention. Some of us are eagerly awaiting it.

BBC News - Gaza: Israeli forces strike after attack on bus


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Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

What's Going On With Weekly U.S. Budget Stopgaps?

Here's the recap to date: B.O. has already approved two stopgap budgets. The one just passed in the House would be the third one presented to him if indeed the Senate agrees with and passes it. B.O. wants a budget that takes the country to the end of September, its fiscal year, not one a week at a time. As a result he and White House staff have said he will "veto" this one even if the Senate passes it.

If the Senate passes this, the troops and other crucial services keep getting paid. If the Senate turns this down, or B.O. vetoes it, they don't. It's that simple. But is it really.

First, the Republicans are counting on several in the Senate to put pressure on Harry Reid's Dem. side to pass it so key people will get paid. But B.O. and the top Dems. are really hoping they don't.

Here's their plan as I see it. "Well, people, we've passed two of these now to show good faith, and we can't keep doing this. So we've stuck our neck out hoping the American people will understand we can't spend all our time every week dealing just with the budget, and we've stopped this one. Yes, the government has been shut down, but hey, blame the Republicans." That's their plan.

But will people blame the Replublicans? Some will, but not the majority. They know the U.S. deficit is out of control and what B.O. is to put it further out and more in debt with no real plan to decrease the deficit and get out of debt. Just spend out way into oblivion. The majority are supporting the Republicans on this and that's why 15 Democrats in the House voted with the G.O.P.  whereas only 6 Republicans voted with the Dems.  (That's two and a half time the Dems. that switched on this one than the Republicans.  That should tell them something.)  The overall vote was 247 for, 181 against.  Now it's up to the Senate and B.O.

The Republican position is this:  "Which part of no more taxes and no increased debt don't you understand?   If you're not going to get serious and give us the cuts we need to deliver that to the people, than you can shut the government down if you want or let us do it -- either way we don't care; the people are with us and that's what we were elected to do.  You can blame us if you like.  And yes, we're giving you this opportunities of stopgap budgets to save your hide and to be able to pay the people that are critical to running and protecting this country.  We'll do it as long as we have to."

So there you have it folks.  I'm hoping more and more will understand that White House games should be saved for the White House lawn just like JFK used to play with his children.  They're not appropriate for the White House to play in the Congress.   B.O. this will backfire on you big time.

This link below takes you to some of the details.

Obama to veto Republican budget plan - World - CBC News

 
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Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Help YOUR Child "Walk OUT" on "Day of Silence" -- Attn. Parents in Canada & U.S.

Parents you need to know about this. April 15th in the U.S. and Canada this year. You need to know about what you can do. You need to take action. Or this just keeps on getting stronger and stronger. The ball is in your courts parents.

DOS Walkout



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Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Who's Your Father? What About Them?

I recently came across John 8:44a again: "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father."  Jesus was referring not to those that did believe in Him (verse 31) but to those in the audience that did not.  The choice seems to have been either we are "of God" (verse 42) or we are "of the devil".  Man falls into the latter category if we do not: love Jesus (verse 42), understand what He is saying, and hear His word (verse 43).  For more on this theme as developed by the Apostle John, that of being "of the devil" see I John 3:7-15.  We'll come back to part of that later.

But here's the thought that ran through my mind as I read these verses.  I, and I imagine many of you who read my blogs, are Christians.  We do love Jesus, we believe we have understood if not all of what He said certainly the part about Who He is and how He relates to the Father, etc., and we have heard His word on how then we should live.  So far, so good.

Now, you got up this morning (or yesterday), you got dressed, you had breakfast and you went out into the world to live your life.  It may be at school, at work, at the stores, at a community event, out of dinner with friends, etc.  And the chances are, and hopefully this is true, you interacted with a number of unbelievers.  That is you interacted with those that do not love Jesus, understand Who He is, or hear His word.

If you're familiar with my writing and blogs, you'd know that this is around the time in the blog I would pose my question, and so I will:  Are there just two kinds of people in the world -- those 'of God' and those 'of the devil'?

I am not a lawyer, so I don't have to adhere to the sound advice of "never asking a question I do not know the answer to."  Indeed, being bestowed with inquisitive minds, we should all be doing just the opposite, that is, asking such questions.

If the answer to my question is "yes" then everyone we deal with in life who is not a Christian is, by process of elimination, "of their father, the devil".  I was out with some beloved family recently, that haven't quite made that commitment to Christ.  If the answer to my question is "yes", then that would be true of them and all others like them.  If the answer to my question is "no", then we'd have to find another "father" for them.  And herein lies my dilemma.  A "yes" answer makes me very uncomfortable and a "no" answer is difficult to arrive at.

Perhaps it is indeed necessary to look up those verses where the apostle further develops his idea in I John 3.  The description is expanded to include the following: the one who practices sin is of the devil (vs. 8); both the children of God and of the devil are obvious (vs. 10); anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother (vs. 10); everyone who hates his brother is a murderer (vs. 15).  What do we do with all these verses?  There are numerous instances in Scripture were we are advised to shun evildoers.  Psalm 26:5 which says "I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked" is one of them.  Proverbs 24:1 says "Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them."

How do we get out of this dilemma of knowing people we associate with and people we love are considered spiritually to be "of the devil",  of being told that we should not "desire to be with them", and at the same time being told to be "salt and light" in the "world" as Jesus instructed us to?  I think there are several things to consider:

  1. We can't just throw our hands up and say, "great, I don't have to be with these folks and I don't have to be 'salt and light' to them."  Just because we perceive a dilemma in the Bible, does not mean there is a dilemma.  We simply have to dig harder to find the solution.  The Bible does not contradict itself, but God has left some issues for which we are to seek and discover His intention through prayer, study, and seeking His wisdom.
  2. We need to understand there is a difference between "my friend or relative" and "what my friend or relative does, says, or believes".  The former requires me to be "salt and light" to.  The latter requires me to avoid copying or facilitating or condoning.  I have to be wise enough and totally dependent on God to realize the difference and to understand my capability of doing either, as required, at any given time.  Then I need to pursue what I should do and avoid what I should not do.  From this perspective, I find it interesting that whether my friends or relatives are "of the devil" is more about me and how I react to them in love and how I relate to them in truth, rather than about them, although ultimately it is about their eternity.  But right here and now, it's about me and my relationship with my Father and how I obey Him in regards to them.  It is important that we understand that.
  3. Finally, to make this thing a lot easier to tackle, we only need to think that at one time in our lives, we were "that friend" or "that relative" who did not have God as our own true spiritual Father.  Somebody related to us during that period of our lives.  We must do likewise for others.
When I first started thinking about this issue, I entertained, at the suggestion of a loved one that I asked, the possibility that just like there are graduations of maturity for the Christian, there are graduations of 'being evil' for the non-believer.  I mean after all, you will tell me that my relatives and friends are "not that evil, they're just not believers yet."  I think that is true.  However, I have to be careful that I don't allow that understanding to somehow weaken my desire or efforts or concern to draw their attention to the fact that their ultimate outcome, eternity "without God", can only be changed by their becoming children "of God".  That is the danger in emphasizing their "goodness".  It is the same danger we as Christians have of failing to pursue maturity in Christ if we simplify emphasize the fact that "we go to church and tithe, and do not break the commandments knowingly, that is, we are doing our best to be good; what more can be expected?"

So, yes, my relatives and friends who are not Christ followers, are, just like yours, "of the devil" but they strive to live good and righteous lives to the best of their abilities.  My job, and yours, is to be able to separate the two -- their state and their practices and finds ways to meet them where they are with the "salt and light" that they need.  I pray God will show us how to do that individually and uniquely for each and every one of our loved ones.
 
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Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

The Folly of Seeing "Lone Wolf" Terrorist Attacks as Just That

STRATFOR Global Intelligence has provided an excellent piece of writing on "How To Tell if Your Neighbor is a Bombmaker". We need to focus on the "how" and not just the "who".

In our own world, we often hear of people being interviewed after a serial killer is caught, saying, "I never thought he would be the one; he was so nice." Yet, when they stop to think of what 'he' was seen doing or "how" he behaved, they can identify things he did that would have given him away much earlier had they been thinking about it. Of course, the danger becomes that we consider people potentially guilty and the over-zealous among us may just get carried away a little too far. Yes, that's a danger. But maybe better safe than sorry. Anyway, take a look and remember to focus on 'what you see' not just 'who you see'.

How to Tell if Your Neighbor is a Bombmaker | STRATFOR


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Sodom & Gomorrah May Soon Be Alive & Well In Maryland's Showers

This potential legislation may, if passed, have a very serious impact on your children and women in the State of Maryland, and could spread throughout the country. We'll try and follow this one for you. All in the name of fairness and equality of course. Give me strength.

Coed showers coming? Lawmakers push 'equality' plan



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Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.