Habakkuk 3:17


Habakkuk 3:17 Though the fig tree shall not blossom, and fruit is not on the vines; the work of the olive fails, and the fields make no food; the flock is cut off from the fold, and no herd is in the stalls, 

Ever had a day like that? Raise your hands because I know you have. You sit at your desk and look at the sun coming up and the depression that oppresses your soul is like a sore tooth, but you do not know where the soreness is coming from or why it is there. Life should be good... but, it is not at this precise moment.

Seriously, I never thought Habakkuk could ever teach me a lesson. I do not think I’ve ever heard a sermon on Habakkuk. But, there it was in black and white. Verse 17 of chapter 3. Yes. I felt that way. Empty. Void. Depressed. Where is the fruit that God needs from me? Where is the stuff that He works through me? What use am I to the Lord God, or to anyone else? There seemed to be a numbness pervading my being. Verse 17 described it perfectly.

Then I read verse 18.

Habakkuk 3:18 yet I will exalt in Jehovah; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

It’s like Job declares, “Though He slay me, I will still praise Him.” 

Something cracked inside as I read that verse. A dam burst... no, it was more like a glacier melting. In the time it takes to blink, a thousands years could expire… it all depends upon perspective. God has no time constraints because He invented time. From my perspective, 30 seconds can seem like ten years sometimes. I had several months of grief that was but a speck in my time line given my age. Yet, months do not amount to a nano second in God’s time. And it all means absolutely nothing compared to the wonders God has planned for eternity. My little spot of woes won't matter one whit a million years from now. Then I'll have been with my glorious Father for a million years. That is true, but in a million years will doing the works of God matter? Will fruit matter?

When Hurricane Charley blasted through Florida, my cousin's grapefruit tree was six years old and was about to bear some fruit. Charley ravaged it badly. In the following year, though, it leafed out beautifully, but no fruit. My cousin consulted an arborist who told her the tree was sacrificing its fruit so that it could survive, and it might take several more years before it finally bore fruit. Survival of itself was more important to the tree that its bearing fruit and its own procreation.
However, to God, fruit is the purpose, not the tree.

Matthew 21:19 And seeing one fig tree by the road, He went up to it, and found nothing on it except leaves only. And He said to it, Let there be no more fruit from you forever. And the fig tree immediately dried up.

The lesson from Jesus? No fruit... no life.

Jonah blathers about Nineveh’s repentance and pouts on a hill. God causes a vine to grow that protects Jonah from the scorching sun and the beating heat. Then God causes a worm to eat the vine, the vine withers and Jonah, fainting from the sun and heat, pouts even more. I can see God shaking his head at Jonah.

“Don’t you get it yet, son?” God asks. “You have pity for a plant that lasted 24 hours, how much more pity I have on the more that 120,000 innocents of Nineveh who do not know their right hand from their left hand." God gave those innocents mercy and grace, and the people of Nineveh repented of their wickedness, turning to the One True God. Though they did not deserve it, they had Grace. While they were yet sinners, God gave them a chance to live for him. Those people of Nineveh were just like that grapefruit tree and the fig tree. One hundred years after Jonah pouted under a withered up vine, the great city that Nimrod built and that Sennacherib made even greater and more lavish crumbled under the heel of Nebopolassar, a Babylonian king. It was destroyed just as God told Jonah to prophesy that it would.

The prophet Nahum cried out against Nineveh... A nation that had the opportunity to bear huge amounts of fruit, but went back to worshiping gods that had no eyes to see and no ears to hear.
Nahum 3:1-4 Woe to the bloody city! All of it is a lie, all of plunder; the prey is not withdrawn. The sound of a whip, and the sound of rattling of a wheel, and a galloping horse, and of a bounding chariot. The horseman lifts up both the gleam of the sword and the lightning of the spear, and many are slain, and there are a mass of dead bodies, and no end of corpses; they stumble on their dead bodies, because of the many harlotries of the well favored harlot, the mistress of sorceries who sells nations by her harlotries, and families by her sorceries.

God spent a lot of time teaching me, training me, carrying me, dancing with me, loving me and walking with me. Now it is time that I walk His way, follow His steps, wait for His timing, bear His fruit, work His works. I would that it be easier than it is, but so be it as it is.

Whatever the cost

I saw on the news recently a comment by a Muslim, "We teach the true meaning of the Koran." His meaning was that he taught peace and apparently no such thing as jihad. The passion of those inflamed with jihad is astounding to me. What ever the cost they will pursue what they think is truth, even to death. Why?

The passion burning brightly, albeit for something deeply opposed to God's true Word, is something I do not understand. I cannot fathom wanting to die for something that does not make sense (like women not being allowed in Heaven, yet if one dies sacrificially then one receives a harem of 70 virgins--if women are not allowed in Heaven, then where do the virgins come from?). There are numerous other loop-de-loops which boggle the brain.

Since September 11th, we have been bombarded with the message that Islam is a peaceful religion… that only a few fanatics have twisted the message. It is not a religion of peace as the stories below will illustrate. What is extremely frightening is that Islam is practiced by 1/5 of world’s population and that number is growing every day. Violence is taught by the Koran...

In the Koran, Surah 9 verse 29 states “Fight against…those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [Islam] among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Mohammad also commands in Surah 47:4 how to treat unbelievers of Islam: “Smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly…” meaning to take them captive.

A young Iranian man named, Ali, said, “If there was peace in Islam, I wouldn’t have come to Christianity.”* This is a compelling testimony to the fact that Islam is not a peaceful religion.

A young man* from Indonesia said, “Because we have Jesus, it is not difficult being a Christian.” Only Christians can understand how Petrus can say this after what happened to him and his family.

Petrus’ father, Ishak Kristian, was a pastor*. On an October morning at 11:30 am, about 20 radical Muslims began to protest outside Ishak’s church. Ishak quietly stepped outside and tried to calm them, but the small crowd only grew in size and fury…

Pastor Kristian gathered together 6 of his family and friends and returned to the comparative safety of the church and they began to pray.

Shortly after noon, the small mob had grown to 200. They began smashing the church possessions and screaming for the pastor and the others to come out. Pastor Kristian and the others hid in the back room of the church.

Enraged, the mob lit the church on fire. Only one of the seven managed to escape alive. At the funeral, Petrus was told it was the will of Allah… it was their fate. Petrus said, “At first I was disappointed because I lost all of my beloved people. But this made me realize what really matters in my life. After the fire, most of our congregation became stronger in faith. In my opinion, because we have Jesus, it is not difficult to be a Christian.”

Today, our brothers and sisters in Christ in Indonesia are being slaughtered, kidnapped, raped and forcibly circumcised. The wombs of pregnant women have been slashed open. It all boils down to the real reason: The Devil is desperate—anything but Jesus!

Why is this so? Because we are at war. Paul explains exactly what kind of war we wage in Ephesians 6. It isn’t against flesh and blood, but against the dark principalities, dark forces. Satan is doing anything and everything to keep the Gospel from being spread around the world. Yet, the more he squeezes the oppression, the more Christianity spreads into all the cracks and crevices.

To me, it is amazing that in Vietnam, Christians outnumber the Communist Party members. Nothing has changed since Pharaoh became so angry at Moses sharing Spiritual truths with the children of Israel. The wicked without Jesus see Jesus in Believers and hate us for it. Nothing has changed except that the church Jesus promised to build on the Rock is alive and growing despite the persecution around the world.

We Americans have it so easy, yet we are persecuted if we live the kind of life Jesus would have us live instead of the lukewarm lifestyle of the politically correct. We have it easy, but for how long? Will it take oppression of Christians to inflame that dormant passion in our breasts?

* Stories taken from Voice of the Martyrs.

Seasons...er, Happy... ah! Merry Christmas

Editor's Note: Printed with permission by the author, Alan Smith, Pastor

SEASON'S GREETINGS

     I'm sure you've heard a lot of talk about the fact that some retailers seem to be getting away from saying "Merry Christmas!" and instead are substituting phrases like "Season's Greetings!" or "Happy Holidays!" in their decorations and their advertisements.  Someone has even written this politically correct Christmas greeting:

     "Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all."

     Many Christians are outraged at this shift and view this as one more attempt to remove all references to Christ from our culture.  In response, a group has been organized called the "Committee to Save Merry Christmas".  Here are some of their thoughts:

     "This deliberate and intentional substitution of 'Merry Christmas" with un-celebratory phrases are thoughtless, condescending and hurtful.  Should you -- the purchasing public -- who honors the American tradition and culture of Christmas, continue to purchase Christmas gifts from these stores when they deliberately and intentionally refuse to acknowledge Christmas? Our committee believes you should not!  We, instead, encourage you to shop where the values and meaning of Christmas are cherished."

     I have some concerns.  On the one hand, I am concerned about attempts (sometimes blatant attempts) to remove all references to God or Christianity from our society.  But, on the other hand, I have to remember that God did not give Sears (or any other store) the responsibility of telling people about Christ.  He did not give our American government that responsibility.  He gave it to those of us who are Christians.

     I think it's ironic that a lot of Christians are upset that Target doesn't greet them with "Merry Christmas!" when they walk through the door, but they will make no attempt to talk about Christ in their own lives.  We prefer to say "It's a beautiful day!" instead of "What a beautiful day God has given us!"  We prefer to say, "I've been lucky or fortunate" instead of saying "God has blessed me."  We would never dream of saying "Christ is the only way of salvation." for fear of being labeled a fanatic.  But then we'll get upset at a store which has a banner proclaiming "Happy Holidays" and refuse to do business with them.

     Folks, let put the responsibility where it belongs.  God has given those of us who are Christians the task of sharing Christ with a world that doesn't know him.  God "has given us the ministry of reconciliation...and has committed to us the word of reconciliation." (2 Cor. 5:18-19).  If we're going to get upset, let's start getting upset about the fact that WE'VE not been doing that like we should!

Have a great day (oh, and have a Merry Christmas)!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina



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Warning: Freedom of speech not for Christians

Pay attention class. Our (read that Christians') freedoms are slipping away. Now the federal judicial system has removed our freedom of speech in an unprecedented ruling in Atlanta, GA with the upholding of a ruling against Jennifer Keeton who appealed an earlier court finding that she must undergo a "remediation" process in order to graduate from university with her counseling degree because of her Christian beliefs. She believes homosexual behavior is wrong because God said it was wrong. The university said she couldn't believe that way and still receive her degree, therefore she would have to change her position on homosexuality and even attend a gay/lesbian march and write a paper about her feelings on it. In fact the faculty stated:
"[Augusta State University] faculty have promised to expel Miss Keeton from the graduate Counselor Education Program not because of poor academic showing or demonstrated deficiencies in clinical performance, but simply because she has communicated both inside and outside the classroom that she holds to Christian ethical convictions on matters of human sexuality and gender identity," the 43-page lawsuit reads.

I know, and you know that the greatest counselor is our Lord Jesus Christ. It is one of His names: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Frankly, I tremble at the audacity of this university and its faculty for doing this against a student for her beliefs, and not for academic failure or some clinical failure in her counseling skills. They took her money readily enough, why wait until she is about to graduate before doing this since she was vocal about her beliefs from the beginning?

Those who do not believe in Jesus should not get too smug over this ruling. Don't be thinking it won't happen to you! It will. There is coming a time when there won't be any personal freedom for those who do not believe, and who chase after worldly things trying to please fleshly mankind. It is an ill wind that bodes no good for anyone because this is a blatant violation of a citizen's constitutional right to free speech, and freedom to believe in the one, true God of Heaven and earth.

Squeaky wheel is ruining America

Photo from Idea Go
I open the newspaper or watch the news and invariably I see some small group screaming for "rights" or see commercials from networks being blatantly biased which makes me so very insecure with the knowledge that we'll never get the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help us God.

These small groups such as the homosexuals (.773% of households in the U.S. are same sex couples according to 2010 Census) make up 1.5% of the population much, much less than the touted 10%. Such a tiny percent of the population rules the networks.

Now I'm seeing NBC running ads against the tax breaks for the so-called rich which shows they haven't done their homework. It's the blind leading the blind and they are heading toward a ditch which we'll call Collapse of American Economy. They are influencing the American public who are willingly wearing blindfolds called apathy and stupidity for not seeking out the whole truth and nothing but the truth. How many times in school did I hear, "Don't believe everything you read,"? Too many to count. I learned ages ago that people have agendas and those with agendas will leave out pertinent facts that do not align with the agenda. It boils down to Gossip. Yet, the American Public is swallowing it as Gospel.

In one ad a man gripes about the lack of jobs. Here's the question that has been answered time and again: until the economy is stabilized,  there won't be an abundance of new jobs. The economy won't be stabilized until there is more than a 2 month assurance of tax rate stabilization. We are circling in a Catch 22.

Sadly, everyone wants something grand in their pockets but unfortunately fewer and fewer are willing to work for it. The work ethic in this country has deteriorated into gimme, gimme rather than fair deal when you give something of value in return for something of value. When did that happen? I think it was when the Depression babies grew up without anything and wanted their children to have everything without teaching them the real value of a dollar. Just a guess, here, nothing so scientific as a survey.

Look at what James Franco campaigned to do and succeeded in getting a university to fire the professor who dared to give him a "D" in a class Franco only attended 2 times out of 14 classes. For me, the "D" is very soft, he should have received an "F". This is classic wanting something for nothing.  Where I go to school, attendance is crucial because when you are earning your Master's you don't have tests to take in the regular sense. You are in a more professional environment of learning and Franco couldn't have possibly done the work required when he didn't even show up for class.

Paul reminded the Thessalonians 2Th 3:10  For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.  God is emphatic that we should give value for value. The main thing is we Christians are not our own, but we belong to God. Of the 78% Americans who reported in a Pew survey in 2007 that they are Christian (mostly Protestant or Catholic with a smattering of other faiths) there should be 78% of all Americans who understand this truth. Where are they? Why aren't Christians standing up for righteous living? Why isn't there an outcry of "Foul!" to MSNBC for these biased ads? Are we so immune to opinion these days that we just accept something as truth just because it's seen on a network station? Where have all the brains gone?


Gingrich rhetoric not newt--er--news

I stand amazed at the extremely short memories of American citizens when it comes to politics as usual and especially with Newt Gingrich. The Gen-Xers can be forgiven because this is the first time they've heard the master spinner at work,  but the Babyboomers heard it all the first go round when he was Speaker of the House.

His extra-curricular marital activities were some of the most in-your-face I've seen and when confronted with it, his reply? "It's none of your damn business." Just what he recently said... again.

This is not a prude's response, nor a do-gooder response, I don't have my head in the sand. I've got a very clear head, and it is the clear head of a conservative, who saw it all unfold twenty years ago. The rhetoric hasn't changed a whit. If the man's wife (or I should say wives) can't trust him, then why should the American people trust him? When a person takes those vows of marriage, then that means commitment of a very certain kind which Newt does not have. If he won't stay true to his wife/wives, then he won't stay true to his word because having an affair is breaking his word and breaking his bond. It's sickening.

Ann Coulter: (During the House ethics investigation of Gingrich, he produced notes in which he reminds himself to "allow expression of warm/smiling/softer side.")

After Gingrich had been speaker for a brief two years, the Republican House voted 395-28 to reprimand him and fine him $300,000 for ethics violations.

(Sen. Bob Dole loaned Gingrich the money in what was called the first instance of an airbag being saved by a person.)

It's true that Newt has had some good ideas -- but also boatloads of bad ones, such as his support for experimentation on human embryos, cap and trade, policies to combat imaginary man-made global warming, an individual health insurance mandate, Dede Scozzafava (Romney supported the tea party candidate), amnesty for illegal aliens, Al Gore's bill to establish an "Office of Critical Trends Analysis" to prepare government reports on "alternative futures" (co-sponsored by Gingrich), and thinking he could get away with taking $1.6 million from Freddie Mac without anyone noticing.
 Regardless of what you think about Ann Coulter, she does her homework, she has the memory of an elephant, and she's more often than not on target with what she says.

Before you pick your candidate--do some homework and dig for truth. You might be sorely surprised... then again, you just might remember more than you thought you did.



 

8 traits of a godly friend

God designed humans as social creatures therefore we are taught from the first of our toddling steps how to share, and how to communicate with others. We will gravitate to those that have similar interests so we share commonalities. Generally, we do not choose whom we work with, nor do we choose whom resides next to us (unless we own that house, too). But we do choose our friends. Fair weather friends and associates are plentiful, but good friends are hard to find because our society has changed gears in recent decades toward more work time, and less play time. In years past, it was easy to find friends among those you went to church with, but today it is getting harder and harder to do so because we just do not make time for making new friends. Churches have cliques just like those in junior high and high school. That is the saddest state of affairs I’ve noticed in the past twenty years. Even joining the choir doesn’t automatically make church friends anymore. You would think nuts would like to hang out with nuts.
  • A godly friend is faithful. Proverbs 18:24 A man of many friends come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, but a brother is born for distress. Proverbs 22:11 He who loves pureness of heart, grace is on his lips; the king shall be his friend. Proverbs 27:10 Do not forsake your friend, nor your father's friend, and do not go into your brother's house in the day of your calamity, for a near neighbor is better than a brother far away.
  • A godly friend tells the truth even if it hurts. How can hurt be sweet? Because Proverbs 12:26 The righteous searches out with his friend, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Ecclesiastes 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
  • A godly friend uses kind insight speaking gently. Job 16:21 O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleads for his friend! Psalm 15:3 He does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his friend, nor lifts up a reproach against his neighbor. Proverbs 25:20 Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart. Being bold with truth can cause great harm because it matters as much how we say something as what we say.
  • A godly friend helps the soul to stretch. Just as a friend consoles us in our day of trouble, a godly friend will probe into motives and our purpose expanding the thought processes for godly decisions. Proverbs 20:5 A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out. Let’s not forget the way iron sharpens iron so one man does to another Proverbs 27:17.
  • Godly friends offer wise counsel. Fair weather friends will only look toward their own benefit and not care about what is good for the friendship or what is good for you. When a friend speaks, compare his words with biblical principles. If they match, then the counsel is wise. Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart, and one's friend is sweet from the counsel of the soul. Proverbs 20:18 Purposes are established in counsel; yea, make war with wise guidance.
  • Godly friends are not fools. Proverbs 1:7 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Pro 13:20 He who walks with the wise shall be wise, but one associating with fools shall be broken. A friend who prays with you and for you can be counted on to pray for wise words to counsel you.
  • Godly friends have self-control. Part of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. We are human, but someone who talks of getting even, has a short fuse, and who crosses the courtesy line continuously is not a godly person and we are not to associate with them. Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man, Lest you learn his ways, And find a snare for yourself. Ecclesiastes 7:9 Do not be hasty in your spirit to be angry; for vexation rests in the bosom of fools.
  • Godly friends will shun evil. So often we find ourselves ensnared in Satan’s web simply because we are not on our guard at all times. We let worldly themes seep into our thoughts rather than pursuing all things that are noble, good, righteous, and the like as Paul adjures. Proverbs 24:1-2 Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; For their minds devise violence, And their lips talk of trouble.
The friend who is steadfast during times of rejoicing as well as in times of grief is the same one who will stand fast in times of need. There is great blessing in being this kind of friend.
Psalm 15:1 A Psalm of David. O Jehovah, who shall dwell in Your tabernacle? Who shall live in Your holy mountain? 2 He who walks uprightly and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. 3 He does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his friend, nor lifts up a reproach against his neighbor. 4 In his eyes, the reprobate has been despised, but he honors those who fear Jehovah: He has sworn to his hurt, and will not change it. 5 He has not given his silver at interest; nor has he taken a bribe against the innocent; he who does these things shall not be shaken forever.
Jesus sent us the Comforter, our paraclete, the Holy Spirit who will always walk beside us, encouraging us, convicting us of sin before we ever put hand or foot to the sin. When the Holy Spirit recognizes Himself in another, you will feel it deep inside and you just know this person is worthy of your trust. Are you that kind of person?

Pakistan's and the $20 billion +


"Business as usual will not be there," Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani told CNN when asked if ties with the United States would continue. "We have to have something bigger so as to satisfy my nation… Pakistan shut down NATO supply routes into Afghanistan in retaliation for the weekend shooting incident, the worst of its kind since Islamabad allied itself with Washington in 2001.” (Reuters, Nov. 28, 2011)

Oh, ye, of small ears and big hands and minute memory!

“The U.S. gave $20.7 billion in military and economic development aid to Pakistan from fiscal 2002 through fiscal 2011, according to a new report that FOX Business has obtained that was issued by specialists in South Asian Affairs for the Congressional Research Service [CRS] to Congress on May 6.” The U.S. gave Pakistan $14.2 billion in total military related aid, $8.9 billion of which came out of the Pentagon’s budget (in a footnote CRS says this is technically not foreign assistance, its "is Pentagon funding to reimburse Pakistan for its support of U.S. military operations; it is technically not foreign assistance.") Out of that $14.2 billion, other expenditures were for things like counterinsurgency and financial support for its military. 

Here is another kick in the teeth (Osama ben Ladin living serenely in Paskistan was another). We have a snake by the tail and no one seems to recognize it. We have quit demanding something of value for our money. Why should any country consider us a force to be reckoned with if we keep doling out cash for little return on investment?

I find this fiasco intolerable. The U.S. should have put a pinching pressure on Pakistan the instant our troops killed OBL, and the instant (2008 to be exact) they found OBL, they should have turned off the faucet of money to Pakistan until “the people of that nation” realized just how much they depended upon us American tax payers. The amount of money we have given Pakistan is small compared to the $5 trillion added to the deficit, but as I learned years ago pennies add up and soon you have a dollar, and $5 can make or break a budget, especially if you are minus $5 to pay the electric bill.

If we continue in this vein, we will be embalmed without any blood flow to the brain. That means we’ll be brain dead, and I think that has been the situation in Washington for at least 3 years.

O God, Thou Art My God. Psalm 63:1





You Are My GodO God, Thou Art My God. Psalm 63:1



You are my God, You are my King.
You are my Master, in everything.
You are my LORD.
That’s why I sing to You.
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

Why accusations against Herman Cain aren't really real

When Herman Cain only had three percent rating, no one cared enough if he was the very best or not. He just wasn't at the front of the pack, so no one thought he was a serious contender. Then we recognized his message was sensible, and he was saying things that could work. My goodness, a business man in the White House, what a novel idea! Except business men founded our country, along with farmers, and marketers, all of them men who had brains in their heads.

Now we have two nameless women who vowed to silence after getting a monetary settlement, albeit a very modest settlement. The woman who sued McDonald's for her own idiotic spilling hot coffee on her self and won had enough sense not to sign a silence agreement. She could have written a book: How to Sue a Major Corporation for Your Own Stupid Mistake. Didn't these women have enough foresight to know there's more money in the future if you just write a book?

Now these women are trying to get NRA to release them from their vow of silence so they can tell their story and get more money. If someone had sexually harassed me like they claim Herman Cain harassed them, and I actually filed suit, I wouldn't settle for the money. It isn't supposed to be about money, is it? It's supposed to be about making sure men don't hassel women in the work place. Oh, I've had my share of sexual harassment, I just never filed suit about it. I quit the job and found another.

However, these women promised to never talk about this in exchange for money. They've already broken their vow, which means they lied. So how reliable is their information? Doesn't anyone recognize this for what it actually is? Ask Sarah Palin how these willow wisp accusations can take down a candidate (or governor) with no meat whatsoever, but it chokes just the same.

Politics is costing far more than doing good. When you follow the money, you know why politics is so dirty, you know why candidates spend so much of their own money to get a job that pays far less than any CEO could make with far more headaches. You also know why good men are accused of bad things.

I have been truly impressed by what Cain said, "Show me a perfect man and I'll show you Jesus Christ."

I have experienced spiritual warfare in the most raw and painful ways because you find yourself battling manufactured evidence. Too often the news media has not been held accountable for false reports, or reports filled with innuendo. If this were true, it would have been splashed all over the media after certification and they would never have given him enough time to combat the claims.

Mississippi proposition 26 defines personhood

Just asking for prayers concerning the upcoming election. Please pray Proposition 26 passes which defines personhood at conception.

There is a lot of misinformation floating around from Planned Parenthood trying to deceive people into voting against it. Here's a three minuted video that will set things straight.


Ignoring signals from God?

No one understands God's perfect ways or even why God acts in such a way for some and in another way for others. How do we even know for sure we are walking in His will?

We can't see the future. Our feelings are fickle. We can't control other people's decisions. So how do we walk down that specific path God has lighted for us?

We live in a very imperfect world and since we don't control other people, we can't be responsible for their choices. The only alternative we have, then, is to walk the closest we can to the Lord God Almighty and expect Him to turn us from the wrong direction.

We have His guidebook, His Word. We have the Holy Spirit. Combine this with our love for our Daddy and a deep desire to do His will and it is a fairly reliable recipe for following His will.

Photo courtesy of anankkml
It is only when we let our own desires get in the way that we veer off the path and stretch our leading strings. I fully believe that God allows us an exploratory romp or two down side paths because this is how we learn God's guiding hand on our reins. We learn the feel If we don't acknowledge the gentle tug to the left or right or signal to stop, then God will get more urgent and sometimes the bit will dig in and hurt. It isn't God that is causing the hurt, it is the stubborn ignoring of His guiding signals.

We can't walk in His ways unless we know Him. We can't know Him unless we study His Word. We can't study His word unless we take the time. We can't take the time unless we make it a priority. Therefore, priorities are crucial to knowing God's will.

Never allow consideration of doing something that is contradictory to His commands. That part is simple enough. But what do we do with that fleeting thought that flickers through the brain matter, toying with us to consider something that the Holy Spirit immediately flags as sin? When it does register that we've thought something like that, we need to fling it at God's feet. Frankly, that is not easier said than done. If we truly mean to bring God glory that decision must be made before that flickering thought appears. Otherwise we sit toying with an idea which is then a simple matter to follow through with a deed displeasing to God.

Once we've decided, it is easier to do.  Once we’ve decided, we are more aware of temptation, (and that, my siblings, is what Satan deplores). He wants us to waver on the cusp of the pit. But, who is stronger? When God is for us, who can stand against Him?

Psalm 37:4 says that when we delight in the Lord, He will grant us the desires of our hearts.

How precious that God gives us our desires when we delight in Him. That means those desires are not harmful. They are good for us and others. That means that our hearts are pure. What a joy to have a pure heart. That also means that our prayers are righteous and the prayers of the righteous avails much. We have a responsibility to dive into the middle of God's will and to delight in Him.

How precious it is to sit on His feet.

Shout out with praise

A psalm by Gina after reflection upon Salvation of the Lord from the sin in her life

Shout out with praise...
Shout out with praise
To the LORD on His Throne!
Sing with me all the earth,
For He set me Free.

He unlocked the shackles
He unwound the chains
I am Free.
He filled the darkness with Light
Fear fled, demons tremble.
I am Free!

He bent down to lift me up.
He put the chains and shackles on my foes.
But, I…I am Free!

It was I that caused His great pain, you see.
It was for me that He stuck to that tree.
It was I that raced down that path of ruin,
That pursued the pitiful gain.

Yet, His love swelled greater than oceans
His love reached past the universe
He counted the cost
and found it worthy
to set me Free yes, even me, to set me free.

The babies’ breath is on His cheek…
My tears have rolled down His fingers…
Yet the universe is too small for His shoulders.
He cared enough to set me Free.

Shout ye people of the earth.
Sing hosannas to reach the stars.
Sing with me and praise His name for
He paid the price to set us Free!

Occupation of Wall Street

Charging Bull, a bronze statue by Arturo Di Modica at Bowling Green, Manhattan, New York City, photo by David Prior
What is the message of Occupy Wall Street?

It's difficult to find a deep answer to this because the website states it is a protest of the 99% against the 1% who has all the money, so says Andrew Ross Sorkin of Dealb%k column.

That is really hard for me to absorb.

For more than two weeks people, without jobs obviously, have been peacefully standing around Wall Street with a sign or two decorated with a balled up fist, protesting that 1% of the people have all the money. I wonder how that 1% got all that money?

Donald Trump's story is fairly well known. He had nothing when he started, in fact, he was about $20 million in debt; and he convinced his debtors to invest more money with him. They did astoundingly, and they all made a mint of money. That is entrepreneurship at its best.

Dale Carnegie wrote a list of life ambitions when he was 18 years old. At the top of his list was his deep desire to earn millions of dollars the first half of his life, and the second half of his life he would give it all away. He certainly accomplished the first, but he'd made so much he couldn't give it all away.

When did working for your keep transform into entitlements? Spreading the wealth never worked no matter how hard Russia, Spain, Greece etc. tried. The few always ended up with most of the cash, but communism and socialism made it easier for the crooks to take the money.

Isn't it strange that a man who is almost the richest man in the world would use this kind of thinking to try to destroy America. George Soros has at his fingertips the wherewithal to do exactly that. I believe this peaceful protest of uninformed people is the beginning.

Why do I call them uninformed? Because they really do not know what they are protesting. Bank presidents and CEOs represent millions of stockholders, and account holders. I do think CEOs and corporate officers probably do get higher salaries than their job actually warrants. However, I'd not trade places with them for even twice what they make...I don't want the headaches, ulcers and stress they deal with.

It isn't a giant leap to connect Soros with this movement. The organization says it has no leadership, yet it has minutes of their meetings on the website. An organization shouts leadership because that's how it is organized. Duh. It says it has no leadership, and yet the protests have been ongoing for more than two weeks. How does something keep going without the rah-rah of leadership? Think: Scott Walker and the labor protest. The fundraising must be incredibly awesome to support people for two weeks, and for people to come from different points of the U.S. Soros is affiliated and a donor for so many groups from A-Y. The types of groups and his agenda is quite clear just from looking at the list from Discover the Networks.

No matter how hard this movement tries to make it look like a grassroots movement. It isn't. The propaganda and rhetoric sounds wonderful, but look at the foundation. There are webs of deception, and America will get tangled tight in its sticky cords.

An interesting article written by Eli Schmitt on n+1 gives a list of "demands" which will give you an inside look at what #occupywallstreet is all about.
To repeal the Citizens United Supreme Court decision (through a constitutional amendment)

To remove the bull sculpture from Wall Street (as suggested to us by a man who walked by dressed as a banker but wearing a noose instead of a tie)

Some form of debt cancellation (either for everyone or just for students)

Pay-as-you-go military intervention (so that wars could not be waged without Congress agreeing to finance them immediately)

Taxes on small financial transactions (one version of this is known as a Tobin tax)

Full employment

A social wage or guaranteed income (also described as a negative income tax)

Universal care centers (for children and the elderly)

Reinstating the Glass-Steagall act (a banking reform passed in 1933 and partially repealed in 1980)

Paid sick leave for all working Americans

Greater political transparency in general

Cleared up now?

Pakistan and IEDs

You know those pesky explosive devises that have ripped humans to shreds, demolished cars and except for mine fields, probably the most demonic weapons in war that has been devised. According to Navy Capt. Douglas Borrebach, deputy director for resources and requirements at the Pentagon's Joint IED Defeat Organization, 80% of these devises are made with ammonium calcium nitrate (fertilizer) produced in Pakistan.

Not only was Pakistan harboring Osama be Ladin, but now we find out the boarder between Pakistan and Afghanistan is practically non-existent. Of course we knew that, didn't we? The sad thing is the U.S. doesn't seem to care because $5 billion (yes, that's with a B) is still pouring into the country that has one hand out palm up and the other hand behind its back with fingers crossed (did I see a political cartoon like that?). It isn't funny.

I'm as incensed about that today as I was about our President speaking in Egypt back in 2009. Things haven't gotten any better. We still see this slight of hand trick, scrabbling around trying to keep the right hand knowing what the left hand is doing. The truly sad thing is, I'm beginning to think no one really cares what's good for the country, but only about their own agenda.

Not only did Pakistan harbor the most wanted man in the world, but their intelligence agency has been linked to various extremests throughout the countryside. Now, we sit on our thumbs wondering "What went wrong?" all the while India is shrugging, saying, "I told you so!" 

Although we have proven that we're going to do what we say we're going to do, hang the cost and double the ammunition, we're at a point where we need to be smart rather than a bully. Economic sanctions have proven effective in the past, the stability of that region is fragile to say the least. Cutting off the flow of U.S. dollars pouring in may or may not do what we want. However, reducing that flow will certainly make the Pakistanis reconsider, of course I'm no expert on the region. It's just that where greed abounds, money talks louder than any gun.


Personhood to be decided by Mississippi voters

(Editor's Note: This is very rare for me to post the same thing on my blog from LiveAsif.org at the same time, but this is so incredibly important.)


God created life. He gives life. Then who are we to take the life of the unborn? Extraordinary that the Supreme Court also decided that when it upheld the law passed by the 107th Congress during the Bush administration concerning partial birth abortion. Some of the key factors the lawmakers determined was that the unborn fetus “feels pain; that it undermines public perception of the appropriate role of a physician; and it perverts the process in which life is brought into this world.” That is from paragraph K.

The Mississippi Supreme Court decided in favor of letting the people decide to give the unborn the same rights as the newborn. Since truly the right to decide that is in God's hands, perhaps the people of Mississippi will pray for God's hand in this decision. Regardless, it is momentous at worst, and Roe v. Wade shattering at best.



Congress also found, as stated in paragraph I, that the fetus is killed outside the womb and that gives the fetus an autonomy which separates it from the right of women to choose treatments of her own body. This is superior and intelligent Congressional thinking. In paragraph J, Congress states that the partial-birth abortion confuses the medical, legal and ethical duties of physicians who are sworn to preserve and promote life. And this is why I find it so hard to understand why physicians would perform any type of abortions.
Congress calls this a process of "gruesome and inhumane nature", and it has "disturbing similarity to the killing of a newborn infant", and that the prohibition of partial-birth abortion is the only way to counter that disregard for human life.

The Supreme Court upheld the law, so partial birth abortion became illegal.
When Scott Peterson was convicted on two counts of murder, Laci Peterson was pregnant with their unborn child. That establishes the unborn as a living human with the right to live. It established a precedent. He was sentenced to death by Judge Alfred Delucchi in March of 2005.

When reading the law concerning partial birth abortion, one can’t help but understand this aptly applies to life from conception; and paragraph N tells us precisely why we should care so much about this kind of murder.

 (N) Implicitly approving such a brutal and inhumane procedure by choosing not to prohibit it will further coarsen society to the humanity of not only newborns, but all vulnerable and innocent human life, making it increasingly difficult to protect such life. Thus Congress has a compelling interest in acting --indeed it must act--to prohibit this inhumane procedure."

Please pray for Mississippi voters from now until the election. Please help us to define Personhood from the instant of conception.

The term personhood actually appeared more than 100 years ago in the Dred Scott v Sanford Supreme Court when African Americans were stripped of their personhood being touted as merely a fraction of a human being. Shocking for us to consider today because the Dred Scott case was never overturned, but there are no slaves now.

Dr. Dianne Irving states, "If you use the wrong science [or] words, it not only leads to a mis-definition of who is a person, it also leads to malformed consciences," Irving told an audience of pro-life youths and adults, while noting that science is on their side. "We need to get the language straight so our consciences can be well formed."

For Christians, the God’s word tells us exactly when life begins. God told Jeremiah, “"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

While it may seem arrogant to vote on something that God has already decreed, we are autonomous concerning the laws of the land, therefore let us realign our law with God’s. We can only be blessed even more in doing so.

Richard Trumka on jobs etc...

In case you missed it this afternoon, Richard Trumka was Brett Behr's guest on Special Report. This man is so full of it.

Behr asked him about the future of Labor, and Trumka said "We were attacked this year like Scott Walker... But, no, we won in Wisconsin." He had this cocky-chin attitude when he said it. Behr pointed out that Scott Walker's decree for government workers was still in place. "For now," Trumka said, sort of like a threat.

The point here is, Mr. Trumka, that was specifically for government workers to take away collective bargaining, not a blanket law for all labor. I'm getting fed up with so many slight of hand as well as slight of tongue tricks that people like you are trying to pull over intelligent tax payers of this country. I'm praying that the real truth will come out in full glory, soon and very soon.

Walker was trying to make a little bit of money stretch to the limit so no one would lose their jobs. What good would collective bargaining have done anyone when there was no money to pay anyone? Where is the brain God gave you?

Okay... I have to quit now before my blood pressure sky rockets.


While on the subject of women...

Pregnancy, Estrogen and Women Pregnancy
Q & A & more!
Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.
Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.
Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.
Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?
Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.
Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.
Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.
Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.
Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.
Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

"ESTROGEN ISSUES"10 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE "ESTROGEN ISSUES"
1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
5. You're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says: "How's my driving-call 1- 800-".
6. Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from "outer space".
8. You can't believe they don't make a tampon bigger than Super Plus.
9. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday..

TOP TEN THINGS ONLY WOMEN UNDERSTAND
10. Cats' facial expressions.
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.
8. Why bean sprouts aren't just weeds.
7. Fat clothes.
6 Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
4. Cutting your hair to make it grow.
3. Eyelash curlers, but only if you were born in the 50s or before.
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.
AND, the Number One Number One thing only women understand:
1. OTHER WOMEN

Okay... so you probably just got this in your email box, too. I've seen these a dozen times before too, but they still make me giggle.

Smile, God loves you.

What makes women tick?


(I thought I'd raise a series that I did years ago to see if much has changed in that time...)


A pastor friend of mine told me that he liked my wisdom droplets post then he said, "When are you going to do something like that for men?"

Huh?

I didn't think I knew enough about women to advise men about them. Sometimes, with us women, it is all about me. Other times, we give to everyone but ourselves because we love the ones we are with--children, husbands--and everything else that is in our date books.

Then I heard a talk Beth Moore did on Hannah. I don't have that CD anymore. There are, however, certain things about Hannah that just shout out, "WOMAN".

Walk with me, if you will, for a moment in 1 Samuel 1 for a glimse at what makes women tick.

There was a man...named Elkanah...and he had two wives...

Of course polygamy/bigamy is forbidden in the US and in most places around the world it isn't practiced -- men have wised up since the days of Solomon. (I have so often wondered how wise it was for the wisest man in the world to have so many wives and concubines. Then I learned that he had his own apartment and no one could go to him without his leave. That was pretty smart.) But there are a lot of things that men can be married to besides a woman.

A woman needs to know her man loves her above all others. When a man spends long hours at work, at a hobby, working out, with "the boys" then there needs to be priority adjustment if the marriage is going to work.

When ...Elkanah sacrificed, he gave several shares of the meat to his wife Peninnah with all her sons and daughters; but, although he loved Hannah, he gave her only one share...

A husband needs to show his wife he loves her. We are not told how Elkanah showed Hannah how much he loved her but he allowed her rival, Peninnah, to revile her and torment her because she had no children. That doesn't show much love and allows conflict within the family. No matter what the husband puts in place of his wife--hobby, children, work etc, this thing or person which gets the major share of attention which the wife should have is reviling her and humiliating her. It is torment to love someone and be treated as the "second" wife.

Year after year this happened...

It is worse when nothing changes. We tend to pull into ourselves, get a defeatest attitude. Lose hope, slip into depression -- wait! That's true of everyone, not just women.

A woman's tears usually mean, "I need you to comfort me and show me how much I mean to you." Or they mean, "I've had enough and I just can't move another inch." Or, they spring from more simple reasons like laughter or sadness.

Once when she was in tears and would not eat, her husband said to her, "Hannah, why are you crying and eating nothing? Why are you so miserable? Am I not more to you than ten sons?"


[shock] Did he really say that? Let's face it, men haven't changed in 4,000 years, have they?


No matter how precious the husband is, living a life being tormented by another or being ignored is devastating. We cry, we whine, we are frustrated. When asked if anything is amiss, we say, "No."

Why do we say that when we know something is wrong. Sometimes we want that attention we get when the information is being pried out of us. Sometimes we just know deep in our heart that no matter how hard we try to explain, we will never be understood according the the depths of our feelings.

Hannah was in bitterness of soul. In anguish she prayed from her heart with only her lips moving. Eli accused her of being drunk.

This is just great! [tongue in cheek here] Not only does her rival revile her and persecute her, but the chief priest jumps on her, too. How does one deal with all this strife? Hannah chose to bring it to God. This shows a tremendous depth of faith.

Then she vows to give away her son to become a Nazarite (Numbers 6) if God will just give her a son.

She poured out her soul before the Lord.

Selah!

How often do we pour ourselves out so that God can fill us up? I try to remember to do that every morning so my day is much better. How sweet that is to pour ourselves out to the Lord. He knows everything about me; all the stinky things as well as all the fragrant things so I may as well be completely honest with Him.

When we pour out, God is always so faithful to fill us up. Hannah was blessed by God in a most special way.

How has God filled you up recently?


Abundant blessings


While it is not rocket science, it seems that some people don't get the Truth. I just have to wonder at that. Why is it so hard to understand what God's Word says? Then I have the smack to the forehead and I realize that only the Holy Spirit can help a person actually understand His Word. To those who are perishing the message of the cross is foolishness. Paul said that.

Stanley was preaching on Psalm 81. I particularly love verse 10. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

There are some conditions, just like where God says, he who delights in the LORD, He will give you your hearts desires. That just plain tastes good.

There can't be any idols, false gods like Hinduism, Islam, Budda or pantheism, wicca or any other idol like job, church, TV, shopping, spouse or children.

Does anyone see the correlation here?

It we put anything or anyone before God, then that is an idol. Am I beating a dead horse?

Another condition is to be humble...teachable. When we are stubborn and hang on to things that God has asked us to give to Him -- that could be anything. Including giving of ourselves, our everything. Open every door in our heart and give Him absolutely free reign in our lives.

The next condition is to walk in His ways. That one is hard to do... unless we hide His word in our heart so that we won't sin against Him. Walking in His ways comes a lot easier when we LOVE Him and want to please Him. Which takes us full circle back to the idol thing and that leads us right back to the stubborn thing.

Isn't it amazing that we absolutely will walk in a circle if we do not walk in His ways?

Personally, I think I'd rather sit on God's feet and hang on for dear life to His legs, then I'd never make a false step or step out of His path... But, then, I may not be able to bring Him glory if I'm forever on His feet. How would I be able to walk in His ways if I do not know how to walk?

Therefore, I must walk and tumble and scrape my knees, maybe twist an ankle so that I can learn what God would have me learn so that I am prepared for my eternal purpose. Yes. That's the circle where the blessings are and where God opens the windows of Heaven pouring blessings into the center of it. Yes. That's the circle where you'll find me.

I might have a few scratches, a bloody nose or banged up knees... But, I'll have my blessings in abundance plus all the Fruit of the Spirit. Great joy, kindness, peace, faith, self-control, meekness, and love all in abundance. How marvelous is His name. Glory!

Webcam Senior style

I haven't seen something so funny in such a long time.

Sarah Palin rises above the miry sludge

The AP reported on Todd Palin's reaction to the "new" supposed biography of Sarah Palin:
Sarah Palin's husband on Thursday called a book critical of his family "disgusting lies, innuendo and smears" as the former Alaska governor's camp sought to discredit a racy biography that includes allegations of infidelity and drug use
Now we have witnessed another slam against Sarah which has no substance. If anyone watched her show about experiencing Alaska this summer on TLC, you'll remember seeing the house next door to the Palin's and a few comments about the stalker that lived there. I didn't understand the comments because I haven't been watching Palin that closely.

I did read her book, (reviewed it here) and it was most excellent. Her integrity and work ethic are something to strive for, and Todd's as well. She h

I'd like to know when the American public is going to wise up and quit believing everything they read on the net, hear on TV, and swallow with their breakfast news. It is amazing to me how much filth is published these days with no ounce of truth.

When I first started out in journalism way back in high school in 1970, if we didn't have at least two sources for the information we printed we got an F for the day, and if we so much as had two words together of someone else without quote marks and citation, we flunked the class altogether. It was that serious.

Today, any blogger can print some outlandish, stupid something, seeming without fear of a libel suit, without fear of recriminations of any kind, and get floods of visits from people all over the world. Even though something is not true, idiots still listen to it; and spread it to hundreds of others making a piece of gossip a viral communication. That is sickening.

I am proud only a small part of the populace fall into that particular trap set by Satan himself. A huge portion of the American population want truth, seek truth, and guard truth. The communications sector has an excellent police department. We need only look back a decade or so to see the reaction to Connie Chung's ill-advised betrayal of Gingrich's mother. The "just between us" really didn't mean off-the-record at all. Journalists all over the world turned a cold shoulder to Chung, and the sting didn't go away. The public squelched her career after that.

Dan Rather got in plenty of hot water when he reported lies trying to make a point which turned into something worse than yellow journalism. Steven Glass became a piranha after his "glorious stories" were discovered ingenious lies without any real sources, just fictional short stories.

I admire the way Sarah and Todd Palin have conducted themselves in the nasty pubic arena of politics. I my opinion they have risen far above the muck and mire, and remain clean. That's huge, and can only be done by the grace of God.


Kinde Durkee--history of malfeasence

A question asked by Brenda Elliot of Klein Online, is on target. How could they not know? Durkee was arrested by the FBI for allegedly using clients' funds for her own personal use. Her firm is the treasurer for hundreds of Democrat campaigns, offices, local governments, non-profits, and who knows what all. Stealing money from one client to plumb up another client's coffers to give self-credibility is taking from Bernie Madoff's Handbook of Stealing or How To Create A Ponzi Scheme That Lasts. 

I'm appalled at the gullibility of some people. Then again, it is so easy to allow someone to bamboozle you into thinking you are stupid for not understanding a financial report. Leaders who sloggity-blog through business meetings and financial audits are too afraid to let on that they can't make heads or tails of the paper in front of them. I reviewed a book called "Forensic Accounting For Dummies". It gives, in simple terms, what you should be looking for when your accountant gives you that monthly financial report.

After reading Elliot's report, I'm flabbergasted that people can be so dumb as to put blind faith and trust into an accountant's hands just because they've been in business for years and have handled so many different clients. Don't they balance the checkbook at the end of the month? Apparently, not because they even allow the accountant control of the checkbook. [Insert shocked look here.]  I can't imagine allowing someone else to have that kind of control, no matter how reliable, trustworthy, and/or busy I am.

I was Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce for my little town. I never went home until the books balanced for the day. It's called Due Diligence. How that firm could keep its clients after all the financial blunders since 2001 (Diane Watson's campaign), and perhaps earlier than that, who knows? How dumb can you get? Apparently, much dumber.

I'm thinking when you are that dumb, when you persist in your dumbness, when you've been fooled twice or more, then you deserve what you get. Imagine paying some accountant for the privilege of going to jail or for the privilege of paying exorbitant fines because your accountant didn't do his/her job. Now that's really dumb. If I were a political contributor, I'd be screaming for my money back... then again, contributing after the accounting problems had surfaced and the candidate still used the same accountant, I'd be even dumber than the organization using the alleged fraudulent accountant. Here's your Dunce Cap! Wear it and be proud.

Jobs plan -- something else for GOP to choke on

Pres. Obama's jobs plan is just another knee jerk campaign foible. I don't need a crystal ball to know that this is more of the same in order to get votes from those who are entitlement minded. "Let's make sure all the wealth is distributed evenly."

Here's the thing. I'm all for closing loopholes and everyone paying their fair share of taxes. Some study somewhere that Herman Cain referred to said a flat tax wouldn't work because it would over tax the poor and under tax the rich. I can understand that. So why not utilize the poverty level to even it out? The poverty stricken don't pay taxes anyway. Not to beat a dead horse, but hasn't the corporate world demonstrated they won't hire or expand because there isn't any solid ground to stand on when it comes to taxes and pile on top of that health plan costs?

Flat taxing worked in Rome. When everyone knew how much their tax was going to be and what ever they made over that tax level they paid no taxes on it. This encouraged the economy so much, no other economy in the world before or since was so vibrant or so solid. Growth, expansion, business health, individual wealth all benefited greatly because the business owner wasn't penalized for making money.

Obama's plan, both the jobs bill and the mandatory health care plan, penalizes businesses for expansion and growth. If it is passed, we will slide into a far greater depression than that of the late twenties and thirties of last century. We can't keep manipulating interest rates hoping that will stem the tide, because it won't. Our economy has been manipulated so long, it doesn't know where the center of gravity is.

Am I alone in seeing this?

Major Steve Long--honoring a 9/11 fallen hero


2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11. On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers joined together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person paid tribute to a single victim. I don't know how many blogs that were alive in 2006 which have since ceased to exist or have morphed into something else. As for me and my blog, we are here today to honor this fallen hero, Major Steve V. Long.

We honor the victims by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.

This post you will see every year to pay tribute and honor to Army Major Steve V. Long. I pray that others will come back and post comments each year so we can learn more about this dedicated Army officer, husband and father.

On September 11th, he was at his post at the Pentagon, doing his job, and he gave his life for his country. He was 39 years old; and he was from Georgia. Maj. Long was serving as Secretary of the General Staff, Office of the Commanding General, U.S. Total Army Command. He was married with two children. I have continued my search over the years about his life and work. As time goes by, I find out a little more as his family, friends, and soldiers he worked with leave comments.

The Pentagon lists his medals and awards and military training:
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  (with Arrowhead and Oak Leaf Cluster)
Armed Forces Service Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
Army Commendation Medal
  (with "V" Device and Two Oak Leaf Clusters)
Army Non-Commissioned Officers Development Medal
  (w/ Numeral "2")
Army Service Ribbon
Army Superior Unit Award
Combat Infantry Badge
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Award
National Defense Service Medal
Overseas Service Ribbon
Parachutist Badge
  (with Bronze Star)
Purple Heart
  (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Ranger Tab
Southwest Asia Service Medal
  (with Bronze Star)
Valorous Unit Award
 Major Long’s military training includes Infantry One Station Unit Training, the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Jungle Warfare School, the United States Army Ranger Course, the United States Air Force Survival Training Course, the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, Combined Logistics Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the Petroleum Officer Course.
What kind of father he was, what kind of husband has slowly come to life with each post. I found the tears of a nephew... the tears of a sister, Nancy.

His mother, Sue Weaver, said he loved planting and gardening.

I did find this tribute:
I had the honor and pleasure of serving together with Steve back in 1997. Steve was a fellow officer in the 601st Aviation Support Battalion and he served as the headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander during a rotation to Bosnia. He epitomized the word dedication and duty. He was a loved husband and father to his family and he will be forever missed. My heart and prayers go out to him, his family, and to all others affected by this tragedy. I am proud to continue my service to my country. Special thanks go to all the men and women of the armed forces, past and present, for their contribution and daily sacrifices as well to their families who know pain and uncertainty on a daily basis. Sincerely, Ron Pacheco
And I found this tribute...

I first met Steve Long when he was a Captain, and I was a Second Lieutenant in my officer basic course at Fort Lee, Virginia. He gave an introductory brief on how we newly commissioned officers could "manage" our own military careers. I got in touch with him a year later, while I was stationed in Korea, on my next assignment back in the U.S.A. As a young 23-year-old officer, trying to balance the Army with a fiance who was also in the Army, I kept changing my mind. Over the course of a year and half, I asked Steve to amend my assignment THREE TIMES and he did! Branch managers like Steve get no credit for the unglamorous HR work they do, but for me it was a sterling introduction of what "taking care of Soldiers" meant. It was an example by DOING, not just TALKING about it. Years later, when I read his name in the Pentagon losses, I was so saddened to hear that the Army had lost such a great officer. I say a prayer for him on every September 11th.Melissa
*** Posted by Melissa on 2009-09-11 ***
In the comments section of this post are other tributes...

At the link on the title of this post, you can view the Arlington Cemetery resting place of Maj. Long, and see the tribute to him listed there. I have unashamedly copied part of that tribute below...

Floating down to the Caribbean island of Grenada, Specialist Steve Long pleaded with the enemy soldiers far below who were firing alarming numbers of bullets toward him and the other Army Rangers parachuting in during the 1983 U.S.-led invasion.
"I'm really a nice guy," Long kept muttering, according to his wife, Tina. "You wouldn't be shooting at me if you knew what a nice guy I am."
Long landed unharmed, but in a follow-up raid on a Cuban military camp, several Black Hawk helicopters carrying Long and other Rangers came under fire and crashed. "His roommate and best friend was killed," said Tina Long. "It hurt him greatly."
Long was injured in the crash but continued fighting and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Valor and the Purple Heart.
With the encouragement of his wife and commanders, he went to college and received a commission as an officer, and he later served with the 82nd Airborne Division during the Persian Gulf War. As a personnel officer, a job he took after injuries no longer allowed him to serve in combat, Long agonized over where to assign soldiers, knowing his decisions could harm careers or break up families. "Many a night he was losing sleep on where he was sending people," Tina Long said.
But he never regretted his service. "It was just his love of his country," she said. "I know it sounds simple, but that's the way he was."


I am so very proud to be able to honor one of our country's protectors. This man stood in the gap and took a hit from the bad guys. As for me, there are not enough words to honor him and the job he was doing. My grandchildren (when I have them) will be able to grow strong and sturdy without fear because of Maj. Long and others like him. My children will be able to sleep at night. And perhaps, one day I might get to shake his hand in heaven. Thank you, Steve, and I thank all the men and women who serve our great country so we can have the gift of freedom. Freedom is costly, but it is worthy.

Obama's Jobs bill -- another nightmare?

I heard very little last night about what was IN the bill, and heard mostly what the bill would do for America. Well, considering how unconnected Obama has been to the business sector, I'm wondering if it will be another "You'll have to pass it to see what's in it" bill. Did you notice how much he talked about transportation, infrastructure, and building? 

I warned several months ago about the new transportation bank "they" are talking about. This sounds to me like an official proclamation upon this very thing. I am all for the marketplace determining economy. I seriously doubt the Democrats will be able to allow that, though. It will be more government-in-your-face than ever before.

I was going to do a lot of research before posting about this, but I'm too afraid it will make me sick at my stomach. Obama gave us a lot of "sounds good" rhetoric, but I'm like that old lady at the hamburger place, "Where's the beef?" I didn't hear any place in the speech where he used specifics concerning actual wording in the bill. He did make sure we understood he was urgent about it, but it was like ramming it all down our throats never mind we're choking to death.

He used phrases like: 
"We should all be taxed fairly." -- Absolutely. Everyone grumbles, but we all know we have to pay them. That is a homer statement for everyone listening. What did he mean behind the statement? Strip away the rich corporate loopholes and make sure corporations don't make a profit. That means share holders won't be investing in corporations any more and that means death of the corporation, death to major employers, death to new jobs. But, yeah make sure those rich guys pay through the nose so us middle-class folks don't have to pay.

He said:
"Cut in half payroll taxes, and that will make sure everyone takes home more money for their families." -- The most expensive tax out of the paycheck is Medicare and Social Security. So how will those two "protections" keep the river of money flowing into the pool so we can all play in it?

OBAMA: But what we can't do, what I will not do, is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.

It's a contradiction. The only basic protections we Americans have had for decades are Medicare and Social Security, and unemployment insurance.

I wrote an essay on how the USA is mirroring the tactics of the Roman Empire where I note that Augustus revived the Empire's economy by doing massive public works. It did put people to work, and it did greatly boost the economy. But, the Romans didn't realize there is a definite need to know when to back off and when to keep going. Then Tiberius cut back on the public works, but hoarded money causing a shortage of money.  “The shortage of money and the curtailment of state expenditures led to a sharp downturn in economic activity which was only relieved when the state made large loans at zero interest in order to provide liquidity” (Thornton, M.K., and Thornton, R.L. (1990) "The Financial Crisis of A.D. 33: A Keynesian Depression?" Journal of Economic History 50(3): 655-62). Stimulus Package, Roman style.

 That is so familiar I'm wondering if we couldn't just save paper and look up the news tablets of ancient Rome. 
 
Why can't we take a leaf from Augustus' notebook? Why can't we learn from history? The growth of the Roman economy did not come from taxes! Before Augustus there was a system of tax farming where the tax collectors added exorbitant fees onto the required taxes because they could. [Tax farming]  became so burdensome on the provinces they raised a hue and cry and “tax farming” (Bartlett, 1994) was abolished in favor of wealth taxes and population tax under Augustus.  It was a pro-growth instead of progressive tax system. 
This is because any growth in taxable capacity led to higher taxes under the tax farming system, while under the Augustinian system communities were only liable for a fixed payment. Thus any increase in income accrued entirely to the people and did not have to be shared with Rome. Individuals knew in advance the exact amount of their tax bill and that any income over and above that amount was entirely theirs. This was obviously a great incentive to produce, since the marginal tax rate above the tax assessment was zero. In economic terms, one can say that there was virtually no excess burden (Musgrave, R.A.  The Theory of Public Finance. New York: McGraw-Hill 1959.)
 
If it worked back then, why can't it work now for both individuals and businesses? Where is Thomas Jefferson when we need him?