Christianity


24 Apr 2011 09:08 am

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30 Nov 2010 12:29 am


Glorious!

I am grateful to be living in this era of YouTube.

When I was in high school Mixed Chorus our director, Edna Earle Massey taught us Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. One Easter performance Miss Massey had us walk down the aisles of the auditorium while singing the majestic music. I will never forget the feeling that music was flowing through every cell of my body as the voices soared all around me. The audience stood as was tradition.

The above excellent performance by one hundred singers in a food court in Ontario brought tears to my eyes.

04 Apr 2010 09:15 am

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Christ the Lord is risen today!

Happy Easter!

It’s a Beautiful Day.



09 Nov 2008 04:43 pm

The thoughts below might seem cranky, yes. A little over the top, yes. One might think the proprietor of Wide Awake Cafe has succumbed to Obama Derangement Syndrome.

But perhaps not.

Neo Neocon writes in Pajamas Media:

First some definitions. When we talk about ODS, or Obama Derangement Syndrome, we are obviously referencing its precursor, BDS — Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Neither phenomenon consists of mere dislike of the policies of the person in question. That’s allowed. One can even distrust the person or think he is lying, if there is evidence for it.

Neo Neocon continues:

That’s the important part: evidence from behavior in the present. Although we are all emotionally driven in our lives — and there’s nothing wrong with that; who would want to be surrounded by Star Trekian Spocks? — at certain times and places there’s a need to put emotions on the back burner and attempt to evaluate things in the cold harsh light of reason.

Yes, there are reasons to fear that Obama has a far left agenda, based on his history, some of his own statements, and his associations. There are even reasons to believe that whether he does or doesn’t have such an agenda himself, he will lack the inclination (or perhaps the backbone) to stop the far left agenda of those with the power to pass bills — in other words, the hugely Democratic Congress and its leaders Reid and Pelosi.

This is an uncertain time. One now sees the news media second guessing themselves as they digest the election and the fact that their favorite, Barack Obama was indeed, elected.

Now they are discussing how little is really known about Barack Obama and what is really going to shake out with the economy and taxes and Wall Street.

The fact that so little is known about Barack Obama is of course, due to the lack of curiosity of that very same media.

It’s still quite apparent that to the media, their man, Barack Obama can and will do no wrong.

During the unending presidential campaign one item that stood out in plain sight but was never questioned by any American reporter was the fact that the daughters of Barack Obama were not given Christmas gifts by their parents.

Not one gift.

Does that mean there was no tree in the home of Barack and Michelle Obama? After all, one would think that if there were a tree in the home that it would have been incredibly cruel to the children if there were not at least two gifts under the tree on Christmas morn for the daughters.

No stockings at least? No lumps of coal?

What does this portend for our nations’ celebration of Christmas?

Will Christmas still be a National Holiday?

Will the next four years be an era of four seasons but never Christmas?

Although People Magazine let slip the news about the Obama’s cultural lifestyle in their lovingly portrayed puff piece the national news media ignored it.

Politico’s Mike Allen delivered a soft pat on the back to Obama.

However, the Brits noticed and ran with it.

In a magazine interview Obama and his wife Michelle revealed that one of their steadfast house rules is not giving Christmas or birthday presents to Malia, 10, and Sasha, seven.

The couple explained that they spend “hundreds” on birthday slumber parties and want to “teach some limits”. Santa Claus is still permitted to deliver seasonal gifts however.

The girls are also given an allowance of just $1 (50p) a week for performing household chores, according to People magazine. Those chores include making their own bed, setting and clearing the dinner table and putting themselves to bed by 8.30pm.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit

So Santa is still in the mix. Gives us some hope I suppose. But only seasonally. Not at Christmas.

Still unsettling, given the slip of the tongue a nervous Obama had in a George Stephanopoulos interview earlier this summer while speaking about his “Muslim faith.” The ever helpful George immediately corrected him and of course, everyone in the media gave Obama a pass.

So, yes, Virginia there may still be some hope. But not so for many of the adults in this country who could see beyond the slogans of hope and change.

But God is still in His Heaven. (Just don’t tell Christopher)

One Hitchens brother sees through the swooning of the 53% and the media.

Anyone would think we had just elected a hip, skinny and youthful replacement for God, with a plan to modernise Heaven and Hell – or that at the very least John Lennon had come back from the dead.

The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilisation. At least Mandela-worship – its nearest equivalent – is focused on a man who actually did something.

I really don’t see how the Obama devotees can ever in future mock the Moonies, the Scientologists or people who claim to have been abducted in flying saucers. This is a cult like the one which grew up around Princess Diana, bereft of reason and hostile to facts.

The very sober conclusion to Peter Hitchen’s article needs to be read over and over by those who still love our country and want it to remain free.

I was in Washington DC the night of the election. America’s beautiful capital has a sad secret. It is perhaps the most racially divided city in the world, with 15th Street – which runs due north from the White House – the unofficial frontier between black and white. But, like so much of America, it also now has a new division, and one which is in many ways much more important. I had attended an election-night party in a smart and liberal white area, but was staying the night less than a mile away on the edge of a suburb where Spanish is spoken as much as English, plus a smattering of tongues from such places as Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan.

As I walked, I crossed another of Washington’s secret frontiers. There had been a few white people blowing car horns and shouting, as the result became clear. But among the Mexicans, Salvadorans and the other Third World nationalities, there was something like ecstasy.

They grasped the real significance of this moment. They knew it meant that America had finally switched sides in a global cultural war. Forget the Cold War, or even the Iraq War. The United States, having for the most part a deeply conservative people, had until now just about stood out against many of the mistakes which have ruined so much of the rest of the world.

Suspicious of welfare addiction, feeble justice and high taxes, totally committed to preserving its own national sovereignty, unabashedly Christian in a world part secular and part Muslim, suspicious of the Great Global Warming panic, it was unique.

These strengths had been fading for some time, mainly due to poorly controlled mass immigration and to the march of political correctness. They had also been weakened by the failure of America’s conservative party – the Republicans – to fight on the cultural and moral fronts.

They preferred to posture on the world stage. Scared of confronting Left-wing teachers and sexual revolutionaries at home, they could order soldiers to be brave on their behalf in far-off deserts. And now the US, like Britain before it, has begun the long slow descent into the Third World. How sad. Where now is our last best hope on Earth?

The question remains, is it already too late? Will we, the conservative Republicans, the 46%, after all the disappointments of the 2008 campaign and the ups and downs of the past eight years make the decision to give up and go the way of the Whigs?

Will we forget Sarah Palin, and let the smearers of the left in the Republican Party have their way? Will we start to rebuild our party with solid, conservative economic and social Reagan principles? Or will we merely attempt to ugh, rebrand ourselves?

Or will we simply go to sleep?

Or, worse, than that, will this be the replacement for Christmas?

If so, the Third World will be our destiny. Christmas will never be the same.

21 Sep 2008 10:27 am

A big thorn in the side of Arkansas, Tony Alamo’s compound is raided.

Federal authorities conducting a child-porn investigation raided the headquarters Saturday of a ministry run by a convicted tax evader once labeled by prosecutors as a polygamist who preys on girls and women.

Social workers interviewed children who live at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries complex, which critics call a cult, to find out whether they were abused. The two-year investigation involves a law that prohibits the transportation of children across state lines for criminal activity, said Tom Browne, who runs the FBI office in Little Rock.

“Children living at the facility may have been sexually and physically abused,” Browne said.

Back during the eighties when Tony Alamo based his so-called ministries in Alma, Arkansas my parents met some members of his church, Sharon and David Kroopf. Sharon and David were a young couple with an adorable little girl named Becky and had moved in next door to my parents. I happened to be visiting one summer with my children and met Sharon and her daughter, Becky who was about three years old. My kids enjoyed playing with Becky. Sharon was a sweet person and interesting to get to know but she was full of the Alamo idealogy. However, when she tried to evangelize my parents and me she met with a brick wall.

David and Becky were Jewish and had met Alamo in California and had followed him out to Arkansas. David had at one time worked for his father’s jewelers so was interested in gold and jewelry. He sold a few pieces to my dad. My parents were interested in getting the family out of the cult and during my visit I tried to persuade Sharon to leave the cult.

I heard later that Sharon’s husband, David was also trying to persuade Sharon to leave. She refused to leave and later married Tony Alamo. When I heard that I was more than disgusted and wondered what happened to Becky.

Apparently she stayed with her mother.

According to this article Tony Alamo has taken other unofficial wives including an African American woman. The new compound is located in Fouke, a small southwestern Arkansas town.

Still, (unbelievably) Alamo has followers all over the state evangelizing and placing his anti-Catholic fliers under windshields in shopping center parking lots and even in private homes. We found a flier under the windshield of our car parked in our own yard just recently.

For the sake of paper, if not little children the man has got to be stopped.

12 Aug 2008 10:23 pm

Under a tree, one day when I was in the third grade, my best friend, Susan whispered to me that she knew that she would die young. We were playing jacks during recess and talking about matters that concerned third graders. Apparently, life and death was an important topic to us.

I know it was to me. I was a relatively happy child, born first in a two parent family with two brothers and a sister. But I was afraid to go to sleep at night because I thought I would never wake up. Being a newspaper reader from the time I learned to read I had read a letter in Ann Landers about a child who had died in her sleep. I had told my parents when I was very young that I would die young. I knew about the comings and goings of life from the time I was very young when my great grandfather died. Although I was a talkative child I tended to keep my fears to myself so they had a tendency to grow to enormous proportions.

So when Susan confessed to me under the tree that she knew her life would end early, I understood what she meant and her secret seemed to connect us. We talked about our belief in God and eternity. We were already fast friends but sharing a secret like that was a serious burden we both agreed to keep. I did keep it.

Susan was the daughter of an anesthesiologist and a stay-at-home Mom. (all of our Moms stayed at home back then) She had a younger brother, Buzzy and two older sisters, Nancy and Linda. Susan and I spent time together playing, talking, singing and dreaming.

We had sleepovers at each others’ house. The first time I spent the night at Susan’s house she was so excited at having company that she was sick to her stomach. I remember her jolly, Dad, looking after her and making pancakes afterwards. I had never had breakfast for supper.

One day we talked about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I told Susan I wanted to win the Miss America competition. On the weekend when I spent the night at Susan’s house, her older sister, Nancy was home and they had made me a crown of aluminum foil. Nancy brushed my hair into curls and the sisters took me out on the balcony of their home and crowned me “Miss America.”

Susan never told me what she wanted to be when she grew up but she and her sister had given me something very special when they acknowledged my wish on that balcony.

Susan was a very sensitive, caring young girl. She had chestnut brown hair she wore in braids freckles, and twinkly brown eyes. Susan was only at my school during our third grade year and then her family moved. She had to attend another elementary school in our city but we kept in touch with each other. I remember being invited to a big slumber party at Susan’s house and I discovered that although she had loads of friends, I was still her favorite and while the other girls slept all over the house, Susan and I and her little brother, Buzzy slept in her room.

It never mattered to Susan that her father was a doctor and my Dad was not. The differences in our family wealth mattered not at all to us.

By the time we were in the seventh grade Susan and I discovered that we were in the same junior high school. We only had one class together: P.E. One of Susan’s friends was a snob and one day she made fun of me. Susan came to my defense. She was always like that.

The summer before our tenth grade year Susan and her sister, Nancy were killed in a plane crash in Omaha, Nebraska. They had flown there to visit their older, newly married, sister, Linda.

Yesterday I was privileged to attend a presentation by Craig Scott, brother of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the Columbine killers.

I remember that day, April 20th, 1998 when my family and I watched in shock as the horrible events took place at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

Rachel’s family discovered her last journal in the backpack she was carrying when she was murdered. (after it was released by the police) From her writings, it is obvious that Rachel Scott had a deep understanding of life and the kindness and compassion that make it worth living. In the last entry about an hour before Rachel was killed she drew an illustration of a rose watered with thirteen tears. She had revealed earlier to her family that she knew she was going to die young.

In an essay Rachel wrote she described her theory that if just one person does an act of kindness it will cause a chain reaction.

In Rachel’s own words, I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same. - Rachel Scott

As her brother, Craig Scott described his sister and her many acts of kindness the memory of my friend, Susan became vivid. Susan was a dark eyed beauty like Rachel and lived out her brief life by caring for others.

Rachel’s Challenge is a program founded by her family that carries her message of kindness and compassion to students, teachers and school administrators all over the U.S.

It might seem obvious that kindness and compassion are what the world needs but Rachel’s Challenge works to inspire students to change the climate and culture of their school. With so many negative cultural influences on students today a simple challenge to be kind to one another might seem a weak response but having seen the presentation by Craig Scott, the brother of Rachel I have no doubt that it will have an impact.

Susan, my friend, her sister, Nancy and Rachel Scott did die very young but their legacies in this world are sweet and inspiring. I was blessed to have had such a friend. Hatred killed Rachel, the Braniff airline plane that took Susan and Nancy’s lives went down in a bad storm.

Susan’s family moved away some years later. Her father, Dr. Chamblin never seemed to get over his daughters’ deaths. I know life goes on but in the deepest part of memory of precious days past Susan will always be remembered.

23 Sep 2007 02:06 pm

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Magic

Back when I was expecting my first born, our son, who at this moment has completed his mission in Iraq, I caught a bad cold. He was three weeks and two days overdue and I was extremely uncomfortable. On that Friday morning in September I went to the doctor and he promised me that if I didn’t have the baby that weekend, he would induce.

My doctor gave me a prescription for some cold medicine and I went to the local pharmacy to pick it up. The pharmacy had a nice line of makeup and cosmetics and on that day they had a makeup artist on the premises, doing facials and makeup.

The makeup artist was a pretty bizarre looking guy with an accent from somewhere else. While I was waiting for my medicine he asked me if I wanted a facial.

I just wanted to have the baby.

Back in the ancient days we didn’t know the sex of babies before they were born. We just guessed. I had no idea of my baby’s sex and naturally, just hoped my child would be healthy. But I did ask my wise mother. She seemed to know everything but she wouldn’t commit. That is, she hadn’t made a prediction until that morning. After going with me to the doctor’s office, when we were stopped at an intersection, a little red headed boy dashed across the road in front of us. Mother laughed and said, “You’re going to have a little red headed boy.”

So there I was at the pharmacy, waiting on some relief and this hippy dippy guy was talking to me. “How far along are you?” he asked. I really didn’t want to engage him in conversation but being polite, I answered, “Nine months.”

“I’m a warlock,” the overly gregarious guy announced, “and I can predict the sex of your baby. You are going to have a girl.” I must have given him a skeptical look because he said, “But if you want a boy, I can change the order.”

A weird experience but soon my prescription was ready and I went on about my business. That night I went into labor and the next afternoon, a Saturday in late September, our strawberry blond, perfect baby boy was born.

I’d never known such joy before and began to realize what my mother meant when she had told me that she and my Dad hadn’t known what real love was until they had had their children.

Everything began to be touched by gold and all my memories of that time are still captured in a special place in my heart. Postpartum depression? You’ve got to be kidding. There were tears shed but they were tears of joy, thankfulness and awe.

When I had my daughters, that maternal love, which can move mountains, grew even deeper and it’s never left me.

The birth of my grandson, my son’s son, was another moment of pure joy. This little guy has been waiting for a year to see his Dad and he and his Mom have kept the home fires burning, blessed now in this day and time, by the internet and frequent phone calls.

My oldest daughter is expecting a child and she and her husband are over the moon about it. My three and a half year old grandson was very excited and told my daughter that she was going to have a “grill” and she should name her “Herman”. So we have been calling the baby “Herman” ever since. Most of the family predicted Kate would have a girl and so in our family poll about the baby’s sex I also voted for a girl. But I wasn’t at all sure, just hoping that the baby would be healthy.

At work the other day, my daughter was in an elevator and a native American man stepped in. He was very tall and had a long black braid. After an uncomfortable silence the man looked at my daughter and said, “You are expecting.” She smiled and said, “Yes.” He said, “You are six months along.” “Give or take a few days,” my daughter responded.

“There will be much pain,” the man said and as Kate stepped out of the elevator he said, “It will be a girl.”

When I heard that story, I knew it would be a boy. I remembered the Warlock and his false story and became sure that the native American man was also wrong.

A few days later I was able to attend the ultrasound which would reveal the baby’s sex. Medical Technology is a wonderful thing but as I was sitting in the dark room, watching the medical technician reveal the heart, kidneys and spine of the child I felt like I was intruding on something very sacred. The baby kept turning and moving and leaping around in my daughter’s womb and I recalled the leap of John the Baptist when his mother, Elizabeth was in the presence of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

The medical technician waited until she had made all of her measurements and then asked Kate and Mike if they wanted to know the sex of the child. Their answer of course, was yes.

“It’s a boy.”

06 Apr 2007 05:11 pm

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Jesu, joy of man’s desiring,
Holy wisdom, love most bright;
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light.
Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,
With the fire of life impassioned,
Striving still to truth unknown,
Soaring, dying round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding,
Hark, what peaceful music rings;
Where the flock, in Thee confiding,
Drink of joy from deathless springs.
Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure;
Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure.
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
In the love of joys unknown.

That this day, Good Friday, could bring so much joy and hope into the world through the death, on the cross, of the Savior, Jesus Christ, the creator of all things, has always been a mystery to me but from a little child of five years of age, I have believed.

During the agony and prayers that brought Jesus to the point of sweating blood in the “olive press”, the Garden of Gethsemane, his faithful disciples fell asleep. They couldn’t wait and pray with the Lord for a mere three hours. When I was a child I was scornful of that fact. What weak men, I thought.

Now, with the experience of years, I know how weak I am. How many moments of my life have been wasted and frittered away when I needed to be wakeful? Too many.

I became a Christian very young and remember how concerned were my parents and my pastor that I might not have conprehended what it meant to pray the sinners’ prayer. But I remember clearly, and although my understanding might have been that of a child, I knew in Whom I believed.

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The joy and comfort of my faith has never, ever let me down. As it is written, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:6

When I was in junior high school mixed chorus we sang glorious Latin choir music and one piece that is still in my mind is Surely He Hath Borne Our Grief. I sang the song before I read the verse so the music of our Lord’s sacrifice is still with me.

Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all….
He poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:4-6, 12)

The grief, anguish and darkness that descended on the world the day Christ was crucified didn’t last. The Resurrection morning was bound to come.

Sisu and The Anchoress are remembering this day.

23 Dec 2006 02:52 pm

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I love Christmas for all the fun it provides. I have fun decorating, creating, cooking and shopping. When I panic at the thought I won’t be able to accomplish all the things I want to do in time, I have to stop and remember that wonderful, mysterious phrase….the fullness of time, which in essence was God’s mathematics. He divided the time of the old world and the new… the old dispensation to the new with the Incarnation.

Christmas celebrates God’s announcement to the world in Bethlehem that He is with us.

The most important thing to me is the truth that Christmas is a testament of Divine Providence.

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Throughout my life, from a very little child, I’ve seen the protective (and corrective) wings of God in my life. Sometimes it was in the form of human actors: my parents, friends, brothers, sister, husband, grandmothers and children.

Many times, the promise and reality of His presence came through the reading of His Word.

When I was little I knew that Santa Claus came magically in the night because of the great gift given to the world. I was a believer very early and learned through experience that He never fails us. Even when an answer to prayer was not what I willed, I understood that God would provide a better way.

My prayer is that the Lord of all will shine on this disbelieving, violent world and that the star that rested on Bethlehem will one day illuminate many hard, and harried hearts and show them the way to true Peace. May all the troops in harms way know the very presence of Emmanuel, God with us.

May the Prince of Peace, who is always willing that the world know him, pierce through this craven, adultorous, self-seeking generation.

God provided a lamb to Abraham through his willingness to follow Him, even to the point of committing the ultimate heart-breaking act; that of sacrificing his own, long wished for son, Isaac. It was a picture of the Savior to come.

Many of us resist that charge, to give ourselves completely to the creator of us all, but it is here where we find peace, happiness, joy, forgiveness and love.

Merry Christmas to all who read this post.

It is my prayer that each of you know God and His son, Jesus Christ and the great comforter, the Holy Spirit. I believe that it is His heart’s desire that all the world celebrate the once pagan holiday of which the One, who makes all things new, transformed into a remembrance of His desire to come among us, be One of us, and die for all of us, so we can truly know Him.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (Jn.1:1-3, 14).
- For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him…and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church… For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him… making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Col.1:16-20).

Welcome bRight & Early Readers!

22 Sep 2006 08:14 pm

Hope she recovers completely.

Astronaut Collapses During Ceremony

An astronaut collapsed twice Friday, a day after she returned to Earth in the shuttle Atlantis, and officials attributed her wobbles to the adjustment from 12 days at zero gravity.

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper left the welcome-home ceremony at the hangar at Ellington Field but was not taken to a hospital. Officials said she was doing fine.

Piper, the fifth of the six astronauts to speak, appeared to be confused before her legs buckled during her address. NASA officials and crew members braced her and lowered her to the ground. She stood up again, and the crowd applauded.

“Boy, if that’s not a little embarrassing,” she said.

More here……

I hope the NASA doctors follow Stefanyshyn-Piper’s health closely. We met the late James Irwin when he came to speak at the Post Chapel at Fort Monroe, VA in 1988 or 89. He spoke about his ministry and experiences as an astronaut. He wrote in his book, To Rule the Night I felt the power of God as I’d never felt it before.”

He also talked frankly about the heart problems he developed after his trip to the moon at the age of 43. Irwin felt that his heart had been weakened by space travel. James Irwin died only a few years after we met him of a heart attack at the age of 61.

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