Thursday, December 31, 2009

Alien Invasion of the Righteous Kind

Our good friend Thomas sent us an recent email exchange with a Christian lady regarding the second coming of Christ that he wanted to share with our readers. The timing of this is very appropriate. As we close out another year, we are reminded that we’re also further down the line on our road to eternity.

Thomas originally sent the following email to several folks.

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. (2Pe 3:8-9 NLT)

God may have seemed slow to these believers as they faced persecution every day and longed to be delivered. But God is not slow; he just is not on our timetable. Jesus is waiting so that more sinners will repent and turn to him.

We must not sit and wait for Christ to return, but we should live with the realization that time is short and that we have important work to do. Be ready to meet Christ any time, even today; yet plan your course of service as though he may not return for many years.

The nice lady replied that this thought had been on her mind lately. She had watched a couple of movies that were fictitious, but contained a real “underlying meaning” to them that made her take a step back and evaluate her life, as well as those around her. She wondered who would be chosen, and who would be left behind because they couldn’t make a decision or stand up and fight for what they believed. We must clarify here that the lady is making a general contemplation, and is not doctrinally implying that we will be saved by making a one-time intellectual decision, or left behind due to a lack of works. We are saved by faith alone, but this saving faith will produce a changed life, and a lack of works will result in lost blessings (Eph 2:8-10, 1Cor 3:10-15).

Thomas replied, speaking of Christ’s return and Satan’s deception:

Thank you. Sometimes, I get very anxious about the Lord’s return to planet earth (Wow!) and I pray that He returns soon, but when I read 2 Peter 3:8-9, it reminds me of how much Jesus loves us! We are created in their image and likeness! In this sense, they (the Trinity) are our ancestors; we are family (all true believers are adopted in Christ)! The Holy Trinity wants all to repent and be saved. We must have patience and wait for the promise of His return, even if we die before His arrival (the dead in Christ will rise first).

Revelation 19:11-21 describes what I call an alien invasion of a righteous kind! Some of the elements within the account of Christ’s return remind me of some of the alien movies that I have seen over the years. Perhaps, the best known is War of the Worlds, based on a science-fiction novel by HG Wells about a Martian invasion of the earth. In 1938, Orson Welles broadcast an adaptation of the book on radio, but he aired the play as a series of dance numbers being periodically interrupted by “news bulletins” of the invasion. This was done to heighten the dramatic effect, and it would be a gross understatement to say that this technique worked. People panicked and went into frenzy! Many were treated for shock and hysteria. In New Jersey, even some members of our armed reserves reported for duty in anticipation of this invasion, only to discover that it was a hoax!

This event graphically illustrates how easily we can be deceived, and Satan is the master deceiver (Jn 8:44). Indeed, with believers, this is his primary weapon (1Jn 4:1-6), and one of his primary avenues from before 1938 to the present is through the accommodating media. We continue to see his plans unfolding through television (the V series), the movies (Independence Day, War of the worlds, etc), and targeting our kids through games, cartoons, books, etc. Satan is the god of this world and the prince of the power of the air, who works in the sons of disobedience. Getting back to Revelation 19, Satan knows that Jesus will return and the master deceiver is preparing those who do not believe and will not repent, to join him as he dares to assemble the nations of the earth together to fight against the rider (Jesus) on the white horse and the armies that follow Him. To make a long story short, Jesus wins, and we see the fate of Satan’s counterfeit trinity, along with Satan himself in Rev 19:17-20:15.

I know this sounds fantastic! Almost unbelievable! But, it is no less amazing than our belief in the first coming of Jesus Christ. God came to earth in human flesh, born of a virgin, to save man from sin. He died on the cross, arose from the dead on the third day, was seen by eye witnesses, and ascended into heaven. Just as the first coming of Christ was literally fulfilled in history, so the future second coming of Christ will be fulfilled in the same literal manner. Unlike the War of the Worlds however, it will not be a hoax! In fact, the second coming of Christ is one of the most oft-mentioned events in both the OT (Ps 2, 96:10-13, 110, Ezk 37:15-28, Dn 7:13-14, Zech 12, 14:1-9) and the NT (Mt 24:27-31, 25:31-46, Mk 13:24-27, Lk 12:35-40, 17:24-37, 18:8, 21:25-28, Ac 1:10-11, Rm 11:25-27, 2Th 2:1-12, 2Pe 3:3-4, Jd 14-15, Rev 1:7-8 etc).

So, what should we do in the meantime? First, be ready (Mt 24:44) by making sure you have a guaranteed reservation waiting in heaven through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Next, become a true disciple (student and/or learner) by consistently reading the word. Let the comforter and teacher, the Holy Spirit, help mold you into the mind of Christ, so that we will not believe the great lie! In His Love, Thomas

For those who are not sure that they are guaranteed the reservation (eternal life) that Thomas mentioned, please see How to Be Sure You’re are Going to Heaven.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Horatio Spafford

We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. Our youngest son is currently home, visiting from the Marines for the next few days. While cleaning out the office closet over the weekend, I found an old article from my hometown paper that I’d like to share, after doing some additional research on some of the details.

The article was about Horatio Spafford (1828-1888), an affluent medical attorney and Presbyterian elder, who was a good friend of Dwight L Moody and correspondent of Thomas Jefferson. Living with his wife Anna and three daughters in 1871 Chicago, the great fire ravaged over a third of the city and left almost 100,000 people homeless. Though sustaining major financial loss (he was heavily invested in real estate), the Spaffords worked tirelessly for the next two years, helping victims to restore some normalcy in their lives.

In 1873, the Spaffords, along with their now four daughters, decided to go to Europe to join Mr Moody and hymnist Ira Sankey on their evangelistic crusade, then vacation while on the continent. Prior to boarding the ship in New York, Horatio was detained on a last-minute business obligation, so he sent his wife and daughters on ahead on the ocean liner SS Ville de Havre with plans to join them shortly.

On November 21, 1873 however, the ship collided with a British vessel and sank in less than 15 minutes. Over two hundred people drowned, including the four Spafford daughters, but Anna was miraculously rescued. She arrived in Wales over a week later and cabled Horatio “Saved Alone”. Mr Spafford then sailed to meet his wife on the next available ship. As he was crossing the Atlantic, the ship’s captain pointed out the place where he thought the Ville du Havre had gone down. That night, while sitting in his cabin, he wrote the following hymn.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to know:
"It is well, it is well with my soul."

Chorus:
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Tho' Satan should buffet, tho' trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.

(Chorus)

My sin - oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin - not in part but the whole -
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh, my soul.

(Chorus)

And, Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend;
"Even so - it is well with my soul."

(Chorus)

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live,
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou shalt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

(Chorus)

It is Well with My Soul, 1873, Horatio Gates Spafford (Companion to the Baptist Hymnal)

My Grace is sufficient for you (2Cor 12:9).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Stand for Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, or at least a modern facsimile. In many stores, the traditional "Merry Christmas" has been replaced with "Happy Holidays", "Seasons Greetings", the Gap's "Happy Whatever-you-Wannakah", and other politically correct slogans. I was at the local Walmart (one of the more Christmas-friendly retailers) at Spring Creek and Hwy 75 here in Plano on Saturday. The greeter was hollering out "Happy Holidays" to everyone, but was wearing a small “Merry Christmas” pendant, so I guess she was attempting to cover all bases. Next to her lay stacks of the liberal Dallas Morning News, which contained a front page story about "Holiday" shopping and festivities.

Christians exchange gifts each Christmas in celebration of the birthday of our Lord Jesus the Christ, and to honor our great God, who gave us the greatest gift of all on the first Christmas, the gift of His Son. Retailers want us to spend our money buying gifts, but deny the reason behind our buying. If we remove Christ from Christmas, we remove the reason for exchanging gifts.

Unfortunately, to most modern minds, the most important right guaranteed by the Constitution is the right to not be offended. This, of course, is not in the constitution (or the popular Separation of Church and State for that matter), but we wouldn’t know this from the decisions being made today. We see officials ordering the removal of any Christmas decorations whenever a single Scrooge complains that they are offended. The officials, however, rarely hesitate to offend the overwhelming majority who would like to see the decorations remain. Polls consistently show that even most unbelievers have no problem with the Christmas celebration.

I’m personally not offended by pagan holidays, or by those who choose to worship their false gods. I’m saddened of course, that so many people are missing out on the free gift of salvation, and we must continue to witness to the lost, but in a true pluralistic society, everyone is free to worship as they wish. That said, most liberals in government claim to believe in pluralism, but what they really promote is syncretism. Rather than each person being free to worship as they see fit, each person must accept all religions (except Christianity) as equal to their own, even combining bits and pieces of each religion to correspond to the god in their own mind.

Now, for the great news that our God is still in control. The retailer’s denial of "Christmas" in favor of the "Holidays" peaked a few years ago. Thanks to the diligent work of a few organizations along with their grassroots support, we saw an increasing acceptance of Christmas in a few stores last year, and this year promises to be even better. While we still see the typical denial from stores such as Best Buy, Old Navy, The Gap, Radio Shack, Banana Republic, Staples and others, we're seeing many more include "Christmas" in their catalogs, advertising and displays. I’m even hearing some religious Christmas music mixed with the usual Santa and Rudolph songs being played in some stores.

Gift buyers may check on which retailers tend to be friendly, negligent or even hostile to Christmas at the following sites. Consumers who visit Stand For Christmas can rate the retail chains as being "friendly," "negligent" or "offensive" toward observers of Christmas, and also leave comments on specific stores.

Stand for Christmas – from Focus on the Family (site removed)
”Naughty or Nice – from the American Family Association

For those who would like to know more about the legalities of observing Christmas in schools, government buildings or elsewhere, you may visit the Liberty Council, who is currently representing Christian organizations and individuals against attacks on our religious liberty. Finally, we encourage Christians to continue to support those retailers who acknowledge Christmas in their stores and ads, and who are not afraid to wish their customers a "Merry Christmas".

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday Discernment

I rarely leave the house on Black Friday, but I’ve now ventured out for the second year in a row. For those who have been vacationing on another planet for awhile, "Black Friday" refers to the day after Thanksgiving, the busiest shopping day of the year. Like last year, I used discernment by staying miles away from Walmart and heading over to my favorite Christian store. This proved to be a wise decision when a lady came in and confirmed that the Walmart checkout lines extended halfway through the store.

Not having to camp out in the parking lot the night before, I arrived about 10am (two hours before the five-hour sale ended), but the store was not crowded at all, not even near the display of the latest in the series of "It’s all about YOU" books from Joel Osteen. Whenever the store becomes crowded, I can always find solitude in the classics section. While most everyone else is looking for the latest trend or fad, I can leisurely check out Pilgrim’s Progress, St Augustine’s City of God, or some of the Puritan writers. I enjoy browsing this section even though I already own many of them.

While surfing GK Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, I noticed a couple of men looking at Bibles, then one went to get help. I later moved on to another section and happened by one of the men talking with what appeared to be a store manager or assistant. The manager (as I’ll refer to him) was in the process of filing the customer full of Biblical errors. Just to mention a few, he was equating Calvinism with the Freemasons, claiming that Calvin developed his entire theology just to spite the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), and that the accounts of Isaac, Jacob and Esau proved man’s free will. He then mixed these assertions in with a few other topics, such as the Biblical basis for Arabs and Indians wearing beards (I'll ignore these others for now).

I realize that there are intelligent arguments relating to the "election vs free will" issue (no human totally understands it), but the manager was way out in left field, or out of the park altogether. First, the manager appeared to reduce all of Calvinism to the doctrine of election. John Calvin himself saw this debate merely as a subset of the doctrine of salvation, that is, to what extent man has the ability to respond to God on his own.

Read the entire Black Friday article, including discussions on the manager's claims, discernment, and the responsibilities of teachers and students.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Female Firebrands - Fools for Christ

For almost a decade, liberals have been suffering from a disease known as Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS). A couple of years ago, many came down with a bad case of Palin Derangement Syndrome (PDS). It must have been highly contagious, because now we're seeing an wide outbreak of a migratory strain which could be called Conservative Female Derangement Syndrome (CFDS). Common symptoms appear to range from paranoia and anger to outright fear and craziness. So, what is it about conservative women that tends to drive liberals up the wall. An article in the Observer of London examines the subject from a moderately liberal point of view.

Paul Harris from New York writes an article in the London Observer today entitled The new wave of female firebrands striking fear into liberal America. The reader would not automatically suspect a hit piece from the title, but in the byline, "Right-wing radicals are already pinning presidential ambitions on a mother-of-five from Minnesota who calls herself a 'fool for Christ' and condemns Obama as a socialist at the head of a "gangster regime", Mr Harris removes all doubt as to his intentions.

In subtle assaults, thinly disguised as journalism, Mr Harris goes on to attach Michele Bachmann, and to a slightly lesser extent, Sarah Palin, claiming that many "experts" have branded their positions and statements as "extreme".

Read the entire Female Firebrands article, in which we examine such questions as "Who are these "experts", "What are these positions and beliefs which are considered extreme", "Why females as opposed to males", and more.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Veterans Day 2009

Another Veteran’s Day has come and gone. We witnessed the usual celebrations, photo-ops for the politicians, and slanted coverage by the media. I believe one of the reasons for the poor support of veterans is that so few officials in Washington these days have served in our armed forces. A generation or two ago, most members of congress had served in a branch of our military. Now, both the house and senate are made up of career politicians in which only a small percentage have served their country in a military capacity. I’m certainly not suggesting that we need more senators like John Kerry or John Murtha, but as a whole, I’d like to see more veterans enter politics.

That said, this day is not about those who pretend to support our troops during election season, or when the cameras are rolling, but about the dedicated troops themselves, to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy in our country today.

For those unfamiliar with the history of this holiday, we offer this brief summary. World War I combat between the Allies and Germany ended with an armistice which went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 (the war officially ended on June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles). Thus, November 11 became officially known as Armistice Day in 1926 and became a national holiday in 1938.

Read the entire Veterans Day 2009 article.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Scripture Illustrations and Urban Legends

A good friend of mine is currently teaching a Bible Study class on the topic of shepherds and sheep. While researching the subject, he came across a pastor’s sermon posted on the internet that included some interesting illustrations which he suspected might not be historically correct. He emailed a request that I check it out and this post is a result of my findings and thoughts on the subject.

I read the pastor’s sermon on the 23rd Psalms which included several illustrations on shepherds and sheep during the OT period of King David. In Psalms 23, we have two beautiful images picturing God caring for His people. We see God as a Shepherd caring for His sheep (v 1-4) and God as a banquet Host caring for His guest (v 5-6). The pastor had interpreted the entire chapter picturing God as a shepherd, and included illustrations pertaining to verse 5 involving the "cup overflowing" as a sheep basin and the "table" as an area of grass around a wounded sheep. In technical terms, he was practicing eisegesis (reading his own interpretation back into the text) rather than exegesis (drawing out the original intent of the author and letting the text speak for itself).

In this particular case, perhaps no serious damage is done since both images (God as shepherd and host) refer to the same subject, God caring for His people. I began however, pondering the question: How concerned should pastors, teachers and students of the Word be regarding the use of manufactured stories or urban legends in the illustration of Scripture?

Read the entire Urban Legends article, including examples and proper use of fictional stories.

Monday, October 26, 2009

While I was Away

I finally got that engineering project out that’s had me tied up the last few weeks, so what have I missed in the world? Here’s something shocking. White House Communications Director Anita Dunn disclosed to the Dominican government that President Obama's presidential campaign focused on "making" the news media cover certain issues while rarely communicating anything to the press unless it was "controlled." Ms Dunn stated that "Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn't absolutely control. One of the reasons we did so many of the David Plouffe (Obama's chief campaign manager) videos was not just for our supporters, but also because it was a way for us to get our message out without having to actually talk to reporters." I say this is shocking not in the sense of surprise that it happened, but that she actually admitted it. I have to wonder why they would go to this much trouble when the media was already in love with their candidate. Even if a gaffe was made, such as when BHO admitted that he was Muslin, George Stephanopoulos immediately stepped in with damage control saying, “you mean you’re a Christian, right”. Why go to the trouble to control a media who already worships you?

This is the same Anita Dunn, who last June, told an audience of high school students that her "favorite political philosophers" included Mao Zedong, the Communist Chinese leader whose policies are blamed for the deaths of tens of millions of people. A week after the admission to the Dominican’s, Ms Dunn attacked the top-rated Fox News network as an "arm of the Republican Party" and "opinion journalism masquerading as news." One of the first moves in a dictatorship is to silence any objective news media, just ask Mr Obama’s pal, Caesar Chavez. I saw a YouTube video the other day in which Jay Leno announced that the Obama administration had finally decided to employ an additional 40,000 troops… against Fox News.

On another subject, I notice Hillary and BHO are still whining that all of the problems in the world are “inherited” by their administration from the Bush years, even though they’ve been in office for over nine months now. This doesn’t even take into consideration that the Democrats were in control of both houses of congress for two years before they took over the presidency, a fact well hidden by their friends in the media. It also doesn’t reflect the fact that most of the worst laws of the past ten years originated by Carter and Clinton appointed liberal judges legislating from the bench.

I'll have to catch up with the other news later, but think I have time to check out one more story, so… oh, here’s a good one. Hillary has tentatively agreed to a weapons inspection program that would allow the Russians to visit nuclear sites in America to count missiles and our warheads. I wonder if she'll also furnish hand-held GPS units for the tour. This agreement is still tentative, so we must pray that someone comes to their senses before this is allowed to happen. Ms Clinton said the U.S. would be as transparent as possible. Hey, who knew that when BHO promised transparency, he actually meant with the Russians instead of us. Ms Clinton also said that "We want to ensure that every question that the Russian military or Russian government asks is answered." Hmm, this could get interesting. What if the Russians request to see the birth certificate, the background and job description of the czars, or to read the health care bill online?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Why Chicago Lost the 2016 Olympics

We received the news yesterday that the 2016 Olympics has been awarded to Rio de Janeiro. First of all, congratulations to the first South American city to host the games and we hope it will be a big success. As most of us know, US President Obama made many personal appeals for the city of Chicago to host the Games. When they were eliminated in the first round, most of the worldwide media portrayed the rejection as a slap in the face to Mr Obama. It of course, took our major media outlets only minutes after the announcement to begin spinning Katie Couric’s “Dream Team” loss as a big win for “team captain” Obama. Others blamed the radical “right-wing talkers” for the loss. I’ve not heard the charge that the decision was based on racism yet, but it’s still early. It might be a bit difficult now that liberal critics filed a civil rights complaint for racial discrimination against the Chicago 2016 committee last Thursday.

A Newsweek blog called it a big win for Mr Obama since the Olympics typically run massively over budget. This touches on the truth since it took Montreal 30 years to pay off a billion dollar debt from the 1976 Games and the projected budget for London 2012 has ballooned from 3.9 to over 15 billion (and still climbing). Hosting the Olympics is more about civic pride than municipal profits. Since massive budgets and debts have never bothered Mr Obama, this loss is actually a win for the Chicago and Illinois taxpayers (and the rest of us who would pay for another federal bailout). It would have however, greatly benefited many of Mr Obama’s cronies.

So, how did Rio beat out Chicago for the 2016 Olympics? On the positive side, it allowed the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to make history by awarding the Games to a South American city. The Chicago bid however, did not come without negatives, such as the gang violence videos which surfaced at an inopportune time.

We believe the biggest negative against Chicago was the representation by Mr Obama himself. Before taking office, he flew to Europe to proclaim himself a “citizen of the world” and promised a new global agenda, a new world order. Since taking office, he’s made several tours of Europe and the Middle East apologizing that America has been the source of all that's wrong with the world. It is no wonder that, while he’s routinely praised by rogue dictators and Muslin leaders, many in Europe echo the sentiments of Gerald Warner’s article in the UK Telegraph entitled “Why does President Pantywaist hate America so badly?” which begins:

If al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the rest of the Looney Tunes brigade want to kick America to death, they had better move in quickly and grab a piece of the action before Barack Obama finishes the job himself. Never in the history of the United States has a president worked so actively against the interests of his own people – not even Jimmy Carter.

Obama’s problem is that he does not know who the enemy is. To him, the enemy does not squat in caves in Waziristan, clutching automatic weapons and reciting the more militant verses from the Koran. Instead, it sits around at tea parties in Kentucky quoting from the US Constitution. Obama is not at war with terrorists, but with his Republican fellow citizens. He has never abandoned the campaign trail.

Now, after being embarrassed to be an American and spending months throwing the country under a bus to promote his own popularity, in order to benefit his insider buddies in Chicago, Mr Obama found himself in the unfamiliar role of having to promote America instead. In a speech on September 16, he said "Americans, like Chicagoans, -- we don't like to make small plans. We want to dream big and reach high. We hope deeply. We want these games. And if you choose Chicago, I promise you this: Chicago will make America proud, and America will make the world proud." So, after making globalist statements about why Americans should not enjoy her luxuries while the rest of the world was not as blessed, and how no nation should be more important than another, he had to argue that Chicago warrants the Olympics.

Ms Obama also made the trip to help with the pitch. She stated that she didn’t want to go, but that she was willing to “sacrifice for the kids”. In a Hillary Clinton moment, she told the story of how she cheered on Carl Lewis and others while sitting on her daddy’s knee, until it was pointed out that she was 20 years old when Mr Lewis first competed in the Olympics in 1984. She did stop short of saying that, if Chicago was selected, that she would be proud of being an American for the “second time” in her life. In light of the Obama’s previous statements and actions, the IOC must have wondered why they were now arguing in favor of America deserving the Games.

So, we say congratulations to the city of Rio for their selection as host of the 2016 Olympics, and to all Americans for avoiding the huge monetary debts. We can now look forward to cheering on our athletes in the 2012 Games in London.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Support Lt Col Jeffrey Chessani

Meet Lt Col Jeffrey Chessani of the US Marine Corps. Lt Chessani was the senior officer facing bogus charges for the so-called “Hagitha Massacre” on November 19, 2005. Most of us have heard about the event thanks to the 24/7 coverage by the drive-by media. In fact, more air time was given to this in the first five days than to the many medals of honor given to various brave servicemen over a five year period. Lt Chessani and the troops were originally praised for their bravery by their superiors until an error-filled report by Time magazine, followed by anti-war liberal Congressman John Murtha’s public accusations of the Marines being “cold-blooded murderers” and their officers “covering up” the facts. Mr Murtha still refuses to reveal the source of his allegations. Very little was mentioned in the media of the hot-bed of activities going on that day, or the fact that the terrorists were using civilians as human shields. Michelle Malkin has more info on the circumstances and the investigation at 'Cut and Run' Murtha goes off half-cocked.

Craig Smith also has more about Murtha's involvement at Muttering Murtha.

As we now know, the massacre never happened and all our brave troops who put their lives on the line were cleared. After the media blitz of the charges, there was mostly silence on the acquittals. Then, on March 17, 2009, a three-judge panel upheld the dismissal of the trumped up charges, but the liberal bureaucrats refuse to give up. If only they would show this much resolve when dealing with terrorists. Now they are attempting to charge Lt Chessani, who has honorably served his country for over 20 years, with not filing the proper paperwork. He now faces a BOI (Military Board of Inquiry), in which the government’s burden of proof is very low.

As I write this, Mr Obama has just announced that he has cleared the release of another 75 terrorists from Guantanamo, yet they refuse to give Lt Chessani the same consideration. It appears that plotting or actually taking part in the killing of Americans is acceptable, however, our soldiers defending themselves is not.

Lt Chessani is represented by the Thomas More Law Center of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

UPDATE (July 2010) Lt Chessani forced to retire: A Sad Day for America and the Marine Corps.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Colonel Howard in Afghanistan

We just received an urgent email from our friends at Move America Forward. They were alerting us to a letter from the frontlines of battle in Afghanistan written by Colonel Mike Howard who is asking for our immediate help. The letter was forwarded from For The Troops, an organization based in Simi Valley, California who contacted MAF when they heard about the Troopathon.

Colonel Howard is responsible for some 4,500 troops in the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry which is stationed in some of the most dangerous provinces of southern Afghanistan. The 4th BCT-25th ID is made up of six regiments nicknamed "The Spartan 6" and the brigade's motto is "Sparta Lives!" They are operating in several provinces in southeastern Afghanistan, right on the chaotic border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the Taliban are strongest. Col Howard has asked for help in providing his troops with care packages and much needed encouragement.

We've just posted his urgent letter at Colonel Howard in Afghanistan. Please Read. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fly the Flag on 911 2009

I received the following email from my wife's cousin Donna who, along with her husband, was in New York on business when the World Trade Center buildings were hit on September 11, 2001.

THE PROGRAM:

On Friday, September 11th, 2009, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States. Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this eighth anniversary of one of our country's worst tragedies. We do this to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.

In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn't take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.

Fly an American flag of any size on 9/11. Honestly, Americans should fly the flag year-round, but if you don't, then at least make it a priority on this day.

Thank you for your participation. God Bless You and God Bless America!

As the father of a US Marine, I'm asking everyone to also fly their flags in support of our brave troops. As an added bonus, you'll also be able to annoy a liberal whose primary use for the flag is waving it during a campaign, then trashing it when the cameras are turned off.

Recycled Flags of the DNCC

Trash vs Treasure

Found American Flags

A Policeman

OK, I'm back. These past few weeks, most of my spare time has been spent developing our new Hebrew Heritage section, in which we explore the often neglected Jewish roots of Christianity. This new section has now been launched, so we can turn part of our attention back to the blog.

My best friend William is a Dallas Police Officer. I recently heard the following quote delivered by Adrian Rogers from his message, Christian Citizenship. In an era in which many, including President BHO, maintain such a low opinion of those defending us here and abroad, this message is very timely.

A Policeman

A policeman is many things…

“He is a son, a brother, a father, an uncle, and sometimes even a grandfather. He is a protector in time of need and a comforter in time of sorrow. His job calls for him to be a diplomat, a psychologist, a lawyer, a friend, and an inspiration.

He suffers from an overdose of publicity about brutality and dishonesty. He suffers far more from the notoriety produced from unfounded charges. Too often acts of heroism go unnoticed, and the truth is buried under all the criticism.

The fact is that less than one-half of one percent of policemen ever discredit their uniform. That’s a better average than you’ll find among clergymen. A policeman is an ordinary guy who is called upon for extraordinary bravery for us. His job may sometimes seem routine, but the interruptions can be moments of stark terror.

He is the man who faces a half-crazed gunman, who rescues a lost child, who challenges a mob, who risks his neck more often than we realize. He deserves our respect and profound thanks.

A policeman stands between the lawbreaker, the law abider and the lawbreaker. It’s the prime reason your home hasn’t been burned, your family abused, and your business looted. Try to imagine what might happen. Try to imagine what might happen if there were no policemen around, then try to think of ways to make their job more rewarding.

Show them the respect you really have. Offer them a smile and a kind word. See that they don’t have to be magicians to raise their families on less-than-adequate salaries."

We think policemen are great. We thank God for all the little boys who said they would be policemen and all who kept their promise. We hope you feel the same way, and we hope you will show it, so that there will always be enough good policemen to go around.

- Adrian Rogers (original author of quote unknown)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Should Churches Repent of Religion

I recently read an article on a Christian news site about a well-known pastor speaking at a national conference back in June. The purpose of the conference was to offer suggestions on how to "revitalize" local churches. According to the report, this particular speaker painted religion as a culprit that might be choking the growth of the Gospel and Christianity in America, and said that "until Christians repent of religion, no program, energy or strategy will help them to grow". Finally, he urged the pastors in the audience to repent… not of sin, but of religion.

So, is religion really choking the Gospel, and should we repent of our religious activities? I know members of a few local religious groups who recently returned from mission trips to India, Russia, Peru and Israel. Our church regularly takes up a benevolent offering for those who have lost their jobs. I have other friends that work with those feeding and ministering to the homeless and shut-ins. Others are engaged in prayer, VBS and other ministries. Still others are faithfully involved in church positions such as parking attendants, greeters, and administrators which only indirectly aid in spreading the Gospel. Should these Christians repent of these religious activities?

This illustrates that our original questions cannot be answered without first defining what is meant by the term "religion".

Read the entire Repent of Religion article.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Real American Heroes

In my previous post, I shared how we can support and honor our troops by sending care packages to them. It is important to let our troops know that, despite what the media says, there are still many good folks back home who care and realize that they are the real American heroes. While Democratic congresswoman, Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas was drafting a 1600-word congressional resolution proclaiming Michael Jackson as a global hero, Republican representative Peter King of New York lambasted the celebrity-worshiping media circus in a YouTube video (as reported by Michelle Malkin):
"All we hear about is Michael Jackson. Let’s knock out the psychobabble. He was a pervert … and to be giving this much coverage to him, day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country? … I just think we’re too politically correct. No one wants to stand up and say, ‘We don’t need Michael Jackson!’ He died, he had some talent, but fine, there are people dying every day. There are men and women dying every day in Afghanistan, let’s give them the credit they deserve."
If these real heroes are to be remembered, it will be up to us. Due to lack of media coverage, family members are forced to go to emails, twitter and other internet resources to get the word out. Unless it is a story which portrays our military in a negative light, our major networks (with the exception of Fox) and most major newspapers simply aren’t interested.

Read the entire Real Heroes article.

Care Packages for our Troops

I’m a little late with this follow-up to the Troop-a-thon on June 25, organized by our friends at Move America Forward, but we’re pleased to announce that almost $700,000 was raised for our troops, including over $55,000 by several teams of bloggers, with whom we were proud to participate. We’d like to issue a special “Thank You” to all those who donated. At the time of this writing, the 8 hour Troop-a-thon broadcast, which took place at the Ronald Reagon Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, is available at the Troop-a-thon website.

Please keep in mind that you can still contribute and send care packages to our troops by clicking on the banner at the top of this post. They are filled with goodies that will boost morale and give our hard fighting military men and women a refreshing break during their difficult deployments. Best of all, each care package comes with your personal note of encouragement or thanks to the serviceman or servicewoman who receives your care package. Thanks again for supporting our troops.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Are Checklists Extreme?

A few weeks ago, while in a class on the Holiness of God, we came to the question of how to approach this holy God. I would like to briefly comment on a particular aspect of the dialogue, the portion when our conversation turned to Hebrews 4:16, where we’re encouraged to boldly come before God’s throne. I believe the biggest reservation that many of us have is with the word "boldly". How can a sinner be bold before the face of our holy and majestic God?

We must first interpret this passage in the context of the two previous verses, in which we see that we do not approach the throne based upon our own merit, but that of our High Priest, Jesus the Christ. Thus, "boldly" does not mean recklessly or brazenly, but humbly and with confidence in the work of Christ. Under the old covenant, the people of Israel could not approach God directly. Only the high priest could come into the Holy of Holies, and then only once a year to make an atoning sacrifice to "cover" the sins of the people. Under the new covenant, Jesus, our ultimate High Priest, has atoned for our sins once for all (Heb 9:11-15), the veil has been torn (Mt 27:50-51), and we have free access to God.

Next, according to the Scriptures, even though we have free access to God, there are still some conditions which can obstruct our communication with Him. This brings us to one of the points of this article. During our group discussion, I pointed out that harboring unconfessed sin or disobedience (Jn 15:7), not asking in faith (Mk 11:23), asking with wrong motives (Ja 4:3) or for things contrary to the will of God (Jn 14:13-14, 1Jn 5:14-15), being inconsiderate of your family (1Pe 3:7) or several other conditions can hinder our prayers to God.

Another person then stated that we should avoid the "extreme" of approaching God with "a checklist". Now, we should avoid checklists in the sense of external obedience only, which is what I believe my friend was saying. We must however, not become so guarded against accusations of legalism that we avoid them altogether. When God doesn’t appear to be hearing our prayers, it could be that the timing isn’t right, or that he has something much better in mind for us, however, I see nothing extreme in taking a spiritual inventory (or checklist) in an attempt to determine other possible reasons such as mentioned above. In fact, the Bible not only exhorts us to petition God to examine us (Ps 139:23-24), we are also to examine ourselves (1Co 11:28-32).

In another instance, I just read a quote from a well-known pastor at a national conference a few weeks ago. In a speech on Christians’ need to "repent of religion", he stated that for religious people, Christianity becomes more of a "checklist of duties and behaviors", such as small group involvement, volunteering, taking a mission trip, and reading the Bible. In this case once again, these checklists and religious activities are inherently good. It is a hypocritical superficial focus, along with wrongful attitudes and motivations driving the activities that should be avoided.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Independence Day 2009

For last year's Independence Day, I wrote about one of the liberal media's "Blame America First" articles. This particular article called upon us to offer a prayer for forgiveness of what he perceived to be our greatest sins, such as electing George W Bush as president, retaliating against those who murdered thousands of our citizens at the World Trade Center etc. This year, I'd like to feature an article which also calls for us to seek forgiveness of our sins, but for very different reasons. This excellent article, entitled The Nations 233rd Birthday - A Call for Repentance is written by Jane Chastain, a Southern California-based broadcaster, author and political commentator. She also includes a sample prayer which we encourage everyone to read along with her article.

Unlike the liberal's list of sins, Ms Chastain, a Christian, encourages us to repent of real sins which are in conflict with the will of the true God. Liberals however, tend to define sin as anything in disagreement with the god of political correctness, or a god who is an extension of their own views. In reply to a question of "What do you consider a sin?", then presidential candidate B Hussein Obama replied, "Anything that goes against my true nature". I sometimes wonder if Mr Obama prays to himself, asking himself to forgive himself for not being true to himself.

Read the entire Independence Day 2009 article.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fascination with Celebrities

In the past week or so, we’ve witnessed the death of several celebrities such as Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and even pitchman Billy Mays. First and foremost, we need to remember that these were real people with real families that we need to keep in our prayers. Many celebrities, despite their fame and fortune, tend to be very sad and lonely individuals, usually a far cry from their public images.

It’s very interesting, and revealing to watch the reactions to these events from various sources within our modern society. The so-called “mainstream” media virtually ignored the others in preference to Mr Jackson, since he was arguably the most popular and bizarre. Not including commercials, each major network typically broadcasts 22 minutes of what they call “news” during their nightly newscasts. The Media Resource Center reported that, on Friday evening (the next day after Mr Jackson’s death), ABC devoted all but 1:03 to Mr Jackson. NBC gave us 1:22 of other news while Katie Couric over at CBS managed to squeeze in 34 seconds for a total of 2:59 vs 63:01 devoted to Mr Jackson. "OK, right after this station break, we'll bring you an exclusive interview with a man who once petted a dog that was owned by a person who lived in the same town as one of Michael's third-cousins, and how this encounter changed his life."

Read the entire Fascination with Celebrities article including what drives our obsession with the rich and famous.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to Approach a Bible Study

During a recent Sunday School class, a lovely lady made the comment that when we study the Bible, we should do so with no presuppositions, disregard the interpretations by others, and rely entirely on the Holy Spirit for our understanding. Now, this lady has a high view of the Scriptures and is very orthodox in her beliefs, but having encountered many liberals who take a similar stance in their attempt to validate whatever meaning is convenient to justify their agenda at the time, I jumped in with both feet. I immediately pointed out that presuppositional neutrality was a myth, and that we ignored the interpretations of the saints throughout history at our own peril.

So, which of us was correct in our assertions? After much prayer and contemplation over the past few days, I’ve come to the conclusion that, according to our respective intentions, we both were. Discussions in class are usually time-limited, so we often don’t adequately explain our intended meaning. I’m convinced that she was referring to the initial phase of study where we read the Scriptures and attempt to observe and interpret the author’s intended meaning. On the other hand, I was referring to the entire process of Bible study. I think we can clarify the issue with a brief overview on how to approach studying the Bible.

Read the entire Approaching Bible Study article, including discussions on Presuppositions, Bible Study Methods, Church Traditions, and Resolving Disputes.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Compromising Our Principles

President B Hussein Obama recently completed his second international apologizing tour. This time he covered most of the Islamic countries. Am I missing something here? Aren't we the ones who were attacked? Has anyone heard even one Muslim ruler apologize to us? In his trip to Latin America, he sat quietly listening to dictator after dictator bash America, then when it came his turn to speak, rather than defending America by pointing out the many sacrifices that we've made for other countries, he thanked them that they didn’t blame him personally. BHO is perfectly happy with foreign dictators hurling insult after insult on America as long as they continue to praise him publicly. He has gotten so obvious that the foreign media is questioning, “Why does he hate America so much?”

Just as Obama regularly throws his friends, relatives and country under the bus for the sake of his own popularity, many “professing” Christians also throw God under the bus for the sake of perceived popularity with others. We’re afraid that if we stick to our beliefs and principles, people won’t like us as well, or will even subject us to ridicule. We sometimes compromise our morals and ethics in order to be more popular.

As we’ve seen, when Obama ignores the principles and traditions which made our country great in order to enhance his own ego, his actions have a much different effect on other international leaders than intended. Instead of garnering admiration, our nation loses respect and he is merely seen as a useful pawn in their agenda to destroy us. Likewise, when a Christian compromises his or her principles, rather than causing people to like and respect us (and our faith), this action produces an opposite effect. We merely confirm the presuppositions of those around us that think, “I knew they weren’t really a Christian. Look at the way they’re acting. If Christians aren’t any different from others, why should I become one?”

Many well-meaning Christians misinterpret 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (Paul becoming like those to whom he was attempting to preach the Gospel) as a license to act according to the unbeliever’s standards in order to reach them. We must follow the example of Jesus, who sought out and associated with the worst of sinners, but never compromised His integrity or standards, watered down His message, or participated in their sins. We must yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit in order to maintain our principles and win others to Christ. We must seek to please God rather than men.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Honor Their Service - Troopathon 2009

In our country, we've come to the point where we call evil good and good evil (Is 5:20). While many far left groups such as Code Pink, the ACLU and our current administration and their Department of Homeland Security are busy protecting the "rights" of Muslim terrorists, they often vilify our troops who are attempting to protect us from the real extremists.

Fortunately, we have many good organizations within our country who are working hard in support of our troops. On of the most active is Move America Forward, who on June 25th, will be holding their 2nd annual “Troop-a-thon” with the theme “Honor their Service.” This cutting edge live webcast event will bring together talk radio hosts, megastars of film and television, musical guests, journalists, military and Gold-star families, pro-troop groups and many more. The goal of this charity fundraiser is to send the largest ever shipment of care packages to our brave men and women of the armed forces serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay.

We are encouraging our readers to sponsor care packages (donations are tax deductible) for the troops and each one includes a personalized message and items that our troops have requested that make their life a little easier while they are far from home, such as sun-screen, Gatorade, deodorant, coffee, cookies and much more. Please click on the "Honor Their Service" banner above for more information.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Setting Up

Thanks for visiting our new blog. We're still setting up, but in the meantime, we invite you to visit our main website at

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We'll be posting here in a few days.