Thursday, January 31, 2019

On This Last Day Of January

Count your blessings instead of your crosses

Count your gains instead of your losses,

Count your joys instead of your woes,

Count your friends instead of your foes.

Count your courage instead of your fears,

Count your laughs instead of your tears.

Count your full years instead of your lean,

Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.

Count your health instead of your wealth

Count on God instead of yourself.

-An Irish Blessing

Illustrations by
Holly Hobbie

Winter In His Heart Of Gloom

Winter in his heart of gloom
Sings the song of coming bloom:
So o'er death our souls shall sing
Lays of the eternal spring.

Northern Cardinals

Then decay shall be no more,
And, the weary seed time o'er
All the dead in Christ shall rise
For the harvest of the skies.

Wheresoe'er the faithful sleep
Angels shall go forth to reap,
From the dust and 'neath the foam
They shall bring the harvest home.

Bodies of the saints, whose bones
Rest beneath sepulchral stones,
Or are lost on every wind,
All, those messengers shall find.

All from earth to Heav'n shall soar
In that flesh which once they wore,
Deathless now and glorified,
Like their Lord and at His side.

This is life's eternal spring!
This the coming joy we sing!
Look we ever toward this day,
Be it near or far away!

'Mid the sorrow and the strife
'Tis the music of our life,
And the song hath this refrain-
Our Redeemer comes again!

"Winter In His Heart Of Gloom"
Samuel J. Stone

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven
with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel,
and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who
have departed this life in Christ will rise first.
Then we, the living ones who remain on earth shall
simultaneously be caught up with the resurrected dead
in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always
through the eternity of the eternities,
we shall always be with the Lord!
Therefore comfort and encourage one another
with these words."
1Thessalonians 4:16-18

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Yom HaShoah- International Holocaust Remembrance Day

This last Sunday of the month of January marks the 16th anniversary
of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which coincides with another
important event in world history, the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau
 concentration camp in Poland by the Soviet Red Army in 1945.
About 7,000 sick and dying inmates at the camp had been left behind
by their former Nazi captors, who were now fleeing for their
 lives from the advancing Russians, as the latter strongly
believed in the practice of taking no enemy prisoners alive.

Prior to the liberation of the camp, thousands of people previously held
 there had died from starvation and the intense cold on forced death marches
from Auschwitz.  It is estimated that 1.3 million human beings were
sent to the camp between 1941-1945 and over 1 million were murdered there.

 Child Survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau

As I sit here writing this post today, words do not come easily to my mind,
at least, the right words- not only concerning why the Holocaust was allowed 
 to happen- but, how to explain about the effect ignorance has concerning the
 lessons of history, especially those which take into account the evil perpetrated 
on human beings by human beings, which, left unchecked and unchallenged,
 will always repeat themselves at some time and place in the future.

Today we remember the millions of innocent lives lost during a time of
great human evil in the world.  As a child growing up in the mid-1970's, I was a
secondhand witness to the tragic lives of the Jewish people during the Holocaust 
 when I read, "The Diary of Anne Frank" for the first time in fifth grade.

You would think that people today would have a lot more empathy for each other.
In our 21st century world, lightning speed advancements in science and technology
in this age of the Internet has brought the nations and peoples and
different cultures of the world closer to each other than ever before.
And yet, this is clearly not the case.  

Once again, Jewish people are being targeted for discrimination
and persecution, not only in Europe, which, in only the past ten
years, has seen a mass exodus of Jews fleeing the continent 
 for the safety of Israel, but here in America too, where
for the most part, Jews have lived in comparative 
safety for many years, until recently.

In the wake of the brutal and senseless shooting at the
Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last fall, which
took the lives of eleven innocent worshipers, last
November's election has brought outspoken anti-Israel and BDS 
 advocates to occupy seats within the House of Representatives. 

According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, two freshman Congresswomen,
Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) left, and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), both of the Muslim faith,
have consistently expressed extreme anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views.
Both are strong advocates of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions)
Movement against the sale of goods and services from Israel.
Omar was recently appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
to the House Foreign Affairs Committee while Tlaib was given a
seat on the equally powerful House Oversight Committee.
These are troubling times, indeed.

How can Americans, who claim they love freedom and democracy,
and say that they stand for protecting the civil rights of their
 fellow citizens, elect people to serve in our Congress who vocalize 
such deep and unapologetic animosity towards the Jewish people, 
 not to mention profound hatred for the nation of Israel, 
one of America's greatest allies?

I for one am happy and proud that during my lifetime,
the President of the United States has decided to buck
the tradition of putting the recognition of Jerusalem on
the back burner and has instead decided to honor God
by formally recognizing the city as the eternal capital
of the nation and people of Israel and by 
 moving our embassy there.  

Through his actions, President Trump has shown a true spirit
of solidarity with the nation and people of Israel, in a time 
when much of the world-including certain members of our
own government- do not.

Always Remember, Never Forget
Never Again

"Behold, He Who keeps Israel will neither slumber or sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand,
the side not carrying a shield.
The sun shall not smite you by day nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;  He will keep your life."
Psalm 121:4-7

Fourth Sunday Meditation: Open My Eyes That I May See

"I will meditate on Your precepts and
have respect to Your ways, the paths of life
marked out by Your law."
Psalm 119:15

Striped Purple Crocus In The Snow

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready my God, Thy will to see,

Open my eyes, illumine me,

Spirit divine!

Open my eyes that I may see

Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;

Place in my hands the wonderful key

That shall unclasp and set me free.

"O that I had the wings of a bird! "
Northern Red Cardinal

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready my God, Thy will to see,

Open my eyes, illumine me,

Spirit divine!

Open my eyes that I may hear

Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;

And while the wave notes fall on my ear,

Everything false will disappear.

Snow Deer
Douglas Barnett

Open my mouth, and let me bear,

Gladly the warm truth everywhere;

Open my heart and let me prepare

Love with Thy children thus to share.

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready my God, Thy will to see,

Open my eyes, illumine me,

Spirit divine!

Aurora Borealis
Jeff Schultz

"Open My Eyes That I May See"
Clara Fiske Scott
American Hymn writer
Author of "The Royal Anthem Book"
The first anthem collection written by a woman

Saturday, January 26, 2019

On My Mind: The Truth Of The Matter

While I do not have all the inside details concerning President Trump's
agreement to re-open the government, I certainly do not believe that he
decided to cave in to the demands of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
and the rest of the Democratic Party.

The news media keeps blaming President Trump for the partial government
shutdown (which he has temporarily suspended for now) when in reality
the fault of the action he took lies at the feet of the Democratic Party,
especially to blame are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer
who are still refusing to compromise on a stronger border wall and upgraded
security due to their personal hatred and mistrust of the president.

Only 9% of our truly enormous federal government was shut down over
these past weeks and yes, while people were furloughed, and paychecks were
not sent, over 30 Democratic members of Congress took it upon themselves during
the "government shutdown with no end in sight" to traveled to warm and
sunny Puerto Rico on holiday where they were treated to a special
performance of the hit Broadway musical, "Hamilton".

Meanwhile, the mainstream media continued to bash big, bad Trump
and exaggerated the severity of the partial government shutdown by 
showing up at soup kitchens and food pantries and street protests 
  to film the professed outrage against the president, 
 making sure any footage of a man or woman who laid 
equal blame on the Democrats for the shutdown was edited out of their reports.

What I do not understand is why the Senate and the House-and particularly
those members of Congress treating themselves to the holiday junket in the Caribbean-
did not lose their exorbitant salaries instead of these government workers?

  Better yet, since the Democrats were all puffed up with
self-righteous indignation over the partial shutdown of the government
 why didn't they willingly forego receiving their own salaries and postpone
this trip to stand in solidarity with the furloughed workers and those
working without pay?

We the People of the United States of America sent these representatives to
Washington on our behalf because We the People are the government!
Furthermore, a better wall and the need for more border security is an
issue that was already agreed on and voted for favorably by both Democrats 
 and Republicans in the House and the Senate long before Donald Trump
became the 45th President of the United States!

The truth of the matter is that Pelosi and Schumer and the rest of
their self-important, high-ranking ilk are wielding their own personal
campaign of profound hatred against President Trump and
 will not co-operate or compromise with him in any way, shape, or form.
Both Pelosi and Schumer have said as much in both words and actions.

New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Melendez was spotted on the beach
in Puerto Rico during the partial government shutdown in Washington DC.
He and 39 other members of Congress, as well as their families,
lobbyists, and other invited guests were treated to a special 
performance of the Broadway musical "Hamilton" during their stay.
Meanwhile, furloughed government workers were left wondering how they
 were going to pay their bills and buy groceries for their families.
The Democrats response to their dilemma, was, as always, 
"Blame Trump!"

The ultimate goal of these shameless and petty leaders of the Democratic Party is to
destroy President Trump and his dream of "Making America Great Again".
They do not believe in the goodness of America or our people.
They do not care about anyone but themselves and pushing their
immoral agenda of sexual perversion and death, while overwhelming
our borders with illegal aliens to destroy our national sovereignty.

Meanwhile, their minions in the equally devious news media work with diligent
sloppiness to publicly humiliate and disgrace citizens who support President Trump.
What happened to the MAGA-hatted kids from Covington Catholic High School
during the recent March For Life in Washington DC is just the latest
example of the media's wholesale diabolical appeasement
towards the machinations of the political Far Left.

Furthermore, the old saying, "A day late and a dollar short" now comes to mind
whenever I see prominent Republican leaders fawning over President Trump.
For two solid years the GOP had control in both the Senate and the House and
yet they did little or nothing to support the programs and needed change offered
by our president.  Instead, they stood idly around acting like a clique of
gossipy jealous school girls griping about not being chosen prom queen.
They, along with the shocked-that-Hillary-lost Democrats could not swallow
the bitter pill that the American people had spoken and elected Donald Trump,
a bold and brash non-political outsider to the White House.

Furthermore, many of the moderate, more low-key Republican members of
the Senate and the House along with their colleagues of equal stature across the
aisle complained that they could really get nothing done due to the constant
petty, political swiping between members of the party hierarchies.
The no-show of leading members of the Democratic Party and the 
disgruntled silence from those members who did show up at
President Trump's first State of the Union address clearly
revealed to the American people the disrespect and arrogance
 many of our Congressional legislators harbor towards our leader, 
especially those whose corrupt agendas have been
threatened with exposure due to the president's
 desire to "Drain the Swamp."

Since I see swamps as valuable ecosystems, I would
prefer that Mr. Trump "Flush The Toilet" instead!

Unfortunately, in the recent mid-term elections this past November, many of the
moderate and conservative members of the House lost their seats and have been
replaced by extreme left-wing fanatics like the card-carrying Democratic
Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and anti-Israel Rashida Tlaib,
both of whom recently won seats on the powerful House Oversight Committee.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the now temporarily
 rescinded government shutdown
and with no sign of a compromise in sight regarding a new
 and better wall and more border security, Americans living in the
 increasingly precarious situation along our southern borders
 are being cheated daily out of  life, liberty,
 and pursuit of happiness,
  all due to the underhanded political scheming
 of Senators Pelosi and Schumer and the rest of the
traitorous  liberal elite who are determine to
  regain total control in Washington DC.

The hierarchy of the Democratic Party
 seeks to overwhelm our nation with illegals,
 including those with past criminal records,
 and give them free healthcare,
housing, education, legal services,
 and even the right to vote in our national elections.
All at the expense of the American taxpayers who
were born and raised on this soil.

Along for the call to "open the borders"
 political leaders in states like California and New York
 and New Jersey continue to defy federal immigration law
 by offering 'sanctuary' to illegals.

 Meanwhile, both Pelosi and Schumer refused to meet
with a group of American citizens known as "Angel Moms"
who visited their district offices recently in Washington.
  These women are the wives and mothers,
  family members and friends, whose loved ones
were the victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants.

 Both Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer recently refused to meet with the families of
the victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants.  The media falsely claimed
that the Angel Moms "stormed" the office of Senator Schumer, however, apparent eye witnesses
said that these grieving wives and mothers acted very respectful and just wanted to be heard, 
but neither senator would take the time to listen to them.

I truly believe that only God alone,
 in His infinite mercy and wisdom,
can save this great land that I love and call home.
May He continue to bless and protect America.

O Lord, when we, Thy children, are apprehensive about the
affairs of our world, remind us that Thou are in Thy world as well
as above and beyond it.  Remind us that Thou are not indifferent.
For Thou art not a spectator God, high and lifted up, serene
and unperturbed.  The feet that were wounded are still walking
the trails of the earth. The heart that was broken on the tree
still feels every human woe.

Thus shall we not feel forsaken, nor give way to hopelessness.
Thus we shall know that Thou hast a plan, and that Thy will shall one
day be done on earth, not alone by those who love Thee and know Thee
to be God, but by all, not in one nation or two, but in all the nations
of the earth.  Then shall every tongue confess that Christ is Lord,
and every knee shall bow before Thee.

Sustain us with that hope and encouragement, that our prayer be not
in vain when we pray, "Thy Kingdom come."  Come it will, however
dark may be the present prospects for peace on earth-in the darkness
of men's minds and the hardness of men's hearts.

We do pray that Thou, O Holy Spirit, where Thou dost find the
doors of human hearts still closed before Thee, wilt knock the louder
and wilt, in Thy own secret way, prevail upon the wills of men
that they may do the will of God-ere it be too late.

All these things we ask in the name above every name,
that name before all nations of the earth shall bow,
Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.

"In Time Of National Danger"
Reverend Peter Marshall Sr.
Scots-American pastor
Twice-elected Chaplain of the United States Senate

Thursday, January 24, 2019

On My Mind: The Battle Behind The Battle

"For we wrestle not only against flesh and blood,
but against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly sphere..."
Ephesians 6:12

 At the recent March For Life in Washington DC this past weekend, 
Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann was one of a group of students
confronted by a group calling themselves the "Black Hebrew Israelites" who were
shouting insults and obscenities at them because they were wearing red MAGA
or "Make America Great Again" hats which show their support for
President Donald Trump.

A Native American elder named Nathan Phillips then became involved in
 the situation, yet, instead of confronting the real troublemakers, the Black Israelites,
 he walked into the middle of the group of students and began to
bang his drum in the face of Nick Sandmann.  The young man
merely stood there with a perplexed smile, not really knowing what to do.
He was not blocking this man from moving on past him.

However, the above photograph went viral on the Internet along with
false stories claiming that the students from Covington Catholic surrounded
this so-called, "innocent elderly Indian veteran" and began mocking and
harassing him.   Edited videos posted on the Internet only fueled the
public outrage against these boys with people calling them "racists"
and other vile names as well as making death threats against them.
However, a longer, uncut video of this incident later surfaced which
proves that these boys were not only being targeted for their political beliefs
by the Black Israelites and subsequently, Mr. Phillips, but that they had done
 nothing wrong in the first place.  

Although many on both sides of the political spectrum and the media 
 who were quick to rush to judgment apologized for their actions,
the damage to these young men has already taken its toll.

Please keep these kids and their families and the Covington Catholic 
 community in your thoughts and prayers.

The Things That Matter

Standing on the shore with the waves of the Pacific 
rolling to my feet, I looked over the waters as far as my eyes
could reach until the gray of the ocean merged with the gray
of the horizon's rim.  One could not be distinguished from
the other. Where, within my vision, the waters stopped and the
skies began I could not tell, so softly they blended one into the other.
The waves rolled in regularly, beating a rhythm of time,
but the skies above them were unmeasured-
so vast and far-reaching that the mind of man
could not comprehend it.

Silver Sea
Henry Moore
British Artist

A symbol of time and eternity-time spaced by our counting into years,
breaking at our feet as the waves break on the shore; and eternity, 
unmeasurable as the skies above us-blending one into the other
at the farthest reach of our earthly vision.

As the New Year comes, seemingly with ever-increasing swiftness,
there is a feeling that life is too short to accomplish the things we must do.
But there is all eternity blending with the end of time for the things
that are really worthwhile.

We are so overwhelmed with things these days that our lives are all,
more or less, cluttered. I believe it is this, rather than a shortness of time,
that gives us that feeling of hurry and almost of helplessness.
Everyone is hurrying and usually just a little late.
Notice the faces of the people who rush past on the streets
or on our country roads! They nearly all have a strained, harassed look,
and anyone you meet will tell you there is no time for anything anymore.

Life is so complicated! The day of the woman whose only needed tool
was a hairpin is long since passed.  But we might learn something from her
and her methods even yet, for life would be pleasanter with some of the strain
removed-if it were no longer true, as someone has said, that
"things are in the saddle and rule mankind."

Here is a good New Year's resolution for us all to make:
To simplify our lives as much as possible, to overcome that feeling
of haste by remembering that there are just as many hours in the day as ever,
and that there is time enough for the things that matter if time is rightly used.

Then, having done the most we may here, when we reach the limit of time,
we will sail on over the horizon rim to new beauties and greater understanding.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

"The Things That Matter"
(January 1924)
Laura Ingalls Wilder
From the book,
"Little House In The Ozarks"
A Laura Ingalls Wilder Sampler
The Rediscovered Writings
Edited by Stephen W. Hines
Guideposts Edition