Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pro-Terror Group to Meet in Chicago Suburb

More good news out of Illinois. Apparently they feel comfortable enough to operate in the open now...

Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international movement seeking to re-establish an international Islamic state - or Caliphate - and to indoctrinate Muslims into supporting jihad, wants to step up its recruitment efforts in the United States. On July 19, the group, whose alumni include 9/ 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and suicide bombers, will hold a conference entitled "The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam" in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in Oak Lawn, Ill, a Chicago suburb. (more)

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

In The News Today

A bit of what's going on and what's being talked about...

Ezra Klein, at American Spectator, citing a Senate source, offers "an insider's look" at the options the Senate Finance committee is considering to pay for health care.

And the folks at Heritage tell us why the VAT should not be considered as one of the options.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg snoozed during oral arguments today over political redistricting in Texas, as caught by the fine folks at Creative Minority Report.

Have you ever wondered why the Obama Administration is still talking/blaming Bush? Well, I'm beginning to believe that the reason in large part, is because, there is no difference...
For example, Obama runs on the theme of change and yet one (trillion) ups Bush in spending. Stimulus - Bush-1 Obama 1 (so far) Iraq? Obama keeps the Bush timetable the uses the surge technique in Afghnistan. Gitmo? an exchange with Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and Defense Department General Counsel Johnson it would appear that all the talk of "due process" for terrorists may be just that- talk.

"...So the Obama administration is all for due process, as long as it produces the correct result. Obama already has said that Guantanamo detainees who cannot be successfully tried by military commissions or civilian courts can still be imprisoned indefinitely if they are considered too dangerous to release. Now Johnson is saying that even those who are prosecuted can be kept imprisoned regardless of the verdict. The only point of prosecuting them, it seems, is to create an impression of due process while continuing the Bush detention policies that Obama condemned during the campaign. (Reason)

The most disgusting and tragic news of the day has to be this story on "Abortion Partys" over at LifeSite.

Continuing, matters of conscience are fast eroding away as a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that Washington pharmacists will likely have to obey a 2007 regulation forcing them to distribute the abortifacient morning-after pill. We'll have to watch and see if the case goes further and what its results might be.

Last but not least, Lifesite reports that the owner of one of Canada's largest and most lavish spas, has launched a human rights complaint against the Bishop of Peterborough Ontario for refusing him permission to continue to serve as an altar server.

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

Want to know who made such a statement? Go over to Bedlam or Parnassus and find out.

Euripides has posted another Steven Crowder video- always good for a laugh - on the deadly subject of what's wrong with nationalized healthcare..

Warning against a third stimulus here.

And a warning from our Islamo-fascist friends here in a disturbing video posted on YouTube

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Woman Healed- Some Thoughts on Mark5:24-34

My devotional reading last week included these verses from the fifth chapter of Mark and for better or worse or indifferent (probably the latter two) I thought I would share some of my thoughts.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." 29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
31"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "
32But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."

"If I just touch his clothes" the woman says. She needs no signs, no proof, no actual presence, she need only touch his clothes. What faith. She did not need the God/Man himself but only the accouterments, the trappings if you will, such was the strength of her faith that God was indeed present in this place and time; her place and time.

Would that we had such faith in "the robes of God". In its most obvious forms the robes of God are the Church and her sacraments and ministers of the Gospel. Father Gabriel Amorth, former Chief Exorcist of Rome, lists in his book, An Exorcist Tells His Story, seven main ways that the devil can harm humans: temptation, pain, possession, oppression, obsession, infestation and subjugation. When avoidance of sin fails the remedy he recommends are "the robes of God" i.e. repentance and confession. Also highly recommended: prayer, the sacraments, living according to the Gospel, and refusing to bear grudges. God has given us the Church as the primary instrument of His salvation till he returns. Would that we had the faith to trust it to heal us.

I often hear it said that we are the hands and feet of Christ. While I appreciate the sentiment behind the saying, I find it on the whole, rather distasteful, for it seems to render Christ impotent without our assistance. God will have His way with us with or without our assistance. Part of the Good News is that He seeks us out to be part of His healing and creative presence in the world. Conduits, if you will, of His mercy and grace. In this respect then, WE are the robes of God, instruments of the Great Physician to assist in healing the world around us.

Finally, as I read that Jesus was searching through the crowd and asking "Who touched me," and I watch as the woman, trembling in fear, comes and falls at his feet and tells him everything, I am reminded of another story:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." (Genesis 3:8-10)

This woman did not hide and told Jesus EVERYTHING. Presumably more than just her physical ailments, she did not hold back and told him everything. God seeks our friendship as well as our worship and adoration. He seeks to know us and be known by us and he hopes that we should agree to such an invitation out of the desire of our hearts and love for Him, hiding nothing of ourselves.

Take a Break

Now I actually like the movie, "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." The only one of the spaghetti westerns I do like. I don't know why, I just do. But I really like the soundtrack.
Thanks to Chewy, I now know how they did it:

Humor Break

For those of you you are cat lovers or (if you wait long enough) for those who are not cat lovers or for anyone who has ever had any trouble with a printer...

Prayer of Adoration-Prayer Study Part 8

Continuing our study of Richard Foster's book on prayer. Previous notes can be found here.

Moving Upward

All prayer will contain elements of adoration
• “In the prayer of adoration we love God for himself, for his very being, for his radiant joy.” Douglas Steere
• We begin by blessing and enter the silence of awe and adoration


• Thanksgiving—glorify God because of what God has done for us
• Praise—glorify God because of who God is
• An artificial distinction since strains of both elements will be present

God Receives Our Adoration

• “God thirsts to be thirsted after.” St. Augustine
• “Our God is not made of stone. His heart is the most sensitive and tender of all. No act goes unnoticed, no matter how insignificant or small.”

• Inattention—we simply miss God’s presence in the midst of our lives
• Wrong kind of attention—we analyze instead of praise or we are not interruptible
• Greed—in the presence of God’s gracious gifts we ask for more
• Conceit—we focus on our ability to see God in ways that others cannot

What it Takes

• Requires instruction just as children must be taught to say thank you
• Begins in ordinary life by attending to the small blessings of God
• “To experience the tiny theophany is itself to adore.” C. S. Lewis
• Find our “grateful center” (from Sue Monk Kidd)
• Practice gratitude for the blessings we receive each day
• Practice magnifying God; making God larger
• Use the Psalms as a guide to praise
• Use music
• Celebrate the work of God like Miriam at the shore of the Red Sea

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

News Round-Up

I have neglected posting lately and for the 1 or 2 folks who come by here (or used to) to see some news I apologize and offer this meager attempt at assuaging your disappointment.

Al Gore today compared the battle against climate change with the struggle against the Nazis - really,
while temps plummet in D.C after passage of the climate bill.

and the WashingtonTimes weighs in with this:

...The congressional cap-and-trade shtick would be tired even if weren't the familiar boondoggle of tax increases, big-government micro-regulation, and pork-a-palooza payoffs to preferred clients of the Democratic Party.
Granted that carbon credits already were a dubious racket equivalent to the sale of "indulgences" in medieval Europe, the decision by congressional power brokers to give away credits to well-connected Democratic Party interests surely represents the environmental movement's formal jumping of the endangered great white shark....

Meanwhile, Obama advisers are saying if the first stimulus didn't work then we need a second one. I mean its only money, right?

In China they're having trouble with the Uighurs
(btw- here's a nice synopsis:
Uighurs are ethnically Turkic Muslims
They make up about 45% of the region's population. 40% are Han Chinese
China re-established control in 1949 after crushing short-lived state of East Turkestan
Since then, large-scale immigration of Han Chinese
Uighurs fear erosion of traditional culture
Sporadic violence since 1991
Attack on 4 Aug 2008 near Kashgar kills 16 Chinese policemen)

and Iran is having trouble getting all its clerics on the same page regarding the election.

In Afghanistan, a former Gitmo inmate captured in 2001 and released in 2007 is leading the fight against US forces.

Ever wonder what it must cost the Obama Administration to control the media? Well, Accuracy in Media has some interesting numbers.

And apparently we are one step closer to a thinking cap. Now if we can just get congress to wear them.

Back and So Forth on the 4th

I spent the week-end in San Angelo visiting my mom and brother and his family. It has become a bit of a tradition over the last few years prompted by my wife's yearly mission travels to Haiti which, in recent years, has taken her away over the 4th of July.

The boys and I began a few years ago, buying fireworks and trundling out west of San Angelo where my mom lives in the country and having our own private fireworks show. The following night we have taken to going out to the local minor league baseball stadium and watching a somewhat larger show. The great thing is, that the crowds are small as the really big show is done out at the lake, a trek and an experience I have chosen to avoid in my older, less patient years.

This year, my wife was in town and so we all made the trip together. I found that my wife was somewhat fond of fireworks and rather enjoyed getting rid of the "leftovers" of years past prior to my oldest son and I lighting the larger "ooh and ahh" mortar type fireworks. This was his first year to light most of them himself. One more in a long line of coming of age experiences.

During the course of the visit my wife took on the "project" of cleaning out my mother's pantry. About 4 ft wide and 6 high and about half as deep it has been the recipient of many baking supplies, jellies and spices that my mother was unable to use due to various ailments, among which can be listed a pack-rat syndrome that she faithfully handed down to me from her own mother. This illness is usually found in garages and closets and desks and the like but has been known to spread to pantry and refrigerator as well. The disease has been the cause of many a family horror story particularly as my grandmother aged and eyesight and sense of smell waned, like the one my mother re-told as we started our journey through the pantry of finding an unidentified object in my grandmother's fridge.
"What was the black thing in the plastic container, she asked?
To which the reply was given, "Oh, its meat."
But upon further inspection the "meat" was found to be carrots of some unknown age and state.

"At least I'm not as bad as that," she said as we fought our way to the first shelf of the pantry.
"we'll see," I said. And indeed we did.

We removed 5 large garbage bags of jars, cans, rice, flours, brown sugars and the like from this food time capsule disguised as a pantry. All with expired dates years out. The oldest find in this archeology site was a can of clams from 1991.

In the midst of this dig, my mother tripped on the edge of one of the bags and fell on her knees. Parchment paper skin and brittle body, bled and swelled and ached. She did not go to the fireworks display with us in town. She had fallen the night before we came and hit her head on a table. Her legs and arms have many marks from this or that, many from limbs that scratch as she mowes (riding lawnmower) the acre property that her one room bedsitter of a house nestles on next to the creek.

"There are many lives stuffed into this one," I remarked to my wife as we drove down the lane toward my mom's house. "Before the divorce, after the divorce, when my dad re-married, when my mom re-married, when they bought this place in the country as a second house and finally when my step-dad died and my mother moved out here for good." A thousand memories and many forgotten or buried. All a life story on their own and all jammed into the one life that is me.

Through all of this mom has been a constant, if at times a bit off the wall and smothering, at least she was consistent in her idiosyncrasies.

But this trip I saw the next chapter. I saw her unsteadiness and her sadness as she threw out the baking materials that she had not used for quite some time. She still loves to cook, mind you, but it hurts now to stand in the kitchen for any length of time. I saw her embarrassment as she threw out things bought with memories of husband and family close by made excess by her life of living alone.

I do not know how many years are left. It may be one or twenty or something in between but a page has turned and the book must be steadied on my arm.