Friday, April 27, 2012



By Toby Harnden
Flight Plan:
Flight Plan: President Barack Obama disembarks from Marine One on the South Lawn. His use of official vehicles for fundraising trips has caused concern
President Barack Obama has already held more than twice as many re-election fundraising events than President George W. Bush did in his entire 2004 re-election campaign.
According to Mark Knoller of CBS News, unofficial keeper of presidential statistics, Obama has held 124 fundraisers - about one every three days - since he launched his re-election bid last April compared to the 57 Bush held to raise cash for his re-election bid eight years ago
Obama’s frenetic fundraising schedule had prompted the Republican National Committee (RNC) to lodge a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) about misuse of taxpayer money.
The Obama campaign dismissed the complaint as a ‘stunt’ and the White House said that it would follow the same rules as previous administrations and refund the appropriate amounts.
According to the Pentagon, the Boeing 747 that normally serves as Air Force One costs $179,750 an hour to operate.
In the complaint, Reince Priebus, RNC chairman, wrote: ‘Throughout his administration, but particularly in recent weeks, President Obama has been passing off campaign travel as 'official events,' thereby allowing taxpayers, rather than his campaign, to pay for his re-election efforts.'
John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives, today demanded that Barack Obama ‘pony up and reimburse the Treasury’ for what he said were are campaign trips to battleground states dressed up as presidential travel.
He accused the Obama campaign of manufacturing a phony fight about student loans and then using Air Force One to hold what amounted to re-election rallies in swing states.
‘Frankly, I think this is beneath the dignity of the White House … for the president to make a campaign issue about it and then travel to three battleground states,’ he said.
'This one does not pass the straight-face test. You know it, and I know it. It’s time for the Obama campaign to pony up and reimburse the Treasury.’
He added that ‘the president keeps trying to invent these kind of fake fights because he doesn’t have a record’ and ‘the emperor wears no clothes’.
Priebus said that the Obama campaign ‘has been cheating the American taxpayer by using taxpayer dollars to fund their general election efforts’ and had ‘held more campaign events in three-and-a-half  years than any other president did in their full term’.
'It’s time for the Obama campaign to pony up and reimburse the Treasury.’
John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives
He pointed to Obama's current trip to North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa, all key battleground states, to discuss extending lower interest rates on student loans as examples of this tax-payer funded campaign travel.
‘One might imagine that if this were genuinely a government event he might have stopped in a non-battleground state like Texas or Vermont,' his complaint said.
Priebus told reporters: ‘This President and Air Force One seem to have a magic magnet that only seem to land in battleground states in this country.’
He added that a trip to Florida a fortnight ago, when an official speech was added to a day’s programme of fundraising, was suspect. ‘This speech was high on class warfare, slogans, and divisive campaign style rhetoric. It was low on substance that would benefit the populace at large.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2135914/Michelle-Obamas-Spanish-vacation-cost-taxpayers-500-000.html#ixzz1tFjOcLW4

Bill empowers IRS to take your guns

by Joel McDurmon on Apr 27, 2012
Tom Tancredo
TomTancredo.com relates:
The collection agency for the Federal Reserve known as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is working with legislators to gain control over the rights of Americans. Without the right to due process, the IRS can simply claim a citizen owes $50,000 dollars or more to their illegal operation. This accusation alone will give their agency the right to revoke American’s travel rights and even remove the right to own a firearm.
With the help of Representatives like Barbara Boxer of California, a bill rapidly working through Capitol Hill (passed through the Senate and is currently up for review in the House) will give the IRS power to:
  • Accuse Americans of delinquency of tax payment without due process
  • Revoke their passports and travel rights
  • Place the accused in a centralize database
  • Authorize the removal of their right to own a firearm
No formal charges are required. Simply the accusation from the IRS is sufficed to strip American citizens of their Constitutional rights.
“There is no requirement that the tax payer be guilty of or even charged with tax evasion, fraud, or any criminal offense — only that the citizen is alleged to owe the IRS back taxes of $50,000 or more,”reports the Daily Economist.
In essence, these blacklisted citizens would be remotely labeled “domestic terrorists” and treated as such.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Reagan Actually Said

What Reagan Actually Said

'The War on Terror Is Over'

'The War on Terror Is Over'

Institute for Creation Research - Be Content April 24, 2012

Days of
Be Content
April 24, 2012
"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." (Philippians 4:11)
The English word "content" can bring up thoughts of indifference and mild temperament. Modern usage tends to give "content" a negative connotation, as though such an attitude has little ambition or drive.
Not so of the Greek term that the Holy Spirit chose for this passage. It is composed of the pronoun for "self" and the noun for "sufficiency." Both in Scripture and in secular Greek literature, the word demands an ability to conquer whatever circumstances that may oppose one's purpose or goal and to continue through in spite of difficulties.
The context of our text is a prime example. Paul had experienced hunger and satisfaction. He knew what it meant to be obscure and to be a celebrity. There were times when he had more than enough resources to accomplish what he understood God had called him to do, and other times when resources were very scarce. In whatever state he found himself, Paul had learned to be self-sufficient.
Our problem is that we often are looking only at the physical and circumstantial issues and have not learned that our Lord Jesus provides grace that "is sufficient for thee: for |His| strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). The resources of the omnipotent Godhead are enough for us to "be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).
The self-sufficiency of the twice-born rests on the eternal fact that God "worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). HMM III

Monday, April 23, 2012

Days Of Praise - Institute for Creation Research - The Godhead

Days of
The Godhead
April 23, 2012
"For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:9)
The term "Godhead" occurs three times in the King James translation. Each time it translates a slightly different Greek noun, all being slight modifications of the Greek word for "God" (theos, from which we derive such English words as "theology"). It essentially means the nature, or "structure," of God, as He has revealed Himself in His Word.
The first occurrence is in Acts 17:29: "We ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device." Men have been guilty throughout the ages of trying to "model" the Godhead, but this leads quickly to idolatry, whether that model is a graven image of wood or stone or a philosophical construct of the human mind.
What man cannot do, however, God has done, in the very structure of His creation. "The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead" (Romans 1:20). His tri-universe (space, matter, and time, with each component unique in definition and function, yet permeating and comprising the whole) perfectly "models" His triune nature (Father, Son, Holy Spirit--each distinct, yet each the whole).
This analogy can be carried much further, for this remarkable triunity pervades all reality. The tri-universe is not God (that would be pantheism), but it does clearly reflect and reveal the triune nature of His Godhead.
The last occurrence of the word is in our text. Although we cannot see the Godhead in its fullness, that fullness does dwell eternally in the Lord Jesus Christ. All that God is, is manifest in Him. "And ye are complete in him" (Colossians 2:10). HMM

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Obama is Betraying America! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Decline of American Monuments and Memorials

Michael J. Lewis Professor of Art Williams College

April 2012

The Decline of American Monuments and Memorials

MICHAEL J. LEWIS, the Faison-Pierson-Stoddard Professor of Art at Williams College, has taught American art and architecture at Williams since 1993. After receiving his B.A. from Haverford College in 1980 and two years at the University of Hannover in Germany, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. He has also taught at Bryn Mawr College, McGill University in Montreal, and the University of Natal in South Africa. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times,Commentary, and The New Criterion, and his books include The Gothic Revival andAmerican Art and Architecture.
The following is adapted from a lecture delivered on March 2, 2012, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C. Photos of the monuments mentioned in this lecture can be viewed at hillsdale.edu/lewis.
THIS HAS BEEN an extraordinary year for American monuments. The memorial at Ground Zero opened last September in New York. One month later came the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial here in Washington, and soon to come to Washington—or perhaps not—is the memorial to President Eisenhower, which is to be a collaboration between architect Frank Gehry and sculptor Charles Ray. Each of these has been the subject of furious controversy, especially those in Washington.

The King Memorial was criticized for engaging a sculptor from Communist China, who saw to it that Chinese rather than American granite was used for the structure—which accounts for its “Made in China” inscription. Even worse, the memorial managed to misquote the great man: Not only did he not say, “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness,” but his actual words were a hypothetical statement put in someone else’s mouth. Worse still is the demeanor and expression of the sculpture. King was above all an orator, and in photographs he is invariably open in stance, speaking, gesturing, demonstrating, with his energy directed outward. Yet in the monument he is depicted with arms folded, utterly detached. Instead of inspiring warmth, there is the infinite aloofness of an idol.
The proposed Eisenhower Monument has been criticized on opposite grounds. Instead of making its subject a 30-foot effigy, it turns him into a diminutive country boy. In an outdoor public space that is part formal civic plaza and part wooden urban park, columns in the background will support a wire mesh screen depicting images of the Kansas prairie of Eisenhower’s childhood. And at the center will be the sculpture of Eisenhower as a dreamy country boy “looking out onto his future achievements”—an unconventional depiction, given that there were millions of dreamy country boys and only one Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe in World War Two.
As different as the King and Eisenhower memorials are, the public’s dismay in each instance has the same cause: These aren’t the men we knew. It is not easy, of course, to make a succinct statement in sculptural form of the essence of a man’s life. It is something American art has always struggled with, especially in our chronic divided loyalty between realism and idealism. But this is the least of the problems with the Eisenhower and King memorials. They fail fundamentally as monuments, not because they misunderstand the nature of their subjects, but because they misunderstand what a monument is, or should be.
As traditionally understood, a monument is the expression of a single powerful idea in a single emphatic form, in colossal scale and in permanent materials, made to serve civic life. (Materials and size distinguish monuments from memorials, of which monuments are a subset.) But I suspect that if Frank Gehry were asked to define a monument, he would say something to the effect that a monument is not a thing but a process—an open-ended conversation in which various constituencies bring different interpretations to different forms. I have heard versions of this definition for decades. And it is simply not good enough.
* * *
The spontaneous roadside memorials that mark the site of fatal traffic accidents are a relatively new phenomenon. As physical objects they are ephemera, but as a mass cultural phenomenon they are quite extraordinary, and they testify to a deep human need for memorials. It is a new form of folk art, and it is extremely conventionalized in its expression. For one thing, its repertoire of forms and materials is very narrow: crosses, flowers, hand-painted signs, and heartbreakingly, in the case of a child, stuffed animals. There is very little else, and no striving for originality. Their creators look for widely understood symbols, and they yearn for resolution and closure; they certainly do not aspire to an open-ended process.
In a way, these anonymous roadside sculptors understand what many contemporary artists do not—that monuments, because they are public art forms, must be legible. And this requires a great degree of convention. Thus most traditional monuments are paraphrases of a few ancient types: the triumphal arch, the temple, the colossal column, and the obelisk. Since the 1930s, it has been fashionable to disparage this as architectural grave-robbing, and to argue that we should create our own forms. But these forms are timeless, not simply ancient. After all, the arch is nothing more than a space of passage, made monumental; an obelisk or column is the exclamation point raised above a sacred spot; and a temple is a tabernacle, the sacred tent raised over an altar. These ideas are permanent, and it is not surprising that the one successful work of contemporary public art, the Vietnam Memorial, took its form from one of the most ancient—the mural shrine, the wailing wall.
It is because of their ability to transcend time by connecting to primal human activities—passage, gathering, shelter—that the best monuments never look dated. John Russell Pope’s Jefferson Memorial does not make us think of 1940, but of Jefferson. It does this with its shape: To commemorate the author of the Declaration of Independence, Pope chose the most perfect of all forms—the sphere, a physical manifestation of the clarity of Jefferson’s mind. How different is the Lincoln Memorial, a foursquare citadel; here the theme is heroic fortitude—a cincture of closely spaced columns, huddled together about the windowless central shrine, expressing endurance. Different again is the monument to George Washington, a vehement founding gesture, a single bold mark against the sky. For this, the model was that greatest of architectural point-markers, the Egyptian obelisk.
Although Maya Lin’s Vietnam Memorial was roundly condemned for its radical innovations—the use of black granite rather than white marble, the stress on a void rather than a positive presence, the violent scar it seemed to make on the earth—it nonetheless presented the profoundly traditional image of a stone tablet inscribed with the names of the dead. Perhaps Lin’s most poetic gesture was how she solved the problem of how to list some 58,000 names. It was determined that they should appear in order of the date of death rather than alphabetically, but she did not simply start at one end in 1959 and continue on to 1975; instead she began and ended the timeline in the center, at the vertex, so that the name of the last to die would touch the name of the first. Here she gave the monument a point of resolution, the point where things begin and end, transforming the linear timeline into something cyclical and regenerative, thus making its central point a kind of altar.
Not long ago it was fashionable to sneer at these things. Frank Lloyd Wright found the Jefferson Memorial preposterous for its archaic expression. But true monumentality has little to do with style and everything to do with simplicity and grandeur of expression. Rodin, asked to define sculpture, supposedly said that it is what results when you roll a statue down the steps—that is, when everything extraneous breaks off. The word for a style of extremely laconic expression is “lapidary,” which comes from the Latin word lapis, or stone. This was the Roman term for the verbal compression necessary when one is carving an inscription in stone. And like the inscriptions they bear, the best of monuments are lapidary: They show a splendid economy of expression in saying one thing, and saying it monumentally.
A structure that offers a single great lesson is a monument; one that offers many facts and anecdotes is a school or museum. And when it offers too many, it becomes preachy, as happened with the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington. Designed by Lawrence Halprin, it provides a sequence of four outdoor rooms, representing FDR’s four terms. Each presents a visual tableau, lavishly outfitted with bronze statues, relief sculptures, and carved inscriptions. For example, the first term is dramatized with a vignette of a Depression-era breadline, and the
second with a vignette of an American listening to one of Roosevelt’s fireside chats. Throughout the memorial runs an insistent literalism, with nothing rendered abstractly or symbolically. It is a kind of cross-pollination of a diorama with a Madame Tussaud’s wax museum. Even FDR’s dog Fala is pantingly immortalized in bronze.
During the design process, anti-smoking groups succeeded in eliminating Roosevelt’s ubiquitous cigarette holder. Evidently Halprin and his collaborators did not recognize that Roosevelt’s cigarette holder was not the sign of a lamentable addiction, but the president’s most effective visual prop. He clenched it in his teeth with his jaw thrust forward so that it pointed upwards jauntily, to create an image of buoyant and unshakeable optimism. At the same time, pressure from activist groups for the disabled ensured that FDR would be depicted as wheelchair-bound and handicapped with polio—a fact he carefully suppressed in all public appearances. So the element he flaunted was eliminated, the element he concealed was stressed, and the rakish and jaunty cavalier was transformed into a differently-abled and rather prim non-smoker. I can’t help but think that Roosevelt himself was much more gifted in creating inspiring visual imagery than the makers of his monument.
Monuments and memorials today are discursive, sentimental, addicted to narrative literalism, and asking to be judged on good intentions rather than visual coherence. This change began, ironically, with a critique of the overwrought memorials of the Victorian era. In reaction, the first generation of modern architects decided that we needed an entirely different vocabulary of monuments. So when modernism went about dislodging the structures of traditional society, culture, religion, and the political and social order, it also began dispensing with the arches and columns that paid tribute to that order. This was not easy, however, because modernism was concerned with the future and monuments are retrospective.
One possibility for those rejecting traditional monuments was to eschew technology and turn to the earth itself. The movement known as Earth Art came of age in the late 1960s, and the Vietnam Memorial arose from it, shaping the earth through mounds and embankments. But as great as that memorial was, it was to have a strange effect on the building of subsequent monuments—and not at all the effect one might have expected. Because of the furious reception of Maya Lin’s design, now forgotten because of the memorial’s ultimate success, a figural sculpture was added at the last minute—the sculpture known as “Fighting Men” by the late Frederick Hart. It depicts a trio of combat infantrymen returning from patrol, grim, weary, and drenched to the skin. If your taste is for realistic figural sculpture, Hart’s are the best.
But then something curious happened. Hart made a point of depicting a black, a white, and a Hispanic, but not a female soldier. So shortly thereafter, plans were made for yet a third memorial, this time to honor the women who died in Vietnam. The sculptor, Glenna Goodacre, skillfully paraphrased the Pieta—the wounded soldier reposes like the dead Christ on the nurse’s lap, and in place of the billowing skirts of Michelangelo’s Madonna there is a pyramid of sandbags. But there is a problem in the math: Hart’s three soldiers represent some 58,000 dead men, while Goodacre’s three soldiers represent the seven women who died. We are approaching the point, that is, where we are not dealing in symbolism but literalism—a straight one-to-one representation. And this, regrettably, is the ultimate lesson of the Vietnam Memorial. While America’s most progressive artists openly mocked Hart’s “Fighting Men” for its backward-looking realism, when it came time to propose their own monuments, fashionable designers preferred easygoing literalism to the sublime abstraction of Maya Lin.
Consider the Korean War Veterans Memorial, authorized by Congress in 1988 and designed by Frank Gaylord. Here too the subject is a platoon on patrol, in this case 19 bronze soldiers trudging heavily uphill. It was originally intended to depict not 19 but 38 soldiers—the reference being to the 38th Parallel along which the war pivoted. In the end the number was halved, presumably for budget reasons, with the explanation that it would be doubled by the reflecting mirror: 19 x 2 = 38. Here is an utter misunderstanding of the means and ends of allegory. Normally, allegory uses interlocking symbols to comment on the things we care about—truth, honor, sacrifice. Here it is inverted: Something that really matters, human lives, are being used to represent an accident of military geography, the 38th Parallel.
Why is it that the language of allegory, once generally understood by our culture as a whole, has been banished from our nation’s sacred sites so completely that one needs to spot naïve roadside memorials to find unambiguous statements of grief and love? I believe it has to do with the conviction that became widespread in the 1960s, that we do not need formal conventions, but rather authenticity and sincerity—that we do not need etiquette, but rather honesty. The mantra of that era, “Tell it like it is,” encouraged us to speak from the heart, to improvise. And if the improvisation faltered, as improvisations often do, then stumbling inarticulateness could be taken as a badge of sincerity.
The problem, as Emily Post knows, is that there are situations too serious to trust to improvisation. There are moments when a convention is required and cannot be improved on: the polite inquiry, “How are you?”, the statement of congratulation, “I wish you the best,” the statement of condolence, “I am sorry for your loss.” These are not trite platitudes, but social obligations that are ritual actions. Social interaction requires social conventions. People who do not use conventional sayings, such as “I am sorry for your loss,” run the danger of saying something inappropriate: “Well, at least he’s out of his misery,” or “My uncle had the same form of tumor,” or “Bummer.” If you trust to your own originality, all you can be sure of is that whatever inappropriate notion is bobbing along at the surface of your unconscious will be blurted out.
As it is with social etiquette, so it is with memorials. An artist who sweeps away the traditional conventions for dealing with the great truths of life, death, and sacrifice, can only shuffle about in the cupboard of his own store of mental images. Such was the fate of Eric Fischl, the first artist who tried to make monumental art out of 9/11—a colossal bronze that he called “Falling Woman.” On 9/11, the most agonizing images were those of the trapped workers in the towers, their backs to the inferno, who leapt to their deaths. But unlike the Vietnam Memorial—which succeeds because it says, in the simplest terms possible, “I am sorry for your loss”—“Falling Woman” trusted to improvisation. Rather than “I am sorry for your loss,” it says, “I cannot get this out of my mind.” Ultimately it is not public art at all, but private indulgence.
In the end, the Ground Zero Memorial was not as bad as that but not as good as it should have been. The key decision was to maintain the footprints of the vanished towers, which means that its dominant gesture is the collapse of the buildings and not the lives within. If it has something of the laconic restraint of the Vietnam Memorial, this is to be expected, as Maya Lin played a prominent role on the jury. An urban version of her landscape memorial, it has the same sense of void and absence, the same minimalism and austerity. In one respect, though, it fails to achieve the spatial resolution of the Vietnam Memorial. At the latter the names are in order of death, and have a kind of implacable sad rhythm. Obviously this could not be done at Ground Zero, so the names there are placed according to a random computer-generated sequence. Let me propose a rule—in a real monument, there must be nothing random or computer-generated.
* * *
Returning to the monuments that have been so controversial in Washington recently, the Eisenhower project is scarcely a memorial, let alone a monument. Its principal object, the sculpture of Eisenhower as a farm boy, is far smaller than the colossal backdrops that surround him. It will be these images, abstract depictions of the Kansas countryside and photographic images of Eisenhower’s life, which provide the dominant visual note. Lost and adrift somewhere in this theme park of billboards and fragmented colonnades is Eisenhower himself, diminished and bewildered. To ask one obvious question: What does this have to say about the guiding spirit of D-Day? Clearly Gehry was ill at ease with the martial subject matter, which is why his central image shows Eisenhower “looking out over his future achievements” and doesn’t spell out to future generations of Americans what those achievements were.
As for the King Memorial, the most common charge is that it recalls the despotic sculpture of Leninist-Maoist regimes, with their avuncular but stern “dear leaders.” The sculptor has spent his entire life in such a culture, and it is to be expected that his design would be accused of being a surrogate Chairman Mao image. And to be sure, there is something imperious and implacable about the face of King, a kind of lithic ruthlessness. It certainly seems fiercer than that of our other national martyr to civil rights, Abraham Lincoln. But I would propose that the difference is not so much between American and Chinese character and ideas, although those are at play, but between granite and marble. King is carved out of the former, a dense stone with a crystalline structure that is carved with the greatest of difficulty, forcing a language of sharp lines, flat planes, and generalized roundness. The marble from which Lincoln is carved is far more supple, permitting softer modeling. When one looks at King, with double lines delineating eyes, lips, and nose, one realizes this is the most primal sculptural language of all, that of ancient Egypt.
But there is a far greater problem with the King Memorial. Its overall conception was inspired by a line from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which promises that together we will build “out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” So we see depicted a Mountain of Despair and a Stone of Hope. The whole ensemble is a kind of visual diagram of King’s metaphor, with the Stone of Hope moved forward as neatly as a pawn advancing on a chessboard. In other words, just as the Korean War Veterans Memorial reduced its human figures to symbols of the 38th Parallel, here King is reduced to an illustration of his wordplay. A figure of speech is beautiful because it calls to mind a mental picture; but to build a scale model of a word picture is to do it violence, and to render laughable in reality what is beautiful in the imagination.
The King Memorial runs perilously close to being not a monument at all, but a book illustration—the visual diagram of ideas generated elsewhere. But it is a good index of where we stand today when it comes to the building of monuments. Allegory requires an imaginative act, and is literary, whereas our culture is uncomfortable with figurative language. This began around 1977, the moment the language censors began to attack phrases like “Man does not live on bread alone,” asking “What about women?” A painful literalism set in, which is hostile to figurative language in speech and to abstract allegory in art. Nowadays we tend to think literally rather than literarily, which explains why Frederick Hart had to portray the American military experience in Vietnam by means of three men of three distinct races—and why a women’s memorial was subsequently added. The fear of leaving someone or something out is hostile to the allegorical impulse, which seeks not to itemize but to generalize, and to speak not specific truths but great truths. It is not surprising that a culture ill at ease with the notion of absolute truth would find it very difficult to make monuments that show urgency and conviction.
What can we do about this? First, we can recognize that it is possible to make a convincing monument with the means of modern architecture. Eero Saarinen showed that it could be done with his Gateway Arch at St. Louis: an exquisite portal that opens to the west, it is our version of a Roman triumphal arch. It is abstract, but its visual logic is direct and persuasive, showing that modern materials and forms are not incapable of suggesting timeless ideas. Second, we can recognize that it is not too late. Just because a world-famous architect has submitted a design does not oblige us to build it. Third, we can remember that greatness is possible. For more than a century and a half, we built monuments with spectacular success. We have only been building them badly for a generation. I look at these recent designs, which are perhaps an honest reflection of our divided and uncertain culture, and can’t help but think we can do better once more.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

MEN OF THE BIBLE - Matthew from Bible Gateway

Matthew [Măt'thew]—gift of jehovah.

The Man Who Left All to Follow Christ

This son of Alphaeus was a Hebrew with two names, a common thing in Galilee at that time. Mark and Luke, when recording Matthew’s call to discipleship, speak of him as Levi, but Matthew himself uses the name he has been loved by throughout the Christian era. In his despised occupation he was Levi, a name meaning “joined,” and joined he was to the world’s crooked extortionate ways and mercenary aims. He was also joined by his vocation to a hated foreign power under whose yoke orthodox Jews chafed.
Thus Levi and his craft were so detested that the very namepublican or tax-gatherer was commonly associated with sinner(Luke 15:1 ). His original name connected him with the tribe of Levi, the priestly house set aside for sanctuary service. But this Levi degraded his holy name. Whether the Lord changed the name to Matthew when He called Levi or whether the new found disciple chose it himself, we do not know. Meaning “the gift of God,” Matthew’s new name magnified the transforming power of Christ and indicated that Matthew was like the One who called him, a gift to Israel and to the world.
The call to service came when he was sitting at the receipt of custom ( Matt. 9:9Luke 5:27) at Capernaum, the first world center, “the Great West Trunk Road from Damascus and the Far East to the Mediterranean Sea.” Matthew was a “publican,” which is not to be confused with the modern usage of the term as an English innkeeper. “Publican” is from the Latin wordpublicannus , meaning the collector of Roman taxes, the gathering of which was farmed out to minor officials ready to undertake this odious duty among their countrymen. A publican’s reward was that he could extort for his own benefit more than was due, so long as the extortion did not lead to revolt. This was why the publicans, as a class, were spoken of as “leeches.” They gorged themselves with money in the process of gathering money for the Caesars and consequently were reckoned to be outside the pale of decent society and of the synagogue.
“Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter’s Son, knew Matthew the publican quite well,” says Alexander Whyte. “Perhaps only too well. Jesus and His mother had by this time migrated from Nazareth to Capernaum. He had often been in Matthew’s toll-booth with His mother’s taxes, with other poor people’s taxes.” But the outcast was called by Christ to a better occupation, to better wealth than silver and gold, to serve a better King than Caesar. Without hesitation Matthew left all, arose and followed Christ (Luke 5:28).
To celebrate his surrender to Christ, Matthew entertained Christ and others to a feast in his own house (Matt. 9:10Luke 5:29). This feast was a token of gratitude for his emancipation from a sordid occupation, and revealed a missionary spirit. Such an “At Home” served a threefold purpose:
I. It was a Jubilee Feast to commemorate his translation into a new life. Matthew wanted all and sundry to know that he was now a new creature in Christ Jesus.
II. It was a Farewell Dinner to declare his determination henceforth to follow and serve his new found King. It was his public confession of surrender to the call of Christ.
III. It was a Conversazione to introduce his old associates and friends to his new found Saviour, that they too might have an opportunity of hearing His wonderful words of life. Matthew sought to make a dinner party an evangelistic service. He knew many would come to his house to meet Christ who would not go to the synagogue to hear Him. Doubtless many publicans and sinners learned that day that Christ did not despise them.
Matthew became not only an apostle but also the writer of the first gospel. He left behind an undying image of his Lord. Matthew has given us The Galilean Gospel -unique in every way. When he rose and left all to follow Christ, the only things Matthew took out of his old life were his pen and ink. It is well for us that he did, since he took them with him for such a good purpose.
Matthew’s gospel is striking in that it alone gives us the Parables of the Kingdom. The theme of his book, known as “the Hebrew Porch of the New Testament” is The King and His Kingdom. Some fifty-six times he uses the word “kingdom.” In his record of the life and labors of Christ, Matthew has given us the image of Christ as it fell upon his own heart.
Trained to systematic methods and well acquainted with Jewish character and religion, Matthew was fitted to commend Christ to the Jews. He appeals to the student of Old Testament literature. As a writer, he is before us as an eyewitness of the events he describes and as earwitness of the discourses he records. As to his qualifications, Matthew had a love of truth and was sensible of the mercy of God, and the misery of man. In self-effacing humility, he loses sight of himself in adoration of his Hero. It is thus that his book can be divided in this three-fold way:
The early days of the Messiah ( Matt. 1-4:16).
The signs and works of the Messiah (Matt. 4:17-16:20).
The passion of the Messiah (Matt. 16:21-28:20).

Blessed Assurance by The Institute for Creation Research April 17, 2012

Days of Praise
Blessed Assurance
April 17, 2012
"And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever." (Isaiah 32:17)
As expressed in the old gospel hymn, the "blessed assurance, Jesus is mine" is a "foretaste of glory divine." According to our text, this "assurance for ever," together with true peace of soul and quietness of spirit, are products of the "work of righteousness."
The New Testament exposition of genuine righteousness makes it clear that we who have received Christ's work of righteousness by faith have been "made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). "To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Romans 4:5).
Thus, salvation is the priceless possession of those to whom Christ's work of righteousness has been imputed, through faith. On the other hand, the assurance of salvation, accompanied by quietness and peace of heart, is "experienced" only by saved believers who practice the work of righteousness in their daily walk with the Lord. If we truly have salvation, then we ought to manifest the "things that accompany salvation. . . . For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name. . . . And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end" (Hebrews 6:9-11).
We can, indeed, know that we are saved simply through faith in His work and His Word (e.g., 1 John 5:13). Nevertheless, to know that one's faith itself is genuine, God has given us this test of faith. "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments" (1 John 2:3).
This is surely blessed assurance of salvation and a foretaste of glory divine! HMM

Monday, April 16, 2012

Excuse Me Sir, You Can Only Speak Freely Elsewhere, Not Here - Godfather Politics

Excuse Me Sir, You Can Only Speak Freely Elsewhere, Not Here - Godfather Politics

Alabama Defendant's Saggy Pants Get Him Jailed On Contempt Of Court Charge | The Smoking Gun

Alabama Defendant's Saggy Pants Get Him Jailed On Contempt Of Court Charge | The Smoking Gun

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hints of Redemption

Days of Praise
Hints of Redemption
April 15, 2012
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:15)
When Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden, God pronounced the dreadful curse on all of His creation, from mankind to the animal and plant kingdoms and even the earth itself (Genesis 3:14-19). From that point on, everything began to die, but at the same time God predicted the coming Redeemer who would set things right.
There are several hints of the coming Redeemer in these early chapters of Genesis. Dr. A. T. Pierson, a Bible scholar of the late 1800s and early 1900s, mentioned an unnamed Hebrew scholar, a Jewish rabbi, who held that the names of the 10 pre-Flood patriarchs (Adam to Noah) formed a redemptive sentence when read together. Keep in mind that certain meanings of some of these names are lost in antiquity, but the exercise is interesting, if not definitive. According to the rabbi, Adam means mankind; Seth is appointed; Enos, mortality; Cainan, wailing for the dead; Mahalaleel, God be praised; Jared, He shall descend; Enoch, a mortal man; Methuselah, dismissing death; Lamech, the weary; Noah, rest. Stringing the translations together yields the following sentence: "Mankind is appointed |to| mortality, wailing for the dead. God be praised. He shall descend, a mortal man, dismissing death, |bringing to| the weary, rest."
Modern scholars prefer Enoch as dedicated man, Methuselah as when he dies, judgment, Lamech (uncertainly) as conqueror, and Cainan (very uncertainly) as humiliation. Our sentence now reads "Mankind is appointed |to| mortality, |bringing| humiliation. God be praised. He shall descend, a dedicated man. When He dies |as| judgment, |He will| conquer, |bringing| rest." JDM

Sunday, April 8, 2012



O Prince of Peace, we humbly ask Your protection for all our men
and women in military service. Give them unflinching courage to
defend with honor, dignity and devotion the rights of all who are
imperiled by injustice and evil. Guard our churches, our homes,
our schools, our hospitals, our factories, our buildings, and all
those within from harm and peril. Protect our land and its people
from enemies within and without. Grant an early peace with victory
founded upon justice. Instill in the hearts and minds of me and
women everywhere a firm purpose to live forever in peace and
good will towards all. Amen.

Today is Easter Sunday, a day to celebrate rebirth and purity. As families across the Nation will be coming together, so many tables will have an empty chair, as they will be missing a father, mother, son or daughter, some family member who is serving overseas. So many of our troops are serving in Afghanistan right now, and they'll be missing their families and loved ones today. They're sacrificing today so that we can  all have a better tomorrow, in a safe and free country that we all love so much. 

This Easter, please think about our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Guardsmen. Pray for them. Do everything you can to help them get through this difficult mission before them.

Easter Care Packages are still available and will be mailed out ASAP after your order is placed. It's not too late to send a message of gratitude and support to our troops who are serving for our sake. 

Thank You For Supporting our Brave Troops,
From All of Us at Move America Forward 501(c)(3)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Days Of Praise - Institute for Creation Research - The Spirit and the Word

Days of Praise
The Spirit and the Word
April 7, 2012
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (Romans 8:9)
As we see in our text, the Holy Spirit indwells every one who is a true believer, a child of God. Each believer is born again through "the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21), for "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).
But the role of the Spirit of God and the Word of God in our salvation only begins the Christian's relationship to them, for we are enjoined to "be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18) in the same sense that a drunkard is filled with and controlled by wine, and to "let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom" (Colossians 3:16). These two entities equip us to be effective representatives of Him here on earth.
Note, however, that in both of these passages the immediate results of such controlling input are the same. "Speaking to yourselves in psalms |primarily the Old Testament psalms| and hymns |songs of praise directed to God| and spiritual songs |a generic word for song, but here 'spiritual' songs|, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19), and "teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16). A Spirit-filled Christian, knowledgeable in the Word, just can't quit singing!
Nor can he stop "giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:20; see also Colossians 3:17).
May we always manifest the work of the Spirit and the knowledge of the Word by our thankful hearts and the songs on our lips. JDM
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Friday, April 6, 2012

WOMEN OF THE BIBLE - Mary, Mother of John Mark from Bible Gateway

Mary, Mother of John Mark

Among the Marys mentioned in the New Testament, Mary, the mother of Mark who wrote the second gospel, is spoken of but once (Acts 12:12—read 12:1-19), yet this brief description of her is suggestive of her life and labors. She was probably the aunt or sister of Barnabas, the one-time companion of Paul (Colossians 4:10 ), and such a relationship accounts for Barnabas' choice of Mark as his companion—a selection over which Paul and Barnabas parted. Further, being related to Mary would account for the leadership among the saints gathering in her spacious home. Evidently the family belonged to Cyprus, hence the choice of such by Barnabas as the first station in his journeyings (Acts 4:3613:4). Sir William Ramsay holds that the narrative of Mary in the Acts was by Mark, which would account for the details of his mother’s large house becoming a well-known center of Christian life and worship. There is a legend to the effect that this same house was the scene of a still more sacred gathering when, in its upper room, Jesus observed the Lord’s Supper on the night of His betrayal.

It was to Mary’s home that Peter found his way after his miraculous escape, for he knew that a company of believers had gathered there to pray for his release. Peter had a peculiar affection for the godly home. He called Mark, “his son” (1 Peter 5:13 ) &--;a spiritual son, having led him to yield his life to the Saviour. The way in which the saints met in Mary’s home bespeaks her tried steadfastness and the bond of intimacy that existed between them. That Rhoda was one of the maids indicates that the household was considerably large, implying that Mary was a widow with means to maintain such a commodious home. As Barnabas her relative gave up his land for Christ, Mary gave up her Jerusalem home to be used as an infant church.

Mary was a woman of sterling qualities and was loyal to her Christian ideals. At that time Christians were a persecuted sect, yet she faced the consequences of yielding up her home as a center of spiritual power and influence, and was self-sacrificing in time, effort and money to serve the Lord. It has been suggested that young Rhoda who went to open the door for Peter was hesitant thinking perhaps it was the soldiers of Herod who had come to arrest some of the homeless Christian friends whose benefactress and patron Mary had become.

As for Mark the evangelist, her son, he was deeply attached to his mother which was probably one reason why he returned to Jerusalem from Perga ( Acts 13:13). He wanted to be nearer the one who had meant so much in his life. Doubtless he derived something of Mary’s straightforward and decided character so prominent in the gospel he wrote portraying Jesus as the lowly servant of God.