Archive for May, 2010

The Tomb of the Unknown

May 31, 2010

Today we commemorate Memorial Day in the United States. 

The most prominent of these services is held at Arlington National Cemetary at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

History tells us the first Memorial Services were held in honor of the Union Soldiers of the Civil War who died in battle. 

As time went on, honors were extended to Soldiers of both the North and the South.  Today we recognize all soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the betterment of our country and for freedom.

As American Catholics/Christians there remains one more great battle.  In this battle there are millions of unknown, unnamed soldiers.  This is the battle against abortion on demand.  These millions of little soldiers, though unnamed by their parents, are still named and formed by the hands of a loving God.

The highest, supposedly wisest, court in our land made abortion legal.

Let us pray that the death of these young soldiers will inspire us as much as the death of the American Soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield. 

Like it or not, God also has a plan for the “wise.”

 24The Lord reclaimed you.
      He formed you in the womb. 

  This is what the Lord says:

   I, the Lord, made everything.
   I stretched out the heavens by myself.
   I spread out the earth all alone.
 25I cause the signs of false prophets to fail
      and make fools of fortune tellers.
   I make wise men retreat
      and turn their knowledge into foolishness.

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Party Crashing

May 30, 2010

Last night as my son and new daughter-in-law’s wedding reception began to wind into its final hour we realized that the bride and groom had snuck off without saying goodbye to their guests.

No one knew where they were heading as they wanted to be guaranteed privacy on their first night as a married couple.

I remember my wife and I had the same feeling at our wedding twenty-five years ago.  We could hardly wait to escape the responsibilities of planning and preparing and our honeymoon was as much about getting rest as it was about discovering one another.

In many ways the birth of this great country was like a wedding feast.  People from all walks of life came together to fight for a new life, a new vision for the future and a new family.  It required a great deal of planning and sacrifice and when it was all over we had escaped tyranny from abroad.

Let us always remember that great things we do require sacrifice and effort otherwise all countries would be the same and our borders would have heavy traffic in both directions.

The rush to enter America by illegal aliens is not surprising but at the same time hardly permissable. 

Just as in John Chapter 2, even Jesus and His disciples needed an invitation to the wedding feast of Cana. 

Party-crashers have never been famous for performing miracles.

The Good Son

May 29, 2010

Today my son and his new bride will take their marriage vows. 

People, even those I barely know, always seem so genuinely happy when they hear of this blessed event.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus and his Disciples attended a wedding feast. 

 1On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4“Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come.”

 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

There has been 2,000 years of debate over why Jesus was a bit reluctant to perform His first miracle. 

One possible reason is because the wedding itself was already a miracle.  Much like birth and the joy people feel when there is a new baby born, the celebration at a wedding parallels that new birth, with the manifestation of two souls becoming one new soul in Christ.

Just like everyone else at a wedding, Jesus was probably having a great time.  As is tradition in most middle eastern families he was very likely dancing the Debke or the Hava Nagila.  

Like most men, he probably needed a bit of training on just how the steps are done.  Usually after about a half hour or so of stomping around the dance floor most of us feel like experts at this type of line dancing. 

Perhaps Mary interrupted Jesus before he was able to perfect His dance steps.  Whatever it was, Jesus was the good son and turned the water into wine preserving the reputation of the bride and groom’s families.

We too must always be the good sons and daughters of liberty if we wish to preserve our great American traditions and independent culture. 

There are times where we may need to make sacrifices and with our selfless contributions to our cause we too will have something to dance about.

 

Catholic Matches

May 28, 2010

Last night our entire family traveled to Cleveland to meet our son’s fiance’s entire family for the first time. 

We have two other young adult children and they have three others. 

God has truly blessed our family, especially our son, as he appears to be preparing to join a family that shares our core beliefs about morality and the holiness of God Almighty.

Raising children has always been a challenge.  Their happiness has continually been a number one priority for Natalie and I.  Seeing the joy in our son’s face these past few months of his engagement has warmed our hearts.

When family values are in line with one another it makes wedding plans so much easier to accept.  We know our son is not joining a family that believes Government must have more control.  

His new in-laws are independent, morally sound and true savers, not excessive spenders.  They believe in the work ethic and also are profoundly generous.  Their daughter shares their moral convictions.

These are the core values that make America great. 

Thank you Lord for Catholicmatch.com, where they met one another.  Technology in this case especially, has lined up two people who weren’t afraid to identify themselves as conservatives in their profile.  Their marriage, God willing, will soon bring more people like them into the world. 

We need that.

Amen!

God & The Professor

May 27, 2010

Matthew Chapter 23 is almost entirely red ink.  Red ink, in a modern-day Bible, indicates that the words are the words of Jesus. (a.k.a. a Red Letter Edition)

In this chapter Jesus is particularly hard on the hypocrites, the teachers of the law, or the elite of His day.  Here are a few examples.

4They tie up heavy loads…but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger… 5“Everything they do is done for men to see…15“Woe to you…hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert…you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are…16“Woe to you, blind guides!…’ 17You blind fools!…23“Woe to you, teachers of the law …you hypocrites!…you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.  25“Woe to you, teachers of the law…you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee!… 27“Woe to you, teachers of the law…you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones… 28…on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness…. 29“Woe to you, teachers of the law…you hypocrites!…33“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

The left leaning media likes to criticize talk radio and other right leaning news outlets for never complimenting the good that certain liberal politicians do. 

After reading Jesus’ remarks and full frontal attack against the Harvard Law Professors of His day, one cannot help but see why the left dislikes Him too.

Yet those of us on the right are doing nothing more than following in Christ’s footsteps.

Truly a worthy cause.

Our Present; Their Future

May 26, 2010

“Living in the present.”  This is a common cliché.

Some might say that it is a “me-centered” concept, and they would be right.  For the most part “living in the present” is likely to inspire someone to pamper themselves or fulfill a wish they have always wanted. 

Others might say that it means one realizes the gift of life and is making most of each moment in time. 

Looking at the life of Jesus and in particular the life of the Apostle Paul’s writings in II Thessalonians, his idea of living in the present, was to be so tuned in to his surroundings, that he could actually predict the future.

 1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

These words of Paul, written nearly 2,000 years ago, are a manifestation of his “living in the present” ministry.  One cannot help but feel awe that these words so long, have such significance today.

With the arrogance that we see in politics today, it is more than just a possibility that this “son of perdition” could be among us. 

We may not know his name, we may not know his nationality, but we definitely know his game; “self-exaltation.”

Let us, like Paul, practice a kind of “living in the present” that helps us inspire those we love now and into the future. 

And let us be wary of those living in the present who constantly put themselves, their power, and their agenda on the throne, above a mighty God.

Soggy Bread

May 25, 2010

Part of the problem with the Conservative movement over the past 9-10 years has been a subtle move to the left and attempt to tolerate moderate views.

Conservatives however risk their credibility when they try to play that game and what is worse they are actually poisoning their own well.  Here are a few excerpts from I Corinthians 5 that demonstrate what can happen under similar circumstances and how we need to deal with such things.

1 It is actually reported that there is ….immorality among you…And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 …deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.…6 …Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. 9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with…immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the…immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is…covetous, or an idolater, …or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

These are pretty harsh words, even for an Apostle like Paul, yet they had to be said.

Today, through our resurgent movement back to the right, thankfully, we are starting to see a I Corinthians 5 purging of the moderate (extortioners of truth) from our side of the aisle. 

As Paul said, it is not possible to totally ignore those who do such things outside of our movement, but we must, through primary purgings, send a clear message that moderate positions are like leaven and yeast to the whole lump of us.

In order for us to survive we must follow the principles Paul the Apostle has taught us, otherwise we will see ourselves puffed up and then deflated again when the pin prick of compromise turns us back into soggy bread.

 

Rock On Founding Fathers

May 24, 2010

It is difficult to study the Scriptures as an American without seeing links to our Founding Fathers. 

You can decide for yourself:

Benjamin Franklin: | Portrait of Ben Franklin
“ God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” –Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech

Psalm 127

1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
       its builders labor in vain.
       Unless the LORD watches over the city,
       the watchmen stand guard in vain. 

Also in Matthew Chapter 7 Jesus likens those who listen to His Words and abide by them as like a wise man who built his house on the rock:

25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

It does not matter how hard liberals try to expunge God from our heritage and recreate America into a socialist utopia, we who believe in Him have the confidence that they are no more than rain, and streams and wind. 

Our foundation is a rock.  Before we know it, the bad weather will be gone and our house will be standing as strong as ever.

Amen.

 

Questioning the Question

May 23, 2010

Luke 19 is often referred to as the Triumphal Entry.  This is the part of Christ’s ministry where He tells His disciples to bring Him a young donkey that has never been ridden so that He may ride it into Jerusalem. 

As He enters the City His disciples and an adoring crowd throw their cloaks on the ground for the donkey to walk upon.   They shout  “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” and also “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

This celebration by the people of Jerusalem was just too much for the Pharisees/politicians to bear.  They said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”  Jesus responds by saying “if they keep quiet the stones will cry out.”

The Pharisees go on to say in Chapter 20:2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things…who gave you this authority?”

Jesus replied, “I will ask you a question, Tell me John’s Baptism, was it from heaven or from men?”

The Pharisees were confounded because Jesus turned their question right around on them.  They had to hold a focus group amongst themselves and strategize how to answer.  They finally concluded by saying to Jesus “We don’t know where it was from.”

Jesus said to them “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

Many times we conservatives are attacked for taking a stand for morality.  When questions come in we are often too quick to defend.  We try to explain our position without letting the stupidity of the question permeate the air. 

Jesus teaches us here in this example to do the opposite.  His miracles and triumphal entry into Jerusalem are so obviously a revelation of God, regarding Christ’s divine nature, that He tells His critics; “even the rocks are ready to cry out the truth.”

The things we want, like liberty, freedom and opportunity are so enormously obvious they do not need explaining.  From here on, when we are challenged by liberals for our beliefs, I think it is far better if we follow Jesus’ lead. 

Here are a few turn around questions we can use when the darts start to fly at us.

  • What is your definition of an abortion?
  • So when in your opinion does life begin?
  • What exactly is the origin of gay marriage?
  • How does wealth redistribution help the economy?
  • Where is the best place to put illegal immigrants?
  • Can you elaborate on how apologizing stops terrorism?
  • How much debt should we run-up?

I could go on for a while here but I think you see the point.  We need to get radicals to come to grips with their own lame arguments or at least come to the conclusion that they don’t have any arguments at all. 

Remember we are dealing with people in power who refuse to read anything that they vote against.  (With regard to the Health Care Bill they did not even read what they voted for.)  They simply care about one thing, and that is retaining power.

The symbolism of Jesus riding on the donkey that has never been ridden has been debated for years.  Here are a few possible interpretations. 

  • Maybe the donkey symbolizes the critics.  Their arguments are so weak against the Truth that Jesus can actually turn them around and ride them right into redemption. 
  • Maybe the fact that the donkey had never been ridden was a symbol that His political critics had never done anything useful, until of course the Truth sat on top of them. 

This makes sense to me.

Shackin’ Up in the 1950’s

May 22, 2010

Today I will be attending the funeral of my Uncle George.  He was my mom’s younger brother.  George lived into his 80’s and had the privilege of being one of the most beloved individuals in the history of Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Uncle George was one of those people who was so humble and old school that when you look at this life, in retrospect, he actually could be considered a trend setter.  Here are a few examples.

He lived with his wife before they got married.  Of course that sounds a bit risqué for the 1950’s, but not when you factor in the part about how my grandmother, his “Ma,” sent to the old country for a young girl to come live with them for a few months, just to see if she and George would be compatible.  My Aunt Samia was definitely the right “hook-up” for my uncle, cinched by her hard-drive performance in the kitchen.  By the way, she had her own room until the honeymoon.

Uncle George worked from home.  Once again, a very state of the art concept, and back then considering that there was a four bedroom home attached to the Grocery Story, that made commuting to work an extremely economical and green-friendly proposition for the whole family and most of the work force.

George was the original Google and Facebook.  Before the internet, if anyone in George’s circle of friends, (his friends list was in the thousands) needed to know who the MVP was in the National League in 1948, they would query George and he would get it right, every time.  If any old friend came to visit George he would bring them up to date on all the other old friends this person probably knew.  And if anyone had a special event online, (in those days online meant printed in the Berkshire Eagle) like their name on the honor roll or a two-hit little league game, George was the first person to post a “congrats.”

Thank you Uncle George for being one of my heroes.  You were the one who helped hundreds of families through the years by letting  them run-up a grocery tab, before there were food stamps and Government programs.  You quietly and patiently waited for your turn to be rewarded. 

Today as we celebrate your life, please know how proud we are of you for your service to our Country in WWII and for giving us the privilege of being your friend.

May God grant you eternal rest.