Archive for September, 2010

Advice for “Palin-ized” Candidates

September 30, 2010

It seems lately that some news headlines should not be news at all.

One of the more obvious examples is the Lindsay Lohan saga.

For the most part, editors of news outlets must think she is on par with the President of the United States.

Her antics are not worse than anyone else on a downward spiral, yet, for some reason, they report her time in jail (or not) as if the world depends on it.

Another thing I have noticed lately is how hard the liberal press is trying to discredit conservative candidates who are new to the scene.

They are, in a way, trying to “Palin-ize” anyone endorsed by the TEA Party as if they should only be the butt of a late night television joke.

One commercial that I saw, reported on by Fox News, (the only news channel that reports from the conservative side), showed how a gubernatorial candidate in New York, was being smeared by his liberal opponent for believing that rape victims should be forced to deliver their babies.

Now, at first, that sounds like a horribly insensitive position.

Hasn’t that woman endured enough?…one might think.

Yet the fact is, there are two victims in every rape that results in a pregnancy; the woman and the unborn child.

For some reason, this commercial dismisses that unborn child and forgets that they too are victims.

They were brought into this world through violence, not love.

I found this web link below, where numerous people, conceived in rape, got together to discuss their philosophy of life, it gives one a slightly different perspective on the subject.

Most liberals would not search for this side of the story, but I challenge them to consider it.

In the book of Job Chapter 19:21-22, Job laments those around him (like news reporters) that are badgering him.

Pity me, pity me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has struck me!
Why do you hound me as though you were divine,
and insatiably prey upon me?

When Job calls his “friends” out, for acting as if they were “divine” it reminded me of those that are calling out new TEA Party endorsed conservatives being hounded for their socially conservative views.

News reporters, (and bloggers) are far from perfect.

I have a piece of advise for those candidates.

Do what Job did in the verses that followed.

Oh, would that my words were written down!
Would that they were inscribed in a record:
That with an iron chisel and with lead
they were cut in the rock forever!
But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives,
and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust;

When a conservative candidate goes on record for a socially conservative belief, such as his stance on Life, the best thing he can do is  take ownership of it, like Job did.

Tell reporters to take a chisel  and hammer it right into your forehead.

God the Vindicator will take care of the rest.

That way there is no doubt about where you stand.

As for me, I too believe that unborn children, no matter how they are conceived, deserve a chance at life.

How do two wrongs make things right?

And just so that you know I am pro-woman, I still believe abortion is OK under two conditions.

1. When it is needed to save the life of the baby.

2. When the child is the cause of the pregnancy (concept borrowed from Sarah Palin).

Chisel that on my forehead.



Compounded Car Accident

September 29, 2010

This is my first traumatic memory.

I was about two and a half years old, sitting at the bottom of my parents driveway of their new house on Loumar Drive.

The driveway itself connected to Leroi Drive, because the house was a corner lot.

I remember there was sand at the bottom of the driveway.  I was playing with it.

Since I was so young, I did not perceive the danger of the car that was parked about 8 feet to my left.

The vehicle was owned by one of the two carpenters who was putting final touches on our house.

The driver of the car must have been oblivious to me, as he jumped in and began to move forward.

The next thing I knew, I was laying underneath the car crying.

Had the tire hit me I would have been crushed.

In 1962 cars had large wheels and a two-year old was small enough to be driven over without much of the undercarriage touching him.

The front of the car must have knocked me down and they heard my cry and stopped before driving away and potentially dragging me down the street.

The next thing I remember was being held up in the air like a wishbone, each one of the two men had me by an arm and was rushing me up the driveway into the house.

My mother stayed very calm, there were dozens of scratches, but all of them were on the surface.

I can even remember her bringing me upstairs into the bathroom and seeing myself in the mirror with those scrapes on my body.

I learned years later that my father had been offered a thousand dollar settlement from the insurance company of the driver of the car.

He argued that the money was not for him, but it was for his son.

They doubled the offer and he accepted two thousand dollars.

My father was not joking about where the money would go.

He was a very conservative investor.

He went out and purchased stock in my name from an electric utility that paid a dividend; (Southern Company; SO).

My dad had a hunch that electricity might be big in the south, with air conditioning and all those other new fangled concepts that were sweeping the country.

He instructed his stock broker to have all the dividends re-invested to buy more shares.

His plan worked flawlessly.

Most newlyweds are flat broke.

Unlike other 25 year olds in 1985 looking for an apartment, I had enough liquid equity in my SO stocks, to place a 20% down-payment on a $90,000 house, with money leftover for new furniture.

That accident, which could have just as easily taken my life, turned out to be a blessing.

God has a way of turning things around.

He also has a way of allowing lessons to be taught throughout the process.

One lesson I learned was that you can have financial success in the stock market, provided the risks are relatively low and the return is steady.

We never monitored Southern Company on a daily basis.

If it went down, that was good, because it meant the dividends would buy more shares.

If it went up, that was good, because it meant the dividends might be increased to a higher return.

When we put our faith in a loving God, we win when things go well and we win when things do not seem to be going well.

He knows the end from the beginning and the scriptures confirm it when it says in Romans 8:28:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Lord, help us to always stay conscious of Your pledge to be a loving Father who is there to make things right.

Squirrel Attack

September 28, 2010

One of the more difficult things about owning an old building is that it needs constant upkeep. 

A problem that once occurred with the apartment building we own, next door to the house we live in, was keeping squirrels out.

Several years ago there was a small hole in the wood flashing that I could see developing at the top of the large three-story stair well.

There was a flat roof on top of those stairs which probably made a great penthouse.

This stairwell faced my driveway and sure enough, every time I’d go in or out my door, a squirrel’s head would pop out that hole and stare me down.

That hole was at least 50 feet from the ground, but he heard me every time.

It was irritating, as I knew that squirrel was more than likely causing damage to the old place, (1896).

I am not sure why I thought this would work, but I remember crying out to God in prayer; “Please God, help me get rid of that squirrel!”

It was trash pickup day, the following day.

It had also been raining heavily and I’d forgotten to put the lid back onto one of my garbage cans.

I kept my trash cans under the deck of my old house, on the other side of the driveway.

When I went to grab the barrel that had no lid I realized that it was so heavy I could hardly move it.

I looked down into it and there was water halfway up the sides with a dead squirrel floating inside, face down.

I could hardly believe my eyes.

I usually don’t celebrate the death of animals, but I could not help but believe God had heard my cry.

The squirrel probably frequented those trash cans looking for snacks, but since there was so much water in one of them, once he leapt in, he couldn’t jump out or climb up the slippery sides.

My unwelcome visitor had met his maker.

In the Gospel of Luke Chapter 9, Jesus instructs His apostles to go into a town to prepare for his return to heaven.

Watch what happens when things do not go so well:

 51As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56and[they went to another village.  And he said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”

In spite of what I may be trying to do today, showing you how God has power over demonic rodents, His mercy towards people is far greater than human mercy.

James and John wanted to call down fire to destroy people opposed to Jesus.

Jesus reminded them that He came to save all men.

Also, His rebuke was not just because they were showing no mercy, but because they actually had the power to do what they wanted to do.

In this time of political turmoil, it’s easy to treat those who oppose us as if they were squirrels in our attic, praying for their destruction.

That is not what God wants.

He wants us to show love and mercy to everyone in our path, with the hope that our light will shine bright enough to bring them the same Salvation that we’ve been promised.

Can You Prepare for Calamity?

September 27, 2010

As a person who has to speak and write for a living, I occasionally use cliché’s to make my points.

If one uses them too often, they tend to get worn out and tried.

There are a couple of useful ones though, which all of us can use, that come from the Book of Job Chapter 1.

Coincidentally they follow one right after another and their meanings are connected.

    “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
       and naked I will depart. 
       The LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away

As people who follow God and the Scriptures, it is not just our Spiritual side that wants success, it too is our human side.

That is only a natural thing.

If we are sales persons, we want sales.

If we are artists we want success on the other side of the paint brush.

If we are athletes, doctors, politicians, no matter what our profession, our aim is to reach our objectives.

In the Book of Job, God is actually bragging to Satan about how proud He is of Job.

Satan challenges God and says, “take away his material things and Job will curse You.”

To prove Satan wrong, God allows him to remove the many blessings of Job’s wealth and family.

Satan, who does everything possible to cause Job to curse God, succeeds in causing Job pain, but fails in his attempt to get Job to turn away from God.

The reason Satan cannot succeed is not because Job suddenly thinks of a few good cliché’s to throw out there.

It is because Job was rooted and grounded in the meaning of the cliché’s.

He was humble and grateful to the point where he already knew that naked he came and naked he shall depart.

He also knew that every blessing came from God and could be taken away by God.

Calamity comes to every family.

There is only one way to prepare for it.

Do you thank God every day for your blessings?

Have you given everything you are and everything you have over to Him for His glory?

If you have, then you, like Job, will be prepared for that sudden jolt of bad news that comes to all of us.

If not, then now is the time to begin preparing.

Lightning comes without warning, so begin today to establish God’s Word in your heart.

Use gratitude as a lightning rod to keep you grounded, like Job.

Cliché’s  will not get you through, they are only an outward sign of an inward change.

Begin to make that change today and you will be better prepared for the unexpected challenges of tomorrow.

Gifts Too Great To Accept

September 26, 2010

King David fought many battles. 

There was one particular confrontation in which David grew thirsty and nostalgic at the same time.

He said to his soldiers in 2 Samuel 23:

15 “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!”

Many times in life we pine for things.

Around birthdays and Christmas I can count on my wife to pine for things that she might like wrapped up and presented as gifts.

There are a few things she pines for now and then, which cause me to roll my eyes and walk out of the room, but for the most part her technique seems to work.

I have no reason to believe that King David had political motives when he proclaimed his thirst for water from a well in Bethlehem.

He was thinking out loud and God used it teach a lesson about loyalty.

Here is what happens next.

16 So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD. 17 “Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it.

I’m not sure if there has even been anything that I have done for someone else as monumental as this.

The point here is not that the water was poured out in their honor.

The greater point is that the three mighty men were prepared to serve when they heard God’s voice through David and sacrificed their safety to accomplish the task.

I am fortunate to work in an industry that supports first-responders, primarily SWAT officers.

This week in Boston was the memorial for all of the slain officers in Massachusetts.

It is always a heart breaking time to see the young families grieve.

My father used to repeat an old chestnut about seeds and apples which I have modified a bit and have shared with my SWAT friends.

It goes like this (it can be modified for Fire Fighters as well),

Any fool can count the cops in a rescue,

But only God can count the rescues in a cop.

When God calls us to do something valiant, are we sold out enough to make history?

That is a difficult question to answer.

Lord, help us to be like the three mighty men.

Your Will is far more important than our comfort.

Help us to remember that and to have the courage to act upon it when necessary.

Troop Ship Ice-Breakers

September 25, 2010

My father arm wrestled his way to Panama.

Let me back up a bit, so that the sentence above makes sense.

My grandfather, Louis Massery, was a bold entrepreneur.

Soon after he arrived in America, he settled in Pittsfield, started a family, then over the years, opened three successful businesses.

He founded a company called White Star Confectionary, a wholesale candy, sundries and tobacco supplier to mom & pop stores in the community.

He purchased a restaurant inside the Wendell Hotel, called Culda’s, with his partner Mr. Giftos.

He opened an ice-cream parlor on North Street, across from St. Joseph’s Church, called the Sweet Shop.

In those days, the late 30’s and early 40’s, ice-cream was stored in freezers without adjustable thermostats.

There was only one setting–frozen solid.

Young men had to work at ice-cream parlors, because female wrists couldn’t scoop through brick.

As World War II raged, my father finally became old enough to enlist in the Army.

He did so at the height of his teen career as ice-cream scooper.

The Sweet Shop was a busy place.

Social networking happened in public places, there was accountability.

My dad probably scooped through thousands of five gallon tubs.

Each time he did, his wrist became stronger.

Soon after he finished basic training, he made Army M.P., probably due to his leadership.

He and 3,000 others sailed to the Panama Canal Zone (a U.S. Territory until Jimmy Carter gave it away).

To pass the time, it was tradition to conduct a vessel-wide arm wrestling competition.

My dad was not a little man, but at the time he was quite trim.

He more than likely faced farm boys far stronger, taller and wider.

One thing he never faced, was a man with a stronger wrist.

My father surprised a few soldiers on that voyage and eventually won the competition, beating everybody.

Winning an arm wrestling competition was hardly earth-shattering.

More important is how God allows us to endure difficulties, to give us skills.

Things we’ve grown good at, know it or not, will some day be used to honor God’s Kingdom.

A perfect example was young David, tending sheep, while the Israelites were being tormented by the Philistine Army.

One day, David was sent by his father to deliver food to his big brothers on the front lines.

When he arrived and saw the looming battle, David spoke up and pledged to destroy their enemy.

His brothers mocked him.

What they didn’t realize, was that his daily grind, protecting sheep, included battles with wild hungry animals.

This prepared David for something his brothers couldn’t do.

When David saw Goliath, all he saw was another enemy of the sheep.

Whatever you’re doing that’s “rock-hard” difficult, remember that God has a plan.

My dad, scooping ice-cream by the truckload, had no idea it would give him troop-ship bragging rights.

The best way to handle hard times, is to keep tending sheep, or scooping brick hard chocolate cream.

Be the best.

Eventually you’ll  be called upon to use that talent to win a victory.

When that day happens, sadness will go and the memory will begin a great story.

The Details Of Life

September 24, 2010

I have a contingent of visitors coming into town who I need to escort for a few days.

Since my car only seats five, I needed to borrow my wife’s mini-van.

Her dream came true.

Not because I asked to borrow it, but because I told her I would need to have it detailed before my customers could ride in it.

Natalie loves clean things.

There is a detailing place we know of in Pittsfield near my office and yesterday morning I left them a message, asking if there was any possible way they could fit me in before Friday.

About 30 minutes later I got a phone call back which went to my voice mail.

“Yes, we would love to do your car today, please call back.”

Wow…that was hard to believe.

I called back to confirm and they also agreed to drive me to my office, which was only about 2 miles away.

They were a friendly father and son team and when I got there, I learned they had a cancellation.

My wife’s van was just what they needed to stay busy that day.

When I jumped into their vehicle to catch a ride back to my office, it hit me what had happened; Matthew 6.

These people were Christians. 

Rosary Beads with a crucifix dangling from the rear view mirror and a Cross with a descending Holy Spirit pinned into the passenger side visor, right over my head.

All I could think about was how God takes care of the littlest things, even if we have no connection to those who are blessing us or vice versa.

In many ways God is like an Orchestra Conductor.

He has the baton in hand (which is God’s will) and with His tremendous power and omniscience directs everything for His glory.

 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Whatever keeps us awake at night worrying is not part of Your plan.

Thank you Lord that you have promised to make us Your priority and take care of the details in our lives.

The Mighty Butterfly

September 23, 2010

Yesterday as we were traveling back from a business trip, one of my colleagues was talking about the “butterfly effect.”

It is a theory that if something as insignificant as a butterfly flapping its wings happens today, years down the road, its impact is still felt.

I am not really sure what to make of that theory, but I do know a few things about messages from the past.

When I was still a fairly young man, age 25, I began to look for a house for my soon-to-be wife and I to purchase.

(When I met Natalie, her father was a retired oil burner repair man and her mother was a homemaker.)

My father and most of the Lebanese-American role-models I had, lived by a theory called “bayt b’shtidy bayt,” which means in English, “a house buys a house.”

I wanted to find a multi-family home; a duplex at least, so that we could have income from the tenants.

It’s funny how older people seem to get smarter as we begin to face difficult life-impacting decisions, such as buying a home.

My father was friends with a realtor named Joe Guitan.

I was having a hard time finding anything that met my needs and was in the right location and price range.

Mr. Guitan had an idea.

He told me about a four-family property on Euclid Ave, that needed a bit of TLC, but was a true gem of an opportunity.

I was a bit nervous about it at first, but we went to look at it.

This house was an 1896 built mansion, once owned by the famous Burbank family.

There was even a granite “Burbank” chiseled monument in the yard, which one can now see on Williams Street.

(I sold Jock, a Burbank descendent a car when I was working at Haddad’s and told him to come and take it.  He was extremely grateful to find such a piece of his past.)

The first thing that struck me about the place was the enormous living room and master bedroom, filled with dark cherry wood and oak floors with matching cabinetry.

The neighborhood was good too, a stone’s throw to our church and halfway between my parents and Natalie’s parents.

As I started to warm up to the idea of being a landlord, we took a tour of the boiler room.

This could have easily been the deal breaker, as heating oil was beginning to get expensive.

The furnace was incredibly huge, about the size of a small car.

It was old too.  It looked as if it might have burned coal at one time.

This was a bad sign.

But then something happened.

The realtor who was showing it, who worked for Mr. Guitan, a young lady named Joan, pointed out that it had been inspected regularly.

She was right, there was a stack of inspection stickers on the wall, hung with wire on a nail near the door to the boiler room.

Toward the bottom of the pile there was a faded manilla colored, hand-typed inspection ticket, from O’Connell Oil, from the early 1960’s.

The little document was signed by Joseph P. Wicker, my soon to be father-in-law.

It still hangs there today. 

I will not take it down.

If ever an argument could be made for the butterfly effect, that was it.

I said to Natalie, “this is a sign, I want this house.”

We did buy that home and since the yard was so large, we built another house right next to it, which we live in today.

We kept the four-family (a house buys a house) and have been blessed to have that extra source of income, especially as all three of our children attended college.

As I came home last night from my long day of airport jockeying I noticed a souvenir black and white postcard on my refrigerator.

It was a classic William H. Tague Berkshire Eagle photograph, featuring a healthy crowd of people on the shore of Pontoosuc Lake on a hot July day; 1957.

There in the photo, sitting on a blanket, dutifully looking out into the water, was Joe Wicker, my father-in-law.

That is what inspired this reflection today.

Joe was one of the most humble people I ever met.

There was a family that would regularly call him to fix their boiler in the middle of the night when it broke down.

Joe’s reward was always the same; one dollar. 

He never said no to them.

He never got a raise either.

When he passed away in 1988, my wife told me when the family opened his wallet in the hospital, the theme continued; they found one dollar.

We may not be world-famous, or politically influential, or blessed with great talent, if all of us were, there would be no room on the stages of the world.

But God’s stage of life is vast.

He is our audience every day.

When we love our children and love our God with all our hearts, the reward may begin with one dollar, but it never ends and can impact people down the road, just like the flutter of the mighty butterfly.

The Parallel Parking Mystery Unlocked

September 22, 2010

Learning how to drive as a teenager, for the most part, was an exciting time for me.

My older brother Louis, had a ’73 Toyota Corolla with a stick shift.

I thought it might be cool to have him teach me both skills at one time, i.e. operating on the roadways and driving stick.

Operating on the roads was actually easier than I thought it would be.

I remember, when I finally got my license, how places I had been driven to by my parents, hundreds of times, had to be navigated to first in my mind before I just naturally headed there.

There was one time when I asked my father to take me out in Louis’ Corolla.

We got less than 10 feet past the driveway when I pulled directly out in front of a car that I thought was turning right.

Needless to say, my driving lesson ended right there.

Both cars came to a screeching halt.

The other car, because the driver thought I was about to kill him, and my car because I stalled it.

My father’s face lost all color.

My mother was the more patient teacher.

There was one skill that I remember her teaching me that I have shared with my children and am now going to reveal to you.

Follow along carefully if you fear parallel parking.

She taught me to pull ahead of the space that you have chosen, staying as close to the other car parked in front of it as you can…one foot away if possible.

Then, begin backing up straight and parallel to that car.

When the body of your car is at the halfway point parallel to the parked car, then turn your wheel all the way to the right as far as it will go.

At that point your back-end will head diagonally into the spot.

Once your front end is clear then you can bring your steering wheel all the way back to center backing up slowly as you go.

It works perfectly every time.

Here is proof.

I recently had to parallel park on a very busy Main Street in Amherst during college move-in weekend.

When I completed by textbook parallel maneuver, something very cute happened.

I got out of my car and the driver of the car behind me, who allowed me to stop traffic for a few seconds to take the spot, spoke up.

“That was really great,” he shouted through the passenger window as he drove by.

Then something else happened.

The second car, the one behind the first one, yelled through his window, clapping his hands and saying, “hey man, that was awesome!”

As both guys complimented me, I shouted back, “my mother taught me!”

As cool as I thought I was, Natalie looked at me like I was a bit nuts.

She had that “as-if-these-two-total-strangers-care-that-your-mother-taught-you-to-parallel-park-look” on her face.

In today’s Old Testament readings, Proverbs 30 talks about the flawless nature of God’s Word.

 5 “Every word of God is flawless;
       he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

When we do kind things for others, many times we will receive praise.

The true blessing is not to absorb that praise, as if we authored our skill, but to deflect that praise back to the person who made us who we are.

We have a responsibility as parents, workers, spouses, citizens etc… to share the love and mercy that God has given us with a dying world.

If we selflessly do that, those around us will ask who taught us such a skill.

It’s at that point, the door is thrown wide open for our testimony.

Just be sure you don’t open it too hard.

You might slam it into their side door as they pull up along side you.

Nobody likes door dings.

Soldier; Forgives; Allah

September 21, 2010

On July 5th, 2005, 21-year-old Stephen Tschiderer was a U.S. Army Medic on patrol in Baghdad.

He was shot in the chest by an Iraqi insurgent terrorist. 

Thanks to the body armor and trauma plate that he was wearing, Stephen survived.

What is even more interesting about this story is what happens after Stephen is knocked to the ground.

His unit pursued the terrorist and their vehicle that shot at him.

During the pursuit, the sniper who took aim at him was wounded.

Without hesitation or the cloudiness of revenge blurring his ability to perform, Stephen gave medical treatment to the same enemy who moments earlier tried to kill him.

Stephen saved his life.

The original video recording of the shooting was memorialized by a camera that the terrorists had inside their vehicle.

That device was recovered by the U.S. Soldiers.

Moments before the terrorist took aim, on the video, one could overhear him whispering in Arabic, “Allahu Akbar,” which means God is Greater.

I often hear American’s commonly mis-translate that phrase to mean “God is Great.”

Actually in their culture, saying that God is great, is not good enough.

When they say “God is greater,” it implies that He is greater than everything else.

I agree with that.

Ice cream can be great.

I have also heard a few conservative Christians try to say the word “Allah,” that Muslims, use does not mean God Almighty.

That too would be incorrect.

In my parents Lebanese-American home, where we worshipped Christ and the Trinity, the word for God was Allah.

It is very easy to hold grudges against groups and ideologies and also to try to recreate them in our minds to be certain that they remain our enemies.

Stephen Tschiderer didn’t do that.

He did exactly what Christ Himself did from the cross, when He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

I am not sympathizing with our enemy, but what I am trying to point out is that as Americans our job is defend our soil.

As Christians our job is to lead all to Christ through love and mercy.

That includes Muslims.

If ever there was a shining example of that, it was July 5th, 2005.

Thank you soldier, you did both of your jobs very well.

Matthew 9:12-13

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. ‘For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”