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Archive for May, 2014

The Memorial Day broadcast of “Music and the Spoken Word” is always an emotional one for me, and today was no exception.  As we sang “The Mansions of the Lord”, tears streamed down my face.  After the broadcast, Lloyd Newell asked all veterans to stand, and the audience applauded for those of us who stood.  And while I do appreciate the honor and I do believe that those who enjoy the blessings of freedom should be grateful to those who were and are willing to sacrifice their lives, tomorrow is not about me and my fellow veterans or active-duty soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.  Memorial Day serves to remind us of the many, many men and women who were not only willing to sacrifice their lives, but did in very deed offer their lives on the sacred alter of liberty.  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:13

So tomorrow and every day, if you see a soldier in uniform, perhaps you could say a word of gratitude for his or her service, for his or her willingness to leave home, family, children, spouse, and friends to stand as a shield between us and those who despise liberty.  Thank those who gave a limb or an eye to protect you.  That is always appropriate.  But please take a moment to remember those paid the ultimate price to give us a chance to govern ourselves, to make and correct our own mistakes.  Remember those who gave all and can give no more.

And thank God for them.  Ask God to be merciful unto them and receive them unto Himself, for they laid down their lives so that we might have a chance to live and grow, to love and be loved, to repent and forgive.

The Mansions of the Lord

By Randall Wallace

To fallen soldiers let us sing,

 Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing,

 Our broken brothers let us bring

 To the Mansions of the Lord.

 

 Where no mothers cry and no children weep,

 We shall stand and guard though the angels sleep,

 Oh, through the ages let us keep

 The Mansions of the Lord.

 

No more weeping, No more fight,

 No friends bleeding through the night,

 Just Divine embrace, Eternal light,

 In the Mansions of the Lord.

  

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George Bentley has been called home to his Heavenly Father.

I never met George in person, although I did speak to him on the phone a few times, and we have exchanged a number of emails over the last few years.  I can’t say that I knew him well, but I miss him and I am profoundly saddened by his passing.  I mourn with his family.

George was my publisher.  He and his wife, Beth, gave my books a chance, and for that I will be forever grateful.  I am blessed to have known him at all.

George has been in very poor health for as long as I’ve known him.  Three years ago, his family was summoned to the hospital to say goodbye, because George wasn’t expected to last the day.

But through the grace of God, George was given three more years to bless the lives of his family, friends, and others (like myself) whose lives he enriched.

Now George has been reunited with other members of his family and other loved ones who preceded him into the embrace of a loving Father in Heaven.  In time, he will be reunited with all of his loved ones beyond this veil of tears.

Someday, I will get to meet him in person.

I mourn his passing, but I am happy for him as well.

In the words of the old spiritual:

I’m runnin’ on!

I’m runnin’ on! 

I done left this world behind.

I done crossed the separatin’ line.

And I left this world behind.

 

So free!  

So free!

I done left this world behind.

I done crossed the separatin’ line.

And I left this world behind.

 

Ain’t ya glad?

Ain’t ya glad?

I done left this world behind.

I done crossed the separatin’ line.

And I left this world behind.

 

Pressin’ on!

Pressin’ on!

I done left this world behind.

I done crossed the separatin’ line.

And I left this world behind.

 

Won’t turn back!

Won’t turn back!

I done left this world behind.

I done crossed the separatin’ line.

And I left this world behind.

 

Goodbye!

Goodbye!

I done left this world behind.

I done crossed the separatin’ line.

And I left this world behind.

Goodbye, George.  Till we meet again at Jesus’ feet, God be with you.

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More than 300 girls have been kidnapped from a Christian school in Nigeria by Boko Haram, an al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamist terrorist group. 50 girls have managed to escape, but 276 are still in the hands of the terrorists. The monsters who took these children, these precious, innocent daughters of God, are threatening to sell them into sexual slavery unless their demands are met. They are already forcing them to convert to Islam at the point of a gun.

And while the government of Nigeria does little or nothing to protect its own citizens, our president has heroically started a Twitter campaign to shame these beasts into releasing their captives.

Bravo, Mr. President. How very brave of you.

We’ll invade Libya to remove one brutal dictator in order to install another group of Islamofacists. We’ll arm al-Qaeda in Syria in order to remove Assad and install a regime which forces women and girls into sex-jihad and films one of its leaders literally eating the heart of a Syrian soldier. In Egypt, we cheer and finance a regime that at best tolerates, if not encourages, the rape and forced Islamic “marriages” of Christian girls who were abducted off the street. Your tax dollars at work!

But when a pack of inhuman jackals kidnaps innocent children and plans to force them into sexual slavery in the name of Allah, we care enough to start a Twitter campaign?

I don’t care what possible justification the Boko Haram animals give for what they have done. There can be no justification for abduction and rape. We can debate forever whether Islam justifies such behavior, but the monsters, at least, claim that it does.

How can we possibly understand these fiends?

Well, we can thank our lucky stars for Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, a British author, journalist, and scholar. Dr. Ahmed explains in his op-ed in The Guardian (a London-based newspaper and news website) that the reason why these poor girls have been kidnapped and will be forced into sexual slavery is—wait for it—it’s not the esteemed Dr. Ahmed’s Muslim faith—no, no—it’s not socialist/Marxist/Islamist dehumanization of women—it’s…

GLOBAL WARMING!

Yep! That’s right! You guessed it! Big Oil! The USA! Your SUV! You! Me! We’re the ones who caused this!

Thank you, Dr. Ahmed, for setting us all straight!

Sadly, I’m not making this up. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/may/09/behind-rise-nigeria-boko-haram-climate-disaster-peak-oil-depletion Do us all a favor and DON’T click on this link. We don’t need to give this cretin any credence.

Or do click on it. Maybe the esteemed scholar is right. Climate change does justify rape. You be the judge.

In MY judgment, what Boko Haram has done is evil. To me, the reasons don’t matter.

When are we going to call evil by its name?

And no, before I get a call from the IRS, I’m not saying that the name is “Islam”. That’s NOT the point. I don’t care if the justification given is a fanatical devotion to some warped version of Christianity or a worship of the Earth.

Evil is EVIL, regardless of the ideology used to justify it.

Even Bill Maher—a man with whom I agree on almost nothing—gets that. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/10/bill-maher-liberals-too-soft-islam-elephant-room/ Even he understands that we have to stop making excuses for the monsters. We have to stop defending them.

We have to call evil by its name.

And all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.

But, hey, a Twitter campaign is more than nothing, right?

Maybe we should all decide right now to reduce our carbon footprint. That’ll save those girls. You bet ya.

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Slides from the Write Here In Ephraim writers conference

There are some great slides from WHIE here, especially from my weapons class.

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