Wednesday, February 29, 2012

GOP Grabs the Initiative in Sacramento

Now no longer the "The Party of No" (or more precisely, "Hell NO!") in Sacramento, the GOP played a pretty political ploy, taking on Democratic Governor Brown's 12-point pension proposal. Having adopted and adapted a moral program for slowing the reprehensible fiscal decline in the state of California, the GOP have demonstrated a mature yet to be matched by the majority and majoritarian Democratic Party.

The GOP is not irrelevant, but certain irreverent to the notion that the state is required to pick up the tab on everything, from public works to public safety to pubic entitlement.

Point of order, Governor Jerry, like the other overwhelmed executives in Occupy-plagued communities throughout the state, has taken on the task of also saying "No!" to the people in the Golden State, many of whom have been far to content to despoil the goose that lays the golden eggs, much of the time the wealth of the "1%" who have chosen to invest their time and energy in wealth creation.

We cannot spoil ourselves on the spoils of others. Public workers serve the public, and their unions cannot expect to bully school boards, city councils, county seats, state legislators, and federal officials without some necessary backlash from the taxpayer, i.e. the 99%.

Pension reform, entitlement reform, tax reform, we need change in the state of California, none of which will occur as long as the liberal statist status quo of Democratic hegemony dominates in Sacramento. I would not be surprised if he created his 12-point plan with the express interest of piquing the interest and involvement of the Republican minority. This short-term alliance may provoke his partisan colleagues in the legislature to come up with tough solutions that serve the state rather than themselves. Shrewd moves such as these can only advance and enhance the best interests of California taxpayers, many of whom are tired of business as usual, which has done very little good for business altogether, both public and private.

Kudos to Governor Brown for having the guts to be the adult and stand up to his party. I look forward to more stable and necessary compromises such as his 12-point plan which will either galvanize or marginalize a legislature which has failed time and again to uphold their oath of office and govern.

"The Greening of Faith" Browns and Decays

According to former LA Times columnist Larry B. Stammer, Former Senator Rick Santorum's stance runs contrary to his church's established teachings on the issue.

The explosion of environmental anxiety is a mere cover-up for more centralized, state-sponsored power grab.

In truth, both Catholic officials and the son of Pennsylvania coal miners advocate the expansion of state power for moral means, a conflicted concept which undermines both the proper role of government and individual liberty, the one matter that government is meant to respect and protect. Environmentalists are convinced beyond reason that God's creation requires man's intervention in order to remain alive and thriving. Despite the expansive directives from the Catholic hierarchy, Santorum's respectable dissent actually places his more in line with his party on one issue and also demonstrates a necessary independence of a politicians who seems intent on weakening the health distance between church and statecraft.

Regarding the proper role of man in the environment, Scripture teachers a different understanding of this earth, contrary to the hypervigilance of interest groups. In preparing the Temple for the Lord, King Solomon needed wood, and lots of it:

"And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem." (Second Chronicles 2:16)

After Solomon took all that he needed, the forests of Lebanon were restored to their previous splendor, enough that Ezra could commission cedars from Lebanon to rebuild the temple:

"So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sido'nians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant which they had from Cyrus king of Persia." (Ezra 3:7)

Even the Psalmist glories in the wealth and splendor of Lebanon:

"May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may men blossom forth from the cities like the grass of the field!" (Psalm 72:16)

Later, he praises the Lord for His power and provision in caring for these majestic forests:

"The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon which he planted." (Psalms 104:16)

God has created nature with the capacity to replenish itself (cf Genesis 1 and 2). Man's efforts to safeguard the earth through his crude efforts or legal vanities, doomed to fail. The United States has witnessed a surge in the growth of national forestry, apart from the overreach of the state and interest groups to micromanage the earth.

On a side note regarding the state protecting anything -- contrasting with Scriptural teaching -- even anti-clerical deist Thomas Paine in "Common Sense" resorted to the Scriptures to combat the rise of governmental hegemony. Before castigating the folly of the Israelites, who wanted a king like the other heathen nations, Paine drew upon the example of Gideon. After defeating the Midianities with a victoriously diminished band of 300, he refused to rule over the tribes of Israel, exhorting them to recognize the Lord as their king. This assertion, displacing man-centered rule, runs afoul of the growing dicta, ex cathedra leanings, and papal bulls of the Vatican, all of which trumpet the need for super-national -- not supernatural -- rule in the world.

Of course, the greater the state power, the greater the coercion, the greater the threat to individual autonomy and . . .religious liberty. The United States Catholic Church is already enduring the corrupt influence of government power as engine of moral change, as the Patient Care and Affordable

Regarding Pension Reform AB 1635

Public sector workers must join the human race and the respectable workforce of all Californians.

Public Sector unions command too much power at the state level, lobbying and cajoling, many times threatening, legislators whom they have supported to pass legislation coddling their selfish interests at the expense of the taxpayer.

Indeed, the voters, the taxpayers, every constituent in the state of California is striving to stay employed or seek employment, a challenge rendered more difficult as state employees threaten the solvency of the government with exorbitant pensions and healthcare benefits which previous tax revenues could discharge during more flush times.

Every worker in the Golden State must demonstrated the respectable aptitude to keep and deserve his job serving the public. The growing number of layoffs in the public sector. From the flagrant betrayal of trust among certain public school teachers in Los Angeles to the complaints against sworn peace officers in Manhattan Beach, to the growing alarm over benefits payouts through the South Bay and the rest of California, public workers must determine to define their fidelity to welfare of the people and the government, not just to their own individual posterity.

AB 1655 is a shameful piece of legislation which would render the dismissal of public employees almost impossible while placing greater burdens on agencies and taxpayers to subsidize the care and comfort of the employee. Although voters respect and welcome the service of many civil servants, those who serve themselves at the expense of the community have no right to maintain a role of trust of integrity in the Golden State. Legislation from Sacramento should not enable such a breach.

GOP On the Verge of Extinction

Columnist Dan Walters has diagnosed the near demise of the Republican Party.

Like Ronald Reagan with the Democrats, one can adequately argue that the GOP has left California, as opposed to suggesting that the voters in the Golden State had abandoned the GOP.

Such was the curse of the rigorous binary primary system, which the voters thankfully scrapped for the top-two vote getting jungle primary. Still, with the growing uptick of decline-to-states, many of which who are leaving the GOP, there is growing danger that the Republicans are becoming irrelevant as well as irreverent of the policy and values climate dominating the state.

The GOP must tailor a message that is pro-immigrant yet anti-illegal immigration. Note well that the argument must focus on the behavior, not the individual. In all honesty, no member of the GOP opposes immigrants or immigration. Even the border hawk from Colorado Tom Tancredo frequently welcomed immigrants who naturalized in accordance with federal law.

Regarding other wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage, the GOP has attempted time and again to steer the platform and policies of their state and federal candidates away from these hot-button issues. A more diligent approach of presenting fiscal responsibility coupled with weening voters delicately yet diligently off the now unsustainable entitlement programs in this state can effectively reach out and turn the minds of voters.

Currently, the Republican caucus in Sacramento gladly supported Governor Brown's 12-point pension proposal, signalling to constituents their readiness to lead as oppose to opting into the same role of obstructionists, a useful foil which has served the Democratic party for some time.

The California Republican Party has no reason to despair. If a fair and fiscal conservative like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has achieved significant results pressing for less spending, lower taxes, and responsible balanced budgets in cooperation with a strong Democratic legislature, then without a doubt the California GOP can make necessary inroads to prosper the best interests of their state and her voters without alienating a core constituency.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brown's Editorial on Religious Exception for ObamaCare

I commend the junior Senator from Massachusetts for denouncing the overreach of the current President's healthcare mandate.

In a country where freedom of speech and religious are prized uniquely and expressly, it is shameful to witness a President determined to undermine the Bill of Rights, who had promised to deliver hope and change to a nation desperate for something better.

Once again, Senator Brown has voiced the growing concern shared by voters across the country about the current Commander in Chief, one who has prized his foray into state power and individual liberty as an acceptable sacrifice for an entitlement which in the short-term pleases many, yet in the long-term will harm us all.

One Lady From Maine Decries Gridlock

Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, a three-term RINO from a left-leaning New England state, is withdrawing her bid to run for another term.

Perhaps fearing the strong Tea Party faction which brought Republic Governor Paul LePage to office, the stalwart moderate of claimed fiscal fame justifies her move not to run because of the partisan gridlock which has stifled any legal maneuvering in the Senate.

Of course, she had ample opportunity as a calm colleague of the Senate Finance Committee to help draft a reasonable set of healthcare reforms. Yet despite her numerous crossing of the aisle to bolster moderated liberalism and government expansion, she stuck with her party and voted down ObamaCare.

Her constituents should be grateful that this lady had sponsored pay-as-you-go legislation in the past; however, her subsequent actions spoke louder than her words, and bespoke a moderation of opportunism, not principle, a la former Pennsylvanion Senator Arlen Specter.

Her sometime solid vote for the GOP will be missed, as this country needs all the support necessary to turn back the Obama juggernaut of statism. Unfortunately, if current political trends remain dominant, it would appear that the Republicans will face at best a severe uphill climb to retain this seat for their party, especially in the wake of a controversial party leader in Augusta and a slowly gaining President in the midst of a growing economic recovery.

Response to "Can a Believer in God Believe in Luck?"

I do not share Dennis Prager's mingled fatalism and theism that explains the cause of accidents, terroristic events, and ultimately the role of good and bad luck in our lives.

In response the terrors and troubles that torment humanity, God had originally prospered Adam and Eve with the covenant to replenish and have dominion over the earth and the Lord's creation, with the condition that if they broke the covenant by partaking of the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, they would forfeit their authority. Because our first parents broke the Lord's covenant by partaking of the forbidden tree, Satan then gained dominion over the earth. Hardly "Acts of God", the natural disasters are the work of the Adversary who plagues mankind to this day.

Yet despite the wily Accuser who would condemn mankind, the Lord moves in the lives of those who have faith in Him, to those who hearken to His voice and walk with Him. The Torah provides ample examples in which He actively intervenes and safeguards those who are righteous by faith in Him.

Consider blessed Noah, who also walked with God, and thus found grace in His sight. Noah survived the Great Flood in an ark with his wife and sons and daughters-in-law, all under the guidance and power of the Lord.

How can we forget righteous Father Abraham, a humble (though imperfect) man who heard the Lord? Hearkening to the calling of the Almighty -- Lech Lecha! -- Abraham was strengthened to leave his country and kindred to a land which would flow with blessings for his future and posterity. He enjoyed a miraculous life, too, old and full of years, with a child of promise from his beloved yet long-barren wife Sarah.

Even the Patriarch Job, an upright man who became righteous following his humbled acceptance in the eyes of the Lord, endured such trauma and despair from Satan because Job had not yet formed a covenant with God. Until he acknowledged the Lord's ultimate dependence on the Lord for all things, Job could not enjoy His blessings and unmerited favor.

These mighty men and women of God --- and many more -- had faith that the Lord existed and that He would reward those who trusted in Him.

Therefore, to those who believe on Him, even in the darkest hour, they can stand back -- like Moses and the Israelites caught between the devil and the deep Red sea -- and witness His salvation, a salvation which awaits all who trust in Him, a trust beyond luck which looks beyond and overcomes the sorrows and sufferings of this fallen world!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Response to Daily Breeze Editorial on Licensing Illegal Immigrants

The State legislature of California must not even consider discussing the remote possibility of allowing illegal (or more discreetly "undocumented") immigrants to earn driver's licenses.

Despite the passage of licensure laws for undocumented persons in ten states, eight of those states have repealed their laws, with New Mexico close behind to do the same.

Aside from the immorality of enabling lawbreakers to gain access to a privilege which takes naturalized or born citizens years to earn and maintain, our federal immigration laws already resist passage of such a law. How can we presume to press upon counties and local communities the responsibility of issuing and following up on the distribution of driver's licenses? The federal and state governments must protect the rights of the citizens and protect our borders. We have no right or reason to pursue "social justice" for illegal immigrants by compromising the safety and integrity or our roads.

Some have argued that allowing illegals to qualify for licenses will ensure that a greater number of drivers on the road would be properly instructed for transportation and commuting. Moreover, permitting illegals to earn licenses would furnish them the opportunity to purchase auto insurance and minimize the cost of accidents on the road between legal and illegal drivers.

Yet these fanciful suppositions ignore the facts: illegal immigrants have already broken the law by entering this country without a visa or a green card. Who cares if they can read traffic signs, when they cannot read legal agreements, seek proper employment, or sue in court in case of legal grievances, like lawsuits which may ensure from disputed traffic accidents? If illegal immigrants have already flagrantly flouted our laws once, there is no respectable reason for supposing that the same individuals will suddenly respect the rules of the road and seek out licenses and auto insurance. Besides, the state of California will only be permitting illegal residents from other countries to obtain licenses, then return to their homes in other states, where the "full faith and credit clause" of the Constitution will force these states to accommodate those ill-gotten licenses.

Eight states have already repealed such disastrous legislation. With our legislature still failing to pass an adequate budget that protects schools and preserves core services, the politicians in Sacramento must disregard the pro-immigrant euphoria to accommodate illegal immigration at the risk of our commuters, the taxpayers, and the integrity of the rule of law in the state of California.

Bill Gates on Teachers' Bum Rap

Standardized testings has created more problems for public education depsite its original attention of holding school accountable for their learning and teachers' teaching.

Standardized tests were intended to determine "is your children learning?"

Instead, standardized testing has forced more pressure on alraedy hassled and frazzled teachers, pushing them to come up with every arbitrary angle and trick to get students to pass a test,one which has little connection to the real world of demands and values which young people will face once they graduate from high school.

Life is not a series of circumstances presented with four choices. Life is not a series of arbitrary passages and questions which must be answered quickly and efficiently. Notwithstanding the greater aim of education, schools are putting more emphasis on grilling students for the short-term success on a tests, yet still ignoring the main goal of education: inspire students with the skills and the will to determine and pursue their purpose in life.

Why should teachers be slammed for a student's poor evaluation on a test? In fact, teachers now find themselves under so many constraints because of the sclerotic unions unders which they seek ongoing protection. Unions are not helping the cause of their members, individuals who desire the best for their students yet fear that limiting their involvement in a collective force will only leave them vulnerable to more abuse in the workplace.

Of course, the lack of respect for the profession, coupled with the rise of vocal parents and angry interest groups filing arbitrary lawsuits, has only shackled the innovation and inventiveness of educators, many of whom are now forced privation and humiliation ona larger scale.

Indeed, teachers get a bum rap in this country, in part because of inefficient and ineffective unions more interested in protecting the status quo of regular dues than offering the proper due for teachers and students. However, a broken bureaucracy from Sacramento throughout the state has wasted resources, disillusioned parents, and frustrated entrepreneurs and reforms who want the best for young people, yet refuse to accept that the best for each student must be decide at the most local level of power: the parents and the community.

Teachers cannot be the panacea for social ills. The school cannot be the surrogate parent. Only committed individuals held accountable frequently with caring mentors and involved parents can ensure the long-lasting legacy of students achievemnt, culminating in a stable and mature adulthood.

Senator Lieu and Climate Change

Senator Ted Lieu wants to fight climate change, when the economic climate has failed to improve for Americans.

We need less government, not more involvement from the state.

We need legislators who will lay back and do nothing for a change. The residents of the South Bay can take care of themselves, without interference from state officials who have no other interest than to expound their power and express a superficial interest in the well-being of their constituents.

Mr. Lieu, please leave us alone. The private sector can do much better without the meddlings of the state legislature, one if the most inconsistent and dysfunctional companies in the state, and to this day making laws and taking charge where its powers and advice are not needed.

Hugo Chavez and Cancer

If there is one cancer to be wary of, it is the cancer of Communism.

A pernicious political philosophy, the Marxist mindset has bewitched many with the delusion that commons stores and community sharing can prosper the worst off among us without impoverishing the best of us.

History and the upticking body count of those dying in current Communist regimes clearly suggest otherwise. From Cuba, where residents turned dissidents either flee in large numbers or languish in prisons, to the disillusioned masses of Venezuela, who have witnessed their power limited and their voice in the public square silenced, the reality of state sponsored equality comes at too great a price to receive willingly.

Even the change of power in North Korea has signaled that the Stalinist regime of Northeast Asia will not be changing any time soon, despite the death and starvation of millions who cannot escape the forced privation.

The aggressive cancer eating away at redolent strongman Hugo Chavez is a welcome trend, one which invites the hope that terrorist forays and belligerent attacks on private citizens and free societies will very soon come to an end in the Latin American world.

Inglewood Unified on the Brink

The free market is in free working condition. School districts across the South Bay are struggling to maintain their enrollment in the wake of shrinking budgets, exploding class sizes, and beleaguered teachers willing to take a golden handshake instead of staying on board for one more frustrating year.

Despite the growth and strength of school districts and the public monopoly education, the parents and students in impoverished communities are voting with their feet and enrolling in charter schools, institutions with fewer hurdles, more accountability, and better reputations.

No matter how much money Inglewood Unified takes out on loan from the Bank of Canada, the necessary cuts and changes required to focus the core values of the district are still conspicuously lacking. A new school on La Tijera will not guarantee a necessary uptick in enrollment. In fact, another prettified campus in the middle of waste and loss only highlights the misplaced priorities and lacking diligence which has distanced surrounding communities from investing in public education.

New exercise bikes, new buildings, but the same culture of disrespect mired by bureaucratic hassles and lawsuit threats both prevent the necessary changes that will ensure returning enrollment: a limited focus on educating the student with skills, greater authority for teachers and administrators and teachers to discipline and expel unruly and dangerous students, and an open budgeting process informing taxpayers how their forced donations are being spent.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Iran-Israeli Attacks Escalate -- So Do the Concerns of the West

A volatile Iran can no longer be ignored. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already made negative inroads into South American with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, followed by making connections with Communist stalwart Fidel Castro. The President of Iran has expressly invested himself in destabilizing the West and one of her main allies -- Israel.

If the Iranians want to instigate assassination attempts against Israeli dignitaries and foreign correspondents through the world, if they want to engage in sabre-rattling along the straits of Hormutz, if they want to accuse Israel of attacking their own people in order to create "false diversions" of Persian hostility, then Israel has every right to bomb Iran.

No one can credibly believe that the Persian state is investing in nuclear power solely to shore up its dwindling energy resources. The naive ostrich politics which insists on ignoring the portentous dangers will only permit one more virulent fanatic to store up power and intimidate the Middle East, a region which does not need any more instability.

No nation has the right to the threaten the existence of another. No nation can deny the Holocaust, then threaten to initiate another, all while pretending to remain a part of the community of nations.

Israel has every right to attack Iran. The Persian people do not have to labor under a heavy-handed theocracy any longer. It is insanity to assume that diplomacy or negotiations are going to turn a nation which is hell-bent on a global Islamic jihad.

Enough with the speeches. Enough with the fears of a belligerent Israel, a nation which has made every effort to effect and extend peace to surrounding countries which have no other interest than to "push the Jews into the sea".

"Political March Madness": Enlightening and Maddening

Marty Kaplan is the first pundit to point out at length the nonsense of today's mainstream (or rather "mainscream") media, which covers every flip, flap, and flop of presidential contenders.

It is disturbing how media influences polls, how polls then influence voters, yet voters still do not settle for one candidate. Do we really want our government being decided by the opimnions logged on Facebook or fired off on Twitter?

These sound bites are certainly biting away at our political discourse. I still cannot believe that ABC political correspondent Jake Taper would press Congressman Ron Paul about slanderous allegations connecting him to a long-gone newspaper about 9-11 conspiracy theories. It was the mainstream media that kept former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman's campaign alive. All of these GOP debates -- nothing but extended press releases littered with talking points. Who needs this madness? I cannot be bothered to watch political candidates rehash and rehearse the same lines over and over again. No matter how much Mitt Romney dresses up his resume, he will always be perceived as a Massachusetts flip-flop moderate, and anathema to vast majority of GOP voters. No amount of spin can clear up the uncanny character of a politician who changes his views to win votes.

Indeed, human beings love narratives, and with the expansive amount of technology making up-to-the-minute story-telling even more minute (and ultimately secondary), it is no wonder that the attention spans of many voters hinges and switches so capriciously.

I do see a silver lining to the stormy clouds of political discourse crowding our future election years. Republican strategist Matthew Dowd has pointed out that Super-Cap advertising has whittled down the effect of campaign ads. As the narrative shifts ever so quickly and arbitrarily, individual political hucksters and pundits will forgo the up-to-date follow-up from the mainstream outlets. We will have no choice but to analyze issues for ourselves, for the multiplicity of information will be too daunting for us to accept passively.

On Suissa's "Liberal" Case for Israel

In "How Democracies Perish", French intellect Jean François Revel decried the autoimmune ruminations in which democratic states inadvertently undermine themselves. Democracy as a historical phenomenon is a blip on the radar, as nations and people for thousands of years have succumbed to tyranny and despotism. Yet unlike other forms of government, democracy is the only regime which tolerates self-criticism, a mode of thinking which can incite internal divisions while distracting citizens from external enemies.

Russian-Jewish dissident Natan Sharansky implored his fellow Israelis to look beyond their domestic differences and remember their common heritage and dedication to each other and the Jewish state. They may not agree with their different views on foreign and domestic policy, but at the end of the day they are all Israelis living in a country which permits them to air their views in the public square without fear of reprisal. Rather than seeking a just society (one in which outcomes are predicated on "fairness and balance"), Israelis and the world at large need to recognize that inhabitants of a free society must permit imperfections, an essential and inevitable element of human existence and political discourse.

I see no value in a columnist arrogating to himself the right or responsibility of making any case for Israel, liberal or conservative.

The Jewish state has every right to exist, as does any other nation in the world. Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn declared that nations "are the spice of life." Yet of all the nations in the world, only Israel has to make the case for its existence, fighting internal peacniks internally and bloodthirsty terrorists externally.

The only "liberal" case for Israel rests on the right of free people to determine for themselves the full enforcement of their rights and the full protection of their life and liberty. Any nation hostile the rights of people to live free and have their being is a threat not just to Israel but to all nations who desire liberty for their people. Rather than faulting Israel for her openness, we need to fault that surrounding Arab states who have taken advantage of the "self-critical" element in democratic regimes to justify their own despicable conduct.

Response to "The Last Great Hero"

John Glenn was not a hero.

He was a liberal sellout during his latter days, when he served as a Democratic Senator from Ohio. He voted to acquit Bill Clinton, a chief executive who had lied under oath before a grand jury. There is nothing heroic about sticking with your party in the face of moral pressure.

There is nothing heroic about an American who accomplished a grand feat for the country then decided to join a theater production as one of the hoi polloi.

We do not need heroes in this country. We need individuals who will do what they want to do, enjoy the fruit of their labor, and respect the rights and responsibilities of other to conduct their lives as they see fit.

Heroes have been the cause of more trouble in our lives than not. We insist on looking up to individuals as examples of character and conduct, only to be disappointed when they fail to live up the standard which we have imposed on them. George Washington owned slaves, for example. Abraham Lincoln could not control his abuse wife, and he oversaw the greatest expansion of federal power at the expense of the states and the people since the foundation of the country. Yes, these men stood by their principles in the face of great opposition, but one thing that made them admirable -- at least in the case of George Washington -- was their desire for peace and an element of anonymity. Washington did not want to be president, yet he chose to the heed the call of his countrymen. Perhaps he would have been better off putting off the position, yet he chose to be President nonetheless.

John Glenn was an astronaut. What purpose has it served for the United States to engage in space exploration, especially during a time when so many individuals struggle to find a reason to wake up in the morning or to secure the solace to face the challenges which beset them every day?

We do not need man-made or manly heroes. We do not need people as examples at all. Men and women who know who they are, know what they want, and can seek and fulfill their calling in life -- those are the individuals who command respect, who have something to teach the rest of us.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Further Response to Christie's Veto of Gay Marriage

Governor Christie should be commended for sticking to his guns on this issue.

Marriage, though, cannot be a matter decided on by the people, no more should politicians empower themselves to define the proper bounds of holy matrimony.

At this point, I do not favor changing or tampering with the sacrament of marriage as long as it remains a civic institution as well as a religious one. Yet no matterhow much the press or populace may push to accommodate the private interests of a consuming and inconsiderate minority, marriage can never be more -- or less -- than the union of one man and one woman.

Well done, Governor Christie. We need more leaders like you who keep their promises to the state and the people whom they represent.

House Passes Payroll Tax Cut Extension

So the GOP has given in to the Democrats to extend a payroll tax cut.

Very little money will float into the wallets of struggling consumers.

This is ridiculous. We do not need easy money, or growing deficits.

We need leadership in Washington that will put and end to the outrageous spending which is threatening to eat away at the livelihood and future of this country.

Unemployment benefits do no one any good, either. The Federal Government has just extended unemployment, as well -- and there will be little handed out in terms of tax cuts, since so few will be earning paychecks, anyway.

Roman Catholics and ObamaCare

The federal governments is instructing the insurance carriers which serve Catholic institutions to provide birth control services, all of which run contrary to Catholic teaching.

I agree with George Will's assessment of this predicament:

"Serves them right."

As long as private, even religious, institutions insist on broadening the scope of government, where do we draw the line? At what point do private institutions manifest a spirit to resist the encroachment of the state into more segments of our lives?

If we want the government to respect religious liberty, we must content ourselves with preventing government from enforcing morality. Government has no business regulating or instigating health care or health insurance reform. Nor does the government have any power or place to be dictating to citizens how they spend their time or money.

Spiritual learning (presumably) leads individuals to avoid depending on the seen and the forceful and instead rely on the unseen and the faithful. There is no government without God, Caesar must always defer to Christ in the life of a believer, and no handout coerced from one individual to subsidize another can ever quicken or recover the life and well-being of another.

If the Catholic Church was so vehemently opposed to the government determining the healthcare services provided by their insurers, then they should not have gotten behind ObamaCare in the first place.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Letter to the Portland Press Herald

In the continued Maine Caucuses, I am hoping for a Ron Paul victory.

As a voter in the state of California, I would like the GOP primary to extend as long as possible, granting the voters in my state the opportunity to vote and influence the GOP nomination for the 2012 general election.

I want the Golden State deserves an opportunity to influence the final tally of delegates for the Summer convention in Tampa. Any change in the primary narrative would be a win for Maine, for the Republican Party, and for the country.

I believe that the Republican party can do better than a Massachusetts moderate who has not convinced the majority of primary voters to his efficacy and candidacy. I am not pleased with the current slate of candidates, as none of them providing a convincing sweep and resume for all the issues pertaining to the conservative agenda.

Hermosa Beach Mayor Meets President Obama

I cannot imagine the wonder that falls upon the leader of a city when he meets the Chief Executive of the United States.

No matter which party the two executives belong to, the presence of the President adds a boost for a city that commands an immense concentration of wealth and influence in Los Angeles County.

Still, I would prefer to see mayors in the South Bay, like Howard Fishman of Hermosa Beach, hold the President accountable for a stimulus that did not stimulate, regulations that have regulated small businesses out of profits and away from expansion and innovation, and tax policies which have created more confusion than relief for beleaguered companies and citizens looking for a break during an economic recovery which has not recovered much.

Mr. Fishman has demonstrated qualified leadership to the Hermosa Beach community, even if his decisions and the votes of his council have not pleased everyone. The President of the United States has demonstrated very little leadership when it comes to ending the reckless spending and easing the crush debt which threatens this country and our future.

Nice photo-ops highlight the credibility of an influential politicians, but a civic leader should not be afraid to expect better policy and more humility from a president who has done so much to undermine the freedom and autonomy of cities and states throughout the country.

New Jersey and the Gay Marriage Bill

As a resident of California, which has debated and debauched the state of marriage from the ballot box to the Supreme Court, I cannot think of any other political discussion which has more undermined the integrity of the state or wasted dwindling resources than the ongoing fight over opening marital status to those who engage in a homosexual lifestyle.

I applaud Governor Christie for his continued stance against corrupting the sacrament for those who have chosen partners of the same sex, who want the state to justify their choices. I believe that Christie can save his state time, money, and heartache by refusing to sign off on a bill which goes against his personal convictions as well as the best interests of his constituents.

Under Christie's lead, the New Jersey legislature has prepared tax cuts for three years in a row. The Governor has pushed aside wasteful pork projects and has defended a hurting middle class from the encroachment of the state, who not satisfied with redistributing wealth, now want to change the meaning and form of a fundamental institution. I hope that Governor Christie presses his opposition to the gay marriage bill on secular grounds, indicating that now is not the time for the Garden State, or any other state to debate the extension of civil rights, when for many the institution of marriage remains a privilege, not just a ceremony of preference.

Governor Christie and his conservative colleagues should be commended for their opposition to legislation which does little or nothing for the cash-strapped tax payers of New Jersey. I only wish that his character and integrity were on display in other states, including here in California, where the legislature and the Governor have committed themselves to overriding the will of the people in order to coddle a dedicated but diminished minority as they pursue and unconscionable agenda which ignores the plight California's taxpayers.

One More Thought on the Colombian Double Suicide-Assassination

I do not condone the open shame-peddling of the mainstream media.

It is greatly unfortunate that two Colombian priests, attempting to live holy lives in their own strength, ended up succumbing to great temptation, harming their bodies, damaging their lives, and ultimately choosing to end their lives rather than seek solace and receive the grace of God which imparts forgiveness through Christ and imputes no sin.

It is damaging to portray to the world the idea that living a life with utmost respect for Almighty God is an impossibility. In one's strength we can do nothing. However, we can depend up the Finished Work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit living within us to convict us of our righteousness before God, a transformation which takes us from glory to glory, from faith to faith.

The righteous by faith live, writes Habakkuk the Prophet ( Habakkuk 2:4). The Apostle Paul quoted this verse frequently in his epistles. Jesus demonstrated in the Sermon on the Mount that God's Law is an ultimate and impossible standard, one which man cannot keep in his own efforts.

We must stop demonizing religious who fail to live up to God's standards, for none of us can.

The New Covenant which God imparts to man by grace through faith, this is what we need to emphasize, especially in the wake of such tragic and unnecessary stories, like the planned demise of two priests who could not maintain their religious vows in their own strength.

This is the New Covenant:

"For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

"Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

"And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 8-12)

God wipes away our sins forever through the death of His Son Jesus Christ. Because we are then fully cleansed from within, the Holy Spirit can then reside in us, imparting within us the Holy Law of God, and internal peace which guides us to live holy without striving through our own efforts. This is the Good News that everyone needs to hear. No more enmity with God, no more trying to earn right standing before God, no more guilt and shame which must be expiated with confession and penance. Just faith and adherence to the Finished Work of God, respecting our new standing in Christ, as He is, so are we in this world!

I am grieved that these two priests did not receive the full revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as laid out in the New Testament.

I only pray that individuals will seek the Truth in the gospel, independent of the tenets of men who would press upon listeners to attempt to earn righteousness or at least feign it in their lives, as these two priests tried and failed to do.

Colombian Priests Kill Themselves to Hide Private Shame

Honestly, I am not surprised to see such widespread dysfunction and allegations of perversion emanate from religious institutions.

Clergy (and other religious) are officially held to rigorous standards -- by themselves, by their parishioners, by their superiors, by the world. They are expected to be vicars of Christ in this world. They are expected to act in concert with the commands listed in Bible -- in the Old Testament.

However, religious institutions fail to rightly divide the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15) For those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, they are no longer under law, but rather under grace:

"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:14)

I am certain that the two priests who eventually hired assassins to execute them were consumed with shame because of the thoughts, words, and ultimately the deeds which they practiced in private. They probably tried to stop on their own, but could not, as the law cannot make a man good, but rather exposes and exacerbates the sinful nature that every person is cursed with:

No one is good, no not one (Romans 3:!2). No matter if an individual takes holy orders, swears to be good, to obey God's law, if we rely on our strength, rather than doing all things through Christ who strengthens us (cf Philippians 4:19), we inevitably fall from grace (cf Galatians 5:4).

Why, then, could these two men not stop engaging in the perversion that caused them shame and led them to take their lives? The scripture is very clear about the effect of God's law on mankind:

"The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law." (1 Corinthians 15:16)

The law cannot make a man righteous before God. Our efforts to be obedient to God's law, from the Ten Commandments to the ceremonial law contained in the Pentateuch, only engender more sin.

Paul counsels his charge Timothy regarding the proper use of the law:

"Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers" (1 Timothy 1:9)

The law was designed by God to show up man in his attempts to be holy on his own, that he could not do it:

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." (Romans 3:19)

Ouch! The Law does not help us, but rather demonstrates that we are helpless. Paul continues:

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3:20)

Then what is a man to do? He must be righteous to avoid eternal condemnation, but how?

"And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13:39)

Faith in what? or rather, in whom? Christ and His Finished Work on the Cross:

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

"But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3: 24-26)

Paul also writes:

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)

In Christ, there is victory, for He became sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him, and this righteousness is a gift (Romans 5:17), one which we cannot lose once we received it by faithful confession (Romans 10:9, 17)

There is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1) None! Not a smidgen, not a trace, not even a hint.

The two clerics, like many religious, are not skillful in the right standing they receive by faith, through the operation of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Cf Galatians 5:16)

"For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe." (Hebrews 5:13)

If they had known their indelible, unalterable state in the perfect love and unquestionable favor of Christ, they would have received power to reign in life over their sin (Romans 5:17), to overcome the sin in their lives (Romans 8:37), to renounce their shame (2 Corinthians 4:2), and come boldly before God to the throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:16).

Santorum's Saintly Social Conservatism

Rising GOP front runner Rick Santorum has offered some very controversial ideas for his potential presidency.

He has pressed the black community to stop seeking welfare from the state and start promoting their own welfare by earning pay.

He is an open opponent of gay marriage and a vocal critic of abortion, issues sacrosanct to the social conservative wing of the Republican party.

He has also disputed the role of women in the military, a stance which has invited criticism and may jeopardize his chances in the general election, should he win the nomination.

His book "It Takes a Family" takes on the radical feminism which has disdained the limited role of housewife for many women.

The mainstream media will stop at nothing to alienate any GOP frontrunner, a shameful turn of events which has dissuaded intelligent and cognizant voters sufficiently. Still, Santorum's strong Catholic bent may not translate very well in swing-states and among party caucuses demanding less government, not necessarily more morality, in their lives.

The American people have demonstrated through the 2010 election and the ongoing upset throughout the country that they want jobs, a more open market, and less government regulation. They want leadership, not pandering. They want a medium and a message that will bring back the mission of the Constitution -- limiting the federal government to protecting our rights, securing our borders, and regulating the economy simply and efficiently enough to permit businesses to thrive and economies to recover.

Greeks Champion Past to Justify Unjustifiable Present

The Greek Government is breaking out in violence and disaster.

The tragedy of a nation that pays people to do nothing is paying dearly for conning the citizenry with the empty notion that sloth suffices.

Retiring at 45, receive pensions for the remainder of one's day, cheating on taxes, bribing bureaucrats -- financial fraud pushed to the extreme has doomed this Mediterranean nation.

How many more bailouts are the other Eurozone countries willing to subsidize? The looming correction in Greece must occur, no matter what the consequences. There is no prolonging this agony.

I cannot think of a more ironic trope than the following printed in a recent article in the LA Times:

"It is unfair for a country that gave birth to European civilization to go bankrupt and to be left alone in isolation."

To think that the Hellenes of today are the descendants of the philosophers and epic men of war of yesteryear is laughable. Pericles inducted Athens into a Golden Age of Prosperity. Sparta commanded immense respect for the war machine that threatened member city states throughout the Aegean and helped fend off the invading Persians at Thermopoli. The Greeks of today have chosen sloth, slovenliness, and short-term solutions.

Socrates eventually drank the Hemlock. Oedipus eventually took his own life. Antigone buried his brothers, and Creon eventually executed her ethical disobedience for familial obeisance. If the Greeks of today wish to retain a kinship with the artisans and politicians of antiquity, they must invoke the arete (virtue) of the past and own up to the harmartia (fatal flaw) of their profligate ways.

Sick Pay for Public Pensions -- Sickening

Six figures salaries for state officials is one thing.

Now these individuals want to run away with as much pay as possible when they retire.

This is crazy, pure and simple.

Rather than honoring state employees with outrageous pension packages, increase their yearly pay, but phase out the pension which these employees received over time.

The whole compensation program is impoverishing the state of California. Why should Councilmember Bernard Parks be entitled to growing perks, having moved from chief of police to the Los Angeles City Council?

The legislators in the state of California must find a better way to remunerate dedicated service to the citizens and the community, but bleeding the state dry with unsustainable pension obligations is just unacceptable.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love Your Enemies -- He Loved You and Loves Through, Doesn't He

I used to balk when I read stern commands from the Lord:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5: 43-44)

I admit candidly -- I cannot do this. When I tried to love my enemies, I just got angrier and more frustrated, because the moment that I tried I found myself still surging in wrath, and then I would get angry with myself for getting angry.

Jesus promises great things for the one who loves his enemies:

"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5: 46)

Here, though, it becomes clear that Jesus is pressing on his hearers an impossible task. How can I be a child of God by what I do? Does that not contravene the whole notion of salvation by grace through faith?

It becomes very clear, from the first words of the Sermon on the Mount to the last verse of Chapter 7 that Jesus is putting the Law back to its pristine, and impossible standard.

"For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

"Be perfect" Jesus declares, or rather "completed", not "do perfectly". How am I supposed to do that?

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

"And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

"When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19: 23-26)

How did God make it possible for man to be saved? Through the death of His Son, who took our sins, imparted to us right standing before God in His Son, resurrected and seated in eternal honor at the right hand of the Father.

On the Cross, just before He died, Jesus cried out:

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." (John 19:30)

The word "Finished" is the same word Jesus uses in the Sermon on the Mount, when he exhorts his listeners to be "perfect" like their Father in Heaven.

So, to love our enemies is a task too much for any man to complete.

So God did the loving for us -- He showed us His love, and by His love operating in us, our awareness of His love for us, we can then in turn love everyone:

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

and then John follows this later with:

"We love him, because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19)

This love God's love, is ever-shedding, never-ending. Jesus dying on the Cross is not merely an example akin to "well, if He can do it, so can I" self-willed courage. More precisely, Christ Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father delivers Himself to us through the promise of the Holy Spirit (cf Acts 2:33; Ephesians 1:13), who first fruit is love (cf Galatians 5:22). It is God's love working within us, not our own. It is God's love that so stirs us to love others.

Yet I would still find myself upset from time to time with others. I became depressed and despondent to the extent that I would still get angry from time to time about people from the past.

Then I remembered Paul's glorious praise of God through Jesus Christ, the promise of His love that would never leave us:

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

"Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8: 38-39)

Nothing can separate me from God's love, not one things, because there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (cf Romans 8:1).

Also, I am forever beloved before God the Father:

"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:6)

The "Beloved" here is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, a title which God the Father bestowed on His Blessed Son, even before He accomplished any miracles or died on the Cross:

"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3: 16-17)

We can claim boldly that we are accepted and as beloved in the eyes of the Father, just like His Son:

"By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

If we lose our temper, If we find ourselves getting angry or fearful about anyone, we need only remember that God the Father loves us, because He loves His Son. We are one with His Son (cf John 17:21), forever beloved. As we meditate on our oneness with Christ Jesus, our fears dissipate. No matter who bad we feel, no matter how angry we may feel, we can rest secure that we are forever loved, blessed, and favored in Christ Jesus the beloved.

This love infused in us then carries us through all our engagements in the world. Even our enemies become recipients of our love, as we hold no fear or anger towards them any longer!

Christ in you, the hope of glory (Cf Colossians 1:27) enables to release obedience in concert with Christ's Sermon on the Mount. We have no enmity with God; therefore, we have no enmity with others in the world. The world cannot hurt us, deprive us of our standing in Christ, nor can the words and actions of others hinder His blessings in our love. We fear no man, and thus we harbor no resentment toward any!

We love everyone -- including our enemies, because He first loved us, and continues loving us!

Justified by Works- Works as Proof not Source of Righteousness

Paul declares through the example of father Abraham that we are justified by faith, as was he:

"For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." (Romans 4: 2-3)

James seems to contradict the assurance of Paul:

"Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" (James 2:21)

In James' Epistle, the writer points out that Abraham's works sprang from his faith -- they did not make him righteous, but effected (or culminated) the faith which was accounted to him for righteousness:

"Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

"And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." (James 2: 22-24)

The key phrase here is "faith made perfect", which in original reads "completed", or "perfected." There is no righteous work without faith, but no one can claim to walk in righteousness without their the essential inner work that the Finished Work of Christ has done in a believer:

"Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." (1 John 3:7)

Jesus spoke to the manifestations of obedience as proof of faith:

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

"Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

"A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

"Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7: 15-20)

Jesus places incredible importance on transforming the person, and then the actions following:

"33Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." (Matthew 12:33)

There was even hope for the Pharisee:

"Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also." (Matthew 23:26)

Right believing leads to right living. Let us not try to act righteous in order to presume upon ourselves right standing before God, for:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Jesus paid the price, made us righteousness, and forever justifies us before the Father by sitting and making intercession for us at His right hand. Let Him do the work, take the credit, and extend to us evermore the gift of righteousness which causes us to reign in life!

Reflections on "My Utmost" February 15 Part III

My life as a worker is the way I say "thank you" to God for His unspeakable salvation. Remember it is quite possible for any one of us to be flung out as reprobate silver – ". . . lest that by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

All this talk about "Work! Work! Work!"

God works, we receive, others believe on Him as He conceives and achieves His will through us:

"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2: 12-13)

What is our work? Believe on Him!:

"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6: 28-29)

Now, works borne of righteousness flow from a life that grows in grace and knowledge of the Lord:

"Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" (James 2:21)

These works sprang from his faith -- they did not make him righteous, but effected the faith which was accounted to him for righteousness:

"Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

"And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." (James 2: 22-24)

The key phrase here is "faith made perfect", which in original reads "completed", or "perfected." There is no righteous work without faith, but no one can claim to walk in righteousness without their actions demonstrating the inner work that the Finished Work has done in a believer:

"Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." (1 John 3:7)

Jesus spoke to the manifestations of obedience as proof of faith:

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

"Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

"A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

"Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7: 15-20)

Jesus places incredible importance on transforming the person, and then the actions following:

"33Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." (Matthew 12:33)

There was even hope for the Pharisee:

"Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also." (Matthew 23:26)

Reflections on "My Utmost" February 15 Part II

Has it ever dawned on you that you are responsible for other souls spiritually before God? For instance, if I allow any private deflection from God in my life, everyone about me suffers. We "sit together in heavenly places." "Whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it." When once you allow physical selfishness, mental slovenliness, moral obtuseness, spiritual density, everyone belonging to your crowd will suffer. "But," you say, "who is sufficient for these things if you erect a standard like that?" "Our sufficiency is of God," and of Him alone.

Chambers indicates that we "sit together in heavenly places".

He needed to quote the entire passage:

"And [God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2:6)

The point is not just where we sit, but with whom we sit, and in whom: that is Jesus Christ! He completes us:

"And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:" (Colossians 2: 10-11)

There is no issue, therefore, of the believer suffering because other believers are in a foul mood or have lost their place for the day. No matter what we feel, we are ever still the righteousness of God in Christ, and our failing or faltering cannot diminish the impartation of the Good News of Jesus Christ:

"But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

"What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." (Philippians 1: 17-18)

No matter what it takes, the Good News is getting preached, and no one, whether they have a bad day or not, can diminish the goodness of God being preached to the world.

In fact, for the believer, the very notion of defeat in moods and feelings is a non-issue, since love, joy, peace all are fruit of the Holy Spirit, borne in the believer according to his faith, not his works, (cf Galatians 5: 16, 22-23)

Reflections on "My Utmost" February 15

"Ye shall be My witnesses." How many of us are willing to spend every ounce of nervous energy, of mental, moral and spiritual energy we have for Jesus Christ? That is the meaning of a witness in God’s sense of the word.

Chambers makes "Serving the Lord" sound like an excessive effort, one that demands great effort from us.

Yet Paul warned his disciples not to rely on their own strength:

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

"Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

"For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

"For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

"For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love." (Galatians 5: 1-6)

"Faith worketh by love." This is God's love, not ours. Otherwise, we end up on a treadmill, with love as a goal which none of us can every achieve. Faith is a gift, the same faith of the Son of God (cf Galatians 2:20) who lives and dwells in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We do all things through Christ, who strengthens us (cf Philippians 4:13). If He does the work, then why do we have to strive?

Chambers gives the impression that the Holy Spirit is a separate entity in the believer, as though we must supply effort and achievement on our own.

As Pastor Prince has preached at length for a long time, it is not our love for God that matters, but rather His love for us:

"We love him, because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Governor Brown: No More Stay of Execution for Excess Strays

The state cannot caretake stray animals indefinitely.

Animal shelters are charged with the sad task of housing stranded and abandoned animals for the long term, then forced to destroy them when no one comes looking for a pet to adopt.

It is unfortunate that Bob Barker's plea at the end of every "The Price is Right" telecast failed so sway enough people to spay or neuter their pets.

The state of California has a massive debt to discharge, and caring for sick, lost, and forlorn pets is simply no longer on the list of things that government ought to do.

It is a inhumane to dispense with animals, forcing the taxpayer to pay for their upkeep and their hapless destruction, yet the ongoing population of unwanted pets is not serving anyone. We cannot prize animals at the expense of or children or our state's future.

Governor Brown has cut funds to redevelopment agencies, a tragic yet necessary cut to save what precious few funds that state has managed to retain. If closing down and forcing the rapid extermination of excess pets is necessary to ensuring the protection of essential services, then local animal activists must either invest their resources in privatizing the care of strays or resign themselves to the more grisly fate of more rapid animal extermination.

Occupy Movement Regroups ---?

Occupy Everywhere is a nowhere phenomenon, no boundaries, no policies, no sense but to preach violent, virulent nonsense.

Protest requires substances. Regrouping requires grouping in the first place, which not one protest demonstrated, from Wall Street to Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Activism must activate change based on action, not destruction. Where do these Occupy forces really think to find the resources or focus to make a point beyond exposing their vapid silliness? Of course, to consider these meandering, monstrous demonstrations "silly" only ignores the danger to civility and civil liberties posed by these monstrous manifests.

Instead of regrouping into another set of unsettled settlements, the people raging at their circumstances need to accept the limitations of human bravura and state power. Freedom is not free, nor need it be a burden to those who are willing to acknowledge forces beyond their own comprehension as fit and forcible in this life.

Occupy Everywhere needs to disband, and everyone needs to occupy a quiet space and figure out what they really want from this life, and what they have to offer, not pander and panhandle the public square for a hand and a handout.

Romney Wins Maine -- Barely

There were two losers in last Saturday's Maine caucuses.

Congressman Ron Paul invested time, energy, and money to take the New England state. Romney also pressed his presence there, hoping to stem the tide launched by three shut-outs in the Midwestern caucuses earlier this month. He won second place, just like in New Hampshire earlier in January.

Romney barely won, just like in Iowa, before it was declared that he had barely lost.

Romney is barely making any headway in this primary. If Ron Paul can nip at his heels in a state where he has plunged his efforts, a state which Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich skipped entirely, the Massachusetts Moderate must concede that he has failed to wow the remaining 75% still unhappy with the establishment pick.

Ron Paul has pushed his policies very hard. He is consistent, but he is consistently carrying a small delegation of dire-hard devotees, a delegation that cannot win a nomination for anything. Congressman Paul is a phenomenon, a following, but not a fit candidate. He can certainly help to force a brokered convention, which may be the saving grace for the GOP this year, though.

Brown Taxed to Talk About Taxes

Governor Brown, you can find the money to pay for our schools elsewhere than in another tax increase.

The citizens of the state of California have no reason to give any more money to a bloated and busted bureaucracy that cannot keep its accounting straight.

Legislators spend money they do not make on projects that they do not understand, they promise in perpetuity funds which they cannot deliver. No wonder taxpayers grow weary year after year of listening to their "representatives" beg the hardworking, and struggling, workers in this state to cough up more money that they do not have to offer.

If Sacramento has to cut its services to the bone, so be it. If families throughout the state have to decide whether to invest time and money in shoring up failing schools, let them at least decide where the money gets spent. Why not permit local school districts to divert bond funds to shoring up teachers instead of refurbishing classrooms? Why not privatize services not essential to the basic peace and quiescence of our communities? Pension and benefits reform must be the priority. If municipal governments declare bankruptcy to permit necessary renegotiations on outrageous packages strong-armed into law by vocal unions, then public employees will just have to bite the hardship and pull their weight.

No more Americans living on the dole. These emoluments are unacceptable. The state can no longer be the trough on which public employees engorge themselves at the expense of the state and the citizens who they are sworn to serve.

Reagan's Civility Has Become a Liability

Columnist Al Martinez claims that the current GOP nomination for President lacks the civility of dearly departed and overly euologized 40th President Ronald Reagan.

His visionary treatment of the Gipper gyps the reader of the truth. He talked a great talk, even issued the largest tax cut in American History. However, he failed to curtail spending, even raising taxes in the middle of his second term. His overinvestment in military might may have done less to precipitate the fall of the Soviet Union than the frank admission of the USSR's final premier -- Communism does not work, and glasnot became a necessity, no matter who the American President may have been.

Reagan preached a gospel of secular, deified individual optimism, which permitted people to hate government yet still live off of government, laughing away their own hypocrisy. For a man who preached "Man is basically good" to his dying day, even etching it on his elaborate tombstone, Reagan prospered the fantasy that American Exceptionalism does not have to cost anything.

We do not need future Presidents emulating Reagan's lofty rhetoric and softy reality on deficit and spending reduction. Only Congressman Ron Paul has demonstrated the integrity to call out a party that has lost its way, and that Reagan as standard bearer will not help this country back to the beaten path of sound money, limited government, and constitutional rule.

If nothing else, Reagan's amiable civility was a liability, one that declared every American a hero while refusing to hold each one of us accountable for our clay feet in a fallen world where economic scarcity still trumps patriotic desire.

Dickens and the Worst of Times -- Not Now

Charles Dickens farmed himself to work in blacking factory as a kid while his family languished in debtor's prison.

Charles Crapper was sent off to London to make his way in the world, with only a bag of goods tied to stick trundled over his shoulder.

And the 99% complain that they are not earning a two-figure beginning wage in this economy?

The absolute poverty rate in this country is nothing like what the down-and-out industrialized faced in Mid-1800's London. No matter how severe the current downturn, we have much to be thankful for in this country.

And the economy is already experiencing a slowly but more noticeable recovery. Less government, stalled legislation, limited financing and handouts from the state, all have prodded the public to make the most with what they have, which is a lot more than they had at first realized!

If there is a gap between haves and have-nots, politicians and protesters with no incentive to do more have created and magnified it beyond respectable reality. Big Banks cannot do their damage, Big Corporations cannot cause any havoc, without the recriminating interventions of Big Government, which at this stage of American History has impoverished itself with promises it cannot support and burdens it cannot accommodate.

Dickens witnessed the expansion of free markets and free enterprise, which crippled and frustrated city planners unprepared for the massive influx of migrant workers from the counties and countrysides. The United States needs more freedom, less regulation, less accounting from the state and more accountability from individuals, all of which are just as capable, like the two little Charles of novel and water closet fame, to get by in a world barely getting by.

"A Jesus Even Jews Can Love!"

Jesus was not anti-Semitic. He was anti-Pharisee, as He was also anti-works righteousness.

He ministered to Jews and gentiles alike.

To conclude that Jesus Christ was merely a holy man, and nothing more is to dispute the record of His resurrection and His claim: "I and the Father are One" (John 10:10)

This phrase set off the religious leaders to stone Him, for He intentionally referenced the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4.

Of course, there is that other thing He said about the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus is a take Him or Leave Him guy -- there is no middle ground with the Rabbi-Carpenter of Nazareth.

Rabbi Boteach, for all of his erudition and explication, cannot water down this sobering truth. Either he must accept that God became man and fulfilled the types and shadows set forth in Moses and the Prophets, or he must conclude that a Jewish carpenter somehow has perpetuated the grandest, greatest, and most massive public fraud in human history.

I go with the former. Jesus is my Messiah!

The Modern "Little C" church -- Diotrephes and the Spirit of Preeminence

John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, faced a strong opponent in the Body of Christ.

He was the closest to Christ, the only disciple who stayed with Jesus, even as He hung on the Cross. Jesus commissioned him to take care of His earthly mother.

Five times (the number of grace), John describes Himself as the "disciple whom Jesus loved". John was preeminent not for what he did, but for what God the Father did and keeps doing through His Son Jesus Christ!

John faced a straining opponent in the church. Diotrephes, was an opponent who had infiltrated the assembly of believers and was turning the brethren away from John.

John was very displeased with this man's witness in the Body of Christ:

"I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not." (3 John 9)

Here, "loves to have preeminence" renders the original Greek word "φιλοπρωτεύω
philopróteuó: to strive to be first, referring to one who desires preeminence or the chief place.

In Christ, we do not have to strive to be one with Him, yet He alone is preeminent, is number one. In Him alone do we have glory:

This Spirit of Diotrephes is very strong in many churches, a spirit in which men and women are seeking preeminence for themselves, and thus do not receive those who walk by faith, receiving God's grace to do every good work.

Why do people prop themselves up with preeminence? They do not know who they are in Christ.

We are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

We are seated in high places (lit. above the heavens") with Christ (Ephesians 2:6)

He lives in us, our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)

Seated with Christ, we reign over all principality and power (Colossians 2:10-15)

If we walk in the Light, which is Christ, then His blood continually cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1: 5-7)

If God is for us, then, who can be against us? Who can condemn us, who can put us to shame? (cf Romans 8: 31-34) We have no reason to fear the recriminations of men. We have no reason to prove ourselves, to work to achieve God's favor, which is grace and therefore unmerited!

Yet in the Body of Christ, because many are not skilful in the words of righteousness:

"For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

"But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

Now, to be skilled in righteousness is not a matter of doing more, but rather believing more. Believing is the chief work of God that Jesus exhorted His followers to do:

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:29)

This is the one work! Even Oswald Chambers conceded that it is much easier for man to do something than to trust and believe -- yet that is the one work without which it is impossible to please God! (cf Hebrews 11:6)

Yet many in the Body of Christ have become wrapped up in the works that they do, convinced that they can earn God's favor. Some are still stuck in the false notion that they must earn God's salvation! These are enemies of the Cross (cf Philippians 3:18), to the extent that they believe that there are still other things that we must do beyond Christ's Finished Work to merit God's unmerited favor in our lives!

Yet nothing can complement or compete with Christ and His Finished Work:

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

"And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2: 9-11)

"Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church." (3 John 9-10)

Here, "remember" renders the original word ὑπομιμνῄσκω hupomimnéskó
which speaks of reminding or calling attention to Diotrephes' conduct, somewhat like Paul when he confronted Peter for his dissimulation before the circumcised (Cf Galatians 2).

Diotrephes and his modern successors (whether intended or not) persecute those who trust in the Lord for all, resting in His grace, receiving His glory as the fullest extent of preeminence.

Paul wrote of this conflict between those who live after the flesh (Whether in the Body of Christ or not) and those who live after the Spirit:

"Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

"But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now." (Galatians 4: 28-29)

Those who are well-versed in righteousness have no need to provoke others, to seek a higher place, to love preeminence, for they know that they are already accepted in the Beloved (cf Ephesians 1:6)

The chief enemy in the Body of Christ, therefore, is not sin, but the spirit of Diotrephes, in which believers insist on vying for God's favor through their works rather than trusting in His grace.

Every believer needs to rest in the assertion which Paul gave to his trusted charge Timothy:

"But godliness with contentment is great gain." (1 Timothy 6:6)

Godliness itself is a gift from God:

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue." (2 Peter 1:3)

How tragic, that the same discontentment that causes men to be ignorant of the godliness which they have received as a gift is the same rebellion which stirred up Satan to rise up and then fall before the Lord!

This is an evil heresy, one which is routed out not by shame or blame, but by instructing all to be skillful in the words of righteousness!

Reflections on My Utmost February 14 Part III

After every time of darkness there comes a mixture of delight and humiliation (if there is delight only, I question whether we have heard God at all), delight in hearing God speak, but chiefly humiliation – What a long time I was in hearing that! How slow I have been in understanding that! And yet God has been saying it all these days and weeks. Now He gives you the gift of humiliation which brings the softness of heart that will always listen to God now.

No one can speak of humiliation in connection with Jesus Christ!

He took our shame -- He has none to impart or impute to us!

"Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.

"And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

"And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

"And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

"And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him." (Matthew 27: 27-31)

There is our shame. He took it for us. There is our humiliation, on the night that Jesus was crucified. Jesus the Creator, the Beloved of the Most High, was stripped naked and bleeding, wounds ripped afresh a second time. At least one hundred soldiers spat upon Him, not just four or five as depicted in the superficial Passion of Jesus produced by Mel Gibson (I write this facetiously, for Gibson's 2004 depiction of our Lord's graphic Passion was the most accurate in its bloody accuracy to date)

With humiliation comes condemnation and the punishment that accompanies it, all of which Christ has removed from us:

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. " (Romans 8:1)


"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." (Romans 8: 34)

Jesus presently and forever sits at the right hand of the Father. He justifies us now(cf Romans 4:5, Romans 8:33) and He makes intercession for us, turning our prayers into perfect ascents to the Father. He does this Now -- he justifies and prepares us Now. So, why would He be humiliating us, too?

"How slow I have been in understanding that!"

There is one cure for one slow of heart: See and hear more of Jesus!:

"Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

"Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24: 25-27)

Even when Jesus "upbraided" his followers, it was an exhortation to receive more of His grace:

"And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28: 17-20)

He is with us "alway", and the love which receive from Him by the Power of His Holy Spirit (cf John 20:22) is a certainty of security for the believer:

"And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5:5)

God is love (1 John 4:16), in whom there is no darkness -- there is nothing in Him to make anyone ashamed!

Reflections on My Utmost February 14 Part II

Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God’s hand until we learn to hear Him.

Birds merely following the impulse and power given to them by their Creator:

"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

"Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?" (Matthew 6: 26-27)

Of course, we are worth far more than birds, the most inexpensive of sacrifices. In fact, Jesus promised to give us the Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God:

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:13)


"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32)

and the proof that God has given these gifts? His own Son, delivered up for us:

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8: 31-32)

"What I tell you in darkness" – watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet. If you open your mouth in the dark, you will talk in the wrong mood: darkness is the time to listen. Don’t talk to other people about it; don’t read books to find out the reason of the darkness, but listen and heed. If you talk to other people, you cannot hear what God is saying. When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.

Once again, Oswald Chambers fails to rightly divide the Word of God (cf 2 Timothy 2: 15)

For those who believe, outer darkness makes no difference, for we walk by faith, and not by sight (cf 2 Corinthians 5:7)

We have nothing to fear from darkness:

"Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." (1 Thessalonians 5:5)

Darkness is no longer an issue for the believer. Only to the extent that a man insists on guiding his walk based on his circumstances, his feelings, his senses, his thoughts, only to that extent will a man stumble in darkness.

And there is a simple solution even to that:

"NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119: 105)

His Word guides us. This verse is telling for other reasons. John writes in his gospel:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

"The same was in the beginning with God.

"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

"In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

"And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:1-5)

Jesus is the Word, and we learn of Him to the extent that we receive of Him in the Scriptures. He is the Light of Men and of the World (cf John 8: 12). Even the Holy Spirit in Psalm 119: 105indicates the primacy of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as the Light, for the verse is the first line beginning the "NUN" section of that lengthy psalm. "Nun" in the Hebrew Alphabet represents seed (which is the Word, see Mark 4), and also the Son! The Holy Spirit ministering through the Psalmist wanted to make plain that the Word, the Light, obliterates all darkness. You just have to believe and receive Him!

Reflection on "My Utmost" February 14

At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him.

Nothing could be further from the Truth:

"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5)

God has no darkness to impart. If there were darkness, that was a manifestation of the Old Covenant, to the extent that the children of Israel still operated under a works-righteousness mentality:

Does God hide Himself?

"Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour." (Isaiah 45:15)

Remember, though, that Isaiah uttered this words before Christ's Finished Work on the Cross.

Yet even during His ministry, Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, God in the Flesh beheld man:

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

"(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

"That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1: 1-3)


"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)


"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3: 18)

We are simply to behold Him, His glory, full of grace and truth:

"14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

If the understanding of a believer is darkened, he need only ask the Lord by the Power of the indwelling Spirit to open the eyes of his understanding (Ephesians 1: 17-21). God does not stop shedding his grace, light, and truth. We walk by faith, and therefore receive His love, witness, and power through faith, not our senses.

How to Read the Bible -- For Every Circumstance

To read the Bible according to God’s providential order in your circumstances is the only way to read it, viz., in the blood and passion of personal life. -- Oswald Chambers

It is not our own flesh and blood that must guide our reading and understanding of scripture, but rather Christ's:

"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (Romans 8:3)


"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

"By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

"And having an high priest over the house of God;

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10: 19-22)

Let us discern the Flesh and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

When Jesus met his downcast disciples Cleopas and company on the road to Emmaus, Jesus taught of Himself in all the Scriptures:

"Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

"Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24: 25-27)

Jesus even convicted the Pharisees for the spiritual blindness, pointing the Scriptures as proof and testimony of Himself:

"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." (John 5:39)

We do not need to find a specific answer to our circumstances, we need only discern more about the Beloved Lord and Savior, Man and Glory Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the answer to every problem, the supply for every need, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the First of Many Brethren, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World, the Good Shepherd, the First and the Last, and who has been from the beginning!

What more does one need to overcome one's circumstances?:

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)


"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4)

and therefore

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

Read about Jesus, learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, ready to rest you of all you burdens (Mathew 11: 28) In Him, no circumstance will overcome you, no problem will overwhelm you:

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 54:17)


"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Romans 8:37)

Monday, February 13, 2012

One more thing about the Guidi Affair . . .

"Power corrupts; absolutely power corrupts absolutely." -- Lord Acton.

If the voters in a community insist on allowing a man to serve term after term without much oversight, no one should be surprised if corruption comes about.

The former mayor of the "City of Good Neighbors" went down over stealing a pizza mixer from a school warehouse -- do we laugh or cry? While Guidi did help bring businesses back to the area, it is a shame that the city and its citizens had to contend with theft from the top down.

Despite being the hometown of the Beach Boys, it would be nice if the world at large knew Hawthorne as more than a struggling city with half-ghetto, half elite identity crisis.