11 November 2006

Today's Readings 11 Nov.

Lamentations 3 - 5
Hebrews 8

One of the tough things about a regular through-the-Bible reading program like the one I have been doing for some years is that after a while you see the effects of the sin of the nation when judgment and catastrophe come upon them. It's perhaps a bit like watching the re-run of a catastrophe film - you want to warn the people and there's nothing you can do. Except, perhaps, to reflect upon the warning in the text and to realize that one of the reasons that the text is there for us to read.
The book of Lamentations follows in this path. The previous books of the Old Testament, particularly 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Isaiah, and Jeremiah are often discouraging in the sense that the we see almost a determination to sin. The results of that sin are harsh and sure, though just. The record of death and slaughter, of pain, loss, bloodshed, and incredible violence are shocking. They're almost as severe as what we see in our own world though we dislike to recognize that fact.
And what scares me, what bothers me a lot, is the parallels between the culture in ancient Israel and Judah, and what I see in that part of the world we used to call Christendom. Particularly in the US, if only because I live here.
And I must reflect that virtually every evil, every sin condemned by the prophets in Israel and Judah can be found in nearly every American city and town. And, knowing that God is just, can we escape the retribution of which the prophets warned?

The 11th Hour

Today is Armistice Day, marking the end of WW1, the ''War to End All Wars'' as one of the biggest idiots in American political history called it. You don't see much about it these days, but at one time it was normal for school kids to learn one of the famous poems to come out of that massive bloodletting.

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

I never read that final stanza without an element of shame over the way we have dishonored the efforts and memory of those brave men. I am no longer certain of the rightness of that war, it has been nearly a century now and the world has many new evils, and I know altogether too much about some of the participants in and around that war. But those who fought on behalf of the United States and of Canada, certainly deserve the very highest respect.
And now, if you're lucky, you can buy a red paper flower on a plastic stem from an old veteran in front of the Wal-Mart. If you're lucky. Somehow, I think we should honor them in a better way than that.

10 November 2006

Friday thoughts

Random stuff today.
I've been out a couple days. My beloved had a problem with the video on ''my system'' so she unplugged the cable from the video card, only to discover that the cable was all that was holding the monitor onto the monitor shelf of my desk. CRASH! Dead monitor. Also dead video card - the stress probably did the internal connections no particular good. And for a group normally having components underfoot (sometimes literally) we have ZERO video cards to replace mine with. A spare monitor (the trash pickup took away the busted one this morning) but no video card. And a shortage in the cash department, we'll be a week or so before buying a replacement. So I'm borrowing daughter's laptop. I hate laptops - the keyboard stinks.

I see in the news that we have yet another dead citizen courtesy of an illegal alien. Check out the link Immigrant in crash poses dilemma in the Observer out of the Charlotte, NC area. I guess the dilemna arises from the unwillingness of the authorities to actually enforce the law, something that I thought they'd sworn an oath to. Stupid me. From the article:

Carlos Gonzalez Hernandez, 36, remained in Durham County jail Thursday charged with felony death by vehicle in the wreck that killed Sue Williamson, 54, and injured her husband, Tom, on Sunday morning on U.S. 70. Police said Gonzalez Hernandez had a blood-alcohol level of .17 after the crash.

It was the second deadly collision in North Carolina involving an illegal immigrant in two weeks.

This whole mess bothers me. We seem to have a situation here where citizens are dying weekly in encounters with illegal alien invaders, and there seems to be no interest in heeding, obeying, enforcing, or respecting the law. This is not a good thing.

08 November 2006

More victims of ''the religion of peace''

I guess that the title, in '' The Australian'' pretty much says it:

Beheaded girls were Ramadan 'trophies'
recounting the murder of three Christian schoolgirls in the Phillipines.
Coming soon to your town, I fear.