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Muslin stuff- 2014 b









Before I forget- the chapters for this week are Galatians 5 and Luke 9- if I get a chance I might hit on them at the end.


Ok- this week has been a big news week.


As I watched our secretary of state- John Kerry- do ‘shuttle diplomacy’ between the Palestinians and Israel- I thought we must be living in a dream world.




For many years now- the big issue- that some felt was the lynch pin to peace in the Arab world- was this issue.


But over the last few years- it is not seen in the same way any more.


Since the so called Arab Spring- the Palestinian issue has really been a background issue.


Now- I’m not saying we should forget it- but it’s not on the top burner any more.


The big burning issues are the 100 thousand people killed in the Syrian conflict.


The 2nd over throw of an Egyptian leader [for good or ill].


The major unrest in many of these Arab nations- these are the big issues.


And the U.S. was treating the Palestinain issue as a sort of emergency thing- Kerry was doing late night meetings- for some elusive break thru that has been ‘eluding’ US secretaries of state for 30 years now.


It just seemed sad- I mean I am not an Obama hater- by no means- but it’s almost to the point of incompetence.




I listened to the radio news- one day the President made a statement that we were behind Morsi [Egyptian president] 100 %.


The very next day- the statement from the administration was ‘we are not taking sides’.


This is so bad- we have lost all credibility in the world.



The Snowden aftermath.


This week we also saw the NSA leaker release more info about US spying- this time on our allies.


Now- Obama tried to defend the operation- by saying all of our allies do this.


Is this so?


He was spinning [lying?] the story.


Our European allies said ‘look- we all do targeted spying- true- but not the massive trolling for data that you guys are doing’.


The reality is our allies do not do what we do- this type of ‘throw the net out’ type of collecting of data.


Our allies were shocked that we were doing it to this degree- on them!


Obama said we needed to do this because it also provided a benefit to these allies [who we are spying on] because of terrorism.


They replied ‘how many terrorists are you finding by bugging our diplomatic offices’.


They are mad- France wants to postpone our upcoming economic talks over this- it is bad.



Last but no least- Obama delayed- for one year- one of the main parts of Obama care.




He simply said they were doing this because of business concerns.


The part he put off was the requirement for employers to insure their people- or pay a fine.



Now- when Obama Care was being touted- many critics said that these types of forced mandates on private business would hurt the economy.



But the proponents instead said no- but it will actually help it.


The main reason it was delayed- was because the implementing of it right now was going to be a disaster- like the critics said.


Next year we have the mid term elections- and the political insiders all knew that the Repubs were going to use the unpopularity of the plan- and try and repeat another mid term blow out [like the last one].


So- most think he put it off for purely political reasons.



But- if the plan was all that it was cracked up to be- why put it off?



Much of what the critics said was right- there are already reports [Bloomberg] that rates are going to skyrocket for many under the plan- and that there are still going to be millions of people with out insurance.



So- in all honesty- the critics were indeed right- and the fact that the president arbitrarily delayed it for one year proves it.


I mean it is questionable if he can even do it [delay it].


It is the law of the land.


Say if a Repub gets in next- can he do the same thing?



Of course not- they would be accusing him of breaking the law.



Okay- as you can see- there are ripples of trouble on the horizon.



I want to end with Luke 9.


A few key points;


Jesus tells his men that they are going to go out- preach the kingdom and go light.


‘Don’t take a wallet- or extra clothing- stay at whoever’s house they offer- etc.’


He talks about giving your life away ‘whoever tries to save his life will lose it- but he that loses it will find it’.


I like the last verse ‘he that puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not fit for the kingdom’.



Over the years I have tried to put our modern American preaching in context.


It’s been tough- because there are a lot of well meaning folk- who focus in on actual bible verses- and teach a sort of Christianity based on the increase of wealth mindset.


Now- along with this teaching you also see a basic self help course mentality- only Christianized.


Yet at the same time we read in the gospels a type of radical calling of Jesus.


Explicitly telling people that this mission is not about us- not about getting stuff- but giving your life away.


It’s the overall context of all that Jesus said and did that goes contrary to the American message.


But it takes time to see this- we have a tendency to gravitate towards a message of financial abundance- or a message that seems to provide security for us and our kids.


It’s in mans nature to see things this way- that’s why Jesus made statements like ‘you can not serve God and money’.


I mean he does not say stuff like this just once or twice- but this is an underlying theme of his entire life.



The other day I taught a little from the book of Samuel chapter 12.


Nathan the prophet confronted King David- and gave a story about a rich man who had lots of sheep- and a poor man who had one.


In the story the rich man gets rebuked- the poor man praised.


Jesus does the same thing in his parables.


The rich are seen in a negative light- the poor in a positive one.


Now- this is actually a sign of a prophet- one who defends the poor and rebukes the affluent.



The prophet Amos- in the Old Testament bares this calling.







Jesus is challenging us- all of us- to take up the Cross and to follow him.



And a big part of that is living- not for self gain- not for self security- but giving our lives away.


One of the guys I have run into these last 6 months is a man by the name of Jude.


He’s around 70 year’s old- and always on the go.


His motto is ‘it’s hard to hit a moving target’.


And he does indeed live by this motto.


I met him thru the work I was doing at the halfway house.


He’s a big shot with  AA- and is known all over the country as someone who has brought many to sobriety thru AA.


He even has his own following in AA- they call them ‘disciples of Jude’ or something like that [a take off from the tribe of Judah in the bible- Judaism or something- I don’t remember the exact phrase].



I was with my buddy David one day- he keeps in touch with Jude every day by phone.


I asked him ‘hey- where’s Jude’?


He tells me he moved to Chicago.


He went back and is living on his friend’s couch- doing some business deal- and working for AA.



Then- the other day I find out he moved to the Mexico/Texas border and is renting a house in Mexico because it’s cheap.



I mean the guy is really a moving target.



So as I’m sitting with my buddy David- the phone rings- its Jude.



David told him I might have stopped by and stayed with him for a week or so in Chicago.


I was thinking of doing it.


But first I’m going to get a little settled in N.J. /NY area.


Jude says ‘sounds like me- a moving target’.



In Luke 9- Jesus is telling his men to be moving targets.


He’s saying ‘go light- when you go to an area to work for the kingdom- just stay wherever you can- eat what they serve- and then move on’.



In the mindset of the world- you strive to be secure- you seek that thru the ownership of stuff- the false security that people find in wealth.


Now- don’t get me wrong- we are to be responsible- and I have worked- retired- made money- the whole 9 yards.


But I have tired to give stuff away too- to live the ideal that Jesus clearly speaks about in the gospels.



In a way- I feel like my hand is now steady on the plough- I’m afraid to look back.


NOTE- In the last post I mentioned how president Obama was rebuked by the president of Senegal because he was openly challenging these African nations on their stance on homosexuality.


He later went to Kenya and did the same thing- sort of was publicly speaking about the recent decision by the Supreme Court and how he hailed it as a great stride for civil rights.


Now- the Deputy President of Kenya took him aside and rebuked him- and told Obama that they do not appreciate him demeaning their values in such an open way- and using his pulpit to say so.


The Kenyan official quoted scripture ‘vain is the man who puts his trust in man and not God’


The Kenyan official said he –and Kenya- were not going to remain silent as Obama spoke against their value system- and they feared God more than an American president.


It was surprising to see so many world leaders openly denouncing the president like this- I am not jumping for joy over this- I’m showing you that we have lost alot of credibility in the world- even among leaders that would normally not say anything.









Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook] – I have posted lots.











As I get ready for my final departure- what I would like to do is tell a couple of the ‘best of the best’ type stories on my way out.


Many years ago- in the early 80’s- I was going to a Fundamental Baptist church- I was the youth leader and filled in for the preacher at times.


Good church- great people.


But- this style of Christianity looks down upon what the bible refers to as the Charisms- or the gifts of the Spirit.


Now- as a teacher for many years- one who tries to ground himself in the historic church.


The main teaching- by most of the churches- is the gifts do indeed still operate today.


But- you have lots of ‘silliness’ in some of the expressions of them- and of course- you have out and out charlatans too.



So- during this time- I was a young believer- just got kicked out of the Navy [maybe will tell that one next?] and was painting houses for a contractor [right before I got hired at the Fire Dept.].


One day we were painting this dentists house- Charles Clements- and I’ll never forget.


I was downstairs in a room- and I thought I heard a bloodcurdling scream!


I went to the spot where I thought the scream came from- and sure enough- the mother of the kids had pulled her young boy out form the bottom of the pool- he drowned to death.


My job foremen- Randy Maltby- started doing CPR- well- he actually just tried to do mouth to mouth- and water was coming out of the boy.



Now- I worked 25 years at the Fire Dept.- I have seen lots of dead folk- this kid was dead.



But- at this time- I did not have the experience and simply asked the mom ‘do you want me to pray’?


She was hysterical- and screamed YES!!



I will never forget the prayer- I was very calm- and simply started praying for God to raise the boy from the dead- for God to put the boy’s spirit back in him.



As I prayed- I heard the boy cough- and in a short time he was awake.



Now- the ambulance came and took him to the ER.



About a week later the news paper came to interview me and the other carpenters- they did a front page story about the boy.






The boy was around 3-5 years old- but he made- what the doctors called- a miraculous recovery.



He recounted the story to them.


He said when he as at the bottom of the pool- Jesus came to him and told him he was going to bring him back to life.



The paper [Kingsville Record- early 80’s- maybe you can find it on line?] ran a full story on it- they did say ‘Chiarello was in the room- praying’.


As you can imagine- this was somewhat of a shock for the Baptist Church I was going to.


And the story was the talk of the town.



To be honest- I didn’t see what all the fuss was about- I thought everyone believed God could do stuff like this.


But as the years went by- I realized lots of people- some more Charismatic types- they talk a lot about this stuff- but in actuality- it rarely happens.




In Luke chapter 16 Jesus tells the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus.



The rich man had it made- all the stuff you ever could want- a ‘more than enough’ mentality for sure!


The poor man was begging every day at the gate- the dogs came and licked his sores.



One day the rich man dies- goes to hell.


Lazarus dies- goes to heaven.


The rich man sees Lazarus with Abraham- and asks father Abraham to send Lazarus with some water- the rich man is hot!


Abraham says he cant- there is this gulf- and you can’t pass over.


The rich man says ‘well- at least let Lazarus go back to my brothers who are still alive- maybe he can warn them’.


Jesus says ‘they have Moses and the Prophets [their writings] let them get warned by that’.


The rich man says ‘no- but if one comes back from the dead- they will listen’.


Jesus says ‘if they won’t be convinced by the Old Testament writings- then neither will they believe if one rose from the dead’.




The boy in the above story is Andrew Clements- his dad is a famous dentist here in South Texas- he runs an ad every week in the paper.


Charles Clements.



Some might think ‘gee John- how do we know your not making this stuff up’.



Look- I take no money- have nothing to sell- and to be honest- at this point- have no reputation to defend.


Why the heck would I make this stuff up?


Yeah- some of you will believe- but some wont- even if one Rose from the Dead.










Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook] – I have posted lots.









‘If you have faith- just like a mustard seed- the smallest of all seeds [less than zero?] you would say to THIS MOUNTAIN ‘be removed and be cast into the sea’ and it would do it’!



Jesus says lots of neat stuff ‘I am the door of the sheep- by me- if any man enter in he shall be saved’.






You mean hinges and stuff?


Well- not really- you’ll see soon.




The other day I caught an interview with Julian Assange.


He’s the WikiLeaks founder who has been hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy.


The U.S. is hunting him down- and he’s staying there as a shelter.


Why are we hunting him?


He was the recipient [not the leaker!] of thousands of emails and texts that Bradley Manning ‘illegally’ downloaded to his computer disk- and gave them to WikiLeaks [a site that exposes the secrets of corrupt governments].



Now- I am not saying I agree with all the leaks he did- but some were exposing corruption.


The most damaging of the leaks showed secret recordings between the U.S. and other govts- things that are indeed bad- some real bad.


The worst thing leaked was the video of a U.S. chopper killing civilian reporters [by accident].


The problem?


There were kids in the van- and we kept shooting!


On the video- you hear our guys realizing there were kids that we might have shot.


Our guys say ‘that’s what they get for bringing there kids’.


These were civilian reporters for heavens sake!



Okay- that’s the worst of what Assange REPORTED.



The U.S. govt. is trying to catch the guy- if we do- he will never see the light of day.



We tried Manning on charges that could have merited the death penalty.


For what?


National security secrets?


No- for what I just told you.



So- we are trying to execute- imprison- and stop folk- who exposed some bad stuff.


Yeah- now your ‘getting’ it.



I was reading the book of Revelation the other day.


I like the imagery of the powerful angels.


They are putting chains on satan- casting great stones into the water.


These images show us stuff.


Stones into the water?


Yeah- one angel cast a great millstone- ‘like a mountain- into the sea’.




Sounds like the verse at the top.



Mountains represent kingdoms- power structures.


When these ‘mountains’ become corrupt- they are ripe for getting thrown into the sea.


So- in Jesus day they had this custom.


We read in the bible [Acts] that there were those who made/worshipped idols at the time of Jesus.


You could have your own little idol statue made- for a price.


Those who renounced these practices- after becoming Christ followers- they would take these idols and throw them into the sea.


Yeah- like casting a stone into the water.


Now- the bigger the rock- the bigger the splash.


One day Jesus was walking with his men- rumor has it that they were right next to a spot where you would take these statues- stones- and cast them into the water.



Right up the trail there was this strange sight.


It’s still there today.


There are these 2 mountains.


But one of the mountains has its ‘top’ cut off- and the other mountain has ‘extra’ on top.



The story goes that king Herod- a corrupt king who ruled Palestine at the time of Christ.



He had the slaves literally cut the top of one mountain off- and put it on top of the other.


Yeah ‘king of the hill’ type thing.



He built this palace/penthouse on top- so all the world could see who was the king of the hill.



Now- you have this radical revolutionary- Jesus- who has come in the footsteps of John the Baptist.


John was a mad man- dressed in loin cloths and ate grasshoppers!



One time Herod had John put in jail- but John couldn’t keep his mouth shut.


He kept yelling ‘Herod- you took your brothers wife- your committing adultery!’


Herod was afraid of John- but the misses- well now that’s another story.



You could imagine the anger- she had to hear this rugged prophet- day in and day out- telling everyone what she did [John was the original WikiLeaker!]


So- one day Herod’s wife’s daughter dances this sensual dance for the king.


The king says ‘wow babe- that was the best lap dance ever- name your price’.



She asks her mom ‘what should I ask for’?


Now- the mom is sneaky- and she says ‘tell him you want John’s head- on a platter’.


Yeah- the deed is done.



So- that’s the Herod that Jesus knows- the one who beheaded his friend/cousin.



So- one day Jesus is walking with his men- they know the scoop- that these stones- when you cast them into the sea- well- it’s representing a kingdom- an idol- coming down.



Now- in this context- standing right by Herods Mountain top Villa.








Well you know the story- Jesus gets crucified- there are various Roman Emperors who will come after and destroy Gods people.



There was this general by the name of Constantine- a great military ruler.



In the 4th century he comes to fight for the rule of Rome- he wants to consolidate the Roman Empire under one rule.


He has this dream before the big battle.


In the dream he sees a vision of a Cross in the sky.


He hears a voice ‘in this sign conquer’.


The next day he paints this Cross on the shields of his men.



He wins the battle- becomes the new emperor- and in a short time he will declare Christianity the new religion of the realm.



Yeah- even this mountain fell- just like Jesus said.



Note- Door of the sheep.


In Jesus day you had these circular walls- they were stone sheep pens- in a circle.




They had no gate- no door.


When the sheep would enter in and bed down for the night- the Shepherd himself would lie down in the entrance.


He became the door.


No sheep could leave- or wolves enter- unless they passed over the door.




That’s what Jesus meant when he said HE was the door of the sheep- he would lie down [in death] for his sheep- friends.




Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook] – I have posted lots.










Having taken about 3 months away from news watching- I mean I have watched/read some- but no where near the usual amount.


It has given me some time to sit back and observe the scene from a distance.


And what I have seen is sad- to be frank about it.




Our country has become polarized- in my view- like never before.


Now- we have always had haters on the extreme right and left- that’s not new.


But even if you watched the media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing- as the president spoke- you could tell that one of the main things on his mind was how fast he would call it ‘terror’.


Yeah- he seemed to be more worried about what the ‘right’ would say- then the actual bombing itself!



This past Sunday Israel hit Syria for the 2nd time in a couple of weeks- and the 3rd time this year.


They took out some long range rockets that Iran was supplying for Hezbollah- the group that has been operating out of Lebanon for years.


They are the ones who send rockets into Israel whenever things flare up on their mutual border.


So- it seems as if Syria [Iran] was possibly trying to expand the current war in Syria- and make it a broader ‘The West against the Arab world’ type thing.



Look- our strategy in the entire so called Arab Spring has not gone well.



There our nations/leaders who were at one time allies [Mubarak] – we sat with them and had peace agreements with them.


Then- after a short amount of time- we were siding with those who were going to hang them and their families.


Yes- this created a severe mistrust of the U.S. – the allies of the U.S. felt like we were throwing them under the bus.


Now- Assad- the leader in Syria- was called a reformer by Hilary Clinton.


A year or 2 later- we are on the verge of siding with groups who are affiliated with Al Qaeda- and basically backing those who are about to kill Assad- and more than likely his family as well.



So- if the leaders of these nations- who are just as bad as the ones we support.



Yes- we support the corrupt monarchy of Bahrain- and these guys are just as bad as Assad.


But we have a Naval Fleet stationed off the coast of Bahrain- se we overlook their oppressive rule.



But we side with those who are seeking the overthrow of other Arab nations- and our policy is simply inconsistent- to say the least.


So- what about Syria?


A few months ago Obama did draw a Red Line that he probably now regrets.


He said the use of Chemical Weapons would be a ‘game changer’.


So- there have been reports of them being used.



Some think the rebels themselves have used them- in order to ‘play us’ and get us involved.


Others reported the use of ‘Chlorine’- okay- this is a chemical- and Bob Shieffer even said this was ‘using Chemical weapons on HIS OWN PEOPLE’.



Did we describe the killing of one of the Boston Marathon guys as ‘the U.S. killed their own people’?


Look- Syria is in the midst of a brutal civil war- and I feel for the innocent ones caught in the middle.


But- there are many ‘terror’ splinter groups in this thing- and some are indeed ‘home grown’.


So yes- if you want to call Syria’s action ‘against his own people’


Then fine- but that’s simply a propaganda tool for U.S. involvement.


And if you say using Chlorine is crossing a red line for war- then what about outright bullets in the heads of ‘your own people’.


Yes- many in the media think the killing of people is legitimate- that is actual killing in war is ‘ok’.


But- using Chlorine- well now- that has to stop!



Do you see how the media can manipulate the public here?



I don’t know what the answer is in Syria- but U.S. military intervention is not the solution- period.



We are going to have hearings in a few days on the Benghazi debacle.


And we should.


But understand- the group that killed our ambassador- we enabled them to operate out of Libya because we sided with those who killed Gadhaffi- who by the way was another so called ally of the U.S. [like Mubarak].


So- we want peace- we abhor killing- on all sides.



But- we are a divided people- we are polarized- we can’t seem to function as a nation- as a governmental entity any more.


I don’t know what the answer is- but we as a people are heading for trouble.


One short example;


The other day I was talking to a friend- he was surprised to hear my views on stuff like this.



In my part of the world it’s rare for a blogger- a Christian ‘web site’ to hold to these more liberal views.



I gave him the example of the ‘low’ level of education that our present media has been pumping out to the public on a daily basis.



One day I was watching Glen Beck.


He was hailed as a great historian by one of the guys on the show.


And during the show- some one gave a quote ‘A NATION DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CAN NOT STAND’.



The person said this quote came from a contemporary source.




Beck was quick to correct the man.


‘So and so did not say this- but Lincoln did!’


Beck quipped.


The guests were dumb founded- they were corrected- on national TV- by the ‘historian’ on the set.


Yeah- they submitted like one of Pavlov’s dogs- tail between their legs.



One thing- Lincoln didn’t coin this phrase either.



It came from Jesus Christ- it’s in the New Testament for heavens sake.



So- the current state of Western media has been held hostage by a sort of media fantasy land.


Our media is based on what the public wants to hear- what the ratings are.


When we allow national media figures to be so misinformed- and to have forums on a national set- then yes-


Just like Lincoln- and Jesus- and the other guy said




I fear they did get that one right.




Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook] – I have posted lots.











I wanted to hit a few more verses from yesterdays post.


‘If I had not come and spoken unto them they had not had sin- but now they have no cover for it’


‘You did not choose this, but I did- that you should go and bear fruit’


‘But this happened- so that the law would be fulfilled’


‘If you know these things, happy are you if you DO THEM’



Obviously Jesus is speaking about his life and ministry- because he walked among men sin-less- that left humanity with no more excuse.


But this year I applied some of this to my own situation- talking about things- sharing my struggles- so others too could face up to their own demons.



As I posted this past year- I spoke about open community- people being real about their trials and stuff.


A key verse from the start of the year was ‘God saw the light- that it was good- and he divided the light from the dark- and he called the light DAY’.


This is in Genesis chapter 1.


In a symbolic way I applied it to ‘walking in the light’.


That is- finally getting to a point in life where we hide no more.



Another verse says ‘God made the greater light to rule the day- and the lesser light to rule the night’.


For many years I felt like we- lots of us- people in ministry- we have walked- so to speak- in the Lesser Light.


That is God used us- in a limited way- but it was a ‘lesser light’.


I have had ministry friends over the years- who were embroiled with stuff much worse than my stuff.


I have also seen the familiar faces of high profile people- caught in scandals and stuff.


And some of these public cases were never really resolved- not in a biblical way.



Maybe they had ‘plea deals’ that never said ‘ok- did you do such and such’.



Or others outright lied- maybe they justified it by thinking ‘God forgives me- therefore I will not be ‘lying’ if I say ‘no- I am innocent of the charge’.


But- if they misled- in a court of law- or anywhere else- then they will have to some day give an account.


So- the biblical standard is you tell the truth.


Now- my stuff dealt with a situation where at times- like when you actually do have whats called blackouts [no lie- for real].


Then you do the best you can.


I’m proud that I at first said I was sorry- even though I truly did not know all the details- and there were things that later did seem to say some stuff [not all] was possibly made up.


But- all in all- from the start- I took the Sunlight approach.



The Apostle Paul says to the Corinthian church ‘why are you taking one another to court- are there no wise men among you who can judge these things’.


He was rebuking them because they did not practice open community with each other- because they wanted their rights- they were suing one another.



Now- in today’s world- I don’t fault people for going to the courts- the point I’m making is we often choose ‘lying’ as the first defense- even Christians!


That should not be so- regardless of the consequences- we should not do that.



Now- in some cases- I see how people might be tempted to lie- because there would be very serious consequences.


At the end of the day- It’s better for these things to come out now- then at the judgment.



Okay- I went a little long.



I did want to do a little week in review type thing- I want to mention the danger of the present Drum beats for involvement in Syria.


I fear we might be going down a bad road- again- with the way things are going.



Yes- Syria is bad- and we want the violence to end- but all the ‘limited’ actions being discussed [no fly zone- bomb this part but no more].


All these things are the same mistakes we have made- over and over again- yet we keep going down this same rabbit trail- sad- so sad.



Maybe I’ll hit on it tomorrow- but for today- try and read these 3 chapters in John’s gospel [13-15].


See what a high standard Jesus puts on Truth- the Spirit of Truth.


In any of the above cases- men- well meaning men- that take the ‘less than honest’ route- and then later want to move ahead in ministry- in things that require Truth.



I think if we don’t get the foundation right- then the rest of the house is being built on sand.




Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Face  book] – I have posted lots.







Today is really my first day back- real time [I’m posting this right after I write it].


I have been journaling for the past 3 months- but that’s a little different.


Okay- out of all the news events- Boston marathon bombing- Ricin letters [by the way- last I saw they seem to have arrested the wrong guy].


Out of these events- a smaller one stands out in my mind.


The handling of the debt crisis in Cyprus.


A few weeks back Cyprus- one of the very small states that’s involved with the E.U. debt crisis- did a surprising move and simply confiscated the money of private citizens from the banks and used that to pay off debt.


Now- they took what was over and above there form of FDIC insurance for the depositors.


In essence- they looted the accounts of their customers.


Now- this simply shows us how bad the EU debt crisis is- and that things have not actually improved- but gotten worse.



So- how has the global market reacted?


This is what’s funny [or sad?] it seems as if some are in denial- while others are simply hedging their bets.


There is a huge amount of money in the system [what we look at when the dow goes up- or down] that simply is looking at the numbers- sort of like a bookie would look at the odds on a game.


Some of this money is simply there because- for various reasons- they think more money might be coming into the system.


That is some investors are not investing because they think the global market is sound- some invest because they think the situation is so bad that it merits a bailout.



I read an article on Egypt- how Morsi [the president] believes that the western nations will bail him out- give him loans that are above what they should get- and he believes this because he thinks they are ‘too big to fail’.



That is- he is expecting the loan not because they are stable- Egypt used to have a good economy- but since the ‘revolution’ it has been a real mess.


So- as a direct result of their Arab Spring- they need much more cash than before.


And Morsi thinks they will get it- even though- economically they probably don’t deserve it [not to mention some real ideological problems with the new leadership- like very anti Semitic statements that the leader holds to].



So- overall- we are in April of 2013- and the European debt crisis is not over- but probably getting worse.





These last few months I have been reading more of the gospels- and have cut down on the news a lot.



I still read the headlines- and catch a few news shows- but not nearly as much as before.



I was what you would consider a news addict- for real.



So- I have focused more on the gospels and less on world events [though they are still very much a part of what we are called to impact as the church].


As I finished the gospel of Luke the other week- I noticed a verse that I have read many times before.


But it hit me in a new way.



It says ‘all things that were written had to be fulfilled- in the Law and the Psalms and the Prophets’.


It’s talking about all the Messianic portions of the Old testament- the bible passages that speak about Christ.



Then of course he enters into the final stages of his earthly life- and is Crucified.



Over the years- as a bible reader- I noticed how lots of us tend to gravitate towards the ‘flashier’ parts of the bible.



I have many Psalms and Prophets that I quote from- there are portions of Isaiah [what would be called ‘the prophets’] that I have memorized for years.


I am reading thru the Psalms right now- they are great stuff.



But when I read the above verse- which was said by Christ himself- he said ‘ALL THINGS’ had to be fulfilled- not just the ‘flashy’ portions of scripture [Psalms- Prophets].


But the hard stuff too- Law.



Then at the crucifixion scene- he’s on this Cross- this place of public humiliation- and the people watching are sort of in shock.


He has become what the scripture said ‘a stone that the builders rejected’.


His friends have gone- his poor mom is seeing all this play out- and the others are there- almost to see what else could go wrong with him.




Then- in the middle of it all- don’t forget his family earlier thought he was ‘beside himself’ he looks up to God- and he makes a few statements.


He asks ‘why did you leave me’.


He says ‘father- forgive the ones who hate me- and want me gone- they don’t know what they do’.


Then- as the Roman gaurd looks on- he says ‘into your hands I commit my Spirit’.


And in Old King James language- he ‘gave up the ghost’- that is- he died.




As I read this account recently- and the statement from Christ about all things being fulfilled.


I saw what Jesus was saying ‘look- I have been with you for 3 years- doing ministry- teaching you stuff- how to forgive- don’t hold grudges- carry your Cross every day’.


Then- HE DID IT- he showed them how to ‘die well’.



Yeah- all things had to be fulfilled- all things had to be modeled.


He had to demonstrate- in real time- what he taught them.



Oh- now I get it- I really do.




Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Face  book] – I have posted lots.





















Being I’m in the middle of getting rid of lots of stuff- and doing some final repairs on cars and the house- I haven’t really had time to comment on many big news events.


This week there have been some important things that I feel I should mention.



Bradley Manning has been in court for the leaking of thousands of ‘secret’ memos to Wikileaks.


Most of you should be familiar with the case.


He has been held in solitary confinement for a few years and the govt. has charged him thru the espionage act.



Now- even though most of the stuff leaked really amounted to embarrassing details- how the U.S. govt. has done behind the scenes talks with other nations- kind of deceived folk- or the biggest leak was the video now famously referred to as Collateral Damage.



This video showed a terrible incident where our guys fired [helicopter] on a bunch of civilian reporters- by accident- thinking they were the enemy- but were later found out to be reporters.



It looked bad- really bad.


So- the question is should we view the leaking of this stuff as espionage [spy type charges] or more like a whistle blower.


That’s the debate- I personally think what he leaked does not rise to the level of life in prison- which is what the govt. is seeking.



Now- we also had the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA.



During the hearings- he [and Holder- US attorney] were asked questions about killing US citizens- without due process.



As most of you know we killed a US citizen a few years back with a drone [in Yemen].


He was indeed a full blown Al-Qaida leader- and had influence with others.



Now- what most don’t know is a few weeks later we also killed his US born son- 16 years old.



His son was born in Detroit- living in Yemen.



By all accounts- his son was not an Al-Qaida operative- he of course was probably influenced by his dad’s radical views.


But he was a minor- a US citizen- and he was traveling to see his dad.


We killed him with a drone strike while he was sitting at an outdoor restaurant.



When the US govt. was asked why we killed him- one of the responses was he should have picked a better father.



Now- whatever side of the aisle you fall on- this stuff has to stop.



All this is going on at the same time we just read the Miranda rights to the son in law of Osama Bin Laden- and are putting him on civilian trial in NYC.



So- we executed a 16 year old US citizen- because his dad was a bad guy- yet we read the rights to a non citizen- who may have some type of involvement with the 9-11 attacks.


[Note- the US govt. has said the killing of the boy was a mistake- but we still killed him]



This is bad- very bad.



As the US seeks to imprison Manning- for life.



And is also attempting to get Julian Assange- the founder of WikiLeaks.



We need to ask ourselves what role the on-line media outlets play.


For instance- the NY times printed some of the same material that Manning leaked- yet the print media are considered ‘media’ and the printing of ‘secret’ stuff is considered noble- like Florida’s sunshine laws.



Yet if an on-line publisher posts the same stuff- he can be tried for espionage.



During one debate when this question came up- the pundit simply said if it’s in print- then it’s legal.


But if it’s on line- its not.



Is that really the criteria we want to use to decide that what one organization published is noble- but for the other it merits the possible death penalty [which is the level of crime Manning is charged with]?


Yes- these questions are important to answer- they should not be seen as ‘left or right’ questions [the Repub senator Rand Paul did a stand up job- literally- by doing an old fashioned filibuster on the drone issue the other day].



So yeah- if a nominee for the CIA- or the US attorney general can not say that a US president has no right to kill a citizen- in our country- without due process- then he should not be up for that position.



We as a country have gone thru many struggles since the tragic 9-11 attack.


And we [first under Bush] did give up too many rights as we overreacted- by loosening our rules on the privacy of US citizens.



But if we cant clearly say that no US president- whether Repub or Dem- has the right to kill a US citizen without due process- then we are all falling off the deep end-









Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.












I want to try and comment on Micah chapter 5- an Old Testament prophet.



But first a few other things.


Last night I was watching Fox news- and Greta mentioned the top stories of the year.



Lots of the news shows do this every year.



I thought- in general- that it’s harmful to re-tell the school shootings- over and over again- right at this time.


In our media world there is a sort of voyeurism that takes place- we want to see- hear- the actual events- over and over again.



Sometimes after a tragic event- maybe it’s already a few days old.



And some network will get hold of the actual 911 call- and run that as the news ad during the day.


‘Hey look- tonight we have the actual call’.



Oftentimes it’s the call a parent made when she found her kid was killed- or some other tragedy.




We do not need to air that type of stuff.



Anyway Greta said she thinks that ‘Africa will be the top story of this new year- not the Arab Spring’.



Okay- I know my liberal friends are mad at me- some ‘un-friend’ me and stuff.



Because I have been hard on the Dems.



But this time I’ll be hard on Fox.


Who remembers the Arab Spring posts I did last year?


The 3 nations that ‘sprung’ were Tunisia- Egypt- and Libya.


All these nations border each other on the Mediterranean sea- on the North part of the African continent.



In short- all the Arab Spring nations are Africa- so far.



The only possible one that’s not African is Syria- and it hasn’t ‘sprung’ yet.



So yeah- we should not always believe what we see on the tube.



Okay- Micah 5 is the chapter for this week.



It has the famous prophecy that out of Bethlehem Jesus will come.



It speaks about Bethlehem as a small- po dunk type town.



‘You are the least in Judah- yet from thee shall he spring forth who is to be the ruler’.






Jesus hailed from the wrong side of the tracks in many ways.


Galilee was also a sort of underclass area- Jesus and his men spoke Aramaic- which was kind of a lower class language.


A sort of Ebonics of the day [ouch!]



Yet- from that spot where it seemed no good could come- yet good did come.




A couple of verses caught my attention.



‘Daughter of troops- gather yourself into troops’.


And ‘When the enemy comes into the land you will raise up against him 7 shepherds and 8 principal men’.




When I read these verses this week- I applied them to the halfway house ministry we started a couple of months ago.



Often times in scripture we read symbols- things that might use warfare imagery- yet they are not talking about ‘killing’ the way we think.




One of the tragedies of our time is we have too many religious people who have never made this distinction.


And even in the church we hold to many ideas- that come from images about war- that are only symbols- but some teach them as actual war.




In the book of Revelation the apostle John talks about the Christians overcoming the enemy.



It talks about a battle- Jesus on a White horse- a sword coming out of his mouth.



When Evangelicals turn these into actual war prophecies- they do damage to the truth.



I mean the image of a sword from Jesus mouth is understood as the Word of God.



So Jesus ‘slays his enemies’ with the word of God.



Does Jesus actually kill them?



No- when people accept the message of Christ- they get baptized.



Baptism is a type of death to the old man- and life to the new.



So- the images of those being killed by ’the sword from Jesus mouth’ should be seen in this way.


[Or as a type of end time judgment that Gods word carries out- Jesus said ‘the words that I speak to you’ will judge you in the final day.]



Revelation says those who ‘died the first death and had part of the first resurrection’ the second death has no power over them.



All who are in Christ have died a sort of ‘first death’ on these- the 2nd death [when you die] has no power.


The writer of Hebrews says Jesus delivered us- who thru fear of death were all our lives in bondage.


Those who have died the first death- who have joined themselves unto Christ and are ‘crucified’ with him.


Yeah- on these the 2nd death has no power.



Okay- I could go on and on like this- but the point is we as believers need to be careful when we teach the verses that speak about killing- death and swords.



Often times they are not to be taken literally.



So- when I read that God raises up ‘7 princes’ against the enemy.



I realized- at the halfway house- there are a total of 7 of us working together in the ministry.



I liked that- God uses people- princes- to come against the enemy.






Okay- back to Revelation.



About ccoutreach87

my sites- www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com- ccoutreach87.wordpress.com- facebook.com/john.chiarello.5


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