Saturday, May 30, 2009
There are many qualifications required for appointment to the United States Supreme Court. A quick look at the resume of most successful applicants shows a common thread. An outstanding law practice, history of scholarly accomplishment (law professor, dean, law review, etc.,) lengthy prior judicial experience, and a record of sustained opinion on appeal to the Supreme Court are all noted on the bill of achievements. Empathy is not a part of that list.
Empathy is a valuable consideration for a social worker, a friend, a pastor, an operator on a help line, a fishing buddy, a hospital counselor, a spouse, or any additional number of occupations and relationships which require in depth examination of motivations and relevant “feelings.” It is value which is extremely rare in any situation which requires a strict examination of fact and written law. In tort law it should not be confused with mercy due to extenuating circumstance.
I have grown tiresome in my recitation of those citizens among us who have sworn (before Almighty God) to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. I remind you that you have probably done so yourself in one circumstance or another. Every new citizen has pledged his allegiance to that sacred document. Every member of the armed forces has made the same commitment. Every sworn officer in law enforcement and most public servants have repeated it. All federal employees are also sworn in. The sworn pledge to uphold the Constitution is common and extremely serious. It does not call for empathy.
Even Barack Hussein Obama swore (although botched) the same at his inaugural. Given the exhilaration of the moment, it is possible that he did not understand the words he was mouthing. Although he has claimed to have been a professor of constitutional law (no verification available) he has an uncommon lack of understanding of that document. It would appear that his upcoming appointee, Sotomayor, shares that condition as well. While empathy may well be a laudable characteristic it is not in the constitution nor should it be. Its presence would require the elevation of persons over principle. That would then result in inequality to prevail over our God given liberty.
Thus, the deconstruction of the greatest governmental invention of all time continues apace.. If you have not been in a merciful coma since early January, you have been witness to each sordid detail. This latest (Sotomayor) is just one more outrage to add to the fiery pile. From it all we should have had a learning experience from the former issues.
Every time a public announcement is made of a controversial issue, it raises an opportunity for the press, media generally, the commentators, and those who keep track to raise the roof and make a protest. As the voices are raised, the White House modus operendi is to seize that opportunity to use it as a shroud to cover an even greater travesty. While we rant and rave over am unfair appointment, the treasury will be attacked once more for an unneeded health plan, an unaffordable cap and trade scheme, and ever more usurpation of our liberties.
Clinton attempted to do the same by starting armed incursions and bombing raids to cover presidential indiscretions. Although I could not have been convinced at the time, I now see this situation as far more dangerous. Clinton’s were more personal and not aimed at the elimination of a country and its way of life. It should be obvious by now that the aim of this administration is to replace that which we have complacently known as the “American Way,” with an entirely altered form of government. We have become the willing foils of a genuine revolution. They don’t all involve blood, gore, and violent overthrow.
Believe it; this is what “change” is all about. It is not a change of attitudes. It is not a change in administration. It is not a change of social acceptance. It is a change in our form of government.
The indicators are there even in the sleepy little town where we shop. The local Chrysler dealer is gone. Gas prices are now 30% higher than they were in the fall. Ads in the local paper and shopper no longer feature “help wanted” and “real estate.” Many businesses not offering absolutely essential commodities are shuttered since last year. Even Wal-Mart is starting to slow down. Although high finance is not clearly understood here, the ramifications are very apparent in our daily lives.
I have pleaded with you before and I shall again. We as a people must rise to meet this threat. Each must be responsible to carry this fight to restore our liberties. It need not be complicated but it must be consistent. Each person should ask himself before retiring each night “have I done all I could within my own limitations to promote liberty today?” If he pledges then to correct any self-discovered deficiencies the next day and follows through, his efforts, no matter how minor, will have an affect.
Being an elected representative or functionary is a job. We all can easily understand wanting to keep a job—or better yet, move up. Since they are dependent upon the electorate to keep their jobs, your polite opinions are taken into account in their decision making process. If enough folks complain, they can clearly see the writing on the wall. How can they serve the people if they don’t know what is on their minds? If you don’t tell them you abrogate your role in the governing process.
Have you gone to your country courthouse, sheriff’s office, assessor, or any other local hall to make your wishes know? I have done this and once found that all three county supervisors had enough time for an impromptu visit together to discuss an issue which I found important. They listened carefully, asked questions, and appeared to appreciate my position. From this platform, involvement, even minor input, at higher levels becomes easier. These are just men with jobs who, believe it or not, want to do the work you wish to have done—or at the least explain why they feel they can’t.
I realize this seems minor but everything has a beginning and I urge you to find yours. We are facing a grotesque force in our leadership. If we do not do our best in our own way we shall be ground under the heel of tyranny.
In His abiding love,
Thursday, May 28, 2009
This is the last (latest?) of Hartley’s testimonies for now. I questioned that it is the last inasmuch as the Lord will determine when the last will come. It is number twelve because two of the prior testimonies were combined. We are grateful to have been able to share these with you and our thanks go to Elder Hartley Stanbridge for furnishing them.
“Over the last fifty years I have accumulated over three hour of testimony one on one, with the Holy Spirit.
When the Lord puts His hand on your shoulder and shows you the hearts and minds of His people, with assurance and power, there is not much left with which to speculate. Let me paint two pictures for you.
In picture one, in Paradise; the Lord has set the Tree of Eternal Life, guarded by an angel with a fiery sword, who turns every which way.
In the second picture, your life is present and before you, an avalanche of intense color, opportunity, business, knowledge, taxes, cars, music and what we call the better life. These are things which carnal men’s hands have made.
Which picture captivates you?
The natural man is an enemy to God. [Mark 10:26] And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, who then can be saved?
[Mark 10:27] And Jesus, looking upon them, said, With men that trust in riches, it is impossible; but not impossible with men who trust in God and leave all for my sake, for with such all these things are possible.
[Mark 10:28] Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
[Mark 10:29] And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake and the gospel's,
[Mark 10:30] But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
It is as difficult for us today as it was in ancient times. I do not mean to anger you, but scratch you a little. You are the steward of all the wisdom He has put to your charge. Do you have FAITH?
Can you imagine trying to access the tree of eternal life through stem cell research instead of through the gate to Paradise? Across the world others are getting ready to loose the fiery atomic bomb. I wonder which scientist will win?
This I suppose will be my last ‘testimony’ of the twelve, offered in this way. In my 78 years of association with the RLDS I have never seen or heard a testimony or a sermon, no matter how wonderful, that rallied the Lord’s people to Zionic participation. I have never found any “real intent” anywhere. Of the twenty most spiritual men I have met in my life, less than half would consider Zion an option.
Chosen men, wonderful men amongst you, forced to wait their turn, because of political and social concerns, the sacred hour by men’s design used up. One hour for a sermon; that is it. Let’s go home. For me to speak so openly without political and social boundaries must shock many people. In Independence I hoped to see a Holy City with a fiery wall around it, instead, according to law enforcement, the Meth capital of the US.
I wonder how many will be surprised in the day of final judgment?
Blessed are those men who carry the Holy Spirit whose wisdom and patience is greater than mine. At my age I have to speak in case I missed some opportunity along the way. You young people have books and passions, do not seem to need or want the old people’s lessons they have learned; a grave mistake indeed.
There are more than twelve testimonies in me, but you have your Scriptures. God is, was, and will ever be, His word is, and what not yet, will, become reality; read it until you understand it!
I believe on judgment day our minds will be in separably connected to Gods mind, every thought we ever had will be revealed to all. Thus it is written our sins will be shouted from the house tops. Posturing, pretending, keeping things going, or refusing the greater light will be all revealed.
Repentance without change, without action, to me is dangerous, be sober, be thoughtful and;
Hartley Stanbridge, Elder
If you feel led to share this testimony in any manner, please feel free to do so without specific permission. The usual rules apply; unedited and an appropriate link.”
I know Hartley personally and see him as a “voice crying in the wilderness.” His frustrations are typical of those who care intently about the future of his brothers and sisters. Your faithful reading and consideration of his testimonies sheds a great light on your personal concern for others and Almighty God.
In His abiding love,
In the follow up this is quoted from Reuters:
“A lawyer for Chrysler dealers facing closure as part of the automaker's bankruptcy reorganization said on Tuesday he believes Chrysler executives do not support a plan to eliminate a quarter of its retail outlets.Lawyer Leonard Bellavia, of Bellavia Gentile & Associates, who represents some of the terminated dealers, said he deposed Chrysler President Jim Press on Tuesday and came away with the impression that Press did not support the plan."It became clear to us that Chrysler does not see the wisdom of terminating 25 percent of its dealers," Bellavia said. "It really wasn't Chrysler's decision. They are under enormous pressure from the President's automotive task force."
Further research revealed some alarming details about the dealerships which were shuttered: “Another review of all 789 closing dealerships, by WND, found $450,000 donated to GOP presidential candidates; $7,970 to Sen. Hillary Clinton; $2,200 to John Edwards and $450 to Barack Obama.”
More digging produced an interesting list of dealers involved who were singled out by the newly appointed “Car Czar.” If you have any curiosity about your local guy, hit the link and find out.
For an in depth look at one of the most scandalous situations we refer you to this link to see RLJ in action. This dealership, its owners and its now-terminated competition, are covered in this article along with its connections to the Obama administration. Scroll down about a half inch and find “The Mysterious Case of RLJ.” ZB is no doubt influenced by the proximity of the dealers involved. We are smack dab in the middle of their market area.
It is difficult to understand the logic of closing any dealerships inasmuch as they pose so little financial burden on the manufacturer. From local inquiry I find that the individual dealers are responsible for the purchase of the stock from the moment the auto transport arrives at the dealership. Any financing is supplied by either the dealers funds or those secured from local banks—not Chrysler. In addition to their original franchise fees, they also pay for signage rental on a monthly basis. These dealerships are independent business and many of these entrepreneurs have been in the auto business for decades.
One factor which makes this an exceptionally stupid move is the sudden availability of complete, fully staffed facilities, (789 of them nationwide) home owned and with a recognized reputation, who will experience little start up cost to become dealers for competitive brands. Given the experience of brands which now have the governments fingerprints all over them they will no doubt turn to foreign made entities. And this helps American manufacturing how?
Since you and I are now 70% owners (You are a US citizen aren’t you?) of Government Motors (formerly General Motors) we should probably applaud this crippling blow to “our” competitor, Chrysler, and a quarter of its dealers. With the government in charge I assume we will receive the same outstanding service and dependability we get from the postal service, Amtrak, and the department of motor vehicles. If the “greenies” who are cozy with this administration have their way, and they will, we will all wind up jammed into buses or driving cars the size of refrigerators.
You have been furnished with an abundance of links and if you search further within these web sites you will be led to more and more information. This could well provide the “smoking gun” for the malfeasance of this bunch of socialist/statist operators.
Selfishly, I’m glad our family drives Fords. We are also blessed with an expert mechanic at a local oil dealer who has become a close personal friend.. Please join me in a prayer for his good health and long life.
In His abiding love,
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
His coat is worn and shabby. His weight has dropped precipitously. His food absorption has taken a wretched turn. He continues to claim, as his own, his rightful place every night at the head of the bed on the pillow about one micrometer from my head. During the day he routinely resides on my mouse pad. He “talks” incessantly but his purr is about worn out. (Ed.—His main source of water is from the faucet in the bathroom, from which he drinks in spite of whatever else is going on at the sink. He doesn't mind toothpaste in his hair.)
Has it been only sixteen years since he scared me half to death? One doesn’t forget absolute terror easily. As I trimmed a large, dense Christmas tree, placing bulbs, balls, and tinsel, he (all twelve ounces of him) emerged hissing from within the highest branches to protest my activity. Nearly every event in life has had a certain measure of predictability—that came as a complete surprise. (Ed.—LITID—laugh, I thought I'd die.)
Our marriage of twenty five years can be neatly divided into four quarterly periods: the Louisiana/Coloradoan, the Wisconsonian, the Nevadan and the Missourian. During this ever-lengthening time of our union we have had the association with “Boss” for nearly all. It was in Wisconsin that we picked him from a litter of kittens where he had demonstrated the aggressive, domineering tendencies which earned him his name. Throughout his entire life he has lived up to it on a daily basis.
His destructive capacity has become legend. He has successfully demonstrated that no manufacturer has ever made a “cat-proof” screen. Typically, he is on the wrong side of every door. His happiest days were when we lived in a home equipped with a pet door. He could then fully implement the rank independence which has marked his existence. Over the course of his life he has endured the presence of six different dogs and regardless of size or threat, educated each one to be tolerant. He has never run from any encounter.
He has always been “my” cat. In our life of wedded bliss, we strangely find that the male dogs have been “Hers” but the females have been labeled “His.” In the feline world it is just the opposite. If there is some deep-seated psychological explanation for this; please advise. It probably has to do with my early toilet training.
As happens in pet filled families, our conversations turn to discussions of “what are we going to do about Boss?” My response generally runs to something about how God has managed it pretty well so far so why interfere. Hers is concern about the possibility he is unbearably uncomfortable and may need relief. We are both agreed that the situation is approaching an unknown endpoint of some consequence. Playing God at any level only points to the agonizing decisions which He must face every moment and has throughout eternity.
Life is not all posies and bon-bons. Somehow, I feel the final decision is in his hands. After all; He is the Boss.
In His abiding love,
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
If you are not already sick and tired of the nostalgia only a geezer can provide, I shall give you some more. Our dear friend J.A. sent this and it provided more than a few memories.
“History of Aprons
I don't think our kids know what an apron is.
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the windowsill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the windowsill to thaw. They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron--but Love.”
Not to gild the lily but do you also remember how she wrapped several folds to manage the spiral steel handles to lift the round iron lids on the wood stove? Oh, I forgot, you’re not older than dirt.
In His abiding love,
Monday, May 25, 2009
not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN,
not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN,
not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN,
not the politician, Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the VETERAN who salutes the Flag,
It is the VETERAN who serves under the Flag,
GRANT THEM ETERNAL REST, O LORD,
AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.
The trip to Miami yesterday morning was not hindered by weather that has been so threatening the last few days. I did become a little concerned when I noted that at 10:55 am the temperature was 70º when I went in to enjoy a sermon from Brother Gregg. At about 12:15 pm as we left the building, my car thermometer reported it was 82º. This was no doubt the result of all those fiery demons attempting to exit the church at the same time. He is an exceptional preacher and they made the right move by leaving..
So, there’s this preacher in San Diego.
This man and his wife host a Bible study in their home once a week. About fifteen people show up for the event and have for years. This strikes me as pretty normal fare for a Christian preacher and part of his faithful flock. I have attended home ible studies and I am sure many of you have as well. The intimacy of the home seems to promote good study and a general enrichment as the result of that comfortable environment.
Very recently, a government official called in person to verify if, indeed, the couple was holding bible studies on Tuesday nights. She answered yes and reportedly the official asked:”Do you have a regular weekly meeting in your home? Do you sing? Do you say 'amen'?" then the official reportedly asked. "Do you say, 'Praise the Lord'?"
She agreed that they did and he then dropped the bomb. She was informed “she must stop holding "religious assemblies" until she and her husband obtained a Major Use Permit from the county, a permit that often involves traffic and environmental studies, compliance with parking and sidewalk regulations and costs that top tens of thousands of dollars.”
The pastor’s wife was then told that failure to obtain a permit would result in escalating fines which could result in thousands of dollars of outlay. Fortunately, the matter is now in capable legal hands for their defense but the outrage remains.
Is this still America or did I sleep late and miss something? I have no difficulty understanding a local official from the police department dropping by to discuss parking which may obstruct other traffic. I appreciate also that the sound of loud singing could be disturbing to the neighbors. These “problems” have sane logical solutions which no preacher of any standing would fail to understand.
The balance of the questions, as reported by the wife, seems clearly to be at odds with existing law and certainly common sense. Have we come to this? Is bible study that threatening? Apparently if we are interested in a safe haven for our mid-week worship we need to locate a catacomb.
In the not so distant past, I was part of a devout but tiny Restoration group whose only option was to meet in a private home in Las Vegas. Fortunately the officials in Las Vegas apparently have a far better Constitutional understanding than their fellows in San Diego. They may also be too busy monitoring genuine sin on every corner to harass Christians—or Buddhists, or Jews, or what have you.
“We’re Out of Money!”
Well “duh!” This pronouncement from our chief executive is probably the first accurate pronouncement to come out of his mouth. No spin, no subtle “nuance,” no weasel words; just a frank admission that as a result of his disastrous actions, we are broke!
Oh, he will blame our extended new-found indebtedness on the prior administration and not give a thought to the trillions he has dedicated to worthless causes, ailing auto makers, union alliances, badly managed states, or to a budget bloated with unnecessary capitulations to supporters, finance people, and cronies. Beyond that, he has upcoming proposals for health care, cap and trade, participation in global government and other expenditures. This should be sufficient to deliver the coup de grace to the least notion of our former America if the interest on the current debt is not sufficient.
What ever criticism, no matter how justified, must be tempered with the observation that he is the speediest of all presidents. Who would have dreamed that any person could have delivered this many travesties in so short a time? One barely has a chance to fully appreciate the current one when the next comes along to eclipse the former. Personally, I only wish he would take a few days off so we critics could get some rest.
Speaking of Gregg
He drew upon his experience with NASA and recounted the following anecdote. When the first Moon landing took place, he reported that the concern in the control center mounted as the lander and the men were on the opposite side, out of contact. The Moon itself blocked the radio communication which was so vital to those tasked to track its progress. Imagine if you will the relief and sheer joy when the crackling radio finally had this message: “The Eagle has landed.”
It proved a premature joy when Gregg was reading Obadiah at a later date. The shortest book in the Old Testament in verse 4 states: “Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and make thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.”
Read the whole book; it’s only one page. There are several Obadiahs mentioned in the Bible and the exact timing of the prophecy is somewhat indistinct but I believe, as usual, the scriptural message is clear. See if you agree. It’s located between Amos and Jonah.
Life on this idyllic hilltop goes on. Either the gold finches have departed or else they are all in the “maternity room” awaiting their increase. Our population of indigo finches is on the rise and their intense blue coloration really stands out against the fully leafed oaks. The usual suspects are present at the feeder and apparently content to hang around close to the food. Come to think of it, so am I.
I gave away about a cord and a half of seasoned wood to a friend a couple weeks ago and find that my latest efforts in the adjacent woods clearing fallen trees will actually amount to an even greater increase in the total. All of that and I don’t even have a wood burning stove. All the wood on the pile is oak, walnut or sycamore. Our only coniferous trees are a few accidental small cedars and the rest are all deciduous.
I think often as I work around the place how grateful I am to God for engineering the business of allowing me to think we made such a good decision when we bought it.
In His abiding love,