Maybe Next Year. . .

Maybe Next Year. . .
Vol: 99 Issue: 31 Thursday, December 31, 2009

I have to tell you — I’m darned surprised to be writing this New Year’s Eve column.  I half-expected we’d have been Raptured by now.   Yet here we stand, on the threshold of the second decade of the 21st century.  How did that happen?

If ever there were a year that seemed Rapture-ready, it’s been the last one.  

Ten days after being sworn in, Obama rammed through an almost trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ bill that not one member of the House admitted to having read.  

Congressman John Conyers [D-M] scoffed that if Congress had to read every bill put before them, they’d never get anything done.   What a wonderful idea that would be!  

In February, Obama signed a budget that contained the largest budget deficit in the history of the world.  One calculation was that it was more than the total of al
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l the budget deficits of all previous administrations combined.  

I don’t know if that is true, but given that a billion seconds equals 32 years and a trillion seconds equals 32,000 years, it sounds plausible. 

It was less than ten years ago, on May 1, 2000 when President Clinton announced the US would begin paying down the national debt.  Soon after, (and for the first time in my living memory) the debt clock began to tick backwards. 

On September 1, 2000, the clock’s plug was pulled altogether and the billboard covered by a red, white and blue curtain.   The average citizen’s share of the national debt was $0.00.  

Today — less than a decade later — each citizen’s share of the national debt is a horrifying $346,373.00 and the administration continues to spend like a drunken sailor.  That’s not really a fair comparison to drunken sailors. I’ve known many drunken sailor more fiscally responsible than this administration.  

In March, sales of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” suddenly tripled, ranking a book #224 first published in 1957 on the Amazon sales listings.   Even newspaper headlines were asking, “Who Is John Galt?” or referencing  “The Dapper John Galt” and “The Going John Galt Movement.”
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nbsp;

John Galt is a pivotal character in the novel, which fictionalizes a dystopic American future where government intervention into the economy has wrought further economic turndown that extends and deepens the depression.

In looking for someone to blame for their ills, the leaders of the country and those who are suffering begin to blame the rich. They chastise them for their ideas, their high profits, and their wealth. 

Looking back over the past year and recalling the Left’s demonization of capitalism, ‘fat-cat bankers’ ‘greedy insurance companies’ makes reading “Atlas Shrugged”,  published fifty-three years ago, more than a little spooky. 

By April, the “John Galt Movement” became a spontaneous grass-roots movement loosely coordinated under the name ‘Tea Party” — a reference to the Boston Tea Party of 1773 that ultimately led to the American Revolution. 

We were also treated with another demonstration of the transformation of the mainstream media into a left-wing propaganda machine when more than a million people held spontaneous demonstrations in more than 700 cities under a more-or-less complete media blackout. 

The tea party rallies continued until the media could no longer ignore them, at which time they began to demonize them as “angry mobs” and “professional demonstrators” despite the fact the majority of the participants were families and senior citizens.

Out of the literally thousands of tea party demonstrations by “angry mobs”  across the country in 2009, there was not one single arrest.  

In May, four men were arrested and charged with plotting to shoot down a US aircraft using Stinger missiles. CBS 2’s report from New York was 828 words long. Not one of those words was either ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islamic’. The AP report was only 222 words long. No mention of anything even suggesting an Islamic link. 

It took the New York Times 903 words to keep that information secret, although one of the police officials quoted mentioned the word ‘jihad’.  

The media was just following the administration’s lead, adopting the new wartime Obama-speak, something I heard someone describe as being as ‘goofy as a dog in a Tinkerbell costume’ — a pretty good summary, I thought.  

Another might be Jack Bauer’s conversion to Islam in the season finale of ’24’.  For the record, I didn’t see it — I had to rely on what I read.

I quit watching ’24’ when I discovered that if America really did have a “Jack Bauer”  he’d be doing life in prison under current administration policy.

In Obama-speak, the war on terror is over and has been replaced by an American ‘Overseas Contingency Operation’.   The word terrorism was replaced by the phrase ‘man-caused disaster’.  Linking the words “Islamic” with “terrorism” was forbidden.   

In terms of foreign policy,  the present State of Israel, in Obama-speak is  “the occupation” — a phrase adopted by the Islamic world to describe what it calls the existence of the Jewish State.   

In June,  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of the presidential election in Iran, sparking widespread demonstrations across the country and riots in the streets of Tehran.  Supporters of the demonstration begged for some expression of support from the United States. 

Inexplicably, the administration did nothing and said nothing.  Without support from the West, the demonstrations soon collapsed as the White House squandered one of the best opportunities for regime change in Iran to come along in forty years. 

But when a black professor named Henry Gates was arrested by Cambridge police the following month,  Obama didn’t hesitate to share his conclusion that Gates’ arrest was racially motivated and that by taking Gates into custody, the Cambridge police “acted stupidly.”  

Obama admitted he didn’t know the details, but his immediate assumption was that the white cops were picking on Gates because he was black: 

“What I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately,” Obama said. “That’s just a fact.” 

By July the Israelis had begun to openly assume that the Obama administration would betray Israel and approve Iran’s uranium enrichment program.   The Israelis were right, except Iran refused the offer.  

Polls within Israel showed that only 4% of Israelis trusted the Obama administration — and the polls had a margin of error of 4.5%. 

In August,  100 astrophysicists from all over the world converged on Montana State University to discuss a strange solar phenomenon in which solar activity has all but ceased in the middle of what should be an eleven year solar maximum period.   

“It continues to be dead,” said Saku Tsuneta of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, speaking of the sun. “It’s a dead face.”

Oleg Sorokhtin of the Russian National Academy of Scientists presented his opinion that the world is about to enter another Ice Age, calling man’s influence on the climate a drop in the bucket compared to the effect the sun has on the earth’s climate. 

In September, the White House decided to punish Fox News by shutting it out of loop and refusing the network access to top administration officials.  Obama fired the first shots by holding a media interview blitz to sell his health care plan.

He chose to appear on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and Univision to make his case, but pointedly announced he would not appear of Fox News.  

In October,  Lord Moncton of Great Britain traveled across the US to implore Americans to resist the Copenhagen climate change conference in December.    

In November,  somebody released thousands of stolen emails between climate scientists working with the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit in the UK. 

The recurring theme that has emerged from all these private in-house discussions among the world’s leading climate scientists is that they’ve been “cooking the books” for decades.  

You’d think this would be big, big, news.  But it really wasn’t.  The mainstream media has so heavily invested itself in Al Gore and global warming that reporting the Climategate story would highlight their own gullibility and destroy their credibility. 

It took until December before the BBC finally ‘discovered’ the Climategate story and figured out a way to tell it so that the bad guys weren’t the scientists involved but the whistle-blowers that exposed the scam.   

The purpose of the Copenhagen Conference was to impose global carbon emissions caps and develop a carbon emissions permit trading market to buy and sell unused permit ‘credits’.  

The scheme was invented by Kenneth Lay as a way for Enron to hide its financial losses. The result would have been the imposition of energy price hikes until nobody could afford to use fossil fuels. 

The Copenhagen Conference opened with an admission by conference organizer Connie Hedegaard;

“This is our chance.  If we miss it, it could take years before we got a new and better one.  If we ever do.”

Fortunately for the world,  they missed it.  The Copenhagen Conference adjourned without coming up with a binding agreement.   

Assessment:

As we count down to the New Year (it is already 2010 in Australia) the big question facing us is the same one we’ve faced every New Year of this century — the threat of a major terrorist attack. 

The Christmas Day crotch-bomber trained together with dozens of others for similar operations, but so far, the administration seems reluctant to take the threat seriously — 2010 is an election year and Obama doesn’t want to anger his base. 

But all that could change fast if the enemy is able to successfully strike us on our home soil, especially on New Year’s Eve.   Even if we manage to make it into the New Year safely,  2010 is still fraught with danger. 

Iran is reportedly negotiating to buy some 1,300 tons of uranium ore from Kazhakstan in violation of UN sanctions.  Iran rejected the year’s-end deadline imposed by the P-5 plus Germany and the administration is reportedly playing down the prospect of the West taking any concrete action anytime soon.

Instead, the White House says it will push for a new round of sanctions as a remedy, evidently unconcerned that Kazakhstan is ignoring those already in place.   Israel believes Iran already has enough uranium to make a bomb and that it is rapidly passing the point of no return. 

Nothing has been resolved concerning Syria’s nuclear program which will also now carry over into 2010.

Hezbollah continues to violate UN Resolution 1779 prohibiting its rearmament while several contingents of UN peacekeepers are planning to withdraw in advance of the approaching conflict in Lebanon. 

Turkey continues to move away from the West and into the Islamist camp, having abrogated mutual defense treaties between Ankara and Israel while seeking closer ties with Iran in precise harmony with Ezekiel’s Gog-Magog prophecy. 

Then there the wild card — North Korea.  Nobody is sure what the crazy li
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ttle dictator in the hermit kingdom might do next with his nuclear program but it is a deadbang certainty that we won’t like it.

But with all the potential dangers ahead in the coming year,  2010 also holds out the bright promise of hope. It looks like chaos and confusion and fear to the rest of the world, but for those of us who know the truth, it is a period of great assurance.

As we witness the fulfillments of prophecies thousands of years old taking shape precisely as foretold,  it is evidence to us that God remains on His throne and He remains intimately concerned with the affairs of men.  

The same God that promised we’d see all these things that have already begun to come to pass promised that the rest of Bible prophecy would be fulfilled just as accurately.    He promised that the generation that witnessed the beginning will not pass until all these things are fulfilled.   

Events continue to move us in the direction foretold, and there is no reason to believe that they will suddenly reverse course, meaning the Rapture of the Church grows ever nearer. 

So as the New Year dawns, have no fear.  The Lord is coming.  He is coming soon.  

Maybe in 2010?   We’ll see.  I hope so.

The Decade Without A Name

The Decade Without A Name
Vol: 99 Issue: 30 Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The interesting thing about the first decade of the 21st century is that even as it draws to a close, nobody really knows what to call it.  The British called it ‘the Noughties’ but that was way too cute to catch on Across the Pond.  

The ‘two-thousands’ is too cumbersome and the ‘oughts’ seems too archaic.  There is none of the easy nostalgia of the ’50s or the ’60s.   One can write about the nuttiness that characterized the 70’s or label the ’80s the Microsoft Decade.   

The various levels of intensity of the Cold War are identified by decade;  the Red Scare of the ’50s, the 60’s Cuban Missile Crisis, the Evil Empire of the ’80’s and so on.  

The ’90’s marked the birth of the ‘Internet generation’ and the dot.com bubble,  the ‘decade of Oslo’, the first Gulf War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the rebirth of Russia, and so on.  

But the first decade of the 21st century stands alone, a decade of such unrelenting bad news that while we can’t put it out of our mind, we can’t find a place for it in our vocabulary.  It remains nameless even unto its death.

It didn’t start out that way.  Thanks to the heroic efforts by legions of programmers worldwide, the Y2K Bug didn’t bite.  

Terrorism was largely a problem elsewhere; few Americans on January 1, 2000 knew anything about Islam, let alone al-Qaeda. 

The Dow rose by 25% in a year’s time.  Home values soared. The Internet boom brought with it technological marvels like MP3 players, instant messaging and Voice Over IP.  

We had a name all prepared for 2000 — it was to be the Millennium, infused with all the hope the name implied.   Unfortunately, that name was poisoned when the media dubbed Ahmed Ressam the ‘Millennium bomber’.  

So we settled for The Year 2000.  

Assessment:

In retrospect, the Decade Without a Name didn’t really begin until September 11, 2001. There had been earlier terrorist events, and plenty of warnings, but the jihadist babble was just white noise to most of us until that day. 

That d
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ay began the decade of fear.  It led America into two wars overseas and countless individual battles on secret battlefields world-wide.  

It started a decade in which grandmothers in walkers were wanded for explosives as a matter of routine.

Political Correctness replaced free speech and Americans began living in a dreamscape that began with President Bush praising Islam as a ‘religion of peace and love’ during Ramadan 2001 — and concluded with President Obama identifying the al-Qaeda-trained Islamist terrorist who tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit as an ‘isolated extremist.’ 

As we close the books on the Decade Without A Name,  it is practically illegal to mention Islam in connection with terrorism and in some cases,  it IS illegal.  

According to the 2000 CIA World Factbook  0.7% of the US population practiced Islam, 2% practice Judaism, 87% practiced Christianity and 7% were either atheists or ‘other.’

Over the course of ten years of relentless pounding during the culture wars, the CIA finds only 77% are Christians, but shows 12% fit into a new category called “Unaffiliated”.  

That is the underground Church — the ones that the Department of Homeland Security issues warning
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memos about.  

While a mere hint of a connection between the 0.7% ‘moderate’ Muslim population with terrorism is tantamount to racist bigotry,  anyone is free to attack Jesus Christ and His followers with total impunity.  

The 77% has been so routinely pummeled throughout the past decade by the 4%  — and feels so threatened by their  0.6% allies — that when some retailers this year replaced ‘Happy Holidays’ with “Merry Christmas” it was considered a major victory for religious freedom by the 12% ‘unaffiliated’.

Writing from his perspective some 2500 years ago,  the Prophet Zechariah prophesied that in the last days, the center of the world’s attention would be the tiny city of Jerusalem.  

Included was the warning that the whole world would gather ‘against’ Jerusalem and that any that burdened themselves with its defense would “be cut in pieces.”

The 1993 Oslo Agreement included provisions for the final status of Jerusalem.  After seven years of negotiations aimed at dividing both Israel and Jerusalem as part of a ‘two-state solution’  President Clinton pressured Israeli PM Ehud Barack into agreeing to divide Jerusalem at the 2000 Camp David Summit. 

Subsequent US efforts to divide Jerusalem at Taba in January 2001 failed.  So did later efforts by “the Quartet” — US, EU, Russia and the UN, all of which have been shattered by constant terrorism and war throughout the 21st century 

I note with some interest that the EU, UN and Russia have backed off somewhat in their efforts to force the division of Jerusalem.  

The EU is on the verge of overtaking the US economically, Russia is awash in oil, the UN has never been more politically powerful.  

And America is where it is, following a decade so awful we’d rather forget it than name it. 

There’ll Always Be An England.. .

There’ll Always Be An England.. .
Vol: 99 Issue: 29 Tuesday, December 29, 2009

When the 20th century dawned the phrase, “The sun never sets on the British Empire” was a patriotic expression that had been in use for centuries.   The expression was a reference to the fact that British colonies circled the planet like the sun.  

By 1922, the British Empire controlled almost a quarter of the Earth’s land area and governed a quarter of the world’s population. In 1939, an Englishman named Hugh Charles wrote the words to the patriotic song, “There’ll Always Be An England.”

The song became a chart-topper following the outbreak of World War II in September, 1939 because the British Empire still circled the globe from Canada to Australia, from Indonesia to Hong Kong, including both India and Pakistan.

England was too big to fail. 

Red, white and blue; what does it mean to you?
Surely you’re proud, shout it aloud,
“Britons, awake!”
The empire too, we can depend on you.
Freedom remains. These are the chains
Nothing can break.

There’ll always be an England,
And England shall be free
If England means as much to you
As England means to me.

As we close the books on the first decade of the 21st century, there isn’t an “England” or  a ‘British Empire’ — England is part of the “United Kingdom of England and Northern Ireland” consisting of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  

The UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a recognized nuclear nation. It is a member of the G-7, G20, NATO, the WTO, etc., but it is a shadow of its former greatness.

Far from ruling the world’s oceans and governing a fourth of its people, the UK boasts an economy about the size of California’s and seems destined to eventually become just another state in a larger European federal system.

The 19th century closed on the British Empire.  Fifty years later, her empire was in ruins, her economy was in shambles, and her colonies were gone.  

Fifty years after that, even, “There’ll Always Be a UK” sounded overly-optimistic

Assessment:

The last decade of the 20th century ended with the conclusion of the longest economic boom period in American history, thanks in large part to the discovery of a new world of consumers on an invisible planet called “Internet”.

The first decade of the 21st century ended with trillion-dollar deficits, rumors of impending civil war and the haunting echoes of the phrase “too big to fail” still ringing in America’s collective memory.  

It opened with one of the most contentious and bitter presidential elections in American history.  The losers vowed to do all in their power to ensure the Bush administration was a failure. 

They launched a take-no-prisoners civil war that hamstrung the administration’s prosecution of the real wars that followed the 9/11 attacks.  Politics no longer stopped at the water’s edge.  Anti-Bush sentiment spread world-wide. 

By 2004, some Europeans were demanding a vote in the US elections on the grounds that Americans couldn’t be trusted to choose their leaders.  One UK newspaper reported Bush’s reelection under the headline, “How Could 50 Million Americans Be So Dumb?”

The Left wasted no opportunity to denigrate the Bush administration abroad, with US politicians and even former presidents criticizing the sitting administration in interviews with foreign newspapers.  The NYTimes made it their mission to discredit the administration at every opportunity.

The 21st century opened on a future bright with promise for the future of the United States.  I doubt anybody could have foreseen the 9/11 attacks or how catastrophic they would be. 

They were so successful that it gave rise to the conspiracy theory that claims al-Qaeda had help from the Bush administration.

The Left cleverly framed it as a question:  “What did the [Bush administration] know and when did they know it?” but once the idea was planted by Congressional Democrats and picked up by the mainstream media, it found fertile ground among the not-so-bright.

As the 20th century drew to a close, it seemed that America would own the 21st century as well.  

When the new century dawned, instead of “There’ll Always Be an England”  American songwriters were producing stuff like Toby Keith’s “It’s The American Way” and Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA”  and Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You When the World Stop Turning?”

But the sentiment was the same.  This is America.  America can’t be defeated.  As Toby Keith put it, “We’ll put a boot in your a**, it’s the American way. . . “  That was how we saw things in the early part of the decade. 

As the decade was drawing to a close, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan informed President Obama that we’re in danger of losing that war.  

The “American boot” isn’t kicking very many er,  butts.  Three Navy Seals are facing court martial for ‘roughing up’ a terrorist during his capture.

The White House is committed to closing Gitmo and either releasing its inmates or moving them to Illinois.  Obama plans to bring the 9/11 masterminds to New York for trial in a federal district court.

America narrowly averted another Christmas Day disaster when the Crotch Bomber’s underwear only burned rather than detonating.  Responsibility was claimed by the Yemini-based al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula.

The al-Qaeda planners who sent Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on his mission have been identified as former Gitmo detainees released to Yemen in 2007.

The bomber was a follower of the same US-born Yemeni imam that counseled Major Malik Hasan prior to his terror attack on Fort Hood.

President Obama waited 72 hours before commenting on the terror attack on Flight 253, presumably so he would have all the information we just related about the nexus between Abdulmutallab and al-Qaeda.

Know all this, when he finally did comment,  he referred to the “alleged” bomber as an “isolated extremist” avoiding calling him a terrorist carrying out an al-Qaeda attack. 

I note with some discomfort that Obama showed no similar restraint when he said that the Cambridge police “acted stupidly” or when he promised ‘certain execution’ of the 9/11 plotters after ‘a fair trial’

But he is unwilling to acknowledge al-Qaeda or Islamic terrorism  in a speech about an Islamist-inspired al-Qaeda terrorist attack?   

The speech is a perfect example of the point before us.   If we are unwilling to acknowledge who the enemy is, how can we hope to defeat him?

An Englishman of the early 20th-century would have scoffed at the notion of England as a smaller state in a larger country.  So too, would most Americans on the first day of the 21st century.    A decade later,  no so much. 

One of the things that has perplexed Bible prophecy scholars for decades has been the ‘problem’ America represents in rightly dividing the Word.  

Bible prophecy foresees four spheres of global power corresponding to:

1. the Kings of the East (China and Asia) 
2. the Kings of the South (Africa, South America and the Non Aligned Nations Movement) 
3. the Gog Magog Alliance (Islamic Middle East, Russia, Iran, etc) and,
4.  the revived Roman Empire of Antichrist.

It takes a vivid imagination to find any Scriptural support for the existence of a fifth superpower resembling the United States.  

As the first decade of the 21st century draws to a close,  the explanation for America’s absence from the prophetic record isn’t quite the mystery it once was.  

We once thought there would always be an England, too.

Closing the Books on a Decade of Woe

Closing the Books on a Decade of Woe
Vol: 99 Issue: 28 Monday, December 28, 2009

We’re just days from saying goodbye to the first decade of the 21st century.  If one wanted to summarize the first ten years of the 21st century, it would be the Decade of Fear.

The decade opened with the threat posed by  the Y2K Bug  to bring about the instantaneous destruction of Western civilization.  Ahmed Ressam intended to ring in the New Year with a bomb attack against Los Angeles International Airport — the so-called Millennium Plot.  

As it draws to a conclusion,  a young man from Nigeria tried to blow up a packed Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight with a PETN cocktail bomb sewed into the crotch of his underwear.  

The nation that entered the 21st century with a budget surplus emerged from its first decade so heavily in debt that there are serious questions about its continuing solvency. 

And if the fear of terrorism and the fear of national collapse isn’t enough,  there is the specter of planetary doom from global climate change unless the West gives half its wealth to the Third World and surrenders its sovereignty to the UN’s Climate Change Panel.

One of the jokes making the rounds during the first decade of the 21st century went like this:  

“You know the end is near when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy,  France accuses America of arrogance and Germany doesn’t want to go to war.”

Add to that the election of a woefully inexperienced Chicago politician on the basis of his race, his coronation as the nation’s messiah and the introduction of national socialism and you begin to wonder if we’ll last until Saturday so we can say goodbye to the Decade of Woe.

We’ll spend the rest of 2009 examining the first decade of the new century in light of Bible prophecy and look at how events are lining up with expectations. 

Starting tomorrow.

Assessment: 

All the kids have gone home except my two daughters and my two granddaughters.   I am the only man in the house. It isn’t exactly like I am drowning in a sea of estrogen.  It’s more like treading water.

Grandma has her two rooms,  Charlyn and Taya have our room and Jess and Lori are sleeping in my office.   Gayle and Grandma and I are early risers.  My girls like to get up at the crack of noon.   

So for today, I’m working on the OL on Gayle’s laptop on the dining room table. 

Our Christmas Pie was as wonderful and magical as any I can remember as a kid at my own grandparents.  It was the first time in many years that we had everybody together — it was glorious while it lasted. 

Every year, somebody snaps a picture of me as I am handing out the last gift under the tree for this year.   I always have the same expression — a mixture of sadness and panic.

“Darn!  Maybe there’s one more,” I say every year before fruitlessly sifting through the discarded wrapping paper for one more gift that isn’t there.   

I feel like a drunk looking frantically for his last bottle, knowing it’s empty but hoping there’s one more drink left.  (Sigh.  That part always goes so fast.)

Jess and Lori head for the airport tomorrow evening for their flight back to Texas.  Char and Taya will be staying until after the New Year.    

But I get my office back today and so by tomorrow’s OL I’ll be out of holiday mode and back to serious business. 

I pray that your Christmas was as wonderful as mine and that you are surrounded by friends and family and love and joy and peace. 

May our God richly bless you all as He has blessed me. 

Maranatha!

Christmas Pie

Christmas Pie
Vol: 99 Issue: 26 Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas at my house is always a busy time of year. As the kids grew older, it got even busier. Our family tradition was something started by my maternal grandfather.

Granddad had five daughters, and he realized he was going have to compete with five sons-in-law if he hoped to continue his own Christmas tradition. Granddad adopted the English Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) as HIS Christmas celebration.

They called it the ‘Christmas Pie’. The ‘Christmas Pie’ was an old refrigerator shipping box filled with presents for all the parents and grandchildren. We’d all gather, the day after our individual Christmas celebration, for an extended Christmas.

All the time I was growing up, I thought that Granddad did it all for us grandkids, something that I thought odd in light of the fact that the rest of the year, he was a very proper English grandfather. But at Christmas, all that British reserve would evaporate.

It wasn’t until my kids had kids that I realized what a brilliant man Granddad really was. The Christmas Pie was NEVER about us, but WE never knew it.

It was really about my Granddad and his daughters never losing their own special Christmas traditions.

Granddad headed off any competition with the outlaws about who went to whose house last year — whenever some young fella married into the family, it was firmly understood at the outset that Christmas was for them — but Boxing Day was Granddad’s.

I share my grandfather’s love of Christmas and could not imagine not having my day with my kids. So when Mike and Kari got married, I sat down with Mike and told him that he could have Kari for eleven of the twelve days of Christmas, but that Boxing Day was MINE. Or he’d have to find himself another girl.

So, at our house, Christmas is a two-day affair. Christmas Day is now for Gayle and her mother and I. We read the Christmas Story from Luke, remember the Greatest Christmas Gift of all — eternity — and have a traditional American Christmas. Then, we spend the rest of the day preparing for tomorrow’s Main Event.

And so each Boxing Day, we become Englishmen for a day. Mike and Kari and Hannah and Mikie and Sarah and Johnny, Ricky and Jacob, Char, Taya and Michael, Kerilyn and Tristen, Jessica and Lori– all together and at home with us — for one glorious day. Lots of food, a Christmas ‘Pie’ and a chance for the parents to take a day off to be kids.

Our Christmas wish for you is that you are surrounded by a family that loves you. We wish you laughter and love and fun and joy.

We pray our Lord Jesus Christ will envelope your family with an unspeakable love for one another — and for Him.

We wish you a merry, merry Christmas. And may you be truly blessed.

With much love, from all of us, to all of you.

The Gift

The Gift
Vol: 99 Issue: 25 Friday, December 25, 2009

One Christmas, my son gave me a book on the history of the Irish race. I was stunned to realize that the history of the Irish kings dates back to the time of Solomon, and that the Roman historians of antiquity considered Ireland to be an ancient kingdom when Rome was young.

The Irish nation has maintained its history with an attention to detail surpassed only by the nation of Israel. The book, “The Story of the Irish Race” by Seumas MacManus, was published in 1921 and contains more than seven hundred pages of history.

Today, I want share my Christmas gift with you. A little bit of that history –specifically, the story of King Conor MacNessa. Stay with me, it will be worth the effort. I promise.

King Conor was the Ard-Righ, or High King of Ireland in the first part of the first century.

King Conor was described by a contemporary historian of his day as, “A tall graceful champion of the noble, polished and proud men stood at the head of the party. This most beautiful of the kings of the world stood among his trops with all the signs of obedience, superiority and command. He wore a mass of curling drooping, yellow hair. He had a pleasing, ruddy countenance. He had a deep blue, sparkling, piercing eyein his head and two branching beard, yellow, and curling upon his chin. He wore a crimson, deep-bordered, five-folding tunic; a gold pin in the tunic over his bosom; and a brilliant white shirt, interwoven with thread of red gold, next to his white skin.” – the herald MacRoth to Queen Medb of Connaught.

In King Conor’s day, Rome had not yet constructed the Colliseum and had just conquered what would become Britain. While King Conor’s life was fascinating, it was the circumstances of his death that are of interest here.

Conor died from a brainball that sunk into his skull, fired in battle by Cet MacMagach, a Connaught champion, whom Conor had pursued following a Connaught cattle raid.

It didn’t kill him directly — the brainball lodged in his skull, and his physician, Faith Liag, would not remove it because it would have instantly killed Conor.

With care, Conor might live long, provided he live quietly, avoiding passion and violent emotion and live a life of peace such as few kings of antiquity knew.

Under Liag’s care, Conor lived seven more years.

One day, writes the historian, the pagan-King Conor MacNessa’s court was, quoting MacManus directly, “thrown into consternation by finding broad day suddenly turned to blackest night, the heavens rent by lightening, and the world rocked by thunder, portending some dread cataclysm.”

Conor asked his Druids and wise men for explanation of the fearful happening.

The Druid Bachrach, a noted seer, told him that there had been in the East, in one of the many countries under the dominion of Rome, a singular man, more noble of character, more lofty of mind and more beautiful of soul, than the world had ever known, or ever again would know — a divine man, a God-man, who spent his life lifing up the lowly and leading the ignorant to the light, and giving new hope to a hopeless world — one too, who loved all mankind with a love that surpassed understanding — one, the touch of whose gentle hand gave speech to the dumb, sight to the blind, life to the dead. He was the noblest, greatest, most beautiful, most loving of men.

And now the heavens and the earth were thrown into agony because on this day the tryant Roman, jealous of his power over the people, had nailed him high upon a cross, and between two crucified thieves, had left the divine man to die a fearful death.

Fired to rage by the thought of the terrible injustice meted out to such a noble one, Conor MacNessa, snatching down the sword that had not been unsheathed for seven years, and crying, “Show me the accursed wretches who did this base deed!” burst through the restraining ring of courtiers, leapt into the storm, fiercely hewing down their bending branches and shouting, “Thus would I treat the slayers of that Noble man, if I could but reach them.”

Under the strain of the fierce passion that held him the brainball burst from King Conor’s head — and he fell dead. (The Story of the Irish Race by Seumas MacManus, pp. 26-27)

King Conor lived three hundred years before St Patrick introduced Christianity to the Emerald Isle. The story of Conor MacNessa and the circumstances of his death, were known and recorded in Irish history before Patrick arrived to tell The Greatest Story Ever Told and was surprised to find it was already part of the history of the Irish kings.

Macmanus says in a footnote on the page, “Some say that it was a Roman consul (who informed Conor of death of Christ).

Still others say it was the Royal Branch champion, Conal Cearnach, who had been a prisoner of the Romans and who had been taken to the limits of their Empire.

In the course of which expedition, he was in Jerusalem on the day of days, and witnessed the Crucifixion. “A representative of every race of mankind was on the Hill of Calvary at the dreadful hour.”

Conal Cearnach represented the Gael (Irish). The beautiful story of Conal Cearnach at the Crucifixion is related by Ethna Carberry in her book, ‘From the Celtic past’.”

This is not just a beautiful story, but is part of Irish history attested to by the pagan generations who recorded the events long before Christianity came to the Emerald Isle.

“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.” (Luke 23:45-47)

When Jesus was crucified, the Bible says the darkness was all over the earth for three hours. Not just in Jerusalem, or in Israel, but the whole earth — a FACT of history attested to by Scripture, and also attested to by the history of the pagan High-Kings of pagan Ireland.

Causing even the pagan-King of pagan Ireland, Conor MacNessa, to echo the Roman centurion who stood at the foot of the Cross.

“Truly, this Man was the Son of God.” (Mark 15:39)

This Omega Letter was first published December 22, 2007 Merr Christmas!!

“Happy Christmakwanzukkah”

“Happy Christmakwanzukkah”
Vol: 99 Issue: 24 Thursday, December 24, 2009

Increasingly, the greeting ‘Merry Christmas’ is vanishing from the public discourse in favor of the more generic (and meaningless) ‘Happy Holidays’.

This year, the latest renaming of the day commemorating the Birth of Christ is the ridiculous ”Happy Christmakwanzukkah” — which incorporates Christmas, Hanukkah and that old, traditional holiday season of Kwanzaa, which has been with us ever since 1966 thanks to that famous theologian, Dr. Maulana Karenga, (best known for making up a six-day blacks-only holiday period called ‘Kwanzaa’ in 1966.)

It appears that the Politically Correct want to be certain to insult everybody, Christians, Jews and American blacks equally, hence the name, Christmakwanzukkah. After all, if you offend everybody, then you offend no one, according to the dictates of Politically Correct New Think.

Here’s an example of how THAT works. One atheist in California gets offended because his Christian daughter has to pledge allegiance to ‘one nation, under God’. (The daughter isn’t offended, just the father.)

Because ONE GUY was offended, Politically Correct New Think, as expressed by the 9th Circuit Court, meant that everybody in the Western District (a third of the population) had to change their behavior.

On the other hand, ‘Christmakwanzukkah’ is certain to offend everybody equally, therefore, expect to see ‘Happy Christmakwanzukkah’ merrily hand-written below the signatures of federal court justices throughout the country as they render decisions demanding the removal of Nativity scenes from public parks while ordering Christmas trees redesignated ‘holiday trees.’

By next year, some enterprising New Thinker will remember that he forgot to offend the Muslims. How about “Happy Christmakwanzukkahamadan”? Or maybe “Happy Christakwanzukkadeathtoamerica”?

(Fortunately, Buddhists don’t get offended when they get ignored. They just jot it all down so they can change it when they come back next time around.)

The ones most offended (and therefore, the most fun to offend) are, of course, Christians. Christians feel that we’ve been hijacked, since we had it first.

How many times do we have to remind everybody that the first syllable in ‘Christmas’ is ‘Christ’?

We are offended to our religious core at the mere thought of turning a Christian holiday into a secular one. The more offended we are, the angrier we get, (and the more fun we become to offend).

Of course, we don’t get as angry as the Muslims, which is probably why the ‘amadan’ got left off of ‘Christmakwanzukkah’ in the first place. While the secularists get a belly laugh out of Christian indignation, Muslim indignation sounds like this; “Allahu Akkbar!”(Kaboom!)

The Bible Answer Man, Hank Haanegraf, expressed his indignation at the commercialization of Christmas on his website (while trying to sell a Christmas CD), saying;

“Christmas is “His Story.” Our world is rapidly secularizing Christmas. It’s called “the holidays,” “winter break,” “gift-giving time,” and other euphemisms. Saying “Merry Christmas” is even becoming politically incorrect! Please don’t let your own Christmas fall prey to the anti-Christian cultural pressure. That’s why I want to send you this CD to help refresh you with the joy of reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas — and even pass it on to others.”

But before you rush to buy Hank’s CD so that you can reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, what IS ”the true meaning of Christmas”, Biblically speaking?

Ummmm, that is not as easy as it sounds. First off, we celebrate it at the wrong time. Jesus was probably born in March, according to the early Church fathers of the mid-2nd century.

For another thing, the shepherds would not have been watching their flocks by night on a hilltop in December outside Jerusalem. It would be too cold for the sheep (not to mention the shepherds).

The shepherds kept their sheep in the sheltered valleys around the city during the winter months where it was warmer and herded them back up the hills to graze in the spring.

So why celebrate the Birth of Christ on December 25th? For that, we have to go back at least six hundred years before Christ was born in a Bethlehem manger.

In Babylon the sun was worshipped as the supreme God. As the years progressed and the days grew shorter the people feared the sun was leaving them. On December 22nd they began conducting long rituals and sacrifices to the sun god, appealing for it to return for another year.

On December 25th they could determine the day was getting longer again and on this day they held a great celebration rejoicing in the rebirth of the sun!

It grew out the worship of Nimrod, his wife, Semiramus, and their son, Tammuz. Tammuz was born, according to legend, on the day of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. From the day of his birth onward, the days got longer.

Tammuz worship was practiced right up to the time of the Roman as the feast of Sol Invictus (“rebirth of the sun”).

Statues of Nimrod and Semiramus holding the infant Tammuz were replaced by statues of Joseph and Mary holding the Baby Jesus after the Emperor Constantine was ‘converted’ and declared Christianity the State Church of Rome.

Jesus’ Birth was made to coincide with the Solstice celebration, and together with the statues to worship, Rome’s pagans made the transition easily. It kept the masses happy and the Roman Empire intact.

The oldest mention of Christmas in relation to Christ in old English is Cristes Maesse and dates to 1038, some thousand years after the fact.

The holly, the mistletoe, the yule log, and the wassail bowl are of pre-Christian times.

The Christmas tree has been traced back to the Romans. From there, it found popularity in Germany and eventually Great Britain, according to the Encyclopedia Americana.

The Bible says nothing about celebrating the Birth of Christ. The early Church didn’t celebrate His Birth, instead, they celebrated His death and Resurrection, in keeping with the Revealed Word of God.

Ecclesiastes 7:1 teaches that, “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death [better] than the day of one’s birth.”

Logically and Biblically, a person hasn’t done anything worth celebrating until after the full measure of their lives have been taken into account.

Our tradition of celebrating birthdays is entirely Western and finds its origins in the practices of the Druidic witches of pagan England.

But, Jesus kept the cultural feast days of His era. Some of them were religious, some were not. He knew He was ‘in’ the world, but not ‘of’ it.

Paul wrote in Romans 14:5; “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

There is no sin in celebrating Christmas as the day we acknowledge God’s Gift to the world of a Savior. Neither can I see any Biblical basis for NOT celebrating Christmas because it isn’t really His Birthday.

To some it is a day on the calendar. To others, it is a day of frustration and anger because others fail to associate Christmas with Christ — a frustration so intense that it makes Christmas, for them, the least happy of all days.

Which is exactly the response hoped-for by the secularist New Thinkers who find Happy Christmakwanzukkah so appealing.

The world is populated by the spiritually insane [the lost] and the spiritually retarded [the saved, but as-yet in-the-flesh Church].

Don’t get offended. That’s why Christians are such a marvel to the angels. Because we are such spiritual retards.

The Apostle Paul concurred when he wrote;

“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.” (1st Corinthians 13:12)

It doesn’t matter if Jesus was born on December 25 or March 19, as Chur
ch father Polycarp estimated before being martyred in 155 AD.

It doesn’t matter if the world has a different agenda. We already know that. That is why we sought forgiveness for our sins, whereas the world loves its sin.

There is no sin in being happy. Even on Christmas. God knows who worships Him and who worships Santa Claus. He doesn’t base it on whether or not you have a Christmas tree (unless you start offering sacrifices to it).

This isn’t rocket science, but you needn’t take my word for it.

“He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.” (Romans 14:6)

“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Romans 14:8)

Enjoy Christmas in all its joy and good will, according to your family customs and traditions.

Like most American Christians, I take offense at removing ‘Christ’ from Christmas, because I love Him and I want Him to have the glory and worship that He deserves.

But if I am waiting for the world to give glory to God for the Birth of His Son, I’ll still got a while left to wait — I am in good Company.

(That is what Jesus is waiting for, too. It won’t happen after the final Battle of Armageddon and the installation of the Millennial Kingdom)

Go ahead and put up a Christmas tree. Cook a turkey. Watch your kids open their presents and get ready to welcome all that company.

Christians don’t worship a DAY.

We worship the Author of ALL days.

Every day is the Lord’s, so share this Christmas as the Lord’s day while the rest of the world celebrates Christmakwanzukkah or Christmakwanzukkahamadan or Christmakwanzukkahdeathtoamerica or what ever else they want to call it.

Ours is more fun.

“[F]or I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2nd Timothy 1:12) Don’t let the enemy steal your victory. Or your Christmas.

Enjoy the Christmas gift to you from the Lord.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

First appeared on December 15. 2004